Authors: Ben Winston
Tags: #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Science Fiction, #Adventure, #Genetic Engineering, #Space Fleet, #AI, #bio enhancement, #space battle, #Military
The Last Mission
Book of the Guardian: Part Three
By Ben Winston
Copyright © 2015 Ben Winston
Published by Blue Space Publications, LLC.
ll 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.
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his work is humbly and reverently dedicated to all of our brothers and sisters, parents and children that have served in the armed services - past, present, and future. Without whom we would not have our many freedoms.
lan Leader, I believe perhaps that the message of the Jal-Haraad may have been misunderstood," John said, holding up one hand palm outward. "I mean no disrespect in this. At the best of times it is difficult to understand the will of the Goddess." He quoted a common Tammerain saying. "Other than physical composition, there is no difference between my unenhanced brethren and myself. Both of us are composed identically, with the exception of my having a few extra items. It is also recorded fact that all of my brethren that have become as I am have done so by choice. If we do not use our enhancements, there is simply no way to tell us apart. How can this be considered a splitting of the race? As a point of clarification, Clan Leader, do you consider me to be an enemy at this time?"
"As you know, Major, we have not had the opportunity to examine members of your two races. So we have no way to know if we have misunderstood the will of the Goddess in this. We can only act in the hope we are serving her. However, you are correct, the will of the Goddess is difficult at the best of times, however, you forgot to add 'but for the righteous there is only to serve'." The large being cocked his fur covered head to one side. "Major, regardless of what anyone tells you, you and all those like you, will forever be enemies of the Tammerain."
John nodded calmly, and seemingly pointed casually off to one side. When he pointed at her, it was a prearranged signal to ask for the launch of the missiles; Chloe was surprised. The talks seemed to be going very well. She signaled the
to launch the missiles, as per John's orders.
"I understand, Clan Leader. If I am considered an enemy, we are not speaking as equals, am I incorrect?" John said.
"You have indeed learned much of our ways, Major Aster. That is correct, we cannot speak as equals, yet only as teacher to a student, parent to a child," Clan Leader Jehereed replied.
John nodded, and kept an eye on the flight time counter for the missiles in the lower left of the screen. "Yes, I do understand, Clan Leader. Know then that we have tried to deal with you as equals, to find resolution through understanding. If I am then your enemy, this is not possible at this time. Am I not correct?"
"You are," the large being said, but seemed suddenly wary of John. "What are you about Major?"
"Clan Leader Jehereed, by the order of my King, Marcus the First, acting for the will of the people, I am hereby ordering you to return to your own space. If requested, and welcomed by the Clans, we can arrange for one who is not your enemy to speak for us in council," John said formally.
Now Jehereed knew something was amiss. These human demons were tricky and wise in the ways of the Tammerain. It sensed a trap.
"We do not recognize a border any longer as there is no need for one. We will not return to that which no longer exists," Jehereed replied pushing the issue. The demon had one small ship, what could he do?
"Clan Leader, I do not consider you an enemy, and I have tried to accept you as an equal. You have refused this honor. You have thirty seconds to turn about, or I will begin killing your Clan," John said in a very stern and strong voice, so the being on the screen would know John was not bluffing.
Jehereed stood staring at the Human Demon. It had been rumored that they had abilities, yes, but the Clan was here in force, there was simply no way that small ship could do that much damage, that quickly. "You are bluffing Major. You have to know that any hostile action on your part will result in your immediate destruction."
"I did not say I would use this ship, Clan Leader, you now have fifteen seconds," John replied. "As a warning, I will only destroy the four smallest of your fleet. If you do not heed then, you will be next."
Just as Jehereed was about to answer, the four smallest ships in his fleet, none of them close to each other, suddenly exploded.
John watched the look of surprise spread on the large being's face. "You have been warned, Clan Leader. Do you wish me to destroy your flagship next?"
"Impossible! You did not fire any weapons!" Jehereed yelled.
The next salvo had already been launched, and John could see the flight timer counting down. Added to it was a reload and missiles remaining counter.
"Withdraw Clan Leader, or this will be your end," John added. "You have forty seconds."
"Shields!" Jehereed screamed. "Fleet to battle configuration! Destroy that demon!"
John activated the ship's cloak and moved it ten thousand klicks laterally, leaving a comm relay drone at their location.
"I am saddened we could not speak as equals, Clan Leader. When you meet the Goddess, please know that you do so with the respect of your enemy," John spoke sadly. "I am pleased I got to speak with you again, before the end."
Jehereed glared at John. "How are you doing this?"
Chloe sent John a message;
several of the fleet ships have reversed course and are preparing to jump. It seems to be turning into a general rout.
John indicated to her to tell the
to cease fire.
"Just because you do not understand a thing, does not make it evil Clan Leader. Until you made your intentions clear, I had no quarrel with you. Good-bye, Clan Leader Jehereed," John said, sadly.
A moment later, the missiles from the
arrived and blew the entire engineering section into atomic particles. The reactors of the huge starship, now freed of their control, went critical and detonated, destroying the ship utterly.
John spoke over the open channel. "Ships of Clan Al-Jehereed. It is not our wish to end more journeys this day, heed our warning and return to your space, we urge you to continue your return journeys. Only destruction lies on this path."
Although no picture was received, a voice replied. "Do not destroy more of us, Demon. We are departing as you direct. We must mourn our losses and elect a new Clan Leader."
"I will honor your wisdom, and you may depart in peace. Please reflect on this; we are not your enemy until you turn us into one. Once that happens we are ones that will not end our journeys easily," John replied.
"We will do as you ask," with that, the channel was closed.
"That was nasty!" Chloe said.
, this is TG
. Thanks for your assistance, we just created another myth about Guardians!" John called.
"You're telling me! I don't think you're aware of it, Major, but Al-Jehereed was simulcasting it to the entire Tammerain Force. All of them are retreating, in all theaters! I think you just prevented a war!" Admiral Surry replied. "Damn good work! Even I'm starting to believe you have super-powers!"
"Yeah, well this superman has had enough fun for one day. I need to file a report on this, before I retire for the evening. Thanks again for the assist, Admiral. Please tell your people they did very well," John replied.
"Will do, rest well, Major.
John turned to Chloe. "Would you set course for Centauri Prime while I do the report? I'll meet you in our quarters."
"No problem, John. How did you know when to fire? I didn't detect any hostility in his voice at all," Chloe asked.
John gave her a small smile. "If a Tammerain officer ever admits to considering you an enemy, that's it. The discussion is over. Nothing you will be able to say or do will change his mind, at that point, fighting is unavoidable."
"What about what he said about us forever being enemies of the Tammerain?" she asked as she began plotting the course back to the capitol.
"That's the most troubling part of the entire discussion. Because we are 'enemies', lying is permissible, however, most officers rarely do. By stating it the way he did, he committed the Tammerain Empire to the total destruction of every enhanced soldier, everywhere, forever." John replied. "Because he was a Clan Leader, their entire clan would have to be destroyed before his declaration could be rescinded. We didn't just avoid a war, Chloe, We only witnessed its declaration. The Tammerain has to follow through on those words, or destroy the Clan to remove them."
"How big is the Clan?" Chloe asked.
"Sizes vary widely. It could be as small as a million beings, or as large as several hundred million or even larger." John replied.
"Skip the report, John, we got it all," Mark said as his hologram materialized. "The situation is far more dire than you know. Two things; first, the new 'mouth of the divine' Al-Jehereed spoke of was his seventh daughter. Which means that the nominal Empress of the Tammerain is a member of the declaring clan."
John nodded. "That's not good, there is no way they would purge the clan of the Empress."
Mark nodded. "Agreed, the second thing is that the Tammerain have discovered cloaking technology."
ohn, I think we might be in for a nasty war. I'm going to move our fleets into their defensive positions. I've already briefed the senate about what's going on, and I'll be talking to them again in a few minutes. Could you consider calling your advocate and activating your resort ships? I can't help but think we are going to need them very soon," Mark replied.
Chloe looked confused, but John nodded, "You know all you need to do is ask, Mark. I'll have each commander report to Medical Command as soon as they're ready."
Mark nodded understanding. "As per your original plan, that'll work John and thank you."
"No problem, Mark, just remember, it's up to you and your people to make sure they are staffed and the equipment is what is needed," John replied.
"They will be. I'll issue the orders to the Medical Command after we get done here," Mark said.
"Okay, I'll issue the orders. I had Chloe set course for the capitol. I imagine Mary will want to know where we are the second she gets there," John replied.
"That's fine. I'll need you here anyway, but don't count on sticking around. The
has an appointment for upgrades, so you might be stuck with a destroyer for a few months. If things go the way they appear to be heading, we're going to need you folks now more than ever,"
"You named us knights of the realm, Mark," Chloe said. "Why don't we just try to stay mobile and go to where we are needed? After all our mandate, now more than ever, will be to protect the people. I think we can do that much better if we are free to jump to trouble spots as soon as we know of them."
Mark grinned. "That's actually what I've tried to set up. One of the reasons the
is returning to port is so her design specs can be downloaded and more ships built for you. When the smoke clears from all of this, I see you as being a semi-autonomous reactionary force. You will have your own ultra-secure section in the Xanadu facility, with priority access to the newest toys and gadgets, as well as a say in how they are deployed and how your ships get built."