“We have the data Chancellor,” Sarab told her superior frantically as they rushed together to the main chambers of the Coalition Council.
They were at the Capital City of the Coalition base planet. From here all decisions from their numerous Colonies were made and voted upon.
They called the planet Cryostar; it was not overly populated; only 25,000 citizens lived upon its surface. It was 80% land as the majority of the lakes and rivers stemmed from a central location and flowed like veins to the rest of the planet. Much of the water was underground so the rivers and lakes were mostly used more for recreation rather than necessity.
Sarab enjoyed this planet, although it was not where she was born; she worked here along with many others, monitoring the Coalition planets; exploring new solar systems and waiting for aliens they observe to reach an advanced enough level to welcome into their community. For her people, being involved in a community was the meaning of life.
She caught herself daydreaming again as she was want to do and broke her mind from it. There were more pressing matters at hand now.
“It is being sent there to the room now correct, the video of this event?” Her superior asked.
Chancellor Lycon was an elderly statesman; he was kindly and patient, a man that Sarab enjoyed working for. She was in a rush but still waited for him to keep pace with her; he was a shorter Stanannoki at just 6 feet tall.
They approached the room where two guards awaited them. Warrior Stanannoki were all 8 feet in height; heavily armored in Battle Suits and armed with large laser cannons at their hips. They nodded at the approaching superiors and allowed them to pass into the chamber.
A large number of diplomats and politicians; 14 total, were in a buzz as they entered; the video Sarab had sent ahead was playing on a monitor above them.
The 14 represented the 4 sectors of the Galaxy they had divided among themselves along with 10 other important planets, bases or civilian space stations within those 4 sectors. Senators from each quadrant were the most powerful in those sectors, but within this room and on the planet, Chancellor Lycon was in command.
“We must assume that the fleet has been devoured as well,” A Senator female from Sarab’s western sector of the galaxy said.
“Impossible!” Another politician yelled out; “We would have heard from one of the 4 ships. There’s over 60 Stanannokians on those ships, practically an army, one of them would have sent word.”
“They did send a distress signal,” Sarab said, adding her voice to the fray.
She was largely ignored as the politicians continued debating each other.
“Enough!” Lycon roared over their shouting voices. He waved his hand at the monitor, controlling it with his wrist computer.
They all stared up at the monitor and watched the images coming from it.
It seemed impossible but the planet of Treebok was being sucked into a hole in space. It collapsed within itself and after a few moments was gone.
“What can we make of this?” Lycon asked them all.
“Our top scientists are working on theories…” A senator from the eastern quadrant of the galaxy said; “According to the radiation outputs we can see from the data, all indications appear to be a Black Hole.”
“Were the Treebok people working on a project to produce a Black Hole?” Lycon asked the Senator from that region of space.
“Not according to anything I know of,” She answered; “They have Dark Matter Warp technology so it is pointless to experiment in such arts.”
“A Black Hole would explain why no communications would be received” Another politician spoke up; “The transmission could have been warped in time or even consumed by the gravity itself. The solution seems to be to avoid that area from now on.”
A murmur of agreement followed him.
“But that doesn’t explain why the planet was consumed so quickly;” A Commander from a military base spoke; he was also a member of the Royal Family.
“If this was a Black Hole it should have taken months or at least weeks for the planet to be enveloped. Despite even the powerful gravity there should have time for many to escape.”
“It doesn’t change the fact that this appears to be a Black Hole,” Another politician chimed in.
“There is no Event Horizon” The Royal Family member insisted looking at the monitor; “I suggest we place a force field around the area in question and leave this particular solar system be for all time.”
“I’m afraid it isn’t that simple;” Lycon said with a sigh, “The Black Hole, or whatever it is, appears to be able to travel, and travel quickly.”
He broadened the range of the video from the probe; the entire Treebok solar system could be seen now. Four gas giants orbiting a medium yellow sun. Treebok itself was the only habitable planet.
They all watched as one by one the gas giants suffered the same fate as Treebok. They collapsed within themselves and disappeared. Finally; they watched in horror as the sun itself shrunk in size. They could see the core of the star as it began to explode but was suctioned off as it did until only darkness remained.
“No force field we have is powerful enough to contain it or match that kind of power.” Lycon spoke.
Any standing politician slumped down into their seats and stared blankly in front of them. The Royal Family member’s skin turned dark as he looked like he may be sick.
“This all occurred within the span of one galactic week,” Lycon spoke; “The largest of the gas giants was consumed in an hour, the sun took a full day. Whatever this thing is it can consume matter of any kind 20,000x faster than a normal Black Hole”
“Impossible…” More than one breathed out.
“The Catcher fleet was close to the vicinity of this occurrence.” Sarab said somberly; “It’s not known if they suffered the same fate as Treebok before or after the planet but it’s now almost certain that they have been consumed also.”
“But…” The Senator, named Pentia from Sarab’s western region said; “We can track Black Holes… I’ve heard of a “Rogue” Black Hole before but still… How can this be that we missed it?”
“We are trying to detect the radiation signatures from this abnormality,” Lycon said; “We managed to have this probe, which took the images, escape in time and is now working on tracking it. Data is slow coming in; the Black Hole is disrupting time in all directions it seems. But, early estimates has it hurtling towards the next nearest system; Balanntis.”
“There are three habitable planets there!” Pentia exclaimed; “One of which I hold very dear; the beings there are just now learning complex mathematics for deep space flight. Not one of those planets is hostile towards the other.”
“All three are heavily populated as well;” Sarab said slowly, this was an system under her command; “The most populace one has over 20 million sentient beings upon it; not to mention the wildlife… All three can expect to suffer the same fate as Treebok.”
“That’s over 50 million sentient souls between the three planets!” Pentia said rising from her chair. “We must do something!”
“What is there to do?” Brosker; the Eastern Senator asked. “We cannot fight a Black Hole; it’s not an Odium warship.”
“There may be a way to contain it;” Lycon spoke. “My chief scientist has worked out an Infinite Energy Orb. The trait so far from this rogue Black Hole is that it’s feeding on any matter it can find. Once it consumes everything before it, it somehow is drawn to the next nearest source of material; whatever the material may be. If we can dispatch this orb towards it; in empty interstellar space, it may keep it locked in that location for all time.”
“Can we deploy it in time before it reaches Balanntis?!” Pentia asked hurriedly.
“I believe so,” Lycon nodded; “We will need a crew to go with the Orb though. We cannot trust our probes to deliver such a package when the communication with them is faulty.”
“I will go,” Sarab volunteered.
“I knew you would,” Lycon nodded; “I wish I did not have to send you but you are one of the best minds we have. I trust your judgement.”
Sarab nodded, honored to be allowed to go.
“We will need at least 2 more operators,” Lycon said; “One of them should be one of my scientists who understand the Infinite Orbs capability and function, I shall leave the other candidate to you Sarab.”
“I will bring Linguon,” Sarab said; “She was one of the first to begin tracking the abnormality and knows a good deal of technical data as well.”
“Good” Lycon nodded; “Then you shall pilot the vessel; take a Type A DMWarp ship, the shields on it can withstand the pull from a Black Hole for enough time for you to deploy and escape. Good luck; you shall depart this evening.