Empires II: Dark Messiah

Discussion in 'Worldbuilding' started by DonMegel, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    “Armor piercing!” Jonathan yelled, struggling to raise his voice over the cacophony of death approaching from down the corridor. “Defensive positions! Sergeant!” he turned to the perennially calm Six-Three, “raise the Spirit” he ordered gesturing toward the waiting shuttlecraft, “alert them we’ll be leaving immediately”

    Six-Three nodded. The Commander didn’t need to shout, he was more than capable of understanding him through the din. Perhaps it was the adrenalin, he reasoned. Around them the visibly shaken Ramman crewman were crouched or standing behind the glowing black arched pillars that rimmed the long causeway, weapons leveled at the unholy scene taking place. Unsurprisingly the three REOs were huddled together in the middle of the group, covered only by the musky air, assembling something taken from their packs. Six-Three, following orders, remained at the Commander’s side, who, in a manor that pleased the sergeant, had come to life when the shooting started, only a shadow of the former dread remaining on his face.

    Spirit reports movement on the parameter Commander” Six-Three explained, “multiple contacts but they are keeping their distance.”

    Jonathan swore and leveled his own rifle at the beast raging against the pitiful blue bodies scrambling before it. “Hold it men!” he shouted, “Wait for my order”

    Another Marine flew in several directions under the weight of mammoth claws and the arms that drove them. By now the Jekotians could make out faces and identify individual organs as they spilled out onto the glossy black tiles. Still the Commander held.

    At last the trio of REOs parted to reveal a long, sophisticated rifle perched on a bipod. One of them adopted a prone position in order to operate the weapon while the other two retrieved their discarded rifles and took positions with the normal crewman. Jonathan eyed the weapon in disbelief, “Is that-“

    Six-three nodded, “Rail gun”

    The Commander smiled, “let’em have it!”

    Once again the rampaging beast was assailed by a firestorm of heated metals, a light show of tracers illuminating their paths. As before, the target seemed to care little and continued on its quest for blood and death. Barely discernable among the noise, the long rifle chirped to indicate the capacitor had acquired enough energy to release a round. Carefully the REO chose his target, aiming for the largest portion of the monster to ensure the highest probability of a hit. A loud electronic shriek pierced the noise immediately following the trigger press and a small, dense round left the track at nearly the speed of light.

    The impact, precisely in the middle of the demon’s chest, was almost undetectable; only a slight splash of orangeish fluid. What could be seen was the beast’s reaction. With a tremendous roar it grabbed a nearby Marine and hurled him the 40 meters that still separated the groups. As if the action had been anticipated, the REO responsible for the wound grabbed the rifle and rolled to one side moments before the screaming man slammed into the deck, shattering his skull.

    Now less interested in the dwindling number of Brenodi, the attacker began running towards the Jekotians who continued to pour hot lead in its direction, but to no avail. The rifle beeped again. Quickly the REO recovered his stance and took aim. Another sizzling shriek was followed by a second orange hole, this time lower than the first. Still, the demon closed in.

    Jonathan could make out more detail on the creature now. No longer was it on fire but it was completely covered in gore. Stringy bits of flesh clung to its shoulders, tangled on studs in its armor, chunks of meat were lodged in the valleys of its hilly body, and hair, it was inundated with hair, all of it human.

    20 meters.

    A third beep preceded a third super heated round entering the charging body of the beast. Again it had little effect aside from a tiny orange hole, this time accompanied by a slight stumble in its gate. This wasn’t working.

    “Fall back!” Jonathan ordered, “return to the Spirit, lets move!” he turned to watch his men abandon their positions and run for the distant opening and the escape it promised. Quickly the fortified position emptied and Jonathan too began to depart before a hot sizzle halted his motion. Turning back towards the fray he saw two REOs, one still prone, manning the smoking rail gun, the other kneeling at his side, a large caliber shot pistol held casually in his hands. “REOs!” he called, “fall back!” Nothing. Concerned, he turned to Six-three who had also not evacuated. “Sergeant?”

    Six-three’s face was expressionless, “the second operative is to assist in the transportation of the weapon once it is disassembled.”
    Another beep, another sizzling snap.

    “Break it apart” Jonathan urged, beginning to feel uncomfortable with the proximity of approaching monster. “We have to move!”

    No one moved.

    10 meters came and went before the Commander decided the pair was on their own and turned to leave. Just as he began run for the entrance his ears heard a sixth chirp and a sixth sizzling shriek. With a grimace he waited for the sounds of the REOs being torn to pieces as the creature reached them. A moment passed and only his own breathing and steady foot falls could be heard. Another moment passed without the sounds of death. Curiosity finally overtook caution and the Commander stole a glance behind him before slowing to a stop and turning to confirm what he had seen.

    The REOs had nearly completed partial breakdown of the rifle and were preparing to rejoin their shipmates. About six feet from their position lay the invincible aberration of evil that had driven the Ramman crewman from their positions. It wasn’t dead, but had crumpled to the floor within a widening pool of orange ooze. One of the REOs stood and adjusted the shoulder strap that held half of the massive rifle securely to his back. Pleased, he walked over to the squirming terror and let a couple of slugs fly into its head. Unceremoniously and without emotion, he put a fresh pair of rounds in the smoking chamber and rejoined his companion.

    Jonathan’s mouth dropped open. The two men had stared down death itself and now casually strolled towards the exit at a light jog. It was just as plausible that the pair had grabbed coffee and scones as downed an invincible super soldier. As he watched the men pass his eyes met those of Six-three who mirrored their disinterested, almost bored expression.
    “We need to move Commander”

    Jonathan blinked a couple of times to wash away the shock of the previous few moments before responding. “Right”
     
  2. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    R.S.S Ramman



    “Let see if I am following you, Major. You want to cannibalize auxiliary life support in order to restore the GSW?”

    Major Lajita nodded. “We can construct a new regulator for the damage nacelle using components from other systems. Auxiliary life support is one of them.”

    Captain Patterson rubbed the side of his head attempting to drive away the pain that had come to call it home. “And if we lost primary life support?”

    Lajita was impassive, “It would need to be restored within three hours to prevent affixation, 18 hours to prevent hypothermia, 48 hours to prevent-“

    “We’d have to fix it” Patterson interrupted, “or die?”

    The Major again nodded in confirmation. “Simply put.”

    Patterson often felt that all REOs, especially this one, looked at him through the eyes of a parent speaking to a child. They know what must be done and have to dumb it down and lead the children to their logical conclusions. It wasn’t so much arrogance as a certainty of how the world worked and everyone’s place in it. They did not believe they were more capable than the others, they knew it and took it for granted. “Is there another option to restore the GSW?”

    “No Sir”

    “Fine” he allowed at last, dropping his head into his hands. “but establish an auxiliary air purification center forward of section 23 and come up with some way to heat the ship if we lose life support. Then we’ll at least have a couple of days before-“

    “Captain to the bridge”

    Patterson slowly rose his head without removing his hands, squishing his face and ruffling his hair. “Do REOs get tired Major?” He asked without moving further.

    Lajita remained rigid, sitting perfectly straight in his chair. “Yes Sir”

    Surprised, Patterson raised his brows. “Really? I’ve never seen you sleep. What do you do? ”

    “We die”

    Patterson let his hands flop down onto the table and rose with irritation. “On my way” he announced after jabbing the com button on the wall. “Dismissed Major”


    The bridge hummed with activity. In the five hours since the truce with the Borodin had been made, the Ramman had been hard at work sowing her self back together. Main power had been partially restored, structural breaches sealed in a dozen sections, wounded patched up and returned to work and, most importantly, several of the crew had been able to sleep. Even if the mysterious visitors and their alien craft proved to be uninterested in helping, the time spent in parlay had proven invaluable. Of course, the Borodin also was using this time to regroup but she was always in better shape than the aging Republican cruiser.

    “News from the away team?” the Captain asked strolling past a trio of crewman welding a plate atop a gaping hole in the floor.

    “Afraid not Captain” a young man replied from communication. The station’s previous occupant was enjoying some much served rack time. “interference from the soup is too great.”

    Patterson weaved through the damage control teams and busy crewman, “Then what was so important as to pull me away from the charming Major?”

    The Ensign’s brow crossed into an uncomfortable point while his eyes darted towards the corner. Patterson, following the lead, turned to find another REO, this one a Captain, standing by his chair. They’re like ants “Thank you, Ensign” Patterson said aloud before weaving his way toward the Captain. “To what do I owe the pleasure…?”

    “Punjab” The Captain responded flatly.

    Patterson blinked, “I’m sorry, Captain, did you say Punjab?”

    Captain Punjab nodded. “I am Major Lajita’s executive officer. We’ve been analyzing the data procured from the station and have some interesting discoveries.”

    Patterson choked down the urge to pursue the oddity of the man’s name and focused on the information. “Go on”

    The REO officer, hands held behind his back, arms folded out in perfect triangles, drew the corner of his mouth into a concerned grimace. He did not want the others to hear what he had to say.

    Patterson understood, “Please Captain,” he offered toward his office.

    Both men walked into the small annex that served as Patterson’s office, neither speaking until the heavy door clanged shut, blocking out the hectic energy of the bridge. A number of the Captain’s mementoes and books had shaken from their perches and onto the floor during the combat. He eyed the broken glass that had spread out from the ruined “ship in a bottle” and frowned. “What's on your mind Captain?” He asked, still examining the damage.

    Captain Punjab was the same average height as his compatriots, average build, buzzed short hair and equally dark, intense brown eyes. Each REO had a his or her own face but everything else was communal. “I have examined the shield data collected during the operation and there is a possibility we could adapt it to the Ramman

    Patterson leaned over and collected the small wooden vessel that broken free of its glass confines. Thoughtfully he examined the chipped paint and tangled rigging. “You think we could deploy one of these energy shields here?” He asked still turning over the ship in his hands.

    The REO looked annoyed at having to confirm what he just said. “Yes Sir”

    “Hmm” Captain Patterson slowly walked around the perfectly straight soldier, around his desk, and took a seat, eyes still surveying the damage. “How much can the shield absorb?”

    Punjab pivoted around following the roaming Captain, “In theory, the performance is limited only by the amount of energy put in.”

    This caught the Captain’s attention, “How much will we need to operate it?” He asked looking up and letting his ship filled hands fall to his desk.

    “To form the shield would require 4.3 omnijuels”

    Patterson burst forth with a dismissive laugh and went back to examining his wounded model. The power plant on the Ramman, at redline, could produce only 8 omnijouls. ”I suppose using the shield while at FTL is out of the question.”

    Punjab nodded in agreement but without joining in on the amusement of the Captain. “Correct”

    Patterson thought for a few moments before responding. A number of tiny canon had come loose and began tumbling down the miniature deck of the Schooner. It was a model of the Koln from ancient times, when Empires covered the globe and Kings rode horses into battle. Ships, like the one he held, ruled the waves, tracking pirates, escorting trade vessels and exchanging cannon fire amidst smoke so thick it was like fog. As a boy he had romanced about what it would have been like to captain one of these elegant vessels, it was what lead him into the space program. I should of collected stamps

    He dropped the beleaguered ship onto his cluttered desk and looked up to lock eyes with soldier before him, “Do it”
     
  3. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jonathan’s internal organs vibrated in rhythm with the massive heavy cannon belching fire beside him. A group of forty large figures had materialized around the periphery of the immense hanger while the team was extracting themselves from the corridor. At first, as Four-Eight had reported, they just stood and watched from afar but at the moment the slugs entered their comrade’s head they came alive with the same fury and terror that had already claimed so many. Fortunately for the crew of the Ramman the shuttlecraft offered heavier armaments than what they could carry on their own.

    “Move! Move! Move!”

    The semi-circle of red clad defenders began to contract more rapidly onto the open ramp of the shuttlecraft. Several meters away, the Borodin’s shuttle crew was doing likewise, their own heavy weapons laying down a withering wall of fire, temporarily holding the monsters at bay. At the same time, a handful of blood soaked Brenodi survivors were hurriedly limping out of the corridor entrance on their way to the waiting craft. Jonathan was surprised any of them could move, let alone at their impressive pace. Had the REOs not saw fit to bring such heavy equipment along, and thus turned the creature’s attention, the remnant would have been consumed for certain.

    “That’s everyone!” a middle-aged chief announced, apparently having completed his head count.

    Jonathan slammed his hand onto the shoulder of the gun operator to let him know it was time to retract the weapon and come inside. At the same time vibrations from the waiting engines increased sharply indicating the pilots’ manipulation of the throttle. Jonathan hadn’t given the order to depart but made a note to thank who ever had.

    Everyone aboard felt a flurry of butterflies expand in their stomachs when the Spirit broke free from the deck of the nightmarish alien ship, a flood of relief overtaking the discomfort. The Commander laughed involuntarily and slammed his hand on a crewman’s back in congratulations at coming out alive. Breathing deep he looked out of the contracting opening from the closing ramp door. At first he could only make out the furthest walls of the landing bay but as the Spirit banked to approach the green energy field and space beyond his eye caught a glimpse of the Brenodi shuttle still on the ground.

    “Whoa!” he exclaimed pulling out his scanner. With fingers still trembling from adrenalin, he quickly brought up the feed from the shuttle’s external cameras. His heart sank when the images finally appeared. After the Spirit had lifted off, the increasing number of massive beasts darted across the opening, charging the remaining shuttlecraft. The Brenodi defense cut down, three, perhaps four, before the distance had been covered and the shuttle became physically assaulted.

    “Come about!” He yelled tossing the pad to the closest crewman and fighting his way to the cockpit.

    “Commander, I-“ Six-three began before being cut off abruptly.

    “Objection noted” Jonathan snapped, “get that door open and prepare to receive wounded.”

    For a brief moment Six-three considered seizing control of the shuttle and forcing the issue. The REOs were out numbered but not nearly by enough to prevent success. However, upon returning to the Ramman the incident would be reported and suspicion would fall onto all of the operatives aboard to say nothing of court-martial for the mutineers. Their presence, and trust of the crew, would no doubt prove more useful to the mission than that of the first officer.

    All of this flashed through Six-three’s mind in an instant. To those around him he appeared not even to hesitate. “Yes Sir”

    The view from the helm was a dizzying blur of scenery streaking by as the shuttle made an about face and returned to the massacre. Abandoning the surviving Marines, the Brenodi shuttle was attempting to become airborne but was covered in mammoth, black attackers, swatting at its hull and dislodging huge chunks of metal. Many of the beasts had designated the faltering shuttle as the focus of their wrath but another group had broken off and was moving close to the shattered remnants of men from the corridor.

    “There” Jonathan said pointing to the tiny bunch of men. “Use the way-makers”

    Assault shuttles, unlike their more nimble fighter cousins, were not typically heavily armed. What weaponry they did posses was installed to help them in achieving their mission; usually breaching an enemy hull for delivery of an assault team. A pair of fixed, 50mm canons firing armor piercing rounds usually accomplished this feat; “making a way” for the team to follow and thus the crew given name.

    The streaks of darkness and color slid to a standstill as the shuttle completed its turn and zeroed in on the besieged men. A torrent of dense tungsten projectiles ripped through the rampaging monsters. Unlike the tidy, small pricks left by the rail gun, the 50mm shells tore gaping holes in the victims, severing limbs, rupturing torsos and generally creating a disjointed soup of giblets. Surprisingly the shells, after passing through their targets or missing them all together, did not pierce the floor of the hanger but instead bounced off, flying into the walls beyond. It mattered little at that moment, but the Commander filed away the information for future use.

    Several dozen rounds later the new landing site had been cleared of living aggressors and only stunned, mangled Brenodi remained. With purpose, the Spirit swung back around to offer its open rear ramp to the survivors who did not wait for an invitation to board. A few dozen meters away the crew could see one of the beasts ram his fist through the skin of the Excellence and withdraw a mass of dripping flesh. A second later the hole erupted with muzzle flashes from other Marines doubtlessly attempting to avenge their partially dismembered comrade. With a guttural laugh similar to the first beast slayed in the corridor, the creature placed both clawed hands into the opening and, with terrifyingly little effort, spread it to almost a meter and a half. Franticly the occupants poured fire onto the intruder but, absent the wisdom gained from the first encounter, knew not that their hand weapons were useless.

    More soldiers, for the idea that these things were average crewmen was too horrifying to contemplate, arrived to fill the spaces left by their fallen brethren. Seeing the Brenodi shuttle was well in hand, the new arrivals turned their attention to the Jekotian shuttle hovering in place while the last of the Brenodi survivors scampered aboard.

    “Times up” the Lieutenant observed, eyeing the rear view monitor. A heavy thud from atop the shuttle indicated the officer’s warning had come too late.

    Another loud bang reverberated through the shuttle followed by the sharp pang of the craft, burdened by its unexpected guests, slamming into the deck plates of the landing bay. Expecting a similar outcome to that of the Excellence if the beasts were allowed to remain, Six-three climbed the ladder leading to the port hatch. Flinging the hatch open, the Sergeant found a pair of the demons swiping at the hull plates in an attempt to find a weak point for entry. Judging by the indentations on the shuttle, it appeared that they leaped from some point over head, a distance of no less than one hundred meters.

    Without hesitation, Six-three plunged the bayonet of his short-barreled shotgun into the valley that ringed the alien’s neck where the armor plates from the head and shoulders came together. The slug from the shell tore into something vital and the beast slid from the hull, falling lifelessly to the deck below. In a fluid movement, Six-three lunged the rest of the way out of the open hatch in time to avoid the angry swipe from a clawed hand. Rolling further down the top of the shuttle, he evaded two more blows, both of which leaving long gashes in the armor plate.

    Below the dueling warriors the last Brenodi was drug, literally, aboard and the all clear was given. Without orders, Lt. Eriksson lunged the craft skyward in an attempt to prevent further guests from gaining handholds on his ship. Behind him the survivors and their Jekotian saviors helplessly watched the large ramp door slowly close and the rampaging hoard charging from beyond it. As the last sliver of exterior was pinched away by the closing door, the onlookers could see three of the closest monsters leap to grab hold of the rising shuttle. One didn’t make it.
     
  4. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    How'r we doing? Still enjoying?
     
  5. Sprayer2708

    Sprayer2708 Member

    Messages:
    1,089
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I do. But it's like you're posting the next installment every month or two so it's not worth looking up the thread every day anymore.
     
  6. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Actually, it was every week. You can subscribe to the thread to get an email notification of when there is a new post.
     
  7. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The shuttle lurched upward clawing for altitude and the relative safety it provided. Anticipating the rapid ascent, Six-three had established firm footing and was able to safely watch his opponent tumble backwards only to dig the jagged blade mounted on his arm into the ship, dragging him to a halt. Disappointed but prepared, Six-three held his position until the shuttle reached its apex and slowed creating negative g-forces. Releasing his grip on the hull, he lunged upward, spiraling over the animal, jabbing it with an explosive charge as he passed. Landing on the shuttles rear, he immediately flatted out his body against the roof of the craft so as not to be struck by the corpse on its way down.

    Franticly the beast reached for the tiny blob of gray explosive stuck to the base of its head but without success. The explosion tore free the giant’s grip on the shuttle and allowed him, as well as his various pieces, to fall to the ground below, narrowly missing the REO.

    Before he could begin his cautious trek back to the open hatch, Six-three was seized by a searing pain shooting up through his leg. Looking down, the sergeant was greeted by a long jagged claw piercing his leg and sinking into the hull beneath A second claw emerged from below the horizon of the vessel’s rear and landed nearly two meters beside the first. Together the claws grew into thick, armored arms followed by immense glistening shoulders and the unholy beast to which they were attached. During the struggle, Six-three had not realized that more attackers had grabbed hold of the Spirit and inwardly wondered if there were more.

    Not able to dislodge himself from the creatures talon, the sergeant bolted upright and flung an incendiary grenade into its open mouth. Perhaps realizing the danger, the beast immediately began hacking, trying to dislodge the bomb that it had partially ingested. Given enough time, the thing may have choked on the small cylinder and died of affixation. Happily for Six-three, it didn’t have that opportunity.

    Crimson and burnt orange flames exploded from the creature’s mouth in a display that would have convinced normal onlookers of its hellish origins. Internally the flames raced through its soft tissues, turning its armor shell into a hollow oven full of baked entrails. Still aflame, the muscles gave away and the weight of the beast pulled it free from the shuttle, dragging its embedded claws across the metal as it went.

    Although no longer pinned, the embedded talons had shredded Six-three’s ankle and foot, spraying a thick mist of blood into the quickly rushing air. With clenched teeth the REO began dragging the tangled mess of flesh, bone and tendons towards the still open hatch. Unable to stand, he methodically moved from one hold to the next, his stomach scraping the warm skin of the shuttle.

    Nearly three meters from the salvation of the open door, a sudden movement drew Six-three’s eye. Looking starboard, Six-three watched the Brenodi shuttle, still covered with demon like black attackers, bank hard about fifty meters from the floor. It was not faring well under the onslaught, bits of steel and alloy flaking off from the constant tearing, ripping, and pounding of her assailants. Everyone aboard the disintegrating shuttle must know their fate was set, they could never make it back to the Borodin with the gaping holes torn in their hull. Yet, they fought on, firing from the openings, banking hard this way and that, side swiping pillars to scrape off the offending attackers.

    Their will to survive was admirable but will alone was not enough; perhaps anticipating the near future, Six-three remained still, gripping a communications node in one hand and a maintenance handle in the other to prevent being flung the shuttle’s roof. The Excellence made a final abrupt maneuver before one of her assailants, intentionally or accidentally, pierced the reactor containment wall. In a fraction of a second the immense pressures and energy that held the ship aloft rushed out and enveloped the embattled craft in a ball of blue flame. Fragments of steel and bits of flesh blossomed outward in an expanding ring of debris, bouncing off of the walls and ceiling before, forced by gravity, falling to the deck below.

    At nearly 100 meters, the Spirit faced no danger from the blast but its wounded roof side occupant felt the fiery burn of super heated gases searing his skin. Instinctively Six-three buried his exposed face in the fold of his muscular arm for protection but nothing could be done for his ears which reverberated with the sound of a thousand tornadoes before going silent, burnt closed. Time inched by while the hot wind from the shockwave tore through his hair, baking off parts of his uniform, dissolving bits of exposed flesh from his leg. Even for a genetically engineered soldier the pain was nearly unbearable yet his hands refused to surrender their hold.

    At last the constant pain shifted, changing over from fresh intrusions to the more methodic dance of exposed nerves flopping about in the warm air. Lifting his head from the warm hull, Six-three could barley make out a figure poking up from the open hatch, gesturing him to come further. The time it took to traverse four meters would usually be amplified by the haze of pain and semi-consciousness but REOs, experts in a profession were timing could mean success or failure, always knew exactly how much had passed no matter their condition. Nearly 90 seconds of bleeding, quivering, crawling passed before the baked sergeant tumbled down through the hatch and onto the crowded deck. Those around him were repulsed by the mangled flesh and severe burns but automatically leapt into action administering medical aide.

    “Hatch secure” someone said shouting forward.

    Immediately the Spirit dipped sharply and sped towards the large, green shimmering opening through which they had arrived. The field had been left on, successfully holding the vacuum of space at bay. Jonathan found it a curious omission when deactivating the field and venting the landing area into space would have eliminated both boarding parties without the loss of any additional attackers. Instead they had charged the Brenodi and Jekotian defenses at the cost of dozens of their own.

    A loud thud broke the Commander’s train of thought. The shimmering green opening was growing larger in the cockpit window but was still a few seconds away from penetration. Another thud, this time coupled by the scraping and tearing of metal. “We’ve got another guest” Bruce announced partially to himself. Sergeant Six-three had been rendered unconscious by the corpsman, not that he was in any condition to dislodge a third stowaway, but there were other REOs eager to take the opportunity.

    “I see him” the quite Ensign announced, transferring the image to a larger monitor, “hes on our port side, going at our engines.”

    Jonathan didn’t see how the creature was a “he” but put the thought away for later. “We need someone to-“

    “Wait” Erikson interrupted the Commander, “I think I can handle this.”

    The Spirit shifted her course ever so slightly, arching to come considerably closer to the opening’s edge than was safe. A tense metallic scrapping echoed through the tiny ship and her occupants as the shuttle clipped the side of the opening, shearing off metal and attached occupants like mud from a boot. Looking through the rear cameras, the three officers could see the dislodged monster, flailing its limbs in the empty nothingness, fading away into a sea of black hull.

    Despite the only marginal improvement in their situation, Jonathan breathed a real sigh of relief. “Get us back to the Ramman, now!”
     
  8. D.D.D. Destroyer

    D.D.D. Destroyer Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,999
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    0
    2nd paragraph, should be frantically.

    Will read it more closely when i get to read it from the start :D

    Can you finish the first one? :3
     
  9. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have just been more interested in this story line as of late. Does everyone like that one better?




    “Go ahead, try it now”

    A random crewman, his duty uniform stained with grease and soot, cumbersomely entered a few commands into the partially disassembled consol. A warm hum filled the air as power again flowed into the workstation. In a similar fashion to heat riding through a vent, it ushered with it a cacophony of pops and groans from the deforming steel, the lights blinked, monitors flickered and fans spun to life. For a few more seconds the pleasant hum flowed from the damaged equipment before a loud pop released a plume of acrid white smoke into the air.

    “Sonova-!“ Patterson swore, banging his head on the underside of the console. Climbing out from the tangle of wires and circuitry, the Captain coughed and waved away the smoky remnants of burnt plastic and flame. “Its got to be the primary, do you have a spare?”

    The younger man who, despite his youth had begun to lose his hair, turned to rifle through an open work satchel. Although it had been his assigned task to repair the terminal he had little choice when, the Captain, wishing shed his pent up frustrations over waiting, decided to take over the task. “This should do-“

    “Captain Patterson?”

    John rubbed the back of his neck and stood the rest of the way up, “Go ahead”

    “We’re getting something from Spirit Sir” the charming girl operating the communications station announced.

    Patterson almost jogged from the still smoldering work area around to the waiting Lieutenant. “Its about time, what’s the word?”

    The girl’s dark skin slanted into a point over her nose, her eyes darting back and forth while a single slender hand pressed the ear piece firmly to her head. She was clearly confused and slightly concerned. “I’m not sure sir,” she said at last, her thick accent bundling up her words with a spice they would otherwise not have. “Interference is still very strong, but-“

    Patterson bent his fingers a couple of times in a gesture to let him borrow the ear piece. Typically he trusted his crew to do their jobs with far more skill than he himself could profess but the devastating losses of the past several days had driven him to be more “hands-on” in his command approach.

    “-de red,-ien hos-atta- - dead” Patterson’s brow wrinkled into its own display of concern. As promised, the transmission was spotty at best but the one word that did make it through was troubling; ‘dead’

    “Tactical!?” He blurted standing straight and dropped the earpiece into the girl’s lap. Swiftly he covered the few yards that separated him from the station. Here too an inexperienced replacement was fiddling with the controls allowing Samson to enjoy his preferred place at Navigation.

    “Unchanged sir” the boy replied looking up. “Spirit on approach.”

    Patterson looked down at the thin face and the patches of stubble fighting to reach the surface. His hair, like many Jekotians, was dark brown and, like many in the Military, cut short, but not as short as other officers. It was trimmed neatly at the maximum regulation length, brushing the tops of ears that stuck out too far and smelling ever so slightly of hair product. Obviously his last station, elsewhere on the Ramman, provided the opportunity to mingle with female crewman. “What about the Brenodi shuttle?”

    The boy looked back to his monitors. “No sir, no other shuttlecraft.”

    Patterson’s mouth tightened in the unpleasant realization that something had gone wrong. Either the Brenodi had been unwilling to return, in which case the Spirit would have remained, following the Captain’s orders to keep an eye on them, or the Brenodi were unable to return, meaning one of several things; none of them good. “damn”

    “Captain!”

    Patterson walked back over to the charming young communications officer. After smelling the hair gel emanating from the man operating tactical, he found the subtle scent of flowers refreshing. “Go ahead”

    The young woman responded by holding out the small wireless ear piece and looking up into her Captain’s eyes, her own filled with fear.

    With a small knot beginning to form in his stomach, he took the device and pressed it to his ear, his eyes still locked with the officer before him. “Patterson here.” The knot grew more intense with every syllable crackling through the tiny speaker. Each word tightened a vice around his jaw, bulging the muscles, clenching his teeth. His throat too began to contract and beckon for saliva that refused to flow from a dry mouth. Fluid instead began to form a tiny bead of sweat on his brow and moisten his palms.
    Through all the physical changes of fear and adrenalin the Captain stood silent, listening intently to his first officer relay the events of the past several hours. Finally the horrific tale came to an end and received the only response Patterson could muster. “My God”
     
  10. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I.S.S Borodin

    “Still nothing”

    Gardiner’s nails dug a little tighter into the leather arms of his command chair. It had been nearly ten minutes since the Jekotian shuttle had appeared speeding toward the Ramman but with no sign of its Brenodi counterpart. Contentious and intensive hails and scans had provided little information on the location of the destroyed shuttle leading Gardiner to correctly assume there had been foul play. It was the perpetrator of the crime that he was wrong about. “Set condition red through out the ship” he ordered with a growl.

    “Set condition red” the Lt. Commander manning Tactical echoed, “Battle stations! Battle stations!”

    Throughout the heavy cruiser, sirens screamed at the crew to ready themselves for battle as the voice from the bridge repeated its redundant call to man stations for battle. In Engineering, power was transferred from waste processing, entertainment, water purification and other systems not needed during combat to laser banks, missile defense turrets and other combat related systems. Within thirty seconds the Borodin transformed itself from lethargic to lethal.

    “Come about!” Gardiner ordered with vigor. Normally he allowed his first officer to manage the individual combat orders but with his absence being part of the reason for the situation he was forced to be more involved. “Target the reactor”

    “Coming about” the helmsmen replied, “targeting reactor” followed Tactical. Even uncharacteristically battered, the Borodin was a finely tuned, well oiled machine of efficiency.

    “Activity from bogie Captain!”

    Gardiner swiveled around and looked up at the science station in an unspoken request for more.

    “Increasing radiation readings” she replied understanding the unspoken request, “could be preparing to move.”

    Captain Gardiener filed away the information for future use as he swiveled back around to deal with the Ramman. Smyth may have been green but he had potential. Not to mention the honorable flag of truce under which the two parties had traveled and the blood of his away team unjustly shed under its protection. There would be no tricks, no clever escapes this time. Patterson would die and he’d worry about the aliens later.

    “The Ramman is powering up” Tactical announced, “their shuttle has landed.”

    “Ready anti-mater munitions” Gardiner ordered calmly.

    “AMM, aye” The middle-aged tactical officer did not question the order, such was his training, but inwardly he grimaced at the use of such powerful weapons. According to the Colbert Accords signed between the two nations, the weapons could only be used against fixed fortifications like stations or natural objects like asteroids; not ships. This provision was due not only to the destructive power of the weapons but also their poor guidance; to hit something as small as a ship the attacker would need to be so close as to receive part of the damage himself.

    Communications added their own bit of news to the reports flying too and fro, “Ramman hailing Captain”

    Gardiner sneered, “I bet they are, no response.”

    “Bogie on the move Captain!” The freckle faced science officer almost had to shout over the growing noise of the bridge. “turning towards us, one quarter SLS”

    “Tactical?” Gardiner asked without breaking his gaze on the massive view screen.

    “I see them” he responded quickly, “designated contact Baker.”

    The Captain nodded, “keep an eye on them, we might have to deal with them next.”

    “Aye”

    Ramman still hailing” Communications offered again, “They say its urgent that they speak with you”

    Gritting his teeth, Gardienr snapped back impatiently. “No response. Tactical?”

    Ramman spinning up her GSW, AMM range in twenty seconds.”

    Quickly calculating the time it took for his target to make a jump to faster than light and comparing it with the amount of time needed to not only get in range but fire at and hit said target, Gardiner determined it wasn’t enough. “Lasers!” he nearly shouted, “blind them!”

    Outside, the Borodin rushed toward her intended prey, her flat gray surface cutting smartly through the soup of super heated gases. A starship’s offensive package consisted of several layers. Various forms of rocket propelled ordinance provided the most destructive power but until the target’s defensive grid of anti-missle turrets had been eliminated the bulk of the weapons would be rendered ineffective. That’s were the laser banks came in. Far too weak to pierce the thick armor of most vessels, the highly accurate and fast laser array was instead employed to destroy those defense turrets and thus allow a much more devastating follow up attack. Wiley starship captains also knew the weapons had other uses such as peppering an enemy navigational array. The intense heat and radiation from the hits would not damage the well shielded sensor bank but would throw off the complex calculations required before going faster than light, delaying the entire process by up to forty-five seconds.

    “Contact Baker entering extreme weapons range and closing” the officer at Tactical announced matter-of-factly, “laser package delivered. Ten seconds till intercept”

    A tinge of worry stabbed at the Captain’s thoughts. If Patterson had managed to successfully negotiate with the new species they could be coming to his aide. That would also explain how his band of misfits had been able to over power his away team and destroyed their shuttle. Although confident the Borodin could handle both threats it would make things more complicated.

    “Five seconds”

    “Captain!” Communications began again, clearly excited with his news.

    “Damn it!” Gardiner swore turning to berate the middle-aged man, “I told you-“

    The officer would normally never dare to interrupt the Captain, especially during a tirade, but he felt the situation was extreme, “I have Commander Smyth Sir”

    Gardiner stopped mid sentence and stood to walk toward the work station, “You found the Excellence?”

    Shaking his head, the Lieutenant turned to face his Captain, “No sir, he’s on the Ramman

    “We have lock!” Tactical announced with excitement, “weapons ready”

    “Hold your fire!” the Captain bellowed as if the crew would actually release weaponry without his direct order. “What do you mean he’s on the Ramman? They took prisoners?”

    “I’m not sure Sir” he replied uncertainly, “but he is quite emphatic to speak with you.”

    Brow creasing into a confused scowl, Gardiner walked back to his command chair and took a seat. “Put him on screen” he ordered after a moment of thought.

    The dark battle lighting of the bridge shifted dramatically as the view screen filled with the bloody and battered, but still light skinned, face of Commander Smyth. He had changed dramatically since leaving the Borodin now sporting a blood soaked bandage wrapped clumsily around his head and eye, various cuts and scrapes, all completely soiled with grime and gore. Gardiner nearly gasped. “Commander” he began at once, not loosing his composure, “What-“

    “Captain!” Smyth interrupted, “There’s no time, the aliens are hostile!” He voice was filled with a frantic animation that did not mirror the rest of his badly beaten image. “They killed almost everyone, we only just escaped with the rebels-“

    The bottom fell out of Gardiner’s stomach at the realization that he had been about to obliterate what was left of his away team while the real enemy was right on top of them. “Where the hell-“

    “Contact Baker” Tactical said, also interrupting his Captain due to the seriousness in the situation, “is bearing 147 Mark 2, range 1,000 kilometers.”

    Captain Gardiner’s own mouth went dry. Contact Baker had swung high and held a commanding view over both the Ramman and the Borodin. She could engage both ships at will with what ever armaments she possessed. They were all sitting ducks. “Damn…”
     
  11. PatPeter

    PatPeter I have no idea what I am talking about

    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You should PDF this when finished with font and paragraph indentation that suck on these forums.
     
  12. ViroMan

    ViroMan Black Hole (*sniff*) Bully

    Messages:
    8,377
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    why when finish... start putting in pdf now... clear this thread and post the pdf. make it easier to read, and more beautiful, and perhaps a book. <nudge nudge> ehh? say no more, say no more.
     
  13. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    “Hard about!” Gardiner bellowed not waiting for the communications link between the two ships to be severed. “Evasive maneuver pattern Omega 12!”

    The deck lurched to the side in response to the abrupt change in direction causing the crew to latch onto consoles and railings to prevent being tossed from their stations. At nearly the same instant a brilliant green lance of energy sliced through the space between the hostile attacker and the empty area that formerly held the Borodin. Quickly, another pair of sizzling beams shot forth in search of the banking vessel, both finding the same nothingness as their predecessor.

    Perhaps out of frustration, the alien obelisk turned its deadly attention to the Ramman which had begun its own series of evasive maneuvers in anticipation. Three bolts of neon-lime green energy burst from an, until that point, hidden emitter along the vessels midsection. Unlike the cutting beam leveled against the Borodin, these weapons behaived more like plasma projectiles, compact and slow. With relative ease the Ramman dropped low then pirouetted around the munitions and continued towards the Borodin unaffected.

    With hopes of peaceful parlay dashed, the Borodin halted its erratic ballet just long enough to loose a half dozen warheads who immediately streaked through the soupy orange clouds to their doom. Their mammoth target didn’t so much as drift in an evasive direction, not that evasive maneuvers were practical given the vessels size, instead choosing to hang motionless, belching out its own instruments of death.

    Propelled by their own pure white plumes of fire, the warheads rapidly crossed the expanse and, fulfilling their purpose, slammed into the intruder with brilliant explosions. They were joined by another six weapons of similar yield launched from the Ramman towards the same general area. The combined impact radiated outward sending energy rippling through the charged nebula of gasses and debris, temporarily blocking the impact site from view.

    Eager to strike a fatal blow, the Borodin leveled off and turned to make a more dedicated attack run. As the glistening vessel straightened a searing beam struck its fore section and tore clean through to the aft without ever slowing. So clean and complete was the strike that, had someone been in the position to do so, they would have been able to look in one end see space on the opposite side.

    Space cleared to reveal the mark left by the dozen warheads hurled so triumphantly at the pitiless foe was not be be found, the munitions had done no discernable damage what so ever.

    With one sub light engine flickering in and out from damage sustained during impalement, the Borodin rocketed down and away from the certain death that lay before them. Jogging hard right, she missed a second beam but was unable to entirely miss a third which sliced off a large chunk of her midsection. Far from immobilized, the Borodin powered upward, unleashing every bit of its fury and anger onto her would be assassin. Streaks of fire, tracers, lasers, Anti-Matter Munitions, projectiles, missiles, every destructive object that could be utilized was hurled forward into the fray.

    A flash many times greater than that produced by the earlier strikes silhouetted the sharp lines of the target as mater and anti-mater came together in a weaponized form. In much the same way as the research station had evaporated, but on a smaller scale, a brilliant shockwave burst out in all directions, forcing away the gases and particles of the cloud until all was empty space for thousands of kilometers. Punching through the shockwave, the Borodin continued its determined assault, launching more heavy ordinance and weathering the concussive blasts

    Suffering no apparent ill-effects, the target of Borodin’s wrath hung lazily in space, absorbing, deflecting and otherwise ignoring the attack. Mimicking one of its tiny inhabitants, the vessel just remained still, holding its fire, almost laughing at the insignificant blows it was receiving. Finally, the tiny starship humiliated, the black obelisk of evil returned fire, choosing a single green blob like those hurled at the Ramman to quiet the excessive light show performed by the Borodin.

    At point blank range and without the benefit of its Jekotian counterpart’s maneuverability, the Imperial vessel took the full force of the impact. Entering in the top, aft section of the Borodin the plasma like missle tore deep into the superstructure before blowing off nearly half of sublight engine assembly. The impact and resulting explosion sent the ship flipping end over end under the silent alien craft and out into the soup beyond.
     
  14. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    J.S.S Ramman


    Patterson was numb. His mind failed to process what he was seeing on the view screen as reality. The Borodin, the feared Imperial heavy cruiser, who had pursued them to hell and back, testing the limits of his own ship and crew, forcing him to dig deep into his bag of tricks just to stay alive, was just tossed aside like a used napkin. Small bits of debris continued to flake off of the vanquished vessel as it toppled over and over, out of control. Its attacker hung menacingly, not firing at the tiny ship as before, but waiting silently, daring the Ramman to take its chances. It almost hissed Come and get me
    Patterson wasn’t suicidal. “We’ve got to get out of here. Helm!” he turned his attention to the navigation console, “Back to Republican space, best possible spee-“

    “John” Commander Bruce interrupted from the upper level, “What about the Borodin? We can’t leave them.”

    Patterson swiveled around to look up at the filthy officer leaning over the railing a few feet away. He had said very little since returning from the doomed mission, not that there had been much time for conversation, but something on his face, something in his eyes, an emptiness, a distance, told Patterson more than words ever would. His eyes locked on his friend’s hand, gripped around the recently cleaned railing, caked with grime and blood, other people’s blood. What have I done? Why did I send them…?

    The Commander took his Captain’s pause as an invitation for further explanation. “They won’t just kill them” he implored, “We can’t leave anyone to that fate”

    Patterson shook his head, “Then we’ll destroy her. I can’t risk the-“

    “If I may?”

    Patterson and his first officer both turned to look at the formerly silent Brenodi Commander whose voice had spared them annihilation a few minutes earlier. His surviving comrades were being treated in medical but, despite wounds equally gruesome, Smyth had refused to join them, instead insisting he would be needed on the bridge; and he was.

    “Go ahead Commander” Patterson offered, standing to look the man in the eye.

    Smyth’s sense of duty straightened his posture despite the obvious pain it caused. His deep blue uniform was torn and burned in several places, stained a few shades darker from blood; both his own and others. Soiled bandages gave lip service to containing tissue in several places, leaving a tiny smeared trail of fluids that collected on his shoes and floor. “This entire ordeal will be difficult to convey to my people.” His words were measured and quiet, hands held properly behind his back. “They will assume this is a ruse designed to absolve you of the Borodin’s destruction.”

    Patterson tried to interrupt, “You and your men-“

    “Have been beaten beyond recognition” Smyth finished in what would have surly wounded his pride had any remained, “Who is to say we were not tortured and brainwashed into repeating your lies?”

    Patterson lowered his head and slowly turned toward the view monitor, one hand rising to the back of his neck in a unconscious attempt to vacate the tension gathering there. He knew it would be a fantastical tale even for his own leaders to digest. An alien super ship that is immune to our weapons and is crewed by demons that eat our dead? He wasn’t sure he believed it himself. More importantly they would need the Brenodi’s cooperation or, at the very least, not their interference. He had no choice.

    “Bridge to engineering” he announced after a few moments thought, strolling over to tactical. “Major?”

    The response was quick and curt as always, “Major Lajita here”

    “How long will it take to configure the GSW field to accommodate a faster than light tow?”

    “Approximately 15mins”

    Patterson gestured the young officer out of the way to take the station himself. “You have 4” He clicked off the com while busily typing in commands to the workstation. “Samson?”

    The older man swiveled around in his chair. “Aye?”

    “I’m transmitting you a flight plan, clean it up, we won’t have much room for error.”

    Samson spun back around to examine the incoming data. Samson had been an enlisted man, earning the rank of Master Chief before being offered a commission. This unique past gave the Lieutenant a somewhat colorful way of expressing himself. “What the Holy F-“

    “Just make it work” Patterson interrupted, “We don’t have much time”
     
  15. BloodRaven

    BloodRaven Member

    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    *hangs on every word*
    So about how long does it take you to assemble these, from the time it leaves your head until you post it? (Factoring out interruptions.)

    Putting Super Soldiers and aliens in the same room. Some serious shit is bound to go down.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  16. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had a big back log that I was just pulling from and posting but now I am out. I guess it takes about 1.5-2 hrs unless I get blocked.

    I'm really glad your liking it, I love that I am a quote! Hehehe
     
  17. BloodRaven

    BloodRaven Member

    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I found it entertaining. Also I hope that the quote will possibly intrigue people so that they click on it to find out what it is from (if they even read them.) to bring more people to this sometimes forgotten section of the forum.

    The bait is set, now we wait.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  18. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Darkness. Softness. Formless. Nothingness. No life. No death. Nothing firm. Pain. Pain is firm. Pain is sharp. Sharp pain. In that direction. More nothing. More pain. Why? Ship. There was a ship. A terrible ship. Anger. Fear. Nothing. Death. Panic. Pain. Sound. What is that sound? Closer. Pain.

    Captain Gardiner’s eye’s slowly parted to discover more dark nothingness. For a moment this confirmed his fears of death but the acrid aroma of burnt plastic was overpowering. There was also something else lingering in the thin air, something sweeter; burnt flesh. On cue, he began hearing distant groans and cries for help, the crackle of flames, the occasional burst of electricity arcing from exposed wires.

    At last, tired of being shut out from the cacophony of sensations, his eyes began to focus, adjusting to the omnipresent darkness that had befallen the bridge. It looked as if the power grid had been disabled but several fires kindly provided soft hues of orange and yellow by which to see. Electric pops from capacitors discharging via ruptured conduits offered their own contribution in the form of blinding white strobes flashing on and off from time to time.

    Realizing he and his ship were at least still alive, if not all together in one piece, Gardiner tried to sit up and regain command. Immediately he was greeted by tentacles of pain shooting up his left leg and into his hip. Fighting back a grown, he moved his hands down the affected limb until he reached an obstruction a few inches above his ankle. The object was cool to the touch and extended out beyond what he was able to reach.

    Ceiling support he guessed, wiping his blood covered hands on his pant leg. “Commander Poluk?” He shouted hoarsely after an attempt to dislodge the fallen beam lead to more pain and less freedom.

    No response.

    Gardiner cleared his throat and tried again, “Lt. Commander Poluk?”

    A few more moments of silence at least yielded a reply, “He’s dead Captain” came a voice in the darkness, “I’m Ensign Green”

    The Captain turned his head to find a dark figure feeling its way through the lightless world of death and debris. It quickly, but cautiously, overturned various objects blocking its way before reaching the trapped man. Gardiner could not make out the officer’s face but could hear him kneel down at his side. “What’s our status?”

    “Unknown sir” Green replied at once, “Auxiliary power is not responding” It went without saying that main power was out. “We can’t raise engineering”

    “Damage reports?”

    “A few stations have checked in on the emergency communicators, we’re in bad shape.”

    Gardiner nodded in understanding, “Get this thing off of me”

    Green briefly examined the fallen object trapping his Captain before, with great effort, lifting it clear. A wave of pain and nausea nearly pushed Gardiner back into the listless world of nothingness from which he had just come. Pushing back the vomit, he attempted to stand but found the affected limb would not respond. Again he sent his hands to probe the wound, finding only warm blood, slippery tissue and a sharp, jagged bone. “Damn”

    “Sir?”

    “Give me a hand” he ordered, putting his arm around the younger man for support. “You’re going to have to stop the bleeding.”

    “Yes Sir” the Ensign replied, taking on the extra weight, “I’ll get the kit”

    Painfully, the pair shuffled towards the captain’s chair in an awkward three-legged dance of misery. The journey, only a meter or two, lasted an eternity for the commanding officer who had to struggle to keep his nearly severed foot from dragging across the ruined floor. After a short pause to allow Green to sweep away some bits of metal from the chair, Gardiner at last plopped down in relief. “Are any of the other bridge crew alive?” he finally forced out amidst heavy breathing.

    Green nodded in the dim light, “Yes Sir, Lt. Paskel and Ensign Thain are working on restoring auxiliary power. Ensign Monroe, Lt. Packard and Lt. Hawk are alive, but in very poor condition. I was looking after them when I heard you call.”

    Inwardly the Captain grimaced for having taken way the caregiver for his wounded crew. “How bad?”

    Green’s head lowered in solemn humility, “I’m not a medic sir, but I know Emily- I mean, Ensign Monroe” he corrected himself, “needs more than I can do here”

    Gardiner quickly searched his mind for an image of Ensign Emily Monroe to connect with the grim medical report. After a moment it came to him, “The shy little red head” he whispered under his breath. If Green heard he did not offer comment. Shaking away the image, the Captain waved off the young officer to retrieve the sorely needed bandages.

    As the boy turned to leave the soft glow of emergency lights filled the mammoth chamber. Computer stations that had survived the conflict blinked to life, sharing their energy with back lit key pads and control units while the less fortunate work stations belched out a shower of sparks before being automatically deactivated. With light came a new chorus of sounds, the hum of cooling fans, the low base of air pouring from vents, the polite chirp of neglected equipment seeking attention. Life had been breathed into the Borodin once more.

    Gardiner squinted from the sudden change in lighting, raising his hand to shield his eyes. Quickly, his pupils began to adjust again and the blinding rays faded into a more subdued, haunting blanket hugging every object with soft indifference. What he could only suspect when hidden under the veil of darkness now shown to be silkily real; the bridge and command center was in ruins.
    A large ceiling support had torn free and sheered off the second level walkway and workstations, doubtlessly killing all present. Several smaller beams continued to dangle in various degrees of dislocation or had fallen all together crushing what, or who, ever they landed on. A power conduit running under the main holographic display had ruptured and set fire to the unit. Although the flames had since abated, the black, brittle, torched remains continued.

    Further back, toward the main entrance to the command level, a row of crumpled dirty forms caught the Captain’s eye. Only two of them had been covered by blankets, the other silver coverings from the emergency kit being claimed by the living. Uniform jackets served to preserve the dignity of the remaining casualties, some too large to have belonged to the deceased. Gardiner remembered the young Ensign who had been assisting him and noted his lack of tunic.

    “Captain!” a voice called out, ripping him from his nightmarish introspections, “Contact, bearing 487 Mark 4”

    Instinctively, Gardiner tried to rise and walk over to the station but a wave of disorientation and nausea forced him back down. Stealing a glance at his mangled leg he realized he had lost a lot of blood. “Who is it?” he asked instead.

    “Unknown, main sensors are still down” A pause. “They are moving pretty fast though, not very big either.”

    Gardiner’s mouth drew back in a grimace as the recently returned Ensign began to work over his leg. The unfortunate boy was struggling to bandage what a trained physician would have immediately amputated. “It’s the Ramman” he forced, trying to remain calm through his “treatment.” “What’s their heading?”

    Another moment passed while the makeshift tactical officer surveyed his limited readouts. “They’re coming right at us. ETA 90 seconds.”

    The Captain nodded with a mixture of respect for a foe that refused to die and disgust that his ship had been immobilized instead of theirs. Both nations had a new and common enemy, one that would almost certainly require cooperation and trust to subdue, and yet, his gut still twisted at the thought of working with such animals as those who bore the Jekotian flag. “Communications?” He asked after a few more painful moments of introspection.

    “Negative” came another voice, this one the Captain recognized as Lt. Thain. “Still working on ship to ship auxiliary”

    Going to use us as a shield Patterson? He mused grimly, “Weapons?” he asked aloud, already knowing the answer.

    “Negative” returned the first voice, “collision in 30 seconds”

    Gardiner’s brow wrinkled in confusion. “Collision?”

    “Aye” the voice replied, a bit concerned “its heading right for us”

    “He’s not suicidal,” he mumbled to himself. “he must mean to divert some sort of guided munitions into our carcass.” The seconds ticked by relentlessly, refusing to verify the Captain’s hypothesis. Without care, unaffected, unconcerned, time moved forward, leaving the crew of the Borodin to ponder their fate alone.
     
  19. DonMegel

    DonMegel Member

    Messages:
    1,368
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    J.S.S. Ramman


    Moments before the two former enemies collided, the Ramman fired a single, low yield, missile at the bow of the Borodin . The impact, almost unidentifiable amongst the snarled wounds left by the Aliens, countered the end over end rotation of the lame vessel, allowing the Ramman to get closer without fear of collision. In quick succession, while only a few hundred meters away, the Ramman fired a series of heavy grapples into the hull of the Borodin before banking away hard to avoid a collision. Typically a grapple for towing purposes took place at a much greater range and much slower speed but extra slack was needed in the lines to absorb the jolt of rapid acceleration.

    Missing the Borodin by less than one hundred meters, the Ramman angled upward, letting the lines from the grapples spin out, accelerating the wounded ship as gently as possible. At five hundred meters the lines pulled tight, violently ripping the heavy cruiser forward to match her rescuer’s speed. Unable to cope with the added strain, one of the gnarled armor plates gave way, allowing its tether to bank and yaw freely. Now burdened with additional tonnage, the remaining grapples groaned and splintered but continued to hold.

    Four hundred kilometers raced past the unlikely pair before the faltering cables managed to bring the Borodin within range of the docking clamps on the Rammans underbelly. With much of the formers hull peeled away only three of the dozen clamps found welcome receptors, forcing the others to crush raw steel in an attempt to steady the towed craft.

    “We’ve got’em!” Samson exclaimed lifting his head from navigation for a quick moment before returning to his interments.

    Patterson wasted little time; “Get us the hell out of here!”

    The Ramman’s nacelles, miraculously still operational, began to hum with energy. Rows of coils pulsated in a coordinated attempt to violate physics and propel their craft through space at many times the speed of light. With such a monstrous cargo, the engines craned their fields downward, wrapping haphazardly around the Borodin’s bulk. The ride would be far from smooth or fast, but they were moving.
     
  20. BloodRaven

    BloodRaven Member

    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    An unexpected twist. Keeps getting better.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011

Share This Page