Damhamer – Chapter Eight
“Sii are you okay?”
“Are you injured?”
“No, just a little shook up.”
“Don’t get up. Just rest.”
“I’m okay… Ouch. Okay, maybe my shoulder is hurt. I was tossed into the side of the ship; that is the last thing I remember. So what hit us?”
“I am not sure. The sensors did not detect any ship other than Kapaw’s and the mystery ship.”
“Is the ship damaged?”
“Yes, there was an explosion in section B2, our sleeping quarters, but I have not been able to determine what kind of explosion occurred.”
“Can the damage be repaired?”
“Yes, but we must find somewhere to get the repairs. When the explosion occurred, I felt the rage had been summoned inside me. I went to see what damage had been done. I opened the bulkhead and was pulled outside the ship.”
“What? How is that possible? How are you still alive?”
“When I was outside the ship I felt some sort of force field around me. I could move freely and had complete control. I did not feel the bitter cold of space. However I did feel something was there, but I could not see anything. I looked all around the ship and found nothing. I was about to return to the ship when I believe I saw some kind of distortion, or it could have been my eyes deceiving me, but I felt something. I believe I saw something moving away from us, but I am not sure. Maybe I am being foolish.”
“No, my love, you’re not foolish at all. It sounds like the ship was cloaked.”
“What is this cloaked?”
“It means the ship was invisible. I have never seen a ship that has that capability, but I have heard of them. I didn’t believe that it was possible, but now with what has happened, I’m not so sure. But why did they attack us, and why did they not destroy us?”
“I do not have the answers to your questions, Sii, but it seems that they didn’t intend on destroying us or they would have targeted the engines. One thing I do know is we have lost Kapaw’s ship.”
“I know we could ask why all day. The most obvious question is, what do we do now?”
“We need to find a nearby planet and find someone to repair the ship.”
“I will check the star charts. …Yes, there is a Class M planet called Aroma. It is the only inhabited planet in this solar system and it is approximately two light years from our present location. Will we make it that far?”
“Yes I have that section sealed off. We can’t travel at hyper speed but we should be able to reach that planet in three days.”
“Have you ever been to Aroma?”
“No, my love. I have never even heard of this planet. I just hope that there is someone there that can repair the ship.”
We set out for Aroma. The trip would be painfully slow without hyper speed. I could see that Dam had something bothering him.
“Dasa, I know that there is something bothering you. And do not tell me it is not my concern. We are here together and what is your concern is my concern.”
“Yes, Sii, there is something troubling me. I have all this power but yet you could have been taken or killed, and I am powerless stop it.”
I could see the tremendous weight he was carrying. My heart ached, but what could I say that would ease the crushing burden he holds? I walked over to him just to hold him and hope that would help it would help me. I put my arms around him… and at that moment I was transported to a place I did not know and there were people I have never seen before.
“Sii, are you all right?”
“What? Yes, I am fine.”
“What happened? You have been holding me for about ten minutes without saying a word. I thought something was wrong.”
“No, there was nothing wrong. When I held you, I had a vision, or dream, or maybe something else.”
“Did you witness more of the horrible things that I have done?”
I could literally feel the sadness radiating from him. My heart was breaking.
“No, my love it was nothing like that. The place I was in was a palace. It was so beautiful. There were pillars that looked to be made of gold. There was a platform with two thrones. They both were crested with jewels I have never seen before. The people were dressed in clothing that glimmered in the light. Their garments were beautiful; they had to be royalty. The people were standing over two cradles. There were two infants, one male, and one female. The only thing I could recognize was the crest—it was the same as the one on your chest armor. You must be from royalty and have a sister. I could tell there was a celebration—all the people were laughing and singing. There was food and drink in abundance.”
Dam stood and started walking to the back of the ship. “Where are you going, my love? That is great news, is it not?”
“Sii, that is possibly one of the planets I—well, you know.”
“What about the crest on your chest plate?”
“I could have taken it from one of their soldiers.”
“But Dam, why would you do that?”
Dam’s voice got louder. “It is foolish to think that I came from royalty.”
“I had this vision for a reason.”
“Well that vision is not of me.”
Dam stormed through the hatch to the back of the ship. Oh, great this is going to be a long trip. I have a whiney, mega powered, self-proclaimed I am the devil but is possibly royalty, thick-skulled being on my hands. Yes, this is going to be a long trip.
The trip was long. Dam didn’t speak much. I did not want to antagonize him so most of the trip was silent. We reached Aroma. It took a little longer than we expected. I just hope we can find someone to repair the ship.
We entered the atmosphere and were met by two ships. They positioned themselves along both sides of our ship. The communication panel lit up. They were trying to contact us. Dam opened a channel.
“This is Aroma Sky Patrol. State your business here.”
“We require repairs to our ship. As you can see there is a breach in the hull. We were attacked.”
“Who attacked you?”
“We do not know.”
“How many are on your ship?”
“There is a landing pad ten kilometers from this location. We will escort you to the pad where you will be boarded and searched.”
“What are you searching for?”
“Take your ship down. There are markers to guide you in.”
“We don’t have time for this. We need the repairs done.”
“Dam, please calm down. This is the procedure for this planet; we must respect that. I am sure they will help us when this is done. I don’t know what they are looking for but I am sure we don’t have it and everything will be fine.”
“Excuse me my name is Sii Vetta. We are new to this region. Could you tell us what you are searching for? Is it a person, or a weapon of sorts?”
“You will be briefed when we have searched your ship.”
“We do not have any weapons and we will comply.”
What I really wanted to say was, do not come on our ship and do something stupid. Dam is already upset. I love this being more than life itself but he is a pain sometimes. Nothing a foot in his ass won’t cure.
We could not see very much on the planet. There was a dark haze over the land. There was a clearing; we could see the guide beacons. Dam landed the ship. We were informed to open the hatches and stay seated so we reluctantly complied with their request. Well one of us reluctantly complied. I could see that Dam was clenching his fist.
“Dam, this will not take long. I am sure we don’t have what they are looking for.”
“We have lost Kapaw. He knows we are looking for him and I believe we will not find him again.”
“That is where you are wrong, my love. After the last vision I know now that it is our destiny to find Kapaw and all the questions we are asking will be answered.”
“I hope you are right my love.”
“I feel it in my heart all of this has happened for a reason.”
The Sky Patrol boarded and after about a thousand questions they were satisfied that we were not a threat. We were led to a large conference room.
“Please wait here. General Pocc will be in shortly.”
After what seemed like an eternity the general came in. He was a short, stocky gentleman. He looked like a character from an Earth television show. My college roommate and I were in the archive room studying old medical records when we took a break. Mecca was her name. She pulled up some very old television shows and one of the shows she pulled up was…hmm… what was the name…Cap, Captain rue? No, Captain Kangaroo. That’s right, Captain Kangaroo. He looks just like him. I chuckled a little. I hope no one saw that.
“My name is General Pocc. This base is under my command. We are part of the Virta Alliance. I do apologize for detaining you, but our planet is under red alert. The planet is being evacuated as we speak. We are experiencing a global blackout.”
“Blackout. What does this mean?”
“We will get to that. It says here that you are Damhamer, it doesn’t say where you are from, and you are Sii Vetta, medical personal from the Xedef Priority.”
“Your ship was attacked and you sustained damage. There was a breach in the hull but you do not know who attacked you.”
“Yes, that is correct.”
I thought Dam was going to blow any second but he seemed oddly calm.
“It also says—”
“General, tell me more about the global blackout, as you called it.”
“As I said, we will get to that.”
“Your people have asked us all these questions many times over. We have answered truthfully. Now we require answers. We require repairs to our ship and we will be on our way.”
“It says here you are searching for someone called Kapaw.”
“Is he your family?”
When the general asked that question he pressed a button on the control pad located in front of him. At that moment some of his men came in. I thought, oh shit, Dam will tear this place apart. I readied myself to run if needed but as I said he was acting very odd.
“He is no family of mine.”
“But he is of your kind.”
“How do I know you are not here to finish us?”
“What do you mean?”
“Kapaw was the one who caused this global blackout.”
I thought for sure Dam would break something but he just sat calmly and listened.
“How did he cause this?”
I am not sure how it was caused, but the dark haze originated 110 kilometers from here. What is your business with Kapaw?”
“That is not your concern. I am asking, can your men repair our ship?”
“Yes, but I need to hold you for a couple of days till I get this sorted out. I cannot do this now. The planet is in full evacuation. We will be leaving here in four days.”
“Why are you leaving?”
“The planet is dying. In ten days the whole planet will be covered and all life on this planet will die. We are moving to a neighboring planet in the Sansar Galaxy called Aperture.”
“Why have you not left sooner?”
“We had to find a planet that could host six hundred fifty thousand people.”
“Yes, I understand. How long ago did Kapaw cause this darkness?”
“It was started fourteen days ago.”
Dam and I looked at each other. We knew what the other was thinking. He had come here before we met him on Colet Five.
“Why did he do this?”
“When Kapaw came here, he gave the impression the he was a diplomat. He spoke of unity of planets. We quickly realized he wasn’t about unity but taking over planets. He wanted us to join and follow his ruler, Jasaurus of the Prestrict Assembly. We nicely declined his offer and ask him to leave, which we thought he had done. We monitored his movement. He set down about one hundred and ten kilometers from the base here. I sent two ships out to see if he needed help leaving, if you know what I mean, but by the time they got to his location he was gone. But what he left behind is what is killing our planet. The men that were in the ship—one team went to investigate. They were killed immediately. We do not know what it was he did, but it started a small reaction, and has so far consumed about ninety percent of the planet. We tried to stop it. We blasted it with water. We dropped Y7ET8 missiles on the site; it only made it expand quicker. Our top scientist has been working nonstop since the reaction occurred. Nothing can stop it. So we have to leave our homes. I am sorry, but I do not have any more time to discuss Kapaw. There is a fleet of ships in route here. We have to be ready or many lives will be lost. I am sorry, but we do not have the time to help you, either, but you both can get on one of the ships that are taking us to Aperture.”
“General Pocc, I believe I can help.”
“There is no help for us. We need to leave.”
“General, if you give me a ship, I can stop this.”
“How will you stop this?”
“I don’t know, but I know I can.”
“Dam, are you sure you can stop this?”
“It sounds like you know what this is.”
“Yes, it is called Drape. It’s a crystallite substance. I do not know where it comes from, but I do know what it does.”
“Look, Mr. Dam, if you go outside the force field you will die. I cannot let you do that.”
I could see Dam has been quiet and reserved till now. He will not take no for an answer.
“Dam, are you sure you can stop this Drape?”
“All right, then, that is good enough for me. —General, may I speak with you privately for just a moment?”
“Look, the answer is no. I am not letting him go out there and get killed. I have lost too many so far to this Drape.”
“General, you see this man? His full name is Damhamer. Do you know what that means in his language?”
“It means Destroyer of Worlds. He knows a lot about destroying planets, so you should believe he knows how to save them also. I believe he can stop the Drape.”
“If he is so powerful, why does he have his women to do his bidding?”
“Look, you do not know him but he is more than capable of destroying this planet himself. But he wants to help you.”
“Fine. Take one of the shuttles. It is your funeral.”
“Okay, your wife has convinced me to let you go kill yourself. Take shuttle three. I will inform control to open the force field and let you through. Sergeant Cain will escort you to the shuttle. And good luck. You will need it.”
I knew Dam didn’t need luck. He said he can stop the Drape and I believe him. The Sergeant lead us down to the shuttle bay. Dam did not say anything. He was almost in a trance.
“Dam, are you all right?”
His response was short. I believed Dam, but some reassurance would help.
“Have you dealt with this kind of thing before, my love?”
His head dropped. He did not speak; he just stared at the floor. I knew that there was something wrong.
“What’s wrong—and don’t tell me there isn’t? Do you think you won’t be able to stop the Drape? Because I know you can. I have seen you do amazing things, so please tell me what it is.”
“I…. I can stop the Drape.”
His face saddened even more. Tears started to fill my eyes. He was hurting so much and I could do nothing.
“Then what is wrong?”
Tears rolled down my face. I didn’t even know why I was crying, all I knew was Dam was hurting and that did not set well with me. We reached the shuttle bay. The sergeant asked, could we fly the shuttle? I assured him we could. It was a Class C transport shuttle. I have flown one before back on Earth. Dam had not said a word. I thought he might open up during the flight, so I started to board the shuttle, but Dam grabbed my arm.
“You must stay here, Sii.”
“No way. Where you go, I go.”
“Not this time. I must do this alone. It will be too dangerous for you.”
“I will be safe in the ship.”
There were a lot of things running through my mind—will he be able to stop this? Will it kill him? More tears ran down my face.
“If I can’t go, please tell me what is wrong.”
He took me in his arms and held me close. I thought to myself, he is going to die out there. I yelled, “If you’re going to die out there then I will die with you.” I’m not sure if he understood all that since I was crying so hard I could not see.
“Sii, my love, I am not going to die, and I will stop the Drape. When General Pocc was explaining what had happened I remembered something. Drape was one of the means I used to destroy planets. It can be accelerated to destroy the planet in a matter of hours. It also can be made to react slowly. Kapaw must have wanted to make these people suffer. But no more will die because of him. I must go now. It will take an hour to stop the process. I will be back, my love.”
I did not want to let him go. The sergeant had to take me away. Dam boarded the shuttle and off he went. Sergeant Cain took me back to the conference room where we met the general. We would not be able to see what is going on. The general came back in.
“So you seem sure that he can stop this.”
“Yes. He will stop the Drape.”
“Please forgive me if I am skeptical, but we shall continue to evacuate. You must come with me. There is a shuttle ready to take us to the transport ships waiting in the upper atmosphere.”
“I will stay here and wait for Dam to return.”
“Look you are not safe here. There are reports of leakage around the south perimeter. The force field is starting to collapse. The base will be covered in a few hours. You are a civilian here. I have jurisdiction over both of you and I can and will use force.”
“You look here. I know you are a general here but you are not a general over us. You don’t know or understand who Damhamer is. There is nothing that can harm him and there is nothing in this world, or any other world for that matter, that he would allow to harm me. So go to your shuttle. I am sure that Dam will be finished before you get to the transport.”
“Very well, then. We will wait. But if he has not stopped it in twenty minutes we are taking you and leaving.”
I know this will be all right but I would feel better if I was with Dam. Twelve minutes had passed and no change. I could see that the general was getting a little inpatient. He was watching the clock. Come on Dam I know you can do this. Eighteen minutes had passed…nothing yet.
“Ms. Vetta, we must leave now. I want to believe that Damhamer can stop this but it doesn’t look good. I gave you the twenty minutes. Now we must leave.”
“Have you tried to contact Dam?”
“Yes, but there is no communications in those areas. Nothing works out there. I assume the shuttle started to shut down as soon as he entered. So please, we must go.”
I did not want to leave but the general was right. If Dam can’t stop the Drape we will all die. Reluctantly I turned to leave when sunlight appeared. The general stopped and turned around.
“Well I’ll be damned. We have not seen the sun in over a week.”
More and more of the sky opened up. The Drape was disappearing. Dam had stopped it. Tears ran down my checks. My man would be returning soon. General Pocc and his men were celebrating. They were hooting and hollering and dancing around the room. The general spun me around and gave me a big hug. I wish Dam could see this. I would hope it would make him feel better knowing what he has done for this planet, but I know Dam. He does.
“I am sorry that I doubted Damhamer. He is truly an exceptional being. I am sure that our president and all of his cabinet will want to hold a celebration in his honor and give him the highest award we can give.”
I did not care about that. I just wanted Dam to return. The wait was brutal. It took an hour for the Drape to disappear completely, or whatever is happening to it. I was getting concerned when the general got a call from the control center. Dam requested the force field be lowered so he could enter. The celebration really got going then. I understand their exhilaration. Dam saved their planet—who wouldn’t be happy? Well maybe Kapaw since he is the a-hole that did this to them. General Pocc took my arm and escorted me to the shuttle bay to greet Dam. I know Dam, he will not like all this attention, but he will be okay. These people are very grateful for what he has done and they want to show him.
The shuttle landed. The hatch opened Dam stepped out with a metallic container in his hands. He set it down. I was so glad to see him I was crying again. Come on, Sii, pull yourself together. He has only been gone a couple of hours.
“Dam, are you hurt?”
“No, I am not injured.”
“What is in the container?”
“This is the Drape.”
The General and his men took a few steps back.
“Why have you brought this here?”
“Do not be alarmed. It is safe now.”
Dam put the container down and proceeded to open it. The soldiers ran. The general started to pull his weapon.
“You have come here to finish us.”
I stepped in front of General Pocc. “General, please calm down. I am sure we are safe.”
I will admit I was a little worried when he opened the container, but I know Dam would not do anything to harm me.
“These are the Drape crystals. In this state they are harmless.”
“They are so beautiful. How were they destroying everything?”
“The crystals have to be summoned.”
“How does that work?”
“I am sorry, General. You do not need to know that. As you have seen, if in the wrong hands they can be deadly.”
“What shall we do with them?”
“They will stay with me. I shall return them to their planet.”
“What do you mean their planet?”
“The Drape is living organisms.”
“How do you know this?”
“When we first arrived here, you were explaining what had happened. It triggered a memory of — when I used them.”
“Do you remember anything else?”
“No, not much more than that. I do remember that on their planet they lay dormant for thousands of years till called upon to do evil’s bidding.”
Every step of the way leads us closer to finding where Dam came from, but every step also reveals the destruction that he has caused. The planet was safe for now. Everyone was returning and as the general had said they wanted to have a large celebration. Dam did not want this but he accepted it. General Pocc said it would take a few days to repair our ship, and we had no leads on where to go anyway. The ship would be ready by the time the ceremony was over. Dam did the best he could to cover up the deep sadness that was eating him inside while the ceremonies were going on. I know Dam wants to get back on the trail, as they say, but these people are grateful. He saved their planet, and they want to show him there gratitude, just like on Orex— oh crap, Orex. I was supposed to report back there two days ago.
“General, do you have long range communications here? I need to contact my planet.”
“What’s wrong, Sii?”
“I was supposed to report back to Orex two days ago. Doctor Lexctod will be worried that something has happened, but the Xedef Priority will consider me unaccounted.”
“Yes we do. Elsberry, show Ms. Sii to the communications room.”
“Yes Sir. This way m’am.”
“General, I am sorry that this has happened to you. This is the bidding of one vile person. I promise to bring him to an end.”
“We owe you more than we could ever repay, so whatever you need, I will do my best to help.”
“Thank you, General, but you owe me nothing. All I ask is for our ship to be repaired, and supplies.”
“You ask for so little. It will be done. I will assign additional details to your ship. It will be ready tomorrow.”
“And General one more thing. Will you have the Drape put in a helical box on my ship?”
“Yes, immediately. Lang.”
“Take this container to their ship. Place it in the helical box.”
“You heard me.”
“There is no need for concern you are safe you could not summon them.”
“General, I need to speak to you privately.”
“Sure, follow me to my office. What is on your mind?”
“I do not want others to know what I have to tell you.”
“Please sit. Would you like something to drink?”
“No thank you. But I do need a glass vessel that can be sealed. Sii has used them when extracting fluid from my body.”
“Yes, I believe that is what Sii called it.”
“Parsons, come in here.”
“Go to the medical office and get me blood vial with a sealing cap. I will call ahead and clear it with Doctor Fields. He will know what to give you.”
“It will only take him a few minutes.”
“Doctor Fields, yes General, what can I do for you?”
“Parsons is on the way to your lab. I need a blood vial with a sealing cap.”
“Can you tell me what the vial is for?”
“Do you also need a piercer?”
“General, I am the chief medical officer, I should be…”
“Thank you, Doctor. That will be all.”
“Now are you going to tell me what the vial is for? I assume that this is on a need-to-know basis.”
“Yes, General. The vial is for my—”
“Here are the items you requested, sir.”
“Thank you, Private. That will be all.”
“Sorry for the interruption. You were saying.”
“The vial will be to hold my blood.”
Yes. I do not know why, but my blood is what stopped the Drape. I need to fill this vial with my blood. It needs to be stored somewhere safe. If Kapaw tries to use the Drape again you will be able to stop it.”
“How is a vial of your blood going to stop the Drape?”
As I said, I do not know why. I just know that the Drape is drawn to my blood.”
“How does it work?”
“Take the vial to an uninhabited area. Drop the open vial to the surface. The Drape will go to the blood and return to its dormant state.”
“Wow, your blood is a strange color. I have never seen someone’s blood be so orange. Please pardon my annotations.”
“No need for pardons. Your blood looks just as strange to me.”
“I guess you are right. Will the vial need to be refrigerated?”
“Yes, to preserve the veracity of the blood.”
“Very well. I will take it to the lab and have the doctor put the sample in a hermetically sealed container. There is a climate controlled safe that it can be placed in. It is automatically locked and the doctor is the only one that can access it. He will be under strict orders not to move or examine the contents. Would you like to join me? We can go to the communications room to see if Sii was able to contact her planet. If you need me to confirm why she has not made it back, I am sure that the Xedef Priority will understand fully given the circumstances.”
“Yes, General. Thank you for your help.”
“After what you have done for us there is nothing that I could do that would ever repay the debt this planet owes you.”
“Your kindness will not be forgotten, general.”
“Here we are. Doctor Fields.”
“Hello, General. Have you come to apologize for cutting me off?”
“I am sorry, Jon. This is a very sensitive situation and I could not explain the matter.”
“I understand, Glen. Apology accepted.”
“I need you to place this vial in one of your hermetically sealed containers and place it in the fridge.”
“What is this?”
“Again, Jon, it is a need-to-know basis, and under no circumstances are you to take it out unless you get a direct order from me.”
“Thank you Jon. —We will go to the communications room now. I hope Sii isn’t having too much trouble. She has been down there quite a while. Maybe I will call ahead first to make sure they are not returning. Orwick this is Pocc come in —Orwick do you read me…. Communications room, come in. —There is no response. Jon is your com working correctly?”
“Yes, it was working fine. There must be some problem on their end.”
“Sergeant Elsberry come in – —okay that is odd. Jon, if they call back, tell them we are on our way down.”
“What the hell. Why is there smoke coming from that room?”
“That is the communications room. Elsberry, what happened here?”
“Sii, where are you? —I do not feel her here.”
“Sorry sirrr. —I fought them off the best I could.”
“WHERE IS SII?”
“Damhamer please. Tell me, Elsberry what happened?”
“The one you —”
“Take a breath, Elsberry. Damhamer, go get the doctor. Tell Jon to bring his staff and get down here now. Elsberry I got you. Tell me what happened.”
The doctor is on his way.
“They came in so fast, sir. They killed Private Peck and destroyed the communications panel. I— fought them off as best I could, sir.”
“You did good, Elsberry. Where is Sii?”
“He took Ms. Sii.”
“Who Elsberry? Who took Sii?”
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