Chapter 1:

Hard landing

The Captains Gamble

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“Captain, we’re getting a reading of two cruiser class type ships ahead of us, what course of action should we take?” Commander Cross questioned.Bookmark here

Captain Mace Lloyd continued moving his hands across a somewhat transparent keyboard floating in front of him. His hands stop and move away from the keyboard before it disappears. He sighs and lays both of his arms on the armrests attached to his chair. Bookmark here

“If they make contact let them know that we aren’t in this system to cause trouble. If they keep asking questions tell them they can follow us anywhere they please and watch over us as much as they want. This is an information mission.”Bookmark here

Commander Cross nods his head and solutes Captain Mace with an upbeat smile before exiting the automatic sliding doors across from Mace’s office. Captain Mace was initially lost in thought for a few seconds when the commander first mentioned the cruiser ships. Initially he assumed that it might have something to do with the mission that the appointed senate leader gave him, but he quickly threw those thoughts in the back of his mind as the mission was to investigate the planet. If it involved anything else he would have been briefed about certain relations with different species and governments. He thought that the best thing to do was to shoo these cruiser ships out of the way as fast as possible so he could get on with the mission. But he imagined that when he returned it wouldn’t be harmful to mention the two cruiser ships that resided near the planet.Bookmark here

After a few more minutes of contemplating a video feed pulls up inches away from Mace’s face. What he saw was an attractive red skinned female. Her long black hair complemented her glowing white eyes, and the blue uniform she wore showed somewhat of her bust. He attempts to put on the straightest face he can while at the same time trying his hardest to stare at only her eyes.Bookmark here

“What business could you possibly have with us, ‘Captain Lloyd’.” The black haired woman fires at Mace, mentioning his name in a mocking tone.Bookmark here

Mace mentally shook his head in shame, he had known why the alien had started communicating with him rather than continuing with Commander Cross. Commander Cross was initially the one who handled inter-region communications within the ship whenever it was needed. However it always leaned on Mace due to Cross’s incompetence when it came to talking with anyone outside of his shipmates. The Commander could run a ship like it truly was his purpose in life. In fact Mace often thought to himself that Cross could run a ship better than he could, the only thing that was keeping him from being promoted to Captain was how hopeless he was with outside communication. Bookmark here

Admiral Castell had initially put Cross under the command of Mace for the specific reason to train him in communications. He had thought that it would be the perfect opportunity for Cross to prove himself because Mace’s vessel was mainly used for diplomatic missions. Mace himself thought it was a good idea due to the high exposure of alien species and customs. He also wanted Cross under his wing so he could brag to people saying that he played a part when Cross eventually became an admiral, he imagined it wouldn’t be to long after he got a Captain promotion. It was obvious that the military wanted to take advantage of his unending potential.Bookmark here

“Listen, I apologize for any inconvenience. However—“Bookmark here

“I would hardly call ‘a possible act of war’ an inconvenience Captain.” The red haired woman shot back angrily.Bookmark here

“An act of war? An act of war!?” Mace fired back in surprise.Bookmark here

His professionalism seemed to cease the moment he heard those words. Mace quickly searched his mind trying to find a solution for his subordinate’s catastrophic failure. Before this he had a hunch that Cross would most likely create a simple error while talking to the aliens as he usually does, but this mistake was colossal. He tried imagining what scenario could possibly allow for even the mention of war. He did not know that he would get his answer so quickly.Bookmark here

“‘If you intend to block us from our mission it could lead to a possible act of war with the Faren senate.’ Is that not what your underling said?” Bookmark here

“He said that? That blithering idiot actually said that? Listen, we will return and never bother you or your species again. I promise my soul to you.”Bookmark here

“You expect us to believe that? You come here unannounced in one of the largest yet unknown ships I have seen and you want us to believe that you are going to go back to this ‘senate’ and everything will be ok?”Bookmark here

“Our original mission was to inspect a planet madam, we meant no harm.” Mace says desperately making an attempt to calm down the increasingly angry woman.Bookmark here

“Madam? My name is Fen’bur and you will show respect! I am the leader of the Tal’lon military!”Bookmark here

“Leader of the military? In a cruiser ship!?” Mace burst out accidently.Bookmark here

“A ‘cruiser’ ship?” Fen’bur says with a smirk.Bookmark here

After seeing her unmistakably hostile smirk mace shuffles around with the command controls next to him. A small microphone emerges from a control panel in front of Mace’s face. He presses a bright blue button in immediate panic.Bookmark here

“Shields up! Prepare for defensive maneuver T-3649!” He yells in the microphone.Bookmark here

Almost immediately the entire crew in the 6 mile long “front liner” prepares for defensive maneuvers. Bookmark here

“’An act of war,” Fen’bur laughs under her breath.Bookmark here

A large laser fires from one of the ships hitting Mace’s vessel; completely annihilating the engines. The violent beam continues expertly forward turning the side of the near completely invulnerable ship into scrap metal. Mace immediately pulls up the plastic emergency cover and slams a button down in desperation.Bookmark here

Admiral Castell was shown on the video feed.Bookmark here

“Admiral Castell! Front liner has been hit! We are crashing towards an unknown red planet in region 24-765L! Immediate last resort controls have been ordered, requesting backup!”Bookmark here

The ships starts a nosedive into the unknown red planet below them while the video feed shuts off moments before the coordinate’s manager yells “All power is lost! Brace for impact!” In an emergency microphone set next to his controls.Bookmark here

A few moments later the “front liner” falls into the unknown planets gravity at amazing speed. The “impact” shield activates at the last moment saving most of the ship and leveling it from the nosedive. As the ships slides on the ground in an encased shield it rips through the multiple forests with ease completely destroying the landscape from under it. The shield gives out minutes before the inertia of the ship stops. What remained of the ship were little survivors. And of those survivors most were harmed to the point of being beyond medical help.Bookmark here

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Captain Mace’s office acted like a big buffer as the ship crashed onto the planet. He survived with minor scratches, and with rage befitting that of a mad bull. Cross's office was set up to protect him in the same way as Mace's. Mace began thinking of how unfortunate it would be for Cross to be alive.Bookmark here

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