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Chapter Nine: TACTICAL
Hsing felt the blast to the ship’s hull in the core of his being. It had been a long time since he’d felt such a blast. The first and only other time he’d felt such a disturbance was when he’d lost his parents. Hsing looked up at his Pakua. He knew the male was wading through the same memories. It wasn’t only Hsing who’d lost his parents that day. Each Eloh on board had also lost their mother and fathers as well.
On that fateful day, the adults had been in pursuit by their fallen brethren. To all of their shock, those marred Eloheem had blasted the Mothership. All activity halted for a long moment as the crew tried to recover from the shock of the blast, but more so from the shock at the violation of their Mothership.
An Eloheem ship was a living, breathing creature; called a Mothership for a reason. The ship’s interior was a live, living womb who cared for and provided for all the beings on board. Including the marred ones who were firing on her sacred body that fateful day.
The marred one’s smaller ship had fallen to a Draconian attack. During the attack all of the triad couples had been separated. The Eloheem who came out on the other end of the assault alive had each lost their female bondmate and their brother.
Eloheem males were born in whole pairs and then mated to one female for life. To separate the triad in any way caused an imbalance. Normally, when such a devastating occurrence happened, the community was able to embrace the lost one and provide a semblance of balance, though the solo Eloh was never whole again.
To lose both halves at the base of their foundation cracked the survivors at their core. Cut off from their community at such a critical juncture, they had fallen into a spiral of insanity and blood lust. When they came out on the other end and met up with the rest of their people, they’d wanted nothing but destruction.
It took Hsing’s Yang father, Hung, to move into action. He’d left young Hsing and Chen in charge of the Mothership while he and the other adults boarded a smaller craft and led the marred ones away. Chou, Hsing’s Yin father, gave Hsing the instruction to go in another direction. He’d said that way would bring the marred ones to peace. Hsing trusted both of his fathers’ with his life. And in the end, that’s what they gave him.
The evasive maneuver worked according to their father’s plan. The marred ones gave chase to the adults and left the children alone. The adults never met at the rendezvous point and the marred ones were no where to be found.
“Damage report,” Hsing barked.
“The blast hit her under belly, near the energy springs,” Chen replied.
Hsing really hadn’t needed the words from his brother. He felt the link his brother had while tapped into the consciousness of the ship. But he needed the rest of the crew to know the damage.
“We need to use evasive maneuvers,” Chen insisted.
Chen’s advice sounded so much like their father’s advice from their youth.
Hsing grabbed the controls and set the ship on a course into the path of the renegade ship. It wasn’t another Mothership. Motherships, like theirs, did not have any weapons on board. Hsing spied the artillery on the bay of the ship. It was not Eloh. It was a metal ship that befit the Grey Reticuleans, minions of the Neterians. The marred one’s must have taken over the ship. The Grey’s were formidable, but Hsing assumed they would never anticipate an attack from the pacifist breed of Eloheem.
“We will not run,” Hsing said.
“You cannot mean to do them harm, Hsing-I?” Chen spoke telepathically to his brother, not wanting to show any seeds of dissension amongst their ranks.
“Harm is their intention upon us.”
“Their minds are sick,” Chen insisted. “We need to bring them in.”
“Our fathers tried that. Look where it got them.”
“Vengeance is not the answer-“
“The time for diplomacy is over,” Hsing said aloud. “They mean to destroy us.”
Chen grit his teeth.
“They would destroy everyone on this ship. Including her.”
That got Chen’s attention. It also niggled at Hsing’s mind. He’d not yet touched the woman, but his soul already knew that they would entwine. He would protect her well being over his very life.
It was as though his fathers stood over his shoulder, one on each side. Chou, his patient, compassionate, Yin father suggested that Hsing opt for forgiveness and diplomacy. At his other shoulder, the hard glare of his Yang father, Hung, insisted that his son stand his ground and protect his people.
Hsing steadied his grip. At the last minute, before he pulled the throttle, a calming hand came to rest on his shoulder.
Hsing shook Chen’s hand off. But his brother must have anticipated the move because he tightened his grip.
“We will run no longer from our enemies, Chen-Na.”
“An enemy only exists when there is anger inside.”
“I will deal with my anger,” Hsing said, ”and my enemies face-to-face.”
“You do not have to face an enemy to engage them.”
“We can not turn the other cheek, Chen. They will fire and we have no weapons at our disposal.”
“But we do, brother. We have our minds and our solidarity.”
And then Chen showed Hsing his plan. It was a risky idea, but…
“You trust me brother?” There was no question in Chen’s statement.
Hsing took the controls and turned the ship around.
Chen closed his eyes and reached out to every male on the ship while Hsing steered.
The Marred Ones metal ship gave chase. As it came closer, Hsing sensed that there were only two beings on board. The males mark was identifiable. Hsing had known these males all of his life. They were in range enough for a telepathic hail. Hsing sent one out to the males. What he got in return was a cluttered mind full of madness and a hunger for destruction.
Eloheem were powerful beings. But that power had always been aimed at balance and enlightenment. Turned to a darker pursuit, a single Eloh could cause untold destruction on countless living beings.
Hsing felt the other males of the ship connect with him. They didn’t question his command. Hsing and Chen had kept them safe since their youth. Each male did as instructed.
Hsing navigated the ship closer to the Earth’s orbit. It was difficult flying as there was a ton of debris in the atmosphere. But that clutter was what might save them.
Another blast hit the ship. It knocked Chen to the ground. The awareness of his brother’s pain momentarily blindsided Hsing.
“That was a direct hit to the ship’s energy stores.” Next to Chen’s bruising, Hsing felt the ship’s agony. “We cannot take another hit.”
The metal ship was gaining. Hsing aimed the ship into the graveyard of debris from the humans below. The space junk rattled and smacked the sides of the ship.
Hsing felt Chen reach out for his brethren once more making sure everyone was at the ready. They had to act fast. One more blast and they could face the same fate as their parents.
From all around, a hailstorm of satellites and debris around the earth’s orbit arrowed toward the ship.