These Mercenary Hearts

Furieux dropped into realspace twenty klicks from the extraction zone with a knot in his stomach the size of a gin glass. He’d just received his orders from the Patocuda League via internal comms. The Last Dance purred and whined as he reduced the throttle and brought the pink Corvette to a halt. Rubbing the sweat from his face with both hands, he shuddered at the thought of what he’d just been asked to do.

Five point nine million credits. It’s just a job. It’s just a job like all the others.

Composing himself, he reached for the bottle and took a deep swig before tucking it safely under his flight chair within easy reach. It was a comfort knowing it was there.
He flicked the safety and the ship’s weapons deployed with a satisfying buzz and crunch.
The vessel before him fired a mining laser like a wand of neon purple that was fascinating to watch. Indeed, there were ways for pilots to make money in this galaxy without killing; but these ways were tedious, slow and dangerous. This particular target, busy scooping up minerals and metals from the rocks, just happened to be Furieux’s latest quarry. In fact, the Patocuda League’s contract required to him to destroy over thirty of these innocent and hard working men and women.
He watched the mining vessel pull precious ore from an asteroid as he pumped some extra power into the Last Dance’s weapon systems and prepared to attack. There were no SysAuth ships around to see the crime, and truthfully, there were no authority ships in the Patocuda system able to stop the assault even supposing they were around to witness it.
Furieux suddenly felt sick.
He’d transported dangerous criminals all over the galaxy, shot down thousands of enemy ships in wars supported by the 8th Dragon Squadron, smuggled contraband into highly policed systems and even shipped hundreds of slaves to work for the Raven’s Scouts of Cai.
This was different. Opening fire on civilians wasn’t okay. It wasn’t okay at all.
Commander Deuil Furieux – known for his iron stomach – watched the miner blow more holes in a rock for a few more moments before stowing his weapons and flying back to Coney Gateway.

This wasn’t what he signed up for. The League were not good people. And Furieux vowed to play a part in bringing them down.

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