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The Chronicles of the Samuel Hain 5th Series - Gather Together

The Chronicles of the Samuel Hain 5th Series - Gather Together

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Published by Benjamin F. Kaye
Episode 2
Episode 2

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Published by: Benjamin F. Kaye on Aug 18, 2013
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10/17/2013

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1
 
The Chronicles of the Samuel Hain5
th
Series
Gather Together 
Will you hand me that di-pole cluster array dear?
Hefu was holding a bundle of cables in hishand, were they live?
You mean this?
 
No. That
s the sub-atomic catalytic control interface.
 
How long till the oxygen runs out?
 
I
ve lost track of that, actually. Maybe two minutes
 –
perhaps three.
 I handed him a part that looked like a spring lodged in a metal plate.
I think this is it.
 
Yes. Absolutely. Well! That
s interesting.
He tapped on the control panel.
Are we out of oxygen?
 
According to this, we ran out of oxygen five minutes ago. If you start to feel dizzy
 –
orsomething like that
 –
try holding your breath.
 
That
s reassuring.
 
Sorry, my dear. Now, let
s see.
Hefu pried open the control panel, carefully maneuvered thecluster in place, and then inserted the wires, one by one.
This should work.
 
And if it doesn
t?
 
Then we
ll know for sure that one cannot create a magnetic field with an old X-4 fighter.
 
 
2
 With the hull now magnetized, we slowly but steadily drifted back to the Samuel Hain. My lungsstarted straining, desperately grasping for any air molecules that might be left. I gazed at the Hain
sfighter bay; wondering if that would be the last thing I would ever see. A sudden
clank!
pulled myattention to the right side of the ship.
Scavenger
.bots
.
Those were the only words I could force out.
Time to hold your breath my dear.
 We continued our dreadfully slow march back to the Hain. The scavenger bots sounded like hailon a tin roof as they landed on the ship. I could hear the sound of drilling and cutting as theymeticulously dismantled our only hope for survival. After a few moments, the X-4 was covered withthem; I couldn
t even see outside. A sudden, loud
bang!
heralded the fighter
s imminent demise.Since we were now blind and I couldn
t feel the ship move, I had no idea of how close we were to thefighter bay.Something crawled up my back and onto my shoulder. I turned my head and saw a metalliclocust, with tubes trailing behind it. It clicked its wings and flew to the control panel in front of us.Another scavenger bot crawled up my leg and started disassembling the circuit panels under my seat.These two, meeting no resistance, were followed by several dozen more.A low
thud!
jolted the ship. We must have made contact with the Hain, right? The X-4started to bend and heave, as if only one or two screws were holding it together. Scavenger bots werestreaming into the cockpit and we were almost drowning in them. Soon, we found ourselves in a giantball of hungry bots. Hefu grabbed my hand and pulled me through the squirming, wriggling mass.We were in the exit tunnel of the fighter bay. Our lungs screamed as they took in the thinatmosphere. Hefu got up and stumbled to a nearby panel. He opened it and started crossing circuits.He slammed the panel shut and helped me to my feet.
One
.two
three
..run!
He smiled.Fire raced down the tunnel, scorching the bots. It was right at my back
 –
I could have sworn theflames were licking my skin. We were almost in the fighter bay. Hefu shoved a red lever forward,without stopping a second, and ran even faster. The fighter bay door ahead of us was closing fast.He slid under the door when it was just three feet from the ground.
C
mon Love! Slide! Slide!Slide!
I made it under with only one foot to spare. The door closed and the flames splashed against it.
Next year, love, let
s spend the holidays somewhere else.
I got to my feet.
And miss all the fun?
 
 
3
 We exited the fighter bay through a ventilation shaft. After about an hour of climbing andcrawling, I was looking through a grate into what was once the Hain
s lecture hall. I carefully removedthe cover and we crept down. The air was musty and the whole place was lined with dust and cobwebs.I was about to congratulate myself when I felt something warm and muscular wrap around my neck.
Don
t move. Name
 –
race.
 
Shevu, of the Neredites. This is my companion, Hefu.
My eyes darted to the left. Hefu wasalso caught by a tentacle.
Neredites, eh?
The voice grumbled.
Not much fight in you
.good to look at
but not muchfight.
His grip around me tightened.
Thamphor, Dip-Dip is calling the shots. He said bring everyone to him.
The other voice said.A little blue light winked on. I could see the fearsome Nethasian looking me over like a child
stoy. He set me down and chuckled. I instinctively backed into Hefu and grabbed his hand.
Do you know why Dip-Dip is calling the shots?
He walked up to his Nethasian colleague.
Because it buys us time
.time to study them
time to figure out the greatest tactical advantage.
Icould see his spines quivering in the faint light.
I am Hefu. Please to meet you Mr. Thamphor.
Hefu, ever the optimistic gentleman, extendedhis hand in friendship.
I am Thamphor, Commander of the 42
nd
Nethasian Battle Fleet. This seedling over here isN
Shafix. His is my disciple, my protégé
 –
but most of all
 –
my burden.
The old Nethasian grabbed hisyoung charge and had him on the ground before any of us realized it.
Get up!
He yelled at him.
Getup Seedling! See if you can find anything useful here.
With that, the old general led us into the halland left his student behind.
Is there anyone else on board
 –
besides pirates?
Hefu strode beside the general, but I stayedbehind.
There are plenty of people on board. Most of them are being held in the night club, but a fewof us escaped when the assault came. There are also several others scattered throughout the ship.
 
What do the pirates want?
I walked up beside Hefu.
Mostly spare parts and materials. The hull would fetch a nice price on several black markets.A pair like you two would be the jewel in any slave trader
s crown.
Thamphor ran his tentacle downHefu
s back.
Is there a plan for liberating ourselves from the current situation?
Hefu grabbed somethingsharp and gently moved the general
s tentacle away. Surprisingly, the old Nethasian accepted thisgesture. Hefu
s time in the Nethasian Cluster had been well spent
 –
he knew how to handle them.

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