Friday, March 26, 2010

Dawn of the Dragonsworn-Part 8

The Dragon scowled, once he detected the signal that Homsar sent, and he screamed with his mind to his minions and henchmen: ATTEND! PREPARE FOR MILITARY ASSAULT! START WITH THAT PATROL AGENT!

Homsar smirked, smug satisfaction showing on his face, for he too heard that scream and knew what was to come thereafter- and thus what to do next. He swiftly sundered the key communications gear controlling the signal, forcing his enemies to destroy the rest to stop it, and then left the room.

That his enemies intended to defend against the Kinneson and the Dark Spears marine unit aboard that dreadnought implied the capacity to do so, and the fact that he detected no facilities or factories on the surface implied that such things were underground. It followed, Homsar reasoned, that the control-obsessed enemy leadership would keep such things close at hand, relatively speaking and thus would actually be inside this mountain somewhere.

Homsar, maintaining his awareness of the minds about him, noted those of an group of lizardmen spacers coming his way. Declining to destroy them, Homsar hid himself in a shadowed niche and reached out into the mind of one such spacer. Now concealed in mind as well as body, he rode the alien until those spacers reached the underground dock--a veritable recreation of the Patrol's primary dock on Earth, a fact that did not go unnoticed--and approached one of the score of teardrop-shaped ships ensconced within.

What did surprise Homsar was that, instead of taking a lift or running up flights of stairs, this alien stopped a moment and uses some curious combination a technology he was not familiar with and an equally-unfamiliar use of vocal technique to create the very familiar effect of canceling inertia. Homsar noticed that this took the use of the full-body tattoo-painting to somehow channel the power that the effect required, something that he had to achieve by means of a battery-powered belt tool; this distraction held the man's attention just long enough for the alien spacer to reach his assigned ship with the ease of drifting down a stream. That's when the ships' configuration finally shook Homsar out of his distraction- for now that he was so close, he recognized the shapes.

"Algolian!" he said, uncaring now, "Modified to fool Patrol sensors at a distance, and clearly with new colors, but Algolian nonetheless- and too new to be rebuilt salvage."

See that his ride would soon be too much of a bother to stay on, Homsar planted a mindbomb and let go the alien spacer. But, before returning fully to himself, he flew out to Admiral Smith.

"Admiral! A score of upgraded new model Algolian cruisers are taking off to intercept the Kinneson. Get ready."

Without skipping a beat, Smith responded: "All hands to battle stations! Marines to ready stations!"

Klaxons sounded, and scores of Patrol spacers ran to assigned stations. Gunners sat in their platforms, firemen suited up, medics got their gear ready while doctors and nurses prepared the infirmary. The marines of the Dark Spears emerged from quarters armed and armored, with their leader--General Zuzu--carrying the two space axes that made Zuzu an icon despite not being an Agent of the Republic.

"Ready to bring the pain?" Zuzu said.

"WE BRING THE PAIN TO THEM!" they said, blue-skinned and tooth-tusked warriors one and all.

"Then get to your stations!" and away they went.

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