On The Way ~ (Chap. 1-3)

This is a novella I've been working off and on since the summer and I decided I would put the first three chapters out for the world to see. Now I don' t want to spoil too much of the plot here but it involves a supply ship going across the galaxy and the problems that arise on the journey.

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3. III

Amanda rushed into the bridge just in time to see them dropping out of lightspace. The blur of stars and planets was replaced by the near static image of Castor XII spinning in its orbit. The dusty yellow planet was a well known smuggling den disguised as a trade port. There was once a Federation star station that orbited the planet but it was soon deserted and taken over by the smugglers who ran it as a bar with a shipwright business on the side.

 

She quickly resumed her place by Commander Harrison’s side as he and Captain Petrov were discussing the distress beacon. It was being sent out from near the planet Castor X which was 2 jumps away and would take close to 10 minutes to get to. Harrison ordered Petrov to punch in the coordinates and jump as quickly to Castor X as they could.

 

As Petrov launched them into lightspace Harrison turned his head to look at Amanda and said “Welcome back Ms. Kyles, we are close to coming up on the distress beacon.”

 

“Yes, I overheard your conversation with Captain Petrov sir” Amanda replied, standing rigidly at attention.

 

“Hopefully this will only be a quick solve and we can continue with our deliver to the Logi system.” Harrison said, looking back out the viewport of the bridge, watching the stars fly by in a bright haze of light.

 

Within moments they had reached Castor XI and immediately began the jump to Castor X. The sudden stop-start of rapidly jumping into lightspace always lurched Amanda’s stomach. Long drawn out jumps were more her thing, more time to get accustomed to the change in speed. After a moment she no longer felt sick from the jump and just after they arrived at Castor X with a jolting stop that caused her to feel sick again.

 

“We’ve arrived sir, but I don’t see the ship in sight.” Petrov remarked, looking at the radar display.

 

“Maybe it drifted off, extend the sensor arrays and look again” replied Harrison sternly as Petrov hit a few buttons and pushed a lever to widen the range of the sensors.

 

“I see something sir!” he exclaimed “it looks like the ship, but I’ve got bad news sir.”

 

“What is it?” Harrison said, furrowing his brow.

 

“I’m  not picking up any life signs, it seems like the ship was abandoned sir.” Petrov responded, looking back at the commander.

 

“Maybe we should try sending a message commander.” Amanda suggested as Harrison stroked his beard.

 

“Do as she said captain.” Harrison finally said after a moment of silence, “maybe they jettisoned their escape shuttles and are still around here somewhere. Also, tell Mr. Ornatio to have his crew hold until we know what’s going on.”

 

“Right away commander” came Petrov’s reply as he turned back to his screen.

 

After the message was sent there was a period of silence on the bridge. The crew waited in anticipation for any kind of reply from survivors in the system. A half hour had passed and it seemed as though no one that survived was in range of their message beacon. Just as the Axium II was preparing to leave the system a response came in.

 

The message read as follows; “We are the last surviving crew members of the transport vessel the Felicia. Our lightdrive malfunctioned and left us stranded in this system. We tried to hail down any passing ships for assistance but instead attracted the attention of a Tsari warship. They destroyed our ship beyond repair, leaving us to flee in our escape shuttles. We do not know if they are still here or not. Please send help…” Harrison and Amanda looked over the message and debated what their course of action should be.

 

“it may be a trap but what if it isn’t sir? Are we to leave these men to die out here?”

 

“Certainly not Ms. Kyles but we have an unattended to Tsari warship on the loose. What happens when we send Mr. Ornatio and his crew out and they get obliterated, followed shortly by us?”

 

“Captain Petrov said there weren’t any other ships in the area sir, we have nothing to fear.”

 

“The Tsari can mask themselves to our sensors Ms. Kyles we are still very much in danger.”
 

“So are the men in that shuttle sir!” Amanda replied, now getting heated.

 

“What do you suggest then Ms. Kyles? To risk the life of our entire crew for what may very well be a Tsari trap?” came Harrison’s sharp reply.

 

“Funny you should mention that captain because something just came up on the scanners!” Petrov cried out from his station. “Tsari Warship and I think it’s spotted us captain!”

 

“Shit.” muttered Harrison, “Align our ship with the next system and jump as fast as we can!” he continued.

 

“Aye sir, aligning with the Vosari system!” Petrov replied.

 

“What about the survivors!” Amanda pleaded, turning to look at the Commander.

 

He returned her look with a solemn stare and a shake of his head, “No. We cannot risk these supplies being lost on a suicide mission Ms. Kyles. I’m sorry.”

 

Turning around she looked out the viewport of the bridge and saw the Tsari warship fire at what looked like a hunk of debris. It would later be learned that it was the escape shuttle of the last survivors that they had come to save. The Tsari ship then turned and began charging its Beam Cannons to fire at them.

 

“Ready to jump commander” Petrov said, his hand hovering over the button on the console.

 

“Punch it captain” Harrison ordered.

 

And with that they jumped to the Vosari system and narrowly escaped being pulverized by the Tsari warship.

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