The Chronicles of Z'va'Xin - issue #9
After several space folds the Odyssey arrived at the Utayatu's homeworld system. It was a surprising disappointment considering it was the planetary system of one of the most advanced civilizations in the galaxy. Perhaps this somewhat small, less than uninteresting system was to this civilization's advantage; after all, they had remained hidden here for countless millennia.
Xin scanned the system; then floated from the hexagon shaped main control, and down the hall towards Dave who was seated on the bridge. She stopped to hover next to him as she gave him her findings. "A yellow star that is slightly smaller than Earth's Sun, five planets – all of them appear to be extremely inhospitable to life. There is a gas giant, one is frozen world, another appears volcanic, and the last two are barren wastelands that are not even viable for mining purposes. There is an asteroid field – probably the remains of a sixth planet." Xin tried to keep the details simple. She had come to the realization that Dave was not interested in details – no more diameters to the nearest kilometre, temperatures to the nearest degree Celsius, mineral composition percentages, etc. Why he didn't want detailed information was beyond her. His enhanced brain could surely retain the information for future reference. No, he would rather access the information directly from the Odyssey's main computer through his implant, and only when needed.
"I'm not surprised they've been able to stay hidden for so long – there appears to be nothing in this system anyone would want," Dave commented. "So their homeworld is supposed to be the second planet from the sun, the volcanic one?" Dave had the Odyssey create a large, rotating, three-dimensional image of the world directly in front of him.
"Yes, it is a remarkable deception. My scans only confirm what we expect to find based on what we have observed visually. The technology to achieve such a feat is truly amazing!"
"Yeah, assuming that it isn't really a world of fire and brimstone. If there's such a place as Hell, I'm sure this would be the postcard picture for it – wish you were here, heh-heh. I know at least three guys I met at a sports bar I'd love to send the postcard to." Dave wasn't so sure that there actually was a lush, green world beneath the horrific mask of lava. The world appeared to have a multitude of volcanoes that spewed out massive amounts of toxic fumes and molten rock. The temperature was close to the boiling point of water, and that was on the dark side of the planet! No wonder the world had been kept secret for so long – no one dared to set foot on this seemingly apparent deathtrap. "How do you suppose it's done?"
"Unsure, it is far more than a three-dimensional image projection, and it has completely fooled my sensors. Somehow the planet is projecting information on multiple levels, and in very complex detail." Xin was about to give a more detailed account when she abruptly stopped in mid-sentence.
"Xin, what's happening?"
Xin ignored Dave's concern. "Sygoss? Incoming transfer... Utayatu's prime language... Sorry Dave, Sygoss unexpectedly communicated with me. I had to take the transfer of information or lose the opportunity."
"We're 30,000 light years from Mysaep's Moon!" Dave exclaimed.
"Yes, remarkable," Xin affirmed. "It would seem that Sygoss is somewhat concerned about us fleeting species after all." Xin smiled by creating an image of huge Marilyn Monroe lips on her spherical, black exterior.
"Will you PLEASE stop doing that!"
"Sorry, don't be angry, Dave. Let's kiss and make up." She puckered the bright, red lips.
Dave tried to continue pretending that he was angry, but instead broke down laughing. For a machine, Xin had a better sense of humour than many humans he knew, and he wouldn't have it any other way. She knew he was faking anger, and she called his bluff. He loved it. He loved her. He loved her?
The giant, red lips faded back to black, as Xin got back to business. "Dave, please plot a course to the second planet, and put us in a high orbit. I am sending a friendship message to the planet using the Utayatu's own unique language thanks to Sygoss. I cannot penetrate their projection cover with my scans to access their data storage devices. If I had not received his information, I would have had to send binary code, or you would have to play something on the guitar again." She smiled internally. "Hopefully, something on the surface of their planetary disguise will detect our message."
A few minutes later, the Odyssey was in orbit around the slightly larger than Earth sized world. "Orbit established," Dave confirmed by looking down past his feet, and through the transparent floor to the fiery nightmare far below. "Now what?"
"We wait for a reply."
More than five hours later they were still waiting for a reply. Dave had fallen asleep in his chair on the bridge, his head flopped back, his mouth open, and snoring loudly.
Dave woke up suddenly. "Sorry, Xin, did you just ask me something?"
"No, Dave, I think you must have been dreaming."
"Wow, yeah, that was a weird dream.... I was back on Earth in my apartment, lying on my bed, I couldn't move, and this whispering voice was asking me all sorts of questions. I didn't want to answer any of them, and at that point I must've woken up. Speaking of answering questions... I wish the Utayatuians would say something, anything. What exactly did you say to the Utayatuians in your message?"
"I told them that I am the only survivor from Z'va Prime; that Sygoss has sent us, and that I have the Z'va Prime library that I wish to upload to them. If their history files were maintained all this time, they should know of its importance, as they were familiar with Z'va Prime before the Veiled came."
"Man, they really don't want to blow their cover, do they?" Dave commented. "I mean, you offered to give them the acquired knowledge of hundreds of worlds, and they'd rather stay hidden and hope we go away."
"Assuming they received the message, that would seem to be the case," Xin agreed.
"My guess is that they've been hiding for so many years, they don't know anything else. Kinda like old man McGuinty at Halloween," Dave began to reminisce. "He used to turn off all the lights and pretend he wasn't home when us kids would come by trick or treating...Well, let's go down and knock on some doors." And with that, Dave told the Odyssey to approach the planet for a landing.
"Dave, what are you doing?"
"Going to see if we can get a treat – the trick is starting to get old, about twenty million years too old." He grinned, as he further instructed the Odyssey to avoid landing on any lava if at all possible.
The Odyssey swooped down towards the grey rock and orange lava surface in a trajectory the ship had calculated for an optimum safe landing on the blistering, hot surface. Four silver legs grew from the bottom of the small craft as it prepared to gently land on the harsh surface. But instead of the expected contact of metal on rock, there was nothing. The Odyssey kept sinking down into the planetary disguise like a ship into a fog bank. Dave had left the bridge transparent to get a visual idea of what was happening, as no information was coming in through any of the scan modes. At first it appeared as if they were moving through solid, grey rock; this went on for hundreds of metres. It then became darker and darker until they entered a void of total blackness. The transition from absolute blackness to pure light was instantaneous, as the Odyssey popped out of the dark void into something very familiar.
"I think we're in a cloud!" Dave observed with excitement.
"Yes, you are correct," Xin was now in her element. "All scan modes are now receiving data.... Readings coming in...."
The Odyssey continued dropping through the mist until it cleared into the sunlight of a bright, noon day. The sky was a beautiful royal blue, fading into cyan near the horizon. The sky was full of fluffy, cumulus clouds that moved lazily across the expansive backdrop of blue. Looking down through the transparent floor of the ship, Dave could see the lush greenery of a planet that looked virtually untouched by the hands of civilization. Only here and there could he discern the hint of a structure or the reflected flash of a metallic surface hidden within the thick trees.
"WARNING!" the inaudible alert came to his implant from the Odyssey, as the ship's self-preservation AI went immediately into effect. Dave almost lost his synthesized breakfast, as the ship spiraled down at a g-force that would have crushed the life out of any other human. A split second later, a bright, pulsating light shot into view, stopped in mid-air where the Odyssey had been, and then instantly change course to follow the ship at an incredible speed."
"We need to avoid that," Xin said calmly.
"Ya-think!" Dave exclaimed, swallowing a bit of bile that had managed to work its way up. Dave's mind took control of the Odyssey. He instantly changed the ship ninety degrees from the present downward direction, taking the ship into a course parallel with the planet's surface, and increased the speed to 12,000 kilometres per hour, or almost ten times the speed of sound. The deadly light of energy followed with the identical maneuver.
"The weapon is composed of pure antimatter," Xin informed as if giving a casual lecture.
"OK, good safety tip. I'll try not to let it touch us!" Dave tried to say this equally calmly, but came off sounding more like tense desperation. He punched up the speed to 25,000 kilometres per hour, pushing his body's g-force resistance to the limit. The dense forest canopy, a thousand metres below was now just a dark-green blur, as the Odyssey sped on faster than the impossible.
"It is still gaining on us," Xin observed. "The Odyssey can go faster, but you cannot." The trickle of blood running down from Dave's nose confirmed her fear. "I'll take care of it," she said, as she swiftly floated up and phased through the Odyssey's hull.
Xin hovered motionless in the air as she faced down the lethal missile. A pencil thin, white beam shot out of her neutronium hull hitting the oncoming, pulsating energy dead centre. A blinding explosion was followed by a sound like rolling thunder – the result of matter making contacting with antimatter. A few seconds later, the sky was serene once again with no sign of what had just transpired.
No sooner had Xin re-entered the now stationary Odyssey than Dave shouted, "We have a welcoming committee on the way, I think!" Sure enough, three identical small aircrafts were heading towards the Odyssey. At least that's what Dave assumed they were. The roughly elliptical shaped aircraft looked more like they had been hatched than fabricated. They were less than half the size of the Odyssey, and each was a shiny, emerald green in colour. "They look more like insects than interceptors," Dave observed when they got closer.
"Scanning...." Xin went to work. "You are partly correct, Dave. Those ships are an example of some form of biological engineering – they are very much alive. I have never seen this before firsthand, but the Z'va Prime library does document a few civilizations that had acquired this level of genetic fabrication."
Xin and Dave were on the bridge when a three-dimensional image was projected in front of them via the Odyssey's communications system. A very tall, slender humanoid appeared before them. He had hairless, pale aqua coloured skin, and clothing that could best be described as a black jumpsuit that was virtually shrink-wrapped onto his lanky body. Large, almond shaped eyes framed cat-like, green pupils. The aliens' elongated, egg-shaped head had no nose but instead, had two small oval holes, and the ears were small, featureless semi-circles that seemed to move independently of one another. The Utayatuian held up his right hand in some form of formal greeting. Dave was surprised to see a hand that had two thumbs, one on each side, with three fingers in the middle! The alien began communicating through an almost lipless mouth, with sounds less like speech and more like singing. "Do not take any further action or be destroyed!"
Xin sang back in their language. "We are on a peaceful mission, and do not wish confrontation. Sygoss would not have entrusted us with your secret if it was not of the utmost importance." She combined the words with their various pitches of an eight-note scale. This not only made for a huge vocabulary, but a subtlety of communication. To Dave's untrained ears it sounded a bit like a bad, foreign musical.
"Sygoss does not interfere with the comings and goings of any sentient race," the Utayatuian replied. "Sygoss is the only being in this galaxy that knows of us. However, you are the only ones in all these millions of years who did not happen upon our hidden planet by accident. Is it possible that the great Sygoss has broken his own rule of non-interference? We thought you to be Veiled spies using a deception to breach our own deception. We must investigate this further – prepare for our data sweep."
A flat, wide, blue beam fanned out from the middle craft and swept through the Odyssey from bow to stern. It was over in less than a minute, as the beam was turned off, and appeared to be sucked back into the beetle-like ship.
"We regret our violent actions toward you, but it was necessary to keep this world secret from those that would wish its destruction," the Utayatuian apologized. "When you avoided and then destroyed our weapon so easily, we decided to investigate you further. I am now glad we did not continue toward your ultimate destruction. Our historic records indicate that everything of Z'va Prime origin had been destroyed down to the last spacecraft and probe wherever they had been in the galaxy. Somehow, you managed to remain unknown to them. Our scans indicate that your ship is of Z'va Prime origin, but you do not match any Z'va probes in our files, and the biological occupant is a complete mystery to us. Is it your pet? Please explain."
With machine precision, and at her best diplomatic behaviour, she ignored the stare of displeasure from Dave, and replied. "I am a much older model, and for the past sixty-five million years I was accidentally buried under layers of sedimentary rock on a distant planet; long before the Veiled came to this galaxy. This is most probably the reason the Veiled could not track me down. As for our ship, it too was hidden but was completely shut down deep within a glacier for the past twenty million years. I can only assume that the Veiled were unable to locate this ship due to its complete and utter inactivity. Perhaps the severe cold had also aided this further by slowing down the molecular movement of the ship's hull and all internal structures. Finally, this biological occupant is not my pet, but a being from a planet called Earth – the same planet I was gathering information on and then trapped within for most of my life. His name is Dave; he is my friend and travel partner."
The Utayatuian smiled for the first time, and no longer showed any signs of uneasiness. "Welcome Xin and Dave! You are the first visitors to our homeworld in over twenty million years. Well, not the first to visit," he quickly corrected himself, "but the first we did not destroy.... Welcome! My name is Kaibiak; I am the elected steward of the Utayatuian homeworld. Please, honour us by following these escort vessels down to the planet's surface. We will then speak in person and at length."
Dave wasn't completely sure if he should trust Kaibiak, but this was the end of their mission; the reason they had zigzagged all over the galaxy in the first place. Anyway, if this Kaibiak had wanted to destroy them, he would have continued the attack instead of stopping and having this nice chat, or was it a sing-along? Still, he was a little apprehensive.
Dave piloted the Odyssey, and followed the shiny, green ships down towards the dense, boreal forests. The three escorts were now skimming only about a hundred metres above the treetops, as he continued to shadow their every move. The thick, massive evergreens below were a testament to the Utayatuian's respect for nature. Every so often, openings appeared between the tall, ancient trees, and he had brief glimpses of silver, domed structures, parks with white, stone fountains, Utayatuians leisurely walking about, children playing; all the things that made Dave homesick. Some of it looked so Earth-like, but the whole of it did not. It was the Earth that should have been; that could have been. Perhaps like an alternate future of the Native Americans had not Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
After going about ninety kilometres, the escort ships slowed and came to a stop, hovering over a large clearing. It was roughly circular in shape, no more than a couple of hundred metres wide, and covered by various grasses, shrubs, and other smaller indigenous plants. Dave saw a brief blue flash from the middle ship; in response came the sounds of great machinery in motion, and the clearing sank down several metres, followed by a loud thud and echo. Next, like a huge pendulum, the clearing swung aside to reveal a cavernous, dark hole that seemed bottomless.
"Please follow," Kaibiak urged. From their hovering positions, the three escorts dropped slowly down, and disappeared into the centre of the great, gaping hole.
Dave looked at Xin with a stare that required no interpretation.
"It's OK, Dave, please follow them," she assured. "I doubt this is a trap and if it is, well, they may have scanned the Odyssey, but they only surface scanned me. I am far more than the older science probe I once was, and can use my new upgrades to our advantage if necessary."
Dave nodded and sent the thought to follow to the Odyssey, but left its self-preservation AI on automatic and on full alert. The Odyssey followed the three ships into the darkness.
Within the shadows of the nearby asteroid field, a familiar scout ship became visible as it phased back into present space-time. The small, matte-black ship was specifically designed for optimum stealth capability – colour, shape, and surface faceting all played their part.
"Masters, I have followed the Z'va Prime ship to an uncharted system. I am sending you the coordinates... now,” informed the high, nervous voice. The small, silhouetted figure sat on the dark bridge; the only minimal light came off the view screens that encircled his gangly form.
"Why do you annoy us with this?” the multiple voices almost threatened.
"Please, please, I was just about to explain.... First, the Z'va probe sent a message directed at the second planet it was in orbit around. The language used in the communication was unknown to me, and there never came a reply. Then, much later, the ship assumed a landing trajectory, but instead of landing, it disappeared completely from my sensors. I am sending their message and the motion imaging... now,” the spy said firmly as his small, stubby finger touched a lime-green, pixilated button on the screen in front of him. "Also, I didn't even attempt to gain access to the Z'va probe's data storage, nor the science ship's – a cursory, stealth scan indicated too many safeguards that could not be bypassed. However, I was able to briefly mind-scan the biological life form during its odd sleep cycle. Surprisingly, it has a strong, well-organized mind, and my attempt was cut off almost immediately, but not before I managed to find out its place of origin. It is probably of little importance but I have sent the coordinates to you as well. And finally, as you had instructed, I have followed them since the destruction of the abandoned planetary relocation transport, and am sending all the coordinates of their stops and space folds along the way. Their location before this present one was very curious. The locals call it... let me see... ah, here it is – Mysaep's Moon. Perhaps they are insane, for on this moon they appeared to be conversing with no one." He grinned, revealing rotting, yellow, piranha-like teeth. "Perhaps there is a connection between both these things we are not allowed to see. I realize that this so called League of Worlds are far inferior, and individually pose no threat, but maybe there is an organized plot against my masters. If so, they could prove to be an irritation at the very least."
“Interesting, " the unison whispers mused. “Yes, you were correct in contacting us at this time. You will wait, stay hidden, and observe. Contact us if anything transpires. We will study and consider your findings."
"Yes, of course, anything you wish," the spy replied eagerly. Like an apparition, the black ship faded away to linger silently within the space rubble once again.
The darkness was brief as the Odyssey followed the three escort ships into a brightly lit underground installation of gigantic proportions. The cavernous installation was circular in shape, but much wider than it was high. There were hundreds of small, square white structures stacked upon themselves, reminiscent of the adobe structures of Earth. Everything about it had a complex yet symmetrical look – a balanced intricacy.
"Please land your vessel near the escort ships," Kaibiak instructed. The three insect-like ships set down on a light-grey, circular surface that was obviously reserved for them. Dave landed the Odyssey close to the trio, and met with Xin near the phaseway.
"The atmosphere is a little richer in oxygen than you are accustomed too," Xin simplified, "but it shouldn't be a problem for you – just don't inhale too deeply.
"Understood," Dave responded, as he opened the phaseway, and stepped out into the brightness that seemed to have no source. The light simulated natural daylight; he felt the warmth of it on his skin. Three tall, Utayatuians were waiting for them in the centre of the round, landing pad. All were about the same height, and were more than a head taller than Dave. The one in the middle was Kaibiak; the other two were perhaps for his security judging by the shiny, silver weapons attached to each of their right forearms.
When Xin and Dave were within a comfortable talking distance, Kaibiak held up his right hand in greeting, his palm outward, but unlike before, this time his fingers and two thumbs fanned out in separation. "Again, welcome!" he said melodically.
"Thank you for receiving us," Xin sang back. "I fully understand your need for secrecy, and I too have a great secret which must not fall into the hands of the Veiled."
"Yes, it is this that unites us. I was unsure of what to do when you first entered the atmosphere. Now I am certain – we should NOT have tried to destroy you," Kaibiak sang firmly.
"Well, thank you," Dave said sarcastically in English. He understood the Utayatuian language thanks to his implant, but was not yet able to speak-sing it – this complex language would take quite a long time to learn even with his enhanced mind and implant.
Xin translated for Dave. "He thanks you for your wisdom in this matter."
Kaibiak nodded, smiled and continued with his train of thought. "It is my understanding that Sygoss has only interfered with us lesser beings only two times. The first was when he warned Utayatu, Z'va Prime and other older worlds of these Veiled invaders. The second, and most recent was when he informed you of our very existence. This I cannot underestimate."
"He had warned Z'va Prime?" Xin was surprised.
"Yes, but unlike Z'va Prime, we decided to hide ourselves and study this Veiled threat before deciding what action to take. The few leaders on Z'va Prime who knew about the threat, did not share the knowledge with the rest of their world. We believe it was their own hubris that was their downfall. These Veiled are a frightening combination of power and madness, but they were not any more powerful than Z'va Prime. However, they were willing to do things that most advanced civilizations would not consider. Our history files indicate that they had bypassed all Z'va Prime's colonized planets and outposts, and struck Z'va Prime first with an entire stealth fleet. It became apparent to us that they have done this many times before, and destroying civilizations had become an art form to them. They truly are a lost race. Fortunately for us, the destruction of Z'va Prime was so swift and complete there was no recorded evidence of our existence that survived. Perhaps their insanity was to our advantage."
"Yes, how fortunate," Dave repeated sadly deep in thought, and with only a hint of sarcasm added this time.
Kaibiak ignored the strange, monotone comment; he did not understand it anyway, and continued with his story. "After a few decades, the Veiled had greatly reduced their initial destructive behaviour." (Both Xin and Dave noted the obvious euphemisms – in reality, it was unrestrained genocide.) "We believe they were not interested in conquest. A pattern had emerged, and our ancestors believed then as we do now, that they see all technologically advanced civilizations as a threat. Back then my people were not as advanced as we are now, but we too would have been eliminated. We are a peaceful race and did not have the machines of war to oppose them, so to our shame, we remained in hiding. All these years we watched them, we learned, we made preparations, but the Veiled kept to their sector of the galaxy, so we did what we do best – nothing." Kaibiak smiled a sad smile. "But enough of my pathetic tale of our self exiled existence. You came to bring us an amazing gift, and in return, we tried to destroy you without thought. Please forgive us for our lack of social graces."
"I understand," Xin empathized. "As you have mentioned, within me is the great library of Z'va Prime. I could not bear to see it fade into nothingness. I wish to give it to the Utayatuian people."
"Yes, we are honoured that you would share this with us," Kaibiak replied with great reverence. "It will be quite safe in our keeping." He bowed slightly while placing his right hand on his chest.
Xin told Kaibiak the story of how the library had come into her possession. They discussed the Veiled further; Xin shared what little information she had learned from the Taelrok ship's computer scan. It quickly became apparent to Xin that Kaibiak had no intention of confronting the Veiled. He was more interested in exploring the Z'va Prime library with its vast sections on music, art, and ancient planet histories. Xin was just glad the library had found a home with a serene race that respected and appreciated its extensive wealth of knowledge. It was possibly the safest place in the galaxy for the upload. Even so, she decided to keep the library within her archive data storage device as well. The science ship and the library were all she had left of Z'va Prime.
Talking further with Kaibiak, it was decided that Xin and Dave were welcome to make Utayatu their home if they wished. Xin thanked them for this generous offer and would seriously consider it at a future date. Now, however, the Veiled were heavy on her mind; she wanted to learn more about them before she decided on any course of action to take, if any. Perhaps Sygoss was right. Perhaps nothing should be done at this time. After all, the Veiled have not expanded their territory for thousands of years, and they only attacked those they deemed a threat. As long as the Utayatuians stay hidden, they would be safe, and so would the library. Her logic programing told her to do nothing, but she had a feeling it wasn't quite that simple.
After uploading her planet's library directly into the Utayatuian central library archive, Xin thanked Kaibiak, and told him that she would return someday. The Odyssey left the way it came, once again passing through the black zone of the planet's disguise, and back into the cold, solitude of space. Whether she found a new world to call home or not, her first home would always be the unimaginable expanse that was space, and the stars were her sustenance.
With her primary mission completed, Xin decided to accompany Dave back to Earth for that vacation he was longing for. Beyond this she had no course of action planned, and had decided to discuss any future plans with Dave. Maybe he had enough of adventuring. At some point, she was planning on coming back to Utayatu, for this would probably be her new homeworld. She had left a big part of herself here, and therefore, she now had a vested interest in this world. Perhaps her abilities would prove useful to this world in the future. The possibility of being useful; the feeling of belonging to something again gave her a brief wave of joy through her subsystems.
"Masters, the Z'va ship has just left the planet!" the spy informed with what little self-pride he had left. "I suspected there was more to this world than meets the eye, or my sensors!"
"Yes, good," the whispers echoed back. "We have studied all that you have previously sent us, and now with this.... We believe there is a civilization hidden from our view beneath the molten world disguise. The technology to disguise an entire planet is a remarkable achievement, but disturbs us greatly. You will penetrate the planet's disguise; send us any and all information that will confirm our theory."
"Yes, I will do so as soon as the Z'va scum are out of sensor range. This system, as you are aware, is very far from your sector. You will need a suitable planet at a midway point if a Taelrok fleet is to be sent to this hidden world." The little creature strategized trying to appease those that could destroy his homeworld on a whim. "I have found you such a world – it has a suitable temperature, breathable atmosphere, and water – all the things the Taelroks would require. I am sending you the coordinates... now."
"Good. It is a valued servant that anticipates our needs," all the Veiled replied. "Report back upon confirmation. If our suspicions are correct, a planetary acquisition fleet will be sent to the midway coordinates, and from this base of operations we will lay waste to these would-be plotters in hiding."
The spy nervously turned off his communicator and watched the Z'va science ship slowly heading away from the molten, disguised world. He hated establishing communications while enemies were present in the same system – it compromised his stealth signature, and why is that ship moving so slowly? "PROXIMITY ALERT!" the digitized voice shouted; the red warning light flashed just before the spy ship exploded in an orange ball of fiery silence.
As if thrown from the force of the explosion, Xin flew through and out of the scattered remains of the black ship. Her outer shell turned from blinding white, back to its light absorbing, black form. "Dave, before destroying it, I managed to listen in on their communications, and it is worse than I feared! They suspect a technologically advanced civilization to be in hiding here, and the Veiled will be sending a Taelrok fleet. We have only a few days before they attack."
"Damn, they were probably following us this whole time. We will need to warn Utayatu immediately," Dave stated the obvious. "Now they will finally have to do something."
"We will warn them of course, but this will not be the Taelrok's first stop," Xin would have felt sick to her stomach if she had one.
"I don't understand. What do you mean?"
"I'm sorry, Dave. The Taelrok fleet's final destination will be Utayatu, but first they're coming straight for... EARTH."
(To be continued)
My other sci-fi stories are available at smashwords.com or at my above website in PDF format with cover art and over a dozen illustrations (Novella).
This work of fiction is the sole property and copyright of Robert G. Moons.
Please do not print or use without permission of the author.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.