Hellfire, Planet of the Dead volume 5
Planet of the dead
An action packed horror read to complete this series of short stories.
This hub gives you a sample chapter from this action packed zombie horror read. This story has more bite than Touched by Hell and gives you the chance to see one of the Darkness's most feared weapons at work.
Read if you dare and enjoy
Please enjoy this preview chapter of my new adventure. The full book will be out 19th June 2015 and thank you for your interest.
The lost Planet
‘Captain we are almost at the jump point.’
‘Thank you Miller. Go to red alert and ready our secondary weapon systems. Miller, open the jump gate on your call.’
‘Yes Captain, opening the gateway in three, two, one.’
Miller activated the jump engines and the space in front of us was quickly torn open to reveal the blackness of space against the view of a stunning blue and green planet. Our ship quickly moved through the gateway and back into normal space, but before our gate was closed we were fired upon.
The ship shuddered again as my first officer said,
‘Captain, two of the Falsec vessels are moving away from the planet and have their weapons locked on us.’
‘Andrew, take your best shot and knock out their engines.’
Again the ship jolted from the incoming fire just as Andrew fired our main cannons. I watched as the powerful energy bolts shot across to the two enemy vessels. Each bolt tore through the enemy ships easily, leaving them drifting and burning in space.
‘Captain, direct hit to both vessels, they are both immobilised.
‘Good work. Now Richards can you open me up a channel to the other ships?’
I got up and moved over to the Holo ring stepping into the first of the two rings built into the floor.
‘Channel open Captain, but I cannot tell if they will be listening.’
I nodded in reply as I addressed the blank light projection in the other ring.
‘This is the Hellfire to all Falsec vessels. I order you to stand down and leave or you will be destroyed.’
I waited for a moment before Richards replied,
‘Captain, I am getting no response from any of the Falsec ships. But I am receiving a call for help from the planet below.’
I turned to my first officer as I ordered.
‘Ok Andrew let’s get their attention. Destroy one of the ships.’
Andrew confirmed my order as he again fired just one shot at one of the Falsec ships. I watched as our main cannons fired and the energy bolts tore one of the Falsec vessels apart just as Richards stated,
‘Captain, we are being hailed.’
‘Put it through Richards.’
The blank light in front of me flicked as the flat image of a large menacing four legged insect like creature with many eyes and sharp pointed teeth now appeared in front of me.
‘You speak the ancient language of the Light Warrior. Now who are you to dare to oppose the Darkness and their will to destroy all?’
I stood firm and replied in a strong tone.
‘I am Captain Sharman of the battle cruiser Hellfire. This planet in now under my protection, you will withdraw or die.’
The creature laughed before it replied,
‘This planet with suffer endless death until the Darkness stripes this world of all that is useful.’
The communication cut as the image faded out before Andrew gained my attention.
‘Captain the last vessel is firing a barrage of missiles at the planet.’
‘Can you destroy them before they hit the surface?’
My first officer looked worried as he replied,
‘No, there are too many and it looks like they are spreading evenly across the planet’s land masses.’
Suddenly the ship jolted slightly as I ordered,
‘Destroy that ship and then check the area for any incoming vessels.’
The ship jolted again before our main cannons fired finishing off the remaining ship.
‘Captain the ship is destroyed and I am reading no other vessels within this sector.’
‘What about the missiles?’
My first officer checked his console before he replied,
‘All the missiles have hit the planet and none of them have exploded. But the scanner readout is showing that each impact zone life signs are going out.’
‘Is it a chemical attack?’
Again Andrew checked with the console before he replied,
‘The atmosphere is reading no hazardous chemical but the rate life readings are reducing and the pattern the death toll is spreading. I would say we don’t have long.’
I knew we would have to act fast and I had my suspicions to what was happening down there.
‘Andrew, would you say the life rate is reducing much faster in heavily populated areas?’
‘Yes Captain, why?’
‘The Falsec creature said, never ending death. Miller, take us into orbit. Andrew you have the bridge and keep an eyes open for any incoming ships. I will take our landing crafts down to the planet and start to evacuate as many people as we can.’
I then turned and left the bridge heading straight for the hanger bay.
I entered the hanger bay to find twelve troops standing ready and waiting for me to arrive. I moved over to the group as an older troop stepped forwards to greet me.
‘Captain we are ready and waiting.’
‘Good, we don’t have much time now I need to split us up into three groups, four troops for each ship. Once we land the troops for the two landing ships will cover the area and provide cover for our landing vessels while we evacuate the survivors. The troops in the shuttle will be with me and we will hunt for survivors and lead them your way. Are we all clear?’
All the troops replied clearly saying,
‘Just one more thing, it is suspected we will be encountering a virus called the Death plague. If this is the case, shoot the infected in the head or you will be wasting ammo. Now let’s move out your pilots will give you more information on the way.’
The older troop split the group into three before they each move aboard one of the three ships. I follow a group of four onto the shuttle Pay-Check and sat next to the pilot. She was a tall young girl with long blond hair that was tied back and platted; her face held soft but strong features. I opened up the com link to the hanger control requesting clearance to depart. This was confirmed as the gigantic hanger doors were pulled open to reveal the view of the planet below.
‘Ok Riley, take us out of here.’
As our shuttle left the hanger the shuttle’s communication relay sounded. I answered the com as our ship left the Hellfire and headed out into space.
‘Captain, I have completed the scan for chemical weapons and can confirm it is negative. But I am getting large amounts of slow movements from the areas of land with no or little life readings.
‘Thank you Andrew, I guess we now know what we are dealing with. I need you get Richards to relay details of what the troops will be dealing with to the other ships, from our report we took from the Nightfall and I will brief the troops here, Pay-Check out.’
I turned my chair around to face the troops before I addressed them.
‘Ok I need you all to listen carefully. My First Officer has just confirmed what we will be facing. Now this is not to be taken lightly and may sound strange. The virus is not air born but it is very contagious and it has no cure. You will come across infected locals and they will be very dangerous. So don’t let anyone infected get close, it takes only one bite or scratch to become infected and if that happens. Well then it is all over for you. The virus kills the host and carries on living so that it can spread to another. The dead will feel no pain and can only be stopped if the brain is destroyed, any questions?’
A young tall trooper with short dark hair put up his hand, so I signalled for him to speak.
‘Captain, so what will we do if we find anyone injured?’
‘Mr Renwick, if that happens we will have to assess if they are infected or not. That will mean that we will have to leave anyone found with the virus, any other questions?’
The group stayed silent so I continued.
‘Ok Potts, Tyler and Renwick you will all be with me. Stevens I need you to stay with the ship, Riley, keep the ship’s engines running just in case we need to take off quickly.’
Everyone confirmed the orders as Riley drew my attention.
‘Captain we are coming in to land.’
‘Thank you and good luck everyone.’
Riley flew our shuttle into a town like complex and landed the ship in an open area of the town. I got up from my seat and moved over to the door while I drew my sword.
‘Ok troops once that door opens we are to take this as a hostile and dangerous ground. So stay close and follow orders.’
I opened the door and moved out onto the alien world. I quickly scanned my eyes around the area just as I heard the thunderous roar come from the engines of the two landing ships as they set down to land behind our shuttle. Then the rest of the troops disembarked. I moved over to the troops before I split them into two groups, one to cover our ships and the other to spread out across the open courtyard to provide cover while we picked up the survivors. As the troops moved into position I spotted a Kalien man peering out of one of the buildings windows.
‘Potts, Renwick and Tyler you are with me.’
I moved over to the building and tapped gently on the door. I could hear movement from within the building so I called out loud,
‘Hello in there, I am Captain Sharman of the Hellfire. We are here to evacuate the colony.’
The door unlocked and opened just a few inches as the face of an elderly Kalien man hid behind it.
‘Who sent you here and how do I know you are here to help?’
The man sounded scared in his speech so I pushed my sword back into its scabbard before I smiled kindly at him and replied,
‘Sorry if we have come here heavy handed but this world has been hit by the Death plague. I am here with Ship’s Prime Bartell and we must evacuate as many people as we can before this world is lost. We are here to save lives.’
The old man stared deeply into my eyes before he opened the door and stepped out in front of me. I held out my hand and he took hold for just a moment before he then released his light grip and said,
‘Sorry, I can feel your pain and your truth. I will gather my people Captain.’
‘Thank you; please guide them to the landing ships. I fear we don’t have a lot of time.’
‘Of course now can I help you with anything more?’
I pulled the small Kalien computer pad out from my pocket and showed the list of names to the man as I pointed to just one name on the list.
‘I need to find this Healer. Can you tell me where she is?’
‘Yes, she is part of our colony and the female you are looking for is based in one of our outer settlements. It is four Kelter from this town.’
I looked a little confused as I replied,
‘I’m sorry but I am not familiar with Kalien terms of distance. Do you have a map?’
The man turned back into the building before he called for assistance. Within a moment a large fur covered creature with bear sized hands emerged with a small fragile looking device. The creature made a series of strange noises while it passed the device to the Kalien man.
‘Thank you and you do not need to be afraid of these creatures, as they are here to help us.’
The large seven and half foot tall creature moved forwards into the doorway so I held out my hand. The creature looked down at me before it made a sort of low growl sound while it grabbed hold of me for a strong embrace lifting me off of the floor.
‘Now remember how strong you are and put the male down.’
The creature put me down and stepped back as the old Kalien man continued to say,
‘Now could you please be so good as to let the others know we need to leave.’
The creature sort of growled again before it turned and went back inside. The Kalien man pulled up some information on the small device before he showed it to me while he continued to say,
‘Now the healing temple is here and we are in this settlement. The temple holds a mixture of Trellbeck and young Kaliens. There are also two teachers of the healing cast so you will be looking to pick up around 15 – 20 soles provided the Death plague has not hit there yet.’
I could see the Temple was located not far from where we had landed, but before I could reply screaming came from across the court yard. I turned to Renwick before I ordered,
‘Renwick, you are with me. Potts and Tyler make sure these colonists get to one of the landing ships. Just keep the Pay-Check free and let Riley know we will be moving soon.’
With that order I turn and headed for the screaming just as gun fire could be heard. We both headed around a large stone building to find several large Trellbeck creatures attacking anything that moved. I could tell this was the start of the death plague due to the vacant but savage looks on the creatures’ faces. I quickly drew my gun firing off just one shot at the closest creature. My shot blew the creature’s head apart causing it to fall to the floor as I ordered,
‘Renwick, aim for the head and take them down quickly.’
We both started to pick off the un-dead aliens one by one just as one of the Trellbeck smashed through a large wooden door. Immediately children could be heard screaming as a young Kalien girl attempted to stop it from gaining entrée.
I ran toward the un-dead beast drawing my sword as it picked up the Kalien girl with ease. The large beast took a bite out of her side before it throw her like a rag doll across the street, where she lay still and lifeless. I closed in quickly taking a swing at the creature’s neck with my twin bladed sword. The blades cut through its neck with a crunch causing its head to roll off to the floor still snarling while its large body crashed to the ground with a thud.
I turned to find Renwick had taken out the last of the un-dead for now as the court yard fell back into silence. I moved over to the severed head while its eyes looked around wildly as its jaw snapped at me. I quickly plunged my sword into its skull causing the thing to go still before I looked around at the devastation. I could see many injured Kaliens and Trellbeck lay scattered around the court yard moaning with pain as I realised that this settlement didn’t have much time left.
‘Renwick, keep your gun ready for any of the injured that may turn. I need to get these kids moved to safety.’
‘You got it Captain and please just call me Jack.’
I moved into the building to find a group of around eighteen children hiding behind a very scared looking Kalien woman. She was holding some sort of device that fitted over her hand, she stood there shaking while she pointed the device at me and shouted,
‘What in the makers name are you? And stay well back from these younglings.’
I lowered my sword as I said in a low calm voice,
‘Hi, I’m here to help. Look I have some ships outside and we need to get everyone off of this planet.’
I could see the lady was still shaking as I moved slowly toward her, but before I could say anything more gun fire could again be heard from outside along with Jack’s voice as he shouted out.
‘Captain, I could really do with a hand out here.’
I turned back to the door as I replied,
‘I’m on my way.’
I then looked at the scared lady before I said,
‘Look lady keep the children safe, I will be back shortly.’
I moved quickly back into the open to find most of the bitten were now starting to pull themselves up off the floor as they began to head for Jack. It was clear to see they had all turned by the rabid looks across all of their faces. Jack was picking off the un-dead one by one as they closed in on him so I moved over quickly cutting down the closest zombies with my sword. I reached Jacks side as he said,
‘I am so glad to see you.’
‘I’ve got your back Jack, now let’s not get mobbed. I will get the closest while you cover our immediate area.’
I could hear Jack’s gun fire while I began to pick off the un-dead one by one with head shots to conserve ammo. I was now facing a group of about twelve zombies as I spotted two breaking off towards the school building. I knew we needed to act fast as I ordered,
‘Jack, stay close. I’m moving back over to the school.’
‘Yes Captain, I’ve got you covered.’
I began to move over to the school fighting my way through the group of Trellbeck and Kalien zombies. I shot two more dead before I found I was too close to use my gun. I drew my sword cutting the heads from the closest un-dead as they grabbed at me.
‘Captain the back is clear.’
‘Great now help take these out before we have an even bigger problem.’
Two shots passed close by me taking down another zombie as I realised we now had cover fire from more of my troops. I made a run for the school as the first of the un-dead Kaliens entered the building.
‘Jack, put a call out to get one of the landing ships to put down here. Then tell the Pay-Check I need it here as well so we can make our way to the healing temple before it is too late.’
‘I’m on it Captain, but what about the school?’
I was already running towards the zombies as I replied,
‘Just leave that to me.’
I didn’t look back while I removed one of the heads as I moved into the building. Again screaming could be heard from within the building just as I heard an energy shot fire, causing the zombie in front of me to fall to the floor still.
The Kalien woman stood shaking in front of me while the young Kalien and Trellbeck children cowered behind her. I quickly moved over to her as she fell to her knees and I asked,
‘Are you alright?’
The woman looked up at me with tears in her eyes as she said,
‘What’s happening here? She was my sister and she was trying to kill us.’
I held out my hand and pulled the woman to her feet as I replied,
‘I’m sorry, but we need to leave now and get these children to safety. Now come on and I will explain all when you are safe.’
The Kalien lady was still shaking as she turned to the children and said,
‘Younglings stay close and follow me.’
Her voice wobbled as she spoke and as I moved outside I could see the Pay-Check and one of the landing ships settling down close by. The thunderous roar of the engines filled the air as I turned to find the Woman and the children standing behind me looking completely lost and confused.
‘It is ok, come with me.’
I took the lady by the hand and began to lead her over to the landing craft as the ship’s main door lowered. The elderly Kalien man emerged from the ship and moved over to my side as he said,
‘Captain, I will take it from here. Now please go and help the others.’
‘Thank you and make sure you have all the children.’
The man smiled as he took the ladies hand just as one of my troops came over to me. He stood in front of me in full salute as he stated.
‘Captain, this town has gone to hell. We have un-dead everywhere and the infected are attacking anything that moves.’
‘Ok Henderson, what is our status?’
‘Good Captain, one of our landing ships has already left full of survivors, all checked and healthy. Once we have these kids this ship is also full.’
Gun fire could be heard again close by as I ordered,
‘Great work, now once these children are aboard get them to safety and make sure we withdraw all our troops to a secure area while we save as many as we can. Then bring the landing ships back to pick up the last of the survivors.’
‘Yes Captain. Do you need anything more from us?’
‘No, I will take the Pay-Check and head over to the healing temple. Good luck.’
‘No problem Captain. You can count on us.’
Henderson turned and headed over to the landing ship as I heard Jack shout over,
‘Captain we are ready to go.’
I made my way over to the Pay-Check before I moved aboard. I hit the door close button and moved over to the cockpit where I sat down next to Riley before I turned my chair around to face my troops.
‘Great work out there Jack. Now listen up troops, things are starting to get very messy out there and I want to see you all back here alive. So we are heading over to the healing temple to pick up the Kalien healers first....’
My words were cut short as the ship’s com beeped loudly before Riley answered it.
‘Good Riley, is the Captain with you?’
‘Yes he is here.’
I turned to face the control console as I replied,
‘What’s the problem Andrew?’
‘Captain there is something you should see, so I am sending the visual flight recording from Delta 1. It picked up the creature Bartell says is a Death Dealer.’
‘Ok I will take a look.’
‘No Captain, I mean Bartell has said that no one has ever survived an attack by one of these creatures.’
The console beeped so I began to watch the footage as I saw a huge creature knocking down trees with its long blade like front appendages.
‘What the hell is that?’
Andrew replied over the com as he said,
‘It is a plague carrier and the Kaliens say that it is a creature from the Darkness home world that has been infected with the virus we came across on the Nightfall. They also say that it is unstoppable.’
I continued to watch the footage as suddenly I got a clear view of the thing. It must have stood over twelve feet tall with six large pointed legs. The creature also had two large front limbs that looked like stabbing weapons. But to make matters worse all of this was attached to a heavily armoured exoskeleton. I couldn’t get a clear view of its large plated head as it tore through the woodland killing anything that got in its way. So I replied saying,
‘Thanks for the tip off, we will try to avoid it.’
‘That’s just it Captain, each missile that hit the surface had several of these things in it and we don’t know where they are. All that we do know is that one of the missiles hit near to the healing temple. So stay alert.’
‘Noted, but trust me we don’t plan on staying long, Pay-Check out.’
I turned to the troops and said,
I need you all to see this, then due to this information we will now not be fully landing. So Potts, Renwick and Stevens you are with me. Tyler I need you to stay with the ship, cover us when we leave and again when you pick us up. Now Riley, once we are on the ground I need you to take the ship up to a safe distance until I call for a pick up.’
‘Good so if anyone has any questions, now is the time.’
The troops stayed quite as Riley said,
‘Captain we are nearing a clearing, this is as close as I can get you to the temple. So are you ready?’
I got up and moved over to the shuttle’s door before reloading my G8 gun. I then turned to my troops, who had gathered behind me as I said,
‘Ok once we leave the ship I need you all to stay close. If it looks like we are going to get mobbed, then cover each other’s backs and finally. No one breaks from the group unless I say so. Now ready your weapons and good luck out there.’
The troops readied themselves as the shuttle began to descend and I found myself concerned about our journey ahead.
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