Into the spiders web: Part 1Vela Sector. Big Bills refuelling station. 0500 hours. 3 and a half days to reality collapse.
Drake flattened his body low to the ground. A foot away from him, a fat beetle trundled peacefully along, oblivious to the fanged death lurking in the bushes. Teleportation took a lot of energy, and Drake was using this fuel stop as a chance to slip away from the others and do some refuelling of his own. The dwarf planet the truck stop was situated on was tiny, barely big enough for an atmosphere, let alone a truck stop, and insect life was thin on the ground, but Drake was patient. Already a number of insects had been snapped up by his careful hunting technique, and this one looked no different.
He crept forward, mouth watering, and leapt...
A moment later he was scrambling to his feet, the beetle wriggling between his fangs. By the looks of it, this one would be particularly juicy...
His head swung around like a compass point, the lucky insect falling from his
Chapter 15: The catacombsElysium 1900 hours. Days to reality collapse: 4
It had been a grim ride back. Jasmine seemed almost to curl into herself, slumping in the back seat, just staring at the shattered crystal in her hands. Any attempts at making conversation received silence in return. Now she sat hunched over at a table in the temple, head in hands. In front of her, the Jump-gate and the crystals found so far glittered in the light.
"This is quite serious" Drake was saying. "The only other crystals of the same quality on Mukow are deep underground. It would take days to find one, days we simply do not have"
"Well, what else can we do?" replied Ratchet. "We don't have much of a choice. We need that crystal"
A group of scholars had assembled, trying to work out a plan. One of them, a delicate, ash-grey male with a whispery, husky voice, spoke up from the scroll he was reading.
"A thought occurs, esteemed Lombaxes. Maybe that exact crystal is not needed. Perhaps, a replacement can be found. What is the proper