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   Chapter 143 No.143

The Galaxii Series Omnibus 1 By Christina Engela Characters: 5368

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

"Yes, what is it, Specialist?" He mumbled.

"Sorry about that, sir, but it's urgent!"

"Come in, come in." He said, stumbling back to sit on the edge of his sofa, and yawned. "What the hell time is it?"

"Onboard communications are down, sir!" the Specialist reported urgently, ignoring his question. "All internal sensors and intercoms too!"

"Power failure?" Lofflin guessed, scratching a patch of freshly healed skin that itched like the dickens. He noticed the time on his desk screen over to the side of the cabin. "Good gods, it's three forty five!"

"No sir, sabotage!"

That got his attention – by the throat. 'The ship's coming apart around me!' He groaned inwardly.

"Say again?"

"Specialist Jennings and I went to check the patch panels in corridor A, and somebody jumped us in the maintenance chute, sir – Jennings is in sickbay with a skull fracture! Hit over the head, didn't see who it was."

"Alert security, right now!" Lofflin ordered. "I want to know what's going on!"

"Yes, sir!" The youth said, and sprinted off. This left a perplexed Lofflin trying to puzzle his way out of the maze he found himself in. Was this an isolated incident? No, he thought. A simple case of assault wouldn't involve disabling the ship's comms system. This was more serious. It was much bigger than that. This was someone with a game plan – someone playing for keeps! He didn't bother looking for a fresh uniform, and just dragged on a clean t-shirt and a pair of jeans from his closet and the first pair of half decent shoes he found. Then he left for engineering at a dead run.

When Co

e the intrepid Mr. Billingham had been there already – there were tell-tale burns on the wrecked and smashed instruments and controls! 'Well, he's not using this one! Hell, nobody can use this one! Bastard! Bloody bastard!'

This also gave Lofflin another important clue – Billingham had a blaster! Lofflin suddenly wished he'd taken the time to bring one along... or the alien sweeplaser… now that would've given Mr. Billingham reason to change his underwear! Turning with deliberation, and feeling acutely vulnerable, he walked back the way he'd came, and back down the ramp to continue his search. He found Billingham just busy undoing the restraints around the nose-skid of the second shuttle. The man was out of uniform. He wore jeans and a t-shirt, and had a civilian kit bag lying at the foot of the ramp. He seemed to be traveling light. 'Going somewhere?' Lofflin wanted to ask him, but it seemed too much of a cliché. He clenched his fists tightly.

"It's not a star shuttle." Lofflin said matter-of-factly. "You won't reach anywhere in a long, long time."

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