Since I've been traveling quite a lot lately I've had a chance to write some more of book two in the Mindwars series. For those of you that were unaware, as well as managing domain portfolios for clients I relax by writing science fiction.
This second sneak preview takes place at the Concord's homeworld and start off with a single Starfire pilot. It's not long before the action heats up.
I should warn readers that this is the first draft of the chapter and edits will be made in the final copy. With any luck I will have book two ready before Christmas....fingers crossed!
I hope you enjoy another journey into "The Mindwars". You can buy book one, "Battleframe" through Amazon by clicking here.
Have a great weekend!
Chapter 9 – Hammer Fall
Lieutenant Barkley looked above at the massive planet filling the upper cockpit window of his Starfire. Swirling clouds spun at unimaginable velocities within dark and light bands of coloured gas. He watched as one spinning storm devoured a smaller cloud before it to, was swallowed. Barkley returned his gaze forward as he shot across the moon, Septem’s barren surface. He loved being alone in space and would regularly volunteer for scouting missions. The majesty and emptiness exhilarated him like nothing else. It could have had something to do with the fact that he was a born and bred spacer.
Barkley flicked a switch on his control column to the wider comnet and said, “Alturus Central, Starfire six, three reporting Kaladon VIII, Septem.”
“CT Starfire six, three, report.”
“Everything looks all clear out here. No sign of enemy activity.”
A brief flash of light caught his eye above and to the right of his present course. “Alturus Central, are there any other ships out here?”
There was a brief pause before the reply of, “Negative Starfire six, three. There are no other vessels in your vicinity.”
“Alturus, I need to check something out…”
“CT Starfire six, three. Waiting your response.”
Barkley pulled back gently on the control column to angle his Starfire towards where he saw the flash.
The central scanning console lit up with a barrage of information and the ships siren immediately blared urgently. In contrast to the urgency, Dora, the onboard Starfire computer stated in a matter of fact female voice, “Warning, enemy missile locked. Recommend evasive maneuvers.”
Barkley wrenched the controls to the left just in time before a missile passed under his right wing. The gas giant spun wildly until it settled below him and the moon’s surface had taken its place. He would only have a few seconds before the missile re-acquired him. He tapped the maneuvering jets and spun the Starfire end for end while still tracking towards where he saw the missile launch. The cockpit siren continued to wail even as the computer said, “Enemy missile locked-on.”
“Oh frap! That was fast!”
Barkley concentrated on finding the missile tracking behind him. “Computer, heads-up display now!”
“Starfire six, three, report.”
“Alturus, I’m a little busy right now.”
Barkley’s controller paused before responding. “Starfire six, three request report immediately.”
The heads-up display in front of him highlighted the missile tracking path behind him. Barkley pushed the control column rapidly first left and then right. The missile tracked him perfectly all the while closing the distance between them.
“Starfire six, three I said report!”
Thankfully, Dora intervened in the conversation in her pleasant, patient tone, “Alturus Central, Lieutenant Barkley is presently distracted by an enemy missile tracking our position.”
Barkley squeezed and then released the trigger for his quad laser canons to fire a short burst. He watched the screen displayed before him to see if his shot erased the target. The missile was still there. “Oh come on! Give me a frapping break!”
“Alturus Central, Starfire six, three continue.”
“Not you Alturus!” Sweat beaded on Barkley’s forehead as he suddenly pushed the controls hard left and swung the ship downwards towards the gas giant. Again the missile flashed past at the unexpected maneuver. “Oh frap that was close! Dora, keep a lock on it before it can speed up again.”
Barkley spun the ship around again and this time his view was once again in the direction he was travelling. The heads-up display revealed the missile slowly arcing back around and building up speed. Barkley squeezed the trigger and a second later, he watched an explosion form in the distance as his lasers ripped the missile apart. Unnecessarily, Dora stated, “Missile destroyed.”
Sighing with relief Barkley wiped his brow and then pulled back to pull the fighter out of the grip of the gas giant’s gravity well.
“Starfire six, three to Alturus Central.”
“Alturus Central, it’s good to hear your voice Starfire six, three.”
Barkley looked up in awe as thousands of subspace vortices formed around the point he had been heading towards. The Scourge had arrived.
“Alturus, we’ve got company.”