Shatterer of Worlds: A Novel

Under Attack Part Three

by on Mar.20, 2013, under Chapter Thirteen: Under Attack

So this is it,” Arronanto remarked. “Even as monks we can’t seem to escape doing battle.”

“Some of us will,” Dennethom said, looking pointedly at his sister.

Arjuna glared defiantly at her older brother, the hackles on the back of her neck starting to rise. “I’m going with you. You know I am.”

Dennethom snarled and stood up. Frustrated, he stalked around the room. “You have a daughter to think about Arjuna. You can’t just take off with us to go fight raiders. What will will become of Nerita if something happens to you?”

Arjuna snorted in disgust. “What about you? Both of you! Dennethom, you have a son” she said. “And you,” she added turning to Arronanto who was doing his best impression of a statue, “you have a child on the way. Why do you two get to go into battle but I don’t?”

Dennethom snarled again, impatiently. “It’s our job Arjuna. It is our job to protect this family.”

“And my job also, in case you forgot,” Arjuna responded quietly. The finality in her tone told Dennethom there was no use arguing with her.

“Fine,” Dennethom replied, taking a deep breath. “Then we need to prepare for battle.”

“So this is what we know,” Dennethom began, as he paced around the ward room of the Aluen. “Skora has some planetary defences already in place, but not much.”

“But there is a planetary defence grid, correct?” Arjuna interrupted.

Dennethom grimaced. The pair were still acting cool with each other, ever since Dennethom had tried to keep her from the fight.

“Yes there is. However, it’s never been used in combat. It’s designed to stop stray asteroids from hitting the planet.” Skora was located next to a large asteroid belt.

“Didn’t Sarno also have a defence grid?” Jora asked. He and Xien were also sitting in on the meeting.

“From what Nyal tells me, the colony was taken by surprise. They didn’t have time to activate the grid. Luckily, that won’t be the case with us. Unfortunately, the grid can’t protect the entire planet, which, depending on the strength of the raiders, still leaves us wide open for an attack.

“The last thing we want to do is let the raiders land.” Dennethom paused. “The mayor of Skora sent scouts to Sarno. Nyal showed me the pictures they sent back. These raiders are vicious. They’re not just trying to survive. They enjoy killing.”

“So we need to fight them from the air,” Xien surmised.

“Precisely. Unfortunately, most of the ships on Skora are cargo ships. There are a handful of escort ships used on the supply routes. These are the only ones with weapons. Which is why we’re here, on the Aluen.” Dennethom sighed. “This is the most advanced ship, probably in the outer rim. I don’t see that we have any choice but to reveal the Aluen.”

Arjuna and Arronanto nodded their head in quiet agreement but Jora felt forced to speak up. “Forgive me Tsalu Dennethom, but my priority is to keep you and your family safe. To that end, the best option would be to depart on the Aluen before the raiders arrive.”

“I understand what you’re saying Jora. But we cannot leave the colonists here to fend for themselves. It’s simply not the honourable thing to do.” Dennethom wasn’t disappointed in Jora. He knew Jora would never run away from a fight. It’s just he was sworn to protect the line of Boentu leaders at all costs.

Jora nodded his head. “We’ll make sure the Aluen is ready for combat.”

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