Chapter 10: A lot of Ships, a Fake, and a Decision
They all forgot to breathe as they dropped out of FTL. None of them were sure what they’d find. The Blue-Sun armada was powerful enough to destroy every planet in a solar system but the Myrddin were also powerhouses.
“Is it too much to ask that they destroy each other?” had asked Bart.
The sight when they arrived was as terrifying as it was awe-inspiring. Nessa fought down nausea and feelings of insignificance as she looked at all the ships.
The million-strong fleet of pitch black monstrosities that was Blue-Sun was faced by an equal number of round red Myrddin ships. Over both fleets was the self proclaimed Three-System Fleet, a group made of the survivors of the Martian, Tyrite, and Aresian empires interspersed by Old Earth ships. Apparently, Proserpina wasn’t the only Old Earth colony that had been hiding.
“I don’t get it. No one is saying anything,” Em said.
“They’re deciding what to do,” Nessa responded.
The quiet was interrupted by the mechanical voice of the Myrddin ships, “Show us Arthur and we shall join your quest.”
Bart let loose a chain of swears in every possible language and a few that Nessa didn’t recognize.
Blue-Sun broadcasted a videofeed of a man. He was tall, athletic, with a chiselled jaw and chin. His wavy brown hair and piercing blue eyes. His voice was resonant and commanding as he said, “I am Arthur, bow before me or face destruction.”
“A kingly character,” Peri said, not sounding convinced.
“He looks like the show fighters, all definition and no real strength.” Tanya sounded disgusted.
Nessa chuckled, “He doesn’t seem like a prisoner. I think he’d give us a fight if we tried to rescue him.” Addressing Arzure, she asked, “How’s the cloak holding up?”
“It’s solid and even their Sun Speakers won’t see us,” the girl said.
Nessa noticed that Zuri had the same brown wavy hair and piercing blue eyes as the fake Arthur. They had the same strong chin, although he was pale white and she had dark amber skin.
“We should still try to take him or take him out,” Alexandre said. His scales shone in the lights of the bridge.
“No,” Nessa said. “If they take him and leave, we’re rid of the lot.”
The Myrddin finally replied, “Send us his DNA and we shall decide.”
The Blue-Sun fleet sent the information and Doctor Peri looked it over at the same time.
“What do you have, doc?” asked Bart.
“It’s human DNA from a man, about forty. He’s in good health, needs more iron in his diet. Without something to compare it to, I can’t really tell anything.
“Compare it to this.” Zuri sent information to the doctor’s terminal. “The DNA of Arthur was in the database we took from them.”
After a few moments, the doctor said, “It’s so close a match it could be a sibling, but it’s not Arthur.”
“How long before they figure it out?” Nessa asked.
The Doctor didn’t get a chance to answer as the Myrddin fleet started firing on the Blue-Sun. They moved in unison, like birds flocking on a loaf of bread. It was efficient on a horrifying level.
Despite their impressive powers, the Blue-Sun ships crumbled into random debris. When the other fleet finally retaliated, it was like watching fireworks.
The Three-System fleet made the wise choice and retreated. Nessa was about to order that they do the same when another fleet appeared above the combatants. They looked a lot like the Blue-Sun ships, but their ships were a little smaller and the logo was a dark violet.
Pincered, the Myrddin didn’t stand a chance.
“Prisoners!” Nessa cried. That’s why the Three-System fleet had been there, they’d been hoping to save some of their people. “The Blue-Sun still has a lot of our people. Let’s save some.”
“That is reckless, dangerous, and will most likely kill us,” growled Bart. “I love it!”
“Zuri. Find out how to get us past their shields. Tanya, Alexandre, and Peri, get to the armoury. We’re boarding one of those ships.” Nessa felt a thrill of excitement at the idea that she might be able to save a few more people.
“I’m scanning the fleet for our people,” Em said. “There’s a ship near the rear that has over a thousand captives.”
“We’ll never be able to get that many on the ship,” the Doctor said.
Em smiled and replied, “You’re right, but there’s a Tyrite troop ship in their hold.” The Tyrite troop ships were some of the fastest in the galaxy. It would be a tight fit with that many people, but it would give them a chance to rejoin the new Three-System fleet.
With their orders, everyone got ready to head out. As she was heading to the armoury, Nessa was stopped by Peri. “Captain. I’ve analysed Arthur’s DNA from the Myrddin. It’s missing pieces. It’s more of a unique template that’s missing markers for gender, skin colour, and even race.”
“What are you saying, Doctor?” she asked, buckling a protective vest on herself.
“We’re looking for a human-white-male, but I think that’s too narrow.”
With a chuckle, Nessa said, “So is Bart the mythic Arthur?”
With no sign of humour, the doctor replied with, “He could be.” He helped her get into a double harness for handguns.
She swore. “So he, I mean they, could be Sapian, Feline, Serpent, or even Canine?”
“Yes. I’m sorry but that makes our job a lot harder.”
Taking a moment to process the information, Nessa finally said, “Bring a portable medical scanner and scan everyone. Maybe we’ll get lucky. Until then, let’s go save some people.” She patted him on the back.
Nessa expected to be frustrated by the news, but she wasn’t. Something was niggling at the back of her mind and she was starting to suspect that Arthur was closer than any of them knew.
While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories: