United Terran Government Academy #9

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Epilogue

"Captain! Our drones have secured geostationary orbit to monitor the Sol System. You need to take a look at this." The first lieutenant gives the Captain an unsettling look.

The Captain shuffles across the room to look over the first lieutenant's shoulder.

"What am I looking at?"

"Sir, this planet is already colonized." The first lieutenant says despondently.

"What!?" The Captain shouts in astonishment. "What do you mean by colonized, first lieutenant? That's what we came out here to do."

"I know sir, that's why I called you over in the first place. The intelligence division is looking into this matter as we speak. The data they've provided thus far is that the colony planted in this system has already claimed six planetary bodies."

"Impossible! How was our data wrong on this system? We've only discovered this system within the past couple of centuries. Hmm... This is very odd, Verona."

"Sir..." Verona mutters in reaction to the Captain using her first name.

"In any case, let's sit still for now. That's what you were going to get my approval on right? Whether we should stay the course or not?"

"Yes. I'll let notify the engine room at once." Verona gets up and is about to leave the bridge, but the Captain stops her.

"Verona, why not just relay the info via Konsokium?"

"I'd rather not Sir. But if that's an order, than I'll follow it completely."

"At ease. You're free to run your station as you see fit."

"Thank you sir. That's what I like about serving with you."

"Ha! That's a hoot. As if you have a choice when you're so far from your Home planet."

"I suppose your right Sir." Verona says as she looks uneasily to the side.

The Captain catches this sly eye movement. "You're free to go First Lieutenant."

"Thank you Sir." Verona salutes. The Captain salutes back, and Verona makes her way off the bridge toward the engine room.

"That woman always likes doing things the hard way. But I suppose her patience is why she is my First Lieutenant..." The captain whispers quietly to himself.

He makes his way back to his seat in the middle of the bridge. He brings up the live data coming in from the drones on a vis-display. He presses a series of on-screen commands and he sits back into his chair, resting the back of his head backward on the chair. He closes his eyes, and suddenly the image of what the drone can see transmits directly into his brain. The drone pushes forward, out of geostationary orbit, and falls toward the center of the system. After the Captain verifies a set of coordinates, he initiates the faster than light engine on board the drone. The drone automatically stops at its destination and it captures what it sees. The Captain receives the visual data in real time and gasps. "My goodness! These aliens are advanced! Almost as good as our tech," the Captain says. The Captain views a large fleet of dreadnought class battleships floating in free space several hundreds of thousands of kilometers away from one of the moons of Sol-6--a gas giant with unique rings that orbit it's body. The impressive show of might distracts the Captain for a moment, but he ventures on toward the center of the Sol System where the concentration of the alien's colony resides. He marks another set of coordinates, and the drone is off once more using the FTL engine. He arrives now at another gas giant, Sol-5, that has a peculiar looking red spot on the surface of its body. The Captain knows that the great red spot is in reality, most probably a huge force of nature on the planet. However the Captain also knows that the drone he possesses doesn't have the necessary instrumentation to analyze the great red spot in detail, so he turns his attention toward a smaller fleet of dreadnought class battleships floating in free space hundreds of thousands of kilometers away from the massive planet and simply gawks at it before entering another set of coordinates. He jumps through FTL travel once more to find his drone viewing a considerably smaller planet, Sol-4. "Impressive," the Captain says as he observes a network of space elevators that rise from the red planet's surface, piercing the planet's atmosphere.

---

The space elevators align with Sol-4's equator giving the red planet and an artificial ring, similar to that of Sol-6's natural rings, but infinitesimally smaller and almost nonexistent comparatively. However the Captain still marvels at the sight since he knows how hard it must have been for this intelligent civilization to create not only one space elevator, but enough to surround the entire planet. His Home planet abandoned a similar project due to his Home planet's unfavorable size, making it extremely difficult to keep a space elevator erect for longer than a couple of years. So the Captain sits in silence admiring this civilization's triumphant success in creating a network of space elevators around Sol-4's equator. He eventually zooms in on the image of the red planet using the drone's next generation optical sensors and he sees small dots--that are only a couple of pixels wide--moving about from one space elevator station to another. At the top of each space elevator, a station sits atop which acts as a hub for inbound and outbound traffic--coming from space to the planet's surface and going into space from the planet's surface, respectively. "Spaceships," the captain whispers. "Magnificent!"

After one last gaze he retrieves coordinates of the last known signal in the system and promptly attempts a jump to its location--a warning message prompts him that the coordinates inputted is obstructed, so he inputs coordinates a good distance away, and attempts the jump once more. It's successful, but when the drone arrives, an object activates its proximity sensors--which has a maximum of approximately fifty kilometers. He jumps once more with the drone's FTL engine to a random coordinate within Sol-3's area of influence in order to avoid whatever object is causing the proximity sensor to go off. The drone seemingly pops out of existence when it jumps, and a pebble of comet barely misses the drone, but the Captain would not know how close of a call it is because the drone made the jump in time and is now viewing the splendid image of Sol-3. The drone had jumped a fair distance away from the planet, in order to avoid any collisions. It took the data of all non-jumpable locations, and calculated the safest possible coordinate without having to jump once again. It did this automatically without the Captain's input or even knowledge. "A blue dot..." the Captain whispers, as his drone floats very slowly now toward the alien civilization's central location--the civilization's Home planet.

"Captain!" A voice blares in the Captain's head.

"What!?" The Captain shouts in frustration.

"Uhh..." The voice hesitates in much quieter tone. "The data from the drone you're piloting is coming in strong here in the Intelligence Division. The team is working hard to analyze the data and we've come to a rough analysis."

"Spit out Discov! What did your team find?"

Discov, the Intelligence Division Lieutenant sighs, before complying with his superior officer's request. "The Intelligence Division has roughly determined that the lifeforms of this civilization is..." The Intelligence Division Lieutenant pauses. "The lifeforms are..."

The Captain sighs in frustration due to the unnecessary suspense--uncaring for his lieutenant's feelings.

"The lifeforms are human, Sir."

The Captain squints his eye, but no one sees the expression since the conversation is being held via direct mind to mind communication. Regardless, the Captain asks, "Intelligence Division Lieutenant Discov..."

Discov grimaces. He knows that whenever the Captain uses your full title and name, something horrific will follow. More often than not, at the expense of the Captain's subject. "Yes Sir?" Discov asks hesitantly.

"You will go to the engine room and notify First Lieutenant Verona to cancel her previous orders of halting the ship, and tell her to jump my possessed drone's location."

"Yes Sir..." Discov says, his voice holding for a moment, waiting for the Captain to add something to his order.

"Oh and Discov, don't use the Konsohkium. Verona had gone to the engine room in person, you can do so as well. That's an order. In the meantime I am haling the drone's velocity in order for our ship to Jump at this optimal distance to the planet. Dismissed."

"Roger." Discov says with determination.

The Captain halts the drone, and views Sol-3 once more, but this time a bright light shines from a point in space which looks to be orbiting the planet. The visual data abruptly ends at the apex of the light luminescence.

"Well... looks like this is finally getting interesting. I was wondering if these folks were ever going to detect my little drone."

The Captain grins with menace as he raises his head off the chair to view the bridge with his biological eyes.

"Prepare for war!" The Captain shouts. The bridge suddenly brims with life as uniformed men and women frantically walk to and fro. The Captain sits in his chair and observes his crew, his grin only intensifies with each passing moment.

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