by N.A Miller
A serial start that is based on a BBS DOOR game of the Same name and its players.
|The Galactic Empire Chronicles
By: Nathaniel Miller
The Beginning -- Copyright © 1993
Captain’s Log: Stardate 3423.4
U.S.S. Magellanic Clouds on training mission to Alfa II Galaxy. Sector 920 at coordinates 34, 12, and 78. All systems are normal and functioning.
Commander Ihsss T’Larra, in her familiar place at the Communications console, panned a speculative glance to each station at the trainee crew who staffed the bridge of the U.S.S. Magellanic Clouds. The trainee crew mixed one at each station, beside an experienced crewmember, mans the bridge of this starship, doing the job assigned to them for this routine training mission. It is a good crew and they have done well during this mere training cruise. They have performed excellently, their handling of the ship, and the routine operations aboard her during this assignment. The most able of them is a young Lieutenant, a human woman named Sibrina Rodriguez who now occupies the captain’s chair.
Ihsss T’Larra, the true captain of the Clouds had expected good things from her, that she is quite young for her rank and yet she enhanced her natural aptitude with an inexhaustible capability for hard work. The Captain of the Clouds had sponsored her in the academy and Sibrina in return had not disappointed the reptilian communications officer by becoming the top of her class in the academy. She is a competent, young, fledgling officer who is on her first assignment to a Starship.
Captain T’Larra listened to the cool narration of the captain’s log as the young human narrated it, sitting in the command chair. Sibrina, the training cruise captain of the Clouds, completed the report and filed it. If the young human woman was nervous-and Ihsss knew she would be- that Sibrina concealed her feelings well for the situation here. She had never commanded a starship before in real life, only in the simulation tests that tested the reaction of the crew to many scenarios. It was only natural for her to feel anxiety, drawing a post of such importance on a training assignment and yet on any other occasion if she were assigned to a starship, Sibrina would be at the Science console or the Navigation console. They were her strengths and positions she fully qualified for and was well versed.
“It is a good start to a prospecting young officer’s career to be selected captain for a training mission.” Thought the reptilian captain, and secretly hoped to see Lieutenant Rodriguez succeed in her career with The Earth Defense Alliance. “And a name worth remembering for the promotion lists too.” She thought and nodded in approval.
Around the bridge sitting at each station, the many officers of the Magellanic Clouds, Ihsss’ friends, sat in their familiar positions on board the Star Cruiser Class Starship. Veloxa Bzzzarti and Thyrac Antilles, two insect-like beings called Veloxi, sat at their familiar places at the Helm and Navigation stations on the bridge. Felonious Caitlin, of a highly advanced feline race sat at his familiar position at the Science console. Voloxa Xerz, another insect person sat at the Engineering console on the bridge. (Usually he was found below as the Chief Engineer). Captain T’Larra, for this mission, usually sitting in the command chair, operated the communications station with her daughter Hi’Mthsss T’Larra.
Each of the experienced crew who staffed this ship has trainees under their command for this mission, except Felonious, who sat monitoring their progress at his console. This crew is one of the veteran crews, working on its eleventh year as one of the finest crews in the Star Cruiser community in The Earth Defense Alliance. As for this crew, their backgrounds are simple. This crew is made up and are refugees from their own worlds scattered through their section of the universe. A crew of many races who had been outcast, or displaced after their planets had been invaded, conquered, or destroyed by the Cybertron Empire. Ihsss and her daughter’s planet had been no exception, one of many invaded. The only difference for Ihsss and her crew, however, is their displacement had been voluntary. Ihsss and about fifty others had rose up against their persecutors, storming the space port, and stealing a ship to rocket into space. They had managed to evade the planetary defenses, and had traveled into deep space to travel within its infinite void to work as free traders among peaceful planets far from their homes.
“And the Cybertron should have known better.” Ihsss thought, shaking her large head, “A fool’s errand to invade my home-world with such a bloody conflict going on.” Here, the reptilian captain had managed a throaty, deep laugh, at the many memories of her home. She wished she could have been there to see that day, when her people had fought as one, and had overthrown their new Cybernetic masters in one month after invading her planet. The one and only time her planet had fought together as a race despite the racial tensions and persecution among them.
Despite the backgrounds and her shipmates enlisted to join her, Ihsss is very proud of her crew’s accomplishments. She is proud of them ever since their start of their profitable adventures together and of her own personal accomplishments after her exile into space. She thought of her home world and wondered if ever she would return there, or even if her accomplishments were even noticed by her own countryman. She had no idea that her efforts and accomplishments had traveled quickly home and with each new accomplishment, it put a widening crack in the tensions and unrest among the people.
“I can bet the Cybertron invading did not make it any better. At least that was short lived.” She thought. “Certainly, Hi’Mthsss and I could have faired better, there is no reason to go home to that now. Earth is our home.” Ihsss shook her head, gazing at the view screen and the bridge of their stolen Starship.
“Funny to think of that all now,” She mused, managing a quiet chuckle, “A strange turn in ten years total of wandering, from escape, exile and now a haven in The Earth Defense Alliance.” The reptilian commander turned, scanning the bridge once to regard her friends and swiveled the chair back toward her console.
“Leaving sector 332 and entering sector 333.” Veloxa exclaimed, “Transition mark.”
Everyone on the bridge turned to glance at the view screen, at the helmsman’s announcement, and quietly reacted to it. Captain T’Larra turned her head, as her reminisces, and memories faded glancing once at her young protégé in the command chair. Sibrina turned the chair quickly to face the view screen and from the blank bulkhead where she had been abstractly staring. She recovered herself quickly, still a little nervous for being commander for this training mission, and glanced only once to the Communications station. The insect-like pilot, Sibrina knew, was late with the transition mark but it was not critical to their progress. Lieutenant Rodriguez allowed it to pass and only had nodded in response.
“Helm, slow to warp one,” She ordered quickly, “Navigator, plot a parallel course, turn to two-two five mark four.” Both of them responded simultaneously, quickly punching calculations into their consoles. Thyrac watched her trainee carefully, letting him make his own mistakes and only correcting him as necessary. The ship shuddered, slowed, and Veloxa hit the switch in his console that switched the view screen to a tactical view, displaying a computerized three-dimensional view of the ship, surrounded by white three-dimensional compass that spun on its axis slowly around the ship. Moments later, a blue tracer line streaked away from the ship, curving away from it as it showed the new course.
“Course plotted and lay in.” The trainee replied from the navigator’s position, and even half turned to nod at human in the command chair.
“Helm, engage and maintain warp one.” She answered, glancing down at the two Insect-like officers at the helm and navigator station.
“Aye Ma’am.” Veloxa’s trainee replied touching the controls and the ship shuddered to lurch. It almost jumped forward in the star-filled background of space as it accelerated forward on a seemingly endless collision course with the stars that hurtled toward them. The ship banked sharply to the new course and the low throbbing hum of the engines could be heard as the ship continued acceleration. As low groan of the engines became louder, however, something inside the young lieutenant’s body had caused adrenaline to be pumped into her bloodstream. She noticed her heartbeat that raced at a steady pace and the thumping of her heart sounding in her ears. It was probably the feeling of being here in the captain’s chair and commanding a starship, a god-like feeling to command a ship in deep space. Still, there was something missing here and she sensed it among the experienced crew. At her post, the reptilian communications officer had raised an eyebrow at uncomfortable feeling she sensed passing through the young Lieutenant.
The young Lieutenant turned her attention to the view screen as the small ship continued to plow on its course set for the training mission. Even as everything was proceeding well, the young officer sensed something was going wrong. ‘That something was rotten in the state of Denmark’ as the old twentieth century clichés went. Sibrina had glanced around the bridge sharply, a playful frown appearing on her face, as a chill passed through her bones. Suddenly, her eyes fell upon the console of the helm and navigation where a warning light now flashed.
“Captain, deflectors have snapped on.” Thyrac’s trainee exclaimed tensely.
“Well shit.” Ihsss muttered, picking up the slang while living on Earth; a slang word that seemed to fit this moment exactly. She turned to regard the science officer Felonious, who had his furry head over the sensor module and buried in the sensor module’s viewer. A low murmur rounded the bridge and a worried glance passed from Thyrac to Veloxa. Even Sibrina had looked over at Felonious.
“What’s shaking Fel?” asked the young woman and Felonious responded to her jest with a toothy smile on his furry features.
“Sensors show two ships to port captain.” Felonious informed her, “They’re warships, Cybertron Battle-Cruiser Class.” Another pause.
“Have they seen us yet?”
“Not yet, Captain.” Felonious replied, putting his face back in the sensor scanner.
“Here we go again.” Veloxa whispered to Thyrac and she nodded.
“Red alert.” Sibrina prompted and touched the console. The klaxon began to wail noisily and the several back-up crews ran onto the bridge to fill the empty positions on the bridge.
“Shields up full.” She ordered, remembered the rules of The Earth Defense Alliance for keeping the peace. She gave in. “Return fire if we are fired upon.”
Stress and tension circulated the bridge, for the trainees mostly where this was their first taste of a combat situation. The rush of adrenaline surged through the young Lieutenant who sat in the captain’s chair. Still it was several moments before she touched the silencer located on the captain’s chair control panel and replaced the deafening alarm with silence. The view screen flickered and the Battle Cruisers appeared on the screen.
“They are passing on our port side, aft section.” Felonious reported, “Distance, thirteen thousand kilometers.”
Felonious shook his furry feline head, but stopped in mid sentence. “They have now. Here they come.”
“Visual.” Sibrina snapped in answer, the view screen flickered and Cybertron ships appeared there.
“Aye ma’am.” The pilot echoed, tapping many calculations in the console. “Coming left, to grid two, seven, three…” Veloxa shouted, but quickly subdued his voice as he continued. “Set to Z minus positive five degrees.” A warning sound buzzed from the console next to Felonious.
“Sensors show three more Cybertron Battle Cruisers to starboard Captain.” Felonious declared, followed by the Star Cruiser lurching twice as two direct phaser hits struck the Cruiser’s shields.
“Phaser hits on the port-side, aft section.” Kwai said, sitting at the weapons defense console. “Minimal damage.” The fight was on.
“Let them have it.” Sibrina shouted, and phaser bursts erupted from the Star-Cruiser’s weapons.
“Direct hits.” Felonious said, “They have light damage, but otherwise little or no effect.” Two Battle Cruisers bore down on them from all directions.
“Tactical.” Sibrina shouted, and the image showed the ship and the enemy ships that closed in around them.
“Forward view.” She instructed again and immediately the view screen switched to a forward view. Two Cybertron Battle-Cruisers loomed in the background of stars. A moment later, another phaser burst rocked the Star Cruiser and this time the dampers barely countered the lurch of the powerful strike.
“They are right on our tail and bearing down on the port and starboard side Captain.” Veloxa exclaimed and again two more phaser hits struck the Star Cruiser.
“There is damage, sections fourteen, fifteen and twenty-one.” Hi’Mthss reported, “Damage control reports minimal damage consisting of shorts and overloads.”
Each position found itself busy in combat operations and each trainee followed the directive of the experienced officers. “Distance and bearing, helm Mr. Bzzzarti.” Sibrina ordered and stood up from the captain’s chair, standing behind the navigator and helmsman. “Maybe we can get a few pot-shots in too.” Outside the ship, the small starship banked in a perfect arc toward the Battle Cruisers of the Cybertron. Inside the ship, a cool crew sat on the bridge sat waiting for battle, as all stations were manned and ready.
“Two thousand kilometers, bearing one three degrees.” Veloxa, the insect-like helmsman announced.
“They are closing extremely fast.” Thyrac added.
“Stand by all weapons.” She ordered. Another phaser hit on the shields made the cruiser again lurch. “Launch mines now!” ordered the young woman. Veloxa’s hands were a quick blur on the console.
“Mines are away captain.” Mines streaked away from the Star Cruiser. “Evade immediately, Z positive twenty degrees.” Without warning, the clouds streaked upward and spun clear of the ships. Mines struck the Cybertron and explosions on both sides hit the Cybertron ship’s hull. They lurched, the spark of internal explosions from the hull appeared, and debris floated away next to the ship.
“They are slowing captain there are several hits in their Engineering sections.” Felonious reported, “And three visible direct hits on their bridges. They are slowing from their pursuit.” Moments later, all three exploded into a hell fire ball of light and disappeared. Debris hit the Cloud’s shields and no one cheered on the bridge.
“Steer to course zero, one three.” She ordered, “Get us the hell out of this fight.” Lieutenant Rodriguez snapped, grasping the back of Veloxa’s chair.
“Aye ma’am,” The pilot replied. The starship shuddered again as it slowed down, banking quickly as it approached a Cybertron warship that had cut their escape route and who immediately opened up with a torpedo spread. Felonious from his place heard the curse muttered by the young Lieutenant.
“Incoming.” Thyrac bellowed, “Hang on.” Their ship vibrated and shuddered.
“Damn it…!” Cursed the young Lieutenant, when the Cruiser lurched and all hell broke loose as multiple hits rocked the ship. The lights dimmed, followed by the sound of shearing metal around them. Felonious knew the sound all to well and the familiar hiss of space leaking in.
“Shields are collapsing captain.” A voice yelled over the rumbling sounds of the guns.
“Divert all power to shields.” Sibrina ordered, glancing over at Felonious who had casually reached over and hit a red button on his console. A moment, the whine of a generator powering up and a pure white energy appeared from the Star Cruiser’s hull, absorbing the many torpedo hits from the enemy battle cruiser and erupted into a white-hot bolt that headed back, obliterating one more Cybertron Starship into nothingness. Felonious nodded to the young officer and flipped the switch.
“Engineering has diverted auxiliary power to shields and they are back up captain.” A voice quavered, “Only forty-five percent though. Dampeners have minor damage.”
Another phaser hit rocked the Star Cruiser’s shields and this time several of the trainee crew was thrown from their seats by the hit; Including Veloxa who hit the desk with a dull thud. Thyrac jumped the rail to assist the damage control crews with the electrical fires and the sound of sheering metal sounded around them. Sibrina jumped to her feet and moved to the Helm console. She returned fire and watched as several phasers bursts erupted from the Cloud’s weapons and strike the enemy starship. A lethal beam of energy lanced out and connected each ship with the raw fury. Several hits pounded the hull of the Cybertron ship, more explosions appeared as if it sprouted mushrooms and it finally disappeared in a flash of light.
“We got him.” Sibrina shouted, “Sweet.” Veloxa sat up and climbed up from the floor to the navigation console. He cast a look at Sibrina who now sat at the helm console. He said nothing, and dabbed at the streaming white blood from the top of his head.
“”I have control.” Sibrina thought, her heart racing at the ship began to purge and spin uncontrollably in a flat spin. Her hands danced over the console and the ship straightened. “I think its time to get the hell out of here.” She mused and touched the console. Veloxa turned to stare at her strangely. The ship lurched, evading the torpedoes that were launched by the Cybertron vessel. Sibrina’s hands danced across the controls and the ship turned heading right for the enemy vessel.
“What the hell are you doing?” Veloxa shouted, “We’re going to hit, brace for impact.” The view screen clicked to an aft view and Cybertron ships closed rapidly behind them. The view switched to a forward view to a huge Battle Cruiser Starship coming at them.
The Cruiser headed toward the enemy ship in front of them and followed closely by another enemy ship behind. Sibrina hit the controls and in space their ship made an impossible move, turning sharply into the old term a ‘flat spin’ using the thrusters, to evade another burst of torpedoes from the front ship. It rotated nose-to-nose three hundred sixty degrees to head out at z-minus ten degrees into clear space.
Behind them, two Cybertron ships collided and two of them exploded in a large energy burst. The others tried to evade, ending up that two more was to be consumed in the burst.
“It’s still four to one captain.” Felonious commented. “Nice flying.” Sibrina hit the console hard.
Their Cruiser swung wide and lurched just barely missing a torpedo spread aimed right at them. It wildly turned out of control and then sharply turned to miss another spread of torpedoes erupting from another Cybertron Battle-Cruiser on their port side. Sibrina increased to full impulse power.
“Damn it…!” She shouted, pounding the helm console buttons, making the ship lurch hard and just barely evaded more torpedoes. An enemy ship stayed hot on their heels and turned with the cruiser.
“Incoming!” Ihsss shouted, gripping the arm of her chair as torpedoes were launched from the Cybertron ships.
“Damn it again!” She muttered and struck the console hard with her fist. Torpedoes streaked from all the remaining ships and all were all aimed at the Star Cruiser. The young Lieutenant touched the console again, her fingers dancing over its surface. A shudder and the ship lurched again, banking hard, then rolled vertically, allowing the torpedoes to streak past. It was a wild reckless move and threw the trainee crew from their seats again. Behind them the smaller Cybertron ships tried to turn with the wild maneuvers and collided with the larger ships. In the cloud’s view-screen, a large explosion of energy appeared behind them.
“That was too close.” Ihsss said, and sighed in relief. The large energy burst enveloped the third Cybertron Ship and it too was consumed by the blast. However, through the debris one ship was still hot on their tail.
“One is slowing to sub-light, apparently it took bad damage.” Felonious beamed, “Stabilize the shields.”
Voloxa’s trainee turned, hitting a switch at the engineering section. “Shields steady at fifty eight percent power now sir. They are recharging now.” A young ensign reported. Sibrina nodded, vacating the pilot’s seat and returned to the captain’s chair. Veloxa took his proper place at the helm again.
“Hard over port,” Ordered the young Lieutenant, and the ship lurched rolling suddenly before it straightened again.
“The enemy vessel is hurt and moving away Ma’am.” Felonious reported, clicking a button on his console.
“Come about to go after them?” Veloxa’s trainee asked and Sibrina shook her head.
Behind her, the damage control crew had the fire under control, and a minute later, Thyrac too returned to her station.
“No, get us the hell out of here.” Sibrina nodded to the Navigator who had turned with a question look in his face.
”Engaging course back and maintain warp point nine after we drop from warp.” Repeated the pilot and Sibrina noticed the quiet sigh in relief.
“Damage control reports containment of a fire in sections fifteen and sixteen, Corridor twelve.” Ihsss reported, listening to her headset and the reports coming in all over the ship.
“Hi’Mthss, notify Headquarters, Earth.” Sibrina said quickly, “Apprise them of our encounter of Cybertron Empire Ships, and our position.” Ihsss finally had a chance to look down and she noted that she gripped the chair tightly.
“Aye.” The reptilian communicator replied, with quick precision tapped the many buttons on her console.
“There is jamming on all frequencies captain.” The trainee announced, “I can’t get through.” Ihsss grimaced, knowing what was coming next.
“They have cut us off, so there are more ships coming.” She muttered and Sibrina realized it too.
“Engage cloaking device Thyrac.” She ordered and at the helm, the bug-like navigator hit the button on her console. Outside the ship shimmered and then disappeared leaving nothing but the silence of stars around them. Another shudder and the ship’s impulse drive engaged.
Meanwhile, in his quarters on Earth: Lieutenant Seth Aguilera, from the US Army of the past, awoke with a start and with a cry of alarm sat straight up in bed in sickbay located at the Earth Defense Command Headquarters. As he sat there, he panned a quick gaze to the darkened room, disoriented, shaken, and freaked out by the horrible dreams that he had during his many attempts to sleep. He had not slept well in the last few weeks, bad dreams still plaguing him since he had been awakened from stasis where he was asleep for the better part of three hundred years. The dreams were the last thing he remembered before drifting off, an explosion, fire, and smoke sweeping through the chamber when a terrorist bomb had been set off. It had exploded, killing everyone in the area, and as the fire swept through the chamber, shrapnel that had been thrown from the chemical drums set ablaze by the explosion. He remembered the people that had been shredded, and the terrible gore he saw from the safety of his chamber. He had flinched as the fire had hit the chambers and a couple of shredded people had hit his chamber to slide off of the Plexiglas hatch. He remembered the looks on their half mangled faces, as they slid off, and the looks that the young officer would never forget.
“Oh god what the hell is wrong with me.” He thought. He shook his head in his hands as the nightmares faded. His gaze turned to the sterile environment that made up the hospital room, reminding himself that it had been a dream he was having, knowing fully well that it was no dream that they had awakened far into the future. The room he now occupied is a large room, and in it two beds could comfortably be sat in them. Equipment of all sorts lines the wall and several futuristic panels. Next to him a small terminal flickered and the face of a nurse appeared there.
“Bad dreams again Lieutenant?” She asked, and he looked over.
“Do you need something to help you sleep?” The nurse asked, and quickly he shook his head.
“I’ve had enough sleep.” Seth replied, managing a disinterested shrug first, then a slow nod before the terminal flickered and went black. Slowly he blindly reached out for his robe that hung nearby on the hook, swinging his legs to the side of the bed where he sat for a moment before standing up to wrap it around him. His gaze then went to the huge bay window that overlooked the city and he moved to stand in front of it. Lieutenant Aguilera gazed off at the sea of lights at a place he had called home once, the city of San Francisco and the Bay Area. As Seth stared at the lights, his gaze quickly found the visible landmarks of the town he knew like the back of his hand, and then to the dark waters where he knew the Bay was. It was difficult for him to imagine this place, but he and the others were here, far into the future, having beaten all the odds against their project. There were a few exceptions of course, and casualties along the way.
It was now three hundred years since the volunteers were put in stasis, and now were recovered from project Harpoon, an ill fated project forgotten centuries ago, where they had been guinea pigs for a new process that had been discovered. A process using a new technology that was developed by NASA and where people could be put in suspension as it was commonly portrayed in the movies 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010: Odyssey two, and any other common science fiction books of long past. They were accidentally left there when current events had distracted everyone from the project and then the explosion shortly after. The project was assumed destroyed, and the chambers never were recovered. Together twelve people would lie in these chambers for three centuries, put in a century where there was now warp travel, space travel and colonies in space; where space travel was second nature into the galaxy, far away from mother Earth.
“A time that undoubtedly would amaze them as they caught up” Seth thought, thinking of seven others that had met their demise while in stasis and people he had buried; teammates who would never know the twenty-third century.
Seth stood in the futuristic city of San Francisco, as he had many days now, staring at the sights of the bustle of the city. It was night now, but when he had first seen it in the day, he had gasped openly. The city he knew had changed a lot than what he remembered of it and from his window where he could gaze right down into the city. Seth immediately had noted that it is much larger than it had been in the past. Not so much in size, built down the peninsula, but it built upward in large, futuristic skyscrapers. He also noted that the landmarks that he knew marking the city had changed, especially the Bay that had changed itself in these centuries. The familiar San Francisco Bay had become small and slender, now controlled by a huge power plant at the mouth, catching the currents as it was kept a maintained size. In addition to the Bay, Seth also noticed as he checked out the sights that the seven bridges, with exception to the Golden Gate no longer spanned the watery surface of the Bay. They had long since been dismantled and left far behind in its progress, no longer needed as Tram Service came available. Seth of course was in the middle of it all and he shook his head. Across the bay, he could see the lights of Oakland, and the cities that were across the watery surface out there somewhere.
“There have been a lot of changes.” He muttered and cast a look at the computer terminal nearby where for the last couple of weeks he had been catching up on technology and the future.
“Three hundred years of catch up learning I have to do.” Seth thought, “I wonder how the others are taking this? Also what does the future now hold for me and my friends?” He thought, and yet shook his head.
“Computer, coffee, black.” Ordered the young officer and quickly the computer obeyed, below the replicator unit humming into life, quickly putting a mug of coffee on the platform. Seth grinned in amusement as the cup it materialize on the platform, and realized that he had discovered yet another feature of the future, taken from a familiar TV program from long ago.
Picking up the cup, he let it warm his hands before he sipped carefully from the warm mug and his first reaction was to grimace at the taste. He knew he needed stimulation and took another determined sip from the cup. Here the young officer turned his head and he managed a long panning gaze to the bay window again. His first thoughts had been to his friends who no doubt unaware of the incredible jump in time and fortune to survive the project. He was so engrossed in the sights around him that he is unaware of two people who have entered the room behind him. They are that of two young women, his friends who have entered behind him, and ones that he thought dead and buried with the seven others who had not survived stasis. There had been a minor mix-up on the records and they had been swapped, two cadavers of this century who had been fighting against the Cybertron had been buried in their stead. Seth was so busy staring out the window that he had not noticed their entry.
The two young women are both very beautiful, one of them a brunette as the other one was a gorgeous blond. The dark haired woman, named Emily, cleared her throat that he whirled around, his gaze beholding these two very beautiful young women. He met the semi-familiar face with question, staring at the long curly brown hair that draped down around her back and her brown eyes. His gaze moved to the other one, the same thing, with exception the second woman had blue eyes, blond hair and a voluptuous figure. Seth relaxed, composing himself quickly as he straightened, assuming they were the doctor and nurse on duty here tonight. The blond at first he thought had been another member of the group, Amy Panstingle.
“Amy?” He asked. The young woman shook his head.
He had not recognized the two young women, that of Denise “Watts” Watson, and Emily Montgomery, both of them Seth’s friends and stasis members who like him had volunteered for stasis.
“Uh, sorry for the intrusion,” Denise said, grimacing, “Wrong room.” Seth managed a grin.
“No problem. It happens to the best of us.” But as she turned and he found himself staring, sensing something familiar about these people.
“Please wait.” He said quietly and both of them paused, turning. “Is there something I can help you with Ma’am. Do I know you?”
Denise shook her head, “I’m not sure you would.” She replied, in a strangely familiar twang, and she glanced at the other young woman who shook her head too. He muttered a curse and for a moment, he closed his eyes and the faces echoed there readily in his head.
The young women stood there in confusion too and turned to glance at each other several times, and then back to young man here. The same feelings too, something familiar about him washed over them too. Both were unsure and Denise turned, squinting in the dark room. She muttered a curse.
“Computer! Lights!” She said sharply and the computer obeyed, the lights switching abruptly on. He grimaced at the brightness, as she did.
“Computer… Half-lights!” They both said simultaneously and the lights dimmed to a low level intensity. They both exchanged a smirk between them and then managed a burst of laughter. After a moment they became very quiet, Denise stared at him, smiling. Seth had already had his head shaved into a prison type crew cut and his dark features studied her. Denise’s reaction was one of swift acknowledgement when his face came back to her and she let out a gasp.
“Seth?” She asked, “Seth Aguilera?” She said, staring in wonder at his face and shook her head. Emily had turned too, shaking her head, but not without stepping up to him first, to lay a passionate kiss on his lips. Emily embraced the officer. Seth was not prepared as their lips touched. Her kiss was sweet filled with much promise and yet his eyes showed immediate surprise. He had not expected this at all and felt a slight flush creeping up on his face. Emily drew back after breaking the kiss and stared into his eyes.
“It is you.” She declared, and she held him. Seth on the other hand, his mind is a whirl of questions, he was trying to place this person somewhere and something in his head had triggered a memory. All at once, her face suddenly was familiar and it was many other times, arguments and power struggles since their professional relationship built itself three hundred years ago in the city of San Francisco, a place known for romance. It was several moments before something in his memories confirmed and made him remember.
“Denise?” He ventured a name, “Denise Watson?” Denise on the other hand smiled and nodded to him in reply. He turned to stare at Emily. “Emily!” He replied and he embraced her again. He immediately almost broke down as he stared at them. He raised his hand to touch her face, pausing before the young officer touched her as if she were to burst like a soap bubble. When his hand felt her warm skin he shuddered.
“Oh my god.” He breathed and embraced her back, returning the kiss. Just as a young nurse, the doctor on duty in this ward and a couple of officers from the Admiralty upstairs entered. Behind them walked, Amy Pantstingle, Melinda Morris, Manual Perry and Amanda Garcia.
They walked together, as usual talking business, the doctor in the lead, escorting the Admiralty officers to the ward. They walked in Seth’s room unannounced, or had knocked, but Seth did not hear. Their gazes had fallen upon the very romantic scene that went on here and stared at the two officers. A smile broke out on the doctor’s face and the young Admiralty officer glanced at the other, then to the doctor who smiled at first, but his grin faded when he realized who was here in the room. Five minutes elapsed and an uncomfortable shuffle rippled through the group. Emily and Seth finally broke and she smiled at Lieutenant Aguilera. “I am so glad to see you.” She said, and they embraced.
“How can this be, they said you were dead…” He stammered, “I had to help bury you. I can’t believe it.” She frowned at the notion.
“Well you better believe it.” A voice said and Seth turned to the doctor and the group.
“Ms. Watson, Ms. Montgomery, what the blazes are you doing out of bed?” The doctor asked, as he walked toward the trio. Seth, without thinking moved to step in front of her and deflected his arm. Emily of course was so in shock by the feeling of Seth in her arms that her mind was so overloaded. She let out a groan. Seth’s head turned when he heard it and watched as if in slow motion her body began to swoon and fall to the deck in a faint. He moved like lightning and grabbed her, holding her unconscious form in his arms.
“Medics!” Seth shouted, and two burley men, clad in white uniforms appeared. The doctor was on hand and he pointed to the nearby bed where he placed her.
Amy, Melinda, Manual and Amanda had clustered around Seth and Denise when they saw them, amazed that they were here. They shook hands with Seth, the young women embracing him.
“We had better move her back. Get a gurney.” Seth caught the doctor’s gaze and slightly he shook his head. “She’ll be okay Lieutenant.” He told the young officer and Seth took up her hand. His gaze met the young orderly.
“You… move my gear to her room… NOW.” Seth said, glancing up at the surprised doctor who had bet his gaze. “She already has a room-mate, but we’ll keep you informed of her condition.” Seth heard them tell him. He shook his head.
“Bull, I am not going to lose this young woman again. Not you or anyone and have to bury her again.” Seth said his tone low and soft. The orderly checked the doctor’s gaze who nodded slightly.
“Very well sir.” He replied, as and he grabbed the robe and they moved her back to her room. Seth sat next to her as the Doctor worked over her. Her eyes fluttered and she stared up at the young Lieutenant Watson and Seth.
“Oh my god, I can’t believe it.” She said, her eyes flowing with tears.
“Easy, Em…” He replied, kissing her hand. “I am not going anywhere. Is she going to be alright Doc?”
Standing next to her bed, the young Doctor looked up. “Yes, she’ll be fine, just needs a bit of rest. Miss Montgomery, next time you should obey your good doctor’s advice.” Grinning, the young officer managed a quiet chuckle, and she grinned. He peered over at Denise too. “That goes for you too.”
“Sorry doctor Phillips.” She replied and he smiled.
“Well anyway, please rest.” Nodding quickly, Emily closed her eyes.
“It’s okay. She’s going to go to sleep for a while.” The doctor said, “Please.” He motioned him to the bed and Seth backed up to take a seat next to her. The Doctor took his blood pressure and everything from the bed that displayed the readings.
“I was told you are having trouble sleeping…”
Seth nodded and the doctor noted that in the small wafer thin board he carried. “Well that’s understandable, you and the others being in stasis for so long. Otherwise how are you feeling today?” Lieutenant Aguilera shrugged.
“Now that I have seen Denise and Emily, I’m just fine, but still a little confused, a little lonely.” He said, “I look out there and it seems that I have lost a part of myself to that city out there for three hundred years. There is hope that you guys made a mistake and I did not bury another one of my people.” Phillips grinned at him. However, a voice interrupted sharply.
“Well, good news the doctor here says you will be out in a day.” Mitty said, as she entered the room and he stood sharply at attention. He saluted formally. Mitty of course noted his immediate respect to military Decorum, and waved casually.
“At ease… At ease.” She said, shaking her head. “Great news though, we have something already in mind when you get out of here Seth. I have already discussed it with the Admiral and he wants to see you tomorrow afternoon.” The young officer grinned,
“Cool” he exclaimed and cast a look at Denise.
“Doc can she hear this?” The doctor shook his head.
“So what do you have Commander?”
“The assignment is a Special Forces assignment at Headquarters, and the Admiral feels you’d be perfect for it. We want you to report to Special Operations under Admiral Primetime, tomorrow at sixteen hundred after you meet with Admiral Hammer.” A grin was broadly on the young Lieutenant’s face.
“Great.” He replied, “At last to be useful again…” Here the young woman grinned. “Oh yea, how long will she be out?” He asked and Doctor Phillips turned.
“Not long… why?” The doctor nodded in immediate understanding. “I wanted to say goodbye.” Seth said, “And make sure to tell her I will be back soon. I am wondering if she knows if the others made it or not…” The doctor understood.
“Ah.” He replied, nodding his head. “Well, you won’t get that chance we’re going to keep her sedated for at least twenty-four hours.”
Quickly the young Lieutenant glanced down at his chronometer on his wrist. “Damn.” Seth said, “Please at least give her the message, I don’t want her to worry.” Mitty nodded curtly,
“It’s alright, she is in good hands. Doctor Phillips is the best doctor we have in Sick Bay at the Medical Department of the Earth Defense Alliance HQ.” Seth grimaced, managing a nod.
“Anyway that’s all for now.” Commander McDonald said and Seth started to get up as she started to leave. “Please, carry on.” Seth of course sat there a moment, realizing that he was back in the military, and he had a new mission. He definitely was looking forward to it. He had a lot to prepare for and a new century that awaits exploration by Seth, Denise, Emily, and the remaining five-stasis personnel from the past.
Back in space, however, at the same moment --- Aboard the Star Cruiser USS Magellanic Clouds:
Ihsss T’Larra now sat in the Command chair, her daughter now sat in her position of the Communications station and Sibrina sat next to the science console station. As Ihsss watched the stars hurtle toward them, they entered the sector where the tender awaited them. Sibrina has moved to the science station where she sat with Felonious. Ihsss impatiently sat in the chair, turning it back and forth as she scanned the bridge. She was a good commander on training mission voyages. She would take the trainees to a new level, letting them work uninterrupted despite several harrying events that had happened.
“Like a few hours ago.” Ihsss thought, glancing at her daughter. “Still they did excellently and I am going to make a lot of recommendations.” She thought. The crew on board had long since stood down from battle stations, but the crew all still remained on edge. For the moment, they had managed to escape the Cybertron ambush and the next wave that had been coming in on them. The ship had managed to long since get out of jamming range and had warned the Earth Defense Alliance of the impending raids of Cybertron ships before invasion. Now her ship had been ordered home.
“Helm, slow to impulse and turn to course one-three five,” Ihsss ordered, “Felonious, where is the tender.” He put his furry head in the viewer module again.
“On the port-side captain.” He replied. She nodded. “Bring us in slow and easy helm, slow to impulse power for approach.” A low hum of the sensors echoed across the bridge.
“You’re not going to like this skipper,” Felonious told her, switching the view screen. The image of a half destroyed couple of ships appeared there.
“Shit.” Ihsss exclaimed, and Sibrina at the moment was in her mind saying the same thing but a better idiom and colorful word came to mind. “Sound yellow alert and scan for any survivors.” Ihsss, turned her chair to the feline officer at the science console. He looked up from the console and shook his head.
“No survivors captain, or any life signs in the hulk, there are a few bodies as of yet that float near it. The signature looks like that of a Cybertron attack.” A bleep on the console echoed over the speakers,
“All stop,” Ihsss ordered, “Nice and steady helm.” The helmsman tapped the controls and slowly the ship wallowed to a stop. “Keep an eye out,” Ihsss warned, “The Cybertron may be out there.” A chill passed through her bones.
“Captain, a ship incoming,” Felonious reported, “on the starboard side. It just warped in.” Ihsss’ resolve was immediate.
“Shields up. Red Alert!” she ordered, and the klaxon alarm blared on the speakers. Again crews ran to their positions. “Two more ships to port.” Sibrina added.
“This is the Federation Destroyer Whirlwind, to unidentified ship. Halt and identify immediately.” The speakers said, crackling with static, and at his post, Felonious relaxed.
“There ours.” He said and Ihsss relaxed too, turned her head, flashing a grin to the feline officer.
“Hi’Mthsss, open hailing frequencies please.” She said, turning her chair to face the communications console.
“Hailing frequencies open skipper.” Ihsss replied after her hands danced over the console.
“This is Federation Star Cruiser, Magellanic Clouds.” Ihsss replied, “Glad to see you could join us.” A grin passed between the helmsman and navigator. There was a brief pause before the view screen flickered and a picture appeared of Captain March Williams sitting in the Command chair.
“Greetings Captain. Welcome back, we were worried and came in force when we got the mayday from the Rueben Saint James out here and their Destroyer escorts.” The voice continued, “We got the word that they were sent to meet you here, but it appears someone else had something else in mind.” He paused. “What is your status Captain T’Larra?” The screen wavered for a moment with static but cleared.
“We’re partially operational Captain.” Ihsss replied, “We have important information for Headquarters, an invasion report of a Cybertron force who have breeched sector 920 and 921. We need to be along side the tender for some minor repairs before we can get this relayed to Earth.” The captain on the view screen, a middle-aged man frowned, turning away from the screen for a moment then turned back.
“Our task force is nearby, and a tender is standing by to help make your repairs. We will relay the message and send a ship to escort you back.” The captain said, “Steer a course zero nine zero and follow us,” March instructed.
Ihsss nodded gladly. “With thanks Captain.”
He grinned nodding and the screen flickered returning to the field of stars.
“Thyrac, plot parallel course,” She ordered, and Thyrac, now rapidly punching in equations, looked up to nod.
“Helm, execute and make for impulse, warp point three.” Ihsss ordered and Veloxa’s claw-like hands danced over the console. The ships spun in place and slowly it limped along and on course, and headed for the task force that would escort them home.