"Weapons officer Salek, return fire… Nozak, try and bring the Trandor behind the Noor, she has a blind spot," Commanded Zeka. Both men started the carry out his request but were interrupted when the Noor conducted another assault on their ship.
"Commander, the port deflector panels are down to sixteen per cent, we cannot take many more hits," Salek shouted over the noise of blasts that were hitting the vessel.
"Nozak, bring her around…Salek, initiate the aft panel and put the Plasma Rail online, target her weapons and fire!"
Commander Zeka switched cameras to get an external view of his ship, assessing the damage that was being inflicted. He seemed rather surprised at the amount of power the old vessel firing at him appeared to have. As he switched to the port side camera he could see a large hole had opened up around 20 metres wide where they had taken a direct hit.
Zeka called for additional bridge personnel to come to their posts and ordered a damage report. Meanwhile Salek was trying to get a lock on all of the Noor's primary weapon hubs to shut them down. Zeka wanted the ship disabled, not destroyed but his options were starting to become limited as he was effectively letting his ship take a pounding to spare the lives of an old friend and his followers.
"Sir, we have been hit again on the port side by 12 uranium charges, the deflector panel is down. Another hit will be catastrophic!" Salek screamed.
"Nozak, what's going on, I want that ship to our aft!"
"I'm trying commander but they are matching out manoeuvres, I am unable to get them behind us."
"Salek, have you a lock yet?"
"I have four targets locked Sir, but I need another five to guarantee complete weapons shut down."
"Get it done… Nozak increase speed to one half pulse, try and get us some manoeuvring room and come to heading eight one seven point six."
Nozak looked round at his Commander wearing a confused look. "My lord?"
"Trust me Son," replied Zeka, nodding. Nozak carried out his orders and keyed in the course heading Zeka had asked for. The Trandor, now increasing in speed, was heading away for the Noor in what must have looked like a retreat to his new enemy.
Changing direction the Noor began to give chase as Zeka and his crew watched on the view screen.
"Nozak, reduce the external stabilisers by ten per cent, I want to make it look like we are more injured than we really are… Salek, take the starboard and bow defector panels offline and send a repair team to the port shield array, see if they can do anything."
"Yes Commander, at once."
Zeka sat tapping his fingers on the arm of his Command chair as he watched the Noor closing in. The Trandor appeared to be heading towards a magnetic cloud rich in iron deposits left over from a nearby star collapse.
"I think we are out of the worst Adam," Relshek announced, helping Adam to his feet.
"What the hell happened, are we safe?" Adam asked, shaken up.
"I got a report saying a group of people have stolen one of our old decommissioned ships."
"Why would they do that?"
"Unknown Adam, but they appeared to attack us, I'm not sure why. Come, I will take you to your quarters."
Relshek began to walk towards the door when Adam stopped him.
"Yes Adam, what is it?"
"Earth… will I ever go back there?"
Relshek thought for a moment. "Do you want to go back?"
It was now Adam's turn to give a thoughtful expression. "Given the life I had there it would be easy to say no because I had nothing, but home is home I guess."
"Home IS home Adam I agree. If you asked me whether I would ever want to leave Purity I could confidently say no because it is the home I love. Adam, I cannot tell you what you should do or how you should feel, and we each come from different environments, but let me say this… If you help us as I hope you will, I can have you returned to earth within a year, but before you decide, see our world, be with our people and then see how you feel."
Adam nodded and Relshek led him out of the door. They made their way down a long corridor and stopped outside the entrance to a clear glass elevator. Relshek pressed the panel and Adam could see the large see-through box travelling up towards him. Out beyond the doors was what looked like a huge hanger bay containing around twelve or so small vehicles that Adam could not help thinking looked like snails.
"Relshek, how big is this ship?"
"There are fifteen decks, each over four hundred metres long. The wing sections either side have eight decks and are two hundred metres long," Relshek answered casually as the lift came to greet them, the doors automatically opening. Relshek stepped inside and Adam followed before the glass enclosure started to move down again after Relshek pressed a button on the panel.
"Wow, so how many of these ships do you have?"
"Purity's spacefaring operations are split in to four quarters, Adam. In total High Command have eighteen ships in active service."
"So what quarter are you part of then?"
"Science, Adam. Then there is defence, exploration and construction."
"Wow eighteen ships, and… and is this the biggest one you have?"
The elevator came to a stop and its doors opened. Relshek stepped outside and began walking with Adam following. "Defence has the biggest ships, Adam. The two biggest are the Selsha and the Tomleek each over seven hundred metres long."
"Whoa, now that I'd love to see. Something like that just floating around must be impressive."
"It is Adam, and if you stay with us I will arrange a tour one day."
Relshek suddenly stopped with Adam almost walking into him. "Huh, what's up?" Adam asked.
"We are here, Adam."
"Your quarters, look."
Adam looked up at the door they were outside and started to laugh. "You guys even put my fucking name on it, this is awesome!"
Relshek opened the door and entered the pitch black room. Once again Adam followed. "Optimus, lights, brightness level three."
The room lit up into a dim hue and Relshek walked further inside to what opened up into a large living area.
"Oh my fucking god, this is my room??"
"Yes Adam, you do not look impressed, I can have another arranged for you if this is not up to standard."
"Are you kidding me, this is… it's like a space age palace Christian."
"Oh, so you like it then?"
"You could say that… and it's all mine? Like, I don't share with anyone?"
"No Adam, it is all yours, come… let me show you around." Relshek walked over to a large screen that was built into the wall. "This is a multicom screen, you can use it to view the outside of the ship from multiple angles. It is also used to have face to face conversations and you also use it to make any requests."
"Requests?" Adam asked, looking confused "Such as?"
" Almost anything. It is touch screen AND voice activated, Adam. You can bring up different menus to comply with your needs. Our team has reprogrammed it slightly for your use, here, have a go."
"What do I do?"
"If you start by pressing the large earth symbol it will bring up the menu. Here you can order food, fresh clothing and a host of other things. We have also added some videos from earth and pictures to remind you of home if you wish."
"This is… man this is unreal! You really planned me coming here didn't you."
"We did, oh… and It is very real Adam," Relshek stated, bringing up a picture of the Amazon Rainforest before switching to a video of lions running across a savannah.
"So when I want some food what happens, does it just appear like on Star Trek or something?" Adam asked, grinning at Relshek.
"I'm sorry; I don't know what you mean Adam. If you want something to eat our cooks will make it and someone will bring it to your room. Is this not satisfactory?"
"I just expected… hmm, never mind. So what can I order?"
"We have researched over one thousand earth recipes, Adam to suit a human's taste. We have also collected extensive data to make sure it is food stuffs which people from the part of earth you come from eat."
"So can I have chips?"
"Chips? I believe this is a process of slicing a root vegetable called a potato and heating it in highly unhealthy oil based liquid?"
"Wow, you have done your homework, yeah, spot on."
"And would you like some… chips?"
"Not just yet, what else is there in this room I love already."
"Well you have bathing and evacuation facilities designed much like they are on earth. I have also made sure we installed fragrances that young males enjoy on your planet. These are in vials next to your bathing pod."
"Thank you, so what does that thing do there?" Adam asked pointing to an enclosure cut into the wall.
"That is a body drier. It works by moving jets of air over your wet body."
"Oh, ok… and that thing? Adam pointed to a strange looking contraption that appeared to contain a brush and chin support.
"That is a sonic brush, you rest your head against the strap and it will clean your teeth for you."
"Pfft, I was impressed by an automatic car wash back home, but this thing?"
Relshek looked befuddled by Adam's analogy and walked back out of the bathroom area, back into the main living quarters. "Optimus, please register Adam Smith for voice recognition and save… Adam, say Optimus please."
"Voice recognition saved Lord Relshek. Adam Smith is now saved to voice bank" Optimus replied.
"What does that mean?" Adam asked, looking up at the recessed speaker on the ceiling.
"It means you can now use Optimus, our general computer."
"What can I use him for?"
"Anything you like, he can answer questions for example, of things you wish to know. All you need to do is say Optimus and then ask your question… why don't you have a go?"
"What should I ask?"
"Anything you like, Adam."
"Hmm, ok… Optimus, tell me abooouut, Neptune!"
"Neptune is the eighth planet from the star Sol and the fourth largest planet in the star's solar system. It is a gas class planet comprised of-"
"STOP!" Adam cried, beginning to laugh. "I get it, thanks."
Meanwhile back on the bridge, Commander Zeka sat nervously as the Noor was now only a few thousand metres behind.
"Nozak, increase speed to full pulse… get us inside that cloud."
"Yes Commander, right away."
Nozak put the ship into full sub-lightcruise speed to attempt outrunning of the chasing vessel, but its smaller engines were not powerful enough to pull away from the Noor which, although much older was built for battle and had a bigger propulsion system.
"They are still closing my lord," Nozak reported.
"Damn it… distance to cloud?" Zeka banged his fist.
"We should enter it in about ten heshtons Commander."
"Push it to the wall Nozak."
"Yes my lord… Propulsion, come in."
"Propulsion here, what can we do for you Lord Nozak?"
"Please increase power to pulse engines we are attempting to outrun a pursuing vessel."
"Please give us some time to reconfigure the engine parameters my lord."
"We do not have that luxury; please do what you can immediately." Nozak almost demanded before looking down at his station. There was a visible red bar that told him the ship was at maximum speed but he continued to stare at it until suddenly a gap appeared indicating to anyone looking that there was still more power to access. Nozak tapped on a series of buttons before he turned back to a sitting Commander Zeka.
"Pulse engines now at one hundred twenty two per cent my lord, that's all we have."
"Very well, thank you Nozak."
The ship began to hum in protest at its increased speed which seemed to indicate it was above its designed specification. Zeka got up out of his seat as the ship was now on the very edges of the magnetic cloud.
"Once we are in drop speed and cool the engines immediately Nozak, I don't want to damage them any more than we need to."
Nozak nodded as the ship screamed into the cloud. The Trandor swayed sharply left before dropping to half the speed it had been travelling. The Noor followed her in and replicated the manoeuvre to keep close. Zeka ran towards the tactical station and slapped his hand down on Salek's shoulder.
"Salek, re-establish locks on the Noor's weapon hubs and FIRE at will… Zeka to security teams, prepare a boarding ship… Nozak, full reverse, get some distance between us and that ship."
Moments later the Trandor unleashed a volley of Plasma shock beams from its forward and aft rails, causing several explosions on the Noor's hull.
"Direct hits Commander, I just need to get five more," reported Salek
"Why do they not fire back at us?" Nozak asked, bewildered that the Noor would just sit back and take a pounding.
"They can't, they have an old style weapons tracking system which is useless in this magnetic environment," replied Zeka, his tone one of resounding satisfaction. Salek fired again and took out the remaining hubs. Zeka returned to his seat and waited.
"That should bring them to the negotiating table… Zeka to Security, status of you boarding ship?"
"Ready to leave Commander Zeka."
"Very well, proceed. Zeka to Noor, Gento, it's over, surrender the ship or we will board it by force."
Lord Gento came on the view screen looking incensed. "Zeka we refuse to live like you, leave us be or face the consequences."
"Gento, your weapons are disabled, stand down!"
Gento must have cut communication as the view screen retuned to an external view.
Adam had been left alone in his room, with Relshek advising him to get some rest. He wandered around eyeing upall the odd looking things as he began to fully come to terms with his new environment. The absence of windows in his room gave him an odd feeling. He closed his eyes and imagined himself back on earth in a warm room. He found, if he concentrated, that he could put himself back there so easily. Opening them again he wandered into another room that contained a large bed. He sat down on the padded surface and noticed it was of the same material as the bed in his glass incubator had been.
He let his upper torso fall backwards onto the mattress, puffing air through his lips. He still had so many questions that had not been answered, one of which was how long he would be on this ship.
A gentle tirednessstarted to wash over him as he lay there on his back. Deciding to take advantage of this he got under the single sheet and closed his eyes, quickly falling asleep.
Relshek was sitting at a small desk in this own quarters when his door buzzed.
"Come in," he called, leaning back to see who was about to enter. It was Commander Zeka.
"Lord Zeka, what brings you to my quarters, is everything ok?"
"Those people on the Noor, can they be fixed?"
"In time maybe, but we need to get Adam back to Purity so we can continue the programme."
"So you are telling me nothing can be done from the Trandor?"
"Commander, with respect we did not expect this question to be asked as we did not know a ship with Solitaryarolous sufferers was going to be out here. I'm afraid we just don't have all the facilities here."
"The boy, is he ok?"
"Yes, he is fine, perhaps a little overwhelmed at times, but this is to be expected."
"I'm pleased… I'm pleased this has not all been for nothing."
"Most certainly not Lord Zeka… and the Trandor?"
"Minor to moderate damage on the port side, but nothing that can't be fixed."
"Commander, the Noor, what are you planning to do with her?"
"I have a boarding ship on route to her now. We'll get the people off and then-"
Zeka was cut off mid-sentence by a huge explosion that lit up the black space outside Reshek's bulkhead windows, before a gigantic shockwave threw them both to the floor. The Trandor was tossed almost 90 degrees onto its side with Relshek and Zeka cowering as large pieces of material crashed against the hull.
"What was that?" Asked Relshek on his knees.
"If I'm not mistaken it is the remains of the Noor."
"Bridge to Commander Zeka, come in."
"Zeka here, report Nozak."
"The Noor Sir, it just exploded. It looks like a self-destruct."
Zeka didn't say anything he just sat on the floor staring ahead.
"Lord Zeka, are you ok?"
"What? Oh, yes, I'm fine." The Commander replied unconvincingly. "Gento was on that ship Relshek, he was a good friend of mine once, before this disease got hold of him and he started to change."
"Commander, this may not mean much right now, but on my oath we will save our species."
Zeka got to his feet and pulled down on his black uniform. "I hope you are right Relshek, I really hope you are right."
"I am Sir; Gento's death will not be in vain."
"You know Relshek, even after he fired upon us and tried to destroy us, I still would have called him friend when we got back home." Zeka remarked turning and walking out of the room.
Relshek suddenly felt a panic come on as Adam entered his mind. He had briefly forgotten about the boy since the explosion and also due to Zeka being there. He now wondered if he was ok. Relshek ran from his room and down the corridor towards Adam's, quickly arriving.
"Optimus, release door, Adam Smith! Override code six seven dash four." Adam's door opened and Relshek ran inside to find the boy in his bathroom nursing a small cut on his head. "Adam, you are wounded."
"Christian, what the hell was that?"
"The Noor, she exploded… are you ok?"
"Did people die?"
"Unfortunately they did. Adam please let me see to your head, you may require repairs."
"Christian, it's just a cut, I've been in worse states than this remember?"
"I do, which is why you must let me take care of you… come." Adam went with the man he still called Christian into his main quarters and sat down holding his head in a small cloth. Relshek went over to the far wall and pressed a button, which once pushed revealed a compartment. Relshek took a small white box from it and went over to where Adam was.
"A repair kit, I am going to apply some Katam gel. Your wound should be healed in four hours."
"Yes Adam, the gel accelerates tissue regeneration when applied to the affected area so an injury such as yours will not take so long to heal."
"Sounds good, but what happened to good old plasters."
"Hmm, plaster? This is an earth word for a primitive dressing. You earthlings have a long way to go in medical science. Katam gel negates the need for dressing; which I might add delays healing due to lack of atmospheric chemicals."
"You mean air?"
"Then just say air, Christian. You are making my head hurt more than this cut with your around the houses chatter." Relshek applied some gel to Adam's head making him wince. "Fuck, it burns, are you sure you opened the right stuff?"
"Yes Adam, I will apply a numbing agent to compensate for your discomfort."
Commander Zeka stepped out of the elevator and onto the bridge, making his way over to his chair.
"Nozak, plot a course to the deltazone, let's go home."
"Commander, we still have a podling carrier in earth's orbit."
"WHAT?! Why was I not told about this… Bridge to Lord Kelshen!"
"Kelshen here, how may I help Commander?"
"Why do you still have personnel down on earth, what is going on and why was I not informed?"
"We ran into complications Commander, we encountered a boy who revealed our position to others."
"You still didn't answer my question, why was I not told?"
"Well my Lord, we did not anticipate the engagement with the Noor, and-"
"Nozak, get us back to earth, maximum hyper drive… Kelshen I want a full report ready for high command when we return. I have a damaged ship and this will now extend the crew's time away from Purity."
"I understand Lord Commander."
The Trandor glided round to face the general direction of Sol and engaged its main drive engines, propelling the craft to unimaginable speeds by human standards.
"Wow, what just happened, I felt my stomach flutter."
"We just entered hyper drive Adam, the effects should pass quickly."
"Is that like warp drive?"
"I do not understand this term, Adam. What is warp drive?"
"You know, like mashing matter and antimatter together and making something travel the speed of light?"
"Adam, joining matter with antimatter is a highly inefficient and resource intensive means of propulsion, not to mention highly unstable. I believe your planet is currently working on such a theory but it will not work in reality."
"Oh, so how do you get to the speed of light without warp drive?"
"Adam, where do you get your spatial theories from might I ask?"
Adam shrugged. "TV programs"
"Hmm, this is make-believe yes?"
"We call it fiction, but there has been a lot of stuff that's gone from fiction to reality."
"Yes, well, this warp drive you talk of cannot be achieved in the general law of the universe. Purity Vessels use a ripple effect by bending the fabric of space and riding it."
"Like a wave?"
"In effect yes. It does not get us to the speed of light, but almost, plus it's a very efficient way to move at high speed. It also allows us to travel large distances, however, for us to reach REALLY faraway places that's where you need wormholes because they, instead of causing a ripple, actually bend parts of the universe in half."
"Look, I'll demonstrate , get me that flexipad from your desk." Adam did as he was asked and brought back the rubbery looking pad. It didn't look like much until Relshek placed two of his fingers in each corner which made a blank white screen appear on the surface.
"Wow" remarked Adam, intrigued by the strange gadget.
"Ok Adam, We are here," Relshek stated making a small circle on the left hand side of the screen with his finger. "And we want to get to here," he added, drawing another circle on the opposing side of the screen. "How do we get from one circle to the other?" Relshek passed the flexipad to Adam and let him think about the question.
"Easy," replied the boy after a moment, drawing a line from one circle to the other. "There you go!"
"Hmm, yes that is an option BUT what if the space between the two circles was fifty light years?"
Adam now looked puzzled. He knew that even at the speed of light it would take years. Looking deflated he looked up at Relshek and then back down at the pad.
Relshek took the flexipad from his hands and held it out in front of them both before slowly bending the pad in the middle.
"Where are the two circles now?"
"Together?" Adam replied, suddenly having a light bulb moment.
"Together, precisely Adam. By bending parts of space you can bring one part close to another, then fly through the tunnel between and come out the other end thus saving lots of time and fuel."
"And that's wormhole technology?"
"That's wormhole technology Adam."
"Bridge to Lord Relshek." Sounded Commander Zeka's voice, interrupting them both.
"Relshek here, go ahead."
"Relshek, Kelshen informs me we have a male human boy down on earth being held by two of your team. We are on our way back to earth now to extract them. What do you plan to do with the boy?"
Relshek looked at Adam before getting up onto his feet. "Commander, may we discuss this in private?"
"Damn it Relshek, I have men here wanting to go home, please tell me we are looking to terminate him, we don't have time for decontamination procedures!"
Adam went wide eyed, staring at Relshek who looked like he was frozen to the spot.
"Who's this boy?" Adam asked. "And what do you mean terminate him?"
"Adam, it's a very complicated situation…. Lord Zeka, I will meet you shortly," Recheck called on the intercom to his Commander and trying to settle Adam at the same time.
"I ask again Christian, why are you going to terminate him? That word sounds very bad. You're going to kill him aren't you!"
The Commander wants to get the crew home and we have a human who has discovered our kind and told others."
"So what, you just decide to terminate him?"
"It was never meant to be like that I assure you but-"
"But nothing Christian, that's fucking murder, and who is this guy, where does he come from?"
"The same place as you as far as we know."
"What does he look like?"
"What does it matter Ad-"
"Christian, what does he look like?"
"Slim build, light hair, maybe slightly elder than you."
Adam swallowed hard. "Christian, where was this person when you found him or he found you?"
"My team who extracted you found him heading towards the dwelling where you stayed."
"Oh my god… SAGE!"
A MultiCom screen is an advanced monitor which has an array of functions which the crew can interact with. Making our Smart TV's we find on earth obsolete and primitive compared, the screen allowed every part of their living much easier.
Sub-light cruise speed, better known as Pulse - as the bridge crew tend to use the word more, is a propulsion design that uses pressurised plasma to propel the Trandor forward and backwards. It is a flexible drive system with many sped options available to the navigator. All Purity vessels have a similar design,
A Podling is a small ship housed inside the main ship Trandor to carry out reconnaissance, planetary assignments and board hostile ships if needed.
A FlexiPad is a lightweight silicone device that can be manipulated in extreme without damaging it. For example you will have seen Lord Relshek bend one completely I half without it shattering. These are used as hardwearing devices that can be moulded into small places
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