Chapter 24 of Death and Coping


Here's Chapter 24. Writing's coming along much faster now. If you haven't read any of the earlier chapters you can check it and many other WC and Sci-fi stories at

Here it is.


They brought the Tao down over the capitol, Terr K'anok, in a slow downward spiral in the hope that they wouldn't set off any remaining automated defense systems. Kevin sat, tense, at the the controls as he constantly checked the radar and early warning system. The Tao was heavily upgraded but it was still only a Galaxy class freighter and no match for any military grade Kilrathi hardware. Which left Blair and Janet to watch as the destruction slowly came into focus. As the ship dropped down, Blair knew that there would be no automated systems running down there. There was hardly a "there" left. Smoke billowed out of ruined buildings, once proud and mighty like the Kilrathi themselves but now brought low by a force that had simply overwhelmed them.

"Who could have done this?" Janet asked, transfixed on the raging fires below.

"Not pirates, that's for sure," Kevin said, relaxing as they neared the city without triggering any defenses.

"This was a military operation. I've heard reports of rouge Kilrathi elements but they wouldn't destroy an agriculture colony. Capture it maybe, but not this. The Border Worlds would be insane to risk such an action, because Confed barely supported them during the war as it is," Blair commented.

"We're not talking about a new threat are we?" Kevin asked. He didn't like the idea of a new race entering the picture so soon after peace had been won.

"It could be. When Melek surrendered to me he hinted about a great threat coming from outside the galaxy. But the way he talked it was coming from the far side of Kilrathi space. There's no way an alien force could have ran through all of Kilrathi space without Confed becoming aware of it."

"Who does that leave, Confed?" Janet asked.

"I'm not sure..." Blair said, thinking of his dream again. The fighters flying over T'mog were Terran. He had no doubt about that. But he hadn't recognized them either. "We won't know anything until we get to the ground anyway."

Kevin nodded and searched out a clear area to bring the ship down in, away from the fires. The large ship slid over the city and the bodies of dead cats were visible all over the streets. Everywhere Kilrathi lay dead.

"What'd they do, bring down an army to slaughter them all," Janet asked.

"When we land, do a comprehensive atmosphere scan. I've got a very bad feeling about this." Blair said. He didn't understand how he could have dreamed this, but it was just to real to ignore. The planet had been dusted with something very nasty. Kevin brought the ship down with a heavy thud and immediatly ran over the enviromental controls.

"Checking, what are we looking for?"

"Something very, very, bad," Blair responded. Janet looked up at him, disturbed by the death all around them.

"What the hell do you know, anyway? You act like you expected to find this. You're not here by chance. Not by a longshot. Be straight with us Chris, why the hell are we here? To see firsthand the effects of a new superweapon of Confed's?" She trembled with hate as she stared at him. She had seen far too much in her life as it was. But to be on a dead world, murdered for no reason, that was going to far.

"Deep down, I think I expected this but I was hoping I was wrong. I was hoping none of it was real. I saw this in a dream...."

"Oh that is fucking bullshit and you know it!" Janet screamed.

"Don't believe me then, I don't give a damn. All I know is that someone is murdering Kilrathi and we have to do something. We'll get photo's and evidence and we can split up. You and Kevin can head back to Border Worlds space and tell the governments and the media. I'll contact the Kilrathi government myself. They'd listen to me before they would you."

"We can't split up anyway. The Ferret is too stripped down, it can't jump or even travel very far." Kevin said.

"I know Kilrathi, had to fly a few of their ships during the war. There might still be a few intact ones..." Blair said as the computer began ringing out an alarm. "What is it?"

"Let me see, don't understand most of this, but there is a viral pathogen in the air out there. Incredibly high concentrations, but according to the computer it won't harm us. It's RNA structure is too different to even begin to do anything to humans. It doesn't have any more info than that but I'd still say we should use the suits."

"I agree, but it won't hurt us. It was made to kill them."

"You sound pretty positive," Janet said accusinly.

"You wouldn't believe me anyway."

"Damn straight, not now."

"Settle down you two, let's suit up Blair. Janet, watch the ship. Be ready to take off in a instant."

She eyed Blair hard before looking to Kevin. "Yes Sir."

Kevin and Blair stood up and left, heading to the back. They suited up in silence and opened the airlock, setting it on maximum steralization. They walked down the ramp and watched as the city burned before them. They headed off, neither one talking until they nearly reached the outskirts of the ruined city, its' forted walls now piles of rubble. The entire place had a feel to it that they couldn't place, but it wasn't right. Birds flew in the sky, and the occasional animal moved off in the distance but the city was silent. No city should ever be silent.

"Did you really dream all of this?" Kevin asked.

Blair nodded, his face ashen. He was having trouble coping with the stark reality of it all. "Yeah, I can't explain it. I've never experienced something like this before. It was like I was called here."

Kevin nodded, accepting his answer. He had seen strange things before. He had once witnessed a massive glowing green ship that almost pulsed like it was alive tear into a transport. Later he heard reports that it was due to a Kilrathi attack but it hadn't been a Kilrathi ship that had done that. There had been a controvery about a cover-up but he had never learned more about it. He would accept Blair's story for now. "Perhaps you were. You seem drawn to trouble."

Blair chuckled at that. "I believe you're right there. I mean I could tell you... oh God..."

The two stopped, looking at the devastation before them. The bodies had looked intact from above but it was far worse than either had expected. The bodies were littered all over the streets. They were barely recognizable as Kilrathi. They looked as if they had had their bones removed and had been melted. Blair was thankful for the suit, for he knew he wouldn't have been able to handle both the sight and smell. He walked off and knelt beside a small mass of fur and tissue that had a small doll next to it. Reality sunk in and he fell to his knees. He couldn't even cry now, he was simply too overwhelmed. They had died because he hadn't gotten there in time. Another planet on his shoulders.

"Blair?" Kevin asked, approaching him.

"We were too late...why... why me dammit? WHY ME?" Blair screamed as he picked up the doll and hurled it through the air.

Kevin rushed to him and grabbed his arm. Blair instantly reacted, pulling Kevin to him and hurling him to the ground

"LET GO OF ME!" Blair screamed, tears of rage raining down his cheek.

"All right, just calm down. Throwing dolls and me around isn't going to solve anything."

Blair stumbled against the wall and slammed his fist into it. "You don't understand. You can't."

"You're probably right, but I doubt that you could have stopped this."

"Then why the hell am I here?"

"Maybe to keep it from happening again. Just relax. Let me grab a few samples here and then we can figure out what we need to do next." Kevin watched as Blair nodded then sat down, drawing several tissue samples with the ships' medkit. Once he finished he stood up and walked over to Blair.

"Want to try to find..."

"Kevin! Kevin do you read me?" Janet screamed urgently on the intercom.

"Kevin here, what's up?

"I read a massive signature nearing the planet and it's coming in fast. We'd better hightail it out of here."

"Coming, get the engines hot for us." Kevin screamed. They sprinted back to the ship, gasping as they reached it under the heavy weight of the enviroment suits. They waited impatiently in the airlock as it steralized everything in the suits, the samples safe in the shielded kit. It finally opened and they rushed to the cockpit. Janet slid out of the way as Kevin jumped in the pilot's seat and kicked the engines hard, slamming Blair and Janet back before they could buckle themselves in.

"Better get tied in fast guys, I don't want to meet anybody in the air. This tin can would be shot down in no time. Janet, as soon as we hit space, you take the top turrent. Blair, you're on the bottom. The ferret is not far away so if we need to break it out, you'd probably do the most damage with it."

"Yeah, I'll just plink them to death," Blair quipped as the ship broke free of the gravity well and they sped into space. He unbuckled himself and froze as a massive Kilrathi carrier drifted into view. At just under a kilometer long and weighing in at 100,000 metric tonnes they were one of the most powerful capitol ships ever fielded during the war. And it was heading straight towards them.

"Oh boy... this is not good. I'm reading deployment of a dozen Voktoth. Any suggestions?"

"Can we outrun them?" Janet asked.

"No... They can outrun us and just one easily outguns us. That's the heaviest fighter they have."

"This is the Kilrathi Carrier Sivar's Reach. You apes will surrender or die, " spoke a voice on the comm.

Blair looked at Kevin and Janet. . His pilot skills couldn't help them here, not against these odds. "Tell them... tell them that we surrender."

There is no God but myself. No destiny but what I deem for me. I walk my path and no others, for I am free.
Alright, you got my attention. Now, you'll have to post the rest of the story.

Very nice story!

Turn me loose, Colonel.
This is what I live for!
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Vondoom: Actually, I was referring to the next chapters or so.

I have started reading from proloque up.

Turn me loose, Colonel.
This is what I live for!
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I'm working on it, I know it taken too long as it is but this is only the second story I have ever written (minus school work). I should have more up soon though =)

There is no God but myself. No destiny but what I deem for me. I walk my path and no others, for I am free.