Master of Violence
by AJ Marks
Mark bolted up out of bed as the alarms went off. He made his way to the bridge as people rushed to their battlestations. Racing onto the bridge he noticed everyone looking on and the atmosphere was tense.
“What’s up?” Mark asked looking around knowing there was no drill scheduled unless Hans had done so without his knowledge.
“One ship, just appeared on the scanners,” the reply came back.
“Identification?” Mark asked wondering if they were going into battle.
“Doesn’t match any known ships, either ours or the Simian database.”
Mark turned to look at the scanners.
“Battle scanner,” he said, watching for a second before the holo projection scanner came to life, it was rarely used but he wanted to see what was going on and not looking over the scanner officer’s shoulder.
He looked on seeing several ships, including the Enterprise.
“Open a channel to the fleet, and to HQ,” Mark said.
“Open,” Joaquin stated.
Mark waited hearing as stations all over the ship responded to the red alert even as Hans stood beside him looking on at the scanner.
“What do you think?” Hans asked.
“Don’t know, shouldn’t take any chances, launch one of the fighter squadrons to intercept,” Mark said.
“Launching squadron,” Hans said as he relayed the order to the proper area of the bridge.
“Tell them to hold their fire, we don’t want attack an innocent race,” Mark said thinking about that.
“HQ is on the line,” Joaquin said. Mark made his way over to a screen and brought up the image not surprised to see Richard.
Joe watched as his fighter swung down and launched. Forming up he heard the instructions coming in from the commanders, they were to investigate an unknown ship approaching Earth. He thought it was a bit ironic that he was once more headed out to investigate an unknown ship considering he had been on patrol when the last one was spotted.
“Orders are, not to engage unless fired upon,” the squadron leader said.
“Great,” Joe heard Carl say, his wingmate.
“They might be friendly,” the squad leader said.
Joe understood the order even if he didn’t quite agree with it. Turning his fighter towards the unknown ship he closed in on it along with some twenty-four other fighters which made up his squadron.
The ship still had yet to be identified on the scanners which worried Joe and he kept his communications open for anything which he might hear. It didn’t take long before he heard something coming over the communications which he didn’t understand at all. It was a lot of gibberish which reminded him a lot of the communications last time.
“Well, this is familiar,” Carl said. “Wonder if they are saying hi, or surrender.”
“Maybe their saying we surrender,” another pilot replied.
“We’ll take fly by, scan the ship for any signs of weapons,” the captain said. “Joe, you and Carl do it, the rest will keep watch of your backs.”
“All right,” Joe said, pulling out ahead along with Carl headed for the most dangerous part of the entire mission. He would be the first to know if they were friendly, or enemies.
Keeping a close eye on the scanners he waited as he continued to fly closer and closer. So far nothing appeared on the scanner at all. He did noticed a similar energy reading to the one from the Simian spaceship. There were slight differences, but similar. He figured they were built along the same principles and theories which went above his head.
What he didn’t find was any weapon systems of any kind.
“Ship appears to be unarmed,” Joe finally said even as the communications continued.
“Hang on VF-4, pull back a bit to sector six,” the order came.
“Roger Enterprise,” the squadron commander said.
Joe didn’t argue as he pulled back and away from the ship but he took a moment to look at it again. It seemed a bit smaller than the Simian ship, but in other wise good condition from what he could tell.
Mark looked down at the screen where HQ was waiting.
“Fighters did a fly by, nothing, and they are trying to communicate,” Mark said.
“We’re already in touch with the Simians to see if they can make contact with them,” Richard said to him.
“Good,” Mark said. “We need to know who we’re dealing with.”
“Just stay on alert,” Richard said.
“No problem,” Mark replied
“Captain, um, admiral, incoming message from the Pakkara,” Joaquin said.
“Put it though,” Mark replied before realizing he had no way to translate the message.
“Enterprise, we have translated the hail, they are asking for help,” the Pakkara said in a more mechanical voice which Mark recognized as the translator.
“Understood, inform them to follow the fighters in front of them, we’ll take them close to your position,” Mark said. “We’ll need your help for translating, if you’ll help us?”
“We can,” the Pakkara replied.
“Thank you, we appreciate it,” Mark said. “Relay the information to VF-4, they are to lead the ship to the Pakkara’s position.”
He watched as Hans relayed the information to the squadron before Mark turned to look back down at Richard.
“It appears we have another refugee ship,” Mark said.
“It’s very possible,” Richard said. “Especially considering they are asking for help.”
“Well, it was a good exercise for seeing how prepared we are for an invasion fleet,” Mark finally said turning to Hans. “Put us on yellow alert, secure from red alert, inform the rest of the fleet.”
“Yes sir,” Hans said.
“How did it go?’ Richard asked.
Mark gave it some thought before answering. “Not bad, I think considering it all went well. Could use some work but I think we have a good idea of where we need work and what went well,” Mark replied back to him. “I’ll have to talk with the other ship captains, see if they have any suggestions for improvements. We’ll be ready if they really do come.”
“I await the report admiral,” Richard said before ending the conversation.
Mark now had to figure to what they might do next, and how to improve their reaction times.
Toncor looked on as the shuttle landed. He received the news from Hakkas about what happened. Things had been tense on board the Pakkara for a bit until they realized this unknown race was also running from the Dark Race. It seemed their ship was suffering problems making Toncor wonder how long they had been on the run.
The doors opened allowing a humanoid race to step out, they were even shorter than Toncor was, coming to his shoulder and humans towering over them. It made Toncor wonder if all intelligent life formed the same way, standing on two legs, arms and head on top. Perhaps some quirk of evolution in the universe.
Toncor stepped forward to greet the Volor.
“Greetings,” Toncor said wondering if their translator technology was as good as theirs, or was it better?
“Greetings, I am Yissffer,” the Volor said.
“I welcome you to Earth,” Toncor said. “This is Jeff Cerial, a human, who is part of the governing body of this planet.”
“Welcome,” Jeff said to them.
“Earth, we were unaware this planet would have life on it,” Yissffer said.
“It is our home,” Jeff said.
“It has nice colors,” Yissffer said taking a look around.
“Don’t let the looks fool you, there are many dangerous things on this planet,” Toncor said.
“Dangerous?” Yissffer asked suddenly appearing cautious. “Dark Race?”
“No, we were fleeing them as well when we came across this planet and the humans,” Toncor replied back to him. “The humans are, unique among the races we’ve encountered.”
“You know of this Dark Race as well?” Jeff asked.
“Too well,” Yissffer replied.
“Then you have information on them?” Jeff asked, and Toncor understood the thirst for knowledge about the enemy.
Toncor watched as Yissffer seemed to look at Jeff for several seconds before he finally replied.
“Why do you want to know about that evil race?” Yissffer asked. “You seek to understand one of the evils of the universe?”
“Yes, only when we can understand them, can we know how to fight them,” Jeff replied back to him.
“A disturbing thing to do, challenge the Dark Race,” Yissffer said. “Few who do survive.”
Toncor had a feeling such information wouldn’t ease Jeff, or the humans, thirst for knowledge of the Dark Race. They asked many question from Toncor and his race. However, he knew very little, if anything, about the race. He only knew that they attacked.
“And those who survive?” Jeff asked.
“We do not speak of them,” Yissffer said suddenly. “They know not what they do.”
“Which is?” Jeff asked.
Yissffer looked around before speaking again.
“We ask for help before continuing our journey, will you help?” Yissffer asked.
“We will do what we can,” Jeff replied, motioning for them to head inside. “Let us get more comfortable inside.”
The group headed inside and Toncor had a different look at how humans treated guests. They actually were trying to be nice, while gaining information. Moving inside they continued on in with Toncor walking with Yissffer.
“You are Simian, are you not?” Yissffer asked as they walked along.
“Yes I am,” Toncor replied unsure how they might have known that. “How did you know?”
“We ran across a ship of your people not long ago,” Yissffer said.
“I see,” Toncor said. “It explains how you were able to get the translators working so quickly. How were they?”
“As we all are, and those who have encountered the Dark Race,” Yissffer said.
Toncor considered that, then wondered if they really were doing well, or just thought they were doing well. He paused with that thought wondering where it came from. Perhaps he had been hanging out with the humans for too long now, considering this freedom which they spoke of so much.
“Who is this race again?” Yissffer asked.
“Humans,” Toncor replied.
“Are they dangerous?” Yissffer asked in a whisper. “You mentioned some things are dangerous.”
Toncor gave that some consideration as they approached the room.
“Yes and no,” Toncor finally said.
“You speak in riddles.”
“Because they are a riddle,” Toncor answered as they moved inside the room and sat down. He would allow Yissffer to discover the complexities of the human race for himself, and with that information do with what he wished.
It took only a few moments before several others entered the room, including Richard of the military followed by President Natile Carter. Toncor knew she was a woman who cared deeply for her people and would do anything do defend them. He heard her called mother bear for her position and had to look that up. A bear was a wild animal who fiercely defends her cubs from danger.
“Hello, I’m President Natile Carter,” she said greeting Yissffer. “You could consider me the leader of the human people.”
“So you make all decisions for your people?” Yissffer asked.
“No, we have a Congress, its where the laws are created, I represent a figurehead and the top ambassador for humanity,” Natile said.
“I see,” Yissffer said. “I represent all on board the Resyal.”
“And how many are on board?” Jeff asked.
“We have six hundred and thirty one souls on board,” Yissffer said.
Toncor noticed he said souls, which indicated that perhaps there was more than one race on board the ship. Was this what was in store in his future? If so, it didn’t look at promising as he once thought it might be.
“What is it you need?” Natile asked.
“Water, our water production plants have broken down,” Yissffer said.
“I think we can help you,” Natile said. “It would be dishonorable to turn you away.”
Toncor looked back at Yissffer.
“Then we thank you for your help.”
Toncor had a feeling that the humans would help, but would Yissffer give up any new information about the Dark Race?
End part 13