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“Follow us in and we’ll all go after the last two. They’re going for the Ursa Minor submersible, it’s the best ship on board,” Mox instructed the scout.

I hadn’t even thought about that. I frantically tried to reach Dixon, but she didn’t respond. Her ship was powered down and for all she knew there was still a battle going on.

We flew in through the starboard hangar and landed the Brick on the deck. She was too big to travel internally. Mox and I ran to the elevator with the Sentinel at our heels. We stopped at the lab floor. Nidi was standing there in her black space suit. She stepped inside the lift and clamped on her helmet.

“I’m going with you. They’re not going to get Dixon too.”

We got to the bottom floor and ran down the hall. Mox climbed into his rust suit.

I stopped for a moment. “I’m going to take X’s bike. It’s the only way to bring Nidi.”

Mox corrected me, she could go in the scout. I wasn’t thinking clearly. I started to realize I needed to be following orders. I got into the other rust armor suit and we exited the Brick. The scout landed next to us. Its door opened and Nidi jumped in. Mox and I climbed onto the outside and they took off.

We rocketed down the side corridors to the main highway system and really opened up the speed. I looked back and the Sentinel was left in the distance. I looked at Mox.

“He know’s where we’re going. When we get there remember your arm band’s sensors are calibrated to find them. Also, Nidi can smell them.”

He turned his attention in front of us. We slipped down a side tunnel and rocketed up a hundred decks in the blink of an eye. Traveling at such high speeds while inside a ship is something I’ll never get used to. We reduced speed and changed pathways again. Taegu had learned her way around and was taking turns and corners at speeds I’d never experienced even while racing with X around the ship. The Varan scout was an amazing vehicle, even with two big chunks of rust hanging on the outside.

We dropped into the back halls that led to the cave entrance. We passed the remains of a Vedma fighter sunk into a wall. There was smoke still coming out of the wreckage, but no sign of life. We got to the cave and out onto the field of ice. All I saw was white. We skimmed above the ice shelf and in a matter of moments, I could see Dixon’s ship in the distance. There was a large flash of fire coming from the top of the ship and I saw the twin wolves of Certain Wisdom run out across the ice burrowing into the snow again to extinguish their smoldering fur.

I saw Faye on the ice below and right next to her was Dr. Death and he was out of his diamond suit again. It was parked open, an empty shell behind them. We slowed and came down to land next to them. Death raised his rust cannon and started firing. The shots deflected off the surface of the scout, so he realigned his aim. He sent both Mox and myself flying off the scout as it was coming down.

Uzi gave the order to fire and the scout’s guns lit up the ice with laser bolt blasts. One moment Death and Faye were standing there, the next they were gone. There was a large smoking hole in the ice. It cracked, got a little larger, and then swallowed the diamond suit. It slowly fell over then crushed through the ice.

Both Mox and I had used our suit jets to stabilize our fall.

I ran over to Dixon’s ship. The main entrance was sealed and not responding to any commands to open it. I turned around to look at the others and from the hole in the ice next to the ship came the Diamond-robo-combat suit. Dr. Death was hanging onto the outside of it. Faye was inside it. She landed on the ice.

Faye grabbed a hold of Death’s arms and ripped them off at the shoulder. Blood spattered over the ice. Death screamed in pain and rammed his head into the impenetrable diamond chest of the suit. Faye dropped his arms to the ground and turned her grip clasping on one of his legs and his neck. She lifted his trunk up sideways and brought him down on her knee. The diamond armor tore through the center of his body, breaking him almost in two. His leg was nearly torn off and his neck was stretched and clearly broken. She spun him over her head like a lasso by his neck. Then she threw him at the scout ship. His body spattered against the side and slid to the ground motionless. Dr. Death was dead.

Mox charged her and tackled her. I’d seen the battle of the indestructible robots before. I had to find Dixon. I dove into the water and entered her ship through the underwater entrance. I left my armor suit in the bay and ran up three decks to the bridge. It smelt like burnt hair. The ship was moving. It was rising out of the ice. When I got to the control room I saw Dixon on the floor a burnt wreck. At the controls was Yaba.

“Just land us, Yaba.”

She spun around and raising her hands filled the room with fire. I pulled out the diamond knife Charlie had made me and sent it sailing toward her head. The fire consumed me and I charged forward. The fire stopped. I opened my eyes and struggled to see. My vision cleared in a moment. Faye was sitting in the chair next to the ships controls with my diamond dagger stuck in her forehead.

“Why do you always want to kill me.”

I ran up to her and scooped her into my arms. “I don’t want to kill you. I’ve killed you too many times already.”

She looked at me. Black gooey Vedma blood was starting to drip down her angelic face. It helped me to remember she wasn’t human.

“How many times am I going to have to watch you die?”

She put her arms around me. “You’ll never have to see me die. Take the controls and get us out of here.”

I returned her to the chair and walked over to the controls. I lifted the ship out of the water. It hung over the ice sheet below. The scout ship was forced to lift off. Mox and the other Faye in the diamond suit were still in an endless wrestling match below. Dixon was coming around.

“You can’t open this area to space, you’ll kill all the animals!”

Faye lifted a weakened arm and lit her on fire, again. I turned and looked at Dixon, her clothing smoldering her skin blackened by multiple scorchings. I raised my hand toward Faye and retracted my knife. It shot out of her forehead with a squirt of goo and landed perfectly in my palm. I threw it right back into her chest. It stuck dead center.

“What are you doing! Get us out of here! Now!” Faye commanded.

She stood up and flashed her true color. She ripped the knife out of her chest and threw it at Dixon. I reached for it in flight and it curved in the air and sailed back into my hand.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t let you hurt people anymore.”

She raised her hand and I jumped on her. Flames filled the room. I had both my knives in my hands and once again I found myself stabbing Faye to death. I stood up on fire still. I walked over to the controls and landed the ship on the ice. I went over and lifted Dixon off the floor.

“I hate your other girlfriend.”

I helped her into a chair. “She’s not my girlfriend.”

Dixon looked at me, her eyes rolling as much as her head.

“I’ve watched her die five times today alone, and I personally killed her twice.” I walked to the window. “I wish she would stay dead.”

I looked out to see the diamond armored Faye raise rusty armored Mox over her head and then throw him into the water. She powered her rocket pack and lifted off into the sky.

“I wish she would stay dead too,” Dixon seconded.

I turned around to go.

“If you leave me now, don’t come back.” Dixon was a total wreck. The whole experience was far more than she had signed up for.

I ran to the doorway. “We have to finish this. I’m sorry.”

I ran as fast as I could down to the bay and climbed back into my rust suit. I exited the ship and Mox was there. We both rocketed off the ice and followed after the scout who was pursuing Faye. We retraced our steps. Across the ice, through the caves, down the back halls, doping through the decks, to the main starboard side highway system. It was only there that we could see the scout ahead of us. Faye’s suit had a better propulsion system than ours. Mox asked the scout to come back for us. They slowed down and picked us up. We grabbed on and they jetted forward. We caught back up to Faye in moments.

They fired at her, but it had no effect, so we just followed behind. The suit would run out of power eventually, but not any time soon. When we got to the hangar the door was open and the Brick was waiting outside. Faye flew right out of the ship and we followed her. As soon and we were outside we started taking fire. There hovering above us was the triangular top section of the Magus. They had attached the fighters to the base of it and were using them for propulsion. It had two large cannons that fired down on us. Faye flew up and right into the hole the Brick had made and then they took off. We went after them. They were fast, surprisingly fast. But we kept up with them.

Blunt came over our communications. “I’m just going to pick something up, I’ll be along shortly.”

Then the communications jammed.

“I need to go back too.”

I jumped off the side of the scout and they rocketed ahead without me. I drifted toward the Banga for while and realized she was moving away from me much faster than I could travel. I was floating alone in space. All I could do is watch the Banga slowly get smaller and wonder how long my suit would keep me alive.

It was sublime and peaceful floating in space. I watched the soft blue glow of the Banga’s engines as she pulled away from me, a massive structure in the distance.

{ Part 1 ~ Part 46 }

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Sci-fi short stories to inspire your inner rocket building, planet-hopping, astrophysicist space pirate. 🚀

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