"Pirates of the Cassiopeian"

Written By: Asymphototropic

Disclaimer: I don't own Gundam wing.

Author: Asymphototropic (attracted toward the light, but never quite arrives there)

Summary: The officers of starship 'Coruscate Cepheus' kidnap an astral pilot from a pirates' crew. The new navigator proves to be quite a handful. Can he be tamed?

Warnings: language, violence, yaoi, bondage

Pairings: 2 x Everyone in the galaxy, maybe?


" Pirates of the Cassiopeian"

 

Part 1.

"The cure seems worse than the affliction."

"We are an interstellar ship, ground bound for want of a navigator. No possible cure is worse than this affliction."

"Too true. Still, your proposal is fraught with difficulties."

"I don't see that we have a choice in this matter."

The Captain of the interstellar ship "Coruscate Cepheus" rubbed his brow in perplexity. He was an officer and a gentleman. His rig was everything to him. Life and love, mistress and home. But treasuring this one gleaming possession meant keeping his crew from harm. Treize Khushrenada was a younger son of the Emperor of Cepheus. As such, he was wealthy and privileged. None of which was particularly useful for practical matters of survival in deep space.

His ship dwelt well beyond the stars that marked the boundaries of the Cephean Empire. Simply, this was because the vastly violent constellation of Cassiopeia was where the most lucrative flying occurred. A mega light-years expanse, rife with weird backward planets, ever-shifting spatial anomalies, and vicious pirates, it was a very dangerous place to travel.

Impossible without a navigator for his ship.

The navigator of the interstellar ship "Coruscate Cepheus" had just died. Asleep in his berth, the fellow had succumbed to the infirmities of old age. This was a fact that spoke well of Khushrenada's command, but didn't do much for his ship's future prospects.

Khushrenada eyed his second.

Zechs Merquise was the bastard son of the supreme ruler of Cygnus. He represented a far more ancient civilization than the Empire Cepheus, even more powerful and wealthy, but also more decadent. Merquise's was a deliciously wicked soul, the absolute embodiment of the Cygnean ruler class.

Fortunately for the Captain, Merquise had a fevered passion for Khushrenada's handsome person, which resulted in an intense devotion to his welfare. Otherwise, Zechs would be an impossibly dangerous ally.

"Let's have the boys in for a talk. If I can't persuade them this is a good idea, I'll reconsider," Merquise languidly smiled, allowing his perfect physique to lounge back suggestively in his chair.

Khushrenada was far too elegant to stare at Zechs' crotch and lick his lips at the view. Otherwise he would have done both. However he allowed himself these indulgences in his mind's eye, and smirked accordingly. "Include Sawbones as well," the Captain commanded. He knew Merquise had "the boys" eating from the palm of his hand. But the crusty old ship's doctor was nobody's fool, and would speak his mind openly and quite caustically.

A short while later, the briefing commenced. Khushrenada eyed his third officers. They formed quite a scenic view.

Heero Yuy, son of the supreme General commanding all Cygnean military might, was trained in his infancy to fight, almost before he had learned to walk. Slight but muscular. Ice cold blue eyes, glinting strategic assessment with every look. The soft curve of his lips held derisiveness when it formed a smile.

Trowa Barton was of no planetary origins whatsoever. Born onboard a ship to the strange gypsylike Sweepers, the ultimate flying powers of the galaxy, his wiry form had been shaped by his life spent at zero g. His silky silence mimicked the vacuum of space and hid a similar lethality.

Quatre Winner was tribal heir to the fabulously wealthy Sandestiny System. His exotic, courtly manners masked a survivor's instinct. The first assassination attempt on his life had been at age five. He had slain his attacker with a pen knife strategically placed between ribs, which tore a nasty gash in his would-be killer's heart. An elder sister as regent currently occupied his ruling post while he was away from home. Serving on Khushrenada's ship was a healthy and delightful vacation for him from lethal politics.

Wufei Chang was the seventh son of the Khan of Kherekein. Polished to gemstone perfection, educated and skilled in every art and science including combat and weaponry, he was the lithe repository of his people's luck. Between training and good fortune, he was a formidable opponent in battle.

They were four beautiful, highborn, willful young men, all agreeably under Khushrenada's command. Faithful to their Captain both by nature and inclination, still, they nearly worshipped Merquise. Treize wondered what would happen if they had ever, Gods forbid, to choose allegiance between their first and second officers.

Sawbones entered the conference chamber after the rest were already seated. The crusty old man was the oldest and longest serving member of the ship Coruscate Cepheus, crew and officers alike. He could recall the commands of three prior captains, all of whom had died in battle. His origins represented a secret even to Khushrenada. The man's face was distinguished by that rare feature, a perfectly formed Greek nose. The cruelly scarred jawline and one glittering prosthetic eye held adventurous tales that the doctor would divulge when he had taken a sufficiency of brandy. But only to a point did he reveal his secrets.

Sawbones settled his lanky frame into a well padded chair, sighing when the ease overtook his elderly joints. "We seem to be lacking a navigator," he commented with a wry grin.

The Captain raised an eyebrow. The ship's surgeon and the navigator had been comrades for many decades. Yet, instead of mourning, the old doctor's attitude seemed to say "better him than me." But then, that was the nature of humanity, Treize supposed. Life went on wherever death left them alone.

"Commander Merquise has a suggestion," Khushrenada indicated his second with a nod.

"Its simple," Zechs leered. "Put our ship into the heart of no-man's space. Pretend to be helplessly adrift in the wilderness. Wait for the inevitable pirates' attack. Meanwhile study every probable predator's ship in the vicinity. Have a plan of counterattack already in place. Be prepared to incapacitate whomever takes the bait. Board ship and kidnap their navigator."

The stunned silence that greeted this proposal was fairly thick. Lasers couldn't cut it.

"Replies?" the Captain invited.

Meanwhile Merquise's scornful eyes seemed to challenge their collective courage and manhood.

"Considering the potential gain, an acceptable risk," Yuy leaped first into the void.

"I like it," Barton added, a certain restless trembling of his long fingers betraying his excitement.

"With sufficient strategic planning, it should work for us," Chang agreed, his black eyes glinting like sparked flints.

"Legal ramifications?" Winner asked.

Khushrenada smiled. Sandestiny's heir had already progressed to the "do it and then what?" stage of planning.

Merquise replied. "If we are responding to a genuine attack, our self defense will easily stand any inspection in either a Cygnean or Cephean court of law."

"Agreed," Quatre nodded thoughtfully. Politics and interstellar legislation were specialties of his, both by virtue of training and interest. "Cassiopeian legal precedents are rather more fragmentary and chaotic. However, with proper research, our actions likely will bear close scrutiny."

"Government scrutiny, yes," Sawbones smiled sardonically. "But have you considered the pirates?"

"Why would that be a problem?" Khushrenada frowned.

Instead of answering, the physician stared pointedly at Merquise.

A rare flush painted Zechs' perfect cameo features. "They do have their own form of tribunal judgment," he explained. "If our actions were deemed piratical in nature, we might have to answer a challenge from the collective as if we were one of theirs."
Khushrenada scowled at that. Being considered a misbehaving scoundrel amongst wicked miscreants did not suit his noble self-image at all.

"Why don't we cross that wormhole if and when we come to it?" Merquise shrugged, rustling silky platinum locks upon his powerful shoulders.

"There is another consideration. I shall have to be part of the boarding party," Sawbones declared, chuckling at the thought.

"Why is that?" The Captain's dark scowl deepened, imagining the elderly physician in the midst of a bloody battle.

"Navigators are worth their ships' weight in gems and precious metals. They are scarce throughout the Milky Way. And with trade livening to the very outer edge of Cassiopeia, interstellar navigators are becoming a rarer commodity by the day. Many a pirate's ship preparing for battle will put an irreplaceable individual like their navigator into stasis. Unless you think you can force their medical practitioner to cooperate in the middle of a fire fight, you will need my expertise to remove the navigator from their stasis chamber, or risk killing your kidnap victim on the spot. Defeating the whole point of the raid."

Treize turned to Zechs. "Is this wild haired scheme worth risking our ship's doctor?"

Merquise refrained from stating that a healthy navigator was worth a hundred physicians in terms of availability. Instead he gambled. Turning to Sawbones he grinned. "Would you be willing to participate in said raid?"

"Oh ho! I wouldn't miss it for the whole galaxy," the old man replied, smirking back.

~ * ~

Chapter 2


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