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   Chapter 52 No.52

Demonspawn By Christina Engela Characters: 5374

Updated: 2018-06-30 19:02

"Alert security, right now!" Lofflin ordered. "I want to know what's going on!"

"Yes, sir!" The youth said, and sprinted off. This left a perplexed Lofflin trying to puzzle his way out of the maze he found himself in. Was this an isolated incident? No, he thought. A simple case of assault wouldn't involve disabling the ship's comms system. This was more serious. It was much bigger than that. This was someone with a game plan – someone playing for keeps! He didn't bother looking for a fresh uniform, and just dragged on a clean t-shirt and a pair of jeans from his closet and the first pair of half decent shoes he found. Then he left for engineering at a dead run.

When Commander Joe Lofflin arrived, there was plenty going on in Mordrake's engineering section. The techs were hard at work, in shifts, like relay teams. The crates had already been unpacked, and the catalogued components were being reassembled into subcomponents that would form the inverter coils and other systems needed. The damaged original equipment had already been cleared out. Sections around where the damaged bits had been were vacant, twisted, charred little nightmares of their own. One or two entechs looked away from their work as he burst in, breathing hard. Where was Billingham? The man was nowhere to be seen… He went up to the nearest entech, a Specialist who held a chunk of nondescript alien technology with both hands, and looked up from it like it was some kind of alien Rubik Cube demanding to be solved.

"Where's the Chief?"

"Taking a quick break, sir." Said the man, shrugging. "He said something about

clenched his fists tightly.

"It's not a star shuttle." Lofflin said matter-of-factly. "You won't reach anywhere in a long, long time."

Billingham whirled round sharply, instantly aiming a blaster at him. Billingham recovered well.

"It's late, Joe – shouldn't you be asleep?" He said, smiling at him breathlessly. "That's all right. It'll be a lot longer than you'll live. I figure I'll make Horner's World in a few months… More if I reduce my metabolism with a couple of doses of Reta-drazine. Alone, I'll have plenty of air, power, food, water... Computer's well stocked, think I'll watch a lot of movies on the way. Maybe I'll catch up on some reading."

"Where will you go from there? There isn't much on Horner's World, maybe a trading station, if that."

"Who knows?" He grinned. "I could use a holiday... After all the hard work we put into this mad errand you had us running. I'm a little frazzled."

"I don't doubt it." Lofflin remarked, sizing his opponent up.

"Yeah. Well, anyway, you said the Fleet might be looking for us… or the Corsairs."

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