The Silver Leopard (Silva Malorum Part 1)

Frazetta cat head

The Murder-class Cruiser turned from the orbital shipyard and made a course away from the world below.  The ship’s thrusters moved the vessel out of orbit and toward the void beyond.

Captain Markus Baltimore had retired as a lieutenant in the Imperial Navy to become a privateer and live a life of adventure.  He spent the entirety of his pension on the ship.  After buying the ancient warship there was only enough money left to hire a handful of experienced command staff.  Almost all the crew had experienced brushes with the law.  Much of the rank and file crewmen and women were comprised of penal legions.  He could not afford to hire a dedicated ship’s crew; as a result, violent criminals wandered the numerous corridors of the vessel.

The Silver Leopard was her name.  That was not her original moniker.  Avenging Dragon had been the ship’s first name.  Captain Baltimore had a fondness for large cats, so after he purchased her, he renamed her after his favorite predatory cat, the snow leopard.  He had read about the felines of Holy Terra’s ancient past while he was a child.

In order to make a living, Captain Baltimore agreed to sell his services and those of his Silver Leopard to the Rogue Trader Lord Rasmus Everbound as a part of the cruiser squadron to his flagship, the Avenger-class Grand Cruiser Iron Dutchess.  The Rogue Trader had a reputation for not being a compassionate man.  He was known for treating everything and everyone as expendable assets.  Captain Baltimore felt he could live with that.  Time would tell.

To be continued . . .


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