Friday, October 3, 2014

Alien - Part 3

Fiction Friday. Escape pod here.

Final part of the Alien three-parter.

Alien - Part 3

Esme dragged Zarisri through the undergrowth with Navok supporting Zarisri's other shoulder. He'd passed out through the pain. The sound of the fire-fight had died down and Esme tried to pick up the pace. It was difficult going through the thick undergrowth. Finally they arrived back at the others to a scene of carnage. Dozens of the small blue humanoids lay dead or dying in a wide circle around the crew who were backed up against the scanner probe on the sledge. Esme quickly scanned each of them. They had cuts and bruises but nothing with the severity Zarisri had.

"Shabra get over here!" Esme called and his Science Officer came jogging over. They laid Zarisri down on the floor and Shabra turned white when she saw his left leg that had been stripped to the bone below the knee.

"My god...." she muttered.

She bent down to inspect the leg as Esme went to check on the others. The crew had apparently adopted a defensive position as soon as they heard the shots fired by Esme and Navok. When the creatures attacked they were ready for them and managed to kill enough so that the others fled. The XO went over to Shabra who was tending to the unconscious Zarisri.

"Hows it looking?"

Shabra looked up at him and shook her head. "Its not good. It cannot be left like that, the bone will get infected and he'll die. It needs to come off and come off now." She nodded over to Navok's belt. Esme looked over and realised what she meant. He wandered over and took the Lasade from the security chief. He held it out and pushed a button. A bright red blade shot out the size of a large knife. He pressed the button again and the blade extended in length to that of a machete. One final push and it was the length of a sword. He walked around the unconscious body of Zarisri and lined the blade up to a point just under his knee. He raised the blade over his head.

Above the jungles green and blue canopy, the sky exploded with hundreds of colourful birds as a horrific scream shattered the silence from below.


The going was much tougher now. The sledge contained the scanner probe, the sharpened branches for defence and the semi-conscious body of Zarisri. His stump had been bandaged and he was barely conscience. Sweat was pouring off him and he moaned as the sledge bumped over the rough ground. Light was fading and Esme had been looking for somewhere to camp for the night. Just before it got too dark they came across a rocky stream. Large boulders lined the streams bed and on each bank larger rock formations jutted out. There was a large shallow cave in one. Only 10 metres deep if that but it provided a defensible location. They made their camp there for the night.

Two hours later Esme was sitting by the camp fire with Shabra picking at the last of the fish. Navok had taken one of the sharpened sticks and found some large fish in the stream. They had cooked them over a small camp fire. Esme wondered how long ago had his ancestors lived like this. Catching fish in a stream and cooking them in a cave by camp fire. He glanced towards the mouth of the cave and saw the security chief walk past. Navok's vision of a simpler time dissolving as he saw the laser pistol he was holding. Navok had first watch at the mouth of the cave and Khana and Hazra were sleeping. Zarisri was unconscious as he had been for most of the day.

"So, anyone waiting for you back in Amarr?" Shabra asked.

Esme raised an eyebrow at his Science Officer. She looked different in the flickering light of the camp fire.

"Don't worry, not trying to pick you up. Just curious. I mean we all work together so closely and we known nothing about each other. Is there a Mrs Esme? Two and a half kids? All devoted True-Amarrians who visit the catherdral for mass in their best dress?"

Esme laughed.

"No. I know its a cliche but I'm married to the Navy. Closest I've been to 'love' was a long time ago when we had a trip to the Federation, before the war obviously. I was part of the small token fleet escorting a delegation to Luminaire by invite of the Gallente. A 21 year-old Amarrian, let loose on shore-leave on a Gallente station? What where they thinking! I hardly knew what a woman looked like after all those years in the Academy" he laughed.

"You had a good time?" she smiled.

"Yes, I had a very good time actually. Too young to appreciate it though. Hell none of us knew what to do. The Acadamy doesn't teach you how to deal with those Gallente women! They are nothing like ours." he stopped suddenly. "I, I... I didn't mean it like that!" he said apologising, his face going red in the glow of the camp fire.

Shabra laughed.

"Don't worry, I'm not offended. I've been to the Federation myself, and yes, their ladies are very different... just as Matari men are different to our Amarrians." she smirked.

"Ahhhhh. So you had a similar trip?" he smiled.

"Probably around the same time. Before the wars when Admirals and VIPs would visit our cold-war 'friends' and we'd provide escort. I piloted a Malediction back in those days, one of my favorite ships. You can keep your cruisers, give me a 'ceptor and day of the week."

"So is there a Mr Shabra waiting for you?" the XO asked.

"Yes... somewhere. I've just got to find him first. Like you, I've spent too much time with the Navy. Doesn't make for a fulfilling love life does it."

Esme nodded in agreement and lay back against the cave wall and closed his eyes.

"If we don't get that probe back to the wormhole very soon, the Navy's effect on our love-life will be the very last of our problems." he whispered more to himself than Shabra.


The crew started out at first light. The jungle had been slowly thining as they neared the mountain range. The sledge carrying the scanner probe and the barely conscience Zarisri was becoming easier to pull as the undergrowth started to give way to grasslands surrounding the base of the mountain range.

As they finally broke through the edge of the now sparse trees Esme looked up at the high peaks dominating the view.

"I was never much into climbing" Shabra said as they all stared up.

"Me neither." replied Esme "Thats why I'm hoping that valley will take us all the way to the otherside." he said pointing ahead.

There did appear to be a valley in front of them that lead between two of the tall peaks. The crew nodded and started dragging the sledge towards the gap in the mountains.

Within the hour they were walking along side a babbling stream. The mountains rose high either side of them and disappeared into the low cloud. The grassy bank of the stream provided an easy path to drag the sledge. There was the odd tree and strange plant but generally the path was clear. The valley twisted and turned and did indeed appear to run through the mountain range. The walk was fairly level although they did appear to be gaining altitude very slowly, the low cloud cover appeared to be getting nearer.

After three hours and a number of stops they came to what appeared to be the peak of the valley floor. A small lake was fed by a number of waterfalls and two wide streams flowed out of either end.

"Looks like we are at the summit." Esme stated. "I would bet these streams probably flood from time to time and over the years and that what cut this valley over the millennia. Hopefully it'll be gently downhill all the way."

The tired crew nodded in agreement. He was trying to raise their spirits but the journey had taken its toll. Zarisri was still unconscious and in a bad way. Having one less body to pull the sledge was a major factor. Esme told everyone to take a break and eat. They had brought cold meat they had cooked back in the jungle as well as some of the fruits. They had been resting for only a few minutes when an eye-piecing shriek echoed up the valley. Those who had them instantly drew their pistols. The others grabbed their sharpened poles from the sledge.

"Here we go again?" Navok whispered to Esme as another shriek, seemingly louder sounded.

"Where is it coming from? Its so echoey down here I cannot get the direction." growled Esme.

There was a different shriek, on made by one of the women, and Esme and Navok span around. Khana was diving to the floor as a massive winged reptile swooped down out of the low cloud with its claws extended. The creature was the stuff of nightmares. Wrinkled grey skin covered its body. Its wings were bat-like and spanned a good eight metres. It had an elongated beak that appeared more fitting of a reptile than a bird. A sharp teeth stuck out in random directions along its length. Both men raised their pistols as the creature overshot the prone Khana. The discharge of the laser pistols struck the beast as it grasped the unconscious Zarisri from the top of the sledge. The hits on the wing punched great holes in the thin skin, causing it to scream in pain. Unable to gain height, it drunkenly flew centimetres above the ground, its left wing clearly the worst damaged. It careered into a rocky outcropping and tumbled to the ground flapping.

Navok grabbed the Lasade from his belt and ran forward. The creature snapped its powerful jaws at him which he ducked under easily. Esme saw the bright red blade extended from the hilt as Navok slid under the creatures neck. It shrieked as the blade bit into its flesh and was promptly silenced as the laser blade slid through its neck, severing its head.

Esme ran to the body of Zarisri which was still in the creatures claws. He slowed as he neared. He could see it was too late. The huge talons pierced through Zarisri's chest and he was clearly dead.

"Is there anything on this rock that doesn't want to kill us?" Navok muttered as he approached. The glow of the fully extended Lasade casting eerie shadows over the bilk of the monsters belly.

"May be, but to be honest I'm not that keen to meet any other residents. Shall we get this scanner probe into space and call the cavalry?" Esme growled.


As the day started to fade they arrived at the crash site of the rear part of the ship. It hadn't been hard to find. The pass through the mountains had emerged over another jungle basin. From their elevated position they could clearly see the brown scar that cut across the valley where the ship had crashed. It had taken another hour for them to reach the wreckage. There they found Chief Engineer and four other survivors. Engineering sections on most starships were solidly built. Housing the reactor and warp core they needed the greatest protection. Having been strapped into their safety harnesses the core crew of Engineering had survived.

Esme explained the plan to the other survivors as soon as they arrived not wanting to waste any time. The Chief Engineer had first looked at him like he'd lost his mind before slowly nodding and smiling. The crew had worked through the night stripping a thruster assembly from the wreck and creating a booster rocket. Shabra programmed the scanner probe to warp to the wormhole, re-enter Amarr space and broadcast the SOS. The first orange glow of dawn was visible on the horizon as the crew retreated a safe distance.

"So if this doesn't work....?" Hazra asked.

"If this doesn't work I think this looks like a good spot for a village." Esme replied glumly.

The group fell silent acknowledging the fact there was no Plan B.

"10 seconds." Shabra stated.

The crew diverted their attention back towards the rocket. It was an amazing feat that they had managed to build it in a little under 12 hours. Smoke started to billow from the base. A flash momentarily blinded them as the thruster rocket ignited. A roar sounded through the valley as the rocket lifted off. Slowly it climbed into the night sky, the crew bending their heads back to watch it climb. Less than a minute later there was a flash and the orange glow of the engines vanished. Several gasps came from the crew.

"Don't worry, thats the separator charge. Its supposed to do that." Shabra reassured them.

There was another flash, the flash of an object entering warp. The crew cheered and embraced. The launch had been successful.


"What is it Ensign?" the Executive Officer on the bridge asked.

The Tengu Strategic cruiser was carrying out a scan of the system.

"Its a scanner probe sir. Amarrian in origin. Its strange, its just sat there. May be the auto-recall functions failed when its mothership left. May be it malfunctioned. Its possible its mothership was destroyed."

"Narrow the scan and go broad-spectrum in the immediate vicinity. Worth just double checking." the XO ordered, his curiosity getting the better of him. The ship was actually controlled by a Capsuleer, however he would flag any significant information for the egger if they found any. All the important tasks were handled by their captain in his hydrostatic capsule.

"Sir, I am reading feint neutrino readings. There was a wormhole there at some point in the past. 2.3 APNO's per square metre. At standard diffusion rates that means the wormhole collapsed over five years ago sir."

"Noted Ensign. Flag the find with the pertinent information and put it in the review folder for the Captain. I doubt he'll be interested but you never know. 'Tag it and flag it' and reposition the probes in formation beta-four-niner and start the next scan. We're after gaseous anomalies remember,"


The sound woke Esme with a start. He instinctively went for the pistol at the side of the bed. As his hand grasp the cold metal he was properly awake. The sound wasn't anything to be worried about. He slid out of bed and walked down the small hall into the room at the end.

"And what's your problem then?" he whispered as he entered.

There was a sudden pause as he spoke, then the baby started crying again. He picked his son out of the cot and and cradled him. He looked back down the hallway and saw Shabra in the bed turn slightly.

"Lets not wake mommy now shall we you little tyke." he whispered and opened the front door and stepped outside.

Morning had just broken. The blue of the nebula was vivid at this time of day as it glowed in the growing light. Esme bounced his son as he looked around the compound. Wooden houses and buildings were enclosed by a stockade made from raw tree trunks. It looked like some medieval village, only it wasn't. On each corner a large tree trunk was topped with a mass of golden metal and wires. An Acolyte scout drone salvaged from the wreckage and reprogrammed as a defensive turret. Micro auxiliary power cores provided power to various lights and machines, all salvaged from the wreck of the Sun of Amarr. The village was a blend of advanced technology and medieval living. From the small church to the machine shop, it was two thousands years of Amarrian history in one place.

He jumped as a hand touched his shoulder. He turned around and Shabra was there smiling at him wrapped in a sheet.

"He giving you trouble?" she whispered.

"We have built the first Imperial Colony in wormhole space from nothing more than a ship wreck and a patch of jungle." he laughed "I think we can handle this little one."

He looked up as the stars were starting to fade.

"Do you think they'll ever find us?" Shabra asked.

Esme just stared up.

"Do you want to be found?" he finally replied.

"No." she replied wrapping her arms around him as they both stared into space.


  1. I just got around to finishing off reading the last part of this, really well written, I loved the ending, especially please they didn't get rescued, in a way.

    1. Thanks. I really appreciate comments like this!