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    Thread: something old and something new

    1. #11
      TXU Sr. Member kevin398's Avatar
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      WEEKEND EDITION

      Chapter 23: Graduation...Again


      Harold was looking over all the things that John had done so far. His work on Earth, and his deal for new technology on Emporium, a world he himself all but gave up on, now having a economic recovery thanks to John making his deal with their King. Their food supply had stabilized,and a new piece of economy was taking shape. The manufacture of fishing equipment, reels, rods and lures, and their Master Craftsmen were hard at work making them a new generation of tools to help support the populous with.

      He was certain John’s skills would be needed all over the galaxy, and this set of tests proved that not only could John work on new worlds, even hostile ones, but that he had ideas that even Harold hadn’t thought of in all his years.

      “Sometimes all it takes is a new set of eyes.” Master Johanson said as Harold nodded it might be true.” I think you’re a lucky man, he’s quite good at what he does.”

      “Yes...at negotiations at least...” The Emperor added as Johanson got a quick chuckle going and Harold looked away.

      “John and Wanda still aren’t having children yet?” He whispered as Harold shook his head no, they weren’t.” Why are you soo worried, they’re young ,by our standards very young,” he added as even Harold agreed with that.

      “Now that he’s been accepted as a new member of your Family and been given the Treatment, then he’ll be around for hundreds of years, just like you and your Family have been. They have lots of time together.” He added as Harold looked kind of worried, but said nothing.

      “Harold....” The old man started slowly,” what aren’t you telling me?” He asked as the Emperor admitted John had never gotten the Treatment that everyone else got when in grade school...so compared to them ...his life was screaming away, and Master Johanson looked disappointed in him and he felt that way about himself too.”For Gods sake man! It Takes all of 5 minutes to get the injection...even the oral medication would suffice.”

      “Wanda claimed, at first, that she would see to it, then after a while she totally forgot about it.Now with his new job and work and he’s doing very well considering....there just hasn’t been time.” He went on, as Master Johanson growled at him silently and repeated once more ...’it takes less than 5 minutes!’ and Harold refused to look his way.

      “Honestly...the way you hide from your children it makes me wonder how you ever conquered half the galaxy!” He said as Harold was quick to say his conquests fell far short of half, as Master Johanson waved him away like a child.”And if you’re worried about princess Wanda not trying hard enough with your new son in law...maybe a little more competition is in order?” he asked as Harold thought about that and nodded all smiles, and before the end of the day a message was sent, allowing a deal that he had held back on all this time, and a large ship slipped away from a planet in the Empire, running towards Earth.

      Colonel Saxton was laying back, enjoying some time off when alarms went off all over the ship...and he ran to the bridge to see why.

      “ 2 Cruiser class ships just jumped in, but aren’t answering our hails.” His second stated as she stepped aside and he took his place on the bridge.

      “Hail them again...” he said as the message was sent and a picture came up on the screen, and a black haired...and eared...Cateran Captain saluted him and Carl returned it. “Greetings Captain, what are the Caterans doing way out here?” he asked as the man smiled wide.

      “Security for the Royal Princess...” he was told as Carl looked surprised that no one told him.

      “Princess Wanda or Princess Gale?” He asked softly as the man got a good laugh about that one.

      “Princess Mew, of Catera of course.” he added as a pod left the ship heading for the surface, and Carl mentioned to let the Ambassador know he had a visitor, and the call went out. The Caterans were violently against teleportation, it scared them, and they gave real excuses for not using them, calling them ‘atom smashers, and beams of death’ but Carl and the Emperor just left them have it their way and they used shuttles and pods instead, as he saw the tiny dot turn red, dropping into Earths atmosphere.

      The call went through and as security gathered , watching for the pod to land, John, Wanda and Gale all walked out to meet this new person, and after some maneuvering to hit the landing area where the massive garage sat, the pod dropped down silently and touched down on its four thin legs and a door opened and out stepped an older female Cateran, with reddish hair and sharp looking eyes that looked everywhere at once, and after a second she decided it was safe, and she stepped out and reached inside to help out the Princess, as John’s eyes, along with every man’s eyes there popped out at the sight of a young Cateran female with light brown hair, small pointing ears and huge breasts that waved with every step.

      “Wow ! What a ride, lets do it again!” She said loudly as her assistant looked sad for her attitude, as she took a long deep breath and looked around at the estate.”Looks like Uncle Stans place doesn’t it?” She asked as the lady admitted it did, as John stepped forward and she smiled and gave him a deep bow that was very well rehearsed.

      “This is Princess Mew of the Catera Royal Family, and I am her aid, Dame Hilla.” the older lady stated, as John welcomed them to earth.

      “And what can we do for you while you’re here, Princess?” John asked as she walked over and gave him a huge kiss, and Wanda looked faint.

      “Give me a child and we’ll call it even... my husband...” she hinted with a mischievous wink and Wanda nearly screamed, as Gale held her back from running in and starting a new war.

      “She’s new here, let it go...we can kill her later...” Gale whispered as Wanda didn’t seem ready to wait, as they all went back inside to hear how, exactly, Mew had got the idea John was looking for more wives.

      “My father talked to your father weeks ago and offered me as a possible member of the new Royal Family. I got John’s files that day and felt that we had a real connection of a sort, and so I agreed.” She said smiling as Wanda all but chewed a hole through her coffee cup. “But they said John was still in training so I waited...very impatiently...” She hinted leaning against John’s arm as even Gale looked ready to throw something soon.”So now that the Emperor said that John’s training is complete, I was given the OK to come and join him.” She finished as even Wanda sat back at the sound of that.

      “Father sent you here?” Gale asked as the woman nodded it was true.

      “You’re Princess Gale aren’t you? John’s Number 2, and that makes you his number 1 then, and the head of his house, Wanda?” she asked and everyone knew the way she said it she already knew.

      “Thats right, and you haven’t been accepted yet into the house. You’ve just got here so be patient.” Wanda stated as the older cateran handed her their papers, and sure enough they were all signed by her father, and she saw him messing with John again, and she was ready to scream.

      “These will be checked for authenticity with the Home World, my people will see that you have rooms next to each other for your convenience,” Wanda said as they agreed, and the security team led them away, as Wanda grabbed her phone and made the call, and Harold laughed out loud at her anger, and she demanded to know why he was forcing women on John.

      “First Gale and now Mew...how many more women do you think we need here?” She demanded as her father reminded her that Royal Families need heirs, and she saw right away where this was leading.

      “Cateran women are the most sexy in the galaxy, when in heat they are outright demanding.” he hinted laughing all along, as her face burst into red.”A little help might have been needed, and, like Gale...she chose to come... no one is forcing anyone here.” he added as Wanda screamed back at him.

      “Except me!” She demanded as her father said she could put off having children for as long as she wished, but John hadn’t even had the treatment yet either, and his life was rapidly running past them as they walked slowly through it.

      “You haven’t even done that yet have you? I want John to be around for a long, long time, and that gives you ages to have your children, so make sure that gets done right away, and then just sit back until you’re ready.” he said as the link went black and she lowered the phone and looked sad. It would have been too much to ask to keep John just for herself, and her demand not to have children for a while was coming back to haunt her. It wasn’t Gales fault, or Mew’s, it was squarely on her own shoulders, and she decided that she’d need to act more responsibility from now on, and she made sure John got the Treatment that very day and he asked why now, and she just said she kept forgetting,and he left it go at that.



      Chapter 24: Family Matters


      Then on to the more important thing, as the Number 1 Wife, Wanda would run the house, and over saw everything in it. She sat John down and, even though it was clear she wasn’t happy with it, she said that he needed to consider Gale, and Mew as his wives too, and John looked sad for her, since she looked ready to cry.

      “You were always all that I wanted, you know that...” He said softly as she gave him a huge hug, while tears ran down her cheeks.

      “Father is right though, as a member of Royalty you need heirs, just like him. He only had 2 boys and one of them died during military training, so he knows how hard it is to keep a Family tree going.” She hinted as John agreed.”I have stopped Gale from approaching you since she got here, but she cares for you deeply, so that time has passed.” She hinted as John nodded slowly.

      “Now a member of Royalty from another Family is here...thats quite an honor even for us. So, I cant be ugly enough to allow Gale to be your number 2 and then ignore a Princess that volunteered to be here too.” She added as John agreed, and she finally smiled for him and wiped her tears away.”But no more...threes enough...and I’ll set up a schedule so there’s no fighting,is that fair?” She asked as John agreed, and it was a done deal.

      Then on to the next meeting, as the women all sat in the living room looking curious, as Wanda sat down and took a deep breath.

      “Mew, your papers check out, and my Father welcomes you to Earth, as does the Ambassador and our Family here.” Wanda said as Mew smiled and thanked her.”I have been called a few things lately that didn’t make me too happy. You should know that since Gale has been here, I haven’t allowed her to be alone with John. I was positive that I could keep him all to myself, and have, up until now. My father was very upset with me for several reasons and made sure I knew it, and so, John and I just had our meeting... and because of that...” She stopped, looking sad, as Gale smiled to see it coming.

      “Tuesday....” She said pointing to Gale who smiled and agreed,” and Thursday...” she said as Mew agreed as well.”No cheating in between, and no fighting, thats the official plan for this Family, are there any questions?” She asked as Gale thanked her for finally seeing reason, and Wanda smiled and walked away, looking sad.

      “She loves him very much,” Mew said softly as Gale agreed,” I find him very attractive, and hope I can love him like that after a while.” She hinted as Gale pated her on the back and said it was easy, just wait, and Mew saw that Gale too loved John, and had waited patiently for all this time.

      And with all that out of the way and a Cateran living on Earth now, more things needed adjusted, and as the big doors to the huge garage opened up a slim, fast looking ship slid inside where cars would have been. A Personal Transporter, a small, fast, luxury shuttle for the use of the Royal Family, and Mew was happy to hear that they were adjusting to her being there, and she wouldn’t be forced to use a teleporter, a fate worse than death to her people.

      “Its pretty nice inside too,” Gale mentioned as John agreed and said that in emergencies they could come and go without needing to use military vehicles, and Carl laughed saying they weren’t getting out of his sight regardless, and John laughed along.






      FOR THOSE WHO DONT KNOW WHAT I MEAN BY CATERAN...THATS MEW. hehehe (back to the story)


      John got a call a few days later and they were sent back to Emporium for a meeting with their King, and as John stepped off the shuttle the big man shook his hand and was all smiles, while many of his people stood by watching, and seemed very happy too.

      “King Stefan, its good to see you again.” John said as they shook and the man agreed, saying that since John had been there much had changed. The average person was making a better living thanks to new ideas and products, there were now companies that made fishing equipment and hired hundreds to keep up with the need. All based on John’s idea that the world needed to step up and take better care of its populous, and many there nodded seriously while John smiled wide and thanked them for saying so.”What can I do for you today then?” He asked as King Stefan smiled and said he wanted John to see what else he could do, and John agreed as they were led to another larger boat this time and was introduced to the Captain, a man that had experience written all over his face, and looked very happy to see the King standing by his boat at all.

      “This is the specialist I told you about,” King Stefan mentioned as the man nodded and shook John’s hand.”Please show him how you do your business here, and lets see if he can find a way to make it even better.” The King said as John agreed and got on the boat with a large crew and as they went out to sea, John asked what they were after today.
      “Scalding...” The Captain said as John just smiled and the man cleared his throat, to say that they were much larger than the fish John had seen before. “The last time you were here they were fishing for smaller fish they can see easily in shoals and then just run in and cast for them. Since then they have improved their methods substantially while we have not. We are getting behind and our patrons want more fish for better profits. The man who owns our boat is very happy to see you coming to give us advice.” He hinted as John asked how they fished for these Scaldings then and the man smiled.

      “It takes patience,” He admitted,” we know places where they have been caught before. They don’t travel much, but feed in the same areas each day. They eat crustaceans, and so need to feed in certain areas. We go from one to another, marked on our map, and scan the bottom for fish, then stop and drop baits for them.” he said as John smiled and nodded he understood.”We use cut crustaceans for bait, but thats very expensive since they are also wanted as sea food for our people, the price of bait is high too.” He admitted as John asked if they tried anything else and he admitted they did, but not very effectively.

      “If we can catch just 3 a day we make a profit, if not, it costs more to man the boat and supply it with fuel than we make. One good sized Scalding can weigh over 300 pounds some much,much larger, and your new poles and reels have helped, but our equipment is much heavier than what you showed last time.” he said as he waved and one man held up a large pole, 9 feet long and heavily made with a big heavy reel and line that looked a little like a thin rope, and John agreed that it looked very sturdy.

      John watched them cut up a large crustacean, and smiled, expensive indeed, it looked like they were using lobsters for bait, and John asked how they caught those and the man just smiled and said that he didn’t specialize in that and wasn’t sure.

      “Divers do it thats all I know for sure.” he added as John could see how that certainly didn’t help at all, and whispered to Colonel Saxton and he sent for info and some drawings for later on.


      Chapter 25: Sometimes the Simplest Answers are the Best


      They stopped after a while and 8 large men baited their hooks and dropped them over the side. By that time the one bait was gone and they had to cut up another and have it waiting. It took a half an hour to get a bite but when they did the one man fought it valiantly for a few minutes and then they dragged it in with a large hook on a pole.

      For the life of him John swore it was a large catfish from Earth but really big, maybe 4 feet long as the Captain looked less than happy as they dropped it into the storage area.

      “Whats the matter Captain, wasnt it big enough?” John asked as the Captain saw he wasn’t being informative enough and apologized for it.

      “Thats NOT a Scalding, its a Clesh, they feed in the same areas but on our world they are considered a junk fish, worth less than 1/3 the price of a Scalding.” he announced as John nodded he understood but did add that cash is cash, and the boat made a little this way, as even the Captain had to admit it was better than nothing.

      “On my world a fish very similar to that sells for 5 dollars a POUND,” John announced as many there looked his way like he was nuts or something, here it was barely worth bringing in.”If things go well for you here, maybe some exportation is in order.” he added as the men all agreed, saying they could catch Clesh all day long when they find a school and that price wasn’t bad at all.

      “I’ll mention it to the King.” John said, as everyone agreed and soon another fish got dragged in but this time it was very sleek and smooth looking, like a thin tuna or something as the Captain smiled much wider this time.

      “Thats better...” he mentioned as John nodded and looked it over carefully.” three like that will easily pay for our trip.” he added as John nodded and stepped back, as they dropped it into the well and the Captain asked one man why he was getting yet another bait...he hadn’t caught anything yet at all.

      “We all brought our lines in when he hooked that fish,” The man said as the Captain agreed,” but I had no bait when I reeled it in, something small must have taken it.” he added as the Captain told him to be more careful next time, bait was expensive, as the man nodded and looked sadly at his line as he baited it again.But when John asked, many of the men there had the same problem and soon John got an idea as the Captain asked what he was thinking, and John called up for his pole and some bait, and when it was sent down, the men on board looked surprised to see small worms and smaller hooks than they used here.

      “What will you be fishing for with that?” The Captain asked as John dropped a line over the side and smiled wider than before.

      “Bait...” he said as the Captain looked odd at him and John said to have a net ready, and one man stood by with a long handled net and waited and after a few minutes John could feel a slight tugging, and rapidly reeled the line up to see a large crag hanging on the hook, refusing to let go of the worm.

      “Royal Crab...” The Captain said looking shocked, as John reminded him they were fishing here because Scalding eat crustaceans,and he agreed.

      “Thats whats been eating your bait...other crabs....” John said, as the man said he didn’t understand at all, as John asked what he meant.

      “These are called Royal Crabs...because they are soo expensive that only Royalty and the rich can afford to eat them. That one crab weighing maybe 5 pounds is worth half the cost of a trip out.” he said as John reminded him he better not lose it then as the man laughed and agreed, and he had it put into a smaller tank with some water,and John tossed his line out again.

      In less than an hour, John caught 3 more and lost a few right at the surface because they didn’t get the net ready in time. John left the Captain know that while Scalding might be a good fish to try for, that he needed to keep an open mind and the man agreed, saying that he had never thought about other crabs eating all his baits before,and John mentioned he needed to keep at least one set of lighter equipment on board, and gave him the outfit he had beamed in, and John mentioned that junk baits like worms were NOT expensive either, and could catch even some other fish as well as crabs, and the Captain shook his head saying he’d remember all this, and they went back to the dock to the surprise of everyone there.

      “Royal Crabs...stealing baits?” King Stefan asked as John agreed, saying they made up a new way to test for them and he had an idea for better crustacean harvesting in the future too, and sent him a drawing of a trap that they used on Earth for lobsters and told him how they worked, and the King looked thrilled.

      “Divers scare away more than they catch,” John said as even the King nodded at that,” but traps can be set overnight and then checked the next day...so you can put out a dozen for just one boat.” he added as many there looked happy to hear it and Stefan shook John’s hand again as he went back to his shuttle and took off for home.

      John reported to Harold what happened and he laughed, saying that even little things for John were big improvements for the Emporium people.

      “That first visit, not only made the King reconsider his stance on things, it doubled their food production. The fish you saw this time is rare on other worlds too, but they still need to worry about their own people first.” he mentioned as John also mentioned the crustaceans, and he gave them a trap that Earth used a lot,and that it would completely change the way they saw them in the future, as Harold smiled very wide indeed and saw that John really didn’t consider that he was changing an entire world for the better.

      “In a few months, maybe a year, they will have more sea food for sale than at any time before.” John mentioned as Harold nodded happily and said he’d keep an eye on them and maybe some exportation could be arranged after they worked out some of the bugs they still had in their economy.

      “Stay at home for a while,” Harold mentioned as John agreed but he saw that his face had fallen badly.

      “Why? Whats happening?” He asked as even Colonel Saxton looked around to see too.

      “A certain group of people seem to have returned to our space,” Harold said, as even Carl looked surprised.” if they wont leave or at least negotiate this time,we might be going to war.” he said as John looked sad about that and Carl asked if it was the Purple People, and Harold agreed as John looked at them both oddly.

      “We don’t know their name or where they come from, they run in attack settlements and steal things then run out again. They have been doing this for years, but we chased them away once before. They never talk they never negotiate, hell we don’t even know where they are really from.” he said as Carl agreed with that.

      “When did you try negotiating last?” John asked as Harold said he sent Carl to try, but they attacked his ship and he had to defend himself or be destroyed, as John looked sad for a second and Harold asked why.

      “Carl is a great soldier and sailor, but a negotiator...he is not.” John said as even Harold looked shocked for him.”A negotiator must look helpless and sure of himself...that...” John said with a good laugh,” is not helpless looking at all.” And Harold got a chuckle as Carl looked away trying not to join in.

      “What do they steal most often?” He asked as the list came up and after a while John smiled as Harold asked what he saw that they missed.”The lists are all a bit different each time they attack. BUT...one thing remains the same, here and here and here..” he said highlighting the lists as Harold sat back nodding it was true.

      “Power crystals...” He whispered as John said its possible that a civilization that had used them for generations was out all together, and if they had serious stations and cities that needed them they might be forced into piracy to find more.

      “Over using one technology above all others...” John added as Harold agreed,” over mining their world and slowly all the asteroids around it. Finally sending out search parties looking for crystals to keep their world going. Its something any civilization would do if they became desperate enough, and they haven’t started a full scale war because of it they only steal what they need, and maybe a few technology samples.” he mentioned as Harold agreed, and said that might be worth trying, and he thanked John for mentioning it and he waved it away like he usually did.

      “Go home to your Family Mr. Ambassador..I have a new plan to think about.” And with that the link went down and John sat back waiting for earth to come into view, and Carl silently watched and waited, hoping that they could settle this misunderstanding without a new war.


    2. #12
      TXU Sr. Member kevin398's Avatar
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      the picture didnt work I see, oh well...

      Chapter 26: Offers and Counter Offers



      The Emperor made some calls and got a rather plain looking little politician for the job, then loaded him onto a personal shuttle and gave him a full crew of security. They talked about what John had said and what they thought might work, and when the next attack came, this little unarmed ship jumped in...and the attackers turned away and tried to leave.

      “If you need crystals so badly maybe we can sell them to you instead...” The little man called as 4 small ships started away, but after a minute three jumped and one stayed behind.

      “Why would you do that? We are pirates after all?” They heard as a face came on the screen.It was a mature woman looking as tough and serious as she could, but the little man just smiled and caught her completely by surprise.

      “But do you want to be pirates?” he asked, as her face fell a bit.” our Emperor is getting tired of letting you go unmolested. If this continues then there will be war...and his Empire was build on conquering other worlds... so I doubt you have a real chance against us.” he mentioned as she looked to be in serious thought.

      “We can negotiate...open trade talks..and you can stay independent, and we wont have to go to war and hunt you down. Its a win for everyone don’t you think?” he whispered as she did nod and they sat back to discuss it, with breaks for her to call this all in and get things approved, and after some tense moments a new agreement was made,and one resource was exchanged for another, and Harold got a message saying the Comtree were friends now, and not pirates any longer, and he smiled that everyone learned something today, and a new friend beats a new enemy every time.

      “Comtree, thats an odd name.” John said as he and Harold talked a day later.

      “They are a human hybrid it seems, we got some good scans of them and they us. I also got some info on their ships,and they are pretty impressive.They claimed that no one they ever met before would trade with them , so they resorted to piracy to get things they needed. But they were more than happy to get 100 crystals for a fair price, instead of 10 in a some raid that risked lives.” he hinted as John smiled and nodded, saying that life beat death every time.

      “Speaking of new life...” Harold hinted as John gave him dirty looks.

      “Oh my, look at the time...” John teased and cut his link off at the knees, as Harold sat back laughing, and John grumbled that he was being a dirty old man once again.

      Things went pretty well for a while, as new information about the Comtree started flooding in. They were a Democracy of sorts, with elected officials that stayed in office for 5 years, then stepped down as a new person was chosen. They had been farmers and traders for a long time, but after some troubles they were forced back into their system as a bigger Kingdom found them, and started demanding everything of worth that they had.

      The new people were reptilians, bigger than the Zorn and more nasty, according to the information the Comtree gave them. Their Kingdom stretched for lightyears in all directions, and they found the Comtree after a fight with a small neighboring Kingdom that they overran, and the Comtree came to their aid.

      “Their Fleet is enormous...” The one Captain said, as they loaded his ship with wares.” They don’t feel that conquest is wrong, its ‘the rule of the universe’ they say, that the strong rule over the weak.” He said as everyone there nodded they understood.”We will try and keep your Empire a secret, we need all the help we can get, our fleet is now only some scout ships and freighters, anything else is taken or destroyed.” He said looking sad as the intelligence man nodded and walked away.

      If everything they were saying was true, then it wouldn’t take them long to see the Comtree found new friends to trade with. And if these...Arterians...are as violent and barbaric as they had said, then the Emperor needed to know right away.

      “This is the map of the Universe we have known for ages...” The intelligence man said as the screen lit up and Harold nodded agreement,” and here is the newest map with all the new information on it.” he said as the map more than doubled, showing many,many new people and many new systems they had never known about before.

      “This entire area towards the Galactic Center is said to belong to the Arterians, it cant be proven, since no one has ever seen the other side of their Domain.” Harold was told as he nodded, looking very serious indeed. “If what the Comtree pilots and Captains are saying is true, their Kingdom might be many times larger than yours, Your Majesty, and they relish in combat just for the pure fun of it.” The man finished, as Harold looked more serious and angry by the minute.

      “You may go...” he said softly as the man nodded and left, and Harold called a meeting of his Generals and told them what they had just heard.

      “This new Kingdom is military and barbaric, it seems. The Comtree live in constant fear, so it’ll only be a matter of time before some freighter Captain or pilot tells them everything they want to know.” Harold said as many there agreed.

      “Its important to see for sure whats going on,” One older man said, and many there disagreed.

      “It might be ages before they find us, and we now have the advantage, we know who they are and what they are like. I demand we start building up our Fleet as once! When the time comes we must be ready to fight for years, decades if we must, to protect our Empire and the People inside it.” One Admiral demanded as many applauded for him, as Harold nodded it might be true.

      “What is the fastest way to build up the Fleet if we need to?” He asked as one man stood and cleared his throat.

      “We tend to put many ships that are only a few years old in storage or even scrap them. I suggest while we build better, more powerful ships, we stop doing that at once! A ship thats only 5 years old or so is still a worthwhile ship in combat, and we can upgrade weapons faster than building new ships.” he stated as the room agreed and Harold did too, and he stopped any ships from being moth balled until further notice.

      “Then lets start our build up now.If its never needed, then fine, but if we will need it later on then waiting will be a mistake we wont get to make again.” he said and waved them away as many went to see about the newest weapons and prototype ships, and some went to see their Fleets were well stocked,and even stored extra food, weapons and parts in secret locations just in case they would be needed later.

      But Harold thought that the truth that they were here was probably already out, and he ordered intelligence to sent waves of spy drones towards the enemy to see for sure if they were as bad as everyone said.

      They traveled undetected for weeks and soon Harold started getting back reports. Reports of a military buildup of vast proportions, and he knew none of the little areas in between would be worth this much work, and he knew...that they knew...and he looked sadder still.

      He had one drone attach itself to a coms link and he sent a message through asking for a meeting with their King, and in minutes a booming voice came on the screen and a face only a mother could love.

      “I was about to send a message to you...Emperor...” he said with a snarl as Harold sat back and smiled wide for him.

      “I see your well along with preparations. I was hoping we might make some sort of deal without a lot of bloodshed.” Harry said as the big man laughed out loud at him... and Harry couldn’t help but smile himself...how foolish he was to try.

      “The war will be fabulous and long!” The King said as Harry nodded it well might be.”Whoever sets foot on the others home world wins, and believe me, I intend to win!” It said loudly as Harold asked if he wanted millions to die in the attempt, and he smiled a toothy smile.

      “We are grossly overpopulated now, so this is a good time for young warriors to prove themselves.” He said as Harry just nodded it was true.” Then let the fun begin, we will soon see if you’re as ferocious as your rumors say.” And with that the link went down, and Harold called for every ship to go to full alert, and the war started officially that night.



      Chapter 27: It Begins, New Enemies and old Fools


      What was being called the Last War was under way. The enemy started patrolling ever closer to the boarders, and anyone who got in their way was removed, permanently.

      Soon ships from both sides clashed in bloody battles that lasted for hours, even days, and everyone saw the truth, that this was never going to end in negotiations, as many had hoped. It was a war for domination, and thats the way they had to think about it every day from now on.

      Even Earth, as far removed as it was from the Empirical Center, got into the act by supplying materials for the war effort. Even some metals that they normally didn’t have, but got because they had all the basic materials there, and dozens of ships full of anything and everything they might use was sent to help out, as John and the girls sat back and worried that if the Empire fell, then their little world would be easy pickings for the victor.

      “Damned reptilian,” Wanda complained as everyone else just smiled and agreed,” They always want a new war. Fighting is worse than second nature to them, its all they can see. If their world was this weak then they’d be the ones asking for negotiations too.” She added as John smiled and said she better not let her father hear her say they were weak, and she got a chuckle in there about that.

      “Well we cant do much to help, Earth doesn’t have a fleet to send.” John added as everyone smiled and agreed.

      “I’m sure every little bit is appreciated though.” Mew added as everyone just nodded and kept on going through their normal days work, while hundreds of lightyears away, battle after battle went on, being won or lost.

      But this just gave some of the Earth leaders reason to hope they might get even more technology from the Empire,and there wasn’t a day gone by that someone didn’t mention it, and John reminded them that if they looked like a threat then the war would come here too, and they stepped back a second to think about that.

      But he knew it wasn’t going to go away and soon he had to put his foot down saying that metals more advanced than anything they had ever seen before was all there was...so don’t ask again...and many walked away angry that this young man had the kind of power to say something like that to them...and make it stick.

      “He’s getting too powerful now...or thinks he is...” One Senator mentioned in a special hearing and many there agreed. “we need to do something before the war gets here too. If we get the chance we can defend ourselves, until the Empire can regroup and rebuild.” Another said as even a few there knew they were grabbing at straws.

      “You’re all fools...” One older man said, as many there scoffed at him for stepping in.”If something as powerful as the Empire falls, then we are nothing but dust under the feet of their victors. If we had everything they have, right now...we couldn’t build a Fleet better than theirs. So stop this bickering about little things and go home and pray that they win. Reptilians here on Earth don’t worry too badly about what they eat...if you know what I mean.” he added and walked out of the meeting and some others looked sad and followed him.

      “He has no clue what we are capable of,” The leader said as a few others agreed, loudly,” Then its settled. I propose we take the Ambassador and his Family into ‘protective custody’ until the Empire gives us a chance to defend ourselves against this new enemy. They will have no choice but to agree, we have a Prince and three Princesses right here on Earth and they are the next generation of Royalty for the Family. they wouldn’t dare to attack us while they are being held.” he announced and many agreed, and the plan got started with calls going out for the best people possible,and Eternal Darkness heard about it and she looked sad they were this foolish, but she refused them her help, and made the call to Colonel Saxton to tell him what was going on.

      “Idiots all of them!” he screamed as she agreed, silently.”With us here, the planet is far more safe than before, if they do this we might well remove the Royal Family all together, and leave them to their fate.” he said as even she looked surprised he could get this angry.

      “I want to hire you, immediately...” Carl said as she looked shocked. “I’ll have a group of our best men protecting the estate. I want you to protect the Royals personally. John had great faith that you’d be a real asset someday, and so its time for you to show him he was right.” he insisted and she finally agreed, and even as he was gathering his best men, she beamed into the main house and informed John why she was there.

      “Morons...” John whispered as she agreed, wholeheartedly.”This isn’t the time for this ****. We need a united front against oppression, not falling apart and running wildly looking for trouble.” He added as everyone looked sad for them all.

      “I want you to stay inside and help protect the women, and Colonel Saxton’s men can handle the outside.” he said as another voice was heard and he turned to see Phyllis, the head of Security standing there saying they were ready to assist too, and John nodded and smiled and said he was counting on them all, and he made sure they had lots of groceries inside the compound, just in case this turned into a siege, and he might have to make a call that he definitely didn’t want to have to make.

      Two days later a group of vans pulled in in front of the Estate, and men and women, all well armed, baled out and rushed the gate. But it was locked and electrified,and as one man fell there from the shock, another dragged him back and threw a grenade against it,and that did little more than make a noise.

      “You cant win, so go home and tell your Masters that if they persist, then we will have to take action.” John called from the front of the house, as he and Charlotte stood there watching the attack.

      “If this happened, we were ordered to say that Earth has rights...more maybe than you want to give us.” The Commander screamed back, as John just laughed and looked tired.

      “I have a wing of ships sitting in orbit protecting this world from harm.” John said as the men all listened.” If the enemy comes here we’ll protect you until we fall too. The enemy we are dealing with is hundreds of years more advanced then you are, or can become no matter what we do to help. Unless you had a fleet of a thousand warships, you couldn’t slow them down a bit, not even for a day. So stop this and go home, or I’ll be forced to take action.” He said as they screamed he had no right, and in a second he was standing there, just feet in front of them all, as eyes popped and mouths dropped and he picked up a man in each hand and threw them down the street, and pointed that way, as everyone gathered them up and jumped back into their vehicles and ran back the way they came.

      “They’ll be back,” Charlotte said as John nodded agreement, and they went back inside as Colonel Saxton watched from space and wondered what those fools would do next. The estate now had a force of 20 men and women guarding it, all Imperial soldiers with combat experience and advanced weapons. Even if they brought their army out, they couldn’t win, and he knew John was planning something, just in case they got that crazy.

      “ You RAN from him??” The Senator screamed into his phone, as the man said he wasn’t there... that when angered John was more than human... and he explained everything that had happened.
      “More technology they aren’t sharing with us it seems.” he whispered as the Commander just waited, looking more than a little embarrassed by what happened.

      “Retreat for today, we need to plan better it seems.” he said and hung up as the team went back to base, and the Senator went to see the President himself, and ask if he could do something about this mess and he wasn’t sure that would help either.


      Chapter 28: The Official Response


      “You did WHAT!?” the President screamed as Senator Jackson went on and on about the technology that the Empire had that they refused to share, and this last bit was unknown to him, until today. “We have an agreement with the Empire to get us up to their speed... in about 100 years...having the technology does you no good if you don’t understand it.” he said as Jackson screamed it wasn’t fast enough, there was a war going on right now that might effect them, and he demanded more help so they could defend themselves in an emergency.

      “Let me tell you something, Senator, those ships sitting in orbit are more powerful than you could possibly imagine. In an hour just one could lay waste to the entire surface of this planet, and not a bug would survive.” he screamed, as Senator Jackson looked too shocked to speak.”If they ever lose a war , then our deal is this...they wipe all memory of us out of their systems at the last minute. They are very far away from us here...very far...and we are just one more speck of dust in the Cosmos, so they may never find us at all. The Empire will protect us even then, and we will go on as we always have, under our own rule. They have 4 members of Royalty living among us right now and helping us in ways that are too far above your pay scale for me to even mention. So stop this foolishness, or by God...I will stop it for you!” he screamed and threw him from his office like so much dirty laundry.

      “How dare he talk to me like that, I’m a ranking member of the Senate! I’ll show him that I wont be treated that way!” And he ran to gather all his supporters, and to see what else they thought might work to get them the power they desired.

      John got to talk to the emperor the next day and he was sure that they’d be fine in the end.

      “We’re holding our own...maybe a little better than that...” he hinted as John got a big smile.

      “So we don’t have anything to worry about here then?” John asked as Harold waved it away like so much hot air.

      “You’ll be just fine don’t worry, and if we need any more supplies we’ll send ships for them. It might well be a long and bloody war.” he said as his face slipped from his patented politicians smile back closer to reality, for about a second there.

      “Just let me know...” John said as the link went down and he turned to Colonel Saxton who was looking pretty tired himself today.”He’s lieing...isn’t he?” He asked as Carl looked away and wouldn’t say any more.

      “Tell me about this war, please.” John asked as Carl took a seat and said that the enemy ships were strong but had weak armor compared to Imperial crafts. We had better armor and engines, a faster fleet, they had better weapons and slower ships, made more for standing and fighting instead of retreating. “So the main weapons are beams and missiles then, right?” John asked as Carl gave him an odd look.

      “Beams, particle cannons and Electronic Warfare, actually.” Carl said as John looked surprised.

      “But...the Emperor just said that the enemy ships have weak armor, so why not missiles or projectile weapons that penetrate armor better?” John asked as Carl had to think about that for a minute.

      “Well...you know that explosions in space do nothing right? So we stopped using missiles the second we moved from air combat to space combat.” he mentioned as John nodded and waited for more. “But...armor piercing bullets like you people use here? How could that work?” he asked as John reminded him that larger caliber weapons had a lot of different types of ammo here...and armor piercing ammo shoots right through even tank armor from miles away, even in the atmosphere.

      “Just imagine what they would do to weak armor in space, where the projectile speed never slows down over hundreds of miles.” John added as Carl looked intrigued, and made a call and got some guns to play with on a certain range not too far from the estate. He also asked for and got a sample of the enemies armor plating, from wrecks found on the battlefield and soon a test was set up and John, Carl and even Harold were there to see it.

      The first test was a 50 caliber weapon with armor piercing rounds, and it did make a decent mark, but it didn’t pierce through like John had hoped. Then up to a 20mm round and it did penetrate, and nicely too, and from there the testing got serious and John suggested that a fast shooting weapon with those rounds would cut up a ship pretty badly from miles away, and even Carl admitted after seeing it he didn’t want his ship shot up by it, and Harold agreed, and a day later a frigate class ship was in orbit getting outfitted with a pair of 20mm gatling guns mounted on a swivel, and Harold said the next battle they got into they would get a good working out, and he waved as they left,and John thanked Carl for listening to him as he just chuckled and said...’ you’re the next Emperor...do I look stupid to you?’ and then beamed away.

      A few days later and the results were in. The little cannons did a nice job on smaller ships but didn’t penetrate the larger, more powerful vessels, as John reminded them that it was just a test, and his world had cannons up to inches in diameter with armor piercing and explosive rounds for them, and Harold agreed and a second ship jumped in and got outfitted with tank ammo and guns, and then jumped away to rejoin the Fleet.

      It took a little time, but slowly it appeared that the heavy artillery did help a lot. The beam weapons they used were shorter ranged and lost power if they were forced to fire from further away, but the cannons did good damage from all ranges and soon ammo for it was a standard shipment and 4 other ships each got a new gun to try.

      John was pretty happy that he helped make a difference, and Harold agreed that his idea was helping. And mentioned if he had any more good ideas just let him know, and John laughed as the link went down.

      “See...you can help..” Wanda said as she walked in and John gave her a big kiss and said just maybe they’d win this war yet, and she gave him a dirty look for ever doubting it for a second.

      By now many of the most arrogant people demanding from the Empire started backing off. The new deal made guns and ammo available to Imperial ships from Earth, and they started making some good money from it. That meant the few that were still screaming were not from states that had weapon manufacturing or ammo factories, and so now they started feeling left out and demanded a meeting with John to see what they could sell to the war effort. But much of what they made was for civilian use, and the Empire had better already, and so there was always a few that were still pissed off they weren’t being treated properly, or that they had nothing worth selling.

      Even politicians and business men from other countries called or stopped by and meeting after meeting went on, with a few getting some smiles from them, and others looking angry they were left out.

      But John tried, somewhat successfully, to let them know that not everything worked in space, and so many were forced to agree, and go home while others started new research into things they too thought would sell.At least it was keeping them busy, John decided, and he still felt the heavy hand of politics working against him no matter what he tried to do.


      Chapter 29: Soul Searching


      Harold saw some good battles go bad, and after trying the new long range weapons, they turned around for him. Now Enemy medium sized ships like frigates and cruisers were getting ripped open badly, and soon he saw that they were gaining right along now, and the enemy was stepping back a bit to reconsider.

      It might be a good time to do some talking, he decided, and the call was made once more as Jon...the King of the Arterians sat there looking smug and arrogant again.

      “Isn’t it time to stop this foolishness?” Harry asked as Jon scoffed, saying he had hundreds more ships yet and tens of thousands of more soldiers to use. “The war is turning against you, Jon, and we both know it. Sending a million more to their deaths wont fix a thing. I don’t even want your Kingdom, just Peace, so I can retire with dignity.”Harry admitted as even Jon smiled and nodded at that.

      “But...whoever backs away first...loses face.” Jon hinted as Harold just laughed it off as unimportant.

      “Is that more important than saving thousands of lives?” Harry asked as Jon ,finally, nodded it was...to him. “You started the war, Jon you must be the one to end it.I promise you’ll stay in power and we’ll even negotiate trade rights after the treaty is signed, thats the best offer you’re ever going to get, and you know it.” he said as Jon nodded it might be true.

      “We’ll see...” he hinted as the link went down and for now at least, the war continued.

      But Jon wasn’t being totally truthful either. This war was edging him towards using his reserves for the first time ever,and while the People loved a good war...when they were winning...thousands of death notices going out each week had many high level families calling daily or sending messengers asking when this would turn around.

      Even Jon wasn’t sure about that now. The new weapons Harold brought out hit them before they got into weapons range, and opened gaping holes in their armor and even exploded inside, and killed hundreds, as well as decompressing ships faster than many systems could activate to stop it.

      Decompression was a terrible way to die...but soldiers who signed up knew the risks, but their families weren’t happy with it, or the war, and soon he started getting threatening messages demanding he do something about these terrible loses.

      It was the first time in anyones memory that a war had gone so badly, and the People knew it first hand, because it was their children that were paying the price for it.Up until now, every conflict had been with smaller, less advanced groups, but this was different,and Jon started seeing Harold’s offer as looking better and better, and he hinted that it might be possible to end the war, and not lose the Kingdom, and even some of his Generals paused to think about that, and that was a sure sign to him to think more seriously himself.

      6 months after their last talk, Jon called and surrendered to Harold, and asked for his Kingdom to stay intact. Harold agreed, with a FEW small concessions...which Jon agreed to instantly.

      The war was over, and John and his Family went to the Home World for the signing, and the official celebration. It was the first time John had met an Arterian face to face, or in his case, face to chest. he had to look up to talk to Jon, who was very pleased that he was meeting the future Emperor before many others,and John laughed and said he was sure they had lots of time yet, as Jon just smiled and walked away.

      The official ceremony was over, and the signing done, now Peace was at hand again, and John congratulated both Harold and Jon for doing the right thing, and they both agreed.

      “This was my last war,” Harold said loudly, and many cheered and John and his wives toasted that as a great idea. “The next one belongs to John...” he went on as many laughed and John said that was a long ways off, and Harold smiled wide and Wanda looked away, laughing.

      “I would like to propose a toast...” Harold said as everyone stood for it,” to John...my son in law, the only man my daughter Wanda ever found she couldn’t win an argument against.” he said as many laughed and John toasted right along with everyone else.” And now...the new Emperor. He has spent the last 3 years in training, on many different worlds. He has the great sense to see things as they are, not as we wish they were. He’ll make a great leader...starting today.” he said as everyone cheered except John, who was by now speechless.

      “Wait..Harold...I’m not ready yet,and my home on Earth, can I really rule from there?” John whispered as Harry just laughed and said ‘it will make a fine summer home’ and left it go at that as Wanda smiled and said he knew it was coming, and John agreed saying he thought he had more time though,and he seemed shocked the rest of the night, as many people laughed as he left them know Harold dropped this on him all at once.

      “He stopped you from running away,” One old friend said as Colonel Saxton walked up in full dress uniform, all smiles.

      “You knew? You big turd...” John whispered as Carl reminded him everyone knew...but him...as even the ladies smiled and winked and John saw the set up for the first time.

      “You’ll make a fine Emperor,and I’ll look forward to hearing of your great exploits.” Carl said with a toast as John gave him a big grin and a dirty look, and Carl felt he missed something.

      “Oh you’ll see them first hand,” John said as even Harold turned from a few feet away to hear.” General Saxton, Head of the Royal Guards.” John said as Carl’s face fell and John smiled wider yet.”If I’m stuck here...you’re stuck here.” he added, poking Carl in the chest with his finger, as Harold burst into laughter and announced the big change, as Carl looked a little sick and even more tired than before.

      And that is the way it started, the Empire of John Hanson, the First. The young man who found a pretty girl living on candy bars in his garage, in a lower income area of the city, and rose to become the Emperor of this area of space. Friends sent gifts and cards, many new faces appeared around him and he made sure Charlotte had a job for life. Now his ideas spread across the Empire like light and many rich planets surrendered a tiny bit to help poorer ones get a better start, and many small militant groups thinking of causing trouble gave the idea up, then things got better for everyone, and their reasons for demanding change evaporated like so much ice in the sun.

      John had his Family on the Home World but never forgot his place in the Galaxy, and went back to Earth for visits,and to settle squabbles over things that weren’t even important to anyone but a few. It became an example of what good planning can do, and after a while the Arterians were great friends and were added to the Empire as allies, and Harold laid back and relaxed after a hundred fifty years of rule, and watched as John became everything Master Johanson had said he’d become, and a little more.


    3. #13
      TXU Sr. Member kevin398's Avatar
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      ok...have started 4 stories and never got past chap 10 on any of them...still trying to make something better, more original, so it might be a while until I decide I have something worth reading...so hang in there.


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      TXU Full Member Dazzard's Avatar
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      I'll hang on as long as necessary to read another of your stories =)


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      TXU Sr. Member kevin398's Avatar
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      ok theres a new one posted..not going to be a long one, darker more serious this time.


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      TXU Sr. Member kevin398's Avatar
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      oh NC...or someone...please post first chapter


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