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The Galaxii Series Omnibus 1 By Christina Engela Characters: 6093

Updated: 2018-06-29 19:02

Kaine closed the thick steel security door as quickly as his shaking fingers would operate the control panel. It had been designed to ward off mutineers, perhaps even an enemy boarding party… but never anything quite like that! Then he locked it, and turned and faced the desecrated bridge. Alone now, he set his teeth grimly. The destroyed bodies that lay at his feet had had names once, just hours before… Kremin and Horek. They'd promised him they'd hold the bridge at all costs, until his return. They'd been good men… faithful to the end! He owed them this – as their commander!

Now he could put his plan into action, if he had enough time. He was going to order the computer to cause a deliberate imbalance in the drive system, which would cause a huge explosion – destroying the ship! His ship! He was Armon Kaine, commander of this putrid hulk – this sad, desecrated corpse of a ship, and he was going to die with it – but he was going to take that damned vile thing with him!

The machine demanded a series of access codes. As he entered the first, a faint whispering sound startled him, causing him to snatch up the sweep laser. All was silent. He mentally replayed the sound in his mind – it had sounded like metal on metal... Could he have imagined it? He listened intently.


Swallowing, he put the weapon back down on the console and entered the second code. Then, suddenly, there was a sound like a marble dropping on the floor – bouncing slowly, gradually getting faster as it dropped lower and lower…until it faded away. The thing was toying with him! Where was it? He strained his hearing, but all was again silent. He wanted to shout and scream obscenities at the monster, but he fought the impulse. It might not really know his location after all – and that would've only led it right to hi

his fear and hopelessness – at that moment, he knew it was over. Kaine lowered the weapon and stood there, facing the Reaper. A light spectrum filled his eyes and he heard himself scream as his life boiled away, and a sound like a waterfall filled his head. Then there was nothing. All was still. All over the ship, the remaining lights and equipment shut down. Darkness fell with an echoing clang that spanned the millennia.

* * *

Commander Joe Lofflin knocked back a tumbler of Scotland's Finest to brace himself. He'd spent the last few hours preparing to face the crew, without too much success. He'd tried thinking up speeches, taking notes – even reading philosophy. He finally decided on a glass of scotch. Not on the rocks – there were no rocks because the icemaker was broken. He chuckled wryly to himself. Even the bloody glass was cracked! That said it best, didn't it? Although Lofflin usually took a dim view of drinking while on duty, he'd made an exception. Humph. An exceptional exception. For exceptional circumstances! Lofflin figured he needed some kind of reinforcement for the task that lay at hand… After all, it's not easy to tell two hundred and twenty six people they're going to die.

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