Hunt for the Saiph (The Saiph Series Book 3) (31 page)

The following is an

Excerpt from “Janissaries” Book 1 of The Theogony:

 

 

 

 

Janissaries

___________________

 

Chris Kennedy

 

 

 

Available Now from Chris Kennedy Publishing

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,
Paperback
and
Audio Book

 

 

 

Chapter Twenty-Three

 

Bridge, TSS
Vella Gulf
, Tau Ceti System, May 25, 2019

“Vipers are approaching the fourth planet,” said the operations officer. The sporadic power spikes had continued for several hours, but due to the random nature of the source, Arges hadn’t been able to triangulate it. It was coming from the direction of the fourth planet or its small moon, but he was unable to determine which. Arges had asked Captain Deutch to launch a couple of Vipers with sensor gear; the next time the power source activated, he would be able to triangulate it.

“Very well,” said Captain Deutch. Looking at the helmsman, he asked, “Our position?”

“We are holding at 125 million miles from Planet Four, as ordered,” replied the helmsman.

“Vella Gulf
, this is
Viper 02,” radioed Lieutenant Steve ‘Gecko’ Smith, the Weapons System Officer for the flight. “
We are approaching the planet, but do not see anything abnormal yet. We are not picking up any energy readings at this time.
” At that distance, radio waves would have taken over 11 minutes to make the journey from the fighter to the
Vella Gulf.
With the Psiclopes’ faster-than-light communications system, it was almost instantaneous.


I’m starting to pick up readings of large concentrations of metal on the other side of the moon. The metal appears to be processed. We’re coming over the horizon where we ought to be able to see it. There is enough...Wait! I’ve got radars tracking us!...VAMPIRE, VAMPIRE, MISSILES INBOUND!
” Gecko screamed.

“Missile launch from the moon of the fourth planet!” called the defensive systems officer from the Security position. “Six missiles launched...five are tracking
Viper 02
, and one is locked on
Viper 03
...”

 

 

Onboard
Viper 02
, Tau Ceti System, May 25, 2019

“Break right!” yelled Gecko as he released two decoys. He looked at his display. “What the fuck did we do to you?” he muttered as five of the six missiles turned to guide on him. He smiled as one of them attacked the thermal flare that he had released. The missile detonated, and the blast destroyed the flare...and one of the other missiles that were tracking them.

The pilot of
Viper 02
, Flight Lieutenant Ken ‘MOSA’ Smith, had the throttles of the little ship at maximum and was flying as straight away from the missiles as possible. Any maneuvering only let them catch up with him more quickly and shortened the time that Gecko had to defeat them. He jettisoned the four missiles the ship was carrying to get rid of the unnecessary mass and saw that he was now accelerating at 655 G’s, which was 5 G’s higher than what the fighter was rated for. MOSA hoped that the missiles tracking him would run into the ones that he dumped, but that wish went unanswered. Space was just too big.

“Three missiles still tracking us,” said Gecko with tension in his voice. Even though the fighter was accelerating at over 650 G’s, the missiles were accelerating at over
100,000 G’s
, and they were catching up fast. He put the defensive laser on automatic, and it began trying to target the missiles that were rapidly overhauling them. “Break left!” Gecko yelled as he fired out another round of decoys.

MOSA turned the ship hard left and was rewarded with one of the remaining missiles changing its targeting to the decoy. The other two kept coming.

“Fifteen seconds to impact!” cried Gecko as MOSA rolled the craft back level, and the laser began firing again. “Ten seconds!”

“Nine!”

Before Gecko could say “Eight!” the fighter’s laser hit the missile that was closest to them, and the missile exploded. The fighter’s sensors were unable to track the remaining missile, and Gecko momentarily hoped that it had been caught in the explosion.

But it hadn’t, and as the sensors cleared, Gecko saw that it was almost on them. The laser began firing again.

“Three seconds!”

“Two!”

“One!”


GLUCK AB
!” Gecko transmitted as the missile closed on them.

 

 

Bridge, TSS
Vella Gulf
, Tau Ceti System, May 25, 2019


Viper 02
has been destroyed,” said Steropes as the sensors on
Viper 03
detected the 25 megaton nuclear explosion. He had taken over for Arges, who had become very pale at the beginning of hostilities. “I do not think there will be any survivors.”

 

 

Viper 03,
Tau Ceti System, May 25, 2019

“We’ve got a missile headed toward us,” said Bullseye, the WSO of
Viper 03
. He launched a spread of decoys. “Break right!” he called, and
Viper 03
’s pilot, LT Carl ‘Guns’ Simpson, turned the fighter hard to the right.

The missile neither followed them, nor did it attack the decoys. It continued in the direction that it had originally been heading, away from where the
Vella Gulf
lay waiting, as it continued to accelerate at over 120,000 G’s. “Where the hell is it going?” asked Guns.

“No freakin’ clue,” replied Bullseye, “but wherever it’s going, it’s getting there
fast
.” He watched the missile’s trajectory for a second. “Hey Guns,” he said, “let’s go follow it and see where it’s going.”

Guns turned the fighter onto the vector of the outbound missile. After about 30 seconds more, Bullseye was unable to track it any longer as its motor went out. Guns started calculating the amount of fuel that he had left. “Umm...how much longer do you want to follow it? We’re getting kind of low on fuel...”

“Not much further...” he stopped as his sensor registered a gate activating. As fast as the missile was going when it hit the gate, the activation was significant, and Bullseye was easily able to pinpoint the position of the gate. “OK, we’re good,” he continued. “I figured it was headed for a gate, and I wanted to get the position of it. Let’s get back to the ranch before something ugly comes through it.”

“You don’t have to tell me twice!” agreed Guns as he turned the fighter back toward the
Vella Gulf
.

* * * * *

 

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