Penultimate part of The Hunter! One last part tomorrow and the story will hopefully be concluded and finished and I’ll have done. Feels like I’ve been running a marathon this past week. I have enjoyed it though, as frustrated and stuck as I’ve gotten at points.
I’m writing it using prompts from Describli, a writing site for short pieces of fiction based on their daily prompts.
The ship rocked as it took the first blast. It rocked harder on the second. Lena fell into Tang, who helped her stand again. “We can’t take much more of this,” she said.
Tang returned to scrutinising the control panel on the transporter. “I’m going to see if I can increase the range on this. If not, we can use the Emoen’s transporter. It’s not much better, but a little’s better than nothing.”
The radio crackled into life. Lena grabbed it. “Found one?”
Zinna answered over the static-filled connection. “Yes. About an hour away.”
Tang gave her a look. Would they make it that far with the Faraster on their back? “That’s the closest?”
“The only, in our range.”
“Then set a course. As fast as the ship’ll go. Try anything to shake them.”
A grunt. Then silence. Zinna wasn’t happy.
Lena went back to Tang, guilt in her heart. This was her doing, her choices.
“I think it’s possible,” he said.
“Then do it.”
The sooner this was over the better.
She went back up to the bridge. Zinna was fiddling under the weapons console. “Improving the aim,” she said, before Lena spoke, and without moving to look at her.
Leo was focussed on the main screen, analysing the varying dots that blinked at him. “Why aren’t they firing again?” he muttered.
Good question. “Perhaps they’re charging their weapons.”
“Or maybe they’re preparing to blow us to pieces completely,” Zinna said, ever the voice of optimism.
“Or they’re waiting to see what we do, where we’re going,” Lena said. What would she do? “The woman wants
the gold. Tang has the gold. If she blows us all to pieces, she’s never going to get it.”
“Makes sense,” Leo said.
“So you think they’ll just follow us?” Zinna asked, coming out from under the console. She didn’t sound, or look, convinced.
“Well, what do you think?”
An alarm blared. “They’re trying to transport something onto the YSR!” Leo said, shocked, like he couldn’t believe it.
“That they’ll try something like this.” Zinna got up and pulled her gun out. “What are they transporting?”
“Transported. Two men. In the cargo bay.”
“Tang!” Lena raced from the bridge, pulling herself by rails around corners and taking steps three at at time.
She burst into the bay, gun out in front of her. Tang dematerialized in the transporter just as a laser from one of the men’s guns struck the outer casing.
She shot. It hit. No ripples this time. The man dropped. Stone.
The other turned. She swung from the room The beam hit somewhere. Not her.
She ran back to the bridge. “Leo,” she said as she burst through the entrance. “Where’s Tang? On the Emoen?”
He clicked a few buttons. “Yes. What happened?”
She glanced at Zinna. “We’re about to have a guest.”
Zinna pulled her gun and flicked her attention to the entrance. She aimed and fired. Just in time. Lena turned.
The second man dropped. They weren’t protected away from the Faraster.
Lena grabbed the radio. “Get me the Emoen,” she said to Leo.
More buttons clicked. The radio crackled to life. “Tang. You there? It’s Lena, the YSR. Are you all right?”
The crackled reply. “I’m here. I’m fine. I adjusted the transporter for you.”
“Thank you,” she breathed out with her relief. “You following us to the supernova?”
A moment of hesitation, then, “Yes. We’ll watch each other’s backs?”
“You are a good woman. I’ll keep the radio channel open. Keep in contact.”
“Good idea. And despite what you may say, you’re a good man too.” She firmly believed that.
Zinna gave her a look as she placed the radio back in its place.
“He is a good man,” Lena said. “You can’t deny how many times he’s saved us.”
“No. But I still don’t trust him. And I sill don’t think we should be tangled up in this mess. Look at what it’s cost us.”
“A few barrels of wine against a man’s life and possibly the safety of the universe?”
Zinna rolled her eyes. “I think that’s getting a bit dramatic.”
Lena shrugged her shoulders. “Maybe. Maybe not.”
A hint of affection softened Zinna’s expression. “You think what you like about it, but don’t expect me to not say I told you so when it all goes wrong.”
“Well then, don’t expect the same from me when it all goes right,” Lena countered. She suppressed a smile that threatened her lips.
The screen caught Lena’s eye. Leo had switched to the outside view. And what a view. The brightest star she had ever seen.
They were almost there.
Today’s prompt: A ray of sunlight.