Knome: The Forbidden Zone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 36 (v.1) - Chapter Thirty-Five

Submitted: April 17, 2017

Reads: 111

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Submitted: April 17, 2017

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Fort Thaingor (Knome)

 

Racing around the maintenance corridor, Jasen and Kore were finding it difficult to keep up with Teric.  He was so far ahead they could not see him. They came upon a small hallway and as they entered it, they could see the figure of a man far ahead.

"Do you think we're close," Kore asked breathlessly.

"We're on the same floor as Engineering, and we just left the maintenance corridor so we must be close."

"So, we still have to cross the gap to get to the outer ring, right?"

Jasen did not answer immediately, he was too exhausted.  He didn't want to waste time in conversation, and even though it probably wasn't true, he felt that talking was slowing them down.  "I think you're right," Jasen replied breathlessly.

More than a dozen streams of blaster fire zipped across the gap as soon as Teric emerged from the interior hallway into an ambush.  The streams of blaster fire bent into his extended blade vibrating under the barrage, igniting the hall in light causing Jasen and Kore to halt. Teric held his blade fast as fingers of energy dripped down onto his gloved covered hands dissipating into small pebbles of spark, falling to the ground. Jasen and Kore fell to the ground as the observed Teric's silhouette against the intense light. The barrage continued as Teric gripped the hilt of his sword and advanced into the gap.  The barrage did not relent, but seemed to intensify as Teric advanced into the storm. His sword began to resonate low tones as the weight of the sword increased, and as it engorged on plasma. Teric couldn't see the soldiers concealed in the hallway across the gap.  He glanced in both directions and began to run the remaining distance across the gap.  Jasen and Kore crawled on the floor coming to the edge of the hallway. They stayed behind, blasters drawn as they observed Teric's attack.

After reaching the other side of the gap Teric could see the soldiers crouched down in the outer ring hallway. He lifted his sword high and swung it hard across his body repeating the move, sending a crisscrossing wave of super-heated energy down the small hallway. The bands of energy illuminated the hallway causing sparks and smoke onto whatever they came into contact with. The flash lit up the hall as the soldiers became clearly visible.  Teric could see a number of the soldiers falling to the ground as the plasma pierced them igniting their fallen lifeless bodies. Half of their number that somehow escaped began retreating. Teric raised the hot dripping blade, made lighter after the first assault, he swung the blade horizontally as a second wave of energy impacted the retreating soldiers dropping them all to the ground. Teric stopped and quickly surveyed the fallen men to verify that none were still alive.  He stood momentarily his sword lowered still dripping with energy.  Jasen and Kore after noticing that the fireworks had ceased, with their blasters in hand, ran across the gap and entered the hallway.  The stench was nearly unbearable as more than a dozen small fires littered the hall, most of them consuming the fallen.  Teric approached them through the smoke.  He took his scabbard and sheathed the blade as the remaining energy fell to the floor in dancing sparks.

"Teric," Jasen called out.

"We have to hurry, there'll be more coming," Teric replied as he walked past them back into the gap, drawing his blaster.

Jasen and Kore followed him back in to the gap. Teric walked down the gap, stopping at various doors.  After walking a short distance to a doorway, Teric holstered his blaster and drew his sword as he opened the door.  Jasen and Kore hurried to catch up to him. They entered the room guns drawn, but the room felt empty. Teric sheathed his sword and after they all entered he closed the door.  The room was small and dark, it was littered with hundreds of steady and blinking lights embedded in communications equipment, control systems and monitors all over the comms sub-station.

"Is this engineering," Kore asked.

"We have to hurry and get this done," Teric said ignoring Kore as he searched for a way to switch on the room light.  Jasen and Kore were looking over the various control stations.

"Here," Jasen called, "I think this is the comms system."

Teric and Kore walked over and stood behind Jasen as he sat down at the terminal, picking up the headset and putting it on.  He studied the keyboard for some time and looked over the adjacent controls trying to make sense of the system employed. 

Kore tapped on Jasen's shoulder, "I know this."

Jasen removed the headset and rose from the seat. He stepped out of the way making room for Kore.  Kore sat down and put on the headset.  He began to flip several switches which activated a plethora of lights on the console as various systems came on line. Teric pulled a small card from a hidden pouch within the folds of his garment.  He examined it and then placed it in front of Kore.

"This is the frequency channel we need," he said

Kore took the card sat it up against a control knob so the he could see it and he began to enter the long series of numbers into the console. After entering the numbers, he activated the link.

"Are we linked," Jasen asked.

"We'll know in a second," Kore replied.

"As soon as the channel links up, we'll be exposed," Teric said.

"Well, they already know we're here," Jasen said.

"Yeah, but they don't know why."

"I'm linked," Kore interrupted, "What should I say?"

"Let them know that Myan troops are on the planet and that the Knomens are colluding with them. The forbidden zones appear to be military bases heavily armored, constructed by the Myans. Inform them that Prince Wilhelm is on the planet and that he is safe, being protected by the Albian people, in the Thaingor territory. Prepare for war."

Kore stopped typing and turned toward Teric.  "Are you serious," Kore asked.

"What do you think is going on here," Teric replied.

Kore continued typing feverishly on the console keyboard, finishing not long after Teric had finished speaking.

"Send it," Jasen added nervously.

Kore pressed a button on the console to initiate the transmission.  He monitored the link and transmission until it completed.

"It’s done," Kore said, "mission accomplished."  Kore had a momentary feeling of satisfaction, followed by a prolonged feeling of dread at what the future held.  Then he began to wonder how they were going to escape this planet alive. "what now," he asked.

"OK, right now we have to get out of here.  They should know by now what we've done and from where we done it.  So, let's get out of here.”

Immediately Kore rose and began to follow Teric and Jasen to the door.  Teric cracked open the door and peeked out surveying the hall.  The hall was empty which heightened his suspicion.  He drew his sword.  Jasen and Kore drew their weapons.  They entered the hallway and advanced toward the small entryway that still contained the bodies of the soldiers that Teric had killed.

"We need those uniforms, Teric said pointing to the dead soldiers.

Teric watched while Kore and Jasen tried to salvage a complete uniform and armor from the fallen soldiers.  After gathering enough pieces Teric led them down the hall to a small utility room where they entered and Kore and Jasen began to put on the uniforms.

"Listen, I've been thinking about this and I think the only way that any one of us will survive is if we split up."

Kore was immediately against it, he stopped changing.  "I disagree Teric, we got this far together."

"Yes, but no one knew we were here. Now we're going to have the entire base after us."

"I don't know, Teric," Kore added as he continued to change.

"Look, you and Jasen are going to stay together.  I will split off.  You're going to be dressed as soldiers and you'll will have a better chance to get to the landing bay, especially if I cause a diversion."

Jasen and Kore stopped and looked at each other.

"From the landing bay you and Jasen can commandeer a ship."

"What about you Teric," Jasen asked.

"Look if we go together we're going to attract the entire base to ourselves, but if we split up and I cause a great diversion, then there is a better chance for you to reach one of those ships and get out of here,"

"But then you will be attracting the entire base to yourself,” Jasen said.

"Look, we've accomplished our mission. Now I want to give you both the best possible chance to escape this planet. I think this will give you the best chance." 

There was a long pause as Jasen and Kore considered Teric's plan.

"Now, that access shaft should be close by, I believe we passed by the access room next to that comm station.  So, you will make your way back there.  I'm going to go through the core, to give you the best chance to go unnoticed."

"I'm beginning to think that we should stay together. I'm willing to risk it Teric," Jasen said.

"I appreciate that sentiment Jasen, but, please, do this, alright.”

Jasen paused momentarily, unable to get the words out.  "OK, I will do as you say," he finally uttered.

Jasen and Kore had completed changing into the soldier’s uniforms.

"Are you ready," Teric asked.

Both men, nodded in agreement.

 

----


“I need to talk to you.”

Anya was startled by the insistence in her father’s voice.  He had grabbed on to her forearm, pulling her, causing her to drop the note pad that Wilhelm had just handed to her.  She resisted his effort, pulling her arm from his grip.
As she turned to face her father, the look on his face gave her pause.  Yuri looked worried, concerned.  His countenance tempered her anger as she became concerned over the anguished look on his face.  Multiple tragedies raced through her mind without identifying even one.

“Papa, what is it,” Anya cautiously pleaded.

“We need to talk.” Yuri again made a grab for her wrist but she backed away out of his reach. Wilhelm backed away in time to avoid colliding with Anya.  Anya did not want to follow her father into some secluded spot only to be informed of another horror that he had in mind for her.  She took another step back, this time backing into the arms of Wilhelm.  Wilhelm instinctively wrapped his arms around her as she backed up further into him.  Yuri stopped his advance, not because of the gaze of the immediate onlookers, he stood in shock of the scene before him.  His daughter in the arms of this priest.  As he watched something about the scene did not feel right.  Maybe it was in the way that the priest was holding her or how she seemed comforted by his embrace.

“Let go of my daughter,” Yuri demanded.

Wilhelm immediately obeyed, raising his arms as if to show everyone that he had complied.  Anya turned, facing the Priest as he backed away giving her space.  Anya turned around to face her father and his deeply suspicious expression.  Yuri held out his hand and the expression on his face told Anya that he wasn’t asking.  She began to step towards him, extending her hand.  He took it and led her through the crowd and out of the reception hall as all eyes turned from them, to the Priest, who continued to walk away until he hit a wall.

Once in the hallway, Yuri maneuvered out of the hearing of any bystanders.

“What is going on between you and this Priest.”

Anya’s emotions flooded her.  She tried to fight it but the effort was useless.  Her eyes began to water as her face flushed with warmth. She tried to calm herself enough to speak.

“What do you mean?” she almost cried the words.

Yuri was taken aback, her reaction exposed her.  She wouldn’t look at him, so he took her face in his hands making her look at him.

“Tell me,” what’s going on.”

“Nothing is going on.  I’ve been under a lot of stress and he helps me.”

“How,” Yuri immediately replied, recalling the affection he saw in the Priest’s embrace of his daughter.

“He’s a Priest,” she said realizing she had no idea how such things worked. 

Yuri recalled Korah’s words, that this Priest was in Anya’s private quarters while she was half dressed.  His mind raced to a conclusion that infuriated him, but he tried to suppressed his anger for the moment. He wanted to ask her about it but he realized that such an inquiry would expose Korah.  Then he noticed something.

“Where is the dress I had picked out for you?”

“Seriously father, did you really expect me to wear that,” Anya asked grateful for a change in subject.

“I did,” Yuri replied surprised by Anya’s objection.

There was a pause after the change in subject matter that gave both Anya and her father respite to calm down.

“Anya, why this Priest. There something odd about him, "Yuri said, watching Anya closely for a reaction, "Now, I’m no expert, but I’ve never seen a Talian Priest so devoted to one Person, or one, that’s so stationary.”

“He said he was sent to me,” Anya replied nearly in tears as she thought of the moment Wilhelm revealed himself to her, restoring her hope, her faith, saving her.

“He said that to you,”

“He wrote it,” Anya added catching her mistake.

Yuri stood, silently watching his daughter’s water filled eyes.  He knew there was something she was hiding and it felt important, like a mystery that had to be solved quickly. He had determined to see it through, to find out regardless of Anya’s feelings who this Priest was.  He took Anya in his arms and held her as she sobbed.

Anya felt trapped, there was no one she could confide in.  No one that could help her.  To save her out of her desperate predicament. She couldn’t trust anyone with the knowledge she held, especially her family.  She held on to her father although her tears had dried up. she held on to him, hunting in her mind for a way out, a way for her and Wilhelm to escape.  Yuri broke their embrace to look into her face.

“Anya, you know you can tell me anything…

Suddenly, a loud blaring siren flooded the hall, drowning out any conversation or noise.

Anya and Yuri both, were startled as they put their hands over their ears.

They both began to speak, but nothing penetrated the wall of sound that sent soldiers and official personnel scouring back and forth through the hall. Yuri took Anya’s arm and led her across the hall back into the reception room as the siren died away, leaving only the periodic flash of strobing lights.

As they entered, one of Yuri’s security officers approached them.

“What’s happened,” Yuri asked.

“There’s been some sort of breach,” the officer replied.

“A breach,” Yuri asked surprised.

“Yes, from what I understand, some soldiers have been killed.”

“What!” Yuri and Anya both exclaimed.

Just then, the Duke, followed by his guard, the ambassador and several heavily armed soldiers, approached Yuri.

“What’s going on,” Yuri asked as they approached.

“It seems that a transmission was intercepted from somewhere within this base,” Simon replied, “I’m told that several of our soldiers have been killed.

Yuri was stunned by the news, as was Anya.  Anya was startled by the slap of boots against the floor as hordes of Simon’s shock troops advanced down the hallway.

“Don’t worry, we will find the intruders,” Simon replied in response to the worried look on Anya’s face.

But Anya's worried and painful look was not caused by what was going on outside of the reception hall.  She watched in horror, from across the reception hall, as she witnessed the Priest, struggling to escaped the grasp of Korah’s guards, while Korah, approached Wilhelm with a dagger, in hand.

Anya screamed, “Korah, what are you doing!”


© Copyright 2019 James Washington. All rights reserved.

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