Finally, here it is! Part Eight of The Hunter. If you need to catch up/refresh your memories on parts 1-7, you can start here with Part One. Then: Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, and Part Seven.
(I really need to central place to link to for these stories.)
I am writing these stories using prompts from the writing site Describli. Check the link for info. Each day I pick a prompt, and write from that, so I never know what’s going to happen next. It’s a fun, if nerve-racking way of writing a story. Because I post daily, I have to come up with a chapter for that day, and get it posted on that day. Seven days running.
Without further ado, here is today’s instalment:
“They’ve seen us,” Leo said.
Lena gave a curt nod. She had expected it. “And Zang?”
“If he has, I’ve no indication of it. They’ve trained their aft weapons on us.”
“Shall I fire first?” Zinn asked from the weapons console. “Take out their guns?”
Lena bit the inside of her mouth.
She closed her eyes.
Leo said, “Their weapons are still functioning though.”
“Firing again.” Zinna, her words bitten and sharp.
“Still got functioning weapons.” Leo’s voice rose, panicked. “They’re charging.”
The ship rocked as the blast hit.
Lena grabbed Leo’s chair to stay standing.
“Weapons are out!” Zinna hit the console.
“They’re hailing us,” Leo said.
No defences left.
“Tang?” Lena asked.
“Still. Hovering.” Leo answered.
He couldn’t decide. Conscience kicking in?
“Put them through,” Lena picked up the radio.
“This is the Faraster. You’re defenceless. Prepare for boarding.” Not asking. Telling.
Lena gritted her teeth.
Acquiesce or be destroyed.
“You’re not seriously going to let them aboard?” Zinna. Incredulous. Angry.
“He’s firing!” Leo almost jumped out of his seat. “Tang’s firing! I knew he was a hero!”
Muffled sounds over the radio.
“He’s hit.” Disappointment, worry, fear, in Leo’s words. Then anxiety. “They’ve got a tractor beam on him. They’re pulling him in.”
Instinct and duty made Lena’s decision. “Let them board,” she said. “We can’t just abandon him to them.”
Zinna grabbed her arm, swung her round to face her. “You’re not serious?”
“I am.” She pulled her arm away. “Are you with me?”
No hesitation. “Of course. But you can’t really think that this is a good idea? You could get us killed! All over some man that we don’t even know. Someone who claims something that we can’t even truly believe!”
“I believe him,” Leo said, his words quiet, determined. “I believe him and I’m with Lena. We can’t just abandon him.”
Both sets of blue eyes fell on Zinna. She threw her arms up in the air and muttered something in Brinnan that roughly translated to ‘I’m surrounded by fools.’ Only that was the polite version.
“Right,” Lena said. “Then let’s prepare for boarding.” She picked up the radio and said, “Okay, you’ve got us. We’ll allow you to board.”
“Good decision.” Curt.
Lena met Zinna’s eyes as they waited for the alien ship to dock. She wasn’t happy. That was obvious. But she understood. That, too, was obvious. Lena hoped she could see the gratitude she felt for Zinna’s loyalty and trust. They were precious things to give.
The ship clanked as the docking procedure happened. Leo controlled the docking port from his console beneath the screen in terse silence. There was a very real risk the unknown aliens would just shoot them on sight and take their ship. But maybe, just maybe, they wanted something more from them.
Lena faced the doors that led onto the bridge, hand on her weapon. Ready for anything.
Today’s prompt was: The moments between words.