Part 6 of The Hunter coming up. I’m writing this story using prompts from Describli.com. It’s a writing site that gives prompts, you post a short story based on that prompt, and in theory get some feedback. I use it for writing practice, and find it useful.
Here’s today’s instalment.
Dizziness. And nausea. Again.
Lena dropped to her knees. “I am not doing that ever again.”
“You’ll get used to it,” Zinna said.
Lena shot her a look. “You can transport where you like, but I’m sticking with my space pod. Thank you.”
Zinna’s expression said she wouldn’t be giving her a choice in the matter.
Lena disagreed. But that was an argument for another time.
She got to her feet. “We need to find Tang.”
“He’s probably still with Leo.” Zinna walked over to the cargo bay door. “They were on the bridge when we left. We’ll start there.”
Lena trailed behind. Sometimes Zinna’s decisiveness left her feeling less like the Captain of this ship and more like her friend’s assistant.
Leo and Tang were still on the bridge. They sat in the pilot’s chairs, relaxed, chatting like old friends. Zinna marched straight up to them, and, hand on hips, demanded of Tang, “Who and what exactly are you?”
Tang looked up at her, surprised.
Leo glared. “What exactly are you playing at?”
“At finding you what’s going on.”
Tang cut him off with a raised hand. “No. She’s right. Perhaps I do owe you an explanation.”
Lena stared. It was that easy?
“Go on then.” Zinna folded her arms.
“I am the man you think I am,” he said, “but you are right. Things are not what they appear with me.” He looked at his weathered hands, fingers splayed. “Time ravages many things. But sometimes, it isn’t fast enough. Sometimes you can outrun it.”
“You’re really from hundreds of years ago?” The words were out before Lena could stop them. Immediate regret followed.
“How do you know?”
“We saw the photographs,” Zinna said.
His eyes narrowed. “You were on my ship.”
“We were just trying to protect ourselves,” Lena explained. “We didn’t mean to invade your privacy. But I’m sure you must have had your doubts about us as well. The reason you didn’t want to dock with us.”
He was silent, considering. Then he said, “Yes, I suppose you’re right.” The offence taken was there though.
Leo was still glaring.
“You really travelled through time?” Zinna was sceptical.
“I did. Not of my intentions though.”
“But that was you at the Battle of Emrit?” Lena wanted to be sure.
“It was. I travelled here quite a few years ago now.”
“And never found a way back?” Zinna again, sceptical.
“Like I said, this wasn’t of my doing. I have no power over time.” He clenched his hands into fists. “I am at its mercy, just like most others.”
“Wait, most others?” Leo asked.
“Yes. The woman who sent me here, she has control over time.” He gained a nostalgic and awed look. “She has power beyond, well, anyone I’ve ever met. Beyond imagination.”
“So you’ll live and die here, in the wrong time?” Leo asked.
“Yes. Yes I will.”
“And the shadow?” Zinna said.
“Ah, yes, the shadow. It was rather worrying, noticing it for the first time. I don’t know why it isn’t there. I hvae assumed over the years that it’s because I don’t belong here.”
“I’d like to meet her,” Lena said. “The woman who sent you here. I bet she’s fascinating.”
An alarm blared out, cutting off the conversation.
Leo tapped on to the console, bringing up the radar image on the screen. “A ship,” he said. “Not Carnite.” He tapped a few more buttons. “Not…anything I know…”
The colour drained from Tang’s face. He got to his feet. “Oh no, They’ve found me.”
“Who?” Zinna’s softening expression sharpened again. “Who’s after you?”
He shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. I have to leave.” He took out a small square tablet and tapped on the screen. “Thank you for your hospitality. But I’ve got to go.”
Lena caught his arm. “Please don’t transport with me attached, but I want to know, what’s going on? Can we help?”
Another sharp look form Zinna.
He looked torn. “I…I don’t want to face them alone. But I can’t drag you into it.”
“They’re hailing us,” Leo said. “They’re armed, and they have their weapons trained on us and Tang’s ship. We’re caught.”
“I know he was trouble,” Zinna muttered.
“Who are they?” Lena said, “Quickly.”
“People who believe I have the power that I don’t. People who want to live forever. I can’t give them what they want.” He shrugged, a helpless gesture.
Lena caught Zinna’s eye. “We can’t just abandon him.” She reached for the microphone. “This is the Y.S.R,” she said into it. “Who am I addressing?”
Today’s prompt: Not fast enough.