[Present, D’okti City,
the abandoned Planet X-351]
“Leave it!” she screamed at him. “It’s done.”
It was pointless to try and scavenge for anything in this area had been obliterated by the crash. This was the third largest and only inhabited city on the all but abandoned planet. Now, there was nothing left but smoldering cement, some dead bodies and the smell of despair.
A small tactical fleet-ship, the Revolution, of the Intergalactic Defense Agency responded to a distress signal from a small IDA outpost outside the city of D’okti on X-351. The planet was ravaged years ago and abandoned by most of its inhabitants. The IDA setup a small base on X-351 as it was a strategic post in the fight against them but was short on supplies. A recent battle found survivors of the Revolution fighting for their lives.
“Get down!” the Captain shouts as she dives behind the remnants of a building. The rest of her ragtag team scramble to find cover as incendiary blasts showers the area. They all charge their M-99’s and wait for a break in the assault and when that time comes…
“Bring those motherfuckers down!”
They fire their M-99’s into the air at the enemy, lighting the blackened sky with streams of EMP blasts. They manage to bring one of them down forcing them to scurry for cover. It crashes to the ground, tearing down decimated structures and filling their air with dust and debris. The only light coming from the rest of the enemy, firing down their flames of death down at the small group.
They try to find cover as the air itself burns around them filling their lungs with unbearable heat. They managed to find refuge behind a battered vehicle.
“Did we get it?” asked one of the soldiers.
“Yeah it’s down but the other one is still airborne but I can’t see,” said the Captain.
She pulls over her visor, hoping the infrared scope will help her see through the dust and debris. She sees nothing above her but the readings on her visor show signs of life from the monstrosity they just shot down.
She recharges her M-99 and slowly walks towards the head the hulking giant. The battered group hesitantly walks behind her, charging their M-99’s. It takes about five minutes still they reach the head of the thing. When they finally reach its head, they all find themselves in awe as they have come face-to-face with the enemy. The creature groans with a deep guttural moan that vibrates their bones. This is the first time any of them have seen on up close and all at once overcome with a strange mix of fear, wonder and anger.
“Kill it Captain!” yells a private in a breaking voice.
The captain charges her M-99 and aims for what she believes is its eye.
“This is for you Gram J,” said the captain.
[Five days ago, Imperial Battleship V-7, Sector 3, Deep Space]
Leontyne Jakes waits in the office of High Admiral Peal, requested personally through General Hardy, her superior and mentor. She walks around his office looking at the Admiral’s accomplishments which decorate the walls. She stops at a picture, a mundane picture of the Admiral at his home, on Earth before the invasion. It’s a rare picture of the planet when it was occupied by the human race.
Leo had always had a fascination for the blue planet she never knew or visited. The picture joins one of many images she’s catalogued in her mind. Her grandmother was the last of her family to have lived on Earth before they came. The picture on the wall takes her back to her childhood on Terra-2. Her favorite thing to do was visiting her Gram J’s farm on the Mesotac Plains outside the city.
Gram J grew up in Atlanta, GA, a densely populated city in the United States of America on Earth. She remembers how Gram J would tell her the old stories, passed down through generations, of how African Americans overcame many struggles and how she personally overcame growing corn in green sands on the plains. She remembers how her grandmother described life on Earth at family reunions and how much she wished she had lived there.
Earth was such a vast contrast to life on Terra-2 with its cold metal cities and genetically altered terrain. As a captain of an assault fleet, Leo was beginning to feel the wear-and-tear of a soldier’s life in deep space. The fights against these AABs (Aggressive Alien Beings) only known through alien archives described as “them”, were making her long for a simple life. She could remember when she was young; all she ever wanted was everything but a simple life. She wished she could warn that little girl what was waiting for her…
“Captain?” said Admiral Peal with an inquisitive smile on his face.
“Admiral Peal!” Leo says saluting the Admiral.
“At ease, at ease Captain,” he says patting Leo on her shoulder.
“You know, no one has ever paid that much attention to that picture before. You see something interesting?”
“No sir… it just reminded me of my grandmother.”
“Oh, where was she from on Earth?”
“Atlanta, she had a small farm on the outskirts of the city. The picture just reminded me of it.”
“That was actually my grandfather’s farm in Texas. I was 25 in that picture and he had just passed. The whole family had gone up there to clear Grandpa’s things away. He was a smart man; He probably would have a solution to dealing with these AAB bastards. So, I see General Hardy recommended you to helm the Revolution?”
“Have a seat Captain,” he says flipping through her portfolio. “You have one of the most impressive lists of accomplishments, decorations and marks I’ve seen in a long while.”
“Thank you Admiral,” she says watching the Admiral flip through her portfolio.
“I see you were on stationed on base 12 on P-350,” he says as he puts down the portfolio looking at her intently. “That was one of the worst battles we’ve faced against them. A lot of soldiers died that day and those that made it out… how did you make it threw that if you don’t mind my asking.”
“Well Admiral, I was trained to survive no matter what,” she’s says with confidence that barely covers a still shaken soul.
“As most IDA soldiers are but this was a particularly rough fight. Those that survived, well many of them were put on psychiatric leave or left the IDA altogether. Why did you join the IDA?”
“I’ve always been a patriot at heart Admiral,” she says through a guarded smile. “When I was growing up on Terra-2, I used to love watching the IDA soldiers in the parades and on national holiday events and when I got older and learned what they did…I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”
“Terra-2… it was attacked, what, over ten years ago or so, wasn’t it?”
“Yes, it was,” she said knowing that the memory would come flooding back faster than she could tell the story. “Um, I guess you can say that was a motivational factor.”
“It was for many of your generation. The enlistment to the IDA after the attack increased ninety percent.”
Leo can hear the Admiral talking but she’s light years away, in her teens at the junior IDA training camp watching her home being ravaged on screen in the barracks. It felt like a horror movie she had seen many times on the Globotron screen at theaters back home only made real by the wailing and screams of other cadets around her. She remembers the urgent need to get home as soon as possible but not being able to as Terra-2 had been deemed lost by the IDA and the Worlds Federation Intergalactic. Terra-2 was now considered to be in hostile territory.
The impulse to go home grew into a mind-bending obsession and she plotted along with other cadets to return to Terra-2. She had to see it for herself; she had to know if any of her family had survived, if Gram J’s farm was still there. It may have been wishful thinking but it had to be satisfied if it was the last thing she ever did. Somehow, still an amazing feat to this day in her head, she and a handful of cadets managed to steal an IDA Cruzer and headed for Terra-2. The three-week journey could’ve meant being discharged from the junior academy and stiff charges and penalties which included jail time. They didn’t care, they had to go home.
As the IDA Cruzer, low on fuel, approached Terra-2, some of the cadets began to weep as they looked upon their once green planet now battered with black clouds of ash and smoke. As they break the atmosphere, the landscape slowly comes into view displaying a chard and smoking wasteland that was once home. Leo runs to the helm, pushing one of the cadets out of the chair and takes the controls. No one tries to stop her, as they are too overcome. She maneuvers the cruzer like a pro and heads for the Emerald Ocean Territory in the Mezotac Plains. The green sand meets her eyes which blur with joy and anticipation that she will her Gram J’s house amazingly untouched. Her heart sinks as the cruzer comes upon the smoldering rubble of what used to be her life.
“Captain Jakes?” said the Admiral bringing her mind back through time and space.
“I’m sorry sir,” she says gathering herself mentally. “What did you say?”
“Are you ready to see your ship?”
“Yes sir. Of course”
[Tactical Bay, Imperial Battleship V-7]
As they ride the aerolift through the tactical bay, Leo can’t help but feel a small twinge of nostalgia. She remembers the goosebumps she got when she first boarded an Imperial Battleship and the awe of seeing the tactical bay. She remembers the thrill of knowing she would actually live on board on a fleet-ship and not a simulated one. Now they fill her with a slight hesitation having survived the destruction of the first fleet-ship she was assigned to. Now she would be commanding one, with thousands of lives in her hands. She wondered if she was ready…
“There she is Captain,” said Admiral Peal. “The Revolution.”
It was a beautiful ship complete with the newest upgrades and outfitted with weaponry which had proven effected in recent battles with the AABs. She remembered reading in earlier profiles that the Revolution was the first experimental fleet-ship to achieve Phase 5 Core drive and maintain cloaking capabilities without burning out the Crio Cells, which was a huge break through.
They step off the aerolift onto the upper bridge looking down at the massive ship. She was starting to feel the weight of her new responsibilities mounting on her shoulders. It took time, blood, sweat, tears and a few brushes with death to get here but she was here. This is where it would begin, where she would declare war on the monsters that destroyed all that she held dear.
She was ready.
[Four days later, tactical fleet-ship Revolution, near Planet X-351]
“Another AAB is approaching from the rear at rapid speed Captain,” said Private Soams.
“Hold our position and be ready to go into Phase 2 drive,” Leo says with confidence. “How close is it?”
“It’s about to kiss our ass Captain,” said Private Worthers.
“Now! Go Phase 2,” Leo yells as the ship goes into incredible speed. “Circle around this moon, charge the disrupters and fire on my command.”
The ship arcs around the moon as the AAB unleashes its incendiary blasts barley missing the ship. The Revolution circles the moon in seconds comes up behind the creature.
“Fire!” screams Leo with an intensity her crew has come to know very well.
The disrupters hit the AAB causing it to leak a fiery trail of plasma-like fire as it floats lifeless through space. Its plasma mixes with the plasma leaking from the other AAB the Revolution managed to take down moments before. The plasma slowly engulfs the Revolution like a ship sailing in a sea of fire.
“Shields are holding Captain,” said Private Worthers, “but we’re blind. We need to get clear of these emissions.”
“Chart a course to X-351,” said Leo. “We’ve taken two of these fuckers down people. It’s a damn good day.”
As they clear the plasma cloud, the two AABs float lifeless behind them. The crew celebrates internally as many of them have lost loved ones, homes and friends to the AABs. The Revolution eventually reaches the outer atmosphere of X-351 and holds orbit around the planet.
On a viewing screen on the bridge, Leo speaks with the High Commander of the IDA outpost near the city of D’okti on X-351, which had been sending out distress signals for reinforcements. Leo ignored orders not to respond to the distress calls as X-351 was too far into hostile territory. The thought of another planet being ravaged infuriated Leo and she was willing to face severe reprimands if it meant saving lives.
“Thank you Captain Leo for responding,” said the High Commander. “We’ve been sending out distress calls for weeks.”
“No problem,” said Leo. “We just took out two of those bastards outside your moon.”
“We’re much obliged,” said the High Commander. “This planet is tactically the best spot to build an armada to really take it to these bastards. We can’t afford to lose it. When are more reinforcements coming?”
“They’re not coming,” said Leo.
“What?!” said the High Commander.
“X-351 is considered to be too deep in hostile territory,” said Leo. “We’re here to get you and rest of your crew out. We have enough room on our ship.”
“They can’t see how important a foothold this planet is in this fight against those bastards?” the High Commander angrily yelled.
“I agree with you High Commander but they don’t,” said Leo. “This planet is too close to AAB territory. We’ve barely took out two of them and Lord only knows if there are more on the way. We need to get you out now. We’re sending down a couple of cruzers to pick you guys up.”
“Captain! Two AAB’s approaching at rapid speed!” said Private Soams.
“Charge disrupters and get ready to fire,” said Leo as she braces for battle.
The High Commander runs outside the installation as the sky lights up in battle between the Revolution and the AABs. He is soon joined by other personnel who look up to the sky waiting to hear for confirmation that the AABs have been killed.
“Sir, the E-50 Cannons are charge and ready,” said a female Corporal. “We can help them.”
“They’re too far out of the atmosphere,” said the High Commander. “We don’t want to take the chance that we’ll hit them. We don’t want to help those bastards.”
“I see something,” said a male soldier.
Their hearts sink to see the fleet-ship blazing down in flames headed towards the city of D’okti. It crashes in a blaze of surging electro-magnetic fury sending shockwaves that bring down buildings in the abandoned city. The shockwaves eventually reach the IDA outpost knocking everyone to the ground, destroying some structures and short-circuiting weaponry which only adds more devastation to the base when they to detonate.
When the dust clears, the High Commander lies dead among many who took fatal blows from the wave of electro-magnetic blasts. The remaining personnel gather themselves and ready for battle as soldiers pilot the E-50 Cannons and while others arm themselves with the working weapons they have left. Their eyes stay fixed on a sky shrouded in debris and smoke, waiting to hear the guttural screams and flaming bodies of a tireless enemy. Instead they hear a familiar sound of cruzer engines touching down. Eventually they see the remainder of the Revolution crew running towards them.
“Get ready!” yells a battered Leo. “They’re coming. We take our stand right here.”
She charges her M-99 and prepares herself for what might be her last fight.
[Present, D’okti City]
“Kill it Captain!” yelled Private Soams.
“If you’re not going to do then I will,” said another soldier.
“No!” said Leo jumping in front of the charging M-99s. “Leave it.”
“What?” said a female soldier. “Captain, these things deserve to die!” The female soldier fires only to have Leo knock her gun upward sending the blast in the air.
“I am you superior and I gave you an order!” yelled Leo. “I said leave it. It’s dying anyway.”
They look at her in anger and confusion but they still have respect for rank and they stand down, though they don’t know why. Leo stares at the AAB, wondering if this was one of the creatures that destroyed Terra-2. She thinks about Gram J and how she said she would avenge her one day. Up until a moment ago, the death of this monster would have filled her thirst for revenge but the war would continue. Leo realized avenging her grandmother’s death would be ending this threat once and for all. This meant her battle was far from over.
“Come on, we need to find food and get back to the base,” said Leo walking away from the AAB as its body began to crumble away like molten rock.