The journey to the first rendezvous point with the rest of the fleet was to be a long one. While sailing the void, Captain Markus Baltimore’s mind began to wander to recent memories. He sat upon his command throne and stroked his greying beard. The greying of his facial hair contrasted with his dark brown skin.
Baltimore had grown up idolizing the Imperial Navy and joined as soon as possible. He had enjoyed a stellar career despite the fact he did not come from Naval royalty. He worked hard and eventually earned for himself an officer’s commission. Because of his family’s modest means, he did not have the political clout to advance beyond the rank of lieutenant. So, after coming to grips with that fact, he retired and cashed in his pension in order to buy a voidship and ply the stars.
He could have purchased a comparatively small Iconoclast Destroyer and had a slightly used, well-maintained ship that would have been quite affordable to operate, but that was not what Baltimore wanted. He wanted a Cruiser. The only one he could afford was an old mothballed Murder-class Cruiser. He lucked out because the ship still possessed all of her necessary equipment, meaning she had yet to be sold off piecemeal for parts. The Admiral in charge of the reserve fleet’s docking yards was only too eager to be rid of the old girl. You see, Murder-class Cruisers had a sinister reputation for their crews going mad and devoting themselves and their ship to the Ruinous Powers of the Chaos gods. The Admiral did not want a vessel like that around on his watch. Markus Baltimore bought the ship for a steal but had to perform some serious maintenance on her before she could sail the void for any serious length of time. His first order of business was to rechristen her the Silver Leopard.
To be continued . . .