Day 239 – Dark Stars: Fire Light, Part Six – Short Story
The Players so far..
Zander Kane, once a trusted and highly decorated general for the United Federation, Kane betrayed not only his own race, but his own flesh and blood to join the Dark Collective, so he could be with the woman he loved. Now, he rides stardust and slipstreams, captaining the Betha, fighting for the collective, in hope of one day freeing the worlds from the federations ruling grasp.
Gadamrie, a Golden Priestess in the Dark Collective, who before the federation came to power boasted over one million hosts as part of her mind hive. But now, only one hosts remains, the others, hunted down and killed by unknown assailants working for the president. Signs show of another mind existing within Gadamrie’s hive, which up until now, was thought to be impossible, after a brief battle between the minds, the consciousness seems to have vanished, then, in a last desperate act, she sacrificed herself so Zander would survive.
Syin-To-Twenty-Seven (Sin), Betha’s sentient companion, through the link they share Sin can control and communicate between Betha and Zander, as well as accessing and sometimes controlling other forms of technology.
Touvler, Zander’s right hand man and Betha’s co-pilot, Touvler along with two others joined Zander when he defected from the United Federations to the Dark Collective.
High Lord Quinn, Commander for the United Federation, and a Quadrapled, a slang term for a clone. Quinn’s past is still yet to be revealed, but his past association with Zander Kane makes his story more of a mystery.
President Balmires, the current elected president of the united federation, Balmires’ rise to power is one worth of it’s own story, soaked in blood and betrayal.
Last time on Dark Stars: Fire Light…
After attempting to destroy a vital defense weapon for the United Federation, Zander and the crew of the interstellar battleship, Betha, found themselves viciously hunted down by a Z class Star Destroyer that was somehow waiting for them, turning their act of terrorism against the federation, into, a suicide run. Soon, Zander found himself a prisoner of High Lord Quinn, Gadamrie, who was hidden, came to his aid, taking out Quinn and his men. Before they could make their escape, another mind took control of one of Gadamrie’s host bodies, apparently killing her, but after a brief battle of minds, Gadamrie regained control of her final host. Making contact with Sin, Betha’s android companion, Zander found out Touvler, his right hand man, was still alive and being held some levels below, as they made their plans to rescue him, they came face to face with Quinn and a league of Federation soldiers, using a cloaking technology, known as the walk of the damned, Gadamrie tried to guide them to safety, but her strength gave way, so Zander had to improvise. It did not go as planned, and Gadamrie sacrificed herself so Zander could escape, now, following Sin’s instructions, Zander has found himself in another difficult situation.
And so we continue…
“Sin, are you serious?”
“I’m sorry sir, is there a situation?” Sin’s voice says.
“Damn straight there’s a situation. Your map’s telling me to jump down into the main air vent,” he says as he settles himself on the ledge, peering over into it again, he tightly squints his eyes, hoping this time to see the bottom, but still, he only sees darkness.
“That is correct Sir. If you read my instructions, they tell you, if you use maximum power and leap at an angle of at least one hundred and thirty-six degrees you will come into contact with the air duct for level two hundred and seven at some stage of your decent. My calculations based on your current weight put it at about fifteen seconds from when you jump from the coordinates I have placed into the map. Once you have successfully made the jump, and landed safely, Mister Touvlar is only two corridors away from where the vent comes out.”
“Maximum power? What the hell’s that supposed to mean?”
“The information has been tailored specifically to you Sir, if you jump at full strength, you will complete the task successfully.”
Zander stares into the darkness with his mouth hanging open, “Is this seriously the safest route to Touvlar?”
“That is correct sir.”
“Great,” Zander says, as he nervously presses himself against the wall, and shuffles towards the jumping location, a few nervous minutes later, he takes three large, deep breathes, closes his eyes and pushes himself off the ledge as hard as he can, tumbling helplessly into the darkness of the shaft, he slams quickly into the metal tunnels side, dazing him for a moment, then, he feverishly grabs with his arms, trying to make contact with the vent’s entrance, he feels his arm tear in its socket as he somehow grabs hold of the shafts edge, and hangs there for several moment’s, sweat dripping from his exhausted body.
“Sir, I hate to be the provider of bad news, but, the angle you pushed yourself from, was, incorrect,” Sin says.
“YOU’RE TELLING ME I MISSED!”
“Not exactly Sir, you hit the side of the shaft earlier than anticipated, and therefore, have clasped on to the incorrect floor’s ventilation shaft.”
He peers down, into the darkness, letting out a groan, “How early?”
“Seven floors Sir.”
“Great,” he says through clenched teeth. “I’m not sure I can do this again.”
“Sir, you must, if you were to attempt rescuing Mister Touvlar from this position, you would not be successful.”
“Okay, new game plan, I’m going to pull myself up into this duct, and you’re going to think of another plan,” he says, as Zander tries to pull himself up, into the vent.
“Sir, you must believe me, there is no other way,” Sin says, Zander rolls his eyes, as he bites into his bottom lip.
“Just do me one thing,” Zander says.
“Of course Sir.”
“Next time I ask you to find me a way out of somewhere, remind me of this moment,” he says, as he lets go, dropping like a stone.
“NOW SIR!” Sin yells out, Zander reaches frantically for the vents opening, screaming in pain, as he fells his arm tear further from it’s socket.
“P-P-Please, tell me I’ve got there right one this time?” Zander asks weakly, hanging from the opening.
“This time you have been successful Sir, once you reach the end of the ventilation shaft, Mister Touvlar is two corridors to your right.”
“How’s everything looking otherwise? You still buddy, buddy with the destroyer mainframe?”
“Of course Sir, we have formed a quick bond, and he has been very helpful.”
“I still don’t want to know what you did for the big guy,” Zander grunts as he pulls himself up into the vent, and begins to drag his busted, aching body towards the opening. “Tell me when I’m clear,” he asks.
“There appears to be no one in your immediate vicinity Sir, the path to Mister Touvlar seems clear,” Sin replies.
“Are you sure?” Zander asks surprised. “Not even a couple of guards on the entrance to his cell?”
“No, there appears to be no Federation soldiers anywhere,” Sin replies.
“Something about this just doesn’t fell right.”
“The destroyer has assured me that there is nothing unusual happening, please Sir, if you are to make your move, you must make it now.”
“Okay, okay,” Zander says as he forces the vents cover off and falls out onto the corridors floor in a sweaty, bloody heap, he lies there for a few moments before Sin’s voice snaps him back to awareness.
“Sir, you must move, I’ve detected movement three corridors away coming towards you, you must hurry!”
Zander forces himself uneasily to his feet, and stumbles along to corridor until he reaches the door to Touvlar’s cell.
“C-Can, can you get it to open?” Zander asks.
“Of course Sir, I…”
“Sin?” Zander says quickly, as he stands outside the doorway, looking over his shoulder frantically. “For crying out loud Sin, what’s happening?”
“It appears as if the destroyer has not been entirely honest with me Sir.”
“What the hell does that mean? I though you two were buddies!”
“So did I Sir, it would appear that the destroyer, was not telling the truth, we have been set up,” Sin says.
“Not you brainiac, I’m the one who’s been set up,” Zander grows, he looks over his shoulder, as footsteps approach his position, quickly he takes a step back, firing the blaster at the doors touch-pad, destroying it, and the door springs open. He rushes inside and his mouth drops open in shock, he can feel his stomach turn violently, lying on a media-pad, is Touvlar, his body riddled with tubes and wires, shoved into every orifice, as machines keep his life signs stable, but, really, Zander knows, he’s been dead for some time.
“Here we are once more, old friend,” Quinn says from behind him.
To Be Concluded…