Captain Xero, about to lead his men into glorious battle!
Xero waited patiently for his crew to cut through the hull of the ship. The Grand Fleet had sent him to capture this pirate ship, and he was not the kind of Salsene to take their orders lightly. Their EMP had disabled the ship; now all that remained was to go in and kill all the low-life pirates who were on board.
A hole large enough for them to enter finally appeared, and he and a few Vrah mercenaries entered. "OK boys," he said, "This should be a good hunt. I will pay you all 40 credits for every pirate head you bring back to me. Now, let's move out!"
He and the Vrah quickly entered the ship, and began their search. After only a few minutes, the air was filled with bullets. Xero ducked behind a fuel tank, and stuck his head out. The pirate responsible was an adult male Zyrothan, carrying a Mincer Machine Pistol. He was firing blindly at the Vrah coming after him, shouting, "Cowards! Come here and get me!"
Xero knew exactly how many bullets a Mincer could hold at one time; he counted at every shot, and the minute the Zyrothan paused to reload, he jumped out and shot him a few times with his own weapon, a Snakebite Sniper Pistol. The Zyrothan fell down dead, cursing under his breath. "One down, the Creator knows how many to go," muttered Xero.
He continued onward, until he found a large electronic door. He sighed. Doors were tricky. He pulled the opening switch, and quickly hid again. A tall Skarg came through the door, holding a small axe. Xero jumped out, kicking the axe out of the pirates hand. He pointed his pistol at it's chest, and smiled.
"End of the line, pirate. Any last words?"
The Skarg made a gutteral sound, like a deep growl. Xero frowned.
"Sorry, I don't know what that means. In any case, prepare to die!"
Suddenly, the Skarg charged towards him, the shots fired at him bouncing off his heavy chest armor. It knocked Xero into a wall, and made a harsh grunting sound that may have been laughing.
"OK," said Xero angrily, "you just made me mad." He lept forward, and swung his fist into the Skarg's jaw. The pirate collapsed into a heap on the ground, and Xero shot a couple of rounds into it's scalp. A few moments later, a Vrah mercenary came into the room.
"Are you all right?" he said. The Vrah looked at the dead Skarg, and, after Xero explained what had happened, laughed. "You know," the Vrah said, "Punching out a Skarg gives you multiversal bragging rights." The mercenary walked away, shaking it's head and chuckling.
As soon as the Vrah was gone, Xero continued onwards. He saw the decapitated carcasses of quite a few pirates; Vrah did their jobs well. There was a reason they were in such high demand. Suddenly, another Salsene stepped out of a corner, pointing a Snakebite pistol at him. "Drop the gun and freeze," said the Salsene, "or I blow your head off, and give it to one of my girlfriends as a gift."
Xero cursed himself. He was captured; he could expect a life as a slave if he didn't escape. Pirates were known for their immorality.
"Can't we talk this over?" said Xero, thinking desperately for some way of escape.
"I don't see why I'd want to talk this over," said the Salsene, "You're on my ship. My ship, my rules."
"Ah, so this is your ship. You're the captain, I presume?"
"What do you think I am? Some pathetic fool who's going to follow a Skarg?" The captain seemed somewhat offended.
Suddenly, a radio activated, and a voice came through over loud static. "Captain Skuglan," said the voice, "That EMP took out our security in the cargo bay. Our merchandise escaped!"
"Skuglan" cursed loudly. "Get men down there now. We can't let that thing run amok!"
"Too late," the voice said, being cut off through static, "It's escaped, and it's heading your way. You've gotta get out of there!"
The voice cut out completely, and Skuglan cursed loudly again. "OK, Mr. Pirate Hunter," he said, pointing his gun at Xero, "Come this way. And hurry. That thing could get here any minute. It's pretty fast."
"What is it?" demanded Xero. Although pirates did not bother him very much, he was rather un-nerved by monsters.
Skuglan sighed. "We deal in a lot of shady stuff. We picked the creature up from some weirdo Atrenid on Skrap. He gave it to us when it was still a hatchling. We thought we could make a lot of money off of it. Eventually, however, it grew up into a dangerous predator. We were on our way to Aristotle, planning to drop it off there, when you came along and messed everything up. Now get moving!"
Suddenly, a green shape swooped by, knocking Skuglan off his feet. There was a scream as the creature, a brightly colored winged reptile, proceeded to tear the pirate captain to shreds. Xero watched in horror: he recognized the creature from the Encyclopedia Emenata, listed as one of the most dangerous animals in the multiverse. It was a Terrortooth.
Xero turned around and ran as fast as he could. He didn't look back. He ran through many twisted halls and corridors, through large rooms and thin hallways. And all the while, he could hear the Terrortooth flying behind him. And it was gaining on him at an alarming rate.
Finally, he reached a door, the door that led back onto his ship. If he could get there, he could gather some more Vrah and come back to kill the creature. But just as he approached the door, the Terrortooth landed right in front of him, between him and his ship. Xero's heart sank; this was the end of the line. He was going to die. He had no firearms, and he was within ten feet of a Terrortooth. He reached into his back pocket, and took out a small knife. If he had to go down, he'd at least go down fighting.
Just then, a thickly built Vrah mercenary burst into the room. "Hello, captain!" he said cheerfully, "Is that a Terrortooth? I was hoping I'd get a chance to fight one of these someday. You run; I'll kill it for you."
Xero jumped out of the way as the Terrortooth and the Vrah lept towards each other. He quickly got to the door, and hurried through it.
Inside, he immediately summoned more Vrah. "Come on men!" he yelled, "One of our own is in there! He's fighting a Terrortooth! We've got to get back in there and help him!" He and the Vrah quickly burst back into the ship, pointing weapons in all directions.
On the inside, they found two mangled corpses lying on the floor. One was a Terrortooth, with a bullet in it's chest and a knife in it's throat. The other belonged to the Vrah; the predator had bitten through his battlesuit, and punctured a major artery. The Vrah had bled to death after killing his foe.
Xero knelt over, and judged that he was dead. "Let's continue onward," he said quietly, "There could be more pirates in here."
And so they continued back into the ship, ready for more combat.