Reinora blamed herself for what happened to her crew. She’s not the only one, though.
Reinora adjusts her tattered uniform as she gets off the cluttered floor in Command Central. She shakes and wobbles a little as she started walking around that oval room. Seeing her Co-Commander trapped under a large metal beam, she made her way over to him.
Hevoin starts coming around just as Reinora gets to him. With some help of Reinora pushing the beam off of him, she gets him into a seated position. Hevoin can’t stop shaking a little.
“What happened?” Reinora asked as she helped Hevoin get up.
After looking at the large viewscreen in front of them with a large spaceship on it, Hevoin looks at Reinora in shock. “The Yanims just attacked.”
Reinora started looking at the viewscreen too. “I’m not surprised. The Yanims are well known to come out of Hidden Space and attack someone without warning.”
Looking around, Reinora sighs. “Command Central looks like a SpaceStorm hit it. What about the rest of our spaceship?”
Hevoin stumbles as he heads for communications. “Spaceship update. What else is wrong with The Mortan Eighteen?”
“It’s not too good.” Koliea didn’t take her eyes off her control panel and monitor. “There are about two thousand already dead, and around two thousand who have been injured. Almost half of the injured are near death themselves.”
Reinora stares at the main viewscreen with a shocked look on her face as a large laser ball is fired from the spaceship on it. The viewscreen froze just as the laser ball is about to hit them. Reinora turns away from that viewscreen to face the five other Mortans in that room.
“Why do you think it’s your fault almost all your crew have either gotten killed or injured during that surprise attack?” The female Mortan in the center of the five asks.
“It’s because it is my fault. I was the one in command of our ship at the time of the attack. It isn’t just me, though. The rest of my crew that’s still alive blame me too.
Reinora stands straight with her hands behind her back. Her uniform is no longer almost gone. “That surprise attack is only the beginning. You haven’t seen what happened after that. Once you do you will understand why I need a redemption punishment. It won’t redeem me for what I have done, but it will help those who have been hurt by them.”
Reinora stops as she passes a large clear wall. She looks at Ginie laying on a flat metal floating board. Seeing the wires that are connecting Ginie to several machines makes Reinora shake her head sadly. Ginie glances at Reinora with a lot of pain on her face. She quickly turns her head away from Reinora. Her pain now looks like hatred.
Glancing over at the observation room that she could barely see from where she is, Reinora sees a healthcare professional just before he comes out a sliding entrance. Reinora walks up to him. “How is Ginie doing?”
A male Healthcare Professional looks at Reinora as she walks up to stand beside him. “How is Jakun doing?”
Reinora looks at Jakun too. He doesn’t have any wires on him, but there are a few machines hovering around him. Jakun slowly cocks his head in Reinora’s direction. The pain on his face can barely be seen by the Healthcare Professional and Reinora as he immediately snaps his head back to where it was.
“Jakun is the same. If not for your Redemption Credits it would take him a lot longer recover from his injuries.”
“A million credits for everyone injured or dead isn’t the Redemption Judgement the Judgement Council gave me.” Reinora is looking at another male Healthcare Professional. “You aren’t the only one who thought that was my Judgement.”
Reinora starts looking at Varinni who looks about the same as Jakun. “Everyone thinks that’s my Judgement. It’s not. All they wanted me to do is try to get my crew to forgive me.”
“I know they will never do that. This is my own Judgement. Yes, I know that won’t redeem me, but it will help everyone deal with it a little better.”
Suddenly, Arren starts shaking. His head, arms, and legs are flying rapidly. Threating to tear the wires from his body. A few wires do start coming out, but those wires are wavering from the machines around him. When his head flops toward Reinora who is looking at him through the clear wall, it stops shaking.
Reinora glances at another male Healthcare Professional standing next to her. “What’s wrong with Arren now?”
“It’s you. Every time Arren sees you he does this. He’s not the only one. You need to leave before anyone else dies because of you.”
“Get out of here and take your Death Credits with you.” This time a male voice is screaming through an entrance that slides open. A million credit cubes come flying out of it. Reinora ducks to avoid getting hit by them.
“No matter how many Death Credits you give me I will never forgive you for the death of my child.” The male voice continues. “She died because of you.”
Reinora starts picking up her credit cubes. “Forgiveness isn’t why I gave you the Death Credits. That isn’t the reason I gave them to you.”
Mumbling softly, Reinora walks up toward a small two-level residence. Reinora still doesn’t know what she is going to tell them. How is she going to do it? There is nothing she can say about the death of their only child. Why is she having so much trouble with this death apology? Maybe it’s because of why she is there.
Reinora places her hand on the entrance to that residence, and a beeping sound begins. The entrance slides open. It closes immediately. A female voice screams just beyond it. “Go away. We will never forgive you for the death of our child, Hevoin.”
“I don’t understand what I am doing here.” Reinora stood before five different Mortans in that room. “I thought I had five months to redeem myself.”
“That isn’t why you are here,” says the male Mortan in the center of the five. “We contacted you because we need you to tell us all that you know about Yanim.”
Reinora looks confused. “I still don’t understand. Why do you need me to do that?”
The male Mortan sighs. “We don’t want to ask for your help, but we have no choice. You are the only one who has left that planet alive.”
A different image appears on the large monitor every few seconds that Reinora in looking up at. The same five Mortans are still seated in a semi-circle behind her. They are looking up at the images too. Reinora looks at the other Mortans there. “How did you get these images?”
“We sent unseen scanners to surround Yanim seven months ago after we learned that they have a new weapon that will end this war between us,” says the Mortan in the center. “We’re sure that it’s there, we just don’t know where it’s at. That’s where you are needed.”
Reinora sits in a one chair small room staring at an image on a large monitor. She taps something on a mini monitor she’s holding just as that image is replaced by another one.
“Yanim has changed a lot in the last twenty years since I was last there.” Reinora taps something on her mini monitor as another replacement takes place.
“I’m not sure, but I think I know where their new weapon is at.” Reinora smiles as she taps her mini monitor once. The last image disappears. Suddenly, the lights in that room brighten to full strength.
Reinora walks around without taking a step as she talks to a circle of twenty other sitting Mortans in that large room. “I think that I have found out where the Yanims have their new weapon to use against us, but I’m not going to tell you where it’s at.”
“It’s not because I want to lead this threat against us. I do want to do that. In fact, I insist on doing it. It’s because I’m not sure if it’s the right place or not. I will not know that until I get there.”
Slowly, Reinora shakes her head sadly as she walks around an empty Command Central. “Everyone thinks I’m doing this to redeem myself, but I’m not. No matter what I do I know I can never do that.”
Reinora sits down in her command chair and sighs. “I’m not surprised no one wants to be a part of my crew.”
“True, the Mortans-in-Charge can make them be my crew, but I don’t want that. They will feel like they are being forced to do it. That will only cause trouble that I don’t need with an attack like this one.”
“I understand.” Reinora taps a button on the right arm of her chair in Command Central. The image of a female Mortan in a military uniform disappears from a large monitor that is in front of her.
Another image appears on the monitor after Reinora taps a button on her left arm of her chair. Only this time it’s a male Mortan. “I already know why you have been trying to contact me, and I don’t want to hear it. I’m not going anywhere with you.”
Reinora sighs. “It looks like I’m going on this attack alone.” After Reinora taps her right button again the latest image disappears.
Peeking around a large tree Reinora counts two uniformed Yanims on both sides of a large opening of a mountain. Reinora looks down the left side of that mountain and sees two more pairs of armed Yanims walking in one direction while another two walk in the other one. It looks like I was right about this being where the Yanims’ new weapon against us is at.
After peeking around the right side of her tree Reinora can see the same situation happening on that side of the mountain too. Reinora flattens herself against her tree. She looks down at her two hand weapons she’s holding. Tipping her weapons on their sides she sees both weapons show their energy levels are almost to the top of them.
I’m worried about destroying that weapon before they can use it. Taking out the Yanims at the opening shouldn’t be a big problem, but the other sixteen out there may be. I sure could use some other Mortans right now. It would also help if I knew where that Death Weapon is at in that mountain.
Reinora doesn’t aim her right-hand weapon as she hits three armed Yanims in their heads with laser spears. They appear to be dead before they hit the ground. She steps over those Yanims as she looks over her shoulder at about forty others dead Yanims in that mountain tunnel.
After stepping over the dead Yanims Reinora stops before she gets to the end of that tunnel. Reinora cocks her head to hear if anyone else coming her way. She doesn’t hear anything. So, she peeks around that corner. Reinora quickly pulls her head as she flattens herself against that jagged tunnel wall.
About halfway down that long side tunnel, Reinora could see there are two armed Yanims on both sides of a large opening. Reinora mumbles softly. I think I have just found the Death Weapon I’ve been looking for.
Just then Reinora cocks her head behind her as she starts hearing explosions. Reinora smiles. It’s about time they started their attack. I was starting to think I was doing this alone after all.
I shouldn’t have any trouble destroying this weapon while my fellow Mortans distract the rest of the Yanims. It’s not complete redemption, but it’s a start. Maybe someday they will all forgive me for what I have done.
Word Count = 1,984