-Fyn Tesik - 17 - Destiny - 3.11.2127
What's wrong, Mason? Fyn asked with a flip of his fingers.
Mason looked up at his older brother in disbelief.
'Somebody named Wesley just talked to me in my head!' Mason replied dramatically - his blue eyes wide in surprise.
"I thought you were used to that?" Fyn asked, knowing that his little brother was reading his lips.
Mason scowled and poked his brother in the stomach. Fyn reached out and grabbed the smaller boy's hips to keep Mason facing him.
'It wasn't Deegan or Andrew, Fyn,' Mason signed with the same scowl at his brother's comment. 'It was someone named, Wesley. I've never heard his voice before!'
"Oh," Fyn said softly. "We should probably let dad know about this."
'No!' Mason stated firmly. 'It has to be someone named Dinny. That's who Wesley asked for!'
"Who the hell is Dinny?" Fyn asked in confusion before his own blue eyes went wide. "It's Dinrak. Holy shit! He told me about this earlier." Fyn looked thoughtful for a moment. "I was asking him about the inner workings of Andrew, and he started telling me about how there was someone else inside of Andrew."
'Are you on drugs?'
"No, you little shit!" Fyn said as he reached out and pulled his brother onto his lap and started tickling him. Fyn smiled happily as Mason's giggle echoed throughout the cabin. He finally relented when Mason signed that he had to pee. Fyn turned his brother loose, and laughed as he watched the fourteen-year-old race off for the latrine. Fyn straightened his own clothing and walked over to the door as he waited on his brother to finish up. Mason smiled at him when he came out of the bathroom. "Ready to go find Dinrak?"
Mason nodded happily.
'I need to apologize to Deegan, too,' Mason stated with a frown.
"Don't worry, Mason," Fyn reassured his brother. "Your little prince would be a fool to not forgive you."
"Mmhmm," Fyn said with a smug grin. "Come on. Dad's been worried sick about you."
The younger brother frowned and his shoulders started to tremble.
"What's wrong, Mason?" Fyn asked.
'Dad is going to be mad at me,' Mason signed.
"Why would our father ever be mad at you, Mason?" Fyn asked incredulously. "You're his angel, remember?"
'No, I'm not,' Mason stated. 'I failed Eddin.'
"No, you didn't, Mason," Fyn said firmly, grabbing his brother's face and making him look at him. "There was nothing you could do to help Eddin, little brother. Our cousin died because another ship tried to shoot us as we flew into the wormhole." Mason's blue eyes went wide in disbelief. "That's what caused everything, Mason. It had nothing to do with any of us making a mistake. Okay?"
Mason seemed to consider his brother's words before he finally nodded.
"Okay," Mason mouthed, making Fyn smile at the tiny popping noises that Mason's lips made when he tried to form the words. "Thank you, Fyn. I needed this."
"I know, little brother," Fyn said with a smug grin before he tousled his brother's black hair. "Come on. We have a few people to go see."
Mason nodded in agreement as he and Fyn left the cabin together.
-Colonel Jackson Tesik - 36 - Destiny - 3.11.2127
The ship lurched slightly as Jackson pressed the button that Getty had pointed to.
"Well, that didn't do anything useful," the pilot muttered, his voice muffled by the console that he was currently working on. "I just don't know what to do, Jackson. This circuit is fried, completely."
"Are there any outposts nearby that we could get a replacement from?" The older man asked curiously.
"The closest is about three days away," Getty replied as he returned to his seat and frowned. "There is a planet, though. I was able to pick up some traffic around it, so there might be a little bit of hope for us."
Jackson nodded. "Were you able to pick up any ACE signatures?"
"Only one," Getty replied, clearly trying not to tell the older man everything that he knew.
"Captain?" Jackson asked in a serious tone that he only used when he meant business.
"Shit," Getty mumbled before he finally explained himself with a sigh. "The signature I picked up is from an old prison ship that disappeared about a year ago."
"Oh," Jackson said as his brow furrowed. "We could be setting ourselves up for trouble."
"Maybe," Getty said with a shrug. "There's also the possibility that the people of this planet recognized the passengers as criminals and dealt with them suitably."
"That's not how it usually goes in these situations, though."
"No," Getty said soberly. "It's not."
Both men remained silent for several minutes as they considered the options they had before them.
"Three days doesn't seem to be too bad," Jackson said as he thought about the risk he would be bringing upon his family.
"There's a problem there, too, sir," Getty said hesitantly.
Jackson sighed helplessly.
"Of course, there is," he said quietly. "What is it, Getty?"
"Jackson, there are three-hundred-fifty-seven outposts throughout our galaxy that humanoids are permitted to land at," Getty explained dutifully. "Of those, nine are currently closed for one reason, or another. This is one of those nine that are closed. The reports that I'm finding are stating that the outpost was damaged by an attack from a sub-species of the Imposters."
"Oh, shit," Jackson's heart fell at the thought.
"The outpost was barely able to fight them off, Jackson," Getty continued as he touched a display in front of them, and an image of a burned-out space structure appeared on the screen. "It says that the Imposters took the form of another species known as the Keltians, a spacefaring nomadic species that travels planet to planet, trading wares and trying to find themselves a permanent place to call home."
The outpost on the screen had one column that went up the center of the structure with six arms attached to the sides of it. Each arm extended out into another tower section, and each tower was connected by another tunnel that ran around the outside of the dark structure. Several of the towers were in pieces, and giant chunks of the outer ring were completely missing. One of the outer towers had separated from the tube that connected it to the center structure and it was floating nearby the remainder of the outpost. The damaged components of the outpost had scaffolding being built around them as crews were beginning the repairs needed to reopen the tourist destination.
Jackson thought back to the first time the Impersonators had attacked Earth. His lessons in school had covered the subject thoroughly, pointing out the different mistakes that mankind had made that led to the collapse of Earth's environment. Many people blamed the Impersonators for everything, but it was man's use of nuclear weapons that ultimately destroyed the Earth. The Weather Satellite Program and been a quick fix, but even it had fallen victim to the ravages of space after a short time, causing many of the satellites to fail completely. The W.S.P. had failed. Superstorms ravaged the globe, and human were once again forced into fighting for their own survival.
Jackson shook his head to clear his thoughts.
"What's the chances of the Imposters still being in the vicinity?"
"They were all killed by the security team at the outpost, according to the report," Getty replied.
"So, it looks like our only option is to try the planet that the prisoners crash landed on," Jackson admitted in defeat.
"I'll see if I can find any other viable options, Colonel," Getty stated. "I'll let you know if anything comes up."
"Thanks, Getty," Jackson said before he yawned and stretched. "I think I'm going to try to get some shuteye."
"I'll be right behind you once AJ is up and at 'em," Getty stated with a chuckle.
"I'll see you in a few hours, Getty," Jackson said before he left the bridge, the door sliding shut behind him.
-Lieutenant Commander Dinrak Soren - 23 - Destiny - 3.11.2127
Dinrak sat in the mess hall sipping slowly from the mug of tea that he had gripped tightly between his trembling hands. His emotions were all over the place as he tried to reconcile what he was doing. The colors of his glowing body were changing rapidly as he tried unsuccessfully to calm himself down. The yellow of his nervousness as he worried about the outcome of the reformatting process. He flashed to orange as he feared the rejection of his old friend. Was he really doing the right thing? Dinrak was glowing dark red as he felt angry that he had to resort to storing Andrew inside of the Destiny while he brought Wesley's consciousness back. He was also frustrated that there were no other options available until they made it back to Earth.
I'm sorry, Wesley, Dinrak thought bitterly as he continued to sip from the steaming mug. Please, forgive me.
"Are you okay, Dinrak?"
The Fandrian glanced up in shock to find Jackson Tesik looking down at him with worry in his eyes. Dinrak's color immediately faded to a soft pink as he sat there in embarrassment at being caught unaware of his surroundings and lost in his own emotions.
"I apologize for intruding, Dinrak," Jackson told the young-looking man. "I was walking to my cabin and glanced in to see that you seemed to be under some emotional distress. If you feel up to talking about it later, you can find me in my cabin. Okay?"
Jackson turned to go, but Dinrak stopped him after the man took just a few steps towards the door.
"Jackson?" Dinrak's voice trembled. Jackson turned back to see the blue-haired boy glowing orange. Dinrak took a deep breath to steady his nerves. "I did something, and I don't know if it was the right thing to do."
"Do you care if I join you?" Jackson motioned to the table and Dinrak shrugged before the older man took a seat. "Now, what did you do, that you don't feel is the right thing to do?"
Dinrak let out a heavy sigh.
"A long time ago, I trapped a boy within his mind," Dinrak said sadly. "I had to, though. If I didn't, he was going to die, Jackson. I made him an android, and then I covered up his mind with the programming that I created. Now, the only way to save him from being lost forever is to make him exist in the android's body, and to put the android's mind into the Destiny." Dinrak's shoulders were shaking by the time he made it to the end of his explanation.
Jackson reached out and squeezed the scientist's shoulder. "And you are worried how your friend is going to react?"
Dinrak nodded solemnly.
"I believe that your friend will be grateful that he's still alive, young man," Jackson told Dinrak. "You shouldn't worry about it, too much. Life is too precious to waste."
"I hope that's the way Wesley feels," Dinrak said sadly. "I'd hate for him to come out of this hating me in the end."
"I doubt that you need to worry about that, Dinrak," Jackson said reassuringly. "Just do what needs to be done."
"Thank you, Jackson," Dinrak said softly. "I appreciate the pep-talk."
"You're very welcome, Dinrak," Jackson said. "You can come to me whenever you need."
"I will take you up on that, sir."
"I hope, so," Jackson said before he left the young man alone in the Mess Hall.
-Mason Tesik - 14 - Destiny - 3.11.2127
Mason pulled Fyn along behind him, desperate to find Dinrak to tell him what he had heard in his mind. The voice had called out for him specifically, it had to mean something to Dinrak.
Why did he sound so much like Andrew? Mason wondered as he turned and nearly ran straight into the man he had been looking for. It was only the quick thinking of Fyn, who happened to see the blue-haired alien, wandering along, seemingly lost in his own thoughts, that kept the two boys from running into each other. Fyn deftly pulled back on Mason, making his younger brother fall back into his chest. Mason's eyes immediately lit up when he saw the man that looked like a fourteen-year-old boy. Mason, immediately, began to talk with his fingers, faster than Dinrak could interpret. The Fandrian reached out and grabbed Mason's hands with a giggle, his skin shifting to a light blue glow for a moment before it faded away. Mason blushed shyly, once he realized what he had been doing.
"It's fine, Mason," Dinrak said with a grin. "Just, umm, slow down a little for me, please."
Mason nodded, his blue eyes seeming to sparkle with excitement as he told Dinrak what he had experienced. Dinrak's green eyes went wide in disbelief.
"Are you sure that they said their name was "Wesley"?" Dinrak asked the boy, his skin suddenly shifting to a yellowish glow as he anticipated Mason's response, nervously.
Yes! Mason mouthed as he nodded his head in confirmation. Dinrak stood there in stunned silence, the moment of truth was finally upon him. Then, Dinrak surprised Fyn and Mason by kissing the younger Tesik boy, soundly on the lips. Dinrak let out a whoop of joy, his green eyes suddenly glistening with tears.
"I'll let you know what's going on, as soon as I can!" Dinrak told both of the boys, before he took off at a full sprint down the corridor.
Mason glanced up at his older brother and giggled, silently. Fyn ruffled the shorter boy's black hair, playfully, before both boys went off to find Prince Deegan so Mason could apologize to his friend for the way he had been acting during his moment of grief.
-Prince Deegan Aurdyn - 13 - Destiny - 3.11.2127
Deegan strolled the corridors of the Destiny, almost lazily, as his fingertip traced along the horizontal seam in the wall. The prince was lonely, and all he wanted was to feel the emotional embrace from Mason that he had felt before the boy's cousin had died. Their bond was still intact, no matter how many times Mason had tried to fracture it during his grief, much to Deegan's relief. He was certain that he and Mason both would have died if Mason had somehow found a way to sever their connection. Deegan stumbled slightly as he remembered how hard Mason had tried to push him away, and a tear slipped from the corner of his eye. The prince felt a building sense of curiosity, followed by fear and remorse. He stumbled, slightly, unable to describe why he was feeling the way he was. Deegan's heart started to race as he felt a wave of love wash over him, bringing the prince to his knees in the middle of the narrow corridor. The boy gasped for breath, the emotions passing through him faster than he could process, his mind spinning from the commotion raging through his tiny body.
'Deegan!' The mental shout rang true, Deegan knew exactly who it was, now. 'Where are you?'
I'm down near the Engineer Bay, Deegan pushed the thought back out towards Mason, feeling a sense of relief as their minds connected, almost embracing as he let their thoughts and emotions intertwine with each other. Are you okay, Mason?
'I will be in a moment!' Mason replied, making Deegan wince from the mental shout.
The prince couldn't help but smile as he felt Mason getting closer. Deegan was still on his knees when Mason, suddenly, wrapped his entire body around the white-haired boy. Deegan and Mason both shed tears of happiness as their spirits became one again.
'Now, I'm better,' Mason told his prince just before he grabbed the boy's chin, and turned Deegan so he was looking straight into Mason's blue eyes. Then, Mason kissed Deegan, and the prince felt an entirely different set of emotions race through his tender frame. 'I'll never stop loving you, Prince Deegan. I swear to it.'
The boys held each other for several minutes before they were interrupted by Jackson Tesik, who had come in search of the prince, as well. The man gasped in disbelief when he saw Mason standing in the prince's arms.
"Prince Deegan?" Jackson spoke softly, so as not to disturb their moment.
"Yes, Colonel?" The white-haired boy replied without looking away from his bond-mate.
"Captain Roberts has asked everyone to secure themselves in the forward passenger cabin," the man informed the boy. "Could you let my son know, as well, please?"
"I will, sir," Deegan replied softly. "I promise. How long do we have?"
"Do not take longer than forty-five minutes, Deegan," Jackson warned them. "We're going to attempt to land on a nearby planet to seek out repairs. We'll be entering the atmosphere in an hour."
"Oh," Deegan said in surprise, sharply glancing at the colonel. "We'll only be a minute, sir."
"Thank you, Prince Deegan," Jackson Tesik said with a slight bow of his head, before he turned to go make certain that everything was ready for their attempt at an emergency landing.
Deegan turned his attention to the boy in front of him and kissed Mason lightly.
I'll love you forever, Mason, Deegan filled the thought with as much love as he could muster before sending it to his mate.
'I love you, too, Deegan,' Mason's soft voice responded in Deegan's head.
-Lieutenant Getty Roberts - 16 - Destiny - 3.11.2127
"You look beat, Getty," AJ said as he took his spot in the co-pilot's seat.
"I feel like it, too," Getty replied. "Listen, we're going to be at the planet in an hour, AJ, just put us into orbit, and wake me up. Alright?"
"That works for me, Getty," the Engineer replied with a grin. "I'll let you know if anything major comes up."
"Thanks, AJ," Getty said before he slipped away from the cockpit, barely able to hold his head up any longer.
The lieutenant slipped into his cabin and immediately fell face-first onto his bed. He barely had time to count to three before the young man was asleep, his exhaustion finally overtaking him.
He was drifting in space, without a suit, and he was still alive. Getty realized, right away, that he was dreaming, and he decided to just let the dream happen. The pilot didn't fear his dreams. He feared what his dreams meant.
Getty had a secret that he had been living with his entire life. A secret that had been passed down to him by his mother while he was still in the womb. Getty had dreams about the future, dreams that always came true. His mother had told him when he was a child, that the dreams were warnings, and that he should always heed those warnings. That was a piece of advice that Getty had taken to heart, and it had saved his life multiple times, already, he was certain of it.
The dream continued, just the pilot, drifting alone through space, waiting for the signs that usually meant the dream was about the future. A planet faded into view. The surface mostly covered by water, with patches of greens and browns of land, and swirling white clouds drifting through the tiny Earth-like world's atmosphere. Two stars circled each other at the core of the system, doing the same cosmic dance that they had been doing for billions of years, their gravitational forces creating the system that the planet dwelled in. The Destiny was there, as well. Heading towards the small world, the ship's thrusters were sparking on and off, making Getty realize exactly what was going to happen if they tried to land on the planet. There was no other choice. The Destiny was going to have to continue on for the war-damaged Outpost.
The ship in Getty's dream did exactly as Getty expected. The moment it hit the upper atmosphere; the Destinybegan to break into pieces before it exploded in a fireball.
That was. . . direct, Getty thought mildly, as the planet and the ship faded from view, leaving Getty floating alone with the stars that were still circling each other. Why hasn't it ended, though?
Getty watched as the two stars begun to spin around each other, faster, and faster, until a solid beam of light shot up into the air. A chorus of voices rang out in a celebratory song that echoed where no sound should ever be heard. The loudness of the song made Getty wince until it leveled out to a more sustainable volume. Then, there was a loud, booming voice, that made Getty tremble in fright.
"THE RESSURRECTION HAS BEGUN!" The voice announced, a hint of finality to its tone. "THE PATH TO THE EDGE OF TOMORROW HAS NOW BEEN REVEALED, AND THE FATE OF THE UNIVERSE LIES WITHIN THE HANDS OF THE SEEKER! THE BLESSED ONE WILL REVEAL THE WORDS TO THE SEEKER WHO DOES NOT HEAR THEM, AND THE HIDDEN ONE WILL FORGIVE THE EVERLASTING CHILD FOR HIS TRANSGRESSIONS! DO NOT TRUST THE FIRST OR THE SECOND WHO COME TO HELP YOU, FOR THEY ONLY TRY TO SWINDLE YOU FROM YOUR PATH! THE THIRD WILL GIVE ALL AND ASK FOR LITTLE! HE SHALL JOIN YOU, FOR HIS NAME HAS BEEN KNOWN TO THE STARS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF DAYS! HE IS THE MECHANIC, AND YOU SHALL RECOGNIZE HIM AS THE MAN WITHOUT A ROOF!"
Getty sat up, quickly, finding himself back in his own cabin, the remnants of the vision sticking with him. The pilot quickly grabbed a notepad, and typed in what the voice had told him, barely getting it finished before he forgot the specifics. Then, the young man made a stop in the latrine, before he headed for the Bridge of the Destiny. Getty needed to readjust their course for the Outpost instead of the planet.
Three days isn't, all that bad, he tried to tell himself. Now, his only problem would be convincing Jackson about his abilities.
-Wesley Scott - 16 - Destiny - 3.11.2127
Wesley heard a familiar voice from nearby, but he couldn't make out what it was saying beyond the ringing sound in his ears. Another voice spoke up, and Wesley was straining to hear what was being said, but his efforts were in vain. He couldn't make the ringing cease. The boy felt a tingling sensation in the tips of his toes, that quickly spread up his legs, and throughout the remainder of his lithe frame. The sensation faded away after several moments, leaving Wesley trying to figure out what was going on. The last thing he remembered was Dinny saying goodbye to him, promising that they would see each other again, one day. Then, everything went black. Now, Wesley couldn't move, and weird things were happening to his body beyond his control. He had been promised that he would always be a silent observer in his life, only there to control the basic needs of the body he was inhabiting. The soul of the machine. The part that was never meant to see the light of day, ever again.
"Do you think that he can hear us, yet?" Wesley knew that voice. It belonged to the love of his life. Dinny!
"I guess we'll find out, soon enough, Mason," Dinrak continued, after a short pause. "He might, Mason. That depends on how he feels when he wakes up."
Wesley had no idea why the conversation was only one-sided. Is Dinrak talking on a comm-unit?
"I'll make sure that's the second thing he knows, Mason!" Dinrak said with a laugh. "Do you really think he's cute, though?"
Wesley felt his entire body flush red.
"I do, too, Mason," Dinny said softly. "I hope he knows that I only did this because I love him."
Wesley grinned, inwardly. Unable to tell if his emotions were showing on his face, or not. Another tingling sensation an throughout his body, and this time, Wesley felt his fingers and toes twitching along with the sensation.
"That is an excellent sign, Mason," Dinrak said. "It means that there wasn't any damage to the fiber optics when we went through the wormhole." Dinrak paused, again. Then, Wesley felt a small set of hands touch the skin of his chest. "Touch his chest like I am, Mason. No, don't worry. Wesley won't mind, once he meets you."
Wesley felt himself blush as another set of small hands were placed on the muscles of his chest.
"He's responding better than I expected," Dinny said with a giggle. Wesley was certain he heard another sound that vaguely resembled a laugh, but he couldn't be sure. "Do you feel how his muscles are twitching? That's the different systems performing their initial function tests. Once it's complete, it will never happen to the point of keeping him shutdown like this, again. It will be more of a background program, something that just keeps his maintenance up to date. Wesley won't even notice it anymore after this." There was another pause as Dinrak seemed to be listening to the other person as their hands lifted away from his body. Wesley almost felt a longing to have them touching him, again. "Slow down a second, Mason. You're going faster than I can understand. Remember, I took sign language as an alternative, during my Earth Language courses."
Sign language? Wesley was familiar with the usage of the language amongst the deaf community, but he had never bothered to learn it during his school years. Wesley doubted his father would have let him learn it, anyway.
Wesley let out a mental sigh, wishing he had more opportunities in his short life to try new things. Instead, his father had kept him on a strict regimen, constantly monitoring the daily activities of the growing boy.
"He's going to be confused when he first wakes up, Mason," Dinrak said. "It's going to be difficult for him, but I'm not going to leave his side until he is comfortable this new body."
New body? Wesley felt his confusion beginning to grow. Did something happen to my last body?
"No, we don't need to worry about his father," Dinrak said with a slight chuckle. "Justin Scott was sentenced to life on Habstra, one of the Prison Planets located within the Haro Quarter. He'll have been listed as a child abuser upon arrival. The inmates there don't tolerate people like that. Even criminals have a code, Mason."
Wesley felt his eyebrow twitch in surprise. He didn't know that his body would actually respond to him.
"Yeah, I saw it, Mason," Dinrak said with a laugh. "I'm positive that he can hear us, now."
Wesley felt himself blush in embarrassment.
"Oh yeah," Dinrak stated playfully. "He's definitely awake, now. I think the systems are doing their final checks. Once they're all finished, he'll awaken, completely. Will you stay with Wesley while I go and find him some new clothes, Mason?" There was slight pause before Dinrak responded. "Thank you, Mason. I will return in just a moment. I'll make sure that Deegan knows where to find you."
Wesley listened as the door to the room slid open, and back closed, again. He could hear the gentle breathing of the body that was standing beside him, the same boy that had heard his thoughts. He tried to remember how he had done it before, but nothing was making sense to him, at the moment. Then, the silent boy standing with him, put his hand flat against Wesley's chest. He felt a chill race across his skin at the tender touch, and more than anything, Wesley wanted to open his eyes. He wanted to see the boy that had shared his thoughts for even just a brief moment. Wesley could still feel the connection, but there was something blocking him from sending his thought through the bond. He decided to just shrug off the challenge and enjoyed the feel of the person touching him. Nothing else mattered in that moment, and soon, he would be back with his Dinny.
-Colonel Jackson Tesik - 36 - Destiny - 3.11.2127
"Are you certain about this, Getty?" Jackson asked the young man.
"One-hundred percent, Colonel," Getty said grimly. "There was a reason that the prisoner transporter crashed on that planet, Jackson. The planet is surrounded by an electro-magnetic field that shorted out the controls of the ship, making it impossible for the pilots to keep it from crashing."
"How did you figure this out, Getty?" Jackson asked, suspiciously.
"You're not going to believe me, sir," Getty said softly, turning his attention back to the monitors surrounding his station aboard the small.
"It doesn't hurt to try, Getty," Jackson said reassuringly.
"I have dreams about the future, Colonel Tesik," Getty said dryly. "It's something that has always been passed down through my mother's bloodline. It's also, a very secretive matter, Colonel Tesik."
"Point taken, Getty," Jackson said with a brief nod. "Now, I think it's time that you learned a few things about the Tesik Family, Captain Roberts."
Jackson was about to continue when a familiar voice came over the computer system speakers.
"Colonel Tesik, if you wouldn't mind, I could easily show Captain Roberts your Family's Service Record," the male voice suggested.
"Andrew?" Getty asked nervously.
"Yes, sir," the former android said confidently.
"Where are you, Andrew?" Getty asked the android.
"I am part of the Destiny, now."
Getty and Jackson both looked at each other in disbelief, neither man realizing exactly what had just happened.
-Admiral Edward Thomas - 63 - Earth Star Port 1.1 - 3.11.2127
"We don't have time for ceremonies, Mr. President," Admiral Thomas told the two men on the screen hanging from the wall across from his desk. "There are more important things that we need to worry about, sir."
"I understand your sentiments, Admiral Thomas," President Eversole cut in before the older man could continue. "But the People of Earth, and the Members of the Galactic Alliance need the ceremony. You will be there, dressed to impress, smiling like your life depends on it, Admiral. This isn't optional, Edward. I need you to prove to the Council that the People of Earth are in good hands."
"I've never even met the members of the Alliance, Mr. President," Ed tried to protest, but his words fell on deaf ears. Duayne Eversole already had a plan for that issue, as well. The admiral saw the smug grin forming on the president's face and couldn't help but chuckle lightly. "So, that explains why Ambassador Brenth is on this call."
Adam Brenth and President Eversole both started laughing at the admiral's expense. Edward flushed red in embarrassment for a moment.
"Fine," Admiral Thomas stated as he resigned himself to his fate. "I'll be there with bells on, Mr. President. If I fuck this up, though, it's Adam's fault."
"I have faith that Ambassador Brenth will do his duty, and will keep you from fucking up, Admiral," Duayne said with the same smug grin. "Now, let's talk about this interesting little tidbit of information that I've managed to stumble across."
"What is that Mr. President?" Ed asked in confusion.
"First," Duayne paused briefly. "I need you both to understand the need for secrecy on the topic that I am about to reveal to you, gentlemen."
"Mum's the word, Mr. President," Adam's voice came from the speaker on his monitor. "I am alone in my cabin."
"The same goes for me, Mr. President," Edward said in agreement. "I will not say a word to anybody about this discussion."
"Thank you, gentlemen," the president said with a sigh of relief. "This has been bugging me for several months, now. I'm sure that you all remember the threat of the Imposters?"
Edward and Adam both nodded.
"Good, it saves me the time of explaining," Duayne stated. "Admiral Tesik and Admiral Porter had both sent out scout teams, as I'm sure you remember, and one of those scout teams has found something hidden on the dark side of our very own moon."
"What was it?" Admiral Thomas asked in concern.
"Scout Team-3 found an alien signal relay station positioned on the rim of a crater on the far side of the moon,"Duayne told them.
"Are you serious?" Adam Brenth asked in disbelief.
The president nodded grimly.
"What does this have to do with the Imposters?"
"It was their relay station," the president stated. "There was also one of their ships nearby, with its crew still aboard."
"Were they alive?" Edward asked, a knot of fear forming in his chest.
"No," Duayne told Adam and Edward, both men nearly sighing with relief. "It's still an issue, though. We all remember what the Terazians warned us about."
"You think this is it?" Adam asked. "An attack from the Imposters?"
"Yes, that it exactly what I think, Ambassador," Duayne said confidently. "An attack from the Imposters would devastate us right now in our current situation. We are still transferring over from a planet-based society to a space-based society. Sure, while we were the Alliance of Earth, we diddled in space travel, but it never amounted to what it does, now. We have ships, traveling across the galaxy in a matter of weeks and months, compared to the years it used to take just to move from planet to planet within the Sol Solar System. Half of our population is in the process of resettling on other planets, while the other half is either, trying to keep the planet alive, or they are moving onto the Space Port. We have been transferring as many families as possible to the Red Planet Sub-Colony just to give us a slim chance of survival if these aliens take us out."
"That's terrifying, Mr. President," Edward stated in a defeated tone. "What did the Council say?"
"You're going to call a meeting, tomorrow evening, during the reception following your promotion ceremony, Admiral Thomas," President Eversole said with a smug grin as he reminded the admiral of his duties. "I expect you to be there with bells on, sir."
Edward couldn't help but laugh at the mental image of himself wandering around with bells on during a military ceremony. The man was positive he would be physically removed from his new position as leader of the Association of Colonization and Exploration. Then, Edward Thomas got an idea. He would be arriving to the ceremony with bells on.
"If there is nothing else, then I shall see you, tomorrow evening, gentlemen," the admiral said before he disconnected the conference call, and the screens went blank. The man leaned back in his seat with a sigh. The Imposters posed a huge risk to the people of Earth, and he didn't like their chances without the help of the Galactic Alliance. He hoped that Members would listen to his pleas for assistance before it was too late.
I hope everybody had a great Holiday! Happy New Year!
As always, thank you for taking the time to read another chapter of ACE-AI! Also, thank you to my Editors! You guys are underpaid and overworked!