Pyreflie

Time passed by like sand within an hourglass, Khal paced the bridge of his Shamrock-class Frigate Pyreflie, unsettled by the mumbling in the corner. “Does he have to do that?” His irritation at being forced to do the escort duties more and more evident as the days passed. His second, Fren looked up from her station and shrugged, her usual smile long gone to a determined frown as she felt her Captain’s unease, “leave To’kaht alone, he’s served us as soothsayer well, and you know that.” The huddled figure twitched at the mention of his name, wafting a little more cloying incense in their direction causing Khal to shudder involuntarily. The screen lit up with the Lazari Dromitus emblem before flickering violently and settling on a fuzzy, flickering image of a wizened old man.

The image bowed his head and touched his brow with wrinkly fore fingers, “Captain Khal, you are required to return to base immediately for redeployment.” Before the young Captain could respond, the image on the screen lurched then flickered off. “Damned cantankerous old windbag,” Khal swore under his breath, kicking the console in front of him, “lady and guys, we’ve been ordered back home immediately. That means now, Val’tehk, not when you’ve finished with whatever Gallente smut you’re reading. Ramuun, you’re not doing anything, so give him a hand.”

 

The small vessel dropped out of warp, automated systems pulling her to the docking area. With a shuddering boom, the Pyreflie was secured to the docking bay, her inner and outer doors hissing with vented steam and gasses. Home at last, Khal thought, looking around to see if anything had been changed on his tedious 3 month rotation.

The crew stopped dead as they entered the main docking area, staring up at the behemoth before them. “Pretty, isn’t she?” Came a hollow, rattling voice behind them. As one, the four people turned, their eyes widening at the cowled and bent figure of their soothsayer propped against a bulkhead. Slowly, he rose an arm, pointing to the vessel, “that… is the end.” They blinked owlishly at the man then turned, looking at the ship, far larger than anything they’d seen before.

 

“Elder Dahl, I’m here as you requested,” Khal spoke quietly and evenly, bowing and touching his brow with his forefingers in the traditional greeting. The man sat with his back towards the young captain and snorted derisively, “first time you’ve not disappointed me. Did you see the replacement Pyreflie as you entered the station?” The young man stood there in a dumbfounded silence. When his answer wasn’t forthcoming, the elder turned to face the young man, studying him for a long moment before motioning to sit. “You’re held in high regard amongst the other elders, feel blessed as I had nothing to do with your elevation. Why you maintain your current vessel is a mystery to me, you have the skills yet you’ve declined every attempt to usher you into larger, more powerful vessels. The ship you saw is a testament to our engineers and it cost a good many lives to design her.” Khal nodded slowly, the realisation slowly creeping in, “father, I thank you for this opportunity, but why not choose a more competent Battleship Captain? I mean, my brother wou-” The ageing man silenced Khal with smashing his fist on the desk, “do not make assumptions, and do not call me that. You only have this command because the council wish it. Had it been my choice, I would’ve elevated my son to the command, but you got it only because of a popular vote.”

The elder passed Khal a scroll, then standing, he motioned to the younger man to kneel and began the ritual phrases of promotion.

 

In a daze, Khal returned to the quarters assigned to him and his crew, ignoring the looks from Fren and Ramuun. Val’tehk was the first to speak, “so, where are we heading this time?” Saying nothing, Khal withdrew the scroll from his jacket, dropping it on to the table in front of him. Val’tehk picked up the scroll, unwound it and began reading, staring at Khal in disbelief before passing it to Fren.

“Why didn’t you tell us you were being promoted and taking a new command?” The woman asked, her face a mask of surprise and anger. Khal shook his head, his shoulders hunching, “I didn’t ask for this, nor do I want it. But it’s the will of the elders, so I must do this,” he said in a resigned tone, “but, I want you guys to come, too.” His crew nodded then went to their rooms to prepare for the move.

 

The new vessel was huge to say the least. Khal sat on the bridge running through the ship’s specifications… Pyreflie-class Carrier. Shielding systems stolen from the Caldari Navy, looted and cannibalised systems of Amarr and Minmatar origin, Ageing Gallentean drone control systems… He sighed, wondering what parts of his new command’s systems were designed by Lazari Dromitus. Well, no use trying to figure out what this ship is, best get to learn it’s capabilities, I guess, He thought to himself. “Captain to crew, welcome aboard, we’ll be running a test flight as soon as we’re cleared to undock.”

“Take your time with the tests.” Khal shuddered and looked over to the large cradle holding the ancient creature of his ship’s soothsayer, “To’kaht?” He asked only to get a deep and mirthless chuckle in return causing the hairs on the back of his neck.

Undocking permission came none too soon.

 

Mottled green plates shone with reflected light as the vessel orbited a nearby moon. He’d chosen to name the vessel Agrona after the ancient Goddess of war, a fitting name for the greatest vessel built by the Lazari faction.

The comms systems started screaming to life. A massive Republic fleet had begun attacking the station, “all hands, battle stations, prepare to warp in and defend the station.” He ordered sending the bridge into action, then he was suddenly surrounded by silence and darkness.

A motion, no more than a deeper shadow within the darkness came towards Khal, a hand clamped around his throat, the grip tightening like a vice. Warm, scented breathe tickled his cheek, “I told you this ship would be the end. If we warp in, there will be no one left of the Lazari,” came the voice, it’s tones familiar. Khal turned his head slowly, dry swallowing a few times. “What should we do?” He asked finally, his voice no more than a hoarse whisper.

“We wait,” the seer finally answered before the grip loosened. He was blinded by the sudden light on the bridge, everyone was rushing around as though nothing had happened. He stood there for a long moment, then picked up the speaker horn and bellowed down it, “delay that order, stand down! We’ll hold position.” Punching in a command key on his console, he shut down and began to wait.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: