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Chapter 1: Tonsil Time Warp (Part A)

By Jan Conradie · Oct 6, 2019 ·
See my notes on Chapter 3 placed first. This is Chapter 1 of the book now being renamed The Time-Lords. The reason why wanted to introduce myself with Chapter 3 instead of Chapter 1 should be evident. Warning; Graphic Violence. This is not my main theme, it just happens to be Chapter 1.
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  1. One unexpected energy pulse and there they were: Two screaming Insect warriors appeared in the control room of the Icarissa, that grand old ship of deep space. So this was the cause of Torm’s premonition of imminent trouble. These were magnificent specimens. Their Insect bodies were armoured with glistening black exoskeleton and they were armed impressively. Lieutenant Kentsela who was in charge of the night watch, activated the alarm just before the laser hit him in the chest. The next moment he was burnt to a cinder.

    The emergency squad reacted immediately. However, significant damage had been caused to the control room by the time they had eliminated these attackers. Two pilots were dead, a guard was dying of Insect gas and the security system was down with holes and ugly gashes in the control panel. Krog, the sturdy old night sergeant, was in charge and started to issue orders.

    Torm was wheezing because of the stench of war. He stood there staring at the two dead Insects. Underneath the black exterior they were red, with a touch of yellow between the segments of the upper body. The cruelly spiked legs were hard as iron and were attached to powerfully muscled hips. These enabled the Insect to move thrice as fast and jump four times as high as a man. The loveless multiple eyes were now glazed over in death and too terrible to look at, and the biological poison gas tubes were augmented by the latest technology. One of the Insects also had a stinger tail which it could menacingly arch up above its head, just like a giant scorpion.

    But this was not what transfixed Torm’s eyes. Each Insect had a host, that unlucky being on which it was parasiting and on which the eggs were laid. Rather than eating the host, this species held it captive in submission by mind power to serve its master until death parted them. In this case, one host was an amphibian with slimy skin and the other was humanoid. Both had the pale complexion of iron deficiency and both were dead with their masters.

    “CADET TORM!” The voice of Krog called him back to the present. “Follow me!”

    Why would the wizened old sergeant want him, ordinary cadet that he is, to accompany him? Well, maybe not ordinary in all respects…

    Torm jogged down the corridor with Krog, straight to the quarters of Captain Barak. However, when they reached the vicinity thereof, they could already see that it was too late. The door was ajar and there was a sickly smell and Insect gas vapours coming from inside. Inside the cabin they could see that the Captain, a formidable soldier, had been in hand-to-hand combat. The result was a mess of blood, Insect juice and broken furniture. Torm had to force back his nausea. The brave man had apparently tried to seal his office but had failed. The Insects that survived the fight had been there, did what they came to do, and left.

    It had become evident that Krog was the highest in rank of the surviving officers. This experienced campaigner therefore started issuing orders to recover and to repel the boarders. The first priority was to repair the security system and to recalibrate it to pick up the energy pulses with which the Insects were boarding the ship. All crew were put on high alert, with extra guards on strategic places. All officers had to report regularly. A new frequency for communication was established by two-way radio, as the communication system was damaged and transmission had been interfered with.

    But the Insects still managed to work around the security system. There were alien energy pulses all over the ship now as they appeared, attacked and disappeared again. The torpedo launching tubes were blown up before the guards could do anything. The life support system was damaged. Gas masks were automatically released all over ship. An attack on the armoury was repelled only just.

    Then alarm was made in the engine room: A whole section of Insects with amphibian hosts had entered through the water tank and attacked the crystal control unit! By the time a guard unit had repelled them, the power supply had been damaged.

    Five remote controlled hosts appeared on the flight deck, armed with suicide bomb packs! One of them had tragically shrugged off his master’s telepathic control and attacked the others. He had enough will-power left to seize the opportunity for self-control as the distance between him and his Insect master increased. He was blown to bits with the others when the bombs exploded. Krog was visibly upset when a diagnostic showed that the flight deck was largely useless now.

    Each Insect was doubly strengthened by its host. Hosts were selected for specific capabilities: Speed, strength or specialist abilities. The Insect then enhanced that particular talent. If an Insect was wounded or killed, the host would fight on unless it regained self-control. More often than not, the host spirit was too crushed to regain a will of its own. A human being would not stand much of a chance in hand-to-hand combat. These were formidable opponents indeed, armed with the best available technology. Nonetheless, Krog and his crew put up a manly fight to resist the attack.

    The losses suffered by the Icarissa grew all the time but the Insects only appeared to increase in numbers. When the power supply became too weak to sustain the energy shield, Krog took the mobile control unit, strapped it to his back and issued the much feared instruction: All crew must try to escape to the inner body of their live spacecraft or, if that is not possible, in the few remaining escape pods. Those that cannot do either must dig in to fight to the death.


    © J.M. Conradie

    About Author

    Jan Conradie
    I say nothing about myself except what is suggested by what I write. Internet personas are unverifiable and dangerous to put any faith in whatsoever. Here I am"Jan Conradie"for lack of a better name, or Godspeller Jan for purposes of introducing a protagonist I am busy with today. For being kind to a stranger, you deserve to get some insight into my psyche, so I decided to give something instead of nothing. What little I have in life, is not on the web but in a little house somewhere in reality.

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