Nah, definitely a hobby, for now. I'm trying to become better enough, to publish something myself.
I'll continue with the next part, not without giving some new "alien" terms.
Rei'kan - type of Auvelian warship, their equivalent of destroyer.
Supercarrier - type of Auvelian warship, the greatest vessels in their fleet, that can serve as a fightercraft carriers, as well as land troops carriers, basically mobile star bases.
Pioneer Fleet - under this nice and politically proper name (that does not argue with the regulations of the Sthresian Code) hides something, that is in fact an invasion fleet. There is only one such unit in whole Sthresian fleet, and its core are fifty Nevair-class invasion/colonization vessels.
Kadelin - Sthresian weight measurement unit, equal to about 0,9 kg
Anurel - Sthresian child play
AUVELIAN-ILDAN CITADEL ‘VEILAR’
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ALLIANCE COMMAND ON IGNAR IV
Priest Dar’endei was taking his honorable place on the war conference, sensing the tension among the members of the meeting. A few of high rank En’emua officers and Ildan generals were forming, along with their places and the elevation taken by priest, a circle wrapped around the three-dimensional display. The latter was engineered by two clone technicians at Dar’endei’s side and showing planet of Ignar IV in the real time right now.
"Please refer the matter, gentlemen" said the priest "Any new data?"
"Priest, we have bad news" one of Auvelian En’emua came to voice "The situation seems to be much more serious than we predicted. Unfortunately, we didn’t expect such attack on Ignar IV."
"What are the data from recon units?" asked Dar’endei
"Sthresians have revealed and destroyed most of the spy probes, scanning the terrain from high orbit" announced Auvelian grimly, to add with more optimistic tone after a while "However, a part of them survived, and data gathered by us are showing quite clear view of the situation."
"How do we measure the numbers of the hostile forces?"
"It is beyond the possibilities of our defence" said Ildan general Amdurn, pointing the glance of his red eyes at Dar’endei "They have enough units to destroy our forces and hold the permanent garrison."
"Their fleet still has no access to main orbital installations for now" said another Auvelian "But it’s only a matter of time. From what we know, hostile ground forces are moving even now. One of their offensives is heading towards Ruvania."
"General Amdurn?" Dar’endei turned to Ildan "This is one of our most critical positions. Can you ensure its maintaining?"
"Yes, priest. I have brought two additional legions there, gathering most of the forces available to me. There are even our robot units. I have formulated the strategy already. If Sthresians attack frontally, their forces will be ambushed."
"What are the other regions of the attack?" Dar’endei spoke to the public again, observing the globe of Ignar IV right now
"Farnae Highland" said another officer of En’emua "We have an entire plantation complex, producing most of the food supply for the colony. They can cut us off from our vital supplies, and Farnae, as I presume, will be only the beginning."
"Can we use our fleet for defence of this space?" asked the priest "We still have around fifty warships at our disposal, half of which are Rei’kans."
"That is correct, priest, and that includes two supercarriers full of fighters, number of the latter ones is around six hundred issues" confirmed the officer "But that is still too little against the Sthresian fleet, with its advantage in numbers. Moreover, we cannot support out fleet, because Farnae is at the borders of our planetary cannons’ range."
"What are local reserves there?"
"Insignificant. But we may still use forces remaining in Veilar."
"If we hold off the Sthresian attacks on Ruvania and Farnae..."
"Even if it happens, they have enough forces for another attack" Amdurn cut in with pressure suddenly "And then another one. They have brought a huge army here, I think they assigned a few vessels from their Pioneer Fleet to it."
"I have made contact with Council of the Coalition already" announced Dar’endei soothingly "Our expeditionary force is almost ready. Not one tenth of the solar circulation will pass, before they will arrive on Ignar IV."
"Till then, we will be dead already, priest" Amdurn still was not losing Dar’endei from his sight "If Sthresians will strike as fast, as they did on Akios, a few days will be fully sufficient for them to completely destroy our forces. This war we cannot win."
All present looked at Ildan, surprised with his pesimistic tone. Their situation seemed grave, of course, but nothing should have been overjudged already.
"What decision will you make, priest?" asked the general
"You need to move all reserves available to Ruvania and Farnae, and organize defence in those regions. Do this immediately. Remaining fleet and skeleton crew will be maintained on stations. We need to hold those two regions as long, as it is possible. Those reptiles will not dare continueing their offensive, before they seize them."
"The fleet is to remain in reserve?" asked Teu’aden, En’emua in direct charge of warships on Ignar IV"
"Yes. We cannot afford to lose it, especially that it may be of use to us. Remain on stations, but be ready in case you are called."
Dar’endei paused for a moment, to asked after a while:
"What do you have more to report, gentlemen?"
Members of the meeting looked at themselves, but noone else spoke.
"You know your directives and our priorities" announced the priest "Sthresian attacks are to be stopped at all cost, until reinforcements will arrive. Only when it happens, we will be able to force those lizards off Ignar IV. For now though, it is vital to maintain proper defence. You will focus forces assigned to you at Ruvania and Farnae, as well as other vital regions. There is no doubt, that Sthresians will strike at them primarily."
Priest started from his place.
"Well, it seems that is all for today, gentlemen" he said loudly "As our enemy has commenced his attacks recently, I insist on taking action immediately."
All officers began leaving the room. Only Amdurn remained inside, closing to Dar’endei. Auvelian met him with smile, hidden under mask. They both knew each other for ten years – exactly the time their races fought for Akios. They were both members of noble families in their societies. They were conservatists due to that – to Dar’endei, the vision of Sthresian or Terran society, where all were equal by law, and ordinary citizens were accessed to fulfill governmental functions, was something unimaginable. Amdurn had similar opinion in this matter.
"Current situation does not fill you with optimism, am I right?" asked the priest
"I would be surprised if you did not notice that" replied Ildan, crossing the olive-green arms at his chest "In my opinion, our situation is hopeless."
"We have not lost yet, my friend. You do not need to fill yourseld with this useless pesimism, as it neither will help you, nor anyone of us."
"You are right as usual" sighed Amdurn "I sow defetism unnecessarily."
"Do not exaggerate. I understand you fully."
"You know, I am worried about…"
"Do not blame yourself for it. You could not predict, how will this war result."
Amdurn was talking about his female partner, who went to Ignar IV with him, when he was sent there. She currently lived in one of cities situated on the planet, and since the landing of Sthresian forces, Ildan was very worried about her life, even more, that about himself.
"Well, I thought then, that we will be the witnesses of our common, great victory, didn’t I?"
"Me too. The more I think, that it is not you, who should be blamed."
Dar’endei believed, that in this matter it was necessary to pay attention to the fact, what were the moods in Auvelian and Ildan military circles, when they successfully began their invasion on Akios. The allied were convinced that they will be able to deliver to Sthresians their first major defeat in this war, forcing them to compromise. Even the lengthening of the conflict brought only beliefs, that lizards will become exhausted in time, and finally brought to their knees. Instead, reptiles slaughtered the allies’ forces, and then they continued their march, attacking the latters’ own territory.
"Maybe you are worried unnecessarily" concluded the priest "Sthresians avoid the attacks on civilian objects. This is at least forbidden by that code of theirs."
"Their code was supposingly forbidding attacks on alien worlds as well. If it is so, then they have just broken it. If they lacked the honor once, they may lack it again."
"We might have presumed, that they will do it finally, my dear friend" replied Dar’endei calmly "They were always defending themselves only, so we thought that they are unable to attack, but they eventually changed their tactics."
"Hope they will not change it permanently" said Amdurn grimly "I must leave you, my friend. As you well know, I must overwatch the defence in Ruvania."
"Good luck" said Dar’endei before leaving
ILDAN CONTROL NODE 2177 ‘RUVANIA’
LEVEL TWO / GENERATOR 10D
"Done" announced Dainer, when lights in the room turned on "Now they can’t get in here, and we can’t get out."
"How long will we manage to stay put?" asked Sazeli
"Forever, theoretically" assassin shrugged his shoulders, moving away from the generator’s terminal "They won’t come in here through door, because they are that resistant, that even explosive charges wouldn’t deal with them easily. There’s poor ventilation in here, but on the other hand, it means, that they won’t get in here through shafts."
"So why theoretically?"
"You should know, karisu" replied Dainer grimly "In about three alits nothing will remain of this base."
"It means, that we may only wait here for death, at the hands of those savashka, or in explosion" said Azaen "That’s bloody consoling."
Sazeli turned away from the assassin, overviewing his soldiers. All were obviously filled with the feeling of hopelessness. Nobody spoke a word, nobody showed any emotion. There were even neither fear, nor anxiety caused by their situation. Indifference only, as if they did not care any more, how is this going to end, like if they were willing to have all this behind them, no matter how it will end.
Most of the room was filled with big generator, consisting of few segments. Akirni, however, sat on the armours of technical droids – folded, deactivated and put in a row by one of the walls, while Veranius managed to lay heavily wounded Igaten on the control panel. At the moment, he was trying to aid him with medical assistance.
"We could blow ourselves up along with this base" ascertained Azaen "However, the problem is that we’ve lost the detonator along with Idaren" faze made a snort, that did not sound like laughter at all
"So why don’t we just wait, until we buy it" said Ekreva "I’d rather stay with all those nice guys, and send back to Kagar more of them."
"And instead of it, we wait for the execution on this pile of metal" growled Azaen
"Shut up, I’m thinkin’" said Sazeli, silently, yet resolutely
"He’s thinkin’…" this time Azaen’s face was lightened up with silly smile "You know, Sazeli, I’m perfectly aware, that they’ve put a kadelin of wires, but when you revealed me you that, you spoke nothing about the brain. So please let me not hopping of joy…"
"Shut up, faze!" roared karisu "Shut up, all of you! We’re still alive, to the blood of Feomar! They haven’t got us yet! Until we won’t chew the soil, we won’t put our weapons down! And if there is any way to make it back on our ship, we’ll find it! Understood?"
After this short tirade, Sazeli regained control of himself instantly, watching grim, untouched faces of his subordinates. Causing disturbances in such situation could not lead to anything good. He took a few deep breaths.
"Dainer, can you determine the location and status of the hostiles?" he asked with controlled voice
Assassin hemmed, getting his computer.
"From the scans of our sensors till now, as well as the devices on the station, it seems, that the monsters combined into few groups" he announed objectively "Most of them is surrounding our position, and it appears, that they were joined by those two, that wiped out Parina’s squad. Three or four are searching the other sectors of the base, supposedly in search of another soldiers. But there ain’t any" finished Dainer pesimistically
"What are their numbers? How many of them are left?"
"I suppose, that four hundred plus" replied assassin after a short pause "We fixed well above half of them, but we won’t deal with the remaining ones."
"Nobody comes in any more" interrupted Azaen impassively "Noone of Parina’s subordinates, which is rather not strange. Worse yet, that neither Kilena answers. It that’s because she’s dead, we won’t get back home, because there’s nobody, who could pilot the dropship."
"It’s worthy trying, we won’t stay here though" started karisu, but the answer was his subordinate’s grim laughter
"Sazeli, you know well, that breaking though back to the ship is almost a miracle" opposed Azaen, shaking with his head "If those bastards did not disarm or destroy the bomb… and I doubt that they are able to do it… we’ll be meeting with Feomar in less that three alits.
Karisu held his hands at his hips, thinking.
"How much ammo do you have left?" he asked
Akirni looked at each other, then made a short equipment overview.
"I have four magazines to AGM-19c yet, and one fuel tank for flamethrower" said Azaen "I’ve already started the latter one.
"I have only pistol bullets left, I’ve exhausted whole ammo for fourty-three" reported Ekreva
"One AGM-43a magazine and four pistol magazines" announced Veranius, moving away from Igaten a bit for a while"
Sazeli sighed, then turned to the assassin.
"Dainer?" he asked with resignation
"Five magazines" answered Astenius immediately "I didn’t take the sniper rifle."
"Forget about it, Sazeli" Azaen came to voice againg "We won’t break through by force. We can still rip out their guts" here faze rose his armoured hand, waving with his razor-sharp claws "But they’ll get us eventually."
"And what if we pass their positions?"
"We won’t manage to" opposed Dainer "They are divided into few groups. Before we do anything, they’ll block our way. They did it earlier."
"If someone would join me... maybe we would buy ourselves some time, in order to enable the others…"
"This has no chances of success" Azaen shoke his head "Even if we separate, there’s enough of them to chase anyone of us."
"So we’ll wait here" said Ekreva, clasping her arms behind her neck "Does anyone fancy playing anurel?"
"I’ll replace Veranius and say instead of him, that you are [starts with "f"]" said Sazeli "We still have some time to get out of this bog."
"Good luck, karisu" responded Ekreva sardonically "We’ll be awaiting orders."
Sazeli rubbed his head with outer side of the hand, with deep sigh, leaning against the wall. There was a grim silence for a long moment. Ekreva and Azaen were still sitting on the droids’ armours, and Dainer walked around with his head hanging down."
"Karisu" loud voice of Veranius broke the silence "I’ve got problem."
Leader looked at his subordinate, coming to him and to Igaten, lying on the provisional operative table. Akirne was unconscious, and medic removed part of his armour, making access to the wound easier.
"What about him?" asked Sazeli
"I won’t hide, that there’s not much time for him left" said Veranius with grave voice "He won’t make it to „Isanturai”, even if we would manage to get back."
"Can’t you help him? You supposedly stopped the bleeding?"
"I’ve clamped his artery, gave him additional stimpacks, including large dose of fenure… but he’s lost too much blood" announced medic "He’ll live only that long, how long will function the drugs I injected into him. Heart won’t make it, there is also the problem with the ictus…"
"For Daerion’s mercy" growled Sazeli, holding tight Veranius’ arm "Do something, in the…"
"I tried!" shouted the medic "I can’t help him! If I had the blood supply for infusion, if I had access to SDE, maybe I’d be ably to save him! But for that, we’d have to get back on „Isanturai” and put him into infirmary!"
Sazeli hanged his head down, barely controlling himself. After a moment he looked at Veranius again, staring straight into his eyes.
"I’m sorry, karisu" said Akirne "He won’t survive."
Lizzord felt a flow of helpless rage. He saw how Igaten falls, deadly wounded, but nevertheless he hoped that his subordinate will manage to pull through. He did not leave him there, he risked his own life, in order to get him out of danger, in order to give him a chance for survival. However, next of his subordinates was dying, and Sazeli could do nothing about it. He made a few steps, muttering curses under his breath, and then stroke hardly with his armoured fist, hitting the cover of one of the generator’s segments. Once. Twice. He stroke it few more times, bending the metal inside, giving vent for his anger, until somebody’s arms pulled him away.
Karisu breathed deeply, and his rage was being slowly replaced by despair.
"Let’s presume, that we will get back" he said silently "Let’s presume, that we will bring him back to the ship. If…"
"There’s no way" Veranius interrupted "He doesn’t have enough time. We may only take his body in order to ensure the proper burial for him."
Sazeli looked at the others, staring at the familiar faces of his battle companions. They experienced much together, each one of them was nearly dead neither one, nor two times. Part of Akirni was new in the squad, and joined it, replacing the fallen ones. There were veterans, as well, such as Azaen, who was getting out of various trouble arm by arm with Sazeli. Ekreva, although karisu thought of her as mad, was gallant warrior, lack of which would surely bring death to her commander a long time ago. She had her charm as well, and her company was pleasant. Veranius, although nasty sometimes, was both brave warrior, and gifted medic, and saved his companions from death many times. Sazeli himself was his patient twice. Dainer? Karisu did not know him, but he already fought along with him for the live of his companions. And mai derian Idaren? He usually played the role of fussy manager, ofter clinging to the regulations too much, but in the critical moment he appeared to be capable of sacrificing himself.
Let Kagar consume me, thought Sazeli, if I will sit here with my arms crossed.
He walked a few steps, dipping in reflexions again, when his look stopped at the technical droids, set by the wall, two of which were serving his subordinates as chairs. Suddenly an idea came to his head. He grinned with confushion, as he wondered, why did he not think about it earlier.
"Silly me" he sighed "Why didn’t it came to me before?"
Errr, never mind...
Let me explain something before I start (this appears in this part):
Inge - a Sthresian slang term, expressing friendship and mutual understanding and trust.
SNNTM - this is an acronym that stands for Severe Nivide Nigate Take Mafaze - Specially Entitled Anti-Terrorist Force. This is an elite Militia faction, that is charged mainly with conter-espionage and termination of enemy terrorist or sabotaging activity, as well as carefully planned military operations.
SNNTM consists of agent cadre (those are detectives that are charged with intelligence and investigation) and commando force (a military arm of SNNTM).
ILDAN CONTROL NODE 2177 ‘RUVANIA’
LEVEL TWO / DOCKS
She was woken up by terrible pain in her leg, soon accompanioned by other one – in the breast. Her ribs were probably damaged, as she suffered with each breath.
Kilena tried to stand up, but she was immediately stopped by next spasm of pain in the left leg. She forced herself to look at it – it was still impaled by the blade of a monster, that currently lied on the floor next to Sthresianess, partially pressing her down. He did not manage to deliver the lethal blow – nevertheless, he still was able to break Kilena’s bone. It seemed, that the same pain, which previously rendered her unconscious, restored her senses now. She was not delighted because of that, though – horrible pain of the leg did not allow it. It seemed to be a miracle, that she did not lose too much blood. Blade dealt serious wound to Kilena, but got stuck in it simultaneously, slowing down the flow of ichor.
However, there was enough of it for Kilena to feel weakened. She would most likely forget about the pain, descending back into darkness. Yet she realized, that she may yet save herself from death, if she would only stop the blood flow. She reached her uniform with her claws, tearing it apart in one move. She torn the material, pulling off long parts of it and entangling them tight over wounded leg. That would probably not save her anyway, but she still had a chance. She tightened the provisorial tourniquet with all strength, hoping that this would be enough, and then caught the blade impaling her leg. She gathered the courage for a while and finally, roaring in pain, pulled the blade out of her limb.
Kilena hissed through set fangs for next few minutes, trying to contain the pain. Then she began to think over her position. How long was she unconscious? The station was still not destroyed, so it could not have been longer than four alits. What was happening through all that time… and how many Akirni survived? If there were any survivors at all, of course. Kilena remembered perfectly, that their situation was grave. If nobody managed to stay alive, there was nothing left for her to do, besides of leaving. She would not be able to do anything anyway. Fortunately, useless left leg did not cause piloting the dropship unable to her.
Kilena gathered strength for next endavour, this time pulling viriner’s body off her. She was still lying on the floor of monitoring center and could check how does the situation look like. She had to stand up, she had to rise herself up at least enough for getting back on chair. It was not easy though. Every move, even the smallest one, caused the tearing pain of ruined leg. Kilena made a few attempts until she rose up at last, clinging to the chair and the edge of the control panel. Helping herself with healthy leg and the tail, she finally got back on her place, where she rested for a moment, sitting with her eyes closed and fangs set. In the end, she looked at the monitors.
She felt confused at the first moment. Situation got worse, of course, while she lied unconscious, and most of the screens, transmitting the views from Akirni’s visors, were now showing nothing more than a static. Part of the squad survived, however – there were still views of six soldiers, including the assassin that accompanioned the team. Surviving Akirni of the highest rank was now karisu Sazeli. Mai derian Idaren was obviously slain during the last ecounter.
Life sings of the survivors were normal, besides of padene Igaten, who was clearly dying. The pulse of the others slowed down, which led Kilena to believe, that they were no longer under the influence of the battle rage, typical for warriors of her race. It meant that the fight was over and soldiers were probably safe. Temporarily safe at least – the bomb’s timer was still ticking and soon – Sthresianess counted, that it would take less than three alits – Ildan base will turn into the pile of space scrap.
This thought triumphed for a moment. Ildan monsters were surely not smart enough to know that the bomb, planted near the core of the station, should be dealt with. It meant, that task was already fulfilled and Kilena could merely ignore the surviving Akirni, leaving them to their death. She was still able to pilot the dropship, so nothing stood in her way if she would decide to leave here and now, returning to „Isanturai” and reporting.
For a moment Kilena though this over very seriously. However, a part of her mind, sculptured by strict honor code, came to voice immediately. Betrayal of her brothers and sisters in arms was something that Feomar would never forgive her. Something that would make her responsible – according to her faith – even in the other world, ruled by the Sthresian draconic deities.
Sense of honor eventually rose above the willingness of saving her own skin. She reached the communicator, that was put away right before the fight with viriner, she put it on her head and then pressed the transmission button.
"Derian Kilena here" she stated objectively "Karisu Sazeli, respond please."
ILDAN CONTROL NODE 2177 ‘RUVANIA’
LEVEL TWO / GENERATOR 10D
"You’ve got to be kiddin’" said Azaen, staring at Sazeli
"That’s not a stupid idea" stated Dainer, rubbing his lower jaw "Probably the only thing, that we can do right now."
Karisu’s escape idea caused the agitation among Akirni, who were imbued with new energy. Although daring, Sazeli’s plan had considerable chances for success. Not to mention they did not have many perspectives left.
Sazeli reminded himself about the station’s security system, deactivated by Dainer at the very beginning of action. Although Parina’s squad terminated most of guardian droids on level two, stationary guns and sentry turrets mounted in walls and ceilings were intact. If assassin activated them again, they would prove useful weapon if properly used, enabling escape to surviving Akirni.
"You’re probably outta your mind, karisu" Azaen added military rank after a short pause "Those guns were to serve the defence of the station, so why would we-"
"Don’t be silly" Sazeli interrupted "If we were able to manipulate all of the base’s systems, why wouldn’t we interfere in security system? That’s possible of course, am I right?" karisu addressed to Dainer
"Theoretically, yes" replied assassin "But it depends on how do you want to use the weaponry of defence system. If as an ally…"
"Can you get this to us?" asked Sazeli with hope in his voice
"I could, but there’s no time for that" said Dainer "Such system has its own programming, part of which determines hostiles identification. I’m sure that right now stationary guns would fire only at us and leave viriners in peace."
"Wouldn’t you manage to setup it, so it would attack them, not us?"
"Like I said, that’s a theory" assassin sighed "I’d have to write new program, which would affect security system as you wish. I could do that, but I need time. And we’re already out of it, as you know."
Sazeli crossed arms on his breast, perfectly aware, that whole squad listens carefully to this conversation.
"So what you can do?" he asked, accenting the pre-latter word
"I can delete part of programs completely" replied Dainer "Turrets will fire at everything that moves then. They will kill us, if we’ll come into their range, but they will kill those bastards as well."
"Better this than nothing" stated karisu
"So we’re free from those savasha, getting bloody guns instead as a company" said Azaen bitterly "Sazeli, this time you’ve cheered me up."
"We can wait here, until guns clean corridors of them" suggested karisu, ignoring faze’s pesimistic tone "Then we’ll go further."
"It won’t be that easy" confronted Dainer "Firstly, I’ve checked the placement of those guns. I didn’t do it too precisely, because it wasn’t important when we were going with that bomb, but I know, that there are parts of corridors that are free of any cannons. Secondly, those bastards are stupid, but I don’t think stupid enough to stay in the corridor long enough to let the gun turn them into chopped meat. They will retreat and wait for us, and then prepare an ambush. I also can’t exclude that they can deal with those guns. Ildans could have given them such information via genetic code, in case this might appear necessary."
Another moment of silence occurred. Escape plan seemed to be the more harder to perform, the more informations Sazeli received. Nevertheless, he clinged to it right now. He saw no other chance of leaving the orbital base.
"So maybe we’ll complicate it a bit for those bastards?" he suggested after a while "We’ll activate the guns one by one."
"What do you mean, one by one?" Dainer rose his hairless eyebrows
"We’ll determine the route of our escape, straight to our ship. As dense of sentry guns, as it is possible. We’ll cooperate, so that we would move from position to position, to those places that were cleared by the turrets once. At the same time, other guns clear other corridors, and we are pressing forward, to destination. We just have to switch on the turrets one by one and switch them off on time, so that they wouldn’y massacre us."
Sazeli still maintained visual contact with assassin, who seemed to be tired and resigned after this speech. That disturbed Akirne.
"You can do so, right?" he asked unsurely
"I can" replied Dainer after a long pause "But I can do this only by station’s terminal. There’s no way I link off it, should I follow your plan. Which means that I can’t run with you. I’ll remain here and die."
Karisu screwed up his jaws. Assassin’s sacrifice could save the live of three or four Akirni, however, leaving him here do die did not seem right. Even if Sazeli could give him proper order – assumig of course, that Dainer would obey. Moreover, karisu was certain that assassin is currently the only one among them capable of piloting the dropship on basic level at least – as Kilena was dead already.
"You don’t want us to leave you here?" asked Sazeli
"Was that a rethorical question?" assassin snorted, to add after a moment "Karisu?"
Akirne was about to enter discussion, that he deeply hated, when suddenly he freezed, having heard known voice in headphone of his intercom.
Feeling as hope returns to him, Akirne pressed the transmission button.
"Karisu Sazeli here" he said with unnecessarily raised voice, giving up official tone after a moment "Kilena, I already thought you’re dead!"
"Yeeah, I thought so too for a while" replied Sthresianess "What is your status?"
"Most of the squad members are down" relationed Sazeli "Mai derian Idaren is dead. There are only six of us left, including Dainer, and we’ve barricaded inside one of generator rooms. To the Feomar’s claws, Kilena, what was happening to you?"
"If you return to the deck of our ship, you will find out yourself" Kilena’s voice was weak and it seemed that she was losing her strengths, probably due to her wounds "Just bring some kinda rag to clean the floor of blood."
"Did those bastards get to you?"
"Only one. Fortunately."
"I’m glad to hear you, Kilena" said Sazeli quite frankly "This will ease it a lot… listen. I have a plan…"
* * *
If Sazeli was a human, he would surely sweating in excitement. Dainer managed to successfully hack into security system, destroying part of the files, and then directed the control over turrets to the computer aboard the dropship, giving Kilena ability to secure and coordinate the escape of Akirni. Unfortunately, Sthresianess was not trained in hacking, so assassin had to instruct her precisely for some time, in order to be sure that she will know what to do. Meanwhile, Sazeli and his subordinates learned by heart the way that they have determined. Preparations for action took them almost two alits, shortening the time remaining to explosion to around one.
Despite Veranius’ and Dainer’s suggestions – both fearing, that they will not escape on time – Sazeli insisted on taking Igaten with them. Even it they do not manage to save him, they will not leave his body somewhere in the void, among remains of the base, far away from home.
Karisu placed the last magazine in his rifle, watching his soldiers with determination. While they were passive and apathic before, now their eyes burned with flame. They knew at last, that their chances are not lost at all, that they will survive this action, killing more monsters by the way, in an revenge for what they did to their comrades.
This sight quickly reassured Sazeli. Lizard grinned widely and rapaciously.
"Ready, Akirni?" he asked with enthusiastic tone "Ready to tear the guts of those savashka once again?"
"Yes, karisu" replied warriors chorally
"That’s great" karisu took the attitude of harsh commander "You know what to do already. Don’t split up and leave noone behind. And you, Veranius, watch Igaten. I know it’s not easy to drag him again, but Ekreva will cover you. Remember – nobody runs forward, you all wait for signal. Understood?"
"Yes, karisu!" shouted Akirni
"Take positions then and wait until Dainer opens the door. Get ready!"
Lizards set themselves before the airlock, creating small half-circle. Assassin was standing to the right, by the door console.
"Kilena, you may activate three first guns. Let them clear the surrounding area" he muttered to the intercom.
A moment later Sazeli heard silent voice of Veranius, standing by Ekreva and holding the unconscious Igaten.
"You know, I always said that you are [starts with "f"]-"
"You did" replied Sthresianess maliciously "More than once."
"Yes, and I still do think so" medic’s voice was sarcastic, but after a moment Akirne changed the tone "But I must admit, that you are bloody good, you have always been. I’ve seen much in my life, but every time, when I watched you in action, I was glad that it wasn’t me that was caught by your claws."
"It’s nice that you say so" said Ekreva warmly "But I never thought that you were worse than me."
"Listen, if we get out of this mess, I don’t want any misunderstandings between us any more" Veranius stretched out his hand "Inge?"
"Inge" replied Sthresianess, shaking hands with his companion.
Sazeli smiled inside again, filled with positive energy. After a moment he felt Azaen’s hand on his arm.
"Remember our first action on Ladore, karisu?" asked faze "We were in SNNTM still back then."
"Of course I remember" replied Sazeli "We got to Akirni after that. We were congratulating each other’s brilliant career."
"So maybe we’ll repeat our feat and gather some honours and medals again?"
"It would be excellent" after a while karisu became more serious "Stay close to me. We back up each other, as always."
"We’re going out soon" announced Dainer loudly "He have less than one alit, so we have to hurry. Kilena, prepare for deactivating those guns and turning on the next one."
Sazeli strongly squeezed the handle of his rifle. He forged his whole energy into anger, letting well known feeling of battle rage to fill him again. He closed the visor of his helmpet, activating optical systems.
"Dainer, open the door!" shouted karisu, unlocking his weapon" Send them back to the Kagar! Press forward!"
Once the passage was free, Akirni squad went ahead. Soldiers were filled with overwhelming energy and ready to unleash it upon any enemy they meet.