Starbound: A Star Empress Novel

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Summary

Delemorus, a world that has been struggling through a war that started 1000 years ago. But not all hope is lost, for a hero will rise The universe has long been divided between Alcalrain Federation, a group that governs the universe and protects it from the Howlers, a group of outlaws that has been at war with the federation for a thousand years. The Federation knows that the Howlers are looking for something that could give the advantage they need. In response, they send a bounty hunter known as Star Empress, who is uncovering the secrets of her true origins. But with danger at every turn, she'll have to be brave in order to survive.

Genre:
Scifi / Adventure
Author:
J.L MacFarlane
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
16+

Chapter one: Mission

I was not sure what I was it for. It had only felt like minutes ago since I’ve gotten my newest mission from the headquarters of the Alcalrain Federation.

I was being sent to find survivors of a small settlement that had sent out a SOS signal before their power was cut out. No one knew what exactly was causing the trouble.

I didn’t know how to prepare myself. But I knew I have to try my best. I was a bounty hunter after all.

“Star Empress, are you ready for departure?” a voice spoke over the loudspeaker.

I took off the radio speaker piece from the interior of the ship and spoke into it. “Affirmative, open the bay door”.

The door to the ship opened in front of me. The light that poured in to the cargo bay was almost bright enough to blind someone. But it didn’t take me too long to adjust.

The actual door to the ship was much larger than I really needed.

Normally these types of ships were used for mechs called Altonaras that captains and lucky soldiers would be able to wear to battle. Although I only saw one once in my life, I knew there were true monsters on the battlefield.

I walked out of the door and onto a ramp that led me down to a meadow of other worldly flowers. Surrounding the edge of it was a lush jungle of vines and trees.

I didn’t have to worry too much about the air quality, it was safe enough to breathe.

The smell of the air almost reminded me of Kalrone, my home planet that I had been raised on.

I checked the area for any movement, but there wasn’t any wildlife near me.

When I was sure that the coast was cleared, I turned on my communication device and a hologram of my teammate that had flown me to the planet appeared before me.

He was a young for a Krona, an alien who had a anthropomorphic cat appearance. We had known each other since we were just kids.

“Thanks for the ride, Rex,” I said, “You should get going, I’ll be sure to let you know when I find anything”.

Rex looked at me a bit worried. “Are you sure you’ll be fine on your own? I don’t mind coming with you as backup”.

I shook my head. “It’s fine, I’ve been on a lot of missions before. You don’t have to worry about my safety”.

“Roger that, be safe out there,” he replied. I nodded in agreement. “Right, I’ll see you later,” I said as the transition ended.

I sighed. He always looking out for me, such a dork.

The door to the ship closed behind me. I didn’t pay much attention and I continued onward towards the jungle as I heard the ship rose into the sky.

I was now focused on the mission more than ever now, doing what I had to do and venture forth into the unknown territory.

Cutting through the thick vines that were tangled from one tree to the next, I made my way carefully through the jungle. I was mostly watching my footing so I wouldn’t trip on any tree roots. The jungle wasn’t as noisy as I thought it would be. It was quiet, way too quiet. It was very unsettling and made me worried of what was to come.

The jungle opened up to a clearing that showed me where exactly the town was. The town was surrounded by a well-fortified wall that looked like it was built to withstand the force of an enemy mech. Special cannons were even in place for dealing with such an event to swiftly destroy them.

It didn’t take me too long to notice that there was a hill that lead down towards the settlement. It might as well be the safest route down.

Once I got to the bottom of the hill, I walked towards the settlement.

As I got closer to the wall I could see that the walls had only been slightly damaged. But what caught my eye was the steal doors that had blood stained scratches that looked like they were from a huge beast.

This couldn’t be an invasion, they would have made a better plan. No, this must be my greatest fear becoming reality.

I quickly ran inside to see that I was right. On the streets were the citizens that lay there broken and mangled. Their blood stained the streets scarlet red.

Part of me was sickened by all of this death that was around me, but the other half wanted me to press on and kill that beast that had presumedly killed a entire town. I knew I had to do it, for the sake of the people that I had failed to protect in time.

I made my way past the broken bodies that lay on the streets. Walking down the street, I didn’t know what to expect. Faint grunting noises echoed along the walls of the buildings.

I jerked around with my gun ready to shoot. But the beast was not there.

Dam it! It should be nearby! I need to keep my guard up. You can do this.

Breaking my train of thought came a chilling yell of terror, it sounded as if a cowardly man was in trouble.

I quickly took action and ran towards the sound with my gun ready for to kill the beast. Idiot! He’s going to get himself killed!

As the yelling got louder, my heart pounded in my chest. The yelling was cut off when I turned the corner and saw why. A eight foot tall monsterous beast had tackled him to ground and dug it’s sharp claws into him. I recognized the beast immediately, it was a Vorkalth.

It was almost exactly like it was pictured in the textbooks that I had read so many years ago. Their fur was pure black with only a white stripe on it’s face, it’s body was covered in short fur that stuck out like thorns.

But there was one detail that the book forgot to mention was the fact that it had a large mouth on it’s chest that it was using to feed itself the flesh of it’s latest victim.

Horrified, I backed away slowly, only to knock into some cans behind me. The beast’s bloodshot eyes caught sight of me and hissed at me before leaping out at me with it’s claws ready to attack. I quickly reacted by shooting it in the eye.

The black furred creature cried out in pain with an ear-pursing screech, only to charge at me again with a gaping hole where the eye had once been. The bullet had not slowed it down.

“Shit!” I shouted out loud, breaking the silence I had kept during my mission.

If my gun wasn’t going to work, I knew I had only one other choice of a weapon.

I quickly pulled out my Radica Blade, ready for the next attack from the beast.

The Vorkalth charged at me, still pissed off. I was ready for it and swiftly dodged out of the way and stabbed the beast in the leg with the blade. In howled in pain and leaped back.

The fresh wound on the beast bleed a black liquid, it oozed out from the gash on its leg. Quickly I fell back while the beast licked his wound.

I knew I had find a higher advantage point to take down the beast. But where?

It wasn’t long before I reached the wall, the beast had found me again and was coming in fast. I barely dodged in time as the beast impacted into the wall. The beast lay they’re dazed, I took this as a chance to escape and quickly ran up the staircase that lead to the top of the town’s fortified walls.

When I got to the top, I tried activating my hologram device to call Rex. But the dam thing couldn’t get a signal for some odd reason.

Not now...this thing can’t be dying on me.

I turned to the beast growling at me, in had finally corned me at the edge of the wall. The beast’s eye that I had shot not long ago had returned back to what it looked like before, but the wound on its leg had not healed. The beast was still pain.

My blade! It’s the only thing that kill this beast. But how am I going to get close enough without getting my head chomped off?

Before I could think for long, the beast charged at me again. I tried to counter its attack, but it quickly grabbed me. I struggled with it’s weight until I was throw off balance and both of us fell together off of the wall.

I punched the beast in the face as we fell and tried to stab it with the other hand. It kept dodging my blade, but it wasn’t really prepared to deal with my fists as well.

When both of us made an impact onto the ground, the beast took the most damage from the fall. I, on the other hand, could feel my arm had either broken or came out from the socket from my shoulder. The pain hurt like mad and I knew that this was not even the end of it. Both me and the beast continued to roll down the hill once we landed on the ground. Neither of us could attack.

I couldn’t stop cursing, not only because of the pain but also because I had no idea where I was tumbling off to.

When I finally stopped rolling, I got to my feet to see I was just inches away from the cliff that only lead to a bottomless abyss below.

My vision swayed side to side, I still felt dazed from rolling down the rugged hill. I quickly shook my head to clear my mind.

Just as I did, I felt a sharp pain in my right arm and quickly saw that the beast had chomped its teeth on my arm. Luckily, it wasn’t it’s massive jaws from its chest.

“Get off you ass-hole!” I shouted and stabbed the Vorkalth again with my blade with my one arm that was still able to use.

It yelped in pain and released my arm. Now my left arm felt both broken and mangled. Great, what a terrible end to an almost perfect day.

The Vorkalth charged at me again, its teeth bared ready to attack. I kicked the beast back by kicking in the face to give me more time to activate my sword again.

Stupid tech. Why do blades even have to use technology in the first place?

The beast snarled at me, it’s mouth drooling to get a bite out of me. Finally, I turned it the blade on just in time as the beast lunged towards me. With a powerful thrust, I plunged my sword into the beast’s chest.

The Vorkalth desperately tried to pull back from the sword suck inside it. But it slowly drained it’s life away, the fatal wound that I had landed wouldn’t stop bleeding.

The black liquid from its body flowed out quicker then it had before. Taking out the sword, Vorkalth screamed out it’s dying cry before it swayed back and forth and lost it’s footing to fall into the deep abyss below.

Exhausted I walked away from the edge and sat down. Thank the stars I’m still alive. That’s the first and last time I ever want to deal with those blasted things.

Before long a small dropship appeared, to my surprise I saw one only captain that had saved me many times, Captain Merlo. Much like Rex, he was an anthropomorphic alien that could pass as human if it weren’t for the cat-like features.

His fur slightly shabby and often anyone could smell his breath of liquor from only a few feet away. Despite the fact he was a bit of alcoholic, he was my guardian. Someone who always keeping an eye out for me, someone I could learn from since I never did get to know my original parents.

“Rex got your transmission late. You’re lucky I was in the area to come for you. It’s good to know you didn’t die on your mission,” he said and narrowed his eyes at my mangled arm. “Looks like the med bots will have to take a look at your arm,” Merlo said and helped me get onto the ship, “It’s good to see you again, Elamile”.

I groaned in annoyance and took off my helmet. “It’s Star Empress. I told you not to call me Elamile unless we are not on missions.

Merlo only chuckled in amusement. “Alright sweetheart, I get you,” he said, ignoring my remark and ruffing my hair until I shoved him away.

As soon as I sat down, I was swarmed by medical robots. Despite each one of being no bigger than my thumbnail, a swarm of them made it look like my arm was attacked futher by a large smoke cloud.

While the medical bots did their job, Merlo had returned to me. “How did your mission go?” he asked.

I stayed silent, I still felt awful that I wasn’t able to save anyone in the village. Finally, I spoke. “It was horrible, everyone in that town was dead, there were no survivors”.

Merlo remained quiet for a minute and finally broke his silence. “I see...I’m sorry that it didn’t go as planned,” he said, “You should know by now that not all of your missions will be successful,” and turned away to move towards the door that lead to the cockpit.

He stopped and then turned his head to look at me. “I know you like being called by your bounty hunter name, but I still find that Elamile is a wonderful name,” he said before turning to enter the cockpit door.

When he was gone, the medical bots had finished repairing my damaged arm. I practiced by opening and closing the palm of my hand. It was good as new, maybe even an improvement in how my arm was before.

But the rest of my body still felt the pain of everything else I went through. Guess those robots can’t fix all of my problems.

The creak of the loudspeaker got my attention. I quickly knew that Merlo was going to make an announcement over the speaker. “Alright crew, we are now arriving at the main ship”.

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