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   Chapter 55 No.55

LARC Transmissions - An Anki Legacies Science Fantasy Anthology for Young Adults By S Shane Thomas Characters: 5989

Updated: 2018-01-25 19:02

"Send them our standard greeting, " the Admiral said.

"I can't send anything sir. The entire computer system has been locked up by the invader."

Unable to operate their controls, members of the navigation crew huddled in front of the observation port. Only a few miles separated the vessels. A slit appeared, stretched, and gaped ever wider until only the gentle blue hue of the enormous bay door's interior lighting could be seen.

"We've been swallowed up, " the Admiral said. He braced a hand on the wall and fought to control his breathing. He wondered what would happen to the half million people under his care. His stomach twisted as the colonial starship violently spun about until the port hole offered a view of the stars out of the shrinking entryway. In seconds it had closed completely and only the pale blue hue remained.

An odd sensation caused cries of alarm and light headedness throughout the bridge. When Admiral Thorne opened his eyes, the navigation team had crumpled to the floor and looked dizzy and alarmed. Thorne rose on unsteady feet and helped up the timid computer specialist.

A slit in the blue hue reappeared and grew until they stared at a sight some thought never to see again, and others had only seen in books and slates. Earth lay before them.

Admiral Thorne rubbed his eyes in surprise. All his life had been undone by this unknown giant ship. "We are back to Earth… Back to where we started…"

"No need to thank us, " a deep voice resonated from behind the Admiral and his team at the observation port.

The Admiral spun about to see a dazzling creature crouched on four thickly muscled legs. Its six arms writhed like eels and a single eye rolled about like a basketball atop its vibrant green body. Bristled feelers wagged, obscuring it

their efforts proved ineffectual. The real worm wiggled its way behind the mechanical maw and continued its strange attack.

A sudden violent spasm gave the mining worm a shudder. A section of the cargo hold breached and the mechanical systems initiated a lock down of the compartment, thankfully no crew members found themselves trapped in the sealed segment. Then, the worms separated and the aggressor disappeared.

The crew performed a diagnostic and adjusted their digging path to return to the transport shuttle sooner since one of their empty cargo holds had been compromised.

Back aboard the colonial starship, biologist reviewed the sensor readings during the attack. Ruthers and Digby accompanied an intrepid biologist named Dr. Stanley to the ruptured compartment. The three wore biohazard suits while the entire excavator sat in quarantine. The pilots pried doors open to a room coated in thick organic material.

"It must be worm blood, " Digby guessed.

"Hardly, " Dr. Stanley said "This does confirm my theory. The animal on that planetoid mistook our equipment for a mate."

The pilots gaped. Digby wrapped his arms around his waist and gently rocked on his heels.

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