As they enter they see that the room is completely filled with the same organic material they have seen throughout the corridor, the walls and floor is cluttered with piles of the material.
“Be careful, the droid could still be here somewhere” Moktai says just before he sees Teem, sitting on the floor on the other side of the control panel, her head hangs down, she seems to be unconscious so he quickly moves to her to check if she’s alive.
“She is breathing, help me get her up on her feet, it looks like she got a tiny hole in her suit, her oxygen levels are dropping, need to get her out of the ship and in to the shuttle fast” Moktai waves with his hand for someone to come while at the same time trying to wake her up.
Henrik quickly moves to help him with Teem, when they lift her up she regains consciousness, and with a fatigued voice she tries to speak.
“..the droids..they are..they..” she breaths, trying to clear her head.
“Save your energy Teem, we’ll get you out of here, it was a good thing that your magnetic boots still worked so you at least stayed grounded” Moktai and one of the other team members walks out of the room with Teem, taking her to the shuttle.
Bjorn is trying to turn the control panel on, after a few seconds the control panel lightens up and a holo screen shows a list over the ships video log entries, Bjorn makes a deep inhalation when he sees the ZOP logo in the middle of the screen.
“We are in the belly of the beast, this ship is marked with the ZOP logo” he almost whispers it out since he knows what this implies.
“According to the vlog the last entry was made about one week ago, at least in this ships origin timeline which in Gregorian calendar is around the year 2268, I’ve connected the sound feed to my suit and stream it to you so that you too can hear what the captain of this ship says, I play the latest vlog first”
A man wearing a black captain suit appears on the screen, he looks very tired and his face is sort of wet, he speaks with a rough and fatigued voice.
“Captains last and probably final vlog, I am Kirkoo, the date is ZOP 273,5,15, death is upon us...if someone ever sees this, let me explain what has happened…two weeks ago we engaged our hyperdrive..” Bjorn paused.
“The captain is in agony, something is very wrong with him, maybe we should be glad that we are still in our suits” he resumes the vlog.
”…there was a fault in the hyperdrive mechanism, its unknown what caused it but we were sent back in time…we checked against the stars to be sure…we came in contact with an unknown substance when we traveled in hyperspace and somehow it entered the ship, spreading out like fungus in every corner of the ship and made everybody very sick...its like nothing we have ever seen before and any attempts of eliminating it only made it stronger” the captain grabs his head with both hands, he looks even worse now than before.
“…only a few of the crew are still alive, including me, but I fear that we too will see the darkness before the day is over, we are heading towards earth, remember us…the true winners of the fourth great war…” The captain walks away, the vlog ends.
Bjorn stares down at the floor, contemplating on what the captain means with the fourth great war, he will have to go deeper into this later on.
Henrik and the others stare at each other, they now know that they can’t just re-enter the Eclipse, but have to be quarantined until they are certain that they are safe to enter once again, Henrik is feeling an ice cold sensation as he goes through the fact that the ship is in a slow journey towards earth, they have to stop it from ever reaching its destination.
“we have too...” Henrik is interrupted by the same weird noise they heard before, similar to radio disturbances.
hrz hra hrz
“Get behind cover, something is coming towards us, hold your fire until we know what it is" Bjorn orders and they gather behind the control panel, ready to fire at whatever is coming.
There are four possible entries for anyone or anything to get into the room, only two of the doors are visible from where they stand.
Suddenly they see one droid coming in from the same door as they entered the room before, a shadow is seen from the other side of the room and another from behind them, Bjorn sees that they are surrounded and orders them to fire, they have to surprise the droid before they open fire themselves.
Henrik fires the pulse gun at one of the droids, the entire room is lit up by the pulses from their guns, the droids are moving fast towards them now, filled with adrenalin and fear he misses at first but hits the droid with a few shots that was enough to remove its threat, it floats in the room due to the lack of gravity.
Bjorn almost gets hit by the return fire from the two remaining droids that have entered the room now, with the help from Loukh they manage to disarm one of them, hitting its weapon and then vaporizing the last droid,
“The threat seems to have been handled for now” Loukh says with a short and unemotional tone.
“Everybody ok in there?” Rob asks through the radio.
“I think that we are fine, nobody got hit at least, our oxygen levels are soon depleted so we have to be quick here now” Bjorn answers.
“Find the parts and get back to the shuttles quickly, meantime I will find a way for you to be decontaminated for return”
“We have to find the modules and then we rig explosives on the hyperdrive and blow this ship into a million pieces, the needed components are added to your suits HUD, search the modules for them, but be careful, there are more droids probably on their way down here now”
They spread around the room, with their gun in one hand and going through modules with the other.
“Moktai, get back here with some explosive charges, hurry”
“I’m on my way captain” Moktai answers .
“good” Bjorn switches over to a private channel with Rob.
“Rob, try to download as many of the vlog files as you can before we blow this ship up, we have to get a greater understanding on what the great war that the captain mentioned was all about”
“Yes sir, I will do my best captain”
Henrik takes out module after module in search for the parts that is needed, the suit HUD helps him by giving AR recognition if the parts are compatible or not and if someone already has filled the needed quantity of parts or if more is needed, so far he has found one module that is complete and can be used and a few parts that he has taken away from other modules, after a while they have collected everything they need and gather around the control panel once again.
During the search Moktai arrived with the explosives and together with Bjorn they have located where they need to go to access the hyperdrive engine.
“We have to move quickly now, I’ve started the warm up phase on the engine now and set an countdown of thirty minutes before the engine is engaged, so we need to plant the explosives and get as far away as possible, we have to go back two doors down in the corridor to find the room that has access to the engine itself, me and Moktai will place the explosives and start the engine to maximize the blast before we detonate the explosive charges, the rest of you will take the modules quickly into the shuttle where Sofia is sitting ready to depart and return to Eclipse, we are all low on oxygen levels”
Henrik understands exactly what Bjorn implies, he is uncertain on if he and Moktai will be able to return and therefore will not put further risk on the crew, he is astonished by the true leadership and courage Bjorn embodies.
“One of you takes the modules and parts, the rest provide necessary cover fire, move out now and be careful” Bjorn continues, they all begin to walk out of the room the same way that they entered before, Moktai goes first, in the corridor everything is as it was before, they quickly reaches the hyperdrive engine door, Moktai enters and secures it, making sure no droids are present.
“Make sure that you get back to safety my friend, ill see you again shortly, we have a mission to complete” Bjorn says to Henrik before he joins Moktai in the room, Henrik nods and says.
“See you soon my friend”
Henrik leaves together with the rest of the crew, the corridor is abandoned and no droids are seen, Henrik is carrying the parts and is following Loukh towards the exit, he turns around to face Henrik and with a unusually friendly smile he says.
“We are soon back in the shuttle, don’t worry, I will cover you if needed”
Henrik only nods as answer and wonders what the smile was all about, but decides that it was nothing and moves on.
The journey back to the shuttle is swift and without any hostile contact, they reach the shuttle where Sofia is ready to depart, she reports back to Bjorn and Rob as soon as everyone is buckled up.
“We are ready to depart, everyone is onboard and we are ready to depart on your order”
Bjorn answers and feels a good sense of relief that at least some of them will make it out alive, he is not so certain about his and Moktai’s survival chances.
“Good, get back to Eclipse as fast as you can, we will join you shortly”
Bjorn and Moktai is standing on a bridge right above the engine, the room was in fact a service entrance with only one bridge in it that goes from wall to wall, with the engine directly beneath them, they can see other bridges further away but other than that the room is very dull.
“The engine is huge, but where can we plant the explosives” Moktai comments.
“We have to find any hatch that puts us closest to the core of the machine, jump on and open any one, we have to just try and hope that we have some luck, I cover you”
Moktai jumps over the railing and onto the engine and starts to open up as many hatches as he can, on the private channel Rob contacts Bjorn.
“Yes Rob, a bit of bad timing now but go ahead”
“I’ve good and bad news sir, I’ve figured out a procedure to get you back inside Eclipse safely, so that is more or less cleared now sir, that was the good news, the bad news is that thanks to Davood we have identified the saboteur, its Loukh and he is with Henrik, please advise”
“Loukh?! Are you sure about this?” Bjorn questions.
“We have definitive proof that its Loukh sir, his fingerprint is all over the place and we found schematics in his private quarter”
“Let’s not say anything just yet, watch over Henrik and observe them through the video feed from the shuttle, alert him on a private channel if needed, otherwise just let them back onboard after they are cleared and secure Loukh, if required you are allowed to take him down”
“Affirmative, I’ll let you know if anything happens, good luck with the explosives and come back alive, over and out”
While Bjorn talked, Moktai was finished with the explosives and climbed back up onto the bridge again.
“I’ve planted the explosives on three different positions sir, let’s get out of here now”
“Follow me, we are very low on oxygen now, only got a few minutes left of air, so we really need to hurry”
They walk out of the room and moves as fast as they can back to the shuttle, they are only one hundred meter away from the airlock to the air should be just enough to get back to the shuttle.
“Watch out” Bjorn says as he sees a droid coming out of one of the doors on the left side of the corridor, and opens fire, he hits the droid who now floats lifeless in the corridor, behind them two more droids appear.
“We have to get out of here, do as I do” Moktai says as he disengages his magnetic boots, bends his knees and aims for the airlock, Bjorn does the same, and they jump together, moving very fast in the corridor, flashes of the droids pulse gun rounds are passing by them.
“Prepare to engage the boots again, we are almost there” Moktai says with an adrenalin filled voice.
Just as they activates their magnetic boots Bjorn hear Moktai screaming in the radio, he is hit by the droids pulse gun, his suit is ripped apart and he is vaporized almost in an instance.
Bjorn is shocked and almost crashes into the airlock door but he manages to connect to the floor and stop his forward movement just inches from the airlock and runs outside, he reaches the shuttle before any droids appear at the airlock.
He quickly departs and announces the loss of Moktai with a deeply tired and sad voice.
“With a deep sadness and great gratitude I have to announce that Moktai, who with bravery rarely seen and an ingenious quick mind just a few minutes ago helped me escape the ZOP ship alive, has left us, his last action alive was an showcase of bravery and he will forever live on in our hearts” he shuts off his radio for the rest of the journey back to Eclipse.
”I need this moment to honor him”
Bjorn lands his shuttle on Eclipse and orders Rob to move the ship away before the automatic detonation happens, with full thrust Eclipse begins to put the Man of war ship behind it and after only a couple of minutes the ship explodes with a very bright shockwave.
End of part 11
Part 12, Loukh!
Part 1, The Cube!
Part 2, Run!
Part 3, E.B.A.A.T!
Part 4, The Awakening
Part 5, Kionidoo
Part 6, The Tour
Part7, The Pick Up
Part 8, Lift off!
Part 9, Sabotage!
Part 10, Rescue mission
Thank you for reading this, hope that you find my story interesting and exciting.
Going to release this novel on Steemit, in parts with a few days between each part, need to work on translating the next part before I post it. I have been writing on it for a few years but never getting it out before, originally written in Swedish.
Dedicated to my lovely wife who gives me inspiration to write.
Hope that you like it.