"Reckoning" is a sci-fi series that can be read by the blind. It tells the story of overview of the story
Reckoning is a comic book series that is readable by the visually impaired and blind. It features detailed information about the story and characters>
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The Takyüddin was flying as fast as the generators allowed it, the ship was heaving and grinding sounds emanated from the stressed out hull barely holding together as space bent and warped stressing the bubble encapsulating the vessel.
Captain Dunbar cursed himself, he had warned the higher up brass that the TDF were about to enter into an unholy alliance with the Janesians and the fallacy in thinking that if there was not enough firepower to stop the incoming Melajjin attack fleet, that the Janesians would somehow benevolently help was beyond his comprehension.
Taking their help Earth would have to pay a heavy price, nobody dealing with the Janesians had ever indicated anything else, but this, this was beyond comprehension, humans betraying their own kind and now the remaining crew of the Takyüddin was running for their lives to prove this point.
The Janesian ships, mere fractions of a parsec behind the Takyüddin in hot pursuit, intended to ensure that the double-cross would never be discovered, it had been a Janesian plot from day one and Captain Dunbar knew that if those ships caught up to them before they reached earth to warn the CIC of the TDF about the trap that they were walking into and that there was no Janesian Peace wielding faction, then Earth would cease to exist as anything else that a mining colony of the Janesians.
Captain Dunbar repeatedly berated himself. How stupid to have even entertained the thought, the curse of the gullible humans, blind trust, fool me once… it would be a slaughter unlike any humanity had ever experienced and he himself had been the force that had ensured contact was possible between the TDF and the Janesians.
They had been very clever about it, Captain Dunbar had to give them that as he reviewed the information on the crystal device.
First framing the humans for the incident at Datorviix and then rescuing Human Offworld Colony 767 before it was destroyed by a Melajjin fighter battalion crying out for revenge and then coasting up to Valhalla station where the Takyüddin had been moored, offloading thousands of human refugees driven off the colony.
The subsequent destruction of the entire primary knowledge collection of the Melajjin was an act of immense sacrilege against everything the Melajjin stood for, while they had advanced technology the living memory of the Melajjin had been kept alive in 5 systems to ensure against destruction and a living memory it was the only memory of the species and when the Melajjin had realized the foul human plot to decimate all 5 primary systems simply because the humans wanted the resources of these systems, their proverbial cup had overflowed, an enraged race without history was a dangerous one to any they would encounter, not just the human race so the Janesians had proposed an alliance of sorts.
Captain Dunbar looked at the small black cube encapsulated in crystal, inside it lay all the information to reveal the Janesian plot.
His fingers drummed impatiently on the instrument panel, the mission had been a longshot and totally unsanctioned, he had no idea of how he would be met when the Takyüddin re-entered Terran space, if they were not blown out the airlock a court-martial was in the charts, but he had already paid the price, nothing that happened to him could change what had happened and nothing anyone could think of doing to him could hurt him any more.
Sarah… as the thought of his daughter swept his mind, Captain Dunbar fought to keep his tears back, those swine bastards… They were going to pay.
2 weeks earlier.
The Janesian Commander stood in front of Luca Rizzo the SecureForze officer representing the security firm commissioned to liaise with the brass of the Janesian.
The SecureForze officer was uneasy, while it was not his first meeting with an extraterrestrial the fact that it was the emissary of an invasion force made him question where his loyalties lay, with the firm and the people who had given him everything, or with the peoples of Earth. What is the price of a man he thought to himself and addressed the Commander.
“How do you know that your ships will be allowed in Terran space ?”, he asked the Commander.
“Leave that to us, when the time comes we will be appreciative for the courtesy you have shown us”, the Commander replied not willing to delve any further into the matter.
“We will assure safety and privileges for those appointed by your superiors and as one who has experienced Janeisian privileges you understand what that entails?”, the Commander emphasized looking strictly at the SecureForze.
The officer nodded silently, he knew exactly the lavishments and extravagances the Janesian had to offer, endless pleasure and comforts beyond anything most people could ever dream of and to those who were against them… The SecureForze officer shuddered by the thought.
Sarah Dunbar held her breath, as she listened in through the grate of an exhaust.
She had been unable to plant any surveillance devices in the room itself, but they had not though to sweep the perimeter an additional time while the meeting was going on.
That was when she had seen her opportunity to gain further intelligence. She listened intensely, everything she had snickered at being floated online seemed to be on the table, she could not believe her own ears.
Her horror grew about hearing how everything was in place, how there were sufficient loyal forced trained in military techniques, crowd control, asymmetrical warfare, population control psy ops. the likes even the most outrageous tin foil hatter could never have imagined.
It was all real and happening, right here in her own country, her emotions were all over the place and she had a hard time resisting bursting into the room and let God sort them out.
Her heart became heavy as the discussing turned in the direction of how the general public had already accepted or was unable to protest the 24x7x365 surveillance.
Sarah knew her agency and their sister and brethren agencies were to blame for buying into the lie of big data and meta-analysis, it has been nothing but a means to an end, she had come to realize that by now, but what could she do, she was just one person.
Dirty politicians and their business associate lobbyists had been able to establish a near airtight reign of iron by offering the general public naught but trinkets and glass beads all in the form of flashy mobiles and free applications.
Users had for years happily just pressed OK to any APP that needed access to every bit of their personal lives, hey it was free and shiny and all the cool kids did it.
Deep down she had always known her government had gone too far, but she had bought into the terrorist lie as well, anyone experiencing the horrors on TV and on the live web streams at a young enough age had been conditioned to this. Anyone old enough to remember fallen regimes of the past indulging in similar activities had been branded nutters, tinfoil hatters as well as conspiracy theorists, or dealt with on one charge or another, it had been all too easy, she understood that now.
A suit-clad business type was now addressing the attendees “Trust me, it will be all thanks and amen to our Janesian friends sending in their rapid deployment fleet to defend earth from the vile attackers, the Janesian shall declare themselves an ally of humanity”, he gave a nod to the Janesian representative who nodded back.
“The financial collapse due to the great destruction wielded on the planet will make The Great Depression and any subsequent crisis look like something of a picnic, trust me. There will be massive damage to deal with in the aftermath, but once the initial attack has been repelled business will be good!”.
Several of the men chuckled, this was going to be glorious. Personal profits would be astronomical and the sheeple… well, the sheeple would toil even harder for them from now on.
“But like I have explained previously, you personally will have nothing to fear from the great financial panic that will erupt worldwide. You will have all the means to take care of yourself and your family all thanks to our operatives in the financial sector who have been hoarding precious metals and necessities that are stashed away in deep underground complexes built using the taxpayer's money”.
There was further snickering but the SecureForze operative seemed less uneasy now but as the Janesian continued explaining about the outrage and anger in the remaining population, about the military takeover, how governments would declare states of emergency and how martial law globally would be declared and all to make certain the remaining populace pliable and obedient as they looked for strong leadership in the wake of a disaster that would grow even worse very quickly, he started feeling quite uneasy again.
The Janesian explained in detail of how they would be assisting governments worldwide with the implementation of a chipping system, where everyone was to be chipped to ensure their safety and well-being.
The chips would be delivered by personnel within the public health system and so as to overcome any objections, a minor plague and an effective cure given it was discovered in time was going to see to everyone accepting the chip as their own idea this to ensure the well-being of their loved ones and family, the playbook was very similar to a previously derailed effort of a culling and subsequent control system and the SecureForze officer again began questioning himself and his motives.
Sarah did not dare to wait any longer, she'd have to report this, but to whom? They would think her insane, it was against all protocol but she would have to discuss it with someone she trusted, she would have to call her father.
The phone rang and Captain Dunbar who was still home ending his 48 hour fur-low later in the day, picked up the phone
“Sarah is that you ?”, he asked seeing the number was masked and location unknown.
“Yes dad”, Sarah replied.
“It has been ages since your mother and I heard from you, is everything alright?”, the Captain asked with worry in his voice, Sarah would not call his personal device unless there was something serious going on.
“I am a big girl dad, I can take care of myself”, she hesitated before she continued in a very serious voice, “I have to talk to you off the record!”.
Captain Dunbar pondered for a moment “Seriously?”, he then asked.
“Seriously!”, Sarah replied confirming Captain Dunbar's gnawing gut feelings that had been growing ever since he had heard about the emissaries.
“There is something going on, something big, something very very serious, but I can't talk on the line”.
Captain Dunbar took a deep breath, “Okay honey, don't say anything, just confirm”, “Do you remember the place where you snook down to have ice-cream despite being explicitly told you could couldn't have any that time you ended up in the hospital being operated for your appendix ?”
“Yes”, Sarah responded quickly.
“Okay, you go there and then go across the street”, “Someone will be there and direct you further, make sure you are not followed”, Captain Dunbar emphasized.
“Yes dad!”, Sarah answered relieved that she would not have to face this without proper council.
“I love you Sarah, and you know your mother does too, but be careful okay, I will leave from here immediately”.
“I will don't worry daddy”
45 minutes later Sarah got out of the autocab, for a moment she regretted having taken a licensed cab, but on the other hand, she was quite sure nobody had followed her so far.
She looked at the ice-cream store, today was a hot day and it was still there, so far it looked quite legit. She glanced around was anyone following her ? Nobody!
She walked up to the counter and bought a triple squiggly. “A classic eh?”, the clerk inquired more as a statement. Sarah smiled “Yeah”, she answered and paid the ice-cream.
She licked the chocolate topping that melted in her mouth with a slight tingle, she then took a deep breath and walked across the street.
She noticed a young punk approaching her, there was something familiar about him, she just couldn't pinpoint it, he reminded her of someone she knew, someone from her childhood “You want some wheezies ?”, the punk offered.
“Uhm no thanks Sarah”, said evasively and tried to pass him without further interaction, the punk then looked her straight in the eyes and in a muffled but a reassuring voice gave her the instructions she had expected.
“Go to Heinemanns Pawn shop on third”, “Ask for the whistle of a football judge, Bus 451 leaves in a moment from the stop right around the corner”.
“Sorry Mam”, the punk said, “Didn't mean to bother you!”, then he quickly walked off as a police car came rolling by. Sarah swallowed and headed toward the corner. The police car turned to follow the young punk who burst into a run prompting the police car to speed up however as it cruised around the corner he just seemed to have disappeared into thin air. God damn drug dealers were the only words the two officers exchanged before a radio transmission interrupted what would have been another rant of obscenities about the state of things from Detective Carson.
Line 451 was on time and Sarah got on board. It was a long time since she had used any form of public transport and she felt quaint, the taste of ice-cream was still lingering in her mouth and memories of childhood flowed over her as the bus chugged along the streets.
She got off at third only to find the pawn shop closed.
Out for lunch the sign said. Sarah looked around, the street was empty, the only hustle and bustle reaching her ears came from the streets one level below the overpass.
She tried the door but it was locked. There was a number on the sign, jotted down in hand but no atypical for a store like this.
Sarah took out her phone and called as she made the call she sealed her fate.
The phone was ripped from her hand as her attacker came at her, she tried to scream but nobody heard her over the noise from a truck coming roaring up the street.
The assailant kicked the phone into the street in front of the truck.
“Sarah Sarah”, a voice shouted from the speaker right before the phone was crushed.
“I had my doubts about you”, the goon said as he twisted Sarah's arm, while another held her at gunpoint.
“I don't know what you mean?”, Sarah tried. The street was empty and the truck had simply sped on, the driver unwilling to get into any trouble, it was not the kind of neighborhood one stopped in, and he was not about to fall for a ruse like that only to be robbed of his truck and cargo like Jimmy Jones last week the driver thought to himself as he stepped a little extra on the gas pedal.
A white van pulled up and inside that van, Sarah Dunbar's life ended. A drug overdose the police said as they found her body in the alley behind the pawn shop. Unbeknown to them a small drone that had been tagging Sarah was recording the incident.
Captain Dunbar cursed himself for not having arrived more quickly as he went through the recordings from the drone. He pulled some strings and quickly tracked down the white van and its occupants. They screamed in agony as the Captain interrogated them one after another till he had a string of clues leading to a SecureForze officer who had been surprisingly willing to talk.
Back at HQ the brass had been up in the air about his rogue investigation, and him of all who had been instrumental in establishing peaceful interactions, but it was when he saw the smug grin on the Janesian emissary as a delegation passed him by that he formulated his further plans.
Captain Dunbar knew those bastards were behind it all and he also knew where the proof would be, a stronghold thought impenetrable. But with the stealth of the Takyüddin he would be able to get a crew there, that would not be too hard, the Takyüddin had the best stealth tech of the entire TDF fleet, the tough thing would be accessing the deep underground Janesian archives, those fuckers loved keeping records of everything so they could recreate every glorious moment of every cunning plan and deed and use it to run endless simulations extrapolating from already played out scenarios when planning new conquests. They had learned that much from earlier skirmishes and allies.
72 hours earlier
Takyüddin - in orbit over Planet M'ah Uradin - status Cloaked.
“You understand that you are going to do the impossible, nobody has made it into D'iva Porte for 357 years without Janesian permission, the fact that we have managed to bypass their detection grid this far is solely due to Aviaran cloaking technology”.
Captain Dunbar pondered upon the sanity of him not having divulged, that he had not been sanctioned to engage in the mission, in fact, that he had been explicitly denied, to anyone except Sgt. Jasperson, he felt he owed his old friend that much, though it would mean Jasperson would not have plausible deniability if anyone ever found out.
“Sir, you can count on us”, Sgt. Jasperson said and saluted, he had personally picked the squad after Captain Dunbar had filled him in, it was a stroke of luck that the SecureForze people had talked.
Hatred was sizzling in his the sergeant's heart, having lost his own daughter just a few years earlier and having followed Sarah Dunbar grow from a small girl to a young law enforcement officer he understood perfectly what the Captain was going through.
Captain Dunbar straightened up and saluted his squad who had all joined in Jasperson's salute, they were good men, each and every one of them, loyal to the core.
“Dismissed”, Captain Dunbar managed to utter swallowing another lump. The squad disbanded entering the airlock to the dropdeck.
Outside Capitol D'iva Porte.
The wind blew harshly through the barren and rocky landscape that surrounded D'iva Porte as the small band of soldiers snook forward clinging to the dark.
They had dived in from high orbit wearing pressurized wing-suits and had glided towards the Capitol, para-foils had been deployed a few hundred meters above the ground cushioning the worst fall.
They were moving ahead towards their objective, the central data hub that would be located in some sort of data-center buried far underground once inside they would extract a data chunk containing damning evidence that TDF and humanity were being set up to fall.
It would not be a pretty mission and there would be nothing stealthy about it once it got going, but for now they kept a low profile.
Suddenly the point guard froze, the others quickly froze to assess the situation.
Christiansen looked at the venomous creature slithering in front of him akin to a giant cobra, he knew if he moved he would be dead as the reptilian would latch on to him driving it's fangs into his body and the enzymes sprayed into his body would make being bit by the recluse spiders look like a joyride in a theme-park, a bite would cause a condition of necrosis of the entire body leading to a complete cellular breakdown. Not exactly a tempting proposition.
Sgt. Jasperson glanced up on his HUD and as he glanced upward to the CamShare on his HUD UI, he quickly flicked over to a full shot of PFC Christiansen's CAMView and was now heading in extreme slow motion towards the PFC who had frozen in front of the snake-like reptilian lifeform.
Weapons were still in full stealth mode as they could not afford to break cover, but the PlasmaBlade would likely not be showing up on any scans due to its weak signature.
Sgt. Jasperson slowly pulled out the blade and flicked the switch, it let out a little hum as it lit and charged. The shimmering was barely visible in the darkness.
Hopefully, even though likely undetectable to the Janesian sensors the frequency of the blade would not be something the animal would be attracted to.
Christiansen on my mark I need you to fall back, no correction I need you to launch backward as quickly as you can, use HUD and blink slowly twice if you understand.
A drop of sweat ran down Christiansen's forehead, the reptile slithered a bit and closed in, not quite sure what to make of the unusual intruder.
PFC Christiansen blinked twice and bit down on his lip. This would be all or nothing.
“Ready, on my mark i.e. on 1”, Sgt. Jasperson said waiting for Christiansen to blink him a confirmation.
“Okay, 3”, the Sgt began.
“2”, he continued as Christiansen swallowed a lump tightening all his muscles.
“1”, Sgt Jasperson shouted. Christiansen leapt backward and the Sgt. leaped forward, blade first.
The reptile lunged ahead as well, intending to put its razor sharp fangs into Christiansen's arm, only to find Sgt. Jasperson's blade instead.
The ominous reptilian head fell, it was cleaved clean off the snakelike body, that lumped down onto the ground all twitching and rolling. For a while it kept wiggling, until it finally stayed still.
“Close one”, Jasperson said and released the switch on his blade.
He was glad he had thoroughly briefed the small crew on the fauna they could expect to come across on their way to the compound. But there was no time to waste, the band of soldiers would have to hurry on, as one of these dead reptile beast, soon would attract others, Jasperson shivered, those things were behaving like some sort of interstellar cockroaches.
The entrance like the rest of the compound was simply carved into the rock, a flight of stairs leading into the underground maze.
The Janesian Capitol was not a boastful cry to the heavens, not by far, au contraire, it was the result of a culture entertaining centuries upon centuries of relentless warfare. First among themselves and now against near everyone in the known star systems of the galaxy that they found to be a sporting and entertaining adversary.
Any protrusion that had ever existed above ground were been long obliterated, hence the Janesian saying, “He who stays low stays safe”, had emerged and so digging into the bedrock had become the norm for the paranoid and bestial rulers.
It was almost unthinkable that the troopers of the TDF had knowledge of the Capitol, a closely guarded secret but the Temporans had talked.
Jasperson formed a fist and halted the approach. He checked his HUD and sent off a ready when you are signal to the cloaked vessel in the skies above camuflaged as a natural radio emission that only someone who knew exactly what to listen for would be able to discern from actual natural backscatter.
Meanwhile the troops quickly laid out a slew of matter destabilization charges.
Moments later a bombardment began lighting up the far side of the city The Janesians would be scurrying about to the edges of the perimeter, it would not be expected that such a small number of fighters could venture so far into the city circles.
The Matter destabilization charges went off and began burning down deep into the lower levels of the complex.
“Okay, Pre-rigging, are you ready?”
The men responded by pulling out DriveMotor Anchors, lowering the harpoon like muzzle towards the surface.
“Safety is the solution ladies and gentlemen, secure your Drives”, the seargent massed drilling the team amidst the barrage raining down.
A series of thuds indicated the DriveMotors were securely anchored to the ground with hardened composite bolts.
“Secure rapelling lines”, he continued. The team complied.
“Okay then, cast your lines and clip in harness”, he ordered, “Check your partner, confirm DarkVision working. Christiansen take a peek, are we sure lines have ground contact”.
“Check Sarge”, PFC Christiansen replied after peering into the darkness looming below”
“OK monkeys off we go”, Sgt. Jaspersen said and leapt into the darkness, he kept the brake loose and sailed down the line rapidly.
Here and there the team had to pushed back a bit extra to steer clear of rooms that had been bared, most of them looked sealed but an odd door or two were still open, clear evidence of power issues throughout the underground complex, either caused by the matter destabilization charges, and the low orbit bombardment that had been initiated by the Takyüddinn.
Fighters whisked into the air and scanning equipment swept the skies for the attackers but seemed to find nothing but static. The cloak was working perfectly.
The crew made their way through a locked door placing direction charges that cut a nice big hole in the barrier.
The Janisans inside were scattering towards the exits screaming in confusion. Then the intruder alarms went off.
They had advanced quite far through the facility courtesy of a good map layout provided by a deep cover spy, the Janesians had stayed off earth so far and no hostilities, say a few minor skirmishes had occurred here and there to peak the interest of the Janesians.
As the TDF troops advanced the Janesian security details that had been dispatched the squad was met with heavy fire. Charges flew through the air charring the walls on impact leaving holes and scorch-marks. It was only a matter of time before the troopers would take a direct hit, Jasperson charged ahead while directing his men to attempt to outflank the enemy, but the battle hardened Janesians of the Citadel Defense Force had his strategy worked out before he even had thought it up.
There was a huge explosion and several men died on the spot, their suited body-parts flying in all directions.
Jasperson stopped dead as a mutilated twitching limb landed in front of him. The Janesian gunner took aim, this was going to be easy pickings. His smug thinking was interrupted by a micro drone delivering an explosive attachment fastned itself on the Janesians neck and went off with a bang, disappearing the gunners head in a mist of bodily fluids.
The remaining Janesians were startled, where the hell had that come from. Jasperson lunged forward his weapon spewing fiery and angry explosive pellets at the entrenched security detail.
A swarm of micro drones finished off the rest of them.
Christiansen picked up one of the Janesian weapons slinging it on his back.
Jasperson wanted to interject, but stopped himself, spoils of war.
They advanced forward again, numbers more than halved, suddenly electrostatic charges were again zinging trough the air, the Janesian weapons were earily silent till impact, then doing great damage. Sgt Jaspersons left arm was shredded off by the elbow, sending him spinning onto the deck.
Caroline White, team medic, a small woman of color in her mid twenties opened up and returned fire.
She blasted three Janesian security guards before the rest of the TDF team even managed to let their weapons reply to the attack.
The remainder of the Janesian security detail fell silent and Caroline knelt down by the sergeants side.
His suit was attempting to seal itself and presure could be seen growing around the stump still covered by the suits protective skin.
Caroline had to be fast, she quickly grabbed a capsule from her utility belt and held it up to the gaping wound of the stump and pressed a button.
The seal on the container sprung open and a cuff like ring firmly closed around the sergeants arm all while the cover of the capsule quickly covered and thus plugged the hole in the environmental suit.
The device then clicked and released an expansion like foam powder, filled with what popularly was referred to as crushed shrimp.
The compound released caused instant “cauterization” and contained stem-cell infused growth-media.
It was imperative for the sergeant to get medical care fast if limb restoration or regrowth should be possible, but for now in any case the seal would plug the bleeding.
The sergeant rolled his eyes, luckily it seemed he had not lost too much blood “Hang in there sarge, you're going to be good” Caroline said firmly but in a reassuring manner.
She administered a slew of drugs through one of the suit ports in order to take the worst pain and help sergeant Jasperson overcome the trauma.
“Get on your feet sarge”, she ordered and helped him to his feet..
They moved on with the sergeant limping along, he had been hurt badly but with a little help he managed to keep up.
Ahead lay the Central Computational Facility, as they arrived at the door it opened, the team stopped dead. This was unexpected.
“Come in quickly it's safe”, a voice said in English, then continued “Dormant big-mouthed bears are most dangerous in winter”.
It was an agreed upon passphrase, “Don't shoot I am coming out”, the Janesian servant, a human in his early twenties said coming into view holding a crystal with an embedded device, in his hand
“They're edgy, quickly follow me”, the servant said beckoning the team to follow.
He handed the device towards the sergeant, Caroline grabbed it and stuffed it in her satchel.
They had arrived at the entry point and quickly scaled upward Caroline a bit slower due to the extra weight of the sergeant who needed assistance to ascend.
Barely a few meters from the edge after having climbed the wall the Janesian servant stopped in his tracks, a glowing bolt of energy passed through his chest, he fell to his knees there was no hope of recovery, an odd smile streaked across his face as he was liberated from the burden of life.
A repeated tzat tzat tzat of energy bolts tracked closer and closer towards the team as they ran.
Had it not been for a shuttle craft from the Takyüddin coming whizzing in out of nowhere the remaining three troopers would not have managed to enter the shuttle.
“Get us the fuck out of here Christiansen yelled as the co-pilot secured the hatch.
“Roger that”, the Captain replied and thrust the lever to full throttle.
The engines roared and Caroline had not more than managed to strap the sergeant and herself in when the shuttle craft streaked skyward, sharply followed by glowing anti aircraft fire all around it.
From the distance sleek Janesian fighters were moving in on the shuttle that veered from side to side to evade the charged bolts exploding around it. Suddenly the feeling of weightlessness set in.
Streaks of lightning and missiles flew from the incoming fighters locking onto the running shuttle-craft.
An invisible giant suddenly revealed itself, it was the Takyüddin putting itself in harms way. The big ship took a heavy pounding from the missiles intercepted but the shuttle craft survived and headed to the docking bay making a highly unregulated landing.
“Take us out of here”, Captain Dunbar ordered as soon as he had confirmation that the docking was complete.
Alarms wailed throughout the ship, “Prepare for bubble”, the loudspeakers announced.
Moments later the Warp Bubble formed and the Takyüddin disappeared in a flicker of electrostatic charged particles.
The Janesians quickly plotted their course based on exit vector and Seekers began their pursuit.
Commander Kryllic almost felt sorry for the Eartlings running off like scared younglings, but only almost. He smiled as he leaned back in the Command Chair of the Sarlacan ship and let his eyes take in the detail, a rowdy bunch those Sarlacans, the Seeker had not been easy to take… Good thing they were busy fighting the Councilors, once that fighting stopped the Janesians might find themselves an entertaining adversary for sure.
“Commander the Earth vessel is making additional course corections”, a sensor operations manager informed.
Commander Kryllic sighed, as expected. “Understoold, Drop a buoy in 3,2,1”
“Buoy away Commander, drone release in 5”, one of the Janesian operators reported.
Kryllic stroked his chin sending the most delightful tickles into his skull through his chinbones, in a few moments the buoy would break bubble in a flash and moments later a messenger drone would be separated from the buoy speed away from the marker instantly homing in on the Fast Attack Cruisers.
The buoy would most likely remain where dropped, as a back up marker in case the messenger drone failed.
“Separation confirmed Commander”, the operations officer reported.
“Very well”, Kryllic mused and continued stroking his chin, lets see if we can anticipate his next move the Commander thought to himself as he started punching in potential coordinates for the next course alteration the Takyüddin was bound to be making very soon if the projections were correct.
“I'm sorry captain, none of the evasive maneuvers have worked they're still with us and we can't try anything else or we'll be ending up stranded in the middle of nowhere like sitting ducks, the only thing we can do at this point is press on home, they keep gaining on us and I am not sure if the tub can take any further punishment while in bubble.
Captain Dunbar's fingers drummed impatiently on the instrument panel, those Janesian ships were on them like fleas on a dog, the Avian cloak being damaged beyond immediate repair was a karmic cockup of unheard dimensions, “So karma, what did I do to you, to make you this pissed?”, he mumbled through his teeth.
“Sorry Sir I didn't quite catch that”
“Nothing Mr. Christian, nothing, you are quite right, plot a direct course, and generators to the max, we're going red”
The First Officer turned to look at the Captain, he gave a slight nod, “Very well sir, maxing bubble generators, safeties off, going red”.
The ship creaked and screached, as if in pain as the bubble adjusted, then came an in warp course adjustment that only a madman would attempt.
Commander Kryllic stopped stroking his chin, now that was unexpected. Then he plotted a pursuit course taking the Seeker crew completely by surprise.
Only a few hours later the Takyüddin broke bubble - Highly energetic particles released a spectacle of luminous raw force frying or distorting any normal matter finding itself within a radius of a thousand kilometers from the ship.
Captain Dunbar did not like to break the bubble so close to Earth or Valhalla station, but he had no choice.
A voice thundered through on the com.
“Captain Dunbar are you compeletly insane, hove your ship by and cast the anchor, prepare to be boarded”.
At that very moment 10 Melajjin ships broke bubble, moments later a Seeker broke bubble and a split second later a contingent of Janesian Fast Attack Cruisers appeared as well with the Takyüddin laying smack in between the Janesians and the Melajjin.
Onboard Valhalla station alarms were blaring and the small fighter contingency crew were running towards their fighter craft.
Then an small EMP weapon fired from one of the smaller Melajjin ships hit the station central launch bay, jamming shut the doors. They were trapped.
He smiled, Commander Kryllic's task was complete, having served 10 rounds of service he saw no need to stay in order to witness this little spectacle that was about to ensue, he would leave that to men needing to grow their tusks a bit more. Kryllic's Seeker disappeared in a flash as fighters launched from the capitol ships on both sides.
The Janesian Commanders of the Fast Attack Cruisers were barking out their orders. The Melajjin ships were big but nothing too menacing, but first things first, The Takyüddin needed to be taken out, hopefully the communications array had been damaged in the previous engagement as the Takyüddin did not seem to be sending out any form of radio communication.
The Janesian fighters started shooting and as the shields began loosing coherence the Takyüddin looked like it was slowly being pulled apart by the incoming barrage.
A voice boomed through the vacum carried by electrostatics, “Valhalla station here, Janesian fighters stop firing on TDF ship, repeat stop firing at TDF ship, the Takyüddin, cease fire immediatly”
The Janesian fighters continued grinding away relentlessly and at the same time fighters released by one of the Melajjin fleet carriers in turn also began firing at both the Takyüddin and the Janesian fighters.
Suddenly a ship of immense proportions broke bubble, sending ripples through the very fabric of space, ripples so strong that gravitational measuring stations across earth went bananas.
A direct hit sent shockwaves through Takyüddin and an electrostatic blast took out half the bridge crew.
Captain Dunbar rubbed his forehead and lifted the first mate from his station where he sat slumped in over the controls.
“Don't let me down now old friend”, he said to the ship almost wanting to give a padding to the metal dashboard, as the thrusters came on full force swinging the Takyüddin towards the newly arrived Melajjin ship.
The newcomer had to be a Central Command Vessel of the Melajjin, if he was right there was still a chance they might live, but it would mean running the gauntlet, it was not like they had many other options now with 90% of the ship's systems incapacitated, they were lucky to have any control of thrusters as it was.
“Captain Dunbar stand down, let the Janesian ships deal with the Melajjin fleet”, the Valhalla station Commander said in another attempt to regain some inkling of control of the situation. Meanwhile his crews were frantically working to get the fighters launched by manually opening the huge landing deck doors of the station.
The bigger Melajjin ships began maneuvers to evade kinetic weapons fire from the Janesian side, all while launching a wave of such weapons towards their opponents.
The Takyüddin had managed to approach the Central Melajjin Carrier which pounded away on the ship with kinetic weapons, for some reason they were holding back on a more powerful approach and like a wounded animal with sirens wailing and air guzzling from the hull the Takyüddin plowed forward.
Suddely the kinetic assault stopped as the Takyüddin came close enough to begin docking maneuvers, Captain Dunbar's calculated risk seemed to have paid off, they had run the gauntlet and survived, the Melajjin would grant them permission to land as per rules of engagement.
One does not kill a non firing nearly incapacitated foe in the heat of battle if they are brave enough to run the gauntlet, Captain Dunbar reverse thrusting to avoid ramming, the Melajjin would likely have held their fire even if he had not reversed as the effect would have been little or negligible for a ship the size of the Takyüddin, keeping damage localized instead of spreading it out over a larger area seemed like the logical choice.
Moments later the Takyüddin had been moored and the ship was brought inside a giant hall.
Inside the Takyüddin a small crew had suited up in light breathers and goggles ready to go off ship. Unless they opened the airlock and debarked the Melajjin would board the ship.
Captain Dunbar himself took position in the airlock together with his small squad then he opened the outer hatch.
The Melajjin soldiers were nervous, none of them had seen an alien before, the human contingient stepping down the hatch felt equally uneasy.
Melajjin soldiers had surrounded the gangway, Captain Dunbar stepped forward raising his open palms to the Melajjin, the higest ranking officer of the Melajjin squad gestured towards a hallway.
Captain Dunbar took the lead and was followed by his squad who in turn were flanked by the Melajjin guard squad. Moments later they were inside a transport tube that led them to one of the Central Command bridge areas.
The silence on the bridge was erie as the party was led inside to face the Melajjin Ship's Commander, he was much taller than the rest of his crew and bore a chest armour that was translucent and gleaming with carved ornaments in metallic hue.
Captain Dunbar held out his open hand hand and spoke. Then slowly without making any quick movements gestured a PFC to move forward with a transport case.
The PFC opened up the transport case, Captain Dunbar picked up the crystal embedded cube, “This will prove how you were set up by the Janesian, as were we!”
The Melajjin officer held a hand up to his ear, then strode across the gap and picked up the data device, he looked at Captain Dunbar. The room was still completely silent.
The Melajjin fleet commander went to a data station and sat down, his fingers danced across a surface and screens flickered on as communication was opened to all commanders of the ships engaging the Janesians, the fleet began withdrawing back towards the Central Command Ship to which the Janesians had not yet put their concentration on.
Another officer also taller than the rest, but not as tall as the Commander came onto the bridge. He was pushing a floating workbench and headed toward his Commander.
The Commander who had taken the cube laid it to rest on top of the workbench that seemed to come alive. A piedestal seemed to grow out of the workbench lifting up the small crystal embedded cube.
Lights flickered around on the cube as something similar to a Janesian data reading device now seemed to be bonding with the cube lying on the piedestal of the floating desk. Captain Dunbar and his men were mesmerized, the fluid technology and the workbench was an indication of extreme technological development far beyond anything they had been aware about regarding the Melajjin.
The Fleet Commander looked over the data gently wobbling his head from side to side as it was safely extracted and displayed at imeasurable speed in the air in front of the Commander.
Then the lights flicked off and the piedestal sunk back into the workbench as if dissolving, the cube made a small clonk as is set down on the sleek polished surface of the workbench.
He then returned to face Dunbar, he still had doubts the data was convincing and the Melajjin were still tracking the Takyüddin energy trails back towards the Janesian Central World, a few skirmishes were in progress but they were getting closer now.
Meanwhile on the outside the Janesian ships were pounding away on the central ship that had placed itself in between Valhalla station and the Janesian Fast Attack Cruisers. The Melajjin fighters were inflicting heavy damage on the Janesian fighters that were pulling back towards their launchpads.
On the inside of the bridge the nerve racking and eerie silence still ensued, and suddenly Christiansen could'nt take it any longer, he unbagged a weapon he was carrying on his back and threw it on the floor - It was the Janesian Energy Bolt Rifle he had picked up earlier.
“This proof enough for you that we were there?”, the soldier said while being dotted down by multiple antsy Melajjin guards, who only held their fire back out of respect for the Fleet Commander who had given the word of safe passage to the aliens standing on the bridge.
One of the Melajjin officers picked up the Janesian weapon, it seemed as if there was a brief conversation between the Commander and several of the Melajjin officers it was incomprehensible to the humans and the first sound that had coma across their lips during the whole sceance.
An officer put the Janesian weapon on the workbench brought in earlier and tapped on some illuminated keys that appeared, suddenly the workbench glowed red turning into a bright white flash startling the humans.
The bridge was silent again. The officer picked up the gun from the workbench walked over to and faced PFC Christiansen.
The Melajjin officer thrust the weapon against the PFC's chest and let out a hissing sound while skewing his head slightly in respect.
PFC Christiansen grabbed onto the weapon with his hands, he was immediately dotted again with points of light. There was a gesture from the Fleet commander and the dots disappeared.
A face appeared on the screen, the officers and the rest of the personnel seemed to stand up a little more straight and the Melajjin Commander nodded.
The Fleet Commander looked at his fellow officers and nodded, then a siren whailed and told the humans on the bridge something big was happening.
The Melajjin Commander held a device up in front of his mouth, “Leave,go to your home” the artificial voice boomed out on the bridge.
“What ?”, Captain Dunbar answered dumbfunded.
“Leave now, go to your home”, the Fleet Commander repeated.
Captain Dunbar looked upon him, still not quite understanding what was going on.
“Do not enter Melajjin territory, I cannot guarantee your safety, many will remember what took place and doubt newer records, in time it will all be history and our people will understand it was not your kind who were to blame, but till then no humans are likely to survive very long in Melajjin territory, there are many deaths to be avenged, but we who are here understand and pardon you of all”.
“Now leave, go to your home, from what we can see your ship should be able to limp home given nobody attacks you, we recommend in the future you do not trust the Janesian, they have never been a species to trust”.
The Melajjin guards encircled the human contingent and they were escorted off the bridge without another word uttered.
The Central Command Ship reved up it's engines and headed straight for the Janesian fleet sending their Captains into a state of utter terror.
The result was impressive, energy bolts tore through the vacuum shredding the Janesian ships one by one, even though managing to take out a significant number of the Melajjin ships with last ditch moment of desperation attacks wielding weapons of unprecedented strength before the Janesian fleet was finally and completely decimated.
As the Takyüddin sailed away from the onslaught covered by a wing of Melajjin fighters mopping up a few straggling Janesian fighters a tear streaked down Captain Dunbar's cheek.
Captain Dunbar looked at First mate Fletcher who had been put back on his legs with a heavy dose of stims that would take him days to be weaned off from.
“Take us into moon orbit alongside Valhalla Mr. Fletcher, I think we're going to have one helluwa long debriefing”.
“Aye aye Captain”, Mr. Fletcher replied and began plotting in the course.
An asteroid collision in space has set off some spectacular fireworks in our night skies as rocky and metallic fragments are intersecting with earth orbit.
The debris is related to an event that has somehow been creating energies so high as to create gravitational waves mesurable here on Earth, Astronomers are unable to say if they can identify the type of objects that have collided producing this effect, but it is believed that a couple of Near-Earth objects (NEOs) who are in fact numbering in the range of 10.0000+ identified so far, might have collided with a miniature black hole setting off an unknown chain reaction, producing these mysterious waves.
With many NEO's still undetected and with sizes ranging from meters to multiple kilometers across, once in a while some of them are bound to produce some spectacluar fireworks for us to witness from Earth. Unfortunately at the time of the collision most of our high resolution telescopes were pointed towards other immensely interesting parts of space so no direct imagery has been recorded of the event, the amateur telescope images and claims of ships battling in our solar system have been completely and utterly dismissed by experts as compete hoaxes and the telescope that could have caught the event seems it was undergoing software upgrade servicing at the time so has no record of the event either.
Astronomers and Scientists are bound however to be looking further into the mystery of Christmas Night so that they can become better at predicting the significance of Near-Earth objects (NEOs) and the potential threat to our lives here on Earth and to ensure that we will have ample warning and be able to act should a serious collision with any NEO be near.To Be continued in Part Seven - Return of the QHiliin