Chapter 18 - Alphas

2.9K 368 27

"John, did you see it?" 

The gaping wound in the carrier left nothing to the imagination.  Within, pristine white floors and walls seemed to send all focus to the rows and rows of bladed silver fighters and the wreckage of Athena.

"The flight deck?  Hard to miss.  Must be hundreds in there."  The giant angled Aries toward the heaviest fighting, waiting to see if any of the enemy would break off to engage them.  Patricia was trying to organize the chaos and created attack groups of her remaining kin.  Of the fifty thousand Owls, only a tenth remained.  Of those, perhaps half were present. The enemy didn't appear overly concerned, preferring to wage a battle of attrition.  Their focus was on providing support for the carrier.  It wouldn't take long for them to build a proper defense around the blast hole.

"We could use some intel." Silas stated bluntly, his words leaving an unasked question.

"Think they'll let us take one for a spin?"

"Wouldn't hurt to ask."

"Yes.  It would.  That is what sane people refer to as 'suicide'."

The young pirate's voice lowered.  "John, I was able to transfer the engine, but we've burned too much fuel.  We aren't going back.  At least not in this ship."

"So, use Aries as a trade - in for an alien cruiser?"  Silas grinned. 

"Perhaps it'll have the new arc projectors I've been hearing about."

"Boys," Patricia voice interrupted their banter.  "Comms are still open."

"Sorry, Pat.  We were preoccupied with a rather stupid idea."  John informed.

"Isn't stupid if it's necessary, kiddo.  Your odd little friend was right.  We need intel.  We've been trying to punch a hole in that bitch for days.  If you want some company over there, we're preparing a boarding party."

"Love a good party."  Silas responded.  He worked out the math on a rear screen and sent the trajectory to John's monitor.  "Have to hit at exactly that angle.  Don't exceed the max velocity or we'll pancake into the opposite wall.  There isn't much room for error.  Can you pull it off?"

"I can thread a needle with this ship.  Your design was good."

"I know, boss.  I sure hate to lose them both."

"Terran forces," a new voice echoed over the communications band and chatter ended.  "This is Dawnhammer."

Patricia answered the call with trepidation in her voice.  "Ah.  The Scale Judgement."

Andrew nodded as if Patricia could see him.  "That's the one, Pat.  Dawnhammer, state your business."

"Comms have just been restored.  Sorry we couldn't broadcast earlier." The voice was young and strong.  Andrew recognized it's owner as the pilot Terris.  "Heard you were having a party.  Mind if we join?"  Andrew felt a tap on his shoulder.  He turned to see Silas pointing upwards on the port side.  The Dawnhammer glided toward the carrier's breach, four engines pulsing white light from under each wing.  John's eyebrow lifted.  Those were new.  Her massive cargo bay door slid open, exposing the inside of the ship.  They could see sixteen white armored men kneeling in formation, a hydrogen barrier replacing the floor that had been the cargo door. She angled her belly toward the damaged carrier, showing the pirate's a deadly array of mass drivers decorating her spine.

"That is one hell of a ship." Patricia ' s voice was awed.  "The more, the merrier."

As soon as the words faded on the comms, the red tinted hydrogen barrier blinked out of existence and the cargo bay instantly depressurized.  Both Andrew and Silas jumped as the men that were kneeling were blown violently into space.

DawnhammerRead this story for FREE!