It was approximately 0950 Standard Planetary Time on the planet Taisonis, home world of the Taisorian Empire. The day was hot and humid, possibly around ninety degrees, and had a certain summer time feel to it although spring had just begun. While the weather seemed comfortable, at the Guadia Estates the commander of the Taisorian armed forces had yet to wake from a deep sleep.
“Grandfather where are you? called out Rygol within his sleep.
Within this horrible nightmare Rygol searched for his grandfather that he couldn’t locate. The nightmare took place within the exact same setting every time ever since the incident that one fateful day. He would dream of being back at the dreaded conference room within downtown Taiso where his meeting was today. That dreadful day when he was a child he could never have imagined what was set to take place. His grandfather, along with various staff members present within the conference room, were being held captive by an alien threat of unknown origins. Once Rygol caught wind of such details he hurried to the building where the situation was taking place. After arriving at the premises of the conference building, Rygol fought with authorities for access to the building in an attempt to save his grandfather. During said time the authorities received contact from the culprit in which it demanded to speak with the grandson of the standing commander in chief of the armed forces. Rygol was not given permission to enter into talks with the alien due to the fact that he was too valuable in the event that it tried to take both of their lives.
“Let me go in like it asked, it has my grandfather!”
“We can’t risk that son, you’re too valuable of an asset to just hand you over.” said an official.
“Do you not hear me? That’s my grandfather in there! He taught me everything I know and practically raised me himself. I’m not going to allow it to harm him!”
“I said we can’t allow it boy! Get the commanders grandson out of here now!”
At that moment Rygol made a run for the building before anyone realized what he was doing. Running up the stairs to the second floor all anyone could hear was him yelling “Grandpa I’m coming for you!”
The moment he arrived at the conference room doors and opened them, he was greeted by a devastating force that nearly took his vision and knocked him back straight out of a 2nd story window to the outside perimeter. As he hit the ground where he achieved unconsciousness, he could only remember seeing the final look on his grandfather’s face and glowing cynical yellowish green eyes staring dead in his direction.
“Commander, please wake up!” said an echoing voice.
The commander tossed and turned under his beds covers.
“Commander, can you hear me? Wake up sir please!” repeated the voice.
He couldn’t wake up though for the simple fact that he was terrified of those eyes for what they did, what they took from him and the question was why? The only thought that crossed his mind was “I failed you grandfather, I couldn’t save you.”
At that instant he awoke in a daze, clenching his sheets shivering as his household caretaker gazed at him with concern. She wiped the sweat from his forehead and utilized a cool cloth in order to regulate his body temperature.
“Commander, are you okay?” asked the caretaker.
After panting for some time now the commander replied.
“Yea, I was just having what felt like a nightmare.”
“Would you like me to get you anything sir?”
“No I’m fine, thank you.”
After a brief pause the commander uncovered himself and headed towards the set of clothing that was laid out for him. He dressed himself in a black suit, a black and dark gray pinstriped shirt underneath with a black tie, and black boots. This outfit not only brought out his short dark hair and emerald green eyes, but suited his tall athletic posture. He then made his way downstairs where breakfast had been served. He was greeted by his loyal guardian Lyra, which was assigned to him by the council. Lyra was an average sized woman of about 5’8”, athletic figure, long dark brunette hair, and light brown eyes. She was wearing her usual black business suit, out of professionalism, which made apparent her athletic physique.
“Good morning commander, how are we today?” asked Lyra.
“I’m good thank you Lyra. How about you?” asked Rygol.
“I’m doing well thank you sir.” replied Lyra.
The commander ate his breakfast, finished looking through the daily newspaper which read “G.E.M. Meeting today among highly ranked members of empires today”. After reading the headline he thought to himself “Yea, it’s definitely involving some top players in the ranks of every leading empire within the galaxy.” He then proceeded towards the front door where Lyra, along with his transportation, awaited him. Lyra was not only his guardian, but driver, cook, and practically everything else in between. Rygol hated having someone do everything for him, but he had to learn to live with having someone always care for him since that fateful day when he lost his grandfather. As they both approached the vehicle he moved towards the driver side.
“I think today I’ll drive if it’s okay with you Lyra?”
“Commander you know you don’t have to ask when you desire to do something sir.”
“I know but it’s just the way I was raised by my grandfather.”
“He was a great man who taught you to become an even greater one sir.”
Rygol entered the vehicle thinking of times now gone with his grandfather. Lyra then handed Rygol the car keys when both of them sat down inside. He cranked the engine of the car which roared as though there were a lion present underneath the hood of the car. After assuring that the doors were closed, both had their seatbelts on and the vehicle checked out fine after all post checks he made his way out of the estates.
“The meeting is being held downtown correct?” asked Rygol.
“Yes it will be held on the third floor of the Capitol Embassy building in the main conference room.” replied Lyra.
“So how have you been today Lyra?”
“I’m doing fine sir and yourself?”
“I’m doing well myself just worried whether or not my sister’s shuttle arrived safely today.”
“Isn’t she just arriving from the Quavian Empire with important details on their technological advancements in mechanized land weaponry?”
“Yes and we’re going to utilize the hardware technology as the basis for O.N.U.W.A.”
“That reminds me, R&D would like you to pass by sometime to display its performance records along with the projects progress.”
“I’ll probably pass by within the next couple of days. Make sure to tell them to prepare a formal report so I can review the details along with any pending bugs in the system.”
“Yes sir, I’ll be sure to pass along the message while you’re in the meeting.”
Ring, Ring! Ring, Ring! At that instant the car phone rang.
“Hello Commander Rygol speaking.”
“Commander this is Head of Shipyard Operations Donald Dawson with the Arc Space Station within Taiso sir.”
“Yes sir Mr. Dawson what can I do for you?”
“Well sir, I have some news to report to you about the Battlecruiser Nagi.”
“Okay, lay it on me Dawson.”
“The Battlecruiser Nagi has returned from its reconnaissance duties among the newly discovered star system of Eridanus. The vessel itself is completely intact…”
“The entire crew has been found either dead or missing sir.”
“Are there any signs as to what may have happened?”
“No sir, not at all. We did discover a message that was being broadcasted from the recon unit within its hangar and thought it best if you listen to it personally sir.”
“Roger that Dawson, I’ll swing by after my meeting this morning.”
“Yes sir, see you then sir.”
At the end of Rygol’s conversation over the phone they had both just arrived at the Capitol of the Taisorian Empire. After a few traffic lights he pulled into the parking complex of the Capitol Embassy building. He parked the car and soon after the two entered the building on their way to the main conference room.
Rygol entered the conference room which remained silent as everyone’s eyes pointed into his general direction. He walked over and sat in the leather chair at the head of the table. All the members of the Galactic Empires Meeting were now waiting for Rygol to commence the meeting when he finally spoke.
“Good Morning Gentlemen how are we all doing on such a fine day?”
Everyone responded with good morning and that they were doing well in return.
“Today is our third annual G.E.M. since the end of the Zanstra-Ras conflict and the incident that took a grand individual from us. I’m proud to see all of the council members here today.”
Rygol flipped open his binder, stared at it briefly, then continued speaking.
“In today’s meeting we will discuss possible solutions to national security issues such as pirates and the ever growing rebel forces among other important matters. Would anyone like to start us off today?”
Narim Ghas, who was the same height yet more slender physique of Rygol just with curly black hair and burgundy eyes, raised his hand to signify his decision to kick start the meeting. Narim wore an all red suit which complemented his long black hair and had a character stronger than stone. He grew up with Rygol since his birth and they were always around each other ever since. Now they both led their empires as commanding officers who ruled with honor and compassion.
“Yes Narim by all means.” stated Rygol.
“Good morning everyone and it’s a pleasure to have everyone here again as Rygol stated. As everyone knows my empire has been keeping tabs on outlying systems for any new activity. Just recently my recon vessels have come under attack in various sectors of the Eridanus star system, mostly near Naoto V, by an unknown group we have yet to identify. What peaks my curiosity though is that these vessels return specifically to our home world with the entire crew either missing or deceased. I was curious as to whether or not other empires have run into this same occurrence of incidents with their vessels or said system?”
“Could this be a rebel forces way of hitting us without leaking too much about their organization?” asked Bodasho, a man with not too long but not too short dirty blonde hair and blue eyes who represented the Bodashka Empire.
“That is within the realm of possibility but we can’t ignore the fact that most rebel forces have been unable to kill our personnel let alone commandeer an entire combat class vessel, exterminate its entire crew and then send it back on its way to us. That’s not how they operate at any level no this is something different all together. Have we considered the possibility of new life forms or creatures causing these occurrences?” asked Rygol.
The entire room remained silent as they allowed what was said to sink in.
“We can’t make an accurate assessment of what’s going on without more details or data so for the time being I would like everyone to keep logs of vessels affected by these events, the exact findings of the shipyard staff, and the time between the ships departure, last known relayed message and unsanctioned mysterious return. This information should give us some insight as to what in the hell is going on with our scouting parties, but one thing is noticeable and that’s that they return in the state they have been after venturing out to the Eridanus star system for intelligence gathering.” said Rygol.
“I’ll have my Head of Shipyard Operations forward over all the information we have about our vessels that have returned due to this incident along with what our future preventative measures will be to everyone for review.” stated Narim.
“On that note, if anyone one would like to accompany me to the Arc Space Station to listen to the encrypted message left by the scout vessel on one of our very own battle cruisers please say I.” stated Rygol.
Everyone in the conference room answered with an ‘I’ to Rygol’s request.
“Then without further hesitation please collect the documents you brought to today’s meeting and make your way to the parking complex while I prepare transportation.”
Everyone lifted themselves from their seats and slowly moved out the conference room and towards the parking complex. Rygol spoke with the floor manager and asked for her to call a vehicle to transport the other empirical commanders to the space station. He then made his way into the parking complex where Lyra was patiently awaiting his return.
“Lyra I need you to take me to Arc Space Station so the other commanders and I may listen to the message left behind by the scout vessel.” stated Rygol.
“Yes sir, as you wish commander.” said Lyra.
At the exact moment Rygol was entering the passenger side of the Tsa X-5 the transportation Rygol had requested arrived. Lyra started the vehicle and led the way to the space station while the other commanders followed closely behind.
“What’s with the rest of the council heading to the space station with us commander?” asked Lyra.
“Narim mentioned that what happened this morning with the Battlecruiser Nagi has been happening to his own vessels and they are occurring inside the Eridanus star system during recon missions.”
“Does that mean that there is an alien threat that we are unaware of inside that system?”
“We don’t know just yet but we are going to log every detail of what happens to our ships and figure out exactly what in the hell is going on.”
Rygol immediately made a call to the Head of Shipyard Operations.
“Head of Shipyard Operations Donald Dawson speaking.”
“Dawson this is Commander Rygol, I’m on my way with the entire Galactic Empires Meeting Council to review the Battlecruiser Nagi’s condition and listen to the message broadcasted by the recon vessel you mentioned earlier.”
“Understood Commander, I’ll have the team briefed on your arrival and have the message ready for review in our meeting room.”
“Thank you Dawson, see you soon.”
The station was a facility situated near the shoreline of the city of Taiso which occupied approximately 30 miles worth of land with only 10 miles being utilized. With its current arrangement it houses over 300 combat vessels, 50 civilian vessels, and various planetary defense platforms fully equipped with the latest electronic systems.
When they reached the stations main entrance there was a moderately sized bulky individual who seemed to be waiting for their arrival. As Rygol exited the vehicle he asked the individual if he indeed was Mr. Dawson, the man he spoke with earlier.
“Yes sir Commander, I’ve been waiting for you to arrive since your call. If you don’t mind sir, please follow me this way.”
Rygol, Lyra and the G.E.M. council members followed Mr. Dawson into the space station while proceeding past the receptionist’s desk. They continued walking until they reached Dock 17 where the Battlecruiser Nagi was situated locked down on top of a maintenance platform for repairs.
“The Battlecruiser externally is in immaculate condition, the internals of the ship are a completely different story all on its own.” said Dawson.
“How so?” asked Narim.
“Well all things considered, the crew is either dead or missing, there are various marks on the walls and doors, not including the extreme amounts of blood and gore in areas where crew members were located inside the vessel.” replied Dawson.
Everyone’s jaw dropped in shock for what Mr. Dawson just mentioned in reply to Narim’s question.
“Were there signs of forced entry or a breach into the ship?” asked Rygol.
“No sir, that’s the puzzling portion of figuring all this out.” replied Dawson.
“Maybe we’ll get more insight on the matter from the message once we’ve reviewed it ourselves.” said Rygol.
“Okay, follow me please.” stated Dawson.
Mr. Dawson led them down the catwalk to a door on the left hand side, which was apparently their meeting room. The room had a monitor set up with various chairs around and oval table. Once everyone was inside the room they took a seat and waited for the message to start playing. On the projector screen all anyone could see was darkness only being lit for mere seconds from gunfire and hear the infamous screams of the crew as something ravaged through the vessel killing everyone. By the time the message finished every single individual in that room was silent with a look of shock on their faces.
“I don’t know where to begin as to handling this message and what just took place.” stated Rygol.
“We could begin first off by thinking as to how it happened.” said Narim.
“I want to assume that whatever was on-board had either infiltrated our vessel or breach the…” said Rygol when all of a sudden an emergency siren went off within the space station.
“Mr. Dawson what’s going on?” asked Lyra.
“I don’t know but I’ll find out right now.” replied Dawson.
Mr. Dawson left the room to re-enter it seconds after to notify the entire group that one of their combat vessels, the Cruiser Tokomi, was conducting an emergency landing requiring immediate mobilization of military personnel to eliminate an unknown onboard threat.