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   Chapter 9 No.9

Demonspawn By Christina Engela Characters: 5985

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

"I'm alone up here, sir."

"Doesn't matter." He said. "Nothing's going to happen that already hasn't."

Joe Lofflin sighed a deep sigh. It wasn't a case of not knowing what he was doing – it was doing what he knew had to be done – what ought to be done, that was the problem. That – and not knowing what else to do.

* * *

The extractor fans were annoyingly loud again in the eerie tomb-like silence that had conquered the corridors of the Mordrake as Lofflin made his way to the shuttle deck. His mind was clouded with all the things he wanted to say – all the things he wished he could say – and, finally, what he would have to say. So preoccupied with these thoughts was Lofflin, that he was surprised to find himself at the door leading to the shuttle deck. It was the biggest room on the ship, large enough to hold two medium-sized shuttles on the landing area. There was room to hold a meeting of the sort he had called, with the entire ship's crew – that is, all the survivors, standing all to one side as well, in a kind of parade formation. It still seemed a fairly cramped affair, despite their losses. The outer doors of the shuttle deck were closed. They weren't going anywhere, and they weren't expecting visitors – so why waste valuable energy resources on the force-field that would keep the air inside?

Looming out of the sea of faces looking at him, like two great white rocks, were the two shuttles – two great lumps of false hope. They were, Joe knew, small ships with provision for twenty passengers and a small cargo hold, which could hold twice as many in emergencies – in zero comfort, and for much less time than it would take for them to reach any safe haven. There was no provision for any luxuries or even necessities for so many to stay in for an extended

d no means of moving the ship! Life support is running on the emergency batteries, and I guess I don't have to tell you that without the coil or the engines, we have no way to recharge them.

I also shouldn't have to spell it out that without power, the life support system won't work – which leaves us in a bit of a mess… So I guess we have a few more days of air left at best."

Lofflin's eyes took in the reactions this provoked in the faces of the crew assembled before him. They were contemplating their future, which seemed an altogether bleak affair.

"The nearest habitable planet is Tremaine – which is three days away at warp. We've lost our long distance comms – they're essentially gone, which means there's nothing left to repair… so we're alone, off all known shipping lanes. We're on our own, as they say. I can offer only one hope: When we turned back to Tremaine we informed the star base that we were on our way – we should've been there by now, so they may have realized something's wrong, and launched a search for us. Aside from that, although we've been drifting for three days, there's still a possibility that the Corsairs may be out there looking for us as well.

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