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Chapter 6

July 24, 2409 AD

Chiata Kingship

Mission Star 74

Chiata Expanse

783 light-years from the Sol System

Saturday, 11:00 A.M. Eastern Time

“Yes, my fellow Kings of the Council of Prides, the prey has indeed engaged us as the Ally has foretold,” the King of the System Pride explained through the Chiata instantaneous spacetime interconnect to all of the other Kings of all of the other Chiata Prides. “The Ally is turning out to be quite useful. Until such time as we have eradicated this prey I recommend keeping this Ally alive and at our side as best as possible.”

“Are these prey as formidable as warned?” One of the Chiata asked.

“So far only a small handful of prey vessels have destroyed many hundreds of Hunterships and many tens of thousands of warriors. They are surprisingly vicious and efficient and combat.”

“Is their intent determinable?” One of the kings asked.

“What are they after?” Another king asked as well.

“Unclear at the moment, although they do seem to be focusing on capturing one specific Huntership. They are also being led by a modified Huntership that they did not get from my Pride System. I believe they might be on a raid to collect Hunterships to create their expanding sphere of death superweapon.”

“Then the warriors’ tales are true?”

“They somehow can destroy hundreds of ships at once?”

“Sounds like tales to scare cubs.”

“It would appear that at least some of the tales may have credence. In fact they have used the expanding sphere of death on the modified Huntership already, along with that of the Huntership they just captured only moments ago from my Pride. Somehow, the prey are able to rapidly modify our technology to create this superweapon.” The System Pride’s king was not afraid of these prey, but there was concern growing in the Council. After all, there had been a loss of at least twelve kings in the past two solar rotations.

“We should take this superweapon for ourselves.”

“Be cautious of these prey. We must take back one of the modified ships to see how they are managing this. And we need to understand the unexplainable teleportations they are able to manifest.”

“Yes, I understand. The Ally has given us the technology to trap them here in my system and he has shown me how to hide forces inside hyperspace, keeping them hidden from sensors. My Pride will recapture this Huntership and we will rid ourselves of this prey. I have just sprung my trap.”

“Very good, King. Please keep us apprised of the progress.”

“Of course, your majesties. Of course.”

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