Chapter 11: Mothers and Suns
“Pirates? How did they find us?” Jan sounded annoyed. “How do we stop a sun from exploding and defend against pirates?”
There was silence over the private channel. Seren was thinking. The situation did seem dire. With the Techno-mage gone, there was no way of interrogating him to figure out what he’d done. He’d said, “You can die when the sun implodes.” But hadn’t specified which sun. There was the micro-sun that powered Hokulua Station, the Mother-Of-All-Stars in the centre of the planet, and the small yellow sun that planet was orbiting.
“I don’t know, but we need to figure out what sun he meant.” Seren said.
“Any of them imploding would cause enough damage to trigger either a black hole or a chain effect in the other suns,” Mr. Plentyn theorized.
“Yes, but he’d have to use some sort of tech to collapse the yellow sun and that seems unlikely.”
“Right, and if the repository is as sophisticated as you say, it should have defences.”
Jan exclaimed. “So it has to be Hoku.”
“We have to get the repository talking to the station instead of just receiving data. If we can do that then we can hopefully get the station to figure out what the Techno-mage did.” The first enemy fire hit the station as he was explaining.
Jan cursed and explained, “This is a massive fleet. We’re outnumbered fifty to one. The captain says we’re not going to survive this and recommends evacuation.”
The words hung heavy over them and both Seren and her father said the same thing, “What if we get the star-ships to help?” It would still mean being outnumbered ten to one but those were better odds.
They were about to formulate a plan when Jan cheered, “Whatever you two did, it worked. The star-ships and the repository just joined the fight.”
The sound of Annie’s voice flooded to coms, “Woohoo! This is MOAS fighter A, requesting permission to join the fight.”
While Jan and Seren had been teleported to the station and where they’d been thinking of before teleportation, Annie had been thinking of piloting a ship.
Deep in the repository was a fabricator that could create nearly anything. With Annie’s knowledge of fighters and the repository’s impressive fabricating, they’d created a new type of fighter.
“Annie is that you?” Tower command asked.
“Yes big bro it’s me and I’m bringing some friends. You concentrate on defence and we’ll start picking off the bombers and long range gunners.”
The new ship slipped around the pirates, making them look slow and clumsy. The weapons from the repository were its biggest weakness. They were half as effective as those from the pirates and the defending force. The people who became the Mother-of-All-Stars weren’t as vicious as those who’d enslaved her children.
Annie relied on her speed, shields, and gravity ray. The gravity ray worked like her tractor beam on her regular fighter but faster and with bigger objects. She quickly discovered that weapons were not as effective as hurling the enemy’s ships at each other.
Everything was quiet while Seren and her father worked to network Hoku to the repository and the rest of the station worked on repairs and defence.
“I got it!” Mr. Plentyn cried over the sound of alarms.
“Jan, tell the captain that Hoku is running a diagnostic as we speak.” Seren turned from the coms to her Dad. “So do we turn off the AI interface?”
“No. The micro-sun has been interacting with it and the two are working together. It’s like the repository and the MOAS. The AI will interpret and help us understand each other.”
The computerized voice of Hoku said, “Thank you, Mr. Plentyn. You have been quite kind. Diagnostics are complete. I did not find anything in my systems that could create a chain effect big enough to destroy me and mother. Mother has done the same. I’ve also scanned my brother and he has no technology or way of being imploded.”
“Then what has the Techno-mage done?” Seren asked.
“I do not know. However, I have compiled a list of systems that cause me pain and how to alter them to not hurt me.”
Not knowing what else to do, they looked over the list.
The battle outside the station was quickly ending. The Pirates were taking heavy casualties and the Hoku fighters weren’t. Annie’s tactics made her a target, but the advanced shield made her almost invulnerable. Even with that, the ship would need some serious repairs.
The Hoku pilots cheered as the remaining pirate fighters retreated and the entire fleet moved away.
“Why aren’t they leaving the system?” Annie asked as she held patrol while the other ships returned to the station.
Her answer came quickly when four massive cruisers appeared in the system between the pirates and the station. These cruisers looked like the standard stations, if they’d been built for war instead of exploration.
The pirate flag on the side of the ships was quickly replaced by the Techno-Mage flag.
“They didn’t have some sort of bomb of self destruct! They’re just planning on blowing us up the old fashioned way.”
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