30 Days Until The End – Dark Stars: Last Rites, Part One – Short Story

The Players so far..

Zander Kane, once a trusted and highly decorated general for the United Federation, Kane betrayed not only his own race, but his own flesh and blood to join the Dark Collective, so he could be with the woman he loved. Now, he rides stardust and slipstreams, captaining the Betha, fighting for the collective, in hope of one day freeing the worlds from the federations ruling grasp, now chasing ghost, as he tries to stay one step ahead of the Priestess, and find the answers to how to get rid of the spark Gadamrie placed inside of him.

Gadamrie, a Golden Priestess in the Dark Collective, who before the federation came to power boasted over one million hosts as part of her mind hive, as well as existing across multiple realities, the High Priestess Dankika is her daughter, and the President, Balmires, her father, using Zander Kane like a chess piece, to rid the realities of her fledgling daughter, so she and her father can rule once more.

Syin-To-Twenty-Seven (Sin), Betha’s sentient companion, through the link they share Sin can control and communicate between Betha and Zander, as well as accessing and sometimes controlling other forms of technology.

Touvler, Zander’s right hand man and Betha’s co-pilot, Touvler along with two others joined Zander when he defected from the United Federations to the Dark Collective.

General Salidazar, an officer in the Dark Collective, who’s loyalties lie with the federation, undercover within the collective, Salidazar has become a vital piece of Dankika’s arsenal, but, that may all soon be over.

High Priestess Dankika, leader of the Dark Collective, a maker, a being who exists across multiple realities, the daughter of Gadamrie, she wants nothing more than to rule every reality, with her mother at her side, but, Gadamrie want’s no part of her wayward child and has devised a way to rid the realities of her once and for all.

High Lord Quinn, Commander for the United Federation, and a Quadrapled, a slang term for a clone. Quinn’s past is still yet to be revealed, but his past association with Zander Kane makes his story more of a mystery, now, working closely once again, Quinn finally has come full circle.

President Balmires, the current elected president of the united federation, Balmires’ rise to power is one worth of it’s own story, soaked in blood and betrayal, the ancient being known as Danzian, father of Gadamrie, and once lord and master of all realities, something, he wishes to be once again.

Last time on Dark Stars

When Zander Kane found out the truth about what Gadamrie had placed inside him, he abruptly executed what he believed was her final host body, then gave himself up to Quinn and the Federation, hoping to not only switch sides, but to also save Betha, and her crew. After Touvlar interfered and melded Quinn and Zander’s mind togther, so Zander could show him what Gadamrie had told him, Quinn pardoned Zander and his men, allowing them to leave unharmed, with both men agreeing to assist each other in stopping the High Priestess, and to try and find a way to undo what Gadamrie had done to him.

And so we continue…

The explosion rips through the doorway, sending it careering across the room, and into the wall opposite, as the smoke clears he takes a step through the doorway, into the room, beeps and hisses come from his suit, and the sound of air sucking in and out of his breathing apparatus are the only sounds to be heard. He surveys the room, the metal sheets that once lined the wall, now hang, rusted, decaying, the ships power, long gone. The room suddenly moves as the ship itself takes a hit from outside, he casts a fevered glace behind him, and then, back into the room, scanning, searching, until, his eyes come to rest on the remains, of the ships captain, Zander Kane. 

He rushes to the body and starts digging though the dead mans pockets, until finally, he pulls a silver key from within, holding it up high in the air in victory, allowing himself to laugh for a brief moment, before the ship lurches forward again, taking another hit.

He scrambles to his feet and out the door, rushing down the hallway, as two reapers crash through the walls behind him, flipping, twisting, turning, towards him, he dares not look over his shoulder, as he strides powerfully down the corridor, coming out into Betha’s lifeless cockpit, the reapers follow quickly after, filling the space with their gigantic forms, engulfing the room, but, find him nowhere to be found.

He hits the ground with a thud, feeling his right ankle give way, a hiss of aggression passes through his lips as he forces himself to his feet, and runs forward, he hears them scream, the cry, that has become common to him now, like breathing, which, is another problem on its own if he were to be honest with himself. He runs towards another derelict ship, another Betha, and forces his way in through the cargo bay door, scrambling up, through the supplies hold, out into the main corridor, and finally reaching a hatchway in the weapons room, he pulls the key out, it glimmers in the darkness, and he places it quickly into an awaiting lock, he feels the sweat run into his eyes, and tightens them, as he tries unsuccessfully to turn the key, he smacks the lock several times, then tries the key again, it moves a fraction but, once more becomes stuck, he twists and turns it aggressively, feeling the lock slowly begin to give way, then the ship shudders with impact.

He freezes in place, knowing they are on board, he bites his lip, and tightens his shaking hands into fists, looking down at the key, he hears them charging through the cargo bay, he hears metal plates crash, as they make their way into the corridor, he grabs the key once more, closes his eyes tightly, and twists it. His heart skips a beat as the key turns, lights flash before him, sounds of century old hydraulics beings to fill the air, and, slowly a spiral gateway begins to open. He looks over his shoulder, as the reapers burst into the weapons bay, he looks back at the doorway, and dives though in a panic, he feels one of them grab at his leg, he kicks, screams, panics, and somehow manages to free himself, then scrambles to the control deck, slamming down the main hatches override and hitting the ignition switch, as one the reaper tries to fit its gigantic body through the ever narrowing doorway, but, it is too late, as the small escape capsule veers forward, shooting out into the deep, dark, nothingness of nowhere, and Zander Kane, lets out a sigh of relief, falling into the seat, exhausted.

He doesn’t get to relax though, as he hears it, like nails running along a blackboard, but, it wasn’t a blackboard, it was tearing at the pod, he leaps from the seat and presses himself up against the glass dome that covers a quarter of the small pods outer shell, spotting it instantly, as it does him, it’s talons dig deep into the the pods side, then it rushes forwards.

“What the hell do I have to do to get away from you things!” He yells, as it drives itself at the glass, pounding violently against it, screaming it’s horrific cry, as the glass, slowly begins to crack, all the while, the small escape pod continues to climb upwards, into the vast, black, empty space.


To Be Continued…

Published by

Matthew Tonks

People are surprised when reading Matthew’s stories that he’s a sane forty something year old, happily married, father of one, employed full time and dream of dark disturbing things that any sane person would never even contemplate thinking of. But it's true, he’s toyed with writing for most of his adult life, but has always found the peg a writer must fit into is not the shape he wished to be. His writing can be described as lamenting, long, concussive (yes it smashes you in the head), compulsive, and stuffed with rhythmic communication and violence, let’s not forget the violence. His own opinion on his writing is this, “You see, I don't just want the words to seep into your mind, but into your soul, showing you images of blood and beauty through, volatile language, violence, sex, love and sin. My muse takes different shapes, and every now and then you can see her shining her wicked smile in some of my stories, tempting you with her promises, but ripping your heart out instead.” So have a look, and take a seat in my wayward ride, as you join me while I purge through, this twisted road of madness.

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