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   Chapter 42 No.42

Dead Beckoning By Christina Engela Characters: 5549

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

The two Terran ships began to take damage now too, more slowly than the enemy, but it was mounting. Mordrake fired a second wave of torpedoes, while Antares turned its attention to the one ship in the Corsair fleet that had shields and countermeasures. Indomitable. Mykl fired salvoes of slam-torpedoes at the new Corsair flagship, double and triple-tapping the shields, hoping to build up an overload big enough to bring them down. Mordrake provided cover for Antares, taking on the swarm of lesser black ships, swatting them from the sky – but she wasn't immune to the intensity of the attack either.

On the Mordrake, things were not going as well as hoped. The ship had just received a pounding under nine slam-torpedoes fired from multiple directions, and several chunks of iron meteorite had just gone right through their shields and smashed into the hull.

"Damage report!" Joe Lofflin shouted above the loud thundering rumble of the last hit as it faded.

"Two compartments breached!" Carson reported. "Evacuation underway! Weapons are still online and firing!"

Ship-wide chaos threatened, but was being contained by the organized, well trained crew. Damage was controlled and the ship kept on functioning, but Captain Lofflin was under no illusions – Mordrake was a cornered animal, fighting for its life.

"Evasive maneuvers!" He ordered. "Try to stay close to Antares – keep our back against the wall!"

Two torpedoes from Antares tore into a raider close to Mordrake, penetrating the hull before exploding. The effect was spectacular – the former loderunner slowed, rolled over and burst open, spilling liquid fire and blazing debris into s

rought the Antarse in closer.

"Targets following – in pursuit!" Accelera reported tersely.

"Deploy mines now!" Mykl ordered.

"Dropping mines." Kneal reported. "Mines away!"

A string of black ships began to follow the Antares, and as she began dropping space mines, the first ship flew right into one. A brilliant explosion lit the black hull in the darkness, highlighting the plating and rivets – and also the framework and twisted chunks of shrapnel as the force of the explosion ripped into the hull – and then a second. Then the next ship behind that one struck another mine. A cascade reaction erupted in Antares' wake – and within minutes, five raiders drifted, shattered and bleeding air and fire from gaping wounds.

Antares turned and headed for another cluster of raiders, heading for the outermost ship. As they drew closer, it launched something at them.

"Incoming object!" Ripley reported, "Iron meteorite!"

"Shields to full power!" Mykl shouted.

The ship bucked and vibrated beneath them slightly. Just in time, Mykl thought. Now, before they get a chance to fire again…

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