Master of Violence
by AJ Marks
Angie followed in silence for a bit before her curiosity got the better of her.
“What’s going on?” she asked as they continued to hike though the forest.
“Don’t you see,” Jack said. “We’ll need some things first I think we can find what we need in the rubble of the shopping center, there was a cell phone business there and we might be able to find a portable solar charger.”
“Um, okay, but what does that have to do with anything?” Angie asked. Sure a charged phone would be nice, but without a signal it was useless.
“And somewhere over there is a connection that you can get a signal out, especially to your uncle,” Jack said. “That means we can watch, observe what’s going on and send information back to them.”
“And that will help?” Angie asked.
“If they come to free us, they’ll need all the intelligence we can give them, and we can send pictures as well,” Jack said. “It’s lucky you have an uncle so high up, he’ll know what to do with that information, and perhaps be able to send us information back.”
Angie nodded her head, all this spy stuff really went over her head. She had no idea what to do.
A short while later they arrived at the shopping center complex and Angie was able to get a better look at it. It was a pile of rubble
“I’m going to look around, see if you have a signal, and keep an eye out for anyone,” Jack said to her.
She nodded and pulled out her phone taking a second for it to boot up before she watched and much to her surprise, she had a signal, a weak one, but it was there. She looked up and scanned the area a bit seeing no one at all except Jack who was being cautious.
Angie wondered a bit as she looked on, where were all the people to help clear the rubble away? Had they all been killed by this alien group? If not then where were they? It all seemed almost surreal to her as she looked on before spotting something she wished she hadn’t. A body, or at least an arm of someone under the rubble. She almost went over but fear of what she might find stopped her. It could be the arm of someone she knew.
Jack came scrambling back to her.
“You have a signal?” he asked.
“Yeah, weak, but have one,” she replied.
“Good,” he said. “Got a charger.”
Angie looked on at the package, something she had never bought, considered buying but due to the slow recharge rate she never really considered it.
“Why don’t I just call him?” she asked.
“Texts will be the way to go, we can prepare it ahead of time and spend less time here, and with texts we can send pictures,” Jack replied to her.
“Oh, so, now what?” she asked him.
“Now, we do some field work,” Jack said.
Angie wondered what he meant by that as they made their way off to another spot.
Mark waited as the final people sat down in the room. HQ called him back down to the surface for a meeting which had been hastily scheduled. The captains of all six warships of the Earth defense force were here. As the admiral entered the room Mark had a good idea of what the meeting was about.
“I appreciate you all coming on such short notice,” Richard said to them.
“What’s going on?” Mark asked getting the meeting underway for everyone.
“Senator Isa is going to be heading out to Sierra tomorrow,” Richard said to them.
Mark understood, the trip would take almost a day to do the jump.
“There are no warships going with him and his mission is one to make contact with this race and see why they attacked us,” Richard said to them. “However, until such time that we can determine exactly what they want, our mission is to defend this system.”
“Does that mean the government is finally giving us more funding?” another captain asked.
“A slight increase, not much,” Richard said. “And we’re supposed to improve the defenses.”
“How, almost all of the old defenses have been dismantled, and those which remain will need a lot of work to get functional,” Mark heard another person say. He had to agree, at one time Earth did have a defensive perimeter, but over time the stations had been shut down and dismantled, or changed to serve another purpose.
“Were going to try to get any of them back in operation, and as quickly as possible,” Richard said. “I realize it won’t be easy. As a result, the defense of Earth falls to us. We have no idea the ability of the enemy, how strong their weapons are, or how large a force they have.”
“Any good news?” Mark asked.
“Sorry, I know I’m asking a lot of you and your crew. Right now you are the only defense we have to protect the planet,” Richard said to them.
Silence hung in the room as they all understood what it was the admiral was telling them.
“I think I can speak for us all, we’ll do our best,” Mark said. “If they come they’ll get a fight they never expected.”
Several others joined in.
“Good, I know we can count on you,” Richard said. “Now, we’ll be placing a lot on the Enterprise and her crew as well, being the largest warship. The biggest problem is deployment of the fleet, and where to put them.”
“Do we have any indication of the direction the ships came from when they attacked Sierra?”
“We have a general direction,” Richard said. “It’s not very specific.”
“Then, we should use that direction to estimate where they might come from if they attack us. It would give us a better position, especially of the Enterprise,” Mark said.
“You really think they will attack us?” one of the others asked. Mark recognized him as the captain of the cruiser Wasp.
“There are some who think they are peaceful, only expanding their empires and attacked us by mistake,” Richard said giving voice to the doubt. “However, the fact we still have no contact with Sierra is concerning. Their attack, as we have so far understood it, was textbook.”
“But were not the communications affected by the explosions?”
“No, the communications were jammed just before the attack began, and it occurred way before the first explosions occurred,” Richard said. “In a way the weird conspiracy sites got the timing correct.”
“We don’t know anything about their technology, how many ships, or other important matters though, its asking a lot of us.”
“I know, the President knows, but at the moment we do not have the time. We can only start doing something, and a lot of senators are waiting to hear what this mission to Sierra yields before signing on anything,” Richard said to them. “I wanted each of you to know what we are up against.”
“If they are this enslaving race, I’d rather die fighting for freedom,” Mark said to them all. They all nodded their heads in agreement.
Mark knew they had a lot of things to do if they were to be ready for any invasion and actually defend this planet.
“There is one more thing,” Mark said causing them all to turn towards him. “Its in regards to my niece. As we all know she sent a text using her phone, everything confirms it, but I have a concern.”
“What concern?” Richard asked.
“She probably on a cell plan, and when they don’t get paid they’ll cancel the service,” Mark said watching them all nod.
“Then we need to get her service and make sure its not cancelled,’ Richard said. “I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen.”
“Thanks,” Mark said. It was a thought he had while on the shuttle down. If her service was cancelled their one contact on Sierra would be gone.
Jeff walked into the office having been summoned by the President. He had a feeling he knew what the meeting was about. Senator Isa would be approaching Sierra any moment now and they were expecting to hear the results of what happened.
Entering the office he noticed several others, including Richard and Toncor already in the room sitting down.
“Come in,” one of the aides said motioning to several chairs.
Jeff made his way over and sat down hoping he would have good news in the next couple of hours. He put on the small translator in his ear as he sat near Toncor.
“Have they arrived?” he asked Richard who was sitting nearby.
“No, still waiting to hear from them,” he replied back.
Jeff turned to Toncor. “How are your repairs going?”
“Very well, it will still take some time,” he replied back.
“Good to hear,” Jeff said back. He knew that the mission had taken a way to translate better with the aliens in the computers.
A few more people went in and out, mostly aides going about business before one appeared excited about something. Jeff watched as the President was quickly informed of whatever was going on and noticed her face indicating the news did not appear to be good.
Another aide walked in and informed Richard of something and Jeff had a feeling he would have to wait to see what had happened now. He only had to wait a few seconds before Richard stood up to address them all.
“It appears that the expedition to Sierra is over,” Richard said to them all. “We learned a few minutes ago the Princess Royal was destroyed.”
Jeff felt a bit of shock at the news, something he had prepared for yet still had hoped did not happen. He waited patiently to hear more of what had happened.
“The Princess Royal did manage to send information about this alien race which we didn’t have before,” Richard said. “Already our intelligence is going over the information that we’ve learned. But, it appeared they never tried to engage in any diplomatic relations before opening fire upon the ship.”
That bit of news surprised Jeff as he fully expected there to be some sort of exchange of information. However to not have any contact seemed shocking.
“They hit the jump engines first, otherwise they would have been able to escape,” Richard said to them all. “The Princess Royal’s crew managed to send back a lot of information, including the entire engagement which we can use to evaluate their weapons.”
The news seemed to be somewhat helpful, but it also meant that they were at war.
“I’m headed to congress now, I’ll be presenting that in light of recent events that there exists a state of war between us and this unknown alien race since the moment they attacked Sierra,” Natile said.
“You’ll have my support madam President,” Jeff replied seeing the other two senators in the room. Greg quickly agreed but Otto, the one who had been hesitant before seemed still to reluctantly agree.
The group quickly walked out leaving Jeff and Toncor who hadn’t said anything.
“Well, not what I expected to hear,” Toncor finally said. “I truly hoped to learn I had been mistaken, this Dark Race was in fact friendly.”
“They’ll find we don’t roll over easily,” Jeff said to him.
“And if the effort is useless? Then what?” Toncor asked him.
“Then we’ll die free,” Jeff replied back to him. He knew the statement meant little to Toncor who had no concept of such actions. He never considered the thought they might die for freedom. For his race it was all about living at all costs, even if you lived a slave’s life. It was an idea Jeff couldn’t handle. The idea of no freedom seemed unreal to him. Living in a small ship on the run never seemed like a reality he wanted to live in.
Sure there had been a few sci-fi shows depicting such things, none of them ever considered the living in a ship forever on the run.
“Well, I must cast my vote,” Jeff said standing up.
“You are voting in favor, are you not?” Toncor said.
“As I expected, especially as I learn more of your people and planet,” Toncor said.
“And what have you learned?”
“That your race is different, as is your planet,” Toncor said. “Everything about your planet and history is violent.”
“Well, not everything about us is violent,” Jeff replied as they walked out of the room and towards the Congressional hall.
End part 11