K'Retalra Mission 8: Redemption
Reports plucked from SubSpace By Keith Dunn
Restarc forever undefeated
He stood in the stone circle, waiting, watching the clouds speed through the artificial sky. They were late but that was understandable considering the unimaginable distances involved. He peered into the dim horizon; Polgara was still there, maintaining the link. An oak door billowed out of nothing. It opened, Muldwich stepped through, closing it behind him. Belgarath had hoped for a full showing of the Circle. But in his heart of hearts he knows that that wouldn't happen. Muldwich walked past the stones his hand raised in greeting "well met Belgarath".
The old man just grunted in reply "And what prey is the vaulted circle's reply to my request? Hmm!"
Muldwich smiled in spite of himself, Belgarath had rejected a place on the circle many timed but still expected it to be at his beck and call.
He also braced himself for a hostile reaction "They have debated on your proposal, but have decided to reject your request."
Belgarath snorted and muttered, ramming his hands deep in to the sleeves of his black robe, he turned on Muldwich "That is simply not good enough my boy! I simply don't think you understand the severity of this problem!"
Muldwich wrapped his midnight blue robes around himself and gritted his teeth, waiting for the angry tirade that flowed against him to finish.
"Portals to other dimensions, to other realities you might say, have been opened. The Shadows and the Vorlons are out there at the moment, manipulating and discovering. What if they find the security to these portals, what then? What then! My boy himm. The reality that I'm standing in is the cross roads and it is here that the conflict is escalating. What is more the portals are artificial in nature so not only do we have Empire, Cylons, Sontaran and Gou'uld to contend with, we have whom ever created these portals. You and the Circle are content to stick your sand in their heads like an Ostrich, And ERR hide".
Muldwich waited for the old man to wind down his frustrations "The Circle may have rejected your request, but that doesn't mean you can't proposition fellow techno-mages yourself?"
This produced another burst of irritation "No, no, no! That won't do at all, I must stay here to carry on my researches!"
Muldwich started to grind his teeth in frustration "you are a respected member of our order, where you lead others will follow. Polgara can speak for you."
Belgarath snorted, it reverberated through his nose "Is that all I'm going to get!"
"Yes I'm afraid it is. I have to go now my energies are all but depleted".
Gathering his cloak around him. Muldwich called up the door, stepped through it and vanished.
Belgarath turned and brought the horizon closer and into focus. Polgara stood with her hands spread wide. Swathed in black cloth with its silver tracery etched in to it, it looked like she was wearing a circuit. She lowered her hands and opened her eyes to reveal them to be hazel brown "Yes old wolf, I heard you!"
"We have to do this Pol, the future of all the multiversity could depend on this"
Polregar sighed with a rye smile "Okay old wolf, ok I will see what I can do, no promises!"
She passed her hands over her body, which seamed to fold up in it's self and shift into the shape of a raven, then fly off.
Belgarath took one last look around the glade then dissolved it and returned to the real world.
Elsewhere in the same reality that Belgarath was transmitting from, the reality that was like a hub to all the other spokes of reality.
The Imperial held world of Stalguss. It was a room that was decorated in shades of darkness; the only splashes of light came from the stormtroopers dotted around the room and at the doors. The table was large and black. Light just glossed off of it. A group of men in copper color amour stood surrounding another man in gleaming gold, who rose from the table "Jaffar, Kree!"
The men in copper sprang to attention, bringing their staff like weapons to the up right position. Pressing a hidden control, their helmets snapped forwards covering there faces, revealing the helmets to be stylized hawk heads with glowing red crystals for eyes.
The figure in gold addressed the man still seated at the table; his deep resonating voice reverberated around the chamber. But it was the speakers own voice that caused the distortion "Thank you Emperor Palpatine for a stimulating meeting you have given me a lot to think about".
The Emperor raised himself painfully to his feet, clothed only in a simple robe, he grasped his ebony cane and limped forward "Not at all lord Potise, it is you who have laid some interesting possibilities in front of me. Until we meet next time."
Potise manipulated a crystal on his armored wrist and his own helmet built up over his features. The helmet covered his face, reflecting it complete with headdress, like a death mask from ancient Egypt.
The Emperor sat once more "My troops will escort you back to your vessel, then Star Destroyer 'Emperors Dagger' will accompany you back to the portal that leads back to your realm".
With two troopers in front and behind, the delegation clanked out of the briefing chamber. The Emperor was left behind with his guards and the ever-hovering dark presence standing behind his left shoulder.
Direly filling in some electronic paper work the Emperors frail voice echoed around the chamber "Is there something troubling you my friend?"
The dark lord looked down upon the Emperor startled "My master, the Gau'old are not to be trusted, they will attempt to betray us".
The Emperor sat back thinking "Of course they will attempt to betray us. It is within their very natures, like many of our so-called allies. We have only been in this reality, what two years? Three? We started out with nothing and now we have a principality of over twenty worlds. It is this ability they wish to use to increase there standing with the Gau'old system lords, and then cast us aside. Until then, we can use them!"
The door to the chamber slid open and a junior officer matched in and waited to be acknowledged. The Emperor continued "But we must be ready for when they do put their betrayal into action, we must be ready to divorce them from our operation and make an example of their betrayal. Like we now have to do with these Dalek creatures! Yes, lieutenant?"
"My lord, Mr. Gates is here to see you as you requested"
"Show him in"
The lieutenant signaled and Mr. Gates was shown in with two stormtroopers at a discreet distance. He was somewhere in his late thirties, curly short cut hair, a pleasant face that was leaning to the somewhat bland, if it wasn't for the smug smile that seamed to be constantly pasted on his features.
"My lord Emperor, how may I serve you?"
The Emperor looked past him, to the empty space over his left shoulder.
"The Klingons are planning an attack on the captured dry-dock. We cannot allow this to take place yet, there are still secrets we need to learn, more we can find out."
Mr. Gates seemed to be mildly annoyed by this treatment but couldn't say much about it "What would you recommend?"
"The Klingons are a childish and immature people. When they are hurt they have to strike back and hurt their aggressors, then they cloak this reaction in rituals of honor and duty. We need to direct their attack."
Keeping his temper in check Gates asked "Where would you like their attack directed?"
"The Dalek creatures have been indiscriminately attacking ships against their orders, both enemy vessels and our own. They have established a base outside their remit. Their ambition outstrips their sense. You have an operative inside Klingon high command. You will give him the location of the Dalek base. They have attacked a great many Klingon ships, this will satisfy their need for vengeance and whittle away yet more of their ships"
Across the vast reaches of space, deep in to Klingon held territory, to the world of H'Atoria, the ancestral home of house K'Rontep. The world was close, humid and fog bound.
Focus into the northern hemisphere, the city of Kl'Mar, the attention rests on one tavern.
The interior is dark, smoke filled and rowdy, on a raised stage area someone is reciting Kang's lament.
In one corner K'Rontep sat drinking, Klingons don't put much weight into their medical sciences, what with their organ redundancies, but given the amount of injuries that K'Rontep had sustained during the destruction of the ghop ta'VoDleh he needed rest to heal. Scattered around the table were various empty drinking vessels and activated P.A.D.D.s showing various schematics, star maps and tactical readouts. K'Rontep held a tankard of something smokey in one hand and a padd displaying the Swi'vey shipyard weak points in the other. He called up another page, which displayed the ships of the house fleet. It totaled to only eight fighting ships, added to that were four trade vessels packed with enough anti-matter to cause a blanket EM-pulse for the whole planet if positioned correctly. The plan had been formulated by K'Retalra before the last mission but had been rejected out of hand by command but K'Rontep was determined to go through with it anyway. He would be aided by Captain's K'Reth and Vel'Mar and their ships. He sat there, waiting for them to show for a final briefing.
An activated P.A.D.D. was thrown on to the table; K'Rontep tensed reaching slowly for his dagger. Standing before him was a clocked Klingon figure. It pulled his hood down to revel the sardonic features of General K'Arrla. K'Rontep looked at him curiously "You're a long way from the ministry of internal security, General?"
"Look at the padd K'Rontep you may find it interesting!"
Looking disinterested K'Rontep dropped the padd he was looking at and picked up the new one.
"What you're looking at is what a probe picked up in sector 113. It matches the description of the vessel that destroyed your ship. Both this data and your report has been side lined in the ministry."
K'Rontep looked K'arrla in the eye "Just like my career it would seem. Why has the remnant of my crew been reassigned to different ships by the ministry but I still languish here!"
"I do not know! I am not in charge of crew distribution. But if you like while you wait to find out I could wipe your feeble fevered brow!"
At this K'Rontep smiled brightly and stood up, grabbing K'Arrla by the shoulders, he brought his forehead crashing down cracking K'Arrla across the temples, causing him to stagger back into another crowded table and sending drinks and patrons flying. The bar descended almost immediately into chaos. Klingon bars were only just this side of violent chaos anyway.
Bottles were smashed, tables overturned, chairs flew through the air. K'Arrla exploded from a pile of fighting bodies; with a snarl of rage he pulled his disrupter pistol. In one fluid movement he switched his power regulator to full and took a bead on K'Rontep's back. A club smashed down on his hand, it was welded by a large grizzly Klingon woman, the landlady " weapons ain't allowed in my bar fights, house rules!"
Across the interstellar void, the pleasure cruiser 'Empress Teater' pulled into orbit above the weather control satellites. Discrete energy arrays down both of her flanks activated and the ship began a mass beam down of holidaymakers.
Planet side, the sun shone in the deep blue sky, there was only a light smattering of cloud. She waited outside the transporter area, garlands of flowerers in her hands. She was young, slim, well proportioned and athletic. Her long lustrous hair stretched down her almost necked back, a bikini and grass skirt was all that nearly covered her modesty. She and others like her greeted the tourists as they stepped out in to the sunshine, with hugs and kisses, then they placed the flowers over there heads. All except one. He was tall, thin and pale, as if he had spent long hours inside or underground. He was dressed in atypical cloths, from another era. Victorian top hat, frock coat, black trousers, black bag and finally a black cane that was topped with silver and crystal. He accepted the flowers and hug with ill grace, but she didn't feel up to kissing him.
Were ever he came from he didn't get out much, his eyes almost popped out of his head when an Andorian strolled past looking for the beach.
"Are you here for business or pleasure Mr. ..."
The tall gray man twitched his lips at an attempt of a smile
"It's Sebastian, and I hope my business will be a pleasure".
With that he stooped to pick up his luggage, it was a distinctive style, smaller than a suitcase but a lot larger than an attaché case. The name of it suddenly popped in to her head 'Gladstone bag'. He strolled off in to the bright sunlight.
It had been almost three centuries since Sebastian had walked among humans as one of them and in all that time they hadn't changed. Still steeped in filth and depravity, they had covered it in a new veneer of sophistication. Instead of in pockets dotted around the East End the whores had a whole planet to ply there trade. This time it would be different from London 88, this time he wasn't on some imaginary quest from god, this time he was on a mission for his masters.
Closing the door to his room he placed his bag on the table and opened it, he lifting out incandescent containers, glowing transparently. Some of them with 'items' in them, hearts, lungs, livers but many more were empty, waiting to be filled. Also there were all the new toys to be played with. He retrieved a laser scalpel, switching it on he tested it, with a genuine smile on his face.
The Talar's Revenge was on course to a non-descript group of asteroids in sector 113. In the mess hall of the K'Tinga class vessel K'Rontep sat drinking racktageno whilst studying the padd that K'Arrla had given him.
As always it seemed that a small heavily armed group equipped with high explosives and integral detonators, dropped in by an assault shuttle, was the best bet. While the house fleet engaged the enemy ships. As there should be only one Captain per vessel he would go with the assault team leaving K'Reth in charge of the Talor's Revenge and the house fleet.
The satellites scanned in to the darkness of infinite space in a regular uniformed pattern, looking for anything that fell within the programmed parameters. Anything that fell within that limited maladjusted worldview activated an overwhelming aggressive response, a response that it had inherited from its creators. All life except for it's creators was inferior and therefore had to be eliminated.
At the edge of their detection range space boiled and a black ship shimmered into view, phasing in from hyperspace. It looked like two spiders that were joined at the chest. The surface of the hull seamed to be constantly moving. A black oily pattern shifting and blurring over the surface. If there were anyone there they would have heard an unearthly screech through their mind.
The ship orientated itself on the distant asteroid cluster and sped towards it. As it got closer the ship seemed to spasm, as if spitting something out, and a large globule of matter was flung out of the center of the spider like ship. The back glob span as it flew through the night; it suddenly split into a dozen starfish like black fighters. The ships broke formation and dived the satellites and their gun emplacements. The darkness was covered in the glittering barrage of plasma bolts and laser fire as the guns opened fire. The starfish fighters weaved in and out of the hostile destructive energies without being hit once. Each choose a different target, when they reached about 200 meters out all the ships reproduced the strange spitting motion and flared small sizzling globules of diamond light and darkness. The globules hit the satellites and gun emplacements with a splash and swept over them with thick viscose honey, trickle light flaring where it touched. Tentacles of information seized the gun emplacements perception programs. Telling the satellites what to see, the gun impalements what to shoot. Informing them that the intruder had been hit and destroyed. The starfish fighters regrouped and keeled over, heading back to the Shadow ship. The formation grow closer and closer until it formed back in to one globule then in a reversed spit merged back with the Shadow ship which spun round on a new heading and phased out.
For about half an hour space was silent. Then the fabric of space seemed to shift and blur, the stars flared multiple colors and a small section faded into view revealing hanger bay doors, which slowly cycled open. The Klingon shuttle shot out of the hanger, rotated itself, then dived towards one of the larger asteroids. The hanger doors cycled closed and faded from view, while the K'Tinga rejoined the rest of the fleet.
The shuttle sped low over the ground, past glass sharp crags and shear precipices. It sat down on a flat plateau. The shuttle ramp crunched down and seven Vacc suited figures walked out. One of the Klingons opened a storage locker and began handing out thruster packs. K'Rontep stomped to the security locker to unpack the explosive pouches "We set out now. K'lrena, you will set up the magnasite carriage, we will maintain radio silence until we reach the base".
As one the strike team pulled the arm of the thruster packs and lunched themselves in to the air, they flew in a scattered formation, through crags and close to cliff edges. Finally the terrain changed from craggy rock to smooth uniformed walls and straight lined canyons with right angles that had no place in nature. The Klingons touched lightly to the ground at the base of one of the smooth cliffs. Four Klingons started to unpack the grav-trolly, while K'Rontep and two other Klingon's approached the cliff face. With a grunt of satisfaction K'Rontep smashed the wall. The other four Klingons approached with what looked like a heavy-duty polyurethane bag and large gas cylinder. They immediately set about constructing a temporary airlock. Once the air lock was inflated one Klingon entered with a long thin silvery glass tube. Applying the incandescent silvery gel to the wall in a door shape, the magnasite gel rapidly ate through the rock wall and within seconds the 'door' fell out revealing a chamber beyond. The Klingons quickly entered through the newly constructed airlock and stripped off their Vacc suits and retrieved their equipment. Mar'lark pulled out her tricorder and started to scan the area. K'Rontep retrieved his padd "We are looking for an energy output signature at 48.32 htz. Mal'Tec, K'Alra check and secure the corridor." The group split to carry out their various assignments. The interior chamber was decorated in metal, floor, walls, ceiling .The ceiling was high but it was supported by very low arches, in the background a distant electronic heart beat echoed and re-echoed down the metal corridor.
The control chamber hummed quietly to itself as it ticked and bleeped. In the center of the chamber, the master controller monitored every change within the base, atmosphere, power sources, and any transmitted emissions. It detected a dropped in air pressure and a set of anomalous energy readings. It activated a patrol "Seek, locate, investigate"
The group of seven Klingons crept down the corridor using all the available cover, past nondescript chambers full of humming equipment, towards the lift at the end of the corridor - which cycled open to meet them "Intruder alert! Intruder alert! Exterminate! Exterminate!"
A dozen saucer shaped craft swept low over the asteroids surface, when the space close by shimmered and wavered in to green and gray, as the Klingon attack fleet de-cloaked and opened fire. The saucers were caught unawares; three ships erupted into flaming wreckage, expanding gases and metal. Two more tumbled wildly, lightning arcing over their surfaces. The remaining ships keeled over sharply and took up attack vectors, weapons firing.
The controller was receiving multiple intruder alerts. Quickly assessing the situation, it scrambled all the available flight crews and defense groups. The dreadnoughts were ordered to power up and flight planes were shunted over to the planetary invasion cruisers. Interior patrols were stepped up.
Green balls of energy flew down the corridor striking the pepper pot like shells, flaring up against the shells and rocking it back on the base, only leaving the shadow of soot and scoring to show it had been attacked. "Our weapons have no effect on these robots!"
K'Rontep thought hard "Upgrade to level 2".
The bolts of energy took on a dazzling emerald hew. Sticking the shells, leaving football sized holes that sizzled and hissed. After about two or three hits the two creatures exploded into fragments. With a high pinched squalling, something small and green thrashed in the center of the trashed casing for a few moments before going still.
The Klingons quickly regrouped, K'Rontep liked quickly around in a visual check "Kuther, ammo supply"
"We have enough for a hundred shoots each at level two".
K'Rontep nodded at this "Only fire when you have a target, make every shot count. Anyone who falls has their weapon collected. Mark and move."
The controller registered the destruction of the two units. It flagged the situation from red to black and shunted all information over to the battle computer. Probable tactical goals, mission parameters for the defence ships and probable reasons for the failure of the defence screen flashed through the controllers interface. Then the battle computer suggested the most likely response that would succeed "High percentage that the hostiles are attempting to sabotage either the shield generators or the power units. 1st and 2nd cadre to the power chamber, 3rd and 4th to the generator chamber.5th and 6th to remain in reserve. Deep space analysis still within projected parameters, patrol ships to protect the dreadnoughts until they have powered up."
The bird of prey was boxed in by six saucers, firing on it from all sides, its shields sparkling with flowers of destruction, about to fail. From beneath them the Talor's Revenge shimmered into sight. The shoulders at the end of the boom section spitting green fire, the teardrop at the front of the boom section flared orange as it released a salvo of photon torpedoes. Reducing three of the saucers to flame and metal, two started a timbering roll, blue fire arcing across their surface. The K'Atinga and bird of prey tumbled around and started to head toward the enemy dreadnoughts.
The Klingons were pinned down, trapped in the main walkway the power chamber, arranged in front of them were about twenty four of the bases defenders. They had stopped chanting now and were just firing indiscriminately, slowly whittling away the Klingons cover.
K'Rontep weighed up his options "Kuther, how many photon grenades do we have left?"
"Five my lord, but we cannot give adequate covering fire we have lost too many men".
"Give me two I will deploy them!"
Behind the defenders, a green/yellow figure of light cut through the ceiling, it scribed a large circle. Which then collapsed in wards and a figure dressed in a long brown cloak fell with it
The man landed on his feet with an almost cat like grace, still clutching the green/yellow blade of light. The man paused as if either gathering his strength or his wits, then he looked up and charged into battle. The defenders recognized him as a threat, eye stalks swiveled to see him as four of them turned to meet him, firing bolts of blue/green energy. The bolts connected with the blade, sending the man staggering backwards, but it did deflect the bolt, exploding into the dome of the defender that fired it. Gripping the light sword with two hands he braced his feet and accepted the bolts that were fired at him.
Some were bounced back harmlessly in to the floor or walls others returned to the creatures that fired them. The cloaked figure seemed to gather himself, then leaped into the air, he seemed to fly in parallel to the ceiling his lightsaber held perpendicular to his body, slicing through three of the pepper pots domes. He landed in the center of the defenders, spinning around on one foot, the blade weaving a tapestry of light and the group of defenders slowly started to slide sideways off their studded bases.
By this time the Klingons had caught up with what was happening, K'Rontep stood and lobbed the two grenades into the main group of defenders, just after the cloaked figure rolled out. The figure covered itself in his brown cloak, resembling a mud-covered boulder. With an intense white flash of light and a deep rumble the grenades detonated.
When vision slowly returned, the defenders were reduced to slag. Over to one side there was a blackened mound, with a shower of ash it stirred and stood up. Pulling back the hood of his cloak to reveal a craggy face, with a salt and pepper gray beard and hair. The checks and nose were covered in the tracery lines of broken capillaries that spoke of alcohol abuse. But the clear blue shinning eyes spoke of someone who had shaken off the past and rediscovered the idealism of youth in the new goals of the future. His age must have been somewhere around sixty and when he smiled, which was often, his face disappeared in to a map of crazy paving like wrinkles. The Klingons quickly surrounded the man.
"Greetings old one, why do you involve yourself in this battle!"
The old man looked at K'Rontep with a clear eye "Greetings to you, warlord. You seemed to be in difficulty and out numbered by these creatures".
At this Mar'Lork looked up "Klingons are never out numbered".
"Really! I had no idea. I have never meet clingons before. Besides it gave me a chance to follow the force and help these creatures from their pain. My name is Dave Bibblethruster, Jedi Knight."
K"Rontep seemed unimpressed "You say that as if it means something!"
"In this reality it means that if your cause is just, then I'm at your service for as long as necessary"
K'Rontep looked at Dave closely "I have seen a warrior weld a weapon like yours before".
"Really was he an interesting conversationalist?"
"He was a dark warrior"
The humour on Dave's face slipped slightly "This 'dark warrior', describe him to me please"
"Tall, black robes, black metal helmet, black respirator face mask. He also carried a red laser sword".
Dave considered carefully "This is most interesting, Warlord, I have to return with this information, but first we will have to attend to your little quest."
K'Rontep eyed him crossly, "What makes you think I can trust you?"
"You can't. All I can do is show you in my deeds, and my honor. While I trust in the force." Dave sighed and closed his eyes, then opened them with new determination "What you seek is this way Captain K'Rontep, but we must hurry, more of the creatures that are couched in darkness are on their way."
The commander called out for an update on the main screen, when the battle computer reported in "1st and 2nd cadre have been exterminated by intruders".
"How is this possible?"
"There is an humanoid anomaly".
"Statistical outcome of repulsing intruders".
"75% casualties, with only a 24% probability of success".
"Abandon base, set self destruct. total casualties, 30%".
"All nonessential units to hanger bay, I will remain on station to monitor information on the anomaly. Saucer Prime is to stand off at two thousand spacuals to monitor the data feed I will send. Set self-destruct at four thousand Rells. Initiate!"
The Dreadnought erupted in a burst of fire and shrapnel, the other dreadnoughts started to pull away, green fire splashing harmlessly on their shields. They twisted slowly and ponderously onto a new vector. With a burst of multi-coloured light the last three dreadnought shot to hyperspace
The double doors slid open and what remained of the Klingons ran through and down the metal corridor, plasma bolts exploding on the floors and walls around them. They took up positions in what little cover was available. The doors slid open again and the defenders glided in firing. Dave stood and made a vague pushing motion with his hands, and most of the defenders were sent spinning back through the doorway squawking. The Kingons leaned out and emptied a full clip into the remaining defenders. Dave closed both fists and the domes of two of the creatures imploded.
K'Rontep fired several shots into the door control, Dave ignited his saber and ran its tip between the doors welding them shut and then, with a heart felt sigh, sank to the floor.
K'Rontep turned "Mar'lark, readings."
Mar'Lark checked his tricorder "Reading indicate there is a major power source through those doors."
Dave groaned to his feet reaching into his robes and pulled out a comlink "R2 perform pre-flight checks and warm up the X-Wing". Storing the comlink he turned to K'Rontep, "Something has changed, something that could threaten us all."
Mar'lork's face shot up from the tricorder "Sir I'm reading a power build up in the intermix chamber"
"How long till detonation".
"About fifteen minutes but its accelerating"
"Place the charges on all main junction boxes. Bibblethruster, do you need aid to reach your ship?"
"None whatsoever." Reaching inside his robes he passed over a data tablet "This contains a copy of the star systems I mapped on the way here from the portal to my realm and signal frequency to contact the Senate or the Jedi Academy." He activated his lightsaber and cut a hole in the floor; pausing for a few moments he looked K'Rontep straight in the eye "We will meet again, Warlord, until that time May the Force be with you".
He then dropped through the hole in the floor and out of sight.
K'Rontep tucked the tablet away then tapped his com pin "Talar's Revenge, we will need immediate dust off as soon as the shields are down"
"Understood, coming into position".
"Mar'Lock, K'Lrena bring that door down!"
The door exploded into fragments, the Klingons came in firing, and the Defenders swiveled round from their positions firing blue/green bolts, chanting as they came. Each defender was targeted one at a time and was destroyed in a fiery explosion of metal and gristle.
Of the Klingons there were only three left, quickly the magnetic charges were set on the main junction. The explosion was only a slight rumble compared to the instant roar of the power generator. The slight harsh musical sound of the activating transporter was completely swamped by first stage explosions of the reactor.
The Klingon ships keeled round as a group and started to assemble together, the large asteroid glowed blue/white then expanded into a growing sphere, the last two ship were caught in the sphere and detonated into a thousand pieces. The remaining ships shot to warp.
He woke from darkness to feel a rough tongue rasping across the wound on his face, it took moments for him to remember where he was. Reaching out he grasped the hilt of his knife and drove it deep in to the pointed chest of the reptile that was standing over him.
The creature started to thrash in it's death throes. He pulled himself up and staggered away. The pack had been hunting him for the past three days, across the sun burnt grass lands. His memories didn't go back any further then that. As far as he knew he was born in the flames, whatever had happened he barely got out alive. The cubical he had awoken in was searing hot, his face was hanging off. Ripping his uniform he did his best to tie it back into place. Gripping the door he screamed his defiance as the heat almost melted his hands, he pulled it open and dived into the night. That was three day ago. Since then he had trudged across endless grassland, being pursued by a pack of lizards who every now and then worked up the courage to attack.
He trudged onward leaving the pack temporarily to fight over their fallen comrade. He walked into the future to reclaim his past.