Author's notes at the bottom.

Chapter 22

Thunder rolled in the distance, echoing off the cloudless sky, the ground lurched. Alan lost his balance and fell to the ground with a stunned look on his face. Ito, who had been holding onto a doorframe rushed to help but fell himself when the ground lurched again in time with another echoing roll of thunder.

Nova had been able to keep her balance, crouched down outside the hut that her children and most of the others were in. Another rumble of thunder and lurch. She thought she felt the vibrations coming up through the ground. Whatever was happening was happening elsewhere, likely far from their own section of whatever ship they were in.

Ito and Alan decided not to stand back up, but instead found more dignified sitting positions, and Nova couldn't help but smile at the comical movements they went through.

A sudden metallic clang echoed across the sky, much louder than the muffled thunder had been, accompanied by a much softer lurch. Nova tried to think, she felt sure the thunder was explosions of some attack on the ship they were in, but she had no idea what the more metallic sounds were. She had no idea who was attacking the ship, if it was some force mounting a rescue mission, or attacking for revenge, or if the ship had stopped somewhere to take on more hostages. Maybe it was Derek.

She felt a slight sense of nausea, briefly, out of nowhere. If the sensation had not been so similar to the many warps she had been on in the past, she would have dismissed the sensation completely. She stood and waited, but there was no more thunder, no more lurches. The ship had warped away from danger, away from Derek… dashing the brief flicker of hope that he had come to save them. She walked into the hut and sat next to Wendy.

"What happened?" Wendy asked.

"I think this ship was just under attack, but we were warped away," Nova answered. "How are you doing?"

"I've felt better. Still thirsty."

"We'll get you some more water. Whatever it was they hit you with dehydrated you severely," Nova replied, although she did wonder at the purpose of the lighting that had struck Wendy, if it was an accident, some form of intense scan, or simple torture. She stood to get more water for Wendy, and to make sure her children were taking things as well as they seemed to be. She would have been frightened at an earthquake at their age, but with everything that was going on, they were putting on a brave front.

Still, Nova was not sure what she should be feeling, happy that they had survived the attack, or disappointed that they had not been rescued. She didn't even know who had been attacking; it easily could have been someone worse than their current captors but still, it could have been Derek.

Outside Ito, Alan and the rest of the scouts gathered around Nova where she drilled them with questions about what they had seen on their expeditions, dragging details out of them that they had not even realized they had noticed at first. Slowly a clear picture formed of the inside and outside of their prison revealed itself as they combined the details in a diagram scratched in the sand.

It was, as near as they could tell, a perfect circle covered with a dome, and an additional support from the main ship reaching under to the center of the habitat for support, and as a mount for various umbilicals. They imagined that there must be another way into the dome from above somewhere, or that there was an underground path leading into the dome through the support.

"Somehow we need to gain access to that support strut and follow it to the main body of this ship," Nova announced. "If we can do that, we will at least be able to think about how to escape. Anybody know how we can find one of their entry ports?"

"I think we will be better off if we make our own," Alan said.

"How?"

"That will be the easy part," Ito said, "We'll dig."

"Right," said Alan, "The central common building is almost in the center of this dome, we will construct another hut for communal living and use the common building as cover for our hole."

"And we can hide the dirt we bring out like they do in all those prison break out movies," Ito added excitedly.

"Well, then," Nova said, "It looks like we have a plan."

Author's Notes:

A while back an artistic friend of mine suggested doing a Yamato web comic. If it had been suggested a week before I would have said I could never come up with a worthy Yamato story, but when he asked the Worldship storyline came to me almost all at once after thinking about the formulas the Yamato series used. I don't remember why but the artists had to back out… and while I am a visual thinker I have no sense of proportion so drawing people is out. I wound up cutting a few plot lines that were simple eye candy and Matsumoto style fluff and starting the thing in prose. At this point I am not sure I am going to continue it any further, and move some of the original characters and their subplots over to other projects. Im hoping someone will be able to talk me out of not finishing it as it is the most contorted story I have come up with so far. The three main plots are plotted to end around chapter 120 or so.

As for Yumi… she is a few years younger than Jordy and appeared in a single episode of Comet Empire… Im not sure if her sequence was cut from Star Blazers or not.

Still, I hope that I can find the encouragement to continue this story… but even if I don't, anyone who wants more information on what was planned is welcome to ask.