Tulip's Ghost - Book two of the Torian Warriors series.

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Chapter Twenty

Korom followed Bor as they made their way quickly to the command room. Oris had run off to the medical suite to make sure his team was ready for anything. Keel had gone to the bridge to keep an eye on the situation unfolding outside, while Tark had gone to the bowels of the ship to try modify the weapons system.

How could their weapons not be having any effect on the large heap of scrap heading their way? There was nothing on the ship from what Korom could see that would suggest any advanced tech. But there had to be some kind of shielding around the ship. He had seen the Torians fire hundreds of shots at the ship, yet not so much as a dent was left on the old rusted metal.

Not waiting for Bor to take his place at the head of the table, Korom sank into a seat by one of the main control stations and began pulling up all the information he could get on the enemy ship.

The room was silent as more warriors began to file in, taking their places at their stations around the room.

After a long few minutes, Bor asked, “How can our battleships’ weapons not have an effect?”

No one answered their king…. Because no one had the answer to that question. It shouldn’t be possible. Even if the Garamore’s had some kind of electric shielding, they should be able to see a shimmer of shield energy move over the ship when hit. But nothing. It was like….

Korom paused, frowning at his train of thought. He let his mind run with it as he saw Lorzarian enter the room.

Getting to his feet, Korom marched to his brother. Now was not the time for bitterness.

“Lorzarian, is it possible that the Garamore ship is absorbing the energy of our weapons?”

His brother turned to him, a thoughtful frown on his face.

He slowly nodded, “I believe so. Father spoke of this possibility in one of his last data vids.”

Korom lowered his eyes to the metal flooring at his feet as he thought about it.

“What if their ship is absorbing it? Father said that they would need to harness an extraordinary amount of power to fire their main weapon. What if that is how they power it.”

Bor came over, “What do you mean?”

“Think about it. A piece of shit ship like that would never be able to generate enough power to travel at light speed, let alone to have enough to fire the planet killing weapon. So where do they get it? What if they absorb the energy of our weapons, and use it to fuel their destructive power?”

Lorzarian’s eyes went wide before he stepped back and barked, “Tell everyone to stop firing at the Garamores!”

Everyone in the room turned to look at him, but no one made a move to obey.

He sighed, “Bor, tell them to stop shooting at the ship. They are not firing back anyway, so there is no threat to your fleet.”

Bor’s chest rumbled for a moment, but he nodded to the males sitting closest to him. The moment they saw their king give them an order, they began calling back the fleet with an immediate ceasefire order.

“What now?” Bor asked, crossing his massive arms over his chest.

Korom turned to him, “Do we still have those Earth weapons you collected while we were there? The ones that fire the projectiles?”

Bor grinned, “Yes. I hid them from my mate here, on this ship. She doesn’t like Earth’s weapons all that much.”

Korom nodded, “I want to try something, brother. If it works, we may have a way to kill them.”

Bor and Lorzarian both nodded, but when Korom spun to leave, he wasn’t alone.

“What are you doing?” Korom asked.

Lorzarian grinned at him, “Did you think I would let you have all the fun alone? Besides, I want to see what these Earth weapons are like.”

Korom didn’t have time for this. The Garamore ship was getting too close to Toria. If it got into possession and fired the weapon there would be no stopping the reaction in the planet’s core.

Without another word, Korom released his mist, moving fast to the storage area he first met Spot in. It took him seconds to locate the crate with the weapons. A minute later, he stood beside his brother at the edge of the landing bay, looking out at the empty space outside.

Korom reached up to his com, pressing it down.

“Keel?”

“Yes, commander?”

“Turn the ship to the left and half a unit up. Place the Loading bay doors directly in the line of fire with the Garamore ship.”

“Yes, commander.” Keel responded, and immediately he saw the ship begin to turn. A moment later, the massive vessel came into sight.

Korom turned to Lorzarian, “Press this trigger and hold the weapon tightly. There is quite a kickback. Fire three rounds at the main hull of the ship. Let’s see if this theory is correct.”

Lorzarian nodded, tucking the large weapon that had been labeled as a M24 into his shoulder. Korom did the same and waited as the ship slowed and finally stopped in place.

With a deep breath, Korom pressed down the trigger and fired three quick rounds into the night sky. The loud sound of the guns erupting right by his ear made his ears ring, but they stood still, waiting to see what would happen. It took a second for them to lose sight of the tiny projectiles, so Korom dropped the weapon and misted. He flowed out of the landing bay and moved closer to the ship. He heard a muted ting as something struck the hull, then the glorious sound of air hissing out of the tiny hole.

Reforming back on the landing bay, Korom smiled wide as he watched the Garamore ship bank to the right and begin moving away from the command vessel.

His theory worked! Now they just had to figure out how they would use this knowledge to destroy the enemy ship. They didn’t have enough guns on this vessel to do any real damage.

When he felt Tulip enter the large space, he turned to her and smiled. She walked quickly towards him, a data pad firmly gripped in her hand.

She gave the discarded weapons on the floor a quick glance, before meeting his eyes. “Were you shooting a machine gun at a spaceship?”

He chuckled, “Yes. And it worked.”

“I thought it would,” She stepped up beside him and turned the data pad to show him a scan of the Garamore ship. She had adapted the front sensor to read energy levels on the Garamore ship.

“See this,” She pointed to a particularly bright spot on the ship, “That’s the weapon, I’m sure of it. It’s sucking up every bit of energy our ships fired at it, and it’s all going there. I don’t think they have enough yet, but they will soon. What plan have the two of you come up with?”

“None yet,” Lorzarian said, looking down at her data pad, “We need projectile weaponry for the ship. To build and fit those to the fleet will take years.”

“What about blowing it up?” Tulip asked.

“What do you mean?”

“Well the two of you can mist over there, place a bunch of explosives all over the place, and we sit back and watch the fireworks.”

Korom chuckled, but shook his head. “All Decagon weaponry is Energy based. The explosives we use, release a large pulse of energy that will be absorbed by the weapon.”

“Maybe not-” Tulip started but Lorzarian interrupted her.

“He is correct, Tulip. I tried the same thing the last time I faced them. No amount of explosives worked. It was all absorbed by the weapon.”

“Shit,” Tulip mumbled, biting her lip as her eyes darted from left to right. He loved it when his mate got like this. He could almost feel her brain working.

After a moment, she looked up and said, “What if we built a few pipe bombs, filled them with those metal balls I saw some of the kids playing with on Toria, and made one big boom? The bullets tore through the metal, right?”

They both nodded.

“Okay! So if we make gunpowder or a chemical mixture that will give the bombs enough exothermic force, the metal balls will become tiny bullets. Pack enough of them into the bombs and set them all over the place. I can rig up a remote trigger for them, and we sit back and watch the show.”

Oh how he loved his bloodthirsty little mate. She had a plan. A hell of a good plan. Finding her what she needed would not be hard. It would be a simple case of adapting the explosives they already had to propel the Falop Balls children played with. They were fist sized heavy, solid metal balls used to play silly games in the dirt. But they were strong enough to survive the initial explosion and do the kind of damage needed.

He bent, placing a long, heated kiss to Tulip’s lips, loving how she melted at his touch. When he pulled back, her cheeks were rosy, her eyes a little sleepy and a small smile on her face.

It took her a second, but she snapped out of her own thoughts, blushed when she realized Lorzarian was still there, then cleared her throat and said, “Do you think you can get us those balls? I’ll go find Tark and see if he can help me with the explosives.

“Lorzarian and I will go to the ground and collect as many as we can find.” He pressed his com, “Bor?”

“Yes?” His king’s voice came through.

“We have a plan. My theory worked. I will let Tulip explain it to you. Lorzarian and I are going to the ground. We won’t be long.”

He could hear Bor wanted to ask more by the way he agreed, but they didn’t have time now. Tulip would tell him the plan, and make sure everyone knew what was happening.

With one last kiss, Korom allowed his mist to flow out of him. His brother did the same and they both shot down to the planet in the blink of an eye. He knew where to find a large supply of the Falop balls. It was the same place Korom always bought Bor’s youngest sister toys when he went to visit his mother in their mountain home.

It took no more than five minutes to collect several hundred of the small metal balls. They returned to the ship to find Tulip, Tark, Rose, Violet and even Spot busy working in the landing bay.

Tulip had taken apart what looked like every single clothing refresher on the ship. Tark was carefully extracting the explosive powder from the Earth ammunition they had in storage. Spot moved the unused parts to a large pile at the back of the landing bay, while Rose sat beside Tark, bending thin sheets of metal into what looked like boxes the size of a dinner plate.

He moved the large crates of the Falop balls to the side, taking his solid form. Tulip beamed up at him, the light in her eyes making him smile. She really did love tech. He could sit and watch her for hours, but they had a job to do.

For the next three hours, Korom sat with Tulip, Rose Tark and Spot as they worked to make the explosives. Lorzarian had gone to the bridge to finalize the plan with Bor. As much as Korom wanted to be there, he much rather preferred to sit here, working side by side with his mate.

Knowing that Freyna, Paru, Bor’s mother and his little sister were safely on board the Command Vessel gave Korom a peace of mind that he desperately needed at that moment.

He couldn’t bear the thought of his home being destroyed. They couldn’t let that happen. No matter what, he would do whatever was needed to make sure Toria survived.

With the last of the explosives built, Rose stood with a groan and stretched her back. She gave them a weak smile filled with concern, before moving over to the large open space of the loading bay doors. The atmospheric seal around their ship allowed an uninterrupted view of the massive Garamore ship in the distance, as well as the entire force of the Torian fleet around it.

Korom turned back to the task at hand, silently praying that it would be enough to destroy the Garamore ship. That setting off these explosives would have the intended outcome. If not, it could enrage the mutated monsters even more. Then there was no telling what they would do.

“Um… Guys!” Rose’s voice called from the doors.

Korom raised his gaze to see Rose backing away from the doors, her face a mask of panic and fear.

Getting to his feet, Korom went to her, Tark at his side.

“What is it?” He asked, following her gaze out to the darkness of space.

She raised a finger, pointing at the Garamore ship in the distance. “There’s something coming.” she breathed.

Korom frowned, turning back to the doors. He focused his gaze, trying to see what Rose saw.

After a moment, he saw it. A faint, almost invisible shimmer passed over the stars outside. Something was moving out there...and it was coming towards them.

He spun to Tark, but the male was already drawing his large weapon. Korom misted, grabbing Tulip and the ready explosives, before he moved her to the bridge.

Taking his solid form, he placed her on her feet gently, hating the look of utter shock and a hint of fear in her eyes.

“What?” She breathed, looking around her at the sudden change in scenery.

“Stay here,” He ordered her, giving her a hard kiss on the head. He turned to Bor, his hands fisting around the hilt of his daggers.

“Prepare to be boarded!” Korom roared, pulling the daggers from their sheath. In a second, Korom misted, his body filling with a battle rage unlike anything he’d ever felt. By the time he took his solid form on the landing bay again, his body hummed with adrenaline, his mind fully focused on the coming fight.

He had to protect Tulip. He couldn’t fail!

Lorzarian took his solid form beside Korom only seconds before the doors behind him slid open and dozens of Torian warriors filed in, taking positions around the massive open space. Earth projectile weapons were passed around until each warrior was armed and ready.

Korom grinned, a swell of pride filling him at the sight of males he spent years training, ready and willing to fight and die for their home and their king.

He turned back to the approaching threat. He could see it clearly now. The black, nearly invisible ship was close. A few more seconds and it would be within boarding range.

Tark stepped forward, taking a knee in front of Korom. He raised the large Earth weapon to his shoulder, tucking it in firmly, then released a string of fire. The sound echoed through the landing bay making everyone flinch.

But as they watched, the tiny projectiles whizzed through the open space until they found their target.

But before they could do any real damage, the doors on the side of the Garamore shuttle opened, and dozens upon dozens of disfigured beings began to pour out. Most moved towards the open Landing bay doors, but many used magnetic clamps to attach themselves to the side of the Command Vessel.

The unnerving clanking of magnetic clamps hitting the side of the ship sent a rush of cold unease through Korom. The Command Vessel had state of the art shielding, but it was also energy based. By the sound of the many clamps hitting the ship, the shielding was not doing anything to protect them.

Stepping back, Korom turned to one of the males closest to him. “Lork, take a small team to the lower storage bay and find crates sixteen to fifty four. Those are filled with Earth weapons called RPG’s. Make sure you bring up as many as you can carry. Go, now!”

With a quick nod, the male ran out of the room, two others following behind him.

At the sound of the Earth weapon erupting from beside him, Korom whipped his head around to see Tark and Rose firing at four massive, heavily disfigured beings clambering towards them. It took a few seconds, but finally the Garamore soldiers fell to the ground, their dark, almost black blood sizzling as it oozed over the metal flooring.

Korom looked up to find more enemy soldiers moving towards them, each one holding a large, crudely built weapon that looked a lot like the flamethrowers Bor had gotten from Earth.

Raising his own weapon, Korom fired at the large male in the front of the group, aiming for its head. To his intense relief it only took one bullet to have the male falling to his knees, then hitting the floor in a lifeless heap.

He reached for his com, “Aim for the head!” He called over the open link to all his warriors.

Before Korom could do anything, one of the more gruesomely disfigured males in the back stepped forward, the heavy hissing and heaving coming from the strange looking mouthpiece over his nose and mouth making Korom gag as his stomach rolled. The stench was almost more than he could bear.

It only took a second for the male to raise the long mussel of his weapon and begin spraying thick, dark green sludge all around him. The moment the thick liquid touched anything, it began to smoke and sizzle as it was eaten away by the acid like substance.

A horse scream over the ear piercing sound of gun fire reached Korom and he spun to see a tall, broad shouldered Torian male writhing in pain on the floor. His entire left side was covered in the thick, dark green sludge. His skin looked as though it was just simply melting away. Dark, deep red and green clumps of burning flesh slid off the males bones, splattering to the metal floor below. Korom swallowed, his anger flaring at the sight. But when the smell reached him, Korom almost threw up again. It stank of burning flesh, decay, and death.

Korom caught the males eyes and knew what had to be done. He could see the begging request in the agonizing gaze that looked back at him.

Raising the weapon in his hand, he leveled it with the center of the warriors head and pulled the trigger.

“Be at peace, brother,” He mumbled, then turned around to focus on the battle unfolding in the belly of the command vessel.

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