For two weeks the warp prism followed them without any sign of other Protoss ships. The enemy ship acted like the Komodo dragons back on Earth, biting their prey once and leaving to die from infection over days while keeping watch. Never going in to strike until it was too weak to fight back.
Everyone onboard the Hindsight was tired on the constant watch rotations in case if more Protoss showed up. Even if they did their ship wasn't equipped to fight them without any shipboard weapons besides the harpoons they used to latch onto small ships.
In-between watches the crew would either sleep, conduct regular maintenance, or hang out on the mess deck where they ate when there wasn't any work to be done, but they were always ready to get to battle stations at a moment's notice.
The Zerg mostly stayed to themselves inside of the hangar bay but would occasionally wander around the ship to stretch their legs. They always went in pairs and stayed far away from any of the Terrans walking throughout the ship.
Tension was always present if any of them crossed paths. Derrick already had to break up three confrontations that almost turned into fights between the two species. Luckily nothing else escalated beyond that.
He spent a lot of his time either on the bridge with more seasoned pirates coming up with a plan of how to escape the warp prism. They couldn't go into Dominion space otherwise they would be killed on sight because the ship was already tagged as a pirate vessel. Turning around would put them at risk of running into more Protoss ships or get them even closer to any reinforcements they might have contacted. Their only choice was to go towards the uncharted worlds of the Koprulu sector.
A choice Derrick made on purpose to keep his brood as far away from Terran space as possible, something he kept hidden from everyone. It took him two days to get his crew to agree to the plan and get them to trust his judgment. He spent some time to get to know them as well and made time to have a one-on-one conversation with all fifty-six of them. This was mostly to see if he could find out if any of them would start problems now that he was in charge. Caine was the one he had the most fun sharing stories and drinking with. He was surprisingly relaxed around him and the Zerg, and for whatever reason, he even tried to have a full conversation with Ryril about Terran machinery and how the Hindsight functioned. Caine must have been completely shit-faced at the time.
Derrick was sitting inside of his new quarters, the captain's cabin. It consisted of a single bedroom, a bathroom, and a small kitchenette to store and cook his own food if he wanted. It also was equipped with a set of monitors that displayed the same information on the bridge and constantly kept track of the warp prism.
It was just under two nautical miles away from them or about four kilometers, well away from the two kilometer warning the bridge was given but it was matching their top speed. This meant the warp prism could possibly go faster than them but it was just waiting.
He hit a dial on the monitor and it switched views to a navigational chart that showed their current route. They were just eight hours away from a habitable planet that they could land at; one that wasn't occupied by the Dominion, Protoss, or the Zerg to their knowledge. The most likely reason was that even though it could support life, scanners show that it was extremely barren when it came to resources such as minerals and vespene gas. It was also condemned as far as colonies were concerned due to the treacherous journey through hostile conditions, its isolation, and the planet's unstable seasonal patterns.
It was the perfect place to hide his brood from the galaxy.
He sat down at a small desk and ate a meal the cook made for the crew, a stew made from leftover beans, rice, and pork. Food was starting to become an issue. The cooks said that they normally have enough food for six weeks before resupplying but they were out for a while when they attacked him. They had about twelve days of food left with rationing so they would have to forage for food while they planted seeds from fruits and vegetables. Water wouldn't be an issue once they landed, the ship had purifiers they could filter water through once they found a source.
These types of thoughts clouded his mind as he tried to find a solution for every problem that was going on or that hasn't even happened yet. He knew how much stress he was putting on himself but he didn't care, it was just to pass the time without going mad from anticipation.
The empty bowl was set inside the sink with the others from previous meals. Derrick splashed a little bit of water in his face before grabbing his sidearm and a handheld radio to the bridge. His guard of four zerglings was waiting for him outside of his cabin as he walked out. He paced throughout the ship towards the hangar just to get some exercise and keep his mind clear.
Ryril was sleeping inside of his dropship next to his crates when he passed by. Something was troubling her while she slept, her arms were resting by her sides but every few seconds they would spasm slightly along with her head shaking from side to side. It could be nightmares, nervousness or even a natural function to the Zerg, either way, he didn't want to wake her up. The zergling kept stride with Derrick while he kept an eye on the rest of the crew.
Tension was still high between him and the pirates. While having his sit-downs with the crew he made note of the ones that were against him and his Zerg, he guessed a few dozen of them would likely kill him if they had the chance. The rest were either indifferent about him or were pleased that the last captain was dead. Out of all of them, Caine was his eyes and ears when it came to the overall intentions of the crew. Every day he would sit down with him and discuss how his decisions influenced everyone. He told him that the main reason that he wasn't liked was how the Zerg followed his command, several of them lost friends, family, and their homes to the Zerg.
Drowsiness started to take its toll after about an hour of walking and he decided to go back to his cabin. He let his zerglings go to do as they pleased and locked the door before starting the nightly routine of showering and getting ready for the next day. He only had about five hours to sleep before they started to make their descent into the planet's atmosphere and he intended to use it. A new bottle of his favorite whiskey that he raided from the ship's liquor locker sat on the stand next to his bed. He took a shot of the warm drink to help him get some sleep.
Derrick closed his eyes and projected his mind all around the ship, he could feel the minds, thoughts, and emotions of all the Zerg around him, something that was still very surreal to him. However, there was one mind that was unfamiliar to him and was calling to him, demanding all of his attention to one spot. Cautiously he began to track where the voice was calling him from.
It was getting louder, trying to make itself known to him. Derrick's mind was lead towards the hangar, right to Ryril. He could feel the turmoil coming from the swarm queen and the disturbance it was causing inside her mind. Whatever this being was, it was using her body as a vessel to contact him. Once he tried to make a mental connection with her, a new consciousness flooded into his own.
Derrick's eyes shot open as he immediately rolled out of the bed. He could feel this new mind force it's way into his. He began to sweat profusely while his entire body started to shake and tremble. The sound of his own heartbeat flooded his ears, all of which caused extreme nausea and shortness of breath to overcome him. As the foreign presence took over, he lost all sense of vision and hearing but was all soon replaced by his mental attacker.
Three separate images appeared in his mind. The first one showed a fleet of ships. Each of them carried several dozen men in grey armor and armed with swords and spears. The ships themselves had dark sails that had the image of a large yellow octopus sewn into them. This fleet of ships was sailing towards a beach that was occupied by several hundred of his swarm. The image faded before he could examine it further, it was soon replaced by another one that painfully forced itself into his mind.
This one was of a city surrounded with walls in the desert. He saw Ryril outside of its gates with about thirty Zerg behind her. On top of the walls were more soldiers armed with black armor with circular shields and spears. Each of them wore a helm that completely covered their heads and the back of their necks. Anyone could tell that this was a highly trained and well-disciplined army. The gate opened for Ryril, standing in the opening was a young woman with white hair and a dragon at her side.
The last vision was a small island with three dragons flying high above the castle on it. Inside the castle, there was a large room with an elevated throne made from rock. Sitting there was the same white-haired woman he saw earlier along with himself, Ryril, some of his Zerg, and several of the soldiers that belonged to this woman. Everyone had a weapon pointed at the opposition and ready to kill one another. There was also a man there that seemed out of place. He stood in between both forces, trying to keep them from fighting one another.
Derrick was given back control of his mind and gasped for air then started to violently cough. The same presence began to fill his mind once again but this time it only spoke once before disappearing.
"You have a part to play in everything." Ringing replaced the voice in his ears and lasted for several minutes before subsiding.
He didn't know what to think of what just happened. Whatever spoke to him didn't feel like any species he knew about. Reaching out with his mind once more he searched for Ryril, her mind is what linked them.
The pain returned as soon as he tried, it felt like the pressure was increasing inside his skull. He needed to give himself some time to heal. Derrick was still on the floor of his cabin, he didn't even notice the loud scraping on his door from the other side.
The scent of smoke started to fill his mouth and nose as he regained his senses. The ringing in his ears was soon drowned out by the ships alarms and a flashing orange light illuminated the area. Realizing what was happening, he staggered to his feet and made his way to the radar and examined it while keeping low to the ground to avoid inhaling the smoke.
What was displayed on the screen was a frozen image with a text in the alarm box that displayed several alarms in the order they occurred.
Audible alarm box disabled.
Closest point to contact 2km
Closest point to contact 1km
Closest point to contact .5km
Closest point to contact .1km
Main engine - Oil pressure loss detected
Main generator - Fire/Smoke alarm activated
Main Engine room - Fire/Smoke alarm activated
Aft steering - oil pressure loss detected
Claws started to rip into the door of his cabin and tear down the steel, making a hole big enough for a few zerglings to come into the room. Derrick took a quick look at the time stamp and saw that had been four hours since he went to bed. Whatever happened to him must have slowed down his perspective of time.
The zerglings tried to get him to the exit by pushing him with the flat part of their skulls. He was still in a confused state but was able to stumble to the door and open it to the hallway. The smell of smoke filled the hallway but didn't consume it, the fire teams must have already set up smoke boundaries.
Derrick sent the zerglings away to find and help others while he ran up the stairs to the bridge. There were very few of his men at their assigned post, the rest of them were still on their way he assumed. Outside the window in front of them was their new home in clear view with all it's land and seas just waiting for them, and nothing was going to stop him now.
Protective flash hoods were already set up for everyone to put on to guard them against a burst of heat but it wouldn't do much if they stayed in a hot environment. "What the hell happened?" He asked the nearest person while putting his flash hood over his head.
"It's the Protoss, they were able to sneak up on us and they took out our engine." He was standing by the fire panel which displayed the different 'zones' of the ship and the alarms that applied to those areas. "The fire team is still getting set up but they still need a few minutes."
Frustration filled his voice as he spoke to them. "How the hell were they able to do that?" They had systems in place to warn them if the Protoss would make a move. Nothing should have gotten close without them knowing.
An explosion from deep within the ship threw everyone off balance, some of them were fast enough to grab onto something while others were thrown about the bridge. Just a few seconds later all the electronics went out simultaneously, followed by the emergency backup lights filling the room with red light. A console on the right side of the bridge sparked and started to smoke, somebody quickly secured the power to it and began hitting it with several blasts from a carbon-dioxide fire extinguisher.
Luckily no one seemed hurt at first glance but he had no way of telling if people down below needed help. The men only needed a moment to stabilize themselves before getting back to their stations. They had radios to keep in contact with repair team members and according to them, it was the main generator that blew up in a ball of fire and shrapnel.
Derrick listened closely to what they were saying, he heard reports from someone believed they saw a Protoss in a heading towards their clean water tanks.
"Tell everyone not to engage it! I'm going to take care of the Protoss." Derrick commanded to the radio operator before running back down to his room. He ducked down through the same hole the zerglings made and ran to the stand-up locker in the room which kept his armor and weapons. It took him about a minute and a half to properly don the hostile environment suit and grab his submachine gun along with a pistol. He started a systems check through his heads-up display inside his mask while he made his way back out the door and into the hallway.
Several people bumped into him along his way through the ship some were setting up smoke barriers and getting firefighting equipment ready while others were getting repair tools and parts staged for use. Everyone else was moving anything flammable away from walls to prevent them possibly catching fire due to the heat that can transfer through the walls around the fire.
The water tanks were located along the underside of the ship and were exposed to several different areas of the ship. However, due to the design of the water tanks, most of the surface area was underneath the ground floor. This was designed on purpose so that in case of a leak it wouldn't cause flooding except for the lower storage areas.
Derrick reached the hatch that leads down to the storage room and was greeted by two armed crew members who were dressed out in fire protective gear but no armor. They were accompanied by three zerglings that were waiting for the hatch on the ground to open so they could find their quarry. The hatch was enclosed behind an air-tight door that acted as a smoke and flooding barrier in case of an emergency like this.
One of the men ran up to him and reported what happened in a shocked manner. "I haven't seen a Protoss like this one before, the damned thing was moving like a ghost. It, it moved right through me and went right down to the engineer storage room."
The brief description made Derrick believe it was either the same Protoss or of the same class that he fought a few weeks back. Without any armor, the humans would probably get killed by just a single hit from its weapon and the zerglings wouldn't be much better off.
"I'll be going in first. I want both of you right behind me, the zerglings will be right behind us." Derrick moved over to the hatch and started to open it.
The other human double checked his rifle to make sure it was ready for use and nervously eyed the zerglings a few feet away from him, fearful that he would have to trust them with his back turned. "Hey, we also need to be careful not to hit the tank itself. It can probably take a few hits but last I checked we had about thirty thousand gallons of pressurized water in there and I don't really like the thought of drowning in space."
"We'll be careful." Derrick replied before slowly cracking open the hatch for them to enter. He locked it in place and quietly moved down the stairs while scanning the room for the Protoss. After making his way down he quickly started to sweep the maze-like storage room by checking row after row of shelves with equipment that had layers of dust covering them.
The rest of the party was just catching up to him when they heard a low hum followed by loud pulse just a few rows down from them. The group took cover by the metal shelving with Derrick in front. Peeking around the corner he saw the Protoss with unmistakable golden crest suspended behind it, this was the same one from the Protoss vessel.
It was currently charging its weapon for another attack on the tank in front of it but wasn't having the desired effect of punching a hole through it. Scorch marks were very visible on the thick metal but did little more than heat the area. The Protoss knew how ineffective its weapon was and saw an alternative; above the tank itself was a much smaller pipe that was connected to the tank and was more susceptible to damage.
As it raised its arm for another attack, a voice from behind her called out.
"Drop your weapon!" Derrick and his companions surrounded the Protoss but held their fire. Their enemy held its ground with its cannon-like weapon still pointed towards the venerable pipe. "I said put it down!" He felt how anxious the zerglings were to fight a Protoss, he had to give them a mental command to stay behind him. He wanted a backup plan in-case it used its teleportation ability, if it used it then the zerglings could chase it down.
The Protoss appeared fearless or at least brave despite the disadvantage she had. The warrior shot a sharp glance at the zerglings then back to the ghost. "I remember you from before, along with the Zerg. You lead them, am I right?" She stated.
"Yeah, they're mine." Derrick responded with his finger resting beside the trigger to his gun.
She turned her attention to the other two humans and gave a warning to them, "I'm sure that you remember the last human that ruled the Zerg. He won't be any different." They both looked at each other with unsure expressions.
"I'm not Kerrigan." He retorted. "She was a monstrous bitch that almost wiped out half the galaxy. I would rather hang myself with barbed wire then become a tenth of what she was."
"And before Kerrigan became what she was, wasn't she a Terran ghost like yourself? Or is the book I read about your history inaccurate? And If you really aren't like the Queen of blades then why are you leading Zerg, even if it's just a few of them?"
Derrick was at a loss for words, he wasn't trying to convince the Protoss that he wasn't like the Queen of blades. He wasn't even sure if he was trying to convince the two men behind him or maybe if he said it enough he could convince himself and prevent him from falling down a slippery slope into a lust for power.
"History does have a tendency of repeating itself." She said. Suddenly, warp particles started to surround her, she was about to teleport back to the warp prism.
Derrick fired controlled burst into the Protoss to avoid hitting the tank, they impacted into the shields and fragmented to the sides. She quickly brought her own weapon above her head and fired at the valve.
Just as the water started pouring out her shields were penetrated by the combined fire of the Terrans, allowing one of Derrick's rounds to hit her in the center of her stomach. She let out a scream right before the warp prism teleported her back safely aboard.
A few of their bullets hit the tank when the Protoss teleported and left holes for more water to escape. They ran back to the hatch they entered from, the water was already up to their ankles by the time they got there. Derrick gave them the order to escape before him, the first man was halfway up the stairs when a loud metal clamping sound rang out through the storage room.
He looked up at the hatch to see watertight latches tighten from the outside. Someone trapped them down there.
"Sir!" Cried the man at the top of the stairs, he was trying with all his might to turn the unlocking mechanism but wasn't able to make it budge. "Someone from the outside shut us in, I can't open it. I think it's the Protoss."
The other man turned to him, "Sir that hatch was closed fairly quickly and we wounded it pretty badly. I'm not sure it was the Protoss."
"I think you might be right, someone else locked us down here." Derrick moved up the stairs to help turn the wheel. Even their combined strength couldn't budge it.
The water was still rising up at an alarming level and without another way out, they only had a few minutes before they faced drowning. "This isn't working!" One of them called out.
"No shit!" The other responded.
Derrick jumped down into about two feet of water and started giving out orders. "You three," He said to the zerglings, "start clawing the hatch to get it open while we try to plug these holes." He also informed one of his men to call the bridge using their radios.
They started moving through the water with increasing difficulty to the damaged pipe. It was about six inches in diameter with water bursting out with enough force to hit the wall behind them. They grabbed any materials they could find and started to plug the hole. It was no use, they weren't able to keep anything in place long enough to keep a seal because of the torrent of water, If the Protoss hit the pipe just a few feet further then they could use the valve to turn off the supply of water.
"Is there anything else we can do to stop this?" Derrick asked.
"Nothing that I know of."
"Well, then how about the bridge? Is anyone coming?"
"I haven't been able to reach them, the radio is fried from the water!"
"Well, that would have been nice to know!" Derrick shouted angrily at the lack of communication and he made his way back to the hatch through water that was past his waist. "How's this coming along?"
The zerglings were having trouble ripping through the thick metal, not because of the materials but because it was a difficult angle with the hatch being several feet above their heads the room that they had to move only allowed one of two of them to claw through it at a time. They were still able to make slow progress and managed to cut a large gash into it. It was enough for Derrick to be able to peer through and see a long wooden block on top of it that reached to the ceiling, preventing them from opening the hatch.
"Someone did trap us." Derrick mumbled under his breath.
A loud splash came from behind him. He turned around to see the several sections of shelving come loose from the deck with all their contents and created a wall of junk that separated the other men from him. They immediately stopped trying to plug the leak and rushed through chest-high water to move the equipment blocking them.
The ceiling above them was only four feet from the water line now and was still rising. The three of them were moving as much equipment as possible but the heavy shelving paired with a significant amount of junk such as empty boxes, wooden planks, and packaging materials floating at the top made their process hindered and slow.
One of the men started to panic as the water reached his neck and began to attempt to climb over all of the walls of junk. He made it halfway up before his clothing got snagged on some hidden object. This caused him to start to thrash about, trying to free himself as his partner attempted to cut through his clothing with a box cutter he found.
Derrick swam towards them to attempt to free the trapped man. He searched for whatever he was snagged on under the water and felt a large hook that was used to hang rope or other gear.
"You have to calm down!" Derrick shouted while grasping his hand to gain his attention. The man couldn't focus and only cared about freeing himself from the hook that his clothes were wrapped around. His partner was able to cut through the thick clothing and assist hoisting him the rest of the way up.
After doing so Derrick pulled him over the debris then his partner, making sure he didn't get caught on anything before swimming towards the exit. The hole was slightly larger when he got back, enough for one of the zerglings to stick it's head though and snap at the wooden block wedged between the ceiling and the hatch.
With a few quick bites, the wood was clear and they began to try loosening the locking mechanism once the zergling climbed back down to no avail, it didn't even budge an inch.
"It must have jammed itself when it was shut!" One of them cried out before turning back to Derrick. "Well, what are we going to do now?"
Suddenly a shadow appeared over the gash in the metal hatch. They all looked up and saw the face of a roach peering into the flooding space. It opened its mouth as a bright green bile began to secrete down its jaw.
"Everyone back up! Back up, back up!" Derrick began to pull the men away from the hatch with the limited room they had. With barely enough room between the waterline and the ceiling, they were all swimming, including the zerglings.
A single blast of acid bile from the roach was enough to quickly corrode and eat away at the hatch, creating an opening for them to escape from. The zerglings were sent up first because they didn't need time to wait for the bile to dissipate, their carapaces provided them with enough protection. Carefully but quickly the rest of them began to exit the flooded space with Derrick being the last one out. The two men assisted him out of the storage room and into the dry open space before sealing the watertight door they left open from earlier.
All three of them took a moment to catch their breath from their near drowning experience. The roach used its body as a support for Derrick to lean on while he poured the water out of his boots. He started to feel a Ryril's mind push against his, trying to contact him.
'I see the roaches arrived in time.'
'Yeah, thanks for that. Do you know if there's any other Protoss onboard?'
'There haven't been any other sightings that I know of but we might want to consider escaping in your dropship. These Terrans are not worth the trouble, they let one Protoss do this much damage to their ship. They are no use to us.'
'We are not abandoning these people but I do think the Protoss might have had help from one of the people here. While I was down there someone locked the hatch and pinned it closed with wooden beams.'
'Then what sense does it make to stay? If one of them betrayed us who knows how many more of them were a part of it.' Ryril's voice was filled with understandable frustration.
'We don't have time for this. When we get planetside we'll address it then, it could have even been someone trying to prevent more flooding. Until then have the swarm help in any way they can, I'm going to the bridge to help deal with this warp prism.'
'As you command.'
Derrick cut off the connection and hastily made his way back to the bridge up several levels with his zerglings behind him. He passed by several members of the crew, looking at their expressions to see if anyone was surprised that he was still alive. All of them were too busy to care that he walked by.
The bridge was just as chaotic as he left it but everyone seemed to focus their efforts and attention on the positioning of the warp prism rather than the planet they were approaching.
"We have a solution for the warp prism." Clarke, one of the navigation officers, shouted as Derrick entered.
"What do we have?" He replied while looking over the data on one of the side consoles.
"If we can make sure it comes either underneath us or in the center of one of our sides once we start to break the atmosphere, we might be able to hit it with our harpoons and bring it down."
"Do you think we can bait them in? Looks like they're starting to back off behind us."
Clarke took a moment to sketch a diagram of the ship's current course. "If we apply all of our emergency breaks here," He marked on the paper. "just as we get into the upper atmosphere we might be able to force them to make a sharp turn to either side of us where we'll have our harpoons ready for them."
"We're going to detach the cables to them first, right?"
"Of course. As long as they don't pull up above us then we have a shot at them. However our window is pretty narrow, we'll have to pick up speed again so we can make course corrections and land safely."
"How long do we have before we need to hit the throttle?" Derrick asked.
"Anywhere between twenty-five and thirty-five seconds depending on how the weather is." Clarke looked away from the diagram and down to a puddle where Derrick was standing. "Captain, what happened to your clothes?"
"I'll tell you later, how long until we break the atmosphere and do we have enough time to put this in action?"
Clarke seemed genuinely worried about him but returned his focus but to the task, "Were starting the decent in less than five minutes so we already told the gunners down below to start loading the harpoons."
Derrick started to make his way to the center of the room, behind the captain's chair. "Make sure everyone Is ready when he hit the brakes. I don't want to get tossed around and kill themselves."
While Clarke passed the information over the ship's intercom Derrick contacted Ryril and gave her step by step instructions to have one of his medical emergency kits ready for him in case he needed it. He's been in extremely stressful situations before but as a follower, never as the leader and It was starting to mess with his mind.
All that was left now for him was to wait for their approach. He took a good look at the planet's vast seas and continents. The land they were above appeared to be snowy terrain and to its south where they were headed along the eastern coast, he could see green forest and brown plains. Perhaps he would take part of Ryril's advice and let the crew repair and take the hindsight away, leaving him with his dropship and the Zerg to do as they please.
Nobody would ever be able to find them after the Protoss was taken care of, not them, the Dominion or even Kerrigan herself would know where to look. He would be as free as he was just a few weeks ago to do what he wanted.
He could even go down to the hangar and leave everyone for themselves, all he had to do was fill his dropship with gas, dump his equipment to lighten it for further travel, and leave to go back to what was left of Raynor's Raiders.
These weren't his people, two months ago he would have killed everyone aboard a ship like this to fill a contract. Two years ago he would have been sent with a few other ghosts to nuke a small Zerg brood. And yet here he was forced to make sure that both sides made it safely to the planet.
If he just left that Protoss ship alone instead of scavenging he wouldn't be here, If he just ran when he saw that first zergling he wouldn't be here, If he just killed Ryril when she asked him to lead-
"Captain!" Clarke shouted, breaking Derrick's trance-like state. "We're decelerating in ten seconds, hang onto something."
He gripped onto the railing beside him and braced himself for the sudden jolt, counting down inside his head, 'Three… two… one…' The Hindsight opened all of its flaps to increase drag, slowing it down immediately. He would've launched over the railing if he wasn't warned. The sudden jolt sent everything that wasn't bolted down was sent forward, thankfully someone secured the fire extinguisher used earlier.
"Warp prism approaching on our port side!" One of the navigators called out.
"Have the gunners fire when they have a clear shot." Clarke responded.
Derrick went to the left side of the bridge and looked out to window. The warp prism didn't know they were going to slow down so quickly and had to dodge to the side, allowing the Hindsight to have a clear shot at their side.
The harpoon clashed into their side and broke their shields but failed to puncture their hull, allowing them to slow down and recover. Instead of pulling away to the side of them, the warp prism ducked underneath them where most smaller Dominion vessels don't have guns. They didn't realize the Hindsight was a pirate ship with a loaded harpoon pointed down at them.
Another direct hit on top of the Protoss ship made it stall and start to expel white smoke. After a few desperate attempts to maintain altitude it started its slow descent into a snowy forest below.
The bridge was filled with cheers and brotherly embraces for none of them have been able to bring down a Protoss vessel in their lives. Derrick sat down in his chair and let out I sigh of relief as the ship was beginning to accelerate again as planned.
Clarke approached him with the biggest grin he's had in a long time. "Nice work there, looks like your plan actually worked." Derrick congratulated and gave him a high-five.
"I actually can't believe that worked. I mean everything would have gone to shit if they didn't go underneath us, as soon as the first one hit and only took out the shield-" Clarke continued to talk about how it could have failed but Derrick's attention started to shift to the window in front of them. And how the nose of the ship was starting to dip downward.
Everyone felt the sudden shift and ran back to their post to see what was going on. The weight shit started to force the bridge team to either lean back steadily or hunch over their controls as they searched the ship's systems.
"We have an alarm." Someone shouted before reading off the alarm on his monitor, "'Upper flaps hydraulics pressure loss'. It's putting us in a dive because it can't close on its own!"
Clarke took control immediately, "We don't have time to troubleshoot the problem, open lower flaps to even us out. I need someone to sound the collision alarm, we won't have enough speed to stay airborne."
The high-pitched alarm filled the room as their dive slowed. Derrick looked out the window and saw that the snowy landscape was now a light brown plain a few miles underneath them with patches of green spread throughout. Beyond that was a large ocean that was getting closer. "I'm trusting you on this Clarke!" Derrick shouted.
Clarke grabbed the throttle and started feathering it to maintain a controlled descent. "Grab me that microphone on the wall!" He told Derrick. Clarke grabbed it from him without looking away from the spot he wanted to land the ship. "Prepare for impact on the bow and underside of the ship. Impact in five…"
Derrick told Ryril to brace herself while grabbing onto the same railing as before.
A familiar presence started to push at his mind.
The presence forced its way into his mind.
It was the same voice as before, the same one that gave him those visions.
It gave him a simple message.
"Winter is coming."
We haven't seen the last of the Protoss.
We have finally landed in Westeros, six chapters and twenty-seven thousand words later. I know that It took a very long time for me to post this, I don't like posting this far behind but I hope that since It was a very long chapter It will make up just a little bit of it. My original plan was to break this chapter up to go into better detail but I was already over my goal of a five chapter intro to the story. I would love to have some feedback about the way I've set this story up so far, It would help out tremendously with writer's block and encourage me to write faster. Plus it would help you have some input on what happens in the story along with it's characters.