NEOPIA, SOMEWHERE IN NEOPIA'S ORBIT, 5:22 AM- "Sir? Sir!"
Xelqued could hear a voice. "Wake up sir!" Xelqued double-took and opened his
eyes. Norbekk just woke him from his slumber. "Sir, we're in Neopian Orbit.
We have the coordinates where we need to place the Probes. We're in range for
Xelqued wiped his eyes and said, "Right. Fire
Probe 1." Higola tapped at her controls and picked up a microphone. "Bridge
to Missile Pods, fire Probe 1." Higola shouted over the microphone. A slight
rumble shook the ship and a small ball floated into Neopia's orbit.
The same thing was with two other probes. In
range, fire probe, rumble, ball floating. The ship raced on. Xelqued was just
glad that this mission was half over. "Coordinates in range!"
Kiglbrog shouted. "Roger that. Fire Probe… WHAT
IS THAT THING???" Xelqued shouted as everyone on bridge looked into the window.
Outside loomed a giant metal ball with a big "V" on it in red. It had six spikes
around it and menacingly hung in orbit. Everyone on bridge looked at the giant
metal object. "Do you think it'll attack us?" asked Jublgurp.
MEANWHILE, IN THE SPACE STATION- "What is THAT thing?" asked a small Blue Grundo.
He pointed to his scanner, which showed a large, Flying Saucer-like object.
A nearby Starry Grundo looked at his scanner. "Wow… Admiral, look at this!"
shouted the Starry Grundo.
A large Mutant Grundo walked up to the scanner.
"What the… That's doesn't look like Sloth's OR the Neopian technology." The
Blue Grundo looked up to the Admiral. "Orders sir?"
"Shoot it down."
BACK AT THE FRIGATE- Everyone was sitting at the window, looking at the space
station. "Higola… Get our shields up…" Xelqued said slowly as Higola rushed
to the controls, tapped a few times, and instantly created an oval shield that
surrounded the Frigate. "Okay.. Get back to your posts… and let's see if we
can-" Xelqued was abruptly interrupted by a giant stream of light as a Laser
shot from the space station. The shields shimmered as the shock rumbled the
Frigate. He tapped on his seat controls and a large hologram appeared in the
center of the bridge. The hologram read "Shield Power: 88%. Status: RECHARGING
"HIGOLA!" Xelqued shouted as another laser struck
the Frigate. "FIRE TEN STARFLARE MISSILES!" An extra rumble accompanied the
shock of the laser as the streaks of light shot out of the Frigate and slammed
right into the hull of the station. The explosion flared wildly as the bridge
crew sighed, but yet again, was interrupted by yet another laser strike to the
Xelqued had enough. He looked at the shield
power: 53%. Those lasers were beating up their shields, and fast. "Fire one
D.E.W. Drop!" Xelqued shouted as the crew looked at him for a milli-second,
then returned back to trying to survive. The ship rumbled as a stream of steam
shot out of the ship. Ten seconds later, the Drop collided into the hull of
the ship. The explosion was humongous as flames seared through a chunk of the
station. Debris flew everywhere. The crew sighed once again, thinking this would
be it. But they were wrong.
There was a long minute of silence where neither
Frigate nor Station fired. Then, Xelqued saw a gleam in the ship. A second later,
he saw it: Missiles inbound. "Higola, scan those missiles!" He ordered as he
waited ten seconds and then got his report "Looks like simple N.E.T. Missiles
(N.E.T. stands for Nirglite Energy Torpedoes, but in Neopia, they'd be Neopium
Energy Torpedoes.). Time until impact: thirty seconds." Slow, thought
Xelqued. "Put in 20% power to the shields Jublgurp!" Xelqued yelled. He watched
as instead of the Recharge rate being "2%/MIN", it rose to "10%/MIN". "Missiles
inbound: will strike in ten seconds and take probably 20% of the shields," Higola
Xelqued hopped back into his seat and yelled
"Brace for impact!" as several missiles hit the shields, which rattled the ship.
He looked at the shields: 36%. He was just about to mutter a curse when several
beams struck the ship, taking down the entire shield. The ship rattled even
more as a laser struck the hull. Xelqued began to panic.
"Higola, charge Anti-Matter cannons and fire
forty Starflare Missiles NOW! Randomize Coordinate Vector! Norbekk, charge the
Hyperspace Drive! Jublgurp, put 30% into Hyperdrive Systems and 30% into shields,
STAT! Evade as much as you can! Randomise vector 20837! Go!" Xelqued ordered
as the ship strafed several times, avoiding some missiles and lasers, and taking
damage from the weapons that didn't miss. Xelqued wondered why this steel brick
hadn't fallen apart yet. He sat in the 'Hot Seat', which is the Captain's seat.
The chair is called the Hot Seat due to the fact that the Captain has to give
orders to the entire ship, and things can get 'hot' sometimes, as Lieutenants
The Nova Blight shuttered again as a laser blast
hit the hull. "Sir, the ship can't take too much! And the Hyperdrive and Shields
are still not fully charged!" shouted Jublgurp. Xelqued had to agree, this was
going to get too much. He tapped at his controls and brought up a new hologram,
which read, "Hyperdrive Power: 80%" Almost there… Xelqued thought.. "We'll
make-" Xelqued was just about to encourage his crew when a blast hit the ship.
The hologram changed completely. Xelqued looked at it and almost screamed: "Hyperdrive
Systems: NOT RESPONDING!" Everyone in the bridge looked at the hologram, and
Xelqued could almost hear someone mutter a curse.
"Well, we're done for…" muttered Glibrop. Nobody
on the bridge could really disagree with him. Xelqued thought over the moments
of his life, wondering how long until the Nova Blight will finally implode on
itself and end this nightmare… Then it hit him… A perfect plan…
"Jublgurp, change power to engines. Norbekk,
how far can we push the main engines?" Xelqued asked.
"Around, say 65% after all this damage, but only
for ten minutes. We'd never leave the range," Norbekk replied.
"Push it to 110%," Xelqued said. The bridge looked
at him, puzzled. "Do it," Xelqued said. "Jublgurp, push 60% into Shields Kiglbrog,
put us into a course through coordinated -31.67382, 667.2289"
"But sir, if we leave it like this for over two
minutes already, the ship's core will overload and explode!" Jublgurp protested.
Kiglbrog interrupted, blurting out, "Sir, the
coordinates you asked for are INSIDE the Station!"
"Perfect," Xelqued replied. Everyone looked at
him with an odd look. "I'm initiating Protocol Beta: We can't stand our ground
and we need to abandon ship."
Norbekk replied, "But sir, why push our power
over the limit?"
"Norbekk, we push the ship to 110%, overloading
the core and getting it ready to burst. We evacuate and let the shields take
the damage. Once the ship collides into the station, the shields will burst.
The ship will collide and explode. The overloaded engines will just add to the
fireworks.." Everyone looked at him, then smiled.
Xelqued picked up his microphone and shouted
over the ship "All crew, report to lifepods and evacuate! EVERYONE! Were abandoning
the Blight. Good luck. Xelqued out." He put his microphone down and got up along
with everyone else. "Let's move out!" he yelled.
The ship stuttered as the Blight took another
hit to her hull. Xelqued and everyone else rushed to the bottom of the ship,
where two Escape Pods were sitting.
[Escape Pods: There are two types of Escape Pods:
Eggpods and Lifeboats. Frigates are equipped with Eggpods, while larger ships
tend to use both, but Lifeboats more. Eggpods hold nine people each. They are
very cramped, but tend to do smoother landings than Lifeboats. Lifeboats tend
to be longer than Eggpods and seat ten people in passenger seats, one pilot,
and three standing seats.]
The entire crew wasted no time as they jumped
into the small pods and strapped themselves in. The first pod to close it's
doors was the pod that held four people. The next one was Xelqued's, which was
completely full. Everyone held tight as the seals locked and Xelqued's "Launch"
button lit up. He hit it and was the first pod to leave, followed closely by
the second pod. Both pods exploded out of the doomed Frigate as it slammed into
the station and debris shot out. Both pods were hit severely by the debris.
Everyone in Xelqued's pod crossed their fingers
or closed their eyes. Xelqued did neither as he needed to monitor the speed
and when to be safe to ready the landing gears. The debris struck the pod, spinning
it and damaging it. He held tightly to his straps. One of the crew was muttering
while closing his eyes. Xelqued didn't blame him: Eggpods, although efficient,
have been known to burn up in the atmosphere of planets if their course is even
Xelqued watched his data display. He had another
10,000 feet before he could initiate landing procedure, and at 100 feet a second,
it would be very soon. He watched as the number quickly shot to 5000, and he
hit the "Landing Gear" button. He heard the landing gears open, but they didn't
stop falling insanely fast. He looked on his display and read the bright red
words "Parachute Systems: NOT RESPONDING!" Déjà vu all over again… thought
Xelqued unstrapped himself from his seat and
felt the true force of the plummeting pod. He jittered wildly as he grabbed
the ceiling hatch and opened it. The parachute was right there, folded up. He
pulled it out and looked at the hatch: jammed by a piece of debris. He flicked
it off and was almost sucked out of the pod by the sudden amount of wind from
the speed of descent as he let go of the parachute. The wind stopped as the
parachute slowly drifted down their ship to the surface.
SEVERAL MINUTES LATER- "This ship is a WRECK!" Xelqued shouted in the morning
light. He stood on the grassy plains of Neopia Central and looked at the two
pods. It wouldn't be nice to call them 'Smoldering piles of burnt trash'. No.
It would be an insult to the Smoldering piles of burnt trash out there.
The ships were blackened by the rapid descent.
The hulls were mangled and beaten. The escape pod that held four people was
lucky to still be in one piece. The systems were failing in one, and the other
system said that the entire ship was offline. The radar looked more like a mangled
pie plate with a bent fork stuck in it than a radar. Jublgurp was fiddling with
the radar that wasn't broken off and currently in orbit around Neopia.
"No signal Captain. She won't even read anything
within a mile of here," Jublgurp eventually said.
Xelqued sighed and hit his head on the hull of
the escape pod. It creaked loudly, and collapsed into a pile of wreckage and
smoldering pieces. Pieces of debris hit the second pod and it did the same.
The crew groaned as they watched the last puffs of gas float away. But Xelqued
noticed something: Norbekk's very loud grumbling wasn't there. He looked over
his shoulder and saw him standing on a hill, looking at the sunset.
"What is it Norbekk?" asked Xelqued.
Norbekk waited a minuted before saying "Faeries…"
To be continued...