Potacas enemy ships delay Amun on his way to protect Erish at the Portal
“Incoming,” Taharqo said.
The volume of his voice, startled the crew.
Amun turned around. “Where?” he asked.
“On your left, new ship, not in databases,” Taharqo responded.
Amun swiveled in the chair. Facing left, he saw a glittering object in the distance. “How many?” he asked.
“Three,” Taharqo responded.
“…shields are up, weapons systems activated, ugly ship, so, yeah, hostile.”
“Potacas?” Amun asked.
“Never seen an organic ship that wasn’t,” Taharqo continued.
“Strategy?” Amun asked.
“I can’t think, I’m hoping you can,” Amun responded.
“They don’t pay me to think, Captain,” Taharqo answered, smiling at himself, “Navigation, got any ideas?” Taharqo asked Ptah.
“We’ve had good luck with the miti on organics,” Ptah responded, referring to the upgraded weapon that delivered a blast of cold. “Just aim the icicle at their tail bone.”
Amun nodded. “Sounds good to me,” he swung back around to look through the front windows.
“On the left display, Captain,” Taharqo offered.
Amun looked over and saw something that looked like a cross between a bug and a splayed animal. There was a core cylinder that went from front to back on the crest of the ship. At one end, the front he assumed, was something that looked like a mouth. “That must be the entrance,” he thought. Connecting to the cylinder were limbs spread outwards, two shorter ones in the front, and longer ones in the back. Amun wondered if the Potacas had modified some poor creature. All around the structure was ribbing. Like a rib cage, the bone-like circles protected the central corridor and splayed limbs.
“They’re charging up, Captain,” Taharqo stated. “Looks like cones again.”
“Activate laser layer only,” Amun ordered, not wanting to give the bacteria-like weapons electrons to feed on.
“Already on it, Captain.”
Through the window, they saw the green glow of connected lasers.
“Here it comes. All firing together,” Taharqo said, “Putting up a double layer.”
Amun thought to himself, two layers of lasers might be overkill, but he trusted Taharqo.
“Miti is charged,” he added.
They all watched as metallic projectiles headed towards them. Six from each ship. They braced for impact. But, as usual, Taharqo was right. They felt nothing as each projectile was snuffed into liquefied metal by lasers. The biological component inside the cones, died on impact.
“Do it,” Amun shouted to Taharqo.
White beams shot from their ship to each Potacas ship in quick succession.
“Little effect on these ships, Captain,” Taharqo looked at the display to his left. “Must be upgraded.”
“Again,” Amun shouted.
This time, Taharqo kept the beam continuous for 10 seconds.
“Again,” Amun shouted. “Longer this time.”
“The longer I hold the beam, the longer we need to recharge,” Taharqo shouted.
“Do it!” Amun shouted.
Now, three beams, one targeted at each Potacas vessel, shot forward. Taharqo held the beams for 20 seconds.
Ptah smiled, “Not much going over there now,” he looked at Amun and Taharqo.
“Activate full shielding,” Amun shouted.
In addition to lasers, they saw blue electron sheeting, and darker carbon netting materialize around them.
“Hold position,” Amun shouted.
“Here it comes,” Taharqo said.
Old fashioned blaster beams struck them, but electron sheeting held the beams at bay.
“As soon as the miti recharges hit them again, same as before,” Amun was standing. “Then,” he continued, “…hit ‘em with blasters. We’ll smash those organic monstrosities into a million pieces,” Amun growled angrily. His face was perspiring. He was flushed. He could hear his heart beating.
The three Potacas vessels sat there for minutes, inactive. “What the hell?” Amun shouted again.
“Not much,” Ptah answered. “Their new ships don’t like miti blasts.”
“Incoming cones, Captain,” Taharqo yelled.
“Damn it!” Amun shouted. The metallic projectiles struck them hard. The small combat vessel was knocked in the other direction, throwing Amun hard against the console. They were facing away from their enemies. One of the cones, as they called them, burrowed into electron sheeting. The shields flashed blue as electron shields disintegrated.
“Are we recharged yet?” Amun shouted, banging his fist on the console.
“Just about. They’re charging blasters. Without the sheeting…”
“I know,” Amun yelled. He grabbed a lever to steady himself.
Without saying a word, Taharqo aimed cannons towards the Potacas ships. He pressed three hieroglyphic shapes on the console. Three white beams shot from their ship to the Potacas vessels.
“Hold it as long as you can!” Amun grunted.
This time, Taharqo held the beam for 30 seconds.
“They aren’t dead over there, but they have to thaw out before they can do anything,” Ptah said.
“Now, Taharqo!” Amun shouted, hitting the arm of his chair with his fist.
Pressing a set of cuneiform symbols on the console, red beams shot out from emitters. The Potacas ships shuddered. The lead vessel began to rotate. Then, it broke into pieces slinging shards of frozen organic materials outwards. The second Potacas ship blasted into fragments. The third ship gently turned on its side as pieces broke off and splintered away. Frozen shreds of the ships collided with their ship.
A frozen Potacas body made a thud against the window.
Amun sighed, “That was close.”
“We are going to Sol with no electron sheeting, Captain,” Taharqo warned.
“We have no choice. We’re already delayed.”