Our Spring magazine is finally here! Click here to view and read our new articles!

Until The End: Part 31

On the far-flung planet of Hayveon Blaze, a plucky army commander, is fighting a seemingly hopeless battle.  In a universe where empires span solar systems, a great war has split the galaxy into three. UCEF, the Union of Creature Energy Force, is an alliance of aliens fighting for freedom and justice. But set against the Cosmaratic Empire and the Barrens, an empire with mind-controlled citizens, UCEF must achieve the impossible in order to win peace.

Part 31

There was no way he could miss at this range. Of course firing a heavy energy weapon at such a close target would be extremely dangerous, but he had the PASHAS to protect him. Nonetheless he hesitated, his finger wavering around the trigger, Veel-ra-sah had not reacted, even though it should have been blatantly obvious he was about to shoot her.

She merely grinned again. “No, not you rabbit, we can only bring Humans into the embrace of The Family,” she explained with a strange chuckle; it took Blaze a second or so to process what she had said.

“You mean, you can’t put spores on us?” Blaze’s asked, his voice once more projected from the speakers.

“No, you are of no use to us; at least, you can’t join us,” she clarified, clearly amused at Blaze’s frenzied reaction. “We don’t understand why but we know that only Humans may join us.” Blaze’s immediate thought to her statement was ‘had they tested?’ but if she was sure Dinos were incompatible with spores, he was not going to argue.

“Ahh, my mistake, I thought that was a threat,” Blaze apologised, putting the safety back on and unsealing his helmet again, thoroughly relieved. Veel-ra-sah smiled that wicked alien grin again. Once more Blaze had that feeling that he did not know enough about her, he had just pointed a 6Ez energy cannon at her and she had not even flinched. Of course, she knew she had not been threatening him, but she must have nerves of steel to sit still, or she had another secret he mused darkly. Still at least he now knew that he and his troops were safe from the hideous fate that had befallen the last Humans on Hayveon.

“As we were saying, we create the spores, the spores bind to Humans and the Humans join us. Those Barrens you speak of will soon become one with The Family.”

“So the spore binds to them and then what, does it takes over their mind or something?” Blaze questioned.

“They realise the peace of The Family, the love of being one and they forget their old allegiances and serve us,” she replied. That did not quite answer his question but Blaze assumed somehow this spore thing asserted control over the victims mind… but apparently it did not necessarily mean they forgot who they were. Clearly it was possible for them to retain memories as Sarah Veel had.

“But you realise the Barrens aren’t going to let you stick spores on them?” Blaze remarked.

“They will have no choice, they will join our colony,” she stated mysteriously.

“Explain.” Blaze was getting a little frustrated at her cryptic way of speaking. Dinos were a very logical race, straight to the point, brutally unsubtle most of the time, but as efficient in speech as they were in all things. Her constant habit of leaving unanswered questions was beginning to grate with him.

“We produce venom, one drop will paralyse, a scratch from our claws stops Humans in their tracks. When they are all helpless we bring them into The Family. Not all survive, but most do, most find peace.” So that was their secret weapon he mused, poisoned blades, slicked with some kind of fast acting tranquilizer.

“So when the Barrens come down here you’re going to attack them, paralyse them and then get them to join you?” Blaze summarised.


“It’s quite probable many of The Family will die,” Blaze stated. Strategically speaking a completely close combat army against one with guns did not have good odds, even if they did perform a successful ambush. It would only take the Barrens to set up a proper line of defence across the tunnel and The Family would be charging into an ordered wall of energy blasts. Poisoned blades or not, there would be little they could do against a hundred or so energy rifles. That being said, if they could throw the Barrens into disarray…

“We know, some will die the first death, some will die the second, but overall we will grow.” Blaze did not even bother asking what she meant by first and second death, more of her puzzling mannerisms he guessed. She did sound very confident though, especially considering he had told her of the Barrens numbers.

“You do realise the guns these Barrens have aren’t like Sarah Veel’s black powder gun? These are powerful weapons, launching bolts of pure energy, they can punch through steel and shatter stone,” Blaze warned her. “No offence but I reckon a heavy energy gun will blast straight through the shells of your creatures.” Veel-ra-sah hesitated for a moment.

“We will win, they cannot beat us,” she reassured him.

“As you say,” Blaze shrugged. “What do you want us to do, provide covering fire?” He hoped the answer was ‘no’, but feared it would be a ‘yes’. Naturally he felt obliged to assist, but given a choice he would rather not. His troops needed time to recover and if The Family was going to fight their battles for them he most certainly was not going to complain.

“No, you will be more of a danger to us than them, as you may hit us in the fight,” she replied firmly; Blaze forced himself not to show relief, but he undoubtedly felt it.

“Okay, I’ll send a couple of scouts to watch the tunnel; we have equipment that will let us know when they’re coming. I’ll get the scouts to flash red lights when the Barrens are on their way; then you can go and ambush them,” Blaze said.

“That will be useful, we will position our children,” she stated. Blaze nodded, it seemed any further questions he had would have to wait. For now it would appear The Family were going to hold the Barrens back… at least, he hoped they would.


Look out for Part 32 of Matthew Gill’s story!