This is part two of my seven part story based on prompts from Describli.com. (Whether this part will find its way onto that site I’m not sure as they seem to be having technical issues, which is frustrating, but anyway…).
Part 1 of The Hunter is here.
On with the story:
Zinna strode over to the console against the right wall. Her fingers flew over keys, bringing a screen above to her life. A sight appeared, several white dots within it. “I did some maintenance on the gun last week, so it should work,” she said.
Should? “It’s charged?” Lena asked.
“That won’t be enough.”
Zinna pinned her with sharp eyes. “It will be.”
“You don’t know that.”
Another shot rocked them.
“That one struck the port side. We can’t take much more of this,” Leo said.
Zinna grabbed hold of the stick that controlled the gun, and took aim. The tension was palpable.
Lena gripped the pistol at her side. She stepped over to Zinna, willing her shots to hit their targets.
The ship rocked. Another shot hit.
“Hole in the port bow,” Leo said, and rose from his seat. “I need to go and seal it off.”
“Be careful,” Lena said. She trembled, inside and out.
Zinna pressed the button to fire, then hissed in frustration. She had missed.
The radio crackled, a message trying to get through. Lena picked it up. “This is the Y.S.R. Over.”
“Y.S.R. This is the Emoen. Need some assistance?”
Unexpected. “Yes. If you can. Thank you.” She wasn’t going to question a gift horse.
“Stand by.” Static crackled, punctuated only by Zinna firing the gun. Simple clicks of a button to take life.
Another green dot had appeared on the radar map. Lena brought up its information. An old Simaen fighter ship. Small, manoeuvrable, but with a good array of weaponry.
It moved across the screen, heading for the green dot that was the cruiser. She flicked to the image of space outside the ship. The Simaen ship fired at the cruiser, darting around its weapons. Zinna hit the cruiser a couple of times, the clicks delayed to what Lena saw.
Leo came back on the bridge. “We’re patched up…hey, what’s going on?” He retook his seat and Lena stepped back from the screen.
“We’ve acquired some assistance,” she said.
“A Simaen ship at least.”
The cruiser’s gunfire hit the small ship, but it didn’t seem to do any serious damage. The fighter carried on just as before, a stubborn insect bothering a larger beast.
A voice came over the radio. The Simaen. “On my mark, aim for engines.”
“Tell him I’ve got it,” Zinna said.
Leo picked up the mic. “We’ve got it. Awaiting your mark.”
Lena resisted the urge to bite her nails. Bad habit. The moment stretched on for eternity.
“Go,” the voice crackled.
Gunfire rained down on the back port side of the cruiser. It retaliated, rocking the Y.S.R twice in quick succession.
Lena grabbed the back of her brother’s seat to keep upright.
The cruiser started to turn away. Retreating under the hail of fire.
Zinna hit the console. “Got ya.”
The Simaen radioed, “We’ve done it. I think you’re gonna be safe now.”
Lena took the mic from Leo. “Thanks a lot Emoen. We’d have been dead ducks without you.”
“Don’t worry about it. Have a safe trip from here on out.”
“Wait, why don’t you dock with us-” Zinna hissed at her, “we can show you our gratitude properly.”
“How about instead of docking I transport over?”
“Transport? You have that capability?”
” A little outdated by modern standards, but yeah. An old soldier like me needs it, believe me.”
“Sure then.” Safer anyway. “Whenever you’re ready.”
“Be there in five.”
The connection clicked closed.
“Old soldier…” Lena muttered, her mind whirring. “The Emoen… Does that ring a bell with anyone but me?”
Zinna shook her head, but Leo looked intrigued. “You know somewhere in my mind…”
It clicked. “Of course. The Battle of Emrit! There was a Simaen shpi called Emoen, it was the hero of the battle. He’s an old soldier… You don’t think?”
“It couldn’t be….” Leo breathed. His face was radiant.
Captain Tang was his hero growing up.
Lena grinned. “Let’s go find out.”
The prompt was: A veteran soldier