And now it is time for the continuation of Shadow of a Freelancer. Not much action but you'll see the two primary sides of Shadow in this chapter.
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"Delta...what are you doing here so soon?" Shadow asked.
"And on the Gula no less." Dead Eye added.
"Yes, well my ship was destroyed if you remember. Stone here has been letting me use his ship for a while. So what the hell have you done this time for so much commotion?"
As Delta asked this the federation fleet started to push the Humanitist fleet back and they started to jump into hyperspace as soon as they could.
Shadow let out a sigh and said "Every time there's an explosion, a riot, a death even, you blame me." Then laughed.
"Well you are getting a reputation of such things...one can only presume." Delta said with a small smile.
"Holy shit...now I've seen everything, or are you just learning how to control you facial muscles to deceive people?" Shadow said.
"Do you want me to chase that ship or not?" Dead Eye asked.
"Get going; just don't let them see you. I'll check moonbase once things settle down." Shadow said to him as he quickly exited the bridge, then yelled "Nerah which way to my ship?!"
"He still doesn't know his way around your ship?" Delta asked.
"Obviously not...when did you get here? We only saw the Dawn arrive and... ah of course, your drop out of hyperspace was masked by the Dawn's?" Shadow asked as he felt the Invidia launch off the Ira.
"Looks like you're getting better at discovering when that happens young Shadow." Stone said as he checked some increments on the Gula...
Ah the Gula, largest ship piloted by a Freelancer. It was changed from an old twenty second century mid sized freighter ship into a war ship. Freelancer Stone started on the Gula when he was 29 years old and spent many years building her up.
He ripped out all the old circuitry, all the major systems, and even destroyed the old bridge of the ship. He went back in and rewired the whole ship, rebuilt the major systems from some of the most complicated systems that the A.T.W.F had, and even put in the bridge of twenty fourth century deep space exploration vessel.
Of course he added many weapon systems, defensive systems, they same scanner systems the Ira used and even the same engine configuration as the Ira so he didn't need to refuel so often.
The Gula is also known as the Flagship of the Fleet of the Cardinal Sins. Which include the Ira, the Invidia and four others ships...all of which belong to Freelancers that work with Delta.
"Yeah I'm getting better you old rock." Shadow joked.
"I may be sixty three but in terms of age I think Delta here has a few years on me." Stone said.
"What ever do you mean? I'm only thirty eight." Delta claimed.
Both Stone and Shadow laughed then Stone spoke up "Ok you're thirty eight but you might want to add two hundred before that."
"You know that both Stone and I know your true age Delta." Shadow said.
One of the terminals started beeping and Stone checked it. He then said "Delta...we're being hailed by the C.S.F Dawn."
"Put them through...hold on a sec would you Shadow." Delta said as there connection was cut.
Shadow then sat down into his captain's chair and observed the last of the I.F.H.W fleet either escape, be destroyed, or surrender.
"So boss, when should I uncloak us?" Nerah asked.
"Pilot us close to Gula then uncloak. Make it look like we were with them the whole time." Shadow said.
Nerah did as she was told and the Ira flew right up to the Gula and was about to uncloak but they received a coded message from the Gula; asking them to fly into the Gula's one and only hanger bay. Luckily the Ira was small enough to fit inside the Gula but was large enough to completely take up all the space in the hanger bay.
Shadow gave her the all clear to go ahead and Nerah skillfully piloted the Ira into the Gula. Once the hanger bay doors closed and sealed shut the loading ramp on the Ira lowered itself down and Shadow disembarked from the Ira onto the Gula where Stone was waiting for him.
Shadow walked up to Stone and stopped a foot in front of him. They then shook each others paw and greeted each other.
"Been a while huh Shadow?" Stone said as they shook paws.
"That it has." Shadow said as Stone lead him up to the bridge of the Gula.
A few minuets later after navigating through the Gula's halls they arrived on the bridge where Delta was talking to the Admiral of the C.S.F Dawn.
The bridge of the Gula had many consoles and terminals all about it, with lights flashing showing that everything was in working order. The center of the bridge held a large platform that was a hologram terrain projector as well as a projector of the Gula's AI computer Boris; who appeared when Shadow drew close to it.
"Greetings comrade Shadow." Boris said in his programmed Russian accent.
The holographic representation of Boris was that of large man with a thick beard, who had a muscular build...even if it was just a holographic image. In this form he always stood with a military bearing.
"Hello Boris how have things been on the Gula?" Shadow asked.
"All systems are green...we've had not trouble since the last time you were aboard." He said.
"I see...hopefully nothing goes wrong this visit?" Shadow said as he stopped by the console.
"Da comrade, I would hope not." Boris said again before the image went blank.
"So you're positive you don't know where that attack on the enemy flagship came from?" The human Admiral asked.
"You doubt my word Admiral?" Delta asked ever so calmly.
"No I do not doubt your word Freelancer Delta I just want..."
"Good then enough with your questions. We arrived at the same time you did, we no nothing of what has transpired here. However we came here to take, one Patrick Territh off your hands." Delta said.
"Why do you want the prisoner Patrick Territh?" The Admiral asked.
"That is strictly classified material that only a few people know. Regrettably I cannot tell you this information."
"Well I'm sorry to disappoint you but as you can see moonbase is quite damaged. It's venting atmosphere and has lost power in many sections including gravity. In fact the brig was just destroyed by that small ship that just left the system." The Admiral said as a confused look came over his face as he scratched his "However I'm getting reports that most of the prison section of moonbase is intact and that the bulkheads sealed. If he's still alive...and that is a big if at this point, you can have him."
"Thank you Admiral." Delta said as the transmission ended "Fucking idiot!" he added after.
"Not a pleasant conversation I presume?" Stone asked.
"No...just idiotic questions." Delta said as he turned around and added "Shadow...it has been a while hasn't it?" And walked up to him and shook his paw.
"Only two and a half years...after you found me and made me a Freelancer near Inner Haven after the...incident." Shadow said and shook his hand.
"Of course, we need to talk soon. Everything I've heard about you has been bad...publicly speaking that is." Delta said.
"Once I kill Patrick Territh then we can talk...so how are we getting over to moonbase?" Shadow asked.
"Well being that it is mostly destroyed I'd thought we could use the Ira to get over to it." Delta said.
Shadow, Stone, and Delta all made their way over to moonbase inside the Ira. With the clearance granted by the Admiral they were allowed to dock right onto the prison section of the station, and board right into the brig; one of the only areas left that could support life other then part of the living quarters, the med bay, and a few others.
They made there way through the devastated halls down to where the guard station was. It was there they were shocked. Patrick Territh made his escape during the attack by the I.F.H.W forces. In fact Humanitist troops invaded the station and freed him and only him.
"You have to be kidding me!" Shadow yelled as he grabbed one of the guards by his body armor and picked him up off the floor "What the HELL were you all DOING! Sitting here with your thumbs up your collective ass's?!" he said as he violently shook the guard.
"Shadow calm down." Stone said but was met with an evil glare from Shadow. He then saw something about Shadow for the first time; his blue eyes were giving off a faint blue glow.
Delta walked up beside Stone and whispered "Don't mess with him right now, he'd as soon kill you as he would anyone else at this moment." Into Stones ear.
"But why?" Stone whispered back.
"As you know Patrick Territh ordered his assassination when he was still in the normal military about three years ago...what you don't know is that instead of him being killed his younger brother was killed instead and after they finished with him they would have gone after his little sister because all of them are descendents of a test subject that went terribly wrong, remember the Zu'Nara incident. They all have modified genes nearly a 100 percent match to mine. That glow in his eyes is what lets you know that he's at that point I'm always at." Delta explained to him.
Shadow then through the guard into one of the walls then went into one of the corners and slumped down onto the floor. He put his hands on the back of his head as he calmed down.
"Sorry about him, how do you know the Humanitists took Mr. Territh?" Delta asked the other guard.
"Um...because..." he started.
"Because I was the guard outside his cell." Another guard said as he limped into the room with a bandage covering where his leg had been severed "They did this to me before they got him out...and by the way they treated him, if I didn't know any better I'd say he was one of the leaders of the I.F.H.W!" he added when he sat down in a chair.
"Are you suggesting that the attack on moonbase was just to distract the federation forces from realizing they were trying to get Mr. Territh out?" Delta asked.
"I'm not sure but it was a large force that came through, in fact they way they operated seemed similar to the way you Freelancers operate other then the fact that all of them worked together as one instead of many. Everyone they encountered they killed. I'm lucky to still be alive!" The injured guard said.
"Hmm...how did they escape?" Stone asked as Delta seemed to be deep in thought.
"They blew a damn hole in the port side of the brig and used a small transport to escape through it." The guard said.
"I see that is all we need." Delta said as he turned around and faced Shadow "Time to go." And began walking back towards the Ira.
Shadow got up and acted like nothing had happened and followed.
Back on the Ira, Shadow prepared the ship to disengage from what was left of moonbase. He then piloted the Ira into a steady orbit around Earth and let Nerah take over.
"So I'm guessing sending Dead Eye after that ship was a good thing." Stone said as they observed the ships in orbit.
"Yes it was, good work on planning that out Shadow." Delta said as he walked up behind him "Seems like we'll be waiting here for a message from Dead Eye for a while."
"And?" Shadow said.
"Hmm...Stone can you please leave for the time being?" Delta said as Stone did as he was told.
Once he was gone Shadow changed a little and said "So how has your search been Murazar?"
"It's been good Rrahkarr...there are only eleven more members to find and kill, Mr. Territh included of course." Murazar said as Shadow completely changed into, for the most part his old self.
"So that's your real name huh?" Nerah cheerfully said.
"Thanks Murazar..." Rrahkarr said.
"I didn't know you didn't let your main AI know your name. They are usually the only thing you can tell you name too." Murazar said.
"What if they were captured and scanned for information?" Rrahkarr said.
"Any AI other than Boris, Krystal, or Nerah I'd agree with you. But they are completely self aware and cannot be scanned like any other AI. That's why they were the most classified top secrets in the A.T.W.F. don't you remember?" Murazar said.
"Speaking of Krystal, did you recover her from your ship?" Rrahkarr asked.
"Yes but she'll need repairs before I can put her into another ships mainframe." Murazar said.
Suddenly Nerah gasped and said "I'm sorry boss..."
"What the hell are you sorry for?" Rrahkarr asked her.
"Well since I knew your name now I thought I'd do a background check on you to get to know more about you I...I'm sorry." She said sadly.
"Great...see what you've done Murazar, now she's going to feel sorry for me for the rest of the time." Rrahkarr said as he walked over to his captain's chair and sat down.
"Hmm...I'd like to talk to you about what that guard said." Murazar said.
"What about it?"
"The force that entered moonbase was part of the Electus' personal guard. They were the Freelancers that were kicked out of Inner Haven because of their serous disposition against the fur population." Murazar said as he walked up to Rrahkarr.
"I didn't know that any Freelancers had been kicked out?" Rrahkarr said as he leaned back in his chair.
"Well there are, in fact there was a Freelancer civil war when the I.F.H.W split away from the A.T.W.F. those outcasts specifically targeted Freelancers who were furs. Also they started to work together and operate as a unit instead of singularly like most Freelancers do. That's how they were able to kill so many of us." Murazar said as he thought back.
"Hmm...how did the Freelancers win...considering we're still here?"
"Well the outcasts couldn't defeat the defenses mounted on Inner Haven and once they attacked there, we all came together and struck back. I didn't know there were any outcasts left." Murazar said as he scratched his head.
"That just means there's another target for us to attack." Rrahkarr said and laughed.
"You sure do love killing just like me...anyway; you know it'll be three years tomorrow since he died." Murazar said and Rrahkarr went from relaxed to stressed "We have time; you could go down there and pay your respects." Murazar said cautiously, for this topic was not a safe one with him and would easily set him off.
The moment Murazar said that the dark shroud once again covered Shadow. "And what would a heartless bastard like you care if I haven't gone or not." Shadow said in an angry voice.
Murazar sighed when Shadow said that. "Remember pup! Even if I've been like this all my life, I still went to my best friends grave and paid my respects to him. You might think about before you go and call me a heartless bastard again." Murazar said coldly and walked out of the bridge.
Shadow slammed his fist down as hard as he could onto the armrest of his chair and broke it "Damn it!" he yelled and began to growl
"Boss?" Nerah said slowly.
He didn't answer her instead he got up and walked out of the bridge and headed towards engineering and locked himself inside a room in engineering where not even Nerah would know of what he was doing.