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   Chapter 14 No.14

Dead Beckoning By Christina Engela Characters: 6514

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

The asteroid base was roughly about 5 times the size of the ship, and had been tunneled into, pressurized, and fitted with life support equipment and whatever machinery suited the purpose of the base – which according to the intel reports on Astor-base 37, was deep space intelligence gathering. Obviously, the Corsairs were the main subject of interest here. Mykl smiled seriously to himself in the dim lighting of the bridge. That was quite possibly why he'd never heard of Astor-base thirty seven before, or in fact of any Imperial bases so far into the Quillian Sector, however, the truth was someone obviously had.

Astor-base thirty seven had been hit four days ago, purportedly by Corsairs – and being a trained Command-level officer who had been schooled in Corsair tactics by the intelligence branch of the Imperial Space Fleet, Mykl d'Angelo recognized the hallmarks of such attacks quicker than most. The reports which indicated that this was a classic Corsair raid seemed to be accurate.

The Mordrake arrived shortly afterwards. It felt good to see another friendly ship in the empty wastes of deep space, particularly this far away from civilization! The Mordrake was a sight for sore eyes! She was of the same class, being similar in size and specification to the venerable Antarse, although Mordrake was somewhat smaller and newer – and was fresh from extensive repairs… fresh, shiny, and fighting fit. Both would be a match for the slightly older and smaller Indomitable, should they find her – all the same, Mykl preferred they face her together. The Mordrake was captained by Joseph Lofflin, a man he had never met before and only knew by reputation. Few in the Fleet in the area probably didn't know about the escapades of the Mordrake and her gallant crew while stranded, crippled in the Omegan Quadrant.

Their intense battle for survival featured a derelict alien vessel and an alien battle-droid threatened to wipe out the c

ings had been winding down since the Battle of Turtle Island and the alleged final victory of the Corsairs… Ripley was busy running another sensor sweep of the asteroid. Looking across at her console display panel, Mykl saw that the Mordrake was busy doing the same, not far off to their starboard quarter.

"It's completely depressurized, Captain." She reported. "No life signs, minimal power output. Gravity net, data-core, everything seems offline."

Faint readings began to show up all over the area, scattered like little blue grains of dust on her display. They knew what they meant.

"Allenby markers." Ripley said grimly referring to the digital tracer units implanted into all Fleet personnel so that they could be identified by ship and personnel sensors, making them easier to locate them if they became trapped or lost – or to find and retrieve their bodies if they died. The acronym L.N.B. which stood for "Leave No-one Behind" had gradually come to be "Allenby", like the guy who invented them or came up with the idea wasn't a female research scientist at the Space Fleet Science Institute called Dr. Francis Rahem. The meaning of no life signs and fifty LNB readings in the same space was pretty clear to Ripley, and Mykl, and to everyone else on the bridge of the Antares too.

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