Bio-signatures detected, location: 8 39 15.70 +2 13 22.24
Total: four feasible escorts, one feeble transport
Calculating offensive protocols, success rate of 97%
Initiating pre-FTL protocols
Warp jump scheduled in 5
With the contortion of light and space, five vessels drifted into appearance just as the entrance in space time resumed its prior position. Four Legionary Frigates, outfitted with the finest ordinances and decals its military had to offer, surrounded a much smaller and defenseless vessel. A ship no larger than a small shipping freighter which contained not spacefarers, but some of the Legion’s brightest minds. It was a science vessel tasked with researching some of the most intriguing anomalies ever to be found by the Legion. On this particular vessel was a young man named Augustus Harvey, an intern who worked under the famous Doctor, Aleus Brutus.
Augustus, normally referred to as just Gus, was a rather tame looking fellow. Normally speaking in a soft tone which complimented his calm, blue eyes, narrow face, and dirty blonde hair which was normally kept short and brushed to the side. He was no higher than hundred sixty two centimeters and his over all lack muscle and body fat kept him thin as a bio plastic pen. Gus normally didn’t eat much, and when he did, it was the usual nutrient paste with some lab grown steak sticks. Same went for exercising, he did not do weights or any calisthenics with the marines on board, instead he stuck with doing cardio and for fun he went and read holo-books or data sticks.
The ship Gus found himself working on was formally known as Pathway, a sturdy vessel she was, shaped like a kite a child would fly on a windy day. It wasn’t the fastest of vessels, it was only able to reach .02 faster than light travel. Nonetheless its spacious interior and recreational rooms for the staff were quite nice and made work upon the science ship less boring when it came to irritable tasks such as observation.
Which unfortunately was why Pathway was here in what was knowingly called the binary anomaly system. Though the name was a common misconception. There weren’t two stars here orbiting one another, no matter of fact it was something else entirely that intrigued the Legion all together. Roughly five hundred light years from Sol; which was something that baffled the human species as a whole, something so bizarre that modern physics could not explain.
A star orbiting a tidally locked planet.
“We’re coming out of hyperspace!” A Pathway cadet said to a man sitting in a chair in the center of the bridge. Wearing his all white uniform, which was laced with dozens of awards and insignias, Captain Cornelius nodded his head and laced one leg over the other.
“Anything on scanners?” The Captain asked in deep, scruff tone as he glanced over at his survey officer who shook his head.
“Nothing, Sir, aside from our escorts, everything is green,” the man said as Cornelius gave an approving nod and shifted in his seat.
With a rub his neck, he took a breath he twirled a finger in the air. “Alright. Move us closer to the designated marker.” The captain cleared his throat as the head engineer nodded and began to divert energy to the ship’s engines while the coordinator inputted the route into the ship’s computer. “If everything goes smoothly we’ll be in stationary orbit within twenty terran minutes.” He coughed once more and blinked when a light tap came from his shoulder, glancing over he smiled at the sight his attendant who held a cup of water towards him.
Cornelius sipped his drink and waved the attendant away as he shifted his gaze towards the live video feed which was shot from Pathway’s frontal cameras. “Binary II is coming into view now, sir!” A cadet informed as the distant blue dot of the system’s second planet came to view; the anomaly precisely.
The captain smirked. “Bring us in slowly, Howard,” he said to the engineer beside him with a raised hand. The officer nodded and dragged the slider on his computer down slowly as they neared.
“Four thousand light seconds from target!” The coordinator said and the Captain shifted.
Cornelius looked to the surveyor. “How’s our scans, still nothing?” He asked and the woman manning the computer nodded.
The door to the bridge behind Cornelius opened and a scuffle could be heard followed by some one falling with a grunt. “Fucking hell?” The Captain muttered as he glanced over to see a toothpick of man in a black and white skin suit stand up. The thin man rubbed his freshly shaven face and muttered soft curses under his breath. “State your purpose, Doctor,” Cornelius sighed as he got up from his seat and cracked his back.
The lanky, man who looked to be no older than thirty coughed and looked towards the large and intimidating astronaut. “I-I came t-to see the anomaly for myself,” Augustus said quietly as he brushed his dirty blonde hair to the side.
The captain rolled his eyes and sighed once again, “Must be truly something if our best and brightest are smashing their faces on the plasteel floors just to see it.” He rolled his eyes and cocked an eyebrow. “How in the world did you happen to do that anyways?” He gestured out with a hand towards the perfectly smooth metal floor.
The scientist blushed softly and said, “Some things, Captain, are better left unknown.” Cornelius shrugged his shoulders and turned to face the monitor. Gus bit his lower lip and shook his head as he dusted himself off approached the large spacefarer. “So that’s it?” Gus asked and the Captain nodded.
“In about eighteen minutes now we’ll be in stationary orbit,” The captain said, his scruff tone making Gus shiver a bit with discomfort due to the fact the man sounded like a pirate to him. The thought of which brought back memories he wished not re-live.
“Any idea where the star is?” Gus asked as he pulled out his holo-communicator to check the time, which used the Terran time system. “It’s 0630, it should be rising by this time.” He glanced at the Captain who shrugged.
“Perhaps we missed daylight’s savings.” The older looking man joked and sat back down in his seat.
“Local star is actually five hundred light seconds behind us,” The coordinator said without looking up from his terminal. “It’s actually not moving at all strangely enough.” At that he turned his seat to face Gus and the Captain, both men looking rather perplexed.
“What do you mean it’s not...moving?” Gus asked softly as he moved over to the terminal.
“Aye, Son,” Cornelius grunted. “Clarify what you mean to us.” The older man itched his bald head and the coordinator coughed and moved aside so Gus could look.
“Well I mean...it’s in stationary orbit...I think...I honestly don’t know.” The man looked rather nervous at the fact he couldn’t concoct a clear answer. Gus leaned over and examined the computer and frowned as he glanced up at the surveyor. “Can you run a data scan on this?” He asked the woman, the cadet nodded her head and immediately began working at her monitor.
Gus went over to the woman while she worked and peered over her shoulder. “Can you cross analyze this with previous scans of various other systems?” He asked and she nodded and mentioned she was just about to do so.
“So this is where you’ve been,” Came the ancient voice of a man who had sounded as if he had screamed most of his life. Gus glanced over his shoulder and saw his mentor Aleus Brutus stepping onto the bridge, the bald yet heavily bearded man smiling warmly as he came to Gus. “I see you’ve noticed the stationary star.” Aleus spoke with a gravely voice.
“Captain we are about to enter geosynchronous orbit!” A cadet called out as Gus straightened and raised an eyebrow towards his mentor who had held his hand out to greet him.
“How’d you know?” Gus asked as he politely shook Aleus’ hand, even though his thick white beard hid the smile on his face. Gus could tell by the glint he saw in those eyes that his mentor was extremely excited.
“Observation deck, My Boy.” The man patted Gus on the back and chuckled at the confused look on the younger fellow’s face. “I know I keep telling you I’ll give you a tour of the ship but things just keep coming up.” Gus nodded his head and stretched with a small smile. “I noticed you’re cross analyzing the data,” Aleus said softly before clearing his throat, “I wouldn’t waste the time.” Gus frowned and looked at the man, over his shoulder he saw Cornelius frown and lean up in his seat as a transmission from one of the escorts arrived on screen. “We’ve already concluded there’s nothing relating to this anomaly,” Aleus said and went to continue but was stopped when Gus raised a hand as the loudspeaker spouted the escorts message.
“Multiple Hyperspace waves detected on Cato’s scanners!” The Captain of the Legionary frigate’s static filled voice called. A rapid beeping alarm suddenly sounded from the surveyor’s terminal as a 3D map appeared as it displayed the tear in spacetime.
The cadet shot from her chair and turned in the Captain’s direction “Massive unidentified vessel appearing three hundred light seconds by Binary II moon!” Cornelius instantly leaned up in his seat and jammed a finger towards the communications officer.
“Hail the escorts and figure out what the fuck is going on!” The captain straightened in his seat and glared at the live feed on the visual monitor. “No one else was to know of this system,” he grumbled under his breath.
“Sir,” The communications officer turned to Cornelius. “Captains of the Cato, Florus, Germanus, and Lupus are on line.” The captain nodded his and waved a hand for him to patch them through. Dividing into four quadrants, the four faces of each ship captain on screen.
“You mind telling me what the hell is going on?!” Cornelius erupted. “Do any of you have any idea who is intruding on our position?” The four other captains didn’t even seem to flinch, their naval background and training having taught them to remain calm.
The first talking head in the upper right; the captain of the Florus, straightened up. “There is nothing to fear, Cornelius, as of right now the situation seems to be stable. Calm yourself and focus on the task at ha--” A bright flash of light, followed up by a cacophony of noise silenced the head and blackened out that quadrant of the screen.
“Communications with the Florus is lost!” The man beside Cornelius stated.
“I can’t get a read on her!” The survey officer chimed in just as a massive racket and tremor silenced the bridge. Nearly everyone was thrown to the floor as the entire science vessel lurched when the torn remains of the Florus crashed into the side of the Pathways hull. Screams of terror filled the interior of the ship as the pilot’s scrambled to straighten the vessel back out.
“We’re under attack!” A man shouted as red lights flared up all throughout the ship, signaling the alert status.
“Remain calm!” Cornelius shouted over his crew. “Engage evasive maneuvers! We need to get away from here as fast as possible!” He ordered.
Augustus panted and gulped as he got back onto his feet as the ship leveled itself out, panting as he chastised himself for nearly shitting himself. A groan caught him off guard and glancing over he saw his older mentor laying on the ground, hand cupped to the side of his head. “Aleus!” Gus gasped and reached down to help his teacher up.
“I’m fine!” The old man grunted and sat up. “Take this for me,” the man said sas he held up a small data drive. “Get this to the third deck lab and download the data onto it for safe measures, then head to the life pods.”
Gus blinked and shook his head before snatching up the drive.
“You better be behind me!” Was the last thing he said before running off, Aleus shook his head and smiled as he shifted to get back onto his feet with a groan, head turning towards Cornelius whose eyes were wide as saucers.
“Attackers identified!” The commo said to the Captain. “One...Epsilon class...” His voice trailed off before saying with no hope in his tone, “Heirignost...” Cornelius’ jaw dropped as the sound of the other Captain’s voices came from the loudspeakers.
“All hands man your battlestations!”
Cornelius turned to his crew moments after. “Gather anything valuable and evacuate to the life pods were scuttling this vessel immediately!”
A loud alarm blared and darkened the the room with a red light. “Enemy boarding vessels approaching!” Alerted the automated computer.
“Son of a bitch.”
Organic vessel: Terminated
Three escorts lightly armed. Chance of defeat: none. Potential damage: two percent.
Data vessel: critical.
Will sound autonomous drones 4050 through 4080 to recover potential, reliable information on organic activities.
Warning: organic weapon systems are at full capacity, potential attack is imminent. In response, weapon systems are now engaging.
Rail Cannons are at one hundred percent
Electromagnetic Pulse Cannons are at eighty-eight percent charged.
Time until victory: thirty seconds.
All drones are to engage targets with extreme prejudice.
It only took a single rail cannon shot to split the Legion ship Cato in half, granting a split second for every two hundred and fifty marines on board to scream in utter horror before their air was ripped from their lungs and shared with the vacuum of space.
Within a few moments the remaining two escorts found their attacker was approaching out from behind the stationary moon floating beside the anomaly planet. A massive boomerang shaped vessel five times the size of a Legionnaire frigate, its hull shrouded a small part of the planet’s oceans below. With hardly any effect, the two frigates fired their Laz cannons, the blue beams tickling the hull of the colossal, black ship.
With another blast from the rail cannon, the escort, Lupus’s engine was gutted before erupting into a bright flash of light, incinerating everyone on board painlessly. With fear now gripping the hearts of the Germanus crew, the Captain ordered an emergency FTL jump, but was interrupted by an E.M.P blast, disabling all systems on board. Unable to control the crew, the captain announced an emergency evacuation, one which would be cut short as three boarding pods smashed into the side of the ship’s hull.
Massive autonomous drones would invade the vessel, erupting into a skirmish on board that Cornelius would not see. All of this he watched from his Captain’s chair with his remaining, loyal crew by his side, awaiting the mechanical boarding party thaw as approaching his ship.
“Captain...” A voice came from behind, snapping the older man out of his shocked stupor, he turned and saw a group of fully outfitted Legionaries. In their black and blue plasteel armor, the man up front, who was wearing a helmet, held single las rifle out to the Captain. “If assumptions are correct, it would futile to hold this ship, my men and I will hold them off while you and the rest escape.
Cornelius shook his head. “Even if we are to abandon the Pathway there would be no escape for us,” he said softly as he eyed the massive warship on screen, the glistening pods of the enemy boarding party reflected the light off the local star as they approached. “The Prime Nucleus, AM, will hunt us down, even if it means glassing that planet down below.”
The soldier shifted and lowered the rifle he had been offering to the Captain. “Shouldn’t we at least fight them then? Rather than lay down and die?” The Captain laughed loudly at this and reached under his seat, revealing to the soldiers Plaz pistol he had been hiding under there.
“Of course lads!” The captain grinned wildly as his loyal shipmates pulled open the plasteel panels, revealing more plasma weapons. “No way I’m going to die without shutting down at least a dozen of those hunks of scrap!”
Upon hearing the alert of an enemy boarding party, August nearly shat himself yet again as he jumped into the nearest unused elevator. Slamming his thumb on the the number three, he took the few precious moments he had to catch his breath; only to choke back a sob when the Captain’s voice came over the intercom alerting all non combat personnel to evacuate immediately.
When the door to the third deck opened, Gus was met with a mob of panicking scientists, engineers and other non essential crew members who shoved their way into the elevator. With a cry and a panicked squirm, Gus was able to squeeze his lanky frame around to the edge of the living tsunami. Upon shimming around the crowd, Gus would inch his way towards the main lab. Arriving seconds later his jaw dropped when he saw that nearly everything of importance had been taken save for a few bolted down terminals. Then he saw it, Aleus’ personal terminal. Gus quickly, while nearly tripping; raced his way to the computer and logged in under his mentor’s name by using the stick drive shortly after he inserted it into the terminal.
A massive boom and tremor shook the vessel, with the force of the blast and the receding air, Gus found himself being thrown to the floor. Not even seconds past as two more explosions rock the ship, signaling as the first wave of Heirignost invaders arrived.
It wasn’t long until Gus cried softly upon hearing the automatic gauss weapons and screams which flooded the interior of the ship. Now he was really about to shit himself. Quickly the skinny man got himself to his knees and began to download the entire system’s data onto the single jump stick, cursing all the while as he swore the sounds of sporadic weapon fire was heading his way.
“C’mon, c’mon, C’MON!” Gus yelled after he felt himself choking back his growing anxiety as a nearby man howled in agony. The horrific wail caused Gus to whirl around in time to see the shadowy figure of a marine being thrown passed the doorway like a dying ragdoll. Gus’s eyes widened as he felt his groin tighten when a disembodied cackle from what could only be an Heirignostian Eradicator droid made its way up the exterior corridor. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” The intern panicked as the data was transferred onto the drive, towards the door sharp cracks of heated air tore past the door, only to be responded to with gauss fire.
Gus let off a terrified whine just as the computer beeped when the transfer was finished. Just then, a massive shadowy figure loomed in the doorway and the man screamed out loud. Surprising himself, Gus snatched the jump drive and leaped onto the floor just as the Eradicator unleashed a maelstrom of magnetized metal into the wall where he just stood. The large bulky robot with a TV plastered on its face, released a series of metallic noise before lifting its slender leg and shifting its weight into the room. The reflecting light made the death bot sparkle and shine as it lifted its massive cannon of an arm and fired a series of burst rounds into the floor near where Gus laid.
The man squealed and cried as the metal rods pierced, or ricochet off the floor in every direction, a piece slicing his right cheek and making it bleed. Cursing the world around him he could feel his ass tightening as he crawled beneath the plasteel desk where the terminal sat and curled in on himself. That’s when he saw it. A small compartment hidden beneath the terminal with a single, unlocked latch. A series of thoughts came to his mind but he placed no thought into them and reached out desperate and opened the hidden drawer, eyes widening he let off a gasp as a single laser pistol fell onto the floor beneath his feet and screamed when the Eradicator turned and fired another hellstorm of rods into the side of the plasteel desk.
A hole the size of a base ball appeared inches before the man’s head and Gus ducked and snatched up the weapon. With shaking hands and only knowing what he seen in movies, Gus flicked the primer switch and dove out from under the desk and ran blindly for the back entrance that led into the B corridor. With a bellowing roar the Eradicator Droid lifted its rail cannon to fire but was blinded by the white light of a laser beam melting its light receptors. The battle bot jerked back violent as if repulsed, its rail cannon arching upwards and unleashing a stream of death into the ceiling.
Gus cried out as a single ricocheting round struck his right bicep, causing him to drop his weapon and bolt out into corridor B. Left hand clutching his wound, his blood soaking past his fingers and coating his jumpsuit. Tears streamed down his cheeks as he paid no mind to the blown apart bodies of marines and ship workers alike as he slipped on blood and stepped over coworkers on his way to the elevator. Behind him he heard the horrific cackling of the droid he had just recently shot in the face as he tore through the second lab entrance. A series of sporadic gauss fire sent him into double time as rounds traveling at mach 7 ripped past his ears.
The damaged battle droid fired blindly in Gus’s direction, its vision receptors fried from the laser, thus making it only able to go off of the sound of the organic’s panting and wheezing. Shifting one leg forward, the droid’s claws stabbed into a fleshy body, coating its limb with the blood of the fallen inferior. With a second step the muck covered limb slipped and sent the droid tumbling into the ground with a deafening bang. Allowing Gus the time to reach the elevator and dive inside.
Gus dove into the elevator upon hearing the clumsy machine crumple to the ground like a toppling I beam. Slamming his finger upon the emergency deck icon, the door slid shut and the man crumpled to the ground panting, wheezing and groaning with agony. Adrenaline fading he gripped his wounded arm and wept quietly as the elevator descended to the escape deck. Moments passed and the door opened to reveal the remaining ship survivors scrambling into few life pods that were left.
A marine who stood not so far from elevator’s entrance had their back turned to Gus and was waving their arms about, directing the few survivors to pods and helping the wounded inside. Gus panted and moaned as he pushed himself up onto his legs, hand cupping the dripping wound in his arm and began to walk towards the nearest unmanned pod.
“Is that everyone?” Gus heard the marine’s feminine shout to someone he couldn’t see.
“Aye, that’s everyone on deck!” An unseen person responded. “Pods off in sixty seconds, last chance to hop in!” The voice called and Gus assumed they climbed into their own escape vessel.
“Move, Civie!” A female’s voice startled Gus and he yelped when a hand shoved him into the escape hatch and hopped in behind him. Gus landed on his shot bicep and let off a cry of agony as the marine he saw originally giving orders pull the door shut before the automated system sealed it air tight.
“Fuckin--garaggh!” Gus groaned as he pushed himself to his knees and with his bloodied free hand, gained purchase on the seat right by him. Arms took him by the sides as the marine hoisted him off the floor and sat him in the chair as if he weighed nothing.
“Sorry,” The woman soldier said, her voice muffled by her helmet, she began strapping him into the chair and securing him. “Didn’t have to shove ya, but y’know, can’t be wasting time right now.” The marine pulled a safety bar over Gus, who couldn’t help but think in the moment that this reminded him of the time he rode an ancient coaster back on Terra. The marine did a once over and blinked when she saw the massive gauss made wound in the man’s arm, she cursed softly. “I’ll tend to that wound once we’re a few kilometers from the pathway.” With that she went over to the pods controls and inputted their heading before strapping herself down.
“Jettison in twenty seconds,” A voice said over the pod’s computers. Upon hearing this Gus gulped and tensed a bit as he watched the marine hurriedly strap herself in expertly, and with perfect timing, upon tightening her restraints the pod lurched momentarily as it flung off the ship at nearly mach five. Gus bit his lower lip and scrunched his face as the beginning of launch was always the worst part.
Though as moments past and the pod was at a somewhat “safe” distance from the craft, the marine undid her safety straps and pushed herself over to Gus. The gravity inside the pod fading as it left the range of the ship’s gravitational pull and the marine floated over Gus who looked up at her with wide eyes. “Your wound is bubbling, the zero Gs should help mitigate the possibility of you bleeding out and I think I can safely tend to this,” The marine said, her voice sounding relieved to be alive.
“You think?” Gus tensed as the marine touched around his wound and examined it, he couldn’t see the woman’s face but her tight grip made him think she didn’t like the comment.
She shrugged after a moment or two of silence. “I only know what they taught me back on Titan, I’ll be honest this is the first time I’ve ever came into contact with the walking televisions.” She rubbed the back of her neck and pushed back and floated over to the supply hatch at the upper end of the pod.
Gus panted softly and groaned as his wound began to throb. “You’re a Titan Girl eh?” He asked softly and the marine chuckled at his wording.
“No. I’m actually a Spacer,” She said as she took a first aid kit out of the hatch before closing and securing it. “Born at the Hermes Station over Jupiter.” Gus’s eyes widened before a faint smile appeared on his face.
“Never met a Spacer before, let alone one who’s a Legionnaire Marine.” The woman pulled herself over to Gus via the hanging bars on the top of the craft.
“Oh it was fucking hell,” She admitted as she used the velcro straps to secure the aid kit near the seat Gus sat in and used the straps on her exo suit to secure her to the seat. “The station over Jupiter only has have the Gs of that of Earth, so conditioning for multiple environments, hell even Mars made me collapse a few times from over exertion.”
Gus chuckled softly and nodded. “I tend to have the opposite effect,” He said with a rub of his neck while using his good arm. “I always use too much force.” The marine glanced up at him as she got out a small pack coagulating gel to secure his bleeding.
“So you’re a Home Boy?” She asked and Gus snorted a bit and laughed as he nodded his head.
“Toledo, Ohio; born and raised--” Gus gasped as the gel made contact with his wound and within seconds started sealing it, with a pain filled hiss and cooling sensation; the bubbling blood began to dissipate. “J-Jesus--Christ!” He groaned as the gel did its work on him, the hole in his arm mostly gone but the pain very well deciding to stick around.
“Oh suck it up.” The marine patted his cheek lightly with her thickly gloved hand, she then shifted to clean out the remainder of the wound before wrapping it with thick gauze. “If I were a doctor, I’d say don’t use this arm for at least a few days, let the nano-gel do its work and then you’ll be in tip top shape...but...” Gus blinked and looked at the woman with a raised eyebrow.
“But what?” Gus asked but was silenced when she pointed to the televised window, the intern’s eyes followed the soldier’s finger and then gasped when he saw what she was pointing at. In a flash of blue white, the Pathways’ engines sparked an thrusted the science vessel and nearly light speed at Heirignost Epsilon’s core. Despite not seeing this action with his naked eyes, he did see the Epsilon’s core erupt in blue and white fire before sending the crescent shaped ship recoiling back.
If it wasn’t for the vacuum of space, the action alone probably would’ve made both the marine and Gus deaf when the hydrogen sized explosion blinded the video feed on screen. “That...crazy bastard,” The marine said softly, her arm drifting back down to her side. “Nevermind what I was going to say...” Her voice drifted off, her previous relieved tone now gone.
“The Heirignost ship,” Gus started and coughed, “They actually took it down.” Unlike the marine the intern felt himself actually feeling a bit joyful. “I’ve heard of sub-light ramming, but i’ve never seen it in practice! That was brilliant, those men might’ve saved us!” He felt himself beaming, the pain in his arm numbing as the gel released pain relievers throughout his body.
“Yeah...” The soldier detached herself from Gus’s seat and drifted over to the window monitor. “They just might’ve.” That was the last thing Gus heard her say before the pod’s warning siren sounded.