Warp Riders – Chapter 34

The Engineer was condemning the Navigatrix’s gun maintenance from inside her tent when the noise reached her. She pushed her way out of the tent and looked up at the Bosun, who was frozen, staring towards the ridge.

“What’s happening?”

“You oughta come look.”

The engineer could feel the rumble pushing up through her feet, like someone was operating an oversized rock tumbler. As she clambered up beside the Bosun, she saw something impossible.

In the distance, through the forest, enormous stone buildings were rising from the ground.

Blue light haloed them as the stones and mortar flew up from their bed below the sand and the trees to construct architectural skeletons of immense size – and then the blue glow would die away, and they would collapse back down.

The worst part was they were getting closer.

“This’s a first for me,” said the Bosun.

The Engineer made some sort of noise while her mind did calculations. The sound was still subtle, mostly ground vibrations, and the stones they’d seen in the ruins were huge, so it wasn’t … it wasn’t THAT close.

“I’d give it less than an hour to reach us.” She looked at the Bosun. “Any ideas?”

“You’re the one with the grenades and the tasers and the smoke bombs – can we drive it off course?”

The Engineer sat down and looked at the smaller raygun in her hand.

“Maybe. I want a few minutes to try something risky.”

The Bosun nodded curtly.

“You want me to watch it, or wake up our two sleeping beauties?”

“Probably a good idea to get them moving now; you really dosed the Captain.”

The Bosun snorted. “She’s had worse.”

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