Chapter 101 Wild Star Region
Exodus TalesExodus Tales
Xia Fei lit a cigarette next to the window and took a drag.
The insectoid ship that Xia Fei bumped out of the wormhole at the last minute never managed to lose him. The Alliance fleet could easily get hold of it, and if Xiaoyu was on the ship, she could be rescued, too.
That was one thing that Xia Fei could take off his mind, but he was now in a completely new area on the other side of the wormhole.
It was completely yellow outside like the Loess Plateau after a violent breeze. Everything seemed to be covered in this yellowish haze.
A piece of rubble, which was around ten meters cubic, slowly drifted past Lunar Eclipse. The rock bumped the tail end of the ship, pushing it slightly to one side. A few minutes later, another piece of rubble bumped into the ship again, and all of a sudden, Xia Feis ship was surrounded by countless space rocks, which bounced about like billiard balls.
Evidently, this was an unknown asteroid belta place where no warship would travel to, especially small frigates like Xia Feis. If he entered the asteroid belt at high speed, Lunar Eclipse would most certainly be damaged by these random space rocks.
That was really close, said Phantom as he stood next to Xia Fei, looking out of the window with him.
Xia Fei nodded, saying calmly after extinguishing his cigarette with his foot, Yes, we almost let that insectoid warship escape.
Phantom rolled his eyes at Xia Fei. Im referring to you. Its not like you dont understand the dangers of entering a wormhole somebody else set up. If we had just been a bit unlucky, we couldve been torn to shreds, but it looks like luck was on our side and we traveled through the wormhole safely.
Xia Fei nodded as he walked to the command center to check on the self-assessment system of the warship. Under those circumstances, the only way was to use Lunar Eclipse to knock the enemy ship out. I couldnt just let it escape.
Phantom sighed. You sure are stubborn. Whats the plan now?
As the self-assessment took a bit of time, Xia Fei sat down on the captains seat and lowered his head to think. He seemed calm and did not have the panic one would have somewhere unfamiliar.
What else can we do? Lets just adapt to circumstances as we go, replied Xia Fei.
A few minutes later, the results of the self-assessment were out. Xia Fei could not help but furrowed his brows upon seeing the results.
Light Eclipse was over sixty percent damaged, and almost everything was on the verge of collapse.
Worse was that the warp engines warp drive would not turn on because of how damaged it was. Stranded in the middle of nowhere without a warp engine was equivalent to a death sentence.
With Lunar Eclipses speed of eight thousand odd kilometers a second, it would still take over ten days to reach the moon from Earth. It was a crawling speed in the middle of nowhere.
The worst part was that the positioning and communications systems were also severely damaged. The positioning was not functioning at all, and the communications system could only support an ultra-low frequency.
Xia Fei turned on his microcomputer, hoping that he could use the interplanetary internet to send out an SOS signal, but regardless of how hard Xia Fei tried, the microcomputer could not establish a connection.
The interplanetary internet covered all the regions humans had control over, which meant that Xia Fei was not in human territory anymore.
After some consideration, Xia Fei sent out an ultra-low-frequency SOS signal. Low-frequency signals were easily disrupted by their surroundings, so they had limited ranges, but under these circumstances, it was the only option. All they could do was hope that there was not much interference, allowing the signal to reach further.
There was not a notion of cardinal directions in space. Xia Fei moved forward in a random direction, turning on the energy shield that was on twenty-five percent operating capacity to avoid being destroyed by asteroids.
Acting without thought has its consequences. You ought to have understood that by now, said Phantom as though he took pleasure in his misfortune.
Xia Fei sighed. Right? Lunar Eclipse is so severely damaged; who knows how much its gonna cost to fix it.
Phantom blinked as though he could not believe what he was hearing. Xia Fei, is that all you have? Were basically stuck here, yet your worries are about fixing this warship? Are you optimistic or plain stupid? Others would be crying for dear life in circumstances like this.
Is there a point in crying for dear life? Xia Fei turned the question around.
After a few moments, Phantom muttered, At least, you could let it out a bit.
Xia Fei got the auto-pilot all set up. Its not that Im crazy. Ramming the insectoid ship was the only choice then, and not crying for dear life now is the most logical choice. Sometimes, the best choice is the craziest one; what can I do about that?
Taking off his combat suit, Xia Fei changed into a set of comfortable pants and some soft rubber slippers. Ill tell you what the best choice now is: Have a shower and grab a good nights sleep. When we wake up, cook a poached egg or two, then eat them while watching a movie or something.
In the blink of an eye, Xia Fei had been drifting in this asteroid belt for twenty days.
Xia Fei would wake at the same time every day and practiced Crafty Thrust and Breath Control after breakfast. He would then change into his maintenance gear and do some tinkering after practice.
The maintenance progressed really slowly as he was missing many essential parts, so many portions could not be fixed.
The ultra-low-frequency signal had been on, twenty-four seven. Unfortunately, Xia Feis lifeline never arrived in the twenty days they had been adrift, nor had anyone contacted him.
Setting down his universal modification pliers, Xia Fei appeared from the engine room beneath the floor smelling like machine oil.
How is it? Can the engine be fixed? Phantom asked, seemingly out of courtesy.
Xia Fei shook his head. No way. The quantum activator is toast, but it doesnt matter even if it is working, because the energy conversion unit is done for, too.
Xia Fei rinsed off the grease using the cold water in the toilet. The bathwater on the ship was recycled and satisfied Xia Feis showering needs for the time being.
Just as he finished lathering himself with soap, an old, raspy voice came from the ultra-low frequencies. If you dont want to be torn into shreds, thugs, turn off the d*mn distress signal. Sending a distress signal in the middle of nowhere is just you begging for others to take advantage of.
Xia Fei was stunned as he wrapped himself with a towel before rushing out.
The projected screen on the communication device showed a dark-skinned, scrawny, old man. Wearing a pair of thick, black glasses, the fellow had scarcely any hair on his head left and was sporting an unkempt goatee on his chin.
Xia Fei turned off the distress signal after a few moments of thought before introducing himself. Nice to meet you; Im Xia Fei, and Im in a bit of a fix here.
Call me Allen. The skinny, old man looked at Xia Fei in just a towel. Haha! You seem to be in quite some trouble, young man.
Xia Fei nodded. Indeed. My ship broke in the middle of an asteroid belt. I need to stop by somewhere to fix it; is your base around here?
Allen looked at the positioning system on the radar. Youre .37 lightyears away from Red Rock Base.
This was great news for Xia Fei. Thats great; could you let me into the base for some repairs? Ill leave immediately once I get Lunar Eclipse fixed.
Allen let out a hearty laugh and gestured at Xia Fei. Young man, Red Rock Base is a free territory, provided that you can afford it.
Thats not a problem; do they take star coins? asked Xia Fei.
Allen shook his head. Pan-Human Alliance currency? Sorry, but we only accept this at Red Rock Base.
Allen grabbed a small, shiny blue rock from his pocket and waved it at Xia Fei.
Xia Fei recognized it at once. It was a Heart of Spirit, containing the original energy of the universe.
Swiping on his ring, Xia Fei brought out a dozen or so White Dews and Snake Eye Berries. I dont have that, but I can exchange it for other stuff.
Allen squinted to take a better look at the stuff in his hand. Alright, Snake Eye Berries and White Dew arent bad currency here in Wild Star Region. By the looks of it, youre not from around here. How did you get here?
Xia Fei smiled. I lost control of my ship in a wormhole and, somehow, ended up here. Many parts of my ship have been damaged, and I know nothing about Wild Star Region.
Allen grossly spat out some sputum. Youre a lucky one not to be torn into shreds by the wormhole. Youre now in a place known as Wild Star Regiona military buffer zone between the humans and insectoids. Everyone who lives here is a pirate, smuggler, or wanted criminal.
This was the main battlefield where the humans and the insectoids had fought two thousand years ago. When they retreated after the war, they left many abandoned military camps, and Red Rock Base is one of them.
Xia Fei nodded. It seemed that luck was on his side. At least, he did not encounter an insectoid-controlled area; he would be dead meat otherwise.
Alright, in short, the bastards at communications dont know that we are in contact, but if they find out, youre done for. Ill smuggle you into the base for one hundred each of Snake Eye Berries and White Dews; hows that? asked Allen.
No problem. Xia Fei agreed in a heartbeat as he still had over a thousand Snake Eye Berries and White Dews in his ring, more than enough to pay the price.
If you have the fruits ready, Ill send my men to get you. Remember: If you want to survive in the Wild Star Region, never use your distress signal. Its all up to you around here.
As soon as he finished, Allen turned off the connection between them, and the screen was now blank.
Xia Fei returned to the bathroom to wash off the soap, then he changed into a clean set of clothes, putting on the Windshade Mark IV combat suit and secured Chasing Light to his wrist.
From his short chat with Allen, Xia Fei knew now that he was in a savage place and had to prepare for anything. Just as Allen said, one could only depend on themselves, which also happened to be Xia Feis survival motto.
After three long hours, he received another video-call from the ultra-low frequencies. It was from a young woman in her late teens. She wore a set of greasy work attire and was chewing on a piece of gum visibly. On her head was a red baseball cap, slightly angled downward, giving off a very boyish charm to her.
Save for those freckles on her face that greatly affected how young she looked, the girl was quite the looker, otherwise.
Hold onto your seat; its gonna be a bit bumpy, said the young woman while chewing her gum.
Xia Fei shrugged without saying anything.
The young woman skillfully descended an industrial transport ship from the top of Light Eclipse. The cargo hold opened, and all of Lunar Eclipse was now contained in the ship as his surroundings fell into darkness.