Right. Part 7. The final part.*
This tory has been written using prompts from Describli.com. It is a site for writers that provides prompts, and allows you to post your short story on the site for feedback and others to read. I use it for practice, and enjoy it.
Here’s Part Seven.
“We are the Faraster. You have the man we want. Prepare for docking so we may escort him on to our ship.” The voice was mechanic, cold and even.
A living being, or a machine?
“We don’t give you permission to dock,” Lena said. “Please state who exactly you are and what exactly you want.”
“You are carrying Captain Tang. We require Captain Tang. You will allow us to dock and hand him over to us.”
Lena didn’t take orders. “No. You will stay away from my ship.” She caught Zinna’s eye. They were back where the started with the Carnites. “I will hold a civilized conversation with you, but I will not take your orders.”
Zinna went over to the weapons console. She brought up the sights and toggled a few buttons. “We’re good to go on your order,” she said.
Lena glanced at Leo. Keeping the mic muted, she said, “Their weaponry?”
“Limited,” he answered. “But more powerful than us. and their defences are better.”
“I’ll transport back over to my ship. Draw them away from you,” Tang said. “This is not your fight.”
“Who are they?” It wasn’t the time, but curiosity wouldn’t let it rest.
“They work for her,” he said, his voice strained. “They want me back. They want something I have back.”
“Why don’t you just give it to them?”
“They’re powering up their weapons,” Leo warned.
“I believe they could hurt people with it,” Tang said. He took out his small tablet again. “Like I said, this is my fight.”
The ship rocked with the power of the strike.
Lena reached out for Tang’s arm just as he activated the transporter.
His ship spun around her. Her stomach lurched. She was grateful for how empty it was.
“You shouldn’t have done that!” Tang lowered her on to the bench. He sounded cross, but the emotion didn’t consume him. There was something akin to gratitude, or disbelief, or something like that on his face, in his eyes.
“I didn’t mean to…” She touched her forehead, as if that would stop the dizziness. “I just wanted to stop you from leaving…”
“Why does it matter so much?” He went into the cockpit, activated the ship’s engines.
“I don’t like to lose,” she said. “And I don’t like to abandon anyone. To anything.”
“You are not abandoning me. I have been outrunning these people for many many years. This time is no different. I know how to hide from them, how to keep safe.”
Y.S.R was visible outside the ship’s main window. The strangers fired on her again. Lena winced. Her ship fired back, Zinna’s excellent aim striking first time.
“Get into the transporter at the back,” Tang said. “You know how to get yourself back?”
Guilt at the earlier betrayal. “No. Zinna operated it. But I’m sure I can work it out.” She stood. She didn’t want to leave. “You’re really just going to keep running, for the rest of your life?”
“I am. Does that bother you?”
“Yes.” She wasn’t sure why.
“Well, I mean no offence, but that is not my problem. I run to stay alive. They are powerful, I am no. It’s easier to hide.”
An alarm bleeped. “They’re aiming at us. You should go or there’s a chance you’ll never see your ship again.” He paused as she turned for the transporter. “Perhaps it is weakness. But it keeps me safe. I prefer to be safe. I am tired of the fight.”
Lena looked at him. At the back of his head as his concentration was on the console and screen before him. He was an old man, tired and given up. this side of him would break Leo’s heart. She sore she would never be that. She would never give up. She would always fight.
“Transporter,” he reminded her. “Now.”
She went to it. It wasn’t hard to work out how t o use it. In moments, she was back on her own ship, standing on the bridge where she’d reached out for Tang’s arm.
The ship rocked with another strike from the Faraster.
“You’re back!” Leo looked relieved.
Tang’s ship was a green dot on the radar on the screen. He circled the enemy ship, getting their attention, then flew away. A tense moment, and Faraster followed him. Lena’s heart felt like a lump of lead in her chest.
“He’s gone then,” Zinna said. She was stood behind Lena, arms folded.
“He is,” she said.
“The danger with him.” Her tone was neutral.
“He’s a brave man, drawing them away like that,” Leo said, still clearly awed by Tang.
Lena wasn’t about to dim her brother’s view of his hero. “He’s lived a long hard life, I think,” she said. “He’s a survivor.” That, at least, was true.
Zinna eyed her, as if she knew what she was thinking. “Don’t even go there.”
“I can’t not. I can’t let him get himself killed.”
“We’re going after him?” Leo asked.
“We are,” she said. Curiosity and duty burned inside. “Follow him.”
Today’s prompt: Ruled by fear.
*So, as you may have noticed, the story’s not entirely over. Turns out Lena couldn’t just let it go. Which means I’m going to have to write a second instalment of The Hunter. I’m not sure exactly when I’ll have the time to do this, but something tells me I won’t be able to ignore the urge to get the words out for very long. 🙂
Should be some time in the next few weeks.
The life of a writer…