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   Chapter 34 No.34

Dead Beckoning By Christina Engela Characters: 6096

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

"What the hell, man?" Brenton said, his voice trembling. "That was so intense! I was, er – still waiting for the right time, but you beat me to it! Where'd you learn to do that anyway?"

"Corsair school." Blachart quipped, thinking 'Noob'.

"What? Like for real?" Said Brenton.

"Yeap." Blachart replied, a little amused by his former pilot's credulity. "It's where all good Corsairs learn their trade!"

Blachart picked a likely direction – the second corpse – and started walking. By the end of this mission, he reflected, he could have this youngster believing that Corsairs were trained like 007, gifted like Casanova, and probably as hard to understand as George W Bush.

"Welcome to the dark side, kid." He said, walking. "Where all the fun shit happens."

The second corpse belonged to a man who in life, looked like he'd probably been more dangerous than his pale companion. Hit in the head, he'd probably died instantly. He'd been carrying the same sort of weapon too. Blachart picked it up and tossed it over to his companion, who at least managed to catch it side-on with both arms, and cradled it like a shiny new baby.

"Thanks!" Brenton grinned at him. "Wow! This is nice!"

"Pleasure." He said distantly, scanning the tree line. "Try not to hurt yourself with it, kid."

In the distance, on the plain below the hill, Blachart spotted a light, wavy blue mass, knowing instantly that it was an energy field. Dome-like, it covered what appeared to be no more than unclear dark shapes inside. Whether it was a town or an industrial installation was impossible to tell – especially from this distance, which Blachart gauged to be about 20 or 25 kilometers.

The two Corsair patrollers had come from somewhere else, he knew – somewhere near to the dome, if not from the dome itself – and he was willi

on of this town had only started after the destruction of Meradinis, then Kilroy had been very busy in the past three months. A town lay ahead of them, already bigger than Geek City – it stretched out across the level plain for what must have been at least 4 square kilometers at the center of the dome. One the outskirts though, the streets had been laid out already, but town blocks and plots had just been marked with white stones and wooden stakes with nylon cord marking random claims. Only here and there were there little structures built of wood and corrugated plastic sheeting. At the center, things looked a little different, where there was a concentration of buildings, all using the same construction materials, densely packed along the edge of the earthen roadway. Little black-clad people milled all around, busily going about their business – whatever business that was – in and around what looked to be a town built of log cabins and wood and corrugated sheet buildings not unlike what he'd seen on many frontier worlds, or in a re-run of an old TV Western. In between the log cabin buildings stood the occasional shipping container with doors and windows installed. It was a great big shanty town.

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