Read Defending Earth-Searching for Death Feeders Online

Authors: Saxon Andrew

Tags: #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Science Fiction, #Alien Invasion, #First Contact, #Galactic Empire, #Genetic Engineering, #Hard Science Fiction, #Military, #Space Fleet, #Space Marine, #Teen & Young Adult

Defending Earth-Searching for Death Feeders (9 page)

BOOK: Defending Earth-Searching for Death Feeders
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“Are you blind? There must be a way or it would still be living.”

A female sneered at the male Masters, “You never see yourselves when you’re in the throes of a blood lust.”

The Leader looked at her, “What do you mean?”

“I’ve tried to communicate with you during a blood lust and you never hear me. You’re caught up in consuming an intelligent meal. That’s what happened. This one was blind when it consumed a meal.”

The Leader snarled at the female but knew she was probably right. He looked at the Master standing next to him and thought, “Go and thank the Ship Commander for coming to assist us in finding the missing Ruler.” The Master walked away and the Leader looked around the huge gathering of Feeders that continued to grow. “Make it a policy to scan your surrounding for the presence of Carnivores before you begin consuming a meal.”

“Shouldn’t we remove the carnivores from this planet?”

The Leader snarled at the Master, who made the suggestion. “The carnivores serve a purpose. They prevent our meals from running out into the wilderness and attempting to hide. They save us the effort of having to go out and capture them again. This one was stupid. Just make sure none of you make the same mistake. Now go back to your territories and I’ll report our findings to the Fleet Leader.”

The large gathering broke up and they moved back to their vehicles.

• • •

The monitor went dark and Kyle stood up, “You may discuss what you’ve just seen among yourselves and if you want to return, I’ll take you back.” Kyle looked at Legune, “Call me when you’re ready to act like an intelligent species!” Legune flinched at the remark and nodded.

Kyle walked back to his Light Ship and walked to the bridge, “Amber, what did we learn about that ship?”

“It’s a monster. It’s not as large as those used by the Legends but it does pack a varied assortment of heavy weapons.”

“I only saw disruptors and missiles.”

“It also has some extremely large tubes on its hull that appear to fire a powerful magnetic field.”

“What would it do if it hit a ship?”

“It would knock out the electronics. It’s like the EMP pulse made by a nuclear explosion.”

“Could it penetrate our force fields?”

“There’s no way to know except to go out and allow one to hit one of our ships.”

“Can you make an estimate on its speed?”

“If it came from that fleet we saw in Legune’s mind, it’s faster than our void stardrives. It did take longer than using the barrier but it was really quick in the void. I think the void is the only drive they have. The force field around it, when it arrived, can be penetrated, I think.”

“We were lucky.”

“Why do you say that?”

“The Feeders that came to the village all landed in the field where the colony ship moved its port out of the barrier; there had to be an electronic residue left behind. Their landing craft were left running and masked the evidence of our presence.”

“I didn’t think about that. You’re right. Is that why you had the Colony Ship land in the field next to the buildings?”

“It is. There’s no other place to land other than that field. We were also lucky the Feeders on that planet don’t have a warship.”

“The ship that came in didn’t scan the barrier.”

“What?”

“I would think the Feeders that were working with the Legends would have told them about the barrier when the Legends kicked them out. But it appears they either didn’t or the ship didn’t suspect us of being present that far from our cluster.” Kyle leaned back in his command chair and put his hand on his chin. “One other thing.” Kyle looked up. “The scanner used to locate the dead Feeder wasn’t that advanced. I don’t think it would operate more than one AU.”

“Are you pretty certain about that?”

“The scanner they used was the largest one on that ship’s hull. I find it hard to believe a smaller one would have a longer range.”

Kyle thought for a moment and tilted his head, “That makes sense.”

“Why?”

“The Feeders can detect the minds on ships over a very long distance. Why would they need an electronic scanner except for attacking warships near them?”

“That is an excellent point.”

“Did you send the Micro-probe to follow that ship?”

“I did. What are you thinking?”

“I think I’m going to follow it.”

“Kyle!?”

“I’ve determined while I was on the planet that the other Feeders didn’t sense my presence. I can stay outside the range of their electronic scanners and go see what we’re up against.”

“You should run this by the High Leader.”

“This falls in my province.”

“Then you should at least take Legune in her human form with you.”

“Why?”

“You need look no further than the Feeder that was able to stalk your Great, Great Grandfather.”

Kyle put his hand back on his chin and thought about it. He leaned back in his chair and in a few minutes, he fell asleep.

• • •

“Kyle.”

“I’m sorry, Miss Legune. I’m intercepting his calls so he can sleep.”

“He told me to contact him.”

“Please understand that he hasn’t slept much for more than thirty six hours. He worked to get the fleets moving before he picked you up. He’s physically exhausted and interrupting him now will deprive him of the energy he’ll need to be effective. If you insist, I will wake him.”

“No, allow him to rest. Let him know we’re ready to have a discussion with him.”

“Have you decided to return to your planet?”

Legune chuckled, “We’re a lot of things but stupid isn’t one of them.”

“I’ve just notified Captain Jorgenson to take the ship back to Earth and to send some stewards to take your people to the cafeteria.”

“We’re going to have to wait on the cafeteria.”

“Why is that?”

“Your food is not digested well by our bodies; I discovered that when I tried to eat something in my normal form in Kyle’s office before we left. Everyone understands that they will have to undergo the DNA change to survive.”

“Why don’t you do this then? I’ll have the Captain start converting your people to human DNA and they can go and eat after the transformation.”

“That will work.”

“I’m sure we can go back and collect the seeds you used to grow crops on your planet and a community can be built for you.”

“Before we do that, we need to talk with Kyle.”

“I’ll notify you when he wakes.”

“Amber.”

“Yes.”

“You are a machine?”

“More or less.”

Legune chuckled, “I think it’s more less than more.”

“Thank you.”

• • •

“What did you determine?”

“The ones left on the planet are of the opinion that the dead Elder was killed by a local carnivore.”

“That doesn’t sound right?”

“I know Fleet Leader. But all the evidence supports their findings.”

“Send me what you have.” The Ship Leader pressed a button and sent it to the Fleet Leader’s panel. He waited and after twenty minutes he heard, “I see why they came up with that outcome but it just doesn’t seem right. Even an old member of our species shouldn’t have missed that creature’s presence.”

“It couldn’t have been killed by the Meals it was ruling; they were all killed as well.”

“Did they get a reading on how long the Meals had been dead?”

“They sent me away before they completed their investigation. I would think that if they found anything out of order, they would have contacted you.”

The Fleet Leader was silent again and after ten minutes the Ship Leader heard, “I’ve just received a message from a planet in the inner core of this galaxy. One of our ships has encountered a civilization with a large defense fleet. I’m sending you to assist that ship against the fleet. Once you have the situation under control, return and join your unit.”

“Yes, Fleet Leader.” The Feeder looked at his panel and saw the coordinates of the planet appear. “Move the ship to the coordinates I’m sending you. Arm all your weapons and move there immediately.” The giant ship’s stardrive activated and the ship went into the void. The micro-probe followed it as it accelerated toward a distant planet.

• • •

Kyle opened his eyes and shook his head. “How long have I been out?”

“About eighteen hours.”

“WHAT?”

“The Kerit agreed to allow you to rest. You can’t keep pushing yourself so hard, Kyle.”

Kyle took a deep breath and raised his arms over his head and stretched, “I know. Where are the Kerit now?”

“They’ve been converted to human form and the final group are being fed in the cafeteria.”

“Why did they choose to do that?”

“Legune told them she wasn’t able to eat our food; her body wouldn’t absorb it.”

“How did she know that?”

“I think she tried to eat something you had in your office before you left and found it didn’t agree with her.”

Kyle thought a moment and then remembered the cashews on his desk. “Nuts are one of the hardest foods to digest.”

“I suspect she used them to justify getting them to make the change.”

“I’ll be back later.”

“Are you still planning to follow that ship?”

“I’ll let you know.” Kyle walked off the bridge and exited the port. He saw the sailors in the landing bay come to attention and salute him. He returned their salute and smiled, “As you were.” He walked across the huge bay and headed toward the assembly room. “Where is the ship, Amber?”

“We’re currently in Earth Orbit.” Kyle sighed and continued walking toward the Kerits. He was planning to send them to Goran but now it was probably too late to make that decision. The Kerits had to be growing accustomed to their new bodies and making them change again was probably not a good idea. He stopped walking and his eyes narrowed. Legune developed the ability to detect the Feeders in a human form. That ability may not be possible in a Goran body. He started walking again and decided to see if the ones brought from the planet also had the trait. If may be that the human form would be the chosen one for Legune’s species; if they were willing to assist the Alliance against the Feeders.

• • •

Legune was talking with her father when she saw Kyle enter the huge room. “Excuse me.” The Elder nodded and Legune walked across the room toward Kyle. He saw her coming and stopped. “Are you rested?” Kyle nodded. “I ask you to please be gentle with my people.”

Kyle sighed, “It was probably the fatigue that made me respond like I did earlier. I’m sorry.” He looked at the Kerits in the room and was amazed by their appearance. “Your people are very beautiful humans.”

“I think it comes from not being overfed. Growing enough food was always a struggle when having do it without the machinery your planet uses to grow crops.”

“How are they taking the change?”

Legune shrugged, “It’s a huge change but I think they’ve come to understand that they no longer have to fear being killed by the Feeders.”

“We will eventually have to face them here, Legune.”

“But not today.”

Kyle tilted his head and nodded, “No, not today.”

Legune turned, looked at her father, and waved him over. “I think you and he should have a discussion. The Community have agreed to follow his lead in whatever he decides.” Kyle nodded and saw the Elder approaching.

“What’s his name?”

“Legune.” Kyle did a double take. “All of us use the surname of our family. The see me as Legune, daughter of the Elder Legune.”

“It’s good to see you again.” Kyle looked at the young man and shook his head. “I know. All of us have been given young bodies in the conversion to your form. I feel better than I have in years.”

“I’m sorry for being so heavy handed earlier.”

“Fatigue will do that to you. My daughter tells me that you have a use for her in your military.”

Kyle looked at Legune and saw her nod. He turned back to her father and nodded, “She has an ability to detect the presence of the Feeders. That is something we can use.”

“Am I able to do that?”

Kyle looked at the Elder’s brain and then looked at Legune’s. It appears your ability to sense them is actually stronger than your daughter’s.”

“Good. I think we can come to an agreement on how we will assimilate into your society.”

“Oh?”

“Put us in your armed forces and pay us for our services. I expect you will train us on what we need to know to be effective and use us where we can do the most good.”

Kyle smiled, “It is going to take some time for you to acclimate to our society.”

“How did my daughter do?”

Kyle looked at Legune and shrugged, “She did a pretty good job of picking things up.”

“Then the rest of us will as well.”

Kyle suddenly noticed the room was silent. He looked at the gathered Kerits and they were all watching him. He smiled and removed his thought blocker, “Kyley.”

“Yes Commander.”

“I am going to have all the Kerits I’ve brought back from their planet signed into our armed forces.”

“Sir?”

“They all possess the trait of being able to sense the presence of Feeders. I’m intending to use them on our scouts to go and take a look at the Feeders.”

“Sir, will they be able to assist in flying the scouts?”

“Legune can do it. I’m going to assume they can learn as well. Their minds do not respond to downloads so they’ll have to be taught the old fashioned way with tutors and instructors.”

“Where do you want this done?”

Kyle smiled, “I want the Hilton on Miami beach booked at double rate for the foreseeable future. Notify the manager that we will be installing simulators on site along with the other things needed to train them.”

“Will all of them be signed up?”

“Yes, but the ones with young children will not go out until the youngsters are old enough to be watched while they’re gone.”

“What rank will they be given?”

“Lieutenant.”

“I’ll start things moving now.”

“Tell the hotel manager to expect about a thousand to arrive within the day. If necessary, have the ones staying at the hotel moved to another facility of equal value. I want a staff sent to greet them and enough so each family have their own tutor to support them. You know what needs to be done so get things moving, Admiral.”

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