FROM THE FILES OF THE SPECIAL OPS FORCE:
Temporal Time reference 02.01.2218
Commander Robert Tucker Reporting.
The Minarian Tribunal has convicted Bwentani Rebel Leader Rillius of multiple war crimes, including murder and endangering the Galaxy by allowing the Cho'Kai to enter our dimension. He has been given the death sentence and he is awaiting execution at the Penal Colony on Kurai III.
Former Celestus Council member Jen'Pway has also been convicted of all charges. He has been sentenced to life without parole on the penal asteroid in the Minarian system.
Former Earth Defense Force Colonel Todd Myers was granted immunity in exchange for testimony against Rillius and Jen'Pway. Myers disappeared shortly after wards and is presumed a casualty of a Zenaren death squad.
The Zenaren attacked the Minarian detention center, liberated their leader, Traxis and have hidden him somewhere in their territory.
They refuse to hand him over to the Minarians to stand trial and they have been declared a threat to Galactic peace. Preparations are underway to bring him back, by force, if necessary.
With the help of Palonius, the Celestus Council has elected a new leader, Prasin Astra of Venpari. Palonius and Astra have signed a non-aggression pact, a trade agreement as well as a training program for the newly appointed Celestus Guardians – the Kurai.
The Galactic Fighter training Academy Commandant Harry Benson has arranged for Training Officers Ryan Dickinson and Samantha Benson-Kensington to train the Kurai instructors who will in turn teach their fighters and ground troops about military tactics, defense strategies and intelligence gathering.
The Special Ops Force has remained an independent component of the Earth Defense Force. Our mission is to monitor and intervene on any attempted alteration of the galactic timeline, engage in covert ops against any threat to the members of the Terran Alliance and Celestus Order as well as provide security to the Minarian Tribunal since the Zenaren attacked the detention center.
We have been placed on high alert due to the fact that Rillius is going to face execution in the near future.
Report filed by Special Ops Commander Robert Tucker
01 February, 2218 @ 1600 hours
Robert Steven Tucker Robert Steven Tucker
Special Ops Command Center – Earth temporal time reference 02.18.2218.0930
Robert Tucker and Special Forces Commander Dave Walsh are going over security protocols with Intelligence Chief Miguel Herrera and Assistant Chief Paul Foster.
They received a message from the Minarians that convicted mass murderer Rillius' execution is scheduled for later that day and he is to be escorted from the maximum security penal colony on Kurai III to Minari Prime, where the execution prescribed by Minarian law will be carried out.
They are going to have two teams of Special Forces Operatives escort Rillius. Miguel, Paul and Bat'ai will be monitoring the route and a squadron of Special Ops pilots, led by Squadron Commander Zerellus, will be escorting the two WA-01s piloted by Robert and Ray Watson.
The Ops team finishes their preparations and gets ready to leave the command center, when an alarm goes off and a message appears on the screen:
Quantum incursion Kurai III, level 10 breach.
“What the hell is that?” Robert asks.
“I am not…”
The screen glitches and a fuzzy image appears: Bat'ai from the dimension Ray returned from is on the screen.
“Ray, come in,” ‘Bat'ai’ says, weakly.
“I'm here, son. What the hell happened?”
“Rillius stole a quantum slipstream device and detonated an anti-matter weapon in our atmosphere. We have lost
almost all of our city-ships and only a handful of us have
survived. He traced your quantum signature and he is after
the Rillius in your reality.”
“Why is he after Rillius?”
“He needs Rillius'...”
The screen suddenly goes blank.
“Paul, git him back!” Ray shouts.
“No time. We need to get to Kurai III PFQ (Pretty Fucking Quick). Alert One, scramble all units!” Robert orders.
“Yes sir,” Paul replies and hits the alarm.
Robert, Dave, and Ray grab their gear and go towards the hangar to assist their other dimensional friends.
Penal Colony – Kurai III
Inside his cell, Rillius is pacing, having been informed by his former subordinate, Kaleel, that the Terrans were en route to escort him to Minari Prime.
A buzzer goes off, then a door leading to the cell block opens and someone enters the corridor.
Rillius collects himself; he does not want to give the Terrans the satisfaction of seeing him admit defeat.
The cell door opens. Rillius is about to speak, but stops and stares in complete shock as he sees himself with a weapon in his hand. He thinks his double is breaking him out of the penal colony.
“Are you here to set me free?” Rillius asks.
“You can put it that way,” his double replies, with a gleam in his eyes.
He fires the weapon, killing the other Rillius.
He takes out a hypodermic needle, sticks it into his double, draws some blood and injects himself.
The other Rillius' DNA stabilizes his quantum signature.
The cell block door opens and the Special Ops Team enters with their weapons drawn.
“You!” ‘Rillius’ hisses when he sees Ray.
“Commander Psycho,” Ray replies.
‘Rillius’ aims his weapon and fires, causing the Ops Team to dodge the energy weapon.
“Return fire!” Dave yells, and the Ops team aims their weapons at ‘Rillius’, who activates a personal shield.
The energy weapons have no effect on him.
He has a sadistic gleam in his eyes as he pulls out a device. “Your time is soon,” ‘Rillius’ threatens then hits a button. He shimmers and disappears.
“That's the Rillius you fought in the other dimension?” Robert asks.
“Yeah, but that sum'bitch is ten times more dangerous than the last time I saw 'im,” Ray replies.
“Looks like he got into your toy collection,” Dave says.
“We had nothin' like that. He must've jumped between realities,” Ray replies.
Captain Darrel Henderson checks the other Rillius and sees a puncture mark and a little bit of blue liquid pooled on his neck.
“Sir, take a look at this,” Darrel says to Robert.
Robert walks into the cell, followed by Ray and Dave. Ray examines the wound around the neck.
“Looks like blood,” Ray says.
“Was he injected with something?” Dave asks.
“No, I think the other Rillius took his DNA to assimilate himself into this reality.” Robert replies.
“I think yer right, Bob,” Ray replies. “We better git back, I gotta take a trip.”
“Where?” Robert asks.
“I’ll tell ya when we git back.”
The Special Ops team collects Rillius' body and leaves the cell block, with Robert and Dave grilling Ray for information about Rillius and what kind of threat he poses.
The team returns to the WA-01s and gets in. Paul's voice is heard calling Robert.
“Bob, come in.”
“Go ahead, Paul.”
“I received a message from the other Bat'ai. It appears to be some kind of calculation.”
“Do you know what it is?”
“We're working on it.”
The two WA-01s take off. Robert opens a portal and they return to Earth and prepare to take on their most dangerous enemy to date.
Special Ops Command Center – 1100 hours
Robert, Dave and Ray return to the Command Center.
“Allison. Get a hold of Doctor Burke. We need an autopsy on Rillius PFQ.”
“Yes, sir,” Communications Chief Allison Foster replies.
Robert walks to Paul and Bat'ai, who have a long and complicated calculation on the main monitor.
“Report,” Robert demands.
“We're close to figuring out what it is,” Paul replies.
“I don't suppose it's the other Bat'ai's phone number.”
“That’s not too far from the truth.”
“It appears to be the formula to open a quantum portal to his reality. We are running simulations to be sure.” Bat'ai replies.
“Whatever it is, you two need to figure it out in a hurry,” Robert says.
“We also hafta figger out where the hell that sum'bitch is hidin',” Ray adds.
“Have Doctor Burke get a sample of Rillius' DNA. We can run it through the Quantum scanner and get a fix on his location.”
“I shall assist him,” Bat'ai replies.
Bat'ai leaves the Command Center. Robert turns to Paul.
“Paul. Can you trace where the transmission originated?”
He inputs a command and runs a quantum level scan for radio waves or abnormalities. The computer beeps and ten areas with quantum abnormalities appear on the screen.
“That sum'bitch has been busy,” Ray says. He pauses then tells Paul, “Use the quantum scan Bat'ai took o' me when I got back an' match it with the areas that were affected.”
Paul calls up the scan, then uses it to pinpoint where the signal originated from. “Found it. Allison, try to re-establish contact.”
“Channel open. Bat'ai, this is Allison Foster from Special Ops Command. Come in, please.”
Bat'ai once again appears on screen.
“You have received my transmission. You must hurry. We do not have much time.”
“What the hell happened, son?” Ray asks.
“Anti-matter radiation is ionizing the atmosphere. Our shields will fail in a few hours. Have you located Rillius?”
“We're trackin' 'im now.”
“Has he killed the Rillius in your reality?”
“Yes. He took DNA, too.” Robert tells him.
“That means he has already adapted. Rillius has already jumped ten times. The quantum barrier is beginning to weaken. If he is not stopped, I fear in a short period of time, the barrier will fail, resulting in …”
“Quantum Armageddon,” Ray replies. “Do ya know when did he attack ya?”
“About twelve hours ago,” Bat'ai replies.
“Is the quantum slipstream still operational?”
“Then it ain't too late. Ya should be able ta reverse what Commander Psycho did ta ya.”
“I am the only senior officer left. I cannot activate the quantum slipstream by myself.”
“Kin ya open a portal ta git me there ta help ya?”
“I have just enough power to bring you here. Ray, I cannot guarantee your safe return if our efforts failed.”
“Son, that reality was my home fer almost two hunnred years. I'll be damned if I'm gonna let y’all die like this.”
“Thank you, my friend.”
“Try ta keep this channel open. I'll let ya know when I'm ready,” Ray tells him.”
“I will be waiting.”
“Allison, get a hold of Doctor Burke.” Robert orders.
“Yes, sir,” Allison replies.
She contacts Doctor James Burke, Chief Medical Officer to brief him on the situation.
Robert turns to Ray. Before he can even open his mouth, Ray tells him in no uncertain terms, “Don’t even think 'bout tryin' ta stop me.”
“I wouldn't dream of it. We're going to have Doctor Burke
put a tracer on us so Paul can…”
“Yer goin’ with me?”
“It’s too dangerous for you to go by yourself.”
“Yer right. What ‘bout Commander Nutjob?”
“Dave’s team will track Rillius and attempt to apprehend him.”
Allison receives a transmission.
“Sir. I have Ambassador Kensington on Channel one.”
“I’ll take it in my briefing room. Rico, come with me. Ray, go to medical and have Dr. Burke develop a counter agent to the anti-matter radiation.”
“Ya got it, son,” Ray replies.
He leaves the command center. Robert and Ricardo go to Robert’s personal briefing room.
He goes to a communications panel and pushes a button.
“What’s going on, Lyle?”
“Good news. Prasin Astra has informed me that the first group of Kurai operatives are ready to assist in the hunt for Traxis.” Lyle informs him.
“Great, I’ll get started,” Ricardo replies.
“Aren’t you going to lead the search, Bob?” Lyle asks.
“I can’t. Rillius has appeared from an alternate reality and has already caused damage by igniting an anti-matter weapon in the reality Ray came from.”
“I’ll take it from here, Bob.”
“Good hunting, Bob,” Lyle tells him.
“Thanks,” Robert replies, then leaves the briefing room.
Special Ops Force Hangar
Robert, Ray, and Zerellus are in the hangar, preparing for their jump into the alternate reality.
Darrel is briefing his Special Ops team on their role in the upcoming mission.
“We have modified the WA-01 with temporal shielding Ray developed in the alternate reality,” Zerellus reports.
“Good. You and Captain Henderson’s team will stand by in the Widow Maker while Ray and I assess the situation and, if we can, reverse the damage done to the other reality.”
Bat’ai and Doctor Burke enter the hangar. Burke is carrying a case of vials. He. injects each member of the team who is going to the alternate reality.
“This will protect you against the effects of the radiation for 24 hours. I have synthesized the antidote for those who have already been infected, to be delivered in gaseous form.” Burke informs them, pointing to the canister.
“How many doses?”
“According to my counter-part in the other dimension, enough for the citizens of the ship,” Bat’ai replies.
“Once their medical staff is cured, we will assist them in
producing enough for all the affected ships.”
“Thanks, Doc. We’ll let you know if we need more; or if we need a medical team,” Robert tells him.
“I’ll have my team standing by.”
Burke leaves the hangar.
“I will establish contact with my counter-part and let you know when we are ready to open the dimensional vortex,” Bat’ai tells Robert.
“We’ll be standing by,” Robert replies. He turns to Ray, Zerellus and the Special Forces team and says “Mount up; we’re Oscar Mike (On the Move).”
They climb on board the WA-01. Zerellus gets into the pilot’s chair, Ray co-pilot, and Robert the tactical station. The Special Ops team loads the antidote onboard then gets inside and secures themselves in the jump seats in the main compartment.
“Ops One to Base. Ready for deployment,” Robert reports.
“Roger, Ops one. Stand by for Bat’ai,” Allison replies.
“Robert, we are ready to open the dimensional vortex,” Bat’ai states.
A short time later a vortex opens in front of the fighter. Zerellus pilots the Widow Maker into the dimensional rift and disappears.
City Ship New Mexico – 02.18.2218.1145
Ray and Robert make their way to the command center. When they enter they see most of the Command Staff either slumped against their consoles or on the ground. A quick check by Robert and Ray verify that most of them are dead.
Ray stops and has a split second look of disbelief at seeing ‘himself’ lying on the ground near his station, dead. A look of guilt crosses his face, remembering that he was the one who sent ‘Ray’ to this dimension at the same time he returned to his native quantum reality.
Robert checks ‘Bat’ai’, who is barely conscious and gives him the antidote for the anti-matter radiation.
A short time later, he recovers and helped to his feet by Ray and Robert.
“Thank you, my friends,” ‘Bat’ai’ says with gratitude, but sighs and says, “I fear it is too late for the rest. They were overcome by the radiation before our doctors could inoculate them.”
“We may not be too late, Bat'ai,” Robert replies.
“We kin help ya use the quantum slipstream an’ go back before the blast an’ stop Lord Psychopath from doin’ this.”
“We can send ourselves back in time one Terran cycle. I shall see if I can determine at what time Rillius detonated the device.”
‘Bat’ai’ goes to his console types in a set of commands, to scan for anti-matter radiation and when it first appeared in the atmosphere. The computer beeps and displays the time that the detonation occurred. A look of sadness appears on ‘Bat’ai’s’ face.
“What’s the matter?” Robert asks.
“Initial detonation occurred at 1030 hours yesterday. We did not detect the radiation until eight hours ago and activated the shields, by then everyone was already exposed. I fear we cannot stop Rillius from setting off his device,” ‘Bat’ai’ replies.
“We can inoculate everyone, minimize exposure and buy you some time to find a way to neutralize the antimatter.”
“Why don’t we go back an’ git the bastard?” Ray asks.
“Our council has ruled that our Defense Force is not allowed to interfere with the natural course of events.”
“Even though that sum’bitch bombed the hell outta ya?’
“Yes. That is also why we were not allowed to go back and prevent the meteor that caused the flood in 2035. It would set a dangerous precedent. Other worlds would resort to this in order to change their history.”
“That ain’t right,” Ray grumbles.
“They have to respect their laws, Ray. We go back, help minimize the impact and have their Defense Force contact the council and get assistance.”
“An’ what do we do?”
“Try to pick up Rillius’ trail and track him from here.”
“For the record, yes.”
Ray sighs, reluctantly agreeing.
Robert and Ray assist ‘Bat’ai’ to set up the quantum slip stream device. He suddenly finds a major malfunction.
“Robert, Ray. I fear we may not be able to make the time jump.” ‘Bat’ai’ states.
“Why not?’ Robert asks.
“The radiation is preventing the proper calibration of the shields in order to enter the quantum slipstream.”
“Kin ya compensate?”
‘Bat’ai’ scans the shields, and then types in a set of commands to compensate for the antimatter radiation.
“I was able to set the shields for a ten hour jump.”
“What was the condition of your command staff?”
“They were starting to feel the effects of the radiation, but they were still able to perform their duties.”
“We can inoculate the Senior Staff and the medical staff, then release the gas into the environmental controls, after which your staff can continue making the antidote and distribute it to the other ships.”
“We are almost ready to start. Robert, I suggest you and your team stay in the plane with your shields activated. The time shift could affect your quantum DNA signature.”
“What ‘bout mine?” Ray asks.
“You have enough of this quantum DNA to protect you. I require your assistance to activate the quantum slipstream device,” ‘Bat’ai’ replies.
“Ya got it, son.”
“Be careful; and good luck,” Robert says to them.
He leaves the Command Center to return to the WA-01.
“Ray, I need you to assist me in aligning the shields to facilitate the jump.”
He goes to a console and accesses the quantum slipstream program. He studies the layout of the orbiting satellites, then begins to set up the proper alignment for the leap. He notices a phase variance and corrects it.
“I bought us another thirty minutes. Ain’t much, but every little bit helps.”
“Well done. I am activating the quantum slipstream. Event
horizon in thirty seconds. I suggest that we brace ourselves, it may be a turbulent ride.”
Ray and ‘Bat’ai’ grab the sides of their console and watch as the timer counts down to zero.
The city ship begins to slowly shake and their vision blurs as the quantum slipstream is activated. They hang on tight as they feel like they are being drawn into a void, straining at the g-forces produced in the artificial rift they have opened.
“Aaaaawww shiiiiiiiit,” Ray’s distorted voice calls out as they feel like they’re drawn into a bottomless pit.
Moments later they slowly settle back into ‘normal space and time’ as the rift is closed.
‘Bat’ai’ recovers then sees what time it is on the city ship:
“We did it,” Ray says, then sees the senior staff staring at him, some of them having weapons drawn and pointing at him.
“Who the hell are you?” ‘Robert’ demands.
“Bob, it’s me, Ray.”
‘Robert’ goes to say something, but ‘Bat’ai’ stops him.
“Sir, we have no time to explain. An anti-matter device has been activated in our atmosphere. We have to activate the shields and alert the other city ships immediately.”
“Do it,” ‘Robert’ orders.
‘Bat’ai’ activates the city ship shield and ‘Allison’ sends a general alert for the rest of the city ships to follow suit.
He calls Robert to bring in the canister with the serum.
Ray hands out vials to the Senior staff.
They take the antidote and a short time later recover from the radiation poisoning.
Robert and Darrel enter, bringing the canister with the
antidote. ‘Bat’ai’ motions for them to bring it to him. He hooks the canister to the environmental controls and inputs a command to distribute the antidote to the rest of the ship.
“Not to sound ungrateful; but will somebody please tell me what the hell is going on?” ‘Robert’ demands.
‘Bat’ai’ and Ray quickly brief ‘Robert’ and the Senior Staff on the situation: Rillius activating an anti-matter device and how they were unable to detect it until it was too late.
“Our doctor was able ta develop an antidote fer the anti- matter poisonin’.” He hands him a vial. “Have Doc Burke use this ta make more serum an’ the gas ta help cure the rest o’ the city ships.
“Carlos, bring this to Doctor Burke, ASAP.” ‘Robert’ says while handing him the vial and a pad with the formula.
“Yes, sir,” Colonel ‘Carlos Montoya’ replies.
He goes to bring the vial, Robert stops him.
“Good to see you, old friend,” he says, slightly emotional.
Carlos was killed during a battle against the Cho’Kai in Robert’s native dimension.
“You, too, Bob,” Carlos replies, confused, then leaves.
Robert sees some other staff members that were also killed in the Cho’Kai War: Colonel Alberto Sanchez, General Ed Kensington, and his wife Colonel Jacqueline “Jackie” Foster-Kensington.
Robert is emotional about seeing her, remembering the short term romantic relationship he had with her when they first disappeared.
She sacrificed herself to prevent Keith Sykes from being killed while battling the Henoki in the original timeline.
“Jac… Colonel, how are you?” Robert says, trying to maintain his military bearing.
“Fine, sir,” she replies, slightly confused by his reaction.
“Forgive me, but ... you were all killed in my reality.”
They state they understand, then shake hands with the
alternate reality double of their commanding officer.
“How are you able to open a portal between the realities?” ‘Robert’ asks.
“Your Bat’ai worked with ours to create a quantum portal. We can’t stay here too long, but we were able to reverse time just enough to stop the radiation from killing you.”
‘Robert’ sighs and tells his double, “Our Temporal Prime Directive has been broken.”
“Your directive was broken by me. We could have gone back further, but we restricted ourselves to the use of your technology, so in essence your Directive has been upheld.”
“That is how I see it, sir. Lord Rillius exploded an anti-matter device in our atmosphere, breaking the directive. I called in our counter-part to… minimize the damage.”
“But I do have to report this incident. We are responsible for protecting the integrity of the timeline and any kind of out-side interference, no matter how well-meaning it is, may have unforeseen consequences.”
“Yer welcome, I guess,” Ray tells him.
“You above everyone else should know the reason why we enacted and enforce the Temporal Prime Directive,” ‘Robert’ tells Ray, with a slight hint of anger.
“What did you do?” Robert whispers to Ray.
“Tell ya later, son.”
“I am grateful for your assistance, but to prevent further contamination of our timeline, I must insist that you leave immediately.” ‘Robert’ tells his counterpart.
Robert and Ray shake hands with their counterparts.
The two ‘Rays’ are hesitant to do so, both of them remember watching a time travel movie while growing up and what happened to a character when ‘the same matter occupied the same space at the same time.’
“What is the matter?” Bat’ai asks
“If we touch each other, it might… ya know,” ‘Ray’ says.
“Turn us ta quantum jelly,” the other Ray finishes.
“That is what you Terrans call an old wives’ tale.” ‘Bat’ai’ responds.
“Too many time travel movies growing up, Ray,” Robert says, teasing them.
The two Rays hesitate, and then shake hands.
Robert and Ray finish their farewells and walk back to the Widow Maker accompanied by ‘Ray’, ‘Robert’ and ‘Bat’ai’.
They walk to the WA-01. The alternate reality Ray and Robert are amazed that the former RAH-77 Blackfoot Helicopter has withstood the test of time.
‘Ray’ whistles and says “Two hunnred years an’ she’s still runnin’, damn impressive.”
“We had ta press ‘er inta service, the Celestus Council confiscated the WA-12s when we left the council.”
“Why did you leave the Council?” ‘Bat’ai’ asks.
“They were being assholes; the undersecretary, Jen’Pway, was secretly helping Rillius undermine galactic security. You may want to keep an eye on him.”
“The Rillius in our dimension is in custody,” ‘Robert’ replies.
“Sir, we received a report that Rillius was found dead in his cell shortly before the attack,” ‘Bat’ai’ replies.
“Why the hell wasn’t I informed?”
“At first they believed he was killed by another inmate. It wasn’t until an autopsy revealed he was punctured with a needle and some of his genetic material was taken. The report came after we were hit and incapacitated.”
“He was last seen in our dimension. We don’t have a solid lead, but if we can pick up his trail here, we are more likely to discover his whereabouts.” Robert tells him.
“Good luck,” ‘Robert’ replies.
He leaves, followed by ‘Bat’ai’.
Robert and Ray climb into the Widow Maker.
“Was I always that much of an asshole here?”
“Nah. He got a meteor shoved up his ass after one of my pranks shortly before the shit hit the fan.”
“What did you do, hang the council by their underwear in the courtyard?”
“Nope, the Booger Boy gag. But this Keith doesn’t have much o’ a sense o’ humor. He got all pissed off an’ left the Covert Defense Force. He took his family back ta Seattle. Yer daughter an’ Keith’s son didn’t git married. It caused a major upheaval in the time line. Had ta go back an’ fix it.”
“This is why they’re such sticklers for time travel?”
“Something to think about before you pull anymore gags.”
They go to the cockpit and get into their seats.
“Do we return to our reality, Kemzeh (Father-in-law)?” Zerellus asks.
“No, adjust shields … and set temporal coordinates to arrive before Rillius detonates the explosive,” Robert replies.
“What ‘bout their Temporal Prime Directive?” Ray asks.
“They’re bound to it, we’re not.”
“They’ll have our asses if they find out.”
“Find out what?” Robert says as Ray sets temporal co-ordinates to ten minutes before Rillius detonates the anti- matter device.
Everest Historical Landmark 02.16.2218.1020
Zerellus has landed the WA-01 in a clearing next to a monument that commemorates the peace accord between the
Henoki, Bwentani and humans in 2049.
He has activated the stealth shielding to keep the fighter from being detected by Rillius or the Time Defense Force.
Robert has deployed Darrel’s team to observe and if the situation presents itself; capture the renegade Bwentani leader.
His other goal is to attach a tracking device to Rillius’ vessel to keep tabs on him and determine where his base of operations is located.
A vortex open, then Rillius’ ship appears and lands near the monument. He gets out, walks over to the monuments which names the signers of the peace accords: Robert Tucker the second and his sister Sarah Tucker-Sykes, Maiok and her husband Quennok, representing the Henoki people and Zerellus’ father Berellus and Rillius’ father Palonius, representing the Bwentani people.
Rillius stops and looks at the monument with disgust registering on his face. He spits on the plaque.
“Traitorous Dach (swine).”
He goes to the ship, brings out a container of anti-matter and sets it next to the monument.
Robert has a split second thought of trying to apprehend Rillius, but feels it would be too dangerous. He gives hand signals to Darrel, ordering him to place the tracking device on Rillius’ ship.
Darrel and a small team cautiously approach Rillius’ ship. His team stands watch while Darrel attaches the device onto the ship, then slip back into the surrounding trees undetected.
Rillius sets the time to go off in ten minutes, gives one last look of contempt, gets into his ship and takes off.
Robert waits a moment, then signals Ray, Zerellus and the Special Ops team to converge on the anti-matter device.
“Miller, see if you can disarm it,” Darrel orders.
“Yes, sir,” Explosives Expert Denton Miller replies.
He checks the device for the timing mechanism as well as any traps that could possibly set off the device.
“It’s a no-go, sir. We have six minutes until detonation.”
“Back in the WA-01, we’re gonna tow it out of here and detonate it into space,” Robert says.
The team quickly returns to the Widow Maker and gets in.
Ray goes to the tactical station, targets and activates the Immobilizer beam. Zerellus pilots the fighter off the island. Robert opens a portal and they fly into it.
The portal opens in a deserted section of space between Mars and the Meteor Belt.
“Ray, release the canister. Z, get us the hell out of here.”
“Ya got it, son.”
Ray releases the Immobilizer Beam. Zerellus accelerates the WA-01, trying to put some distance between themselves and the canister, which the timer has reached zero.
This sector of space is suddenly filled with a blinding light and a shockwave emanates from the point of detonation.
Ray sees the shock wave closing in on the Widow maker.
“Ya better kick ‘er in the ass, son, that dad-gum thing is catchin’ up ta us.”
“Ray, maximum shields,” Robert orders.
A few seconds later, the shockwave hits. The WA-01 is rocked by the force of the shock wave, but sustains minimal damage.
Robert opens a channel to their Base.
“Ops One to Bat’ai, mission accomplished. Open a portal.”
A vortex opens and Zerellus pilots the Widow maker into the dimensional opening.
Edge of Zenaren/Kurai space 02.18.2218.1345
Ricardo leads the Special Ops fighter squadron and two teams of Special Forces Operatives to a rendezvous point to team up with the Kurai forces, led by Kaleel.
“Ops Two to Kurai leader, come in,” Ricardo says.
“This is Kaleel.”
“Good to hear from you, amigo.”
“As it is with you, shuvag (friend).”
“We are proceeding to rendezvous point.”
“We are right behind you.”
The two forces land near a Kurai outpost. They get out of their fighters and exchange greetings.
Captain Anamiok (Ana) Tucker, Strike team Commander and the rest of her pilots talk with their counter-parts while Ricardo and Kaleel walk away to speak alone.
“What is the latest intelligence on Traxis?”
“Our operatives have narrowed it down to a system near the Quenvarus Nebula. The interference makes it impossible to track ships in and out of the system.”
“Then we should be able to get to him undetected.”
“It is not that simple. Rillius has spies everywhere. No one on the Celestus Council is aware of this
mission except Prasin Astra and your Ambassador.”
“We sent modifications for your shield settings to your Engineering chief. Were they installed?”
“Any further contact with Rillius?”
“Not since he attacked the penal colony.”
“He has acquired quantum slipstream technology and attacked Earth in an alternate reality. Commander Tucker is leading a team to prevent the disaster and try to catch that murdering bastard.”
“Rillius killed his alternate reality double. Do you know why?” Kaleel asks.
“We think he needs the quantum DNA in order to adapt to this reality. We don’t know what his plans are, but his past patterns suggest that he is trying to destroy his enemies.”
“I fear my people may be next, because I betrayed him.”
“I agree. We have to stay alert. We also have to figure out a way to counter the technology he acquired.”
“Commander Tucker and his team have that task, ours is to bring Traxis to justice,” Kaleel states as a reminder.
“Good point. We also have to ensure that Rillius doesn’t share that technology with the Zenaren or their mercenaries.”
“We should proceed with our mission. Here is the latest intelligence we have on Traxis and the Quenvarus system.”
Ricardo and Kaleel go over the intelligence reports and formulate a plan to apprehend Traxis, at the same time assess the Zenaren offensive capabilities and determine if Rillius has allied himself with them and established a base in this reality.
Perimeter of the Quenvarus system 1400 hours
The two forces have each sent a team into the system to track down and apprehend Traxis. Ricardo and Kaleel are waiting results from their Operatives.
“Ops Two to SF One. Status?” Ricardo asks.
“SF One to Ops Two. Quenvarus Three negative, we are moving on to Quenvarus Five, Ricardo.”
“Kaleel to Bavakus. Report on Quenvarus Four?” No reply. Kaleel repeats his call to his Ops leader.
Bavakus replies, with the sounds of weapons fire in the background. “Kaleel, we are under attack from a regiment of Zenaren forces and an unknown vessel. We cannot penetrate the shields. It is …”
Bavakus’ transmission is cut off by the explosion made by a highly advanced energy weapon.
There is no response from Kaleel’s second in command. He is about to send reinforcements when a blinding flash emanates from Quenvarus Four, at the same time an urgent call comes in from Allison.
“Ops Two, come in.”
“Go ahead Allison.”
Sir. An explosion just occurred on Quenvarus Four, there is a shock wave and debris heading in your direction.”
“Debris? From what?”
“Quenvarus Four, sir. It’s gone.”
“All Units evacuate Quenvarus system, I say again, all Units, evacuate Quenvarus system.”
Ricardo motions to Kaleel and they return to their fighters and the strike force takes off and enters a portal just as the remains of Quenvarus Four hits the Kurai out post.
Rillius’ battle cruiser – inside the Nebula
The Senior Bridge Officer, Tibernius watches as the two teams enter the vortex.
He is about to communicate with Rillius when he enters the bridge.
“Report.” Rillius demands.
“The weapon destroyed Quenvarus Four.”
“I am aware of that, you kavak (idiot). Did the plan work?”
“There was a Kurai team on the planet. However, Kaleel and the Terrans were on an outpost and … escaped.”
Rillius becomes furious, utters a Bwentanian curse, and then turns to Tibernius, who has a look of anxiety.
“It was the perfect ambush, they were supposed to attack with all of their forces,” Rillius says, angry about wasting his last anti-matter weapon.
“The Terrans are cautious; they send advance teams to assess enemy strength…”
“And you did not feel this was important enough to tell me?” Rillius snarls, at the same time pulling out a knife.
“But, sir … I did…”
Tibernius stops and gasps in pain as Rillius plunges the knife into his abdomen, and then brings the blade up with a quick, upward thrust. He lets out a last gasp before dropping to the floor, dead.
“So you did, my mistake,” Rillius says nonchalantly as he puts the knife away.
Two bridge crewmen pick up Tibernius’ arms and legs and drag him off the bridge, with no questions being asked.
Traxis walks onto the bridge, walks to Rillius and salutes.
“Is the transformation complete?”
“Yes, Lord Rillius. The Traxis occupying this reality was most accommodating.”
Rillius lets out a sadistic chuckle, and then asks “Has the other part of the plan been carried out?”
“Yes, but it was not easy. He put up quite a battle, killed half of my men before we could render him unconscious.”
He pauses, then asks “Are you sure this Terran can be trusted? The reality we took him from, the Terrans are barbaric and forged an empire spanning half of the Galaxy.”
“I am aware of that, which is why I wanted him. We need to capture a couple more Terrans from that dimension, and then we will be able to implement my plan. Where is he now?”
“Being put into stasis.”
“Yes, Lord Rillius. Follow me.”
Rillius and Traxis leave the bridge and walk to the medical bay, where they see Traxis’ alternate reality double lying dead on the examination table with a puncture mark in his neck.
Traxis motions to a medic, who walks to the stasis chambers and turns on the lights. They see the alternate reality Robert Tucker they had just captured in one chamber, Ricardo Pasqualle in the other. There is a chamber with Ray Watson’s name on the top of it.
“The Terran named Watson is very resourceful and I feel he holds the key to making my plan successful. We should focus our attention on capturing him,” Rillius replies.
“They will be on guard against an ambush. How will we proceed?” Traxis asks.
“He has ties to an alternate reality where he was trapped for two hundred Terran years. I set off an antimatter device to lure him in, but he brought reinforcements and they were able to reverse what I did. I must come up with a way to get to him without arousing suspicions.”
“What is the plan to capture the Terrans?” Traxis asks.
“Our contact stated he is a member of an elite team, we may be able to set up an ambush and isolate him,” Traxis suggests.
“Yes, that could work. Get a hunting party together, go to the alternate reality and capture Watson, after which we get ahold of our contact and initiate the plan.”
“Yes, Lord Rillius.”
Traxis salutes Rillius then leaves the medical bay.
Rillius looks at the alternate reality double of Robert and says “As for you, my barbaric friend, let us see if we can make you more cooperative.”
He will have his Chief Medical Officer insert a device into the captured Terrans make them obey his commands.
In their reality they are part of an extremely violent and sadistic empire, which has destroyed entire planets and their inhabitants for their ‘entertainment.’ Rillius has placed doubles that have the device implanted in their heads so they will do his bidding and give Rillius control over that reality in addition to his native reality.
He orders the doctor to begin the procedure, and then leaves the medical bay to put his plan into operation.
Headquarters of the Terran Galactic Empire – Imperial time reference 02.18.2217.1600
Supreme Chancellor ‘Lyle Kensington’ is sitting at the head of a table with his senior commanders: ‘Robert Tucker’, ‘Ricardo Pasqualle’, ‘Ray Watson’ and ‘Ed Kensington’.
They are discussing the spoils of their latest conquest: The Henoki.
“They were unworthy adversaries, I suggest you use the thermalitic weapon and get rid of them,” ‘Ed’ says.
“An’ lose test subjects? Are ya outta yer cotton pickin’ mind?” ‘Ray’ counters.
“I see no use for…:
“He is right, son. Our technological advances depend on viable test subjects. You can have the women, children and elderly to entertain the troops in the arena.”
“Yes, father, thank you.”
He leaves the table. ‘Lyle’ turns to ‘Robert’ and ‘Ricardo’, who have been unusually quiet lately.
“You have nothing to report, Bob?”
“My sector has been quiet,” ‘Robert’ replies in a monotone voice.
“Mine too” ‘Ricardo’ states, equally docile.
“What is up with you two?” ‘Lyle’ asks, disturbed by their seemingly tranquil state.
“They haven’t done any lootin’ or pillagin’ lately. I got what they need.” ‘Ray’ says while pushing a button.
A couple of heavily armed guards bring in two Henoki
women: ‘Linaiok’ and ‘Liaok, who are married to ‘Robert’ and ‘Ricardo’s’ in the alternate reality. They both show signs of being physically abused. The guards shove them towards ‘Robert’ and ‘Ricardo’.
They have a split second look of confusion, shake their heads slightly, after which they eye the Henoki women up and down, then a sadistic grin crosses their faces.
“Grab one for yourself and we’ll make a party out of this.” ‘Robert’ tells him.
“Ya got it, son,” ‘Ray’ replies.
‘Robert’ and ‘Ray’ grab the Henoki women, who scream and struggle to free themselves. They slap them and leave the room. ‘Ray’ starts to leave, when ‘Lyle’ stops him.
“Before you embark on your debauchery, Doctor Burke discovered something about the Henoki which I think you’ll find interesting.” He presses an intercom button and says to Burke “Doctor, relay to our Chief Interrogation Officer what you discovered about our latest conquest.”
“Sir, I have discovered the Henoki possess a thin membrane on their skin that allows them to extract oxygen from the water, allowing them to breathe under water without the aid of SCUBA equipment,” ‘Doctor Burke’ says.
“That’s all well an’ good, but why would that be o’ interest ta me?” ‘Ray’ asks.
“They possess time travel technology that we can utilize. This membrane makes them vulnerable to the Neural Shock Device you just developed and would make the perfect test subjects.”
“Sounds good ta me Doc. Have (Paul) Foster report ta my lab an’ have ‘im test the device on their leader, I have some … business ta conduct.”
“As you wish, sir.”
‘Ray’ ends the transmission. He turns to ‘Lyle’ and asks
“Ya wanna join us? I brewed up a special batch o’ Imperial Hellfire fer celebratin’ our victory over the Fish Heads.”
“No, you go ahead with your fun; I’ll stick to mine.”
“I’ll have one standin’ by jest incase ya change yer mind.”
“Tape it fer me, I may wanna have some laughs later.”
‘Ray’ leaves the room. ‘Lyle’ turns to a large screen on the wall and turns it on. There is a live feed of an arena. He hits a button on his chair.
“Yes, father?” ‘Ed’ asks.
“Begin the entertainment.”
A gate opens, then a dozen Henoki women, children and a single adult male: ‘Quessok’, are forced into the arena by heavily armed guards. They escort the Henoki to the middle of the arena, then turn and quickly exit.
The sounds of vicious dogs snarling and barking are heard from behind a gate. The children are screaming and crying, which sends the dogs into a frenzy.
The gate very slowly opens and the dog’s paws are clawing underneath the gate, trying to get out.
‘Quessok’ holds his arms out, trying to keep the women and children behind him, telepathically telling them to stay calm, at the same time focusing his attention on the dogs, who squeeze under the gate and charge the group.
The women and children cringe, trying to suppress their fear of the rapidly advancing dogs, which are growling and salivating, preparing to attack the group.
The dogs stop, rear back and get ready to pounce on them.
‘Quessok’ continues to stare at the dogs and assumes a non-threatening posture.
They slowly stop growling and then sit.
He cautiously approaches the dogs and pets them, they yip and hop up on ‘Quessok’ and lick him. He motions to the women and children, who approach and pet the dogs, some of the children laugh and hug the dogs.
‘Lyle’ is furious, slams his fist on his chair then punches the intercom button.
“Yes, father?” ‘Ed’ asks.
“Do you see what those incompetent mutts are doing out there?” ‘Lyle’ replies, barely able to contain his outrage.
“Yes. I… don’t know why they did this. They have never acted this way before.
“You go in there, shoot those mangy mongrels and send in a fresh pack of dogs to tear them to pieces. Now!”
‘Quessok’, along with the women and children continue to pet and play with the now tranquil attack dogs.
A gate opens, then ‘Ed’ leads a squad of guards, with their weapons trained on the Henoki and the dogs.
‘Quessok’ thinks the guards are there to kill them.
He telepathically orders the dogs to attack their former masters.
The dogs growl, begin to bark menacingly and charge ‘Ed’ and the guards, who are taken by complete surprise.
They pounce on them and begin to tear them to pieces.
The parents of the children shield them from the carnage caused by the dogs attacking their former masters.
He is in shock at this turn of events. After a moment, he nonchalantly shrugs his shoulder and picks up his drink. He watches his son and the guards being mauled, satisfied that he got to witness some carnage - not caring if it was his own son and troops being attacked.
As soon as the last one is killed, he turns off the screen and pours a drink, then lifts his glass to salute those who died in his service.
‘Quessok’ mentally orders the dogs to return and provide security for them as they exit the arena.
He picks up a weapon, and then orders the women and older children to take them off the guards. He also grabs a key to unlock the cells to free the Henoki who survived the massacre.
They leave the arena. A couple of guards see them and go to shoot, but they are quickly dispatched by the dogs. They proceed to the holding area, where the men are being held.
‘Quessok’ opens the cells, frees them and has the women and children give them the weapons.
“Where is my father?” ‘Quessok’ asks.
“They have taken him for interrogation, Hes’tok (Uncle),” his nephew, ‘Quevok’ replies.
“Find a terminal and locate him.”
‘Quevok’ finds a computer terminal, hacks into the system and pulls up a layout of the Supreme headquarters.
He locates their present position, where Quennok is being held and an exit near the holding area.
“Nem’tok (Nephew), take the women and children out of and get as far away as you can. I shall lead the men to rescue my father.”
“Yes, Hes’tok. May Ama’diok guide you to safety.”
“And you as well, Nem’tok.”
They shake hands, then ‘Quevok’ motions to the women, children and half the men to follow him out of the holding area, taking half of the dogs as added protection.
‘Quessok’ studies the layout, finds the shortest route to where his father is being held, then motions for the men to follow them, with the remaining dogs providing an escort.
The Henoki Kia’mok (leader) Quennok, is strapped in the Terran Empire’s latest means of torture: The Neural Shock Device. He has wires hooked to his head, neck and other areas where the water breathing membrane is exposed on his skin.
Assistant Chief Interrogation Officer ‘Paul Foster’ is in a booth standing by the controls for the NSD. ‘Doctor Burke’ is monitoring vitals, to ensure they don’t kill Quennok until they have the information they need to utilize the advanced Henoki technology they confiscated, most importantly: their time travel technology. Once the Terran Empire understands how to use this means of time manipulation, they will be all but unstoppable.
‘Paul’ turns on the NSD, sending a wave of pain through Quennok, who grimaces in pain.
The rest of the Henoki people suddenly react to the painful
stimuli because of their telepathic connection. The adults are able to block the pain but the children begin crying until their parents assist them in forming a mental barrier.
“You will give us the plans for your time travel device,” ‘Paul’ says in a calm, but sadistic tone of voice.
Quennok is in excruciating pain, but refuses to answer.
‘Paul’ turns up the intensity of the NSD, causing Quennok to cry out. ‘Burke’ sees that his vitals are becoming erratic.
“Sir. You must turn down the intensity.”
‘Paul’ turns to him with a look of anger.
‘Burke’ points to the screen and states “The shock is too much for his nervous system. It could kill him in a matter of seconds.”
‘Paul’ hesitates, and then turns down the NSD to a point where Quennok’s vitals stabilize.
He slumps in the chair, losing consciousness.
“Give him something to revive him,” ‘Paul’ orders.
‘Burke’ goes into the chamber, walks over to Quennok, takes a syringe filled with a general purpose stimulant off a table and injects Quennok, who becomes more conscious.
“I highly advise you to cooperate; as a physician I can only keep you alive for so long.”
“Then I would advise you to kill me now, for I will never allow you to use our technology to enslave the rest of the Galaxy,” Quennok says in a hoarse, but determined voice.
‘Paul’ hears this, gets extremely angry, then goes to turn the NSD all the way up, but stops when he hears dogs snarling and barking outside the chamber.
He gets a sadistic grin and decides to let Ed use his attack dogs get information from Quennok the ‘old fashioned way’:
by letting the dogs take bits and pieces out of him until he cooperates – or dies.
He walks towards the door to tell Ed to bring one of the dogs into the interrogation chamber. He opens the door and he is ‘met’ with a weapon pointing in his face and the dogs are growling and poised to attack, only being restrained by ‘Quessok’s’ telepathically ordering the dogs to stand down.
Quessok’ sticks the barrel of the weapon in his face.
“Where is my father?” ‘Quessok’ demands.
“He’s ... he’s in the other room,” ‘Paul’ nervously replies.
“If he has been harmed in any manner…”
The threat is backed up by the dogs growling ferociously.
“He has not been harmed.”
‘Quessok’ motions to a couple of Henoki to check the room, keeping his weapon trained on ‘Paul’, in case he’s lying and his father has been seriously injured – or worse.
They open the door and see ‘Burke’ by Quennok and aim their weapons. ‘Burke’ is startled and puts his hands up.
“I am a doctor, I have not harmed him,” ‘Burke’ tells him.
“Release my father immediately,” ‘Quessok’ demands.
‘Burke’ complies and takes the wires off Quennok and the two Henoki help their leader out of the room.
“Have you been harmed, Hu’Neh (father)?” ‘Quessok’ telepathically asks.
“The Terran tried to torture me for information, but I am unharmed, Ke’Neh (son).”
‘Quessok’ turns to ‘Paul’ with a look of fury, goes to order the dogs to attack, but stops, because he has a better idea.
“Bring the Terran to the chair, strap him in and allow him to experience the device for himself.”
The Henoki grab ‘Paul’ and drag him into the chamber, shove him into the seat, strap him in and attach the wires onto ‘Paul’, who is struggling to escape.
‘Quessok’ grabs ‘Burke’ and brings him into the booth,
points to the device and tells him “Show me how this works.”
‘Burke’ hesitates, then turns on the device and turns up the intensity.
‘Paul’ grimaces in pain. ‘Quessok’ takes the knob and turns up the intensity until ‘Paul’ screams in pain. ‘Quessok’ breaks the knob, knocks ‘Burke’ unconscious, and then motions for the Henoki to leave, Quennok is being helped to walk.
A few minutes later ‘Burke’ becomes conscious.
He shakes his head, gets to his feet, looks into the room and sees ‘Paul’ in the chair, his body contorted in pain, his eyes bulging and his mouth open all the way.
‘Burke’ goes into the room, goes to remove the wires from ‘Paul’, but receives a shock. He goes to the back of the chair, pulls out the connectors, then checks ‘Paul’.
He is dead from neurological shock.
‘Burke’ goes to the booth, activates an alarm, then pushes a communications button.
‘Robert’, ‘Ricardo’ and ‘Ray’ have been drinking Imperial Hellfire and engaging in lewd acts with the captured Henoki women.
A button beeps on a console near ‘Ray’s’ bed. He stops what he was doing, pushes the Henoki woman off the bed, and pushes the button, visibly annoyed at being disturbed.
“This had better be dad gum important or I’ll have yer nuts in a vice!” ‘Ray’ snarls.
“Sir, the Henoki have escaped and they killed the Assistant Chief Interrogator.”
“What?! How in the cornbread hell did that happen?”
‘Ray’ asks, while motioning to ‘Robert’ and ‘Ricardo’, who also stop what they’re doing, at the same time discreetly drawing their weapons. ‘Robert’ hits a button on a device.
“They somehow escaped the arena, and forced their way into the interrogation chamber. I have sounded the alarm.”
“Inform Chancellor Kensington an’ git the Shock Troops assembled on the dad burn double!”
‘Ray’ ends the transmission. He turns towards ‘Robert’ and ‘Ricardo’, who have their weapons aimed at him
“What the hell are ya doin’, Bob?”
“You are being replaced,” ‘Robert’ replies.
Ray goes to ask what he meant, but he is grabbed by a couple of Bwentani soldiers. ‘Ricardo’ walks over to him pulls out a syringe, puts it in ‘Ray’s’ neck, and draws out some blood. He is rendered unconscious
‘Robert’ motions to someone who has been waiting out of sight. The alternate reality Ray Watson walks over to them.
He is injected by ‘Ricardo’, which stabilizes his DNA. The procedure is repeated on the captured ‘Ray Watson’.
‘Robert’ pulls out a communications device.
“Lord Rillius, subject has been subdued, getting ready to transport back to headquarters.”
“Excellent. Proceed with your mission to overthrow the Empire,” Rillius’ voice replies.
“The Henoki are planning an insurrection as we speak. Should we stop them?”
“No. Win their confidence and form an alliance. They are reported to have advanced time travel technology which we can use to achieve our plans.”
“Yes, Lord Rillius.”
‘Robert’ motions to the soldiers that are holding ‘Ray’ up to return to their native dimension and have him put in stasis.
They comply, and then leave.
He motions to ‘Ricardo’, ‘Ray’ and the remaining Bwentani soldiers to follow them as they continue with the next part of their mission.
Lyle is in a robe, ready to turn in for the evening with one of his mistresses, when the chamber door is kicked open and ‘Robert’ enters, leading ‘Ray’, ‘Ricardo’ and the Bwentani soldiers, each with weapons trained on the Imperial Commander.
“What is the meaning of this,” Lyle exclaims, outraged.
“Isn’t it obvious? You are going to retire,”
“I will have you …”
‘Robert’ takes a knife and slashes him across the throat, causing ‘Lyle’ to gag and hold his throat, trying to stop the gush of blood. He falls to the ground, dead.
‘Ricardo’ takes out a comm device and radios Rillius.
“Lord Rillius, we have taken control of the Empire realm. We will sign an alliance with you and have our troops at your disposal.”
“Excellent. I shall contact you when we are ready for the next stage of our mission.”
“Yes, Lord Rillius.”
‘Ricardo’ puts the comm device away, sees the young woman in ‘Lyle’s’ bed and says to ‘Robert’ and ‘Ray’ “Isn’t it nice for Lyle to leave us a present?”
“Indeed,” ‘Robert’ replies. He says to the Bwentani soldiers “Return to Lord Rillius and await further instructions.”
“Yes, Lord Tucker,” Quinvillus, the troop leader replies.
He motions to the other Bwentani troops to leave the Palace and return to their scout ship.
The new leaders of the empire turn their attention to the young lady, who cringes at their advancement towards her.