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   Chapter 18 No.18

Demonspawn By Christina Engela Characters: 5410

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

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Making the announcement on the ships com-net was one of the high points of Joe Lofflin's career. A few cheers echoed here and there around the ship. Trouble was, that was just the announcement of Blaine's death, though the news about the derelict ship was received equally well. In less than half an hour, the depressed and lethargic crew had been jarred back into action. Suddenly there was hope, there was purpose again. It was like they had been snatched from the jaws of Death – and now they just had to make it all happen.

Satisfied, Commander Lofflin turned from the com console and made for the command deck. The doors barely parted before he stepped out onto the bridge. The regular crew were back at their stations as per shift register – with one or two replacements for the severely injured or dead crewmen. One or two bandages were apparent. Except for the fact that the ship was for all intents and purposes dead in the water, it seemed like business as usual on the bridge of ISS Mordrake.

He glanced at Bennett, who was engrossed in his sensor readings and went on with his analysis. The viewscreen was on again, and showed the huge chunks of space rock hanging in the black sky ahead of them, just about seven kilometers distant. There was a tense hush. Lofflin looked at the thing on the screen. The reason for all the fuss Bennett had made was suddenly all too apparent. Obviously, braking thrusters had been fired – Mordrake had stopped.

From the first glance, Lofflin recognized the object ahead of them as a space vehicle of some sort. It was relatively close by too. It had a spheric

"No sir, " Lt. Fylip Tan said as he looked round at him quizzically. "Silent as a tomb."

"Ha ha." Lofflin replied with mock sarcasm. "Keep your eyes open, please."

"Don't worry, I'll fire everything at them at the first sign of trouble, sir!"

Lofflin knew there were no working shipboard weapons left. So did Lt. Tan.

"And what will you fire at them?" Lofflin asked with mock-sarcasm.

"Harsh language, sir." Tan grinned. "What else?"

Lofflin grinned. So did most of the bridge crew.

"I'm serious, Fylip. Keep your eyes open."

"Okay, sir. For all the good it'll do."

The dead ship hung in the center of the viewscreen, dark and menacing. A phrase repeated over and over in his head. 'Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly…' And it seemed the fly was well on its way. Lofflin looked over his shoulder at Lieutenant Blige, the communications specialist.

"Adrian, better program a 'black box' – just in case. Include all the last Log entries since three days ago and all sensor telemetry from our first sighting of the derelict up to now."

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