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     Episode Two: Final Flight Of The Phaseship Lelantos

       Cory Mccoy / Fantasy / Science Fiction
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Episode Two: Final Flight Of The Phaseship Lelantos
The Final Flight of the Phaseship Lelantos: Part 2

Copyright 2013 Cory McCoy

“16 systems down. 6,734 within subluminal to go.”

“And counting with each passing day.” Lelantos added.

“You knew what you signed up for. Besides, you've got in the field combat experience in five different enviroments now. I bet you wouldn't even die immediately if I weren't around.”

“Damn right, Vel. I haven't broken a single bone in any of the last 11 systems.”

“In addition, I have begun an algorithm to find any unusual patterns in the systems the mark has left traces upon.”

“Utter disregard for life, in any form, seems to stand out,” Vel replied. “Speaking of which, how long until we have feedback from the terrabots we left with the displaced inhabitants of target one?”

“Sustainability of the new eviroment should be received within the week. Would you like me to recall the bots once the packet is received?”

“Let's hold off on that decision. I'd like to do a long scan as well if the initial feedback is positive.”

“Rosie, What happens if it isn't?”

“Either they die slow, agonizing deaths or we make our way back in a big damn hurry. After that? We try again in a different system.”

“Has anyone ever gone back to a failed terraform to see what it looked like?”

“I've been to a few. No matter how many worlds I traverse, nature always ends up surprising me. More than a few had begun to form completely new rudimentary lifeforms in the ruins.”

“What ruins?”

“The ruins of whatever was left to die,” Vel said. “No. No, it's not as morbid as it sounds. Those corpses and habitats can become seeds for an entirely new and beautiful world.”

“We've cleared the system and are ready to procede to our next target, on your mark.”

“Strap in, kid.” Vel said, a faint smile played across his face as he recalled seeing the primordial life that had defied odds on a nameless rock in some unrecorded prim.

“What's that?” Ariel asked, caught off guard by Vel's lightened spirit. “Are we under attack? You never smile unless we are...”

“Holster that sidearm,” Vel laughed. “Lelantos, Mark.”

With that command reality bent and flexed around them as the fastest ship in all the Civs tore through this undeveloped universe at a speed that its inhabitants couldn't hope to achieve in ten thousand years.

“Ariel, do you know what yugen is?” Vel asked as the ship roared through star system after system.

“I don't know what that is Vel. Is it something on the command console?”

“Nah kid, it's almost like a type of serenity.”

“Yugen, an ancient japanese expression for the emotional response a homosapien might feel when confronting an awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses too deep and meaningful for words.”

“Well thank you, Mr Definitionary. Does the database also have a wordasuarus?” Ariel giggled.

Three more hours in the black. Lelantos passed through indescribably huge gas pockets and into systems containing exotic, but unusable worlds. The core had to be right in order for the mark to build his rudimentary phase device. A core that wouldn't survive this disgusting and dangerous method. The death of the system containing Target One would be nothing compared to the destruction this would cause. A hole in space. Nothing there and uninhabitable for all time, ever expanding until it destroyed another system or collided with a black hole.

“Battle stations,” Lelantos bellowed as they neared their next destination. “I repeat, Battle stations. We are being intercepted by a class four asteroid bearing 37 degrees starboard on our stern.”

“Lelantos, options!” Vel Barked as he leapt toward the main gunner's console a deck above. “Ariel, man the astronav!”

“At this speed our only options are to brace for impact or to make an emergency jump out of this universe and into the next closest.”

“No. We can't jump. We might lose the area completely when we return. I won't give that bastard more time to rig a dirty Phase Station.”

“Bracing for impact. All droids deployed,” Lelantos came back “What are your orders, Captain?”

“All sensitive materials to the crunch deck. Slide the fleas as far toward our stern as you can.”

“Understood. Awaiting flight adjustments.”

“Head on Ariel,” Vel shouted down to the trembling, inexperienced new pilot. “Lelantos is one tough son of a bitch. Hit that rock head on and then drop us hard and fast through the debris. Let that stupid fucker think it worked.”

“Aye aye, sir.” Ariel replied, steeling her shaking hands.

“Impact in 17 seconds.”

“Correct course to match bogey. Full power from all engines. All weapons free!” Ariel yelled.

“Impact imminent.”

The collision was so violent that Vel was thrown from the weapons console and completely over the open flight deck.

“Vel!” Ariel screamed as she watched him fly toward the crunch zone and a certain death.

“Not today, sir.” Lelantos launched a maintenance droid directly at Vel. As it closed the distance, Vel kicked off of the droid, back toward the deck. The droid wasn't so lucky, it landed in a crunch zone just moments before the area compressed to absorb the shock for the rest of the ship.

“Full power to the engines topside, get us below this shit storm!” Ariel said, frantically swiping around the control panel.

“Lelantos, release coolant to the outer decks and utilize all noise dampeners,” Vel gasped, climbing back toward his console. “He won't have tech much more advanced than heat scanners. Make this bird invisible.”

“Affirmative,” Lelantos chirped. “Vessel and mining operations detected.”

“Arm weapons,” Aariel screamed.

“Awaiting confirmation.”

“No, not yet.” Vel told her. “We're going to give him a lift off this planet, but I can't do that if you cowboy up and start blowing the place all to shit.”

“He's earned this death, Vel!” Aariel shot back, slamming her fist into a panel, “You made me your pilot for a reason, now let me do my fucking job.”

“You're right,” Vel calmly replied, “I made you my pilot, but I sure as shit didn't make you Captain of this vessel.”

“Go fuck yourself, you alien freak,” Aariel jumped up from her chair and sulked out of the command center.

“I believe your pilot is angry with you, Rosie.”

“You don't say?” Vel laughed. “Once we drop far enough off his sensors, swing us around the planet and prep two Fleas.”

“Two fleas, sir? How many droids will you need?”

“Two fleas and nothing else, Lelantos.” Vel told him, “Tell my lovely pilot to get her ass to the med bay. I've got a broken rib or three that need tended to.”

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