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   Chapter 40 No.40

Demonspawn By Christina Engela Characters: 5603

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:01


"What about a com-link?" Lofflin suggested. "If you leave one as a marker beacon on them? The transmatter could pull them out then!"

"Sure. That's an idea – yes, that'll work! Okay!" Billingham agreed.

"Now hurry up, pack those things up and get your people the hell out of there!"

"Got it!" Billingham said, and signed off.

"Transmatter operator! Pick up, this is Lofflin!"

"Transmatter, Corporal Wentworth here, sir." A female voice replied tersely.

'What's a marine doing at the transmatter console?' Lofflin wondered at first, before remembering that some departments were short-handed at the moment.

"This is an emergency, Corporal! I want you to start pulling all personnel back from the alien ship right away! Commander Billingham will be leaving a comlink active on the last two crates of spares for you to get a lock on them, but I want you to start pulling out any of our people you can get a lock on wherever you can, got it?"

"Y-yes, sir!" Wentworth replied, jumping into action.

"Sir – I can't lock onto anyone as yet – there's something on that ship that's blocking the transmatter!"

"Yes, it's something in the hull…Anyway, then everyone will have to hoof it up to the beam-out point, Corporal – and as soon as they activate the comlink with the crates they'll be running for it. In the meantime you pull out the crates – and then the crew when they're in the clear – got it?"

"Got it, sir!"

The repairs were critical – and the spares were critical too – worth the risk... Worth risking everything for! Trouble was, his people had to get off the derelict alien ship – and something not dead, and not alive, was stalking them!

*

…But they were walking… quickly, but still walking. While being pursued by a homicidal thing that didn't need rest!

It was an unknown… No living person had seen whatever it was that was lurking on this ship. No living person. That spelt bad medicine in itself! The odds were that no living person was ever going to either, like the two states were somehow interlinked – and Billingham, perceptive man that he was, realized that they were. Cursing his fatigue, Lieutenant Commander Ralph Billingham huffed and decided to concentrate on his walking instead.

Meanwhile, over on the Mordrake, Lofflin had gone to the transmatter and was waiting beside the jump platform. The search teams that had been on the derelict earlier had returned hours before, after the engineering complex had been found, and it was only the entechs and security marines working on stripping the engines that were still over there. A few others had already just returned, all calm but relieved to be back. They all nodded at Lofflin in greeting and just slowly tiredly wandered off, to their quarters or to grab a hot meal from the mess.

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