34 Days Until The End – Dark Stars: Prophecy Child, Part Four – 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, although, Zander has begun to suspect she is hiding something from him.

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.

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

High Priestess Dankika, leader of the Dark Collective, a maker, a being who exists across multiple realities.

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

Zander and the crew of Betha find themselves requested by the High Priestess, once touching down, he comes face to face with General Salidazar, who has other plans for Zander. Gadamrie intervened spoiling his plans, as the High Priestess arrived and attempted to quell the already explosive situation, to, no positive end, until Sin relayed a message, what appears to be from Zander himself, warning of the Priestess and Salidazar, verifying the information, he acted, somewhat recklessly, and fled towards an unknown destination, with Salidazar following closely behind, Zander backtracked to take care of him once and for all, but, were faced with a greater problem. Unfortunately Zander and Betha’s crew, found themselves prisoners of High Lord Quinn, reveling himself to be a former crew member of the Betha, but, as he prepared to kill Zander, Gadamrie, who was cloaked, came to his aid, taking out Quinn and his men, although, 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, Zander found out where Touvler was being held, and as they made their plans to rescue him, they came face to face with a resurrected 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.

And so we continue…

“Lady, you’re not going anywhere, except off this pile of junk with me,” he says, as he charges forward, as the world explodes with colour and light. The Federation soldier’s don’t know what hit them as Zander tears his way through the soldiers, blasting a pathway of blood towards Quinn, it only takes a few seconds before he feels blaster fire tear into his side, he crashes to the ground, thew wight of Gadamrie, and her armour pins him to the ground, he clenches his teeth together, as he drives his fists into the metal surface and screams, forcing himself up from the floor, soldiers come from every angle, tackling him to the ground once more, then, everything goes silent, as Quinn strides towards him, while the soldiers pull the struggling Zander to his feet.

“How pathetic, did you really think that would work?” Quinn says.

“Sometimes, improvising everything as you go, has a strange way of falling to pieces, unless, you plan it that way,” he says, looking to the ground with a smile, Quinn’s eyes follows Zander’s, coming to rest at his feet, where a neo-thermal grenade sits, then, everything is engulfed in a white hot light that lasts for a few seconds, and then, is gone. Slowly, he opens his eyes, around him lay the burnt remains of the Federation soldiers, and Quinn, Gadamrie still tightly grips his leg, encompassing him in a bio-kinetic shield, that absorbed the heat wave, protecting them both, he quickly pulls her to her feet once more, and throws her back over his shoudler.

“H-H-How, how did you know I, WE, would save you?” She says softly.

“Because you’ve risked everything, to protect whatever I’m carrying so far, I made a fair bet you’d continue to.”

“We could’ve all died, and, I was protecting you, Zander, my love, ple…”

“Save it for someone who believes you, right now, I need you alive, so, if you don’t have anything constructive to say, keep it shut, understood?”

Silence follows, he can feel her tensing up with anger, and he grips her arm tightly.

“Understood?” He repeats.

“I undertand, bu…”

“ZZZZZEETTT…. Captain Kane, do you copy?” Sin’s voice interrupts.

“I’m here, what the hell happened?” He says as he slowly moves down the hallway.

“A defense mechanism interfered with our communicator, I have convinced Romana to disable the device and also give me the precise location of Mister Touvlar,” Sin replies.

“How did you… No wait, I don’t what to know, I still remember what you did for that battleship in the Nourus quadrant,” he says, as he lets out a shiver, and shakes his head side to side, screwing up his face. “Anyway, lets not think about that, just tell me how I get to Touvlar, and find us a way off this hunk of junk.”

“I have already taken the liberty of mapping out a path to Mister Touvlar, one of course, that will give you the least resistance. Once you have him, getting off the said ‘hunk of junk,’ might be harder, alarms are slowly popping up across the ship, and, Betha is surrounded by a large assortment of troops, Quinn will not let us get off here alive sir.”

“Just find us a way to get back on Betha then, and I’ll handle the getting off, okay,?”

“Of course sir, I will map the quickest, safest route from Mister Touvlar’s location,” Sin replies. “May I ask you to be careful sir, this is not coming just from me, but, Betha wishes your safe return as well, considering, your condition.”

“Tell Betha not to worry about my CONDITION,  I’ll be fine, you two just be ready, okay?”

“Of course sir, I have uploaded the route to Mister Touvlar onto your equipment and will work with Romana in finding a way off.”

A blue light on Zander’s bracelet flashes, signalling the arrival of Sin’s data, “Overlay visor,” he says, as a visor like screen appears before his eyes, acting like a pair of glasses, outlaying the route to Touvlar on it. Quickly he makes his way down a deserted corridor, noticing the ships cameras pointing towards the ground, and allows himself to grin, knowing Sin obviously worked his magic, one, he doesn’t need to know the details of. After several minutes of scurrying through corridors, he finally comes to a stop, tosses Gadamrie’s now unconscious body to the ground, rips a vents covering from the side of the corridor, then quickly stuff’s Gadamrie into the vent, and slides in after her, sealing the vent’s covering back in place after him, just as the sound of a dozen or more Federation soldiers charge down the corridor past them. Zander quickly crawls down the duct for several sweaty minutes, dragging Gadamrie behind him, until he comes to a large opening, his eyes widen as he looks around the large shaft, a small rim running around the sides that the vent connects onto, he tilts his head upwards and then downwards, and swallows,  he focuses on the map in front of his eyes and lets out a nervous laugh.

“Sin, you can’t be 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? And what about Gadamrie? What the hell am I supposed to do with her? I’m not leaving her here, not while she’s got questions to answer, no bloody way am I!”

“Give me a few moments sir, I will readjust the information so it will be more current, as it was tailored specifically to you, and only you, if you jump at full strength, from the location, with Miss Gadamrie over your shoulder, you will, not complete the task successfully.”

“I know, that’s what I just said.”

“Of course sir, your information should be updated, if you follow the new instructions they should assist yo…”

“NO! I’m going back the way I came, I’ll blast my way through whatever I have to, but I’m not jumping with her, I can’t risk it, I can’t lose her, not while she’s got answer I need.”

“You were always too stubborn for your own good,” Gadamrie says, from the tunnel entrance, winching in pain, as she gets to her feet. “We won’t get out of this together, but, you will on your own, if you try, so, ask your questions, let this be the place where all is reveled, where everything becomes one.”

To Be Continued…

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