Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pass the Plot: Scene 12

Nara's distress overwhelmed the mind-feed and Captain Denett pinched the bridge of his nose. "Help is on the way," he shot back, unable to resist pushing just the slightest edge of encouragement to his daughter. The Garid-corpse laden images flickering over the connection winked off as her blaze of panic dulled to a low pulse of well-warranted fear.

If she'd made it past the Ensign ranking, if she'd had better training in emotive control, he'd be back on the Galajax waiting for a report, unaware something had gone wrong. Instead, Captain Denett picked his way through a minefield of more Garid and human bodies, cursing the Galactic Legions for his inexperienced crew. He was Captain. No one but the infiltrators should have seen death. He'd have to send funerary transmissions to a dozen worlds when this was over.

He cursed anew, taking shallow breaths to minimize the stench of rotting death that reached in to curdle his stomach. The Garid weren't the only threat in the stars. He'd been so sure, and he'd sent Nara over unprepared. Xenobiological expertise would help little against robotics. No. That would be his specialty.

He should have known. The Kloqin could change their biometric signatures, masking their cybertronic profiles. The perfect spy. The perfect soldier. Why Eloin had chosen a Garid biosig . . . But it didn't matter. He was Captain. He should have known.

And Captain Denett would spend the rest of his stardated days atoning if his arrogance cost his daughter's life. He sent reassurance over the neural pathway again, locking the transmission to her frequency. Nara would know the mind-feed transmissions onboard the Galajax weren't shipbound. She'd learn his secret. And hers.

A squish of crushed flesh sounded behind him. Lifting his taser, Captain Denett rolled his eyes. "I thought you Kloqin were supposed to adapt." He whipped the contacts toward yet another cybertronic menace. Its humanoid frame jerked, sizzled, its glimmering eyesockets flaring like ball lightning. The electric shock fried its circuits and smoke poured from its fingers. Twitching, the robot dropped its weapon and crumbled among the other bodies. "How many times do I have to take out the idiot sneaking up behind me before you figure out--"

The last of its power diminished, the Kloqin's cloaking field dropped.


The captain's feet were in motion before his taser recovered the charge. Clanking at his heels and in full AI mode were four bodyguards of the Princess of Klox. It didn't take a mechanical engineer to figure out that the royal in question was Eloin.

He jerked around the corner and slammed a diffuser into the metal door as it closed. The robotic beings would power down when they came in range of the device. Spinning, he smiled broadly. They'd chased him right into the interior hull.

"This last one should do it." Captain Denett set his third thermal charge, his grin fading when the light failed to activate. He cast a look back at the diffuser. No, it was far enough away. Something else was wrong. The interior hull was null-magnetized. This far into the Garidic cruiser, technology wouldn't work. Which meant the diffuser . . . He rapped his knuckles against the steel bulkhead, desperately willing his brain to beat out a plan. "Nara, I need a hand."

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