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Chapter 2: Dent’s Last Stand

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Galactic Chronicles IX: Eric Olafson, Space Pirate
Chapter number 2
Previous Chapter 1: Alone
Current Dent’s Last Stand
Next CHAPTER 3 : SIN 4


The hearing into Eric’s apparent death sees the Olafson Gang struggling with the fact that their friend and leader is gone. Narth joins the group.

As the true facts about Eric’s accident come to light , the entire delegation is taken hostage by the Purple Worm.

Meanwhile Eric struggles to keep alive on the lawless Planet Sin 4

Chapter 2: Dent's last standEdit

Interlude Edit

The inquest into Eric's death already lasted more than two hours and continued behind closed doors. So far no one had called any of them to make a statement.

Har Hi held a PDD, he wanted to write a eulogy, he was sure he had to give one during the memorial service after the inquest was over.

He had not written more than Eric's name. "He became the best friend I ever had. He was like a real brother to me; even though he was not Dai I am sure he would have been among the first warriors in my tribe."

Wetmouth said with a dry voice. "You should simply write that then. I just realized how little I knew about him. We all talked about our origins and where we came from, but we never really asked Eric."

Har Hi said. "He has beautiful sisters and an uncle or grandfather who is the representative of his world."

Mao wiped his eyes. "We should all go there; to his planet I mean and bring his remains to his family."

Krabbel spread upper arms. "Yes we should go there, but I think he would want to be released into space."

Wetmouth worked her PDD and said. "They gave me access to his personal file maybe there are some things we can use.” She switched to field screen output and Eric's file was displayed on a larger force field screen they all could see.

Hans and Wetmouth started to cry again as Eric's image came up and Har Hi said after reading a few lines." We don't need a file to remember Eric, turn it of Wetty."

The door opened and Admiral Webb came out and motioned them to remain seated after Har Hi got up and wanted to announce the presence of an officer. He approached the group and said. "Sorry kids, but the inquest is still on. They are waiting on the Devastator to arrive. Admiral Stahl and General Lichfangh are on their way and should be here within the hour."

Shaka finally spoke; he had not uttered a word since he learned that Eric was dead. "What will happen next, Sir?"

Webb the Ult had spent most of his life among humans and non-Ult and had adopted a few distinctive human mannerisms; he sighed and tried to put empathy into his voice. "I personally am not convinced that this was an accident and it was me who insisted on PSI corps presence. So it might take a little while longer, but if we rule it was an accident then there will be a memorial service and we all go back to where we came from, in your case it will be the Devastator, of course." Webb pointed to an empty seat and added. "There is a short recess now, would you mind if I sit with you a little? I did know Midshipman Olafson personally."

Har Hi who became the speaker of the group said. "Of course Sir, please join us. We are trying to phrase a eulogy for the memorial service."

Webb looked at them. "You are indeed quite a diverse group, just as they say. Your friend Eric managed to stand out the first day he was at the academy, you know." He told them about how Eric organized a chain to fetch water for his moisture suit.

That made Har Hi smile. "Yes that sounds like him, alright!"

Krabbel said. "He hated unfair situations you know. That was the reason he got in the middle of things so often."

Across from their seating group was a bank of IST tubes and a tall Shiss appeared from one of them. He wore Captain's Black on his sleeves and was followed by a Klack Commander.

Webb got up and greeted the new arrived officer. "Captain Zezzazzzzz what a surprise to see you here."

The muscular four armed Shiss growled. "We were only 70 light years from here when my Takian Comm Officer heard the news on the Chit Chat channels. Is it true? Is Eric Olafson is dead?"

Webb could not nod his head so he declined his upper torso to imitate that human gesture. "Yes, the inquest into his death is still going on." The Ult made a sweeping gesture over the midshipmen, "these are his team mates and friends. We were just talking about Eric."

The Shiss captain motioned to the Klack and said. "This is my XO Lt. Commander Xt' nartoo and I am Captain Zezz. We are friends of Eric and we are here to pay our respects."

Not long after that another Ult also wearing Captain's gold followed by Olia and Limbur joined the growing group. "I am Captain Wonn, of the Avalon, and these are my finest crew members and the best midshipmen I ever had the privilege to have aboard my ship. They have been friends to the deceased and I am here to ask if they could remain until the ceremony is over?"

Everyone started talking how they met Eric and what he did. When Har Hi told how Eric busted a chair over his back thinking he was an intruder, there were the first giggles and Zezz made a hissing sound as he started to laugh. "Yes that sure is the Eric I remember. He saved my life and that of my brother in an incredible display of courage and fighting skills and I wish I could tell you about it, but I was there when he earned his Medal of Honor."

A new voice said with an amused tone. "This is how he should be remembered, with laughter and tall tales."

Everyone turned, Admiral Stahl was there. No one had really noticed him coming and with him was Captain Harris. "I have lost many individuals. Some in battle and some to time as it is the curse of an immortal, but I truly feel the loss of this remarkable young man, who in short time impacted so many lives and made such a deep impression on all those he met."

There was nodding and agreeing expressions. Admiral Webb updated the Immortal and concluded. "It may matter little in the great scheme of things but I would really like to know what really happened. I did not agree on what form that final challenge took in the first place, these are Navy Cadets and not Marines."

The immortals expression was stoic but his eyes did show regret and even sorrow. "General Lichfangh came with me and she has already begun her investigation. She will be here shortly and if anyone can get the truth and find out what really happened it will be her." He sat down as did the Captain of the Devastator. Har Hi got up and took the Reagan trophy and handing it to Harris, said: "Sir, we know Eric wanted you to have this one."

Harris took the bowl and said with a dry voice. "You all made me very proud."

A black robed being, completely shrouded came over from the IST bank and saluted looking at Stahl. "Midshipman Narth reporting as requested, Sir."

The Immortal made a sad face. "I am sorry Midshipman Narth, I completely forgot about you." Then he looked to Har Hi and the others and said. "This is Midshipman Narth he was supposed to join your group. He too was a friend of Eric."

Mao got up and went to the newcomer, put his hand on his shoulder and said. "Eric told us often about you and we know he considered you something like a brother. Come sit with us, we are talking about Eric."

Elfi sniffed and said, "Narth, do you want to know how he died?"

The voice of the mysterious being had cold emotionless character and it was as if there was a slight echo when he spoke. "One wishes to know the identity of the being that ceased to live, before one wants to know how this being died."

Elfi actually felt a little afraid of the mysterious Narth, but she came closer never the less. "There is no easy way to say it, Narth, but Eric is dead."

"One was under the assumption this gathering was to discuss his rescue. One can assure you Eric is not dead."

Shaka said with thinly veiled anger in his voice. "Denial does not bring him back, and he is not a supernatural Narth that cannot die. We saw him burn up!"

"I must apologize if One caused anger, however this Narth is an all natural Narth. I do know about the existence of a supernatural Narth. Perhaps your definition of nature is not the same as the definition Narth understands."

Wetmouth touched Shaka. "Don't be mad at him, Eric loved this Narth deeply and everyone grieves differently."

The shrouded being was silent for a moment and then said. "I have not interacted with humans and other beings like I did with Eric for many months; I do not understand many of the emotions and feelings that motivate you, but I assure you Narth can die, as I woulod have if Eric had not risked his life to save me."

Galmy and Limbur nodded at the same time. "That is true, we were there when it happened. We thought you were dead!"

"I was very close to this state of non existence and the reason for my long absence was that my physical body had to be reconstructed so my Huhgavh could reincarnate. Eric and Narth shared the Huhgavh and for this reason there is a bond between Eric and Narth that is not easily explained as it is beyond what you define as Psionics, but I assure you Eric is not dead. He is alive!"

A stun grenade could not have had a greater effect on the group. It was the immortal admiral who first found words. "I have seen Narth do things I believed impossible. If he is not dead, then where is he? Can he be saved?"

"That I do not know. Eric is well shielded against Psionics even for Narth and he has not learned yet how to control his abilities. I do know that he is quite far from here and he is fighting for his live and in great danger."

Har Hi slammed his fist on the low coffee table, making the Reagan trophy jump. "If he is alive then who died in that suit and how did he get to wherever he is?"

Alyica Lichfangh, the Commandant of the feared PSI Corps arrived stepping into the room through a glowing portal of red light that disappeared as fast as it had flashed into existence. While most of those present marveled at her method of arrival she said to Stahl. "I am done, Richard. I know what happened."

The Immortal got up. "Then let us go in there and end this and then we are going to find Eric."

He went to the conference room door and made a motion with his hand. "I meant all of us; you deserve answers just as I do."

The inquest into the death of Eric Olafson was chaired by Dent of course as it was his Academy. He lorded over the proceedings and enjoyed the attention and the fact that he had accomplished what his associates wanted.

The other officers present were Commandants of other Academy branches and his inner staff. If it was up to him, the procedure would have been over, the incident declared an unforeseeable accident and everything would be back to business. Most of the other Commandants even agreed with him, for to them it was just an accident. The evidence provided was good, the eye witness accounts solid, the Poly Analyzer well rigged and even Mc Elligott with all his detail questions appeared ready to call the verdict. But it was Admiral Webb that stalled the proceedings, had the evidence reanalyzed and personally questioned every witness and then had asked for a recess.

Dent had enough and leaning forward said: "I don't see any reason to prolong these proceedings any longer. My esteemed colleague of Arsenal Academy seems to have different ideas about what a short recess is. We agreed on twenty minutes and he is gone now for almost an hour. This is still my academy and I call for a resolution. We all agree it was an accident and by God's name it was just a Cadet. We all had men die under our commands before."

He saw most of them nodding or agreeing. Mc Elligott glanced to the door probably waiting for Webb to reappear.

And the door did slide open and Admiral Stahl walked in. Dent did not expect the old Warrior to be here before the verdict was made. Somewhere deep inside him fear started to grow. He had little respect for Mc Elligott as he considered him an old fool, but the man that just walked in was a different story. He’d never met Stahl in person before. The man they often called the Eternal soldier brought an aura into the room that was not explainable, but almost touchable.

Other beings followed Stahl into the room. He recognized Webb of course and he smirked as he saw Harris. The woman in the black cat suit and the long silver colored hair he knew he should know who she was, but he could not remember at the moment. He said. "Even though it is an honor to greet you Admiral Stahl, this is an orderly proceeding and we are about to come to a verdict. I will gladly give you a briefing afterwards. "He then pointed his gavel at the cadets. "You need to leave, this is a closed hearing."

Stahl crossed his arms. "General Lichfangh here has conducted her own investigation and she is going to enlighten us all and these proceedings are far from over."

All blood left Dent's face and a cold fist clenched around his stomach. General Lichfangh, he should have recognized her right away. There was a rumor that no one could lie in her presence and everyone knew she was among the most potent Telepaths known.

Commander Decker actually got up before anyone else could say anything. "I like to confess…"

Stahl's voice had a razor sharp edge. "Sit down, traitor. It is far too late for that!"

Alyica said. "Eric Olafson is not dead. He was abducted. All you saw burn up was a rigged remote controlled Quasimodo and the charred bio matter you found was manufactured bio tissue from Olafson's DNA. The Lab technician who made it has confessed."

Dent's hand slowly disappeared underneath the desk. All his plans and all his future had ended and he knew it.

The Psi Corps general continued. "While you all saw the accident and the sabotaged suit explode, Eric was stuffed in a message capsule and sent on his way out of the system, the same time the Orbital Assault began. No one noticed because the Officer on the ship’s sensors was an accomplice to Commander Becker. Eric was collected by Lt. Zyzahan at the outmost orbit; Zyzahan was also an instructor on this Academy and part of the criminal conspiracy that is the dark secret of this so called Elite School."

Wetmouth could not stop herself and said. "Where is he, where is Eric?"

The Psi corps General who had faced the petrified audience of Academy Commanders and Officers said. "No one here knows. The destination was only known to Lt. Zyzahan."

Dent hissed. "He will suffer for what he had done to the Worm! He will be sold to the Togar for flesh food! His eyes turned up and he made a gargling sound then his hand came up with a PPD.

Alyica said with a warning tone. "He is under the influence of a very strong Hypno implant."

The PDD projected a field screen into the middle of the room and a purple clad being appeared. It had the basic proportions of a human being but its head was that of a faceless worm, segmented, and with an ugly ring mouth. "I am the Purple Worm and my plan has succeeded. You are all here. Admiral Stahl, Admiral Mc Elligott, the famous Alyica Lichfangh and a host of high ranking officers.

With one single strike I am going to accomplish what no one has ever dreamed to do. I am going to kill you all! Don't try to flee or leave. You have one chance and one chance only. You are to order Centron of the Devastator to accept Dent as its Commanding Officer. You are immortals and old enough to know that I am not bluffing. I have the means to kill you all in an instant and you Mr. Stahl will give Centron the Natrahee Command, the same Command that made it your ship so long ago, the Celtest sequence code you alone know that overwrites all others, that will make it Dents ship and opens all the legendary X decks filled with working Celtest weapons and technology. You’ve got ten minutes to think about it."

The field screen went dark.

Interlude Pt II Edit

The being in the purple suit leaned back. When Dent told him that the Admiral of the Fleet himself would show and that the Devastator was on her way, there was a chance that both Immortals would be on the same planet, feeling safe with their ships in orbit on a Union fleet installation. A planet, however that controlled through Dent and his other minions. Setting up the trap was easy, Dent was an Admiral and had free access to any weapon including the 1000 kilo AM Bomb he had them place in the basement of the administration building.

The Worm crawled for almost as long as the Union existed through every crack and hole of its shiny armour and burrowed deep finding information and learning secrets.

What would the eternal soldier say if he ever found out who the Purple Worm really was? The being chuckled silently at that, since it would never happen. Stahl would never use the Celtest command code, so they all had to die.

CHAPTER 2 Pt 2: SIN 4 Edit

I had reached the end of the landing field and stood before a wall at least twenty meters high, made of the same reddish colored Duro-crete material as the crumbling landing field.

The wall had cracks as well but none big enough to even look trough. I could no longer hold it and relieved myself against that wall. In all my misery and my hopeless situation, I found true bliss in taking care of this most simple of all needs.

After walking a short distance along the wall I found a large sewer pipe and crawled in.

Not a moment too soon as I found. Three beings in hover suits flew by at a slow pace. I heard one say." I don't think he could gotten this far. Let's go the other way. I bet the Union boy went south towards the water."

His companion agreed and both zipped into the other direction.

Something with tentacles , milky white and oozing with slime crawled from the back of the pipe. It took several blasts to make it stop move.

I waited till the sun set. Neither of the flying men had come back

I sneaked back hoping the drive section of the Courier ship was not completely destroyed and maybe I could lift off into space using Arti Grav and the ship had communication equipment. Something I could call for help with and find out who in Odin 's name I was.

As careful as I had left I went back. Crouching behind a piece of torn landing gear I peaked between ripped hydraulic hoses to see what was going on.

The Nul landing tank was destroyed, is front section completely turned to slack and still glowing cherry red. The fire that was burning inside was out and whatever powered the tank had not exploded, at least not yet.

The first flyer that was hit by the tanks blast no longer smoked or burned either and I saw the bodies two of the armor wearing individuals that had come to get me. A shallow crater was all that was left of the third. The crew of the second flyer, I counted five stood at the boarding ramp of the Kartanian Jihhif , one of them arguing with someone inside I could not see while the others had their weapons aimed at a group of about 20 ragged looking beings, humans and non humans, most of them belonging to species I did not know. Everyone of that larger group was armed and wore some kind of armor. None looked new or complete and the weapons ranged from blasters to clubs and knifes.

The night wind brought some cooler air and also carried some of the heated debate over into my direction. I could not hear every word and the language they used was Freezone-squak, a mixture of Union standard, Kermac Rhodom , Shiss Hiz and a dozen other sources that developed into the trade and Trans-culture language of Freespace .

Freezone-Squak was part of the Lingu packages uploaded into my brain at the academy during the first year, but it appeared they used a version of it, a local dialect and I could not get it all. Despite my difficulty to understand what they were saying I had no problem understanding what it was about.

The larger group was some sort of scavenger gang claiming the ship as theirs, the crew of the second flyer was much better armed and their battle armors looked factory new and certainly had shield capability, argued that it was unhealthy to interrupt their business.

I was certain violence would follow soon in one way or the other and I was actually surprised they did talk first, from what I learned of this stinking and dirty place so far was that shooting came first.

This however reduced my prospects to take possession of the Kartanian courier considerably or to say it plainly. This idea of mine was a dead end and I was screwed like a Fangsnapper diving for Tyranno eggs and finding the mother instead.

No one however cared about the first damaged flyer, maybe not everything was destroyed inside and there was something I could use to improve my situation. I was close enough and could make it there unseen. It was a Union Manufacture, a Daihatsu-Enroe armored glider and from the looks of it a recent model. Now at closer inspection it looked as if the flyer did have shields active while it was hit and the armor also deflected some of the blast energy. The damage was less than it appeared at first, but the thing would not fly without major repair work. The left Arti Grav was completely gone and the thrust turbine was a twisted molten mess. I poked my blaster into the open rear hatch first and then looked. A dead human was still sitting in the driver's seat; the sudden impact had broken his neck. A small palm sized flat box with the logo of the First Union Bank caught my eye. I put it in my pocket and was elated as I took the weapon of the dead man. It was finest Terran Weapon Tech, a genuine H&K Raketen Gewehr and he had even two spare magazines with him.

His boots looked like real Union manufacture Terran All Terrains . I took them off the dead man's feet. Like all good Union shoes and boots they were Auto Dresser enabled and thus vari-sized.

My naked feet were dirtier than the socks of Egill when I first saw him and my soles were bleeding from at least a dozen cuts, thankfully small ones. It was a Union flyer and so it didn't take me long to find the first aid kid, cleaned and treated my wounds as fast and as good as I could. The possibility that someone remembered this flyer and would check it out was only a matter of time.

With a thankful sigh I slipped into the boots, ripped the size adjuster open and waited for the faint hissing sound to end that signaled the re sizing was complete. I closed the seams of the re-adjuster, gave the dead man a thankful pad on the shoulder. It was perhaps not the nicest thing to steal from the dead, but he was part of a crew that was involved in my abduction. Thinking about that made me wish he was alive so I could kill him.

I was sure I could not linger here for long. Eventually those scavengers or whatever was out there would find it. I also put the dead man's jacket on, not for warmth but to disguise my uniform as much as I could; not wanting to be recognized as a Union Officer until I knew where I was. He had a sizeable bag of radshield coated polonium coins with him and a wicked looking combat knife of unknown origin.

I felt much better, armed to the teeth, boots on my feet. I knew I was somewhere in Free Space, but not too isolated from the Union. Maybe there was some sort of communications center in that city beyond the space port from where I could call for help.

The expected fight broke out; I could hear the sharp crack of blaster fire and the deep thud of a grenade launcher followed by a thundering explosion. Through one of the flyers view port, I noticed now three distinctive groups battling over the Courier ship. The grenade had damaged the second flyer, another grenade came in like a bright blue shining meteor in a steep ark, I was sure it was some sort of Nul Graviton weapon as it connected with the other flyers shields and with a rumbling explosion sucked dirt, matter, two men into a small dense ball and collapsed the last remnants of the fighters shields.

Someone used heavy ordinance out there, lingering here any longer was pushing my luck.

Quickly I searched the rest of the flier and the small cargo hold. The Hold was clearly designed to hold a prisoner. It was equipped with a stasis box and there was one of those transparent plastic prisoner suit s complete with activation and punishment collar. They sure came prepared to take me to wherever they had planned to take me.

The night had fully set in and it was quite dark out there, except for the flashing lightning show the battle provided. I hoped they did not have any night vision equipment or at least weren't looking into this direction and I ran.

With good boots on my feet and my Nilfeheim eyes wide open, I sprinted as if I was chased by a dozen hungry Nubhir wolfs across the wide open patch, past the half melted tank and past the burned out wreck the tank had used to hide towards the skyline of that alien city. I chanced and looked over my shoulder. No one was following me, at least anyone I could see. Hopefully no one with a Cloaking field was on my trail.

The Wall with the pipe was according to the flying guy in the north; to the south was an ocean. The skyline of that city could be seen to the north behind that tall wall and to the west. What was to the east I could not tell?

This was a landing field of a sizable space port and while there was garbage, debris and scrap strewn and piled everywhere it had huge wide open areas and I estimated the skyline to be at least 12 kilometers away. The Air above that city was alive with flyers and even from this distance and I could see aerial dog fights of flyers fighting each other.

Some of the Sky scrapers were brightly lit and I could see colored signs and lights others were dark and just cutout silhouettes against the sky. One tall scraper had a blazing inferno what must have been the 200th floor, but I saw no emergency or first responders.

I had kept running at a steady pace parallel to the tall wall in a western direction for more than two or perhaps three hours, taking short breaks whenever I found a place that had enough cover for me to feel at least somewhat safe.

I closed onto a group of buildings, what I assumed was the passenger terminal of this space port.

It was dark, no lights anywhere and what once were tall transparent wall panels, were busted and shattered and only pieces of the transparent material remained in the frames of these large facade windows.

On the far side of that space port terminal was a thick looking Duro-crete tower with a massive gun turret on top. Up there I saw a faint light. The shadow of a man was leaning against a hand rail and he was smoking something similar to Shaka's cigarettes and every time he sucked on it the orange glow illuminated his face. He was too far for me to make out any details but he looked human.

He flicked his cigarette or smoke stick away and disappeared through a thick armored door back into the turret and it slowly rotated its barrels pointed to the sky.

Now I could make out some of the project-a-signs beyond the wall and the terminal buildings. Some of them in clear Union Lingu advertising Casinos, Gambling, Hotels and restaurants. The name of the planet was used in many of the advertisements and I knew where I was, this was Sin 4 , the hell-hole Wetty was born.

The walls of the building before me were pocket marked with thousands of blaster holes and scorch marks.

I had to go through that building as it appeared to be the only access to the city on the other side.

That strange space port ghost building so close to a bustling city felt like a trap as I thumped the safety to off on the H&K Missile gun and dialed the mini missiles to bio-track.

This weapon did not fire beams or rays but small rockets, each with an armor piercing ceramic tip of monofilament sharpness and a few grams of a very potent explosive. Each of these little rockets could be programmed to do a variety of neat tricks, like follow the Neuro impulse pattern of a specific individual, linger in midflight for several minutes until the target appeared or explode behind or above a cover to shower anyone below with deadly shrapnel.

That was the good part, the bad part was you needed a Neuro jack and a data brain or a combat helmet to access and use all those wonderful abilities of the weapon, the man I took it had the Neuro jack, I did not.

Inside the building it was even darker. The exit doors on the other side were about 500 meters away.

The Interior of the place stank of feces, urine but mostly of decomposing flesh, the stench of death.

I stayed as close to the walls as I could, picking my way slowly and as silently as I could, through the trash and debris that littered the floor. I almost stepped onto the rotting corpse of a semi humanoid life form, much of its head was gone and so were most of its clothing and the flesh of its upper torso.

As I stepped over the badly mangled corpse I knew I was not alone, there were others hiding between stair wells, behind columns and underneath the trash. I heard a whispered word, just a few hissed syllables but enough to know it wasn't vermin or the rustle of paper moved by a draft.

Something grabbed my left leg, just as I stepped over the body.

I looked down and a hand sized spidery thing that looked almost like the boney claw of a skeleton scurried up my leg!

I fired a three round burst into the direction of the whisper and drew the large knife and used its blade to cut that thing in half.

The smart little rockets homed in on infrared signatures and exploded with force, killing something or someone the flash of light of the explosion revealed six beings standing close by and hundreds of these bony spider things.

One of the beings I think was a Spindlar and the others could have been Ogahr . The light of the explosion was there for no longer than a fraction of a second. I didn't waste the opportunity however and fired six times, this time in optical recognition mode and ran as fast as I could to the exit. As I ran I crunched and crushed several of those spiders beneath my feet and I felt a stinging pain on the calf of my left leg just above the boot.

With horror I tried to shake one of those whitish spider things off. Even in this light I could see pencil sized needle sharp fangs burrowed into my own flesh.

I swiped the knife again. Cutting the parasite away, but its fangs remained. I had to ignore the pain, I simply had to and with five more steps I made it through the doors and into the streets of Sin 4.

A being with four arms and the general shape of a Shiss wearing a golden shimmering, truly vintage looking battle armor hovered only 200 meters from me in the Air and yelled elated."I found him first! He is mine!"

Both of his arms ended in weapons and he fired. He was obviously not the sharpest harpoon in the boat. First he advertised himself by yelling in a gleaming golden suit and then he fired.

The blasts hammered into the dirty Duro-crete where I had been standing a heart beat before. I was rolling shoulder first down the five steps that led to the Space port entrance, and fired a quad burst after him. The little rockets exploded and engulfed him in a billow of fire and smoke and I could see the bright white lightning spider webs of a collapsing shield.

I invested four more missiles and was rewarded with a shower of body parts and pieces of golden armor.

He was out of the equation, but he had not been alone. His triumphant yells of finding me had been addressed to two similar floating and equipped beings in the distance. I limped across the plaza before the space port and beyond a mind numbing steel, light and duro-crete canyon of sky bridges.

The pain in my leg turned to a burning sensation that spread slowly like the pain of a Galler-goob sting; that beautiful brainless almost transparent umbrella shaped life forms that appeared during short summer in the Uhim grounds back home. The spider thing had injected me with a poison or venom and I hoped I would last.

The second armored fly man had spotted me and circled around in a tight loop, only to get a well aimed rocket into the exhaust of his turbine, the only place that could not be shielded.

I did not wait to see and dove sideways into an alley way. The alley was like a narrow like a knife cut between two at least 300 meter tall buildings I did not have to stretch my arms to reach both walls .

I stumbled over something and slipped through a broken grating into an empty foul smelling wet basement.

The tumble had stunned my left shoulder and scraped a patch of skin above my left temple right of my skull. I thanked Odin for making that skull of mine thick enough to not break after that sudden fall into that hole I was in now.

Here in the almost completely dark basement of some kind of building, found myself completely and utterly exhausted. My leg swollen and throbbing in pain, my shoulder stinging and hurting in competition with the leg; not to mention the dripping blood from the wound on my head; I listened trying to hear if someone was up there looking for me, then with shaking fingers, pulled the fang pieces of the spider thing out, opened the First aid kit. It was a very rudimentary kit, not an Auto Doc , but it was still union and lots of thought and planning went into this little accessory of the Enroe Daihatsu flyer.

A little light came on as I opened the lid of this brick sized box. Sensor on the little box sensing the lack of light responsible for this, this simple little light that shone over neatly packed and labeled things. I used some derma Glue and spray bandage, a broad band anti infection agent and a pain killer patch to doctor me up as good as I could then I wadded the jacket I had taken from the dead man under my head and wanted to close my eyes just for a little. Somewhere inside I knew if I would sleep now and let the venom of the spider spread I would not wake. Yet I had no auto doc, and there was nothing in the kit that could be used to counteract an unknown poison.

Sleeping a little was not giving up, now wasn't it? All I needed was a little rest.

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