“That ship is back.”
Galyn didn’t say anything. Instead, he tutted and ran his claws across a control panel. Although unnoticeable to the naked eye, the Thantir Two started moving a lot faster. Being a much smaller, more nimble ship, Galyn knew that they were probably in danger, and needed to get to a populated area as soon as possible.
“Should I keep track of them?”
“Yes, Arkay. But get yourself and the others armoured up and into place first.”
Arkay nodded, then climbed out of his seat. Retvik and Litvir were already waiting for him just outside the cockpit, both of them looking somewhat anxious.
“That ship we saw. It somehow followed us.”
Litvir shrugged. “Well, we probably are not hard to find, what with being the only other ship in this sector. What is the plan?”
“Put our armour on, prepare for conflict. Litvir, you’ll take turret control, Retvik, you’re covering potential boardings and ram-sleds. I’m going to be tracking the ship and trying to figure out what we’re dealing with.”
Retvik shrugged, then clapped his hands together. Orange and white flames flickered up his arms, legs and tail. He was then completely one-upped by Litvir and Arkay, who both snapped their fingers and immediately summoned their battle armour.
“Alright…” Retvik tutted. “Let me go grab my weapons. Keep us updated.”
Arkay waved a quick goodbye to his friends, then headed back inside the cockpit. He immediately noticed that the ship was going much, much faster now. But, more worryingly, as Arkay checked the scanners, the ship that was following them was still, well, following them.
“Where are we going?”
“Nearest Life Oasis. Was going to head back to that mall but these beings seem serious, and they might just attack that as well.”
Galyn remained focused on steering the ship. Arkay sighed to himself, then started going through the scanning equipment. It was difficult getting any actual readings on the ship following them. But one thing was definitely certain: it was getting closer.
“Can we go faster?”
“I am trying.”
“They are catching up.”
“What do they want from us?”
“I do not want to know.”
Arkay was getting more and more concerned. The scanners had produced more information, probably more than Arkay wanted to know. This ship was at least ten times the size of theirs, with hundreds of beings on board. But then Arkay noticed something even more terrifying. A massive energy spike exploded from the stalking ship.
Instinct acted before words could bubble up from Arkay’s mouth. Arkay pressed his hands against the console in front of him, then closed his eyes, projecting a black, inky shield around the entirety of the Thantir Two. This inky projection absorbed and reflected the colossal waves of red and white energy that had just been fired at it.
“Just… keep on… flying…” The little Decay Lord’s words were strained as he urgently tried to hold his concentration. He had no idea what this energy was, but it was definitely painful.
Galyn did as he was told and continued piloting the ship, Arkay wasn’t sure but he thought he heard Galyn commanding Litvir and Retvik to start firing back. Not that the small arms on this ship would do much.
Another wave of energy blasted the ship, but this one felt different. Far more power. More than Arkay had prepared for. A shriek escaped Arkay’s maw as the power overwhelmed him. In an act of desperation, not wanting to explode from the sheer overload of energy, Arkay let go of the console, dissipating his protective shield, scattering the energy into the void, before plunging into darkness himself.
“Arkay? Arkay, wake up!”
Galyn snarled as he unbuckled himself and checked Arkay’s vitals. The Decayling was still alive, as far as Galyn could tell, but completely knocked cold. That last blast had fried the ship’s systems, leaving nothing but the emergency backup generators, providing a smattering of light. The Thantir Two was now floating aimlessly, having lost most of its speed, only momentum pushing it forward. However, that momentum swiftly stopped as a new beam of energy surrounded the Thantir Two, dragging it back towards the massive ship behind it.
With a sigh, Galyn realised that there was little they could do now. Even if he did manage to reboot everything and break through the tractor beam, there was no way they could get enough speed to outrun the hostile ship.
There was one very small piece of good news though: the tractor beam was slow. While they couldn’t run, the Decay Lords could at least defend themselves. Time was, briefly, on their side.
The door behind Galyn opened up. Litvir was standing there, carrying what looked like a bag of broken glass.
“Retvik and I noticed that we are stuck in a tractor beam, so we are booby-trapping the main corridor, boss. Where do you keep your electrical tape- oh, is Arkay…” Litvir paused. Galyn could tell Litvir was mentally scanning him. “He needs medical assistance.”
Galyn growled, checking on Arkay again, before securing the unconscious Decayling to his seat. The elder Decay Lord then flicked his fingers, producing a tiny vial of pink liquid, which he very gently injected into Arkay’s upper arm. “He does. This will keep him stable, at least. Assuming we can get out of this mess.”
Litvir smiled, just a little. “Well, even if we do not, we will take plenty of these unknown bastards down with us…”