Round 2-4w

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World – Round 2, Turn 4

Tableau
Use 9S – A sudden shift in the balance of power
[High Impact]

General Baal's jaw tensed as the low thumps of weapon fire echoed through the bulkheads around him.  Several of the other men in the armory looked over at him nervously.  Inhaling sharply, the warlord slammed his helmet down and strode quickly over to the nearest viewport.  Sure enough, several of the ship's plasma weapons were firing wildly off into space.  Baal punched a nearby intercom box.

"What the hell is going on up there," he demanded.

The voicebox crackled.  "General!  We've spotted another ship on the other side of the freighter.  It's small.  Sensor's can't get a solid id.  It just detached and is heading for the cargo airlock."

"And you shot it?"

There was a slight pause.  "We shot at it, but—"

"Figured as much.  Break seal and get us over there.  I don't want them goin' anywhere."

"Shall we target the cargo doors, sir?"

Baal made an exasperated face.  "Are you slow or just plain stupid?  They're after my bleedin' alien!  It don't do me a whole hell of a lot of good if you fucknuts blow it up, now does it?"

There was only quiet static.

"Take us out and block their escape.  I'm comin' back to the bridge."  Baal removed his fist, killing the communication, then turned to some of his thugs standing near the armory door.  "Get down to engineering and tell them to get the tractor beam online."  He pointed menacingly at them.  "I want my cargo."

#     #     #

In the cockpit of the Virginia Dare, Proteus waited motionlessly as the outer cargo airlock door slowly closed behind his ship.  A digital timer in the upper right of his vision counted down the milliseconds until a seal was made.  With the outer door sealed, the captain could open the inner doors.  There would still be some violent depressurization as air from the cargo bay rushed into the airlock, but hopefully they would survive it.

His faintly glowing eyes flicked down to his console as a new comm channel suddenly became active.  There was a momentary blast of static, then a voice.

"Attention deadmen," the voice on the other side said with increasing clarity.  They must have finally managed to overcome his jamming.  "This is General Baal of the UTS Appomattox.  I don't know what the hell you think you're playing at, but the cargo on that ship belongs to me."

Proteus knew better than to respond.

"We got all our terrifyin' arsenal pointed your way, and if you so much as flinch we'll blow your ass into space dust, hear?"

The countdown timer in Proteus' vision reached zero as the outer cargo doors sealed shut with a thud.

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Round 2-4w

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