Gender: Male Age: 53 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
My name is Charles Samuel Knight and I’m sixteen. My father started me on the life I have. He was an Archeologist and studied the thousands of derelict spacecraft in Grer system. My mom had been an Archeologist too, but had left us to teach at the college on Miros. There were only two thousand people in Grer, most were old and pretty much did the same thing as dad.
By the time I was ten, I knew everything about engineering from a dozens of different dead species. Since the planet was barely habitable everyone lived in biospheres in orbit. I had four girl friends the same age as me and we had made a pack when we were only six or seven. We swore that when we turned fourteen we would marry so that we would never have to part.
Anyway, when we were thirteen; Julie, Teri, Olivia, Jess and I sat down and used a computer to draw up plans for a large self contained biosphere. We had access to all the databases and knew of a thousand year old factory ship from the Silsi Empire. We were all checked and cleared for space work and that was the first place we went.
Using the collective knowledge of a dozen Archeologists we started making some repairs. It took us almost three months to bring it online. After that it was just a matter of bringing material to the ship. It took the factory robots and the production facilities another six months to build the biosphere to our specs in the ship graveyard where we were comfortable.
I guess you could say I was the Jack of all Trades. Jess was our protector, our gunslinger, our weapon specialist. Teri was the real engineer; she knew how everything ran and could fix it or build it in her sleep. Julie was our pilot and navigator, if we went anywhere, she flew or navigated and she could fly anything.
Olivia, well Olivia was the one we all protected. She had always wanted to be a doctor and had studied two dozen races medical practices and equipment. She was also the one that knew everything about hydroponics.
We got starter plants from everyone’s biospheres and even had several ships leave new plants or seeds. Jess was the youngest and the day she turned fourteen we announced our marriage and moved into the biosphere. Sure our parents were close by and still helped us a lot. They thought it was just a passing phase we would grow out of.
Almost from that first day we started planning to build a ship. Even though the system wasn’t a registered system of the Empire of Mariss, we were still semi citizens and the Empire had been at war for almost twenty years. We took ideas from several dead races and combined them.
From the three Phase Reactors to the engines from the Avian race Altre. Jess was the one to insist on the weapons and she took a month just to decide on which weapons to use and what we needed for defense. Instead of the human weapons like lasers or missiles, she wanted three systems from three different races.
The other thing was the Alien medical equipment Olivia wanted, equipment any doctor would kill for. But the most important thing was the matter transmission that Teri and I studied and finally cracked. It took us over six months to crack it and when we did the limits to what we could do went out the window.
We built a small device and programmed it to take matter from our plants or protein from the protein vats. It would mix or combine them into food. We had to make the dish first and then scan its atomic structure before the synthesizer could reproduce it. Olivia took it over as soon as it proved reliable. Next was a synthesizer for clothing or other inanimate objects. Last was a much larger version that Teri tied into a computer.
We carefully designed our ship from the frame out. It took another year of careful planning and checking before we put the plans into what we called our ship builder. With the use of a nearby hydrogen reactor, the range of the matter transmitter was over a light hour, which reached into a nearby asteroid belt.
We continually monitored its progress but I turned to smaller concerns, like Olivia’s medical equipment and her hydroponics section. Jess got Teri to take time to build another smaller transmitter and quickly drew up plans for an assault shuttle and sets of combat armor. Julie spent her time buried in star charts and ship ID files. It took six months to build the ship.
We called her Night Scream. She was five hundred and twenty meters long, one hundred and fifty wide and one hundred tall. Her hull was over a meter thick, made of a metal alloy so dense it had no comparison in the known galaxy. In addition, it had chameleon like properties that we had further enhanced. We had also incorporated a screen and shield technology that was advanced beyond anything created in the last two thousand years.
The weapons were sixty of what Jess called energy torpedo launchers or torp launchers and they reached out a full light minute at full strength. There were six energy lances that had a range of almost five light minutes. Last was Jess’s main weapon, it was another concept she devolved from the matter transmission device and the phase reactor. She called it a phase transmitter. It had a scan range of one light hour but Jess said optimum range was half that.
Olivia had a large sick bay with a dozen stasis tubes and eight regen tanks as well as every piece of technology she needed. She also had a state of the art hydroponics section. Julie had found an old AI on an ancient warship and had insisted we needed it. She had been the one to go through its code line by line to make sure it would be safe.
When she finally brought it online, we were a little surprised at the way it behaved, as if it were… human. It took about five minutes to learn our language when Julie fed it into the connecting stand alone computer.
Even though the reactors weren’t online, the ship did have power from a single hydrogen reactor and we moved the AI into Julie’s prepared core aboard the Night Scream. Almost from the start it had a feminine behavior and voice. Jess was the one to name her Allie.
Everything was ready except that the three Phase Reactors weren’t fully online. Teri was still trying to balance them and we all spent time trying to help her. We had just turned sixteen and what we had accomplished was nothing short of a miracle. That was when the Talis Empire showed us why our Empire was fighting them.
I got the alert late and then the system communications went down. Our passive scan showed a Talis Battlecruiser in orbit around the plant. I knew that everyone was on planet today to help with a major find in the southern hemisphere, even Jess, Teri, Julie and Olivia were there.
I watched as all the biospheres were destroyed and four combat shuttles launched towards the surface. My fists were clinched in anger and I finally growled to myself, “I have a combat suit and the shuttle.”
I was thinking that the weapons on board the shuttle could take out the ship if I hit it by surprise. I was moving before I finished thinking. In the shuttle bay I suited up and boarded the shuttle. I used my remote access in the suit and undocked the shuttle. I put everything online from my suit, “Allie?”
The quiet female voice whispered in my ear, “Yes my husband?”
That was something else Allie had started doing. Since the girls teased me all the time by calling me their husband, Allie had started doing it and the girls only encouraged it, “Link with the shuttle and back me up. When we land on the planet I want you to bring the shields back up and shift the ship to stealth after I get off.”
“Yes my husband.”
There was a pause, “Be careful.”
I smiled, “As careful as I can.”
It was almost fifteen minutes before I was ready and nodded to myself, “Time for payback!”
The shuttle was twenty meters long and had two smaller lances and ten energy torpedoes. They all fired at once and the Battlecruiser I had been watching shattered and a moment later its hydrogen reactor exploded. I accelerated under the debris and then I was screaming down into the atmosphere. I was almost at the landing site of the launches when three took off.
They had barely left the ground when I engaged them with the lances and five torps. They exploded as more torps ripped past them to shred the fourth shuttle. I was down a minute later and the side hatched opened. Allie’s quiet voice echoed as I started through, “I have control.”
I hit the ground and headed into the find itself. Before I had gone a dozen steps a plasma bloom engulfed my suit. Each suit had a micro phase reactor for power which was unheard of. It was where we had gotten the idea for the reactors on the ship though. The suit had a built in shield generator. Each sleeve had a mini energy torp and a small lance as well as a non lethal stunner and they also each carried a larger torp caltrop.
I ripped the three combat armor suits firing at me apart and continued on. Five more times I was fired on by plasma guns or rail projectiles. When I shattered the door for the site and stepped through I stopped. Three lightly armored men were firing light pulse guns as I stared at the body of my father and two of his friends. I tore two apart with the lance and the third hastily threw his weapon down, “I surrender!”
I was tempted to kill him anyway but I wanted answers. I turned on my exterior speaker, “Who sent you and why?”
He stammered his name and rank before shutting up. I gestured to the torn apart body that had been my father, “That is my father, I will only ask once more. Who and why?”
His face paled and he looked around for a way out. When he didn’t see any, he swallowed, “Marshal Thomas. He said you were working on some type of new chemical weapon.”
I checked my visor display and used a sonic stunner. I moved passed him into what I knew was the find. The sight of almost two thousand dead, torn apart by battle suits sickened me. I didn’t want to go any closer but I had to find my girls. I did find them and some times wish I hadn’t. Eventually I did find survivors, almost two hundred.
I used one of my suit lance’s to rip a huge hole in the ground and we buried everyone. After getting a statement the one man I had captured was put to death for mass murder. I let the survivors use my biosphere and went back to work on the phase reactors aboard Night Scream. I sat with the survivors in the evenings and showed them how to use the factory ship which distracted them as much as helped them.
It was another few weeks before I finally got the reactors online and balanced. The amount of shear power was amazing. I left for Miros quietly two weeks after that. I had thought about it after things had calmed down and had decided that I would find this Marshal Thomas.
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