Welcome to Shakazhan….
Beginning where Lone Wolf left off, we join Wil VanLipsig and Matilda Dulac as they continue their epic sci-fi adventure. John Riley is gone. He disappeared with the help of an ancient transportation device. They hope he’s dead, but can’t count on it. He’s far too dangerous.
With the help of some new friends, they trek across the galaxy, venturing further into deep space. They arrive at a long forgotten planet – Shakazhan, heart of a legendary warrior race, The Timokuan.
The Inhospitable Surface of Iyundo—1630 Galactic Mean Time (GMT)
“Where the hell did he go? I hit Riley point blank! It’s impossible for me to miss at that range!”
In a fit of peevishness, Wil threw his gun to the ground, kicking debris over it. Matilda moved to the control panel. Flames licked at it, consuming the ancient device.
“We won’t get this working again.” She kicked it hard, the tip of her steel toed boot bouncing off the console. Finding a port for her scanner, she downloaded information from the console.
“That’s a waste, baby.”
“You never know what we can find out. Even a fragment can help.”
Wil knew she was right, he just didn’t want to admit it. “We need to get out of here before that blows.”
“One more minute….” Matilda replied in a casual singsong.
Picking up his gun, Wil considered the flames. “The way that fire is going?”
“Put it out, then,” she snapped as she watched the status bar on her download.
“Yes, Ma’am.” He saluted flippantly, searching for something to extinguish the flames, finding nothing but unusable debris that would only succeed in feeding the fire.
“Speed it up, baby, I can’t put it out.”
Flames leaped higher. Wil watched with growing concern. Just as he was about to grab her and run, she uncoupled the scanner and set off at a sprint. Wil followed her, trying to shield her body if the console blew. They dove behind a pile of rubble, keeping their heads down.
A small, fuzzy creature burst into the room, gesticulating wildly. Eyes wide with panic, he chittered at them in a language their translators couldn’t decode. His face sported a slight snout, but there was intelligence in the bright, dark eyes. Dressed in a loin cloth, his body was covered with a soft layer of fur and was only marginally humanoid in configuration. He had a head, two arms and two legs, but there the resemblance to humans stopped.
Wil aimed his weapon at it, calm but wary. Matilda stopped him with a hand on his arm.
“Wait! He’s okay. Listen.” She tilted her head toward the creature.
“Listen to what? That’s gibberish.”
“He’s telepathic. Come on.” She followed the creature without question.
“Shut up and follow him. It’s not safe here.”
Wil went after her reluctantly, more to protect her than because he trusted the creature.
“Hurry! Felix says it’s about to blow.”
“Who told you?”
She huffed sharply, exasperated. “He did.”
The control panel fire gained intensity. The area around it blazed. A low rumble reached them. The earth trembled below their feet, cracks forming in the walls and floor. They moved away from the fire and deeper into the building, opposite the way they had entered.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes