As the necromancer cleared the rim of the moon he had an inkling of something and he looked to his droid, which was transfixed by the screen. ‘Sir,’ it said as an enormous ship filled the sky. Hardin jumped to the firing platform as his droid grew silent. Firing solutions were aligned as the cup of tea dropped to the floor and Hardens life swept before him, ‘my ship won’t last long against this’ – ‘Stay your hand Hardin Williams, your droid has been frozen as well your guns, you will now come aboard the Windforce’.
‘But, but the cruiser’ –‘that is now with its Gods, now you will come’.
As Hardin stood transfixed by the sight of the Windforce his body was surrounded by a shimmer, as the air around him became transparent, his droid was released to monitor the ship. In seconds he became aware of a platform and armed guards surrounded by plas-glass and he was ushered down a corridor he thought somewhere within this ‘ship’, he thought it was but it was enormous, spherical, lean and definitely a fighting ship from his short recollection.
Soon with several troops surrounding him he was being addressed by a person who introduced himself as ‘Remkin, I am the Commander of the planet force dreadnought Windforce.’
‘Now that your mouth is closed come, we will sit in my office’. As they sat the walls disappeared and he could see the stars black as night. As he craned his head to take in the ship he could only marvel at its lines and the bulbous see through shapes somehow part of the ship. ‘They are my firing pods Hardin. Now we will talk and I know you like tea’, as he spoke the commander said, ‘ah steward you always know, yes I will have the same, two teas and those illixian clefts, they are somewhat like earth cakes, and delicious’.
‘Now Hardin you’re wondering why you and I are here -yes?’
‘Yes sir, I take it I call you that, I don’t really spend my time around –around, what do I call you, in fact what are you are who are you?’
‘Your erudite questions form part of our conversation, but it is more what you can do, but to explain. My ship, its crew and a complement of destroyers form a wedge of a much larger fleet of a planetary defence net, or should I say a galaxy net. You of course have heard vague rumours of a battle in space, ha, every child imagines battle ships saving the empire, a queen or some such, is that correct?’
‘There has been talk among my confederates, trade has been hard and some say because of it, but so far I have heard but not seen any evidence’.
‘No - but your birth place was the planet earth, yes?’
‘I left it some 20 years ago on a settlement ship bound for Alpha Centauri, or that region – but I was younger then’.
‘You never made it, some talk of pirates, left on a planet and somehow you managed to get off it, go into business and somehow acquired the Necromancer, which is quite outstanding, given the specifications we have of it’.
‘You have –?’
‘Yes, the ship is a converted cruiser, very converted; an enormous amount of credits has turned into one of the most formidable ships in this quadrant’.
Hardin listened as the commander spoke and observed the movements of crew up and down the corridors, something was going on. The space outside had changed, he accepted that the craft had moved but he couldn’t’ discern actual movement just the stars changing alignment. The seat he sat in changed formation as he grew comfortable and sitting back he lifted his leg to cross them with the seat moved and his legs were supported by an extension of the chair.
He jumped slightly but relaxed as he realised and the commander smiled as he continued to talk, the air was clear and antiseptic and the colours of the walls transmuted as the light coming in grew darker, the walls seemed to glow. He had finished his tea and it was whipped away by the steward. The voice of the commander slipped into his mind as stopped thinking and concentrated, ‘yes -you are on the way to see the Illurian Tar’kel, as your contact didn’t make it?’
‘How did you know’ he threw across the space between them, how much does he know?