Beginning of the end Chapter 13

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A random laser shot missed Rosco’s head ‘fecker’ he cursed while firing back, two more men down with a stun net. Father had split the teams up taking me and Rosco with a few men towards the bridge. The Corporal took the rest down to the engineering section if they shut down the main power reactor, they would have no way of escape. Father led from the front staying ahead of our reduced squad. While the arrangements were being made, I used Kensei to pull the guys wrapped in the stun net into a small corner, out of any line of fire.

Rosco seemed to be amazed ‘how are you doing that so easily Devin’ what Rosco didn’t know it took a lot of effort to move them with your mind

‘Not easy at all am afraid ’ I said, straining, a massive clang got our attention, a turret flew past being ripped from the wall father using Kensei abilities. Approaching a shield wall, he plunged Daraka into the field channeling his energy through the blade making it dissipate, instantly after the shield dropped a torrent of gunfire came from down the corridor ranging from ballistics to energy-based weapons.
Father shrugged them off easily. Everyone else, however, wasn’t so invulnerable and huddle down behind whatever makeshift barriers or doorways for safety.

‘Confirm that’ Rosco shouted into his earpiece there was a delay ‘sir the other team has got to the engineering section they are being held up, the pirate crew is dug in deep’ Rosco relaying the information to father. After swiping at another one of the mobile turrets unlucky enough to be near his sword, I started to see more moving along rails on the wall there was no end of them, trying to help. I let loose, a wave of energy down the corridor, knocking out the turrets and rails on the top and right side of the corridor. This had the required effect of removing the obstacles breathing heavily I lowered my palms.

Rosco looked at the damage in amazement. Father sensing the danger had sidestepped at the last second evading it with ease ‘well done my boy, maybe you can leave the rest of the floors next time’ father patted me on the back it made me stumbled a little.
Looking at my handy work I could see that I gouged through three decks ‘Rosco tell the engineering team to sit tight I’ll be there in a moment, everyone here hold fast until we return, this level looks secure now and the only way out is through us’ everyone relaxed a little knowing they didn’t have to push forward yet ‘well-done son protect these men I leave them in your care’ and in a flash he disappeared.

*****

‘We lost control of the lower and upper deck defenses’ Garv reported damn it another stump in the road ‘Stram you at the airlock’ I said, hoping he was on the job and not running away, there was a lull in the communication hopefully no one noticed them getting out on the hull, we need to escape the Warfire grasp soon and then when in deep space we can flush out the rest of the empire’s troops into space. Praetorians also, they are strong, but the void of space kills all ‘Stram here bossz making wayz to the airlock’ Stram said giving us all good news.

‘Keep your eyes peeled don’t let them pick up on your signal, blow the airlock and move quickly inside we will bust out of here the moment the explosives go off,’ this plan should work I assume he will use the acid bombs to cut through the clamps releasing us from the Warfire grasp.

‘Rogerz’ Stram replied.
‘Engineering team report’ I called them quickly I didn’t need to receive more bad news right now they were our only hope of escape.

‘Were holding out, for now, Gunther shield still up and the heavy pulse cannon we set up is keeping anything getting close,’ the gun fired again creating a racket.
‘Good, keep me appraised of any changes’ I checked the time in my head Stram should be at the airlock setting the charges at least the engine room is secure.
Stram indicated that the charges were set by a double click through my personal comm’s, Stram must be removing himself and the team from the area before he sets them off,
I sat behind the pilot controls waiting for the imminent explosion I recharged the sublight engines to start at full power, I would need to override the safeties to do that and it was not exactly good for your engine you tend to rip the ship apart, but seeing this is a last-ditch attempt to get away from the empire I thought it was a logical risk.

‘Ready yourself gentleman this will not be easy, don’t forget to re-modulate the shields to keep that tractor beam of our backs and plot a course for hyperspace’ that’s all the prep done, I finally heard a muffled explosion vibrate across the ship’s outer hull, I activated the engines the jolt began to pull us away, at first I thought the clamps still held then with a crunch we cleared the Marauder from the Warfire by a few kilometers I felt the tugging and the pull of the tractor beam but rotating the frequency of our shields stopped them from getting a decent lock.

The ship gained speed ‘yahoo’ I said and others on the bridge started to celebrate. The engines at max pulling us away and out of Rolshar gravity well ‘how long until hyperspace’ I said eagerly I could see for myself but didn’t want to lose focus.
‘One minute until we get out of the planet’s gravity well’ Garv answered, sounding relieved, then the lights flickered turning back on in emergency red the whole ship died the engines gone. We became a rock hurled into space until we felt the inevitable tug of the Warfire tractor beam, slowly bringing us back into the jaws of the Empire I started to get up from the seat, deciding to head for the escape pods, with a crash, Stram flew through the door, damn it Talesse why couldn’t you just have quit.

*****

Father broke the back of the defenders in engineering allowing the second squad to deactivate the primary drive engines preventing their escape. Regrouping, we headed towards the bridge meeting little resistance, with the power gone the automated defense ceased, and for those that still lived didn’t hold us up long. The imperial troops kept a watchful eye as we moved deck by deck father staying up front while I was in the middle of our group.

Upon reaching our goal everything seemed to calm down the soldiers became less tense that no more surprises awaited us around every corner.

Moving up to a cross-section before the bridge doors we slowed down to check the area it appeared to be clear. Just as the main bulk of our team made it halfway past the middle all hell broke loose weapons fire came from all sides.
The enemy planned a last-ditch effort hiding behind panels along the walls concealed from sight and sensors. Father reacted quickly stopping the majority of weapons fire by forming a shield around the men. I saw him go down with a shot to the leg. Father lost his concentration the shield protecting us disappeared, I tried rushing to father, but a lizard man dropped from the roof scattering the team. The lizard was fast and strong he backhanded a trooper into a wall, knocking him out immediately; he moved swiftly onto his next target driving his claw into another the man screamed; I saw father recover, but before the tide could turn; I was face to face with the eyes of our adversary and his claw around my neck.

Raising me off my feet while choking me, the expression in his eyes sent a chill down my spine ‘surrenderz’ the monster said the enemy moved in surrounding our team.

Looking at the two parties we were even on numbers barring the near choking grip on me everything seemed to stand still. Father stepped forward with a furious look, the grip tightened more. ‘Surrenderz or he dies’ to indicate the point he raised me further trying to intimidate us all. No one moved, frozen in place, but ready, I didn’t want to die here with the air slowly being choked out of me.

With very little Dengen left and I felt myself losing consciousness my vision becoming blurred and we will all about to die because of me. ‘No’ I said weakly, channeling what was left to my legs, concentrating Dengen into my tendons. I kicked out for all my worth my boot connected with the giant lizard smashing him through the bridge door with a satisfying crunch.

The imperials didn’t take long in reacting due to the distraction, some exchanged fire, half the pirates stunned seeing their comrade being knocked away so easily, most just raised their hands in surrender before anyone else got hurt.
Rosco and the team arrested the pirates making sure no one had concealed weaponry ‘are you, all right son, he had you by the neck tight’ Father checked for marks.

‘Am fine, I shielded my neck from his choking, he was fast but not faster than a gravball on full tilt’ I said, feeling around my neck myself, that was close if the lizard man had been a fraction faster, I might not have had the ability to defend myself and things would turn for the worst.

‘After what you have done now I don’t think there will be any resistance’ he chuckled, pointing to the lizard man against the wall his hand raised with a terrified expression,

****
‘The boyz dangerous the boyz dangerous’ we both stepped through the broken doorway, looking at the bridge crew, two of them caught my attention immediately one in the captain’s chair and another working on some kind of equipment.
Father was being cautious now keeping a shield around us both, he wanted no more surprises, none came. The man in the captain’s chair was rubbing his eyes ‘welcome to the bridge of the Marauder my name is Captain Talesse how may I help you’ he moved towards his father holding his hand out, taking it carefully father shook hands.

‘Am Henrik, Praetorian for the empire and apart of the Warfire crew,’ the lizard still frightened in the corner pointed at me.
‘And who is the gentleman next to you I believe he put the fear in Stram over there which is not usually possible,’ Talesse now looking at me curiously, I introduced myself reaching my hand out.
‘Devin not a praetorian yet, working on it’ Talesse smiled with a brief handshake. Pirates came to drag Stram out of the way there was no protest from the gibbering lizard, no one made a single move for their weapons, this showed faith in their leader.

‘You’re all under arrest by the laws of the empire for privateering any evidence given freely will help towards your tribunal in the months to come, any questions’, my father stood waiting for a response.

‘Is it possible you could be mistaken’ Talesse asked, Rosco led another team into the room to make the arrest, putting the cuffs on them ‘guess not’ his head slumped in defeat.

After a few welcome pats on the back as we returned to the Warfire the squad was in high spirits. Colonel Bracken joined us in the mini celebration. While Bracken talked about his team taking some losses securing the other ship. Father and I made our way from the flight deck feeling like a hero,

The wounded were all being transferred back and taken care of by the medical doctor. The soldier I thought dead on the ground still lived, this made me glad that someone didn’t die needlessly.
Stepping into the quarters they assigned us inside mother looked unhappy with us, she gave me a hug, running her hands over me checking if I had any wounds, then withdrew to my father, escorting him out of the room, that didn’t look good for father.

The door locked behind them ‘mother is furious at you both, mainly father, I guess she got scared, you might get killed,’ Varak said coming out of the bedroom.
‘What about you, what did you think would have happened,’ I asked?
Varak just laughed ‘I knew you would survive I overheard you kicked a Lizardman across the bridge’ he sounded excited, I saw he wanted to learn more about my tour through a dangerous pirate ship.

We sat down chatting to each other about the battle and what I did, how father took down engineering, Rosco, my new Sgt friend rallying the troops together in the conflict ‘I got lucky though if it wasn’t for my training book in stasis energy, I’ll be on one of those med beds right now or worse’ after chatting for a while, I became a little worn out and hoped for a little rest away from anything crazy.

Varak still tried to probe more into the subject relishing the story, also I could tell he was a little envious of the fact, I had gone and he hadn’t but before anything be said.

The door to the room swung open revealing our parents, father looking a little sorry and suitably chastened. He smiled making me assume he defended his honor the best he could. I guess mother heard about the lizard with his grip around my neck gave her all the ammunition she needed; It was a small reminder that I came close to death and I was still a young boy.

‘All right boys now that I have been chastised by the lady of the house and because we turned the attack down on Rolshar with ease, we will land shortly for a bit of holiday,’ father said, brother and I both smiled.

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About the author.
Albert is an ex-royal air force photographer. He is passionate about novel writing and creative arts, his work can be seen on Amazon and Opensea. Albert enjoys gaming with his son and records them to replay on YouTube.

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About the author. Albert is an ex-royal air force photographer. He is passionate about novel writing, creative arts and news www.yomina.com

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