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Template:PostIn CatH Post 63 Kalor Varkesh faces a fleet of decrepit, old ships. The largest of the ships, almost as large as The Hopeful, is The Starscrape which Kalor Varkesh uses for cover from which to attack the other ships as they seek to manoeuvre around it into attack positions. Kimleigh realises, however, that Indigo Shade is onboard Kalor Varkesh. Clear, seeing that she should at least try to save herself and this ship, heads down to confront Indigo Shade. She meets Bug and gets a jetpack from him. Armed with both a jetpack and a kinetic harness, Clear ventures into the destroyed areas of the ship with Bug where she sees that Indigo Shade has conjured a minuscule black-hole that has ripped apart a huge portion of the ship. Clear flies out and distracts Indigo Shade while High Empire soldiers arm a massive cannon to hit the woman. At the last minute Clear uses the harness to escape the physical world and enter the pocket dimension The Special Zone when the cannon fires.

Post

The Shade

Kimleigh: "There. What is that ship?"

Officer #1: "The Starscrape."

Kimleigh: "Terrible name. That's just asking to be scrapped. Grab it."

Clear"Grab it? Like a tractor beam? It's massive!"

Navitatex"Not what she means."

Clear sees Kalor Varkesh on the viewscreen, it swoops in towards a massive bulk of a ship that's almost as big as The Hopeless is. The other enemy ships have already started firing but the dragon-ship barrel rolls to avoid fire. Although Varkesh is spiralling around, Clear senses no motion at all from her position inside of it. She realises just how much more versatile and agile this living ship is compared to most technological ships. With its arms and legs stretched out the dragon lands on the side of The Starscrape and, with its mighty black wings, it pulls the vessel up to settle between Varkesh and the incoming fleet.

Navitatex: "Lucky the hulk was on the flank."

Kimleigh: "My sister isn't a fleet admiral. She has no idea what she's doing."

Clear: "Her crew?"

Kimleigh: "There's no crew. She has machines running these skeletons."

Energy weapons are tearing apart The Starscrape. No mercy. Clear thinks it's lucky they're crewless.

Clear: "We can't just sit here all day. Look they're beginning to circle round. We'll be surrounded."

Navitatex: "We'll jump the first ships that venture round. They won't be expecting it. Pick them off, one-by-one."

Clear nods.

Clear: "Clever."

The first ship does come round, a smaller vessel that looks like it might fall apart of its own volition. Varkesh leaps from the back of its ride and attaches its claws into the new ship. He opens his mouth and a strange energy pours out, looking like hot,red vomit. It slides across the metal of the ship and its instantly melted down to slag.

Clear: "Wow..."

Kimleigh smirks at Clear's reaction, pleased she's been able to impress her new friend.

The next ship to slip over the horizon of The Starscrape appears more robust than most. Varkesh's head turns languidly and opens up with another torrent of netherflame. The red, fiery slime slops against its bulk, instantly melting away a huge quarter of the vessel. It has opened up its return fire, however, pumping laser burst after laser burst. Each blast strikes out at incredible speed but explodes close to impact, spraying out in a haze of laser shots that rain down upon the netherwyrm.

Navitatex: "I wonder where she found that little monster?"

Kimleigh: "Take us closer to The Starscrape, once the netherflame is recharged we attack again, closer this time."

Her orders are followed. Varkesh, hovering close to the bulk of The Starscrape, lunges up suddenly at the target with a burst of flame that sweeps over the hull of it. The ship then slowly starts to turn, to get the laser cannons from its port to face Kalor Varkesh - its starboard now nothing but melting metal. Its rotation isn't quick enough. Varkesh ploughs inside the ship and chomps down on whatever comes into its jaws. Clear wonders where the metal goes since the dragon's innards are filled with rooms.

With one fierce push, the dragon's head bursts out of the ship's hull. He then tears the craft in twain and its two halves float despondently away.

Navitatex: "It's strange. We can't calculate which of the vessels is the command ship..."

Kimleigh: "Strange.. urgh!"

Kalor Varkesh shudders. Since none of the biological ship's movements caused any kind of notice to its inhabitants, Clear guesses that the disturbance is from within.

Kimleigh: "She's not on any of those ships. She's in ours!"

Navitatex: "Troops!"

Scans of the ship show massive damage towards the tail of Varkesh.

Clear: "How--?"

Kimleigh has gone into silent reverie again, probably trying to use her powers against Indigo Shade aboard Kalor Varkesh. The Navitatex resumes command of the spacebattle as more energy fire sweeps in towards their ship. Clear hops out of her seat.

Navitatex: "Where are you going?"

Clear: "I may as well try to help with the intruder, right? Not like I'm much use up here."

She also thinks she'll be closer to the docking bay if everything goes south. She runs from the room, just in time to feel another major tremor through the ship's bones. As she goes she sees Bug run out of his room with his jetpack strapped on and his boomstick in hand.

Bug: "Well, if it ain't the salmitton..."

Clear stops and glances into his room.

Clear: "Mind if I take the spare?"

Bug stares at her as though she'd called his mother a hag. It lasts just a moment when the ship shudders. He groans and nods quickly. He turns and powers on his pack before Clear has even slipped into his room. She finds the pack on the table and throws the straps over her shoulders. It's an awkward fit. She hasn't taken off the harness and she wonders if it's safe to wear both of this mounts at the same time. Ultimately she resolves that the harness is too precious to discard and she fastens the jetpack as tightly as she can. She ignites the booster and she's airborne. The room of Bug, against, receives an accidental blasting from the pack's flame before she manages to wiggle out of the room and into the corridor. She then slams it into full gear and speeds, headlong down the passage. Nobody is there to get in her way, all probably busy fighting.

She screeches around a corner and, soon, she starts to see soldiers. Most of them wounded and many more of them tending to those wounds. When the ship shakes it's far more violent this close to the tail. 

She almost crashes into Bug, who has perched himself just before a massive room. Clear lands and peeks in after him. She realises it's not a massive room but many rooms that have been so demolished that only a single space remains.

Clear: "Wow..."

Bug: "Yeah..."

Clear: "Is that..."

She squints. A tiny blackhole is sucking up everything in sight, breaking down anything that won't physically fit inside of it.

Bug: "Yeah. Apparently black holes are her thing. You know, sometimes, I get really fed up of these overpowered freaks. What'm I supposed to do against that?"

Clear: "Down there..."

She points towards a door on a lower floor. They can see soldiers setting up some kind of cannon.

Clear: "All we have to do is distract her for a moment."

Bug: "Yeah. Good luck with that."

Clear: "Seriously? You're going to leave me to do it?"

Bug: "Since you're so keen..."

Clear curses and powers up the pack. She swings into the room. The black hole, although miniature, is still pulling so strongly that she has to fight against the drag.

Indigo Shade: "What have we here?"

Clear almost loses control of her pack as a woman springs up next to her, flying without any kind of aid. She has pale skin but jet black horns that curl around the face the front, pointing straight at Clear. She has a hungry look to her eyes, which straight into Clear's own black eyes.

Indigo Shade: "What are you?"

Clear remembers she's supposed to be distracting the woman and so she decides to appease the question.

Clear: "A salmitton. From Mars."

Indigo Shade sneers.

Indigo Shade: "Neighbour of Earth. How unappealing. My curiosity ends with that association. Leave or die."

Clear: "Wh-wait. You dislike the Earth, right? I get that. I hate it too. Hate the humans."

Indigo Shade looks amused.

Indigo Shade: "And what? You think we share some common ground? Should we break bread now? Perhaps get a drink together?"

Clear glances down at the bottom of the Indigo-made shaft.

Clear: "A drink sounds good right about now actually..."

Troop: "FIRE!"

Clear presses the button for the harness to whisk her away...

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