Day 248 – Dark Stars: Runaway, Part Two – 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.

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.

Gadamrie, a Golden Priestess in the Dark Collective and Zander’s lover, before the federation came to power Gadamrie boasted over one million hosts as part of her mind hive, she sacrificed her final host so Zander and her unborn seed he carries would survive.

Last time on Dark Stars…

After attempting to destroy a vital defense weapon for the United Federation, Zander and his crew found themselves prisoners of High Lord Quinn, somehow, Zander, with the aid of Sin, managed to escape Quinn clutches, but he was badly injured in the process, and his crew save from Sin, perished. Waking from a fevered dream, Zander found himself under attack from Federation soldiers.

And so we continue…

“Captain, we have intruders aboard Betha,” Sin voice declares, Zander leaps from his bed, grabbing his blaster as he does.

“Where are they?”

“Right outside your quarters,” Sin replies just as Zander slammed his hand against his doors palm reader, he freezes in place, as the door springs open, and a dozen Federation soldiers spill in, knocking him to the ground, his blaster tumbles from his grasp and he finds himself pinned, with blasters pointed at him.

“High Lord Quinn sends his regards,” one of them says.

“I’m touched,” Zander says, as they pull him to his feet.

“You’ll lose the attitude soon enough.”

“So will you,” Zander says, “SIN, GRAV LEFT!” He yells out, the rooms gravity settings suddenly shift, tilts and Zander crashes in the wall with a thud, the Federation soldiers quickly follow suit, landing on top of him. “MY LEFT YOU IDIOT!” He screams out from beneath the soldiers, everything suddenly flips, and they crash violently into the opposite side of the room, quickly Zander takes charge of the situation, wrestling a blaster from a disorientated soldier, then fires it into the struggling pile of soldiers beneath him, until there is no movement. “Rest the gravity points, and unlock the doors,” he says as the doors hiss open, and everything crashes to the floor, including Zander.

“Are you okay Sir?” Sin asks.

“I’d be better if you waited a couple of seconds before resetting the gravity, so I could get ready,” he replies, as he picks himself up from the floor, and holds his throbbing head.

“I’m sorry Sir, you did request the gravity points to be reset, I assumed you would be in the required positio..”

“Save it for later, what I need to know right now, is how a group of Federation soldiers managed to get on board Betha?” He says as he quickly makes his way through the corridor, and comes out into the cockpit, where Sin sits.

“Neither I, nor Betha can give you an answer to that question, at this point in time. We have verified that there is no vessel within the immediate vicinity, and there has been no forced entry on any of Betha’s external doors.”

“So, your telling me they just appeared?” Zander says as he collapses into the pilots seat.

“That is the only explanation we have at this point in time, until we have….”

Zander places a hand in the air, “Bring up the first footage we have of them aboard Betha, when she first detected their presence,” Zander says, a screen appears in front of him, showing the Federation soldiers slowly working their way along one of Betha’s corridors. “This is the first point of reference we have of them on her?”

“That is correct Sir, that is what you requested, that is what I have shown you, if you had asked for something different, I would have showed you something else, but….”

“Yeah, yeah, you can stop with the over explaining, just tell me, is that the corridor that leads to the sleeping quarters?”

“Yes Sir, that is correct.”

“So, how come there isn’t any footage of the quarters themselves?”

“General Salidazr ordered them removed when he came aboard, he sited that surveillance equipment in those areas were in breach of privacy,” Sin replies.

Zander slowly swivels around on his chair and turns to Sin, “When the hell was Salidazr on Betha?”

“General Salidazar came aboard whilst you were receiving the desired medical attention when we arrived at Galder Seven, and as he is your senior office in the Dark Collective, he ordered me not to discuss the changes with anyone else, including you,” Sin replies.

“Was there anything else you were asked not to discuss with me?”

“No Sir, that was all,” Sin replies.

“Right, next time something like this happens, you tell me, understood? Even if I’m on my death bed, you tell me!”

“Of course Sir, unless they outrank you and direct me not to, I will,” Sin replies.

“No, next time, you tell me regardless of who it is, okay?” Zander says as he gets to his feet, clenching his hands into fists.

“Of course Sir, unless..”

“No unless!” He yells, slamming his fists into a control board that sits before Sin. “I’m commander of this ship, screw it, this is my ship, not The Federation’s, not The Dark Collective’s, MINE! Zander BLOODY Kane, and no one outranks me aboard here, NO ONE! So, next time you tell me, or you’re dust in the wind, understood?”

“I’m afraid I do not follow Sir,” Sin replies.

“Betha, explain it to him so he understands,” Zander says.

Several seconds pass, before Sin becomes rigid, and looks slowly over to Zander, “I understand Sir, nothing will happen aboard Betha again, without first informing you.”

“Good, now, unhook yourself and come with me.”

“Where are we going Sir? I have not kept anything from you, please don’t turn me to dust!” Sin says quickly.

“No you sack of nuts and bolts, we’re going to see what problems Salidazar left for us down in his quarters,” Zander says as as he pulls his blaster from it’s holster, and steps from the cockpit, heading quickly down towards the sleeping quarters.

“Sir, if you don’t mind me asking, do you think General Salidazar brought something on board Betha?”

“I haven’t a clue, but if you hadn’t let him disable Betha’s surveillance, we’d know, instead of having to go in blind,” he says as he comes to a stop outside of Salidazar’s quarters, he places a hand on the door, and pulls it back, winching in pain.

“Sir, are you okay?”

“I’m fine, it’s cold, really bloody cold,” he says, as he looks at the door. “Did  he have this lock placed on?”

“That would be correct.”

“Great, can Betha override it?”

“Unfortunately not Sir, Salidazar encoded it with his own locking mechanism,” Sin replies, Zander looks at him, his brow furrowed.

“Seriously, no one does anything to Betha without my say so! Can she at least shut power down to this area of the ship?” he says.

The hallway goes dark almost instantaneously, “It has been done,” Sin announces.

“I can see that,” he says, as he takes a step back, raises his blaster towards the door lock, and fires, the lock hisses as it decouples, then the door slowly slides open, Zander casts a concerned glance towards Sin, the back to the doorway, as it gradually opens, revealing a spiraling vortex inside the room, before either of them can act, they are both sucked inside.

To Be Continued…

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