Short Excerpt from Book 6
|Jarl stood motionless before a blank wall, his eyes closed. Kas stood several feet away from him, trying not to breath loudly, his mind running back over events for want of something to do. The corridor lights flickered momentarily, distracting Kas and he glanced up at the ceiling. The lights strengthened then suddenly went out, plunging the area into total darkness.
Sirens sounded a second later, blaring loudly as their claxon reverberated off the wall beside him.
Kas slapped his hands over his ears and scrunched his face tightly in a vain attempt to drown out the noise. Something grasped his wrist firmly and silence descended, almost as deafening as the sonic blast which had preceded it.
"Stand still," Jarl commanded sharply as Kas jumped.
"What happened," Kas managed, cautiously lowering his hands from his ears and attempting to look around. Darkness fought against his eyes, defying his efforts with impunity.
"I triggered the alarm," Jarl snapped. "Or didn't you notice the sirens?"
"I did," Kas replied, then shrugged. He refrained from further questions, unwilling to provoke Jarl to additional sarcasm.
Jarl ignored him, his mind enmeshed with the holographic readout which was flowing before him from the suits bio-computer.
"Marvelous," he growled, watching several rapidly moving blips converging on their position from various directions. "Sentinels or worse. Hurry it up!"
"Please provide valid security code," the ship requested for the fifth time.
"I'm attempting to," Jarl muttered unhappily, glancing at the blips once again. They had now merged into a single dot of light, snaking toward him down the corridor in which he stood. He winced, then attempted to concentrate on the algorithm which the bio-computer had just spat out.
"That makes no sense," he shook his head, then sighed. "I hope my shields hold."
He reached for a small keypad beside the wall and rapidly punched in six numbers. As he entered the last of them, his shield was bathed in red radiance from six perfectly executed laser blasts. His suit protested the sudden onslaught and darkened his shielding.
"Absorb!" Jarl commanded it, glaring at the unresponsive wall. "Recharge then reflect!"
"Unstable energy," the suit argued. "Absorption may..."
"Override," Jarl interrupted. "Reflect. Execute now."
His suit reacted instantly, and corridor was suddenly filled with the sounds of small explosions.
"Just give me thirty seconds," Jarl requested silently. "I think I see the mistake."
"Power reserves at fifty percent," his suit replied serenely. "At the current rate of consumption..."
"Shut up!" Jarl snapped aloud. "I know how quickly we're gonna die! Leave me alone!"
"Compliance," the suit responded, and fell silent. The sound of explosions persisted as the laser bolts continued to ricochet off the swiftly depleting force shield and slam into the corridor walls.
"Got it!" Jarl exclaimed suddenly and reached for the keypad again.
"Main shield inoperational," the computer chimed as he pushed the first button. "Self-destruct in ten seconds."
Jarl swore under his breath and franticly keyed the code in. His finger slipped as he punched in the last of the numbers and pressed two keys at the same time.
"Invalid," the ships computer repeated once again. "Please supply valid security code."
Jarl growled loudly and began the sequence once again, sweat beading on his foreehead.
"Six seconds," his suit annouced. "Five seconds."
Jarl forced himself to concentrate, punching the sequence into the keypad with rapid precision.
"Accepted," the ship's computer stated suddenly.
"One second," his suit responded.
"Deactivate!" Jarl shouted, then dropped to the floor, pulling Kas down with him. The remaining bits of forcefield vanished and laser bolts shot through the space they had occupied a moment previously, impacting on the wall as it began to slide open. The corridor fell silent as the ship's security reacted, and the sentinels stood down, then turned and floated silently back the way they had come.
Short excerpt from Book 6 of The Sojourn Chronicles.
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