Next Colony: The Swarm Chapter 10, Page 1



As the drops of blood slowly slid down his face, Jack Steel found it difficult to think with the throbbing pain he felt in his head. Though his thoughts were clouded, his emotions were clear; he was sick and tired of all of this conflict. Sick and tired of always trying to find a peaceful solution for everyone. What did The Cryptoriddler mean when he asserted that Jack did not really know what was going on? What else was there beyond the Project NextColony files? The Nemesis Season was suppose to be a time for Jack, and the Genesis Starfleet, to relax, watch and learn. Instead, he finds himself locked away on some foreign planet, possibly awaiting his death.

Jack Steel looked around for something to clean the blood from his head-wound. A small hand-towel would have to do. As he carefully wiped the red fluid from his face and hair, his mind traveled back to when he was a child. Always loving to play, Jack one day fell and dumped his head. Nothing major; the typical kinds of events that take place during those early years of exploring life just beyond the front door of one's home. Admiral Oliver Steel, Jack's father, smiled at his son and cleaned the same amount of blood that caused the young Steel to go into a panic. "It's nothing, Son!" Oliver said with a reassuring smile, "You're going to go through ups and downs in life, and sometimes you even have to take some bumps and bruises. What's important is that you allow yourself some time to heal, you get back up and you do your best to learn from the experience so that you may hopefully avoid making that same mistake twice." The sound of his father's voice in his mind helped calm the pain, and ease his emotions.

Suddenly, Jack heard the force-field lower! He braced himself for another fight, and turned around!


  • Jack Steel, you need to come with me now!

Who the hell are you?!

  • I am Jarunik Nikruja, of the Zyklopian Rebel Forces.

What the hell do you want from me?!

  • I do not have time to explain, Jack Steel. If you want to stay alive, you will come with me now.

Are we escaping?! Can you get us out of here?! I'm not leaving without without my friend!

  • You are wasting valuable time, Jack Steel. If you let go of your reasonable distrust for a moment, we are still in time to gather your friend, Johnathan Maxwell, and execute a highly probably escape.

What the hell! I have nothing to lose!

As they made their way through the corridors, fighting off the guards, the cyborg Jarunik Nikruja swiftly overrode the security locks that lead to the captured Vice Admiral's holding cell. Jack watched, with adrenaline pumping, as his best friend emerged from the cell and ran towards him. He threw John a weapon, and ordered him to follow the robot. "I am not a robot, Jack Steel!!! This way!!!"

A small hatch was opened, and the stench of raw sewage caused the two Genesis men to clasp their noses. The Zyklopian jumped down, and Jack and John followed, closing the hatch behind them. Illuminating from Jarunik's hand was a holographic layout of the piping system that ran under the prison, and lead to a large body of water. Making their way threw the slug, turning left and right, the three fugitives finally made it to the exit, and jumped into the lake. As they swam across, sirens could be heard from behind them. By the time they reached the other side, the filth had been removed from their bodies, but the wetness in the cold of the night meant that they would risk freezing to death.

Jack, what the hell is going on?! Who is this?!

I don't know, John! He says he's from the Zyklopian Rebel Forces! We'll just have to trust him for now; he got us out of there!

I've never heard of any Zyklopian Rebel Forces! Who are you, and why are you helping us?!

  • Johnathan Maxwell, I am Jarunik Nikruja; we do not have time for explanations, we need to find some shelter.

Jack, we can go to the caves where Lieutenant Rafalski and his men hid during the Great Siege.

  • Are the caves to the northeast of here, Johnathan Maxwell?

Yes, how did you know that?!

  • I am picking up a high frequency pulse from that direction.

What's the signature?

  • 77 Terahertz.

That's the Lieutenant!!! They must have come to rescue us! Jarunik, can you send the signal back.

  • Yes, I am transmitting now.

As the men walked towards the northeast, Lieutenant Rafalski and his men picked up the frequency returning to them from the Zyklopian. The Lieutenant jumped into the only rescue pod that remained from the Yamato missions, and headed towards the Genesis leaders. It was a tight squeeze, but with no cargo on board, everyone was able to pack themselves into the pod, and head back to the caves to rejoin the very excited Genesis army!

Next Colony: The Steembook - Chapters 1 thru 9


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