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   Chapter 55 No.55

Demonspawn By Christina Engela Characters: 5694

Updated: 2018-06-30 19:02


'Not bad for a team of B-rated entechs, ' Lofflin thought, and smiled. In fact, he recommended upgrades for all of them, without the aid of a screwdriver.

During interrogation, Ralph Billingham never admitted to any crime. No sign of Captain Blaine's body was ever found. Despite his attempt to wipe out all the evidence he could, Billingham failed to destroy it all. Although the medical logs had been mysteriously erased, and the Captain's quarters would need a complete overhaul after the fire, the crystal drive Dr. Collins had hidden, held everything needed to buy Billingham a one-way ticket to a lifelong special holiday on an isolated penal colony. The man would have his day in court, and that was his own problem now. They'd done their part. Commander Lofflin couldn't wait to boot him off the Mordrake when they reached Tremaine.

The Empire of Kol was supposed to have been somewhere nearby according to the alien ship's nav-records. Perhaps someday a science or survey ship would come past this way to see what had become of it. Seven thousand years was a long time, and by now, Kaine's world and its empire had probably gone the way of all empires. Lofflin couldn't help hoping that perhaps, some of their descendants were still out there, somewhere.

Now that the Mordrake was on its way back to home space, the ship would get some much needed attention and the crew, him included, would get some much needed rest. They would probably get a new CO as well. He hoped it wouldn't be another awful martinet like Blaine. If it was, he would probably resign. He'd go back home and find a civvy job – something behind a desk, with good hours so he could still build a life before he hit forty

knew. She would probably make a career of it when they returned – astro-archeology was a big thing in science circles. There would probably be more trips out this way in future to do further research – and he had an inkling Kinsley would be right at the center of it.

Dr. Harry Collins sat at the bar, chatting with Sergeant Murphy and one of the barmen. Murphy was telling a joke that involved Santa Claus, a reindeer and an elf – and quite a lot of hand gestures that had everyone in the vicinity holding onto their glasses just in case. The noise level in the place was drowning everything out. They turned and waved to him in the midst of the cacophony. As for him, Joe Lofflin, his heart was racing and everything seemed to be working out right for a change. At the bar, he and Bennett clinked glasses together. Sipping his drink in the company of his choice, his mind turned briefly once more to the events of the last few days.

It was a happy ending after all, for the survivors – and gods knew, he needed one. They all did. Looking Dellon in the eyes, looking back into his, he felt young again. He felt young.

THE END

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