Damhamer – Chapter Four

It has been three days since the attack. My leg is completely healed; I will return to work today. I haven’t seen Vipa since the attack. He has been with the city council and the military staff in the hope that he can offer some kind of strategic help. I talked with him via communicator briefly yesterday—he sounded distraught. He felt useless that he could not help more. My heart went out to him. I reassured him he had helped more than he knew. “Not only did you save our lives, we now know there will be an attack on Orex.” I know the only way we will survive is with his help. His strength and abilities will give us a fighting chance against the Borog. I believe Vipa is special; he will help protect Orex. I know my feelings for Vipa have grown since he saved my life. I am not worried about the Borog as much as Vipa being attached to someone; that would be the disaster, but I will cross that nebula when and if it happens.

The Byrne Festival is in two days. I do not believe it will be the old smash and grab as usual—since two of their ships have been destroyed they will be out for vengeance. The Borog are a nasty bunch consisting of all different species. If you are a low life piece of waste then they accept you with open arms. No one has been able to find their base. From what I have heard they hide in the Zondra Nebula—it is a region of space about sixty light years from Orex. It is a giant cloud of gas and asteroids. No ship that has gone in has ever come out. The gas consists of some kind of coagulant radiation. It causes instrument malfunctions. They cannot detect any objects outside. Ships are destroyed by asteroids. No one knows how far this Nebula goes. There have been expeditions around the Nebula. It took the scientists 18 months to reach the end of the Nebula just to find out that it runs into what scientists call Ekitai KuKan (translated Liquid Space). This wall is the end of space and the beginning of something else. There have been many probes sent into this wall never to return. There also have been a few manned expeditions sent in with the same result. God only knows what happened to them. Scientists have taken samples of the wall and their findings were inconclusive. They could not understand or explain what the substance is.

Vipa did tell me that Major Rutherford from the training base contacted the Xedef Priority Star Base but they were less than interested in our problem. There are some ships in the Zain region they would send but it would be fifty-six time periods before they would get here. We all know that will be too late. General Qubit would not send the battle fleet on a assumption there would be another attack so we will have to deal with it ourselves. I am a little worried but I believe with Vipa’s help we will survive. Time go to work.

“Good morning, Eesa.”

“Good morning, Nurse Vetta. Welcome back. How is the leg?”

“It is all better, thanks.”

 

Somewhere inside the Zondra Nebula at the Borog’s base planet, Sargonadon

Leader of the Borog, Commander JaJa Gah, summons his sergeants of arms.

“Has Vatagul reported in?”

“No sir, there has not been any word from Commander Taba.”

“Send transmission to the Vatagul.”

“Line is open sir.”

“Captain Gah, what is your status report now.”

“No response. The Vatagul does not seem to be receiving any transmissions.”

“Continue to transmit. I will be in the State Room. Contact me if there’s any report from the Vatagul.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Why have you summoned us, Gah. What is the urgency?”

“There are two of our ships that have not reported in—the Roto and the Vatagul. The last transmission was from Roto. They were attacking an unknown ship outside Orex Orion’s atmosphere. The unknown ship had returned fire. That was the last of the transmission. I sent Vatagul to find out what happened to the Roto. The last transmission received stated that they had located the Roto. It had been destroyed. They entered Orex Orion’s atmosphere and found the ship that destroyed the Roto. The last transmission from Captain Taba stated they were attacking a ground party. No word has come from them since. I will accompany six of our best ships. I need you to gather your men and supplies and assemble at the ship hanger.”

“But Commander, Orex Orion has never posed such a threat to us before. Are you sure this is necessary?”

“Yes. We do not know who or what is going on; we need to be prepared.”

“It just seems a little excessive. We have only lost two ships and I know your brother is one of the missing but we all know the dangers of our trade.”

“ENOUGH. We have lost more than just one brother. When you join the Borog you become a brother and we shall avenge our lost.”

“Yes, Commander. My apologies for my outburst.”

Inside the Borog hanger all their forces have assembled.

Commander Gah enters and is met by Argon Vidash, one of the Borogs’ CSMs.

“Commander the fleet has assembled and are awaiting orders. There are four battle ready. The Sarr and Kyt are waiting outside the Nebula, all together a complement of sixty soldiers.”

“Very good. Argon, prepare for departure.”

“Yes Sir, Commander.”

No one has ever made it through the nebula but Commander JaJa Gah. He and his brother Taba are ex-military, very smart—too smart for their own good—but they were able to figure out the route to take you through the nebula safely.

After he left the Xedef Priority he became violent and indulged in all kind of criminal activities. His brother Captain Taba Gah joined him in the debauchery. The two found Sargonadon, which means Sanctuary. It is the perfect hiding place since no one else even knew that it existed and could not get through the asteroid field to find it anyway. The two brothers created the Borog which in their language means Takers. JaJa and Taba are from Tyzon which is a small planet on the outer edge of the Zain region.

 

(Commander Gah enters his ship, the Marala Falcon.)

“Nebula Route mapped in, Commander. Awaiting your orders.”

“Proceed with departure.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Once we clear the Nebula go to hyper speed.”

“Yes Commander.”

The Sarr and Kyt joined the other ships as they emerged from the nebula and all were on their way. It would take a few days to get to Orex Orion. Commander Gah talked with the captains of the other ships.

“What is our plan if we find the Vatagul and the Roto have been destroyed?”

“We will destroy the city and everyone in it and find who did this.”

“Commander Gronn here. Do we really want to take the chance on the Xedef Priority retaliating? There has not been much concern with our attacks so far. This may bring retribution on us.”

“Do not question my orders. I will not bow down and allow the Xedef Priority to get away with this travesty. They will pay.”

“Captain Zorr here. Commander are you sure that this isn’t a personal vendetta? I know the Captain Taba is your brother but we need to consider the wrath that it might bring the Borog if we attack with such force.”

Commander Gah walks to the weapon controls.

“Target Sarr’s thrusters.”

“Sir.”

“I said target Sarr’s thrusters.”

“Yes Commander.”

(The Marala Falcon receives a transmission from Captain Zorr.)

“Commander, why is the Marala locking weapons on us.”

“Commander, please respond.”

“Listen to me and hear my words. The next one to question my commands will be destroyed and your ship stripped and left as trash. Do I make myself clear to all of you parasites?”

“Yes Commander,” all the captains responded. They all knew that Commander Gah would do what he said. He is very ruthless and will not stop or let anything get in his way. The Marala Falcon was a larger and more powerful ship than the rest of the fleet. Its weapon system is far more superior to the others. None of them would stand a chance against it.

“Disengage weapons.”

“Yes Sir.”

“Now that we have got that out of the way we can focus on the task at hand. How long before we reach Orex Orion?”

“Seventy-nine hours twenty-three minutes, Sir.”

“I will be in my quarters. If there is any contact with Vatigal inform me immediately.”

“Yes, Sir.”

 

On Orex the Council and military leaders are planning their defense against the Borog attack. Counselor Swan tries to speak over a lot of noise in the room where everyone is talking at the same time.

“Gentlemen, order, order. Please calm down. We are getting nowhere like this.”

“Major Rutherford, will you bring more soldiers into the city? The Brynn festival is almost over. The Borog will most likely attack then.”

“Yes, Counselor Swan. One hundred of the top trainees are entering the city as we speak. They will be positioned around the trade hall and surrounding streets. I have contacted Xedef Star Base and asked for more soldiers but the nearest regiment are fifty-six time periods away. I did, however, commission some of the residents and the prisoners you have in lockup. I offered them free passage off of Orex with no prosecution if they would help. All totaled we have one-hundred fifty-nine that will be positioned in the city.”

“That is very good Major. I hope that will be enough. Vipa, we haven’t heard from you. Will you stand and fight with us? You are under no obligation to help but we would be most grateful to you if you did.”

At that point Councilman Tasha interrupts Councilman Swan.

“He should help us—he is the one who caused all of this. If he hadn’t destroyed the Borog’s ships, this would have never happened.”

“Order! Order, please. Councilmen Tasha, there is no need for accusations. Vipa was attacked. There was no choice. He destroyed the Borog ship to save Sii and himself.”

“The Borog will be looking for him. I knew we should have sent him away. Now it’s too late. We shall all perish under the Borog attack. I must take my leave—I have to get my family’s affairs in order before we are destroyed by the Borog.”

Councilman Tasha storms out of the room.

“If there is anyone else who feels the same as Councilman Tasha, you should take your leave now. We do not have the luxury of time to play host to bickering. Vipa, I do apologize for Tasha’s outburst. Tensions are high and everyone is afraid. Please do not take offense to his mockery.”

“No apologies necessary. I am most sorry that I brought such a dark storm to Orex. I am indebted to the people here. You took me in and welcomed me. I will never forget the generosity that was shown to me. I will be honored to stand and fight.”

“Thank you, Vipa. With your help I am sure we will triumph over our enemy. We all know that these are trying times, but the people of Orex are strong and resourceful. We will survive this and move on as always. So if there isn’t anything else I call meeting adjourned.”

 

The military had all the soldiers in position. The Bryne festival was over. The cleanup had begun. There is a tracking system at the military base. They will know when and if there are a lot of ships coming to Orex. Most of the traffic will be leaving and some of the residents are leaving as well. They are afraid the Borog will destroy Orex, but I believe that Vipa will be our savior. At Medesto we have stocked all our medical supplies and commissioned some extra help for casualties. We had a lot of volunteers—as I said before, the people of Orex are kind, and they are willing to die to protect their home. In the moment of truth we will be ready for anything.

“Hi, Nurse Vetta.”

“Hi Eesa.”

“Have you heard from Vipa?”

“I talked with him briefly yesterday. He is doing well, but he was a little down because he could not help as much as he wanted to. I reassured him that he was helping more than he knows.”

“Ohh, I feel bad for him. He is lost in a world that he does not know, thrown into a possibility of war with the Borog. There isn’t any wonder he is down. Who wouldn’t be.”

“Yes you are right, and he doesn’t have much of a choice in the matter. I hope that he can turn on whatever he turned on when we were attacked.”

“I read the report. It must have been terrifying for you, Sii.”

“Yes. I knew I would be ended by the Borog, but when I heard Vipa scream, I felt anger. I wanted to kill the Borog so they would not hurt him.”

“It sounded to me that he did not need any help.”

“That is true. It was frightening and amazing at the same time. The power he has is unbelievable…and the thing is, he does not know he has it.”

” Let’s just hope that he can turn it on if and when the time comes. Will you get to see him soon?”

“Yes, maybe tonight. Vipa believes that the Council and the military will be done with their planning by today and everything should be in place.”

“That’s good to hear. We are ready here also. I just hope we don’t need any of the extra supplies.”

“I hope you are right, Eesa.”

It was a long day of waiting. That is not a bad thing, but everyone knows that the Borog will not let two of the ships be destroyed without some sort of retaliation. It is just a matter of time.

“Sii, why don’t you go home and get some rest. You have been here four time periods. If anything happens you will be the first to be contacted.”

“Okay Teresa. You are right, but please call me if you need to.”

Yes, Sii. Don’t worry.”

“Thank you, Teresa. See you tomorrow.”

“See you tomorrow Sii.”

 

It was a nice day. The city was quiet. Most of the residents here are locked in their homes, except for the ones that left Orex. (Beep) my communicator sounded.

“Hello, this is Sii.”

“Sii, this is Vipa.”

“Hi, how are you?”

“I am well. And I am sorry I have not talked with you sooner.”

“No need for apologies. I understand.”

“How is your leg?”

“It is all better now. Better than new actually.”

There was an awkward silence. Go on, ask him, I said to myself.

“Hey, would you like to get together tonight, maybe have some dinner? I haven’t eaten today and I am staving. I know that tensions are high but a girl still has to eat.”

“Yes. My body requires nourishment also.”

“Great. I am taking that as a yes. I am on my way home now. How about I clean up and come over to your place and prepare you an Arquilam meal?”

“I would be most honored to dine on such a Feast of Sabar.”

“Well I am not that good of a cook, but thank you. I will be at your place in about an hour. ”

“You are most gracious.”

“You are such a polite being. I will see you soon.”

I arrived at the Hostel Six. As before it was very quiet. I looked up at the sky and asked, please, just let me have one night with him without interruption.

(Knock, Knock)

Vipa opened the door.

“Hi.”

I know it has only been a few days, but as I said before Arquilams are very passionate beings. I embraced him like it has been years since we have seen each other.

“I have missed you.”

“I am very pleased to see you again. Your absence has distracted me.”

I embraced him and sunk into his enormous chest—at this time he did not have his chest plate on—and then I gave him a kiss on his cheek. There was the same spark as before. I wonder, does he feel the same thing as I did? Let’s not worry about that right now. Just enjoy the evening.

I prepared the meal. We ate and talked. I did most of the talking, but that was okay. I understand he still doesn’t remember much. Vipa did fill me in on the plans that the council and military have in place. Vipa has a communicator and will be contacted at any sign of trouble. After dinner I talked mostly about my home planet. Vipa didn’t seem to mind. He listened intently. It was hard to concentrate with his beautiful aquatic-colored eyes leering at me, but I sure didn’t mind being there with him. I know Colosha is probably right—I am going to fall hard and it is going to hurt more than my leg did. I don’t care. I am going to hold on to him until I crash and burn.

“I am enjoying this time together, but with the certainty of a Borog attack we probably should get some sleep. I’ll call for a shuttle. It will be waiting in about three minutes.”

“Yes. You are correct, and thank you for the nourishment for my body.”

“You are very welcome.”

“Will I see you tomorrow, Sii?”

“Yes, that would be great. That is, if the attack doesn’t come and you have to fight.”

I leaned in again to hug Vipa. With his arms around me I feel safe. “Please be careful if the attack does come.”

“Sii, do not worry. I promise I will. I pledged my life to protect you and the people of Orex. I will bring down fire from Saratic’s horn and destroy all who wish you harm you.”

“Hey, is that something new you remembered?”

“Yes, I believe so.”

“Your memory seems to be coming back slowly but that is something at least.”

I did not want to leave him, but I know it is wrong to stay the night with him. My moral compass would not allow me to until it is clear he is not attached. Arquilams believe in mating for life and only with the partner that is meant for them. I believe he is meant for me.

Vipa embraced me like we would not see each other again. It went on for what seemed like forever, but it was only a moment. I wanted it to be forever.

As we separated, Vipa leaned in and gave me a kiss. This time I felt a rush of emotion. It took me a few seconds to pull myself together. I must go before I toss my moral compass.

“Goodnight Vipa.”

“Goodnight Sii.”

 

It was the fourth time period. All was quiet. I was in my bed having the most wonderful dream. I heard the alarms piercing the night. At the same time my communicator sounded. It was Dr. Lexctod. It must be the Borog. Dream time is over.

“Yes, Sigmen, I hear them. I am on my way.”

“Thanks, Sii. I will see you soon.”

As the shuttle craft move along the empty streets, I wish I could see Vipa, but I have a duty to fulfill as well as everyone else. I am sure he was called and is with Major Rutherford, and needs to focus on the Borog. I just—just hope he will be okay. Enough of that. I am at Medesto. Time to go to work.

“Hi Sigmen, what is the status?”

“The Borog ships are gathered at Sulan’s Cloud about 4.2 kilometers north of Orex. The tracking beacons have picked up the ships. The alarms have been sounded and the military are in place.”

“Do we know what the first move will be?”

“I was not supposed to know this, so I can’t let on I know what the plan is.”

“I am not sure. All that the Council told me was to be prepared for casualties.”

“Well I guess that is all we can do for now.”

“I have brought all the nurses in. Eesa and Teresa are getting the rooms ready.”

“Great, I will help them.”

“Thanks, Sii. Hey, have you heard anything from Vipa? Not to pry, mind you, just checking up. Has any of his memory returned?”

“Yes, I spoke with him two time periods ago. Not much of his memory has returned, just fragments of things, but I believe it will return. Soon, I hope.”

“I saw that the med order has not been filled. Does he still have the tormara visions, as he calls them?”

“He did not mention any problem. I will ask when and if I talk with him again.”

I felt tears well up in my eyes. What the frack, man. If he is attached it is going to hurt.

“Sii, are you crying? Are you okay? I knew you had some connection to Vipa, but I didn’t think it was that kind of connection. Sii, I hate to be the concerned father figure—and I would not meddle in your life—but you and the rest of the staff here are like family to me, and the last thing I would ever want is to see you get hurt. You need to be careful. You do not know him or anything about him.”

I have never thought of Sigmen as a father figure till now. A brilliant doctor, yes, but never a father figure. But that was nice to know. I embraced Sigmen as I would my own father. “Thank you, I feel the same way. I’m worried about Vipa and I know that there is a huge chance I will get hurt, but as you very well know, Arquilams are driven by emotion. There is an old Earth saying I learned during my training there. I walk around with my heart on my sleeve. I know that is foolish, but I believe there is something special about Vipa.”

“Yes, I have heard that saying, and no, you are not foolish for caring about someone. But please be careful, and know that we all love you and are here for you.”

“I love you too, Sigmen, and everyone here at Medesto.”

I went to help the staff, my emotions not quite in check. I had to embrace everyone. They thought I was losing it, but I wanted them all to know that I love them and I am grateful to have every one of them in my life. I couldn’t seem to clear my head with Vipa out there, not knowing if he will return. If I were with him I would not worry as much, but I would only be a distraction to him. He needs to stay focused; if their plan doesn’t work then he will need to be ready for war.

 

It is now the first time period. Vipa and Major Rutherford are set to contact the Borog.

“This is Major Rutherford of the Orex Orion military training base. Identify yourselves. I wish to speak to a superior officer. Do you read me.”

“Commander Gah, we are receiving a transmission from the Xedef Priority’s training base outside the city.”

“Their pathetic military must want to discuss terns of surrender. Open a line.”

“Yes Sir.”

“This is Commander Gah, leader of the Borog. Do you have my ships and their crew?”

“No, Commander. The first ship attacked a visitor and was destroyed by him. The second ship attacked a ground party and was also destroyed. These acts of treachery will not be tolerated, and if you have any plans of retaliation, I would advise against it. Any further actions will be considered an act of war, and the Xedef Priority will not allow such actions to go unpunished. Leave Orex now or face the consequences.”

“DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?”

“Yes. You are Commander Gah of the outlaw group Borog. You are nothing more than space pirates. We should have dealt with you sooner. That mistake is on me. But know this: it will not happen again.”

There is a loud scream from Commander Gah. He slams his fists down on the arms of his commander’s seat. The crew is startled.

“Gah, one of your ships is somewhat intact. It has not been cleaned up from the attack site. We did remove the bodies from the location. I will bring the bodies to the attack site. You may retrieve whatever you want from the ship. Once you are finished, you and the rest of your kind will leave Orex and never come back here again. If you refuse, I will be forced to remove you. I will give you one minute to reply.”

“Commander, how should I respond?”

“Tell them we accept the terms. We will meet their Major in one hour.”

“But Sir, are we going to give in so easily?”

Commander Gah drew his weapon and aimed it at the communications officer.

“What did I say about questioning my orders?”

“I’m sorry sir. I just don’t believe we should give in so easily.”

“I do not care what you believe. You will follow my orders.”

“But, Commander—”

Before the officer finished the statement the sound of a disruptor ray echoed throughout the ship. The communications officer was instantly vaporized. The crew was startled but none said a word. They all knew Commander Gah’s reputation as a cold-blooded killer.

“This is Commander Gah. We will accept your terms. Contact me with the coordinates when you are at my ship.”

“We are on our way. I will send the coordinates when we arrive at the attack site. But know this: if you try anything, I will destroy you and your ships. Do I make myself clear?”

“Understood. I will await your transmission.”

“The Borog will never bow to these Orex sludge worms. Their major is weak. I will crush him with my bare hands.”

“Captain Zorr, when we receive the coordinates, I want you to stay here. When we arrive at their location, wait for my orders and come in behind us. General Argon, you and your ship will accompany me to the site. The Sarr and the Kyt will flank both sides. There will not be anything to hide us from them so it will have to be fast. When I am back on my ship with the fallen I will give the order. Destroy everyone. We will then go into Orex and take everything and kill anyone that gets in our way. They are going to pay for this malice. Is everyone clear on my orders?”

“Yes, Commander we are ready. Hail Borog.”

“Hail Borog.”

 

Back at the military base the Borog bodies are being loaded into Major Rutherford’s ship. There are only two ships, the major’s and a transport ship. That will have to be enough.

“Sergeant Zain, you man the transport ship. Get your team ready for departure.”

“Yes Sir, Major.”

“Vipa, you will be with me. Listen up, soldiers. We all know that the Borog cannot be trusted and I expect they will attack once they have the bodies, so all of you be on alert. I know some of you are first-year recruits and did not expect to go into battle so soon, but I believe you will prevail. I will not lie to you—the Borog are ruthless and will not hesitate to take you out. There will be casualties. But know that you will be honored for your bravery. Know that we are the Xedef Priority and we will not take any shit from those bastards. Now move out.”

Their major’s speech inspired the soldiers. There was yells and cheers that rang throughout the base. The major knew if there was an attack that some of the soldiers would not make it back, but we have to make a stand.

“Corporal Rogets, this is Rutherford. Are you and your men ready and in position?”

“Rogets here, sir. We are ready.”

“Good. You will be able to monitor the transaction with the Borog through the com link. You know what to do if they attack.”

“Yes, Sir. Victory will be ours.”

“Vipa, do you know how to use a disruptor ray?”

“Yes. I am skilled in many weapons.”

“Great. Here is your side arm. Ammunition is in the port of my ship. Make sure you have plenty.”

“Yes, Major.”

 

Major Rutherford’s ship left the base. The transport ship followed. They are both en route to the crash site.

“We will arrive at the crash site in approximately four minutes, thirteen seconds, Major.”

“Thank you Corporal. When we set down, stay to the left of the Borog ship. There is more cover. If they plan to attack they will have to come straight on. Patch me through to Sergeant Zain.”

“Yes, Major, Zain here.”

“Sergeant, when we sit down, position the transport to our port side. The Borog will flank both sides. We will have Mt. Eature on our starboard to block the side attack. The Borog have six ships. We need to watch the port side. I hope it will go easy—but it is not likely, so everyone be ready.”

“We have arrived at the attack site, Major.”

“Good. When the transport ship is in position, contact the Borog commander and give him the coordinates. All ground troops, get into position and do not engage until I give the order. We can hope that they will take their dead and move on. That’s not likely but we will go through the motions with them anyway.”

“Major, Sergeant Zain is in position.”

“Good, open com link. Listen up. Once the Borog ships get here, do not engage until ordered. Do I make myself clear? I will meet the Borog commander. We will give them the bodies and wait for them to leave. Is everything understood?”

“Yes Sir.”

“Smit, you, Aron and Metrena will bring the bodies out when I call you.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Major, I have sent the coordinates to the commander of the Borog. There has been no response, but sensors show that the Borog ships are en route to our location.”

“No pleasantries, I see. How long before they get here?”

“Seven minutes, Sir.”

“I will wait outside for them to arrive. When the Borog commander comes out I will greet him. If everything goes smoothly, you three will bring the bodies out and give them to him. After they have their men, you get back to the ship.”

“Should I stand with you?”

“No, Vipa. Not that I wouldn’t prefer you standing with me, but you are a very large and intimidating man. Tensions are high enough, but if there’s any sign of trouble you and the rest of the team come out join the party.”

“Major, the Borog ships are here.”

“Okay, here we go. Do not engage—I repeat, do not engage—till I give the order.”

“Yes, Major.”

Major Rutherford stepped out of the side hatch. He walked to the front of the ship and awaited the appearance of the Borog commander. The hatch on the commander’s ship opened. The commander and two of his men stepped out and walked to Major Rutherford.

“I am—”

“Where are my men?” The commander cut him off abruptly.

“They are in my ship. Let me get them. Smit, bring them out.”

“Who destroyed my ships? Was he also destroyed?”

“Your ships were destroyed because they attacked the wrong people and it cost them. As far as I am concerned, your ships got what they deserved.”Major Rutherford was not afraid of commander Gah and made sure Gah knew it. “I would destroy all your ships, but I fell generous today. Take your men and leave Orex and never come back here again. Am I clear?”

“You dare threaten me? Do you know who I am?”

“What the hell? Do you have brain damage? I know everything I need to know about a piece of shit like you. You have one chance. Take your men and leave.”

Commander Gah let out a growl like the lions of old earth, but his sounded of contempt and anger. Major Rutherford did not care. He stood and watched the Borogs get on their ship.

“So far so good, but be on alert, men. As soon as the hatch on their ship closes, I will return to the ship.”

The hatch did close. Major Rutherford turned and started walking to the ship. An explosion about twenty meters threw Major Rutherford to the ground. The whole ship shook. The Borog were attacking.

“Major, are you all right?”

“Yes. Everyone take cover.”

Boom! Another explosion on the port side.

“Sergeant Zain, report. Are you hit.”

“Yes Major. The blast took out the transport. No casualties.”

“Good. Hold your position.”

During the explosions the Marala Falcon was lifting off.

“Vipa, you and the men get out of the ship and take cover behind the rocks. I will meet you there.”

Boom! The Marala fired at the major’s ship. The engine on the port side was destroyed. The ship toppled onto its side. The crew had gotten out safely. Major Rutherford was still on the ground. The ground assault continued to fire unproductively.

“Major, are you all right? Come in.”

The com link was down but Vipa and the other men could see the Major as he made his way into the ship.

“Major, please respond. You have to get out of the ship. We cannot hold the Marala back much longer.”

They saw the major emerge from the ship with a disruptor cannon. He was going to fire at the Marala when another explosion to his right drew his attention. The major turned and fired at a Borog ship…a direct hit. The ship exploded 15 meters from the major. Part of the destroyed ship hit the Marala and caused it to waver as it fired the disruption blast just missing the major’s ship. There was another loud explosion, again on the port side of the major’s ship. Sergeant Zain and his men brought down another Borog ship. Two down, two to go. Major Rutherford was reloading as the Marala was recovering from the shrapnel hit. He was about to fire when a fifth ship came over the Marala and fired as it passed. Major Rutherford was knocked back into the landing gear of the his ship. The major was hit and pinned down. The rest of the team was pinned down behind the rock formations. Vipa was watching and took off running to the major.

“No, Vipa, stay back. You will be killed.” But he lunged to the major’s ship. He might make it before the other ship swings around for another pass. Vipa was just a few meters away when the Marala fired. The blast hit about two meters in front of Vipa. The explosion threw Vipa twenty feet to the right of the major. He went down behind some other rocks. We knew he was dead and we would all be if we did not stop the Marala.

“Major, come in. Major, are you all right.” Still no response.

“Rutherford here.”

Thank God. Are you all right sir? Are you injured?”

“I am all right. I have a broken arm and a metal rod running through my side but I am all right. Did I see Vipa running to me? I was not sure.”

“Yes Sir. We tried to stop him but he would not comply. The blast threw him over the mound about twenty feet south of your position.”

“Shit. Have there been any reports from Sergeant Zain?”

“No Sir, we lost communication right after they brought down one of the Borog’s ships.”

The sound of disruptor blast rang through the rock formations. The fifth Borog ship was making another pass. The Marala was firing at the major. Another disruptor blast would most likely finish the major. We did not know why the Marala did not finish the major. Their weapons must have been damaged when the first ship was destroyed. Regardless of the reason the major was in real trouble.

“Major, should I call for backup from Orex?”

“No, we do not want the city unprotected. I believe I can fire the cannon if you and your team draw the fire from the Marala. Give me one second to get ready and I will blast the space garbage to hell.”

“Yes Major.”

The troops repositioned and fired on the Marala. It worked: the Marala turned its fire to them. Major Rutherford gathered all the strength he had and got on one knee to fire at the Marala. The other ship came around and was headed straight to the major when a loud scream was heard, nothing like anything they have ever heard before. At that moment Vipa emerged from the rock formations. How was he still alive? Everyone was shocked.

“Major, it is Vipa.”

The Borog ship fired the disruptor cannon. The major would be annihilated. Everything seem to slow down.

“I see him. Keep firing.”

Vipa had made his way in between me and the Borog ship. Their disruptor blast was about to hit when a strange light appeared. It seemed to cover Vipa and me. I held my head high. I am proud to give my life for the greater cause and I was prepared to go, but something amazing happened: the disruptor blast hit what looked like a force field that Vipa was generating. We were safe.

“Major, are you there?”

“Yes. Did you see what just happened?”

“Yes, Major, but I am not sure what that was.”

At that point it really got strange. Vipa turned and looked at me. His eyes were solid black. He did not look the same. Vipa turned back. He held his arms out to his side and started to lift off the ground. My only thought was, what the hell have we opened here? Vipa went up about seven meters, his arms still straight out. The other ship was coming around again. Vipa turned in the direction of the ship. The Marala was firing at Vipa but it had no effect.

“Smit, concentrate your fire on the approaching ship. It has the disruptor cannon.”

“Yes Major.”

Since Vipa had drawn the Marala’s fire it gave me a chance to fire on the Marala. I was about to fire when a bright piercing light came from Vipa’s chest. I could not look at it, it was so bright. Boom! The Borog ship was destroyed. The light stopped. I was able to fire the cannon at the Marala. A direct hit on the nose of it. The ship went down in flames, smoke pouring from the beast. It had been slayed. Vipa had came down and was walking to the Marala, but there was no need to worry about Vipa. Apparently he has some kind of special powers that he failed to tell us about, but I am glad he has.

“Smit, secure the perimeter around the Marala—if there is anything left to secure—and send the medic here.”

“He is with Sergeant Zain’s team, sir.”

“Oh, yes okay. Find the sergeant.”

“Yes, Sir.”

The major made his way to the Marala. His team had surrounded the ship. A disruptor blast was heard, then a roar from the inside of the Marala. Vipa had already boarded the ship. I’m guessing he has secured the ship.

“Smit, have you found the sergeant?”

“Yes, Sir. He is with me.”

“Zain here, Sir.”

“It is good to hear from you. Malco, what is your status.”

“We brought down two of the Borog ships. We have captured the ones who survived the crash and the ground party from the other Borog ships.”

“Were there any casualties?”

“Yes, Sir. Nine of the Borog and two of ours, sir, Robins and Defalco.”

“Damn.”

“We are in route to your location, Major, ETA five minutes.”

“Major, you should not be standing. The medic is on his way.”

“I will live, Private Somar.”

“Yes Sir, Major.”

Vipa came to the hatch. He motioned to everyone it was clear. The commander of the Borogs had been secured. Major Rutherford walked inside the ship. Vipa was standing over the injured Commander Gah. His injuries were not fixable but he was still alive; that was more than you could say about his crew.

“He does not have much time.”

“Thank you, Vipa.”

The commander spoke. “Why did the white skin call you Vipa?”

“You don’t ask the questions. I do.”

The Borog commander had a little smirk on his face and laughed a little.

“What is so funny.”

Vipa spoke. “The major calls me Vipa because I am unknown. When your ship attacked me I crashed here but I lost my mind.”

“What he means is when that piece of shit ship of your group shot him down, he lost his memory.”

“Why do you question such a thing? Should you not be preparing for Vestan?”

“I do not know what Vestan is.”

“You prepare for the journey to the next realm.”

“I know what realm I will be going to. I am prepared for that journey.”

“Enough of this chit chat. Do you have any more ships in the area?”

“No, but my brothers will come to find me.”

“You better not be lying. We will string you up like the main sail of a sconner.”

“You are the one who killed my brother.” Commander Gah looked right at Vipa.

“We have neutralized many of your brothers.”

The Borog commander growled with disgust. “No, you killed my brother.” The commander, still looking at Vipa, pointed at the stretchers.

“Your brother attacked Vipa and a female medical officer. Your brother deserved his fate.”

“We all deserve our fate, Major, but it is not the Borog you need to worry about anymore. Orex’s fate will be expediently worse than what we have already done.”

“What do you mean, Gah?”

You could see the life force was almost gone from the Borog commander. “You call him Vipa, but I have heard him called by a different name.”

You could see Vipa’s expression change. “Do you know who I am and what I am?”

“I was not sure it was true. But I worked for someone like you. He said he was a Medallion. He spoke of you. But he called you Dam Hamer.”

“What does it mean?”

The commander started to laugh again. Vipa grabbed him and shook him violently. “What does it mean?”

The major put his hand on Vipa’s shoulder.

“Vipa…he is dead.”

No one noticed the beeping until that moment.

“What is that beeping?”

“It is coming from this console. it seems to be counting.”

“Counting what?”

The major looked around Vipa. To his surprise the major’s eyes expanded with what he saw.

“Get away from the ship! It is going to explode! Vipa, get out of here!”

The major turned to run but his feet got tangled in some wiring. He fell to the floor. “Vipa, get out of here!”

10-9-8-7…the countdown was now audible.

“Not without you.” Vipa tore the wire from the ship, picked Major Rutherford up and ran out the hatch.

4-3-2-1

Vipa and the major were only a few meters away when the ship detonated. The explosion destroyed half of the Marala. Vipa and the major were lifted up and pushed forty feet through the air. Vipa absorbed most of the blast. Then a second explosion occurred. Pieces of the Marala discharged in a radius of fifteen meters. Vipa was hit with numerous pieces of shrapnel. One large piece struck Vipa in his head. The two hit the ground hard. Vipa was out. The major let out screams of pain. The major’s leg was struck with shrapnel, nothing too damaging, but painful nonetheless. The metal rod that was in his side had been pushed through, leaving an open wound with a nice stream of blood flowing from it. He would need the medic for that ASAP. The rest of the squad came running. No one else was injured except Vipa. He was out cold and had severe lacerations on his back and head, but he was alive. The medic was there to patch them up. The medical team was on their way from Orex. They would be on site in twenty minutes.

“Major, the medic team is on their way.”

“Good. Is Vipa okay?”

“We are not sure sir. He is still out. We stopped the bleeding—that should hold him until the medic team gets here.”

“Sergeant Zain, get the repair crews out here. I want my ship back on base as soon as possible. Bring the trainees from the city to start clean up. I don’t think we will need to worry about the Borog anymore.”

“Yes sir Major. I already gave the order, Sir. The trainees are en route.”

“I need—”

“Artamas, I will take care of everything. You don’t need to worry. The medic team has just arrived. They will take you to Medesto.”

“Okay, Malco. You are right.”

Artamas Rutherford was the real deal. Even through three explosions broke arm and numerous shrapnel hits he still commands the team, but his job was done.

I was the first out of the medic transport. I was met by Sergeant Zain.

“We have two.”

Before he could finish the sentence I interrupted him. “Where is Vipa? Is he all right?”

“The major and Vipa are behind the rock formations.”

“Is he all right?”

“The major sustained multiple wounds and a broken arm.”

I shouted at the sergeant, “Where is Vipa?”

Doctor Lexctod put his hand on my shoulder. “Young lady, I know you’re worried about Vipa, but we are here for everyone. Now please pull yourself together and let’s get to work.”

“Yes sir. I am sorry, Doctor.”

“Don’t apologize to me; apologize to the sergeant you just frightened.”

“I am sorry, Sergeant Zain. Please forgive me for my outburst.”

“No problem, ma’am. As far as we could tell Vipa is all right. He has two large cuts. One of the wounds is on his head. It knocked him out. The medic got the bleeding stopped but the wounds will need further treatment. I have to admit, it is very strange to see someone bleed orange blood.”

“Are there any casualties, Sergeant?”

“Sadly, yes, Doctor. We lost two of our trainees.”

“That is most unfortunate. I am sure they will be honored.”

I ran on ahead. When I saw Vipa, tears started to run down my face.

Pull yourself together, girl. He is all right, I had to tell myself that several times. Doctor Lexctod and the rest of the medic team patched all the minor injuries. Major Rutherford was stable but would need more treatment at Medesto. Vipa was still unconscious but his wounds were already healing themselves. Not again—the wait for him to wake up. We patched up everyone who was injured and took Major Rutherford and Vipa to Medesto. The major would be fine in a few days. Vipa’s wounds would be healed before we reached Medesto, but he could possibly have internal injuries. I believe even those injuries would heal the same. Maybe all of us could benefit from having orange blood.

“Doctor, I called ahead and informed Eesa to prepare for incoming. I told Eesa the extent of the injuries. She will have everything ready when we arrive.”

“Thank you, Sii, and don’t worry. I am sure Vipa will be fine.”

“I believe you are right, Sigmen.”

 

Spirits were high. Everyone in the city has heard of the Borog defeat. I was happy that it was over and the Borog would never bother us again, but I would not be truly happy till Vipa woke up.

We arrived at Medesto. Eesa had everything ready. The doctor and I worked on Major Rutherford. His broken arm would be good as new tomorrow. The other wounds he sustained would heal in a few days. He was no longer in danger.

Five hours had passed. Vipa had still not woke. Doctor Lexctod believes when he is injured his body shuts down for repairs. Not knowing anything about him I am not sure if that is correct, but I agree with Sigmen. His injuries were already healed. If the doctor is correct in his diagnosis, Vipa should be waking up any time now. I went to check on the major when Eesa came and found me.

“Nurse Vetta.”

“What is the matter, Eesa?”

“Vipa is awake.”

“Great, thank you Eesa.”

I ran to the room. I could see there was something wrong. I walked over and hugged him.

“I’m glad you are okay. How do you feel?”

“I am…” He paused for a few seconds.

“Are you in pain?”

Vipa did not answer.

“What is wrong? Why will you not tell me?”

“I am well.”

“There is something wrong. I can feel it. Please tell me.”

Vipa looked distant and was hesitant to respond. “The Borog commander said he knew my kind.”

“He has met you before?”

“No. He knew someone like me.”

“What did he say that has upset you?”

“He called me Medallion. That is my kind. He said that the one he knew spoke of me. He called my name.”

“That is great. Now we don’t have to call you Vipa anymore. So what is it?”

“He called me Dam Hamer.”

“Dam Hamer.”

I thought to myself, Sii Hamer… that has a nice ring to it. “That’s great. We know something about you—that should make you happy, not sad. Do you know what it means?”

Again he did not speak. I was holding his hand and he began to squeeze a little hard.

“Dam Hamer, you are hurting my hand.” He did not respond. I pulled my hand away. “Please, tell me what is wrong.”

Vipa looked very sad, very distant, but he finally answered.

“It means DESTROYER OF WORLDS.”

 

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