Galactic Battles: The Dark Menace: Chapter 7


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Sorry about that guys. Here’s the actual chapter 7.

VII

Training Begins

Date: Jan 6, 900 A.C.

__________________________________________

Caddie eased back in her seat, the tension of flying the freighter easing up. She turned to Savantone, “Do you think that– That Commander Grennet is killed?”

Savantone closed his eyes; his breathing slowed to a bare minimum, and he was silent for two minutes. Ivan began to grow impatient before Savantone finally opened his eyes again.

“I am unable to tell.”

Richard was about to put forth a comment when he noticed a spaceship zoom up behind them. “Enemy spaceship incoming!”

“I see it,” Caddie said, turning back to the pilot controls.

“Begin evasive action,” Savantone advised. “That is no ordinary pilot in there.”

“I would’ve done so anyway,” Caddie said, as she dived down past a barrage of blaster fire. “This old freighter has no shields. And the cannons it is equipped with would not make a dent in the weakest surface.”

Richard put a hand up against the roof to steady himself as the spaceship yawed sharply to the left. Then he grabbed onto a handhold as Caddie made a steep dive.

“I can’t keep this up for long,” Caddie warned, as their pursuer methodically shot one of their ailerons.

“There!” Richard exclaimed. “Land over there!”

“But that’s a junk pile!” Ivan argued.

“It doesn’t seem like we have much choice,” Caddie said, swerved for the junk pile, her sudden movement narrowly missing another chain of blaster fire.

The freighter shook violently as another round of blaster fire hit its rear. The hunting fighter dived steeply to avoid the debris it had dislodged from its quarry. Lining the right wing joint up with his sights, Draconian Vengance let loose another round of bullets. They tore into the fortisteel the wing was made of. Flames erupted from the gouge where fuel and circulatory conduits mixed with oxygen cable bundles had been torn.

“This is going to be one rough landing,” Caddie remarked, as they reentered Darthamoor’s atmosphere. The atmospheric shielding that the freighter had been equipped with was old and weak. An oppressive heat filled the cabin as flames streaked across the viewscreen.

Still their pursuer had not given up. The spaceship shook yet again as another torrent of cannon bolts put out both engines.

“At this rate, we’re not even going to make it to the surface.” Caddie told them grimly, rolling partially to let another volley of blaster fire speed past them.

Savantone closed his eyes and sat unmoving. Suddenly behind them appeared an enormous black cloud that began to spread rapidly.

“How is that going to help?” Ivan questioned Savantone. “Considering of course that you had something to do with that.”

“Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t, but Caddie would know its purpose better than us.”

“That’s an electric storm. The supercharged molecules inside the cloud formation disrupt all sensors and the clouds themselves block out all sight. Also, flying a spaceship in the middle of that kind of storm is to beg for death. Any pilot at the Spaceship Academy could tell you about that. The electric current is just waiting for something to disturb it. The fast moving spaceship and the energy generated by its afterburners will direct the current into the spaceship; effectively overcharging all power systems and basically have the same neutralizing effect as an ion cannon.”

The storm began to expand rapidly, running close on the crashing ship’s heels.

“It seems that our weapon is turning against us,” Caddie ground out, trying desperately to raise their crashing trajectory as the storm rapidly closed in. The planet’s surface flew up towards them rapidly as the spaceship nosedived into a heap of junk, driving a deep furrow through it all.

When they had all recovered from the aftereffects of the crash landing, they soon found that the spaceship was surrounded by mechanoids.

“Surrender,” a metallic voice said, as the mech raised its weapon and blew away the remains of the viewscreen.

“Attack on my signal,” Richard said in a hushed whisper, unconsciously taking the position of leader.

“We can’t attack,” Ivan hissed. “We’re unarmed!”

“This is the exact reason I wouldn’t take you into battle back then Ivan, you don’t follow orders!”

“Wha–”

“Attack!”

Savantone, Caddie, Ivan, and Richard rushed forwards. Savantone drew his enerblade and cut down the closest two mechs while Caddie used her small blaster to take out some of the mechs farther back. While Caddie and Savantone were engaged with one of the mechanoids’ wings, another one engaged Ivan and Richard. Both split up the minute the mech opened fire, and, ducking and weaving, succeeded in arriving beside the mech. It turned to point its blaster at Ivan but before it could fire, Richard sneaked up behind it and locked its head in a headlock which he then used to disconnect its head from the rest of its torso.

Ivan stood there for a moment, stunned, but Richard’s voice brought him back into reality. “Ivan! Grab the gun, now!”

Ivan instantly bent down and picked up the dead mech’s blaster and fired at another mechanoid. Richard leaped forward, curling into a somersault as he removed the gun from the mech’s grasp. He then hid himself behind a piece of debris and began sniping down more mechs.

Five minutes later, all the mechs lay on the ground; occasional sparks leaping out from severed wires. “That seems to be all of them,” Richard said to Savantone, as the aged man sheathed his enerblade.

“We have to move, quickly,” Caddie commented. “There is no way that at least one of those mechs didn’t call for reinforcements.”

“Well, then, what are we waiting for?” Ivan asked. “Let’s go!”

“Wait, not so fast,” Savantone said, raising a hand. “We have no idea where our enemies are coming from. If we run off in a random direction, we’re most likely to get caught; we must have a plan.”

“What sort of plan?” Ivan asked.

“A plan that will get us past all the mech patrols without us getting detected.”

“How do we know where the mech patrols are?”

“I managed to salvage some scanners and the radar from our crash,” Caddie put in. “We could use those to search for mechs.”

“Good. Quickly, set them up. We have to hurry if we are to be in time.”

It did not take long for Caddie to assemble the scanners; the assembly skills she had developed in fighter pilot training assisting her greatly. Then, reading off the positions of their enemies, they planned a route which would take them past all the patrols to the extra spaceship that Richard asserted was there.

True enough, when they arrived, a sleek transport lay waiting there. However, it was surrounded by several mechs who seemed to be guarding it.

“Not another battle,” Ivan groaned.

“I thought you liked fighting,” Richard quipped.

“Yes, but not without a weapon.”

“You mean to say you don’t have the mech blaster you took?”

“Well, I figured we wouldn’t be needing it anymore.”

“What? You mean to say– Ah, never mind. Here, take mine, and shoot another mech for me so I can take its blaster.”

However, before any of them were able to put the plan into action, there was a loud commotion, and suddenly blaster bolts coursed their way through the air. Several mechs were shot down while others were hard hit; though their armor protected them from the greater part of the blast. These were the more advanced mechs, and they at once flipped, or somersaulted into hiding.

“Who’s shooting?” Caddie asked in a hushed whisper. “Those blaster bolts don’t look like the blaster bolts of your people.”

“How can you tell?” Richard inquired.

“I’m military personnel, of course I can tell.”

“They are from the weapons of the Southerners,” Ivan said in a disdainful tone. “Now we shall see what they are really made of.”

“No matter any of you say, don’t you think its time we joined the battle?” Richard asked.

Savantone laid a restraining hand on his arm. “Don’t rush into fights; there is only one way you will live past this war.”

“Then you think there will be war.”

“I say nothing, but I agree that it seems unavoidable, though who the enemy could be and why he should be attacking the Galactic Regime are questions beyond my understanding.

“See, they are being pushed back. Now is the time to join the battle.”

At this, they all rushed around the piece of debris they had been hiding behind and attacked the mechs, Ivan and Richard repeating the same tactic that had served them so well in the last two battles. Surprised, and attacked on two fronts, the mechanoids did not stand a chance, and were soon nothing but sparking circuit boards.

Immediately after, they were surrounded by a motley assembly of people carrying any kind of projectile firing weapon.

“What do you seek here, Northerners?” One who appeared to be their leader spoke out.

“We are looking for transportation and were hoping that you might let us the use of your spaceship.” Richard said, just before Ivan would have interjected.

“You wouldn’t need ours if you hadn’t lost yours, why should I let you take our most treasured belonging to its doom?”

“We have a first class Galactic Regime pilot here with us. She’ll do the job.”

“And what do we make of the status of your resistance?”

“Crushed. We were defeated. I wish you a better outcome. I fear the enmity between our peoples has gone on for too long. We live on the same planet. We should be fighting side by side against the unlawful invader who seeks to claim our lands. I go now to lay my plea before the government board of the Galactic Regime. Hopefully they can afford to send reinforcements here.”

“Take our spaceship, and hurry. I do not think my men will be able to hold out long against a prolonged war. We are agricultural people, not soldiers. But I am keeping you. Go now, and may the goodwill of all our people go with you.”

“Thank you. I won’t forget it.” By this time, Savantone and the rest had already boarded the spaceship and all that was left for Richard to step into the spaceship. There were so many words of encouragement and advice that Richard wanted to give the brave rebel leader, but the boarding ramp was already closing, and he had to swallow the words and board the plane.

“Don’t worry Richard,” Caddie said, as she flew the spaceship away from the planet. “They can take care of themselves.”

Richard said nothing.

This time they were undisturbed in their flight and arrived at the headquarters of the Galactic Regime without incident. Savantone instantly went off to arrange for a viewing between Richard and the head of the Galactic Regime– For at his father’s death, Richard had become the head of Darthamoor and the safety of the planet and its people was now his responsibility.

Meanwhile, Caddie led them to the visitor suites where they were told to rest and wait for the outcome of Savantone’s talk. Then, leaving them alone, Caddie left to report to her military division.

Richard had held up bravely while he was with everybody else, but the second he was alone, he broke down. The responsibility had caught him unaware, and the load was crushing. He was now governor, and any choices he made here would affect everything pertaining to Darthamoor. It was a terrible responsibility. Added to this were the deaths of many of those close to him and this had severely shaken him.

Three hours later, there was a gentle knock on his door. Richard instantly stood up and taking several long deep breaths calmed himself. Then he opened the door. A com stood in the doorway. He instantly saluted and clapped his heels together smartly so that the clack of his armor echoed down the hall.

“Yes?” Richard asked.

“You are to follow me and present your case to the Head.” The com said, as he turned and walked briskly and smartly down the passage.

Richard followed, brushing his clothes and straightening any wrinkles as best as he could. The com led Richard all the way to a circular door which was guarded by two more coms who saluted sharply as Richard stepped forward.

Richard’s guide walked to a projector mounted in the wall and waving his hand across it, caused a virtual keyboard to be projected in the air. He pressed several keys and the door twisted open to reveal an enormous array of float chairs placed in a sort of stadium arrangement.

Richard stepped onto one of those float chairs and sat waiting. The center was currently taken by the Supreme Dictent’s float chair. He was making a welcome speech for Richard and at the end of it he raised his left hand in Richard’s direction.

Blood flooded Richard’s mind and his heartbeat so loud he felt that everybody could hear it. Butterflies flitted in his stomach. He knew what the Dictent’s hand sign meant. He had seen his father do this so many times before. He was to go forward, but it was several seconds before he gained control over his nervousness to press the control board.

When he had reached the center of the room he stopped. He looked around, then began as he had heard his father begin so many times:

“Greetings, Head of the Galactic Regime. I thank you for allowing me to be present before you all this day. I have a grave case to place before you today: My planet, Darthamoor, has been invaded. It is blockaded by unknown enemy spaceships and the mech occupation is spreading daily. Innocent people are dying and I come before you to crave for your help.”

“What do you ask us to do?” The Dictent asked, not unkindly.

“I ask for relief from the Galactic Regime. The people are making a strong resistance but they are gradually being crushed. We need assistance. We were hoping that the Galactic Regime would be able to spare some coms to come back with me and deliver my planet from the occupation.”

“Describe this enemy for us.”

“Their technology is very advanced. They are using unknown types of mechs who are definitely more advanced than any previous versions. Their methods are brutal, any resistance is crushed. Also, with them was a hideous creature who also used an enerblade.”

The Dictent sighed. “We have already had an encounter with the unknown enemy you speak of. They are extremely powerful. We have not gained a chance to estimate their forces, but they certainly have many soldiers. I fear that we will be unable to weaken our defenses here to help you.”

A murmur of agreement went across the group at this and Richard felt his heart drop to his feet, but he kept an expressionless face. Then a voice called from the multitude. “Requesting permission to speak.”

“Come forth, Senator Westerbridge.”

“I feel strongly that we should send succor to the people of Darthamoor. By abandoning them, it would be an act of weakness, and may put doubt into the hearts of people we are supposed to protect. This could lead to disastrous consequences for the Galactic Regime.” The senator said, as her float chair moved forwards.

Richard looked at her gratefully. He had no grasp of politics and that she should have come up with such an argument seemed to him a perfect miracle.

“You put forth a very strong argument senator. Yet, were we to send forth the troopers to battle against those who invade Darthamoor, and Gorthormer is taken, that would be an even greater sign of weakness added with the fact that most everything we own would be lost. I am afraid we still cannot recant.” The Supreme Dictent said, with genuine sorrow in his voice.

Richard’s heart sank again, but he said in a perfectly level voice: “I thank you all for hearing my case and regret deeply that there is nothing you can do. I take my leave now.”

So saying, Richard returned his float chair to its position and left through the door. He heard footsteps echoing his and turned around to see who happened to be following him.

It was Senator Westerbridge, and she hurried forward as he paused to ask what she wanted. She stopped in front of him and at his inquiring gaze, she spoke out:

“I’d just like you to know what a shame I think it is that the Head would not grant you what you wanted and have come to offer my deepest consolation. I’m Jennifer by the way, and you are?”

“Richard. Now Richard-Homling-with-a-big-problem. I came here to get help for my people, to send them succor, and I cannot return till I have done that. Yet I do not see how to get the Head to change its mind. Also, I’d like to thank you for speaking up for me just now.”

“That was nothing, it’s my job. I’m trained to argue for the cause I believe is right. What will you do now?”

“Honestly I don’t know how else I can serve my people than remaining here in the senate and continuing to plead their cause. I could return to lead them against the invader, but that would simply be leading them to their doom.”

“Have you considered becoming a Defen?”

Richard was obviously quite taken aback by this idea, and seemed to ponder it for a moment. Then he continued.

“I was under the impression that Defen are locked by a series of rules, and that they have to go wherever they are ordered. Not only that, but doesn’t becoming a Defen take years of practice and training? Darthamoor would have been lost by that time.”

“I can answer your question. Becoming a Defen is the matter of a moment, however, there is much more behind it. As for the physical training, I doubt that will take long. But for more information you should probably visit Savantone. I must go now, there is another hearing soon. I hope that my sorry assistance may have helped.” And turning around, Jennifer reentered the room she had left, without giving Richard a chance to thank her.

Richard had no idea where to find Savantone, so he just wandered aimlessly around the base. That is, until he met Savantone in one of the smaller corridors. The old man hobbled hurriedly over to him the instant he saw Richard, and seizing his hand, almost dragged Richard along. All the time muttering that: “Time was short.”

“Um, excuse me sir,” Richard said, quite startled by Savantone’s sudden actions. “I wish to talk to you about–”

“Hush boy!” Savantone said, as they rounded yet another corner. “If any of your lessons in becoming a Defen is important, it is that of silence. You must first learn to hear, before you can learn to speak.”

There were many things Richard would have liked to say, but Savantone had quieted him. Somehow the old man knew of his intention to become a Defen. How, he could not have figured out had his life depended on it.

Finally Savantone stopped in a small room and sat down in a chair, turning another one to face him and motioning for Richard to sit down. As the latter did so, he noticed that though he had been traveling at a very fast speed, Savantone seemed barely winded, while he himself could not stop his breath from being heard every now and then.

“So–” Richard began, but Savantone instantly motioned for him to be silent.

Richard, being who he was, decided that, even though he had not planned it, it would be best if he listened to the aged man. But Savantone said nothing. Instead, he looked at Richard long and hard. He looked into Richard’s eyes, so piercingly, that Richard felt as if his thoughts were an open book.

In fact, Savantone did not speak for so long that Richard started when the short question burst out from Savantone, like a rapid burst of gun fire that halts suddenly. Richard was so startled that the question had to be repeated before he heard it clearly.

“How far are you willing to go boy?”

“Um…” Was all that Richard could manage. He had no idea what Savantone meant, and looked helplessly at the figure who sat in the chair opposite him.

“Well? You know what I’m talking about. Don’t give me that look. How far are you willing to go to save Darthamoor and the whole galaxy for that matter?”

“I only want to save Darthamoor,” Richard said hastily, thinking that Savantone had made some mistake. “The rest of the galaxy is the Galactic Regime’s problem.”

“Shirking off responsibility,” Savantone said to himself, as if making a mental note. “Well then, how far will you go to save Darthamoor?”

“I would give my life!” Richard said, sitting forward eagerly.

“It will cost you a lot more than your life boy.”

Richard was instantly puzzled. What could be valued more than life?

“Yes, it will cost you much more than your life. It will cost you friends, relationships, home, love, everything that you know. It may even cost you your heart. Are you ready to go that far boy?”

“Yes!” Richard said, not really paying attention to anything Savantone had just said.

“Impetuous,” Savantone said to himself again. “How long will you devote to learning to become a Defen?”

“Jennifer said that becoming a Defen was a thing of an instant.”

“Ah, yes, but learning to be a Defen is not of an instant.”

“Well, I can’t devote much more than a year.” Richard said dubiously, new doubts arising.

“Impatient– Do you have any relations left?’

“Only my brother and my sister. The rest all died.”

“Saddened– Do you wish revenge?”

“Yes!” Richard said, his eyes flashing with a raging fire.

“No!” Savantone said, leaping to his feet and shouting, his voice sounding like the roaring of a thousand thunders. This startled Richard so much that he fell back into the chair he had just stood up from in his excitement.

Savantone instantly calmed down. “Tell me what the goal of a Defen is.”

Richard, still frightened by what he had just witnessed, stuttered uncertainly. “T– To defend the weak, help the poor, save those in suffering, and exterminate their enemies?”

Savantone sighed and his head fell into his hands. “Listen,” he said so gently that his previous roar seemed an impossibility. “We Defen are all that remain of an ancient order. A Defen’s goal is not to defend the weak, help the poor, save those in suffering, or exterminate their enemies. Rather, a Defen’s first and foremost duty is to love.”

Richard was taken aback yet again.

“W– What?”

“That is enough for a first lesson. Go now.”

And that was the beginning of Richard’s training as a Defen. His brother, Ivan, too also began training, though under a different Defen.

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Galactic Battles: The Dark Menace: Chapter 8


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Okay, okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. I know I said I was saving this for the novel project, but I couldn’t wait okay? I had to get it out. Anyway, yeah, chapter seven of Galactic Battles: The Dark Menace. Enjoy. 🙂

Whoops, that was a mistake. This is actually chapter eight. Hang on, lemme get chapter 7.

VIII

The Fifth Columnist Organization And Richard

Date: Feb 3, 900 A.C.

__________________________________________

“I hear you have an army at your disposal,” Imperetor Malvolent said through the communication relay.

“Yes, master, I do,” Karkamnoba said humbly.

“Well, I wish you to get your army ready. My pupil will go and inspect them. Then, I want you to train them however I see fit. Am I understood? They must be ready in one hour.”

Karkamnoba’s face blanched slightly, because if there was anything that could match a personal visit of Imperetor Malvolent, it was a personal visit made by Draconian Vengance. In fact, there was the slight possibility that a visit made by Draconian Vengance was worse than a visit Imperetor Malvolent, since the latter’s pupil was constantly trying to prove himself to his master.

“Yes, master, I will be ready.” Karkamnoba said, bowing low and switching his communication relay off. Then whirling around he rattled out a series of orders which his disorganized servants struggled to follow.

The time given was barely enough, and Karkamnoba’s Elite Guards were just lining up when Draconian Vengance’s shuttle was seen flying rapidly across the horizon to come to land on the small landing-pad that stood outside of Karkamnoba’s palace.

Draconian Vengance got out of his personal shuttle and instantly began examining the disorderly array before him, deliberately ignoring the bow that Karkamnoba had managed. In his own exclusive mind, Draconian Vengance could not understand how his master was willing to work with such lowlife as Karkamnoba; but he had his orders.

Standing in front of the crooked line of men, he snarled, “Who is your ranking officer?”

A pudgy man wearing a crumpled oily uniform stepped forward. Draconian Vengance, ignoring that man completely, walked to another man who was the exact opposite of his counterpart. Instead of quailing before the Vilth as most would have done, he looked up boldly into the eyes of the beast who looked down at him.

“You must be the ranking officer,” Draconian Vengance said.

The pudgy Elite Guard who had stepped forward before snorted contemptuously, thinking it was some kind of joke. Draconian Vengance walked over to the man, who instantly cowered before him. Then there was the flash of an enerblade, and the man fell to the ground, a hole through his heart.

Draconian Vengance continued this process, appointing officers from those he saw as fit to lead and killing any who opposed him, which, after the first lesson, was not many. Then he assigned men to each of the leaders and showed them how they had to transmit order from officer to officer to soldiers.

“Now,” he growled, “I have brought some training coms with me. I want you to give them everything you’ve got!” So saying, the beast pressed a button on his wrist control and five elite mechanoids, made to look like coms, rolled out. They instantly began a sniper fire, from a deltoid form, firing at the hapless Elite Guards.

“Get under cover!” Draconian Vengance roared. This however, did little more than confuse them more, and the Vilth was forced to shut down the mechs. Twenty Elite Guards lay on the floor; dead.

Karkamnoba had had enough and he managed to sum up enough indignation to speak to Draconian Vengance. “You are slaughtering my army! Those were elite mechs. Don’t expect me to not have noticed. Not the best unit of men could face five elite mechs. No–” Karkamnoba was overreacting now. “Not even you, nor any Defen or Vilth could face them.”

Draconian Vengance, in a fit of anger, would have struck Karkamnoba down, but instead, he switched on all five elite mechs and ten more, ordering them to kill him. Then, as they began firing, he stretched both hands forward. Instantly, all fifteen crumpled up into hapless hunks of metal.

Karkamnoba was silent. Turning to the man, Draconian Vengance continued quietly. “I will return to my master and give him my most unsatisfactory report. You, in the meantime, better learn to think before you speak.”

***

In the presence of his master, Draconian Vengance was nowhere near as haughty as he had been with Karkamnoba. Yet he gave his report with a quiet certainty that what he had done was acceptable to his master.

“We will have to train them for guerrilla warfare, they will serve no purpose in main battle.” Imperetor Malvolent said smoothly.

“Why do we even need them?” Draconian Vengance muttered.

“They are an essential part of my plan, and if any of the memory banks of our mechs are retrieved and read, they will say our base is in the Fifth Network. Then, Karkamnoba can take all the pressure, while we regroup and target their capital.”

“Why don’t we just attack their capital now?” Draconian Vengance, who had no taste for strategic finesse, grumbled.

“You know exactly why. Until the Dark Menace is completed, their space fleet will overpower us. We must have something so powerful that even the proud Defen must succumb to. We must humiliate them, and cause them the pain and suffering they have caused us all these years. We will have our revenge!

“Come, my pupil,” Imperetor Malvolent said, seeing Draconian’s downcast look. “Let me show you the technological terror that we are creating.”

So, saying, they both rose and, as they walked down the corridor, Imperetor Malvolent’s smooth voice and assurance soon healed the sores that Draconian Vengance’s impatience had opened.

When they rounded a corner, Draconian Vengance stopped short in sheer amazement at the sight that appeared before his eyes.

***

“Faster.” Savantone egged. “Run faster Richard, you’re never going to outrun a mech at this pace.”

“I did fine enough before,” Richard grumbled.

“Ah, but that was only a short period of time,” Savantone said, and urged Richard to run even faster.

Then, as Richard, was rounding a bend, Savantone, who was standing beside the track, pulled a string, releasing a branch which whacked Richard stoutly on the head.

“Ow!” Richard exclaimed, holding a hand over his eye and coming to a stop.

“Keep running,” Savantone said. “And dodge next time.”

Doggedly, Richard started running again, his calfs and feet now aching from the constant shock they were experiencing. Just as Richard had decided he was doing well, a taut wire suddenly appeared at knee height from nowhere and before he could stop himself, he hit it and was sent flying.

When he woke up and his vision cleared, he found himself lying in a bed with Savantone bending over him anxiously.

“Wh–”

“Hush boy,” Savantone said, in a soothing tone. “You have taken a fall and hurt yourself. You must rest.”

Richard wanted to argue, to say that he had no time for rest, but Savantone’s soothing voice had upon him the effect of a drug, and his eyelids drooped.

When he awoke, it appeared to him as if Savantone had never moved from the place in which he had been before. Savantone did not seem to notice him, but Richard knew better. “It is time I told you the history of Defen, Richard.”

Savantone paused, as if waiting for a comment.

“I would actually prefer to hear about the difference between you and the enemies.” Richard said. “If it’s not too much trouble of course– I want to make sure I do not fall.”

“The difference between us and the Vilth? Be careful, your concern about falling may very well lead to it.”

“How is that possible?”

“There are really few differences between us and the Vilth.” Savantone continued, apparently ignoring Richard’s question. “The Vilth take their emotions and channel them into surges of power to twist and warp the power that we use. This can be very effective, but leaves them drained at the end. This leads to depression which tends to drag them farther down their path of evil.

“Defen on the other hand, do not use their emotions. Rather, they allow the power to channel through them and guide them. They do not use the power, but rather direct it. We feel a love for everybody and every decision we make is made towards the greater cause. But we must be careful for love for anybody can also lead us to fall.

“You disbelieve that statement, but I tell you it is true. Love, when left uncontrolled, can lead a Defen to make potentially harming decisions. You see, both Defen and Vilth fight for control over their emotions, but for different reasons. Defen control their emotions so they are not controlled by them. Vilth control their emotions so they can use them to devastate and destroy.

“It is strange, that something like love can be bent and warped and twisted into hate. But that only happens when you let it control you. You need to control it. There is nothing wrong with having emotions, but make sure that you control them well. All decisions a Defen makes must be made for the greater cause. A Defen must look ahead, and see what effects his actions will have. He must analyze all outcomes and make his decisions from that.

“Vilth are selfish, their actions are made only for themselves, and what they want. They do what will be best for them. But yet strangely, Vilth and Defen are very similar in a way. We are two sides of the same coin that constantly flips over. It is our goal as Defen to have our side facing up when the end comes.

“You asked how a concern for falling can lead to falling itself. Well, it happens in this manner. A concern for falling leads a Defen to examine the difference between light and dark, and the closer they look, the more clouded and grayed out the line becomes, until there is no line at all. Then the Defen becomes confused, and in his confusion becomes insecure. This insecurity then leads to making rash decisions, which in its turn leads down the path of the Vilth.

“Another thing I should mention is this. Whatever you do, you do. There is nothing that forced you to do it. It was your decision and your decision alone. You alone are responsible for the outcome. Whatever happens as a result of that decision is all because of you. Nothing should ever influence your decisions. Probably the defining difference between Defen and Vilth is the outcome of their actions.”

“There is something I don’t get,” Richard interjected. “You said you love everybody. Surely that love is not extended to Vilth.”

“It is. We only battle them for the greater cause. Their actions, if left unchecked, would potentially hurt others, and that cannot be allowed to happen.”

“But how can you kill somebody you are supposed to love?”

“I never said we kill our enemies. But then, the few that are killed, should be thought of this way: If you had to either kill a person, or let him live, and if you let him live, he in turn would kill thousands of people, if you let him live, it would be like you indirectly killed the thousands of people. You see, it is like I said before, making no choice is making that choice. You are still responsible for the outcome of that.” Savantone said quietly, and Richard fell silent.

“Pre-Collision, we had existed, but it was only after the Collision, the galaxy was threatened by a new order, the Vilth. They threatened the survival of all, and in an act of love for those around us, we rose, armed ourselves, and drove them away. Some we changed, and they became some of our most renowned Defen, others would not listen, and died in a jail cell. We thought we had eliminated all of them, until these past few days.”

“So a the creature who killed my mother and siblings was a Vilth. Do all of them look like that?”

“No. That one was a DAMARC who was created by DAMARS, the society that has mastered control of genetics. They made him like that, and when he entered the order of the Vilth, he was then branded by his master to show his master’s dominance.”

“Who is his master though?”

“That is unknown. For like I just said, we thought all the Vilth had died off long ago.”

“I wish to become a Defen. How do I do that?”

“Are you sure?” Savantone asked. “Becoming a Defen will change your life forever. It will never be the same. You will have more responsibilities than you can imagine. But with it will also come the joy of know that you do right.”

“I want to become a Defen.” Richard said firmly, the determination showing in his face.

“Well then, open yourself up mentally and accept your role as a Defen.”

Richard did so, and when he had finished, his face was radiant. “I feel – changed” he said.

“Yes, Richard, it is not surprising, for you have just become a Defen.”

***

Back in the palace of Imperetor Malvolent, the said Imperetor was seated in his throne with a armored figure bowed before him. At first glance it appeared as if the figure was paying the Imperetor homage, but if the situation was looked at more closely, it could be seen the shadowy figures of two Imperial Warlords each had a hand on his shoulders at were holding him in that position. Also, it would be noticed that the armored man, for man it was, had his hands held behind his back in a force restraint.

“Well, Commander,” Imperetor Malvolent said in a silky voice that did not match the quiet hatred hidden behind the words. “It seems that you were lucky my mechanoid aimed high when it gave you that pretty scar down the center of your bare head.”

“No thanks to you,” the bluff Commander Grennet – for it was indeed he – said.

“True, true, I would have wished you dead long ago, for aren’t you the valiant commander who leads the valiant 99th regiment of coms?”

“It does me good to hear even my enemies acknowledge the valiance of my unit,” Commander Grennet growled.

“Well, you won’t feel so good after so long. Draconian Vengance, come forth.” The Imperetor said this with a wave of his hand.

The familiar cloaked figure stepped out from behind his master’s chair.

“Take this fool to the Fifth Network and have Zee torture him as he sees fit. Then throw him to the grimalkins.”

Commander Grennet’s expression did not change as he heard his fate thus callously laid out. He was a soldier, and faced death every day of his life, but he had never expected he would die in cold blood. When he imagined his death, which was not often, he always imagined dying in the midst of the battlefield with his comrades around him. But if this was how it was to end, he would face it head on.

Draconian Vengance reached his left hand forwards, and Commander Grennet felt as if something was grasping his head, with unrelenting force. He even thought he could feel claws, but he was not given much time to think about all this as the invisible hand jerked his head towards the doors and he was forced to go.

Thus Draconian Vengance led him through the doors and into his personal shuttle.

When Zee was told that Draconian Vengance’s shuttle had been sighted, his face blanched, for he had the dread feeling that Draconian had come to ‘train’ his army again.

However, he was relieved when he saw Commander Grennet emerge from the shuttle followed by the Vilth.

“Torture him how you will then throw him to the grimalkins.” Draconian Vengance growled.

“Will do,” Zee said, rubbing his fat hands together in anticipation.

Draconian Vengance shoved the Commander into the hands of two Elite Guards, then, whirling around, he stalked back into his shuttle, the boarding ramp closing behind him. A few seconds later and his spaceship rocketed off.

“Well now,” Zee said, turning to Commander Grennet with a grin plastered across his face. “What shall we start with?”

“This!” Commander Grennet said, tripping over his two guards and grabbing one of their guns. He would have dashed over to hold Zee hostage but Elite Guards were already swarming in to protect their leader. So, turning, the valiant Commander leaped off the docking pad, and as he came under, shot from his wrist a hidden grappling hook which attached itself underneath the pad.

It was well for him that he did this, for in a couple of seconds, hundreds of Elite Guards swarmed to the edge and began a pinning fire.

“Commander Grennet to ACC, this is Commander Grennet. Hurry. I’m pinned under the docking pad in the main planet of a network called the Fifth Network. Please! Is there anybody out there?”

Galactic Battles The Dark Menace Chapter 1


Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72

I

The Blow of the Grand Imperium

Date: Jan 1, 900 A.C. (After Collision)

__________________________________________

The Arie Outpost Command Center loomed up from the surface of planet Reotos. It was quiet in the outpost, and it had been about nine hundred years since the Collision. The Collision was the event where Earth and Mars had collided, making networks, as they were called, of rocky planets and moons. The entire solar system had collapsed; all the planets colliding into each other. Now all the pieces orbited around the sun in the orbit where Earth used to be. Each network was comprised of several planets and several moons grouped together. Every planet in a network had its own atmosphere and nearly always could support some sort of life.

The galaxy had lain at rest for the past nine centuries. Most of the networks contained harmless civilians. The real ruler, or governor, though their ‘empire’ only extended across three networks, was the Galactic Regime. This part of the new government extended across the networks Runerth, Rusineh and Carthoton. If a military force of any kind was to be found anywhere in the galaxy, these three networks was where it was to be found. Or so it was thought.

These three networks were headed by a man named Epsilon Widripper. He was sixty-three years old and was responsible for how the Galactic Regime had risen from a dream, to a reality. He had invented and designed the numerous blasters, weapons, bombs, fighters, vehicles and almost everything the Galactic Regime used or needed.

The headquarters of the Galactic Regime, known as the ACC, was built on the planet Gorthormer in the Carthoton network. That had been where it all started. Now the Galactic Regime was practically ruler of the galaxy and had held that place undisputed for many years.

“You know what, sir,” a tall man said. His hair waving around his visage and his carefree attitude betokened him a reckless man. “I wish this place wasn’t so quiet. I long for action. About the only time I’ve laid hands on a V 35 blaster is in target practice, and as you know, sir, those targets aren’t hard to hit.”

“Sometimes asking for action brings to much of it Captain Stone.” A weatherbeaten man said to the former speaker.

“Whatever you say Admiral,” Flint, for that was his name, said. “I won’t argue with you, sir. Still, sometimes a body does long for excitement.”

Just then, a quiet step was heard and upon seeing who it was, Flint jumped to his feet and standing in attention, saluted. The Admiral too stood up and saluted.

“How do you do, Senator Westerbridge, Senator Earntie,” Admiral Yive said in his customary grave voice, as two women, the silver circlets resting on their brows marking them as senators, entered.

“Very well, thank you,” the two senators said in unison as they curtsied gracefully.

More steps were heard and two men entered. One was not more than four feet tall and his stooped back gave one the impression that he was nigher three feet than four feet. He had a long white beard and was completely bald. He was Savantone Kay, leader of the sacred order of Defen. He walked with the assistance of a gnarled cane and wore the simple grey robe of his order.

The man who came in with Savantone was almost the exact opposite. He was in his prime and walked straight and upright probably topping the height of six feet. He carried with him a smile on his lips and a blaster pistol was prominently holstered on his hip.

“Well, this is a fine day for a meeting,” the tall man spoke.

“Very fine, I must say,” Savantone agreed as he agilely seated himself in a high chair. “So, Senator Shore,” the aged man said to his companion as they all seated themselves. “Would you like to speak first? I know you specially called this meeting for a purpose.”

“Well, what I would say is –”

He was cut off by a loud explosion and the sound of blaster bolts. A loud emergency siren went off and the clomping of composite soldiers, or coms, as they were more commonly known, sounded as they ran to their battle stations.

In an instant, all were on their feet, even the aged Advisor Kay. The Admiral turned to a screen and pressing a few buttons, talked into a speaker.

“What is going on?”

The com who answered immediately stepped into attention and saluted upon sight of the Admiral.

“We are being bombarded by a squad of E-Swoops sir. As far as I can tell, there must be at least a hundred of them.”

Then, as loud explosions were heard, and the outpost shook to the very foundations, the Admiral demanded again. “Damage report! What damage have we sustained?”

“Sir,” said the com. “The E-Swoops are conducting a suicidal operation and have been crashing themselves into the base. The energy screen won’t hold out much long –” The soldier broke off as two mechanoids entered the chamber. They immediately unslung their blasters and targeted the com as he unleashed his special training, ducking and dodging the blasts of high energy laser bolts. Finally, reaching his target, he secured a C 30 assault rifle and fired two shots. Each shot hit home and both mechanoids fell. Before the com could wave an all clear to the anxious admiral, the clanking of metal feet was heard and the com fell dead as some more mechanoids entered the chamber and shot him through the head.

“Unbelievable,” the Admiral muttered, then loudly, to the rest of the people who were watching him. “We have to evacuate the outpost. Enemy mechanoids have entered the base. C’mon, everybody, down the escape chute.”

“I will lead the way,” Savantone said, as he sprang into the emergency chute.

“Okay, Senators, you’re next,” the Admiral said as he helped the two women enter the chute. Senator Shore followed, loosening his blaster pistol in his holster as he slid into blackness.

Admiral Yive turned as he heard the sound of a laser cutter. The lock for the door was being cut. “Sabotage-mechanoids” the Admiral muttered.

“Sir, you go down first,” Flint said. I’ll hold them off.”

“No Captain Stone, you’re going down first; and that’s an order!” The Admiral said, as he removed a blaster pistol from his pocket. He silently revolved the selector till the pistol was set to kill. Then he repeated his command.

Flint went down the chute without another word. Just then, the mechanoids burst into the chamber. In an instant, the Admiral’s hand shot up, and a flash of light sped from his blaster. One of the mechanoids shook, but its armor protected it, and it remained standing. ‘I mustn’t let them sight with their targeting lasers,’ the Admiral thought grimly. Then he hit the ground as the mechanoids opened fire, each trying to find its own hiding spot. He recharged his pistol, shot another mechanoid, which remained standing, then backflipped into the emergency chute, closing the hatch after him.

The emergency chute led to the Arie Outpost Control Center’s docking bay, where all the spaceships were landed. Senator Shore had sounded an evacuation alarm and the Admiral silently applauded the decision as he felt the outpost tremble under his feet.

Civilians and soldiers were all hurrying to the large D-cruiser that stood in the middle of the hanger. Fighter pilots were rushing to the numerous SF 43 A-swoops while the engineers gave them final clearance.

The Admiral looked hastily around the small body of people surrounding him and not seeing Captain Stone, called out. Then the Admiral heard that dreaded clanking of mechanoids and he rushed to the hallway from which the sound came. Captain Stone stood there, dodging laser bolts as they flew past him, the complex digital display in his helmet assisting him in that task, and replying with his own V 35 Blaster. A mechanoid charged at the valiant captain, activating the cutting edge on the base of its weapon. Captain Stone sidestepped the mechanoid neatly, pushing his toe forwards as he did so. The mechanoid fell face forward onto the ground, tripping over the ever-ready-captain’s extended limb. Flint fired a few hurried shots into the limp form of the mechanoid before turning to face the oncoming enemies again.

The Admiral, realizing the dire predicament, rushed over to a control panel and opening it, punched in a few hurried commands, then, as the heavy fortisteel doors rolled shut, he tore out the wires that connected the doors to the control panel, thus stopping the mechanoids from hot-wiring the security lock; for a while, at least.

“Get into the cruiser!” The Admiral yelled. “It’s our only chance of getting out of here.” His remark was verified as the cavern roof began to collapse; a huge chunk of rock falling and crushing an unfortunate engineer who happened to be in the way.

As they hurried onto the cruiser’s gangway, Advisor Kay whirled around. The Admiral turned too, and both could hear metal scratching against metal as more mechanoids slid down the emergency chute. In an instant, Savantone closed his left hand. The emergency chute buckled.

The Admiral chuckled as he heard the mechanoids crashing into each other. “It never ceases to amaze me,” he said, still smiling. “C’mon, let’s get into the cruiser before it leaves without us.”

With that, the Admiral leaped onto the already rising gangway and Savantone followed him. The two headed to the bridge as they felt the cruiser lift off. A chunk of rock fell from the ceiling and was immediately pulverized against the energy screen, but not before it shook the large cruiser slightly.

Inside the bridge, the Admiral and Savantone stood on a raised platform. They were surrounded by dozens of pilots; all bent over his/her control screen. As the D-cruiser emerged from the hanger, Savantone turned to the Admiral and asked, “Do you hear anything?”

“No,” the Admiral replied. “I don’t hear anything at all.”

“My point exactly,” Savantone said, leaning more heavily on his cane. “There is a deeper meaning in this attack that we do not understand. I can feel it, a more sinister meaning.”

“The Arie Outpost held nothing of importance, did it?” Captain Stone asked as he walked in, his helmet tucked in the crook of his arm.

“Information,” Savantone said, shaking his head gravely. “Not only that, but Cain Cone. He was in the detainment-level.”

“Cain Cone!” Captain Stone exclaimed. “Not that ruthless guy who keeps escaping from prison?”

“The same,” the Admiral answered, clutching the metal railing till his knuckles grew white. “Some new power is rising. I have never seen so many E-Swoops all working for one leader. Neither have I seen mechanoids in such abundance.”

Just then, one of the pilots turned. “We have an incoming transmission sir.” He said to the Admiral.

“Let it through.”

“Let me in,” a voice said. “I’m being attacked by multiple E-Swoops and I can’t shake them off my tail.”

“That’s Caddie’s voice,” Flint said in excitement.

“Well, at least somebody recognizes her voice,” the Admiral said sarcastically, with a meaningful smile at Flint.

Flint reddened and said, “Sorry sir, for overreacting.”

“Don’t worry Captain Stone,” the Admiral said. “I’m as eager to get news from her as you are, though perhaps we’re looking for different news.”

“We’re opening hanger door 2B,” the Admiral said into the voice-pickup then turning to one of the pilots said. “Lower the screens on hanger door 2B and prepare to open the doors when I give the signal.”

The Admiral was watching the tracking computer as it singled out an SF 43 pursued by five– six– no eight E-Swoops.

“Prepare to open the doors,” the Admiral said, as the SF 43 temporarily shook the opposing fighters off its tail. “Now! Quick! Open the doors!” Then, as the A-swoop flew through the doors, the Admiral gave another burst of orders. “Power up the energy screen. Close the doors.”

The tracking screen showed the disappointed E-Swoops turning around before they hit the cruiser.

“Activate the counter-fire cannons,” the Admiral said, as Captain Stone rushed into a jumplift that took him down to the level of the hangers.

The cruiser was a bit like a mobile base. It was capable of supporting about one thousand life forms for six months. It also could carry a fairly large assortment of fighters and ground units in its spacious hangers. This particular D-cruiser was shaped like three elongated ‘D’s stacked on top of each other, with the middle ‘D’ being longer than the rest. This however, was not the Galactic Regime’s largest spaceship.

The largest was the Galacticia-class Spacecruiser. It was under the order of Spacecruisers. This spaceship was capable of supporting over one hundred thousand life forms for roughly a year and was four and half times the size of an ordinary cruiser. It could carry two ordinary cruisers and had an immense fire power. However, these were incredibly expensive to make and the Galactic Regime only possessed three of them.

In a few seconds, Flint was in the hangers and running out to meet Caddie.

“I never knew that a couple of E-Swoops could defeat a pilot like you Caddie.” Flint teased as he lifted Caddie our of the seat.

“Get your hands off me!” Caddie retorted sharply. She was proud to be one of the most renowned pilots, and to be teased by Flint, just after she had been forced to touchdown, was too much.

Flint gave an unconvincing grimace, then grinned and headed back to the jumplift. Caddie followed, freeing her hair as she removed her flight helmet.

“So, what’s the latest news from the skies?” Flint asked, as the jumplift shot up.

“Nothing you need to know.” Caddie said, tossing her head defiantly.

Flint was quiet for a moment, then he reached down and grabbed both of her hands in a motion she could not avoid, and looking into her eyes said:

“This is probably a lame apology, but I’m sorry. Do forgive me.”

Caddie answered with a tight hug.

***

Meanwhile, the battle had not ended. Commander Grennet, an ACC general, was on the other side of the Arie Outpost battling hostile MBMs (Main Battle Mechanoids). He watched grimly as the coms surrounding him were taken down one by one. They had done plenty of execution, but a squad of ten could not hold long against the hundreds of mechanoids that kept coming in. Finally, Grennet’s last com fell and he was surrounded by enemies.

“Surrender,” one of them said, pointing its blaster at Grennet’s chest.

Commander Grennet slowly raised his hands into the air.

“Okay, now put down your –” the mechanoid was cut off as it fell, a glowing orange hole in its weakly-armored torso.

More shots rang out and soon the mechanoids were so focused on defending themselves that they forgot entirely about their prisoner. Commander Grennet, taking advantage of the distraction, silently aimed the mounting wire that his blaster came with at a tree. Then, he slowly removed an IC (Incendiary charge) from his belt and activated it.

In an instant, the mechanoids had all turned and aimed their blasters at him. He simply fired his mounting wire and pressing the retract button, was dragged high above their heads. About three seconds later, the IC exploded and mechanoids were scattered far and wide.

As Commander Grennet lowered himself down from the tree, another com ran out from behind the bushes. The markings on his armor ranking him as a captain. He was followed by four other coms.

He saluted Commander Grennet who saluted back.

“I owe my life to you yet again, Pere.” Grennet said, smiling behind the impenetrable screen of his helmet.

“I see they knocked out all of your coms,” Captain Pere commented. “They knocked out most of my light wing as well.”

All six looked upwards as they heard the whir of an engine. It was an ATF 56 Transport. “All aboard,” the pilot said.

“David,” the group of six said in unison. David was a commander on one of the three Galacticia-class Spacecruisers owned by the Galactic Regime and a pilot himself. He had trained most of the Galactic Regime’s pilots and his history was filled with numerous close escapes. He was the most reckless, daring, and respected pilot in the Galactic Regime. Nobody could beat his flight skills. At least, nobody that was known.

As they all flew off, David joked. “If I had known that there was only going to be six of you, I would have just brought a LT 67 Guardship.” Then he became serious. “The cruiser is not far away, it’ll be about a ten minute flight; hopefully.”

But as they broke through a bank of dust, the blasts of laser told them of a battle. David jerked the spaceship aside as an SF 43 pursued by two AF 30 E-Swoops, commonly known as E-Swoops, flew past. He switched on the cannons and powered up the energy screens. The Transport-fighter shook as three E-Swoops locked on.

David suddenly dived downwards, and coming back up, found himself behind the E-Swoops. He pressed the fire button on his controls and one of the fighters burst into a ball of flame. He could see the D-cruiser ahead, laser bolts shooting in all directions and small fireballs spread across its surface as wounded E-Swoops crashed themselves into its energy screens. Hundreds of E-Swoops were attacking the cruiser like a swarm of angry bees. As the transport was preparing to land on one of the outside landing pads, six E-Swoops broke off from the horde and flew in for the kill.

***

While all this action was going on outside, something was happening in the Arie Outpost Control Center. Deep down at the detainment level, Cain Cone had made a hacksaw out of the rusted pieces of steel he found on his cell floor and was occupied in sawing through the bars.

He cursed as the saw slipped and cut his finger, then he continued sawing with renewed vigor. He knew that soon, if he could get out of the cell before the entire base fell to pieces, he would be back with Imperetor Malvolent; his new leader.

It felt good to be free as he stepped through the small, square hole he had made. Then he ran up the steps. He knew exactly where the weapons were kept, for when he had infiltrated the Outpost, he had been one of the personnel of the outpost. Once again, Cain Cone had outsmarted his enemies and come out on top. Snatching a blaster from its holder, he ran into another room.

His gun snapped to attention as he saw a shadow move. He snapped out three blaster bolts before the com even had time to react, and the armored corpse collapsed to the floor.

Plugging a data-receiver he had kept concealed with him into a dataport, Cain keyed in a few commands. He was a professional hacker and could break through almost all computer systems. Now as he watched the blue strings of lettered commands and information pouring across the screen, he smiled, and cracked his knuckles. Information. The Imperetor would be so pleased with him. Maybe Imperetor Malvolent, ruler of the Grand Imperium, might even promote him, or grant him honors.

As the computer showed that it had transferred its information into the data-receiver, Cain Cone pulled the data-receiver out, and, smashing a security camera that stood in a corner, ran out of the room and onto a back platform.

He noticed a lengthy crack running from each side of the platform and muttered a hurried command into the voice-pickup mounted on his wrist. He watched, his facial expression unchanging as the crack slowly lengthened. He knew that if the Eagle Fighter, or E-Swoop he had called for did not arrive in time, he would be plunged down the steep cliff to his death. But what of that? Everybody had to take risks, and this was one he was willing to take.

Not long afterwards, an Eagle Fighter came flying by, and as the platform detached itself from the base, Cain Cone calmly leaped off it onto the Eagle Fighter as it flew away.

******End of Chapter 1******

Hope you enjoyed! 🙂

~Michael Hollingworth
Disce Ferenda Pati – Learn to endure what must be borne

Click Here for Chapter 2!

Galactic Battles: The Dark Menace Chapter 2


Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72

II

Rise of Evil

Date: Jan 2, 900 A.C.

__________________________________________

“So, you have brought me the information I asked for?” Imperetor Malvolent asked from under the hood that shadowed his face. Cain Cone always felt nervous in the presence of his master, but he showed a bold front. However, staring into the black, sightless eyes of his master, for they resembled an empty void, was not an option.

“Yes, my lord,” Cain Cone said, prostrating himself again before the Imperetor.

“Allow me,” Imperetor Malvolent said as the data-receiver flew from Cain Cone’s pocket into a holo-projector. Cain Cone felt nervous as he witnessed that, for he knew that the Imperetor was directing the data-receiver with some sort of invisible force that he could not understand.

A button on the holo-projector pressed in and in an instant, a three dimensional image of a Galacticia-class Spacecruiser showed up.

“Ah,” the Imperetor said, intertwining his long, bony fingers. If it was possible, his fingers would have become white at the pressure he was putting on them, but, as his whole body was already white, this was not so.

“This will be the ultimate assistant for my pet project.

“Gonda Lorissian,” Imperetor Malvolent called out. At his summons, a tall skinny man, bonier than the Imperetor himself walked in.

This man’s bald crown was covered with a few white hairs but his shaggy eyebrows with sly eyes looking out from under them showed a craftiness still possessed. He was the Imperetor’s chief engineer.

“Can you,” the Imperetor said, only the lower half of his face visible as he slouched into his chair. “Use this information that my faithful spy has brought me, to complete the Dark Menace?”

Gonda Lorissian studied the hologram eyebrows raised, his eyes growing larger and larger. Keying in a few commands into the holo-projector, he stripped away the outer layers of the spacecruiser and began examining the inside. Then keying in some more commands, he brought up numerous images and information.

Looking towards the Imperetor, Gonda’s face curved into a crafty smile. “Imperetor, with this information, we could not only construct the Dark Menace, but we could also using their information, construct numerous other spacecruisers. Not only that, we can also,” Gonda lowered his voice, as if afraid of being heard. “We can also take advantage of this information to attack their Galacticia-class Spacecruisers and all their other spacecruisers at their weakest points. Oh Imperetor you do not know the power this information will give us.”

The Imperetor’s face curved into an evil smile and he uttered one hoarse command. “Go– go and finish my project and began as many spacecruisers as we’ll need for my little plan. This, my trusted spy,” the Imperetor said, turning to Cain Cone. “Is just the beginning. Soon the puny Galactic Regime will be in out hands. Now, for your reward. Summon forth the twenty-first regiment of Imperial Warlords.”

At his command, a regiment of black figures entered. They were covered in smooth, black, plasteel armor and carried stunaxes in their hands. These were axes with long, fortisteel handles and blades capable of cutting through the thickest armor. Also, when a certain hidden button was pressed, energy would surge to their tip and shoot out as a high-powered laser bolt. Their shoulder guards were spiked, allowing for deadly shoulder charges, and they could, at will send electric pulses through all parts of their armor, effectively killing themselves and anyone who happened to be touching them.

“Now these I give to you, Cain, to use as you will. Work harder for me, and I might give you one of my Destroyer-class Spacecruisers.” The Imperetor said, smiling again, his cracked, yellow teeth barely showing.

“Thank you! My liege lord,” Cain Cone said, prostrating himself again before Imperetor Malvolent.

Meanwhile, Gonda entered under the crossed stunaxes of two Imperial Warlords. Sitting at his desk, he plugged in the data-receiver he had removed from the holo-projector into a projector of his own. He smiled as the same, three-dimensional image of the Galacticia-class Spacecruiser appeared again.

His main objective in gaining this information was to discover how the internal core systems of the spacecruiser mentioned worked. He had had no trouble with Imperetor Malvolent’s design of the Dark Menace till he had come to the internal core support systems. These were the systems that supported every functioning part of the spacecruiser. With a spaceship the size of the Dark Menace, ordinary core support systems would not provide the support required for the spaceship’s numerous functions.

The Dark Menace was a supercruiser, the third type of cruisers that existed. These were the ultimate sized spaceships and no power had, as yet, been able to construct one. It was to be shaped as an isosceles triangle, with the base indented giving it a swallowtail likeness. The main hanger doors were to be running down the top sides. The engine afterburners were to be mounted in the nook of the ‘v.’ At the end of each of the two swallowtail branches, a slight incline rising in the direction of the tip led up to the viewscreen of the bridges. This was something Gonda had proposed, as the canted angle of the bridges’ roofs would deflect the laser bolts much more easily, and the only real threat would be damage to the front viewscreens.

Gonda scratched one of the numerous warts on his face as he studied the internal core support systems. He had forgotten to put medication on his warts again. Because of his work, Gonda was seated in front of a holo-projector almost twenty-four seven and he seldom got a chance to wash. This caused him to have numerous skin problems such as warts, sores, blisters, fleas, lice, and more. His thinness was the result of his continual forgetting to eat.

He mixed up a bowl of blue liquid gelatin and put it beside him; but as he began to work, forgot entirely about it. He did not even notice the large rat sipping it up cautiously.

The Grand Imperium had all begun with Imperetor Malvolent. He came from the Rushia network and had founded his base there. From then on, people had flocked to him and he had enlisted them and trained them. His ultimate goal was to displace the Galactic Regime and replace it with his own gathering.

Recently he had spread across the networks Noroganur, Sugeden, and Demise so that he controlled a total of four networks; one network more than the Galactic Regime. Before him, many petty warlords had tried to gain control of the galaxy with small armies of mechanoids, for they did not have enough manpower to make coms, and Eagle-Fighters. Imperetor Malvolent had taken the design of the mechanoid, and improved it making it almost as capable if not as capable as a com.

He had divided mechanoids into certain classes. The MBMs were main battle mechanoids, the cheapest and weakest of them all. However, that was not saying much since their armor could withstand quite a bit of pressure, and the undersides of their blasters were equipped with the cutting blade that differentiated Imperetor Malvolent’s mechanoids from all others. The Imperetor had battalions of these droids; almost too many to count.

The next class of mechanoids were subversion mechanoids, more commonly known as subs. These were the first class of mechanoids, going from the weakest to the strongest, to pull power directly from a key, central power-core. This power-core charged their blasters and allowed them to perform chargewave blasts. This was when they drew power directly from the power-core, concentrating it in their blasters, then fired it directly at the enemy. Not only this but their armor was also a step up from the armor of MBMs and their targeting equipment was also more accurate.

Next up came the Sabotage-mechanoids. These were probably the most efficient, considering their firepower, armor, and cost. They had the capability of targeting a certain point using their targeting lasers, and then summoning any heavy artillery in the area to fire on that specific spot. Not only could they do this, but they also had laser cutters equipped on their left hand. Also, they too were capable of performing chargewave blasts.

Captains were the most powerful type of mechanoids, other than Elite-mechanoids, and had a higher technology of armor. Their chestplates were equipped with ERA technology, plates that exploded on impact, deflecting damage from high powered projectiles, such as cannon projectiles, and missiles. Not only this, but because their blasters were equipped with a special sort of tracker, the plasma bolts would track any target in a 180 degree range. Also, they were equipped with the technology of the previously said mechanoids.

Though it appeared that Imperetor Malvolent’s sky fleet mainly relied on Eagle-Fighters, he actually had made a new type of spaceship, of his own design.

The GI 85 T-swoop was shaped like a ‘T’ the weapons being housed on the two ends of the ‘T.’ It carried missiles, laser cannons, and best of all, it was unmanned and easy to build. He had thousands of these fighters spread across his empire and he smiled when he thought of the Galactic Regime’s puny air fleet.

He had also made Destroyer-class Spacecruisers. These were slightly smaller than the standard order of spacecruisers but their lack of size was made up by their high maneuverability. Their main weapon of offense was the single laser cannon mounted near the front of the spacecruiser. This cannon had a laser-energy of 0.8, which was already exceptional. But, when measured on the Kreb-scale of 0-1, it scored a 1, doing 100% of its damage to an unshielded object. This meant that the cannon was very efficient, most lost some of their energy from the time the left the barrel, and continued to weaken exponentially. Thus, two shots from that cannon, at a good range, sufficed to pass an ordinary energy screen and do more damage. An ‘ordinary energy screen,’ was one whose energy measured 0.5 on the Kreb-measure of 0-1, reflecting fifty percent of the damage. Most of the laser cannons in the spacecruiser order had laser cannons with a laser-energy of 0.5 or 0.6 and shields that had a laser-energy of either 0.5 or 0.6, though the standard was 0.5.

Not only did the Destroyer-class Spacecruiser have a super-cannon, it also had plenty of hanger space. Imperetor Malvolent had a fleet of a hundred of these. He had been so pleased when Gonda showed him the holoplan of these spacecruisers.

Imperetor Malvolent smiled when he thought about the fleet he had assembled. The hundreds of thousands of mechanoids he had made. Then he thought of how he had first met Gonda Lorissian on the planet Vish in the Sugeden network.

Imperetor Malvolent had been talking to the governor of Vish for a long time. This was before he had become powerful, and had gained the Destroyer-class Spacecruisers. He had wanted control of that particular planet for years. It was a prosperous space station and located in an excellent position. The only drawback was that it was covered with snow for three quarters of a standard year and that the people were not that ready to welcome a new ruler.

But Imperetor Malvolent had not wasted time on bargaining and bickering. He had shown them the advantages of joining him and that was it. If they did not join him, he would attack and destroy them. They had then asked him to go and meet them on Vish. So the Imperetor went.

After the customary formalities, Imperetor Malvolent got straight to the point by asking.

“So, have you decided?”

“We have one small bargain to make.”

Imperetor Malvolent’s face darkened and his eyebrows drew together as he frowned. “A bargain? An important lesson you should learn is that I don’t like bargains. What do you have to say?”

“Well,” the ruler of Vish said, apparently cowering before Imperetor Malvolent’s glare. “You see, we have this excellent designer, who has designed a powerful spacecruiser. We were wondering, that if we gave you those plans, whether you would condescend to extend your protection to our small planet, while we still remain a separate republic.”

Imperetor Malvolent smiled. “You know that I could crush you right now and still take your spacecruiser design don’t you?” He said, threading his bony fingers together.

“Ah,” Karkamnoba, for that was his name, said, rising to sit straight again. “That’s what you don’t know. Even now, our spacecruiser weapons are all armed, primed and charged. Were I to so much as raise my finger, your base would be ashes in a matter of minutes. Don’t doubt my word Imperetor. My spacecruisers are more powerful than you think.”

The Imperetor had become curious. “What happens if you show me your spacecruiser design and I don’t like it?”

“That, is the gamble, Imperetor.” Karkamnoba said, leaning forwards across the table at which they sat. “My gamble, is trusting you. Be assured that I will not lean on you. Just when you destroy that upstart Galactic Regime, don’t destroy us.”

“Show me the spacecruiser.” Imperetor Malvolent said at last. “I’ll take the gamble.”

Karkamnoba looked at the Imperetor with piercing eyes and detecting no treachery, summoned Gonda.

The Imperetor could recall deeply his first disgust at Gonda’s appearance. He was dressed in rags and his skin and face were covered with warts, open sores, lice, and fleas. He smelled horrible and was so emaciated that Imperetor Malvolent could barely restrain putting his hand up to his eyes to block out that horrible sight.

Gonda’s confederates didn’t seem to care though, for they gave him barely enough room on the bench at which they sat, so that he had to squeeze in to sit down.

“Show him,” Karkamnoba said with a majestic gesture of superior wisdom. “Our Destroyer-class Spacecruisers.”

Gonda’s facial expression did not change as he pressed a button revealing a hologram of at least a hundred spacecruisers. Imperetor Malvolent too, did not give vent to his emotions, but he was shocked at what he saw.

“Do those spacecruisers happen to be powerful?” Imperetor Malvolent asked, trying sound like he was doing Karkamnoba a favor.

But Karkamnoba knew his customer, he could read the Imperetor’s internal conflict through a certain twitching of his muscles. Karkamnoba leaned back and smiled, a slow smile. Instead of answering the Imperetor’s question, he said, slowly:

“These Destroyer-class Spacecruisers are not very far from your base. Perhaps you would agree to our deal now?”

“I have already agreed,” Imperetor Malvolent said impatiently. Not because he could not wait, but because he could feel how Karkamnoba was crushing him. He did not want to reveal his weakness.

Karkamnoba knew that Imperetor Malvolent was weakening. “You asked how powerful these Destroyer-class Spacecruisers are. Well, would it satisfy you to know that their cannons have rank 1 on the Kreb-scale and that it has a laser-energy of 0.8?”

Imperetor Malvolent felt his heart skip a beat and he paled slightly. “Where’s the design?” He asked, having trouble talking past the lump in his throat.

“In there,” Karkamnoba said, tapping Gonda’s head. “That way, there’s no chance of anybody stealing the design. I am giving him to you as a hostage for me not breaking my part of the deal. Who will you give me?”

A flurry of thoughts flew through Imperetor Malvolent’s head. He thought, ‘Karkamnoba may be a smart dealer, but I still can circumvent him.’ Imperetor Malvolent said, “I’ll give you a battalion of my mechanoids.”

“And how big is a battalion, Imperetor?” Karkamnoba asked from under half-closed eyelids.

The Imperetor ground his teeth in rage, he had planned to give Karkamnoba one or two mechanoids. Finally he said, “A battalion is a one hundred mechanoids.”

“Deal.” Karkamnoba said. “But if I find one mechanoid missing from that battalion, Gonda has orders not to reveal the plans, and I will bombard your base till it is nothing but a pile of scrap! So there, go now, may we meet again soon, it is profitable for me indeed. Gonda, this is your new master.”

The Imperetor stood up and bowed stiffly, then he turned around and walked out of the palace. His insides were boiling as he thought of how neatly Karkamnoba had tricked him, fooled him, and overall gotten the best of the deal. A hundred or more spacecruisers with a laser-energy of 0.8! That seemed almost impossible.

Gonda walked quietly behind his new master and said nothing, though the Imperetor was aware of his presence.

“The first thing you do Gonda,” the Imperetor said, as they flew away from Vish.

“Yes, master?”

“Is to have a bath. I want you to wash yourself thoroughly.

“Captain,” the Imperetor called a mechanoid. “Order a battalion of mechanoids to be readied for instant departure. They will be heading for Vish to be held hostage so that we may keep our part of the deal. They are to be unarmed and are to make no resistance no matter what the Vish do. Is that understood?”

“Yes, my lord. Should I send officers with them?”

The Imperetor whirled around in his seat and hurled the mechanoid against the wall. He had wanted to impress Gonda by his ferocity and was disappointed at the impassive look on his face.

“You should know by now, captain, never to make suggestions to your superior officers unless they are asked for.” The Imperetor seethed.

“Yes, my lord.” The mechanoid answered, straightening itself up and making a stiff salute.

“Now go and follow my orders. You know the cost of disobedience.” Imperetor Malvolent said with a grim smile.

That was how the Imperetor had come to get Gonda. Since then, he had never again regretted that deal, for the help that Gonda had given him had more than repaid the battalion of mechanoids he had given Karkamnoba.

Since that day, Imperetor Malvolent had never returned to Vish, and Gonda had never asked to return. The Imperetor had never dared to lift a finger against Vish. Not because he cared about the battalion of mechanoids he had left there long ago, he did not care a whit about those, but because he was afraid of the Vish sky fleet. He knew that despite his valiant efforts, their fighters still probably outnumbered his and that it would be an immense cost of time and money to destroy them. Also it would reveal his power, which he wanted to keep a deep, dark secret.

Thus, because the Imperetor had not been to Vish for a long time, he was greatly surprised when he received news that Karkamnoba had come to pay him a visit.

“Let Karkamnoba enter,” the Imperetor said, a flurry of commands rushing through his mind as he voiced them out. “Call the thirty-first and second regiments of Imperial Warlords. I also want the twelfth and eleventh squadron of GI 85 T-swoops to meet Karkamnoba’s state cruiser with all pomp and ceremony. Let spacecruiser 55 and spacecruiser 67 fire a salvo in honor of Karkamnoba’s coming.

Warlords, line the hall to my throne. Servants, put a red carpet on the floor. Color bearers, behind my chair, Warlord Captains, flank my throne. Fifty-sixth and seventy-third battalions of mechanoids, go and escort Karkamnoba when he lands.”

“My lord, the fifty-sixth battalion is on sentry duty.” Said the mechanoid, who was transmitting all the Imperetor’s orders through a voice pickup mounted on its wrist.

“Well, then, send the thirty-third battalion without delay. I want to flaunt my power in Karkamnoba’s face!”

The Imperetor knew how much a display of power and ceremony was needed to impress Karkamnoba so he did. This did not mean he liked doing it, for he preferred a more subtle and deceptive method, hiding his power till he felt he was ready to surprise and shock his opponents. Oh well, it must be done.

He heard a blast of trumpets followed by electric fanfare announcing the arrival of Karkamnoba. The Imperetor heightened senses could hear the clomping of the thick soled shoes of Karkamnoba’s Elite Guards. He could also hear the swish-swashing of the cloaks that his Imperial Warlords wore and the silent murmurs they made as they communicated with each other through the hidden voice pickups mounted in their masks.

Imperetor Malvolent stood up as Karkamnoba entered and he bowed deeply to the other. Then he resumed his seat. The Imperetor tried to make himself look as dignified as possible as Karkamnoba slowly advanced.

Karkamnoba was seated on a chair mounted on two long poles which rested on the shoulders of eight strong Vish, for Karkamnoba weighed so much that it needed eight people to lift him. The Imperetor admired the way Karkamnoba’s Elite Guards kept time as they marched behind their leader. Each carried a Promwel ScG37. These were guns that shot high concentrated volleys of superheated sparks. These sparks were so hot, that they could travel a thousand feet and still set burn right through a tree. At two hundred feet, they could melt mechanoids and they only started spreading out at about five hundred feet. One advantage of these guns was that they did not need to recharge, nor would they ever run out of ammunition. However, compared to the extreme range of laser blasters, their range was not very good. Their accuracy too, fell rapidly the further their target was. Despite these drawbacks, Elite Guards still were a deadly foe; one not to be despised.

“What brings you here, Karkamnoba?” The Imperetor asked drumming his fingers lightly on the armrest of his chair. He sat in a slouched position, his hood obscuring the top half of his face.

“Grand Lord Karkamnoba if you please.” Karkamnoba said, his eyes flashing with indignation at the
Imperetor’s deliberate omission of the title he had chosen for himself.

“Well, then, what brings you here Grand Lord Karkamnoba?” The Imperetor said, putting a strong emphasis on the word ‘grand.’ He did not understand why Karkamnoba had chosen such a ridiculous title. “But allow me to remind you, Grand Lord that your spacecruisers no longer affect my situation. I have more than enough spacecruisers and fighters, to fend off any attacks you make and to counter-attack you.”

Karkamnoba winced slightly. “Imperetor Malvolent,” he said, “I did not come here to threaten you, but to make overtures of peace. As usual, I have something that can either be used for your own good, or – You know what the other possibility is. With the help of this thing not only will you have the power to completely wipe out the Galactic Regime, but it will give you control of another network as well.”

A million thoughts flashed through the crafty mind of Imperetor Malvolent. He knew he had the power to destroy the Galactic Regime completely, but gaining control of another network – That was a different matter. How could something offer him control of another network? He could not think. He had never heard of anything that could give him control over a whole network so simply. Then for a moment, Imperetor Malvolent felt a lump grow in his throat.

“Is it –” He asked. “Is it a supercruiser?”

“No,” Karkamnoba said, with a low chuckle, and he shook his head slowly. “Though I certainly could wish it was. It is an alliance with somebody who owns an entire network.”

“An alliance?” Imperetor Malvolent asked, his face showing no expression but inside he was surprised. What single person, other than the Galactic Regime and himself, in the galaxy was so powerful that he could own an entire network? Imperetor Malvolent could not think of such a man.

“Yes,” Karkamnoba said, smiling. “An alliance with my brother, Zee Turncoat.”

******End of Chapter 2******

Hope you enjoyed! 🙂

~Michael Hollingworth
Disce Ferenda Pati – Learn to endure what must be borne

Click Here for Chapter 3!

Click Here for Chapter 1!

Galactic Battles: The Dark Menace Chapter 3


Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72

III

Swamps of the Fifth Network

Date: Jan 3, 900 A.C.

__________________________________________

Zee Turncoat leaned back in his exquisitely carved throne. He was what his namesake betokened him. By numerous acts of treachery, he had made his way to the top of the ranks. Signing alliances with other petty warlords, then attacking them when they least expected it was how he had gained control of the Fifth Network. Actually, it never was called the Fifth Network. He had named it that because it had taken him five years to conquer it; if his treachery could be considered conquering.

“Sir,” an Elite Guard said, as it bowed its way to the throne.

“Thai ti sw?” Zee Turncoat asked, in a slimly smooth voice.

“He asks what is it,” the translator mechanoid standing beside Zee Turncoat translated.

“The grimalkins you ordered are here sir.”

“Ha,” Zee breathed in deeply the toxic naarcal fumes that rose from the burner before him. The fumes were like incense to the addict but they simply burned the nostrils of the Elite Guard as it stood uncomfortable before its master. “Yhera ert ehew?”

“Where are they?” The translator said. Zee Turncoat understood Gul (Galactic Universal Language) easily but he chose to speak in his native language, feeling that it made him more dignified.

“They are in the detainment level sir. I put them in confinement chambers fifty-six, to seventy-one.”

“Et owt oogethei H ropn?”

“He hopes that you put no two grimalkins together.” The metallic voice rang out again.

“Oh– Uh– Yes, my lord, that – That shall be remedied immediately.” The Elite Guard said, wincing. He knew exactly what was to follow. How many time had he witnessed this same scene?

“Uei,” Zee said waving his fat, chubby index finger in the air. “Ss thalb lr eemedieb, dun tob ty yoy!”

“Yes, it shall be remedied, but not by you.” The same even voice spoke up.

Slitg Euarde! Rrresh tia mnt dhroh wit mt ohv eerg yrimalkint shah tl eocket dogethea. Ry oon uok tnof, woon,” Zee said, drawing the shivering Elite Guard towards him. Zee was surprisingly strong for his flabby arms, and the Elite Guard was surprised that he was even able to realize such a thing, when he was certain he had signed his death warrant. “Levet rp out twg orimalkint sogethed?”

Elite Guards arrest him and throw him to the very grimalkins he put together. Do you not know, fool, never to put two grimalkins together?”

The Elite Guards grabbed their confederate by the shoulders as Zee pushed him away. Their faces remained stolid. They had grown used to such situations occurring daily. Now somebody else would be appointed as keeper of the grimalkins, and if he did not do his job better, a worse fate awaited him.

The keeper of the grimalkins had a dangerous job. The real danger was not from the grimalkins themselves; for unless he made them discontented, the grimalkins would greet him open-armed. The real danger came from Zee who adored his pets. Any specification that was not obeyed for their comfort and the keeper of the grimalkins could expect death. It would not be an easy death either. The last keeper had been roasted partially, then fed alive to the grimalkins, just because he had forgotten to clear out one of the containment chambers devoted to the grimalkins.

A grimalkin was a cougar-like cat with teeth strong enough to scar fortisteel. Its muscles were like Quartrolian Iron and it could rip open com armor easily. They could see in the dark as clearly as daylight and could walk on dry leaves without so much as turning one over. Overall, the grimalkin was a silent predator and killer, a capable assassin. The best trained grimalkins could even be told who to target. Thus, the grimalkin was the perfect pet for Zee Turncoat who enjoyed nothing more than assassinating his arch enemies.

Zee was so overweight that he could barely walk. Thus his preferred method of movement was his throne which had tiny but powerful servo-repulsors used to move it along the ground. Some of Zee’s more discontent captains would sometimes say that if Zee was not assassinated by some forgotten enemy, he would have a stroke and die. It could easily be told that these captains were slightly overeager than was healthy for the demise of their pudgy ruler.

However, no one voiced their opinions publicly in the court of Zee Turncoat; at least no one with an ounce of sense in their head would. So, despite the numerous cases of discontentment, many more of Zee Turncoat’s followers adhered to his method, and though his favorite maxim, “survival of the fittest,” could not really be applied to himself personally, Zee boasted that in the whole galaxy, there was no network as well managed as his.

Despite this, deep in his heart, Zee knew that he was disliked and distrusted, so that when he was told that his brother wished to speak with him, he was quite shocked.

“Greetings, Great and Almighty Zee Turncoat, ruler of the Fifth network, glorious leader of the Fifth Columnist Organization,” Karkamnoba said, as a holographic image of him appeared from the holo-projector that Zee held in his thick, leathery hand.

“Snougw hitt hht eitlee,” Zee said, waving the compliments aside. “Rhah tavy eoc uomh eerf eow?”

“What have you come here for?” The translator said into the holo-projector.

“I have come here, O Great and Mighty Zee, my brother, with news of high importance, for your illustrious ears alone.” Karkamnoba continued.

Zee waved the translator away and turned to face his brother. “What brings you here, my brother?” Zee asked, speaking in Gul.

“I have come to tell you of a powerful ally I have sent to you. He goes by the name of Imperetor Malvolent.” Karkamnoba said, leaning back in his seat casually.

“How powerful?” Zee asked, raising his eyebrows. He knew that Karkamnoba, his brother, was not ready to give external opponents the title of ‘powerful’ unless they really were.

“Much more powerful than you or I can ever be. He controls four networks and his mechanoid armies are enormous. He has way more Destroyer-class Spacecruisers than I have– though he does not know that. He even has the resources to build a supercruiser. My spies inform me that that supercruiser is called the Dark Menace. More than that, my spies inform me that this said Imperetor Malvolent is said to be readying himself for the destruction of the Galactic Regime. I have sent him to make an alliance with you in the hope that both of us could take the prize whilst the said Imperetor did all the hard work. My only warning to you is not to anger him. The Vilth fuel themselves on anger and he would kill you if you are not careful.”

Zee would have spoken but just as he opened his mouth to speak, he was interrupted by the hurried entrance of an Elite Guard.

“Sir, sir!” The Elite Guard said, prostrating himself before his master. “There – The – Otuside – Sodlers – Menoids – Spacruisirs – And – And –”

“Calm down man!” Zee said, slamming his fist on the engraved handle of his throne. “What is it?”

The Elite Guard gulped, trying desperately to talk past the lump in his throat. “Sir,” he said desperately. “Outside your palace sir, thousands of mechanoids. MBMs (Main Battle mechanoids), Sabotage-mechanoids, and others that I was unable to recognize. And in the air sir, thousands of GI 85 T-swoops and hundreds of Destroyer-class Spacecruisers.”

Zee’s eyes widened as he visualized this impressive array. Karkamnoba chuckled quietly to himself. “I have one last word to say, Zee. This Imperetor can be a powerful friend or a devastating foe, be careful how you tread.” At this, the holographic image of Karkamnoba disappeared and Zee was left to his thoughts.

Then he snapped his fingers and gave a flurry of sharp, short orders. His throne room became a flurry of activity as Elite Guards and Servo-mechanoids bustled about.

However, before half of Zee’s orders were completed, the quiet swish-swashing of the cloaks that Imperial Warlords wore, and the clanking made by mechanoids, announced the arrival of Imperetor Malvolent.

Imperetor Malvolent was not favorably impressed by Zee or his throne room or his Elite Guards. Used to his own huge contingents of mechanoids and Imperial Warlords, Zee’s small gathering of Elite Guards and scrappy mechanoids did not improve his own personal appearance. Then, on second thought, he had come upon Zee without any warning, and Zee still did control an entire network. Just the same, it would seem that Karkamnoba had sent him on a wild goose chase.

Zee endeavored to stand up, wobbled, and fell back into his throne. He could hear quiet snickers and grew decidedly hot, if it was possible in that hot, humid climate. Facing Imperetor Malvolent and making a slight bow with his head, Zee said:

“Treetingo, G sreaa tnm dighte Ymperom Ralvoleng.”

“Greetings, O Great and Mighty Imperetor Malvolent.” The translator mechanoid said.

The Imperetor acknowledged this title with a slight nod. Then he faced Zee and returned the greeting. “T ig mlat ds oey eol, Uort Durncoaa.”

Zee’s blubbery eyes opened wide at Imperetor Malvolent’s knowledge of his language. Then, as he realized how he was giving himself away, he quickly changed his demeanor to one who was absolutely disinterested in the Imperetor. But Imperetor Malvolent saw Zee’s momentary surprise, and smiled, though from the shadow his hood cast, the smile could barely be seen. Still, Zee detected it and it made him feel even more uncomfortable.

“Rhah tavy eoc uomh eerf eow?” Zee asked, threading his thick fingers together.

“You know the answer to that, Zee.” The Imperetor said quietly. “Your brother contacted you just a few minutes before my arrival. Also, he mentioned something about how anger fuels the Vilth, and he was right. I am fueled on anger and hate, and I will be very angry if you do not get down to the point.”

Imperetor Malvolent followed up his threat by opening up his mind slightly to Zee. But though he revealed his mind only for a short period of time, Zee screamed aloud in terror at what he saw: for the Imperetor’s mind was permeated with the screams and cries of millions of people in agony – And for a moment Zee’s vision went red, causing him to be so stricken as to be unable to react to anything that was going on around him.

Attendants hurriedly rushed to Zee’s side, fanning him and placing smelling salts before his nostrils to wake him from his stupor. Despite all their valiant efforts however, a medic eventually had to be called and even then, it was a while before that personage revived Zee, who sat in his chair, stunned.

“I – I,” Zee felt the Imperetor probing his mind and before he knew it, words he had not meant to say were out of his mouth. “I wanted to ask you for an alliance.”

Zee’s retinue fairly gasped with amazement, was this their proud leader, asking another man for an alliance? He had never bowed before any man before. They had never before seen Zee so humble, yet they had just heard him begging Imperetor Malvolent for an alliance.

“An alliance, hmm…” Imperetor Malvolent said, as if in deep thought, whilst in reality, he was preparing himself to manipulate Zee’s mind again. “Why should I make an alliance with you?”

“Because I will give you control of half my network.” Zee replied, quiet unexpectedly. Everybody gaped in astonishment but Imperetor Malvolent did not even move.

“I want control of all of your network.”

Zee managed to break off from Imperetor Malvolent’s spell just long enough to understand what he had just said. In a flash of anger he managed a firm “No. I –” Zee’s voice broke as he fell under the Imperetor’s control again.

“You what?” The Imperetor asked coolly.

“I’ll give you control over half of my network but no more.”

“Fair enough,” the Imperetor assented. “Unfortunately for you, I do not want control over half of your network. Instead, I want you to do certain things for me…”

“Oh?” Zee asked. “So long as the things that you want me to do are in my range of ability, you may be assured I shall do them, my lord.”

The Imperetor released his hold on Zee. He knew that Zee no longer would or could break away from his will. Imperetor Malvolent had gained a powerful, albeit sloppy ally, one that would be of great assistance in his full-scale conquest against the Galactic Regime.

******End of Chapter 3******

Hope you enjoyed! 🙂

~Michael Hollingworth
Disce Ferenda Pati – Learn to endure what must be borne

Click Here for Chapter 4!

Click Here for Chapter 2!

Galactic Battles: The Dark Menace: Chapter 6


Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72

Well, ‘ello everybody. Here is chapter six of our story, in which Richard gets driven out of his base. Also, I will be a bit slower this week cos of tests and junk, so, yeah, enjoy. 🙂

VI

Admiral Branko Neven Dragovic

Date: Jan 5, 900 A.C.

__________________________________________

The GIC (General in Command) of the Grand Imperium’s armies stormed up and down, to and fro, stamping and stomping his feet in rage and frustration. He had just received the news that some Admiral, he could not remember his name, was coming to replace him and take his place as GIC. And the order was directly from the Imperetor! The little man could fairly have jumped up and down with the disappointment he felt at being relieved of his post during his first command!

To make it worse, the person relieving him was not even a native of the Grand Imperium. He had been one of the few prisoners the Imperetor had taken, and soon had become the Imperetor’s pet. So far this new Admiral, for Imperetor Malvolent had taken the liberty to christen him so, had not proven himself in real combat, so how could the Imperetor have decided to send somebody of no merit to replace him? A seasoned warrior? The GIC smashed his hand onto a control panel and winced as a sharp pain radiated through his fist. He whirled around at the sound of a remonstrative voice:

“Don’t smash up our control panels, General, they are very expensive, and even though they are plentiful, it would be as economically wise as possible to save as many of them as we can. Now, for the formal presentations.”

An officer, dressed in the sparkling white starched uniform of the Grand Imperium stepped forward.

“General Edwards, I present to you Admiral Branko Neven Dragovic. As he is from the planet Wourd, his first name is Neven, instead of Branko, as you might expect, but the liberties that you may take are up to him.

“Now sir, if you please,” the officer said.

At this, General Edwards stepped forward, and unwillingly, as it seemed, formally handed over the command of all his troops to Admiral Dragovic.

“Thank you, General,” the Admiral said, speaking for the second time. “Now, if you wouldn’t mind telling me the precautions that you have taken against the Freedom Fighters. I take it that you have at least posted a cordon of sentries around their base?”

General Edwards sullenly spat out a single word: “No.”

The Admiral looked surprised, and shocked. “Well, I hope you have taken the trouble to stop any messengers from going in our out from the base? And I take it that you have driven them to such straightened a state that they can be broken with a single snap?”

“No.”

“Are they not beleaguered in their citadel, unable to go in or out?”

“No.”

“Have you done anything at all?”

“Ye– uh, no.”

“I see. Well, then, today, we will do something. I need a battalion of mechanoid snipers.” The Admiral said, clapping his hands. As the mechanoids came into the room and stood before him, the Admiral continued. “You will fire on the east wall of the place, force them to keep their heads low and to group there. Make as if you were a large force readying for assault.”

“Sir,” the General said. “They have an energy shield.”

“I know,” the Admiral said, crossing his arms over his sparkling white uniform. “I checked the frequency as I was landing. That shield is set to absorb the bolts of heavy cannons. Blaster bolts will pass through it. It’s shield range was about 0.5 to 0.9, with an average of 0.7. Blaster bolts are 0.3, General. You don’t mean to tell me that you have never even scanned their shield?”

The General remained silent.

“Now, officer, come here,” Admiral Dragovic or Neven said, to a flight officer.

“Sir!” The officer said, saluting and clapping his heels neatly together as he did so.

“Take one of the spacecruisers and tell them to fire all cannons, hundred percent, onto the east side of their base.”

“It doesn’t work,” General Edwards said glumly, his flabby chin sinking into his hands. “They just transfer the power from the west side of the city to the east side. Their shield technology is highly advanced and they can concentrate their shield where the bolts are sure to hit.”

“What if that was my purpose?”

“What?” The General asked dumbly.

“Never mind,” the starched voice of the Admiral spoke out. “I will capture that base today or die!”

***

Meanwhile, Richard had left the control room to head to his own home and break the news to his mother. Caddie had been uncertain as what to do, but Richard’s sober invitation decided her, and, not wanting to be left behind, the austere commander had decided to follow.

Richard led them down narrow dusty streets and soon arrived at a door, not unlike the others they had passed. Walking up to it, he stood on the doorstep, obviously waiting. He was not disappointed as a camera soon scanned his features. As he was recognized, the door slid open and he entered, Caddie and Commander Grennet following.

In an instant, he was surrounded by five children, the oldest being around fifteen and the youngest being a toddler. They all stood around him jumping around, and the toddler clamored for attention. Richard picked the baby up, bounced him a little, put him back on the floor, then turned to the fifteen year old.

“How is mother, Ivan?” Richard asked.

“Her condition is worse,” Ivan said, shaking his head mournfully. “I’m not sure she’ll live through this baby.”

“She has to,” Richard said, urgency coloring his tone. “She was the figure of leadership for all the soldiers’ wives. If she dies, they will lose heart.”

“Is mom’s political use all you can think about?” Ivan said, an edge in his voice. “What about her value to us? Do you even care?”

“Listen Ivan, I do care, but as my role as Leader of the Freedom Fighters of Darthamoor, it is my job to see beyond my own feelings. That’s still one thing you have to learn, Ivan.”

“Stop treating me like a kid! Listen, I’m fifteen years old. Why won’t you let me go out there and help fight? I’m old enough to do my share, I can’t stand being left in here like a baby!”

“Is that what it is about?” Richard, asked, turning from his course towards a door in the dark recesses of the room. “You’re still bitter about that day huh?” Turning to a girl of twelve, Richard continued. “Well, Eva, do you think you could look after these children while Ivan joins me outside to battle against those robots?”

“Is that Richard’s voice I hear?” A weak voice, punctuated by hoarse coughing was heard from behind a door.

In an instant Richard had turned to the door and slid it open. He found his mother lying on a bed, looking paler and sicker than ever. “Mother,” was all Richard could manage, as he went down on his knees beside his parent’s bed.

“Richard, my boy,” his mother said, her thin hand coming to rest on his shoulder. “What news do you bring me? Have you defeated our enemies and driven them off?”

“No, mother, I bring – I bring sad news. Mother, father is dead.” Richard looked away sadly as he said this, when he turned back to his mother, her eyes were closed. He could see a tear glistening just below her eyelid. Her hand slid off his shoulder and her head tilted slightly to one side.

“Mother!” Richard exclaimed. “No! Mother, you can’t have died. Mother!” But his desperate pleas were not answered, and Richard fell forwards onto the bed, his entire body shaking with emotion.

“Richard! What–” Ivan did not need to be told what happened when he saw the scene.

“What’s happened?” Commander Grennet asked, stepping through the doorway. The next instant there was a loud explosion as smoke filled the room and tumbling masonry could be heard. Then a voice tinged with evil and hatred cut through the air:

“I’ll tell you what’s happened, com!” And before Commander Grennet could react, he was thrown against the wall and sank to the ground.

“Commander!” Caddie exclaimed, rushing over to the prostrate com in a desperate attempt to save him.

The hooded figure who had caused all this chaos looked around at all the children huddled around Richard and Ivan who in turn were crouched beside Caddie, trying to revive the Commander.

“Argh! Since I do not know who is the one, I will kill all of you!” So saying, the evil man raised his enerblade to cut them all down. Down his death-bringing blade came, until it stopped, blocked in its way by its green counterpart.

“Not so fast, Vilth. I will not allow you to kill harmless civilians.”

“You stupid Defen!” With this, the Vilth hurled the bed upon which Richard’s mother lay at Savantone with all his might.

Savantone jumped over the flying projectile and leapt at the Vilth, his enerblade upraised. Turning, the now uncloaked figure deflected the blow with his own enerblade. Then the Vilth kicked Savantone back and, closing his eyes and sheathing his enerblade, the Vilth crossed his arms across his chest, and disappeared.

Richard was on his feet in an instant and ran over to help Savantone to his feet. Savantone looked wearily around, then for the first time it seemed, he noticed the over turned bed, and from under it protruded several limbs.

“Oh no,” he said, at the same time telekinetically lifting the bed so Richard could crawl under and extract the prostrate forms of all his siblings and his mother, Ivan excepted, as he had been with Richard the whole time. “The Vilth wasn’t trying to kill me, he was trying to kill them!”

“No!” Ivan screamed, rushing over to the sides of his recumbent siblings. Then he fell forwards over them, weeping.

Richard ran from Savantone towards Ivan. He knelt down beside the weeping form, his eyes scanning the closed eyes of his siblings. He thought he saw a flutter of eyelids and reaching forward, put his hand to her mouth and felt a faint breath.

“Eva’s still alive!”

“What?” Ivan asked, turning to look at Richard, then at Eva, who had by now begun to move. “Eva! You’re alive!”

“What– happened?” Just as the words left her mouth, the sound of heavy artillery was heard bombarding the place.

“They’ve tried that before,” Richard murmured, rushing out of the room.

A couple of minutes later Richard made his way into the control room. “Move the shield over from the other side and concentrate it here!”

“Acknowledged; concentrating shield on east side of the base.”

“They’ve got a plan. Their new general must’ve arrived by now. What could be his purpose in firing on this side of the base when he knows we can simply concentrate our shield here?”

“Sounds like distraction tactics to me.” Commander Grennet said. “What you got stowed in all those containment facilities back there?”

“Ammunition.” Then as if realizing something, Richard exclaimed again. “Ammunition!” Richard turned to the man sitting at the shield control. “Diverge all power to the west side of the base, now!”

“But sir, diverting all power to the west side would mean that we would have nothing protecting us from the fire of this cruiser. We would be open to potential structural damage.”

“Forget the technical talk!” The Commander, who had stepped up beside Richard, said, rushing past the man. He slammed down a few commands into the control panel and the shield slowly transferred from the east side to the west side of the base.

“It’s too late!” Richard said, as two of the enemy spacecruisers emerged from Machspace.

“Run for it!”

All of them were thrown against the control panels facing the east wing as the ammunition in the containment facilities exploded. The entire west wall of the base was blown in. Not only that, but as the shield now settled in its position on the west side of the base, bullets from the spacecruiser on the east side of the base began hitting the base.

“We must get out of here!” Commander Grennet said, slinging the now unconscious form of Caddie onto his shoulder in an emergency carry position. “Do you have a way out of this command center, one that is not exposed to their fire?”

“Yes, but only if the base is not in emergency lockdown.” Richard said, running over to a control panel on an undamaged piece of masonry and punching in an access code. As a reply, a center circle in the floor rotated and split into two semicircles as it slid apart, revealing a circular opening leading down into the floor. “You need some help, commander?”

“I can handle her, all of you just get down that hole.”

“You go down first, commander,” Savantone said, removing his enerblade from underneath his robe. “I will guard your backs.”

Commander Grennet knew there was no chance of arguing with Savantone, even if arguing with senior officers was allowed under standard protocol. He swung onto the ladder mounted at the side of the vertical shaft and slowly climbed down into the abyss of the command center.

***

“Well, what do you think of my plan now, general?” Neven said.

“It’s – astounding.”

Just as the command center exploded, the soldiers on the wall all leaped to their feet and most were instantly shot down. Mechanoids mounted with jetpacks began landing inside the base and soon, the announcement came that all was clear.

“All troops, into the base,” Neven turned to the General. “I’ve captured the base, general, in one day. Your case is pitiless. I shall report your incapacity to the Imperetor’s Executor. I doubt he will be merciful.”

“Sir,” a mechanoid said, turning to the Admiral. “The base is secured. There had been no resistance. Everybody is dead.”

“Everybody?” Neven questioned, facing the mechanoid as he did so. “What happened to those who were inside the command center?”

“Uh, sir! There was nobody there.”

“No bodies?”

“No bodies, sir.”

“Secure the base perimeter! I will go personally to investigate.” Neven turned to leave when a hooded man entered and blocked his way. His demeanor did not seem to be disrupted overmuch as he addressed the man who now stood in his path. “My lord, I have found a failure. How that imbecilic General Edwards got promoted I never know, but his efforts in attempting to capture this base have been utterly useless. It seems that he has not even tried. I leave it to you, Executor of our illustrious leader, to decide a fitting punishment.”

“Death is too good for somebody who delays Imperetor Malvolent’s plans.” The ironic quietness of the Imperetor’s Executor’s anger made the unfortunate General quail. Then suddenly, he began grasping at his chest. His face contorted into a mask of intense pain. Several loud pops were heard, as his ribs broke and pierced numerous internal vital organs. He collapsed to the ground, dead, eyes still wide open with shock and pain.

“Take him away,” the callous figure said with a careless wave of his hand. Turning to Neven, the Vilth continued without missing a beat. “There are still live people in that base.”

“Yes, we have taken some prisoners.” Neven said, crossing his fingers and hoping that the beast who stood before him would not command him to slaughter all the prisoners he had taken.

The brow of the hooded beast darkened slightly when he heard this but he seemed to shrug it away. “No, there are people running free. Six people, four males and two females. Find them and bring them to me. They must not escape. Is that understood?”

“Your will is my command, but surely this is more suited to your line of business?”

“Yes, my private business.”

Neven instantly understood. This was a high-class Imperium code, made so that any informers would be confused as to what actually was happening. He was to stage a large search to distract the escaping fugitives while the Vilth himself would personally go after them.

“Yes, Lord Vengance.”

***

Richard now led the way inside the hidden tunnel.

“I’ve told my brother and sister to join us at junction four.”

“You seem to have quite an extensive network of tunnels under this base.”

“Yes,” Richard said with a smile that somehow made him look sadder. “We had it built for this reason, not that I ever hoped we would have to use it.”

They now turned a sharp left. Caddie, who by this time was now conscious, felt a cool current blowing down the length of the tunnel. She looked up to the left and the source of the current was explained, for mounted in the wall was a ventilation shaft.

Another bend found them facing a distraught Eva and disturbed Ivan. “What’s happened Richard?” Ivan asked anxiously.

“The base’s been taken. Come on, we have to hurry.” Richard said, as a faint clanking echoed off the reinforced tunnel walls. “Sounds like they’ve broken into the tunnel network. Come, quickly.”

Caddie was bewildered by the number of tunnels that Richard led them through, but eventually they came to a secret hanger where a spaceship stood. In the eyes of the nervous fugitives, it was beautiful, even though it was just the opposite. Paint was peeling from the transport freighter, and in several places plating had fallen off and wiring was exposed. However, the real problem was the battalion of mechs that appeared to be guarding the ship.

“I’ll take the mechs,” the Commander said. “You guys get in the ship and get ready to go. I’ll jump in just before you leave.”

“Wait,” Savantone said, laying a restraining hand on the Commander. “Let me create a distraction first.” So saying Savantone closed his eyes and seemed to lose all connection to the world.

A few tense seconds passed, then a large container box fell from its dangling position and smashed open, spilling dust everywhere.

Instantly, all the mechanoid’s heads turned towards the box. A clear path was to the ship before the mechanoids became aware of what was happening. Then an enormous crossfire opened up on the escaping fugitives. Savantone drew his enerblade and activating it, cut down several mechs as he mentally activated the boarding ramp for the space freighter from inside.

Caddie opened up on the mechs with her small handgun as she backed up the ramp into the fighter with Eva. Savantone went up next. Just when Ivan and Richard were twenty feet away from the spaceship, a mech ran to the foot of the ramp and began spraying blaster bolts in their direction.

Ivan and Richard immediately began ducking and weaving, their acrobatics drawing them closer and closer to the mech. When it finally realized the predicament it was in, time was already up. Ivan and Richard rushed in together and while Ivan knocked its blaster out of its hand, Richard broke its neck. Richard and Ivan were about to congratulate each other on their success when a hail of blaster bolts in their direction decided them into hurrying up the ramp.

Now the only person left outside was the Commander. He was in the middle of the mechanoids. Kicking some aside, and blasting others, all the time jerking head, body, arms, and legs away from blaster bolts that threatened to hit him. Those that did hit him were blocked off by his armor. That is, until one penetrated a joint and hit his leg. The ill-fated Commander fell to the ground, and a blaster-bolt through his helmet silenced him.

“Commander!” Richard called out, upon seeing the heroic figure fall. “Commander Grennet!”

“It is too late,” Savantone said, walking up beside Richard and closing the boarding ramp. “Commander Grennet’s fate no longer lies in any of our hands. Fly us out of here Caddie, before this bucket of bolts is ruined any more.”

Caddie flicked on a couple of switches and pushed the throttle forward. The engines revved up, then gave a stutter and died.

“Not good,” Caddie whispered to herself. “So not good.”

***

The Imperetor’s Executor towered over the reporting mech at his tall two meters. The pair of horns sticking out of either side of his head added to his malignant look. For this Vilth was not human. Instead it was a DAMARC Type M34, created by DAMARS, the society that had mastered ultimate control of DNA and genes. They had created the Imperetor’s Executor by combining a bull’s genetic code and the genetic code of a human. So, now the Imperetor’s Executor had the strength of a bull and the agility of a human.

His head was human, but the horns altered his face drastically. His chest was bare, and waist down he possessed the legs of his father, the bull. His knees were jointed backwards and his feet were hooves. What added to his frightening look even more was that his skin was completely red from festering brand wounds. Even his face had not been left off this disfiguring torture. One of his ragged ears was pierced by a golden ring, and on his forehead, cheeks and chin he bore black triangular tattoos. His eyes shone brightly evil from underneath his hood and cloak while his warm breath condensing in the icy air of a Darthamoor morning veiled the lower part of his face, forcing the mech to look straight into his wild, orange eyes.

Though it was impossible, the mechanoid actually appeared to quail before that malevolent creature as it made its report.

“Sir, the fugitives are now inside the spaceship. We have disabled the engines and locked them inside. We are now awaiting your orders.”

“I will handle this personally. Make sure they don’t escape.” The Vilth, Draconian Vengance, turned, his cloak swirling as he swung himself onto a scooter that seemed dwarfed by his massive bulk. The engines whined protestingly as he revved them mercilessly. The next instant he had roared off at the top of his speed.

***

“What’s the problem?” Savantone asked Caddie.

“It seems that the engine starter circuit is wired in a series wiring style with the wire in between them outside. The wire in question seems to be malfunctioning.”

“Is there anything we can do about it?” Richard asked.

“As repairing it from the outside is out of the question, we would need to fix it from the inside. The first step would be to get through that thick back wall,” Caddie said, looking hopefully at Savantone’s enerblade.

Savantone placed it in Caddie’s outstretched hand immediately, saying:

“They were never meant to be weapons anyway. Come, I will help you.”

The two of them walked to the rear of the spaceship. With all her spaceship experience, Caddie was able to guess the exact location of the terminals. She looked down at the enerblade handle in her and was about to ignite it when Savantone hurriedly interfered.

“Careful! You are holding it backwards. Ignite that and it will go through your thigh. That’s right, turn it around. Now you may ignite it.”

The snap fizz startled Caddie, almost causing her to drop the weapon, but she mastered her nerves and in a few seconds, cut through the back wall. In a matter of minutes she had reconnected the two terminals and returning to the pilot seat, flew them off; just seconds before the arrival of Lord Vengance.

******End of Chapter 6******

Hope you enjoyed! 🙂

~Michael Hollingworth
Disce Ferenda Pati – Learn to endure what must be borne

Click Here for Chapter 5!