The Siren, Part 6
Since when did the GeePees use stun weapons? Krats awoke in a haze still on his bridge. The blurry image of a GeePee medic came into vision. “What the fu…” Krats mumbled, realized he was bound to a deck-station chair. He shook his head to clear the haze. He was still on the Solid-Star.
“Oh Krats, you are awake. Welcome back to the land of the living.” Jaeger said as he approached the elevated command platform in the middle of the room. “Nice place you got here, too bad we are going to have to confiscate it. I am Commander Jaeger Kalatron and you, sir, are under arrest.”
Why does that name seem familiar, thought Krats. “Do we know each other?”
Jaeger seemed to ignore that. “Your station is impressive. And so are your others. Don’t worry, we had those covered too.”
Damn! I can only hope the delegates got out, thought Krats. “Why am I still here? Shouldn’t I be in one of your cap ship’s brigs or something?”
“All in due time, my dear captain.” The commander smiled. He’s gloating. He wanted to see me defeated. “I feel somewhat responsible for you and I wanted to feel closure for a mistake I made so many years ago.” The fuck-up MP that arrested me in the war! That’s him. He’s the guy! It’s a small universe.
“And you have been hunting me ever since? Dude, you need to let go, sometimes.” Krats was unprepared for the violent hit from behind, by a GeePee guard. The haze returned to the room as he almost fell unconscious.
“Glad you finally remember, Krats. I can’t say it’s good to see you again, I am sorry to say, but I think …” the commander was interrupted by his comlink.
“Commander, we have something down in D-Level. Bodies, blood everywhere, signs of weapons fire… and it looks like they had something sealed up down here…”
Captain Dralant Billidger stood in the deck of his flagship, the ITS Harrington, just outside the last planet’s orbit in the system. In their haste to nab all the pirates they could, they chose not to outfit the capital ships with the descrambling technology and simply allowed them to fire long range weapons from the far orbit. Firing missiles at a fraction of light speed still took a while to reach the asteroids but they it did distract their point defense enough to save a percentage of fighters.
Commander Kalatron voice could be heard over the long-range comms, considerably distorted but vaguely understandable. I hate this system.
“… got something …. down here …. investigate but it looks… like something… broke through the core…” the commander cut out completely. Dammit!
A shadowy figure in robes loomed behind Billidger. In a raspy and heavily accented alien voice it said “Captain, you know what you need to do. The Guardians have awakened. Abandon your team now and leave this system …”
“Dammit! I won’t leave my men to die!” Billidger said adamantly without looking at the alien.
“…. the pirate found the key sooner than planned. It’s here….”
“… And we found another prize. Nagus is in custody as we speak. Captain! Captain, do you read?” Jaeger punched the nearest console.
“Sorry sir, too much interference. I don’t think he got all of it.” his comms- officer said.
Jaeger stared at the cowering giant of Nagus, blood covering his furs and armor. It was very strange to see a once powerful and feared man cower like he was. He was like a child who just saw his first horror holo – eyes wide and unblinking, shallow breathing, skin white as a sheet.
“I am going to make this easy for you, pirate.” Krats was also somewhat shocked to see the barbarians face. “I will ask once. What is down there on D-Level?”
“Look, I don’t know. It happened before you fine people arrived. I wonder if it’s a coincidence.” He chuckled and shook his head in total disgust.
“You will tell me or I am going to send you down, unarmed to find out for me!” Jaeger was starting to get angry. Another interruption came through his comlink. Everyone in the room could hear gunfire and screams through the comm speaker.
“Commander! Something … down… Suggest we abort and abandon this.. ASAP.” More gunfire followed and then silence. All eight GeePees on the bridge simultaneously picked up their rifles and primed them.
“Nelson, place prox-mines at the end of that hallway. Kramor, call back whatever units are left to the bridge. As soon as he is done and everyone is back, mech team repair that door and seal it. Barricade it. Everyone, fortify your position and spread the ammo around evenly. Comms, check on those pinnaces. Are any of them coming back yet?”
All the GeePee rangers went to action following orders. In minutes, more rangers arrived from all points in the station and the door was under repair. In all the chaos, Krats watched Jaeger. Hello? You can’t just leave us here!
“Commander, the Captain has given orders to hold back any further shuttles to the fleet. No explanation.” the comms officer said, slight concern in his voice. Concern or fear?
Jaeger turned around in a snap, undisguised surprise and slight anger in his voice. Could they be abandoning you? Do they know what’s down there? Is his military discipline failing him?
A booming alien voice burst over what seemed like the station intercom. Was it the intercom or something else? “FEEBLE CREATURES! YOU HAVE DEFILED THE VAULT OF THE ANCIENTS! THE DEFILERS WILL PAY!”
Everyone’s demeanor breifly changed from “on-mission” to total panic and fear. Discipline kicked back in, and “on-mission” was back. All except Nagus, who was a screaming imbecile, and Krats who was looking for a way out.
What the hell was that? An alien force that knows Terran Common and can patch into our comm systems? What else have they patched into? Krats began to squirm trying to assess the strength of his bindings. They were pretty tight. He had to convince his captors they needed him. He looked at the shrivelled up version of Nagus, also bound to a chair nearby.
Does he feel the threat is worth the risk? I must convince him.
“We sent down two security teams to deal with whatever that is. They never reported back. All they could do was seal it off and vent the atmosphere. Whatever it is, I am sure it got through the bulkhead doors. “
“Shut up, pirate!” Jaeger was cracking ever so slightly. He’s scared.
“Look, you need everyone you can get. Set us loose. I can’t speak for Nagus here, but I can promise you that I will remand myself back into your custody as soon as this is all over.” Even Jaeger knew he was lying and he would be looking for a way out the first chance he got, but would the risk be worth an extra gun?
Nagus seemed to shake himself out of his panic enough to shake his head, knowingly looking at Krats at the same time. Suddenly, the two enemies were allies in a cause. Not only to fight whatever is coming but also to find a way out. Pirate code? Only in the holos.
Jaeger seemed to ignore him for a while. It seemed to take the things an hour to get up from D-Level to the bridge but it probably was only 15 minutes. The entire time, Krats was trying to plead his case.
The tension in the room was palpable. Nelson, he could tell, was the rookie of the group. He was scared deep inside but put up a facade of a professional hard ass. Kramor was young but you could tell he had some missions under his belt. Nothing like this one, however. He was frantically trying to get some explanation from command for holding back the shuttles.
Since he arrived, Nagus was a mystery to Krats. The bio-engineered modifications he subjected his body too should have trigger the fight or flight mechanisms within his innate animal instincts, then enhanced him to super power levels. He should have been either dead or the last survivor. But apparently that did not happen and something in him cracked. Are these things that bad? What would override what is essentially animalistic instinct to survive? Krats had to snap him out of it and get this guy ready to fight – alien or GeePee.
An explosion from down the hall shook the deck. Prox-mines. Everyone scattered to their fortified positions, sticking to a buddy system. Krats could see Jaeger nod towards Kramer and Nelson, who were assigned to be buddies for Krats and Nagus respectively. To Krats surprise, they cut his binds as well as Nagus’.
The silence that followed was deafening. No one moved. They had not given neither Krats or Nagus a weapon.
“Nagus, we need the warrior inside you, right now. It’s the only way out. You get us out of here, and you can have this station. It can be your Hlidskjalf.” Krats whispered in hopes of snapping the beast awake.
“Hlidskjalf ?? … yes, my Hlidskjalf.” The beast mumbled back.
“Yes, it is already yours. You must defend it against Loki and the Fenrir.” Krats felt he hooked into something as he saw light come to Nagus’ eyes.
“The Fenrir? Is here?” Nagus stiffened.
A metallic slam resounded through out the bridge as the hastily repaired hatchway bent inwards. Whatever it was, it’s big. A metallic pike like appendage, with sort of tree-bark texture poked through. It looked more organic than artificially huned. Some kind of organic armor? Or natural carapace? What was this thing?
“IMPUDENT ALIEN BEINGS! YOU HAVE DEFILED THE VAULT! YOU MUST PAY!” The alien voice was mind-wrenching. It is like it tore at your soul. How am I hearing this? It may not be through the inter-comms after all. In my mind? Telepathic? oh gods…
Krats felt an unnatural and almost uncontrollable fear erupt inside him as whatever drew near. Another alien metallic spike poked through the door and then transformed into a clawed hand in a unnaturally fluidic motion. Still with the texture of tree bark, it wrapped around the edges of the new hole and ripped it open like it was tin-foil.
A massive metallic armored (or carapaced) creature emerged from the hole, following by two others. The entire thing had the organic texture like an old tree but the color of beaten steel. It had a pair of distinguishable arms, four legs and something that would pass as a head. No eyes or mouth to speak of. The head seemed to shift in size from elongated to wide as it scanned the room.
Gun fire erupted immediately as they entered. The small of spent plasma and caseless rounds combined was nauseating. The return fire from the creatures came from the claws, after they turned back into pikes. Alien blue energy erupted like lightening bolts from the end, disintegrating metal and flesh like it was nothing.
However, the GeePee fire seemed to have little to no effect. It slowed them down slightly but their armor seemed to regenerate from the damage it was causing. The plasma weapons seemed to be more effective then the slugthrowers. Then someone launched a grenade.