It was a dark, rainy night when the HMS Terrorless was brought down by pirates.
Her cargo had been military-grade weapons going upon a routine transfer to another system. I have then since lost the memory of where indeed the munitions had been going; indeed, many of the finer details of that night would be lost to me forever. They were unsuspecting of any sorts of trouble then, expecting a calm, uneventful routine transfer. In fact, many of the crew were asleep, caught off-guard by our break in the normality of their task. My vessel, the Free and Unrestrained, with a full detail of the nastiest scum on that side of the galaxy, were unexpected guests. We made a pass around the bridge, our band of scallywags jeering and hollering at the Terrorless' crew look of surprise as our cannons launched bolts through the viewport.
"All hands, man the boarding pods!"
Our fearless Captain, a notorious pirate by the name of Hacksar Steele, prepared us to board. I was the quartermaster, and as my duties required, I was the first to board the Terrorless. The pod was crammed from nook to cranny with my fellow scoundrels, and we eagerly awaited our launch.
THUNK! We were catapulted from the port side of the Free and Unrestrained right into the belly of the beast, the now decimated bridge. I gave a swift kick to the door of the pod and charged in, sword in my right arm and blaster in my left. The fighting was nearly nonexistent right then and there, with most of the crew dead or dying. An unlucky soul who survived the bombardment was trying to escape to the main body of the ship; upon seeing us, he raised a blaster, aimed at me. I found my mark first, and he fell to the floor, shot through the heart. The three other pods were spat into the bridge, and their contents swept forward, eager for blood. With my blade upturnt and a thunderous command echoing from my lips, we charged into the Terrorless.
The fighting was brutal. Throughout the ship's hallways and corridors we swung and shot at each other. Cries and screams pealed out amongst the chaos and the walls dripped with blood. Hacking and gunning our way from the front of the vessel to the back, we left a trail of dead behind us, mostly theirs. Terror had began to set into the eyes of our opponents, and fear into their hands, which made their blades shake. Our assault had been done so speedily and so tenaciously that the soldiers, trained as they were, had little time to react and reorganize. Alas, we cut through them like a hot knife through butter.
The cargo had been found. The few of the crew that had been left surrendered promptly when they saw the pirates turn their own weapons against them. Fortunately for them, we flew under a code. If their vessel had fallen prey to another band of marauders, they might not have been so blessed. The men were spared the blade and instead marched to the escape pods, where they catapulted into the planet's surface with their lives and a small provision of food and water. It was a glorious victory for the crew of the Unrestrained and Free, and we all basked in the scene of destruction and carnage, savoring our victory.
From the shadows of the cargo bay leapt forward a figure that we had not discovered nor seen; it was as if she were invisible. With the press of a button, the odd-looking hilt of metal she held came alive with a blue burst of energy, and before any of us could react, she was upon us, upon me. I raised my right arm, still clutching my blade, to deflect her blow. Alas, the beam of energy cut straight through it. Her next blow had taken my right arm, and while I was still reeling from the ferocity of the attack, took my right leg as well. The gravity of the situation did not occur to me then as I landed on the floor of the cargo bay, fallen right across my limbs. From the deck I saw the woman leap forward with a roar, cutting down two of my fellow men until she was stopped by a tremendous blast, which sent her catapulting backwards and next to me. The still-smoking slugthrower pistol that the Captain was holding was lowered, and he rushed to my aid. I shrugged off the attempt at help and tried to stand, but I fell again to the same spot I was previously at.
"Just a moment, Cap'n. I can see to myself, good man."
The alien shook his head in disbelief, his six eyes staring at me in ill-disguised compassion.
"My dear Long John, can't you see?"
It was as if my eyes were opened after a spell of blindness. My two limbs were across from me, right next to the smoking robed torso of the woman who had cut me down. A moment of silence was taken, by me and the good Captain, and he continued, his voice full of sorrow.
"My dear Long John...if only I had been here sooner."
We both wept then and there, myself for the loss of my arm and leg, and Captain Steele for sympathy and regret at sending an old friend into this particular situation.
I do not remember falling into sleep then. My next memory of that horrid day was waking up upon the Free and Unrestained's medbay. Captain Steele was right next to me, a bottle of rum clutched in his clawed hands, and it was clear that the poor man had drank heavily to drown the sorrow of his choices. The ship's surgeon, a rather esteemed doctor, held the weapon of energy that had separated me from my extremities. The old cap'n, bless his heart, was sobbing, holding my left hand in one of his own while taking a swig from the bottle, which would ultimately be his demise.
"If only it were me that had taken the Jeedai's blows...if only..."
From that night on, Steele was nary to be seen outside of his cabin. The only noise that emanated from there was the clinking of bottles and the cries of a drunk, pained man. I was undergoing surgery the night that he took his own life. I had just been outfitted with my new cybernetics and was unsteadily walking to his cabin to show him the new limbs that I was accustoming myself to. My repeated knocks against the door of his cabin were unanswered, and when I opened the door his corpse was seated perhaps three paces in front of me, a knife clutched in a death-grip, a cooling pool of blood at his boots, which was sourced from his right wrist and the thigh of his right leg. We buried him later that week upon Tatooine, his homeworld, in a shallow, unmarked grave, and that same day I took the mantle of Captain upon the Free and Unrestrained, as per my duties as quartermaster.
That night will forever haunt me as the night I lost not only my limbs, but a comrade and possibly the closest thing a pirate could come to a friend.