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The Voyages of the Penelope and the Yydryl

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posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 03:30 AM

Luder stared at the old man as he seemed to get ready to break down.

"Sir, the actions your son took saved the lives of this entire crew and the ship we're in. If not for him, I fully believe we would all be floating particles near the gravity well of an unknown planet lightyears from here. His actions led to the overall destruction of several NI battleships and allowed us to effect repairs on our own ship and escape. I was consulting with my Chief Medical officer and she says there is hope we could find a way to remove him from that chair, but please believe when I say that we will do our very best to ensure he is safe for the remainder of this ship's voyage." Luder was getting ready to say more when he noticed movement out of the corner of his right eye.

"Sir, Mr. Toodles reporting for duty as Chief Science Officer."

Luder stared at the man and nodded, not really hearing much of what he was saying.

"Welcome aboard, relieve Vargas at the primary science station and do what you can to aid in the rescue operations." Luder turned back to Seeker's father and noticed he had moved away, looking at the weapons consoles and the chair Asher was jacked into.

Luder started over to him and was about to say something when a din filled the air from the primary corridor leading into the command center.

"----area is off-limits until further notice!!! Ma'am, you CANNOT come.... Hey!!" Luder saw what appeared to be a marine getting shoved out of the way and finally, Mary Brandom entered the Command Center. Luder uttered a rather choice epithet and clenched his fist.

"Captain M.F. Luder. I should have known I'd find you on the bridge of THIS ship."

"Vice President Brandom, welcome aboard the USS Penelope. If you would please return to the guest quarters, we have a lot of work to do and cannot afford..."

"I'll do no such thing, Captain. As a matter of fact, I am hereby relieving you of command of this ship and taking her myself."

A silence filled the bridge to rival the one of a few moments ago and every human on the bridge turned to look at the two.

Luder's mind was a funny place to be most of the time. He was a keen observer of the human race and how they responded to certain situations. Most of the time, he would imagine insane scenarios playing out during random times of the day and smile to himself, getting a cheap laugh at another person. This time, he was wondering how many ways you could kill someone with nothing but your bare hands and a communicator.



"With all due respect, ma'am , this ship is a combat vessel in the middle of what up until four hours ago was a combat zone. Civilian leadership is not allowed to commandeer said vessels during said operations under the tenants of UEF Law." Luder said, icily.

"Blast the law. The Earth was just destroyed, if you weren't paying attention to anything going on outside those windows there. Destroyed. We're all that's left of the human race!"

"Ma'am, we have hundreds of colonies and postings throughout UEF space. We are hardly the last humans alive."

"We have to do something! You can't just sit here in the debris and wait!"

"Ma'am, we are working to collect survivors and useable parts. This ship is nowhere near ready enough to go rushing headlong into a fight. We need to regroup and get our bearings." Luder pushed a blue toggle on his communicator, alerting the sickbay to a medical emergency.

"I - I - can't believe what I'm hearing. This is treason! You have the best experimental ship in the fleet, you can't just do nothing! I won't allow this."

"Ma'am, our sister ship was tossed aside by those things like so much rubbish. I have a responsibility to the UEF, but my first priority is the people on this vessel. I will not put them into unnecessary danger so we can all go on a revenge trip."

Behind the Vice President, the CMO and two of her nurses walked into the command center, carrying their kits with them.

"Captain, please state the nature of the medical emergency."

Everyone looked at the CMO.

"Commander, the Vice President needs a little something to help her relax. Can you please see her back to her quarters?" The medical staff complied and moved forward a bit.

Mary spun around and pointed at them.

"You keep your hands off of me. This ship will not move an inch without my express orders, I don't care what happens. Do you hear me, Luder? Do you hear me?" She then spun and marched out of the command center.

Luder looked around the command center.

"Get back to work." He headed over to the command station and sat down, looking at the incoming reports.

According to the fighter elements operating near the Penelope, all salvageable debris had been collected, which brought the ammo up to nearly 60%, the water supplies up to 50%, the food stores up to 50%, the spare CO2 and Fuel supplies up to 90% and a litany of other useful parts were brought on board.

All escape pods transmitting a beacon were recovered and their occupants brought on board.

It was time to leave.

All hands, this is the Captain. Prepare for immediate departure. All departments please check in with personnel status reports.

posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 01:33 PM

‘Gwark! But my fist hurt!’ was the first rational thought that crossed my mind after the fog of rage cleared, and after I’d punched the singing raider as he waltzed back out of Ship’s torn bleeding wall.

"Why was Chumley holding me back?', was me second though, but I figured on this one the guard was right.

‘Chumley, you can let go now,’ I commanded the guard but Chumley didn’t release me until Deson gave him the nod.

Glaring at the Armor I hoped he understood the murder in my eye wasn’t for him, but the Penelope crew member. The U-Man’s habit of boarding Ship unannounced, knifing her in the process, repeatedly no less, boiled my blood.

‘Sorry Sir’ I shot at Deson my look of pleading must have been enough, he nodded to Chumley who released me from his tentacles leaving behind a slimy goo the guard tried to wipe away until I waved off his help.

‘Thank you Deson Sir,‘ I grumbled nursing my hand next to my chest and stepped back to listen to Deson speaking with the U-Man.

Half way through Deson’s instructions to the U-Man it dawned on me he knew something about the present situation I did not - which explained his fabrication of the possible ‘hundreds of angry crew’ aboard.
We all knew there was only a handful of live crew on the Yydryl and her working droids but if Deson wanted this U-Man to think we were ‘hundreds’ I wouldn’t be the one to let on the only live crew was assembled right here, minus one in the brig.

Whatever reason Deson had for passing on this misinformation I’d play along - but I though it was important to remind him of the debacle this U-man caused in the brig the first time he was aboard Ship.

‘Deson. With all due respect , the last time we left this one in a holding cell he and the other U-mans with him almost burned to death.’ I glanced back to the U-Man reminding myself how deceptive his looks were and rubbed my hand again.

‘What do you suggest then Silo?’ Deson asked still wary his ears continuing to swivel from the U-Man to the place where he’d emerged and back again.

‘Logically we should incarcerate him and contact the Penelope, I mean we all read the UEF Alert, this U-Man is wanted and considered armed and dangerous.‘ Holding up my good hand to stop the U-Man from trying to interrupt I continued.

‘But Deson, when Ship told me to pass on the alert information to you and Chumley she didn’t seem worried about this man Studious, that is your name isn’t it?‘ I pointed at the U-Man who nodded a positive response.

‘Anyway, Ship didn’t seem too concerned about him, in fact she wondered at his side of the story, almost as if she’d welcome him aboard.‘ Turning to Deson I finished. “It was strange Sir, Ship even went so far as to tell me not to be too concerned, like, she had faith in him.‘ I pointed at Studious with my throbbing hand and gave a snort of disbelief.

‘Correct Silo, and my opinion has not changed, I still do have faith in this man...’ Ship interrupted quietly causing us all to jump.

‘Ship!’ I cried, knowing I let the emotion roll through my voice but by the Creator was glad to hear her.

‘If I may be so bold...’ The U-Man Studious broke in, his eyes glanced at the hole he emerged from, to Chumley and back again before he continued.

Chumley lifted his weapon and took aim again on Studious giving a low growl, without words warning the U-Man to speak his mind, but not to make any sudden moves.

[edit on 6-8-2009 by silo13]

posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 08:42 PM

Studious was shocked to hear Ship speak and especially shocked to hear she had faith in him. When he’d finally composed himself he said.

"If I may be so bold....I've something to say about that UEF order. It doesn't quite tell the entire story."

He continued “But more importantly….My goodness a sentient ship! No wonder you’re all so upset, why I’ve just knifed one of your friends.” He realized what he’d just done and reached for his head. “Oh God forgive me.”

Studious wondered how many other ships, how many other species had seen that order to arrest him. The thought was startling.

The old man rubbed the bridge of his nose.

“I have a copy of the data tapes in the pod I landed with. They should exonerate me or at least mitigate the charges levied against me.”

They still looked like they were going to arrest him. A look he’d seen all too much of recently. And something that didn’t end well for the team last time on this ship… on Ship.

“If I may be so bold again…..we outnumber you.” He then thought to himself “Well, at least in this corridor.”

Studious figured that since the alien had said he had good hearing that he would know this. But hopefully he would not know that they had only one gun.

"Now I'm terribly sorry about hurting your friend. I hadn't realized this ship was sentient."

"But you see I've had some experience on a ship where everyone is trying to kill me. And I found that the best way to handle the situation is to leave, before anyone gets hurt."

Studious wipes his slightly bloody nose.

“Now if you’ll be so kind as to point me to the nearest exit, we shall our leave of Ship.”

They looked at him like he was crazy. Then he remembered what Delia had told him.

“Be welcome Studious.”

He looked around at the three aliens in front of him and asked.

“Could I speak to that Delia woman again? She was here just a few minutes ago, she told me I was welcome here.”

They looked at each other like they had never heard the name before.

“Oh come on don’t give me that look. She said something about ‘my crew’ surely you must have heard of her. She’s probably the Captain or something right?”

He continued almost lightly laughing.

“You know, It seems that Ship and this Delia woman have something planned for me…” His eyes grew wide and terrifying thoughts of duplicates ran through his mind.

[edit on 6-8-2009 by Studious]

posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 06:43 PM

"Delia? I'm not familiar with her. Female I presume from the name but I could be wrong. Ship I'm familiar with, but not Delia. No Delia is not our ship's captain. To be honest...."
Deson paused for a second thinking.

Honesty works both ways in this.

"Our Captain is at present .... how shall I put this.... missing? Are you certain that you haven't taken any sort of cranial trauma recently?"

Deson tilted his armor plated muzzle at Studious.

"We have good medical facilities if you need them but I digress."

Temporarly dismissing the question of Delia for the time being to be figured out later on Deson continued speaking.

"Right now we need to defuse this situation and go to a place where we can discuss things and we can view your tapes. You want to talk and so do we. Running won't help your case. Here is what we'll need to do. You and your friends have (albeit unwittingly) caused damage. Prudence would indicate that all of you be locked up but that won't get us anywhere in solving what's going on and won't allow you to prove yourself. I propose a compromise. As senior officer here, I will take full responsibility for what will happen here, and to your companions. What I ask of you right now is to trust me."

"Here is the plan. Have your companions come out. Have them disarm themselves. Remember I have placed a vow on their safety and yours. I will pick one. If you don't have any justifiable reason for otherwise, that person will be escorted by Chumley and two others guards under his eyes to a safe holding area. That person will be taken care of, fed, given drink, protected, and if need be medical care can be offered. You are not the first of your species that we have encountered. After that person is placed in safe care, you, me, Silo, and the remainder of you will go to your pod for two reasons. One to assess the damage that you pod did and Two, to allow playback of your tapes as you explain things and give your part of the story. You seem to be their commander and I call upon any honor that you may have as an officer and a leader of your men. Ship speaks for you and that counts a lot. Please have your men come out and this can be worked out."

Deson gazed into studious's eyes watching for his reaction. Seeing Studious's nod Deson let out the breath that he's been holding.

Mutual trust and Honor have been established. I haven't dealt all that much with Humans outside of the Empire but this one seems honorable and we seem to have reached an understanding. Good.

Studious turned and barked a command towards the room and shortly the others filed out. Nervous, yes, but disciplined they obeyed Studious.

"That one." Deson said pointing his muzzle towards Nathan. Looking at Studious, Deson said "Do you agree?" At Studious's nod, Deson quickly repeated to Chumely the very particular instructions concerning how Nathan was to be treated.

"Standby Chumley for a minute."

While Deson could have subvocalised this next part he decided to speak out loud so the others would know what to expect.

Speaking into his head mounted comm unit Deson spoke.

"Deson to Security. I need two guards for escort duty to accompany Chumely and one respected guest from sector 12 Aldar, subarea 6Gosstar, to holding area 3 Tetra. Non-aggressive posture. Light arms only. Chumely has been given specific instructions on the care of this person. The guards will be under his command. The person escorted is to be treated carefully and with respect but is not to be allowed to leave the holding area without my personal say so."

Shortly thereafter a pair of guards arrived armed with pistols.

"Chumely, you may now escort Nathan to the holding area. Take care of him and if there are problems contact me."

Puffed up with a bit of pride Chumely walked almost with a stride as he and the other guards escorted Nathan away.

Looking at Studious, Deson said "He will be taken care of carefully. I have given my word."

Looking around and in a much more calm voice Deson said.

"All right. Off to your pod where we will view the tapes since you have the playback equipment and to discuss things like reasonable beings. We'll walk from here. That will give you time to explain some things as we go there. This way gentlemen."

Including the future of you, your companions, and possibly our futures as well.

[edit on 7-8-2009 by Deson]

posted on Aug, 8 2009 @ 05:10 AM

The old Colonel led the group over to the small pod. He quickly turned off the scans which showed the soil was from the Earth and turned on the data tapes. Beginning with the recordings recovered from the NI dropship.

The screen showed Studious and the duplicates of NI-7 boarding the small ship.

Ackerman: “Is that us?”

Studious: “Well not exactl…”

Evans: “Hey look guys I’m on TV!”

Monroe: “My goodness that’s incredible. Why they look just like us. Duplicates or clones I presume.”

Then the ship could be seen traveling on autopilot and Seeker boarded.

Ackerman said with some satisfaction in his voice “So "we" did accomplish our mission.”

Evans: “I knew we’d never leave our people behind!”

Monroe: “Wait he’s turning gray isn’t he!”

The Zone Killer appeared on the screen and the graying Seeker could be seen killing "NI-7." Studious could be seen flipping out and begins yelling at Seeker.

Evans wiped a tear from his eye and through more tears said. “I didn’t know you cared man.”

Monroe: “Why this is amazing we’re actually watching what it would look like to see ourselves die. Isn’t that awesome!”

Ackerman almost started to twitch like Nathan after hearing what Monroe had just said.

Studious and Seeker could be seen blown out into space and Seeker took the Colonel back inside in an amazing series of movements.

Evans: “Why did he save you?”

Studious didn’t have an answer.

So he began to play the recording of the conversation Seeker recorded in the dropship and the subsequent conversations between Badger, Neno and the Captain.

Next he played a video recording of the meeting of the senior staff. When the Colonel was brought in, he kept yelling at the Captain to investigate what had happened. Telling him to look over the chief engineer’s scans of the alien ship. Studious claimed these scans would prove that the mind control which had destroyed the Nimitz had come from that ship.

He was worried about showing the scans to the aliens but was confused when they appeared shocked at the accusation they used mind control.

As the former Colonel was being removed Horkos gave Seeker an order to relieve the Captain. Soon after Horkos began to yell in agony as Seeker tortured him. Drool ran from the corner of his mouth when the enhancer stopped.

Studious switched to security camera footage of him blowing out the power on one deck and the screen went black.

He then played them audio recordings of the bridge crew. The conversations showed that the ship had begun to plummet toward a nearby planet. Studious admitted that this was probably entirely his fault.

When cameras came back on and the Colonel could be seen lying on the ground by the same power panel. He explained that he had returned to turn the power back on which helped Chief Enginner Slayer save the ship.

Next he showed the Penelope's sensor recordings which displayed the arrival of three NI ships. The old man played the viewscreen recordings and the threat that was given to the Penelope by Charon. Either they would surrender the Captain and Seeker to them or they would destroy the ship.

After seeing Charon Evans said: “Hey, I know him!”

Ackerman gave Evans a nudge and told him to “Shut up.”

The tapes didn’t record everything but something happened to one of the enemy ships. The moment a large explosion rocked the flagship the Penelope opened fire and the damaged NI ships returned fire.

When the last NI functioning ship was crippled by Badger’s fighter wings it began to release escape pods. Suddenly the Penelope fired and the pod’s were destroyed. Bridge recordings showed the Captain was distraught but he did nothing to punish Seeker.

Ackerman: “We’ve got to inform NI about this.”

Studious: “Look I didn’t want to tell you this before because I thought it would distract all of you from trying to escape. But since that doesn’t seem to be an option anymore I might as well tell you…..The Earth has been destroyed.”

Ackerman: “What?”

Evans: “Into itty bitty pieces?”

Studious: “No, the surface was decimated by nuclear weapons.”

Ackerman: “And the fleet?”

Studious: “When we got there all we saw were destroyed ships and the Penelope. I hope the rest of the fleet fared better.”

Monroe: “Who did this?”

Studious: “The Ophiuchus Consortium.”

Ackerman and Evans looked at each other and then looked at the aliens. “Sir, there’s something you need to know."

[edit on 8-8-2009 by Studious]

posted on Aug, 8 2009 @ 01:55 PM

Slayer, Badger. I am hereby authorizing you and your crews to effect salvage operations. We need to resupply our water, CO2 and food, and I am sure we could use a lot of spare parts. Do what you can, but remember we are working against the clock here. I would like to have everyone on board if those ships show up again. Luder out.

It had taken longer than first anticipated but at last it was done...

Standing outside of the Marine HQ the Chief checked the manifest. He and his teams had went over the wrecked hulks with a fine toothed comb searching for survivors as well as spare parts and any and all usable materials. Everything looked good they had either repaired or replaced what had been damaged. The hull repair with the Nano bots went off without a hitch.

They had replenished ammo and repaired all the weapons and had gained a few new ones that were in the other ships inventories. The Chief and his repair teams then set about complimenting the Penelope's arsenal. He had a few favorites in the new line up. He worked on an updated list that he was going to present to the Captain later that day.

The comm crackled.

All hands, this is the Captain. Prepare for immediate departure. All departments please check in with personnel status reports.

The Chief walked over to the wall unit and thumbed the Comm.

Aye Captain this is the Chief, I was just finishing my new updated report. I think you will be pleased with our results. We are ready to get underway whenever you are Sir.

Looking up he finished with

Oh and Captain we now have a few new surprises and toys for any uninvited guests out.

The Chief made his way back down to Engineering. The walk there was pleasant. Everything was ship shape and functioning at 100%. The task that was set before the Chief looked impossible but thanks to well organized command and control procedures and a lot of blood, sweat and tears he and his teams over came that impossibility!

He sat at his station looked over at Ensign Horn and gave the word to bring the new improved engines online and to set flight procedures in motion.

[edit on 8-8-2009 by SLAYER69]

posted on Aug, 9 2009 @ 09:48 AM

Ackerman and Evans looked at each other and then looked at the aliens. “Sir, there’s something you need to know."

‘Excuse me Sir, but before you go on, Deson, may I have a word with you Sir?’ All heads turned to look in my direction and talk abruptly ceased between the U-Mans.

‘In private Sir?‘ I motioned Deson away from the others where they’d all been viewing the tapes brought by Studious to be played on his small escape pods system.

Ackerman and Evans were not at all pleased to be interrupted, but held their tongues for the moment, Studious on the other hand looked nonplussed.

Taking a step away from the U-Mans Deson followed me and dropped his head for privacy.

‘What? Deson said a bit on edge, his ears swiveled independently, one to keep tabs on the U-Mans, the other to listen to what I had to say.

‘Sir, if you’ve seen enough to reassure yourself we’re secure in giving these U-Mans the freedom of Ship then may I suggest we end this viewing for now, we‘ve got too many things to consider here Sir.’ I sighed at the added frustration the U-Mans brought to the already difficult situation aboard the Yydryl.

Deson nodded for me to continue, the U-Mans just stood there looking at us with mixed reactions signed across their faces as they whispered amongst themselves.

‘Sir, Chumley has not returned for the viewing, CindyMars has yet to be contacted and brought back from her sojourn and they both need to be here for this review.‘

Deson nodded in agreement and encouragement for me to continue.

‘Beyond that the blood found on the floor of the Recovery Bay has been verified as Antar’s...,’ I gave an involuntary shudder remembering Chumley’s analysis ‘process, ‘And if that’s not bad enough Antar is still missing and Whisper’s disappearance has yet to be solved and we‘ve got an Ensign in the bridge who‘s corrupted with, with, I don‘t know what yet!’

Watching Deson closely I could see the weight of the situation begin to dawn on the Armor who’s face turned graver by the moment.
For all I knew this was the first he was hearing of the two officers mysterious absence from Ship and the corruption and confinement of Ensign Swarg. The Armor’s job until a few days ago had not included this scope of involvement in Ships duties. Now, due to the U-Man’s Deson’s job would widen to encompass Ship’s recent crises as well as his own day to day tasks.

‘Deson, Sir, this new situation is nothing if not extremely complicated and I don’t feel we can do the subject of these tapes justice crowded around a tiny screen I can’t even see.‘ I ended on a bit of a whine but with all the huge U-Mans bunched around watching their own death throws I couldn’t even get an antenna between them to see what was happening.

‘Also Sir, ’ I rushed on, ‘Who can vouch for the authenticity of those tapes? For all we know they’re manufactured.’ I hissed out the last word giving Deson a wide eyed look of feigned astonishment.

‘Really Sir, we need to sit and view them on a Shipboard communications media station where the tapes will be thoroughly scanned for any manipulation or corruption. But I suggest we do this after CindyMars has returned, Chumley is free to conduct the analysis of the tapes and after we get the U-Mans settled. The old one for example must’a taken a hit to the head - look at him - he’s singing and going on about a women no one’s ever even heard of!‘ I threw my hands in the air.

‘What about the one with the tic, the one who’s always twitching we sent to the brig?’ Deson asked solicitously.

‘He’s been that way since he came on board the first time Sir.’ I replied then went right back to where I left off.

‘Back to the U-Mans Sir, we’ve yet to be given an explanation for how in the hell those other U-Mans got here or where have they been hiding. For all we know maybe it was one of them that are responsible for Antar and Whisper’s disappearance! I mean maybe I missed something on the tapes, (like everything I thought) but, all those big U-Mans didn’t come here in ‘that‘!‘ I made a thumb motion over my shoulder indicating the tiny escape pod.

Hands on my hips and head cocked to one side I glared at the U-Mans with my antenna, my eyes on Deson waiting for his answer.

Before Deson could reply my Ship’s pendant began to hum at my chest indicating Ship wanted to talk to us privately.
Taking another few steps away from the U-Mans who were so involved in their own conversation they didn't notice, Deson and I listened as Ship began.

‘Deson, Silo, we’ve no reason to connect these men with the disappearance of Whisper and Antar, so rest easy on that count.‘ Ship’s information relaxed some of the tension built up in my shoulders and I gave a sigh as she continued.

‘Silo, contact CindyMars and tell her she’s needed here immediately. Until CindyMars returns you’ll have to get these U-Mans settled. Send for a housekeeping droid to secure rooms for the Officer and a bunk room to share between his men. Make sure Chumley is brought up to date on the decision to allow these U-Mans freedom to roam the Ship before he takes issue with them. And for the moment leave Swarg confined in a cell but if he upsets the U-Man, Nathan may be released.’

That Ship would release a good will hostage took me by surprised but I kept my own counsel, Ship knew better than I what she was up to.

‘Deson, please seal off all mechanical entrances to the fighter bays, cargo bays, the transport vehicles etc. Take precaution and set security measures at highest alert. No one other than the Yydryl officers will be able to enter said restricted areas. You’ll be responsible for arming and stationing guardian droids at all entrances to assure there are no U-man ‘escapes’ this time. Direct the g-droids to fire on any non officer who tries to enter within bounds of a designated restricted areas, fire on stun. Outside the fighter bays the g-droids are to fire to kill, no questions asked.‘

I let out a little gasp but quickly pulled myself together after a threatening glare from Deson.

‘With the changes implemented in my system after the U-Mans last raid the U-Mans will no longer be able to cut or burn their way in or out of these areas. If they try they will find out to their own detriment.‘ Ship gave a dry chuckle that made my skin crawl.

‘Our vulnerability, as we’ve just found out, but only for the moment, is here in my Center. Get these U-Mans moved out of here quickly as possible and this area will be off limits to any U-Man from this moment on. I’ll set my own personal security droids outside all entrances to the Center and their orders will also be shoot to kill. For all sake and purposes, these U-Mans are now prisoners of Ship.’

‘Deson, in summation I would appreciate it if you would take command of this U-Man crisis and inform their leader of our decisions and the precautionary measures we’ve taken.‘ Ship didn’t wait for Deson to answer.

‘Silo, you attend me, and CindyMars, also direct Chumley in readying the viewing the tapes. He’s a master when it comes to this kind of thing.’ Ship finished succinctly.

‘On a final note, Studious must give up his tapes before he leaves the Center. You can assure him they will be returned to him unaltered, but, keeping these tapes as ‘security’ will be a greater deterrent to his taking any action against Ship directly or indirectly. You can also inform him any harm comes to Ship or my crew, the tapes will be destroyed, no second chances. I’ve had enough of these U-Man’s and their little games.’ Ship grumbled like someone rubbing a sore.

‘Now, we can only hope Studious will relinquish these tapes willingly, or Deson, you’ll get a chance to use that Vinny you’re so proud of.‘ Ship chuckled again increasing my unease, the hairs on my neck rising at the sound.

‘Oh and Deson, in the case Studious does not want to give up the tapes willingly, exterminate his crew. All of them. If that does not convince him to relinquish the tapes, shoot him.’

Her orders complete Ship waited for questions.

[edit on 9-8-2009 by silo13]

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 09:54 AM

The Captain had ordered all personnel back to the ship for departure. The wing had moved all empty pods away from the Penelope and all of the refugees were on board. Wally stood at the ready line in bay two and watched as the isolation wall retracted from around launch position one. As the bulkhead came down he could see that Badgers fighter was as far forward as it could fit and there was a large piece of debris just behind it on the deck. Badger had towed it in himself with a grapnel.

Nasty came from behind the retracting isolation bulkhead in launch position two and approached Wally.

“Hey kid, what’s your daddy got there?” said Wally to Nasty.

Nasty smiled. He didn’t mind the jokes coming from Wally.
He said “It is a cockpit from one of the Opie scout birds that got hit. It’s nearly intact. Badger says we need an enemy specimen to study because we don’t know much about their physiology.”

“Physiology?” Wally said. “You sure the boss has been using five syllable words or are you paraphrasing?”

Nasty laughed. “No. He said it himself. I notice you can throw around four syllables when you want to.”

“Yeah,” Returned Wally, “but I’m on a quota system. Three in a row and I get a cramp.”

Badger had exited his fighter and was standing near the large piece of debris he had towed in. Wally and Nasty walked over and looked as well.

Wally could see a ball of metal scrap with what looked like a few pieces of armored glass or transparent cermet. It had obviously been a cockpit and had been blown clear in a full piece from the rest of the ship. It looked like over pressure from a nearby blast had crushed it with the pilot inside. In the mess there were scraps of cloth around a limb with bluish black feathers and what looked like a birds claw but much larger. The talons were a deep charcoal grey with obsidian like tips.

Wally frowned.
“We’ve seen these before haven’t we boss?”

“Yep. “said Badger, “Black Rock.”

Nasty looked at Badger. “Who are these guys?”

Badger glanced up at Nasty and then back down at the feathered claw.

“First cousins to the Devil.
Wally, have somebody take this thing to research. Maybe they can find something useful. “

[edit on 10-8-2009 by badgerprints]

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 04:06 PM

Seeing all of her Rootak friends was such a comfort to Cim. They were aware of the fate of Earth, and as they too considered it their home, albeit not their origin, they had always been her ally on this quest. They chatted and sang some old Rootak songs.
Some fish roasting on the fire as well as a pot of some strange brew that did not smell to appetizing.

The singing and some Rootak dancing when on through a dinner of roasted fish some roasted roots and mushrooms, completely wild and delicious. Milli particularly enjoyed the fish via Sasquatch.

Flarrrr the eldest told Cim that the Draco’s had not been back since her last visit but he was on alert. He then dipped Cim metal cup into this brew and told her to drink it.

Cim cocked her head and said “Drink this, really?”
Flarrrr insisted and as she trusted him and all Rootak, she downed the brew.

Under the full moon, Cim lye back on her bed roll, content and full from the meal.
Her eyelids felt a bit heavy, feeling so safe, she fell into a trance like state.

A collage of image’s, ran rapidly across the view screen of her consciousness.

Cim awakes to feel sunlight drifting onto her face.

No campfire or signs of her Rootak friends. The vivid imagery still very prominent in her memory, whales.

Milli was stretching on a tree limb. “Come on Milli, we got to go!” says Cim

[edit on 10-8-2009 by cindymars]

posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 03:05 PM
I sat down at the Primary station and watched the other officer walk way. Staring at the controls and display screens, I thought to myself "This is a little more advanced than what I am used to. I am sure I will figure it out sooner or later. At least the bio-scanners are similar".

"Captain Luder, I am seeing about 150 bio-signatures on the southern continent. I can't tell if they are human or not though. There is alot of radiation in the area. I don't think we should leave the area just yet".

I commenced looking at my scans. I noticed a panel blinking at my face to the right of me so I glanced at it. "Long range scans are showing a few of the attacking vessels still lingering around".

System status scans, diagnostics, in dire need of repairs. Suicide missions and the destruction of earth. Oh dear, what have I gotten myself into? I feel right at home looking at these scans but wow this is an intense situation. Maybe some good news will come up on one of these displays soon. I hope so, cause this looks bad.

"Sir, the ship is ready to go. All status scans show nominal operation. Slayer did a good job on the repairs".

[edit on 11-8-2009 by Mr. Toodles]

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 04:16 PM
Sorokov knelt before the still form that was his son.

Asher was hardlined into the Penelope's network. A trio of metal prongs had bored into his skull and directly into his brain.

His son's body was badly atrophied and weak looking. The machine had begun to breath for him, an iron lung inflating his lungs at regular intervals. Asher was being fed intravenously and the network of tubes and wires snaked over his body was highly disconcerting to his father.

The best medical care humanity could provide wouldn't be able to separate Asher from the interface chair. Sorokov remembered quite well the extensive testing that NI had performed at the advent of interface technology. Once hardlined, there was no way to remove the filaments without killing the patient. The best neural surgeons that money could buy had walked away unsuccessful.

From the innards of the Penelope's internal network, Asher watched the man who claimed to be his father gently rest his hand on Asher's own forehead.

Asher didn't really know how to react. Within the bowels of the virtual network, his emotions had been dying off at an alarming rate. He was finding it difficult to feel human.

Worst of all, he was losing the will to remain human.

It just didn't seem to matter as much as it once did.

Sorokov was examining the lifeless corpse that was his body. His body didn't look good, Asher's mind reflected. Life expectancy wasn't long.

If Asher could have shrugged, he would have. Death didn't hold any more meaning for him than it holds over a computer at the end of it's lifespan.

Suddenly, one of his inserts was reporting an authorized intrusion. Asher scanned the data impassively until he found the source.

Something was interfacing with the Packaged Plasma Emitter grafted to the bone of his arm, the same implant that had generated a swarm a nano machines capable of protecting him from the vacuum of space.

If Asher had thought the Plasma Emitter was online before, he was truly mistaken. It was lighting up like a small nova.

With something akin to wonder, Asher discovered that the Plasma Emitter was the least of the implant's abilities. Buried inside the implant was a superdense fusion reactor. Even more worrying was the fact that the reactor's immense energy potential was almost maxed out by the systems coming online.

Asher had to do the virtual version of stepping back to see the newly awakened implant as a whole.

It looked like an extremely advanced quantum wavefront analyzer, much like the one mounted on the Penelope. However, the tiny implant in his arm was orders of magnitude more powerful than the one mounted on the Penelope.

Through the cameras on the bridge, Asher glanced at Sorokov. The man was crouched over his body, holding what looked like a small civilian handheld array. The device had sent a coded signal into the implant in his arm.

On the bridge, a hologram of Asher appeared next to Sorokov.

"Sorokov, what are you doing?" it asked.

Sorokov stood up and faced the hologram.

"I'm trying to save your life, son..." Sorokov began, looking nervous. "You won't last much longer in there as you are. Eventually, your body would die and you would become a disembodied cache of memories and neural data, no more than an AI...

"A fate worse than death, Asher... I can't sit back and watch that happen to my son.

Asher's image flickered heavily before disappearing. His voice emanated from the speakers on the bridge com system.

"What -ve y-- done?" Asher's broken voice rang out.

Sorokov spoke directly to his son's lifeless body.

"Asher, the device in your arm is a prototype quantum field translator. It was called Project: Neon God. NI was doing experiments on the quantum fabric of reality. They canceled the project when they realized that they couldn't control it. The device in your arm cost more money and man hours than the entire Erebus Battleship project, it's one of a kind.

"I stole it from them some time ago and had it grafted to your arm. I covered up what I did by making it look like a routine weapons graft, thus the Plasma Emitter ruse.

"Son, it's too late to go back to the way things were, that's my fault and I'm guilty beyond imagining for my part in it. Your body can't be saved, but your mind can! It's all I can give you..."

Sorokov was weeping openly at this point.

Within his the comatose body of his son, legions of nano machines were entering Asher's brain and attaching to every aspect of his mind, every neuron, impulse, and memory.

With a flourish, the quantum field translator grafted to Asher's arm generated a hell storm of quantum field radiation that rippled across the fabric of the fifth dimension like gargantuan tidal waves. Into this storm, the device flung Asher's memories, personality... and humanity.

It was over in an instant.

On the interface chair, Asher's body gave a violent jerk before settling back for the last time. Warning alerts began howling to the Penelope's medical division.

Asher's brain had died.

All activity had abruptly ceased and Asher was clinically dead. The body in the chair was a vegetable.

Suddenly, every quantum computing device in the entire galaxy went offline for a period of exactly three seconds before rebooting. Any civilization in the Milky Way galaxy with computing abilities beyond those of 21st century humanity experienced the universal quantum hiccup.

Every remaining computer on every remaining ship and colony in the UEF went silent. Every computer on every spacecraft and every non-primitive planet went dark for three seconds before re-establishing a quantum feedback and merrily continuing to compute as if nothing had happened.

On the Penelope's bridge, the emergency lighting had come on for a period of three seconds before returning to normal. Every computer was returning to normal status right where their cycles had left off.

Everyone on the bridge was staring at Sorokov.

The old man's eyes were watering profusely, the tears leaving trails down into his unkempt graying beard. Pleadingly, he looked at Captain Luder.

"I can explain... everything. This was the only way I could save what was left of my son..."

[edit on 12-8-2009 by SeekerOfAUTMN]

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 09:45 PM

Captain Luder, I am seeing about 150 bio-signatures on the southern continent. I can't tell if they are human or not though. There is alot of radiation in the area. I don't think we should leave the area just yet".

"Long range scans are showing a few of the attacking vessels still lingering around".

"Sir, the ship is ready to go. All status scans show nominal operation. Slayer did a good job on the repairs.

Luder turned at the sound of Toodles' voice. Survivors? He started over to the science station and could see the tell-tale signs of what appeared to be life forms on the Earth's surface. He patted Mr. Toodle's on the shoulder and nodded.

"Good work, I think in our fervor to collect the survivors and parts we never ran a scan of the Earth's surface. See if you can clean those signatures up and we'll move the ship in a little closer to see what we can see. Also, keep me informed on the status of those enemy vessels. If they so much as look like they're headed back this way, you hit the panic button." Luder was about to head back over to Seeker's father wheh the power on the Penelope literally blinked for a bit. About 3 seconds later, everything was back up and running.

"What the hell just happened?" Luder asked.

"Sir, we're not sure. It seems as if all of our quantum computing devices restarted themselves." Luder looked back over toward Seeker's station and saw his father standing about three feet away, tears streaming down his face.

I can explain... everything. This was the only way I could save what was left of my son...

Luder had been awake for nearly 24 hours and had experienced a vast range of emotions, all leading up to that point.

"What the hell did you do to him?" Luder shoved past the man and grabbed his com.

"Medical emergency on the bridge, repeat, medical emergency on the bridge! Get me someone up here yesterday."

Seeker's body was listless, appearing more corpse-like in its appearance than before. Luder didn't know what it was inside of him but it seemed as if there were a voice in there telling him what his eyes were refusing to believe.

Seeker was dead.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 10:50 PM

See if you can clean those signatures up and we'll move the ship in a little closer to see what we can see. Also, keep me informed on the status of those enemy vessels.

I turned back to my scans. I was getting some unusual quantum signatures emanating from one of the pieces of the earth that had broken off and become a second moon.

"Captain, These rea...."

Just then everything went black for a few seconds. I immediately jumped up and grabbed my hand weapon. Seems I am a little jumpy these days. Once the power came back on, I instantly went back to the scans and switched to internal scans to make sure there were no intruders during that brief black out. None, luckily. Then what the hell was it?

I heard Luder yelling something to a person I that I did not know. Something about medical emergency. So I turned to see what all the commotion was.

Seeker was dead. I don't know much about him. Just that something happened and he ended up having to upload his higher brain functions into the ships computer in order to avoid complete brain death. Fascinating though. That a person literally live inside a computer system. After seeing Luder screaming about a medical emergency, I decided to do a memory core analysis. The sub-routines which kept seekers brain functions active within the database were inactive. Which only means that the brain activity is no longer there.

I went back to my surface scans and long range analysis.

"Captain, I managed to clean up the scans. Looks like 164 humans survived on the Southern American Continent. Bisira, Panama. I thought you would like to know that the piece of earth that was blown off is giving unusual quantum signatures. Looks like there is a heavy concentration of neutrino and tachyon emissions. Not sure what it means. The enemy ships on long range scans have moved out of range, luckily."

"Oh captain, one more thing. I want to go down to engineering and assist in finding out exactly what that black out was about. It affected all quantum systems as well. Would be helpful to find out exactly what was done".

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 05:03 PM
...and the people bowed and prayed to the Neon God they made...

Sorokov was mumbling to himself, his back turned to the lifeless corpse that was once his only son. He was sweating profusely and staring at the nearest com speaker as if he was trying to will it to speak.

His hands began to tremble. It was taking too long...

There should have been something by now, some sign. But there was only the sound of silence from the nearest speaker.

With an air of lunacy, Sorokov turned to a stunned Captain Luder.

"Seven years ago, NI brought me on as a theoretical consultant for a pair of top secret projects that they were working on. Later, these projects would become one and the same..."

Nervously, Sorokov broke off for a moment to glance at the silent com panel before continuing.

"One project was called Enhancer, and it produced what we hoped would be a 'human' artificial intelligence. We succeeded, but only to a degree.

"The other project was by far more ambitious. It was called Neon God, the next leap forward in human evolution.

"Our initial testing of the Neon God project concerned using the quantum fabric of reality, the 5th dimension, as a storage device. You see, we had discovered that the 5th dimension closely resembled the structure of the crystalline matrix of today's computer memory storage devices..."

Sorokov glanced at the com unit again, now breathing heavily. His eyes were beginning to well up again as he continued.

"We designed a primitive Quantum Field Translator two years ago. It was built to take computer memory out of a storage device and translate it to the quantum fabric of this particular reality. You must understand the potential... Unlimited storage space... Literally an infinity on which to store and retrieve data...

"But it didn't work that way. The earliest translator we built succeeded in placing a simple bank of code, a line of text, onto the 5th dimension. The problem we encountered was in the retrieval.

"The 5th dimension was so utterly massive that we couldn't retrieve that line of text from it without the equivalent of 37% of the UEF's total computing power..."

The simple line of text stood out in Asher's mind like a smudge of black writing on an infinite plane of white glass. It was the only permanent information in the 5th dimension and it reminded him of so much graffiti on a masterpiece work of art.

Like lightning bolts through the infinite plane of white, information blasted its way back and forth, coming and going between realities as quantum computers across the Milky Way galaxy did their solemn calculations.

Within the eternity of the 5th dimension, the presence that was Asher smiled peacefully...

Back on the Penelope Sorokov continued.

"When we couldn't retrieve the information with hardware alone, we tried an AI. It was my plan to translate the AI onto the Quantum Fabric and have it retrieve the information before returning.

"The AI didn't survive the translation..."

Sorokov's eyes now never left the silent com unit mounted on the nearby wall.

"It... It... Was totally overwhelmed by the totality of the 5th dimension and was obliterated... Utterly destroyed in an instant.

"After that, I theorized that the only thing capable of surviving the translation was an actual human mind. You see, I thought that the human imagination could visualize it in a way that a computer could not... An infinite line of data would kill any computer, but a human would see it as something else... Something more manageable...

Like a passive observer, Asher calmly watched every advanced computer in the galaxy do its work. It was like a symphony of quantum ripples arcing between realities in the ultimate harmony.

This place was like heaven, he decided on a whim.

His perception kept getting dragged inexorably to that single line of black code on the eternal white wall. It was unnatural, bordering on unholy, and it repulsed him until he could finally take it no longer.

He zeroed in on the code like an angry god and his surprise rippled across the 5th dimension.

The code was a single line of text, written in English. Just a few simple bytes of information...

Sorokov sobbed as guards on the Penelope's bridge moved in and grasped him by the arms. Unabated, he continued his plea to the captain.

"Luder! It wasn't my fault! It was supposed to work!" he almost shouted, gasping for air.

"The last prototype we designed was built to translate the human mind of one of our Enhancers onto the 5th dimension. It was incredibly complex and intricate... We almost bottomed the Naval Intelligence budget to create it... Weeks ago, I stole it from the NI holding vault where it was stored. I said I was doing some testing on the circuitry... I was afraid of what NI would do with it! What leashed monster would they create?!

"I grafted the device to my son's arm when you made port at Lagrange 1... I added a simple Packaged Plasma Emitter to conceal what it truly was. NI never found out...


Those words echoed across Asher's memory, now scattered across the quantum galaxy. Suddenly, Asher remembered who he was. He remembered the Penelope, his steadfast friends, and his father...

On the Penelope, Sorokov was too broken to continue. The guards holding him were supporting him totally as he sagged in the arms, staring at the silent com box like a haunted man.

At Captain Luder's side, his personal com unit buzzed to indicate a priority message. It was as follows:

[Hello, Captain. ...and the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made...]

The sender was marked as 'sourceless', an impossibility in itself.

[edit on 13-8-2009 by SeekerOfAUTMN]

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 08:27 PM

Badger was in his office working on logistics for the wing. His desk was, as always, host to a stack of papers and a large mug of coffee. Wally was in the chair across from Badgers desk working on a quarters rotation so that the wing members could free up some space and allow some of the civilian refugees a place to sleep. It wasn’t convenient but it would have to do until more permanent arrangements could be made.

Badger was deep in thought when the office door swung open and a well dressed middle aged woman strode into the room. She was followed by an entourage of hangers on and staff.

Badger was surprised. She and her staff were remarkably well dressed and presented for a group of refugees.
“Yes, can I help you?” he said

The woman stood at Badgers desk and looked around the room. She waited a full ten seconds before looking down her nose at Badger and announcing that she was Ms. Mary Brandom, acting UEF President.

Badger stood, offered his hand and said, “Welcome Mam. I’m …”

“I know who you are. “the woman snapped.

Badgers eyebrows went up and he lowered his hand.

“Know all about you. You and your recent criminal activities.”
“I know that you destroyed a UEF ship. I know that your uncle pulled strings to get you here and I know that you have been operating outside of UEF regulations the entire time that you have been aboard this ship.”

She turned to one of the men in her entourage and gave him a nod. He pulled a sheave of papers from a brief case. He began to read.

“William Chase, you have been formally charged with crimes against the UEF as outlined in this indictment. The charges are as follows… “

The lawyer began to list the charges levied against Badger. As he read the paper, Wally stood and excused himself. He left the room and headed down the hallway to a lift. Once he was in the lift he made a call to the flight line and then to Nasty. He stopped by the armory and spoke to a warrant officer for a few minutes. Then he headed for the officers quarters.

Back in Badgers office Mary Brandoms personal aide finished reading the list of charges against Badger.

He stepped back and Mary Brandom smiled. You see, Commander, I am in charge of this vessel. You and your wing will be doing things my way from now on. If you do not, then these charges will be formally addressed and you will face the consequences. Any Questions?”

Badger looked back at her. “What exactly is it that you want?”

She smiled. “I already have what I want. “

Badger frowned.

“You see,’ she continued” there are rules. I am the one who is in charge here and you are the one who will follow those rules. Oh, I know, you’ve got that nice shiny badge on your chest and you’ve been doing things your way. You’re quite the hero, but you really don’t understand. You work for me. I just let you think you are in control for a while but we all have to wake up sometime. Don’t we….Badger?”

Badger kept his face impassive. He answered in a monotone. “I guess we do.”

Mary Brandon smiled. “That’s a good boy. You learn fast. All you have to do is follow my rules and we’ll get along fine. I’m really not so bad once you understand your place…Commander. I’ll be sending for you later and we’ll go over my plans. Until then, stay out of trouble, I’d hate to have to strip you of your command. Now I’ve got to go have a chat with the rest of your contemporaries. Your Mr.Luder might not think he has to listen to me but he won’t need to once I’ve gotten you lot straightened out. “

She smiled, turned and walked out of the open office door with her entourage in tow. The last man out was the one who had read the indictment.

He turned to Badger. ”Any further deviations from protocol and you will be removed from your post, as will your colleagues.” He closed the door behind him.

Badger sat at the desk. He took another sip of coffee. He pushed the paperwork aside and pulled out his electronic writing pad. He filled out some forms and completed some documents. He placed his thumb on the screen and it flashed yellow. He placed it on the desk, checked his watch and thought for a few minutes. He wrote a quick e-mail to Slayer.

He started a fresh pot of coffee.

Soon the door opened and Wally strode in with two big duffel bags and Badgers thermos. He dropped the bags at the door and handed the thermos to Badger.

Badger said, “Oh good, I’ll need my thermos.”

Wally stood with his hands in his pockets and waited while Badger filled the thermos with coffee. He didn’t say


A half hour later badger was on flight deck three climbing the crew ladder on Wally’s dash 10. Nasty came running up and handed him a bag. He shook Badgers hand and left at a trot. He passed Nora on the flight line and answered her accusing stare with a shrug. Nora continued on towards Wallys fighter.

Badger was almost into the bird when he heard Nora yell over the sounds of the flight deck.

“Exactly what do you think you are doing?”

Badger turned. The diminutive woman was holding a set of freshly printed orders in her hand.

He smiled. “Congratulations Nora.”

She said “This isn’t funny.”

Badger shook his head. “No. It’s not funny, but I’m not laughing am I?

Nora was steaming. "You're being childish." she said.

"I'm being practical." returned Bager.

"You can be so damn stubborn sometimes. Do you know that?" she yelled back.

"That's why they call me Badger" he said.

She said, “Well what about the rest of us? What are we supposed to do?”

Badger shrugged. “I dunno. Follow the rules I guess. That's what the President demanded. You know me Stilts, I'm not real good at that.”

She looked exasperated. "Don't call me Stilts."

Badger shook his head. He knew she was angry with him but it really didn't matter in the grand sceme of things. He had something more important that he had to do and the Penelope wasn't a part of it.

"Don't sweat it." He told her. "You're good at following the rules."

He pulled the wing commander insignia from his flight suit and dropped it down to Nora. He expected her to throw it back at him but she caught it and put it in her pocket. She put her hands on her hips and glared at him for a moment and then she turned and began to walk away.

Badger finished climbing the ladder and climbed into the hatch.

He stuck his head out and yelled to Nora. “Take care of Nasty will you? He’ll need some watching after. “

Nora flipped him the bird without looking back.

Badger smiled. He knew he could count on her.

He closed the hatch and cycled the airlock. He went forward and climbed into the pilots seat. Wally was already in the weapons seat and had preflight completed.

Wally turned to Badger as the isolation walls came up and the exterior lights dimmed. “Well, should we give em a holler and a flyby?”

Badger shook his head. “No need. They’ll figure it out soon enough.”

“Yeah, I guess they will.” Wally said.” Kind of a shame to leave. I liked it there, crazy as it was. “

Badger nodded. “Yeah, I know.”

The outer doors slid open and Badger and Wally could see the destroyed planet and the scattered remnants of ships.

“What a mess.” said Wally.

Badger looked around.

He piloted the ship through the debris and set a course in the computer.
Once they had cleard earth and were sure that they were past any remaining enemy ships they relaxed a bit.

Wally locked out his console and propped up his feet. He pulled out a bag and began to sort through it. Most of the contents were weapons he had gotten from the armory. There was a large crate of ammunition, body armor and tactical gear stowed in the back of the ship as well.
He pulled out a pistol and began to clean it.

"I got plenty of equipment. We may need it where we're going."

"Yeah."Badger answered. "Were definitely going to need it."

"Nora pissed?" asked Wally.


"Think she'll be ok?" he tried again.

Badger was quiet for a few seconds. He said "Yeah, she's going to be fine. She's more organized than me and has more experience running a wing. She'll always do what Luder needs her to do but she knows how to keep out of trouble."

Wally nodded and went back to cleaning the pistol.

Badger pulled out his thermos and poured a cup. He took a sip of coffee and rummaged around in a bag until he found some sandwiches.

He looked over at Wally. “Want half of my tuna fish?”

[edit on 103131p://f55Thursday by badgerprints]

posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 12:12 AM

Captain, I managed to clean up the scans. Looks like 164 humans survived on the Southern American Continent. Bisira, Panama. I thought you would like to know that the piece of earth that was blown off is giving unusual quantum signatures. Looks like there is a heavy concentration of neutrino and tachyon emissions. Not sure what it means. The enemy ships on long range scans have moved out of range, luckily.

Oh captain, one more thing. I want to go down to engineering and assist in finding out exactly what that black out was about. It affected all quantum systems as well. Would be helpful to find out exactly what was done.

Luder nodded and turned back to the man calling himself Asher's father. The man was in tears and going on about a top secret program he was a part of.

"Mister, we'll talk again when there isn't quite as much activity taking place all at - -" Luder looked at the communicator on his belt and frowned. It read: "Hello, Captain. ...and the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made..." Luder looked back up and watched the security men haul the sobbing man off of the command center.

Vargas piped up from the helm.

"Captain, we just detected an unauthorized launch from bay nine two seven."

Luder pointed at the communications officer, prompting her to open a channel to the launched vessel.

Unidentified ship, identify yourself.

Luder looked up at the overheads and saw they were approaching an appropriate distance from Earth to assume a high geo-synchronous orbit of the planet. He moved to the command station and opened an inter-ship to the fighter wing.

Badger, I need a search and rescue boat launched to the coordinates you recieved from our scans of Earth. It seems there are survivors down there.

For the first time in nearly 28 hours, it quieted down on the command center as the Penelope hung in a state of pseudo-peace near the shattered remains of the fleet. Every so often, another body would float by the massive view ports set into the front of the command center. Luder leaned forward and put his head in his hands. His entire family was down there when it happened. His friends from school, their families, his teachers, their families...... The exhaustion of having been up for so long on top of everything else was creeping its way into his psyche, along with the fact that they had most probably just lost the best weapons officer Luder had ever worked with. Finally, he stood up and motioned Vargas over to the command station.

"Take the bridge. I need..... some time." Vargas nodded his understanding and took the command station. Luder made a quick exit of the center and beelined for his quarters.


He reached his quarters and collapsed onto the bed. Theresa was in the small refresher room taking a shower and didn't hear him come in. He wrapped his arms around a pillow and buried his face in it, feeling the conflicting emotions fighting for control of him. A few moments later, the sound of the water stopped and she padded out of the refresher, wrapped in a towel.

"Hi sweetheart. You okay?"

Luder laid there silent for a bit, then shook his head. She cocked her head to the side and climbed onto the bed next to him, putting her hand on his back. She knew what was going on.

"It'll be okay."

Luder finally let the emotions have control and pulled himself into her arms, the tears flowing freely down his face....

posted on Aug, 14 2009 @ 09:03 PM
I watched Luder take off from the command center. He was just as torn up about our home being destroyed as everyone else on the ship. I wanted so badly, to take time to think. But, I knew there were things to be done.

Vargas looked back at me and Said:

"Mr. Toodles, get down to the science lab and run whatever tests you can on the Alien corpse that Badger retrieved. Move quickly, we will need you back up here ASAP".

"Yes sir." I said

I spent about 3 hours in the science lab trying to determine the alien corpses exact makeup. Hopefully If I can determine the highest element concentrations, that will lead us to a possible origin Location. I ran everything from metallurgical analysis to DNA sequence mappers. Still, no idea where it came from.

Vargas piped in on the comm:

Any updates as of yet? Please, give us some good news

"I believe the Alien has some genetic markers that are consistent with alot of Avian species. Although my other tests didn't show a possible location. I'll be on my way back to the Command Center in just a few minutes"

I looked out one of the windows in the corridor I was walking down. There, in my window was the remnants of my home. Earth, in pieces. Even from the window view, you could tell that habitation of what was left was quickly becoming an impossibility.

I tapped my comm Unit once more. "Toodles to Science lab. I want whoever is still there to continue tests on the Alien corpse. Let me know as soon as more data is found. I also want an analysis of all the quantum systems on the ship. Make sure nothing was damaged".

I looked back out the window, hoping that my previous Stare was just an illusion. Nope, earth was still dying. I watched the rescue ships Undock and leave the Penelope. I assume they were going to pick up the 164 survivors. How anyone survived such a disaster is totally beyond me.

I entered the command center and immediately went to Vargas

"Sir, I would like to make a suggestion. I am by no means, an engineer. But, I learned a trick on my old ship that I think could be adapted to the penelope to increase sensor range and detail"

I admire your enthusiasm Toodles. I am only in temporary command. You will have to take that suggestion up with Luder. For the time being, go get some rest. You haven't had sleep in 20 hours.

"Yes, sir"

[edit on 14-8-2009 by Mr. Toodles]

[edit on 14-8-2009 by Mr. Toodles]

posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 02:41 AM


Standing on the flight deck wiping his oily hands on a shop rag he then stuck it in his back pocket while he wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. He stood there staring at his one and only real perk aboard the Penelope.

The Captain had allowed him to store her in one of the reserve hanger supply ports. It was one of the few civilian crafts that could travel faster than light. The Chief won her in a poker game 2 months prior to joining up with the Penelope. She was not flight worthy then and was in need of many repairs.

Ensigns Horn, Kim and the Chief had made many modifications. She was their pet project during rare down times. After the refitting and resupplying of the Penelope they had finally gathered the few missing parts they needed to complete the repairs and modifications on MATILDA as well.

She may have seemed small. Originally designed for a crew of no more than ten but she had it where she needed it, in speed, maneuverability and firepower. He went inside and checked the fuel levels everything seemed topped off. He stood back crossing his arm over his chest while stroking his goatee he never thought this moment would ever come but she was finished. Right then the comm buzzed he walked over to the console by the main pilots seat.


Chief this is ensign Horn. We are going to need you to sign off on these parts requests from supply.

The Chief looked over at the console it was 40 minutes till his next shift. Apparently he had worked through the night making the final repairs.
Horn my shift starts in about 40 minutes, give me about 30 minutes to shower and shave OUT

The Chief powered down all her systems then sealed the hanger port he made his way to his quarters where he quickly showered, shaved and changed into a clean uniform. He was just about to leave when he noticed a message indicator on the computer console. He sat down and typed in a command and read the message it was from Badgerprints...

Horn was monitoring the ships subsystems when the Chief walked in with a very stern look on his face and carrying a half full standard issue duffel bag. Horn looked over at Kim. Kim gave Horn the look like a child would to a sibling about avoiding an angry parent.

The Chief walked over to his station and reached under pulling out the Grey metallic box that contained his old WWII Thompson, he sat it to the side. He opened his duffel bag and started to forcefully jam in his personal items while clearing out his station.

Horn walked over to the Chief and hesitated to speak at first then he finally spoke up.

Going somewhere Chief?

Yeah I'm going somewhere! Almost mocking Horn.

He stopped and looked up at Horn. I'm going to find my son. I received a message that he could still be alive. Horn looked puzzled. I thought he was killed in battle two years ago in a raid on one of our outposts somewhere in the outer colonies? The Chief snarled and was about to bark when right then Nasty walked in with a folder. He saluted then handed it to the Chief. He opened it and read the contents. Without a word he finished what he was doing and started for the door.

Wait just one damn minute Chief! You cant just leave! Horn said in an angry voice. What about your commitment to fleet?

The Chief instantly spun around looked him right in the eye and yelled.


What fleet?

We are the fleet! You are the fleet! This ship is all that's left of the fleet! Earth is toast, the fleet is destroyed and you think I have an obligation to Fleet?

Turning away he hung his head and took a deep breath trying to compose himself. He turned back to find ensigns Callan, Horn and Kim were all three now standing there with concerned looks on their faces. The Chief felt bad for yelling at them he should have realized that they were just as angry and scared over what had happened to the Earth and their loved ones as he.

He reached into the drawer far in the back and pulled out an old pack of lucky strikes. He pulled his old zippo lighter from his upper arm pocket flicked it open it made the tell tale metallic sound and fired up a smoke. He exhaled as he calmed down and spoke to them.

Look. You have to understand that for the past two years I thought my son was dead and now I find out that he may be alive and is being held captive by those very same SOB's who destroyed Earth. If there is the slightest chance that he is alive I'm going to take it. I can only imagine the hell he has gone through. I'm going to see the captain and turn in my resignation. The Chief turned and walked out without saying another word. The Chief made his way to the bridge only to find out that the Captain was in his quarters. It took him a few minutes to reach the Captains quarters. He stood there hovering for a few minutes trying to think of the appropriate words finally pressing the button.

There was no answer. He pressed it again, still nothing. He was about ready to turn to leave when the Captain answered. They both stood there staring at each other. The Chief handed him the folder that Nasty had given him. The Captain read it and knew what it meant. He then handed the Captain a second folder with a few papers.

One was his resignation the others were recommendations for new crew assignments. The Chief acknowledged the Captains request for reconsideration and explained that it had nothing to do with him or his command, that this was a personal matter and that he would do whatever was necessary to find his son. They saluted each other then shook hands.

The lift droned on as he thought about where he would start his search. The lift doors opened. He was about to step out when a female hand came across his face with a forceful slap. He stepped back then realized it was Carla the nurse. You were just going to leave without saying a word?


I forgot.

I mean.. I... had so much on my mind... it ... I ... look!

I'm sorry I have to do this.

She interrupted him.
I know you do but did I have to hear about it second hand? Were you going to leave without at least saying goodbye? She had tears in her eyes. He looked at her, his heart ached she was so beautiful. It doesn't have to be goodbye you know. He looked her in the eye as only a lover could.

Why?...What are you trying to say?
Come with me. He said. The two of us, lets get out of here.


It's now or never. He looked deeply into her eyes.

I must be crazy but alright. She said smiling while wiping a tear away.

Good he said grab your things and whatever you'll need and meet me down by the reserve docking port A-7 in about ten minutes.

Ensigns Kim and Horn were busy loading supplies. The Chief was rather surprised when he walked out onto the flight deck. Whats all of this? he said to the two of them.

Well we figured you would need some supplies and well we thought it was the least we could do, after all you helped save our rears more times than we can remember. We owe you this much. The Chief walked on board there was enough supplies to last for a few years way more than he really needed, He turned and said to them. OK, let's start by taking some of this back to the ships stores this is too much. Noticing a large supply of the Chiefs favorite scotch he said grinning but this can stay. Horn walked in with his duffel bag and sat it down and said well we are going to need it.

WE? said the Chief.



Kim and I are coming with you. Not so fast! A young female voice came from the rear of the MATILDA. They all turned around. I'm in ensign! Callan said as she walked towards them down the narrow center corridor. Wherever Kim goes I go. The Chief realized that what he had felt about those two was true and not just his over active imagination. We have all resigned our commissions.

But... He was about to protest when right then Carla walked in. Are we ready to go? Apparently we have a full crew the Chief answered. Will there be enough room? Carla said looking around. Yeah, this ship was designed for a 10 man crew complete with a galley, showers and small quarters.

Looking at their eager faces the Chief just shrugged and said.

What are you all waiting for?

They took their new stations. Slayer took the pilots seat with Kim on navigation, Horn on Operations and Callan on Science. The Chief reached down to his carry on, searching around blindly with his left hand.


There you are. He pulled out a small stuffed animal it was Garfield the cat wearing a pare of dark sun glasses. Smiling he placed it center console, then thumbed a few buttons and pressed a few more levers. The engines slowly came alive. The ship rumbled.

The Chief thumbed the comm...
Penelope this is the MATILDA on standby waiting for clearance.

The comm crackled after a few seconds.

Clearance granted, good luck MATILDA and God speed. The outer hanger doors opened. The Chief brought up the landing gear and eased the throttle forward she slowly cleared the doors. Easing past the debris field MATILDA's wings unfolded into flight mode. The Chief brought her about, circled Penelope once and then made for deep space. Quickly passing Mars then Jupiter they reached Titan one of Saturn's moons. He looked over his shoulder at his new crew and said lets put the spurs to her...

The engines engaged and with a thunderous boom and flash they were gone.

[edit on 16-8-2009 by SLAYER69]

posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 04:53 AM

Nasty was still running the errands that Wally and Badger had asked him to do. He dropped the folder of papers of with Slayer and then back to the number one flight deck to see Badger off. He turned and walked past Nora and she gave him a glare that made him want to run to the latrine and hide. He’d never realized how intense she could be.

After he passed her he took off at a trot to get finished as soon as he could. Things took longer than he wanted so by the time he left his quarters he was very nervous.

Mary Brandoms staff had already called Nasty’s record under review and as soon as they went over Nasty’s’ orders his flight status would be pulled and he would be grounded for the rest of his career. He didn’t have much time.

He began to make his way from the flight line on deck one to flight deck two on the other side of the ship being careful to avoid everybody he could. If they caught him he’d spend the rest of his life cleaning toilets. He almost ran into Petra and Nora walking together down a corridor from flight deck one and had to duck into another hallway to avoid being seen. After they were gone he finally made his way to the entry door at bay two and slipped inside.

The crew was on rotation so the second fighter bay was quiet except for a small loader truck and four ground crew who had removed the weapons pylons from the oldest and largest dash ten.

They had installed equipment and monitoring pods with scanning and cloaking systems integrated into the packages. The off side pylons had been outfitted with storage pods. The inertial generator had long since been replaced with a cloaking generator as this bird did not have a rail gun and was used for deep scouting. The interior of the fighter had been completely stuffed with boxes, cases and duffel bags. The hold where munitions were normally loaded had been stripped of missile racks and the stasis chamber that Badger had come aboard on was stowed inside.

Nasty approached the fighter in the half dark bay as they were just finishing up. One of the crew members left with the loader and the others approached Nasty. No one said anything about the bird.

The crew chief looked at Nasty and said, “Going after Corvus?”

Nasty said “That’s the plan.”

The crew chief shook Nasty’s hand and walked away.

Nasty climbed into the cockpit and crawled over the sleeping bench where the weapons station had been originally. As he got to the pilots seat he saw a small box on the console. He picked it up and looked inside. It was a set of Commanders wings and two notes.

The first note read,

Give these wings to Badger when you see him. He might need them again one day.

-Myron Francis

Nasty laughed. He had heard Badger use that name but had thought the Captain didn’t know about it.

The second note read,

I know you are going to join Badger and do something stupid. When you see my ex again, tell him to take care and that I will miss him.

Then, kick him in the nuts… hard.


Nasty looked out in the gloom and at the end of the flight bay could see a silhouette in front of the entry door. He shook his head and sighed: all of that sneaking around for nothing.

Nora turned and went through the door shutting it behind her and shrouding the bay in darkness.

The isolation walls went up. The familiar blue lights came on and the outer door opened.

Nasty piloted his ship carefully out of the bay and through the debris field.

He enabled the cloaking device and looked at the remains of earth. As he set in his coordinates he noticed a bright flash and glanced up. A ship left the Penelope and flew past him accelerating to high speed and was quickly lost from sight.

Nasty looked back at Penelope for a moment and again at what was left of earth.

He fired up his engines and followed in the Matildas' wake.

[edit on 053131p://f12Sunday by badgerprints]

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 05:14 AM

Studious reluctantly handed the tapes over to the aliens and turned back to the team. They were to be given a room until the tapes could be verified.

They left the large enclosed area in the center of the ship were accompanied by several mechanical guards.

It was Studious’ worst nightmare, machines were watching his every move and there was no escape.

Ackerman: “Sir this is urgent. There is something you need to know.”

Studious: “Finally, ‘Need to know’ is working in my favor for once!”

Ackerman: “What I’m about to tell you, Colonel, no one else can know, especially my superiors.”

Studious: “What’re you talking about?”

Ackerman: “There’s a cancer within NI, a shadow organization that operates outside the law.”

Studious: “Isn’t NI as a whole ‘a shadow organization that operates outside the law.’”

Ackerman: “That may be so, but the cancer is far more dangerous and far less scrupulous.”

Studious: “What does this have to do with the destruction of Earth?”

Ackerman: “The shadow organization, the cancer, felt that our civilian government was too weak and inept to deal with a threat as dangerous as mind control. They felt a change in leadership was necessary if the UEF was to survive.”

Studious: “Are you telling me NI was planning a coup!?”

Ackerman: “Not NI! A cancer within our organization.”

Studious: “And I’m supposed to believe that!?”

Ackerman: “Yes, you see the old guard “regular” NI hated the cancer. In fact
While Horkos monitored our agents and made sure they kept their oaths to NI Charon hunted them down.”

Studious: “So Horkos made recruiting and organizing difficult while Charon was eliminating them. That sounds like an effective system.”

Ackerman: “I think it was. But with Charon dead and Horkos missing...”

Studious realized where this was going and his eyes grew wide as he said “Nothing stood in their way…”

Ackerman: “I believe the shadow organization, the cancer within NI, may have helped destroy the Earth.”

[edit on 17-8-2009 by Studious]

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