(21,000 years before the current AE date)
Transmission activated…20,560 years since the arrival…AI systems activated beginning transmissions
“I am Rear Admiral Mikhile Vox (Mik-I-L, V-Ox) of the 112th Intergalactic Enforcer Corps Fleet of the Maliken Empire and if you can hear this, then you still have hope. In the days of prosperity our empire, the Maliken Empire, was the strongest force in the known universe. Our cities covered entire planets, and our skyscrapers were so high they seemed to kiss the stars. This is our legacy…my legacy, and through this recount you will learn the key to your survival…let’s first start off with my life before the arrival…”
The steel interior of the cargo ship was as cold as ice, only the echoes of boots on the floor and the quiet hum of the engine cores to break the dead silence of space. I hated that ship it was filthy, there were dead rats stuck between metal pipes and the dust was caked on so thick that when you wiped your hand across the wall it would send particles flying in every direction. The crew was even worse; they were Geirk’s (Gear-icks), disgusting grey creatures that resembled a cross between a rhino and a lizard from Earth. They smelled like a burning garbage dump too, but that wasn’t anything compared to the putty like trail of goo they left behind when they walked. If I could I would wipe them all out, but the Empire insisted that they were too useful as heavy lifters and shock troops to kill.
So I decided to stay as far back from the cargo hold as I could as my troops searched the boxes, looking for anything illegal that these disgusting beasts might be trying to smuggle onto New Hope. That was a common occurrence before the arrival, dumbass aliens trying to smuggle drugs or contraband weapons onto our planets so they could sell them on the black market. It was particularly bad here in L16, which is pretty much the definition of the ass end of space, but that’s because so many of the planets here were hubs for the Intergalactic economy. All the homey little farming planets and asteroid bases were generally peaceful and had crime rates so low that it would make a cop from a hub planet burst into tears.
For some military men a life of slapping criminals on the wrist and arresting low life black marketers is a fulfilling career. But for me it was terrible, the smells that burned your nostrils like pepper, and the disgusting aliens I constantly had to deal with were like a living hell. Although every so often a female Cho’Rau (Ch-O-R-OW) would pass through, oh man they were the most beautiful women in universe. The women of the species were usually a shade of Green or light pink and were lean and tall. Their hair came in a wide variety of colors, oranges, blues, blacks the list was endless.
That’s when I would actually go up front and get friendly with the crew, but during this run I just tried to stay back by the starboard window and look out upon New Hope. The planet might have looked like a prison exploded in some parts while you were on the ground, but up in the dark silent void of space it was a truly marvelous site. The Oceans that had been preserved from construction were glowing a beautiful blue and the massive planetary ring around the planet was shinning a magnificent silver as the suns rays gleamed off its metal frame. The shine from the ring reminded me of crystals, almost all war machines shinned like that. It was ironic really; things made to destroy beautiful things were actually quite beautiful themselves.
“Sir.” I looked away from the window and found that the head of my boarding party, Malo Gores, was standing before me clad in his black military issued armor and his assault rifle slung over his right shoulder
“Yes, what is it Malo did you find anything?” I asked even though I already knew the answer, they never found anything on these Geirk ships, not because they were outstanding citizens but because they were all very good at hiding their illegal merchandise.
“Nope, not a damn thing, everything these guys are packing they have permits to sell so I think we are good to go. But these guys are selling for the Black Hand Guild so I’ll warn the planet side cops to keep a lookout for them and make sure they are keeping it all legitimate.”
This was a relief, which meant I could get the hell out of that stinky little piece of space debris “Okay, round the men up and let’s get the hell out of dodge.”
“Ay sir.” Malo activated his communications device and spoke into it “Okay guys, these guys seem clean so let’s get back to the Destiny and report back to the Admiral.”
It only took a few minutes to get the boarding parties back together so I had Malo give me the intel of what these guys were holding as we waited. What I saw surprised me, they were packing Rocket launchers, Assault rifles, combat armor and all of it was military grade. It was rare to see stuff like this being sold legally by a gang or guild, it was even more rare to see them being sold legally by Geriks, they didn’t do anything legally. Something more was going on, I could feel it, but they had all the right papers and they checked out so there was nothing I could do. I and Malo waited at the docking bay for our soldiers, and when they finally did show up they were followed by a familiar face.
“Captain Vox, what a pleasure.” Nedej Ynavoracaz (Knee-Da-Sh, Nav-Or-Ah-K-Z) one of the most violent beings I had ever met. He was a low life mercenary who jumped around Gangs and Guilds like a Horney rabbit. Last time I had dealt with him he was working for the Nova Cruisers, a gang that’s based within United Colonies territory. He said he was there as security for a meeting between the Nova’s and the Organized Crime gang the South Systems Syndicate. I didn’t believe him but I had nothing on him to put him in lock up. But I was right to suspect him because later that day he was arrested after assassinating a Councilor who was planning on passing laws that were going to crack down on the Nova’s illegal drug running. That was more then ten years ago, I was shocked that he got out so early but this guy had connections far up the chain I just knew it.
“That’s Rear Admiral Vox now Nedej.” Nedej was an ugly bastard. Like the other Geriks, Nedej looked like an overgrown lizard that had the grey rough skin of a rhino but the form of a humanoid dragon. All the Geriks also had horned on the top of their snouts, but Nedej also had the biggest one I’d ever seen. Nature had made a big mistake when it created these things.
“Oh, who did you have to bang to get that title?”
“It’s in your best interest not to piss me off Nedej, I hope you realize this.” I was talking in a calm voice, because I knew better then anyone here that getting into a loud argument with Nedej would just entertain him.
“Ha! You know the last man to tell me that ended up a cold corpse floating in the vacuum near Sector 12.”
This made Malo snap, he drew his pistol and held at his side as he got as close as he could to Nedej’s face, which wasn’t close considering he was only 6 foot and Nedej was almost 8 “Is that a threat you jumbled up freak? Because if it is I’ll shoot you out the air lock myself!”
Nedej just laughed as he knelt over and let his long muscular tongue slither from his mouth, his hot breath smelled like he had just eaten a raw corpse, it was so bad it brought tears to my eyes “I’d like to see you try you little insect.” Nedej slithered his tongue through the air, bringing it within reach to Malo’s neck. Luckily Malo was smart enough to back up and bring the gun up to the alien’s chest. If it were some other gross alien there wouldn’t be much worry, but Geriks tongues are strong enough to strangle prey, just one of many features that reflect this species predatory background.
I decided to step in to make sure we didn’t end up killing a whole ship of these things “Okay Malo stand down, and Nedej if you want to get to where you are going without anymore delay I’d step back and calm the hell down.”
Nedej grinned, showing off his entirety of his fang like teeth “Fine, just give me my clearance so I can get out of here.”
“I will, just as soon as you tell me why you’re selling all these guns.”
“I’m not selling them; I’m just here for transport and security.”
I gave him a crooked look “I think we both remember what happened last time you told me you were visiting for “Security” on Alpha 22.”
“That was just a coincidence, now if your done I’m not getting paid to answer your questions.”
I eyeballed him for a second, my eyes meeting his, and that’s when I noticed something odd. His eyes had changed; they were no longer the green irises with the black snake like pupils. The irises had changed to a light blue and his pupils were now a foggy grey, and it looked as if something was moving inside them. The first thing I thought was that he was on Dark Star, a new drug hitting the market that supposedly can cause alterations in eye and skin tone. But I really wasn’t in the mood to deal with this guy longer then I needed so I paid it no mind. I just stuck an authorization chip into my PDA and downloaded the day’s clearance codes onto it.
I handed Nedej the small grey chip “Okay you know what to do with this, so get landed and don’t cause problems because if you cause anymore trouble in Imperial territory I’ll make sure they put you on Death Row.” That was a stretch, in reality this thing should have been on death row a long time ago but somehow he kept getting very lenient sentences.
The lizard lifted his arm and gave a mock salute “sir yes sir captain…or Admiral whatever the hell you are now.” He looked at the chip before sticking it in a compartment on his leg armor “Now that you and your men’s business is done, get the hell of my ship.”
I nodded my head and signaled my men to get back across the docking bay back into our ship. They most likely forget about that whole thing as soon as that docking bridge retracted, but my mind was racing the whole time. I trusted Malo but I knew we were missing something and it wasn’t his fault. Geriks were tricky bastards and Nedej especially. Somewhere on this little trashy little ship was something very illegal, and very bad, but they couldn’t spend all day tearing the ship apart. As me, Malo and the rest of the boarding party stomped back across the docking bridge Nedej called from his ship
“You! Insect!’ He was talking to Malo, who turned around knowing he was.
“That’s Lieutenant Gores to you freak.” He hissed back
Once again Nedej grinned then he growled back in his native tongue “enzubirp evs lacopaz inetcuenz a tibaz sav udub, evtib v ilaktes se emsj zydk” (In-zo-beerp, eves, la-co-pause, E-N-it-cones, Ah, Tea-baz, S-Ah-Vay, Uh-dob, Ev-tib, Vay, El-ah-cot-es, Say, M-shaw, Zy-d-kay)
And with that Nedej closed the docking doors “What the hell does that mean?” Malo asked.
I looked at him with a smile “The same thing it meant when he said it too me. When we met in battle I will slay you, and bring dishonor to your kin.”
Malo looked back at the door with disgust “He better hope I don’t meet him in a dark alley when no ones around.” I didn’t say anything but in my mind I was thinking the same exact thing.
I was so relived when the blast doors closed and I heard the docking bridge dock, finally I was back in my own, clean ship. The walls were as white as pure diamonds, and it reflected everything as if it were a mirror. As I dismissed Malo and started down the hall to the bridge I felt an overwhelming feeling come over me. I’d been a Rear Admiral for just under thirteen months, and I was still taken back by the though that I was in command of my own ship. It was a magnificent ship too; it was even more thrilling that it was brand new right off the line when I took command of it. It was designated the S.S.V Destiny, and it was an Impress class Heavy Cruiser, the most plentiful offensive ship in the Enforcer Corps Naval Division.
The walls were lined with kinetic plates made too dampen the weapon impacts from the outside, and within the ship there was a medical center, armory, a hanger dedicated to ground assaults, and a prototype deployment facility that housed the “Extra Planetary Infantry Deployment Pods” or E.P.I.D.P. Those pods could shoot a squad of Special ops soldiers or a small attack force, planet side at about 120miles per hour and when it hit the ground nobody would have scratch on them. As I walked the last few yards past crew barracks to the blast doors of the bridge I was ambushed by my XO, Miss Kiri Losup (Key-Rr-E, Low-sup).
“Hello Rear Admiral, how did it go?”
“I’ve told you a hundred times Captain, if we aren’t on the bridge or somewhere that is inappropriate to do so, call me Mikhile.”
“You say that yet you called me captain.” She gave a little smile, her brown eyes glinting in the white lights in the hall.
I stopped right at the blast doors and turned to her with a grin “Well I apologize Kiri” I admit I was using a flirtatious voice “But if you speak out of line like that again I’m just going to court martial you.” I joked. She rolled her eyes and shook her head with a smile on her face as I smashed the button on the door and the large sheets of metal quietly unlocked and opened revealing a large rectangular room. The room was filled with monitors and Ensigns manning them.
I walked across the room over a small catwalk that was flanked by two elevated platforms that held the gun operators as well as the pilot. My chair was atop the highest raised platform in the room and was directly in front huge plasmaticly shielded window that had retractable kinetic blast doors. The window stretched from one side of the bridge to the other and provided an amazing view of whatever was in front of the ship, but I was always worried that the window would smash if something powerful enough hit it, so I kept the blast doors closed most the time just they were now. As far as I was concerned the Real Time video footage from the hull cameras was all he needed for most operations.
I took my seat and called to Kiri who was just sitting down in her chair located a computer consol just below him to his right “Oh and Captain, it went well saw an old friend.”
“Friend?” she asked with a crooked smile
I pretended like I was tossing the word around in my mind before responding “Yeah, friend.” She laughed and went back to her work.
“Lieutenant Franz?” I called to my communications officer
“Yes Rear Admiral?” He responded in his thick accent
“Could you please hail Admiral Poval (Poe-Vah-L) for me?”
“Ay sir, I’ll do it right away!” He got to work on his computer consol to send a message to the SSV Colossus, the flag ship of the 112th E.C.N.D and the personal transport for admiral Poval, the 112th highest ranking officer and supreme commander of the fleet. I was the second in command of the fleet, although unless I was ordered to or was forced to in an emergency, I never gave fleet wide orders. My orders only applied to the Heavy Cruiser wing of the fleet. My orders could be over ruled by the admiral but we were what the Corps called an “Invasion Fleet” not to be confused with the other offensive fleets known as “Assault Fleets”. The difference in these fleets were few but big. Assault fleets usually had one or two “large” ships for example frigates and destroyers with fighters, or a large fleet of only Heavy Cruisers and fighters. Either they only had a single Admiral or Rear Admiral and were made up for planet to planet battles. An Invasion fleet had at least one Admiral and three Rear Admirals and was made for the biggest task any member of leadership can have, the mass invasion of an entire system or even an entire sector.
Ours fleet was an Aires grade Invasion fleet, so during wartime we would invade entire sectors of planets and bases. This means we have one extra Rear Admiral so that we had One for Frigate wing, one for Destroyer wing, one for Heavy Cruiser wing, and one that oversaw the coordination of the separate wings fighter forces. Each of the Rear Admirals pretty much focused on their wing and their orders, but the admiral had to make sure that each wing, and the fighters, had proper timing and good coordination. We also had millions of ships at our disposal, in my wing alone I would control just over 642,000 Heavy Cruisers each loaded down with 20 fighters, five squads, for a grand total of over 12,000,000 fighters, a majority of them being unmanned drones.
This fleet alone could carry over 200,000,000 infantry men and women, the best part being that are empire was so large that 200,000,000 ground troops didn’t even make a dent in the reserves of soldiers we had which numbered in the billions. That is why no Empire or independent species in the known universe dared to attack us. They would last no more then a month or two on the ground theater, in the space theater of the war they would be lucky to hold out a few hours.
“Sir, Admiral Poval is answering your hail and is available on Holographic Communications.” Lieutenant Franz yelled to me after a few minutes had gone by.
“Great, put him up on the forward projector for me.” I said as I spun my chair to face the front of the ship where a large Holographic Projector was built into the floor. The lights on the bridge dimmed to the brightness of a movie theater, and then the projector activated. A long hum filled the room and tiny holographic particles quickly came together to form a light blue image of the Admiral, sitting on his chair in his own ship.
“Admiral Poval, the search of the cargo ship was complete no illegal items or substances were found.” I said as I saluted him.
The Admiral saluted back, before clearing his throat “You have impeccable timing you know that Mikhile?” I was a little confused now “Why do you say that sir?”
The Admiral looked at me with the same cold and emotionless expression he always wore and said “I just got word from E.C high command, the 112th is being mobilized. Notify your wing and move to Operations Base Omega in preparation for a jump.” Operations base Omega was located at the edge of the Galaxy on a Toxic planet known as Ankou. The planets surface was completely obscured in a thick green mist, which provided the perfect cover to build defense turrets so this planet became a fortress world and the site for a Jump Gate that is used for Intergalactic travel.
“Why? What’s happening Admiral?” I questioned, if we were going to this jump gate we must be jumping galaxies, and if we wanted me to mobilize the wing we must be going in force.
“E.C.H.C says that they lost all communications with the Falcons Crest Galaxy about thirteen hours ago. At first they believed it was just interference from a meteor shower or a cosmic anomaly. But after ten hours they sent a scout party through the Omega Jump Gate just to be safe, but they haven’t heard back, so they went to their last resort and started using the Sub Sonic signal emitter. It’s not perfect but from the readings they have gotten back, they believe that our worlds in Falcon Crest are under attack.”
“Attack?” the words hit me like a brick, who was crazy enough to attack us? “What are they seeing that makes them think we are being attacked?”
“They are picking up what they believe to be metallic debris that match the densities and proportions of our Flagships, they are also picking up bursts of what seems to be plasma discharges from objects that have been confirmed as our ships through shape, proportion and density analysis. The only problem is that they aren’t picking up anything that doesn’t look like our own ships, so they fear a revolt might be taking place. They want the 112th to move in force and assume that we will be met with fierce resistance, possibly from ships of our own design, with crews who know our every weakness.”
I chewed over what I had just heard, the whole bridge had fallen silent and I could tell everybody’s eyes were on me “I…I will prepare my wing Admiral.”
“Good, I expect all wings at the Gate by 18:35 Galactic Standard Time, so make it quick Rear Admiral. Polav ending transmission.” With that the Admiral faded away into a wave of holographic particles that sunk back into the projector before it shut down. Leaving me in utter shock, I had never thought in my whole career that there would be something this big. It could be nothing but if it was something it was huge it could even be the start of a war. It was something I had dreamed about ever since I joined the E.C but now that it was here I couldn’t believe it. When I got over my shock, however, I was ready to go.
“Lieutenant Franz, send a notification of deployment to all members our wing, make sure all ships are fully fueled and loaded for heavy conflict. And I want both the “Sprit’s Edge” and the “Star Crusher” loaded with ten Particle Bomb WMDs each as well."
“Ensign Makwits! Steer the ship for the edge of the galaxy and plot a course for OB Omega’s Jump Gate.”
The Pilot nodded as he looked back “Right away Rear Admiral!”
“Miss Losup!” I called out
“Yes Rear Admiral” she replied
“Get me a star chart and planetary lay outs of Falcon Crest, I’ve never been there and I don’t want to embarrass the Admiral by sending the entire wing warping into a sun.”
Kiri giggled a little “Yes right away sir.”
“Going into Warp drive in T minus 30 seconds Rear Admiral!” Makwits called out.
“Very Good!” I replied as I turned my chair, back to the window and pushed a button on my chair that made the blast doors over the window slowly raise up.
“FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE, WARPING!” Makwits shouted as the ships engines made an ear bursting creak and the ship shook violently like a ground cracking earth quake before it shot into a smooth warp drive in the direction of the Omega Jump Gate.
The space outside the window was a mess of blues, whites that were stars flying by at faster then light speeds. There was also the constant streams of purple that seemed to glide across the window, there were created by the warp fields that enwrapped the ship when the warp drive was active. I also enjoyed watching the stars fly by in warp drive, it was so amazing really. The mesh of colors was just so Vibrant, a little overwhelming on the eyes at times but amazing none the less. As I sat Watching stars fly by, I couldn’t help but think that this might be the last time I will ever watch this. I felt silly for thinking it because it was jumping the gun a little, but it was the first time I was ever involved in something that had the potential of being a full scale war what was I supposed to think? But as I thought about the great crew I have, and all the great crews of the 112th Heavy Cruiser wing I knew that whatever lied beyond that Jump Gate was going to be sorry they ever even stepped foot in Maliken territory…How wrong I was…
END OF EPISODE ONE
So I know episode one was a little dry but I plan on spicing it up in the second episode. This probably isn’t my best work so I hope you guys enjoyed it! Now heres this episodes question
What do you think Mikhile and the rest of the 112th will find beyond the Jump Gate? Answer in the comments section and feel free to give feed back!
Story sent by Corey W. for the AE Stories event.