When I heard the orbital guns, I assumed that Black-Sun had found us. What I saw in the sky wasn’t Black-Sun, it was barely a ship. It looked like an old military bomber from a century ago.
“We have to get out of here, now!” I yelled. Diamond was already up and monitoring the guns. The rest were getting up groggily.
Diamond yelled over the guns, “Why? They’ll take that thing out soon.”
I ran to her and screamed over the noise, “It’s a class 5 bomber. It’s probably filled with PGBs.” Plasma-Gravity Bombs were an early form of explosive that combined massive blasts of plasma with gravity bombs. It would superheat and crush a target. They were discontinued and banned after it was discovered they could be used to collapse a moon.
Diamond swore, shut off the guns, and rushed to the others. Diamond threw a bucket of water, at least I hoped it was water, on Flint. Onyx and Sphene saw the panic in our eyes and hurried to the ships.
We hadn’t had time to dock or transfer anything from the Revenge to the 16-19 Rainbow. So while the others ran to the Revenge, I ran to the Rainbow. We needed that ship for whatever ridiculous plan Diamond had.
The Revenge took off and I was a second behind it. That’s when the bomber hit the planet. At first it felt like I’d had my brain boiled and then the shockwave tossed my ship into space.
I managed to recover in time to see three ships surrounding the Revenge. They weren’t Black-Sun; they all had the same logo as the Mountain’s ship. The scavenger must have been angrier than he’d let on when we took the Rainbow away from him.
I activated the stealth functions of the Rainbow and prepped automatic weapons. The hyper-plasma guns on it wouldn’t blow up a planet but they’d melt through any ship or shields known in the system.
“This is the Rainbow…” I hesitated, “Revenge. Yes, the Rainbow Revenge. Cease your firing, or I’ll destroy your ships.”
I switched to the gunner’s chair and aimed at the main ship. I would get one good shot and then I’d have to jump back into the pilot’s chair to get the ship out of the way of retaliatory fire. They were not designed to be operated by one person.
“Rainbow Revenge, we’re not here to attack, we’re here to offer aid.” The voice of the Mountain said over the coms.
“If you are, move away from the Revenge, shut down your guns, and lower your shields.”
“We can’t do that,” the Mountain said smugly. “What if the people who threw the bomber are still around?”
A quick scan of the Mountain’s ships showed that none of them could tow a bomber. I moved to my engineering seat and scanned the area for another ship. I almost didn’t see it it was so well hidden. Not with stealth tech like the Rainbows, but by being painted pitch black and running on low power.
The ship was military, but retrofitted with bigger weapons. I opened an encrypted link to the Revenge and asked, “Do you know anyone who flies under the symbol of Blackbird?”
I was surprised when Onyx replied, “That would be Captain Blackbird. Man’s had it out for Diamond since his daughter ran away with her. He’s a slaver and a jackass.”
It’s all I needed to hear. I returned to the gunner’s chair and aimed at the ship’s cargo hold. The bomber didn’t make as large an explosion as I’d expected; seeing as I expected to die, that was a good thing. If it didn’t explode with a full contingent of bombs, they might be on the Blackbird ship. It was a hunch but Black-Sun training told me to always trust intuition.
I fired at the Blackbird ship and it exploded for a few seconds before it imploded on itself, leaving nothing but a dense ball of metal the size of my fist.
As I moved my ship to stay hidden, the Mountain radioed, “We’re backing down and moving away.”
A few gate jumps later, inside the atmosphere of a gas giant with the Rainbow Revenge docked to the Revenge, I was standing with the rest of the crew looking at the plans for one of the best defended bases I’d ever seen.
“This is a research station?” I asked incredulously.
“High military and Black-Sun. According to the government it doesn’t exist.” Diamond smirked as she looked at the plans.
“How are we going to get into there?” I asked.
“More importantly, how are we going to get back out?” asked Sphene. Her fear made her look younger than she already did.
“Ah, the lot of you have no faith,” Diamond walked around the table and then dropped a pair of handcuffs on top of the map.
“We’re going to turn ourselves in.”
“Why would we salvage a ship to go in all stealthy if we were just going to turn ourselves in?” Flint sounded amused more than annoyed.
“Garnet and I are going to be turning you three in, in exchange for a pardon.”
The group erupted into arguments. When they’d yelled themselves out, Onyx asked, “But why would they care about us?”
“We won’t be turning in an old pilot, a doctor, and a military school drop out. We’ll be turning in the notorious Diamond Stars and his proteges.
Taking the holo-emitter off her belt, she gave it to Flint, who gave a toothy grin and said, “This is a terrible, dangerous, and ridiculous plan. I love it!”
Read Chapter 7 (July 2021)
While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories: