Read Trapped in Time-Extinction Online

Authors: Saxon Andrew

Tags: #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Science Fiction, #Alien Invasion, #First Contact, #Galactic Empire, #Genetic Engineering, #Hard Science Fiction, #Military, #Space Fleet, #Time Travel, #Teen & Young Adult, #General

Trapped in Time-Extinction (3 page)

“I did. There are some black clouds but they appear to be scattered. I didn’t see a long line of them like you see in an approaching storm.”

Annelise looked at Johnathan and nodded, “That gives us some time. Will you fly to the harbor and tell Paul and Ana to sail their ship here to pick up Admiral Zeck and me?”

Zeck looked at Annelise, “Hey, I’m no longer an Admiral.”

Annelise shook her head, “You are the most experienced ship commander we have. You’ve forgotten more than I know. I’d feel better if you’re with me when we meet this ship.”

Andy nodded, “I’ll have fliers in camosuits circling overhead if they do anything aggressive.”

Zeck nodded and said, “I’ll go with you.”

Andy looked at Johnathan, “Go and deliver the message.” Johnathan ran to his glider pack and buckled it on as he ran up to the top of the northern wall. He took a running start and leapt off the wall and released his glider. The wings caught the breeze and he rose quickly above the wall and headed north.

Andy looked at the group, “I think we should delay this meeting until we see what’s going on with this ship.”

Harvey nodded, “I agree. Are you going with them to meet it?”

Andy looked at Melody and she shook her head, “I know, I know. You won’t rest a minute if you stay here. Go and do your duty.” Andy hugged her and nodded to Harvey.

• • •

The Admiral looked up at the sky and wondered if another storm was coming. The last storm was not like any of the final storms he had seen in other Maelstroms. If there was a fifth storm…he shook his head. That would be a record breaker. His crew had kept their eyes out and had not seen any wreckage on their voyage. Sailing against the Westerly wind was slow going but his crew was good and kept the ship tacking smoothly. When they finally saw land, the tall cliff in front of the vessel told him they were north of the lands that had been attacked. He made a decision to sail north. They had never encountered this new enemy in the southern lands he had invaded. That meant they were probably north of the last attack.

He looked at the decks and was surprised they had survived the last storm. It had been violent and there were a number of times he thought the ship was going to flounder, but it didn’t. He lost one of the masts and everything below decks was in shambles, but order was slowly being restored. He knew this was a one-way trip but the loss of more than half of his food stores to the storm only added more confirmation. If he couldn’t locate this new enemy, they would be forced to go ashore and hunt for food. The ship felt good under his feet.

The fresh smell of the sea and the giant sea carnivores that would breach the surface of the rolling ocean made him feel at home. Most of the families that had been brought on board prior to their escape suffered a lot from seasickness, which was understandable. Even seasoned sailors suffered in the violent seas they had been trapped on. He closed his eyes and felt the breeze on his face. For the first time in his life, he felt free. He suddenly heard from the lookout on top of the remaining mast, “Sails approaching from the North!”

The Admiral opened his eyes and his second-in-command ran up to the rear quarterdeck, “Should we break out the cannon?”

“No, leave them undercover.”

“Are you sure about that, Sire? This could be one of the Commandant’s vessels.”

“And how would they know we are traitors? If it’s not one of the Empire’s ships, it belongs to that group that defeated us. Either way, cannons aren’t called for.”

“I hope you’re right.”

“Jeff, how can anyone know what’s right in this new world? I do know that none of our ships were able to use their cannons when they were taken by this new civilization. If I make a mistake, it will be on the side of caution.”

Jeff stared at the Admiral and saluted, “Yes, Sire.” The Admiral looked to the north and waited for the sails to appear. The lookout could see them over the horizon. Fifteen minutes later, he saw the tops of them appear above the sea. He waited as the ship moved closer. After another twenty minutes he yelled, “Strike the sails and drop the anchor.”

Everyone on board looked at the Admiral and knew they were giving up their ability to maneuver. Their hesitation was brief and they moved up in the rigging and lowered the sails.

• • •

Zeck watched the ship and saw it lower its sails. Andy saw it as well and looked at him, “What’s going on?”

“Lowering their sails makes them an easy target. Most ship commanders would never lower their sails in a dangerous situation. They give up their ability to maneuver and use their cannons.”

“Why would they do it then?”

“My only guess is they want to talk.”

Andy nodded, “I hope you’re right.”

Zeck sailed the ship directly at the Destroyer’s bow, dropped anchor a hundred yards away and lowered his sails. He allowed the ship to swing around and he dropped the rear anchor. He now had the Destroyer ship confronted with a full broadside of cannons and the gunnery crew had them loaded and ready to fire. Andy yelled, “You will not fire your cannons until I order it!”

Each of the gunnery teams yelled, “Order understood!”

Zeck stared at the Ship and saw Johnathan was right; one of the main masts was gone. He looked closer and said, “They’re lowering a boat.” Andy nodded and watched them start rowing it toward his ship. The boat arrived and Zeck looked overboard at who was on it and said, “Well I’ll be damned.”

Andy looked at him, “What?”

“That’s Senior Admiral Slayer. He commanded the fleet that you attacked when you rescued Melody. He’s the highest ranking officer in the Destroyer Navy.” Andy looked at the boat and recognized the Admiral he had sent with a message to deliver to the Commandant. Why was he here?

The Admiral arrived on deck and looked around. Andy walked forward and he could see the Admiral’s expression show relief. As Andy arrived in front of the sailors from the Destroyer ship, the Admiral said, “Salute!” The eight sailors all saluted, including the Admiral.

“Why are you saluting?”

The Admiral lowered his arm and his men also lowered theirs. All of them remained at attention. “When you sent me back with your message, you also asked me a question that troubled me greatly.”

“What was that?”

“You asked why we didn’t just capture the ones we attacked and take them back to our Empire. There was no good reason to kill them. After much thought, I found that I agree with your assessment. Quite frankly, I originally wanted to request you allow me to stay with you then but I knew the Commandant would have executed my family if I did. The Commandant sent me here to determine what happened to his fleets but I used his order to escape with the ones that went back to protect their families.. I humbly ask that you accept us into your community.” Zeck walked down from the stern deck and the Admiral saw him, “ZECK! YOU’RE ALIVE!” The Admiral rushed forward and hugged Zeck and Andy was confused about what was going on. Zeck looked at Andy and said, “I was promoted to being a ship commander by the Admiral. He has always taken care of me.”

“Do you honestly think we should accept him?”

Zeck looked at the Admiral and slowly shook his head, “I don’t know. Slayer has killed so many humans in the past.”

The Admiral looked at Zeck with surprise on his face. Then he lowered his eyes and said, “I no longer use the name Slayer. My name is Steve Striker. And you’re right, far too many have died because of my actions. If you can’t accept me, I understand why. However, I ask that you accept my crew and their families.”

Zeck looked at Steve and smiled, “I think he’s worth saving, Andy.”

Andy listened to the exchange and smiled. “One never knows when they’ll find salvation. It’s a brutal world we live in and finding meaning is difficult. What did you mean by saying you escaped?”

“I suspected the Commandant was going to order me to find out what happened to his fleets so I had my family and crew, along with their families, to already be on board while I was meeting with the Commandant. We immediately sailed out of the harbor while the soldiers were sent to take my family hostage. When they couldn’t find them they knew I must have taken them on board. The harbor cannons opened fire but fortunately, their first volley missed and we moved out of range.”

Zeck looked at him, “I’m surprised you survived the last storm. You had to be out in open waters when it hit.”

“We were and the ship was damaged along with a large percentage of our stores.”

Zeck tilted his head and then started shaking it, “I imagine the Commandant was rather upset by your escape.”

Steve nodded, “You know how he is. I’m sure someone died as a result. He’s about as paranoid as you can get with all the defensive fortifications he’s building.”

Andy looked at Steve, “You know what he’s doing to stop our invasion?”

“Yes, I’ve been watching him since I delivered your message. He’s really frightened.”

Andy smiled, “You are a gift, Admiral. I need you to meet with our Leadership Council to discuss what he’s doing.”

Steve nodded, “I’ll be glad to tell you everything I know, but I suspect we should get these two ships to safety.”

Zeck looked at him, “You think another storm is coming?”

“There might be two more.” Andy saw Zeck was startled by the statement. Steve said, “The pressures that cause these storms have not diminished. That last storm was too strong to be the last one. I suspect another one is coming rather quickly.”

Andy looked at Steve and said, “Get back to your ship and follow us to our harbor.”

“How far is it?”

“About fifty miles north of here.”

Steve licked his finger, held it up, and shook his head, “Is there somewhere closer we can anchor?”

Zeck shook his head, “Is it coming that quickly.”

“I believe it is.”

Zeck looked at Andy, “We’ll have everyone on his ship come over to this one. With a mast missing, he won’t make the cut in the cliff.” Andy nodded. Zeck said, “I’m moving this ship over to yours. Have everyone gather their personal belongings and get on board.” Steve nodded and Zeck began shouting orders. Andy saw that the fates had brought him an even more experienced fleet commander than Zeck. He smiled; Harmony was still taking care of him.

• • •

The transfer happened quickly and Zeck turned the ship north and felt the wind picking up. He looked at Steve, “How long do we have?”

“I would guess about three to four hours before it hits. How far do we have to go?”

“About ten miles to a pier we’ve built outside our community. The harbor is another thirty miles north of there.”

Steve looked up at the black clouds blowing overhead and frowned, “We’ll never make the harbor.” Zeck nodded and yelled instructions to the sailors in the rigging. Andy watched the sails fill and the ship picked up speed. He smiled, they would make it.

The ship arrived at the pier and Andy saw about a hundred people waiting for him to dock. The people on board gathered their personal belongings and were assisted by those on the pier. It took about two hours but finally everyone was safely on shore. Steve said, “I’m taking the ship out from this pier to prevent it being damaged.”

Zeck shook his head, “No you aren’t. I’ll do that.”

“Why?”

“Because you have information that they need. We can’t risk losing you. I’ll sail it out a mile and take a boat back in.”

Steve looked up, “You need to hurry!”

Zeck nodded and raised the anchor. The ship was untied and eight sailors went with him. They anchored the ship and lowered the sails just as the first squalls arrived. They lowered the boat and began stroking the oars as hard as they could. Zeck raised the small sail on the boat and it was the only thing that saved them. The wind blowing over the top of the cliff swept beyond them and then rushed back at the cliff. They arrived at the pier and scrambled up. Zeck released the rope holding the boat against the pier and ran toward land. He turned as he ran and saw the boat picked up in the wind and shoved toward the cliff wall. By the time he reached the end of the pier, the boat was blown into the stone wall. It was smashed into pieces just as the nine sailors scrambled up the cut in the cliff wall. The torrential rain hit and they were soaked before they arrived at one of the warrior’s barracks. Zeck found Steve waiting for him, “You cut that one pretty close.”

Zeck nodded, “This can’t be the last storm either.”

Steve nodded, “I’ve never heard of six but I think there will be another.” Zeck slowly nodded and knew he was right.

Chapter Three

T
he rain was still falling outside the Holy Cave and Andy saw Harvey was not in a good mood. “What’s bothering you, Harvey?”

“I’m over all this foul weather.”

“Well, get in line. You’re not alone. Steve tells me there’s still one more storm to go before it’s over.”

“Oh that’s just lovely. Do you have anything else to make my day?”

“Once the weather clears, we’re sending a ship to spy on the Destroyers.”

“YOU’RE WHAT?”

“Actually, it’s a raid to try and save a particular slave but while we’re doing that, we’re going to scout out what the Commandant is doing to prepare for our invasion.”

“Please tell me you’re not going on this mission!”

“No, I’m staying here. Rory, Johnathan, and Tyler have volunteered to go and do the scouting.”

“They are some of our best Fliers. Why would you allow them to run that risk?”

“The new Admiral we’ve got working with us suspects that the Destroyers are building defenses against attacks from the air.”

“WHAT?”

“He thinks they’ve figured out that the only way they could have lost their fleet was by a force that attacked from the air. He’s not certain about it, but some of the defenses being put on their remaining ships appears to be designed to stop anyone from landing on their ships.”

“Who is going to lead this expedition?”

“Zeck is going to be in command of the ship. Rory will command the Fliers.”

“How are they going to get a ship close without being seen?”

“You know we have several hundred thousand of the camouflage uniforms.”

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