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   Chapter 29 No.29

Demonspawn By Christina Engela Characters: 5809

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

"And the security logs that were tampered with." Harry added. "Don't forget those."

Lofflin finally left Sickbay. Smiling a goodbye, Harry turned back to his medical forensic obsession. Tonight was one of those nights he just couldn't sleep. It was going to be a long night. It seemed fated that it was really going to turn out that way. And not just for Dr. Harry Collins.

* * *

I have waited long. I the Akx. The one who is invincible. The ultimate warrior. My terror always wins.

* * *

Lying down to rest at last, Joe Lofflin pondered the events of the day – having to relate bad news to the crew, his discovery of the murder of the Captain, the alien ship turning up as if right on cue… The derelict seemed far more interesting than the former. It seemed almost romantic, like the old sea stories of lost mystery ships like the Marie Celeste. An ancient ship, adrift in space for centuries, full of dead people. Really romantic! Aliens they may have been, but they were still people – and people who had died long ago in a really unpleasant way. He felt a kind of remorse for them, almost kinship. Would some other ship find Mordrake centuries from now, filled with their grinning skeletons? What would he say to them, if he were a spirit still lingering in the deserted corridors of Mordrake? 'Mind where you put your feet'? He chuckled, amused by his own warped sense of humor. The idea was too morbid to contemplate! Shrugging it off, he turned over and drifted off to a troubled sleep.

It felt like he'd only just drifted off to sleep when at about three thirty, Joe Lofflin's cabin comlink buzzed him awake. Still trying to fight the ghastly nightmare visions from his mind – and groping with the console in the dark

it by the flashlights some bystanders were holding up for them. The crowd consisted of entechs and assorted volunteer crewmen from Mordrake's various departments. All were quiet, except one, a woman, who was sobbing – perhaps she'd been a friend of the deceased. Some of the bystanders started lending a hand in bringing the body down from the makeshift rope and pulley. Two of the marines still had climbing gear on – it was a lot quicker than taking the stairs.

Lofflin's initial impression was correct – it was an elevator shaft, open, empty. A yawning chasm in the darkness, without any of the derelict's own dim lighting to mark it. He looked down, shining his light towards the bottom. It was about twenty meters to the stop, give or take – quite a ride. Sharp twisted pieces of metal and debris littered the bottom, reaching up and looking like teeth. It looked to Lofflin as if it was the remains of the elevator car itself at the bottom. Dark wet runs shone on the sharp edges as the light from several flashlight beams played on multiple surfaces. Fresh blood had been spilled on an old battleground, he thought. Nice. Was that really necessary?

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