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   Chapter 161 No.161

The Galaxii Series Omnibus 1 By Christina Engela Characters: 6028

Updated: 2018-06-30 19:01

Over the next few hours, as Antares traveled to their new destination, Mykl picked up a noticeable increase in tension in the crew. News always traveled, he knew… bad and good – it all traveled far and wide – but nothing could beat the speed of bad news, not even a starship at full warp.

Mykl had the Antares at full battle-stations when Antares stopped at the co-ordinates given for Astor-base thirty-seven – which was a relatively small, thin belt of astors at the outskirts of the remains of a nearby star-system. The star had destroyed all its inner planets in its last expansion millennia ago, and was now a cold, dark dwarf star somewhere far away at the center of the dead system, being orbited by rocky debris and a cold, dead, frozen moon of ice.

A large 'roid took up the Antares' viewscreen, gray and dull, almost completely smooth in places, featureless in the pale light of the distant star at the center of this system. They'd only arrived a few minutes before, and the sensor sweep of the area told them all they needed to know – there was nothing alive onboard the astor-base, nor were there any other ships in the vicinity! Mykl canceled the alert, and settled back to wait for the arrival of the Mordrake. In retrospect, the crew had performed as responsively as in the most recent drill.

The asteroid base was roughly about 5 times the size of the ship, and had been tunneled into, pressurized, and fitted with life support equipment and whatever machinery suited the purpose of the base – which according to the intel reports on Astor-base 37, was deep space intelligence gathering. Obviously, the Corsairs were the main subject of interest here. Mykl smiled seriously to himself in the dim lighting of the bridge. That was quite possibly why he'd never heard of Astor-base thir

to a house before invading it.

The remains of several small craft drifted nearby, between the astors. Some contained what remained of their pilots or crew. One was a shuttle, a long distance scout, and as it slowly rotated – in a way that reminded Mykl of a great whale slowly rolling over in the sea, a series of jagged holes came into sight. From the look of it, it had had the bejesus blasted out of it. A smaller ship – a Skorpiad fighter, one of twenty – floated nearby, looking not much better. In their depressurized, blood-spattered cockpits, the frozen remains of pilots had slumped in various rigors and poses of death.

As if to confirm Mykl's summary of the attack, the outside of the large 'roid that contained the base itself, didn't seem to have taken any fire from ship's weapons at all. The surface glinted, unmarked, with distant sunlight... serene as though all still was as it should be. Mykl looked for the large circular landing bay doors – there they were – painted the same colors as the surrounding rock. They were open now, the interior a dark, airless, lifeless gaping maw that seemed uncannily like a dead mouth having expelled its last breath, a frozen moment in time.

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