Day 251 – Dark Stars: Runaway, Part Five – 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.

General Salidazar, an officer in the Dark Collective, who’s loyalties, may lie somewhere else.

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, once managing to defeat the attack squad, Zander found out that General Salidazar had been aboard Betha whilst he was unconscious, and could have a connection to the Federation soldiers gaining access to the ship. Tracking the breach back to Salidazar’s quarters, Zander and Sin were sucked into a vortex and found themselves dumped into darkness, and, as they faced more unknown attackers, assistance come from an unlikely source.

And so we continue…

Zander slowly raises the object to his face, and sucks in a deep breath as he looks through it, and sees, a desolate wasteland before him, a graveyard of ships, bodies, planets, and darkness, then movement coming towards them, he look over to the man who stands in front of him, his haggard clothes, torn, his body, covered in scars, his face, dirty, hair covering most of it, but, even then, he recognises him instantly.

“T-T-This can’t be happening, you can’t be who I think you are,” Zander says.

“I am, but, lets get somewhere safe first, there’ll be more Reapers here soon, and we won’t stand a chance. So, if you want to know what the hell is happening, you need to come with me, now, and bring Sin, he might just be our ticket out of here,” He says, as he quickly makes hes way through the ruins, Zander, grabs Sin by the arm and drags him forward as a ear piercing screams fill the air.

“Quickly, we have to move, they’ve got you’re scent,” he says as he guides them deeper into the graveyard, further down, into the depths of dead, and rotting, Zander focuses on following the strange man in front of him, and keeps his eyes away from the bodies that litter the landscape before him, finally, they come to a stop, as the man opens a portal and quickly, they clamber inside the once mighty ship, Zander too recognises it immediately.

“Betha,” Zander says softly.

“She was, a long time ago,” the man says, “before this place, before Halligans Box.”

“S-S-So, it’s true, this, this is Halligans Box?”

“No, this is where Halligans Box dumps you, the nexus point, the end and begins, the tomorrow and yesterday, the was, and was not, this is the runaway zone.”

“The runaway zone?”

“Yeah, it’s my little pet name for this place, you know, the place you want to go, but once you get there, you realise it’s not what you expected it to be,” he says, as he smiles a nervous smile. “Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve seen someone new, how did it happen? Salidazar?”

“How did you know?” Zander asks.

“Same thing happened to me, once they found out I was carrying Gabamrie’s seed I became a threat to the Federation and the Dark Collective, so they removed me from the playing field the only way they could, by sending me here.”

“That doesn’t make sense, why would the Dark Collective work with the Federation?”

“Because, you’re carrying a new species inside you, one that could ruin both the Federation and Collective’s plans for the universe, and they won’t let some human get in the way of the power stone, not when they’re so close.”

“Power stone?”

“Sin, tell him what the power stone is,” the man says.

“Tell who Sir? Besides yourself, who, I might add, you are having a conversation with, there is no one else here, I can, and will happily, tell you, what you wish to know about the power stone, but there is….”

“Just tell me, I forgot how irritating you can be,” he says quickly.

“Of course, the power stone, if I go by the information I have in my database, is a group of gems that are said to have split from one stone, and if the gems are reunited, the holder of the stone will hold the power of the first, the maker of all that is and was,” Sin says.

“Are we actually all being serious? I mean first Halligans Box, and now a story about some stone that controls everything. Am I the only one who thinks maybe I’m still unconscious, and this is all some weird dream?” Zander says.

“Believe what you want, but it will only end in your death, and in retaliation to the stone, as far as I can tell, it’s what they’re after, each universe, an infinite sea of realities, where choices made a million different changes, reality, after reality, sitting on top of another. But, in all these realities two things seem to be the same, well, in the ones I’ve had contact with anyway. Everyone wants the stone, and….” he says.

“..And?” Zander asks.

“And we’re always a problem that’s removed, banished to this place, to die here alone.”

“T-T-There, there has to be some way out of this place, some w….”

“There isn’t I’ve tried, hundreds, thousands before me have tried, and none have made it, everyone who comes here, dies here, end of story, there’s no way home, but…”

“But what?” Zander asks.

“But, with a fully functional Syin-To unit, we might be able to send out a low wave signal that could jumper through the box and signal another version of the unit, and maybe, we might be able to get them to….” He doesn’t get to finish his sentence, as something smashes viciously  against the outside of Betha. “They’ve found us, quickly, we have to send the signal, before it’s to..”


To Be Continued

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