Since his ship continued on their exploration mission from the planet of Easteron, Milo had a pretty boring cruise. There was only one system that was discovered some 12-10K from Easteron and was very similar to the system that they discovered 15-10K from Easteron. Fauna and flora were present, but no humanoid life forms were found. As they finished their scientific survey Milo sent the findings of the scientists back to headquarters and continued on their assigned course. After a few months as Milo was reviewing the reports of the last duty shift, Comms said, “Senior Milo. We have a contact that just came up on our scanners at one parsec. It seems to be a flight of two Starships on an intercept course. They are approaching at 12X. With this closure rate we will be in range of our weapons in 45 days.”
Milo replied, “Hail them and see if we can establish any kinds of communications with them. Keep your scans on one parsec. These guys came from somewhere, let’s see if we can find their home.”
Comms continued trying to contact the approaching ships, for what now was considered, enemy Starships with no response. Comms reported that at the current rate of closure the enemy Starships would be in weapons range in just a few hours. Once Milo heard the Comms report, he put the fighters on alert. Milo then directed the helmsman to slow to impulse speed when three-million-kilometer of the enemy Starships to deploy the fighters.
Milo asked, “Comms have we not even gotten a garbled message from those guys?”
Comms replied, “I have no signal from them at all but I have a contact on their possible origin. Tracking their light speed signature, they are from the system about 3-10K behind the approaching enemy Starships.”
Milo exclaimed, “Do they have a space telescope as well? For them to send those two Starships to intercept us they would have to have seen us seven light years or more from their planet. Are there any more Starships behind these two?”
Comms replied, “None so far Sir. These two may just be on patrol.”
The three-million-kilometer range from the enemy Starships was soon upon them. Helm reported the three-million-kilometer mark and was slowing to impulse. As the helm slowed Milo gave the order to launch the fighters. Soon 150 fighters were heading toward the two enemy Starships. Milo told Comms to put the fighters battle channel on speaker and for Helm to implement battle maneuvers and the Weapons Officer to bring all weapons on line and to fire on the enemy Starships when in range.
The Weapons Officer said, “Sir I have all the Identifier Friend or Foe (IFF) signals from the fighters.”
Milo replied “Very good. Comms do I have a link to the fighters?”
Comms replied, “Yes Sir.”
Milo transmitted to all of the flight leads saying, “Flight leaders we have your IFF signals. You have a green light to engage. The Fighter Commander replied, “Affirmative Sir.”
Fighter Commander Wilford said, “All flight leads approach formation Delta at 7X, shields up, all weapons online. Engage at 850,00 kilometers with torpedoes. Once the flights got their orders thirty-eight two ship flights broke formation to engage the lead Starship and thirty-seven two fighter ships broke to engage the trail ship. Milo then ordered his ship to 7X to reinforce the fighters and directed Navigation to lock onto any life pods and beam them back to the ship.
Navigation asked, “Any life pods Sir or just ours?”
Milo replied, “All live pods Navigation. Comms have security alerted that we may have enemy life pods beaming on board.”
At 850,000 kilometers the sound of ion torpedoes being launched from their tubes on the fighters rang throughout the bridge on the speakers. Milo was watching as the fighters fired their ion torpedoes. As the torpedoes were racing toward the enemy Starships, the Starships broke hard in opposite directions and avoided most of the torpedoes with a few dozen hitting their mark and taking down their shields. The fighters were in hot pursuit using lasers and ion cannons. Chatter on the fighter’s battle channel was constant but restrained.
Milo said, “Weapons, get us into the fight NOW.”
The Weapons replied, “Launching torpedoes now Sir.”
Navigation said, “Sir, the second starship is breaking off from the battle and heading back to the system that they came from.”
Soon Commander Wilford ordered the second squadron to break off pursuit and return to the battle field to join in the battle with the lead enemy Starship. Torpedoes from Milo’s ship hit the first Starship just below the engines on the connecting tower and above the body of the ship severing the bridge section and the engines from the body of the enemy Starship.
Navigation exclaimed, “Sir the enemy ship has massive decompression from the separation. I have no life pods escaping from the body of the ship.”
Milo responded saying, “Save as many as you can Navigation.”
Navigation replied, “Yes Sir.”
As Navigation was trying to save as many as possible, the bridge section turned away and headed back home leaving the ones in the body of the enemy Starship behind.
As survivors were being beamed aboard Milo’s ship, Commander Wilford was getting a damage report from his Squadrons’ leaders. Milo directed the Helm to put a mooring beam on the body of the enemy ship and bring it alongside.
Milo asked, “Did we get all of our life pods back on board?”
Navigation still beaming people off the enemy ship’s body replied, “All ten Sir.”
After Navigation reported ten life pods recovered Commander Wilford reported that five fighters were indeed destroyed. Wilford asked, “Did you get my guys back on board?”
Milo said, “All accounted for Commander Wilford. They are safe and sound on the ship.”
Wilford replied, “Thank you Sir. We can make more fighters but their crews are hard to replace out here. I guess the second ship didn’t have the stomach for battle. They never engaged my fighters after our torpedo attack.”
Milo said, “Get you fighters back onboard ASAP Commander. I want to give that system a wide berth. I don’t want to face all their brothers if they decide to come back and avenge their little brothers.”
Wilford replied, “Roger that Sir. If their brothers do want some of this, we will be more than happy to give them what their brothers got.”
Milo said, “I’m sure you would Commander, but for now, get back on board the ship.”
Helm reported, “Sir the body of the enemy ship is moored.”
Milo said, “Thank you Helm. Navigation, how are we doing with beaming survivors on board?”
Navigation replied, “Sir, I have beamed 1500 on board that were in areas that were decompressing. Another 500 life signs are still in the body of the enemy ship that are in areas that the crew was able to seal off. Medical and security are in cargo bay three attending to the ones that are on board. I will monitor the ones still in the body of the enemy ship and beam them on board if their situation changes or when medical and security are ready for them. There are several hundred that are hurt or badly injured, medical needs time to triage and treat them.”
Milo said, “Very well. Helm keep us in this position until all the survivors from the body are on board. How fast can we move with the body alongside?”
Helm responded saying, “Sir it is hard to tell. We will have to start slow and speed up from there to see how it tows.”
Milo said, “Well then, once we get all the survivors on board, we will have to test it out. Comms ask Second Alo to come to the bridge. I am going to the cargo bay and see what the situation is there.”
Milo left the CON seat and went to the elevator. He then said, “Cargo bay three.”
The elevator responded saying, “Cargo bay three. Confirm.”
Milo replied, “Confirm Cargo bay three.”
The elevator started moving and soon came to a stop. The elevator responded, “Cargo bay three.” The door opened to reveal a mass of humanity. Medical teams where everywhere attending to as many as they could and sending the ones that needed more extensive medical attention to the medical bay.
As Milo walked among the injured the Security Chief Akule recognized him. While walking toward him he said, “Senior Milo, you should have called me before you came down. I am not sure we are secure enough for you to be here.”
Milo replied, “If they don’t know I am important then I for sure will not tell them. What is the situation Chief Akule?”
Akule said, “We have about three hundred injured, 75 seriously. Most of the injuries reported are cuts and bruises. The severely injured are in the medical bay now being treated. The ones with cuts and bruises are in various stages of shock and for now are not causing any problems. They understand we are here to help by our actions. The translator is still working on the language so we can start communicating with them, but nothing yet.”
Milo asked in a low tone, “Has there been any leader identified among the survivors?”
Akule replied, “No. Like I mentioned before they ae still somewhat in shock. No one is talking much.”
Milo said, “Well, there are another 500 or so still in the body of the enemy ship. There are too many of them for us to keep them on board and continue our mission. Keep them fed and as comfortable as possible until we can come up with a solution.”
Akule replied, “My department will need to do double duty for a while then to make sure we can keep the peace. The rest can be beamed aboard when the medical team finishes with the injured already on board now, which should be shortly. I will let the medical staff and my staff know that there are more survivors that will beamed here shortly.”
Milo said, “There will be no more beamed here until you give me the ok for their transfer. I don’t want to overwhelm your people. I will only beam survivors here before then, if the situation on the body of the enemy ship deteriorates. Until that happens, I will wait on your authorization Akule.”
Akule replied, “Thank you Sir. I will keep you up to date on the situation here.”
Milo said, “I am on my way to the medical bay to see the Senior Medical Officer and the condition of the more seriously injured. If you need to reach me, I will be there.”
Milo then turned to the elevator and headed to the medical bay. When he entered the medical bay, everyone was busy with patients. As he walked down the aisle, looking from side to side, he observed the seriously injured on each medical bed. As he was observing the medical staff working on a patient a voice from behind him said, “This Senior Milo is the other side of war. The dead and maimed as well as the physically and emotionally scared.”
Milo lowered his head then said, “Ones aggression has consequences Medical Director Albert, but the wounds of war are not confined to the ones that were defeated. A family friend once told me as a young man that a true warrior buries his comrades in arms and his emotions deep. Though his comrades are free, he covers his physical wounds with clothing and his emotional wounds in what is referred to as a proverbial lock box deep inside himself. A lock box for all the darkness experienced so he can see the light and good and not dwell on the darkness. You have your lock box don’t you Doctor?”
Albert replied, “I am afraid so Senior Milo. To what do I owe the pleasure?”
Milo said, “I wanted to see what we are looking at in regards to the wounded survivors. We have another 500 still in the body of the enemy ship. From the life signs we are getting there are some injured but none of the injuries seem life threatening. How many seriously injured are you treating now?’
Albert replied, “We had three hundred injured. Seventy-five of them seriously enough for us to move here. We have five in surgery units now trying to repair internal bleeding, fill collapsed lungs and repair organ damage. They will be touch and go for the next 24 to 48 hours. The other 70 are stable and should be able to fully recover, but they will need a few days in a medical bed. This race is put together differently than we are. They have all the same organ functions, but some organs are located in different places. We have a handle on it now.”
Milo said, “Let me know when your staff is ready for more survivors from the body of the enemy ship. I am not sure how long the body’s hull will last.”
Albert replied, “I will call my medical staff in Cargo Bay Three and let you know when they have a handle on the situation there. You going to be on the bridge?”
Milo said, “Yes. I am going there now. Call me when they are ready.”
As Milo turned back toward the elevator Albert said, “Keep that box locked Senior Milo. We need you in top form.”
Milo waved his hand in affirmation for the doctor as he entered the elevator. When the door closed Milo whispered, “Always Doc. Always. No one wants to see the dark side.”
As the elevator ascended to the bridge, Milo’s head was bowed but when the door started to open, he stiffened his posture and raised his head. It was show time and he needed to act the part. As he walked to the CON seat, Second Alo stood and took his position beside his Senior.
Milo asked, “Navigation, what is the condition of the survivors on the body of the enemy ship?”
Navigation replied, “Sir, the body is stable for now.
Milo asked, “Comms has there been any communications from the retreating ships?”
Comms replied, “Nothing Sir. If they are communicating with their home world, their communications must be some sort of directional beam or on a frequency we don’t have. “
Milo said, “We have not even heard a blah, blah, blah on any of our frequencies. We have over 5,000 frequencies and we have nothing on any of THEM.”
Comms replied, “Sorry Sir. We have nothing.”
Alo said, “Perhaps they are transmitting on a frequency we would not normally use for communications.”
Milo replied, “The only frequency we have not used is the dog whistle frequency. Wait the Medical Director Albert said that they were arranged differently than us. Comms can you scan that frequency and all high frequencies that we do not use for communications?”
Comms replied, “I will try Sir.”
Helm said, “Sir, I have calculated that we could do 5X with the body in tow. Are you sure you want to be slowed down by the wreckage?”
Milo replied, “If we are to continue our mission, we cannot maintain almost two thousand people more than we have now. I am thinking we would drop them off on the planet we left that was uninhabited. The body could be a shelter for them until they are able to build their own shelters.”
Alo said, “That is a logical plan Sir. The enemy that was just engaged could follow our light speed signature to find them at a later date, if they are so inclined. Only one of the two ships actually engaged us. The other retreated rather quickly once the first shot was fired. That could either be interpreted as cowardice or the lack of desire toward hostility. Our interpretation was the first not the latter.”
Milo asked, “Alo are you saying that they may have approached us in peace?”
Comms interjected staying, “Senior Milo, I have found a message on a very ultra-high frequency at an incredible rate of speed. It is digitized and compressed. I cannot make anything out from the message. We would need to decompress the message and then reconstruct it with the proper spacing of the language. There was no way to hear what they were saying and I would suspect the same on their end.”
Milo asked, “Has the translator finished the translation of this cultures language?”
Comms checked the progress of the translator and then said. “It is almost 65 percent complete Sir. Once we have the complete translation, I can start the decompression then. Now it is just a line of undiscernible letters with no voice.”
Milo replied, “Getting that message decompressed and translated is your number one priority Comms. We need that message.”
Comms replied, “Aye, Aye Sir.”
Milo turned to Alo and said, “Alo I hope we did not engage peaceful intentions with ion torpedoes.”
Helm responded saying, “Sir, their weapons were indicating energized and their shields were raised. They were ready to fight.”
Milo replied “Thank you Helm for the reminder. We could not take the chance of them not firing any weapons.”
Then Security Chief Akule called Milo saying, “We are ready for the next round of survivors.” Milo acknowledged the Security Chief and told him that they would start beaming the survivors in a few minutes and to start looking for them to materialize in Cargo Bay Three. Milo nodded to Navigation who then started the beaming process from the body of the enemy ship. Milo and Alo retired to Milo’s office as the beaming process was proceeding to discuss possible actions for the survivors and the system they came from.
Milo asked, “Alo, do you think they were not going to fire on us?”
Alo replied, “Senior Milo, there was no indication that they were not hostile. Weapons energized and shields up would indicate that they were indeed going to engage us. I think that they thought that one large ship such as this one, would be an easy target for their two Attack Starships. When the 150-Starfighters emerged from our ship and engaged them with such veracity they were taken aback and confusion reigned in the enemy’s ranks thus resulting in the retreat of one and the destruction of the lead Enemy Starship. We may find that they were trying to communicate, but their actions spoke louder than any words that we may have heard prior to the engagement.”
Milo said, “We will know soon enough. If they were trying to communicate with us and we did not receive their communications our actions were predicated on the actions of the enemy, not words. I need you to keep on top of on the situation of the survivors. Once we get the messages translated and decompressed, we can determine if we take the survivors to the uninhabited planet or try to make contact with their system to repatriate them. Thank you Second Alo for your time and council. You and I will need to stay on duty for the day to make sure we are prepared for any contingencies. You take the CON and monitor the beaming up of the survivors and be on the lookout for any indication that the enemy is planning some sort of retaliation. I want to explore the options for taking the survivors to the uninhabited planet and the preparations the engineers would need to do to assure their survival on the new planet.”
Alo replied, “I will work for as long as needed Senior Milo.”
Milo said, “Very well, Second Alo. I will head to the engineering department now to see what our options are for the survivors. Stay in touch.” Alo replied, “Aye, Aye Sir.”
Frontier Space Chronicles will be available on January 19th 2021. Stay tuned for more information on this and the ret of the books in my science fiction series A Saga of Dogs of War-A Story of Mercenaries
Don’t forget to check out my Science Fiction four book series: A Saga of Dogs of War-A Story of Mercenaries. Paperback is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B08JQRR122 My eBooks are available at Books2Read at https://books2read.com/u/4Dglpg . They make great gifts for only .99 cents each. what a great Christmas present for the Science Fiction reader in your family or in your circle of friends. You can’t buy a coffee for that.
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