Eric Olafson, Fleet Cadet
Chapter number 10
Previous CHAPTER 9: R and R
Current Huhgavh
Next Chapter 11: Whipped at the post

CHAPTER 10: HuhgavhEdit

Four weeks had passed after our weekend on Perryton. Owar had quit a few days after we returned from Perryton, claiming he couldn't make it. We were all a little depressed for a while to see our sleepy friend go. Especially since he had made it so far, but the rigors of training and learning soon faded his memory. Owar was among the last that left. Of the 150 cadets that had arrived ninety remained, or ten dorm groups. Owar's bed and place was taken by Kilan Gomer, from Hikee, he was of half human and Attikan and had features of both species evenly mixed, but unlike Pure or Fectiv, he was not very personal or likeable at least not to me. He declared that he considered himself to be an Alpha Male and therefore the natural leader and demanded that we all do as he said.

It didn't last long even though I tried hard to be sociable and polite but one insult was simply one insult to many and I challenged him to meet me at the Main bath room facilities in the center module and after hours, as weapons he chose wet towels.

Wet towels were widely used as an effective tool for pranks, teasing and one of the weapons of choice in Cadet Duels. Winner was to be declared the contestant who first threw the towel and gave up.

One might think a piece of fabric soaked with water is harmless, but with a flick of a wrist, the tip of the wet towel could reach supersonic speed, producing a loud cracking sound, exactly like a whip and it could leave welts and red streaks.

The fight ended with me full of welts and Kilan having a bloody nose. The Instructors gave us both two days of Isolation and then separated Kilan from our group and added him to another Company and dorm

Besides our Company of ninety remaining Cadets there were seven more, they all had started out on different spots around the planet and with about the same number of cadets at the beginning. It seemed that sixty percent was the average every Company had lost. Each Company stayed in one of the Dorm modules arranged around the Center hub. We stayed in East Five and were therefore E5 Company. Each Company had their own Company Instructor and they stirred the already fierce competitive spirit between those Companies even more. Everything became a competition. It didn't matter if it was eating at the Mess hall and who could finish faster or marching, running, shooting and test results.

But ever since we returned from Perryton it was no longer stressed by the Instructors and the atmosphere of learning and instruction changed from yelling and seemingly senseless tasks, to dedicated learning, training and studying, The remaining Cadets and that included me, could see the end and we all were confident that if nothing extraordinary would happen, we finish the first year and advance to the Sophomore period of the academy training program.

We now were no longer called Cadets, (even though technically we were) but Midshipmen and we received rank insignia. I was now a Midshipman Lt Commander and my rank display on my shoulders had four stripes and the United Stars Emblem of the stylized Spiral Galaxy.

I was not looking forward to the next section as we were transferred into space again. This time however we did not end up at Daniel Station but at a station called Rickman's Roost 20 light minutes from Green Eden. It had ArtiGrav and was much bigger than Daniel station situated in a hollowed out asteroid.

There a new Instructor greeted us there. "I am Lt Carolyn Steward. In less than 5 month you will have completed your first year that doesn't leave me much time for what we have to teach you here. "

She was a mean and lean looking woman and I thought with all the modern possibilities she could have changed her appearance, obviously she did not care much about her appearance. She had a flat chest, had big teeth and her dull brown hair was cropped to a very short buzz cut. While I was checking her out as she did the same with each of us." Most of you only completed your minimum required hours at ship-simulators, now it is time for the real thing. In the next two weeks you will learn how to pilot a variety of small and mid size space craft. We will go over navigation and engineering basics as well. So pay attention!"

It turned out this was my favorite class of all. It didn't matter that the space ship I piloted was a measly D20 trans-light shuttle. It was a true star ship. Its FTL engines could push it to super luminal speeds. It was only 20 meters long, had almost no shields and a very basic beam weapons, it was my ship, at least for a little while.

Lt. Steward took me off to the side after the first week." Midshipman Olafson, have you decided yet which direction you will go? You see the second year is to specialize. Communications, Security, intelligence, Navigation, Logistics, Science, Helm, tactical and engineering are the common ones. Ever thought about taking helm?"

"No Ma'am. I haven't really thought about that. Aren't helms men picked by their Neuro-H abilities?"

"Only for the big ships and there aren't enough Neuro H talents for all ships so there are always positions open for a good helms man and you appear to have a natural talent for it."

"I think about it, Ma'am."

The time flew and I could not wait to get up early enough to get behind the controls of whatever craft they assigned us and every free minute I spend in one of the simulators. Now I was certain beyond any doubt that I had made the right decision to join the Navy. Behind the controls of a ship I was not afraid of space but enjoyed every moment. The highlight and the end of the time on Rickman's Roost came when we were allowed to take a real Thor Gunboat out past the last orbit and simulated a battle engagement with real weapons against robotic Target drones.

I was unable to wipe the grin of my face even two days after and was proud of the shiny golden diagonal stripe added on my sleeve. I had been promoted to Cadet Captain and received my very first real military citation: Best in class. I felt quite disappointed when we had to return to planet side.

Interlude: Ranger BakerEdit

The music blasting from the small specialized space ship was called Country Music and no one past the Sol system would know what it was, the man in the one person command center of the ship however grew up in Texas, long before the Galactic Ascent. He was a big man, with fists like five pound hams, a barrel chest and a weathered sun tan. He was singing along one of the tracks at the top of his lungs.

So long ago he had been a Texas Ranger and now over three thousand years later and a long distinguished career in the Space Marine Corps he was back at doing what he liked doing best, being a Ranger and a frontier law man. He was an immortal, but not one of those picked by the guardian; he had become immortal even before the 200 where picked by an Alien that had appeared on the tribal lands of his Native American Grandfather.

So much had happened since then, but Peter Baker hadn't changed much. He was still the same can do Texan he had been back then.

Now he was a Union Ranger. Technically a law enforcement agency for the frontier areas of the Union but it was so much more. He delivered mail, judged in local disputes, assisted in medical emergencies. He had helped to deliver quite a few babies and not all of them were humanoid. He officiated in wedding ceremonies and did pretty much everything in between. Rangers belonged to the Bureau of Colony Affairs but had the full status of a Union Police Officer.

The Ranger Service was not for everyone and the training was very demanding. A Ranger on Frontier patrol duty was away for three month, usually alone, rarely in pairs.

Yesterday he had a long GalNet call talking to his old friend Wulf Starr, who like him served now in the Ranger Service, but half a galaxy away in the Coreward Sector.

He was not one of the famous immortals, but among the rangers and especially among the Settlers and colonists he was a legend.

Peter loved this job as he was mostly independent and could help.

Normally, his patrol range was the fringes of the Spinward Sector, but for the last six month he was sent out here to the Fornax Cluster. Sixty five colonies about as far as can be from the rest of the Union territory.

Actually he wanted to check on Cara's Place, a desert planet with a colony of less than ten thousand, at first a peaceful, quite rustic colony with down to earth folks, but ever since they found vast deposits of Iridium there was constant squabbling among the settlers and now there was a murder, but Cara's Place had to wait. He just received a call from Fornax Hub, that there was something strange going on at the Buonanno System, the space bus had reported that there were pirates or hostile aliens and the space bus was overdue.

His ship was for the most part a standard Ranger patrol ship. Based on the Barracuda Destroyer hull, was fast, well armed and had excellent shields. Unlike the Navy version the Ranger barracudas did not have a Translocator cannon or Loki torpedoes. It had larger freight compartments filled with emergency supplies, medical equipment and two LEGO Nanite Factories. But his Rusty Betsy, as he called his ship was modified by his friends and carried a few nasty surprises, as quite a few pirates and outlaws had found out. Still it would not be enough if there was some alien civilization invasion. He would have a look around, check on the bus and if there was more than he could handle, he would high tail and call in the cavalry. The problem was the closest full scale Navy base was in the Large Magellan Cloud and it would take at least 14 days to get a Battle group here.

He dropped out of quasi space. His long range sensors had not shown anything out of the ordinary, but now that he was in the Buonanno System his sensors could pick up everything in detail and he immediately noticed the spread of metallic debris not far from Planet Annapurna. There was the distinct signature of an ISAH engine explosion. The remaining mass was consistent with the D 180 Terry Finlay piloted.

He stopped the music and put his Stetson straight on as he sat up and activated his shields. Something or someone had destroyed the Space Bus and he did not want to be the next victim of whoever was out there.

The only energy signature he could detect, was from the Zero Point Storage at Annapurna. He had more experience than most men alive and he was not afraid but he still wished Dark Cloud or Wulf would be with him in situations like this.

He hailed Annapurna and did get no answer even after the sixth try. His computronic analyzed the power output at Annapurna port and verified that the equipment down there was working.

Of course there was cloaking technology and the possibility of something his sensor could not pick up was always there, but he did not rely only on Union tech but on the advanced technology Wulf Starr had installed.

He could of course report the destruction of the space bus and call for back up, but if there were colonists down there in trouble any delay would reduce their chances. Then his sensors picked it up, it was well concealed and standard sensors would have never picked it up, but there was something down there on that surface, an energy signature and it was multi dimensional.

There was no putting it off, he had to land and check it out. So he called in made his report and did call for back up and then approached the planet and prepared to land.

Chapter 10 Continued:Edit

In only 14 days from now we would leave Camp Idyllic and what seemed impossible at first did happen, we got used to the long days, heavy work load, never ending study sessions and physical training.

Lt Waltham our Exobiology teacher ended his class and said:" You will get this weekend of for R and R. But I could use a group of volunteers to accompany me for a little expedition. No one seemed to enthusiastic and no one volunteered. He looked in Galmy's direction and she got up." Sir I would like to volunteer." Since she was our friend we got up as well.

The other cadets left the class room, some looking at us with smug smiles. Lt Waltham smiled too, but his smile was genuine pleased and said to Galmy." I knew I could count on you Cadet Galmy, your genuine interest in exobiology shows in your study results and I am glad your friends come along."

Our dark haired beauty looked at us with her big eyes." Sorry guys. You didn't have to volunteer too." But her eyes were saying thank you for doing it anyway.

Waltham sat down on the desk and explained." We are going to take a Crawler Cat out into the Jungle all the way to the other side of the planet. We still haven't catalogued all of the native species; especially the southern continent has huge areas completely unexplored. Wilson, a farmer that has homesteaded there, reports of a lizard he believes shows signs of intelligent behavior and uses primitive tools. The Science Corps has ordered me to investigate that and to verify if there is an indigenous sentient life form to this world."

Six hours later while the other cadets enjoyed their time off, we unloaded a track crawler from the hold of a D30 transport. It was a Deere Planetary Survey Crawler with wide dura-plast tracks. It had a fusion cell for energy and could accommodate 12 beings for an extended period of time in almost any environment.

The Lieutenant was sitting in the passenger seat, while Galmy was driving it. The rest of us questioning the necessity of us being here sat in the back, while the machine pushed through the dense underbrush of the jungle.

Waltham swiveled the chair around. "I really appreciate you volunteering. I know most of you rather had the weekend off, but this is an opportunity for you to be on a real mission. One day you all are officers and an exobiological survey like this one will be very likely. You see the Fleet is not just fighting wars, keeping the borders safe and patrol traffic lanes for pirate activity. Among our main duties is the collection of knowledge. To expand our horizons, support the science corps and explore the unknown both in space and on the surface of new worlds. Some of you might not be stationed on a battle ship at all, but on an Explorer ship or on a research station on a distant planet."

Limbur crossed his arms." I sure hope not."

"What do you expect, Cadet?" The Lieutenant asked.

The bald headed cadet shrugged:" I am not sure, but to be in a remote research station with a bunch of Sci-Geeks sure isn't it. Besides I am going to specialize in Security during my second year."

"Once you graduate you could be posted anywhere. Personnel allocation may put fresh officers without experience at a quiet post where they can gain some experience." He directly looked at Limbur." Security is needed on all Navy holdings, be it a ship or a Science Camp."

"I still would like to know why you need us, Sir. I mean we aren't doing anything."

"Glad you asked Mister. Why don't you man the bio impulse scanner and check for neural patterns that might indicate sentient life."

"Sir I am not that good with that. Galmy is much better!"

The Lieutenant smiled." Now you have a reason to be here. Get some practice with the science equipment and you Cadet Narth will assist him. I am sure you can find things much easier with your Psionic powers, but I want you to use the scanner equipment instead."

Limbur mumbled something incoherent but he and Narth swiveled their seats, changed the configuration of the multi task consoles to the required task.

The Lieutenant seemed satisfied and then he said to me:" Mr. Olafson, this is an expedition into the unknown, potentially hazardous territory. You man the gun turret and keep your eyes and thread sensors open."

"Aye Sir!"

"Midshipman Olia Naa you are to take a break and lay down. You are going to take over driving later on."

"And you Mr. Serpin (he meant Wintsun) will take the assistant driver position."

The gun turret was a single forced energy projector on top of the Crawler and I controlled it from my console. The threat sensors weren't much good in this situation, the sensors could pick up energy sources, life forms, heat sources, movement, metallic and artificial materials but there where to many life forms out there, too much movement and heat sources besides I didn't expect any threats. There was no life form out there that could harm a full size crawler like that. The planet was deep in union territory and no unknown alien forces with hostile intentions would be lingering out there.

Even with the visual enhancement sensors and virtual sight head gear it was quite boring to scan the jungle.

I lost my sense of time but without looking at my multicom, I estimated that we were driving now for at least six or seven hours and still through untouched jungle. The scenery outside did not chance. Trees, Vines, bushes, Mud bogs, animals and more trees that why I was totally unprepared for the sudden jolt that virtually lifted me out of the seat and banged my head against something, I tasted blood in my mouth and then it went dark.

Interlude: Annapurna PortEdit

Peter had put his ship down on the leveled landing field of Annapurna Port. There was a small collection of stone and wood buildings. The energy signature came from the largest building in the little town, the local exchange.

He checked his gun, a copy of Wulf's Tri Blast and made sure his shield belt was fully charged and operational and then left the ship. As soon as he left, his shield locked and activated the purple shimmering Para Dim Shield.

It was about 1000 meters to the town and about the same distance to the metal building of the exchange.

He only walked about 500 meters when he found a terribly disfigured body of a woman lying face down on the ground. Whatever it was had ripped her in half.

The garish find reminded him of an event so long ago in New York City, back then a group of bio engineered Xunx monsters terrorized the unsuspecting city. He defeated the monsters, but he was with Wulf and Cloud back then. Wulf who was a Terran enforcer from an alternate time line commanded technology advanced from current Union Tech by at least another 500 years, had given Peter a copy of his battle suit and in situations like this, he was glad he had it. Cloud, his mysterious god like friend had left them even before the Ascent but he promised to return one day.

He could have activated the cloak and be invisible to most sensors and eyes, but he wanted to be seen and hoped there were survivors.

As he approached the open sided warehouse that was the Exchange, he saw the space ship parked underneath the roof. It reminded him of a silvery potato, but no species known to him had ships shaped like that.

In the same instance a powerful energy beam hit him and threw him several meters back. A second beam emitted from that craft and slammed into the shields of his ship.

"Shields down to 50 percent said his suit system, he drew his blaster dialed it to max discharge. A loud voice thundered across the field."You impress me human. You should be destroyed, but you will not survive another attack. Therefore you must surrender!"

"Surrender my ass!"

Chapter 10 continued:Edit

The first thing I saw was dirt, leaves and slug like animals at extreme close range. It was not very bright and the world seemed upside down. At first I thought I had been thrown out of the cat, but then I realized I still was connected to the Virtual sight gear. I severed the connection and tried to assess the situation. Something had turned the Crawler on its roof and a huge metal torn hole gapped at the front left side. It smelled of singed metal, plastic and the pungent odor of the jungle. Narth and Olia were lying right next to me and neither showed any signs of life. Galmy and Wintsun had been wearing their seat restraints and both struggled to get free. Limbur seemed unhurt and stared at me and pointed at the Lieutenant lying on his back in a puddle of dark liquid, he was closest to the hole and his seat was damaged as well. The main interior lights where off and only red light sources provided illumination.

"What happened?" I asked touching my head probing for the wound that trickled sticky blood down my face.

Limbur shook his head." I don't know. One moment Narth and I watch the sensor read out and then the entire cat starts rolling and bumping, something hit us and part of it got the Lieutenant."

Galmy lowered herself:" I was driving up a steep hill as the Lieutenant ordered when the entire hill came loose in a sudden explosion and I think I saw the trail of a missile just before we got hit!"

Wintsun also managed to get clear from the seat." I think we got attacked!"

"We can figure out later how it happened exactly." I said." Wintsun check on the Lieutenant. Galmy get on the Comm. and call for help. Limbur see what we got for weapons!"

I crawled to Narth and checked for life signs and found none at all. I could not feel him in my mind at all!

Just then Olia came about with a groan and sat up. She had a bad cut across her arm and burns in her face.

Wintsun said with an urgent tone:" Limbur get the Med Pack. The Lieutenant is in really bad shape!"

Galmy's voice was shrill:" Eric, the Comm. Unit is not working, neither the diagnose cycle nor the self repair mode protocols respond."

"Don't panic, Galmy. Go down the list of actions just as we trained. Check the emergency power. If you can't get power, see if you can access GalNet with your Implant and run a reboot cycle the Nanite repair module."

Narth stirred and his gloved hand found my arm." Eric, I am not used to this corporal existence. This body is severely damaged, if it can't be repaired in time or I am able to transfer myself, I will cease to exist. I do not know how much time I have. I want to let you know that you made me understand the concept of true friendship and for that alone I am thankful and made all this worthwhile!"

"Narth don't talk like this! What needs to be done to repair your body or can you be transferred somewhere?"

"Repair can only be made by Narth. Transfer can only be made if there is another Huhgavh!"

I held his arm tight." What is a Huhgavh? I still don't know enough about Narth. But I will do everything to save you! Do you hear! Everything!"

"Narth are not corporal as you. We occupy..." He struggled and his voice faded for a moment." We occupy physical bodies to interact with this reality. The Huhgavh is my true vessel of being, but without the proper vessel I will dissipate."

"Transfer it into me! Will that work?"

"It was never done! You will be violated and there is much pain involved! It could kill you or erase your personality!"

"Narth you are my friend. I gladly lay down my life for you. If this will save your life, then do it! I must do it! Don't die on me!"

"Remove my hood. Make sure no one else can see my face. It would be harmful to them!"!

The others were too busy to look. So I pulled his hood and stared into the face of a god. At first it appeared human, but no human was so perfect. It was neither female nor male. No words I knew could describe it. Warm golden light made the skin glow and the light became more intense and engulfed me. The light was everywhere, drowned everything else. Then there was pain, as if a sharp object was slowly pushing and turning at the spot between my eyes. The pain increased and it was nothing like I ever felt before and it kept intensifying. I threw up, but barely noticed. I bit my tongue but it was nothing compared to the withering pain I experienced in my mind, and I heard a sharp crack as one of my teeth splintered. The pain was everywhere, the light no longer golden but blinding white… and then it was all gone!

Narth's body before me now looked like a wilted mummified body of a thousand years old skeletal corpse with brownish leathery skin stretched over it. I felt weak and noticed I had soiled myself! No I felt the pain of my swollen tongue and the broken tooth.

Wintsun approached me." Eric are you alright?"

"I don't know to be honest, but I am alive. We can sort things out later. How are the others?" I barley recognized the babbling voice as my own.

"Everyone has minor cuts and bruises, but the Lieutenant is comatose and I don't think he will survive. His pulse is barley there."

"This is a landing Crawler don't they come with Space suits?"

"Yes it does! Let's get the Lieutenant into one!"

It was quite difficult to dress a limb body in this confined compartment, but we made it.

"Narth is dead?" Wintsun wiped tears out of his eyes.

"Let's put his body in a suit too! He is not human maybe the Narth can still do something for him" I said. I knew I should be devastated losing my best friend I could not think of him as gone.

Limbur handed everyone a Standard Navy Blaster he had retrieved from the Emergency Locker.

I checked the energy level and the green indicator showed a full charge and said." Galmy, Olia and Wintsun you continue to try repairs. Limbur and I will go outside and check the area. Someone has fired on us and it is possible they are not done with us. So we need to find them first!"

We crawled outside and hushed to a fallen tree. Looking back I saw that our crawler had been hit two times. One hit destroyed much of the rear tracks and the second had hit us right at the cockpit area. After two hours of carefully scouting the area we found the empty starter platform of an old automated Area Denial Drone launcher. It was not fleet issue. Limbur checked it over."That is a Telemann Missile Monitor. Those are often dropped by the hundreds from air or orbit to control an area without deploying troops or expensive robots."

"Who would drop something like that here?" Was all I could say?

"Maybe left over from some war exercise and simply forgotten. These are not very effective against shielded targets."

"It was enough to kill Narth and destroy our crawler!" I pressed between my teeth and all is my fault! I was manning the thread sensor!"

"No it was not your fault. Telemann's are camouflaged against sensor detection and the crawler doesn't have any Mil Grade Sensors, just basics."

We returned to the Crawler and told them what we found. Neither Galmy nor Wintsun were able to get contact to GalNet via their Implants.

Galmy pounded the console "Rotten Liver of Dildur, cursed demon of all that's rotten! I am not getting anything!" This was the first time I ever heard her curse that way." It is as if we were hit by an EMP."

"That is not unlikely. One of the missiles hitting us could have had an EMP warhead component." Limbur said."

"What are we going to do now?" Olia asked.

"Do you have a map available? Isn't there a homestead, a farm around here somewhere?"

She nodded. "Before we rolled over, we where about 25 clicks away from that place, I think."

Olia showed me the place on a hand held.

"Alright, this is what we are going to do. Galmy, Limbur and I will go to that farm. Olia you take that Comm. unit apart and see if you can fix it. Wintsun you stay with her and help her, but mostly keep an eye on the wounded, if we aren't back with help within ten hours. You will have to go as well."

We equipped ourselves as good as possible: Water, Vibro Machetes, and Blaster Guns and Food rations for a march through rough jungle terrain and without further delay went back outside.

Under normal conditions and level ground one could make 5 clicks an hour. But the jungle terrain was not level and we had to use the vibro machetes quite often to cut a passage into the dense foliage. It was incredibly humid and I was trenched in sweat after only ten minutes. We also had to be careful not to run into Millipede-burrowers, the life form Narth and I encountered on our first night on this world. The possibility that there were more Telemann Missile Monitors was also likely.

Despite all this, we made steady progress; Limbur seemed as fresh as when we started. Galmy's long hair stuck like glued to her face, and she too suffered in the moist heat, but kept up fine.

We had to fire twice at large animals but otherwise the march was strenuous but uneventful. Limbur saw it first and stopped." We made it!" We reached a large clearing in the jungle surrounded by a tall shock field fence. The area behind the fence was cleared from jungle vegetation and we saw a group of buildings in the distance and an agro bot slowly rolling over a field nearby. The Shock fence was 14 meters tall and there was no way to climb it without getting shocked.

Without asking Limbur walked to the next fence post and used his vibro machete to slice through the metal. The monofilament blade vibrated at a rate of 60,000 cycles per second, anything short of molecule compacted Ultronit was cut like butter.

The post fell over and created a gap in the shock field. We barely made it through the gap when the Agra bot swung around and approached us at high speed. "Intruders! You are trespassing and caused property damage. Cease all activity, authorities have been alerted!"

"Robot. I am Eric Olafson of the United Stars Navy. I am a lawful citizen of the union. Human lives are in danger. "

Every non military robot was required to be base programmed with Asimov's three laws and I invoked his prime program by identifying myself that way.

The robot stopped approaching and snarled:" State the nature of the emergency. How can I assist?"

A hover jeep screamed from the distant buildings and reached us fast. Two men were sitting behind the controls. The hover jeep had a transparent wind deflector but was otherwise open. Both men were armed and they both pointed their energy blasters at us. They where human, one older with gray hair and the other much younger with brown hair. The older one jelled:" What is the meaning of this?"

"Sir I am Midshipman 3rd class Eric Olafson. We are from Camp Idyllic and we had an accident twenty clicks from here. There are wounded and we are here to get help!"

"Not here you don't! I don't know how you made it out alive, but now turn around and leave at once! I have no desire to help you!"

"Sir, we have two comrades that are seriously wounded. Please use your comm. unit to contact the base for help and we will be on our way!"

"I wanted the Jungle to kill you, but I think I have to do it myself!"

The man fired! The bright energy beam slammed only a few centimeters away from my foot into the dirt. Clumps of hot dirt, Smoke and steam showered me. He yelled:" Turn around and leave my land! I won't repeat myself and I will shoot to kill!"

I was prepared for anything but that. Didn't he understand our situation? Why was he shooting at us? His weapon was real enough and the crater before my feet was still smoking. Why did he want us dead? Who was he?

"Sir, I must insist on your assistance. I have not many options!"

He fired! But a heartbeat before knew he was about to shoot, and just before he pressed the trigger. I jumped by pure instinct to the side, still not fast enough to completely escape the sun hot blast. The beam came so close it scorched my shoulder. I heard Galmy scream and turned to see with horror Galmy falling to the ground.

I had enough of this! I was getting really angry. The gun he held suddenly flew in a wide arch out of his hands, I had no idea why it did that, Narth was no longer with us but I used the chance, pressed my gun to the shoulder and aimed." Sir, cease all hostilities now or I will vaporize you! No further warning will be given!"

He cursed and called me names some of them I had never heard before, but he raised his arms. I yelled:" Limbur get him!"

Limbur jumped and his powerful leg muscles used to three gee propelled him in a high arch onto the jeep's hood. He reached for the two men and yanked them with little effort simultaneously out of their seats and threw them to the ground. I pointed the muzzle of my gun directly at the old man's nose." Pray to your god's old man! Pray that Galmy is alive."

He shivered and ground his teeth.

Limbur jumped down, rushed to Galmy and said." She is alive, Eric!. The blast didn't hit her directly, but she got burned pretty badly. She needs attention soon!"

I was about to kill the man. Just then I heard the robot rolling closer." Emergency channels are open.

"You are going to pay for this cadet! I have you court-martialed. I have you hung for this! Do you know who you are dealing with?"

"With a lunatic obviously, Sir! I have no time to discuss the situation with you any further, but I have a good mind to search your place. Your violent reaction leaves only one conclusion, you have something to hide here!"

"I remember your face. You will be hung!" he screamed.

When he screamed at me I got a strange vision. It was as if I could see right into his brain and there was hatred towards me. I saw Cadet Swybin's face. I also saw rows of white Plasti containers hidden in a room under the homestead. The Plasti containers held clear cylinders with a white powder and I knew it was something illegal.

The vision faded as sudden as it came.

I used the robots Communications Equipment and reached Camp Idyllic without problems. After I explained my situation and gave them directions I was assured help is on the way.

Help did arrive only 40 minutes later. Narth's remains, Lieutenant and Galmy where rushed to medical and I was arrested! Two marines and a Lt Commander I haven't met before approached me and told me I was to be arrested until the investigation was completed. No one told me what the actual charges were, but I was stripped naked searched and put in a transparent, degrading coverall and locked up in a holding cell.

Interlude: Annapurna Port continued:Edit

Wulf activated his cloak and put the suit in flight mode. Like a human missile he flew towards the ware house. Another energy beam emitted from the alien craft and slammed into the ground, where he had been a second ago. "Rusty, activate weapons and open remote control. He slaved the ships weapon control to his suit and a pair of green crosshairs appeared before his eyes. As soon as he lined up the cross hairs he pressed with his thumb on a small contact on the side of his index finger and a rotary chain gun on the side of his ship fired a burst of 20,000 ultra heavy Neutronium slugs accelerated to almost the speed of light against the alien ship.

A bright yellowish energy shield became visible, it flickered and collapsed a heart beat later under the tremendous kinetic energy onslaught. A hatch opened and a huge four armed alien emerged. At first he thought it was a Pertharian, but he was there when the Y'All attacked, the last time. This was a Y'All!"

His Tri Beam weapon was the product of the 54th Century in an alternative reality time and he fired into the alien ship right next to the Y'Alls head." Drop your weapons, buster. You are under arrest for murder!"

Next chapter: Whipped at the post

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