On Amarcan fires raged without control. The great city of Tirinae had swelled its population beyond normal due to the influx of people escaping the ravages occurring in the hinterland. The cities defenders were hard pressed. In space a war had been raging for days as ship after ship had been destroyed.
Aboard the Windforce directions were given to deploy all ships to a perimeter. The dreadnought had moved into this space to protect the flanks of the Amarcan fleet.
‘Deploy the cruisers in this quadrant, and move the Tauran battle phalanx to this area, nominating the quadrant on the battle map. The commander continued. ‘We move on their station in three sectors.’ The command was given. There were four figures grouped around the battle hologram, the space before them was filled with an array of craft from Xxen craft to Phalanx Battle Cruisers. A battle of attrition was raging until a Dirkoron Warp ship appeared.
The Warp ship approached Amarcan with smaller craft clustered in its shadow. The refracted light emanating from its bulk were tell-tales of the anti-matter force which drove this great symbol of awesome power. The space beyond the Warp ship was still rippling as if a motionless sea had been disturbed. Waves of energy spread outwards like a wayward giant flexing its muscles. But these indications were not energy but synergy. The Warp ship had crossed the barrier and behind it the entrance to the Dirkoron Empire.
That this symbol of power was here now stirred the Commander of the Windforce to frenetic action.
‘Captain, move the Windforce to the apex of Amarcan and its moon, the fleet is to land. Contact Ollicipie and report that a Warp ship has appeared . . . do it now.’ The Commander leant over the console. Moving his hands feverishly he sent to all ships in the group, the signal ‘The Windforce will engage the Emship; all fighters are to ground on Amarcan.’
He stared at the console his eyes not seeing, arms rigid. ‘How and why, I have only heard of these giants, but never seen one. Who could mistake it, it is as large as creation.’ Sitting, his anxiety lining the wrinkles beneath his eyes. ‘Why now, why is that here? My planet force, these plasma weapons against a Warp ship.’ His head shaking, a sigh escaped his lips. ‘Well, off to oblivion we go, but some of them will come with us.’ Standing, he gave the order to engage.
At that point the ships communication system sprang to life and a voice was heard, commanding and insistent-
COMMANDER REMKIN, THIS IS THE EMSHIP MENNEKER, WE HAVE COME AT THIS TIME FOR A PURPOSE
DO NOT ENGAGE YOUR WEAPONS, WE WILL ALLOW 2 SECTARS FOR YOUR FORCE TO LEAVE THIS DEFENCE SECTOR, HEED MY WORDS...
‘The Warp ship has appeared, at last where Dargurion?’
‘Sire by the planet Amarcan.’
‘Pressing the stud, Maruk trailed a talon across the translucent star map. ‘Here,’ he stabbed. ‘On the rim. Dargurion, what is the number of complements of the Menneker‘
‘It has 100 with it Lord.’
‘Excellent,’ said Maruk, I want point of sighting with them quickly Dargurion.’
Dargurion exited through the empanelled wall and ascended to the communication chamber atop Spectres way.
Entering the room he quickly attained an assessment of the communications net.’ Give me a time for crossing to the Masters.’
‘Sir, one sector, they are sending now, we will have the inner circle shortly.’
Dargurion stepped down from the entrance and hurried across to the seating platform. The enclave sang with hidden power. A circlet of Zinian metal embedded in the floor gave off a glowing ethereal pulse. Above this circlet stretched in a full circle an interconnected series of pulse machines with entrance ways from the consoles spread concentrically around the communication platform.
This was the Zinian time trap used by the power to communicate with Maruk. The triloputers were attempting the difficult task of fixing image transfer with the Menneker
As the pulses generated grew in intensity the centre of the comm-circle became iridescent and then opaque. The warm misty light danced and coalesced as if endowed with form. Engineers so identified by their uniforms moved into the centre and consulted with a portoputer.
Two others, ethereal now in the opaqueness glided to a coordinated pattern within the circlet to triangulate the floor area. At each point of what was now becoming distinct was placed a pulsing light. At a command they moved from the area and once again consulted the triloputer, satisfied they reported to a figure standing to one side.
Dargurion consulted with the transfer commander and walked onto the platform. Waving an electronic beam from side to side he covered the floor space while looking at the response of the hand-held machine.
‘Commander,’ spoke Dargurion, ‘commence transfer with the Menneker, the path is secure.’
The room darkened as the intrusion of light exploded to the bounds of the platform, coalesced, bulged, gathered form, scattered like shards of plastiglass, reformed and became rigid. Like a gigantic bubble it held, pulsed again, and then assumed form.
‘Connection imminent, holding, holding, synapse complete, connection, synapse complete.’ The triloputers voice came from the air, the voice was all round. ‘Reporting transfer connection with the Menneker.’
Dargurion dismissing the engineers turned to the console and consulted the triloputer.
‘What is the period of transfer?’
‘Image transfer can be held for 2 sectors. The Menneker will then change station to commence bridging.’ Pressing his digitiser he reported to Maruk.
In his eyrie Maruk’s brooding presence alarmed the Tameleon. Maruk paced constantly seeking reports on the status of the Halpen. His gruff reply to Dargurion was left as a companion as he stepped aboard the grav-unit and swept into the corridor; ascending to the comm-room he gave instructions. Once in the chamber he glided over to the main triloputer, looked at Dargurion and then back to the time-trap. ‘Everything is ready,’ prompted Maruk.
‘Yes Sire,’ replied Dargurion.
‘Good, have the engineers removed and assemble my Imperials here immediately. Signal Menneker that I will confer with the masters alone, except for my security troops who will seal this area.’
At Dargurions command the waiting cohort of Imperials burst into the enclave and removed the engineers. Spacing themselves Maruk’s bodyguard encircled the time transfer. Weapons held firmly and primed for burst fire. At Maruk’s order Dargurion commanded the ‘puter to lock on to Menneker and begin transfer.
‘The Lord Bortok is moving from the seat of where all life began, to the star sector threatened by the arrival of the Emship Menneker. He is aboard Genesis.’
‘Good, now we will have a chance, at least of a fair fight.’
‘Where will he emerge,’ the commander of the Ollicipie requested.
‘My Lord, he will confront the Menneker.’
‘What – signal the commander of the Windforce – tell him – no do not code, tell Remkin that the Wanderer will appear before him – instantly.’
On board Windforce Commander Remkin was studying the message
‘The Lord Bortok will confront the Menneker. Your valour in attempting to shield your force from an Emship will be honoured – but only if you are alive. Stay your command Remkin - message ends- Ollicipie.’
On the bridge the view was awe-inspiring. The Menneker crowded known space, explosions told of asteroids disintegrating as they violated the Em ship’s space. Remkin studied the message - looked to the ceiling - then spoke reverently. ‘To all my commanders, to all my fighters, the Wanderer is here- he is here now.’
The wavering path between Windforce and the Emship bespoke of turmoil. Of dimensions gathering force – far from the centre of life - but still with the V-drive, the Genesis emerged - first as a gamma wave - the light refracted from the nose of the Windforce. A wavering pulsing light then the Genesis materialised. At the same time a voice penetrated all conscious thought. ‘Your message to the Windforce is welcome Menneker. You will leave this sector of space within the instant.’
The behemoth pulsed several times as streaks of latent power erupted towards the Genesis. The Genesis grew in size and radiated a throbbing rainbow of circles of light. The lethal thrust from the giant Emship surged into the ring of power and was consumed.
From within the Genesis a ray of concentrated light spread across the path between the two ships and grew solid. It reached into the space within the boundary of the Emship, where no asteroid could live and penetrated the hull of the Menneker. As the Genesis sat pulsing, the side of the awesome Emship split open like a ripe melon – folded up and engulfed itself.
‘As if space had eaten,’ was how Remkin reported the incident.
‘One moment we were threatened with death, then the Lord Bortok emerged – the Emship disappeared.’
‘He has been successful in his search for the equation that unlocks the secret.’
‘What – permutation’
‘Apparently, how else do you make an Emship return to its dimension?’
‘Yes, but what has started this -?’
‘From where all life came from as we know it – planet Earth.’