On the Rho homeworld, Edict sat silently in a small room. Rhos were humanoids with an exoskeleton all over their body. Strategically placed slits made them functionally possible. Their exoskeleton made them all black and clothing next to impossible. Some wore drapes even though it was difficult to see if they were even anatomically correct, but Edict only wore a simple, small chain, some bracelets, and anklets. Like many, including humans, he had an itty-bitty translator that had been injected into him so he could speak to aliens and understand them. The exoskeleton also made them extra strong and notoriously hard to kill. He was already a captain (Capt.) in the Allied Fleet of the Universe (AFU) and wondered what was so important to be pulled away from his duties.
A guard stepped in. “The Council will see you now.” he said.
“I hope it’s good news.” Edict said, proceeding to the door.
“You’d be in shackles if it weren’t.” the guard said.
Edict walked down a large hallway that turned to a set of large doors. The guard knocked twice. Both doors slowly opened to reveal an opulent chamber. The room was long. Both sides were filled with various races of the known Universe except humanity. They were standing, clapping, cheering, or a combination of the three. Sitting calmly towards the back in the middle was the elected president, also a Rho.
Edict was in awe as he slowly walked, looking at both sides, until he stood before the president and saluted by placing his right hand over his heart and bowing his head. The crowd grew silent.
“Edict,” the president began, “You graduated top of your class with perfect marks in every category. You have a distinguished military service dating back to the Carver Rebellion and the Sedona Crisis. A perfect service record, some call you a hero.”
“I was just performing my duty, sir.” Edict said.
“Hmm, humble I see,” the president said, “You know why humans are not allowed among our council?”
“Yes, sir.” Edict said.
“Then you know of the prophecy?” the president asked.
“I have heard, sir.” Edict replied.
“The time draws near,” the president said, “We must wipe out the humans before they wipe us all out.”
“I thought those were fairy tales, sir,” Edict began, “Surely you don’t believe…”
“We can’t take that chance,” the president interrupted, “The humans are powerful and cunning, but even they are nothing to our fleet. To help you in this great endeavor we are commissioning you to our dreadnought-class, Tyrant. The Tyrant is a powerful ship as you will soon learn. Henceforth you shall be known as Admiral Edict.”
Edict didn’t entirely agree with his mission, but he wasn’t about to pass up a promotion like this. “Yes, sir.” he accepted.
“The AFU shall be under your command.” the president said. “You are dismissed.”
“Thank you, sir.” Edict said as the crowd erupted with a standing ovation. Edict waved to them as he walked away.
Several men and women from all over the Universe waited, standing at attention in the hall for him.
“Admiral,” one said, standing at attention and saluting.
“At ease, officer,” Edict said.
The officer then explained, “I’m your second-in-command on the Tyrant, Commander Thorne from the Rho colony Eres,” Thorne was one of those who wore a drape, “This is your senior crew, allow me to introduce them. This is your chief medical officer from Karaid IV, Doctor Enry Bones,” he said, walking down the line of men and women standing at attention. Doctor (Dr.) Bones looked like a tall humanoid slug.
Thorne continued, “Your tactical officer from Talsa II is Lieutenant Commander Zalas Prax. Security from Seculas III is handled by Major Exio Darsith. Your chief engineer from Velas II is Commander Kadala Ried,” Thorne then held up a card to read from, “Science officer and computer specialist from Nera V is Commander 01101000 01101001. Communications officer from Talusa II is Lieutenant Denovon Valiant. And last but certainly not least is your morale officer from Ecklon III, Lieutenant Commander Delsha Nichols. She’ll let you know if a mutiny is about to happen.”
“I’m a psychologist,” Lieutenant Commander (Ltc.) Nichols added. She appeared like a thin, purple, fluorescent, humanoid salamander, “Nothing more.”
“They’re the best in their fields,” Commander (CDR.) Thorne said, “Let’s take a shuttle up to your new ship and take a tour.”
As per regulation, Admiral (Adm.) Edict and CDR. Thorne traveled in separate shuttles should anything bad happen.
The Tyrant was in orbit waiting. Edict was in amazed at the sheer size of the ship. After they landed in the docking bay, the crew exited one by one and went about their business.
“Good luck finding anyone,” Lieutenant (Lt.) Valiant said, before handing Edict a tiny circular device. Valiant looked like a tall, humanoid stick-bug. He stood at attention and saluted, “Just kidding, put this on your collar, er, neck plate. It’s a long-range communicator. It’ll work across a planet or between the ship and a planet, but if Tyrant’s two sectors away it won’t work, it’ll be too far out of range. The Tyrant is also capable receiving and sending messages to any base or ship. Of course, the further they are the longer it will take.”
“At ease, Lt.,” Edict said, as he placed the communicator on his chain around his neck plate, “Let’s have a look at those engines.” he said to Thorne and Kadala.
“We’ll have to take the tram for that, sir.” Kadala said, standing at attention and saluting. She was short and resembled a humanoid bird with light pink feathers. Her nose even looked like a small bill.
“Please, at ease.” Edict said.
Even with the tram ride, there was still some walking and passing of security checkpoints.
“Here we are,” Kadala said, “The engine room. Everything is running nominally.”
Edict walked around, inspecting some of the equipment. Kadala and Thorne followed close by.
“We have a graviton drive,” Kadala explained, “Four zeta thrusters for planetary and interplanetary movement, sixteen pulse thrusters for fine movement. The shields can withstand two gamma cannon blasts before hitting the hull which will take maybe one more blast, and then we’ll have a breach. We have a deflector that will push a small asteroid out of the way. Oh, and we can stay within a gas planet or submerged in liquid indefinitely.
“Call me crazy, but I’m guessing we can land too?” Edict asked.
“That too,” Kadala said, “Any solid surface, sir.”
Edict tapped his communicator and called, “Doctor Bones, where are you?”
“On the medical deck, Adm., getting things sorted out.” he responded.
“Ok, I’ll be there shortly for a quick inspection. Adm. out.” Edict said.
Dr. Bones and Ltc. Nichols were waiting for the Adm. near the tram to begin their tour. They both stood at attention and saluted. Edict was followed by Thorne the entire way.
“Both of you, at ease.” Edict said.
“How’s the ride, sir?” Delsha asked.
“Quick,” Edict said, “Tell me again why you’re here?”
“Big ship, sir,” Delsha answered, “People are bound to get stressed out especially on a ship as big as the Tyrant. Think of me and my team as counselors. Our offices are on this deck.”
“Being a psychologist must make you dangerous,” Edict said.
“I like to think of myself as a personal helper, sir.” Delsha said as they entered the medical rooms.
“This is where I work my magic,” Dr. Bones said, “Welcome to Medical, sir.”
“Big place.” Edict said.
“My staff is capable of handling one-quarter of the ship’s personnel at one time,” Bones said, “We have our own R&D facilities and quarantine rooms. We also have the latest imagers, scanners, and noninvasive techniques. As long as the tram system is up-and-running we can be anywhere in three minutes.”
Edict looked around and then at Dr. Bones and Ltc. Nichols, “You two tell me if you need anything.” he said.
Thorne tapped his communicator and contacted Major (Maj.) Exio Darsith, “Maj. Darsith, are you at headquarters (HQ)?”
“Yes, sir,” Exio responded, “I’m getting routes set up.”
“Good,” Thorne said, “The Adm. and I will see you shortly.”
Thorne held one hand out to the door, “After you, sir.” he said to Edict.
Exio was at his desk when Edict and Thorne came in. He immediately stood at attention and saluted when they entered. He was a rocky humanoid with blue lines on his body.
“At ease.” Edict said.
“Please, have a seat.” Exio said as he offered both men to sit.
“So,” Edict began, as he sat, “What can you tell me about your operation?”
“We’re mostly a fully equipped security force,” Exio said, “We have stations every few sections so we can respond quickly. A Capt. is in charge of each station. Each station reports to me. At a moment’s notice, we can act as a repellent to an invading force or be extra soldiers for your troops if you need. Like any security force, we’re on call twenty-four seven, and we run regular patrols, sir.”
“What if a riot breaks out?” Thorne asked.
“We have special gear for that, sir.” Exio answered.
“Mutiny?” Edict nervously asked.
Exio had to think momentarily before answering, “I’m always on the right side, sir.”
That’s not exactly what Edict wanted to hear.
“Well then, I guess that’s it,” Thorne suggested, breaking up the mood, “Let’s go to the heart of the ship were the bridge and rest of your main officers should be.” He led Edict all the way to the bridge, “We’re fully equipped, with ten regiments and any support they’ll need. The Tyrant being the first of her class is fully upgradeable to test bed new technology. She was built for war but can fulfill the role of exploration as well. We have a sister ship, as you may know, called Goliath being deployed to Zera IV, and we’ll have another next year, her name is Colossus. She’s being built now. Right now, we have fleets moving into position to strike human colonies and bases. You just have to give the order.”
The bridge was a white, large, circular room with an imager at the front. A large comfortable chair was situated in the middle near the back and flanked on both sides by smaller chairs. Aside from Edict and Thorne, there were three other men working at stations. The stations used holographic inputs.
Edict recognized two of the men. Ltc. Prax and CDR. 01101000 01101001. He approached Ltc. Prax first, “You’re my tactical officer, Prax, correct?”
“Correct, sir,” Prax said, standing at attention and saluting. He looked like a humanoid bear. “I control Tyrant’s weapons.”
“At ease Ltc.,” Edict said, he wasn’t use to being held in high regard and it was starting to bother him, “So tell me what she looks like.”
Prax explained, “The Tyrant is equipped with one forward firing gamma beam cannon, two on each side, and one aft. Three forward firing xenon beams, six on each side, and two aft. Fifty KQJ, harpoon, and swarm missile launchers, and fifty X-52 and DR torpedo launchers. One hundred auto fighter and Flak turrets. Twenty-five long-range, E3 torpedo launchers on each side. All weapons have a ninety-degree field of fire. Four hundred eighty various spaceships, that includes fighters. Defenses include a number of countermeasures, one hundred shadow point defense beams, a Helios jammer and a Wreckingjer jammer, sir.”
“Unstoppable,” Edict said. “That’s what they should’ve called her. You!” he then pointed to CDR. 01101000 01101001 who resembled a humanoid with some see-through internal machinery, and had a mechanical voice, “Please stay at ease. You’ve got a complicated name,” Edict thought for a moment, “Let’s just call you CDR. Zero.”
“As you wish, sir.” Zero said.
“So what do you do around here?” Edict asked.
“I control all sensors,” Zero started, “External and internal, maintain the computer and perform all necessary experiments.”
A blue humanoid with a lot of tentacles and four hands approached.
“Please stay at ease.” Edict said. “Who are you?”
“Quartermaster De Oca Ledder,” he said, “Sorry I missed you on the planet. Someone had to stay behind and make sure the ship didn’t explode. From my station, I can access and coordinate various parts of Tyrant, including navigation and communications. Basically, if you need something, I’m your go-to guy, sir.”
“Well, Quartermaster, let’s get underway to Earth and stop a prophecy,” Edict said, as he sat in the large chair, “May I speak to the entire crew?”
Quartermaster (QM.) Ledder briefly worked his station, “You’re patched in now, sir.” he said.
“This is Adm. Edict,” he began, “We’ve all heard the ancient prophecies about humans. That if we don’t destroy them, they’ll destroy us. We’ve never been able to substantiate this, but we can’t afford the chance. Now, this next part is very important, so listen carefully. To my crew, if you see me walking by you can stand at attention and salute then, go about your business. If you are a part of my senior crew, you do not. I repeat. Do not have to stand at attention and salute me,” Edict looked at Ledder and ran a finger across his neck for the QM. to cut the feed, “QM., please engage the graviton drive.”
The Tyrant and its fleet of smaller ships broke orbit and initiated their graviton drives, which made them briefly appear to stretch and course with electricity before rapidly and seemingly disappear among the stars.