The Illuna Paradox: Temporal Shift

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All four of the unknown spacecraft began to fire relentlessly upon the ‘Procules’ first without provocation.

‘Procules’ had been the closest ship to them on their intercept course; making the lighter vessel an easy target to attack.

After witnessing the unfolding carnage; both marine transports began to alter their own trajectories in an effort to act as a shield for the otherwise doomed civilian ship.

‘Procules’, keep heading for the facility entrance; we will cover you then follow!’ Conrad promised.

‘Will do Colonel!’ Gable replied.

Several of the scientist’s were on the damaged bridge with the crew now; and this time they could not resist a desperate glance toward the video screen where the Colonel was currently speaking; his expression, now a determined one.

Gable had invited the small group of scientists’ of whom were delivered to the ‘Procules’ earlier on to the bridge in order to help him assess what was happening outside.

There was always the possibility that they could discover something new after all.

There had been little to no time at all to provide the heroic Colonel with a heartfelt reply; all that Gable could do was nod in sombre acknowledgment at the futile gesture being made.

The dawning realisation that many of the marines and scientists on board those two ships may well have been giving their lives for his crew at this moment had swiftly crept into his mind as he finished the all-too-short reply.

He would need to say something else to those brave souls.

‘Thank you! But don’t wait too long! Remember that their weapons can’t breach the facility structure! Gable out.’

With nothing left to say, they broke the connection with reluctance; only luck would save them now.

Gable raced ‘Procules’ ahead of the other two ships in an effort to safely reach the facility entrance.

The ship’s inertial dampeners were struggling to keep the negative effects of such high speeds from adversely impacting the crew.

Despite the attempt by the other two ships to shield ‘Procules’; they were still receiving occasional glancing hits from the four vessels.

For the most part, many shots had reflected off of the hull harmlessly; until one shot hit the portside thrusters of ‘Procules’ dead on, knocking them offline right away.

‘Mickey...’ Gable began.

Mickey had cut him off immediately though, knowing full well what Gable was about to ask.

Mickey called back a minute or two later, oblivious to his rude behaviour.

‘I know it professor, portside thrusters are blown, we’re working on re-routing power to the starboard side...but for now we are limping out of here...keep you updated!’ Hicks answered before abruptly ending the call.

Hick’s was gone, back to fixing the ship it had appeared.

One more shot had penetrated the ship’s shields; again hitting the bridge of the ship at a glance.

This time the impact had been much worse.

A large blast of swirling fire, and sparking electronics flared all over the place. Landon had made an attempt to dive to the floor in an effort to dodge the hellfire, but was soon halted by the wild licking flames of the explosion.

‘Helena get down!’ Gable yelled, pouring his lungs out in the process.

Landon had been a lot closer to the escalating blast area, and so she was unable to move quickly enough.

Gable threw himself across the bridge towards her; forcefully pushing her out of the way of the final explosion.

Once the blast had cleared, Dares went straight for the fire extinguishers in order to put out the wild blazes of the fiery compartment; and after barely managing to climb to her feet, Keira joined her with the effort.

They had succeeded in smothering the fire that had threatened to engulf the entire bridge a short time ago; yet something was still wrong.

When they both turned around, shock and despair flooded over them.

Gable had been caught in the blast; throwing him to the opposite side of the bridge where he must have hit his head off of the jagged interior bulkhead.

‘No! Professor!’ Dares screamed, running over to him.

‘Benj!’ Landon shouted as she gazed over towards his almost lifeless body.

Hicks and Haynes had also heard the trauma from down in the now chaotic engine room; yet with everything going on they could not leave there posts to help a friend, he would want them to save the whole crew.

‘Hang in there boss!’ Hicks yelled loudly over the communication link, before getting back to fixing the ship’s temperamental thrusters.

‘Yeah if anyone can do it, it’s you boss! Besides you still owe me a beer!’ Haynes added, he had to at least try to lift the rest of the crew’s spirits within such a dull moment.

Gable had been injured badly, the ship was in disrepair and they were being fired upon by something from the great beyond; things were not going well at all.

The battle scorched hull of the cruiser ‘Procules’ now groaned as if in agonising pain; the corridors of the ship were overwhelmed by a prolonging yet intermittent humming sound as the ventilation systems were failing.

The pungent scent of burning metal lingered in the air amidst the crying and the screaming of the injured scientists below.

Professor Benjamin Gable now lay up against the bulkhead in a trance; with his ears ringing in temporary shellshock, and his vision blurred from the explosion.

He was drifting in and out of consciousness, he saw a visage of an individual kneeling in panic, she carried an abundance of worry as it steadily filled her raspy voice.

‘Are you okay Benj?’ Landon asked, wiping away tears.

Gable being as badly injured as he was; somehow managed to speak briefly.

‘Kiera? Is that you...? ass..ume command...Get them out of here!’ he said, before drifting off again.

With Gable in the infirmary; Landon ordered the ‘Procules’ to activate her unreliable thrusters and to head out of the current engagement zone.

Landon froze in sudden despair at the thought of the vessel having no defences at all chance of survival.

‘wait a second! maybe if we could only...’ she thought out loud.

‘Hey Mickey! Do we still have those spare, charged excavation pulse cells on board this tub?’ she asked in earnest.

‘I know what you’re planning! And you’re damn right we do Keira...wait...what’s the plan again?’ Hicks asked, laughing.

‘We’re going to lure them into range...we’re sitting duck’s here anyway, then we are going to dump the batteries right in front of them, if it works...the sons of bitches won’t know what hit them!’ Landon added, with a fierce grin.

Landon was clearly worried about Gable, but getting payback was all that she could hope for at this moment.

Dares looked uncertain at the idea, but she went along with it anyway; it would have seemed that they would have to follow this plan or risk almost certain death regardless.

The boys in the engineering compartment loved the idea of blowing something up though; especially Mickey Hicks, since he knew exactly what kind of damage this material could cause to a ship.

A couple of nerve wracking minutes later the improvised munitions had begun to rain down on the closest enemy warship.

As the aft section shielding began to fail; the hull crumpled as the impacting barrage of pulse matter from all six of their spare batteries collided with a terrifying force.

The collision of the exploding pulse cells had then moved on to tear through the unknown ship’s thick armour; creating a short-lived wailing noise as the ship strained under the pressure of the barrage.

Within in an instant, the ship was suddenly a tumbling ball of wreckage as it became engulfed in an encircling wave of white matter.

‘What was that?’ Landon yelled in an unnerving voice.

‘ was a...critical system overload, but it is far more powerful than what we expected’ Dares answered nervously.

‘Our system diagnostics tell us that whoever they are, they had attached an unknown explosive element to the outer shell of their ships system cores for a bigger bang! Probably just in case of boarding parties capturing one of them intact.’

‘When the ship was destroyed, it unleashed a rippling wave of white matter, it’s actually a similar type of matter to what our warp engines produce.’

‘We have also discovered traces of our pulse cell matter within that energy wave; so it could also be possible that our pulse cells created some form of a violent chain reaction as a result...and that result, is still heading towards us!’ she finished.

The remaining unknown ships had veered off course in order to avoid the energy wave; while ‘Procules’ still struggled to increase it’s velocity.

‘I estimate four minutes until impact!’ Dares yelled.

‘We need to get the hell out of here Mickey! Thrusters? We cannot survive such a high magnitude of energy hitting us!’ Keira Landon grounded out, her fear and desperation becoming more apparent as she did so.

‘We could maybe survive! Look Keira, we will never get the thrusters up and running at one hundred percent before it hits us’ Hicks replied.

‘We should reinforce our shields whilst limping towards the facility entrance, and away from the wave and the pursuing aliens, what do you think?’ Hicks asked as a last resort, all of his options were now bad ones it had appeared.

‘I guess that’s all we can hope to do with the little time that is left, we had better make it happen guys! Strap in good, and proper!’ Landon ordered.

‘Keira! It will be here, in three...Two...One!’

Damage reports we pouring in to Dares’ station showing that the shields were being punished severely, as the ship strived to reach a forlorn safety.

‘It’s passed! Everyone it’s passed!’ Dares announced jubilantly throughout the ship.

‘I’ll be damned! Nice job everyone! Mickey I owe you another beer!’ Landon sighed with relief.

‘Hey what about me?’ Haynes questioned innocently whilst pretending to look hurt.

‘You too then Kenny, I’ll buy everyone a round of beers!’ she corrected herself.

‘It’s a deal then!’ Haynes agreed still smiling.

‘Anyways we’re still limping for now, but give me a few minutes and we will be moving again...It will still take us the better part of thirty minutes though I’m afraid’ Hicks declared whilst bearing anxious frown.

Thirty minutes was a long time to wait, especially when one had been in a situation like this.

At least the ship would finally be able to move properly soon.

Things were looking up.

Even the armoured marine transports were catching up now; which was welcome news considering that the unknown ships were coming back around for another attack.

‘Hey Keira I have an idea! Pivot our ship so that it’s positioned with its bow facing forward to protect our warp engines; our momentum should keep us on track! We need to hold these bastards off for what is going to be a very long thirty minutes!’ Hicks said.

‘What are we planning to hold them off with this time? harsh words?’ Dares asked, sighing at the thought.

‘We’ll do what we can!’ Landon replied with a wicked grin that immediately inspired some hope, to the otherwise hopeless situation.

‘Well they will meet us three minutes; that is before we are safely inside of the facility, so we better do something profound!’

The ever encroaching moment was swiftly approaching; a pivotal moment of which could very well be their last.

As seconds seemed to feel more like minutes during the slowly dwindling time frame that the ‘Procules’ systems had set for the interception; the once shadow-like images of the alien vessels, were once again starting to become as clear as day.

This was yet another sign that the unknown aggressors’ did indeed intend on attacking their ships once more.

Keira Landon was hoping for what seemed to be a miracle, and then it came.

Colonel Conrad gestured over the communications linkup in an almost gleeful tone.

‘Keira are you seeing this? Two of the four warships in the formation are attacking the other remaining one; they are also on an intercept with the ancient facility!’.

‘What? It appears that our friends here intend to beat us to the prize, despite the fact that they have engaged upon their own forces, this is good at the least it will slow them down some more!’ Landon agreed.

‘Why would they attack their own forces now...that can wait, get your head in the game!’ Landon thought.

Gazing across the bridge, Dares looked to be saying her thanks for this unexpected miracle, when she rose her head, and glanced back at Landon for a moment.

‘Say Helena how about that for a miracle? We might actually make it inside now...but just in case...keep praying will you?’ Landon asked with a wink.

Landon who was now in deep concentration, regained her focus as she began speak in a pleasant manner over the communication link.

‘Well my friends, If they want to destroy themselves that badly let’s let them do it! Mickey?’ she asked.

‘Yeah Keira?’ he replied.

‘Give us everything she’s got will you? We are going to make a sprint towards the facility, whilst those guys are otherwise preoccupied out there!’ she begged him, hoping that he could fulfil her wish.

‘You got it! Strap into something guys!’ Hicks Yelled before licking his lips and getting back to his repairs.

Seven minutes later, the repairs had not gone as quickly or as smoothly as they had hoped; yet they should still have been able to reach the facility entrance before the aliens caught them if they sprinted right at that moment.

‘Well Keira the thrusters and the warp engine have been repaired!’ Hicks reported in with glee.

‘Thanks Mickey, it appears that fortune has somehow favoured us this time, we might still make it to the facility!’ she replied.

‘It will take us approximately ten minutes to get there now; and the systems estimate that the unknown ships will intercept us in...eleven minutes,’ she added.

There was nothing like a little pressure to add to the chaos.

Out of the enemy ships that were present; only the two ‘rebel’ ships who had fired on their own allies were left, if one could call them ‘rebels’ that is.

Both enemy ships were relatively intact; and the near pristine condition of those two vessels was most likely due to the surprise and fear within their own forces at the sudden betrayal.

Long-range fire lashed out at the oncoming enemy; solid metal chunks were propelled at astonishing velocities in an effort to catch them unawares.

The desperate plan had worked for the most part.

Discharging plasma trailed behind a cloud of unnatural toxic gas behind them .

One of those enemy ships had lost all of it’s propulsion units it seemed; and the result created a vale of sorts between the oncoming enemy and the Cideen Republic vessels.

The sheer density of the bright green gas cloud was an almost mirror image example of what had been encountered from within the Warden star system.

The blinding vale had only added to the hysteria of the situation.

The sole remaining ship had decided to pursue the ‘Procules’ along with the now safely close by marine transports though.

The enemy was determined to stop them from reaching the facility. Whoever they were, they really did not want ‘Procules’ and the two transports getting anywhere near it.

‘They are only two minutes away, and they still aren’t answering their damn comms!’ Dares shouted, flailing her arms about in frustration.

If only communication had been a possibility; the outcome may have turned out to be completely different.

’Well the only conclusion that I can draw upon here, is that they believe that they aren’t required to talk to us. They may even feel justified in attacking us if they are defending what they have claimed as being ‘their own territory’!’ Landon reflected.

‘I agree Kiera, now that you mention it. If they think that they claim this place then who knows what we are going to find over there! We had better inform the marines of that hypothesis before we set foot anywhere near it!’ Dares added.

There was not much left to do now but wait. Landon regaled the marines with what they had learned; as much of a distraction as it was, they had actually appreciated the useful intelligence.

The marines could now incorporate it into their battle plans. The gruelling moment had arrived at last, they were finally approaching the entrance mouth of the facility.

All three vessels left a thick trail of smoke and drifting wreckage behind them. It had been too close for comfort.

The pursuing alien vessel had only missed the interception by a tiny fraction as it waved off to the side at the very last moment. The tormenting ship had barely avoided a dooming collision, as it scraped across the monstrous outer hull of the facility and tumbled uncontrollably back off into space.

‘I don’t believe it! Now we are receiving comms from that thing!’ Dares reported in utter shock.

‘We were here first! We were here first, this is ours!’ the first transmission said. The transmission was listed as being audio and video, yet all that they could see was a blank, deep blue screen.

‘What the hell?’ Dares asked no one in particular.

‘It just keeps repeating, pass that to our scientists, and the other ships will you Helena? We only have a couple of minutes remaining before we enter this place!’ Landon requested as she began to reply to the hostiles.

‘This is Keira Landon of the Cideen Republic, I represent all three vessels that are present. You say that you claim this facility, yet we have been within this star system longer than you have. We believe that this facility may hold some answers for us. We believe that this technology is of our own design! Granted, it is more advanced but ours all the same! We are proceeding to investigate it’s presence! Landon out.’

A moment later an insistent reply came.

‘No, No you must leave! This is ours! We were here first! Your technology is our technology! You will pay!’

Landon had made sure to include everyone within their tiny fleet of three ships this time around; Colonel Conrad called in immediately after the message had ended.

’Kiera they are convinced that this place belongs to them but there is something so familiar about it isn’t there? And what about this “your technology is our technology” crap? I’m no expert but that sounded like a wait, it was more than a threat, the claim that this facility and our technology belong to them would imply that we have run into them somewhere in the past...yet we haven’t!’ Conrad said.

‘This is weird, perhaps they have stolen this technology from us before?’ Haynes chimed in.

‘But where from? I think we would have heard something about that, right? I mean our Benjamin is best friends with the damned president for crying out loud!’ Dares added.

‘Well all that we know for sure is that they claim to have ownership of our technology. Whether or not they are referring to other technology, or to this facility here, we can not know. This facility could have come from the bloody future for all we know! That being said, they may own it! What if they captured it in the future or something?’ Landon rubbed the back of her neck before continuing.

‘All that we can do is speculate from here; now they said that we would pay somehow...they have already attacked our ships and now...’ Landon began.

‘Would you look at that, they have warped away! Alright then there is no use in reporting this situation immediately, at least until we know more details of what is actually happening here. Our priority has to be getting in there! Let’s go!’ Landon smiled, informing the other ships to take the lead into the facility.

‘Did you hear all of that Mickey, Kenny?’ she asked.

‘Yeah we heard Keira...crazy stuff...’ Hicks replied.

‘Alright then let’s get our asses in there before they decide to return with an entire fleet of warships next time!’ Landon ordered, directing ‘Procules’ into the gates of the facility.

The atmosphere on the bridge of the ‘Procules’ became intense with a combination of curiosity and unyielding awe. As the ship began to enter through the colossal bay doors; eyes all over the bridge seemed to be fixated upon a series of blinking lights of surrounding platforms which were activating almost simultaneously to their lasting presence.

‘Look at that damage, it’s even worse than what we saw earlier! they must have really wanted to tear this place open!’ Landon whispered in a cautious tone.

‘No appears that each of these individual platforms act as docking bays for various shuttle sized space craft’ Dares added.

‘Of course then you have that over there!’ Dares gasped as she calculated the size of the adjacent docking platform.

Now it was Hick’s turn to call back in from the engineering deck.

‘Hey Keira, Helena... me and Kenny are up in the observation dome with the scientists since we were no longer needed in engineering for the time being, anyway you should see this! I’m telling you... it beats the hell out of monitoring the data on the ships systems!’ Landon smiled seeing Dares leap to her feet in excitement before turning to face Landon to ask for permission. Like she needed to.

‘Go on then, I’ll keep an eye on things up here, I wouldn’t want to activate the auto-pilot in this place, otherwise I’d be up there with you!’ Landon admitted.

Dares ran across to join the others, no doubt stopping by the sick bay to check up on Gable and inform him of what was happening.

‘Hey guys are you seeing what I’m seeing? That very large docking platform over there, that’s far too big for a docking platform right?’ Landon asked.

Hicks was taking notes as he brimmed with uncontainable excitement. He was right at home here, and it was time to study the feature in great detail.

’It most certainly is Keira, I can see the markings on the base of the platform. I see a metallic grey coloured surface outlined by a yellow border, and the writing ‘Crimson Class Mark II//III’’ Hicks added.

Landon stared at the projected image in amazement.

‘So whoever owned this facility had access to what must have been vessels that were two times the size of our biggest military battleship!’ she confirmed in awe.

’Exciting stuff...but what about Mark I?’ Haynes asked in a confused manner scratching his head.

‘Beats me Kenny, maybe it was obsolete so they decided to scrap the design! Who knows?’ Landon waved her hands in the air expressing the same level of confusion.

‘Hey guys, our systems are reporting that there is no viable life support within this facility! We have identified the probable cause though. There are two large breaches in the Starboard wall of the small docking area, of which were most likely caused by a concentration of highly explosive weapons fire...sound familiar?’ Dares reported.

That statement drew worried looks from almost everyone on the bridge as they assessed the level of damage that had been done. They calculated the astonishing amount of power output that would have been required to operate of any form of weapon; one that could exact such a devastating result.

Haynes answered first ‘That sounds like what those alien ships had done when they blew up, they must have planted explosives for some reason, let’s keep looking! We may find some more clues!’ Landon nodded in agreement as she turned back towards the surveying station where Dares had been occupying before her departure.

Swiftly manoeuvring through the vast halls of the daunting docking bay, there had appeared to be a slightly smaller passageway leading off toward the Portside of the facility.

A huge shuttle runway of sorts was guided by steady amber coloured lights, of which had extended across the entire length of it.

Oddly enough this runway had appeared to be even larger than entrance to the facility itself. This was a clear indication that there would have once been significant shuttle traffic within this particular area of the facility.

‘Procules’ began to glide smoothly towards the junction that lay ahead; when curiosity and intrigue caught the better of Keira Landon once more.

‘Guys, strap in will you! I am going to pivot the ship ninety degrees starboard, let’s see where this leads shall we?’ she asked, giving them a moment to prepare for the manoeuvre.

Striding through the damp and lifeless maze of hallways; it was almost as if the ‘Procules’ herself was trembling at the uneasy sound of old metal rattling. The ancient runway lights began blinking frantically amidst an overlying band of fog that lay dormant across the surface of this entire section of the facility.

The surging current of electricity that must have been powering those amber runway lights for countless years now, continued to hum majestically as it flowed throughout outdated systems within the hallway. An irritable humming seemed to echo across the breadth of the entire facility.

One thing could be ascertained so far, and that was that this facility had been constructed to withstand the test of time. This had apparently included besieging alien creatures’ from the dark beyond along with it.

As the three ships slowly began closing towards what appeared to be a sealed yet somewhat battered doorway; it was as if the sealed entrance recognised friend from foe and began to open with great struggle as the crumpled metal of the door violently scraped away at the sides of the entrance itself whilst it retracted away.

In quick succession to the clearance of the entrance, large industrial powered lighting began to illuminate the entire area with an escalating and continuous crashing of thunderous clatter.

In it’s wake, the sudden commotion left an unnatural calm and with it, held a benevolent setting. This had certainly been something that no one would have expected considering the damage that the entrance had already sustained.

As all three ships carefully traversed the huge entranceway, and pivoted ninety degrees around a tightly wound corner, jaws began to drop all over the bridge at the picturesque of a gigantic warship.

The monstrous sized warship appeared to be far larger than anything they had ever seen. Voices began escalading in shock at the dream like scenario which had presented itself.

‘Hey Kiera, am I really seeing this? We have only ever heard stories or mere ideas of creating warships of this size because of their unrealistic power requirements. Here we have one though...this has to be a dream!’ Hicks managed to get out under short breaths as he stared at the beast.

‘I agree, this is a miracle and perhaps the greatest discovery of our time or should I say another time?’ Landon agreed, wiping her eyes profusely, just to prove that it actually wasn’t a dream after all.

Their arrival into that section of the facility had not only triggered the facility’s hanger power to activate; but the warship as well.

The hanger’s unchecked power along with the resting juggernaut of a ship, both roared to life with beautiful rage as the ship’s systems began activating for what seemed to be the first time in well over a century.

‘Guys you need to get up here and check out these readings!’ Landon burst out in joy.

The crew had taken her word on that, as they all ran back across to the bridge. Even two representatives from the scientist group were permitted to join them once more; especially giving that this type of discovery was why they were here in the first place.

‘That didn’t take long’ Landon reflected as she checked her watch and looked back at them with glee.

’Alright then, our spectrographical analysis of the ship has identified that among other incomparable features she has sixty weapon’s batteries, of which twenty are fitted for missiles. She has an unknown propulsion system, of which appears to adopt the output of a warp engine’s capability in order to accelerate at a much faster pace despite her heavy mass. As well as this she even has what ‘Procules’ has identified to the best of her ability, as being an experimental worm-hole drive fitted which, to our own...rather limited understanding would allow her to jump to any known location almost instantly!’ Landon began.

‘At this moment we are unable to identify the classification of her shielding capability, as the shielding antennae are severely damaged on the Port-side and are preventing us from accessing that data, but the scientists can get their hands dirty!’ Landon remarked, concluding what she discovered so far.

Now looking towards the back of the bridge at the two representatives, one of them being Doctor Parks who was a space ship architect.

He truly was the best in his field. The man appeared to be a very thin, upstanding gentleman with well groomed jet black hair and glasses. Doctor Parks possessed a keen interest into spaceship designs; whether they were alien or human in design.

Then there was Doctor Cradle, of whom was an expert in spaceship engineering, along with weaponry, armour and shielding technology.

This was something that the boarding team sorely needed right now, if their investigation was going to bear any fruit.

Doctor Cradle was a rather short and shy individual, certainly not someone who would be expected to possess such impressive skills.

According to the government recruitment scheme for this mission; she had worked on pretty much every spacecraft and station within the deep space region of the Republic. She was expertly qualified for a mission such as this.

Both scientists were listening intently to what Landon had to say; given that they were selected by her to come up to the bridge. They certainly shared a great respect for Landon now more than ever before.

Following the briefing; both scientists looked back at each other smiling, until Doctor Parks spoke up first.

‘We really appreciate this opportunity Doctor Landon; we are making our own history right now with our actions. I don’t have to tell you how exciting this is! Anyway we will get our equipment ready and head to the ship’s docking bay, thank you again,’ he said.

In a joyful tone of voice, Landon made an announcement across the bridge and to the other ships.

’You guys ought to know, that amongst the data that we are now receiving, we have revealed the name of the huge ship...the warship’s name is ‘Insuperable’ meaning... impossible to overcome! Original I know!’ Landon declared with a short laugh.

‘Is that so...well Keira I can certainly see why, I mean look at that thing!’ Haynes remarked looking back at the others.

‘No kidding, I’d love to take her out for a ride!’ Conrad added, grinning with excitement.

‘Is that all Keira?’ Dares said in a half mocking voice.

‘Erm...actually...yes now that you mention it, we are picking up some crazy energy readings coming from the bottom of her hull though. They are emanating from an area that is founded by four outer antennae arrays; with what appears to resemble a huge pulse cannon...but nothing substantial really is it Dares?’ Landon commented.

It was Dares turn to analyse the readings now. This was her area of expertise after all. A few minutes later; the crew turned to face her when she gasped, she was struggling to find the appropriate words.

‘Take a look at this, we have identified that the specific energy readout from section of the ship, consists of a form of white matter which would be concentrated into that section by the four antennae. This concentrated white matter would then be fired out of the pulse cannon at an alarming rate.’

‘We can’t even begin to identify the total damage that could be caused by one of these blasts; all that we can determine is that it would likely destroy the target in short order. We have no clue as to how one of those blasts would affect the internal structure of the ship either, and we won’t learn anymore until we head over there!’ Dares announced.

‘Absolutely, well let’s go and fill Benj in on what is happening! I’m sure he can still here us...then we will go okay?’ Landon said.

With that being said they all headed down to the sick bay; whilst the scientists continued to make preparations for their upcoming departure.

Fear of the devastation that such a weapon could create was steadily haunting the crew; when an alert sounded at the receipt of new data arriving from the ‘Insuperable’. They were each still in the sickbay when they heard the alert. Hicks ran up to the bridge to check on the data this time around.

’My sweet aunt...Keira, the white matter energy readout from ‘Insuperable’ is one hundred percent identical to that of those alien spaceships which we encountered when we arrived here...they couldn’t have been telling the truth could they?’ Hicks announced in horror.

It had made no sense; the situation was swiftly escalating into a unimaginable nightmare.

‘When they said that our technology is theirs, they either meant that we took the technology from them or...that they took the technology from us’ Dares agreed.

‘So we can safely conclude that this technology is in fact from the future...I know that sounds insane but, I can’t think of any other explanation...remember what we found back on the planet...this is happening people!’ Landon reflected.

‘I don’t mind telling you though, that the fact that those energy readings are a perfect match is scaring the hell out of me! If they did take this technology from us in the future; and looking at the state of this facility, this must have been the case. The heavily pitted armour of the outer hull, and the majority of the structurally compromised interior would certainly attest to this having happened. These aliens, if we are calling them that, must have captured it, or at least they attempted to do so...who knows what happened!’ Landon reasoned.

’Your right Keira, I guess that they did not count on us being here either! Whether all of humanity were conquered in the future, or if we were in the middle of a full scale war with these doesn’t matter now. We have gained access to this facility, and we have found ‘Insuperable’ which is something that they could not do!’ Hicks added as he stood, hovering over Dares’ station on the bridge.

Everyone was silent once again. Worrisome thoughts of the future, and what their discovery would mean for future generations of humanity were endlessly plaguing their minds.

They were all still sat with Gable who lay in a sombre sleep within the sick bay. Warm tears rolled down Landon’s cheek as she sat holding Gable’s unmoving hand.

‘Benj you know everything that is going on. I can’t tell you how much it would mean to me if you came back to us right now! We need you assured we are here for you, so you had better wake up Mr! We are going to head over with the scientists, but Helena is going to stay with you and keep in contact with us okay!’ Dares nodded in a silent reply.

‘...I love you Benj’ Landon ended with a gentle whisper in his ear. Her heart-warming confession being accompanied by a soft kiss on his forehead. This wasn’t goodbye, this was an, I’ll be back soon kiss.

‘Alright then guys, Mickey? Dares will take over from you as well; lets meet down in the docking bay in five minutes!’ Landon ordered.

Landon left the infirmary hatch open behind her, as she headed down to the docking bay. Dares would remain behind within the infirmary for a while longer; watching over the severely injured Benjamin Gable.

‘Roger that Kiera, on the way!’ Hicks added.

'As it stands, we can assume that this facility and ‘Insuperable’ are from a somewhat uncertain future. A future where there was most certainly some intense fighting going on.′ Landon began.

‘Insuperable’ looks like it was constructed to fight a desperate war, one where our other ill-equipped ships were being decimated. This ship may have been a last ditch defence, or a forgotten one...if circumstances were that bad. Therefore we owe it to ourselves to get over there and reclaim it! Who knows, we may need it...if and when these events do come to pass, let’s go!’ she cheered.

An insistent curiosity entered the minds of every individual within the docking bay of the ‘Procules’ right now.

They each wondered about the possible implications regarding the presence of the alien spacecraft. They jubilantly expressed intrigue regarding the invaluable information, let alone technology that could be obtained from her.

They had also feared the horrifying possibility that the ship; along with the inhabitants of the facility may well have been the remnants of a lost future.

There was no way to be certain either way, yet the fact remained that those events may very well have changed with the altering of the present timeline.

'Colonel Conrad get your boarding party together and we will meet up with you outside of the ‘Insuperable’. There is a breathable atmosphere within this section of the facility, but the other uncharted areas of the ship are another matter entirely.' Kiera instructed.

'I would also recommend bringing along portable breathing apparatus Colonel! I will escort all fifteen of the scientists' along with my team to rendezvous with you.'

'Now let’s go and see what mysteries ‘the old gal’ has been hiding for so long!’ Landon announced exuberantly.

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