The following is an excerpt from some of my latest work on Kodiak Rising Part Two. Hope you enjoy it! 

The Kodiak zipped away from the strange planet as Jake’s shuttle descended into the atmosphere. Bennie was at the helm, flanking around the dark side of the planet then heading off in the direction they came. Back to safety, back to the edge of the planetary system.

“Sir,” Ashley Colbern said from navigation, “There is a massive ship approaching on the Starboard side.”

“Ignore them,” Kara McCall, Acting Captain, answered.

“They’re firing,” Ashley reported.

The Kodiak was rocked with a blow from the Starboard side. Sparks fell from above as consoles burst from electrical shock.

“Report!” Kara ordered.

“It was a direct hit to the Starboard Cargo Bay Three,” Ashley answered. “No casualties, the Nanobytes are already at work to fix the breach and force fields are holding.”

“Bennie get us out of here,” Kara answered.

Bennie smiled as he released The Kodiak to manual control. His metallic eyes glinted with humor. He may be colorblind, but he had a depth perception that was unrivaled. He could zoom in and out hundreds of kilometers, he was able to see a speck of space dust floating in zero gravity, from the Anchorage Space Port he could see the great red dot on Jupiter swirl over the surface. There was nothing he enjoyed more than maneuvering the one thousand foot Kodiak across space.

“They’re hailing us, sir,” Ashley said.

“On screen,” Kara responded.

A shadowy figure flashed onto the screen, only lit from behind casting a vague halo about a scruffy head of hair.

“This is Kara McCall of the Alaskan Aerospace Military Vessel The Kodiak,” Kara said with all the authority of a Captain. “Why have you fired your weapons?”

A low cackle rumbled from the figure on the screen. For a moment there was silence. “What faction are you?” asked a slimy male voice.

“Faction?” Kara responded. “We are with no faction. We are an independent vessel on a mission of our own.”

“Then you have no protectors?”

“We need no protection,” Kara scoffed.

The cackle happened again, only louder this time. More amused than menacing. “You admit to having no protection?”

“We are our own protection,” Kara challenged. This was getting old.

“That remains to be seen,” said the slimy voice.

“What is it that you want, old man?” Kara asked coldly.

“Old man?” he responded with a hint a amusement. “Strong words from such a small woman-child.”

“I am the commanding officer of this vessel and I demand that you explain yourself. Why did you fire your weapons?”

“You are in my territory,” he answered. “It is my right as Faction Leader.”

“I answer to no faction,” Kara repeated.

“Indeed,” his voice slid off his tongue and into her ears. “Indeed. Then I give you a choice, join my faction willingly or by force.”

“I do not accept those terms,” she answered.

“You wish to battle, then?”

“We wish to continue our mission undisturbed.”

“And what will you give me in compensation?” he asked.

“Your life,” she threated.

He cackled again, louder this time, more threatening than amused. “Prepare to be boarded. Or die. The choice is yours.” The communication cut out.

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