In our last episode, Captain Jake Evans and Doctor Clint Norwood were led to an elevator by D’Qur, an agent of the Guardians. There they met Mol, the head Guardian. Meanwhile the crew of the Pickett awaits an attack by several Corpellian vessels.
Grand Admiral Archibald Mitchell stood on the command deck of the Galactic Space Force Star Cruiser Reliant. His plan using the downed space destroyer, the Pickett, developed nicely. The Corpellians took the bait.
He marshaled all his forces in such a way as to be invisible to the Corpellians, using the sun of the mysterious Planet X to shield the vast armada.
“Sir Combat Battalion One is reporting the enemy is now entering maximum range,” disgraced Admiral Quentin DiPaullo reported.
“Very well, Admiral, maintain position and keep observing,” Mitchell said. “This time we won’t let the Corpellians pull any surprises.”
DiPaullo took the dig well. He stopped trying to convince Mitchell of the necessity of dispersing the fleet at the last meeting with the Corpellian advance. He knew he was no longer considered fit for command by CentCom. To be allowed to maintain his rank until retirement three months from now was the best he could do.
“Sir, the Corpellian ships are coming in faster than the last time,” Senior Captain Charlotte Douglas reported. “Firing solutions indicate maximum effectiveness in two minutes.”
“Thank you, Captain Douglas,” DiPaullo answered. He turned to Mitchell and repeated the information.
“Open missile bays in all ships, Admiral,” Mitchell ordered.
DiPaullo transmitted the order by the latest super-secret encoding.
“Set all missiles for proximity detonation,” Mitchell ordered.
The order was dispatched to all ships.
“Sir,” Senior Captain Douglas said. “If we are not precise, one of the missiles could take out the crew of the Pickett.”
Mitchell turned and glared at Douglas. “The risks of the entire fleet are calculated, Miss Douglas. If the crew of the Pickett does not survive, we will certainly avenge them.”
“Isn’t your grandson on that ship?” Douglas persisted.
“I have reason to believe that he may not have survived the impact.” Mitchell stated with no emotion.
“That is no reason to sacrifice the rest of the crew.”
“Captain Douglas,” Mitchell responded at last showing some emotion, albeit anger. “Everyone who signs up for the Galactic Space Force knows the cost. If the crew of the Pickett fails to survive they will be long remembered in our Legion of Heroes Hall.”
“Even if we kill them?”
“Captain Douglas, are you able to complete your duties or do I need to find a replacement?”
Douglas looked cowed. She glanced at DiPaullo who tried to warn her about speaking her mind. She knew her upward advancement was now ended. She nodded to Admiral Mitchell and muttered, “Yes, sir.”
“Then I suggested you continue to monitor the situation.” Mitchell said turning back to DiPaullo.
“Admiral?” Mitchell asked.
“Optimal solution in fifteen seconds, sir,” DiPaullo reported.
“Prepare all ships to fire,” Mitchell ordered.
“Belay that!” A voice from the back of the control deck shouted.
“What? Who are you?” Mitchell looked shocked.
A man strode up to Mitchell accompanied big a very tall female being.
“I am Captain Jake Evans of the destroyer, Pickett, sir. I’m here to tell you that the war is over.”
“How did you get here? How dare you make statements you cannot defend? I will have you locked up for treason.”
“I am not being treasonous, Admiral. I am just stating facts. This war is now over. You will not fire any weapons at the Corpellians.”
“Young man, if you think I am a fool you are quite mistaken.” He turned to DiPaullo. “Fire all weapons, now!”
DiPaullo relayed the orders to all ships. Nothing happened.
The rest of the fleet began calling back, the weapons systems were not responding.
“The weapons systems of our ships, as well as the Corpellians have been disabled, Admiral. I am not here to make threat or accusations, sir. I have been sent here to report the situation,” Evans explained.
“By who or what, Mr. Evans?” Mitchell asked.
“By the guardians, sir.”
“Who are they?”
“I think it best, Admiral, to let them explain. I will let D’Qur, the guardian assigned to our ship, explain” Evan nodded to D’Qur to take over.
“Assigned to you ship? We have spies on our ships? How did this happen?” Mitchell questioned.
D’Qur laughed. “Admiral your ships would not exist but for the knowledge given by the Guardians.”
“Explain yourself young, er, lady.” Mitchell demanded.
D’Qur sighed knowing that it was going to be a very long conversation. “Admiral, the Guardians have been part of human history ever since the beginning of the Earth. We watched your species grow from single cells to ape-like creatures. There your development ended.
“We began to visit and experiment. Finally, we were able to form a new species, known as man. How is it you never realized that there has never been a ‘missing link’ that you insist on searching for.
“As time progressed, we visited. Have you not seen evidence of our visits in ancient Aztec and Mayan ruins? Yes, we gave your civilizations the tools to succeed, no too much at one time to overwhelm your species, but only enough that you could understand.
“As the wisdom and knowledge of mankind grew, we taught greater and deeper truths and basic scientific fundamentals. Did you think people like Aristotle, Copernicus, or Einstein learned from earthly teachers? You would be sadly mistaken.
“We began to send teachers in greater numbers once you learned to harness the atom. We taught many new ways of making weapons to your greatest scientists. Why your people even set aside a large area where we could show you greater secrets and space flight abilities.”
“Are you talking about area 51 in the old United States?” Mitchell asked.
“Of course, how else would alien visitors in an area of advanced weapons testing center make sense?” D’Qur answered.
“But that site was all about weapons. You say you want peace. How does that make sense?” Mitchell asked.
D’Qur laughed. “Your human capabilities can understand power. Your minds can only grasp what you see and experience. For example, the horrors of atomic destruction were not fully understood until after the power was unleashed. Once your species understood the consequences, the bombs sat unused.”
“What does this have to do with the Corpellians?” Evans asked.
D’Qur nodded. “Obviously humans are not the only species that the Guardians have been teaching. We knew eventually that the two of you were going to meet. Unfortunately, the Corpellians had more violent tendencies than we realized. They are scheduled for more retraining.”
“What about humans?” Mitchell asked.
D’Qur smiled. “Your species did well. There are some of you individually who perhaps need work, but overall we can work with humans. We are training many members of your crew now. Humans can now join the ranks of the Guardians.”
“How will you choose Guardians? Am I eligible?” Mitchell asked.
“Admiral,” D’Qur replied. “Your willingness to sacrifice one of your own crews to destroy an enemy excludes you. You now know of our existence, however, and you will be assigned to CentCom as a human liaison to the Guardian team stationed there. I will continue to have ay presence on this ship. Admiral DiPaullo will serve as Admiral for the senior group commander. Captain Evans will be assigned this ship and his crew will be incorporated with the remainder of this crew.”
Mitchell looked as he would object when D’Qur held up her hand to keep him from speaking. “The official orders will be sent out soon, I am only letting you know what they are unofficially. Nevertheless, understand that these will be the orders. Perhaps, Admiral you would like to visit your grandson before he begins his training.”
“Alfred is alive?” Mitchell asked.
“Of course, Admiral. If something happened to him, would not his commanding officer inform you?”
“Take me to him,” Mitchell said.
“I believe the admiral would like a tour,” D’Qur said. Turning to Evans she announced, “Captain Evans, you have the conn. Steady as she goes until I return.”
“Aye, Aye,” Evans answered.