A spaceship has been found. We are space traders, we will acquire what we will.
“We have acquired a target,” Lieutenant June Winds said turned from the targeting screen to face Captain Mual.
“We have received an SOS,” Lance Corporal Jewels said her hand holding the earpiece to her ear peered at Lieutenant Winds.
“Location of the signal?” Captain Mual asked as he turned looked down to see Lieutenant Winds in her chair..
“Bearings 347 latitude 567, it came from there,” Lance Corporal Jewels said.
“That’s where the target is located,” Lieutenant Winds said.her face was pale, eyes large,
“Check it out. Bring it up full on the screen,” Captain Mual said turned to the screen.
There was debris all over the area. It was as a battle happened here. The crew of my space ship followed this until, now. Worried. About what we saw there. knew what happened here. We saw a Imperium cruiser type spaceship took quite a bit of damage perhaps from a meteor shower. But we doubled that. Pieces of its armor missing. Portions charred and scrotched by fire. was rammed by something. Were gaping holes in its hull. We knew what that meant, Was damaged by an attack, by a spaceship. There were bodies floating about in space.
Lieutenant Winds lifted her eyes from the targeting screen, smiled, and engage the weaponry systems. Her hands hovered
above the buttons to control the weapon boards and looked triumphantly at Captain Mual.
The warning lights were flashing, there came bells were chiming, The emergency initialized.
Sargent Bucka stood there at the entranceway to the dock, where his crew would await him. He spied the screen on the dock showing
the debris. Sargent Bucka worried n exploration ship would encounter what harmed the dreadnaught.
The navigator was facing the screen. He could not move anything but a ball that was our ship as it moved about in space with his hands. He was bald and wore a gown. Our lives depended upon him doing this.. His eyes were closed, this meant he was in control of the ship absolutely.
We were on the bridge preparing for combat as we viewed the screen. Lieutenant Winds looked up, she knew that there had to be a ship here. There should be no ships here as the area had been unexplored.
“Where has it come from?” Lance corporal (communication specialist) Jewels said. Seated at the communication devices could see were an object. It was a couple of kilometers in scale the trail from the ship. She turned on the screen visual on it. She froze seeing it. There was a ship that was there. Wreckage all over the place.
“We just received an SOS signal, from that sector,” Lance corporal Jewels said as she pointed at the scanner to indicate the ship.
Captain Mual was in the middle of the bridge with hands clasped behind his back. He wore an overcoat and black slacks with a white silk blouse and a black belt hung a machine pistol, and sword. He was puzzled. This section was unexplored, there should be no ships especially from the Imperium here. Yet they found one there; one of their own.
“Check to see if there is anyone out there. Targeting the ship,” Sargent Bucka said was upset and worried.
“There is no one there, Aside from the ship that signaled us,” Lance corporal Jewels said.
“That is good,” Sargent Bucka said was relieved, watched Lance Corporal Jewels while looking at Captain Mual and the screen..
“Let’s check it out,” Wind said with a grin, Easy capital, the enemy has long since gone as she could not see it on the sensors, it wasn’t there.. Rubbed her hands together happily.
“We have to make a profit?" Captain Mual said as he made a bridge with his hands. Imagined the things. He would acquire by doing this. In the future when he began his journey. He was told it would be a good place to explore..Might be good place to explore..
"We will," Lance corporal Jewels the radio communication specialist was shapely and had a good head on her shoulders said sweetly watching Mual. Knowing what this meant to him. Desired to make him happy. She would, she knew it. She would! Wouldn't she? Nudging the champagne glass in celebration. She smiled triumphantly at herself in the mirror in her room leaving the bridge.
The vessel is exploring space to find new planets for new resources. It has been in space for many months it has left the range of radio signals or satellites and was able to travel warp 1. We received a signal of SOS on our communication device. It was from a vessel cruiser D class model Imperial spaceship. It was a military ship. Captian Mual pondered as he saw it. Why was it here? The ship had been attacked, by who? What had they done to deserve this? He did not know, but he could guess, what?
Sitting there silent as a grave.We could see light coming from the ship meaning there might be life upon it. It was a military ship, which meant he would be rich if he could get to the ship. He would get to the ship. He knew he could rely upon Sargent Bucka to get aboard the ship. He knew this was a certainty. He smiled as looked at Sargent Bucka looking at the screen. It took quite a bit of damage, totaled its drive. It is asking for help. The ship has been attacked.. It was an Imperium ship. It should not be here. This area had not explored that was what was he had been told.
Our bridge large enough to have ten people standing there. Having a communication device for radio and satellite. There was a chair where a man would sit to guide the ship through space; worrisome when entering warp, there were things there that posed a threat to the crew. The figure was a male named Ponderer, his only interest lay in flying the ship. A handle that was used to control the ship’s direction and radar systems. Captain Mual stood there, looking at the screen where Jewel pointed. There was aboard where a gunnery officer Mallet sat to protect the ship. There were switches to touch to turn on these devices. There was a targeting array.
Mual watched the ship. Dreamt of the riches he would acquire from this find. The ship they were on had taken quite a bit of damage, he could repair the ship. It was a dreadnought of the imperium. Designed to keep on fighting. It with a vast array of weapons on her. That he could salvage.
“Any idea, what’s wrong with the ship?” Sargent Bucka said as viewed the screen as where Mual pointed, Bucka knew what this meant, we will board the craft. He turned and bolted towards the dock, where his crew would be relaxing. Spotted them sitting there, relaxing.
He hit the button to raise the door of the shuttle. It climbed silently into the air. Stepped inside the shuttle drew up his laser from its holder. He looked over his security unit numbering ten including a medic on the deck. They looked him over.
Sargent Bucka smiled confidently, where the combat crew would be stationed to listen to orders and carry them out. He wore a suit of armor that covered his body from neck to toe. There was a clear glass bubble for was helmet, It sat inside the shuttle beside the pilot’s chair. The armor was white in color there was a box containing oxygen on it. The armor fits him as would a scuba suit. He was quick with his hands knew how to fight this was a certainty. He smiled confidently at the crew he was to send out to the other ship.
The squad he was attached to seemed at ease, they were confident with and were supposed to do. Sargent Bucka walked towards the shuttle, with them in tow. He had allowed them to get their weapons and armor. The armor was white, and it encased the crew members, there were markings on their armor. It was bulletproof and bombproof, there was a tank on their back to keep them safe from whatever they may breathe. He smiled at them, said, “I am going to need you to help me. Find out what the ship there needed. It issued an SOS. We received it and are going to check it out.”
When they got inside the shuttle they took their seats, five on one side, and five on the other. The shuttle was spacious They were wary of what they may face. They faced each other on the shuttle. The seats were cushioned, the door to where the pilot sat was enclosed.
Sargent Bucka took his seat as the pilot of the ship. The ship was streamlined, had no weapons. There were gun ports on it. Two chain guns were there to use to protect them. He knew the ship they were original would back them up. So, there was no need for weapons on the shuttle to protect it.
Corporal Stevie Janna the medic was female well built strong-willed and determined to do her job. She was long-legged, heavy built with muscles. she carried the cannon as she called it. It was a bazooka she patted the barrel of it and smiled back. Her hair fell in steep bangs down her back, the amour was form-fitting, it accented all her details worn and was blast-proof. Her lips thin and blue-eyed. Heavy bones and muscles to match.
Private Benny Fells a male was carrying the heavy laser, it is a rifle that fires heavy rounds that we're able to cut through most types of armor. He knew how to use it, and when to, He was a mite smaller than his Sargent. He also carried with him a sword to defend himself. He was long-armed and strong about the chest. gave him a thumbs-up signal to indicate he was alright. His hair was short had a beard and a mustache black hair, built like a bull, Deadly when provoked.
Corporal Joan Derrick was a female carrying a laser rifle. Was petite, her hair cut short, her eyes glistened and were hazel. Had full lips, well endowed were her bust. She looked at him a winked cheerfully. She was the sniper of the unit. She was tall and bull-headed. Redheaded with freckles. Her grin got to everyone.
Private Mark Jackson male carrying a heavy laser he chewed his gum that was always in his mouth. He was never without it there. Short but strong. Black haired and a mustache. He seldom smiled. He was quick-witted. His form was muscular. as he looked at Bucka had not a care in the world.
Corporal Johnny Heartas is a male carrying ammunition of the lasers and the cannon. Big and muscular, strong-willed. He drank a little too much. He had blond hair and a beard. He disliked working for the unit but knew he had to do this. Was massive. These muscles were most pronounced,
Corporal Terence Jonder is a female surgical specialist. Her hands were like a typist, they moved with the greatest of ease. They were long. Her eyes were Grey and were usually closed when she was working on a person. Gave him a thumbs-up.
Private Carrue Killata is a male combat specialist. She carried a crossbow and dagger. She was a brown-haired. Small in size, Delicately framed. Looked at the weapon she was carrying to see it if was missing anything, but all was where it should have been.
Corporal Roxy Mindel female technician for electronics Her eyes were red as blood from an artery. Her hands were thin and her frame petite had a big chest. She enjoyed her work, wondered what was up, and looked him over like he was leftover food from the mess hall.
Private Kilauea faced Bucka and said, “What are we doing?”
“There is a ship there. That has sent out an SOS signal, that we received.” Bucka said as he tapped the screen.
“I have been having nightmares. It involves a book in a room,” Heartas said, he shivered witnessed Bucka tap the screen.
“Not to worry,” Corporal Derrick said as Heartas winked at him.
“Don’t worry,” Private Fells said as he was looking at her.
“Yeah, right,” Corporal Heartas said, nervously looking at Corporal Derrick.
“There is no way, you have to worry about it. You have me,” Private KIlata said as he walked into the armory. With the gentle sway of her hips, she looked things over. Smile appreciatively
“Not another test,” Private Fells said as she drew up the heavy laser and the medical kit. Ran to the door to board the shuttle. Captain gave her the thumbs-up sign.
Bucka had to be careful as he flew the ship to the docking area of the ship that attacked. Watching everything, pieces of machinery, other things on the dock and bodies hanging in the ship’s docking area.
“Fraid not,” Bucka said as he maneuvered the ship to be able to enter the docking system of the other ship waited until he saw the light turn on, but didn't. There was no change in the light. Found was unable to put the ship down on the dock. The hatchway did not close to allow them to dock without atmosphere with support from the ship they entered.
“Be careful, I think the enemy may be aboard the ship,” Bucka warned upon spying the ship It did not look like the Imperium shuttles that should be there. He anticipated it to be the enemy ship. It must they were aboard the ship.
Bucka looked saw no threat there. It should have engaged, but did not. Bucka said, "So we are going to have to engage manually. It was risky. The chains had to be engaged. We are going to have to secure the ship."
That would take time, would be a danger we will be exposed as if we do this. We will be protecting ourselves from the enemy. Sweat ran from Bucka’s brow.
He drew up his rifle and walked out of the ship, watching the area. He had to be cautious to stay alive. His eyes danced from machines to crates floating there.
They had to be cautious of the air. They had enough for four hours, before the tank emptied. we do have enough Oxygen. With ease, Bucka thought.
There was another ship in the dock. It hadn’t come from the Imperium. Was heavily armed. The measures that we can not use, we have to use gaining access.
The shuttle we hadn’t rode on was there, this, worried Bucka. It wasn’t an Imperium ship. It was from the enemy. It must be thier’s.
Seeing bodies drifting about the dock. The bodies were in two types of armor, he knew what the Imperium people wore. It was silver. With red where the seams were. The other armor was black, with a tank on the back. Both of these armors looked like they had taken quite a bit of damage. Tears, scorch marks on the armor, and breaks in the armor were appearant.
The machines on the dock were not manned.
Bucka was concerned the enemy may still be inside the ship that was there. He did not want to be surprised. He emerged from his ship, he had tied himself to it to stay with his crew.
Knew we had to secure our shuttle to the dock.
He decided to swim over to the other ship. There was no handles on the door. There was a touch pad there instead of a knob. There were symbols on it; Did not recognize them. Withdrew some c4 to destroy the doorway keeping inside the enemy and stopping the enemy from getting back inside. It exploded. The door was damaged.
He smiled, that ended that worry.
The docking took 45 minutes. we still had ample oxygen in our tanks. Saw doors to the dock, having been closed. They approached the door. Seeing the armored bodies of the enemy and our own people. Private Fells saw the head inside the helmet of the black armor, it was a wolf’s head instead of a human’s. They had five fingers, two arms, two legs as it floated about.
“There bodies in the black armor have wolf-headed beings. I think they attacked the ship. They have five fingers. It is dead.” Private Fells said.
“Wolf head. Wasn’t there stories about them involved in space travel?” Corporal Derrick said.
“I thought, that was just a story that other space explores said to enhance their stories,” Sarge Bucka said..
“Well, seeing is believing,” Heartas said .
“I thought it was a myth,” Janna said.
“Maybe we can take them by surprise,” Sargent Bucka said. Holding his laser at the ready. He began to punch the code that would open the Imperium doors.
It had to open. It simply had too. The door did not open. He waited a few more moments. He looked at the windows of the Imperium ship that surrounded the dock. Saw no one in the windows looking at the dock.
The door opened. Was there someone laying in wait for our arrival there. Bucka thought. He expected to be fired upon, by these wolf-heeded people. But saw no one there. So, no one laid in wait for our arrival there and was relieved by finding this.
It was quiet, aside from the air being moved by our lungs, the heart still beating and our voices were in our helmets. The quiet made us feel nervous.
The door rose silently. We knew we had to get inside. Now. Can not afford to wait.
They had to close the door or it would become decompressurized. We would be bleeding air from the cruiser. There was were two doors with screw-type handles on them. Began to wind down the screw on the right side. The door. He closed the door after the rest of his crew got inside.
There was another doorway with a touch pad to protect the crew or whoever we were chasing.
Someone touched the button. The light did not go out or flash meaning the Imperium crew sealed it. This could mean,they could be behind it armed and were bloodthirsty fearful of who was coming in on them.
This made Bucka’s hair stand on end. Knew they would be out of range for the communication systems to work on Captain Mual’s ship; he pointed this business end of the laser at the opening said.“We have to breach the door.”
Captain Mual said, “Get inside and find out what went wrong. Get back to us as soon as you can.”
Lieutenant said,”I don’t think, they are in range.” After listening for quite some time. Hearing nothing.
Bucka lifted his hand to tell the squad to move into the ship’s inner workings. He saw the door there, closed. The door was sealed. The ship’s Emergency system was not online, Sealed off the dock, meaning they had no alternative. He tried to move the door, found it could not be moved. He said,”Janna open the door.”
“Okay,” Janna said adjusted the gun to position it before the door. The cannon was pointed there. Would breach the door. This was something, Bucka could rest assured of. She pressed the trigger. A rocket tore out of the gun. The door vanished from view. Where the door was, was a glowing portion of light, and smoke rolled off the slag that the door, now was. The door melted turned into a puddle of metal. Smoke was awash on the door frame.
“Got it?” Bucka asked.
“Yes, It’s gone,” she said and smiled brightly.
“Grab your weapons and haul ass,” Bucka said. As he lifted his fist up, opened it and pointed at the door.
“It will take some time to gain access to the ship, you realize this?” Mindel said looked over the instruments he was carrying. Knowing they would be needed.
“Any information on the ship, that is there. We are about to enter?” Bucka asked.
“It is a class d Dreadnought. Was imperial markings on it. The ship is The Gauntlet listed as crewed by Captain Sonder. There is no record of the ship being here. Perhaps it is doing as we are or maybe it was on a secret mission here,” Jewel said
“Why were there no indicators that it was there, aside from the ship being there,” Bucka asked looked at Mindel watching him check his instruments.
“I don’t know,”Private Jackson said looked over the ship’s passageway.
“Suspicious?” Corporal Heartas asked looked over Mendel's shoulder seeing where Corporal Janna was going as she lowered the ,cannon to survey the area. She lay on her belly peering through the sight of it. Heartas stepped over her.
“Indeed,” Private KIlata said
“Can you see the doorway,” Bucka asked. As he walked with this crew through the entrance way, keeping himself behind the heavy laser and the medic. Bucka felt that the Gauntlet was a dead ship. He had looked at the ship as it sat there. Not moving. Nothing moved. Yet he heard a voice of someone sending an SOS to whoever was with in receiving range. Which our ship was. So, we received it. Looked at the ship as it sat there. The Gauntlet sat there not moving as if it was dead. It is. Its a machine. There was no indication that anyone was alive on it.
The door had melted to the floor. A pool of slag remained there. There were two passageways from that doorway which went right and left.
A red light was flashing, It showed this to them. At least we knew the energy was working on the ship. Life support was working here. That was good. Why had the ship’s docking system been disabled? It did not make any sense to Bucka? Why send out an SOS? If you were not going to accept personal help? Answer the communication that had been sent to you?
Corporal Derrick entered first he looked to his right and left. The floor had a red stain on it. It was still a wet and in a small pool, that was smeared by his boot as it touched down on it. He had to hold on to not be lifted from the floor. He was nervous, why had they sent out a distress signal and refused to allow anyone on board the ship. He saw a bit of odd color that was there. It looked like it was black. Possibly a fabric. His oxygen was still full. So he did not have to worry about that. He was reassured by this advanced further.
His next footfall fell as he began to rise. The next person in line was attached to him by a cable as were the others who were there. The next person looked a might concerned about this happening to him.
The crew with him were wary of what they were doing here. The seals for the door was blown never to work again. This they knew as a certainty.
The silence ate away at our nerves. Our footfalls were those of our marching stride was deafened by the armor.
We looked about in fear, what happened here. Why had we not encountered anyone? Yet.
There was a right and left passageway ahead. There were passages about four feet apart from each other. Corporal Derrick turned to see what was there. Personal lockers and weapons to be drawn were there. This was where they would suit themselves up for a battle or recreation. At the end of these two passages were cylindrical doors sealed.
There was a button on the side of the door to decompressurize the passageway. Corporal Derrick hit the button on the left side. There was a feeling of movement they felt something begin to climb above them, they knew it was air.
They were relieved by this happening. The door opened, We walked inside looking about to see what we faced. Closed the door, to gain access to the rest of the ship without losing any more air that we would need to breathe once our tanks ran dry.
“It feels like a trap. What have you walked us into?” Corporal Derrick said as she leaned against a wall and checked her battery for her laser and glared at Sargent Bucka.
We were standing before a wall that concealed them from view in the entrance way to the dock. Having not drawn any fire there. They saw bodies laying about the docking bay, floating away from it. No gravity here. Machines and crates had floated away from the area.
The enemy ship was covered in weaponry. It enormous. We had no data on the shuttle that was there, or the wolf-headed figures either. What Bucka knew, was that he had heard of them through stories told by the older crews of other ships that he had encountered. There was no data about them anywhere. Just rumors, that they were virtually unstoppable. There was no reasoning with them.
“Who’s there?” we heard. The voice sounded nervous and worried. We did not know where the voice had come from, the only thing we knew was that it was near us on our com link, the Imperium com links were as ours would
“We are from a ship that had answered your SOS.” Bucka said.
“What SOS?” the voice said.
“The SOS, you sent out to receive help.” Bucka said.
“How do I know, You aren’t lieing? Who are you?” the voice said.
“Sargent Bucka of the Imperium, our ship received your SOS. That’s why we are here.” Bucka said. He was wearing his armor still. Hadn’t taken off his helmet, yet. Heard a voice over his com link, he did not recognize the voice. It must be a crew member of the Gauntlet, who he was hearing. The enemy could not have acquired a com link, such as this. He reasoned. He should be nearby this voice.
“I hear a voice,” Bucka said. The others looked at him as he stood there.
We were relieved upon hearing this, so there were more of us human’s alive on the Gauntlet. We were happy, looking about for the source of the voice being unable to find it.
“Who’s there?” this voice said. It sounded more concerned or than worried we were not sure, which.
“Sargent Bucka, Is who is there.” Bucka asked as he looked about trying to see this person.
“Who are you?” the voice said as it quaked and broke into sobs.
“We are from the ship that answered your hail,” Bucka said
“Then you heard it?” it said.
“Yes, we heard it. That’s why we are here? We are here answering your distress call. Does that answer your question.” Bucka said to the voice, he held up his hand to indicate he had heard something, here.
“It does, I will lower my weapon, and will step into the corridor,”. The voice said.
A shot rang out, a piece of the ceiling was torn by the bullet that was fired at the voice. A blossom of white appeared where the bullet went like a rose it appeared.
“Show yourself. Let me see you!” Bucka implored as he moved towards where his crew hadn’t gone. To the right in the entrance way. He saw a shadow on the floor beside a T junction. It looked like a human shadow. Couldn’t be sure, as the wolf-headed beings had the shape of a human aside from its head.
“Friend or foe?” the voice asked.
“Step into the light.” Bucka suggested as he watched the shadow enlarge. He than saw a helmet and combat fatigues of an officer on the person who stepped into view, it looked worried as it did this. Holding an assault rifle, in it’s hands.
The figure looked at the white figure dressed in space armor of the Imperium. He looked relieved upon seeing this. He trembled as he released the rifle from his hands. His skin was white as snow. His eyes were squinting to see who was there. He had the apparel of a captain that he was wearing. He looked relieved upon seeing Bucka standing there walking towards him.
Corporal Janna walked from where she had laid to where she watched Bucka go. Lowered the sight of the cannon and checked to see if the safety was on, Her sensor on the cannon indicated life was where Bucka was headed. Walked towards him, relaxing as she saw him talking with a human. Dressed in the apparel of a Imperium Captain.
“Is there any life here?” Derrick said.
“Yes. There is, Over here.” she said as she waved her arm.
The rest of Bucka’s squad turned to see her walking where Bucka had gone. They followed her.
Bucka stood before a man, holding an assault rifle in his hands. He said,”I am Captain Phillip Sonders.”
“What’s going on here?” Bucka asked. As he offered his empty hand to his hand.
“I don’t know, we have been attacked. I don’t know, why we were?” Captain Sonders said,
“Have you picked up anything, that someone would want?” Bucka asked as he noticed Sonders’ arm was bleeding on the bicep, Sonder took no notice of it happening. The blood loss was not a lot. Sonders eyes were gunmetal gray. He had blonde hair, a mustache. Crooked nose. Thin frame. Eyebrows were high and arched. Brow was wrinkled.
“We picked up a package from a woman on a planet in a tavern,” he said as his hand left Bucka’s.
“What importance is there? In this item,” Bucka asked as he looked over his shoulder.
Another shot was fired at them, They headed for cover.
“I don’t know,” he said. As he ducked down to avoid being in sight of the gun’s muzzle.
A shot rang out. The metal of the wall was scratched. Sonder stepped back to the wall where he was before he was before Bucka heard him.
We drew ourselves towards the wall too. A shot danced off of Janna’s shoulder. She spun about. The armor dimpled, as she toppled to the floor.
Janna peeked into the corridor to find the shooter. She lowered her cannon to her shoulder, said,”Smoke.”
“Put it there,” she pointed in front of her.
A smoke canister rolled out on the floor. Yellow smoke poured out of the canister, it was a thick dense smoke. We knew we could not see through it, without an IR visor. We had that on our helmets so we would be able to see through the smoke. We did not know, why we were being shot at. Maybe the shorter couldn’t see as well. There was no roar of a gun being fired. We were safe. Our confidence rose as the gunfire ended. The enemy did not want to fire blind.
Janna counted off the seconds than knelt behind the smoke screen fired the cannon. It roared there came an explosion where the cannon had been pointed at. All was quiet. Smoke and flames rose from where the missile hit. Fragments of the missile covered the area in debris and fragments of the walls, and floor where the shell hit. Flames rose from the damage as did smoke.
Janna walked calmly and walked towards where the rounds had come from. She was nervous, chewed her lower lip as she moved. Kicked a helmet from the mess on the floor, it rolled slowly to arrive beside an arm in armor separated at the shoulder.
She slowed her pace as she seeing other body parts in armor littering the floor, of various wolf headed people. They were heavily armed, and their armor was good too. There were puddles of bodily fluid all over the walls and the floor and dripping from the ceiling. The scent was nauseating, she fought to keep her stomach down..
“Maybe we frightened them off or killed them off,” Janna said, as she stepped further into the corridor, “Whose shotting at you?”
“They are having wolf-heads on their shoulders.” the captain said as he peered at the figure holding the bazooka.
“Did they say anything?” Bucka asked as he followed after her.
“Yes, Give us the package from Tigers. That you have. We will let you live,” he said, as he joined us in our walk.
“How would they know, you had it?” Janna said as she advanced further. She was thinking about heading for cover.
“I don’t know, but they did,” the captain said as he patted Janna on the shoulder. She turned to face him, she did not need this. She had to be alert.
“What is this package you received.” Janna asked looking at him.
“Yes. I received a package,” The captain said.
“Is this package what you spoke of before hand.” Bucka asked.
“Yes, it is,” the captain said.
“what is this package.” Janna asked as she tried to understand what had been said. It did not fit. The puzzle piece was not the right shape, she decided. She needed more information,
o “I don’t know.” the captain said. As he tried to calm his nerves and ours too. “The Imperium wants this object to arrive at Kalca. For the trial, that they are having there,”
“What trial. I haven’t heard of a trial in Kalca.” Bucka asked, his eyebrows arched. Looking square into the face of the captain. His brow was furred.
“Why haven’t you given them it.” Janna asked, she was eyeing him curiously, her eyes did not shift from his face.
“The Imperium will have my head on a platter. Won’t they?” the captain asked, he burped. His brow ran with sweat, perhaps it was because he was in his armor, but she doubted that. His eyes were squinting. “The package is in a sealed box, We were given the package, by accepting the package from six other men and the woman. The men wore armor, that looked holy.”
“So?” Bucka asked. As he watched him stop beside the bodies of the wolf headed people. He stood there, blood slowly spread and ran beneath his booted feet. He looked down, kicked an arm away from the weapon that lay in its hand. Other portions of the bodies lay here. Quite a number died here.
“The others who were there, seemed frightened by their appearance there. The men in the holy clothes seemed relieved to see us there. In fact one of them said,”Good, you have come here,” and smiled at me. He handed me the box turned and left me standing there in the tavern. The woman said, Make certain it gets to where it has to go? It is of grave importance that it gets there. Do you understand me,” I said, “Yes,” to her. She had patted my hand that held the handle of the box. It weighed quite a bit.” captain Sonder said.
“Do you know who they are or were?” janna asked, she was curious about the box and who gave it to him. She could envision someone giving him the box. “How did the other people in the tavern react as you received the box.”
“They did not say, I didn’t ask. I knew better than that.” Sonder shivered as he recalled it. His hand trembled as he held the rifle in his hands. “I knew I could not refuse them or her either. I had to do as they asked me,”
“What did the box look like?” Bucka said.
“They handed me, the box. They turned and left me. Standing there holding the box it was sixteen inches, by 11 inches, depth was 12 inches. With various religious markings on it,” Captain Sonders said his voice came in gasps per word.
“There may be someone or thing behind these doors,” Corporal Jonder said as she drew herself further into the corner drew her bags with her, motioned for the others to join her there. The area around them right now, seemed dead of life.
“Than we have to get there. Don’t we?” Bucka said as he looked at the doorway
Corporal Janna laid down in the middle of the corridor and fired the cannon at the door, she felt exposed being there. However, she knew she had to do it. As soon as she did this. Corporal Heartas walked over and spun the wheel on the cylindrical door.
` As they sealed the other door Private Fells did this. A shot came her way. She was afraid of this. It was not to kill her, but a warning shot. Glanced off her shoulder. The rocket tore down the corridor. Heard the accompanying explosion from it. It was way behind her.
“It does, I will lower my weapons, step into the corridor,”. The voice said.
“Have your sensors picked up any life forms?” Corporal Jonder asked as she peered out from behind the wall.
“Yes, there is life on this ship. If I am to judge what I have received on my instruments. There is life aboard the ship.” Janna said after she lifted her head from where she looked.
Corporal Janna saw a man stepping out from behind the debris that was there. He had in his hands an assault rifle, on his back was tank oxygen she figured. His helmet was off. He had hair to his shoulders. It hung in braids. He looked tall, muscular if she was to judge him, by what she saw of his armor. Her body was encased in armor as well.
Private Falls got to her feet walked casually towards him. She was still in her spacesuit, began to remove her helmet. It felt good to breathe air that wasn’t in a tank. and said, “Friends?”
The figure was lowing his rifle to point at the ground. He wiped his mouth with his sleeve and said, “Hi. I am Major Maleta. The ship has been under attack for quite some time now. We have been fighting as soon as they appeared here. I don’t know how long we have been fighting seems like days.”
“We noticed the damage. What happened?” Corporal Janna asked as she disengaged the firing mechanism. Smoke still poured from its muzzle to point at the ceiling. Walked towards him extending a hand for him to shake
“I rightly do not know how to explain it to you, I can not make heads nor tails about it my self,” Major Maleta said as he put his rifle back on his shoulder by its strap.
“Can you tell us anything else,” the sarge Bucka said as he stepped out of his hiding place.
Major Maleta motioned for them to come forward. He smiled easily.
Private Fells walked towards him, the muzzle of his heavy laser pointed at the ceiling, he seemed relieved upon seeing him there as did the rest of them. The force advanced towards him, he drew back. He stepped to the right so as that he could allow them some shelter he was clearly frightened his hand hoovered about the stock of his rifle, he looked quickly over his shoulders to see, what is there? He asked, “Did you see them?”
“See who?” Corporal Janna said.
The area looked dimly light the area were quite always away from them. He almost suspected he would see an animal appear there. The floor littered with blood and bodily tissue. He spat. Looking cautiously about to see if they were safe from the enemy who fired upon them. He saw no one, but us. He was reassured by this.
“The enemy who attacked us. They tried to get the item, we have aboard, It is something, we have to keep safe.” Sonders’ said brought the butt to his shoulder covering the area.
“Where is the item, you are talking about?” Private Jona said, carrying the other heavy laser worried. She wiped her hands off. Where they presently were was where crates and boxes were. Some of the boxes were open. Her blonde hair was done up in a page boy fashion. She was strong..
“Cargo bay,. Good to see you. Major.” Sonder said, and saluted him. “It has something about it that made me nervous. I seemed ill at ease when the item was received by us. The person delivered it to us seemed relieved about giving it to us.”
“Where was this box going?” Heartas asked. As he quickly turned about trying to see if there was anything to be further worried about here. He held the ammo box in his two hands. It was a heavy lift even for him.
“Eighteen sectors away from here, It is for a trial, that is happening there,” Major Maleta said.
Smiling easily at them. Returned the salute.
“What trial?” Bucka asked/ “where eighteen sectors away from here, which direction?”
“Someone is accused of being a witch by practicing witchcraft. The box is evidence of the witch doing this,” major Metate said with a grimace.
Corporal Jonder could not shake the feeling he was worried, his eyes darted about the area, the rifle held at his side when not in use. His hands clutching the rifle as though his life depended upon it being held there. He spat out some saliva after he removed his helmet from his head.
Corporal Jonder was holding his arm where the blood came from. The blood was trickling from the wound. She opened her kit drew out some gauze to fill the wound, Stiched his bicep up and put on a bandage to close the wound. Gave him a shot to kill the pain
Captain Sonder released his hands from the rifle He turned and lead them. He seemed nervous and said, “Follow me. We have to be careful, I don’t know if the enemy has left the ship. Mind you from what I have heard over my com link from my crew they are still here.”
“What can you tell us about them?” Sargent Bucka asked as he wiped his brow.
They made a turn walked quite a ways inside the ship to arrive at a door, it looked like it was the bridge. He eased open the door. The door was closed. It was to led us onto the bridge. There was blood and body parts all over the place.
“They took the bridge,” Captain Sonder said.
We were before an entrance way, we suspected it was to the command bridge. There were huge circles or almost circles that were scrotch marks and dents in the door. There lay bodies of Imperium soldiers. Some sporting bullet holes others damage from missiles that were fired at them. The bodies were near the doorway. Scotch marks and pieces of shrapnel littered the hallway. Also the dead wolf- headed people here as well.
Upon entering the command bridge, we smelled decaying flesh, burnt flesh. Saw bodies of the Imperium troops and officers at their stations, The enemy’s bodies lay here as well. Both sides took quite a bit of damage from the attack on them. The Imperium soldiers were wielding rifles and laser weapons, also swords and daggers. The enemy were using missile launchers, and other weapons that could kill with a great deal of efficiency. They also had medieval weapons on them, The control panels were destroyed. Weapon systems were down. We knew this. We had not seen this, we would not believe it.
The gunnery officer sat there at the controls of them. His head lay on the floor, blood spilled from his neck to run to the floor where he sat. A crossbow bolt lay in his chest. The armor he wore had shattered from the force of the crossbow. Portions of it hung from his chest and armpits. The lower adbonimal section was intact. His hand still held an automatic pistol and there hung a war hammer from his belt.
The communication officer held an ear piece in his ear, his brain littered the wall before him. His mouth hung open. There were the wolf-headed beings here with their bodies seeming to be a far cry more intact than the Imperium soldiers own. Their weapons were ancient, or were heavy weaponry. Laser weapons, grenade launchers, and heavy rifles. Their armor looked like fabric those who were outside of the space armor.
There were bodies strewn about in the chairs where the crew would be sitting. There were a few soldiers who were there also. The soldiers were dressed in combat armor a lot better than the group we were. Dead. The wolf-headed force here wore fatigues. Those outside of the space suits, that is. It looked as though the crew of the ship were over run by them.
It was spacious and filled with controls that would aid a ship in doing whatever they were doing. There was a screen showing, where the ship had been harmed. Where there was no more atmosphere. Huge sections look like they had been taken out, by whoever attacked the ship. That explained why the sensors weren’t working. If dressed in armor having oxygen tanks to breath with, then there would be no signatures.
“Is the radio still working,” Corporal Mindel asked, as she headed over there to take the seat of the figure in it.
“I don’t know for sure,” Captain Sonder said to her, as he watched her lower the body to the floor.
Corporal Mindel put on the headset to start working. Said,” This is Bucka’s squad. Can you hear me,”
Inside their own ship, Lance corporal Jewels had been trying to communicate with them ever since they walked inside the craft. She was relieved by hearing the voice of Corporal Mindel. She said,” Yes, we can hear you. Is anything wrong? Or have you made it to the bridge? And that is why you are communicating with us?”
“The ship was and is under attack by an enemy laying siege to it. Their forces are aboard the ship. They took the bridge, which is why we were unable to speak to the person who sent the SOS to us?”
“Do you need more soldiers there to protect the ship and yourselves?”
“Sounds good to me. Should I put Sarge on the radio,” Mindel said.
“Yes. He can give us the data we need to protect the ship and yourselves.”
“Bucka, she wants to talk to you,”
“Than give me the com link,” Bucka said. He took the com link, listened and began to speak to Jewel.
“She’ll send us more troops.” Bucka said afterwards.
“Thank you,” Mindel said as she received the com link from him
“We’ll send some of our unit to meet them on the dock,” Bucka told her.
Sarge walked over to the body nudged it with his foot. The weapon fell from its hands, it looked unlike anything he had ever saw. A long muzzle with a large backpack and hose. “What is that?”
“A flame throwing weapon,” captain Sonder said. And shuddered closed his eyes tears ran from his eyes his face grimaced as he said this. His skin grew white, he spat out some saliva, it trickled down his chin to fall upon his chest.
“Do you know, why they are here,” Bucka asked.
“I don’t know, but they knew we were here. With the package that we received from a woman in a tavern,” Sonder said.
“How?” Bucka asked as he peered at the captain, he was wondering what he should do to calm him.
“I do not know. They told us to give them the package and we would be safe,” Captain Sonder said. As he peered into the sergeant's eyes, his eyes shifted nervously about, cleared his throat, rubbed his hands together.
“Why would they want the package?” Bucka asked as he looked about the bridge. He could envision seeing the deaths of the crew who were here. It still smelled of burnt flesh, rotting flesh, smoke damage and cordite.
“We don’t know,” the captain said. His voice was breaking as he said this upset. Spit.
“What were they after?” the sarge said.
“I suspect it was something that we acquired at the last place we arrived at.” the captain supplied. Looking away from the bodies here, small beads of sweat appeared on his brow. His skin grew pale.
“Can you show us what we have been sent here to help you with,” Corporal Mindel asked.
“Yes, I suppose I should. But there is a possibility that some of them are still here,” captain Sonder said.
Major Metate lead them down another passageway. It looked to be where the cargo would out on the ship, he drew up his rifle advanced cautiously. He didn’t make so much as a sound as he did this.
We could hear the sounds of a combat further down the passageway. We saw lights from the explosions have going off here. The walls marred with scorch marks, and pieces of explosives lay on the floor. Nearby the sounds was a corporal leaning against a wall. He lit a cigarette with his lighter his hand holding the lighter trembled. He was looking at where the explosions were coming from. His rifle’s butt was on the floor, the barrel lay against the wall. The explosions hid the sounds we made as we approached him.
We stayed behind captain Sonder, with our weapons held at the ready. This place looked dark, there were no lights were on there. They hearing sounds of weapons being fired and explosions of explosives being detonated. Saw explosives lit up the area.
We presumed that the enemy was who he was hiding from were firing at him. The corporal pulled something from his bandoleer of grenades to throw at the enemy. He lobbed it down the passageway.
We were almost on top of him. It appeared he did not realize we were there. His concentration was on the enemy who were firing at him. The only thing he desired was for him to clear the area of them.
Sargent Bucka tapped him on his shoulder. He whirled about, knocking Bucka on his ass with his right arm. His eyes found Sonder in his vision, he was upset. The corporal said, “I thought, I had driven them back, but they returned here, again. They would not stop the assault on this area. Their forces have grown larger in number here.”
“Captain, why are they here?” the corporal asked as he realized who he was. His mouth hung agape, he looked relieved by seeing the others.
“They know about the package, They know why it is here. They came to stop us from delivering it to the trial,” Captain Sonder said.
“What do you mean, they know about the package,” Corporal said. He peered into the hallway and saw the smoke rise and pour into the area. Flames rose, crawled across the floor, and the floor was glowing red hot. He smiled,”That’ll stop them from getting any further in there.”
A shell hit the floor, near where we were. The explosion threw us into the air to collide with the walls. The air was driven from our lungs, tears ran from our eyes. The figures who had been effected by the gas, were tearing at our throats to allow us to breath. Our lungs were starved of air. We could not breath.
The corporal said,” Run.”
We were rocked and thrown to our knees, smoke pillowed out to encompass the area. It was a black smoke. A few of us fell to our knees, gasping, clawing at our throats as the smoke came closer to us. There was an oily scent to the air.
Bucka grabbed the back of one of his troop, dragged the soldier out of there. The others did this, to be safe from the attack that had fallen upon us. We were unable to see anything.
We did not know as to what happening. We were afraid. Rounds filled the area, we were afraid of this. They were firing blindly towards us. We were unable to move towards the area where they were. Slowly the smoke dissipated, we thought they had taken the package.
When it vanished we saw them inside the room. They had eight enemy soldiers there in the cargo hold, they were firing suppressive fire on us. They continued on doing this. The box lay on the floor, it was open. The enemy were about to reach in and draw up what ever was in the box.
We saw them slowly lift the object up from where they had reached into. The object was the size of a hard covered book. In the shadows we saw a couple of humans in there with them. The humans were pressed to the wall of the cargo bay. The enemy were holding them hostage.
We saw guns pointed at them.
The corporal crawled across the floor, flames rose and climbed to the ceiling touching the with its black soot, two of them burst into flames. Their blazing mass as they moved about towards the furthest wall. They danced about flames leap from them to consume whatever it touched down upon.
The corporal hid behind the flames, and smoke that were there. He pointed the barrel of his rifle into the area, pressed down on his trigger. Watched as the bullet took out one of the enemy pointing towards where he was. The being he shot was driven head first into the wall, it turned into a mass of pulp.
The enemy turned to face their person hit with the bullet. Their interest lay in his demise. In the confusion, the corporal cracked off a few more shots at them. Taking three more of them with his bullets.
We took them out. The two humans were slain by them.
We advanced towards the bay, where their bodies lay. The book now lay on the floor, outside of the box. Our intention was to go and get the book and put it back in the box. We moved quickly towards the book. We felt that we had better do this now. There was a great deal of urgency that we moved there.
There appeared a mark on the floor of the cargo bay, where the dead wolf like beings lay.
Private Kilata and Corporal Heartas entered the cargo bay ahead of the rest of us. The two of them were unable to see anything only opaque darkness. They stopped moving forward. They looked about, feeling a chill crawl up their backs. Slowly the darkness began to dissipate, they could see a figure sitting cross legged there rested a small figure in its lap. Slowly the image grew tangible., for them to see it more clearly.
They felt the cold in their bones, they could not shake this cold. The two us who made it there, turned around to see nothing, They looked down and saw mist flowing off of their hands, watched their skin where the wrinkles were in their skin lines of white were upon them. Their skin felt as though they were burning their nails were black from the chill. The walls of the bay were covered in hoar frost.
They heard a child’s voice. It said,”You are here?” Childish laughter filled the air.
The two of them looked at where the voice had come from. It was where the book was. They saw an older lady seated there, with a babe in her lap. Her eyes were gray, her skin was littered in wrinkles like a hieroglyphic map. Would be drawn. She was thin as a rail. Her body skin and bones, they could see the very bones in her flesh. Her nose was long and thin. Hair was thin as a spider’s web is thick. Her nails were as large as daggers. She said,”You have come to play. Haven’t you?”
The woman frightened both of them. In her hands she held a staff, it appeared to have at its top a ball in the hand of the staff. Its wrist was attached to the forearm and a bicep. She smiled, they saw black and broken teeth in her gaping maw. She laughed at them.
“Let’s play.” she said.
The chamber was plunged into a black pit. We were unable to see within the area. The darkness was pitch black. The air felt chilly. We could see our breath in the air. There was a chill in the air. On the floor was a patch of white on the floor, it was like hoar frost. The walls before the chamber were also coated in hoar frost.
We shivered as we stood there, when we tried to walk into the cargo area. We found we could not touch or reach it. We could not see anything in the bay. The room was locked in darkness, We could not move. We were unable to get there.
The other members of the squad that were outside of the room tried to walk into the room, They found that they could not move a solitary muscle towards the room. They were frozen in place. Although they only saw darkness. However, it was as if there was a wall there instead of an entrance to the room. In the darkness they saw a two shadowy forms that looked like dogs. Their eyes glowed with an unholy fire, When their maws opened they saw huge sword like fangs, fires and smoke rose out of the maw of these animals, They saw animals whose their shoulders were four-foot height. The dogs looked like dire wolves. The wolves charged at us who were unable to enter the room.
There were no more dogs or wolves that were there. We were certain of it. We refused to believe it, but the wolf drove three of us tight to the floor like a thousand-pound weight. Its paws held us tight to the floor, one paw drove us into the floor. Its muzzle was on at his throat, its fangs sinking beneath his flesh. He knew it was not true. Yet he felt them there on his neck, Pain rolled and consumed him.
Corporal Heartas lay on the floor, the dog's fangs began to close in on his arms. The fangs were running with fluid, whose fangs were foot long. Heartas reached out and grabbed the dog’s muzzle. Its eyes glowed a fiery red color. It cut through the darkness as a hot knife would cut through butter with that much ease. The fangs tore a gaping hole in the armor at the wrist of the hand holding it there.
Private Kilate felt a chill as the fluid touched his arm, and the fangs sink beneath the armor. He felt blood began to flow from the wound. Released its muzzle drew up his weapon. It took him a long time to do this. It was what appeared to be hours if not days. Afraid of what it had done to him. He screamed, “NO!”
The gun went off.
The room was suddenly immersed in white light. They could now see, but they saw what they did not want to see the wolves were there.
Jonder held himself upright with the maw of the dire wolf on his throat, Corporal Jonder had brought his gloved hand to hold the dog’s muzzle away from his neck.
Private Kilate was also visible the dire sized dog had his throat in its maw. Unable to move now the dog had him. Feeling the fangs sink into his flesh The armor did not stop them from doing this to him. It sank beneath the armor effortlessly. Blood rose from the holes in his armor.
Slowly an eternity the dogs vanished. Their fangs turned to mist. The damage it did was real, blood ran from where it touched down on him. The dents in the armor were real too. It was visible for all to see.
The wall of darkness faded to nothingness. The others there saw nothing, just the two of them laying on the ground arms moving as though it a fight. But there was no one there to fight.
“What the hell happened?”Private Jackson questioned trembling.
“I don’t know,” the corporal said as he looked at his gloved hands, not wanting to look into Sonder’s face or the other people who were here. His voice broke into sobs between the words he spoke, “When I got here, the two of our troops were there in the bay. They were yelling, and screaming, but I could not make out a word they said. The only thing I recognized was they said, it must be the book. That caused this!”
“What the hell is going on here,” Bucka asked as he watched the soldier break down into sobs.
“I suppose, I should have warned you.” the corporal said.
“You suppose?” the Sargent said. “What did you think, I would do. If I knew this to be fact, Send someone in without any precautionary things to be done.”
“I think, The book is possessed. That’s why the Imperium needs it for the trial.” the corporal said, he was sweating, his skin was pale. Shivering as he stood there. It wasn’t cold, it must be fear that is causing this.
“The book is possessed! You say that, now,” captain Sonder said as he closed his fist brought it up so, the corporal saw it..
“I did indeed say, that,” the corporal said as the corporal backed up to be out of the reach of the Captain’s gloves. .
Corporal Janna chooses to run inside the chamber and drag out the two they lay on the floor, clawing at their faces. He saw the book lay on the floor. Its bindings were opened and the pages lay exposed to the light. Something crawled across his back and his shoulders.
He felt a chill crawl up his spine, he heard heavy breathing, There was no one there to do this, under his arm lay one of the two brought out of the chamber. Saw he was not in the hallway. Somewhere else. Saw an open cage. There hung a key from his hand.
The bars were bloodied and had flesh dangling from the cage. He looked about and saw beneath the cage which hung above the ground blood and decrement. There stood a woman holding a bowl of what he took to be eyes. She drew her nailed hand into the bowl drew one out. Blood and a tendril hung from it, She smiled at him, popped the eye into her maw. Her skin was scaled, her face was that of a human’s as it had a nose, mouth, and eyes also hair that grew upon her head. It was black as night. Her eyes were elliptical in shape. The pupil filled the interior of the eye. She said, “ Yes, I thank you for coming here!”
“No. I did not come here!” Heartas exclaimed. He reached for his weapon a pistol. His hand slipped right through it. Was an image of one instead of being one, He tumbled to the ground.
The rest of the squad whirled about to see him. He fell to his knees. He pleaded, “NO. Release me!”
“What’s wrong with him.” Private Derrick asked as he watched Corporal Heartas knocking his revolver out of its holster to arrive on the floor. Derrick jumped on him before he could do anything else.
“I don’t know,” The captain said. He looked worried about what he was seeing happening here at the moment. He did not have anyone of his ship do this. What's happening to him. There has to be a reason that this is happening here. What’s the explanation for this; there has to be an explanation.
Private Derrick fought with Corporal Heartas to try and make Heartas realize where he was and what he was doing there. Heartas struggled and fought as though his life depended upon his eluding his capture. He saw the woman trying to capture him. She held him. Heartas fought till he was exhausted. Derrick relieved when he stopped.
The other two who had emerged from the chamber. They seemed very afraid of what they saw there. They were bleeding from bites by the animals that vanished from view. The animals that were not there. Yet they had evidence of the bites on their flesh and their armor.
The cause of this was a book! How could a book do this? No one read any of this book. Yet they saw a baby and an old woman holding the aforementioned book. When they came there. The Sargent thought as he looked at the captain who lead us here.
The captain looked relieved of them finding this out. There was a reason to know this, did that come one wanted the book. They willing to kill for it. Whatever this was? it was important; to find it.
Sargent went back to the radio to confirm what they had found there. He was afraid of what this book had meant to someone else. They tried to kill to gain access to it. He was afraid of what they had found there. The captain seemed to be so casual about its being there. So, calm as if nothing phased him.
He said,” Jewel can you hand your com link to Captain Mual?”
“Captain Mual here,”Captain Mual said as Jewel handed him her link, she looked upset.
“We have found what they are carrying to be what the other ship wanted to acquire?” Sargent Bucka said his voice cracked and it came in hard gasps. Captain Mual believed in demons and ghosts. That was thanks to their going through warp when the demons could attack the ship. He also believed heavily in god. He would no doubt ask God to protect the ship. Realized this, what would he say if he would not tell him. Nothing.
Captain Sonder as his skin turned pale, refused to look at Bucka. His hands tembled, and did not say anything and so he said,” What is it? That was responsible for the destruction of their ship?”
Sargent said, “A goddamn book. Is what?”
Captain Mual looked at Jewel who had handed him her com link. So he could communicate with the squad that was there and he asked,” What is it you said. A book. What book is that important to gain?”
“Captain Sonder, this book is possessed. We have experienced that ourselves, two of my soldiers were attacked by something. That bite them. It drew blood and punctured their armor. So, we know it is real, but we did not see anyone there that could do this. And another soldier has come down with a hallucination of a woman eating eyes. Her skin was scaled.” Sargent said.
“None of this makes any sense?”Captain Mual said as he looked at the Gauntlet. Bits of Gauntlet still fell away, and littered the area. He knew of no one who would dare to attack an Imperium ship. Who was without any sanity would do this. The Imperium would not hear of it. They would act.
“You're telling me, I saw it and know it happened here,” the Sargent said he wiped his brow with his sleeve and tried to reassure himself. The armor felt cold as Ice as it touched down, it woke him from his thoughts.