Here is part 20 of my Describli-prompt inspired story. Getting close to the end now. 😀
Part 21 may or may not be here next week as I’m starting NaNoWriMo. It depends on time, and on if I can separate this story from the one in the same world for NaNo. So, next week, or the beginning of December. I’ll try for next week. But time. We all know how hard it is to find.
Lena stumbled onto the bridge as more fire hit the ship. Leo fell into his chair and started pounding on the console. “It’s her,” he said.
That wasn’t surprising. “Can we fire back?”
Zinna passed her and went to the weapons console. “We can,” she said, tapping away. “As you wish.”
“Fire,” Lena said. If nothing else, they had to defend themselves.
Another hit rocked the ship as Tang entered the bridge. He grabbed hold of the door frame to keep himself upright. “What’s happening?”
“She’s attacking us,” Lena said, “I don’t know what to do beyond firing back.”
Tang looked thoughtful.
“Direct hit on their engines,” Zinna said, the triumph in her voice. Lena could picture the smirk on her face. “They’re struggling to come back online.”
“Their weapons are still working-” A blast hit the ship, almost knocking Leo out of his seat. “Though,” he finished.
One solution presented itself to Lena. It was dangerous. But it stood a chance of working – and right then, it was all she had. To Tang, she said, “We’ll transport over there and stop her. For good this time.”
She expected Zinna to interrupt and object, but instead she turned in her seat, a cold smile on her face. “I’m glad you said that, because I think I have just the thing to take her out.”
Zinna stood. “I’ll get it and meet you at the transporter.”
Lena didn’t argue. She said to Leo, “Wait here on the YSR. Keep her safe. And yourself. Hide if you have to.”
He opened his mouth, an objection on his face and tongue.
“No Leo. I need you here. That’s how this works, okay?”
He wasn’t happy. He nodded sullenly and turned back to the console as another blast hit them.
Lena and Tang went down to the cargo bay where the transporter was still working – but only just.
“What about Kellan?” Tang asked, when they were stood waiting for Zinna.
“He stays here. For many reasons.”
Tang nodded. Still, a hint of suspicion graced his expression.
Zinna entered the bay, and strode over to them. She had a strange-shaped bundle in her hands. She removed the cloth covering it and showed Lena a modified laser gun. “This fires particles that will disrupt the blue-lipped woman’s systems. But you have to get close. And once she’s malfunctioning, take her apart.”
They were working on the theory that she wasn’t alive, that she was instead a machine hat had been created to give her people eternal life.
Lena laid a hand on her weapon. “Will you fire it?”
“No.” Zinna handed it to her. “You will. Tang will hold off her people, with my help, and then we’ll take her apart.” Her last words were almost a growl.
Tang moved into the transporter, and Lena followed. Zinna stepped in as well. It was a tight squeeze, but it had to be done. The familiar wave of nausea and disorientation overcame Lena as her body was moved through space.
Her feet were suddenly on metal, solid and cold. Her hazy reflection stared up at her.
A blue light was flashing in the hallway, and the sound of men shouting hovered in the distance. Lena remembered perfectly where to go to find her enemy.
She led Tang and Zinna down hallways, around several corners, and up a level. Two of the blue-lipped woman’s men got in their way. Both succumbed to Zinna’s gun.
Finally, they reached the door that would reveal their enemy.
Zinna shot the controls and an alarm screamed throughout the ship. Lena met her gaze. the plan stood. She would do what she had to do.
The door whooshed open as men’s footsteps pounded down the hall. Lena didn’t look back as she entered the dim room. Sounds of fighting became background noise. She focused on the woman before her.
The blue-lipped woman was hooked into the wall. Her fingers were inserted into a panel that glowed with red light. They had been right – she was a machine.
She turned her head and focused on Lena. “So, you have returned.”
“Yes.” Lena gripped the hilt of the gun on her hip. “I have.”
“And you intend to stop me.”
“You will fail.”
“No.” Lena raised the gun, willing her hands to stop shaking and sweating. “I won’t.”
The woman smiled, her in human face showing disbelief. “That cannot harm me.”
She didn’t realise.
That was good.
Lena stepped as close as she dared and pulled the trigger, just as a scream ripped through the air behind her.
The shot left her with a bad aftertaste, the tang of blood in the air.
This week’s prompt: A strange aftertaste.