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ASTRONOMICAL—A Look Beyond and Forward Imagination..

The void creates madness to the weak and and arrogant ones..

Good evening Ladies & Gentlemen.

Tonight I am featuring an exclusive look into my newest book “Astronomical©,” Chapter 3.  The crew of Amaco is at the beginning of their mission.  None of it went as plan currently but the professionals they are; they plan for everything.

Or do they?

I hope you enjoy the read.  Hard Copies are on sell at Lulu.com & the E-book is available at amazon.com.

Enjoy this look, I’m sure you will want more ;o)

Appreciate the time..

 

 

Chapter 3
Beginning Travels Into the Void

“On the other hand, science itself cannot deal with such issues, and it seems unlikely that–even in the extended form required to accommodate the multiverse-science will ever prove or disprove the existence of God..”

-Bernard Carr

Space, an unforgiving environment of beauty and unseen danger was an explorer’s reverie to conquer. The gathering of secretive comets, blind eye black holes and the creation of a planetoid itself, wonders! The void of black and tiny lights surrounding the heavenly bodies of nature is a beautiful sight. The absence of human normalcy’s, such as oxygen and gravity, fosters strength to human explorers to keep edging on. Minutes in a sense are hours, days are months and time is a terrible companion to the anxious but a helpmeet to the wise. Col. Harrison’s crew, half of them sleeping, sped through space almost close to the outer edge. Their ship, the Amaco, riddled with small bumps and scratches from small asteroids blasted at maximum warp speed compliance (warp demo 1).

Col. Harrison was still awake while his crew continued in their slumber. He glared out of the mini-convex window (window which has an auto-zoom function for objects on the outside to appear much closer than they are) towards a phenomenon. A marvelous sight of red dust nova clouds on the left bow of the vessel glimmered with flashing lights. The clouds were completely stunning to the naked eye. The glitter of blinking lights mixed with red and yellow dust appeared like a comet blasting though an earth dust storm. The beautiful sight made the Colonel adore his job even more. Exploration at its finest, the gift of seeing what many others wouldn’t have the comprehension of dreaming of. He wanted a closer look. He needed to see what was actually causing the lights to glimmer so brightly in the void. He turned quickly to the navigation computer and input the coordinates of the dust nova cloud.

“Input coordinates B-24 in sector 13—-minus speed of 7.53E-10 to 2.23E-8,” mumbled the Colonel.

Within a few seconds the screen displayed the numerical/letters 553-C.24 Sector 56 which transmuted the findings to a visual for the mini-convex window. The picture was astounding. Numerous comets collided with mid-sized meteorites displaying red and yellow color as the aftermath of each blast. The explosions were so powerful that if the Amaco was within 1,000 miles of the blast, the ship would designate from the shockwaves. Col. Harrison knew this find was an important one as he started the recording of it before the initial zoom computed. Great intuition!

“What a sight Robert,” spoke a now awakened Lt. Greer.

“I know. Sometimes a veteran needs luck more than skill. The ENA’s (Energetic Neutral Atoms) are working properly, more yellow/blue color though.”

“That must mean the surrounding area around the phenomenon must be close to 13,000 degrees Fahrenheit,” remarked Lt. Greer as he stared closely at the initial readings.

“Possibly,” spoke Col. Harrison. ENA’s are more accurate with planet readings anyway.”

“Awe, don’t forget Colonel, we can use them for deep space scans as well.”

“Yes, of course. Program the navigation computer for a forwards scan of 10,000 miles ahead,” remarked the Colonel in a relieved tone.

“Understood,” replied Lt. Greer as he carried out the order without delay. “We should get an estimate reading within a half a day.” Afterward Lt. Greer stretched his arms upwards and let out a relaxing yawn. His eyes were a little red from the previous night’s nightcap but chuckle a kid like chuckle. His eyes brighten at such an exploration.

“Uh, there are some breath mints in the compartment above you,” muttered Col. Harrison. “Just my suggestion.”

“Noted, will follow,” retorted Lt. Greer with a smirk. He reached for the above compartment and hastily grabbed a few. After chewing on them for a few seconds, he appeared very pleasant, almost donning a youthful aura. He let out a playful yawn and glared at the navigation computer again with great curiosity. His weariness didn’t once slow down his wondering, nor did it forsake his courage for the unknown. The red nova storm was dangerous, very dangerous, but the mission must succeed, even at the cost of his and his teammate’s lives.

“We should be in range of the outer edge in a few hours,” spoke Lt. Greer. “Any idea of what to do if we run across any M-class planets?”

“Explore of course.”

“Let me be clear,” replied a more firm Lt. Greer. “Any ideas if we meet hostile aliens on any M-class planets?”

Col. Harrison sat for a half a minute pondering hard over the question. “What will we do? I mean what will I do???”

Lt. Greer sat for a moment and waited for a reply but he never got one. He knew then either the Colonel didn’t want to answer or his mind was daydreaming again. Either way, he was not going to pursue a response.

He glared back at the wonders of the nova storm. Magnification of 8000 displayed more comets of yellowish, blue lights exploding in clear detail. He could have sworn that each blast formed a dust like face. It was an unfamiliar face but with horns and long jagged teeth. He turned for a quick second and glanced back but the image was gone. “It seems like my nightmares are blending in with my reality,” the Colonel thought to himself.

“I’m bout to get some more sleep Robert,” spoke a tired Lt. Greer. “Try not to have anymore dreams of me becoming a Jorganica will ya.”

“I’ll try not to,” chuckled Col. Harrison.

“Let’s get back on course. Maybe this wonder will still be here when we get back.”

At that, the Colonel programmed the auto pilot back to their old course towards the outer edge. He then stood up and walked towards the back of the shuttle as the crew was still asleep, or so he thought.

“Robert, can we talk?”

He turned slowly and saw Sgt. Crawford staring at him and nodded his head. She stood up and spoke softly, “I want to say I’m sorry for my outburst the other night.”

“There’s no need….”

“Yes, the need is there,” replied Sgt. Crawford as she rubbed her eyes tenderly.

“Let’s go to the kitchen and finish this conversation,” Col. Harrison spoke as he placed his right hand on her shoulder.

“I’d like that.”
Back on Earth, Columbia, MO to be exact, Benny Harrison laid in his bed in a cold sweat. The old home of Col. Harrison had seen better days as the farm of yesteryear was in dismay. The house itself needed much upgrade. It was not inhospitable but needed an upgrade simply for more comfortable surroundings. Mr. Harrison’s skin was very wrinkled, more so because of the disease he had. Both of his eyes were almost blind and his lips were completely dry. His head was bald. He had lost his hair due to not taking the natural medicines sooner. He was so tired that sitting up in his bed was a chore that would remove most of his strength for the day. His wife sat by his bed, refusing to cry. She didn’t want to show any type of weakness while her beloved was in such a state. She grew older as well but still in better condition. Her hair was white but she still had the shape of a 30 year old woman. She sat still and so sad over the condition of her husband. The man of her life was so strong in the past but was now just a shell of his former self. Actually, Mr. Harrison’s condition was worse than that since a shell still had some strong traits left but not her husband. He would cry in the middle of the night and howl with pain in the mornings. The afternoons were much worse, as he would actually forget his wife’s name and even at times forget that they were even married. This included forgetting he even had a son. Mrs. Harrison was angry with their son. He hadn’t visited them in over 7 months. She knew his assignments were long but still pondered why he hadn’t even tried to come home. Mrs. Harrison stood up and walked out of the room and into the kitchen. She sat on the stool and glanced back to see if Benny could see her. He couldn’t and at last she relaxed. She cried for nearly 15 minutes.

“Robert, why can’t you come home,” muttered Darlene Harrison between tears. Her blue eyes yearned for the past but instead continued to cry like there was no future. “I know he’s dying, I know he’s……”

At that thought, her heart almost stopped. Her face was so stained with tears it appeared to she came from inside from a rain shower. She didn’t hear anything coming from the room. Darlene ran quickly. She knocked down two kitchen chairs and almost slipped down the hallway to his room. As she entered, she fell to her knees and stared blankly as if time had forsaken this room.

“No, damn YOU!!!!!”

She stopped crying, it was too late. Tears never awakened the dead…..
Forward again in space…
The Amaco was now heading towards the last part of its journey but in contrast with the two crew members who had just begun their journey on board the ship. Col. Harrison drank his first cup of coffee and rubbed his brow as Sgt. Crawford was near the completion of her statement.

“Robert I know it wasn’t your fault.”

“You sure” countered Col. Harrison with a doubtful tone as his breathing became heavier? “Do you actually believe that? He was your family member. I knew you were close to him.”

“I was, but I as a trained officer, I know the risk of space exploration.” Sgt. Crawford retorted as she stared softly into the Colonel’s eyes. “This isn’t my first rodeo Commander. I knew then that the mission was perilous.”

Colonel Harrison stood quiet, pondering what to say but his mouth and brain were not cooperating with one another.

“You don’t have to say a word.”

Then a few words uttered out, “I need too Sergeant. I need too.”

“No, and why don’t you ever call me by my first name?” Sgt. Crawford asked in a confused manner. “We have known each other for seven years now?”

“I just want to keep…”

“…..professional huh?”

“Yes.”

“Oh.”

“Now who’s hiding their thoughts now?”

“Classic avoidance, I see the game now,” replied the Sergeant as she stood up and walked towards the window. Her eyes focused on the wayward comet that was just off the bow of their ship. She wondered at the beautiful reddish stream of light that followed the space ball. Space could be so much simpler compared to real life. At least it is honest and true to its nature not like the conversation with her commanding officer.

“You got me Ernestine…..”

She turned slightly, displaying the flirtatious smirk on her face as her eyes focused strongly on the Colonel’s face. The sleepless eyes and sunken cheeks almost made her feel sorry for him but before she could answer, the alarm went off.

“What the hell,” cried the Commander as he and Sgt. Crawford ran towards the cockpit of the ship. Lt. Greer woke up as well. Dr. Noguchi soon followed in a sleep like manner.

“What’s amiss,” spoke the Doctor while following up with a modest yawn.

Lt. Greer looked towards the navigation board and viewed the flashing green light next to the scanner controls. “Someone is trying to contact us.”

“What’s the identification of the ship?” asked Col. Harrison.

“Unknown Sir.” replied Dr. Noguchi as she started to increase the power to the scanners. “But one thing I can say, they can see us but can’t identify us.”

“Nexus Jorganica?!” asked Sgt. Crawford.

“Most likely, is the communicate data receiver on?” spoke Col. Harrison as he quickly sat down near the controls.

“Yes, full capacity,” Lt. Greer responded calmly.

Col. Harrison motioned for everyone to move to their assigned stations. Dr. Noguchi sat near the outboard scanners station. Sgt. Crawford was sitting at the engine station so she could monitor any problems with the warp drive. Lt. Greer sat next to the Commander as he turned off the auto pilot control and started to fly the ship manually in case they were attacked. The alarm sounded like a ringing school bell, a flashback of old films of school yard playgrounds.

“You’ll need to answer that Sir,” replied Sgt. Crawford as her face tighten.

The Colonel, without anymore hesitation, grabbed the receiver and replied, “This is the freighter ship Camn. How may we help you?”

“Here’s hoping the language translator is working correctly,” pondered Lt. Greer to himself as he continued to monitor the sender ship via sensors.

There was silence.

Col. Harrison without missing a beat repeated his greeting, “This is freighter ship Camn. I am Captain Zor of the Brandizite Alliance at your service. How may we help you?”

“Brandizite, Brandizite,” was the only echo softly heard through the speakers from their unknown interceptor. Most likely it wasn’t meant to be heard as the Amaco’s communication system picked it up; a credit to Earth’s engineers for masterful work.

The communicator was still silent. Only faint sounds of static inhabited the speakers. Quickly, Col. Harrison motioned for Dr. Noguchi to mute transmission.

“Can they detect our ship?” the Colonel queried without pause.

“Again, not at this distance Sir.” replied Dr. Noguchi as she turned fully to face her Commander. “Unless the Nexus Jor came up with new technology to expand their sensors, they can’t identify this ship’s internal energy codes from their immediate position.”

Then a voice emoted, an arctic sounding voice, “This Num 15 of the Republic of Nexus Jor. Your ship is in violation of our territory. You must state your purpose.”

“Time to sound convincing, hope those high school drama electives come back to me,” muttered Col. Harrison to himself. “Our purpose is to deliver cherristale wheat to the Verrta Moon.”

Again there was a long pause, at least fifteen seconds. The silence made even the seasoned veteran Colonel a little nervous.

“Stand by and slow engines to impulse.” replied Num 15 coldly.

Col. Harrison nodded to Sgt. Crawford to obey the command from the Nexus Jor. He rubbed his brow as his face tighten, harden. His eyes lighten up as he turned sharply to his friend. Without haste, he muted the speakers as Lt. Greer spoke, “I don’t know Sir. They might ask why we didn’t give them a flight plan prior to entering their territory.”

“I thought of that.” replied the Colonel. “Intelligence didn’t have enough information to forge one. Formal communications between our worlds have been cut off for almost a year. We don’t even know what inter-galactic trade they have going on with other worlds…..”

“Colonel, the Nexus Jor ship is close to internal sensor range,” interrupted Sgt. Crawford. “If they come within 1500 meters of us our ruse will be detected.”

Before Col. Harrison could answer, the Num 15 returned, “Please halt, your flight plan hasn’t been confirmed by our Ministry of Guard.”

“With all due respect Num 15, this shipment must reach Ver—–“

Communications were abruptly terminated as the Nexus Jor ship continued to slowly move closer to the Amaco. The Colonel knew this would not end in their favor and decided on a secondary plan.

Escape.

“When I give the order, punch the warp drive to spatial 2 Sergeant,” Col. Harrison spoke forcefully.

“Understood,” replied Sgt. Crawford as she turned her chair to face her computer. She rubbed her cheeks as a defense pattern. It calmed her for the time being.

“Dr. Noguchi, how far are we from outer edge,” asked the Colonel.

“11,000 miles Sir,” Dr. Noguchi replied hastily.

“That’s some distance Colonel,” spoke Lt. Greer as he re-checked the navigation computer. “If they are still using their Acutii Class Sar ships, they can reach the speeds of warp 4. Our maximum is 3.3.”

“Hmm, that gives us…..”

“Commander, sensors are picking up two Nexus Jor Acutii ships—De-cloaking off our starboard brow!”

“Sons of bitches, this has been a ruse on us the entire time,” yelled Lt. Greer!!”

“Punch warp drive NOW,” bellowed the Colonel!!!

The Amaco blasted off as three pulsar beams exploded from their near position. Part of the nearest beam just grazed the ship. A piece of the right wing broke off as the particular vaporized, leaving nothing. Amaco blazed forward on a new course. It headed straight to the outer edge with three Nexus Jor ships in pursuit. The crew worked like robots administering pure precision with no hesitation of duty. The enemy ships were closing fast. Even with the evasive maneuvers, Lt. Greer conducted with good accuracy. Sgt. Crawford carefully monitored the engines and unfortunately noticed a flaw in the design.

“Commander!” spoke Sgt. Crawford loudly. “The engines won’t be able to hold full compliance unless we power down in six minutes!

“You gots to be fucking kidding me,” snapped Lt. Greer in great annoyance as he grind his teeth. He smashed both of his clenched fists on the nearby dashboard. “This ship can’t handle a full warp 3?!”

Col. Harrison pondered with much quickness over the new dilemma. They must find a place to hide from their sensors. In order for him to think more clearly, he ordered Lt. Greer to issue more maneuvers to keep the Nexus Jor off balance.

“Got it Sir,” Lt. Greer retorted. “Here’s some shit they haven’t seen, even if their spies were thorough enough.

“Fire back when you can,” ordered Col. Harrison as he began research on the second navigation computer. Sweat started to form a little as combat was nearing its climax.

Amaco then embarked on maneuvers that with lack of better words, was not sanctioned by the USWL Space Core. The ship engaged in near fatal barrel rolls that almost clipped the enemy’s ship with its wing. Then the Amaco rolled strongly to the right and fired two nuclear missiles striking one of the Nexus Jor’s ships. The hit was exact as the enemy ship endured direct damage to its shields and warp core. It fell out of combat sharply.

A voice then screamed from the speakers, “Your intrusion of our territory will go punishable!!” It was Num 15. His ship was now in the middle of the fray. The Colonel had to think fast. He knew Lt. Greer’s tactics would only last so long. He felt his ship shake, mostly from the blast that nearly hit them. A few minor hits on the outer left end but no important systems were damaged. The stars grew brighter, as if it were a signal for their destruction.

“Think,think, you son of a bitch,” cursed the commander to himself as his glared menacingly at the view screen brawling up his left hand.

Luckily he then remembered something for past trainings. Professor Alisha Taylor explained that the lack of speed as well as the armor and shielding made up for the Amaco’s evident flaws. He now felt direct hits on the engines and outer hull. Shields were still holding at 85% capacity. The outer plates were made up of liquid titanium and a technology given to them by the Plexious (native of southern Mars, better known as Ieus). He finished with his past scans and viewed a nebula only 600 miles away. Not just any nebula, but a cousin to the Boomerang Nebula, called Normandie Z Nebula . The main difference between the two was that the Normandie was a lot warmer than the other, temperature only reaching -250 C°. Way above absolute zero.

“Catfish, head towards the Normandie Nebula!”

“Huh, Robert will our shields and plates hold up?!” Lt. Greer retorted in an unsure manner. His face wrinkled up as stress was now more apparent than before.

“FLY TOWARDS THE DAMN THING!!”

Like a loyal soldier of the Core, the Amaco’s new destination was plotted as a nearby blast dropped the shields to 55%. They were hit by plasmas missiles, the most dangerous projectiles in this part of the solar system. “Crawford, can the engines withstand us making it to the nebula?”

“Yes Commander, we still have a minute left.”

“Sir, our sensors will not work while we are inside,” remarked an edgy Dr. Noguchi as her eyes twitched.

“That will help us Doctor,” responded Sgt. Crawford instead. If our sensors don’t work, theirs don’t either.”

“Hopefully I am right. I seem to be striking out in the correct decisions department,” wondered Col. Harrison as he placed his left hand on the side of his face, emoting a light groan. His eyes turned red within minutes, his muscles loosen for the first time in almost an eternity. He was worried but no other decision could be made at this time. They needed to lose their pursuers. Another close dogfight could destroy them.

The Amaco continued its unorthodox maneuvers as it neared the nebula. The computers started to blink off and on for a bit until Sgt. Crawford and Lt. Greer balanced the regulated power output to match the current shielding status. Greer precisely conducted sharp rolls and flew between wayward comets and asteroids to help slow down their hunters. Then all of a sudden, the sensors went blank and they were blind. At first, looking out the view screen, all they could see was blackened space with a few bright stars hugging the background. Then, like magic, a purple like color engulfed the ship and all they heard from the speakers was static. The nebula was beautiful inside. Purple like electric clouds became their neighbors as electric volts lightened the environment. Many asteroids were trapped in the nebula as well as abandoned cargo ships. The ships were dead in the water with numerous amounts of ice forming across their hull. The computer displayed the information regarding the shield and plate strength, both were still holding at half fold. It was working. The Amaco was beating the elements of the Nebula.

“Come to a full stop,” ordered the Colonel. “Shut down all non significant power, but I want the internal sensors on as well as the outer. Wait, let me clarify,” Col. Harrison cried as his initial orders weren’t too clear. “Allow life support, medium shields and impulse engines to stay on along with the outer sensors.”

“Sir, the sensors won’t….”

“I know Doctor, but I want you and Sgt. Crawford to work on stabilizing the senor array just in case we can get some type of reading in here.”

“Understood,” replied Dr. Noguchi.

The Colonel rose up and walked towards Lt. Greer who was attempting to dodge energy blasts. Catfish was in full form. His pilot skills just saved their lives.

“Catfish, pull the ship behind one of those large asteroids there,” ordered Col. Harrison.

“You got it.”

Lt. Greer followed the orders and viewed a nice size asteroid just 4000 feet in front of them. The location was deeper in the nebula, but more importantly, it was near an energy storm. The storm would cause more interference for their enemies but would make it harder for them to compensate for the increase in power to their senor array. Numerous dark red like dust particles surrounded the ship as the skies became brighter and the outside energy became more potent. The skies amazingly also looked like water waves of energy and vibrations of sorts. The temperature was around 230 degrees Celsius. Their shields and armor plates were still holding at 50%. A blast of white flash was not common place followed by a rumble that shook the ship as if they were in a 7.5 earthquake on Earth. They parked the ship and turned to the Commander, “As ordered Commander, what now?”

“We’ll wait; I want a damage report on all systems.”

“I’m running a diagnostic right now. It should take about 50 minutes for it to be completed.

Col. Harrison sat down and let out a sigh of relief as he turned to face his friend, “You did good Catfish, excellent work.”

“You know I do it my way,” chuckled Lt. Greer as he sat back in a relaxing manner.

Sgt. Crawford and Dr. Noguchi also sat back and took a few deep breaths as well. The doctor set the computer to analyze the dense nebula and gained readings in a span of 30 minutes. Hopefully with the data, Sgt. Crawford could figure out a way to adapt the sensors to work within the energy storm. Sgt. Crawford glanced out of the window as another blast exploded around them. She marveled as she spoke softly, “Cold heat.”

“I thought we were going to die back there,” spoke Dr. Noguchi as she began to wipe the lingering sweat from her forehead. Her shirt was damp with perspiration. It was obvious that she wasn’t combat ready like the rest of her shipmates.

“Lt. Greer is an exceptional pilot,” replied Sgt. Crawford as she handed the good doctor another dry rag. “If he was less than that, we would have been dead.”

“Yes, y-yes quite right,” Dr. Noguchi retorted in relief.

“You were fine Doctor,” cried Sgt. Crawford. “How you handled yourself back there made me forget you were new to intergalactic missions.

“Thanks, Crawford,” spoke the blushing doctor as her smile finally came back. “I needed those words.”

Both women sat in silence for a bit. Both were thinking about the mission and survival in the cold gas nebula. Sgt. Crawford continued to check the computer for updates on its calculations.

“Everyone, listen up,” Col. Harrison spoke with authority but with a tinge of gratitude. “This crew stood firm under extreme pressure. We are still in the woods however, even though these woods are made up of energy currents along with frigid temperatures. Two other Nexus Jor ships are out there, hopefully just as blind as we are. One sort of good note, I did send off a distress call back to home base. If it gets there, it is only for a report on our encounter with the Nexus Jor. To put it another way, no rescue mission for us, we are on our own.”

The rest of the crew just listen as their emotionless faces showed firmness of what they just heard.

“I only hope the Nexus Jors won’t attack Earth because of our actions, spoke a candid Sgt. Crawford.”

“I don’t believe so,” replied the Colonel. “I hope they would think that we were a rogue ship from Earth. The Core will have some planned out statement to release. Did you get out an emergency coded message to the Core?”

“Yes sir, I sent the message out when we were first contacted by the Nexus Jor,” Dr. Noguchi retorted.

Col. Harrison smiled a bit as he replied, “Anxious huh, or you just had a sixth sense we weren’t going to bluff our way past them?”

“A little of both, Commander,” responded a smirking Dr. Noguchi.

“Well, with interference from their initial signal jamming, the message will get back to Earth in about four weeks at the most,” spoke Sgt. Crawford.

“Is that your best assessment?” queried the Colonel.

“My best needs no questions Commander.”

The Amaco, not dead but still hanging on to a little energy, rested amongst the chaos of the nebula. The energy storms were sporadic and unpredictable but shielded from the technology eye called the sensors. The colored sky of purple and white was a mixture of beauty and mystery. The only way they could be seen is from the window of a ship and with that, the ship needed to be within 300 feet of them. They were safe for the moment, a moment of constant fear of repression. They needed to recover, in spirit and body but regrettably not at this time. The crew worked tirelessly on maintaining the sensitive systems of the ship. The sensor array was still useless but Crawford kept working on it. It was her only duty but more importantly, her reputation was at stake.

Col. Harrison then decided the best use of their time was to calculate the distance from their current position to the outer edge. He enlisted Lt. Greer for assistance as both of them put their years of experience to guess the closest distance. Guess work was the key here since the sensors were out which affected the navigation systems. He knew one error, even the smallest, would doom them. Personal life to a member of the Space Core wasn’t important. What was important, however, was the success of the mission. He motioned a silent order to Lt. Greer to begin work on the calculations. His trusted friend knew what the order was. He had received such ones in their numerous missions in the past that took a turn for the worse.

After two hours, give or take a few minutes, the sensors were back on line but only at 40 percent. Col. Harrison glanced at Sgt. Crawford who finally leaned back in her chair for a brief respite.

“The engines are a go as well, Commander,” Sgt. Crawford spoke with a soft smile. We can get the maximum warp 3 out of them.

“That should be enough to make a run for it,” entered Lt. Greer.

The Colonel then stood up and paced the middle floor of the command center. He would love to disarm one of their pursuers but if they failed, the possibility of them being destroyed would be likely. “Fuck it! Let’s go for it,” mumbled the Colonel to himself.

“Sergeant, fire up the main engines. It’s a go,” ordered Col. Harrison as he stared out of the window to the brightened void of the nebula. “Head straight towards the outer edge, also Catfish keep your eye on the sensors. I don’t want to be ganged up by more of the Nexus Jors.”

“Understood,” replied Sgt. Crawford while Lt. Greer nodded in agreement.

That instant, the ship’s main engines fired up. The sight was noticeable as their attackers attempted to converge on their position. The Amaco then blasted off towards the outer edge, only with a hope and a prayer to reach their initial objective. The crew was nervous but all did their duty without fear. It was an amazing sight. All four worked in unison with their individual computers. The enemy ships began firing numerous photon missiles but careful maneuvers foiled their plan of destruction. Lt. Greer was at his finest in workmanship. His unusual defense patterns kept the Nexus Jor at bay from engaging in a successful offense.

“Sir,” cried Lt. Greer as numerous sweat beads formed around his forehead. He gazed at the control panel as the instruments readings were beyond his understanding. “Our path coordinates are off the map, I can’t get a reading of where we are at!!”

Col. Harrison double checked the navigation computer and saw a blank screen. It was fully operational about a minute ago. “That’s right,” muttered the Colonel to himself as his right fist balled up in frustration. He glared out into space to discover no stars. It finally dawned on him, “….we are in the OUTER EDGE!!!’

Without warning, the ship began to shake violently as everyone on the ship fell on the floor hard. The good doctor slid towards the wall as Sgt. Crawford raised her head up before losing her grip on reality….

KEVIN BOOK(1)

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