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Pirates Round Robin

Chapter 10 - Explanation

By Lee Thompson

More tendrils were gently brushing against the backs of his legs, his shoulders and even his neck, which only made more welts rise up.

Glitz yelped in pain.

It was very pleased. The fun was just starting!

Using its organic tendrils it lifted the space traveller up into the air, gently swaying him from side to side. Its vines tightened their grip - there was silence, followed only by the cracking of what sounded like bones.

The pleasure factor increased.

"Bad crystal hurt Wonton!" winced Cyndar.

Mel placed an assertive hand on Cyndar's arm-analogue. In times of danger, Mel was always there, comforting.

"Must move now. Bad grumble come back" mumbled Ellington. Both Mel and Chris were inclined to agree, but Thella was a little reluctant.

She didn't want to leave, she had to protect her crystals. She had been guided here to help them - she was their protector.

As the ground shaking slowed to a gentle hum Thella & Chris wandered hand-in-hand in to the cave. Shouts and screams from their crew fell on deaf ears.

"What a fine time to go on a love-jaunt!" Mel said, just a little touch of cynicism present in her frustrated voice.

<< COME UNTO US >>

The cave beckoned.

It called out to its guardian and confidante.

<< HELP US. HELP US GET BACK HOME >>

Chris and Thella disappeared through the pink haze that had drifted in from the purple lake beside the fairly damaged wreck that was the Nosferatu II.

Mel and the rest of her diminished crew huddled together in the clouds of pink mist. The Pakhars were jittering and Mel was concerned for Thella as well as Chris. There was no way she was leaving this planet without the two most important members of her crew!

Seconds passed and felt like hours before the next clap of thunder rumbled the ground. Thella and Chris darted out of the cave and gripped the rest of the Nosferatu's crew by whatever arm-analogues, mandibles or appendages that were available.

Glitz's body lay motionless on the ground, surrounded by gradually shrinking tendrils. The planet had finished with the traveller and was more concerned with the ship from whence it came.

As the Krach-Mor entered its geo-stationary orbit around the planet, Captain Zziotel was unaware of the watchful eye that was upon him.

As the last of the Seldric race fixed its mind on the space freighter, its happiness began to return.

"Is cave with sharp rock empty?" asked Cyndar, looking curiously at Mel. The landing party of the Nosferatu II stood at the entrance of the cave, only Chris and Thella (still hand-in-hand noticed Mel) stood between them and the deadly spitting cavern.

Chris was the first to answer, taking Cyndar by the damp-tissue-analogue. "It's okay know. They've shown us something"

"Our way home. The crystals have been housing our escape craft. We can leave this planet" Thella continued, placing an assuring arm on Chris' shoulder.

"Come" she continued "I will explain inside." As she spoke, the crew followed her inside the cave.

Moments later, when all were assembled, Thella parted a curtain that covered part of the cave wall.

"Earlier the crystals were not trying to harm us, merely open this doorway..."

"And beyond" this time Chris finished the sentence "a craft designed to take us away from this planet. It knew we would come"

"But what's it doing here? And Why does this planet seem to hate visitors?" Chris and Thella looked at each other with beaming eyes. They sat Mel, Cyndar, Ellington and the rest of the party down on the floor in front of the escape craft.

"Have you ever heard of Enlightenment?" asked Chris. There was a general mummer of agreement from the captive audience that surrounded him. "When Enlightenment was whole - as a giant planet-sized crystalline structure - it could supply it's owners with absolute power. But it needed this critical mass" Chris made a sphere shape with his hands to demonstrate his meaning "To prevent it's mis-use it is said that the White Guardian (also known as the Supreme Guardian of Good) remove part of it and sent it into an area of space that was highly dangerous to travel into."

Thella continued "Because of this, no traveller has been able to complete Enlightenment's critical mass and claim Universal Supremacy. You all saw the wreckages of spacecraft on the planet: Dalekanium Sheets, Cyber-Warship segments and Sontaran Battle-Cruiser Shards. They've all tried to gain this cave and re-unite it with its other presence.

"And what better way to guard a treasure fit for any pirate, than by placing it on a living planet!" Chris proclaimed.

"What? So this planet were standing on is a living creature?" Mel quizzed in her usual need-to-know manner.

"Exactly. This is Seldric Four, the fourth and last member of the Seldrician race. It feeds on fear - and its had plenty to feed on recently" Thella glanced over to one of several piles of space-ship remains just visible through the pink mist.

"It hasn't touched the crystals though - why?" Chris asked rhetorically "Because they emanate positive sub-quarks. Hence my attraction to her" Chris scooped up his crystal and stared longingly at the glowing rock in his hand. Mel's wrist-com bleeped.

"IS PRETEND-MOVE MEL HOMINID COME BACK?" came a muffled voice. "ALL OK?"

"Yes Krimda, all is okay - and I think we've got a way of getting home" Mel looked at the crystal ship and grinned.

"Pretend-move Mel hominid say leave ship. Go find big light by purple water circle"

Krimda's voice echoed over the tannoy system on the remains of the severely damaged Nosferatu II.

Mel nodded to Thella to activate the rear and aft strobes. The cavern lit up with the bright neo-phosphorus glow of the crystal's craft. Soon Krimda and the rest of the crew would arrive, allowing every one, including the crystal entity to leave Seldric to own devices.

<< MUST LEAVE. MUST LEAVE SOON. >>

The crystal entity groaned.

<< LONG WAIT ALMOST OVER. WILL SOON BE WHOLE >>

Glitz blinked and sat up. Removing his cracked armour from his back and chest he stood up and thanked the heavens he was still alive.

"Mark 3 Postideon Life Preserver - pah! Almost crushed me to death!" Glitz's eyes twinkled "Maybe I can get my money back on its life-time guarantee!"

But his grotzit-laden thoughts were interrupted by the grumbling of the earth beneath his feat.

"Shit! I've only got one of them live-preservers!"

Part 11

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12(a) 12(b)

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