Authors: Ben Winston
Tags: #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Science Fiction, #Adventure, #Alien Invasion, #First Contact, #Military, #Space Fleet
Bedouin's Travels - Part IV
By Ben Winston
Copyright © 2016 Ben Winston
Published by Blue Space Publications, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed by a newspaper, magazine, or journal.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Twilight Earth – Book I
A Long, Dark Night – Book II
Terra Dawning – Book III
New Day – Book IV
*Book V (Release Date TBA)
Respectfully dedicated to all the people of the planet Earth.
May we find harmony in our diversity,
Compromise in our differences,
And may we join together to finally reach for the stars, in peace.
Table of Contents
A New Day
Command Pod Alpha One
26 Apr. 10266 CE (AD)
Sector 34871 - Great Inland Sea
Earth, Sol System
Making the arrangements for the Rangers to have quarters didn't prove to be too difficult. It had actually been easier to set up quarters for the Rangers that needed a different atmosphere than Ben thought it would be. Instead of setting up a type of airlock for them to enter, the techs attached a type of weak force field that only kept the atmosphere in the quarters.
Since most of the space was available in the base, that was where the Rangers were put. Which turned out to be what they would have preferred anyway. Amazingly, the visiting Rangers seemed to get along well with the Marines of the base, who seemed to take no notice of the fact that they were of a different race.
The civilians that encountered the Rangers were curious, but since they knew that aliens existed, they were not hostile toward the Rangers at all. Jance even commented on this to Ben.
"I would have thought that your people would have been frightened of my Rangers. None of you have encountered an alien species before this have you?"
Ben shook his head. "No, but prior to the fall, there were a lot of movies, uh, fictional performances, staged for the purpose of entertainment only, that had aliens in them. I will grant that in most cases those aliens were hostile to us in the movie, I think it did serve to remove the shock of actually meeting aliens. It also helps that everyone knows that you are not hostile to us. Somehow I doubt very much that a Lizard would be welcomed here."
Jance chuckled. "I would think not, given the situation."
"If I may ask, were the quarters provided to your satisfaction? And those of your Rangers as well? I know I seem to keep asking that, but we just want to make certain we are seeing to all of your needs," Ben asked.
"Actually, my people are very pleased with the accommodations you have provided. Even Sc'ellese is pleased with this assignment, and she can be very difficult to please. I believe her only comment was; 'The only thing missing here is a Dahmatise'. Which you can't actually provide for her," Jance replied, grinning.
"What's a 'Dahmatise'? Or do I really want to know?" Ben asked.
The woman chuckled. "I don't think you want to know the specifics, but it is a comfort/pleasure worker that would share her bed. Humans are not… uh, equipped to perform that service."
"You're right, I don't want to know. As long as the rest of your needs are being seen to, I'll stop asking," Ben replied, grinning. "During the night, Councilor Carlyle arrived and was given all of the information we have gathered on the situation. I imagine she was up late studying it, but knowing her, she will most likely join us soon."
"She is the intelligence specialist you mentioned, right?” Jance asked. When Ben nodded, she continued. "She could be a great help here. I had to leave our analyst with the Dalphine. On a different matter, Ranger Hyroan tells me that he is fascinated by your AI, as it functions in an entirely different manner than those in use by the Consortium. He said he is learning, but it will take him slightly longer than originally planned to certify Mother. However, he is completely convinced of her veracity and trustworthiness, and feels certification is only a matter of time in order to fulfill all the requirements. So until he tells me otherwise, we will continue to treat her information as accurate.
"T'Gree reports rapid and steady progress in making your systems compatible with ours. He feels that task will be completed by the end of this day. Sc'ellese tells me that none of your people have been mistreated or abused, and that your medical facilities and personnel are working hard to learn all they can from the Emergency Medical AI now called Alice, salvaged from citizen Dee's skipper," Jance finished.
Ben nodded. "I've been told pretty much the same thing from all my people. Now all we need is a way for you to communicate covertly with your base, and we'd be set."
Jance nodded. "As much as that would be desirable, it simply isn't possible. Any comm channel can be detected, but an interstellar comm signal would be like sending up a flare. When the Dalphine returns, we'll be able to hear her from orbit. My concern is what excuse will be used in order for them to return."
Hyclarion, Sirius System
Hyclarion Imperial Consortium
"What is so urgent that you needed to see me on such short notice, Admiral?" His Imperial Majesty, Hjoolous, asked.
"Majesty, a realistic plot has been uncovered to attack this planet, assassinate you and seize control of the Consortium. At present, there is simply not enough protection here to keep that from happening. As your protector, we are recommending you evacuate the planet temporarily until this threat has been dealt with," First Admiral Yolinar explained.
"There are a hundred plots like this a day, what makes you so sure this one is real, Yolinar? And for the sake of the great maker, stand up! You know I hate talking to the back of your head!" Hjoolous said.
The much larger First Admiral stood as ordered. "Ranger Jance Halst has stumbled across a plot in the Terral system that has a far better than average chance of success if our suspicions are born out. There is also proof that the planet Terral III is actually the human homeworld. The agency that has provided us this evidence is a hidden human enclave that has asked for Ranger assistance in their claim. Although they have not accused the Duke of treason, they have provided the Rangers there with sufficient evidence for them to investigate further." He explained the entire situation to the young Emperor and the reasons for wanting him to evacuate.
"Those are very compelling reasons, Admiral," the Emperor replied, while he thought about what he'd been told. "Have you heard back from the patrol of the Nebula as yet?"
"No, Majesty. That patrol boat won't arrive there for another few hours yet. It was sent in under full stealth. It jumped as close as possible before engaging the cloak system and proceeding. I feel I should mention, there is a very good chance that patrol craft will be destroyed if it detects anything. At which point, Cassius will be forced to launch his attack. That is why I am here. We have very little time to get you to safety," Yolinar explained.
"In order for Cassius to pull this off, he would need the support of the majority of the rest of his race. If that is true, there are very few places I could go and not be in danger," the Emperor said mostly to himself. "I would need to go someplace that the Lizards would not think to look for me."
"Majesty?" Yolinar asked, not liking what he was hearing.
The Emperor looked up at his supreme military commander. "Has your brother left for Terral III yet?"
"Not yet, Majesty. He will be leaving soon though; it took time to get the ships loaded and ready to go," Yolinar replied.
Hjoolous grinned evilly. "Good, tell him to wait for us. We're going with him."
"What?!?" Yolinar yelled.
Hjoolous busted out laughing. "I said we are going to visit these humans on Terral III, Admiral. We will see for ourselves the evidence they have of this plot, as well as for their claim of that planet. Make the call to your brother, and have him wait for us, or we'll follow along in the Imperial Cutter. I'd think that would be like waving a big flag telling Cassius I'm there. I'll get a couple of my guards, some clothes for the trip, and meet you at the Ranger Outpost."
"But, Majesty…" Yolinar tried one more time to talk some sense to the impulsive young leader.
"We don't have time to argue this, Admiral. Go!" Hjoolous said and pointed to the door.
Planetary Office of the Duke
Argassi Aerie and Polyponics facility
Planet Terral III
Duchy of Cassias
Hyclarion Imperial Consortium
The Duke was not a happy camper. His plan was not going the way he wanted it too. He'd lost track of his pet 'pirates'. Granted, he'd always planned to kill them when he was done with them, but they must have figured out at least part of what he had planned because they were gone.
They hadn't left the planet; that much he was certain of. The Destroyers in orbit would have detected them and blown them out of the sky. No, his human dupes were not his main worry; it was the farking Rangers. They were up to something, he could feel it. When he had one of his ships chase them out of orbit, they detected a transmission from the ship to the planet. Who were they talking to?
Task Commander Warmake of Anti-Piracy command had reported that he had spoken to that cursed human Ranger Commander after they had departed, but the Duke had a feeling that was not the transmission that had been detected. So, who had they been talking to? He would have thought that by chasing that patrol unit out of orbit with a destroyer, it would have brought the rest of the Rangers here so he could destroy them, but it was beginning to look like that plan had not worked either.
So, now he had to figure out how to get the Rangers here in force, so he could destroy them. They were really the only remaining obstacle keeping him from launching his attack. Why hadn't they returned in force to investigate the destroyer in orbit of this world? His advisers were of the opinion that the Rangers had accepted the presence of the warship because of the pirate activity; that they had accepted the warship as part of the Duke's efforts to locate the pirates and remove them.
There is no way the Hyclarion Rangers would allow a warship not under Hyclarion command this close to the Capitol. To them, it was too much of a threat to their precious Emperor.
His comm beeped at him.
He stabbed the accept button on his terminal. "What?"
"Highness, you have an urgent request for communication from Duke Hsspien," the tech replied.
What under the rings of the homeworld was that sycophant calling him for? "Put him through."
An image of another large lizard took shape on the monitor. "My Lord Duke, I hope you are well. I am calling with urgent news," Hsspien said by way of greeting.
"What could be so urgent that you would risk calling me directly?" Duke Tammerain asked.
"The Hyclarion fleets are beginning to withdraw, regardless of the requests we are making. We believe they have discovered our plans." Hsspien said. "The Dukes want you to launch now."
"I cannot, the Rangers have not yet been dealt with. I am working on this issue right now. Once they are out of the way, I will take Hyclarion and end this war once and for all time," Tammerain said.
"Well, you better hurry, or we will recall our ships and troops. Your plan was a good one as long as the Hyclarion fleets were not involved. However, if they make it back there before you attack, we are all doomed," Duke Hsspien replied.
"So destroy them! That is what you are supposed to be doing anyway! If it appears they have discovered our plan, then they must not be allowed to return to Hyclarion space. That was your part of the plan, so why are you not doing it?" Tammerain asked.
"The destruction of the Hyclarion fleets was supposed to take place at the same time as the attack on the Capitol world so as not to tip our hand remember? If we attack the Fleets now, Hyclarion will know something is going on. It was you that made this part of the plan My Lord Duke. That is the reason the other Dukes want you to begin the attack." The other lizard shook his head. "Your last report said you had ordered your dupes to kill the Ranger team so you could destroy the Rangers when they arrived. What has happened with that?"
"The humans failed to kill them before they left the planet. Nor did the Rangers discover anything about the 'pirates' or the raids they were staging all over the planet. They performed their investigation, determined it to be an internal matter and departed. I had a destroyer attack the ship in orbit in order to try to pull Rangers here, but they have not responded. I am working up another ruse to get them to return here, this time in force," Tammerain explained. "Tell the Dukes to go ahead and destroy the Hyclarion fleets, I will have my troops on Hyclarion by the end of the week."
The other Duke smiled. "Good, because if you don't, then we will have our troops on Terral III by the end of the weekend." The communication was cut before Tammerain could reply.
How dare that sniveling little grub threaten him! Once he had taken the throne, there were going to be some major changes made in the new Empire! Some of the Dukes were by far too bold in their dealings with him and took far too many liberties! Had they forgotten how he had come to hold his title? How he had killed thousands to rise up and claim this position? Perhaps they would need to be reminded of exactly who Duke Tammerain Ip Cassias was!
Terran Marine Base Alpha
26 Apr. 10266 CE (AD)
Sector 34871 - Great Inland Sea
Earth, Sol system