Galactic Battles: Nightmare: Scorpion


Oh my goodness! It’s the last chapter! A bit of a tear-jerker this one, but I don’t give you much time to dwell on it, so don’t worry. Anyways, just read it and enjoy. 🙂

Jayna and Derson had no idea what Liam meant when he called out, but Cassie certainly did. She paused mid charge and turned, her enerblade whirring in a defensive pattern as she faced the Imperetor. Jayna was confused. Then, as she struggled to her feet, a loud thump jolted her to back out of her mentally swimming state. Liam had fallen to the ground, and was curled up in a ball. Slowly the Imperetor floated down and faced Cassie.

“So, you betray me again, Cassie; after all I have done for you. I gave you ultimate power! We could have ruled the galaxy together.”

“You changed me into a monster,” Cassie spat back savagely.

“Foolish girl,” the Imperetor chuckled. “You realize that this resistance is pathetic do you not? Your friend, Nightmare, has already succumbed to my mental administrations, and soon you will too. Just knowing symmetry, without the mental power to back you up, is not enough to defeat me my dear. You are not another Richard.”

“But together we are,” Cassie said, a humorless smile creeping across her face as she jerked her head in the direction of the Imperetor.

Initially, Malvolent had no idea what Cassie was indicating. Then there was a sound of tearing flesh. Slowly he turned around. Liam, towering over the Imperetor, was now in his true form. His clothes lay on the ground around him, ripped to shreds. His eyes were unseeing orbs in the center of a face surrounded by a frill of skin whose edges were serrated with miniature claws. His jaw had four mandibles around it, made of pure muscle and bone. His fingers were abnormally long, and he had ten of them on each hand, each with a claw on the end of it. And finally, he was standing in a growing pool of blood.

Imperetor Malvolent charged forward and sliced off Liam’s left arm. With a cry of animalistic rage, Liam sent Malvolent soaring through the air with a wave of mental energy. As the Imperetor looked on with unbelieving eyes, the stump of Liam’s left arm warped, twisted, and grew back into position. Then Cassie was upon him and he no longer had time to think.

Jayna, realizing now that her teacher had not really turned to the evil side, charged forward to assist in whatever manner she could. Derson began firing on the Imperetor when he had the chance, while Mako, completely unafraid, went over to stand beside his master. He could feel with his own limited powers the strain Liam’s mind was going through as he focused on keeping control of the beast inside him.

Liam himself was mentally inside a storm. His creature-like instincts were pushing in, changing him into the predator he was. He was fighting back with all his might, resisting the temptation to give into his true nature. Barely recognizing the people as the people they were inside his mental three dimensional map, Liam forced himself to focus his psychic force on putting up a barrier around Cassie and Jayna.

He could feel Malvolent’s rage. Liam could perceive the surging waves of furious energy that the Imperetor was unleashing on his shield, but that was nothing compared to the battle against himself. Just like when he had been on that injector chair when Mako had finally discovered the suppressants for his condition, Liam’s memories shot through his mind like a bullet train traveling at the speed of light. Neurons and synapses fired off in his brain like a series of fire alarms as the beast gained another step of control.

***

Cassie was fighting in the familiar form of Symmetry. As her hands moved in the motions that Richard had taught her, she felt herself going back, back in time to when all had been well. To be honest, all had not been well. She had been young, and foolish, apprentice of the Imperetor, and she had been sent to kill Richard, having mastered a crude form of the enerblade art he had created.

The battle had been one of perfection, at least, perfection on the side of Richard. Cassie still remembered how many openings she had unwittingly given Richard; thirty-six, before, appealing to her better side, he had cast aside his enerblade and told her to kill him. She had been unable to. She had fought so hard. Tried and tried again to do what her cause said was right, but there had been no power supporting her.

Then Richard had shown her the error of her ways; revealed to her why the Galactic Regime fought for what it fought for. Yet, their relationship had always been a cold one, and though Cassie wished for more, he had always gently pushed such things aside. Of course, she had not understood why, and doing her best, she succeeded in seducing him. He had given in, and gave his life for her.

Then she knew– she knew why Richard had warned her against this. No, love was not bad. But in a position such as theirs, fraught with danger, loving the people around you left cause for weaknesses, and forced one into corners from which there was no escaping. Now as Cassie fought the Imperetor, she could feel Richard’s gentle guidance reminding her of what she should do.

Keep the angle correct, maintain precision, only go this far, no further. These and more were what Cassie was focusing on as she battled Malvolent and all he stood for. She could feel the force field of energy surrounding her as Liam channeled his power into fending them off from the Imperetor’s vicious attacks. There was no sign of her opponent weakening, but Cassie knew that this meant nothing. The Imperetor was very strong, certainly strong enough to hide his weakness.

***

Malvolent knew he had to act fast, so he did. Already he had sensed the trembling of the structure that contained them, and in a sudden maneuver, he target its foundation with a potent blast of energy.

There was a groaning as the whole temple shifted. Then it began keeling over to one side. They all started sliding downwards, rapidly increasing in velocity as they moved. Then the structure began to slow its descent, and after an interminable amount of time, started to right itself. Every sinew on Liam’s body was taught with tension as he strained to balance the giant structure, and for a moment, just one moment, his mental shield lapsed.

This moment was enough for the Imperetor however, and he hastily implanted his will in the  mind of Mako. The dog shook his shaggy head uncertainly, then Malvolent’s control took over, and his eyes turned red with the savage fire that burned inside. At this point, Liam managed to right the temple, and the shield was once again around the Imperetor.

However, in his mental map, he detected a new hostility right beside him. In a moment of instinctive speed, he sent the enemy presence next to him flying away to hit a wall. The short yelp that Mako let out as he smashed against the hard barrier was not missed by Liam’s constantly scanning mind, and his deformed head turned instantly to face the source of the sound.

For a moment, it did not register, then amidst the numerous sections of memory in his brain, it clicked, and dropping his shield, he rushed over to the body of his dog. Mako was dead.

Getting to his feet, Liam let out a cry of impotent rage that was heightened when Malvolent stabbed him from behind. In a flash the enerblade wielded by the Imperetor shot backwards, knocking the evil DAMARC over. Then all four enerblades in the room rose to hover in the air, and despite anything Malvolent tried, he could not pull his weapon back into his hand.

Slowly the hovering enerblades accelerated until they began spinning furiously. Realizing the fate cut out for him, the Imperetor began protesting profusely.

“No, please, just leave me alone. I’ll go! I’ll go away and never come back! I promise.”

The sightless Nightmare just turned to face the Imperetor and bared his teeth in a savage, soulless smile; then the four weapons flashed towards the cringing vilth and cut him to pieces. When this horrible spectacle was complete, there was nothing left but a pile of body parts and the disgusting smell of charred flesh.

Liam stood, with his shoulder’s heaving, then the four weapons extinguished their blades and retracted their cores. His whole body sagged, and dropping the enerblades to the ground, he knelt down beside the prone form of his only friend. There was no question about it. Mako was dead and he wasn’t coming back.

Tenderly scooping the limp form up in his monstrous arms, Liam stalked past everything and exited the temple. As he did so, he slowly morphed back into human form, and boarding the Scorpion, flew off into space.

Cassie, Jayna, and Derson, who had followed Liam to the hanger, watched silently as the DAMARC flew away.

“Well, there goes the Nightmare,” Cassie said with a mix of joy and relief and something else that she could not place.

“I don’t know whether to be glad or upset,” Jayna said with an expressive sigh. “I’ll certainly miss Mako.”

“He came and went, that’s for sure,” Derson said. “Like a sting.”

“A scorpion’s sting,” Jayna mused with a small smile. “‘Scorpion’, I think I prefer that much more than ‘Nightmare’.”

Name change accepted.

The End.

And that is the end of Nightmare! Wow, I actually can’t believe I finished another novel. It’s been so long since I’ve even come close. Thank you all so much for the support! See you in the next story. 😀

Tours yruly

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Galactic Battles: Nightmare: Final Fight


GUYS! The SECOND LAST CHAPTER!!! Can you believe it?! I certainly can’t. Just imagine! This story was spawned from CW8! Wow. I really just can’t imagine how far this has come. Anyways, this one is definitely a longer chapter, and yes, next chapter will truly be the end of Nightmare. Sniff. Not really. XD I’m merely sad because after this means I’ll have to EDIT this story, and I. Hate. Editing. lol, enjoy! 😀

It was strange seeing a black light source lighting up the darkness surrounding them. The whirring of the deadly weapons was almost like a beautiful dance, and the ironic contrast between the murderous intent of the duelers and their graceful moves through the air was excruciating. Jayna was dumbfounded, and even Derson for once was at a loss as to what he should say.

If it had not been his friend he was watching, and if it had not been an old enemy his friend was facing, and if the fate of the galaxy had not been resting on the outcome of this fight, then Mako would have quite enjoyed the battle between Liam and the Imperetor. As it was however, it was not entertaining.

A screech of rage broke all of them from their reveries, and looking around hurriedly, Jayna locked on Cassie charging at them, her enerblade slicing through the air in an offensive figure eight pattern. Jayna instantly took on a defensive stance and awaited the onslaught. She recognized the figure eight and knew that if she could just…

Things happened too fast.

Cassie jumped, taking Jayna by surprise. The former’s figure eight pattern turned into a sweeping motion in front of her. A mental pull sent Jayna’s enerblade flying into a corner, and the young defen was preparing herself for death when an armored body came sailing out from nowhere and slammed Cassie out of flight.

Cassie shoved the lifeless com off her – who had unfortunately landed on her enerblade in his heroic maneuver – and stood up. Jayna pulled her enerblade back into her hand. Derson began firing. The betrayed defen charged with an agonized yell.

***

Meanwhile, in the air above, the Imperetor and Liam were engaged in a fierce battle. Dodging a cut to his head, Liam pushed off a wall and charged, cutting at the Imperetor’s waist. But Malvolent’s blade came down and stalled the progress of Liam’s weapon. He ground his teeth in frustration as the Imperetor kicked him in the side, using the momentum gained from that to shoot towards the wall. Liam too moved back towards the opposite wall and steadied himself.

Getting tired Nightmare?

Imperetor Malvolent’s deep voice echoed through Liam’s head like an unwanted guest’s footsteps echoed through empty halls. With a surge of mental energy, Liam pushed Malvolent out of his head and pushed off the wall. He flew towards the Imperetor, straight as an arrow, but a wave of invisible energy stopped him mid flight, and the next thing Liam knew, Malvolent’s enerblade was hissing as it cut through flesh.

***

Jayna would not have stood a chance. Cassie was dancing circles around her, and if Derson had not constantly been distracting Cassie by his random blaster fire, she would certainly have been killed. As it was, the defen was having a hard time even holding her own. Cassie’s enerblade seemed to be everywhere at once, attacking, defending, cutting, blocking. Jayna could not focus on one spot had she wanted to, for the glowing light emanating from Cassie’s blade kept interrupting her vision.

Then an object fell from above and landed between the two combatants. They ceased for a moment, puzzled, then both realized in the same instant that it was a foot, and they looked up. Sure enough, from the light given off by the enerblades, Liam was missing his foot.

Then Mako’s keen hearing caught the sound of a blaster shot. Cassie obviously heard it too, for she turned in the direction of Derson and caught the bullet in her enerblade. At the same time, she began extending the tip of her weapon in the direction of Derson, and once it was pointed towards him, pressed a secondary button. A laser bolt that could have come from a cannon sped towards the com.

Derson cursed and leaped aside, but not before the bolt took off his left arm. He screamed out in pain, and was sent flying as the projectile collided with the building and energy was sent flying everywhere. The building trembled in its foundations, and everybody stilled. However, the structure did not move again, and Jayna heaved a sigh of relief, oblivious to the stream of stone dust that was dribbling down from the underside of the disk in which they stood.

The Jayna rushed over to Derson’s side.  He was trembling in shock, only a stump of his shoulder left.

“Don’t worry. It’s going to be all right,” Jayna said, feeling helpless at her incapability to do anything.

Then Derson clutched her left arm in a vice like grasp with his good hand. She looked up and saw Cassie’s weapon coming down in a blow meant to hurt. With a desperate sweep, Jayna raised her enerblade just in time to block the attack from her former teacher. Before she could react, Cassie picked her up and tossed her towards the opposite wall with a mental grab. For a moment Jayna stood, then her lack of breath caught up with her and her legs gave way.

***

The exertion of resisting the Imperetor’s mental administrations was pain embroidered with suffering. Liam could feel himself once again losing grasp of his sanity, and he hated the feeling of helplessness that accompanied it. Grinding his teeth together, he swung madly at the Imperetor. No longer was Liam using any enerblade art. This was pure survival. He was fighting for his existence.

Imperetor Malvolent sensed Liam’s weakness, and pressed his advantage, adding more and more pressure…

Liam was almost in a daze now. He was feeling like a person does when he is dead tired, but does not want to go to sleep, so he’ll just just sit there, and before he knows it, he is blinking his eyes open. It was exactly the same with Liam. He was focusing all his strength on resisting Malvolent’s efforts, but just when he thought he’d succeeded for a moment, he would jerk mentally and find that the Imperetor had gained a foothold.

But Liam had a trump card that he had not played. In a lull of cerebral energy, just after he had once again pushed the Imperetor from his mind, he called out in a strangled voice.

“Cassie! Now!”

***

“Release the batch of DAMARC Type N’s.” Even surrounded by life-sustenance fluid, Liam’s enhanced senses could detect the sound of the human. His mind had already been programmed with a basic knowledge of GUL, and thus the talking of the scientists as they bustled at their control panels was easily understood by him.

“Do you think they’ll work?” one said.

“Sure they will. If Type N is half as successful as Type M was, then they most certainly will work.”

“Releasing Type N DAMARCS.” This statement was made by the speech synthesizer located within speakers hidden in corners of the room as the glass walls surrounding the DAMARCS in their individual tube chambers lowered and they were evacuated from what had been their home for two years along with a mass of fluid.

The scientists looked on excitedly as Liam’s humanlike from struggled to its feet. He slowly blinked his eyes open and examined his hands and legs, his mind, advanced for someone two years of age, comparing his external physical structure to that of the humans around him. There seemed to be no difference.

Then a sound caused Liam to look down lengthwise in his chamber. Four more DAMARCS just like him were struggling to their feet. Another five lay dead on the floor. As his brethren finally reached a standing position, the scientists broke into loud cheers.They began clapping each other on the back and shaking hands warmly.

One of the two scientists from before spoke.

“This is even better than Type M!”

“I kno–” his companion’s exuberant reply was cut off as with a scream of rage, two of the DAMARCS set on each other.

“Quick!” This was the lead scientist. “Gas them! We cannot have the specimens destroy each other.”

A gas was released into the glass chamber, but it did nothing to the DAMARCS. Liam, ignoring the fumes that now surrounded him, watched his two companions battle with a curious expression on his face. His mind was working rapidly, analyzing the two combatants and with a predatory analysis, determining how best to take them and the rest down and out.

Then one of the two Type N DAMARCS bit into his opponent. Instantly the smell of blood flooded the air; its passage through space hastened by the gas fumes. This awoke the savage inside Liam, and he prepared to join in the fight when suddenly he felt something strange happening to him. His arms bulged as did the rest of his body, and inside he felt like he was going to burst at the seams. Then he did burst at the seams, and he screamed out in blissful agony as his skin lacerated.

Deep within his mind, past all the pain, he realized that his companions were undergoing the same acute torture. Then Liam fell back, his skin wide open revealing the flesh and muscles beneath. Despite appearing unconscious, Liam still recalled seeing blurs as the scientists lifted the lid off the containment chamber and shook their heads and the dead DAMARCS that lay within. He still remembered their surprise at him still being alive, for he was lying in a veritable pool of blood.

Then his eyes closed, but he could still see! No, he was not seeing, but somehow, he was able to construct a complicated three dimensional structure of his surroundings within his head. He could even move around mentally inside that structure as if he was actually inside it.

The scientists had gently lifted him out of the tank and placed him on an operation table. Then quickly they had sewed his skin back together, all the while talking about how they could cover up their failure.

“It was the exposure to blood that triggered it,” one of the scientists said.

“This will not work if he becomes weak every time he smells blood!”

“Maybe he can be trained to control it.”

“You’re right…. You’re right! Send him to the Trainers.”

So he had been bundled aboard a spaceship and flown off towards the ‘Trainers’, whoever they were. Along the way however, they had been hit by an asteroid and crash landed on a strange planet. Everybody but him had died, and even he was wounded unto death, but a group of people had arrived, and one of them, a woman, had taken pity on him, and he soon learned to call her mother.

Then had come the day he had killed his neighbor’s daughter. Once again he had transformed into that terrible form, but this time, he had control. He was able to ignore the pain that came with such transmogrification, and batter out all his unaccountable rage on the helpless form that was his neighbor’s daughter. Then, with his regenerative abilities, he had healed himself, but none of his abilities had helped when his mother was killed; and it had been his fault. His fault…

He had run. What else could he have done? He no longer had a home, no longer had his mother, so he had run. And in his rage, he had leveled the whole village with a wave of mental energy. This was his mistake. The Imperetor had come, sensing Liam’s power, and using his own power, Malvolent had twisted Liam into a personal sidekick…

***

But now, as the keywords left Liam’s mouth, he knew the time had come for the Imperetor to pay. And through the Imperetor, Liam was striking at his creators who had been disbanded so long ago. This would not bring solace. No–- Vengeance never brought anything but more pain. But in his predatorily mind, one without morals, a monster created by man who had risen on a pedestal of pride such that they thought themselves capable of creating living creatures, Liam had one objective, to bring the same pain everybody had brought him to the Imperetor. He would make Malvolent pay; just as he had once before.

Tours yruly.

Galactic Battles: Nightmare: Nightmare has Arrived


Okay, so initially, this was going to be the second last chapter, however I came across a cliffhanger so good that I could not continue. So you will be left on edge while I work on another chapter. Enjoy! 🙂

Jayna awoke with her head throbbing. Apparently the sleep inducement drug they had injected her with was not meant for her comfort, she thought wryly. Then all trace of humor vanished as her memories caught up with her. She shook Derson awake, then moved over to wake Mako up, while Derson roused the last person in their party.

Mako’s eyes groggily fluttered open. He got to his feet almost instantly, habit of years in suspense, but wavered and nearly fell while his perilymph fluid balanced itself out. His vision swam and for a moment, he could not see anything, but with a quick shake of his head, he cleared any previous blurriness away.

His sharp eyes caught the care lines that had begun to develop across Jayna’s face, and the black around her eyes told him of the sleeplessness she now suffered from. And to think that Cassie, her mentor, was on the side she had been taught to resist! Mako had a great capacity for empathy, being a very feeling character himself, and he understood the confusion Jayna was going through. It was because of this that he decided he would help her fight through this, no matter what the outcome was and– Mako caught himself to make sure he truly believed what he was about to think next, then he realized that he would truly help Jayna, even to the extent of going up against Liam.

Mako sighed. His eyes had changed from being bright and cheerful to clouded with shadow and darkened by sorrow. Even his posture showed the great burden of sorrow that he carried. Then suddenly he felt furious at himself. He had mentally committed himself to work with Jayna against Liam! That was not how a faithful friend acted even when abandoned. Then, as Mako searched his previous thoughts and memories for what could possibly have caused such a treacherous notion, he realized that Liam must have influenced him that way mentally.

***

We approach master. This was the mental message that Liam intercepted as Cassie sent it.

“It feels good to be in competition with you again– Cassie,” Liam said, his mask leaving his visage expressionless, though his blood coursed through his veins like a raging river. Being in a familiar position of command matched his disposition entirely. It had been so long since he’d been in a position of power, he’d forgotten the giddy feeling it gave him.

“Likewise– Nightmare,” Cassie returned with a small smile.

“How long did you know?”

“Ever since you arrived at the Outpost.”

“Ah,” Liam nodded knowingly, tapping his enerblade thoughtfully. “I knew you suspected me, but I did not think you would see through my changed personality so soon. I thought that my change would have disguised me for a little longer than that.”

“You flatter yourself,” Cassie said. “You may have been the Imperetor’s puppet right hand, but your skills of disguise are no better than when I first met you. You have some very telling signs.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, such as your mental shields which stop any body from reading your emotions, your height, your terseness, your build, the mask is new though. Speaking of recognition, I am truly quite surprised that your dog – Mako I believe – did not recognize me. I did think he was one for observational capabilities.”

“Then your skills of perception are no better than when I first met you,” Liam returned evenly. “My former dog did recognize you, but he masterfully hid it. I see that you still have not learned how to mask your mental messages,” this last statement was made when Liam intercepted yet another message from Cassie to the Imperetor.

Cassie grimaced slightly, but the expression of distaste quickly faded when she received a message from her master; one which Liam was unable to read. Quickly she relayed an order to the pilot, and they slowed out of Machspace. Before them was the dark planet, so far from any star, nebula, or source of light that only all who had been under the subjection of the Imperetor knew of its existence. Imperetor Malvolent had named it Masoftal.

Liam turned to a mech, his cloak following him in a delayed motion. “Bring the captives onto the bridge.”

***

Jayna looked up disinterestedly as the door to their room slid open smoothly and twenty mechs marched in.

“You are to follow us to the bridge,” the robotic voice of the mech captain said.

“And if we don’t?” Derson challenged. All the blasters of the mechs instantly pointed at him.

“Then we will execute Protocol 43,” the mechanoid said flatly. Derson did not know what “Protocol 43” was, but he assumed it was not for the good of his health, so he quieted down and followed the leading mechs as they left the room. Inside though, he was seething with rage.

Mako looked up hopefully towards Liam as the group entered the bridge, but Liam remained motionless, his head did not even turn. It was Cassie who spoke first.

“We have arrived, Jayna, Derson, Rogers, and– Mako, was it not?”

“It still is!” Jayna said savagely. “How could you do this Cassie? How could you betray the Galactic Regime, the Assembly– and me?”

Cassie’s face remained as if set in stone, but Jayna felt a slight ripple of emotion pass out from her former mentor. This time it was Liam who spoke.

“You ask ‘how’, when really you should be asking ‘why’.”

“Then tell us why,” Mako said. His volume was soft, but the words filled the bridge with a soft ambience that contrasted greatly with the Imperetor’s robust resonance. Jayna thought for a moment that Liam was not going to answer Mako’s question, but she was mistaken.

“Many people have trouble making any kind of art because they focus in too much on a single problem they face; they work too much on one small point which the believe to be wrong. It is seldom somebody ever steps back to look at the full picture. Those that do do so see what nobody else does. They make decisions and choices based on that bigger picture, and so nobody understands the reasons behind their choices, until in the end, when the piece of artwork is complete, all is revealed.

“Zoom out.”

Mako’s features had been working visibly as Liam had said this. Jayna did not really understand why, but Liam new only too well. In answering Jayna’s question, Liam had sent a secret message to Mako using a double meaning behind his speech. Mako’s heart leapt with joy, but, at the end of Liam’s speech, he was careful to maintain the same melancholy appearance he had initially had. How could he ever have doubted Liam? Of course Liam would have realized Mako had made a simple mistake!

Mako, the only person who had known Liam as long as the Imperetor had, now understood what Liam was doing. He would have seen it all along too, except for the fact he had been too focused on his relationship with Liam and Liam’s rehabilitation.

At this thought, Mako’s internal disposition sobered to match his external appearance. Liam was treading a dangerous line. He had not even recovered from his previous bloodlust. If he went too far… Mako did not wish to think about the consequences of that.

“Execute docking sequence,” Cassie told the pilot. Soon, they had landed in front of the temple that was the solitary structure adorning Masoftal.

Liam and Cassie led the way as they exited the spacecruiser and entered the temple. Slowly they ascended through the floors until they arrived at the top level of the structure. Jayna could not resist shuddering as her eyes discerned the cloaked figure among the inky blackness that encased him.

“Hello, Nightmare,” the deep, resonating voice that Cassie had grown so used to, spread through the room and echoed back. Jayna could sense a great deal of mental power pass between Liam and the Imperetor.

“Hello Malvolent,” Liam replied, the echoes of the Imperetor’s voice abruptly being silenced.

“Still as rude as ever I see,” the Imperetor said, casting back his hood.

“Oh forget the games,” Liam said, as the mechanoids beside him fell to pieces and the pieces flew to be deposited in a corner out of the way. He unhooked the enerblade he carried and ignited it, the black blade giving off an interesting aura.

“Still as direct as ever I see,” Imperetor Malvolent said, a smile that could have been genuine curving across his face. His enerblade still remained in its position at his waist. Cassie stepped over beside her master, while Jayna adjusted her position. Reaching among the rubble of the mechs mentally, she recollected her enerblade and the coms’ blasters.

The Imperetor and Liam began circling around each other. Jayna, noticing that the Imperetor still did not hold his enerblade, tried to take it from him with a quick mental grab. Without even looking in her direction, Malvolent said, “Have it my dear.” At the same time, his enerblade shot to her and ignited as it flew through the air.

Liam extended a hand sharply and the enerblade halted with the tip just before Jayna’s throat. “Good, good,” Malvolent congratulated clapping the same slow clap he had used to distract Cassie. Then the Imperetor’s enerblade shot like lightning from its suspension in the air and into his hand.

“I have broken you once before Nightmare,” he threatened.

“And I have killed you once before Malvolent,” Liam countered.

“It is said that those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it. I see that you have not learned, whereas I…” the Imperetor paused meaningfully. Then he no longer was walking on the floor, but floating in the air.

“Shall we begin?” Liam said, ascending into air up at the Imperetor’s height and igniting his enerblade.

“Most certainly,” the Imperetor replied, and instantly the two flew towards each other.

Tours yruly

Blurb for Nightmare


So, being so close to the completion of Nightmare, I decided to do a blurb for it. The blurb is as follows:

 

Life at Arie Outpost is peaceful, until the arrival of two new members, a mechanic and his dog. Jayna, a Defen, is studying under the guidance of General Vahn, leader at the Outpost. When strange incidents begin happening at Arie, Jayna decides to investigate. All evidence points towards the new arrivals, but before she can come to any conclusions, the three are sent off on a mission after knowledge to help them against two assassins. Then Jayna makes a startling discovery, and when the friends around her start failing, how will she decide who to trust?

 

Tours yruly

Galactic Battles: Nightmare: The Apprentice


Well, I’ve written the next chapter quickly, but I’m so close to the end I can smell it in the air! And besides, I had started the other chapter at an earlier date. This does however, mean that tomorrow I’m going to be swamped with other homework. Oh well, it’s all for a good cause. Hope you enjoy. 🙂

“Hammerhead flank them. Tigerbite, engage the tractor beam.”

These orders were snapped out crisply from the mouth of Malvolent’s apprentice as she stood calmly on the bridge of the leader of the three Velocity-class Spacecruisers. Her white, starched robes made an imposing figure as she voiced orders from the commander’s platform. The Imperetor had grown tired of waiting and had sent her with three Spacecruisers to pick Liam and whoever else might have been with him up. The two lumbering Spacecruisers moved deceptively fast and soon had the tiny Scorpion pinioned.

“Pull them in, and prepare my spaceship,” the commander said whirling around, her cloak whirling behind her.

***

“No no no!” Jayna said hitting the control panels with her fists. She was utterly and completely exasperated. After all they had done to escape from Terraan they had to land in the clutches of the enemy. “How did they find us?” she turned to Liam accusingly, her eyes flashing. “How did they?”

Liam made a metallic noise that Jayna interpreted as chuckling. “They had their two top assassins with us the whole time. Did you really think they had no idea where we were?”

“Well–” she said helplessly.

“They’re pulling us in ma’am,” Derson informed Jayna as the tractor beam began drawing them in towards the Spacecruiser. “Should we prep our weapons?”

Jayna was silent.

“Should we prepare our weapons ma’am?” Derson asked again, the slightest hint of urgency in his voice.

She looked at Liam. He shook his head fractionally.

“You might be interested to detect who is in that approaching spaceship,” Liam said, nodding his head in the direction of a fast approaching shuttle headed towards the Spacecruiser called Tigerbite.

Jayna extended her senses, then she drew back gasping.

“It can’t be!” she said, denying reality. “She– she must be a prisoner or something. There’s no way–”

She was cut off as the Scorpion landed in the hanger. Instantly it was surrounded by a cordon of mechs; outdated, but still dangerous technology. Each one carried an RR 37 Sidewinder. One of the mechs stepped up to the boarding ramp lock and extending a probe, inserted it into the digital key port and hacked the password. The boarding ramp opened up with a bit of a groan.

“They’ve improved,” Liam said, with an undercurrent of sarcasm as he lethargically stood from his seat. He strode purposefully out of the spaceship, put his enerblade carelessly into the hand of the surprised mechanoid, then demanded for an audience with the leader of the fleet. The mechs looked at each other in confusion. They had not expected such audacity from one they had determined to be a prisoner.

A sharp clicking of heels informed Liam of the direction from which the person he sought would come from even before he saw her. Then the Imperetor’s pupil stepped out from a corridor, her shoes hitting the floor with military precision. She was flanked by twenty mechs, but she waved them off casually as she approached Liam.

“Long time no see, General Vahn,” Liam said, with an elaborate bow which did not match the demeanor of his mask. By this time, Jayna, Mako, and the two coms had stepped out from the spaceship. Derson did not seem the least perturbed, but his internal emotions betrayed him, while Jayna had her mouth wide open.

“But how could you Cassie? How could you betray us?” she asked, not bothering to conceal the shock in her voice.

“The Imperetor took me and showed me the light,” Cassie said coldly.

“Ahh, so it is Malvolent, back again to play his little tricks is it?” Liam asked darkly, his fists clenching and unclenching by his sides.

“Yes,” Cassie said with a sickly sweet smile. Then she said condescendingly, “And you thought you had killed him.”

“I killed him once, and I’ll do it again. Bring me to him,” Liam said authoritatively.

“Indeed?” Cassie asked unflinchingly. “You have an overwhelming sense of confidence in yourself Liam, but do not forget what he did to your mind in the past. He is much stronger now than he was then.”

“When I say something, I mean it!” Liam said, stamping his foot in what might have been characterized as frustration, except for the fact that every mech in the hanger went flying away. Even Jayna was slightly impressed.

“Spectacular Nightmare, but it will take a lot more than baby’s tricks and power games to defeat the Imperetor. Come with me,” and she walked imperiously away, her cloak flaring behind her. Liam followed, and he seemed to be storming as he did so, for every piece of metal that he walked past warped and twisted like it was possessed. The mechs, recovered from their airborne episode, egged the rest of the party onwards as well.

Mako recognized now the same haughtiness in Liam that had once existed when they had worked for the Imperetor. He shook his head sadly. He had never imagined their brief happiness after Liam’s release from the Imperetor would have ended like this. Things had been going so well with Liam’s rehabilitation, and suddenly, in a matter of moments, it had all crumbled back down into nothing. Gone was the Liam, and back was Nightmare.

Jayna could not understand the change that had just happened inside Liam. In all her time with him she had never seen him like this. She did not realize he could be so arrogant, and– childish. It was almost like he had skipped his childhood and was living it in the present. It was preposterous for him to even consider having any authority on this Spacecruiser when they were prisoners, yet he did so without the least hesitation.

And he had surrendered his enerblade as carelessly as if he had been on their side instead of hers. Or was he on their side? Jayna felt extremely confused. Her only mentor had just deserted her for the evil side that she had been taught all her life was wrong, she no longer had any friends apart from two coms and Mako, and the person she had hoped would possibly save them seemed to have become their enemy. All in all it was a situation to cause confusion.

Inside the bridge, Cassie gave orders for the fleet to return to the planet it had come from. Liam had gotten up beside her on the commander’s podium, but she had pushed him back down almost daintily. He stood beside the dais fuming growling. The handrail in front of Cassie bent, twisted, then crumpled. She gave a slight smile but continued to stare out of the viewscreen as they shot through space.

Then the mech with Liam’s enerblade entered the bridge. In an instant the enerblade had flown from its hand into Liam’s, and igniting it, Liam decapitated the mech.

“Who said you could take my enerblade?” he roared at the mechanical corpse. Liam turned to face Cassie as if challenging her to oppose his actions. She just smiled, and something moved behind him. He whirled around only to see the mechanoid he had decapitated be rebuilt before his very eyes. Then it stuck a syringe in his chest. He decapitated the robot again then turned around to face Cassie.

“What’s this?” he asked, pointing at the needle still in his torso.

“It’s to shut you up,” Cassie said sweetly.

Liam snorted and removed the syringe. The neurotoxin oozed out from the hole then dribbled down his suit.

“You’re obviously not very well educated on Nightmares,” he said, discarding the syringe. He was calmer now. Spinning his enerblade several times, he hooked it onto his belt, then stepped up onto the bridge beside Cassie. The rest of his party were out on the floor, but when the mechs that had injected them tried to approach Liam, they fell to pieces.

Liam could feel Cassie probing his mind, trying to put him to sleep, so he threw up a shield. She grimaced wryly when she hit it.

“An old school trick,” he informed her, after she tried several shield-evasion techniques. “When is this contraption going to arrive?” he demanded of the pilot.

“It will take a day sir,” the mech replied.

“A day? You make good speed. It would have taken a week for the older Cruisers to make this journey. You’re using outdated mechs and highly-specialized Cruisers. Why the mixture?”

“None of your business,” Cassie said stiffly, and Liam turned from her. He summoned a mech.

“Put these people in the cabins,” he ordered, pointing at Jayna, Mako, Derson, and the com.

“Ma’am?” the mech asked, seeking confirmation from Cassie, who stood with a slight curve to her lips.

“You can take orders from me,” Liam said menacingly.

“Ma’am?” the mech asked again, completely unperturbed. Cassie smiled smugly.

“I said to put these people in the cabins,” Liam ordered, while mentally using an old mech reprogramming trick.

“Yes sir,” the mech said, and calling over some of its companions, began ordering them about. Cassie looked curious.

“Old school trick,” Liam said gruffly.

“So you can do more than send robots flying to pieces,” she said.

“Oh I can do much more. So much more. Now take me to your master.”

 

Tours yruly

Galactic Battles: Nightmare: Death


Well well well. A lot of dialogue in this chapter. But it’s buildup for the final climax, I promise. Plus, we did have some exciting experiences in this chapter. Enjoy. 🙂

Liam was not amused, but he came close to it when his enhanced senses detected Jayna’s frustrated remark. Then he focused his mental power on finding the beating organ that sustained their enemy’s life. An invisible scanning wave composed of focused mind energy traveled along the length of the giant eel. Liam had to be careful not to release his firm grip on the coms as he redirected his pool of psychological prowess. Gills, lungs– eight of those, gastrointestinal organs, blood vessels, heart, no wait, hearts; five, to be precise.

There are five hearts that have to be destroyed. Liam’s voice, sounding strange with its incorporeality, echoed through Jayna’s head. She noticed Liam’s careful omission of ‘we’ with what was almost a cringe. Two are near the surface, and I can stop those from beating, but you will have to get the three that are buried inside it. Cut your way out of its esophagus in the posterior direction. Go twenty meters. The first heart will be there.

“Thank you for your words of encouragement,” Jayna said. “Though it would have been nice if you had told me how exactly I can answer you in your chosen form of communication.”

She waited a little, but no response came. Sighing, she turned to follow Liam’s directions. It should be easy. The esophagus would lead upwards in the opposite direction of posterior. It was almost satisfactory as the moist flesh steamed then seared as her enerblade cut through it, and the trembling of the enraged animal added to that twisted feeling. Then Jayna caught herself. She was not supposed to have feelings like this! She was a defen, and defen did not hurt with vengeful motives. What had happened to her?

Why have you stopped? Hurry!

This brought Jayna back to reality and she hurried along. However, she soon encountered a problem. The muscles of the eel that surrounded the organs were not tightly packed. Rather, they were arranged in circular rings that extended along the body of the eel, and every time she cut through one of the rings, she could not help but slide uncontrollably until she hit some obstacle. This made estimating a distance of twenty meters exceedingly difficult, and when she finally stopped she saw nothing around her that indicated a heart.

Then a large vein caught her eye, and following it around the inside of the eel. She came across a large, beating heart. Steeling herself, she jabbed her enerblade deep into the muscle, but the roar of rage that the creature gave was beyond her expectations, and she was thrown around like a pinball in a pinball machine as the beast pulsed and reverberated with anger.

Good job. The next heart is located….

Five minutes later, covered in eel guts, gore, and absolutely no glory, Jayna stabbed the last heart. Hurrying back to the throat of the animal, she half mentally, half physically, made her way back up. The eel was in the midst of its death throes, and it would not be long before it collapsed into the deep lagoon, and she did not want to think about the consequences of that.

Then, eight feet from the aperture that was the water worm’s fast closing mouth, Liam seized her in a telepathic grip and pulled her rapidly out. Gripping her wrist tightly, he leaped off the eel as it collapsed into the water. Then as they were flying through the air, rather near the top of the cave, Jayna felt them slowing down, and then they stopped, hanging suspended in the air.

“What?” Jayna asked, bewilderment clouding her face.

“The center of the planet,” Liam said, then he put a finger to his lips. Jayna could see Derson and the surviving com down on an island. Mako was still stuck on the ledge, and she mentally moved him to the island. Then Liam whirled around. Jayna looked around him to see what he was looking at. It was a com, and he was coming out from one of the tunnels. He was very badly wounded, but despite that, Jayna soon saw who it was.

“Threk!” Derson cried out, running towards his son.

Jayna pushed herself out from the balanced gravitational force and slowed her descent into the water. Then she swam over towards where Derson and Threk were embracing.

“So good to have you back Threk,” Jayna said with a smile, as she arrived on the island. There was a loud thud behind her, and she looked around to see that Liam had dropped down from the roof of the cavern.

“You had better get working on moving that spaceship in.” Liam told Jayna. “The hanger won’t hold out much longer.”

Then, as Jayna sat down and began working with her mind, Derson said to Liam: “Explain to me how this works again?”

“Jayna has atomic particle shifting powers. This means that she is in such control of her powers that she can split an object into its individual atoms and move it through masses of other atoms, though depending on the density of the object she is trying to penetrate, it can take varying amounts of time.”

“Then she could have just killed you by splitting you into your respective atoms,” Derson pointed out.

“Not necessarily. With mental power, it can be combated, and it takes a lot of focus to do this.”

Indeed, Jayna did not seem to perceive anything around her, even though her eyes were wide open. Five minutes later, Derson and Threk started up from their laid back positions when the tip of a black cloudy mass emerged from the cave wall. As the rear of the mass of atoms came through the cave wall, it reassembled itself, and Jayna gave a sort of sigh. She seemed to wake up almost, and the spaceship, now reassembled, moved towards them to land on the island.

“This is all well and good,” Threk said. “But I don’t see how we’re supposed to fly this thing out of here.”

“With a lot of redirection of mental energy,” Liam said. Then turning and extending his hands to the far back wall of the cave, he went into a similar state that Jayna had been in.

The roof began trembling. Small rocks pattered down, and Jayna began to doubt the durability of the cave, when suddenly two enormous chunks of rock at the end of the cave began moving upwards. Every muscle in Liam’s body was rigid and he could not have been moved by anything short of an explosion going off point blank. Threk, fascinated, unconsciously got closer to Liam. Jayna did not trust her eyes when she saw what happened next.

A green enerblade suddenly went through Liam’s torso, and holding it, with a triumphant look on his face, was Threk. Liam shuddered, and Jayna wanted to go help him, but she felt like she was frozen. Then the triumphant look on Threk’s face turned to one of fear. The enerblade he held slowly started moving forward through Liam even more. He tried desperately to pull back, but couldn’t. Then the enerblade handle hit Liam’s back, and for a moment Jayna thought that it would stop there, but forcing flesh apart, it continued its torturous journey.

Threk began losing his grip on the enerblade, and when the pommel disappeared into Liam’s body, he lost his hold on the weapon altogether. Then in a flash, the enerblade was out the other side of Liam and flying over him, it stabbed Threk in the gut. The coms face distorted into a mask of pain as he fell back. Derson gave out an anguished cry.

Then a loud thump echoed through the cave as the two huge rocks Liam had broken out landed outside. He turned around, and for a moment, Jayna saw through the hole in his body and out on the other side; she retched and nearly threw up.

“You should have studied Nightmare anatomy– Demise.” Liam said and he waved a hand across the prostrate body of Threk. As he did so, an amazing transformation took place, as organic matter shifted and reformed until laying there was one of the Twin Sisters. Her face was charred and blackened, while her bare arms were covered in third degree burns. Derson was mouth was gaping. “Let’s go.”

“But you’re hurt,” Jayna objected.

“Do I look hurt?” Liam challenged, turning, and indeed, the only sign that he had ever been stabbed through and through by an enerblade was the hole in his bodysuit.

“But you were stabbed–” Jayna faltered.

“In a mass of tissue. I don’t have any gastrointestinal organs. Any nutrition I need is gained through the air around me. Now are we going to get off this planet or what?”

“Whatever you say,” Jayna said, and turning, she entered the spaceship. The com followed her, and after him went Derson. Mako sort of stumbled in, and Derson, still shaking his head, entered after him. Jayna was sitting in the pilot’s seat when Liam entered, and Liam quietly took his place in the copilot’s chair.

“Everybody ready?” Jayna asked, priming the engines. There was no answer, so she assumed the best, and initiated the launch off sequence. The landing struts retracted, and small propulsion engines along the underside of the spaceship kept it in the air long enough for the main engines to engage and they shot off towards the hole that Liam had made.

In a few minutes, they were up in space, and Jayna turned to look at the planet they had left. The white dwarf was now on the other side of the planet, and she could see why the planet had suddenly turned.  There was a mass of rock on one side of the planet that she had not previously noticed, and the dwarf, in passing the planet, had exerted a gravitational pull on that mass that had turned it. She did not see why it would have stopped turning though.

“The giant star,” Liam said, as if reading her mind. “It exerts a force on that mass of rock too.”

Jayna nodded, satisfied, then turned to Liam.

“Where are we headed?”

“I think they’ll tell us,” Liam said, and pointed to one of the screens. Jayna looked, then looked, then looked again.

“Confound it!” she exclaimed.

 

Tours yruly