Legacy of the Guardians – Part 3

Legacy of the Guardians

by AJ Marks

Part 3

Ahmed sat at his station when the orders came in. Quickly reading through then, he then went over to the captain.

“Well, it appears the Council decided to do something, maybe they’ll hear these damned transmissions the Skartians are sending,” the captain said, loud enough for everyone on the bridge to hear.

Ahmed found himself intrigued by the statement, but knew time would tell. The Skartians could wait patiently until anyone in the neutral zone left before continuing the transmissions.

“Have the scanners report when they have the Ilderian ships, otherwise maintain the status quo,” the captain said, to a now confused bridge crew. They turned and continued to do their jobs.

“Is there anything wrong captain?” Ahmed asked, knowing that he was asking the same question everyone else on board was thinking.

“No,” the captain replied, taking a moment to think about a suitable reply. “It seems that we’re to be relieved when the Ilderians get here. HQ says that we are to leave the neutral zone at that moment, after bringing the Ilderian commander up to speed of what is happening,”

“Well, at least someone will be here in case something happens, and they are not an ally of the Skartians,” Ahmed said, breathing a bit of relief. However it did little to relieve the tension in the air, almost as if they were at war. Since the patrol started he had felt it everywhere on board the ship. Even whispered conversations seemed held the tone of wariness.

“True, although I’m not sure that matters much to them anymore,” the captain said, his voice hushed slightly so that only Ahmed could hear him. He gave the captain a glance wondering if there was more to the statement. He looked at the others who had turned to do their duties, knowing that this conversation would be continued at a later time, when they were alone.

He went back over to his station, watching for the incoming Ilderian fleet. Several minutes later he was interrupted by the captain stating he was headed down to the mess hall, and if Ahmed would join him. After nodded yes, the captain gave the bridge to the next highest ranking person and walked out.

Ahmed walked in silence beside him, waiting for the captain to speak. They passed several people going about their normal work. The captain stopped next to an empty room and motioned Ahmed inside.

“Thought we were headed to the mess hall?” Ahmed said, giving a slight nod to the captain, knowing that he wanted to talk.

“Needed to find a good spot to talk to you, and not spook the crew,” the captain said. “I need to let you know everything that’s been going on in the past couple of months, and seeing as you’re the second-in-command, its time you knew. We were told to keep the information secret.”

Ahmed watched as he walked back to the door and locked it. Now he wondered what he had not been told.

“For the past couple of months we’ve intercepted several highly encrypted messages, headed towards Earth,” the captain said. Ahmed felt slightly shocked. He knew about a recent transmission, but had no idea so many had been intercepted. “Just recently the signals were determined to be Skartian, jibberish stuff, but enough to have the higher-ups spooked.”

“Some sort of attack?” Ahmed asked. “Something like sixty years ago?”

“We don’t know, that’s what has them so spooked, and lately the transmissions have increased,” the captain said.

“Do they know where the transmissions are heading on Earth?” Ahmed said, already knowing in his gut where it might be.

“They have a vague idea, the Middle East somewhere. They can’t get any clearer data, but that’s their best estimate for when the message arrives at Earth, and what part of the planet is able to receive such a message. It’s why I didn’t want to tell you,” the captain replied.

“So, someone from my homeland might be working with the Skartians,” Ahmed said, disliking the feeling now. “It’s an unstable area.”

“Yeah, perfect for a few sleeper agents of the Skartians to hide,” the captain said.

“Does anyone else know?” Ahmed asked.

“No, very highly sensitive material, and until HQ had real proof, they are trying to be as quiet as possible about it,” the captain said.

“Sounds like good advice, thanks captain for telling me, now some of your recent orders make sense,” Ahmed said.

“Good, I knew I could count on you,” the captain replied, giving Ahmed a hearty slap on the shoulder. “Now, let’s get that coffee.”

They walked out heading towards the mess hall. A short time later they stepped back onto the bridge which seemed the same as earlier.

“Anything new to report?” the captain asked.

“No sir,” the young man in charge replied.

“Good,” the captain replied, sitting back down in the command chair. “Guess we’ll wait for now.”

They settled in to wait for a while.

“Sir, I’ve got a contact heading our way,’ the scanner operator said, a couple of hours later. “Computers identify the ships as Ilderian.”

“At last, get me the commander if you can,” the captain said.

“Yes sir.”

A couple of minutes later the Moscow and her escorts left the neutral zone, heading back to Independence Station.


Jack sat back in his chair, looking at the computer screen and rubbing the top of his head. So far, the day had been relatively peaceful. Though he loved such days his experiences taught him they were usually followed by bad days.

He wanted to do space exploration, ever since he was little. He understood where he was now, he would probably never get any closer to that dream. Steve walked into the room interrupting his peaceful thoughts.

“I think you better see this,” Steve said in a rush, handing him, turning on the TV in the corner of the room.

“What’s so important that it can’t wait Steve?” Jack asked, wondering what had happened to his peaceful day.

He turned to the TV, watching as the picture cleared. Jack used every curse word in the dictionary, including a few from other races. He watched as a reply of a plane hitting one of the World Trade Center towers in New York City. Jack noticed both buildings were burning, smoking coming out of them. He could also see fire in the holes of a raging fire going on. The reporters were stating that the United States was under a terrorist attack.

“Son of a bitch, what in Hades is going on down there,” Jack asked, not expecting an answer from Steve. “Just when I thought mankind was about to enter a new age, some idiot goes and does this.”

“I’ve already contacted our agents to see what’s going on,” Steve said, before continuing. “You don’t think that, well.”

“There’s a connection between this attack and the Skartian messages,” Jack said, looking up at Steve, who merely waited. “Yeah, I do.”

“Should we contact Randall?” Steve asked.

“Yeah,” Jack said, not even protesting over Randall’s name like he usually did. He watched Steve pick up the phone and putting it on loudspeaker. “Though not like you.”

“What?” Jack asked.

“Protesting about Randall,” Steve said. Jack looked over at his friend then back at the TV trying to think of some sort of comeback. He was saved by Randall answering.

“Hello, Randall here,” he said over the speaker.

“Randall, you have a TV on?” Jack asked, not bothering to state who it was.

“What, Jack?” Randall said, sounding confused. “Why would I have a TV on?”

“Turn one on,” Steve said, interrupting anything that either Jack or Randall might say.

“Yeah, hold on a sec,” Randall stated. They heard some muffled sounds as Randall moved around wherever he was. They both waited for Randall to say something else. “Holy crap,” Randall said, indicating he saw what was going on.

“Yeah,” Steve said, agreeing with him.

“The twin towers and the pentagon hit by suicide attacks,” Randall said, shocking Jack with that bit of news.

“The pentagon as well?” Randall asked.

“Yeah, they said it on the station I’m on,” Randall answered.

“The station we’re on hasn’t said anything about that,” Steve said, but even as it said it the reporters on their channel stated something about the Pentagon being hit. “Damn, guess so, what will they hit next?”

“Don’t know,” Jack said, thinking about the situation before buzzing his secretary. It took a few buzzes before she finally replied. “Get me General Ginal,” he said to her. She answered with an affirmative and went to the phone. She had the general a few minutes later and told Jack he was on line two.

“Randall hold on a sec, going to bring in General Ginal, conference call style,” Jack said, not waiting for his reply. It took a few seconds and he hoped he did it right. “General, Randall you here?” he asked, hearing both men reply. “All right, general, what in Hades is going on down there?”

“Aside from mass chaos, we don’t know. Woke up this morning, news slowly trickled in that some planes were hijacked, and next thing I know, the twin towers are hit,” Ginal said. “The reports are sketchy, but from our intel, at least one more plane, possibly a second coming in from Asia could also be hijacked. It isn’t responding to air traffic controllers.”

“Crazy,” Randall said.

“Anything we can do?” Jack asked.

“Don’t think so, we have to let this play out Jack,” Ginal said.

“This has to be what the Skartians have had planned,” Jack said, almost positive of it.

“We have no proof, but I do want all units on high alert,” Ginal said.

“On it,” Steve said.

Jack felt frustrated. There had to be more they could do. He cursed his limited intel which hindered any movement on his part.


Ahmed looked around the bridge, the captain sat in his chair, the rest of the crew were doing their duty. The fleet had left the neutral zone after talking with the Ilderians. With them there, and having all the information they had, he looked forward to some time off, he hoped.

“So, what do you think about them Ahmed?” the captain asked, catching Ahmed thinking.

“Well, from what I’ve learned, the Ilderians are an honorable race, so they will not be easily swayed by the Skartians,” Ahmed replied honestly. “If they find something, they will inform the council.”

“That’s what I thought,” the captain replied.

“Sir, we’re getting a high-powered signal,” one of the bridge crew said, getting their attention.

“Source?” Ahmed asked right away. He both feared and hoped it came from a Skartian position.

“Earth?’ the officer replied, confused.

“Earth?” Ahmed replied.

“Can you determine the destination?” the captain asked. The question caught Ahmed off guard slightly, before realizing it was vial.

“Just a sec,” the officer said, working on the computer for a few minutes. She finally looked up. “Gasica.”

Ahmed stopped and looked up at the captain at that answer. It was not what either of them expected at all.

“Notify Independence Station and the Ilder fleet at once,” the captain said, sending several crew members scrambling to work, before he turned to Ahmed. “Are we out of the neutral zone?”

Ahmed took a moment to look at the scanners and maps before replying. “Yes, cleared it fifteen minutes ago,” he replied.

“Order the fleet to stop, we patrol this side of the neutral zone, and see if we can pick up any scan of Gasica,” the captain ordered.

“Sir, incoming message from independence Station,” the communications officer said, looking stunned. “They say the World Trade Center’s been attacked by what they are calling terrorists, happened about twenty-five minutes ago.”

There was silence on the bridge as they all heard the news.

“By Allah, what is going on?” Ahmed said, not believing the news.

“No kidding,” another person said echoing Ahmed’s statement.


“Admiral Cave,” an aide said, walking into his office. Jack and Steve still sat watching the news, with Randall and Ginal still on speaker phone.

“Yes?” Jack replied, tearing his eyes away from the TV and giving his attention to the aide.

“Report from the battlecruiser Moscow,” the aide said, handing him a piece of paper before Jack dismissed him. He watched the aide look over at the TV before heading out.

He scanned through the paper suddenly feeling sick to his stomach. “Gentlemen, it appears we have a new problem. The Second Patrol squad intercepted a high powered transmission from Earth to Gasica.” Silence met his statement even as he continued. “The captain of the Moscow is currently patrolling the border, in our territory without entering the neutral zone, and alerted the Ilderian fleet to the situation.”

“Do we know what the message said?” Ginal asked.

“No,” Jack said, reading through the report. “They can only determine the language, which sees to be Skartian in nature. We haven’t broken their code yet.”

He paused gathering his thoughts and looked over at the TV, stopping at the sight.

“Hades,” he said, watching as the room grew silent at the sight. There on the screen he watched a tower collapse. He had never seen such a sight before, immediately thinking about the loss of life. No one said anything for several seconds, absorbing what they saw.

“Tell me I didn’t see that,” Randall said, being the first one to recover his voice. Everyone then started talking at once.

“Hold it,” Jack said, raising his voice slightly. He had to wait a few seconds until everyone finally quieted down enough for one to be heard. “I think we should put the Saratoga carrier group on level one alert, and send it to the neutral zone.”

“Do it,” the general said. Jack tuned into the ship communications waiting a second for the captain of the Saratoga to appear.

“Admiral Cave,” he said, looking unsurprised at being called.

“Your group is to move out to the neutral zone at once, meet up with the second patrol group already there,” Jack said.

“Yes sir, I take it this has to do with what is going on back home,” the man said.

“Yep, be wary of any ships in the neutral zone attempting to head into our space,” Jack said.

“Are you expecting something?”

“In times like this, you can’t be too sure,” Jack replied.

“Then we’ll move out right away,” the captain said, ending the conversation.

“Do you think it will be enough?” Ginal asked after the conversation.

“Good point,” Jack said.

“If it’s a full-scale invasion, one patrol group and a carrier group won’t be enough,” Steve said causing Jack to think about the situation.

“What’s the fastest group we have that’s ready to go?” Jack finally asked, looking up at Steve. He gave the question some thought before answering.

“That would be the fifth battlecruiser fleet under Vice Admiral Dinen,” Steve stated.

Jack quickly asked for Greg, waiting a second before the trusted aide came in.

“Sir?” he said, looking a bit unsure. Their attention went back to the TV, watching in sickening horror as the second tower collapsed as well.

“Greg, get over to command, have them move the fifth battlecruiser fleet to the neutral zone, have them meet up with the Saratoga carrier group and the second patrol squadron,” Jack said, watching as Greg nodded, taking a note down so he would not forget and took off for the command room.

“So, you think the communications and these terrorist attacks are related?” Steve asked.

“I don’t know, but I’m not going to take any chances,” Jack said, deciding to err on the side of caution. His gut screamed yes there was a connection, but he had no proof other than a few messages going back and forth.

“We should gather all of our resources in finding out who did this, and when we have them we’ll have our answer,” Ginal said, giving some direction for them to go.

“Good idea,” Randall said, speaking up for the first time in a while. “Anything I should tell the council?”

“Yeah, state that Earth space is temporally off-limits to travel by others, any ship arriving in our space will be met with warships,” Ginal said, giving a real sense of what was going on.

“I’ll inform all ships we’re at alert level two,” Jack said, indicating the situation of the fleet. He knew they were not far from war, and he hoped that did not happen. The level also indicated to the commanders to expect hostile actions and if it happened, they could return fire right away.

“All right, we all have things we need to be doing, so let’s get to work. “Jack, I may need you to come down here and talk with some of the others.”

“I’ll be ready, let me know,’ Jack said before everyone hung up. He looked over at Steve who strangely seemed quite calm despite everything. “Well, looks like we have a job to do.”

“Righto,” Steve said, nodding his head. “I’ll send out the war alert, and get a message to the Moscow.”

“Thanks,” Jack replied, watching as Steve walked out of the room. He looked back at the TV watching as people still seemed stunned by everything, and the President of the United States seemed to be making some sort of speech. If only he knew what exactly was going on up here, poor chap was completely unaware of it, but Jack had the feeling that would change.

End part 3

Continued in part 4

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