22) Total Destruction

Ambassador Lance sat at his console in Central Control. “Situation report!””Not good, sir,” said the Kultaki Major. “The frequencies you gave us no longer work! The thing has mutated from contact with tachyon energy and we need to come up with something fast. We are in terrible trouble! The monster is out of control and finishing off the Quantum Fission Reactor. Only a dozen soldiers are left. We have set up a containment field but we can’t even enter the control area now. Hundreds have been sent to the Physical Healing Center. They are overcrowded. What should we do?””Take all casualties and eject them into space. Go to auxiliary power and shut the reactor down completely.”

A low pitched hum set everything vibrating>

“Too late, sir!”

A loud explosion ripped through the Kultaki starship. The Ambassador tumbled to the floor. A glowing tendril whipped up through the floor spraying yellow goo.

The Ambassador barely rolled out of the way in time. A calm computer voice announced again and again. “Abandon ship. Abandon ship. Abandon ship.” All systems were flashing alarms. The Ambassador scrambled to his feet and ran into the corridor.

“Where is Cobishandra?” he demanded.

No one paid any attention because panic had taken over. Everyone was running toward the hangar to escape. The Ambassador was no exception. He rushed to his command carrier. More explosions shook the starship as the small craft began crowding into the disembarking module and shooting out into space.

The Ambassador’s command carrier was the last to make it out before the entire hangar area ripped apart from crackling tendrils stabbing through the floor.

Those craft able to escape regrouped in space and looked back just as the huge silver triangle exploded in silence. The concussion waves buffeted the small ships. Those that were too close were crushed to bits by the pressure.

On the Firefly, Pheledra, Wave and Fabby stared in horror through the observation dome. The energies passed around them with no effect. Fabby had already activated all shields.

“Whew!” said Wave. “I sure didn’t expect that to happen.”

Pheledra nodded her head. “Your arrogance did you in this time, Lance!”

“Whose arrogance?” Aramanda’s warbling voice reverberated in her head.

“Aramanda?”

“What!?” exclaimed Wave.

“It’s nothing, Wave. I … I thought Mandhi was here.”

“I doubt it. You ignored her and acted like a fool.”

Pheledra shut her eyes and held her tongue.

“I haven’t completely reviewed this incident,” said Fabby, “but I think there’s a good chance the Ambassador is still alive … just a micron.”

Fabby went to the central console and zoomed into the sector of space where the escapees in their small craft were assembling. They were forming an energy linkup surrounding a larger craft in the middle.

“You see that big one in the center … the round craft? If that’s not the Ambassador, it’s certainly someone very important. A leader. Pheledra, can you get anything telepathically?”

“I’m trying, Fabby … no … nothing.”

“He could be blocking your thought with his machine,” said Wave.

“Not likely,” said Pheledra. “That technology is very limited compared to the real thing. It’s probably someone else. The survivors will be leaving now, heading on out to the edge of the solar system to be picked up by another Kultaki starship.”

Fabby zoomed in a little, but couldn’t pick up any more detail.

“Oh, Pheledra, another thing. My scanners indicate that a single scout craft left the starship earlier … moving toward the planet. Can you get anything on that?”

“No, Fabby. It was probably just that, a scouting accessment of Miraba’s damage!”

“Why would they do that? They’re leaving, now that their power base has been ruined.”

“Fabby, it doesn’t make any difference! Most of the Kultaki who were on that starship are dead! Now, we need to concentrate on completing the mission! Don’t distract us!”

“But, Pheledra, if the Ambassador is still alive, he might want revenge.”

“So what! We can handle anything! It was his roach and we gave it back. He said he could pop it easily. He miscalculated his own joke. It backfired and killed him. Karma, Fabby!”

“Yes, but after the roach filled itself with tachyon energy on the Firefly… it probably … mutated … became … more than the Ambassador expected.”

“Fabby’s right, Pheledra,” said Wave, “we might have some karmic responsibility in this.”

“These are Kultaki, Wave … reptilians of negative polarity! Our interaction with them is to be very limited! That’s not my opinion! That is the Cosmic Directive!”

“You’re right, Pheledra,” said Fabby, “but, if we are somewhat responsible for what’s happened to them and His Excellency wants to exact revenge … we have a karmic debt problem.”

“A karmic debt problem!? That’s ridiculous!”

Wave began to pace a little. “No, Pheledra … it would mean that we overstepped our bounds and thereby opened up to negative energies!”

“Negative energies!? Speak for yourself, Wave. Whatever kind of energy comes my way I will purify it and direct it to empower this mission!”

“Perhaps we need to check with Aramanda,” said Fabby.

“Check with Aramanda? Aramanda is not a consultant! She is my spiritual mentor. She exists in a world far above our understanding! Listen, Aramanda gave me this mission! We’ve solved all the problems and now we need to get on with it! Do not create additional complications that don’t exist in the first place.”

“Sorry, Pheledra,” said Fabby.

“I just had to communicate how I feel.” Wave was unhappy.

“This is way beyond our personal feelings, Wave. We need to drop our personal feelings for the sake of this mission. It will require total coordination.”

Fabby agreed. “You’re right, Pheledra.”

Wave shook his head and didn’t say anything.

“Okay,” she said, “let’s get down to business.”

Fabby sighed. “Before we do, let’s have a nice dinner together and calm down, could we?”

Pheledra nodded but didn’t say anything.

CONTINUE: 23) Alone in Space

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