Milky Way Galaxy
One week from Planet Galmon
The stars didn’t twinkle in deep space. Their light shined steadily without a planetary atmosphere to cause the twinkling affects. The vacuum of space caused very little or no change in the path of light. Only gravity of star or black hole could bend or distort a beam of light. Deep Space was a cold and unforgiving place.
A flash of light, followed by another and another, as the Space Time Continuum was rent asunder. A large ship emerged from this hole which sealed behind it as quickly as it opened. Its bow held a large muzzle of a very powerful weapon. Two large turrets with three large gun barrels mounted ahead of a similar yet smaller in front of the ships command tower. Multiple small anti-craft/ missile defense blisters bracketed the base of the command tower. Atmospheric stabilizers and a missile launcher disguised as a smoke stack braced the back of the command tower. Another auxiliary and main turret pointed to the rear of the elegant ship. Just before the main engine were two aircraft launchers.
This was the Space Battleship Argo, of the Earth Defense Force, built in 2199 to travel to the distant planet Iscandar. Their mission, to get the Cosmo DNA from Queen Starsha to save Earth from radiation caused by Gamillon Planet bombs. After that the Star Force defeated Prince Zordar of the Comet Empire and faced down the Dark Nebula Empire as well. The Argo held a special place in the people of Earth’s hearts.
The Argo was built off of and inside an ancient battleship called Yamato. It fought in one of the last major wars on Earth and was sunk in the Eastern Sea where she was left for centuries. It was the biggest ship of its kind ever built. Some people on Earth still affectionately refer to her as Yamato.
The inside of the ship was anything but ancient. The majority of the ship held the massive Wave Motion Engine and Gun. The Wave Motion engine, based on plans provided by Queen Starsha, enabled to the Argo to travel great distances in space and allowed the Argo to make the 148,000 light year trip to Iscandar and back in one year. The Wave Motion Gun was a powerful weapon. It took the Wave Motion energy and released it as massive blast. It’s saved the Argo on many occasions.
On the main bridge, high up on the command tower, the crew watched as the area of space appeared before them. Captain Derek Wildstar watched from the raised command chair at the back center of the bridge area. It was the first time he really used it. Its former occupant, Captain Avatar, lead the young and mostly inexperienced Star Force to Iscandar. He was a father figure to Wildstar and many of the young crew during the first voyage. He passed away shortly after the Star Force returned to Earth, succumbing to the effects of radiation poisoning. The command chair became a shrine to the memory of Capt. Avatar.
“Captain, all sections report 100% post warp”, Chief Science Officer Stephen Sandor reported from his station on the left side of the bridge. Sandor was one of the oldest members of the Star Force and also one of Wildstar’s Executive Officers.
“Captain, Wave Motion engine 100%, powering up for next warp”, reported Chief Engineer Tokugawa from a station directly in front of the command chair. He was the replacement for Chief Orion who died during the last fight with Desslok and the Gamilons during the assault on Earth by the Comet Empire. Many Star force members lost their lives in that deadly battle. Chief Orion’s son now served on the Star Force in the Engine Room.
“Navigation 100%, Captain”, Lieutenant Mark Venture, the Argo’s pilot added. “Ready to plot our next warp.” Venture’s station was on the right hand side of the main view port of the bridge. The view port spanned the entire width of the bridge. It angled out three quarters of the way down and then back in. Four large stanchions separated the view port into five sections. In the center of the view port sat the secondary command chair and to the left was the gunnery station. Cadet Jason Jetter occupied that chair.
Along the left side of the bridge was the communication station, where Communication Officer Homer Glitchman sat going over his comm gear after the warp. Next to him sat Lieutenant Dash sat manning the Weapons Station. On the other side of the bridge, forward of Sandor’s station sat Radar Officer Eager.
“Captain, Communications report 100% operational”, Homer reported.
“Captain, radar isn’t coming up”, Eager informed. He was working furiously over his station to get the radar to come up. Sandor looked over and back at Wildstar.
“Not Again. We’re blind until that comes up”, Wildstar spoke. One of the doors to the bridge slid open. Lieutenant Nova Forester entered and headed to the main radar station next the Chief engineer. She sent a sweet smile Wildstar’s way as she entered. The entire crew knew of Wildstar and Nova’s relationship. It started during their trip to Iscandar and grew during the flight to Telezart during the Comet Empire crisis.
“Nova, the radar’s not working again”, he informed her. She sat down at her station and started running tests on her equipment.
“Let me see what I can do”, she informed and then ran it through a diagnostic test. After a few tense moments Nova’s double half bubble radar came to life and showed three ships close by.
“What?!” she stated startled. “Three contacts! Twenty Megameters away!”
“Bolar cruisers, Captain”, Eagar informed. “They noticed us now.”
“What are they doing this deep in Galmon territory?” inquired Sandor.
“I don’t know, Sandor, but we’re about to find out. On screen”, Wildstar answered and then began issuing commands as the image of three large Bolar cruisers filled the screen above the bridge. “All hands, battle stations!” Alarms sounded throughout the ship as crew members ran to their combat posts. “Homer, raise those ships. Inform them they’re deep in Galmon space. Dash, Jetter, ready the main guns in case they decide to fight.” The three officers responded with “Aye, Captains” as their orders were issued.
“Bolar ships, this the Earth Defense Force Argo, you are in Galmon space, please acknowledge”, Homer spoke into the ships radio. He repeated it few more times.
“Captain, Bolar ships closing in, now 15 Megameters”, Nova informed.
“No response from the Bolars”, Homer added.
“Captain, missiles in bound!!! Fifteen of them!” Eagar shouted. Five streaks of missiles clouded the image of each of the Bolar ships.
“That’s their response, main guns, FIRE!” Wildstar ordered.
“Aye, Captain”, answered Dash. “It’s all yours Jason, do your worst. Target the lead ship first.”
“You got it, sir, targeting lead ship”, responded Cadet Jason Jetters. He manipulated the controls on the gunnery station. As he did the forward main turrets turned towards the advancing Bolar ships. Each of the gun barrels raised and lowered in unison settling on their designated targets. Bright beams of lights shot out of the barrels of the large guns. The three beams out each turret merged into one deadly beam of energy. Each shell, which contained a small amount of Wave Motion energy, was designed to link up the other shells fired from the turret. They were redesigned during the Comet Empire crisis to deliver a stronger punch to deal with the tougher armor of the Comet Empire’s fleet.
The beams quickly closed the distance between the two ships The beams struck the lead ship Bolar ship in two places, one almost dead center on bow and the other on the starboard side, just past the bow. One exited the ship just forward the engines on the port side and the other right out the back of the engine. Smoke immediately started pouring out of the holes, a moment later the engine blew apart in flash of white light and orange and red flames. The explosion engulfed the entire ship in no time leaving only a ball of flaming gases and wreckage.
“Great shooting, Jason, you nailed them dead on,” Dash exclaimed. “Now let’s take out the other two.” Jason quickly maneuvered the guns to the next target.
“Bolar ships closing in, now twelve Megameters”, Nova informed.
“Missiles at eight Megameters and closing rapidly”, Eager added excitedly.
“Dash, fire the Bow Ship Defense missiles”, Wildstar ordered, now standing up. “Ready the Pulse lasers in case any missiles make it through.” The ship rocked as Jason fired the main guns again.
“Firing Ship Defense missiles”, Dash repeated the order. Three doors on either side of the Argo’s bow opened. Six missiles shot out of the doors and streaked towards the incoming missiles. Just as the beams from the main guns were about to destroy the second Bolar ship, it disappeared into a warp with its remaining partner. The beams passed harmlessly through empty space.
“Bolar ships just warped”, Nova stated. Wildstar watched the overhead screen as the beams from the passed through empty space where just a moment before were two Bolar ships. The screen quickly cut to fifteen inbound missiles and six ship defense missiles flew towards an intercept course.
The Ship Defense missiles exploded amidst the Bolar missiles sending large explosive gases, shrapnel, and small explosive magnetic projectiles designed to destroy inbound enemy missiles. The heat from the explosion combined with shrapnel took out three missiles right away. The shrapnel and projectiles did their job on another six missiles, while the conflagration of the all the explosions took out two more. Unfortunately, four missiles that had been straggling behind made it through the debris cloud and continued their course for the Argo.
“Four missiles left, now at three Megameters and closing”, Eager informed.
“Pulse lasers, FIRE”, Wildstar shouted. Immediately the ship was surrounded in deadly Anti-Missile laser fire. The Missiles streaked in towards the Argo. As they got close the first two missiles were cut down by the deadly laser fire, exploding harmlessly away from the ship. The third missile got too close when it was cut down by the defensive lasers; its explosion rocked the Argo causing damage to a Starboard midsection of the ship. The last missile’s guidance system was damaged and started to streak away before a failsafe programing kicked in, destroying the missile. Shrapnel from this missile pierced the hull of the Argo next to the Wave Motion Engine.
“All missiles destroyed”, Eager informed. A wave of relief washed over the bridge crew as the emergency passed.
“That was close”, Sandor reported as turned to start collecting damage reports for the expected request.
“Too close”, answered Venture.
“All hands, stand down”, Wildstar instructed. “Sandor, get me a damage report.”
“Already on it Captain.”
“Homer, send a message to Leader Desslok, inform he has two Bolar ships doing hit and runs in this sector.”
“Aye, aye, sir”, Homer responded and turned to put together a message to the Galmon leader.
“Wildstar, we have damage on the starboard side to decks seven, eight, and nine”, Sandor reported. “Also, damage to the Main Engine, we’re leaking Wave Motion energy.”
“What?” Wildstar asked surprised.
“Engine Room, get that leak locked down, NOW”, the Chief Engineer shouted into his comm panel to engine room. “I’m on my way down to supervise it, Orion; you’re in charge until I get down there.” With that he got up and ran towards the lift. The tension level once again rose as the news of the leak of Wave Motion energy was announced.
* * *
Repairs to the exterior and interior of the Argo had been completed in a relative short amount of time. With all voyages the Argo had seen and the battles the ship had lasted through, the members of the Star Force had become quite adept at fixing their ship in no time at all. Most of the time it was filling small holes left by shrapnel with a special polymer designed by the Star Force on her way to Iscandar. It did a wonderful job sealing the small holes that caused minor atmospheric leaks but were too small and too costly to cut out and patch. The polymer would harden to strength of the metal plating around it.
Inside, it was now time to attend to crewmembers that needed patching. In deep space, after a battle you do a triage just like in ground combat, except the ship that keeps you alive gets the attention first, then comes the beings inside. Most of the injuries in the ship came from the Engine Room when the Wave Motion engine was damaged and started to leak its energy. A few crewmembers were severely burned. Most were minor injuries ranging from minor burns to lacerations from shrapnel. There were even a couple of broken bones.
Captain Derek Wildstar walked among the beds checking on the status of his crew. His Star Force uniform of long sleeve tunic and pants were colored red and white in strategic places. The tunic had a red collar and an arrow pointing down about the middle of his abdomen. The shoulders had three red bars across each sleeve top. The cuffs were red as well that angled up half way to elbow at the crease of the sleeve. His pants were designed in similar fashion and help up by belt with a brass buckle that formed an “X” across it. A pistol in its holster adorned his left hip. His normally wild hair seemed a little flat at the moment due the stress of the events that conspired with the engagement with the Bolars.
He stopped at the foot of the bed of a young crewmember that lay in bed covered to his neck. An oxygen mask covered his face and IV hung above his bed and tube disappeared under the covers. This was one of the new cadets assigned to the Argo for this trip; his duty station was in the engine room. He had been burned by the leaking Wave motion energy and was the most severe of the injured.
Nova, who also served as nurse in the sickbay, noticed Derek watching the injured crewmember. She was slightly shorter than Wildstar and had shoulder length blond hair. Her uniform was similar to Derek’s except for her colors were black on yellow and more form fitting to her slender build. She walked over to join Derek at the foot of the bed, putting a gentle and loving hand on her Fiancée’s shoulder. She could read the concern on his face and removed her arm.
“He’s stable now”, she informed. Derek remained silent as she spoke. “He received third degree burns to most of his extremities and fifteen percent over the rest of his body. Doctor Sane has him in a medically induced coma to keep him comfortable.” Doctor Sane was an odd little fellow. Being a native of the Great Eastern Island formerly known as Japan, he was short and almost stubby. He had nearly completely bald head and huge toothy grin that almost made him look like an animated character. His bedside manner unlike anyone had ever seen. Being a coinsurer of “spring water”, the ship’s doctor made everyone who needed comforting, comforted and those who were trying to stretch out their maladies realize the error of their ways, even sometimes being a peacemaker. Despite all this, Doctor Sane was very competent physician and knew his roll on the ship.
Doctor was attending to one of the minor injuries that had come in on their own. He noticed Wildstar and Nova discussing the burned crewmember’s status. He finished up and dismissed his current patient, then walked over to the couple.
“I’ve done all I can for him”, the doctor spoke when he arrived. “We don’t have the ability to treat such severe burns on board the ship.”
“I know, Doc”, Wildstar spoke.
“Is there any way we can get him back to Earth?” asked Nova.
“Not this far out”, Wildstar informed. “I’ll contact Desslok before our next jump to see if we can get them to Galmon.” She nodded acceptance of his statement. At that moment, the door to sickbay slid open and Sandor entered followed by a short red and yellow droid known as IQ-9. The droid’s body looked like a red barrel rounded at each end. The top was his “head” which consisted of three large vertical fins on the back. The sides of the dome had glass covering various dials and center panel up front that held three gauges that lit up when IQ-9 spoke. He also had two functional but short arms with four fingered hands at the end of each. His stubby legs ended in treads for his feet and means of propulsion.
Sandor and IQ-9 headed towards Wildstar, Nova, and Dr. Sane. As they approached, IQ-9 started to reach up a hand towards Nova’s backside. Dr. Sane looked behind the couples and caught what IQ-9 was about to do. IQ-9 had reputation being “grabby” with women. No matter what Sandor or others in crew tried to do, they couldn’t deprogram it out of him.
The doctor shot the droid a stern look. He pulled a small device out of his pocket and pointed at IQ-9, who caught the doctor’s action. He quickly dropped his hand trundled past the couple. He gave a quick look to Nova’s backside as he rolled by and then back on the doctor.
“IQ-9, get over here and help me clean this place up before we warp”, Doctor Sane called to the droid and headed away from the group of Executive Officers. Sandor watched as IQ-9 rolled away with the doctor starting issuing orders to the droid and straightening the sick bay.
“Tin-wit”, Sandor stated as he approached the two. Wildstar looked over at Sandor as he spoke just noticing his XO for the first time. Nova did look as well. “Wildstar, the repairs to the ship and Wave Motion engine are complete, we’re ready to get under way again.” Wildstar turned and his mood brightened. A pleasant smile crossed Nova’s face.
“That’s great news, Sandor-“, Wildstar started. The ships Public Address system interrupted him.
“Bridge to Captain Wildstar”, Homer’s voice announced over the ship and repeated three times. The three exchanged puzzled looks, Wildstar shrugged and headed to a companel.
“This is Wildstar”, he spoke into the companel while pushing down a button.
“Wildstar, our next warp is plotted in and we’re ready to go”, Venture’s voice came over the companel.
“Alright, Venture, go ahead and start the countdown”, the young Captain ordered. “We’ll be up shortly.” He let go of the button and flipped a switch on the panel.
“Attention all hands, prepare for our next warp, secure all stations”, he spoke and his voice carried throughout the ship. He released the button and a gentle beeping started ringing now across the ship. It was the warp preparation alarm to alert the crew in case anyone didn’t hear the announcement. He turned to Sandor and Nova who waited for him to make his announcement. The three of them turned and left sick bay on their way to the bridge.
The doors to the bridge opened admitting the Captain, XO, and Chief Radar Operator. Derek turned and made his way towards the command station. Venture was marking the count down, there was still quite a bit of time left.
“Oh, Derek”, Nova said as she stopped. Wildstar stopped as well and looked at her. “Don’t forget your message to Desslok.” He turned and proceeds back down. Sandor stopped and looked at his Captain, confused.
“A message to Desslok?” Sandor inquired. A couple other crew members looked over.
“Four minutes to warp.”
“I’m gonna ask Desslok if he can help the two crew members who were severely burned”, he answered walking over to Homer’s Station. The Communications officer turned to Wildstar. “Homer, I need to send a flash message to Desslok, please. And include the end Warp coordinates.” Homer set it up quickly.
“Go ahead”, Homer said and continued to work setting up the message.
“Desslok, we were damaged when the Bolars attacked our ship. We had to crewmembers severely burned and our medical is insufficient to treat them. I would like to ask you if we could make use of your advanced medical facilities to treat them. I am sending you the coordinates to end of our warp I await your response. Thank you. Derek Wildstar, Captain, Argo.”
“Two minutes to warp.”
Homer worked for a few moments more and his comm panel showed a green light. Homer nodded to Wildstar.
“Thanks, Homer”, Wildstar turned to Sandor.
“Do you think he’ll help?” Sandor asked.
“I think so. If not at least keep them stable until another Earth ship can reach Galmon”, Derek responded. Sandor nodded agreement.
“One minute to warp.”
“Better get to your station”, he continued. Sandor turns and went over to his station and strapped in. Derek started to turn to go up to the Command Station, but decided to go over to the Auxiliary Command station and sat down. Sandor was checking over status on panels when the thirty second warning sounded throughout the ship. A beeping sound emanated from the Navigators panel once a second to punctuate the timing of the Warp. Sandor noticed he had a yellow warning light on the Wave Motion Engine. He cleared it figuring it was from the now repaired leak. The light went out.
“Eight…” The light on Sandor’s panel came back on.
“Seven…” He tried to clear it again.
“Six…” it stayed on…
“Five…” He tried one more time to clear it.
“Four…” It stayed on…
“Three…” It turned red and started flashing…
“Two…” A warning message popped up and the beep was lost with the timing beep. Sandor turned…
“WARP!” Venture said not hearing Sandor’s warning, he pulled back on the leaver that controlled the Warp. Time slowed and things stretched unnaturally as the Argo entered the Warp. Something else happened this time. A white flash of washed over everything until everything turned white and faded into nothing….