Echoes in the Void
|Echoes in the Void|
|Author||Randall N. Bills|
|Interior artwork||Matt Plog|
|First published||13 September 2004|
|Era||Civil War era|
"Echoes in the Void" is a short story written by Randall N. Bills and first published on BattleCorps on 13 September 2004. It was later also published in print in the first BattleCorps anthology, The Corps.
|“||Most stories take place on known worlds under any of a thousand different suns. But what about the darker stories that slip in between stars? And the dark souls who would ever journey into the void...||”|
On 6 July 3066 the Voidjumper III, a Quetzalcoatl-class JumpShip under the command of an obese and foul-smelling man addressed as (the) "Cap", has moved to a specific point in deep space between the Silver, Gibraltar and Manotick systems in the Abbey District of the Free Worlds League. Its crew of pirates and space scavengers includes pilot Colt Stevens, the apparently slightly retarded Jiptom, a woman named Santora (who is unresponsive to Stevens' advances), and at at least two other persons (Teddy and James).
They scan the vicinity for a derelict JumpShip that Cap was told could be found here, but to little avail and the crew begins showing signs of frustration. Stevens, who has been considering mutiny for some time, decides to push things a little and confront Cap. This earns him an assignment to perform long-range sensor scans in a shuttle for hours (maybe days) on end, together with Jiptom. Eventually noticing something on the radar, they move in to investigate and discover the derelict they were looking for, more than 250,000 kilometers from the Voidjumper.
The derelicted JumpShip turns out to be in very bad shape, having obviously suffered a misjump and explosive decompression to several sections following an internal explosion in the engineering section. It is of unknown type and has uncommon features, such as interplanetary drives, but no Jump Sail array. Stevens notes that it must be extremely old. They board the derelict and retrieve the logbook to confirm Stevens' suspicion: they have found the wreckage of the infamous 22nd century JumpShip Liberator.
Back aboard the Voidjumper III, Stevens deposes Cap and has him spaced, then assumes the post of captain himself. His plan is to put the derelict Liberator up for auction - it is an ancient archeological find that will fetch a substantial price, and is totally legal at that.
- Colt Stevens
- Liberator, ancient 22nd century colony ship
- Voidjumper III, Quetzalcoatl-class JumpShip; apparently modified to feature (at least) seven Small Craft bays, as seven long-range spacecraft are simultaneously deployed in the search; noted to be around 300 years old, indicating that it was originally a Scout that was reconfigured to Quetzalcoatl specifications
- Hunter (mentioned)
- unspecified shuttle described as delta-shaped and some 20 meters long, possibly a KR-61
A scene at the beginning of chapter 5 of the Black Mist Rising serial, set 15 September 3067, refers to this story: crewmen aboard a JumpShip in the Orestes system discuss the news that the Liberator has been found and that the finders are trying to sell it to the hightest bidder.