The King – Chapter 2

Chapter 2.1 – Boiling Blood

 

“They don’t listen.” Jason says looking up into the sky. Amelia stands in front of him, her gaze still fixed on his face.

“Perhaps a lesson will be enough.” Amelia says her eyes searching for a betrayal of what Jason is thinking.

“No. You know their military command gave the ok to begin assault. “Jason says, his emotionless face giving way to anger.

“Yes.” Amelia says grimly for a second before realizing where she stood would soon be the site of a battle and blood bath. She turns her head to her father, still standing at the top of the drive way staring in disbelief.  She yells to him “You should go now. Get in your car and drive as fast as you can away from here.  You only have moments to save your life.” The tone of her voice shocked him greatly; he stumbles forward slightly fumbling in his pocket for keys. The words she had said carried with it a sense of absolute truth and urgency he could not say no to. Instinctively he knew that if he hadn’t followed her words he would, in fact be killed, in a fashion that only an ant must feel before being stepped on by a boot.

“Even now you can’t forget. I don’t understand.” Jason says now looking directly at Amelia. She turns back to him, her face still showing some of the anger.

“This is an old conversation. You know why. Things haven’t changed.” Amelia answers, her voice still showing the anger that is fading from her face.

“So you won’t even lend the tiniest bit of energy to protect him at all?” Jason asks

“No, I won’t. My power is for the destruction of my enemies, not to protect tyrants.” Amelia answers anger welling back up in her voice.

“Very well, save it for our enemies then. They come.” Jason finishes looking up. The twin red balls of energy and plasma only 60 feet above them. The glimmer of red in the rear view mirror of the car lasts but a second before the sight of the explosion gives way to the thunderous roar. Never in his life had he experienced such an event and now it had occurred no more than a quarter of a mile from himself. The impact of the explosion causes the windows in the car to shatter, the force going into the car sending his head and chest forward. The rapid movement causes the seatbelt to lock keeping him from hitting his head on the steering wheel.

The car rocks on the road from right to left, the rear end lifting up by the burst of air. The concussion causes all of the airbags in the car to activate. The safety features activate stopping the car and turning off the engine. A few seconds pass before the daze and fog from his mind clears but as he looks into the rear view mirror the billow of smoke fills most of his view. The place where his daughter and that boy had stood seem to be the center. His chest hurts from being slammed forward into the seat belt. He unbuckles his seat belt, groaning as it slides across his chest until it rests by the door. He slowly opens the door until he finally pushes it open with his foot. His body aches at every single movement he makes, minor cuts appear over his hands and face, and he can feel the sting of the wind and heat against each one.

The door creaks as it moves slightly; the impact had dealt a lot of damage despite not being in the blast zone. He pulls his leg out of the car and onto the asphalt. He grabs the top of the door to steady himself. His legs shake as he puts more weight on them, his nerves unable to handle the shock they had been given. Adrenaline pumps through his veins as his mind comes to grasp with everything. Several loud thumps echo around the houses on the street. He looks from right to left as he stands up. The explosion had caused much of the houses closest to it to tilt away, his house being the worst. He could easily see the house leaning at near 40 degree angle. He coughs slightly losing strength in his legs, falling to one knee. He realizes his daughter had stood there at the center, thoughts racing through his head.

“Is she still alive, is she dead, no she can’t be. How can she be dead? She warned me. How could she know but not leave too?” He thinks rapidly looking down at the asphalt and his own hands. He pushes on his knee getting to his feet. He looks up, eyes going wide. A second red light comes down impacting at the same location. Red flame from the explosion shoots out from smoke cloud already rising into the air. The father stands there not able to brace himself. The concussion of the blast lifts him off his feet sending him back several feet. The back of the car lifts up and to the left, stopping some of the force from hitting him further.  He groans as he lands on the lawn of the nearby house rolling slightly until he comes to a stop on his chest, his head facing the impact. Wind from the explosion rushes over the ground causing the grass around him to flap wildly. Now face down the father lifts his head up to look at his car sitting perpendicular to him. The diminishing smoke cloud from the first explosion now appears dark and thick, bolstered from the second explosion. He looks around unable to see down the street to his own house but can see the house on the opposite side of the street of his now laid almost flat. As he surveyed around the street most of the homes within 7 or 8 houses of the impact now lay nearly flat from the explosion. As he attempts to push himself off the ground an intense burning sensation fills his chest. His arms give out from the pain causing him to hit the ground sending sharper pains through his body. In the distance he can hear additional thuds. His mind barely able to grasp what kind of sounds he could hear. He moves his right hand to his ear feeling around it. He can feel something flake off around his ear; he holds his hand in front of his face showing the dried blood. His eyes go wide.

“Had I been unconscious? No I couldn’t, the smoke looks like I had only been here a moment.” The thoughts offer no answers to the man, but the answer he really sought would come to him quickly. His body dealt with the shock of the second explosion, he couldn’t feel hot or cold. Now as he lay there, some of the pain subsiding, the intense heat blowing with the wind startles him. He questions how he had not noticed the extreme heat. He attempts to roll over to observe what damage might be visible.  The simple task of rolling over had been taken for granted all his life but was now seemingly the most difficult and painful task he had ever done. Making it onto his back with a groan, he pulls up his shirt to see his chest is blue with some of the veins glowing bright red. Involuntary coughing brings blood to his mouth. Even groaning at this point causes pain. He lays still looking up, not wanting to move to cause any pain.

Going in and out of consciousness he is able to see the smoke clear, the heat from the blast still rising from the surface of the street. The air that had been blowing wildly from the blast gave way to utter calm.  The man loses consciousness for a moment his eyes closing, a minute later opening again. The two stand there. His daughter, now to the right of the boy, is walking to be behind him. Relief fills his mind, knowing she had survived at the center of those two explosions.  Shouting can be heard from their direction but his hearing was still dull. The possibility of his hearing being damaged came to him quickly. Now his eye sight and hearing would fade, but at least his daughter lived. He struggles to keep conscious. The extreme heat on the pavement fades allowing him to see further. Past his daughter and the boy he can see nine objects sticking from the ground, around them seemed to be a wall on the ground no more than three feet high. Behind the barriers he can see figures kneeling down. A Siren breaks his concentration. The fire engine comes barreling down the road. He raises his arm painfully getting their attention while looking back to the group at the end of the road by his daughter. The shouting gets louder.

“Get off the truck!” One of the firemen yells. The truck stops on the other side of the father’s car. The group of firefighters jump off the truck into cover behind the car as energy rounds whiz overhead and into the vehicles. Three of the firemen run over sliding down next to the father, they look over him, their faces grim at the sight.

“Can you feel any bleeding?” One man says. The father furls his eyebrows, the words only mumbles to his ears. The fireman looks at his head then repeats the question yelling.

“I don’t think so.” The father replies hoarsely.

“Jesus this guy is a mess chief, what happened to him.” The other fireman says.

“I don’t know but whatever is going on down there we can’t get involved. What the hell is going on?” The chief finishes with a yell.

“A boy and a girl are fighting with a bunch of guys; it’s like a god damn movie, laser guns and shit. If I didn’t see this shit melt the metal on this car I wouldn’t believe it!” A firemen hiding behind the fathers car yells back.

“God damn chief we got to get this guy behind cover, the bullets or something from their guns are going through the fucking buildings around us. One of those things hits us we’re dead!” The other fireman yells next to the first firemen.

“Grab this guy’s arms and legs; pull him over behind the truck.” The chief orders. Four men grab the father’s arms and legs and pick him up. The pain from his body causes him to uncontrollably groan. They set him down on the pavement behind the truck. The men gasp for air, with their suits not buttoned up it isn’t stopping much of the 120 degree air surrounding the impact site. The fire crew looks up, the space ship finally down in the air firing rounds at the battle ground in front of them.

“Holy mother of god is that a space ship or one of ours?” The fireman still sitting at the fathers car yells out. One of the firemen hits the chief’s shoulder getting his attention.

“Chief there’s a news chopper heading this way.” One of the other men says pointing to the helicopter moving quickly to their location.

“The engine is barely stopping this type of weapons, that helicopter has no chance.” The chief says before picking his radio up and yelling into it. “Dispatch, this is a warzone down here, two parties are fighting on Porter Street. Multiple houses have been flattened by explosions. We’ve only gotten close enough to find one survivor, we have a news chopper coming in and it needs to be grounded now before it gets shot out of the sky!”

“Roger that, sending command to ground all aircraft in the vicinity. Police units will be there momentarily to take control of situation.” The dispatch responds.

“Negative dispatch! Individuals fighting currently are using unknown heavy weapons and appear to have battle armor. Their weapons are capable of penetrating multiple houses and almost goes through a full engine block of a car. There is also an unknown aircraft strafing the area using some kind of very powerful weapon. The weapon impacts would easily destroy a car. I would suggest bringing in army support.” The chief replies. The chief turns back down the road and sees an ambulance driving up fast. The crew begins to wave down the ambulance to pull up behind the fire truck. The ambulance screeches to a halt five feet from the firemen. The two paramedics jump out of the vehicle. The crew looking back at the two paramedics watch in horror as several of the rounds from the fight hit the driver in the chest. Surprise fills his face before fading as the man slumps to the ground.

“Jesus Christ, he’s dead!” one of the firemen yells out. The other paramedic begins to hyperventilate. The chief turns to the man now squatting next to the group and hits him across the face.

“You have a fucking injured man here who can still be saved! You treat him now!” The chief yells at the paramedic. The paramedic lifts up the father’s shirt showing the bruised chest, he gasps lightly as he is shocked by the wounds. He continues to look at the arms and legs’ noticing much of the man’s body is severally bruised.  He puts a stethoscope to his chest for 10 seconds before removing it.

“Damn it he has serious wounds, his heart rhythm is erratic! I’ve never seen so much damage before in my life.” The paramedic says.  The crew of firemen looks at the paramedic, their faces grim at hearing that.

“I have. Only in war though.” The chief responds. He looks around pointing to two firemen before continuing. “You and you, load him into the ambulance. Get to the driver’s seat from the passenger door. You hit reverse and floor it. You have to get him to a hospital as soon as possible.” The paramedic grabs the father’s legs and one of the firemen grabs his arms. The second fireman runs to the back of the ambulance opening the doors. The two pick up the man hauling him to the back as fast as possible. The other fireman pulls the stretcher out of the ambulance and sends it rolling down the road and out of the way. They lift the man directly onto the floor. The paramedic jumps in with the firemen as the second runs to the front and gets into the cab. The tires squeal as the fireman pounds his foot on the gas pedal. The ambulance lurches backwards rapidly. The remaining firefighters sit and watch it fade into the distance.

“Sorry boys, I let our best escape route leave without us.” The chief says looking around. Realizing only two of his firemen were still around him. He peeks out to the right of the truck to where his other man was sitting behind the engine of the father’s car.  The chief sighs closing his eyes in heartbreak. The fireman who had been hiding behind the car now lay on the sidewalk not moving.

“Chief?” The other fireman next to him asks.

“He’s dead.” The chief replies. The three lean up against the back of the fire engine tears pouring down their faces.

 

 

Chapter 2.2 – Overwhelmed

 

The smoke rises.

“Waiting is so boring.” Amelia says still standing in front of Jason

“It’s almost over, then you get to make them pay, isn’t that good enough?” Jason says, the dust and debris swirling around the two, their shielding keeping it from reaching them.

“The soldiers are here.” Amelia says her head turned to the right looking at the dust behind her. Even though she cannot see the drop pods or soldiers, she can feel their presence. The black pods hit the ground creating small craters. five doors on the pods snaps up rigidly. The doors eject out from the drop pods in quick succession. The long history of programming on the pods insured that each door would not hit each other as they flew through the sky. The doors spin sideways as latches on the inside of the door release allowing a flap to spring open. As the side hits the ground the flap prevents them from falling flat. The three feet wide doors now sit on the asphalt creating three foot high barriers made of metal capable of withstanding the heat of atmospheric reentry and impact into the ground. As the doors finally come to rest on the asphalt, straps securing the soldiers release and high powered air jets propel them out of the drop pods and several feet forward onto the asphalt. The soldiers land on the asphalt several feet short of the barriers. Using their training they quickly drop to a roll then up to a kneeling position putting them right behind the barriers.  The soldiers facing away from the boy and girl move to opposite cover so they can face them. The 20 soldiers now sit waiting behind their barriers. The commander looks up seeing the second volley of fire from the Nexus falling quick towards the same impact site.

“Impact!” The commander yells while hitting a switch on his belt. The shield generators Jegara had installed in the drop pods activate. The shield spreads out just barely covering the barriers the soldiers hide behind.  The red balls of energy impact two seconds later. The heat, concussion, and debris from the explosion hit the shield causing it to buzz wildly as excess heat and dirt is deflected away.  Even though it is protocol to deploy this close to bombardment zones for attack, the explosion from the impact of the energy rounds causes serious strain on the drop pod generators. The commander looks around at the fields buzzing.  He shakes his head in annoyance. The shield generators have been an invaluable tool in defeating higher power users. Now his team would have to do with only half the power.

“Drop pods!” The command eight yells out. The commander looks up to see four more pods heading in their direction. He fumbles with his belt controls to get the shields down in time. The generators turn off in time for the pods to come down in between the other four pods the soldiers had deployed with.  The impacts are hard, shaking the ground; several men kneeling are knocked onto their back from the concussion. The asphalt around the impact bends and bows outwards from the locations. The dust from the other four pods hitting is blown away quickly from the heat of the explosion that is no longer being blocked by the shields. The smoke and dust quickly move into the area. The soldiers look around hoping they don’t get taken advantage of with their shield system now turned off. They breath in the smoke from the melting asphalt choking some of the newer soldiers. The intense heat begins to cause many of the soldiers to start sweating. The doors from the four pods begin opening much more slowly than the soldier’s pods.

“Get down!” The commander yells.  The soldiers fall to their stomachs as the doors reach max height. The doors jettison from the pods again flying out to form barriers. The four pods had been positioned with targeting computers to enable the doors to be jettisoned to fill holes in the soldiers’ defense line.  Several of the doors nearly hit and land on various soldiers. Two small beeps sound through the commander’s helmet. Surprise flashes over the commander’s face before he looks down to see the generators from the new pods were still fully charged and hooked into the other four drop pods and ready to offer full shielding.  The commander reaches down hitting the shielding button. The shields activate blocking the heat and dust again. As the air in the shield bubble begins to filter out the technicians appear from the pods, rifles in hand. The white technician suits contrast to the black and green armor. Many of the technicians shake from the adrenaline of the ride in the drop pod and being pushed out into a possible combat situation.

“Get to your barrier!” The command eight yells snapping the group of technicians out of their daze. The technicians look around, able to finally see the barriers through the haze that was slowly clearing from the shielded area.  They run to open segments of the barriers, kneeling down and looking out of the shield their training finally catching up to them. A minute passes as the commander flips with the command module on his waist trying to get a complete linkup between his squads and the technicians that are to support them. As the smoke begins to clear outside the shield the commander is able to get all of the helmets to link up. The commander begins to bark out orders to the technicians assigning them to fire support of the five squads.

“Remember soldiers we are to survive as long as possible! We have to kill them or hold them off until reinforcements arrive. They are fresh users, their power won’t be solidified so they can be overpowered, remember your training and we’ll all go back home as soon as we’re done here.” The commander says finishing his orders. He goes back to kneeling pointing his rifle back out to where the two had been standing.

“Very well, this is getting boring.” Jason says his voice coming through to the Coalition forces. Amelia steps forward their bodies almost touching. Jason raises his left hand past Amelia. Orbs materialize into sight being pulled into the palm of his hand swirling together. More energy gathers steadily into his hand forming a swirling ball, the energy continues to condense tighter into the ball. Several seconds pass before Jason is satisfied with the energy he has gathered, he manipulates the energy to form the element he wants. He releases control, the energy changing in to air. The ball of air now hundreds of times more condense then the surrounding air pressure expands rapidly. The initial concussion shoots the dust and smoke away from the two for several yards.  A second later the tension of the sphere gives way creating a wall of air gusting out at 40 miles per hour. The dust, smoke, and heat from the explosion are cleared from the area quickly. The soldiers look around in amazement and horror as the last of the sphere fizzles out before disappearing. The smoke and dirt clouds that could have been used against the two were now gone only leaving them more traditional battle tactics.

“Under galactic law of the coalition, you are to surrender.” The commander yells. The line of soldiers and technicians train their weapons on to Jason and Amelia.  Amelia steps to the right of Jason, putting her hand onto Jason’s shoulder using it like a top; walking to the right of him and then behind him.

“I told you to leave didn’t I? I gave you a chance to live, don’t regret your decision.” Jason responds, a thin smile showing the obvious superiority he felt over the soldiers in front of him.  The commander’s heart beats quicker reinforcing his feeling that something was very wrong. The confidence this boy exudes is far beyond what even a normal gold would have against a commando unit.  Amelia now standing behind Jason looks over his left shoulder at the squad, smiling briefly she lets go of Jason’s shoulder then fades into the air.

“Engage enemy, configuration I one.” The commander yells his voice frantic and easily showing his fear in the face of these two opponents. The central group of twenty begins firing at Jason, while the remaining men begin firing erratically at surroundings attempting to hit Amelia and pull her out of stealth. The shield Jason has up easily blocks the energy ammunition the Coalition forces use.  Holding out his right hand Jason begins pulling in more energy into his palm. The energy spheres condense slowly interlocking until it forms a five inch cube. The commander notices the energy flowing and predicts what Jason is planning.

“Squad one and five flank target!” The commander orders while hitting several buttons on his belt. The shielding that had protected the two squads on the far left and right edges turns off. The hum of the generators slows then speeds back up as they turn back on with smaller denser fields, reinforcing the other shield. Jason smirks knowing the commander had seen through to what he was going to use. Jason finishes pulling in energy to form the cube. He raises his left hand, the cube changing to a solid deep black material. He claps his hands in front of him; the cube disappearing. The commander looks around trying to find where it would reappear before realizing it was above. He looks up seeing the 30 by 30 foot cube falling from the sky. The strengthened shields buzz loudly as the cube comes in contact with it.

The two squads run frantically to the left and right of Jason hoping to get to a firing location that isn’t protected by his shielding. Squad five gets to a row of debris remaining from the house to the left of Jason. The four soldiers fire as soon as they get behind the cover. The technicians kneel down several feet behind the soldiers, guarding them from an attack from behind. The energy rounds from the squad still hit his shield as squad one setups behind debris on the opposite side of the street before opening fire to the same conclusion. The squad leader pulls out a fragment grenade and hurls it behind Jason. The two squads hold their fire until it goes off.  The concussion explosion causes dozens of fragments to fly in all directions at high speed. The two squads hide behind their cover. Loud thuds from the fragments hitting the debris letting the two squads know they can stand back up. They rise quickly hoping to see the wounded Jason lying on the pavement. He stands there looking slightly amused, the grenade fragments still hovering in air, stopped by his shielding.

“It’s a royal class shield.” The leader of squad five says into his helmet.

“Everyone fire! He can’t keep it up for more than a sixth of a micro-cycle.” The Commander orders. The two squads stay in position to the left and right of Jason firing continuously at him. They continue to fire but realize after 12 seconds had passed that the shield wasn’t going down or even weakening.

“The golden crown of power is genuine, how can this be?” The leader of squad five says out loud, but the sounds of the weapons discharging nearly drown him out.

“Telling you would be pointless, you’ll be dead soon.” Amelia says her voice revealing a tone of arrogant hatred; the invisibility fading distorting her body as she becomes visible.  The four soldiers had concentrated on facing Jason that they hadn’t been able to pick up her power meanwhile the technician’s years of rusting training had prevented them from detecting her even as she now stood in the center of the whole squad. Amelia stood upright, the golden circle spinning above her head brightly. The soldiers break their concentration on Jason, finally sensing her power. They turn their heads to see her but are unable to turn their bodies to react. With hands clasped in front of her chest energy swirls around her hands. Opening her hands the energy swarms between covering her hands in silver glossed metal then extending forward in a sharp silver blade glowing lightly red.  Amelia puts her right leg forward along with her right arm, hunching a bit before moving her left arm upward.  The squad leader realizes instantly she is using the rarest of Moki fighting stances.

“No!” The leader yells out. Amelia spins to her left, her right hand jetting slightly forward. The blade on the right hand glows bright red for a split second, expanding a yard in length cutting through the armor and into the chest of the technician to the furthest right. The blade retracts before the technician even feels what has happened.  The man’s heart stops from the damage, his body going limp.  Amelia’s left hand moves behind her head pointing to the furthest right soldier piercing him in the chest. The blade stays in longer cutting the soldiers heart and part of his lung.  She brings her left hand back over her head swinging it down expanding it to slice the middle technician. Her right hand moves to her left shoulder generating a shield facing the soldiers. The third technician tries to turn around to see what the yelling was about but is unable to see Amelia before she cuts him in half at the waist.  The three soldiers are able to get their guns facing her to open fire but the shield Amelia had generated easily stops the energy rounds. Holding her right hand in front of the soldiers, she continues to spin until her left hand reaches the squad leader.

Fear grips him tightly seeing the hand reach him, he thrusts backwards but is stopped by the debris they had used as cover. He bends backwards over the debris shocked by it. The leader see’s the blade clearly as she points it at him. The top covering her hand is stamped with a flicker of flame. The blade expands cutting into his chest, he groans collapsing down to lean against the debris. His breathing slows as the blade had dealt a large amount of damage to his lungs. A burning pain seems to fill his body. He sits unable to say anything as Amelia disappears for a split second then appears in front of the remaining two soldiers, both of her blades buried in their chests all the way to her hands. The leader begins to lose consciousness, the final sound he hears is the bodies of the two soldiers hitting the ground.

The Nexus swoops down, firing several powerful rounds near where Amelia is standing.  The rounds explode in front of her, the final one hitting directly. The red energy was far weaker than those that had rained down from orbit. she reaches up grabbing the second blast before it can impact she manipulates it, stopping it from exploding. Looking across the street to squad one she hurls the ball across. The soldiers turn to run but the ball regains it’s original speed hitting the entire group killing the soldiers and technicians instantly. The remaining squads split their firing attempting to prevent Amelia from slipping back into stealth.  The loud buzzing of the shield begins to let up as the black block disintegrates. The metal and blades around Amelia’s hands disintegrate as she begins to walk towards the group, her shield stopping the weapons fire coming towards her. The squad changes to flechette rifles as Jason begins to walk towards the group as well.

Sirens can be heard coming up the street, several police cars stop 30 feet from the rear of the drop pods, police and swat officers getting out and pointing their weapons on the coalition forces.

“Drop your weapons and walk towards us with your hands up!” One of the police orders over loud speaker.

“Technicians, deal with them before the shielding fails and they become a nuisance.” The commander orders. The remaining nine technicians run to the rear of the shielded drop pods and open fire on the police. The police return fire, but the shield easily stops the more primitive weapons. The police spread out hoping to lower casualties but proves useless as the weapons the technicians use easily go through the metal cars and any other object they attempt to hide behind to give them a chance.  The Nexus flies over strafing the street leading up to the police cars. The energy from the Nexus weapons easily puts 15 feet holes into the street preventing further cars from reaching, or the police from retreating.

Jason holds his right arm out palm up, gathering energy into a ball.  The ball forms quickly to four inches wide. The Nexus turns around coming behind Jason. Several energy rounds fire from the Nexus hitting behind and around Jason, the dust surrounds him making it impossible to see where he is. As the Nexus flies over Jason thrusts his arm up; three fire balls eject from the orb at incredible speed. The first impacts the starboard side of the ship, the second hitting the shields causing them to buzz, and the third hitting to the rear port side going through a gap in the shielding and breaking through the armor plating. The Nexus continues to fly straight, finishing its run firing and destroying the line of police cars killing anyone still standing near them.

Alarms buzz loudly in the Nexus as a damage display comes up at the front of the bridge. Red dots highlight where the two fireballs had slipped through the shields and hit the armor plating. The ship display flips to highlight the rear of the ship showing where the fireball had impacted and burned through the armor and exploded into a rear compartment. The captain’s eyes go wide as he realizes which compartment was hit.

“Aneath!” The captain shouts into the com. Cora sets a course away from the battlefield before looking back at the captain still sitting in his chair, his mouth hanging open. No response came back. A secondary screen activates next to the main display of the damaged sections. The screen displays a line stating it contains the status of the current crew. Four lines appear below the description. Command 3 Aneath Bilgorean – KIA, the screen displays, a faded grey line highlighting the text. The captain pounds his hand into the chair.

“Turn us around; we still need to support the ground troops.” The captain says. Cora enters new orders into the ship to turn it around and start a strafing run against their two enemies. As the ship arcs back towards the battle Cora activates a second console and directs fire support to it. He set the computer to utilize auto targeting systems. Cora realizes the system was slower and would be less accurate against gate users then Aneath’s training but it would have to do.

Jason is half way to the drop pods when the Nexus flies back over firing a large barrage of weapons fire into his rear shielding. Jason turns throwing several fireballs at the ship but Cora is able to pilot the ship away from the fireballs before they can catch up. Seeing his attention divided the ground commander waves for three soldiers to follow him. The squad of men surge past the shield and into melee range with Jason.

“You think me weak at melee because you haven’t seen me resort to it. You would be mistaken.” Jason says his back still turned to the four men as they fire their flechette rifles at close range while thrusting them forward hoping to cut him with the bayonets fixed to the front of the guns. As the edge of the bayonets hit the royal shield Jason is still projecting the four run into the end of their guns, pressing against their chest armor putting more pressure forward. Jason smirks as he looks back over his right shoulder. Black energy quickly swirls around his feet before he teleports two feet to his left.  The three soldiers he had been standing in front of fall forward after the teleport. Jason grabs the forth soldiers weapon keeping it facing forward. Energy swarms around his right arm materializing a polished straight sword, the move was so quick the soldier didn’t even see the energy before the sword was plunged into his side through a weak point in his armor.

The other three soldiers regain their stance, turning to see the forth soldier slump to the ground, the sword disintegrating inside the wound. The commander waves his right arm signaling one of the soldiers to flank right and open fire. The closest of the three soldiers’ charges forward to keep up the pressure on Jason.  The commander ducks behind the charging soldier then sprints to the left side leaving Jason no area for cover. The commander and soldiers open fire, refusing to allow Jason time to rest. The middle soldier lunges forward as he gets to melee range, the bayonet on the flechette rifle flying over Jason as he ducks with arms spread wide. Jason reaches up grabbing the middle of the gun with his left hand, swinging his right arm up toward the soldier’s chest. As his fist arcs toward the soldier energy gathers around it swirling wildly. Jason’s punch hits the chest armor, the energy flowing around his arm continues going forward through the soldier’s armor and body. Jason activates the energy. The energy changes to fire inside and behind the man. He lets out a howl from the pain but it only lasts a few seconds before the fire in his body destroys his organs killing him.

The soldier falls forward landing on his knees. Jason grabs him keeping his body straight as he moves to the left using the body as a shield from the commander’s weapons fire. As Jason steps out of sight of the commander black energy swirls around Jason’s feet. The commander becomes frantic as he can see the black energy. The other soldier is unable to defend himself as Jason is suddenly standing in front of him, his gun and arm pushed to the side. Grunting in pain the soldier is able to look down and see the straight sword Jason had materialized sticking out of his chest. Jason lets go of the sword causing the soldier to fall backwards.

Realizing he was no match the commander raises his hand using the Farasha disruption ability, the one thing they have to counter gate users. The black energy around Jason’s feet disappears giving the commander a minute to regroup with his soldiers before he can use it again. The commander’s ability to sense the gate is also disrupted causing a deep sense of darkness around as the world of the gate disappears from his consciousness.  He hopes he could make the shielding before Jason would be able to hit him with any other ranged attack. With a good distance between him and Jason and no way for Jason to gain the distance quickly the commander turns to make a run for the drop pod shields.

The commander stops. Standing there he looks on in horror at the drop pods. In all the attempts to overpower Jason he had missed the fighting that Amelia had done after slipping into the shielded area. He looks around the shielded area seeing the technicians and soldiers strewn around the ground. Only three soldiers are still alive to fight Amelia. He stands and watches in slow motion as the remaining three soldiers fire wildly at Amelia as she dodges, using elemental fist attacks, and materialized weapons to dismember and kill the remaining soldiers.  As the last of the soldiers fall dead Amelia twirls around, her arm generating a blade which cuts through the armor and destroys the shield modules on the drop pods. She comes to a stop facing the commander as the last of the shield buzzing ends. The commander notices his heavy breathing, the sizzle and crackle of the surrounding fires.  Amelia walks towards him, but the sound the commander hears most of all are the dreadful sound of Jason’s footsteps closing behind him.

The Nexus swoops down ready to fire as the captain watches on as their two enemies slowly walk toward the ground commander who sits motionless.  The sound of the engine roar muffles the footsteps but the commander does not move.

“Fire everything you can!” The Captain yells. Cora presses several buttons initiating the attack, but the ship shudders as the screen displays Amelia holding her hand up. Several fireballs fire from the energy in her hand at the ship. Cora manipulates the controls missing most of the fireballs coming at them. The quick jerking of the ship causes the screen to lose sight of the ground. As the fireballs miss weak points and land against shielding the targeting cameras re-acquire the two. Jason stands still, his left hand raised up in the direction of the ship, white energy swirling in his hand. The captain stands up suddenly.

“No!” He screams out, but Cora is unable to adjust in time before the energy condenses. The high energy expands into a ten foot diameter beam of destruction. It arcs downwards through the ship, slicing through the starboard side of the bridge and across one of the forward guns. The ship rocks as a secondary explosion causes the ship to lose all forward momentum. The captain is thrown to the port side of the bridge. He lands on the floor sliding into the wall. Looking over he already knows that the station Cora had been standing at was at the center of the beam.

“Captain?” Jegara comes through the communication speaker.

“Cora’s gone.” The captain says his face filled with anguish and defeat.

“We’re not moving, we could die!” Jegara screams. The captain stands up not responding to Jegara.  The screen flickers back on showing the street below to the captain. The captain watches as Jason turns the commander around hitting him in the chest. The commander collapses landing face first on the ground. The two look up at the ship.

“We warned you. Is this what you wanted?” Jason says waving at the carnage on the ground. The captain walks to the hole in the front of his bridge. The Nexus hovers over where the drop pods had landed.

“Come on! If you tell them that, they won’t bring their fleets, we could end their whole military!” Amelia says facing Jason, anger covering her face.

“Isn’t your bloodlust sated?” Jason replies looking at her. She furls her eyebrows disapprovingly at the reply.

“Captain, go. Leave. Tell them to never come back to this system. Not if they know what is good for them.” Jason says looking back up at the captain still standing in the opening of the bridge. The captain lowers his head, turning and walking to the rear door. The door opens slowly. The creaks from the damage resonate throughout the ship. The captain walks through the main corridor finally standing at the engine room. He keys in a code on the 25 button key pad at the right of the door. It slides open showing Jegara still standing at the engine console next to the core.  The captain takes a step into the room, letting the door shut behind him.

“Captain?” Jegara asks, the fear of death still showing on his face

“Jettison any damaged module possible. Then engage engines to full.” The captain orders, his voice flat from the defeat.

“Aneath’s body is in one of those sections!” Jegara yells as the captain walks to a control console at the power core.

“His body or saving the lives of the fleet?” The captain says raising his voice. Jegara looks back at the captain pain filling his face. He taps the console rapidly causing much of the damaged portions of the ship to break loose and fall to the ground amid many of the bodies that had been the ground commando unit and ship technicians.

“All ship control routed to engine compartment.” A computerized voice sounds through the speakers. A second later the engines engage to full pushing the craft past the two standing on the ground and high into the air. The shielding is reengaged to full power, drawing energy from support systems from area’s outside the engine. Just a minute later the craft blasts out of the atmosphere.

“What is the Course captain?” Jegara asks standing upright at his station, trying to hide the flood of emotion.

“The approaching fleet. Maximum speed possible.” The captain says, not looking up from the console. After Jegara finishes the course he peers over at the captain’s console to see several notes on the screen and a report.

“They pose the greatest threat to the coalition since the Neerkin.” The top line says, the name Neerkin instantly causes images of the armored suits Jegara had seen in photos and videos to pop into his head. They had been an unknown and unmerciful foe that had driven back the expansion of the Coalition nearly 300 cycles prior.

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