Prime Obsession:The Prime Chronicles 01(10)

By: Monette Michaels

“What I don’t understand is why any of our men would aid the pirates.” Huw frowned. “This crew is the pick of the Prime military.”

“I suspect the pirates were hired by the pure-blood faction and that some of our crew are sympathizers who have been persuaded that joining the Alliance is not the way to proceed,” Maren offered. “Even though the treaty has been signed for months, the actual opening of a Prime embassy on foreign soil makes it more real. This is the rebels’ way of sending a message.”

“Capturing or killing the Prime leader’s three sons and best friend would definitely be a message,” Wulf concurred. “Unfortunately for them, it didn’t work. Besides, father and the majority of the Council are committed to this course of action. This would not stop the alliance.”

The others nodded.

“What are we going to do now?” Iolyn asked.

“We wait.” Wulf stared unseeing at the monitor. “The pirates can’t get away on the ship that brought them. With one precise hit, our beta-protean ray has damaged their engine’s power source and shut down their weapons systems. They’re helpless. They must take the Galanti to leave.”

He switched the monitor’s view to the ship’s command deck, where several pirates stood arguing. “The Alliance will either arrive and help us liberate the ship and capture the pirates or we’ll blow the Galanti and anything within fifty thousand kilometers into molecule-sized pieces.”

“How many of the boarding party did we manage to kill, Iolyn?” Huw asked, leaning over Wulf’s shoulder to get a look at the monitor. “The pirate leaders don’t look too happy with the situation.”

Wulf laughed grimly. “No, they aren’t happy. Would you be? They now realize they can’t leave on their ship—and can’t control ours either.”

“They lost about half their boarding team when we cut environmental to the other decks before they managed to put on breather-units, but as I said, they still outnumber us three-to-one,” Iolyn said, consulting his data pad. “They lost at least five men in the maintenance tunnel traps in an attempt to get to the engine room.” Huw grinned at his brothers. “Bet they regret ever attempting to take a Prime ship.” Loud thudding noises at the engine room doorway attracted all of their attention. The pirates gathered outside were once again attempting to break through the door shields.

“What about the engine room’s security? Did Solar manage to sabotage it?” Maren asked, concern in his eyes.

“No.” Wulf’s lips twisted into a smug smile. “I killed him before he got that far. The engine room shields are impenetrable.”

The other men grunted in approval.

“Is there any chance we could retake the ship without external help?” Huw asked.

“Not without a great loss of life. They’ve concentrated their numbers on the engine room access ways.” Wulf switched to the cameras in the hallways leading to the engine room. At least fifty heavily armed men from multiple races and species had hunkered down for the siege. “We’d be killed as soon as we let down the shields on the door.”

“What about the maintenance tunnels?” Maren asked. “Can we control any of the traps so we can get out to take the battle to them?”

Wulf understood the old warrior’s feelings. Sitting and waiting to be rescued was not the Prime way. But this time, it was the prudent choice. The treaty with the Alliance and their reasons for signing it were more important than a little glory in battle.

Wulf shook his head. “Right now, we can’t control the three crucial traps closest to the engine room. Anyone going in or out of here through those last three sections would be killed instantly.”

“Can we repair the damage Solar did?” Huw asked.

Wulf shrugged. “We can try. It would take massive reprogramming—and that might take longer than the time we have left.”

“I’m willing to try, brother.” Iolyn grinned. “It’s not as if I have anything better to do.”

Wulf nodded. His brother was the best programmer they had. If anyone could do it, he could. “Do your best. Start with the one immediately outside the engine room access to the tunnels. That would at least allow us into the hallway just outside the main engine room door—we might be able to take out some of the enemy from above and behind.” He switched the monitor view to the tunnel sections leading into the engine room.

Two dead pirates, a Terran and some pseudo-reptilian species, possibly an Erian, lay in the tunnel at the second to last trap just outside of the engine room. The Erian still breathed, but could not retreat because the trap sensed motion and might finish the job it had started. “The pirates have already attempted to gain entrance. I don’t think they’ll try again.”

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