Crimsonstar/Second Rikti War Part II

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The Journey


Marsius held up his hands to try and calm her as Robby slowly slunk off to the far corner of the table with his pizza and beer. Alexandra Sommers, the heroine known as Northern Might, had come by on her way home to inquire into Marsius’ availability for dinner that evening. The two of them had been spending quite a deal of time together when off duty and it was becoming commonplace for them to have dinner together once or twice a week. Marsius had ordered in pizza and picked up Alex’s favorite Canadian beer and had asked Robby to stick around for a few minutes as he told Alex of the upcoming mission.

“Alex, please, there’s no need to shout,” Marsius replied.

“Oh no, Mars, there is definitely reason to shout.” Alex set her beer down to point at the portal behind her. “You’re telling me you plan to use the gateway to transport directly to the Rikti dimension with just the eleven of you? Against a whole dimension of Rikti, I might add.”

“Actually, it’ll just be two of us, Marshi and I. The remaining nine other Star Brigade officers will have to…”

“Two?? Are you insane? No way in hell! What does Grace think about this plan? What’s her stance as your Binary? And shouldn’t she be going with you as well?”

“Well, Grace has her hands full with the Foundation. The amount of homeless people they have visiting has tripled with the Rikti attacks having escalated. Plus if she’s not at the Foundation, then she’s busy with her studies at MAGI, and with Dom being back in town… well. Things are different with her and I now, and I’m not even sure how long we’ll remain a Binary pairing” Marsius said.

“Then I’m going,” Alex said and she took out her cell phone and started to call in to The Silver Guard.

“Alex please, I don’t want you to endanger yourself. Marshi and I are going to be on the move from the moment we get there and...”

“And that’s exactly why I’m going with you.” She paused to poke the end of her cell phone into his chest, a small tinny voice calling ‘hello’ from its earpiece. “Look, I like you Mars. I happen to like you quite a lot, in case you haven’t noticed. You’re the first man that I don’t worry about crushing when I hug him and I’m not letting you run headlong into some alien infested dimension from Hell if I can’t watch your back – no offense to Marshi. Either I’m going or I swear to the gods above that I’ll find some high tension cable wire and tie you to the floor if I have to.” With that, Alex put the phone back to her ear and placed a request for some last-minute time off from the Guard.

Robby had slowly moved around the side of the table and was making his way to the door, praying that Alex didn’t see him and decide to turn her wrath on him. He encountered Marshi at the doorway just as he was exiting. She peered in at Marsius and Alex.

“I heard yelling. What’s going on with those two?” she asked. Robby looked over his shoulder, took a bite of his pizza and, while chewing, replied: “Foreplay.”

Marsius knelt down beside the large, oval shaped device that occupied almost the entire floor in the portal room at KEA. Marshi Brax along with two other Star Brigade officers were also kneeling down around the device, adjusting settings, taking computer readings with small Andromedan scanning consoles, and comparing notes with one another’s findings.

“Yes that’s it; the latent energy output has to be below 0.00012% on the radius axis to counteract the variance of the plasma matter conductor since we had to make it from available Earth metals.” Marsius said studying a holographic schematic that hovered just above the strange device. One of the other Star Brigade officers let out a small sigh and leaned back, wiping his forehead. “Marsius, I can only gain an eighty-five percent stability on the matrix. It’ll give us a few hours but eventually the containment field is going to fail.” He said. Marsius looked over at him. “A few hours are all we’re going to need. I appreciate all your hard work, Gavin. I specifically requested you for your expertise on high yield plasma dynamics. I doubt I could have even gotten fifty percent stability if I were to try aligning the couplings myself.” He reached over and gave the officer a firm reassuring grip on his shoulder. Marsius took a last look at the schematics then stood up and stepped back. “That’s it, I think.” He rubbed the back of his neck with his hand. “What time is it?” he asked.

“Five in the morning,” Alex answered. She had spent the entire evening in the room along with the Star Brigade officers, alternately watching the progress of the construct and completing some case files. While she admired watching Marsius and his team work, and marveled at the application of Andromedan technology using available Earth materials, she had no idea what they had just made. The finished project was a monstrosity; it was as big as a compact car and seemed to require just as much hardware as one.

Marsius walked over to her, took a bottle of soda from the desk and drank down the last few swallows. Alex grinned and shook her head. “Well I see one Earth vice you’ve definitely grown fond of.” She said taking his empty soda bottle and playfully shaking it. He smiled back and nodded toward the device in the middle of the room. “So, what do you think?” he asked.

“It’s impressive. But what is it?” Alex replied. Marsius let out a small laugh before answering. “That, Ms. Sommers, is a high-yield medium-range plasma incendiary unit.”

“You mean a bomb?” Alex asked, her eyes widening and she involuntarily shifted in her chair.

“Yes, a bomb.” He continued to explain, unaware that Alex had nonchalantly moved closer to him in an attempt to cover her brief nervousness at the word bomb. “Our excursions into the Rikti war zone had two goals. One was to obviously identify and isolate the energy matrix of their portals. The second was to confiscate as many of their plasma weapons as we could.” He motioned to a pile of dismantled Rikti weapons stashed in a large garbage bin in the corner of the room. “We hope to deliver the device into the heart of what should be a main Rikti portal generator and detonate it.” Marsius said.

“And the plasma cells from the confiscated Rikti weapons will be enough to destroy it?” Alex asked.

“No, they’re just to act as the catalyst that’ll rupture the warp core inside the device.” Gavin answered. “I’m frankly surprised Marsius carried this plan out. We had to scuttle the star slider ship he had stored in the basement of this building. Without its warp core the ship is useless and won’t be able to make any leaps back to Andromeda.” He looked up and noticed Marsius shooting him a sharp glare and realized he had revealed more then Marsius wanted him to. Alex snapped her head around to look at Marsius.

“Wait, the star slider that Janus came to Earth in when he was hell-bent on killing you? Marsius, that’s the only working ship you had. If you sacrifice it’s capability for star travel you won’t be able to use it to return home at a later date if you want.” She said. Marsius started placing anti-gravity units on the bomb that would be used to transport it. “It won’t be the first time I’ve lost a ship in the defense of Earth. Besides, Alex, it’s not like the star slider is my only option home. I’ll still have the portal here at KEA,” he commented. Alex allowed herself a slight shrug. “I know, I just thought you’d want to have some sort of backup. I mean, if something were to happen to KEA and this portal….” Her voice trailed off.

Marsius looked over at her, his face emotionless. “It’ll be fine,” he said, but his voice said otherwise. “Alex --” he stood up and motioned for her to step aside so he could talk to her privately. “Listen, this mission, it’s going to be dangerous. We’ll be facing hundreds of thousands more Rikti then either of us have seen here on Earth.” She gave a wry grin and gave a slight nod. “Well that’s obvious.”

“I appreciate your wanting to help, and your commitment to standing by me in this, but I really wish you’d reconsider. I’ve seen a lot of good people lose their life in this war. I don’t want to see you added to that list.” He said.

“And I don’t want to be here on Earth worrying about you. I’m going.” She reached over and placed her hand on his forearm “Mars, if it comes down to it, I’d rather die with you there in the Rikti homeworld, than stay here without you.” Marsius looked down at the floor, then back up at her. “I didn’t realize you felt that strongly about it, about me.”

“When this is over, we should have a long talk.” She replied.

“Okay, but right now we need to make our final plans.” He glanced at the clock. “Maybe you should go and make sure you have everything in order, just in case.” He said. He watched her leave and then waved to Robby. The young assistant joined him in the corner of the work lab. He had a large assortment of computer print outs and charts on a clipboard and was flipping back and forth through them frantically.

“Marsius, I’ve been going through all these readings we got off the Rikti portals and I’m noticing something very disturbing with the calibration of the energy matrix.” He said.

“I know.”

Robby looked up startled, slipping his pencil behind his ear. “You do?”

“Yes. I’ve known since Marshi and her team first gathered the data.”

“So you know that if we can extrapolate the Rikti portal frequency to their world, then they can just as easily backtrack it and use our own portal to come here?”

Marsius crossed his arms and glanced over at Marshi and the Star Brigade officers as they removed all the excess debris from around the bomb. He studied the portal that had started as a simple experiment by Dr. Jessica Sheppard at Portal Corps but had become so much more. Her research had made it possible for him to return home to Andromeda for the first time since he had arrived on Earth six years ago. “Robby….Robert…” he started

“Robert? Oh shit, this isn’t good.”

“Robert, I want to express my deepest gratitude for all your work these last few months. From your work with assisting Dr. Sheppard in constructing the portal, to your dedication in leaving Portal Corps and helping me establish the KEA and a permanent link between Andromeda and Earth. I’m positive I couldn’t have done it all by myself.”

“Marsius? What’s going on? You sound as if this is the end.”

“Robby, I want you out of the KEA offices an hour before we depart for the Rikti homeworld.” He looked back at his assistant. “You’re findings are correct. Not only can the Rikti backtrack to here through our portal, it’s a certainty that they will. That’s why Marshi and I were originally going alone. The remaining few Star Brigade officers that came from Andromeda to aid in this war will remain here. To fight off and hopefully defeat the Rikti when they arrive.”

“So this is it then, one big final offensive against the Rikti?” Marsius watched the Star Brigade members positioned their bomb at the portal entrance. “I would like to think that if we’re successful, this will put an end to their latest invasion, but that would be too optimistic.”

The portal opened with a flash of light and gust of wind. Marsius, Alex and Marshi tumbled out onto a flat plane of brunt and cracked earth. The three of them struggled up to their hands and knees, their stomachs violently forcing up their contents.

“Okay that was extremely unpleasant.” Marshi said, weakly getting to her feet.

“I’ve used the portal myself once before, but it was nowhere near as bad as this trip.” Alex said, her hair hanging down in her face. Marsius reached over to her shoulder, the two of them using each other as anchors to get to their feet. “This wasn’t just a simple portal jump through space. The Rikti exist in a different dimensional plane than the one we’re used to.” He looked around and saw the bomb floating several feet in front of them. Just before they departed Earth he had activated its anti-gravitational units and sent it through ahead of them. Together they stood and surveyed the landscape in front of them. Any sign of life this world once held was obliterated. The ground was darkened with burns from centuries of continual plasma weapons fire. In the few areas of ground that weren’t devastated, the ecosystem had tried to reassert itself and they could see small blades of yellowish grass forcing itself up, trying to get a foothold in the soil. The sky was also black from the endless abuse and pollution of the Rikti. The only signs of life besides them were the occasional insects that flitted by them, hopping from one sparse cropping of foliage to another. “Biologists have stated for years that once mankind wipes itself out on Earth, the insect kingdom would be the inheritors of the planet. Looks like that’s a true statement no matter what world you’re on.” Alex said, frowning at the small reddish and black bugs.

Several hundred yards to their left they could see the ruins of what had once been a great city. Buildings had fallen on top of others, or collapsed altogether under their own weight, the support structures having given out long ago. Others stood in grim defiance of the Rikti’s weapons despite having entire walls and roofs blown apart. In the middle of all this destruction stood one single gleaming dark green tower, lines of bright red power conduits snaking across its surface like veins. It was here that they could tell that there was indeed, much life on the planet. Hundreds of Rikti ships departed and arrived at this tower and even more Rikti drones hovered around the Rikti base. And from the top of this building, huge plumes of black smoke issued forth in a continual stream into the planets almost totally depleted atmosphere.

“By Kairin’s Soul, Marsius, do you realize where we are?” Marshi asked her eyes wide in wonderment.

“Yes, Jennla.” Marsius replied.

“What’s Jennla?” Alex asked.

“An ancient Andromedan myth.” Marsius said. “For years during our own war against the Rikti it was theorized that the Rikti had no true homeworld of their own, having exhausted all it’s resources. They became scavengers, conquering planet after planet and stripping it completely and leaving it for dead. One of our scientists had claimed to discover a world that for reasons unknown, the Rikti didn’t abandon once they had depleted its resources. This world was once a beautiful world filled with wondrous knowledge and people. The scientist said it was called Jennla and that if anyone could find out what kept the Rikti there, then they could also learn the secret to finally ending their threat permanently.”

“And what makes you believe this is Jennla?” Alex asked. Marshi pointed to the Rikti structure in the distance. “The great machine will darken the skies even as it fuels the life of the Rikti. It will be both life and death working in harmony. It’s an old saying taken from the scientist’s writing on Jennla. He claimed that an immense tower would be the central point of power for the Rikti, fueling their ships and processing the materials that keep them alive while at the same time destroying the world they occupy.”

Alex smirked and wiped the dust off her hands and knees. “Sounds more like religious doctrine to me.” She said.

“Perhaps, remember Alex, our people fought the Rikti centuries ago in a war we barely survived. Records of the war were lost long ago during the revolts against the Kairin family, so any accounts we have now are told as fables and children’s horror stories. To us, it is the same as mythology.” Marsius said. He turned to Marshi. “Our goal has changed. If this is Jennla, then taking out that structure is the target. We bring that down and maybe can prove a long dead scientist right. At any rate, destroying the Rikti’s ability to process their raw materials will still be a crippling blow to them.”

“Just what ‘raw materials’ are they processing anyway?” Alex asked.

“Anything and everything a planet has. Minerals, plant and animal life, metals.” Marsius stopped and looked at Alex. “And the body parts of the population.”

“What?” she said, her eyes going wide.

“Alex, the Rikti harvest body organs of the races they conquer to rejuvenate their own decaying bodies. That is one reason they are fighting so fervently to gain control of Earth. It’s a veritable ‘gold mine’ to them.”

The air around them started to hum with a faint electrical buzz as small yellowish globes formed and slowly started expanding. “Marsius, we’ve got to go, as they say on Earth, shit’s about to hit the fan.” Marshi yelled. Marsius stepped up to the bomb and activated his gauntlets. “Get close to me, I’m engaging the cloaking device!” he yelled back.

“Cloaking device? You didn’t mention we’d have a cloaking device!” Alex screamed her voice barely carrying over the now loud electrical hum the Rikti portals were making.

“That’s because it drains a tremendous amount of power off my gauntlets. It’s only going to last about five minutes.” Marius yelled as the air shimmered and they disappeared from view even as the first of the Rikti assault warriors started to step through their portals. As they quickly started flying the bomb toward the Rikti processor Alex whispered to Marshi. “Shit’s about to hit the fan, eh? What is with you Andromedan’s and your aptitude with picking up Earth curses?”

The Assault

Editor's note. The ranks of the Star Brigade are listed here for easier understanding that what may appear a character name is actually their rank.


Red Giant





White Dwarf



“The portal is powering up, and it’s not the energy signature of Pulsar Denthar’s return device!” yelled Comet Bren, running around from behind the computer console to join the others.

“We’ve got incoming, Brigade! Crimsonstar ranks on frontal assault, all junior ranks prepare for secondary defense!” yelled Gavin. He and the remaining Star Brigade officers had a specific purpose, fend off the invading Rikti coming through the KEA portal and maintain the portal’s integrity long enough for Marsius’ team to get back. He flew to the front of their ranks along with Darrin Tanth. They were the only two in the front ranks, the rest of the Star Brigade officers formed behind them, armed with the few Rikti plasma guns they hadn’t scuttled for their bomb. “This is it? We’re the only two Crimsonstars left?” he asked.

“We lost most of the Crimsonstars on the initial assault in the Rikti War Zone. That little trip to gather their weapons and energy matrices of their portals came at a heavy cost.” Darrin answered.

Gavin looked at the portal as six Rikti shock troop soldiers started to materialize. “Then let’s make sure the trip wasn’t wasted.” He said as he ran into the first Rikti warriors that had fully transported over.

“They can see through the cloak!” Marshi yelled diving down towards the ground as plasma fire erupted over her, narrowly missing her head.

“I know!” Marsius yelled back, flinging a large section of demolished wall towards several Rikti advancing on him.

“That means they can see the bomb also!” Alex yelled back, slamming her foot down on the ground sending another pack of Rikti hurtling to the ground.

“I know!” Marsius yelled.

“This won’t be all troops they send at us once they realize what we’re up to!”

“I KNOW!” Marsius screamed. He fired a starbolt into the ground creating a shock wave that radiated out towards the Rikti.

Marshi stopped hitting Rikti just long enough to stare at him wide eyed. “By Kairin’s Blood, when did you learn to do that?” she asked.

“That’s not important. Right now, we’ve got to get the bomb to their tower.” He unclasped one of his gauntlets, tossed it to Marshi. “The null gravity field that’s holding the bomb is being generated by my gauntlet. Take it and get the bomb to their tower.” he said as he and Alex quickly aligned themselves back-to-back and prepared for another Rikti assault.

“Marsius, no! If you give me your gauntlet you won’t have a life signs monitor or be able to administer any…”

“Then you’d better get going.” Marsius said. Hundreds of spheres of activating Rikti portals started forming across the landscape in every direction they looked. The charge in the air was so intense they felt the hairs on their arms stand up.

“Marsius keep your gauntlet, I can use my gauntlets to erect another null gravity field to move the bomb.”

“No, the remote signal to the bomb is configured through your gauntlets. You’d have to kill the link to divert power to the field and we’d have to re-initialize it.” He said as he and Alex together ripped a huge section of what they assumed had once been a street and flung it into the Rikti. Plasma fire discharged wildly as the Rikti’s aim was thrown off by the debris crashing on top of them. “Alex and I will try to keep them off of you and hold them here!”

Marshi glanced around at the innumerable amount of portals shimmering around them. “Just the two of you?” she asked, her voice betraying her fear that they wouldn’t last more than a few seconds. Alex smiled up at her and winked as she again slammed her foot onto the ground, sending out another set of shockwaves to topple the Rikti. “You obviously haven’t seen Marsius and I in action together. We’ve got it.” Marshi flew to the bomb as she placed Marsius’ gauntlet on her wrist. “Hang on you two, I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

Marsius looked over at Alex as the hundreds of Rikti portals deposited their passengers and an entire armada of Rikti advanced on them. He looked around, the nearest ruins of the city were several yards away from them. “I’m running out of things to throw at them.” He said. Alex spun her head around momentarily surprised, saw that he was grinning and focused back on the Rikti. She rose into the air, raising her fists in front of her. “That’s what these are for.” The two of them dove into the Rikti.

Marshi flew quickly towards the Rikti tower, using the ruins of the old Jennla city to her advantage. Despite the horde of Rikti that were all advancing on Marsius and Alex, there were still many following her trying to track her and the bomb she guided toward their base.

All throughout the area she could see and hear opening transport portals dropping Rikti off, and the familiar clang of their armored feet echoing throughout the ruins as they searched the devastated city for her. She flew between buildings, low to the ground, skimming the edges of deep ravines, in some cases passing just feet from Rikti shock troops. As she flew into a gaping hole in the side of a still standing building she stole a quick glance up at the Rikti tower.

The warships that had been stationed there were now leaving their base, flying in low formation over the city, covering it in ever increasing search patterns. She flew up through the interior of the derelict building, guiding the bomb to the top floor. She peered out through a shattered window, saw two Rikti ships drop off more of their soldiers and watched them systematically start marching down the streets and in and out of alleyways. They were coming towards the building she had ducked into. The roof of the building had been blown away and as she came onto the top floor, she could see another squadron of ships overhead. They had just passed over the building she was in, slowly flying away from her location. Suddenly a crash echoed from the ground floor and the structure shook as the Rikti foot soldiers crashed into the building.

She didn’t have much time. She accessed the computer of Marsius’ gauntlet, increasing the yield of the null gravity field. She placed both hands on the bomb and quickly flew out of the top of the building. She wasn’t as strong as Marsius and strained as she lifted the bomb up, flying toward the peak of the Rikti tower. A plasma bolt soared past her, searing off more of the building’s wall. She turned and saw several Rikti ascending the stairs of the building, their weapons raised. The Rikti ships started to change their course, heading back.

“Marsius, this is nuts! We can't hold them off like this forever, we’ve been lucky as it is, and we can’t leave Marshi out there alone!” Alex yelled. She had a Rikti soldier by its booted leg, swinging the alien like a club to knock away other approaching Rikti before throwing it into another advancing pack.

“I don’t intend to,” Marsius said. “Cover your eyes he said.” And he jumped into a pack of hundreds of Rikti.

“What? Cover my..…Marsius!” She shouted mid-sentence and watched him disappear in an onslaught of Rikti. She couldn’t see him anywhere in their midst. Then suddenly there was a brilliant flash of light followed by a wave of heat and force that erupted from the center of the Rikti. Hundreds of them fell immediately to the ground and didn’t move.

Alex saw Marsius standing in the middle of their bodies, his head hung and his face pale, shoulders slumped and his arms hanging limply at his side. She flew to his side arriving just in time to stop him from stumbling over. “Mars, are you alright? What in the hell was that?”

“I’ll be fine, just need a couple minutes to recover my strength. It’s one of the new powers my star implant has seen fit to give me along with my star fields and star blasts. I can literally create a miniscule nova with the energy it stores up. It drains me considerably when I do, but it’s getting easier to perform and I seem to be recovering quicker each time,” he replied, and even as he was speaking his color returned to his face. “We’ve got to get moving, their reinforcements are already started to transport in. Pick up as many of their plasma weapons as you can and let’s go.”

Together they grabbed an armful of the Rikti plasma rifles and flew off in the direction that Marshi had gone. “Alex, hold these please, I’m going to have to work as we fly.” He said piling the plasma weapons he had into the pile she had wrapped in her arms. He opened the control panel of his one remaining gauntlet, exposing the small glowing control circuits. Then he took one of the plasma weapons and crushed it in his hands, pulled out the green glowing plasma cell inside it and tossed the weapon remains to the ground. Alex watched as he routed one of the gauntlet’s computer filaments into the coupling of the plasma cell.

“What are you doing?” She asked.

“I’m going to route the plasma cells into my gauntlet and create an overload to its system,” Marsius answered as he broke open another two plasma rifles and added their energy cells to the gauntlet’s wiring feeds.

“Marsius, do you really think that’ll create a big enough explosion to take the rest of the Rikti out?”

“I’m not using it on the Rikti.” he said nodding toward their tower base.

Closer. She had to get the bomb closer to the Rikti’s base tower. The warships were getting closer. On the roofs of the last surrounding buildings the Rikti portals were starting to open up, closer to her than the last few that had opened on the ground below her just moments before. It was all getting closer.

The Rikti’s tower now loomed in front of Marshi as she continued to fly upward towards its peak. The fact that the number of their incoming troops were increasing could only lead her to believe that Marsius and Alex had fallen in battle. They had to be alive, she couldn’t be left here alone. Marshi could feel panic start to take hold with the thought that they might be dead.

Suddenly a force hit her in the small of her back, almost knocking her out of the sky. The Rikti had ported within weapons range and had fired a plasma bolt at her. She checked the status of her shield generator on her gauntlet readout. It was down to sixty-nine percent. She got underneath the bomb floating listlessly beside her and started to push against it harder, forcing it higher to continue upward toward her target. The peak of the tower was within her view, she had to make it. Another hit by the Rikti’s plasma weapons this time to her midsection. Power reserves to her shields down to fifty three percent.

Marshi resolve strengthened and she pushed upward harder, flying faster. There it was, the top of the Rikti tower. She would never be able to get the bomb down into the core of the tower, not in her current condition, and detonating the bomb here on the outside of the building wasn’t guaranteed to do enough damage to destroy it. The upper level of the tower was ringed with platforms and walkways for docking warships and Rikti troops, and those were now covered with hundreds of Rikti all rushing towards her. The world went white around her as plasma fire lit up the area around her. She felt several blasts hit her knocking her away from the bomb. Sparks erupted from her gauntlets. Her shield power was down to twenty percent. Weakness overcame her and she could barely fly back to the bomb.

What was that sound? Something was slamming into the Rikti on the tower platforms, knocking them over the ledge dozens at a time. No, not something - someone. She could see Alex flying through the swarms of them, tossing them off the tower. She felt a strong hand grab her by the arm.

“No dying today, Crimsonstar Brax.” Marsius said. She lifted her head and he smiled at her as he held her in his left hand, and watched him reach out with his right and grab the bomb. “Okay, let’s give the Rikti our present.” And he flew straight toward the tower aiming for one of the warship docks.

“Marsius… I thought…”

“Thought that we were dead, or that I had sent you on a suicide mission? All the time you spent under my command when you were just a White Dwarf, did I ever not have backup for one of my officers?” Marsius asked.

“No sir.”

“And I’m not starting now.” He stopped a few feet from an open docking bay. Marshi looked down, noticed the Rikti there weren’t concentrating on them instead they were all rushing around to the side of the platform. “Marsius, we have to help Alex! There’s too many of them!” Marshi said, her voice shaking with concern. He toggled his comm device.

“Alex, how you holding up?” he asked into it. Her voice echoed back to them from his comm. “The starfields you erected around me are keeping the Rikti off me, but I can see them starting to shift, they’re going to drop soon. You’d better hurry!”

“I’m ready, get out of there,” he responded and turned to Marshi. “Go, fly back to where we ported over. Alex will meet you there.”

“Marsius no, the Rikti, you can’t take them all out by yourself,” she protested.

He had his back to her but turned and showed her his other gauntlet, the one he had powered up with plasma cells. It was glowing white hot and a shrill hum was coming from it. “Trust me, in about five minutes they aren’t even going to be thinking about me. Give me back my other gauntlet that’s powering the null gravity field and go.”

Marshi gave him one last look and then flew off.

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