The Captain is Dead Trial of the Captain by Seth Anthony
The Admiral’s face loomed large on the bridge’s heads up display. Based on her furrowed brow, tight lips, and steely gaze, the Captain could tell she wasn’t happy.
“Captain, help me understand why you thought it would be a good idea to meddle in the affairs of another species.”
This wasn’t the first time the Captain had heard that particular line. “Help me understand” was the Admiral’s way of handing you just enough rope to hang yourself. The Captain knew this all too well, having barely escaped that noose more than once.
“It’s simple, really…” the Captain replied cooly. “If we didn’t make contact with those aliens, we would have lost any chance at all of recovering the Mark II McGuffin Gun. You’re the one who gave the orders to recover it. So, I did.”
The admiral shifted in her chair, the high collar of her uniform barely hiding the pulsating vein in her neck that indicated to the Captain that his answer only had tightened the proverbial noose she had provided.
“Well, Captain – you got yourself into this mess and now you’ll have to get yourself out. We are going to have to play by the aliens rules. Our laws don’t apply here. You must defend yourself in their court of justice. There’s no other way.”
The Captain swallowed hard. Sure, he was a fighter, but he much preferred weapons to words. This was going to be tricky and now it was clear that he was going to get no help from his superiors. He was just doing what they asked him to after all!
“Fine, Admiral. I’ve gotten out of more difficult situations than this. Just do me a favor and make sure to note my victory in my record when this is all said and done. Alien Law might just be my new specialty. Captain out.”
The screen flickered and went black. The problem was now squarely on the Captains shoulders and it was time to solve it.
“Counselor – I want a full run down of everything we know about this species and their legal system. I need to know it inside and out. I’ll be in my quarters once you have the report compiled.”
Arriving in his quarters, the Captain sunk into his desk chair. The victorious strut he had performed upon exiting the bridge hid his anxiousness. He knew well that this was going to be a long night and that tomorrow was going to be even longer as he argued his innocence in front of the alien arbiter.
“Captain!” boomed the voice of the alien judge, perched high upon a throne overlooking the Hall of Justice. “You are charged with murdering one of our people in cold blood while trying to steal a proprietary weapon from our species. Not only did you show complete disregard for his life, but you showed just how callous your race is. What do you have to say for yourself?”
This was the Captain’s chance. His bridge crew watched from the gallery, each of them looking more worried than the last. As he glanced at their faces, he remained calm, even smiling a bit, hoping that his confidence would gain him the day. But, the tension in the room was palpable. He approached the table upon which the weapon in question was laying. He reached for it, but his hand was quickly slapped away by one of the guards.
“You would dare take up arms in this palace of peace, Captain?” cried the arbiter. “How much more cowardly can you be?”
The moment was neigh.
“Your honor, I meant no disrespect, but my argument hinges on being able to hold the weapon to demonstrate why I am not to blame for the death of your kinsman.”
The arbiter pondered for a bit, then ruled “You may touch the weapon, Captain. But, our guards will have their rifles trained upon you. One tiny move – one moment of hesitation, and they will lay waste to you.”
The Captain nodded with understanding and picked up the weapon. “You see, your honor, it is impossible for me to have killed your fellow. This weapon, while incredibly powerful, can only be discharged in one very specific way. The wound that caused his death could not have been inflicted by me, as the angle is all wrong.”
The Captain whirled the weapon around, placing the barrel underneath his chin. “You see, the wound obviously went upwards, through his skull. It would not have been feasible for me to pull the trigger from this angle. Look…”
That’s when the First Officer spotted it. The small, blinking red light on the side of the Mark II McGuffin Gun. The safety was off, but the thought registered a moment too late. Before he could utter the shout that was building in his chest, it was over. A pulse of light burst from the barrel and straight into the Captains throat. The bridge crew, with one accord, let out a scream as they watched their Captain’s lifeless body slump to the floor.
The Medical Officer rushed to the Captains side, placing his fingers on what was left of his neck. In a trembling voice she announced “The Captain’s dead.”
With a roaring laugh that couldn’t have been any more excited, the arbiter slammed his staff on the ground and proclaimed “based upon the evidence provided, we find the Captain guilty, by reason of incompetence. Guards, take the crew into custody. They are all accomplices now!”
The crew, looking to the First Officer, saw the blank expression on his face. They left it to the Janitor to ask the question that was all on their minds… “What now, sir?”
The Captain is Dead is an upcoming new release from AEG that features co-operative gameplay as players race against time to repair malfunctioning ship systems, deal with hostile aliens, and warp the ship out of danger. Releasing in 2017.
Seth Anthony is a life-long gamer. Most recently, he served as a Community Organizer for Alderac Entertainment. Prior to that, he was employed by Games Workshop North America. A proficient amateur, he dabbles in writing and game design in his spare time. He’s employed professionally as a Web Designer and Social Media Manager.