Gender: Male Age: 53 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
I slipped out of the wormhole on the edge of the system and set course for the third planet. I switched on the com, “Fleet control, this is the starship Night Scream.”
I waited for the delay and watched as my active scans showed two battleships and four battlecruiser heading towards me. The comm came to life, “Night Scream, this is fleet control. State your allegiance and your home system.”
I smiled, “I am a citizen of Grer.”
There was another long pause and I saw my combat scan flash red. The warships had targeted my ship and I waited until the comm came back on, “Night Scream, state the nature of your ship.”
I snorted, “Fleet control, Night Scream is a warship.”
This time another voice came on, “Night Scream, this is the battleship Grendal. Come to a full stop and prepare for boarders.”
I looked straight at the display, “Grendal, this ship and its contents are classified eyes only. Do you have a flag officer that can meet me?”
There was a long pause while I brought the ship to a sudden stop that would be ringing bells, “Stand by Night Scream.”
Grendal came back on the comm a minute later, “A shuttle is on its way. You can speak to Admiral Peters when he boards.”
“Thank you Grendal.”
I looked at the glowing display that represented Allie, “Allie, light up the starboard docking hatch.”
Her display blinked, “Done my husband.”
I shook my head and headed towards the hatch. I knew when the shuttled docked, the whole ship shivered. The hatch cycled open and two armed men stood looking at me and started to step into the ship. I raised my hand, “You’re not an admiral and you’re not authorized to enter.”
They ignored me and kept moving only to freeze as my pistol stopped moving pointed at them. They didn’t even twitch as another man moved forward. He wore the uniform I recognized as an admiral, “Drawing a weapon on an imperial soldier is punishable by death.”
I smiled, “Entering a restricted eyes only area without permission or need to know is punishable by death.”
He looked at me and his lips twitched, “You have a point.”
I holstered my weapon and he nodded and gestured for the two men to step back, “I’m Admiral Peters.”
I held out my hand and he shook it, “Captain Charles Knight.”
He looked at me and I smiled, “Allie close the hatch after the admiral and monitor the shuttle.”
Allie’s quiet, “Yes my husband”, startled the admiral.
I shrugged, “Now I can show you to the galley and explain a little about why we are here.”
He nodded and I led the way while Allie closed the hatch. I used the synthesizer for two cups of coffee and sat across the table from the admiral. I took a sip while he did the same and cleared my throat, “first I am here because of what happened at home.”
The admiral didn’t even blink as he continued to look at me. I kept looking at him, “We had a Talis Battlecruiser destroy all the biospheres in orbit before launching assault shuttles to the planet. They killed seventeen hundred and ninety two unarmed civilians. I’m here to see if you know the location of a Marshal Thomas. I want to return him to Grer for questioning and trail.”
He shifted and finally sighed before pulling a small comm device out, “Grendal this is Admiral Peters.”
There was a short pause, “Is everything okay sir?”
He chuckled, “I’m fine. Patch me through to Admiral George.”
It was only a couple of minutes before… “What do you have out there Henry?”
The admiral kept looking at me, “A request for assistance in locating Marshal Thomas.”
There was a delay and then, “You know that’s classified.”
Admiral Peters gave me a small smile, “You know his location is always changing. Captain Knight is here trying to find Marshal Thomas on a matter related to a mass murder in Grer.”
There was another delay, this one longer. Finally, “Our last report was that he was en route to Petel, but you know he will only be there a few days.”
I stood up, “In that case I need to get going.”
Admiral Peters sighed, “Captain Knight, it is a seven day trip to Petel. I had him tell you to show that there was very little possibility of you catching Marshal Thomas.”
I only looked at him, “I can be in Petel in four and a half days.”
He looked at me in surprise and I gestured for him to follow me. I led him back towards the starboard hatch, “Allie, open the hatch for the admiral. Plot a least time course to Petel and have it ready for me on the bridge.”
“Yes my husband.”
The admiral was quiet as he stepped through the hatch and turned to look at me, “You aren’t going to have a chance. You do know that don’t you?”
I looked into his eyes, “They tore my father and my wives apart. I’ll either take him into custody or kill him.”
I hesitated, “My mother teaches at the royal college. Tell her dad is dead.”
I closed the hatch and turned to walk back to the bridge. I felt the shuttle separate before I reached it and slid into my seat. Allie had the nav display up, showing her route. I checked everything and hit the comm, “Fleet control this is Night Scream. Thank you for your help. We are leaving on a direct course for Petel. Please keep traffic clear of our route.”
I brought up the drive and pushed it to max. I knew fleet control and every fleet ship was going to have bells and alarms going off since we were moving faster then any known vehicle could. We reached the heliopause minutes later and I opened the wormhole projectors and switched to jump drives. I sat back with a sigh, “Watch the systems Allie. I’m headed to the shuttle bay to check out my combat suit and the shuttle.”
There was a pause, “Are you sure this is a good idea Charles?”
I smiled as I slid out of my chair, “Probably not. We will find him and bring him back if possible.”
The next four days were spent in quiet talk as I checked and prepped my combat suit and the assault shuttle. We came out of the wormhole on the edge of the heliopause. I switched on the stealth systems and headed in system at max. My passive scans had picked up six battleships, eight Battlecruisers, six heavy and six light cruisers and twelve destroyers, “Allie, look for fixed positions.”
“Yes my husband.”
It only took three hours to reach the fourth planet. I had pre plotted firing sequences for both fixed sites and any ship within range of our weapons. I made sure the battle screen was up along with the shield and shut down the stealth systems. I hit the comm, “Petel control, this is Night Scream. I am in high orbit and would like to speak with Marshal Thomas.”
There was a long silence before, “Enemy ship this is Talis fleet control, surrender now or we will destroy your ship.”
I only smiled, “Turn over Marshal Thomas and I won’t destroy your fleet.”
All the ship alarms went off as they started targeting the ship. I glanced at the display and hit the fire button. Sixty energy torps fired as one as well as all six lances. While they started firing on my preplanned targets, I used the phase transmitter and destroyed all six battleships that were heading towards me.
Two minutes later the alarms were silent as all the close targets were destroyed. I put Night Scream back in stealth, “Monitor the comm traffic Allie. Let me know if you hear Marshal Thomas.”
It was a couple of hours before Allie told me she had the Marshal. There were several ships in range of my weapons and I fired. I watched as they exploded or shattered and slid out of my seat and headed for the shuttle bay, “Stay in stealth mode and monitor me from orbit.”
I suited up and made my way aboard the shuttle, “Remote access the shuttle and back me up Allie. Put the Marshal’s location on my display.”
I brought up my own remote access in my suit and undocked. I dropped away unpowered and then brought the shuttle to life. I took it to full power as I brought up the shields. Dropping into the atmosphere, Allie started adding sites that were highlighted in red. Meaning they were active weapon sites.
I brought the shuttle weapons online and started taking out sites, including a dispatch ship at the space port. After my third pass, I dropped to what looked like a small park. I moved to the hatch as the shuttle settled to the ground, “Take the shuttle into stealth and keep me up on any military moving in this area”
I dropped out of the hatch and started moving towards the green dot that was Marshal Thomas. Allie came on five minutes later, “My husband, I have a bio lock on the Marshal. I’m sending it to your suit now.”
It was barely a minute later that I hit resistance. I didn’t hesitate and used my suit torp caltrop. It was a blur after that as I shattered every piece of armor that tried to engage me. I had landed two kilometers from where Allie had the Marshal located and it seemed to take forever to cover the distance. I shattered the front of the bunker as I walked towards it and let the caltrop drop to the rest position.
I walked through the smoking ruin and used my suit lance to open a thick armored door. There were a dozen combat suits firing at me as I walked through. By the time I finished taking them out, my shield was glowing even though it was only down ten percent, “My husband, I have multiple shuttle launches heading towards you.”
I used a lance to open the next armored door, “Thank you Allie.”
As I stepped into the next room several things hit me. First, everyone except three people was wearing unpowered body armor. Second, the three people not in armor had weapons held against them. Third, there was no other way out except through the door I was standing in. A richly dressed man stepped out, “Surrender or we kill them.”
I didn’t even hesitate, I brought up my stunner and shot all three unarmed people. As they dropped to the floor a stunned silence sweep the room. I pointed one of my lances at the man standing there with his mouth open, “Marshal Thomas I am detaining you for mass murder.”
Several of the men fired their weapons and I swept the room with torp’s. I shot the Marshal with my stunner and moved to pick him up by the back of his armor. I turned and started walking back the way I had come, “Allie? Where are the shuttles now?”
“Just reentering atmosphere now. ETA, ten minutes.”
I kept walking, dragging the Marshal behind me as I left the building and brought my caltrop up with one hand. Do you have anything on the ground?”
I was halfway back to the shuttle when the assault shuttles swept over me. I had to smile as I realized they were landing further away. I approached the park, “Allie, sync the battle screen with my suit shield and bring the shuttle out of stealth.”
There was a shimmer and then the shuttle was suddenly right before me. The hatch opened and I went through tossing the unconscious Marshal into the tangle field I had prepared. I strapped in and put the shuttle back into stealth. I lifted and turned in one smooth move and then accelerated towards the upper atmosphere. Allie brought up a ghost display and guided me toward Night Scream.
A grav tractor reached out to grab us and suddenly we were slipping through the stealth field of Night Scream. I had seen over a dozen ships in near orbit before the bay doors closed. It was only moments before the bay pressure was synced and the hatch opened. I quickly stripped out of my armor and then shut the tangle field down.
I grabbed the groggy form of the Marshal and stripped him out of his armor and pulled him after me as I headed towards the sick bay. In the sick bay I stripped him and pushed him into the nearest stasis tube. I made my way to the bridge and slid into my chair, “Plot a course for Grer Allie.”
“Yes my husband.”
I checked the scans to see all the ships running active scans. I quickly set up a fire plan and as I turned the ship towards the outer system, I fired everything. All the remaining ships in Petel exploded or just shattered as I started accelerating at full speed. Allie cleared her throat, “Check your display for the new course.”
I glanced down and smiled as I realized I was heading out on the wrong vector, “Thank you my wife.”
Allie was quiet for a long time and then almost whispered, “Your welcome Charles.”
We hit the heliopause and opened a wormhole out. I didn’t see the small scout ship that came alive after the wormhole closed behind me. It sped into deep space and then another wormhole opened and it to was gone. I was tempted to drag Marshal Thomas out and question him but waited.
It took six and a half days to get to Grer. By the time I opened the hatch on the shuttle that brought us down to the surface the Marshal was begging and pleading for me to turn him over to the Mariss fleet. All the survivors were waiting as I pushed him to the edge of the mass grave. I let them question him under a truth scanner and when they were done he was shot in the head.
They pulled him away from the grave and dropped him in a hole to rot. I guess that was when it really hit me that my girls… my best friends and companions, were really gone. I retreated to Night Scream and had Allie put her into stealth.
I didn’t want to talk to anyone and only came out of my retreat when a squadron of cruisers crossed the heliopause. It took a minute to realize they were Mariss and I went back to brooding. The cruisers were in system for a week before they headed out and Allie got a call.
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