Warp Spawn by Matt Ralphs

Warp Spawn by Matt Ralphs

Author:Matt Ralphs [Ralphs, Matt]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00

IT HAD TAKEN half an hour to prise open the navigator’s chamber. He had been sealed within for decades and had since never left what had eventually become his tomb. Eusoph coughed in the stale air, holding a handkerchief over his mouth.

‘Get the vents working. I can hardly breathe in here.’ He cast an appraising eye around the chamber. ‘No sign of forced entry, and the hull’s intact.’ He snorted. ‘If it weren’t we wouldn’t be here anymore.’

The secondary navigator had been revived from his self-induced trance and was getting ready to link up to the ship. He could sense the dead body even if he could not see it. Eusoph looked on in distaste as he crept blindly but with complete assurance around the small room.

‘What do you think caused him to do this?’

For a moment the navigator was silent, probing the ship and the space around it with his sensitive psychic sense.

‘Something on board,’ he said in a blank monotone. He turned, empty sockets directed at Eusoph’s own grey eyes as if he could see him. ‘Something nearby, something close. And more are coming. They circle us like vultures.’

‘Ensign Jagg!’ Euposh shouted, louder than he needed to. ‘Help our new primary navigator into his harness.’ He indicated the former incumbent who lolled precariously from his straps. ‘And get that abomination out of there before I vomit on the Emperor’s holy floor.’

‘Sir?’ the young ensign said.

‘What is it?’ Eusoph snapped.

‘I think I can hear something.’ Jagg sidled up to the huge gothic window that commanded the entire forward facing bulkhead. An impregnable blast door had been lowered over it for protection. Jagg put his ear to the glass.

Eusoph tapped his foot impatiently.


Jagg pressed his finger to his lips. ‘Listen.’

Eusoph was about to scream blue bloody murder to the man who had dared silence him when the blast door jolted in its runnels and a piercing scraping sound jarred their ears. Jagg stumbled back, terror etched onto his youthful features. They watched as the bottom corner of the door tilted upward, juddered and then dropped back, as if something with unimaginable strength on the other side was trying to force it open.

Eusoph, eyes wide with shock, did his best to rally the startled crew.

‘Jagg, get the navigator hooked up at the double. And seal off this chamber from the bridge when you’re done. I want that door welded shut, understand? Everybody else get out, now! I want the engines ready to fire as soon as the navigator’s in position.’ As he walked with unseemly speed from the chamber he asked himself: where is Matteus?

The new navigator primus said nothing, even as the blast door undertook another brutal assault, shaking the ship from prow to stern.


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