Steven Koutz


A Shadowed Stars short story of Gold Gatling’s rise to power in the Honsho Piracy


Gold Gatling, the man that would become legendary and lead the most powerful Legion in the Honsho Piracy. The man that became synonymous with the words, elusive and escape. Gold Gatling started out just like any other Honsho. Every member of the Honsho Race were pirates and they all served the Honsho Piracy. They typically had blond hair and a humanoid body. The difference between a Honsho and a Human was simply their long-dropped chins and the fact that each hand possessed three fingers and two thumbs. Gold’s hair was not worn loosely or in braids as was custom. Gold was anything but typical and wore his blond hair in a short and spiky fashion. In the Honsho Piracy, there was an order of importance. The Piracy came first, then the Legion, then the individual, and family came last. Gold had already let his relationship with the woman he loved fall to the side as he ascended through the ranks at a quickened pace than most others. Fame, rank, and favor measured a Honsho’s status in their legion. Gold had ascended through the Scapous Legion. It was a powerful legion and measured by wealth, intimidation, and strength, as all legions were measured. The Scapous Legion was ranked fourth in power. Gold had managed to raise himself into the upper echelons of that legion’s power structure. The traditional way was with encouraged and much expected backstabbing. Bribery was another method but it was frowned on by many as buying one’s way through because there was no skill that one could offer or use. Blackmail on the other hand, was quite acceptable. It was seen as finding one’s hidden secrets. A truly exceptional Honsho would not allow those secrets to be discovered, much less used against them.

Gold had pushed by many Honshos on his rise through the ranks and with that came enemies. A Honsho had to constantly scheme while watching those under his or her position. One good way was to have Honshos that feared to move against you ranked under you to watch the others that would most certainly act on ambition and misfortune. Gold had a few of those that feared him but he still had to watch his back as well as his next target ahead of him. On this rotation, that man was Trophicus. He was a much more muscular in build Honsho than Gold’s slender frame. He was well aware of Gold’s ambition and had no issues with sending Gold on the most dangerous missions and raids. One such raid was about to change Gold’s life for the better.

The long and narrow Honsho freighters were about two levels high. The long and narrow design sacrificed maneuverability. That flaw had to be countered with ways to increase speed. The Honsho freighters were all built in the same model and powered to most people’s knowledge by standard regenerative fuel and crystals. The engineering methods to increase engine speed were quite different in each legion’s freighters.

The Honsho freighter that Gold served on was stalking a Teon star shaped shuttle. The Teon tech was considered most extraordinary among other races. Comparable even to that of another race known as Ubides. Trophicus had briefed his raid team and they all checked their Honshon sticks, the primary weapon of the Honshos. Each weapon was capable of melee and ranged strikes with adjustable rates and ranges of electric stun streams. Gold’s Honshon stick was twelve inches long but the weapon typically ranged from twelve to fourteen inches in length. The handgrip was molded to the wielder’s primary hand for optimum comfort and effect. Depending on the wielder’s choice, they had either a button or slide lever activation. Gold had his rigged for a button activation but it was a decoy if another person would obtain it and use it against him. He had a second and single button concealed on the bottom of the hilt. The Honshon sticks were often branded with the wielder’s name and the legion they served. Gold’s weapon hosted a plated display of the Scapous Legion to conceal the engraving of the Gatling Legion he had prepared for the future.

They had lined up in a four Honsho team. With their jump bands readied. The jump band was the device that made the Honshos so feared as pirates. It was primarily programmed only for Honsho DNA. The programming could be adjusted if they desired to take hostages. Any other race attempting to use one without proper DNA programming would be disintegrated. They allowed teleportation through individual portals. Trophicus had declared that he would not accompany this particular raid and designated a female Honsho named, Iglan as raid master. Gold protested the choice as Iglan was at least eight ranks beneath him. With that protest was a prominent claim of Trophicus’ cowardice. Trophicus with a strong glare, stated that such accusation would be dealt with upon their return. Iglan had engaged the raid by activating her jump band. Gold and the others did the same. A glowing yellow and white portal of light appeared just behind each of them and they stepped backward into it. The individual portals of light closed immediately behind the disappearing pirates.

The individual portals of light opened again on the Teon shuttle. They closed just as suddenly when the Honsho pirates stepped out from them. The Teons were a race of human skeletal forms. They wore heavy armor that made them look muscular with only their skeletal hands and skull heads exposed. Two of the Teons rushed toward two of the Honshos and fell instantly as they were hit with electrical stun charges. Gold used his Honshon stick to shoot the comms panel of the shuttle and prevent a distress call. Iglan moved behind the pilot and placed her Honshon stick to his neck. As the pilot fell unconscious, she pulled him from the helm chair and assigned one of the other two Honshos to take the controls. She instructed Gold and the other Honsho to search the shuttle’s secured vault for Imthrice circuit. It would be reengineered and placed in freighters of the Scapous Legion. It was expected to double standard speeds and slightly enhance hyperspeed. The other Honsho had already used his Honshon stick to access the small vault door. He and Gold rummaged through the contents. Iglan ordered the other Honsho under her command to bring the shuttle to a halt and to disengage the piloting connection. He did so and pulled a device from under the console. The shuttle could not fly without it. He then asked if they would be spacing the Teons. It was a process of throwing one into the void of space without protective gear. In this case it would not much matter as Teons could survive in a vacuum. Iglan instructed him to jump back to their freighter. A portal of light opened behind him and he walked into it. As the portal of light closed after his entry, Iglan hollered into the vault with an inquiry of them finding the circuit. They had exited the vault and Gold handed her the circuit device. She gave the order to leave. As the three of them engaged their jump bands, Iglan smiled at Gold. Iglan stepped through her portal first and it closed behind her. The other Honsho stepped into his portal but he was repelled out from it. It closed and he was unable to reopen it as Gold’s portal closed and Gold was gone.

The portal opened again on the Honsho freighter. Trophicus and Iglan were surprised to see Gold step out from the portal that closed behind him. It was now Gold’s turn to smile. Abandoning a Honsho that was deemed a threat to ascend was a common practice in raids. Gold had expected the betrayal. He stated that he had claimed a fluctuation in his portal and while in the vault had the other Honsho with him run a scan. Gold had rigged his jump band to switch signatures when scanned. When Iglan blocked Gold’s teleport signature, it was the other Honsho’s that she had locked on to. Trophicus claimed that it would make no difference as he drew and raised his Honshon stick toward Gold. Gold dodged the electric stream that shot at him. He then went into a forward roll and popped up behind Trophicus, driving his own Honshon stick into the back of Trophicus’ neck. He had set it at heavy stun and Trophicus collapsed. Iglan looked to Gold with a slight expression of panic and presented him the circuit. Gold told her to turn it in and claim all the credit.

It was later that the freighter rendezvoused with the freighter that carried Ellethia and Stron Scapous, the leader of the Scapous Legion. Gold claimed that Trophicus had failed at stopping the distress call to the Teons. He claimed that he had no choice but to secure Trophicus and turned his unconscious body over to them. It was then that Iglan claimed she was forced to take command of the raid when Gold froze at the action he had taken. Gold and Iglan exchanged expressions. Gold’s was more of surprise to Iglan’s smile of pride. Scapous instructed the female Honsho and second in command, Ellethia to space Trophicus. He then declared that Gold’s action of freezing in a raid was to be punished by allowing Iglan to jump over him in rank. The cargo was transferred and Iglan returned with Gold to their freighter. She had assumed command but was forced to put Gold beneath her as designated by his rank. Iglan stated that she would be watching him for betrayal. Gold stated, “I would expect nothing less.” He congratulated her on her ascension and excused himself to his duties.

It was a few cycles later when Stron Scapous would contact Gold and inform him that Iglan had sabotaged Ellethia’s freighter by providing her a Imthrice circuit with a tracker on it. He declared that the freighter was destroyed and that it was Gold’s duty to apprehend Iglan and punish her as he saw fit. Stron then stated that Gold was now second in Scapous Legion command and warned him not to seek further ascension. Within an ara, Gold had assembled Honshos behind him and had driven a fatal overcharge into Iglan’s body from his Honshon stick.

Gold Gatling had devised a secret camera system overtime and it stretched throughout the freighter. He sat in his quarters and activated the monitors that observed every inch of the freighter. He also called in two Wobmat servants. Wobmats were humanoid with the only exception of full yellow eyes. They were a race ignored by others than Honshos. They passed other races as almost invisible. In the grand scheme they had no rights. It was only the Honshos that seemed to notice them and treated them well. Most of them were given numbers. The few special standouts had actual names. There were Wobmats on every Honsho freighter and they served as spies for the Honshos to other races. Although the Honshos treated them well. Gold Gatling had a reputation among the Wobmats alone for treating them the best. He told the two Wobmats in front of him to have the rest of them watch every move his crew would make and report any possible threat they discover against him. He then checked the time and confirmed a report over comms that Stron Scapous had been arrested and executed by the Black Guard after discovery of one of the Scapous Legion havens that hosted stolen Black Guard supplies and the illegal drug referred to as Quick. A haven was a term for a stash point of stolen goods that Legion leaders had set up across the known systems. The two Wobmats watched Gold’s expression and did not have to ask the obvious question of the informant that turned the information over to the Black Guard. Gold dismissed them to their new assignments. He then began switching all call signs of the Scapous Legion over to the Gatling Legion. There were now only three legions ahead of him. He would increase his raids and call-in favors from Legions under him. Gold removed the Scapous plate from his Honshon stick. He reclined back in his chair admiring the Gatling Legion engraving that was once covered by the Scapous Legion plate. The Gatling Legion would someday become the top and strongest Legion in the Honsho Piracy.