Welcome to the next installment of Captain’s Journey. I hope you are enjoying the story so far.
Here are links to the earlier installments.
- Bad Dreams
- Call the Question
- Dreams Remembered
- Desperate Measures
I steel myself and sink back into the memory. I feel the chaos wash over me, I open my eyes.
Everything is moving in slow motion as I take in all the information that I can now access. The bridge is awash in colors. I can see all the different systems of ship limping along with the small trickle of energy that is available. The damaged panels throwing off sparks are littering the air with sparkles that never quite go out.
The data feeds that have been absent from my mind’s eye since the beginning of the attack are back, filled with more data than I have seen before. Each member of the crew is now a separate entry. Not only can I see what their condition is, I can also see the full capabilities of their talent. Each barrier is annotated, mental or physical and whether this is something that I can overcome. Schematics, tolerances, molecular structures, and various pieces of relevant information are organized instantly for tactical use.
A single mental command starts the dominoes falling. The schematics stored in the data core of the ship allow me to restore the Tesla Drive and bring the shields back to full strength. Instead of dropping into slipspace, I divert the drives power through a shield array that I have reconfigured. The Heddradan attack which follows is absorbed and added to the ships energy stores.
The process of altering the paltry weapons on my ship is not so simple. I take the stored energy and turn my concentration to conversion of my ships payload and weaponry into something far more deadlier. The array that begins to slowly emerge from my mental labors is something that I recognize intuitively but have know recollection of every seeing before. The power required to complete the construction is well beyond the capabilities of the single Tesla drive that my ship has available. The constant bombardment by the alien ship ensures that the process continues.
The ship continually rocks under the continuing onslaught. The shouts of the terran captain and the static response of the Heddradan echo about the bridge as I finish the modifications to my ship.
“I am giving you one chance to survive this skirmish. Both ships will leave me in peace and exit this system immediately. Any other response is unacceptable and I will retaliate.”
The Heddradan response is to increase the ferocity of the attacks that are hitting my shields. A psychic assault is added into the mix. A Crawling madness that forces consciousness back onto my insensate crew, ripping howls from their tortured bodies. I have never been attacked in this manner before, but like everything else, I am prepared for this as well. The attack washes over me like a gentle wave leaving me stronger for the experience.
Simultaneously, “I have my orders Jaxx. I am to take you into custody and return you to the League. Voluntarily or in a cell is up to you.”
All my efforts coalesce onto this one moment. The ship’s weapons array has been converted into a transducer. I take all the energy from the drive and the alien attacks and use them to a much more devastating end. I connect to each talented mind on the ship, shuttering off the madness that plagues them. Each ability slides into place, like a children’s puzzle. I take the banked power and plow it through this network of minds, creating a weapon of immense potential. I wield the weapon like a scalpel slowly removing pieces from the Heddradan ship. The sounds they make as they die are horrific and yet music to my ears.
I lose myself in the slaughter of these creatures. With each death, I feel a little bit of myself give way. The indescribable beauty of the massacre is it’s own siren song, and I don’t know how I’ve existed so long without it. When I extinguish the the last of them, the joy turns to anger and turn my attention towards the Albedo.
I latch on to their shields, barring their entry into slipspace. I start by draining their power to extend the exquisite feeling that is to come from their destruction. I hear the shouts of the captain echoing across the bridge as their shields begin to fail. The small sound of my ship’s slipspace monitor cuts across the cacophony forcing my attention to a point just starboard of the Albedo.
The giant ship punches through into regular space, heedless of the dangers that are connected to such a violent reentry. It is a ship constructed of golds, silvers and sleek sloping lines. There are no hard edges to the ship at all. Odder still, is that the ship has left no energy signal from it’s transition and I can glean no information from a cursory scan.
With a snarl, I split my attention between the new threat and my prize. I snap off a bolt that should fry any ship that I have encountered prior. When it doesn’t explode, I release my hold on the terran ship and let loose with everything that I have available on the ship. My body and mind sing with my rage at this effrontery to my will. I feel each mind wink out of the gestalt that I have formed as I push each person beyond their capacities. I shut off the part of my brain that screams at the loss of each crew member and continue pouring destruction upon the ship. When I’ve exhausted the last drops of energy available on the ship I turn to the slipspace module to try and utilize the antimatter at its heart.
My world turns to blue electric agony as my mind is filled with a chorus of voices speaking in sonorous harmony.
“Be still. All will be well. The damage is done but you will endure. We are the Kossun and we set you on the course that will fix what has been broke.”
That one words ends the memory but the agony endures.
“I killed them.”
It’s all my fault.”