The Suns of War – Chapter 3 (Serial Story)

Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12

Chapter 3: Enemies to Allies

“This was a terrible idea,” the Aresian said. “You being a Martian is one thing, but a Feline as well.” He sounded dire but his tail gave away his excitement at the prospect of a fight.

“Former Commander Nessa Muldune, and yes this is probably the worst idea either of us has ever had but our gods will laugh at the strength of our arrogance.”

They had escaped their bonds and managed to get out of the room. Standing in paper gowns, the two of them looked down on a ten-storey sized room with at least ten thousand soldiers standing in formation. They were facing the other way, receiving orders from someone.

“Lieutenant Bart Shelby,” he said. His fur was a dark blonde and short. His ears were a little floppy but alert. He looked a lot like a man she’d been in the academy with. Canines were similar on both Ares and Mars. That made her more confident that they’d been colonized from Earth.

After a little more staring in awe at the army they backed away and started trying to move stealthily towards the docking bay where the Camlann was docked.

They managed to avoid several patrols, thanks to the ship’s gaudy interior design. Who puts ornate pillars in a ship? she wondered. 

When they got to the docking bay, there were two ships, the Camlann and another one person fighter. “You tried fighting them in that?” she asked in awe.

“I was scouting this sector thinking your people had created some sort of secret weapon when I came across them. I tried to go out in battle but their tractor beams got me.”   

“I think your ship will fit in our hold,” she suggested.

“That’s great, but your ship looks a little big for just the two of us.” He was right. The crew was expected to be twenty and they could operate efficiently at a skeleton crew of six; pilot, engineer, gunner, navigator, medic, and scientist.

“We could probably get it out of here and recruit a new crew,” she said doubtfully. 

Pointing in the general direction of their old cell, Bart said, “Or we could go recruit them now. Shouldn’t your crew be here?” He saw her pained look and said, “Oh… drama huh? Well suck it up kitty-cat, I don’t like them either.”

Getting back to the cells was too easy. The three-guard patrols were predictable and easy to avoid. They managed to get to the first cell and Nessa’s face lit up seeing Perri. “Doctor! Are you comfortable or can we get you out of there?”

He said something, but the force field blocked all sound. There were no obvious controls or any central station for the force fields.

Bart tried hitting the wall but nothing happened. “I guess we need to fight a patrol,” he said enthusiastically.

Waiting for the next patrol they jumped them and managed to take them out with little difficulty.

“They looked surprised. Why is that? Does this all feel too easy to you?” Nessa asked.

Nodding, Bart said, “I think it has to do with why they were testing us. They said something about not seeing me in their future.” He picked the guards’ pockets and found nothing. With a grunt, he picked up a guard and carried him to the doctor’s cell. Nothing happened until he tossed the guard at the forcefield. When he did that, the field collapsed.

“Probably designed to not harm the guards,” she suggested. 

“Commander!” Perri exclaimed and saluted. “What do we do?” 

Bart scoffed and said, “I’m not saluting you.”

Nessa smirked. “Let’s get some more crew.” Her plan had been to get as many people out as she could, but the alarms started to blare and she knew she only had a little time before they were swarmed with guards or soldiers. “Grab the guard, let’s release the closest cells.

They managed to release four more people before they started to hear marching. There was an Aresian lieutenant, who was tall, muscled and looked like she’d been in plenty of fights; a lizard man from the Tyrite Empire who wore their uniform for a science officer; a Canine officer from the same ship as the lizard man; and last was a young girl who looked like she might have been fifteen, wearing strange clothes.

“Follow me and be quick,” Nessa led the way and tried to pick a random path back to her ship. 

They arrived with no fight, to Bart’s disappointment, and found Sun Speaker Aria waiting outside the ship’s hold. “You are hard to predict, but even without my powers I knew you’d come here.” She raised a gun and pointed it at Nessa.

“There’s a lot about Felines and Martians that you don’t know.”

With a smirk, the Sun Speaker replied, “Yes and we’ll find out.” She turned the gun to Bart and shot him. Bart crumpled to the ground.

In the time it took the Sun Speaker to turn the gun back to Nessa, the Feline had closed the distance between them and grabbed at the gun. She punched the other woman in the throat and grabbed the gun, turned it, and shot as the psychic gasped for air.

“He’s breathing, it must be a stun weapon,” the Doctor said and gestured to the Aresian woman and Tyrian to help carry Bart into the ship.

They raced to the bridge, except for the doctor and Bart who stopped in the medbay, and she sat in the pilot’s chair. She was more comfortable in the navigator’s position, but she was the only one who knew the ship. 

“Aresian woman, can you shoot?” Nessa asked.

She was right and the woman replied, “Of course I can. It’s ensign Tanya Brook by the way.”

“You,” Nessa said pointing at the lizard man.

“Alexandre Crowley, senior science officer.” The Tyrian said with a hissing voice. She pointed him to the science consol. 

“Ensign, take out the walls and the forcefield should come down. I’m going to try and activate the star drive the moment the shield is down.”

They all gasped except the young girl and she thought she saw excitement in their eyes.

Tanya was an excellent shot and the forcefield was down just as Nessa finished firing up the engine. They jumped to faster-than-light speed and they all visibly relaxed.

She didn’t want to overtax the engines and cut the throttle when she thought they were far enough away.

Dropping out of FTL, they found themselves in an empty part of space. 

“Captain, there’s a dark planet down there and it’s hailing us,” Alexandre said, sounding shocked.

Read Chapter 4

While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:

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