Shatterer of Worlds: A Novel

Under Attack Part Two

by on Mar.18, 2013, under Chapter Thirteen: Under Attack

Puzzled Dennethom ushered Nyal inside. After their guest was seated and Arronanto had given Nyal some water, he began to explain himself.

“Please understand, I’m only here as a representative of the company. However, I spoke to the mayor and he agrees with my ideas.”

“What ideas?” Dennethom asked, puzzled.

“I saw you out in the market today,” he said, addressing Dennethom. “I was wondering if perhaps you heard the rumours about the raider attack.”

“On Sarno?” Dennethom asked. “Yes. I heard something like that. But what does this have to do with-”

“-it’s a lot worse than just raiders,” Nyal interrupted. “They took out the entire colony. The only reason we know anything about it is because of the supply run. Company regional headquarters was on Sarno. It’s gone, and all the people with it.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Dennethom replied, trying not to sound callous.

“You don’t understand. Their next stop is Skora.”

Arronanto eyed his brother wearily. “Are you sure?” Dennethom asked.

Nyal nodded his head. “There’s no doubt about it. Skora’s the only other major planet out here. Our tracking system predicts they’ll be here within a day.”

Dennethom felt his heartbeat quicken. The raiders were coming here?

“What about local security forces?” Arronanto asked.

This far out into the outer rim of the Arcturus System, the nearest help was a local detachment of armed security.

“There’s not enough time. The raiders will already have swept through by the time they arrive.”

Dennethom’s eyes narrowed. “What do you need from me, Nyal?”

Nyal shrugged. “I understand you’re a monk and you’re committed to a life of peace. But what you did before, saving me, that took courage that only Boentu might have. That’s what we need right now, Boentu warriors. You monks are probably better trained in this type of situation than any of the colonists here.”

Arronanto watched Dennethom searching for a reaction. Nyal was right. Even Boentu monks are trained in combat. The room filled with silence as Dennethom frantically thought through his options. He didn’t want to commit to a conflict. But they had come to him for help. And no matter how important their cover was, they were warriors. They couldn’t stand back and allow the colonists to be slaughtered. If only the security forces could get here sooner. But he knew Nyal wouldn’t have come unless it was their only option. Besides, the raiders were a danger to his family. Really, there was no decision to make.

“I’ll do what I can to help.”

Nyal looked relieved.

“Just give us the coordinates for the raider ships so we can track them,” Arronanto advised. He too was relieved. He had been afraid his brother would want to turn and run.

“We’ll need accurate information about your own planetary defences so we can plan a counter-attack,” said Arjuna,entering from an adjacent room. Dennethom glared at his sister but she blithely ignored him. “We’ll also need to know everything we can about their attack on Sarno. It’ll give us an idea of how they like to operate,” she added.

Nyal’s head bobbed up and down on his shoulder, and he grinned nervously.

“The mayor will be grateful to learn of your assistance.”

He clasped hands with all three siblings, promising to return with all the information they requested.

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