“AC-44 to sector 9-1-1-4-6!” Captain Trapp shouted on board The Manipulator’s bridge and the gunner fired in the direction he had been commanded.
“Sir, The Calm Before The Storm’s shields are faltering!” a pilot shouted up to Trapp who was stood on the catwalk.
The dead bodies had been cleared up and been taken away but the smell of flesh and blood still lingered in the air.
Out in space, Silver and his squad of bombers blasted their way through an onslaught of F.I.S. fighters as they came in low over the sister ship to the F.I.S.’s flagship.
“Bombs away, boys.” He commanded and once more the bombs began to fall. They exploded against the shield and the ships carried on flying.
“Go for the shield generator.” Instructed Silver and they all banked left, heading towards the rear of the cruiser. “Proton torpedoes ready.”
The squad rolled right and dropped down to the underside of the ship. There ahead of them was the shield generator. “Fire at will.” Said Silver and missiles streaked ahead of them. The numerous torpedoes exploded against the generator and under the sheer bombardment, the shield faltered and visually flickered.
“Come in for another pass.” Silver said as he zoomed past the generator and began to bank around for another run at it. “Fire at will.” He repeated and once more they bombarded the generator with missiles and this time the shield flickered even more.
Silver spotted a gap in the shield and in a clever maneuver spun his ship in a barrel roll, releasing a bomb in the direction of the generator as he did so.
“Steer clear.” He commanded and N-Section flew out of the way as the bomb struck the generator through the gap in the shield.
There was an explosion that was too bright to look at but when the fire dimmed down and the pilots could see again, the generator was alight, a massive hole in it and slowly the cruiser’s shield began to shrink from around it.
“YES!” Silver cried out and there was rejoicing from the rest of the section’s pilots.
The pilots and officers on both of the U.R.S. cruisers were cheering too.
“Concentrate fire on The Calm Before The Storm’s engines!” Trapp shouted. “Fire at will!”
Cannons blared, turrets jolted and laser upon laser streaked towards The Desolation’s sister.
After just a few moments there was a second enormous explosion as The Calm’’s main engines blew up, sending shards of shrapnel shooting off into space or down into the planet’s atmosphere, where they crashed into buildings and caused damage to offices and homes.
Citizens of the planet-wide city gazed up in awe at the events unfolding way above them, still without a clue as to what was truly happening up there.
Without a clue that on board The Desolation, the fight between the leaders of both armies were still battling it out, fiercer than ever, both on the bridge and down in the corridors of the F.I.S.’s capital ship.
Jamie Clift batted aside a swipe from Padfoot, the two second-in-commands dueling it out, just as their masters were on the bridge.
Padfoot attacked again with a lunge at Clift’s left side but Jamie brushed it wide, head-butted the U.R.S. man, who staggered back a few paces, and then Jamie drew his pistol and aimed at the back of Hess’s head as Hess fought against Callum.
But as he pulled the trigger, Padfoot slammed himself into Jamie’s arm and instead of killing Hess; the laser hit the back of his right knee.
He cried out as it buckled and he tumbled to the ground. Callum was confused but still was about to kill his opponent when Padfoot dived at him, Jamie just now recovering.
Nightblaze dodged a slash to his neck but wasn’t so lucky in avoiding Stallion’s boot which caught him square in the chest and sent him flying backwards.
Padfoot and Callum grappled but Padfoot, being the bigger man, was stronger and just managing to lift Callum, spun him into Jamie who was about to attack him from the side.
Preparing to attack, Padfoot braced himself but was suddenly tackled by Stallion and the pair crashed to the ground.
Stallion scrabbled up and with the remainder of the U.R.S. all either momentarily down or preoccupied, began to run. “Come on!” he called to Callum and Jamie who followed suit, knowing they were outnumbered, back up the corridor in the direction from which they’d arrived.
Flare charged after them but Padfoot shouted, “Wait!” as he got up. Falcon and Nightblaze joined them. Padfoot made for Hess who still lay bleeding, but conscious, on the floor.
“Just go!” he shouted at them. “I’ll be fine!”
Padfoot hesitated for a moment but then nodded at their injured comrade and began following the fleeing F.I.S.. Flare, Falcon and Nightblaze went with him and Nightblaze called back to Hess as they left, “We’ll be back for you!” Hess flapped his arm at them, his other clutching his wound, urging them on and once they had rounded the corner and were out of sight, lay back on the ground in deep pain. Alone, his thoughts wandered between wondering how the battle was going elsewhere and if or not he was going to survive.
Iadsgb and Fixer had recovered from Blast’s sudden escape and now the three of them were dueling, Iadsgb now with a split lip and a black eye to mach the cut on his forehead. Iadsgb ducked beneath a swipe from Blast who then spun around and block Fixer’s lunge. He struck out and knocked Fixer’s blade from his grasp so that he had to dive-roll after it to avoid being killed by R.K..
Iadsgb punched Blast straight in the face as his old friend spun back around to face him and shouted, “Even!” before putting a scar on R.K.’s face with the tip of his viroblade. The strike was meant to decapitate the man but Blast had seen it coming and moved backwards, just not quite enough.
He grasped his face with one hand but realized he wasn’t yet out of danger and looked back at Iadsgb who was preparing another attack.
Blast heard Fixer’s running footsteps behind him and saw that he was wedged between the two men of the F.I.S..
An idea came to his mind but it was risky and might not have worked. He decided to give it a go.
Just as Fixer reached him, Blast neatly sidestepped, predicting that Fixer’s blade would be outstretched, and it was. Fixer’s blade headed straight for Iadsgb’s chest, unable to stop in time but the head of the F.I.S. spotted the danger and brought his green blade around in an arc in front of his body, eyes closed, just hoping for the best. He was in luck. He felt his blade meet Fixer’s and drive it away.
Blast cursed silently. It hadn’t worked. Never mind though, there was no time for being annoyed. He slashed at Fixer’s back as Fixer stumbled forwards past Iadsgb from the force of Iadsgb’s block, but the attack missed and now he was face to face with Iadsgb once more.
They exchanged a few more blows, moving around in a circle so that now, Iadsgb faced the door.
Just moments later that same door swooshed open and beyond it he could see Stallion approaching, followed by Jamie and Callum.
Blast heard the door open but could do nothing about it; it would surely be reinforcements. He blocked Iadsgb’s lightsaber and then with a hidden hand gesture, knocked the approaching Fixer backwards into a control panel with the force.
Suddenly a shimmering blue, semi-transparent haze appeared across the doorway and Stallion had to skid to a stop to avoid running into it. He knocked his blade against it, testing it and his suspicions that it was a forcefield were proved right as his blade bounced back off of it.
Through the shield Stallion, Jamie and Callum, unable to go any further, could see Iadsgb and Blast dueling it out on the bridge’s catwalk. Fixer recovered and ran back to join the fray.
There were footsteps behind them and the three F.I.S. leaders turned around to find Padfoot, Flare, Falcon and Nightblaze advancing on them.
Four on three, Callum realized. Not brilliant but Stallion was the biggest of them all and was strong. Hopefully that would be enough.
A jolt rocked the F.I.S. flagship and the lights in the corridor flickered. The four members of the U.R.S. spotted the forcefield ahead of them and knowing that their enemy was trapped between it and themselves, they slowed their run into a walk. Not a dawdle, but a ‘we meet again’, type of walk.
The F.I.S. up ahead readied themselves, not moving from where they stood, ready for a standoff.
BUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? FIND OUT IN PART 24! COMING FRIDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER!
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