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   Chapter 38 No.38

Demonspawn By Christina Engela Characters: 5516

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

Two crates had already been packed – the two which had been packed aside, one atop the other, waiting to be sent to Mordrake. The transmatter would be used to beam them out later, with the rest, to save power. Something in the hull of this ship appeared to be blocking the sensors and the transmatter, except in a few seemingly random spots where that effect was either absent, or only partially effective. That's why they had to arrive at that spot in the corridor, about half-way up the ship, and why the crates could be shifted in or out of engineering complex. But in engineering, the negating effect – whatever was causing that, they could shift tech in or out – but it was far too risky to try that with a living creature. Only another three crates remained to be packed, and they were now two and a half hours behind schedule, mainly because of the alleged accident that claimed the life of Specialist Neil.

Regardless of their suspicions and theories, Lt. Commander Ralph Billingham and his team now had their work cut out for them. The Chief Entech now not only had to finish dismantling the one generator and fill several crates with their parts – while cataloging them, but now he had to do the same job with one man less – and with three security marines standing guard over them, getting in his way, breathing down his neck... But perhaps they could hold this and pass that for him while they were at it.

Billingham too, had voiced his suspicions about it. 'Something about it was just too neat, ' he said, 'Too perfect'. Lofflin agreed with him. And then again, not. Whoever or whatever was committing these offences was taking care to

ts, then as murders. Investigations were launched. A few more days later, it was discovered that the crate containing the experimental and secret 'war machine' – which was called 'the Akx' was empty."

"The Akx, huh?" Lofflin repeated. "Pardon the pun."

"Yes, spelled 'A, K, X'." Kinsley explained. "The Captain assumed it had been activated somehow, and escaped – and was loose somewhere aboard his ship."

"So it was a droid of some kind!" Lofflin breathed.

"Apparently. But listen to this… they searched for a whole day before finding it. Sightings and reports gave them conflicting positions of their attacker. When they found it, the log says, there was massive loss of life. The thing would not be restrained and killed a lot of them. The last entry indicates they decided to risk everything, to die fighting rather than simply wait for it to get them. They went on a hunt to destroy it – and that's where the log ends – with the ship's life-readings dropping to one, and then zero, and a recorded attempt to actuate the ship's destruct sequence – which was aborted soon afterwards!"

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