Legacy of the Guardians
by AJ Marks
The small listening station housed several people, bored as they listened to transmissions coming across the border. Things had been dull leaving the on-duty operator wishing he was anywhere but there. They all knew being bored meant good things, as nothing would be going on.
The scanner operator hoped the peace would last, even though it meant boredom. He kept an eye on the monitor, which had not changed since he last looked at it. Of course the paperwork kept him busy, even though it came up with nothing. He filed reports of the normal traffic, typical broadcasts coming from the Skartian Empire. The news reports, which were almost the same as back home, murders, tragedies, and other such things. He wondered if the universe somehow made them all the same?
Looking at the clock he knew the New Year was coming up, and hoped he could get some time off to go home. He had several of the holidays off this year, having worked it into his schedule. He would miss out on Halloween, which was all right, but he could celebrate the US Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The monitor sprang to life indicating a new data stream. He looked over quickly running a check before frowning. This signal was being sent to Earth, and the source was unknown. He quickly checked the data, making sure everything was recording and marked it for further study, even while calling over his supervisor.
The supervisor quickly sent the message off towards HQ, hoping they might make more sense of it than they could.
Admiral Jack ‘Red Beard’ Cave leaned back at his desk, stretching his back. Sitting too long at the desk made him wish for the old days when he sat in a fighter cockpit. Of course back then he did not have his beard, and his nickname was only Red due to the color of his hair. After leaving the cockpit, he grew a beard, and now had the pirate name, especially considering the fact his hair on top now had thinned out.
He looked over at the computer, seeing that some activity had occurred. A signal had been intercepted, adding to a few others at other stations, all were the same, an unknown sender and headed towards Earth.
He sighed, his hope had been for peace after the long war between humanity and the Skartians. The Skartian fleet had been destroyed near Pluto almost ten years ago, and the two had signed a peace treaty. Despite the treaty they both kept a close eye on each other. The distrust between them was noticeable to any other race. In face rarely would a Skartian and a human be in the same room together.
He looked over at the budget, seeing it shrink even more. The governments back home were reducing their expenditures, and hiding the expenses of the program had become harder to do as more people dug deeper into the black projects. With the wars over, few wanted to keep the funds coming. At the moment the fleet had little else to do but keep everyone trained. They had lost some of their warriors, and getting new warriors was harder and harder. The younger generation did not seem to care.
He still had a powerful fleet to protect Earth from any new invaders, and the latest ship, Seydlitz was nearing completion. Then he thought about the signal. He looked over the information, seeing that in the past year some seven signals had been sent out.
He had a terrible feeling that something bad was about to happen. However he had no proof that anything would happen other than his gut. He trusted it, but could not go to the others with such information. They would want to know more, and the signals had yet to be deciphered. He did not want to be caught off guard again, like they had by the Skartians.
The enemy had proven to be cunning, and powerful. They looked like a grey hairless person. They would have lost the war if not for a few timely advances in technology. Perhaps the greatest invention had been the neutron pulse cannon, or neupulse, which allowed them to fight the Skartians in space.
“Admiral, sir!” an aide said, running into his office. “The random signals, we intercepted another one, and this time, intel thinks they have broken the language used.”
That made Jack sit up straighter. “Let me guess, a form of Skartian,” he said, watching his aide nod his head in agreement. “Great,” he said, rubbing the top of his head where he no longer had any hair.
“You keep doing that and you won’t have any hair left, oh wait, you don’t have any left there,” a voice said from the doorway.
Jack turned to look, seeing his friend, Steve standing there. “Ha-ha, very funny, a real comedian,” Jack said to him, watching as he entered and sat down.
“You looked to be in deep thought there,” Steve said.
“Yeah, we’ve got a problem,” Jack said, looking at his friend. “Those mysterious messages, its official, Skartian.”
“Any idea as to what they are up to?” Steve asked.
“No, but whatever it is, I don’t like it,” Jack replied. “I think we should increase the patrols and put the fleet on secondary alert.”
“You really think that’s wise?” Steve asked, his voice held concern. “The Skartians might view such a move as an act of war, or at the least a hostile action towards them.”
“True, however, haven’t they started this one by sending secret signals to Earth?” Jack replied to the question. “I think that the Galactic Council would agree with us on this one.”
“Probably should let our ambassador know about this,” Steve said, causing Jack to groan. The last thing he wanted to do was deal with him. The two of them did not get along at all, and hadn’t for years. They were stationed aboard the Victory and from the moment they met, were at odds with each other.
“I don’t like it, but for the sake of the council, yeah,” Jack said. If he could somehow inform the council without informing him, he’d be happy.
“I’ll let him know,” Steve said, knowing the animosity between the two of them. “After all, it’s easier if I handle it, that way I don’t have to listen to any shouting.”
“Gee, thanks,” Jack replied, watching as Steve walked out of the office. He turned back to the aide, still waiting patiently. “Get the first and second patrol squads on alert.”
“Yes sir,” the aide replied, giving a salute and walking out of the room to carry out the orders.
The aide walked out of the room, leaving Jack. He wondered about the conversation he overheard, as he walked towards the command center.
“Hey Greg?” a voice called out as he rounded the corner. He looked over to see Karen, his fiancée.
“Hey,” he replied watching her make her way over. “I’m on my way up to main control room, gotta put the first and second patrol squadrons on alert.”
“Why? What’s going on?” she asked, concerned about the situation.
“Well, if what I overheard was correct, the Skartians have been sending signals close to Earth again,” Greg replied back to her.
“Skartian? Are they sure?”
“Yep, I hope it doesn’t head back to war.”
“What about the Galactic Council, surely they can do something if the Skartians attack us,” Karen stated, bringing up a hope they both knew was iffy at best.
“I don’t know,” Greg replied honestly. Sure he was the Admiral’s aide, and he overheard many things, but there seemed to be so many problems.
“So, we’ll have to keep an eye on them for the time being,” she said.
“Yeah, hey, I’ll see you in an hour, that’s when I get off,” Greg said.
“I’ll be waiting,” she said, watching him head off towards the command room.
Randall Harrison sat in his office, Steve Terial was telling him about some new movements from the Skartians. He knew that such actions violated the peace treaty the two races had signed. He also hated to admit it, but Jack Cave was right about this one. The Skartians needed to be called out on the floor of the Council. He felt glad Steve called him and not Jack.
“Send me all the information, I’ll inform the council tomorrow and see what reaction we get from the Skartian ambassador,” Randall said to him.
“All right, I’ll get it for you. Try to get it quickly so you have time to read it over,” Steve said, signing off.
Randall drummed his fingers on the desk for a few moments trying to figure out what might be going on. He really hoped there was a simple explanation to the situation. Perhaps the documents might shed light on what was going on.
The computer chimed, indicating he had mail. Randall looked over, seeing it was the information he requested. Putting on his reading glasses, and looking at the size of the file knew he would be up all night. Opening the file he walked over to his small kitchen, looked at the coffee pot, and grimaced. He tossed what was in there, and made a fresh pot. He would need it for the long night ahead.
“This can’t be right?” a middle-aged man said, sitting in the command chair of the battlecruiser Moscow. He turned towards another man of Middle Eastern descent who look on questioningly.
“What’s wrong captain,” Ahmed asked.
“Got a conformation request back in to HQ over this, they want us to begin patrolling the neutral zone again,’ the captain said.
“The neutral zone, isn’t that against the peace treaty?” Ahmed asked, not sure what was going on.
“True, but if these orders are from Admiral Cave then something happened recently, or they think something is about to happen,” the captain said. “Fought beside him twenty years ago, he always had a sixth sense with such things.”
Ahmed looked on, then down at the screen as new orders came in. He read through it seeing it was no different than the previous order, but they were to go right away. “Shall I inform the ships sir?” he asked.
“No, I’ll do it, thanks anyways,” the captain replied.
“Yes sir,” Ahmed replied, watching the captain head over to the intercom and speak with the other captains. The Moscow had six escorts which made up the second patrol. Within the hour they had loaded up supplies and headed out towards the neutral zone.
Randell waited patiently as members of the Galactic Congress slowly entered the huge council chambers. He looked around trying to see if the Skartian ambassador would even show up today. He had been erratic at showing up, saying there were things for him to do, and the council was a waste of time.
Randall, and a few others, figured the Skartians did not like the council because of the forced peace treaty between the humans and skartians. Randall had learned many on the council viewed the humans like the Skartians, warlike and violent. The only thing they saw as a difference, had been the humans so far had kept their word.
Randall noticed the Skartian ambassador walk into the room, but did not even look over at Randall. The Skartian appeared nervous about something, at least to Randall. He wondered if it had anything to do with the mysterious messages being sent to Earth. He also wondered if the ambassador knew what he was about to do.
“You look lost in thought Ran Dall,” a voice said, causing him to look over to see a familiar ambassador. The ambassador from ilder, Kinser, and the only one he knew who seemed to pronounce his name as two words.
“You might say that,” Randall said, looking back over at the Skartians as he sat down. “How are things on Ilder?”
“Not bad, a few trade disagreements with one of our colonies, but as a while, things have been peaceful, how about you?” Kinser replied cheerfully.
“Not as good, we’ve had some activity from the Skartian boarder, I plan on bringing it up today,’ Randall said, looking back over at Kinser.
“Then it should be an interesting session then,” Kinser replied, sitting back in his chair.
“Yeah, I guess so,’ Randall replied, watching as more ambassadors made their way into the room. He also noticed that many of the ambassadors were in attendance, which would make things even better. The more to witness this, the better he thought.
The president of the council got up and rattled on about the usual business, trade agreements and such. Randall noticed a large disagreement between the Utilil and the Hzans that threatened the entire economic stability of the Beta quadrant. A similar feud had erupted among the Wavery. Those two seemed to be the big agenda on the schedule, and Randall waited knowing he would drop another one. In the end neither one was solved, not unusual, but both sides were now talking to each other, some improvement.
“The council has two grievances brought before it today, one by the Skartian Empire, the other by the Human delegation,” the president said, after going through a few other things. Randall could almost heard the collective groan at the mentioning of the two races. “The council will hear the Skartian ambassador first, followed by the human ambassador.”
Randall could handle that, and it allowed him to hear what the Skartian had to say first. He looked over waiting to hear what type of information would come forth.
“There has been a violation of the Skartian-Human peace Pact. Several hours ago I was informed by our outposts monitoring the neutral zone that a human fleet was near it,’ the Skartian said, looking around the council which had gone silent. Some looked at the Skartian others looked over at Randall.
He knew such actions would be viewed as an act of war. But he also knew some things the others did not, and waited patiently for his turn as the Skartian continued to speak.
“The humans know that this is a violation of Section 53, Article 3 of the peace pact. As such I wish to demand, on behalf of my people, that the human race be punished and banned from the council,” the Skartian said, his voice rising as he spoke. “They cannot be trusted, as we have said for years. Their true color are now about to show.”
Randall stood waiting for the outburst to die down, and the President to give the floor to him. Shifting the documents on his computer in front of him slightly, and cleared his throat.
“Fellow members,” Randall began. “That which my Skartian counterpart claims, I will not deny. Yes, we have sent a military patrol to the neutral zone.”
His statement brought a huge buzz to the council room as the others whispered amongst themselves about the Sktartian claims. The Skartian ambassador was yelling once more for the humans to be banished. It took several seconds for the President to regain control.
“Ambassador, I hope you know the consequences of your statement,” he said to him.
“I can assure you Mr. President, such actions were not taken lightly,” Randall said. If I may be allowed to continue.”
“Very well,” the President said. “But be mindful, you are in a dangerous area.”
“Of course,” Randall said, hoping he had strong enough evidence. “I would like to ask my Skartian ambassador if his race understands the consequences of their actions.” He looked right at the ambassador, watching him flinch at the question. It answered a question that the ambassador knew what was going on. “We reacted to a violation done by the Skartians. It was them who violated the treaty first. As everyone knows we may have patrols ship in the neutral zone if we feel there may be a threat to our homeworld, section 53, article 9.”
“What has that got to do with anything?” the Skartian said, yelling at him, anger in his words.
“Everything,” Randall replied, maintaining a calm voice. “We intercepted Sktartian transmissions from Skartia to Earth, a clear violation of the treaty, I believe section 6 article 5, it prohibits the Skartian, race from making contact with Earth at all.” They both knew why that was in the treaty.
Lies, it’s all lies,” the Skartian yelled out. Randall could see his temper getting the best of him now.
“This contact is considered a threat to our national security,” Randall said, his own voice rising to be heard over the Skartian. The mood of the council appeared to show shock at the developing events.
“They have no proof, let them bring forth the proof to show they are not liars, if not they should be banished,” the Skartian said.
“I second the motion in allowing the Human ambassador to bring forth proof,” another ambassador said.
“Do you have evidence to back up such allegations?” the president asked.
“Yes I do,” Randall said, handing a copy of the transcripts over to a guard, who took them up to the President.
“Very well, the Security Council will look over the evidence of both sides, and a judgment will be handed down later on,” the President said. “Is that agreeable with both parties.”
“Yes,” Randall said, having no problem with it.
“No, the humans should be immediately banished,” the Skartian said.
“We’ll discuss it, provided it is not determined they were in their right as a species, and considering previous contact with your race, everything shall be taken into account, “the President said.
Randall watched as the Skartian stormed out of the room. He had the feeling something else was going on. He only hoped it was nothing bad.
End part 1
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