Here we are with Part 12 of The Hunter. Two more parts to go. I’m writing this story using prompts from Describli, a writing site for posting short pieces of fiction based on the prompts that they provide each day. it’s an exciting way of writing because I never know how the story is going to go each day. Hard too, though, at times.
And here’s today’s installment:
The YSR broke free from the Faraster. The ship lurched as it clanked and broke its bonds .Lena winced at the potential damage. Not a smooth exit.
“At least we’re safe now,” Leo said.
“Safe? No. Oh no, we’re not safe,” Tang said, taking out his tablet, the one that he used to control his ship from afar. He tapped a few buttons, and the blue dot on the radar that was the Emoen began to move.
“But you shot her,” Leo said, puzzled. “It’s the end of her, surely.”
“No. She’s not that easy to stop. She will pursue us until we are hers once more, and next time it won’t be so easy to escape. She’ll have learned, adapted.”
The way he spoke, it was almost as if he were referring to a machine, not a living creature.
“What is it?” Lena said, her curiosity no longer containable. “What do you have that she wants so badly?”
He looked around at them all, and his face turned to resignation. “It was a set of jewels, golden. Crown. Necklace. Earrings. Bracelet. Rings. I found it on one of my trips into the mountains at home. Just before I was brought here. She wants the material the gold is mixed with to give her power. I melted it down. I hoped to disguise it.”
“What sort of material?” Zinna asked
“I don’t know. I don’t understand all this. I was an archaeologist, not a scientist. I understand that the material will give her power, that it’s not native to Earth, and that it’s ancient. That’s it.”
Lena’s mind whirred back to something she had read. It was hypothesised by some historians that Old Earth had had alien interactions and contained alien materials before its destruction, as far back as history was recorded.
There were many myths and theories as to how all of these things occurred, but no one knew for sure, and now, of course, no one could go back and find out.
Then an image flashed. The gold bars she had seen on the Emoen. “It’s on your ship,” she said.
“Why don’t you just give it to her?” Zinna asked.
Lena remembered the answer that Tang gave. “I am afraid of what she will do with more power. Her people want t live forever. She wants to live forever. That is not right, it’s not natural. Something will have to be sacrificed to keep the balance of life right.”
“Why not just destroy it?” Leo asked.
“I cannot think of a way. it is bound up with the gold, as I said, and I know of no way to destroy either material.”
“A supernova,” Lena said. More information flashed before her eyes. Words read in time past. “A nuclear reaction. The most powerful thing in the known universe. Put the gold inside, and it will no longer be anything recognisable.”
“And how would we-” The proximity alarm blared, cutting Zinna off.
All eyes went to the screen. The Faraster was pursuing.
Zinna manned the weapons console, and swore. “We’re almost out of charge.”
“Defences aren’t good either,” Leo said.
“If we destroy the gold and the material she wants, what will she do?” Lena questioned.
Tang looked blank. “I don’t know. Kill us, or give up and leave us alone. I don’t know which.”
“I still don’t see how you can put it into a supernova,” Zinna said. “For one thing you’d never get close enough. You’d be dead before you got there. Shall I shoot? Try and hit their weapons again?”
“Didn’t really work last time,” Lena reminded her.
Frustration clouded Zinna’s face. “Any other suggestions?”
“Save the charge, find me a supernova, and get us there. I have an idea.”
Zinna narrowed her eyes, wanting to ask. She didn’t. She got up and went over to Leo,clicked a button and the screen changed to a map of their surroundings. Planets, stars, meteors… all of immediate space laid out on a grid.
“When you find one, radio me, tell me the coordinates.” She turned to Tang. “Come with me to the cargo bay.”
He looked as confused as Leo and Zinna.
She took his arm and propelled him forward. “I’ll explain as we go.”
Down in the empty cargo bay, Lena spared a momentary thought to the wine they’d lost. The charge they’d pay for losing it. The earnings they’d lost. But there were more important problems.
She headed for the transporter. A light went on in Tang’s voice, as he said, “You want to transport it into the supernova.”
“Yes. I’m just hoping there’s enough range on this thing to get it there.”
Tang examined the control panel. “Hm. Maybe. Depends on the size of the supernova as to how close we can actually get.”
The proximity alarm went off again. The Faraster was gaining.
Tang met her gaze. “If we get there in one piece to start with.”
Prompt: Finding out the truth.
PS: Happy Good Friday. 🙂