Mission Born: Space Twins - Chapter Five


Readers,

The fifth chapter of the Mr.'s NaNoWriMo challenge is now ready for your enjoyment.  Due to the fact that NaNoWriMo ended, the project demanded a name.  Behold Mission Born: Space Twins.  If this is your first introduction to the Space Twins you might wish to start at the beginning.  Links to all previous chapters magically appear here:


But you, you're ready to pick up where you left off?  Scroll on down!  We're happy to have you, and as always, welcome any feedback.  Enjoy!


                Walter woke up, realizing he had passed out from the prolonged use of faster-than-translight travel.  The Orcs were sitting in ragtag crew chairs, which had been bolted into the floors.  They sat there looking very somber.  Jenkins saw that Walter had awoken.  “Child, you will come with us.  You will learn what your people have done, and when they come, you will either fight with us or stand on our outer walls as protection!”  He turned away from Walter and looked over a console that had a readout of ships, warships, on its screen.  The same warships, that had fired on them, had been on that screen.  Seeing as he was secured, and they were far from his own known territory, he decided to sleep.  If he could regain some strength, it might give him his chance to escape.

                Jess sat at the Captain’s Table and ate her dinner solemnly.  The Admiral was very pleased with her performance during the boarding of the Heavy Cruiser.  She was not really interested in ceremony and acclaim.  Her brother was on another ship, in another system most likely.  She could only hope that the Admiral’s fleet was here to find the orcs and the traitors that helped them accomplish the boarding action.
                “So, Lieutenant Weathers, it seems your surname serves you well, for you certainly weathered the situation! Har Harr!”  Admiral Valentin guffawed over his plate, accidentally spitting some of it back onto the plate and around it. 
                Jess grimaced and carefully stated, “Yes…It does, huh?  So, this was a setup all along eh?  We were the bait and such?”
                “Oh yes, YES!  Such a lovely plan. My lovely plan!  The council loved the idea from the moment it was uttered!  You know, this will get us all commendations.  We will go back home Heroes!”  Smiling broadly, he sipped his drink, slurping sounds coming from behind the tipped cup.
                “I have a question Admiral…  When do we go after these scallywags?  I want a piece o’ them.  They took my brother!”  Her rage started to seep into her voice.
                “Ah, yes!  We WILL go after them.  Your cruiser just needs a bit of care, and then we can be off!  This will be a fine chase!  A fleet of ships chasing down the traitorous scum of the universe!  Heroes, I tell you!”
                As the evening wore on, the Admiral retired to the guest quarters, usually held for guests of State.  Captain Argent looked worn out, as he had to endure all of the Admiral’s boisterousness, while his crew was overseeing the repairs.  He would have overseen them himself, if the Admiral had not insisted on a ‘fine dinner’ to celebrate their ‘victory’.  Jess kept pacing the corridors of the ship, wandering from the command deck to the landing bay.  She realized, after several hours, that this was an unproductive use of time, since nothing was being repaired any faster than it would have been, normally.  Jess decided to get some sleep, so she would be fresh for their pursuit of the criminals that had taken her brother.

                Walter woke up to an amazing view.  The viewscreen of the shuttle held a planet of a myriad of hues of blues and greens.  One of the orcs nudged Jenkins, as they noticed Walter had awoken.  Turning toward him, Jenkins glared, “This is our planet, human!  Look upon its beauty and know that the beauty is only matched by its danger!  This is why the orc tribes are so strong.  We may not have the technology of your people, but we have superior combat tactics and strategies.  We shall defeat you!”
                “Jenkins… I am not your enemy, or at least I wasn’t until you attacked our ship.  I didn’t even know your people existed, until that moment.”  Walter sighed.
                Jenkins huffed at him, “Yet, you murdered two of my members!”
                “I didn’t want to….  It’s just…they kept firing at me, I had to do something.” 
                “Child, you will know what necessity is in the days to come!  You will learn the dangers of our planet firsthand….”  Jenkins turned, his skin flaring to a deep bluish-gray.
                Walter did not feel good about that last statement.  He had very little skill on land, as most of his training was either in a zero-g environment or in a starship.  He hoped his own people would find him soon and be able to save him.  He knew his sister would find a way, if there was one.  Even if she had to steal a ship, which he hoped she would not opt for that decision.  Settling back into his seat, he prepared himself for the ship’s reentry to the planet’s atmosphere. 
                When the ship hit the atmosphere of the planet, there was a severe lurch, and a loud roar from the friction of the air on the hull of the ship.  It took only a few seconds to clear the burn of reentry, and then he could see the vast oceans, and the overgrown swamps that seemed to overtake all land on this alien world.  Earth was nowhere near as full of life as this planet.  After the moon had shattered and created the chaotic ring of moon rock around the Earth, the planet was irradiated in areas and devastated by the oceans on the coasts.  The once thriving world had perished, and the exodus of people from the planet had been enormous.  This world was teeming with life, and the people who lived here would have thrived.  He guessed that there could be at least hundreds of thousands of orcs living in the swamps of this world.
                As they grew near to the largest continent, Walter could see they were coming in just above the water’s surface.  The coast was lined with huge trees, with large vines twisting in and out of them.  It made a veritable fortress wall, and when they got closer, Walter realized it really was the wall of a fortified spaceport.  There were well-fashioned nets made out of thinner vines, which were spread above the spaceport, making it one of the most well-hidden bases Wyatt had ever seen.  These were skilled people, and they were ready for a fight with a much larger enemy than themselves.  A hidden enemy would be impossible for the council to hunt down efficiently.  Wyatt knew that his people would pay a severe price in lives in order to fight the orcs on their own territory.  His heart dropped, realizing his predicament was even more troublesome than he had thought.
                The orcs ushered him out of the ship, without shackles of any kind.  They were confident he could not escape, Walter kept note of this fact.  He walked solemnly along, just fast enough to keep them from wanting to push him, as that would interfere with his perusal of his surroundings.  He could tell that they were a low-tech civilization, for nowhere could there be seen any kind of forcefield or high-tech weaponry in defense of the spaceport.  The most that they had for defense, were large ballistae that held bolts as large as tree trunks.  These bolts had some form of explosive bound to the tip.  Crude, but inventive and highly destructive.  He acknowledged Jenkins’ statement about having superior tactics.
                As they walked, he noticed that the pathways were made out of large boards, probably cut from the trees surrounding them.  The pathways were sanded down and must have some kind of lacquer applied to keep them maintained.  There were motorized water-borne ships all over the interior harbor, which took up the inner area of the spaceport.  Hundreds of warships lined the edges of the water docks.  Beyond the water docks stood several shuttles, and a few troop transport ships.  Every ship, no matter if made for water or space, was painted the mottled green and gray hues of this world.  The orcs had modeled their own camouflage onto their vehicles.  They were bred for war, it seemed.  This did not bode well for Walter.
                The outer edges of the spaceport were a ring of buildings, which were used for maintenance, and these structures were built directly up against a range of mesas.  As they traveled past the maintenance areas, the sick sweet smell of oil permeating the garages, he could see that they had many people working.  He did not know if this was the usual amount of orcs operating machinery, but he guessed not.  Many of the orcs were crowded into the work bays, which denoted more personnel than was necessary for the stations.  They were gearing up, preparing for a fight. 
                Walter could see a huge opening cut into the mesa itself, as they passed the maintenance areas.  These mesas had been worked on for decades, it appeared.  The entrance itself was cut out of the rock, and it had been worked on to affect the image of warriors fighting serpentine monsters.  Inside the mesa, the base had been formed into a multi-tiered structure.  It looked to be able to accommodate thousands of people.  Low-tech computers and databases could be seen on the top floor, from below.  Walter gawked a bit too much, apparently, as he received a shove from one of his captors.  He focused on where he was going and used this time to figure out the floorplan of the first floor.  There seemed to be small electric vehicles for transporting crew throughout this base, designated in small outlines of green paint on the floor.  They entered this area and commandeered a larger vehicle, used for up to eight people.  Jenkins and his warriors climbed in and forced Walter between a couple of them.  The high whine of the electric motor sped them along.  The wind whipped over Walter’s face, and he saw that this base possibly spanned a city’s worth of roadways and structures. 
                The entire complex was lit by bioluminescence.  Some kind of algae or moss that glowed, grew on the walls and ceilings of the base.  These people had used the natural environment to enhance their ability to overcome problems with having a low level of technology.  The stonework throughout the fortress city had more and more artistic renditions of warriors and reptilians, and as they got closer to the central part of the city he noticed the images coming into a sort of harmony.  Where warriors and reptilians once stood fighting against each other, reptilian warriors now stood together.  The orcs’ culture was fascinating in just these few images.  Walter wondered what their music and food must be like.  He loved history, and these people intrigued him.
                He almost forgot the predicament he was in, until the vehicle came to a stop.  They parked the transport in a similar green outlined area, which laid next to a larger metal building.  The building was immense and was in the form of a hexagon, with the main doors in the forward facing wall of the two parallel sides.  The building was three stories, and it stood in a steel canyon made of the other tiered floors that ran the length and width of this citadel.  The building was attached to the outer tiered structures with cylindrical bridges, on the third tier.  Walter knew this had to be a central hub, a command center.  He was going to meet someone in charge, and that did not give him a good feeling inside.

(Click to "turn the page" to Chapter 6)

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