The Final Flight of the Phaseship LelantosCory Mccoy / Actions & Adventure / Science Fiction
The Final Flight Of The Phaseship Lelantos
Copyright 2013 Cory McCoy
“I'm angry Vel. Really fucking angry,” Aariel said.
“That's putting it mildly,” Vel knew how deep her pain ran. He could sense it, it was his curse. He felt the rage eating away at her like a cancer as she stood over her twin brother's dying body.
“Why did it have to be a prim?” She asked, knowing that no explanation would suffice. “Any one of the god damned civs and he probably would have pulled through.”
“You know as well as I do that we don't choose the targets,” Vel replied. She was right though, any med ship in the civs probably could have saved him. The target knew that though, he chose a Prim because it meant that only a handful of Hunters would be able to follow.
“This droid gives me the creeps. Why does he insist on having one follow him around like that?” Aariel asked, glaring at the ship's droid.
“Apologies, ma'am. I can leave if you'd like,” The droid offered.
“No. He wanted you here, so you get to watch him go just like the rest of us, Captain Copper-ass.”
“I appreciate that ma'am,” The droid told her, giving her one of its creepy metallic smiles.
“System report, Lelantos,” Vel said absent-mindedly.
“All systems secure. Subluminal pursuit ships fully fueled and armed. Lelantos Main is undergoing AI overhaul, 73% complete.”
“What? Who ordered the overhaul?” Vel asked.
“Aaric did sir,” The droid replied, handing him a paperthin data pad. “Before losing consciousness, he began performing major AI upgrades. He said they were to be his parting gift.”
“What kind of upgrades, Lelantos?” Aariel asked.
“System efficiency will be increased tenfold. Logic subroutines have been updated to current Civ-wide maximums, some exceeding threshhold. Aaric also left a few surprises that I do not have primary access to, sir.”
“Did you know about this, Aariel?”
“No, Vel. He's too far gone for my intuition to pick anything up. The last emotions I felt were when you phased back into this Civ. He was in pain.”
“That bastard damn near tore him in half...”
“He feels more distant with every passing moment, Vel.” Aariel said, gently clasping her brother's hand. “Aaric's leaving us.”
“Lelantos, prep for takeoff. I want to clear the system and phase back to the Prim. I'm going to make this bastard suffer.”
“Sir, I'm sure you're aware that we're currently without a pilot.”
“I can fly the damn birds myself. Start the prep.”
“You can, but you wont need to Vel,” Aariel told him, the tears barely masking the fury in her eyes.
“Absolutely not. I won't be responsible for both of you dying.”
“You know that I can't just let this go. Our culture demands that I see it through.”
“Don't tell me you've had a fuckin religious awakening all of a sudden.”
“No, but you can be god damn sure that your target is going to have one before the end.”
“She is capable sir,” Lelantos interjected. “Not only that, but she is a perfect genetic match which means no downtime would be needed in order to sync the ships to her signature.”
“Don't tell me this is part of those new subroutines.”
“No sir, merely a logical progression.”
“Vel, I need this,” Aariel said, looking at her brother as he finally slipped away. She rose slowly, kissed him on the forehead, and walked out of the room.
“We've got to do right by Aaric first, Lelantos. You've got 36 hours to prep. Get back to the ship and remove all nonessential personnel.”
“Droids Three through Seven are now beginning disembarkment procedures,” The creepy metal man said before leaving the room to return to the ship.
The Phaseship Lelantos was a prototype that had been gifted to Vel after a particularly nasty piece of work ended in his last ship being compromised. Vel's previous flagship was still out there in some Prim, floating dead through the dark of space. At subluminal speeds, it had taken Vel nearly a month to reach the one Phase-planet in that quadrant. Somehow, he'd managed not to strangle his mark during that voyage. Just barely.
That annoying bastard was worth a lot of coin though. The Premiere of Civ 3 was so appreciative that he ordered Lelantos to be delivered to Vel as soon as the bird had been phase tested. Lelantos was one helluva ship. Cutting edge AI, Phase capable for several millenia, a fifteen strong squad of droids all controlled by the central computer, and even a god damn short range telepad.
The telepad came in handy. As long as you weren't bleeding out, it could be used to restructure a body and rid it of any imperfections brought on by radiation or even injury. Unfortunately for Aaric, he was bleeding too badly for it to do him any good.
“I hope you're right about her Aaric,” Vel said. “I couldn't live with myself if I got her killed too.”
“Sir, we're ready to process him,” said a cute Balgroshian nurse who had apparently snuck in behind him. Vel liked that race. Incapable of breeding with humans or Vel's species. No longterm hassles to worry about due to the species' polyamorous nature. Blue too. Something about that light blue complexion was enamoring.
“Go ahead, darling. I was just saying goodbye.”
“You- You're-” She said, Vel hated this part. “Vel. You hunt in the Prims, don't you?”
“Yes, ma'am,” Vel told her as he politely stepped around her so he could exit the room. “So did he.”