Master of Violence
by AJ Marks
Angie turned to the cry shock in her eyes upon seeing Heather standing there.
“Heather,” Angie replied, as they hugged. In a way she had resigned herself to never seeing any of her friends again.
“How did you survive?” they both asked at once.
“Actually, Jack here,” Angie said motioning towards jack watching as Heather’s eyes went wide and pulled her close.
“He didn’t try anything on you, I know he’s sweet on you,” Heather whispered.
“No,” Angie said as everyone now was looking at them.
“You said you have information?” Charlie said, focusing attention back on Jack.
“Yeah, I don’t know what you know of the enemy,” Jack said.
“Only they dislike a lot of Earth creatures,” another person said.
“Might be useful,” Jack said. “We’ve had contact with Earth.”
“It seems there is still a working cell link on Sixth Street,” Jack said.
“And who are you talking to? A family member?”
“My uncle,” Angie said.
“Oh, him,” Heather said starting to roll her eyes and begin a rant against the military like normal then stopped and looked at her. “Him?”
“Yeah,” Angie said knowing she knew who her uncle was.
“Okay, and who is your uncle?” Charlie asked.
“Uncle Mark, he’s in the military, actually he’s the captain of the Enterprise,” Angie said.
“Captain Pappas?” another man said.
“Yeah, well actually he’s admiral now, promoted to head of the defense fleet, or so he said,” Angie said.
“We sent him some pictures of what was going on. Managed to contact one of my friends who was captured by the O’krad and able to speak with him a bit,” Jack said.
“What they call themselves,” Jack said. “That’s not the big news, they tried to attack Earth. The military beat them back.”
“Then there is hope,” the one who ask who recognized Mark’s name.
“Yes,” Jack said. “I noticed they don’t guard the prisoners too well, its like they don’t expect a break out.”
“They shoot anyone who tries,” another person said causing Angie to look over at him. “Five of us tried, I was the only one who managed to escape. They’ve got these collars which activate when someone tries.”
“That’s why I could approach and not be detected,” Jack said. “You don’t have it on anymore?”
“Hell no, took that off before bringing him here,” Charlie said.
“Almost killed me though,” the man replied, rubbing his throat.
Angie looked on then over at Heather who appeared listening in as well.
“Then if Earth is fighting, they’ll need information,” Charlie said to them all. Angie watched as everyone seemed to understand what that meant.
“How is it you’re phone isn’t dead?” Heather asked looking at Angie.
“We found one of those solar chargers in the rubble,” Angie replied.
“Makes me wish I hadn’t tossed mine away, we thought they might be able to track them,” Heather replied.
“We don’t keep it on, usually it’s off,” Angie replied knowing such actions would make the battery last longer.
“And they probably don’t know the cell tower is active and able to send and receive,” Jack said.
“All right, I think we can get this information, and perhaps learn what else they might be doing,” Charlie said.
“Anything is better than just standing around and hiding,” Ben said.
Angie wasn’t sure about that, but now with more people she felt a bit better about her chances of surviving.
Jeff listened as the intelligence officer went over what happened in the battle. Their weapons had been effective against the enemy, but what surprised everyone was the lack of efficient weapon fire by the enemy. There was some hesitant celebration but Jeff wondered if the O’krad had even more powerful ships. It was something echoed by the intelligence community.
“Can we expect another attack?” Natile asked.
“I think it’s a certainty,” the officer answered. “It would be unthinkable for any such race to ignore what happened in that battle.”
“And we have no idea how many new ships would be coming our way,” she said out loud.
“No ma’am, considering we have no idea how large their fleet is, or what other capabilities they might have,” he replied back to her.
“All you have done is anger them,” Yissffer said from his position. Everyone could understand him in the meeting as everyone wore the translators.
“Like they have angered us with their unwarranted attack upon our sovereignty,” Natile replied back to him. “They started this war, a war we didn’t ask for. There is a saying among us, don’t be the one to start the fight, but be the one to finish it.”
Jeff had a feeling that Yissffer didn’t understand the meaning behind it. From his experience with the other races so far this concept of standing up for someone or something was almost non-existent in other races. As a result they didn’t understand the human reaction either despite the feeling that Toncor appeared to be learning.
“I’m beginning to get the feeling that humans are violent creatures at heart,” Yissffer said back to her.
“Have they made any hostile moves toward you?” Toncor said speaking up. “They haven’t done anything against us except try to help us.”
“Bringing more bloodshed among the stars with this war, how is that not harmful to everyone?” Yissffer asked.
“And allowing the O’krad free reign over the universe stops the bloodshed how?” Jeff asked speaking up for the first time.
Yissffer said nothing for several seconds before finally replying. “You would not understand, as you appear incapable of such understanding.”
Jeff mentally rolled his eyes but stayed quiet wondering if the Volor actually believed what he said.
“Is there anything else we can learn from this engagement? Maybe a bit more about their technology?” Natile asked.
“We’re currently picking up the debris from the destroyed ship and should have something soon,” the officer said.
“Admiral, what is the status of the fleet and defenses of Earth?” Natile asked.
“It will still be a while before the first of the new ships will be ready,” Richard said speaking up. “During the attack we lost station delta, alpha was damaged and we’re currently working to repair it. Two destroyers took damage as well, but the Enterprise survived with minor damage and is currently operational. A few fighters were lost but those are quickly being replenished as production of the fighters is up a hundred fold from peace-time production as is pilot training. We estimate we can have two additional fighter squadrons ready in a couple of days. We’re rushing the deployment at the stations replacing the shuttles normally kept on board with the fighters at the moment.”
“I see,” Natile replied. “And if the O’krad come with a larger force?”
“It depends on how large,” Richard replied honestly. “We will do our best, our greatest defense might be on the ground.”
“Those preparations are underway right now,” Natile said.
Jeff understood, even civilians were being armed for defense. Many were eager to take up training. If they attacked Earth it would be a bloody day for them. In a strange way the longer the O’krad ignored them the stronger they become. Of course they had no knowledge of how the enemy worked. Were they used to such defenses, or were most of the races they enslaved willingly to run instead of fighting.
“You are adamant in defending your world against the Dark Race,” Toncor said.
“Yes,” Natile said. “And we prefer O’krad to some vague term.”
Jeff watched as Toncor gave that some thought. He understood that, you call something by an unknown name, vague and it might cause an unnatural fear of the race. Jeff had no problem with calling the race by their name.
“It’s a force of habit,” Toncor replied.
“Understandable,” Jeff said speaking up. “Is there anything else intelligence can tell us so far?”
Everyone turned back to the intelligence officer.
“Prelim reports indicate their power sources are not much different than those on board the Volor ship. While more powerful than what we currently use, it doesn’t appear to affect their weapons, which are very much like our own. Scans of the battle indicates the destructiveness of their weapons is almost the same as ours,” he said.
“How is it that a race bent on conquering others has technology almost the same as ours?” Natile asked. The entire question was something even Jeff found hard to believe. To his surprise it was Richard who spoke up.
“I’ve been asking myself that same question,” Richard said to them all. “What happens in our own history when a group isn’t challenged over time. It shows that their weapons hardly improve, they grow stagnant.”
Jeff paused and considered that statement. Were the O’krad stuck in such a bubble? If so then they were complacent in development of weapons. It could give them a slight advantage for a brief moment.
“If that’s the case, then can we learn anything about improving our weapons?” Jeff asked.
“Once we get their armor samples down into the lab we’ll be able to analyze them and figure out a better way to defeat them,” the officer said.
“Let us hope they don’t have any more powerful ships at the moment,” Jeff said. The meeting went on a bit longer going over simple figures before finally being let out. He made his way out wondering what might happen next.
Mark looked up at the chime of his phone and quickly picked it up to read the message. He learned from the texts that the one who usually sent things was actually someone else with Angie. It made sense as his niece wasn’t this good at observation for a military standpoint. He did know she was safe.
The current message was a bit different considering his last message said they had defeated the incoming attack. This message indicated they had more than just two people now. They had joined up with other survivors.
The news made Mark pause wondering how many they had. It also gave him some new possibilities as he thought of them doing even more recon. There was also some indication that they were unsure of how much longer communications would be possible as the cleaning crew were starting to close in on the area they were able to get a signal.
Mark realized he had to work quickly then if they were to continue gaining information. There was no way to actually get them anything for communications.
A sudden idea came to him and he quickly sent off the message to intelligence and his commander. Putting the phone down he went back over the prelim intel of the battle when his communications activated. Pressing the screen he was slightly surprised to see Richard’s face.
“Mark, just got this message, care to explain?” he asked.
Mark realize that was fast but recovered.
“The last message from my niece states they might not be in communications for much longer as the aliens are making progress towards clearing the area they have a signal,” Mark replied.
“And when they lose that spot we lose our intel,” Richard said.
“Right,” Mark stated. “But if they delay the progress, it could give us time we both need.”
“Its risky,” Richard said. “Endangering their lives like this, are you sure?”
“We could pose the question to them and have them decide instead,” Mark said. “If they haven’t already decided.”
“That is a possibility,” Richard replied.
“All I can do is suggest it, anything else would be up to them,” Mark said.
“All right, I don’t like it, but losing that bit of information could be critical,” Richard replied. “I’ll inform the President of the situation.”
“What about our two guest alien races?” Mark asked knowing they were about finished with any repairs and resupplying.
“Well, the Volors are eager to leave, Toncor isn’t so eager and is expressing his desire to stay,” Richard replied.
Mark nodded before ending the communications thinking about that before sending off a reply to his niece with his suggestion wondering what might happen next, if anything happened at all. Would the O’krad leave them alone for a while, or would they attack quickly. It was something everyone feared, the unknown of the future.
End part 19