Spacelings

                A sneak peek into the first draft of this Sci-Fi novel:

The young crew led by cranky old space veteran, Captain Dokmal, find their deep space mission tangled with odd

creatures, new friends, unexpected enemies and a confounding search for long forgotten origins. Cryptic clues

drag them through uncharted space, astonishing discoveries, frightening encounters and impossible danger .

                                                               –  Spacelings  –

        S.R. Telford

SpaceSeals “Ready fusion cannon. It cannot be permitted to get past us.” 

“Captain, we have energy for about three good shots. After that. . .”

“We’ll mount E.V. Pods and beat the damn thing with a stick! It stops here,” the  Captain said.

“Aye Captain,” First Officer Kalan said with a smile. “I’ll fetch the sticks.”

“Put a point on them, Mister Kalan. We have about run out of options. Mister Bellen, would you be kind enough to ready weapons. Or is this a bad time?”

“Aye. . . Yes. . . I mean, weapons ready Captain.”

“Pleased you could join us, Mister Bellen. Now, if it’s not too much bother, would you mind shooting the blasted thing?”

“Target lock ma’am, firing.” The nervous junior grade weapons officer fumbled with the targeting array. Three rapid blasts stretched toward the creature. Captain Dokmal grabbed an overhead rail and stared at the weapons console.

“What have you done?” she mouthed. Three silent flashes erupted at the creature’s center, nearly cutting it in half.

“I’m going to assume that was a strategic deployment, Ensign.”

“Target destroyed, Captain. What was that thing?”

“It appeared to be a Helix Spaceling, Ensign, and a young one at that.”

“A Spaceling? But I thought. . .”

“Not the gentle creatures you read about in bedtime stories, aye? These are dimensional serpents, believed to have originated from Helix. A rogue planet whose orbit is stretched through multiple universes, if you believe in that sort of thing,” the Captain said.

“What is it doing here?”

“Noronian’s,” First Officer Kalan said with a loud grunt. “They raise the cursed things for quadrant patrol. But I have never seen one this far out.”

“Set course for Mintar-Three Space Station, Mister Kalan,” the Captain said. “If our weapon array is not recharged soon, we’ll be needing those sticks. And if that had been an adult. . .”

“This conversation would be with our ancestors,” Kalan said. “Navigation, lay in course. Best speed to Mintar-Three,” First Officer Kalan commanded.

“Travel time?” the Captain asked.

“A little over twelve hours at ninety percent hyper, ma’am.”

“Ninety percent? Authenticate drive crystal.”

“Already done, Captain. We will make it all right, but with little to spare. We missed scheduled re-fit nearly a half long-cycle ago.” Captain Dokmal lobbed an annoyed squint at the Navigation Officer.

“It is a half-year, Lieutenant, or six months if you prefer. A long cycle is how I scrub uniforms. Mister Kalan, join me in my bridge lounge, if you please .”

“Aye ma’am,” First Officer Kalan said, falling into step behind the captain. He glanced at the Nav-Officer on his way by, who offered a weak shrug. Kalan responded with a quick wink before he disappeared through the bridge lounge portal.

“What do you suppose crawled up her booster?” The Nav-Lieutenant said, softly of course. Ensign Bellen rallied a prickly huff.

“She was a decorated Fleet Captain before your daddy learned to polish his Pong. A measure of respect, if you please.”

“Ensign, I have served this Captain for eight cycles. Because of her, I am still sucking air in three dimensions. I know exactly who she is, and recommend you hold your waggle until you have a little more hair on your horns.”

Captain Dokmal aimed troubled eyes at First Officer Kalan, flicking a finger toward a nearby chair. Kalan slipped quietly into the seat.

“Mister Kalan, I would prefer our bridge officers use Etarran Standard. Or doesn’t the academy teach that to these kids anymore?”

“Captain, you know that the Alliance adopted Galactic Standard long ago. And most of these – kids, are almost forty standard cycles, except our young Ensign, of course.” Captain Dokmal returned a dignified smile across a worn, experienced wooden desk.

“I have wrinkles older than that,” she said. Kalan leaned back and cocked a modest smirk.

“And just how much trouble will I be in if agreed with you, Captain?” Dokmal strengthened her own smile.

“We have served together for a very long time, Kalan. And I suspect at least half these wrinkles actually belong to you.”

“Well ma’am, you don’t really expect me to wear them myself, now do you?” Dokmal lowered her head, squirting brash eyes up at him as she laughed.

“Tell me, Kalan. Does the crew suspect?”

“No Captain. The coded corridor is secure. Of course, there are rumors. But you know how these things go.”

To be continued. . .

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