Winter Kill – Chapter Twenty-Three

Ver’thad and Winter were led into a large, oval room that was intricately painted with images of space and the aliens solar system. Wow, Ver’thad couldn’t help but silently compliment it. It was pretty stunning.

“Impressed?” a voice said behind them – and in English. Ver’thad mentally frowned as he turned around. Do these creatures actually speak English? They understood it, but as far as Ver’thad had been concerned, they hadn’t seen any speak it until now.

But what surprised him most was the fact that it wasn’t an alien or any other type of creature that was behind him…but a human.

Eh?

The man chuckled, probably at his reaction, Ver’thad figured. “Like it?” the man asked, motioning towards himself. “I’ve watched you humans for a long time and figured that our first face-to-face meeting might be more comfortable for you if I appeared in a human avatar,” the alien explained.

So that’s how it knows English, Ver’thad realised. He gave the appearance a once-over – white hair brushed backwards, a short stump of a beard and a black suit complete with a tie. Huh. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you face-to-face, Sire,” he greeted, bowing and motioning for Winter to do the same.

“Likewise,” the alien leader replied. “So, who are the prisoners that you brought as payment for our services in your coup-d’etat? Fresh, and meaty, I hope? The gods must have plump victims.”

Ver’thad and Winter stood up, Ver’thad chuckling at the leader’s questions. “Yes, they are both ‘meaty’,” Ver’thad assured it. Especially Jones, he thought disdainfully. “And their reference names are Jones and Mooney,” he added.

The alien nodded and then turned, motioning for an alien standing in the far side of the room to approach, and then turned back to Ver’thad and Winter. “Excellent. When did you want to proceed with the coup exactly?” it asked.

Ver’thad shrugged. “Whenever your fleet is ready,” he responded.

The leader turned and barked something in its native language. One of the soldiers that had brought Ver’thad and Winter in rushed into the room and knelt down on one knee before its leader. The leader barked an order and the soldier nodded and hastily departed from the room. The leader turned to its guests with a smile.

“They will be ready within the hour,” it told them.


Bond adjusted his helmet, then made sure that his plasma rifle that was in the 40-watt range was firmly strapped to his back. He turned to Racquel, who was locking her helmet in place. “You ready?” he asked.

“Yep,” was her reply.

Bond then gave Rue a thumbs up. Rue then nodded at Britchy, who turned on the virtual sights and held down the trigger.


Stone’s screen began flickering. Raising an eyebrow, he peered closely and saw that the flickering was repeating itself in a pattern.

Three short flickers…one long flash…one short flicker and then a long flash…

S…t…a…Ah! Start, right. Rue’s sending the signal! He realized.


Racquel watched with half-anticipation half-fear as Bond typed their destination into the teleporter. Suddenly, there was a burst of something in the atmosphere and she and Bond found themselves stumbling back. Regaining their balance, Racquel watched as a purple glow began spinning, growing larger with each passing second until it was large enough to fit both of them.

Then, the purple glow peeled back from its very centre, like curtains being pulled back on a stage, to reveal Enktir Liwl as the aliens cried out as they fell to the ground or ran for cover as laser beams chewed the ground.

Shit, Britch, you’re both dangerous and creepily good at this.

“See you on the other side!” she called out to Bond as she ran forward and leapt through the portal.


Stone impatiently tapped his fingers as he waited for the ship’s pilot to pick up. Finally someone picked up and a holographic image of the pilot’s face appeared in front of Stone, looking like she didn’t want to disturbed.

“What’s the matter, Stone?” the pilot, whom Stone liked to refer to as Baldie due to her completely shaved head, inquired in a polite tone.

“I just received a transmission from Ver’thad,” Stone began. The pilot instantly leaned forward, all her attention on Stone – which is exactly what Stone wanted. “He wants you to hold off sending the fleet to Azren just yet and to take this ship to Enktir Liwl.”

The pilot nodded. “I’ll get started on it right away.”


Bond shoulder-rolled through the portal and sprang to his feet. “Alright,” he said, rolling forward again to avoid being slaughtered by Britchy. “You there, Racquel?”

“Affirmative,” Racquel replied, her voice carrying clearly over the comms. He looked around and soon spotted her as she threw an alien off of her and then swung the machete she had found on the ship at a few tentacles reaching for her in desperation, cutting through them cleanly.

He ran over, shooting aliens as he passed. “Okay!” he shouted as he drew near to Racquel. “Let’s go find that prison compound!”


“Hey, buddy?” Mooney said, shuffling on his butt to try and get closer to Jones, who had so far ignored him the entire time they had been locked in their cell.

Jones sighed and rolled his eyes. “What?” he snapped, still refusing to look at him.

“Got any ideas for breaking out of here?” he whispered, trying not to alert the guards standing outside their cell. Though, the walls of their cell were pretty thick that it blocked quite a bit of noise. Jones turned and looked him dead in the eye.

“Why would I want to help you get out of here after finding out that your a bloody turncoat?” Jones snarled. “Just. Keep. Away. From. Me. Got it?”

Before Mooney could try and plead with him, the ground shook as they heard some faint explosions, though they had no way of knowing how close or how far away those explosions were due to the thickness of their cell walls.

Jones climbed to his feet, his chains rattling as he did. Mooney decided that he felt safer staying on his backside. Mooney then heard what sounded like laser beams or gunshots – he couldn’t tell which at the moment – being fired off. Judging by the look on Jones’ face, he had heard it as well.

“I wonder what’s going on?” Jones muttered.


Winter let out a yelp as she was suddenly thrown to the floor, landing heavily on her left shoulder.

What the hell! Internally cursing whoever or whatever was responsible, she pushed herself into a sitting position and saw Ver’thad and the alien leader with the weird human-looking avatar standing up. She then noticed that the alien’s human avatar was flickering.

 Whatever went off mus have damaged whatever was powering its avatar, Winter realized.

“What the hell do you think you’re up to?!” the alien leader screamed, jabbing a finger at Ver’thad as it stormed over. “Pretend you need our help so you can come down to our planet and eradicate us? Why!? So you’d have less competition or something?”

“I have absolutely no IDEA what’s going on, just the same as you!!!” Ver’thad shouted, sounding enraged at the alien’s accusations. “I don’t know who the hell is trying to kill you all, but it certainly ain’t my doing!”

Suddenly, a youngish and female-ish resembling alien rushed in. “Sire! Sire!” it cried out in English in a voice that was neither male nor female, which was in stark contrast to it’s body figure.

“WHAT!?” the leader yelled.

The alien recoiled visibly at the outburst, but ultimately remained undeterred. “Sire, our surveillance team has reported that they’ve seen two unusual species suddenly appear literally out of nowhere on our planet amongst all the fighting going on outside.”

“Do they resemble humans?” the alien leader interrogated, for the moment completely forgetting Ver’thad’s and Winter’s presences. The other alien shook its head.

In response, it tapped rapidly on something on its wrist and a playback from the security footage was played.

Ver’thad cocked his head. They were definitely human, wearing helmets and were carrying weapons. Due to the helmets, he couldn’t make out the faces, but they were running around, making their way through all the carnage and battle outside, sometimes engaging aliens in a fight before quickly disposing of them.

Winter inhaled sharply. She recognized both their physiques. There was no mistaking who they were. She announced that she’d take care of them and quickly left the room, grabbing some weapons off of some nearby guards as she went (as the soldiers who had brought her and Ver’thad here had stashed her weapons somewhere in the building, and she currently didn’t have time to search for them at the moment).

If Bond and Racquel are here, that means that Britchy and Rue mustn’t be far behind.


Stone’s communicator beeped, indicating a call. Seeing who it was, he quickly accepted it. The pilot’s face popped up in the holo-display. “Stone,” Baldie said, getting straight to the point. “I have the ship en course to planet Enktir Liwl and we should be arriving there in the next fifteen minutes.”

“Roger that,” Stone acknowledged. “I’ll inform Ver’thad.”

He then typed out a series of instructions on his virtual keyboard and it sent out a coded signal to the foursome’s spacecraft.


Britchy let out a whoop as she kept firing at the aliens. She noted that some were turning on each other in the confusion, which greatly helped. “Take that, a**h***s!!!!” she shouted, laughing, as she continued to hold down the trigger.

She didn’t pause as she heard a beeping sound coming from the center console where Rue was. She was vaguely aware of Rue typing something – probably to access the message or whatever the transmission was – but was focused on trying to clear all the obstacles that were in Bond’s and Racquel’s path to the prison compound to take much notice.

“Stone’s on his way,” Rue announced. “He’ll be in fifteen minutes.”

“Crap,” Britchy muttered. “Better warn the others.”


“Bond. Racquel. Are you two there?”

Racquel turned on her helmet’s comms as she decapitated three aliens in one swing. “Yeah, Rue?” she answered.

“I’m here,” Bond acknowledged.

“Stone will be here in fifteen minutes. Hurry up,” Rue warned.

Well, shit! Racquel swore. Hopefully that would be just enough time. “We’re on our way,” she replied. She then saw a convergence of the aliens suddenly charging at them – and they were directly in between them and the prison compound. “Crap, they must have noticed us. Bond, duck. Brtichy, enjoy yourself.”

She and Bond threw themselves to the ground as Britchy started firing only on the convergence.


Stone’s eyes cut to the booth next to him as he heard the person there giving permission for several of their ships to leave – for Planet Azren. He quickly called the pilot again, who answered in under a second, like she had been expecting it. “What do you think you’re doing disobeying Ver’thad’s orders?” he said sternly.

She gave him a smug smile. “You really expected me to believe that message from Ver’thad?” she said and laughed. Stone paled. Oh no…

She leaned forward, her eyes cutting through him. If it wasn’t for the fact that it was a hologram in front of him, he would have recoiled. “I know what you’re up to, Stone,” she said. “I’ve checked the records of all ships allowed to leave today, and one left for Enktir Liwl on a mission that I realized had been logged until today. I traced it back to whoever was meant to log it and, while you did a good job of covering your tracks, you didn’t do quite a good enough job for me.”

Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap!!!!

“Did you really expect me not to notice that you’ve been wanting to take over Ver’thad’s mission ever since you joined?”

Huh, what?

“Well, let me tell you something, I won’t stop your little friends down there,” she announced. “Cause there helping me take over, instead. So, thank you, Stone.”

Stone gulped. “And Enktir Liwl…?” he asked quietly.

“Oh, we’re still going there. I can’t wait to see Ver’thad feed you to the aliens ‘gods’ before I stab him in the back.”


So, I am definitely reaching the end of this story soon, and would have gone further with this, but before I do, I want to end it here and ask you all to state anything that you want to know with this story that hasn’t been answered it so that I make absolutely 100% sure that I tie off all the loose ends before the end.

So, ask away!

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All novels and short stories on this blog are the works of @rue202 and Racheal’s Novels Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without the express and written permission of the author is strictly not allowed. You may use excerpts and links or reblogs of this material provided that complete and clear credit is given to rue202 and Racheal’s Novels with clear directions to the original content.

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