Well, here it is. It’s been an interesting week doing this. Of course, I didn’t realise when I decided to do it that CampNaNoWriMo started this week as well. So I’m late starting that. But I will catch up. In theory.
I’ve been writing this story using prompts from Describli, a writing site for short pieces of fiction based on their daily prompts.
Here’s today’s installment:
The Faraster trailed them close to the dying star. Leo stopped the YSR as close as he could. “Any closer and we’ll fry our equipment,” he said.
“And ourselves,” Zinna muttered.
Lena rose above the comment. She picked the radio up. “Tang?”
“Yes. Time to get the gold.”
“Yes.” They were going to transport the gold over to the YSR and then use their transporter to transport it into the supernova. The YSR’s transporter, since Tang’s modifications, had a longer range.
“I’ll be with you in a few minutes.”
“Good. I’ll be waiting by the transporter.”
The radio went silent. Lena moved quickly. The Faraster had just observed so far. Once they realised what was happening, they would lunch another attack, one way or the other.
She made it down to the cargo bay. Tang materialised just as she stopped in front of the transporter. He held a wrapped bundle in his hands. The gold.
The radio on the wall crackled into life. “They’re charging weapons and hailing us.” Zinna spoke sharply.
Lena answered, “Put them through down here.”
A moment, and then the blue-lipped woman’s voice came over the crackly old radio. “This is your last chance, Captain. Hand over what I want, or I will blow your ship into the stars.” No anger. Just the coldness of a real threat.
Lena looked to Tang, who spoke into the radio. “No. I will not hand more power to you. This ends here.” He clicked off the connection. “Let’s do this.”
“Hang on,” Zinna again, “once we’ve got rid of the gold, what will they do?”
She was right. “We’ll have to fight them,” Lena said.
“Haven’t we tried that one before?” Zinna said.
“I have a plan,” Tang cut in. “I will transport back to the Emoen immediately after getting rid of the gold. Do as I say when I do.” He didn’t give time for objections. He went to the transporter and placed the gold inside.
“Hang on,” Zinna started.
“No.” Lena watched Tang as she spoke. “Do as he says.”
A grunt of annoyance, frustration, and then the connection went dead.
Lena returned to Tang’s side. His fingers flew across the transporter panel, setting the coordinates. “This plan of yours, it does involve us leaving here alive, right?”
He glanced at her. “There’s a chance.”
She let out a breath. A chance. That was all she could ask for. “Okay. Are you ready?”
“Then do it.”
He hit the activation button. The gold dematerialized. Then he got into the transporter. “See you on the other side,” he said.
“See you on the other side” Lena echoed.
He faded away before her eyes. She really didn’t like transporters. It was like watching someone disappear.
She whirled from the scene and ran up to the bridge. Breathless, she said, “Everything going to plan?”
“So far so good,” Leo said.
“Until this moment when the Faraster is about to-” The ship rocked with the blast of a weapon, cutting Zinna’s words off.
She grabbed the controller for the gun and fired, teeth gritted and a string of obscenities no doubt on the tip of her tongue.
Tang’s voice crackled over the radio. “Leo, follow my lead.”
“Got it,” Leo replied, no hesitation.
Lena watched the dots move on the radar screen. The Emoen flew right underneath the Faraster, the YSR behind it. Gunfire exchanged constantly. Tang told Zinna when to fire, short, sharp words, as if they themselves were shots of gunfire.
Zinna obeyed, lost in the fight.
They took hit after hit. Red light after red light started flashing on the console in front of Leo. Parts of the ship, broken, pierced. Alarms screamed at them. Lena’s heart raced, thumping so hard it almost burst from her. Her hands were sweaty where she gripped the back of Leo’s chair.
But shot after shot struck the Faraster. She began to see a strategy to Tang’s movements. They were hitting the vulnerable parts of the Faraster, breaking through her defences piece by piece.
Steam hissed from somewhere at her right, a valve blown.
They weren’t going to survive this.
Then, the Faraster’s green dot disappeared. it just vanished. One blink, it was there, the next, it wasn’t.
“Am I seeing things?” Lena asked. “Tang, do you still have the Faraster on radar?”
“No.” Resignation in his voice. “They’ve jumped.”
“Light speed drive. To us it looks like vanishing.”
“They have that sort of tech?”
“So we survived? We won?”
Something that sounded like a sigh. “For now. Maybe.”
She smiled. They had retreated. The realisation started to sink in. She met Zinna’s gaze. There was triumph there.
They had won. They had survived. They would live.
Today’s prompt: There’s no going back.
There will be a last, short, epilogue posted tomorrow as I feel the story just needs a bit of wrapping up and finishing properly.