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    Thread: OK I'm back, first story...Hidden Truth

    1. #21
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      Chapter 29: Mysterious Helper


      In a month a strange signal was heard on many communications channels. It came from a deserted island, far off the beaten path. The military sent people to investigate, and found an old WW II radio that had been modified, sitting in a hidden pit and it was still working and sending out a steady signal, and even to the researchers that checked it, that was impossible, but there it was, and it sent out data, about some new transmitter design or maybe some odd new signal they had never thought of. The researchers took it to the base and they set it up with a better more reliable power source, and they recorded everything that ever came through it, and that was a lot for a few days, then...nothing.

      The data was gone over again and again, and it seemed to be a transmitter design on a frequency they had never used before. So they built one thinking the Unknowns were trying to communicate with them after all this time, and they took it out to the tunnel entrance and set it up, and when they turned it on the tunnel wavered for a second, like it quivered and shook then came back stronger then before.

      “Quick, shut it down!” Cathy screamed and they did, and ran it back to the base for more research. It wasn’t a new communication channel at all...it was a signal to close the tunnel that the enemy came through. It wasn’t strong enough to do the job, but it worked a tiny bit, enough to notice even at this small size, and she had them start on a new one, this time 4x bigger and more powerful, and even the military of the U.N. knew that closing the enemies route to and from their world was now possible, and they started planning for it.

      “But...who sent the information through?” James asked, as Cathy just smiled. It seemed that Carla was not as insane as people seemed to think, and her research on the other side gave her new insight into the workings of their enemy, and that info was slowly being sent back here, and she was hoping that her researchers were up to the task, if they had the right information to begin with, and now Cathy had to make a decision...wither to use the devise when the time came... or wait for her mother to return.

      But Carla wasn’t worried, she had new friends and a new job, and her ego was the better for it. She was a top of the line advisor to their Council, the ruling body of the Empire, and she made sure they knew that the Earth was worth having, as is, and not worth destroying just for fun.

      Her newest friend came walking into her lab and waved for her to follow and they went into her office and closed the door. He gave her a nice warm hug and she kissed him and they just stood there smiling for a minute.

      “The gate nearly collapsed today...” he whispered as she looked as shocked as she could be. “ Any reason it might?” He asked seriously as she reminded him the researchers on Earth had been studying it for years now, so it was completely possible they were running random experiments to see what made it work. And he smiled and nodded agreement.

      “They are no fools..” She reminded him as he agreed.” They see the ‘testing’ as a war, while here the Council sees it as a money making opportunity. The Entertainment Corporations are in a feeding frenzy over it and many more incursions are planned, along with full audio and video feeds for their channels. The Earth people want this over with, so no one else gets killed fighting there, so running tests on the gate is perfectly logical.” She mentioned as he agreed and said that if it looked like they were getting close to closing it, then a real, full blown attack might happen, and not many people would survive that, even with their Teams to help protect them.

      “They know that sending a beam of any kind to Earth took hundreds of years.” She added seriously,” So if they ever figure out how to close it, it will take a hundred years or more to finish the closing... as the enormous beam shuts down over the hundreds or thousands of lightyears it traveled to get here...then a hundred or more to reestablish a new one. That’s all they would need to build up a great defense against the next attack, and they might even figure out how to send weapons HERE by then.” She added as he looked a little shocked himself. “It would be in everyones best interest to reach a deal. The Earth gets autonomy and can do as it pleases, and we become friends with the Empire...at least for now.” She hinted as he smiled and said that might be possible, but not the way things were now.

      “We have the advantage right now, and the military will use it before the gate closes.” He added seriously as she agreed, and said she didn’t see them getting a working Key going for a few years yet, and he smiled and thanked her for the information, and went back to report their conversation, and Carla made a note to herself to add a warning to the next info burst, telling them to get ready for really,really major attacks.

      In a day the next burst came through, and with it a message that the military was going to get involved because of the losses the private sector were taking. It also said that a Key to close the gate would need to be a lot stronger then they first thought and she didn’t want them trying it until they were positively sure because that would trigger an even stronger response.

      “This wasn’t even a war??” One general screamed as Cathy agreed, saying it seemed they were local celebrities on their entertainment channels, so this was the equivalent of a Reality TV show over there, with fans and bets about who would win each fight. At that the general sat back down with a thump and the room got really quiet.

      “It was mentioned that in a major battle up to a thousand ships could attack at once.” The President said as the Admirals and Generals there looked sick thinking their little forces would be up against that.

      “My forces have taken down as many as 50 ships ourselves.” Cathy mentioned as everyone agreed.” So if we all did as well they might be forced back, and we’d gain more time.” She went on as many didn’t look too sure about it.

      “And the Key?” The President asked as Cathy said ‘another month at least’. It needed to be stronger than theirs so it would override their signal immediately, and they were building the system that it would take right now.

      “Cant we block it temporarily then build a bigger one for later?” One General asked as Cathy immediately informed him there was no ‘temporarily’ anything, if they failed to close it the military would rush in and that would be that.

      “It would take a force field equal to the size of their battleships to even buy us time.” Cathy said as many nodded that sounded right,” and that would take time away from building the Key so its not really worth it.” She added as someone said that she was not the only research team that could do it, and many agreed, but she demanded that making any moves before she was ready was a mistake, and the President agreed...for now.

      “Continue on the Key and we’ll ready our forces for the next battle.” he said and the meeting was adjourned and she sat back in her office hoping that those fools waited just a little longer.


      Chapter 30: Assholes and Egos

      But Generals and Admirals really,really don’t like being told what to do. So even as the President of the UN waited for Cathy to call. Some others were making devises of their own, and readying their fleets for the next battle.

      “If we can use this devise to call them,” One Admiral said,” then our fleets can be ready, no long distance firing, no chasing enemy ships, just waiting until they open a new tunnel and then jump them as they come out!” He said as the others at their little secret meeting agreed.

      “We can keep them away from major land masses, so no chance they will break through our lines and attack major cities.” Got mentioned, as many agreed that sounded about right.” And if OUR device closes the beam on this end, then WE get the rewards, and that Research Facility out there at the School can just be a regular school again, not someone who thinks they control the world.”

      “But... if we go against them be prepared...” One man said as many looked his way.” They have the foremost researchers on the planet, and prototype equipment a decade ahead of us. Do this...and we’ll stop any and all chances to gain their favor... or get their best research for months, maybe even years.” He said as a few grumbled thinking that... but the decision was made... they’d try, and they decided to cover their butts, and sent a team to raid the schools research center after hours, and before this all came to light.

      A week later an alarm went off at 3 am, and by the time anyone got there, the main computer was empty...not just of the best research... but everything a complete wipe, even half finished projects that they werent even sure would work.

      Cathy and the Team got the message first thing in the morning, and as they had their morning meeting, Cathy looked as shocked as anyone.

      “Why would they do this?” One girl asked.” We share everything we find out with them, so why attack us and steal it?” She asked as James mentioned that many ‘over there’ didn’t believe they were serious, or that they shared everything.

      “If they went this far so suddenly...” He hinted as Cathy all but screamed, and grabbed the phone and called the President right that second.

      “What!??” She screamed as he tried to explain that they too had the best researchers, and they got tired waiting on her and her Teams to do everything for them.

      “The Alliance has made a beacon...” He said as she looked faint.” They will use it to call the enemy to them, then wipe them out far from any major cities, thats the plan.” He said as she screamed that they didn’t have the forces to stop a full on war, and he agreed saying they were confident they could control their numbers enough. And she got so angry she screamed back at him, and he looked sad it came to this.

      “Then its everyone for themselves.” She screamed as he tried to tell her it wasn’t so.” My Team will get ready for the war, and we’ll attack any ships that approach our island in self-defense.” She said as he looked shocked. You people do the same, and don’t call us when things get too hard for you because we are working to save the entire world not just us, so tell that to those fools who will be dead in a few weeks.” She said and closed the link while he was still trying to get her to settle down... but it was too late now. The military of the world thought they had it all figured out, so they were making their move, and Cathy knew that meant death by the millions, and certainly not something they could afford, or control.

      “Its open War now.” She said as she closed the link and dropped suddenly into the office chair behind her desk. “Get our researches on that Key right now, no days off, no excuses make it twice as strong as our last estimates, because they are about to reinforce the beam.” She screamed to everyone listening, and the call was made and just as the researchers thought they had it done, they needed boosters before they would even try it.

      “All Team members, get ready, the enemy will be coming very soon.” She said as every Team they had there got called in... the First String and Second String at the same time... and they shared training until they would be needed on the battlefield.

      The first attempt the new Alliance made was a few days later. They had 2 carriers loaded with fighters and bombers, and escort ships with flak cannons all around them. Cruisers, battleships, everything they had sitting close by, and as the signal went out a smaller tunnel appeared and out came the enemy, wondering what was going on. The first attack lasted less than an hour and they won, as 20 medium and small ships dropped into the sea and they cheered for their win, just as the second, unplanned wave came through the tunnel next, and the first ship through took up the entire tunnel itself... to the extreme shock of every officer there.

      “Its enormous...” The Captain of one of the ships said on open coms, and as they attacked then ITS escorts came in, dozens of them, and one after another the ships of the fleet went down gurgling and bubbling in pillars of smoke and flame until nothing survived, and the enemy fleet turned and left the way they came, satisfied they could return any time they wanted now.

      Cathy got the live feed...something the Admirals planned on using to brag later on...but this wasn’t what they planned, as she well knew. 2/3 of the way through the last battle the skies were filling with enemy fighters, and ships of all sizes. She made a copy of the video before it went dead, and she sent it to be analyzed, knowing they saw new ships for the first time. But back at the UN the meeting they were having was solum and sad, and they knew it was their own fault too.

      “We did it though...” One General screamed...”We called them to us, and destroyed their entire first wave.” He demanded as the President looked around at him seriously and the man went white.

      “ 50 ships and as many planes and crews.” he said sourly as the man tried to say that in war losses are to be expected. “Have a new fleet in your pocket then? Have a way to build a new carrier overnight, or train thousands of new officers and crew?” He demanded as the General finally saw what was going on and sat down.

      “You forced this on me... and us all... saying you could handle it.” He went on as many didn’t even look up.” You disgraced yourselves, and made our greatest ally a possible new enemy. They wont attack us... not here... but I was warned that any ships or planes approaching their island will be fired on, so thats the second loss for you today.” he said as the room got quiet.

      “They wouldn’t dare..we have all their research already, it’ll be years before they get that kind of advantage over us again.” One General said loudly as the President did agree that might be true.

      “But, effective immediately we can no longer call on them for support.” He mentioned, as even the loud mouthed General got silent thinking that.” And any and all research started today or from now on is theirs alone, and will be sold to the highest bidder to fund their school and research.” he read from the statement Cathy had sent to them and that didn’t get a very good response either.

      “We spent billions over the years on that school and research center.” One man screamed, as the President agreed.” We own them lock stock and barrel, and if they don’t like it they can get shut down.” He said as many grumbled in agreement but the President wasn’t going to be shoved to the side again so soon.

      “They own their facility, free and clear. They bought it from me today,” he said and paused for effect,” for 1 dollar.” he said as the room exploded and the noise was loud enough to be heard downstairs in the cafeteria.

      ”They warned me weeks ago...if I let you run wild your egos would get the best of you...and by God it has.Thousands and thousands of young men and women dead..in ONE DAY!” He screamed back and many got quiet again.” You told me this would never happen, and because of that I agreed. Now you will take responsibility for your actions! I forbid you from using the beacon again until I say so, and any attempt to land on the research island and school will be met with expulsion from the UN! Now get out!” he screamed and slammed the hammer on the desk and walked out, leaving them to stew and whisper amongst themselves.

      “You’re lucky I even came to the meetings anyways, you fools!” President Rodriguez of Brazil said sourly, as he took his ID off and threw it across the room.” Starting today I worry about my own people first! To Hell with the rest of you!” and he too marched out as person after person went sadly back to their offices or went home, and the first ever United Alliance fell apart after the very first battle.


    2. #22
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      Chapter 31: Misunderstandings and Misinformation


      “Any reason they might be doing this, Carla?” One of the other advisors asked as she got a good laugh about it.

      “They know...they figured it out! That you’re just using them for entertainment, so they made a whistle, to call you whenever THEY want like some wild dogs, and only when they are ready to fight. Thats what this odd noise the other day was all about, that was their first test, I’m sure.” She said with a big smile and people all over the room had to think about that for a minute.

      “But...they lost...” Another said as she just waved it away.

      “Perhaps it was a test, maybe those ships were old things they could waste without a second thought, they obviously didn’t hurt your fleet a lot did they?” She hinted as many agreed.”They may well be getting used to your coming and going by now and decided to get something for themselves out of this.”

      “Like what?” She got asked, as she pretended to think about it seriously.

      “Technology?” She hinted, as a few looked thoughtful while one or two got upset that they played right into the Earth peoples hands, and she saw she was winning. “They might be gathering after every battle and secretly be building a fleet just like yours. Then one day you go in to have some fun and BANG! They got you.” She said loudly as a few looked really upset and some might be a little scared right now.

      “We will stop all incursions until we see if this is really possible.” The Leader said, as the meeting broke up and Carla and her friend walked out, side by side.

      “You win again...” He hinted as she looked shocked and looked like she had no idea what he meant, and he just laughed and returned with her to her lab and sat back watching her doing experiments all day long, while her people back on Earth did God knows what with the time she was giving them.

      Back on the US West Coast, Chandra was waiting for their daily meeting to start as the two teams, both the first and second strings, whispered back and forth about why there was a major attack and they weren’t even asked to join.

      “I heard it went badly.” One girl mentioned as everyone else agreed thats what they heard too.

      “I wonder how many ships and planes we lost.” Another added while they all looked sad.

      Just then Commander Jenkins walked in and everyone took their seats. He walked up to his desk and threw his computer down until it bounced, and one or two of his team members jumped themselves seeing it as he sat there, head in his hands for a full minute, and then finally spoke.

      “ At 9 am, Pacific Standard Time, on the 20th, the first Alliance Fleet voluntarily opened a wormhole and called for the enemy to come into our space.” He started, as many gulped loudly thinking they had such gall.” By 11:30 am the entire fleet was gone, 12,850 soldiers, and more than 50 ships. They successfully destroyed 20 enemy ships, all small to medium sized vessels, but not a single heavy enemy vessel was damaged or destroyed in the battle.” he went on as the room got a look of shock and despair.

      “We lost a major fleet and got nothing but robot ships in return??” Chandra asked loudly as he silently nodded it was true. “OH My God...” She whispered as one or two ladies there started to sob for the lost friends and family members of the lost crews.

      “The attack they made on Cathlene’s Team headquarters got them every file they had,setting them back months or even years, and even now they admit many of their researchers don’t understand what they are even looking at. But the result of their attack is that Cathy now owns the entire island lock,stock and barrel, sold to her by the UN President, and now they are independent... all alone... and without funding.” he mentioned as even Chandra dropped into her seat, speechless.

      “Our greatest friends are now our enemy... on top of all the off worlders?” She asked to no one in particular as the room didn’t say a word for a while.

      “I doubt they hold us responsible for any of this, but yes...Cathy went nuts and told the UN President anyone approaching their island will be shot until further notice... and he has ordered every Team and Fleet to avoid contact until he gets things smoothed out.” He said and it got deadly quiet again, since no one had any idea what to say.

      “ Without them,we’re doomed...” was one comment... and for a change the Commander refused to say it wasn’t true, and their morning meeting was adjourned without any further discussion.

      Cathy and her Teams were working around the clock to find anything, anyone who would help them. Running a school this size and fighting a war, was never going to be cheap, and even when many of the schools previous alums sent help it was a drop in the bucket compared to what they needed.

      “Many of the staff are working for free right now.” Cathy said sadly, as James sat there across from her desk and nodded just as sad.” I cant ask them to do that forever, its impossible. They have families to feed and houses to pay for.” She went on as he stood up looking very serious and said he’d help too, and she just sat there smiling.

      “I appreciate the offer, but seriously, what can you do this time?” She asked as he paced the floor for a minute thinking and she just left him go, because she liked him like this, serious and thinking hard, it was who he truly was.

      “What about we sell technology to other schools and even other corporations?” He asked as she admitted that even a few pieces they had laying around from making the shuttle would be worth a lot.

      “If we had more... then yes...it definitely would help.” She admitted as James said he’d see to it, if she gave him full permission to try, and she nodded and said not to get hurt doing it though and he laughed and went out to get some help.

      “Your doing what exactly?” Cathlene asked as other members of the Team waited to hear as well.

      “We have information on every fight, and we sent a lot of ships into the seas, or crashed onto land not far from here in our battles.” James mentioned as they all agreed.” So..we go out there we cut some guns free... maybe gather whatever technology they have we can sell... and we start piling it up in the old warehouse thats empty now. Cathy can wheel and deal and sell some and help keep the school and our staff going while we keep training, its a win for everyone.” He said as many agreed.

      “But I hate getting dirty...” Cathlene whined softly... looking a little pathetic saying it too... and James gave her a nice hug and she got a bigger smile after that.

      “I’ll wash you off personally.” He whispered, as her eyes popped and everyone looked away pretending not to hear.

      “Well...if the Team agrees to help...and since Cathy gave us permission...I guess we can try.” She said loudly as everyone laughed and her face grew red, but they all went first to speak to the ships Captain to tell him what they were going to do, and have him get the ship ready for their first trip.


      Chapter 32: High Tech Junkyard


      James spent the rest of the day talking to researchers asking if they had a preference in materials to study...and every one of them had something they wanted to get their hands on... and he made a list.

      He was no fool. If these people wanted to see certain things, they’d rush them into research and development and soon they’d have new things to sell too. But he was also told that since they were alone now, it might be a good idea to arm the ship better. Since the two little guns they had now were for missile defense, and wouldn’t do a thing against a ship of equal size or bigger.

      The missile launcher used standard fighter class air to air missiles...but getting new ammo was going to be next to impossible now. So new alien weapons seemed the way to go, and he mentioned as they flew out that first day that his sword could cut through nearly anything, and Charlene laughed saying maybe her lasers could get what his couldn’t, and every person there saw something they might do to help.

      “Even little things...” He mentioned as he showed them the list.” electronics of any and all kinds, tools ...if we find any...and then guns and parts for every part of the ships.” he said as they all nodded they understood. The ship came to a stop over an area where some ships had fallen in the past and as they dropped down several wrecks could be seen all over the island below them.

      “When we are ready, lower the cables.” he said to two men standing there running a winch they had attached to the side of the ship. “ If we get something big we’ll winch it up and go for today. But lets get everything we can first, even if it takes a few trips dropping it all off.” he added as they said they had help down below and a room just to fill with little things.

      “Thats it then,” Cathlene said loudly, and one by one the Team stepped over the side as the big ship hovered there... not 50 feet from the surface.

      “OK...” James said pointing.” Lets hit that one first.” And they flew over to a smaller wreck and climbed on board, as James pointed out a few things and gathered some equipment that looked like radios or scanners fastened to the ship in the control room. He handed a few of those to one of the girls who ran out and up, and handed them off to the men waiting on deck.

      “Bucket brigade.” He said, handing those to someone else and he then ran down stairs with them.

      Small electronics packages, screens of some type, and wiring harnesses that didn’t look a thing like wires, all things they pulled from the control room and James flew up an hour later calling for a break ....and everyone agreed.

      “ 12 things so far...” The one man said as James nodded agreement.” I sent back a few pics to the research department and they are going nuts.” he said with a chuckle as James just sat back having a cold drink and smiling pretty wide hearing it.

      “If they’re important to them... then they will sell.” he hinted as Cathlene looked tired already... and a few of the others too... but he thanked them for coming, saying without their help he would have been dead on his feet by now.

      “It’s our base too.” Alice added, as Monica and the others agreed. “I don’t mind a nice day outside. Its sunny and warm...almost too warm.” She hinted as James just laughed, being in the tropics during the summer did have a few disadvantages after all.

      “I dont see any new guns yet.” The Captain said as he walked up the stairs from down below, wearing a big smile,and James looked tired just thinking it.

      “You never did say what size you thought we’d need.” He mentioned as he waved James over to the little gun mounted along the outer wall and spun it around to see.

      “Twice this size..at least.” he mentioned, as he explained it was the width of the barrel you go by, length doesn’t have a thing to do with it.”This is a small weapon that can drop a fighter pretty quick from close range. If we had a few with twice the size barrel as this one then we’d have enough firepower to make an escort ship think twice.” He said as James nodded he finally understood.

      “So we’ll add them up front in a turret so they can turn and fire?” he asked as the Captain agreed that would be best.” Get the cables ready then, we’ll call when we find one.” he said and with grumbling people all around he dropped back over the side again, followed by Cathlene and the others looking for another load.

      “You three go see inside that bigger one, just like before. Anything thats in the control room first. Then go room to room looking for little things. Cathlene and I will see what guns we can find and try and get one for the Captain.” he said as the Team split up and ran everywhere.

      It took a while since none of these wrecks was standing up straight, but Cathlene called over the coms and she found a row of small guns mounted down the side of one of the bigger ships at the far end of the island.

      “He said twice the size...” She mentioned as James measured the little stubby barrels and they were at LEAST that big, maybe a bit more. He gave them a good look, they were already mounted on small turrets, but way more than they were going to carry by hand. So he made the call and the ship moved in over them and lowered the cables and straps and after making sure they were securely attached, he then called for his sword, and after a few good cuts the gun tried dropping through the floor, a sign it was ready to lift.

      “Up slow...” He called as the cables got tight and after a few wiggles getting it back up through the hole, the little gun started skyward.But just then there was a scream, and Cathlene called asking what happened.

      “Monica got bit by a snake, a BIG one.” Someone screamed as James ordered everyone back to the ship, and the doctor met them there and rushed her inside.

      “Damn it, damn it, damn it all!” James was screaming as everyone stepped back, wondering what he was screaming about.” Some of these wrecks are two or three years old by now...I should have seen this coming, then she wouldn’t be hurt today.” he screamed, as even Cathlene told him they all knew to watch out, but sometimes things just happen. But he wasn’t going to let it go until he made sure he punished himself for his stupidity...something no one else thought he needed at all.

      “The doctor said she’ll be fine. There’s a big advantage to being able to fly in an emergency.” Alice added as James did slow down a bit more then.

      “Well... alright then... thats all for today. We didn’t do too bad and the Captain has his first gun hanging over the side so lets get back.” he said and everyone agreed, and the ship made a nice even turn and left the area and they called ahead to have the med team waiting because Monica was going to be watched carefully for the next 24 hours or so.


    3. #23
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      Chapter 33: Alien Auction

      When they got back Cathy got the list showing what all they brought. It seemed they even had a few pieces that were doubles or even triples of the same thing... or looked like it anyways.

      “OK... research can have one to work on... the rest gets sold. I’ll set it up myself. I’ve been sending out a few feelers and there’s a growing list of companies, big and small that wants to see some of this tech.” She added and the calls were made with some pictures and explanations and everyone with a research department was going to send someone, and Cathy said to try again when they were ready because she felt they were going to get a big crowd when the time came.

      “Just be careful next time.” She said during the morning meeting and everyone agreed, and Monica admitted she was in a hurry running from room to room looking for anything small to gather and just hadn’t paid close enough attention.

      “If I’d seen it in time I’d be a lot happier today.” she added and laughed a bit... and for the first time in days James finally left himself smile.

      Day 2:

      They flew out early in the morning, and by noon they were floating over a huge wreck. James himself brought down this battleship and his handiwork was easily seen. The entire rear of the big boat was ripped open and you could actually fly in and out through the big hole.

      It got mentioned that the smaller ships were many times robots of the biggest in the group, so anything small or even personal, like computers, communicators and the like would only be found on ships that had a real crew, so here they were going over the big thing floor by floor and room by room.

      “Just watch out for animals here, no rushing in.” Cathlene warned, knowing full well James was doing as much himself as humanly possible.

      “Have no idea what some of these things are...” Monica added holding up some small machines they found laying around on the floors or in cabinets in some of the quarters. “but there are a few of them..maybe communicators of some kind?” She hinted as James said that they’d probably be faster and more long range than anything Humans had now if that was true, and the treasure hunt went on until someone called for a break, and they all went to the ship for a meal with a bag over James’s shoulder looking like Santa Clause.

      They sat back relaxing for a while and James sent pictures back of some of the ‘junk’ they found and a few people called back asking him where they were found and what they really looked like...size was hard to judge on pictures... and so James actually took high-def pictures in full color... for exact size...with a small ruler laying beside them and sent back all the info and pictures he had to get their imaginations started.

      “Our researchers are in their glory this week.” Alice added, sitting there having a cold drink.” One of the ladies I sat beside at lunch yesterday was going on and on about some of the control room stuff. They think some of those might be scanners faster and more long range than radar by a ton.” She added as many just smiled to hear it.

      “If they can prove it, and they get a patent on it, then the school will never have to worry about funding again.” James added as many agreed. “Good thing these wreck sights are classified... and treasure hunters of all kinds cant get out here without being arrested. They could get a lot of stuff and hold the tech hostage so no one else could use it.” He mentioned, as Cathlene got a good laugh as he looked oddly at her.

      “You mean like we are trying to?” She hinted as others chuckled and he smiled and looked away.

      “What a terrible thing to say..” he hinted, looking as innocent as he possibly could, as everyone laughed.

      “And its not true anyways.” Alice said... as even James looked surprised.” Our base has been gathering tech samples for years, as I’m sure yours has. Only private corporations and universities around the world are being left out since the Military has all they want, so those are the ones rushing to get their share from the Auction.” She added as many agreed that sounded about right.

      “But not if we dont get enough for a proper auction to start.” James added throwing away his empty can as the others got to their feet once more.”OK next floor down... lets see whats left behind down there.” he said as they dropped down another level and started going door to door all over again.

      They were getting a nice big bag full of small stuff again when Alice yelled from a few doors down, and James rushed to see why. He ran in to see a rack along one wall, and in it were....guns?... of some kind. They looked sort of like guns...but of course he had never seen anything like them. They were larger, more boxy and heavier than some he had seen... but he was pretty sure they weren’t for the average persons use... and he laughed, saying the dozen or so here would be worth a fortune, and they started hauling them back to the ship and when they were done James called enough... and they ran home laughing all the way... as he called Cathy and told her what they found.

      “Weapons? Thats the first I’ve heard of anyone finding anything like that.” She admitted, as James told her that a full on battleship had to have personnel for security, and not every person was compatible with the implants they used, as she agreed to that.

      “They’re pretty big and heavy, so I’m thinking maybe armor piercing or something...one of these might blow a hole in a tank.” he mentioned as Cathy got the biggest smile.

      “I’ll have a test site set up by the time you get back.” She said and was gone.

      “This might be what we need right here...” James said tapping his hand on one of the weapons laying beside him as Cathlene motioned and one man took it away and added it to the pile of stuff a few doors down.

      “No touching the cannons while we’re flying...” She hinted sourly as the room laughed and James looked properly chastised for keeping one to check out for himself.

      Cathy had several people waiting for them when they landed and they took all the guns to the weapons range set up behind one of the buildings. They set one up on a table, clamping it down right where they wanted, and after taking pictures and measuring them carefully they had an ex marine try firing one and...nothing happened. They tried several but only one went off, not making any sound at all, but punching a finger sized hole through a piece of metal they had set up to stop it.

      “Only one works?” Cathy asked as the research department went over them carefully and one lady jumped up screaming she had it figured out.

      “They aren’t charged, they were in storage so they weren’t being used every day. This one probably was used recently but not all the others.” She said as everyone agreed, and they set out to find out how to recharge them while Cathy got some pictures and added them online to the auction listing.

      That’s all it took... and she had calls from people she hadn’t spoken to in quite a while... and even some military people who demanded she hand them over...and she laughed at them.

      “Bid on them like everyone else.” She told them, and shut them off without a second thought, and James saw that this auction was going to be something special.


      Chapter 34: Instant Success

      The day of the auction, planes dropped into the airport, and buses came running out from town. The auditorium was filled with people from colleges,universities, and representatives from more than a dozen countries, and several small to medium sized corporations too... that obviously had been left out when all those samples were taken before.

      It was just as Cathy thought, their military had long running research going on hoping to get patents on everything that was worth having, but now the word was out and they were going to have some real competition.

      “Hello Colonel Shark...” Cathy said shaking a middle aged mans hand.” the General couldn’t make it today?” She asked as he whispered that they were still off limits...officially...but he was sent to see if they found anything they didn’t already have.

      “You mean like....armor piercing lasers?” She hinted softly, as he smiled and went to take his seat.

      “Looks like everyone who’s anyone is either here or sent someone.” James added as she agreed.

      “Well they’re starting to get antsy so lets get this show on the road.” She said and walked out on stage with James right along side. She would give her little speech, then he and his Team would carry out items for sale and Cathy made sure they wore their suits today, to remind people who they really were, and why they were forced to do this. Not to mention...pretty girls wearing skin tight suits get good attention... and Cathy wasn’t above using anything she could to jack up the prices.

      Piece by piece ...with descriptions of what they were and could do...came out and got sold. The military men there helped a lot, they really didn’t want to share this tech with the civilians there so they forced some prices up more than even Cathy had hoped. But they failed to keep it all to themselves as many representatives from around the world smiled pretty wide to get items tagged for them to pick up after the sale was over.

      It took 2 hours to go through everything, and last but certainly not least, was the assortment of guns they found. Cathy left them know that they were all tested and worked, but there were two different types, or sizes. One that shot through half an inch of armor and another that fired rapidly but wasn’t nearly as powerful. The room oohd and aahd to see them and James carried out an armor plate 4 feet square with a hole burned through it and stood it down beside Cathy with a thump while she was talking... and she gave him a dirty look for interrupting her as many there laughed.

      “This is the plate we used for testing.” James said loudly and smiled and stuck his finger through the holes to show they were really there.

      “One million U.S. apiece for all of them.” Colonel Shark...who Cathy has spoken to before... said loudly, as people all over the room gave HIM dirty looks now.But Cathy was quick to tell him that they were being sold individually, and no one group would get them all without a serious fight, and people all over the room applauded, while he sat back down, looking upset.

      “Sorry Colonel, we aren’t selling them all as a lot today.” She hinted as the room laughed at the look on his face.”What am I bid for this alien armor piercing beam weapon?” She asked as James held it up and the bidding started at the 1 million mark and went up from there.

      The rest got sold just that way and the Colonel did manage to get a lot of them...but not all... to his immediate dislike. But many others were thrilled and at the little get together after they ate, drank and talked, and many shook Cathy’s hand and thanked her for letting them join.

      They were just starting to thin out when the Colonel walked up again and she gave him the best grin she had... and he just shook his head smiling.

      “I almost got them all.” he hinted as she agreed.”You are the luckiest person I have ever met. We’ve been all through a dozen or more wrecks and we never found anything like these..how did you do it?” He asked as she laughed saying she didn’t, her Team found them and they had some of the best luck she had ever seen herself, and he agreed with that.

      “Tell General Collins not to worry too badly, you’ve had years to research some of this stuff so thats a pretty big head start.” She hinted as he just nodded and smiled and he went to get his treasures loaded.

      “I’ll call if we ever find any more.” She called after him, as he laughed out loud and agreed and away he went.

      Back in the meeting room James and the Team waited to hear how things had gone and Cathy walked in all smiles, saying they weren’t going to have to cut anyones salaries for quite a while now.

      “People are crazy...” James hinted as everyone laughed.” we had 13 beam weapons to sell and closer to the last we got, the higher the prices went. I guess no one wanted to lose out since this was the first time anything like this has happened.” he said as everyone agreed.

      “General Collins tried his best to run the show too.” Cathy added as everyone just smiled. “But it cost him a lot more to get those guns than what he had hoped.” She said as the Team just laughed saying they got their money out of them one way or another.

      “And we will again, in another couple months, hopefully.” She hinted and left, telling them she appreciated their help and one girl complained that walking on stage wearing her suit was embarrassing, and Alice laughed saying she didn’t have anything to be ashamed of, so let them look. And they went back to their rooms for some rest for the rest of the night.


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      Chapter 35: More to Worry About


      But three days later one tunnel opened up again, and out came a battleship and several smaller vessels. They went right for the cities on the US West Coast and were met by the full force of the West Coast Team and a squadron of fighters firing missiles.

      The battle lasted a while but they drove them back, and the massive force that destroyed the fleet earlier wasn’t even seen.

      “So we’re back to being TV celebrities with limited attacks then?” Chandra asked, as even her Commander just shrugged and waved her away.

      “Right this minute you know as much as me.” he said as she walked out and he tried to look busy until she left, then he reached out to make a call.

      “You did well today keep it up.” He heard as he thanked them for saying so.” The enemy has pulled back to their original attacks and ships, so we can plan ahead now. The next time we call them we’ll be totally prepared, and your Team as well as the East Coast Team will be there, like it or not.” The General said as he agreed and the link went closed and that only meant one thing. They were going to make the call on either the East Coast, or somewhere in between, and that made his head hurt because that meant in the middle of the country, and he hoped they weren’t that stupid...but these officers hadn’t shown him too much up until now... so he wouldn’t hold his breath.

      But Cathy got a call too, and she wasn’t too happy with it either.

      “General, what can I do for you?” She asked as the older man looked like he had won the discussion already.

      “There will be another call made to draw in enemy ships, and this time both the East Coast Team and West Coast Team will be expected to be there.” He said as he turned to show a large map.”This will be the spot, and the call will be made in 3 weeks time... so be ready.” He declared, as her face fell and her eyes popped out. He was pointing at the Gulf Coast, and that meant a lot of their oil reserves and even a few major cities were in the enemies attack range.

      “You’re ut of your mind...you cant call enemy fleets in there. It’s one of our biggest oil producing areas and there are major cities too close by.” She screamed as he never broke a smile.

      “Thats why I said you WILL be there this time.” he said and then smiled.” You might be in line for charges of treason for the way you’re acting, but you wont let a major US city get attacked and millions die. So until you start acting like real Americans this is the way it will be.” he said as she looked too shocked to speak.” And if you still don’t come and we lose people. I personally will charge you and your entire Team with Treason and multiple counts of murder and if you try hiding in your base we’ll bomb it ourselves.” he said as the link went closed and she sat back looking sick to her stomach. But her security was air tight and everything coming in gets recorded and she made a call too, and the President of the UN saw and heard everything and he wasn’t taking it to well either.

      “He’s mad..utterly and entirely mad.” He said as Cathy agreed.” Thats why some of the countries I speak to regularly have been too busy for me. Its a conspiracy to keep me in the dark until its too late. I thank you for this call, a nice reward is on its way.” he said and closed the link again and he called the President of the U.S., screaming at him for letting some madman call for another enemy attack.

      “He went around me,” The US President said.” He went right to the Pentagon and told them we were looking weak and helpless in front of the world, and he was going to do it wither they helped or not, and the glory for the win would be all his...and many of them caved and joined him. I hear a European fleet is on its way to help too. But if this all goes bad. Half the remaining ships in all our total fleets will be destroyed in one attack.” he said as they both looked tired.

      “Don’t worry about the school and our East Coast Team,” he remarked.” now that I know whats going on I’ve already started telling everyone that whatever happens is on him...personally... General Collins will either be a hero or a fool after this battle... and if they get into our cities I’ll see he spends the rest of his life behind bars.” he declared as the U.N. President agreed to that too, and one crazy US General was slowly having the rug slid out from under him, and he didn’t even know it yet.

      The day came and the First String Team was on board the ship as it lifted off and headed towards the rendezvous point. The Second String was on duty at the base, for security... just in case... and they were ready too.

      The Allied Fleet was spread out in a large fan design, with better weapons than last time. They had been doing research and did away with weapons that did little or no damage, and added more power to their ships, just as General Collins had demanded.

      “Is everyone in position?” Collins called as every called back that they were.” No one fires a shot until I say so, is that clear?” He demanded as the Fleet agreed and then he turned his attention to the flying ship now hovering just 2 miles away.

      “That means you too, East Coast Team...this is MY show and you better listen to my orders, you got that?” He demanded as James came on the screen laughing saying he guaranteed they wouldn’t move a muscle unless he told them to, and his attitude left nothing to the imagination, as the General agreed and shut him down immediately.

      “Alright then, make the call..” he screamed as the signal went out and just as suddenly, a massive wormhole opened and out came a Fleet bigger than any they had seen before.” Military ships, open fire!” he screamed as missiles flew and weapons fired and several smaller ships dropped from the sky, as James and his Team maneuvered to stay out of the friendly fire themselves.

      “Thats it, we’ve got them now!” Collins screamed and a second later the massive dreadnought in the center of the enemy fleet opened fire, and the beam was wide enough to destroy 6 ships at once, and Collins went into shock, and stood there, speechless, as others screamed and weapons turned on the bigger ship instead.

      Now the mid sized enemy ships were in range and they opened fire, and fighters came crashing down by the dozens, and splashed all over the ocean, and as Collin’s Second shook him back to his senses his only thought was to run, and thats what he ordered.

      “We learned a lot today...yes..yes... thats what I’ll say. I need to live to carry on with the war, everyone..cover me! Get me the Hell out of here, now!” he screamed as his cruiser made a turn and started away, and not a Captain or Commander there didn’t know what he was thinking, and some screamed for him to get back here and help...but he refused.

      “The Beacon must be protected, I cant let it be destroyed!” He screamed back and not a single person there thought that was his reason for running.

      “You called for this catastrophe...you traitor! ” He heard, as the President of the United States came on the line. “ Now you get back there and fight, either win or lose, but don’t you dare leave this mess for someone else to clean up.”

      Even as Collins begged for his life his ship turned and weapons opened fire, as his Second reminded him that the President was the Commander in Chief, and he had no right to refuse.

      “All Units, attack! No holding back now... we need you!” The President called and everyone agreed and the two Teams joined in now and some smaller ships dropped immediately and James and Catherine ran together towards the huge Command ship and when they got in range she opened up with her heaviest beam and he ran closer and threw his spear, and it disappeared inside, and he clapped his hands, and a purple ball half the size of the ship could be seen, ripping through their armor, and a second later it imploded, and the force of it smashed the entire center of the big ship like a huge hand had crushed it, and it tumbled into the sea.

      Collins saw it happen and he quickly got control of himself again.

      “I did it... I won!” He screamed as even the President, still on the coms link, shook his head sadly to think he would try something like this. But a second later a huge fist struck him from the side and Collins went down and his Second looked at the coms and apologized for his actions saying he’d give up his stripes for this if the President asked for them, and in return he got a huge grin back and the man on the screen said he didn’t see a thing.

      With the Command ship out of the picture the rest of the Fleet was getting beaten badly, and one by one they retreated back the way they came. The total for the battle was impressive...12 Allied ships lost, 24 fighters, and 23 enemy vessels downed...including the massive Command ship... the President thanked them all for their efforts and made sure he gave James and his Team a huge bonus just for getting that bigger ship, and they all cheered and waved and went home to nice warm beds...while Collins had a security team waiting on him... and after the fastest trial in History...a stretch of 20 years to life in a military prison for his treasonous ways.


      Chapter 36: Rest and Recreation


      A few members of the Teams got scratched up or hurt in small ways, and after some medical attention they got time off for a while, since seeing Collins being dragged away on the news, his so called ‘friends’ were hard to find now. And this trick wouldn’t be tried again for a long time.

      At the next meeting of the U. N. the President made sure to mention that he was left out of those discussions last time...and if it ever happened again he’d see to it some people were thrown from their positions here, and their countries defenses with them...and many looked sick thinking they had gone along with a fool that was thinking only of himself and possibly his personal political ambitions.

      “You called the enemy once again, and thousands of lives were lost. The Calcutta, a full sized Carrier with 4 thousand men and women on board...gone...and all her pilots and planes. The Cruiser Hathaway, and another 1200 crew members... and nearly 2 dozen others... and we got what? 23 enemy vessels, and most of those were small escort ships and were robots, so the enemy lost nearly nothing. The only real loss for them was the Command ship, and its crew, and many of those ejected into the sky in suits and were picked up by other ships as they escaped. Hardly what I’d call a massive victory, wouldn’t you say?” He demanded as only one or two even managed to say a word about his appraisal of the situation.

      “Our new weapons were more effective than before though, so we learned something.” One man mentioned as the President asked him how many new Fleets he had in his pocket that he could donate? And the man and his friends never said another word.

      “With the war going on we now have less than half the ships we started with, and even with that, the biggest enemy ships have been brought down by our Sky Teams from both coasts. So gentlemen, if you don’t find something better really soon, then these missions will NEVER be tried again...is that clear?” he screamed as many there just nodded , and he dismissed the meeting and stormed from the room.

      “So..we’re back to square one then.” One man hinted as many agreed. “ Then we might as well start planning for our own Sky Teams, because without them we are totally screwed.” He declared as many admitted they already got information from the U. N. Research Division and their scientists were making the first generation of implants to get them started, and others agreed, and the Earths last, best Hope had turned out to be young people wearing tights, and not battleships and cruisers after all.

      “So, you lost a Mobile Base this last time?” Carla asked as many officers there nodded and looked upset.

      “The videos and reports say it was some type of wormhole technology, and it actually ripped the ship in two.” One General added as many looked too shocked to speak.

      “Worm holes huh? Thats even more than I expected, and you know how I felt about letting yourselves get called into battles.” She added as many there nodded they did. Carla always said that they needed to plan better , and not get dragged into battles they weren’t ready for.

      “This goes beyond technology now...” She hinted trying to look as worried as possible. “this might well be Evolutionary. Our people had only each other to test themselves against before this and now we have you, and we are Evolving faster to keep up..or maybe catch up...but if this is true, then I suggest closing the Portal at once. Before they come even here with this new technology, or the Home World itself might perish.” She said loudly as a few agreed while others thought that was too extreme an idea....for now.

      “We still have the advantage.” One officer demanded while others waited to hear.” We dare not leave people with these weapons behind and run home. Sooner or later they will follow us even here and so we need to end this war and destroy them there, before we retreat back home again.” he demanded as some seemed ready to go along with that, but Carla just laughed and even the Hawks in the room stopped to hear.

      “You’re playing right into their hands.” She said seriously while everyone there looked surprised.” They have been studying your technology for over a decade, not long ago one of their experiments almost closed the Portal themselves. Do you think for a second they cant do it now? And why do you think they haven’t? Because they are stealing their next generation of weapons from YOU.” She declared as mouths fell open all over the room, even the Emperor on the video link looked shocked.

      “They never had control of Space/Time before this..never even tried. Now they control it to the point it has become a weapon. They have no space ships capable of even leaving their system. And it would take centuries for them to get them. If you retreat now and blockade their system from more incursions, then you gain thousands of years, and will be even more powerful when they finally find you.” She added as many looked a lot more relieved. “If they use this new technology now, they could take control of the Portal and use it against you, and when that happens there’s no place in the Universe to hide after that.” She slid in there quickly, and the vote to close the Portal was taken and approved, and the necessary precautions were being made to make sure these Humans were not capable of looking for them for a very long time.


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      Chapter 37: Armageddon

      But closing the Portal and going home didn’t mean that they weren’t going to get revenge for the loss of one of their most highly advanced ships. One General called for retaliation, and got it when the Emperor demanded that he and his forces guard the Portal until the necessary plans could be made to close it properly.

      That gave him all the time he’d need, he thought, and he ordered his fleet into Earth space to take immediate control of that end of the Portal, and when they entered they destroyed everything in sight, just to make sure nothing or no one would interfere.

      “ They cant stand us being here...” he declared as his officers agreed,” so a real battle is only minutes away I’m sure.” he said as his fleet rallied around the Gate and waited.

      “Over a hundred enemy ships, all just sitting there.” The President of the U.N. said as everyone at the conference agreed.” What the devil are they up to? They usually attack instantly, but after destroying the research base nearby they just stopped.”

      “We’re monitoring the situation...” Cathy added, as many looked seriously her way.” if we get any more information we’ll send it through immediately.” She declared as everyone had to take that as good enough, and the meeting was adjourned.

      But she was surprised as well, so something else was going on here, and a day later a micro-burst of info came through on the bases frequency and they had it decoded to find out that the enemy was in the process of withdrawing from the Earth, and that the fleet that was there was to hold the Gate and keep them from messing with the controls before they left.

      Of course no one thought for a second that was the only reason, and with over a hundred enemy ships in Earths skies, a good fight was going to happen eventually. ‘Don’t interfere’ was the message they got and Cathy sent one back just as small, ‘come home’ and she waited again.

      But a few days later and another message came, and when decoded it was a small video and in it Carla was being held warmly by a nice looking older man who smiled and said not to worry, he’d take good care of her, and as it closed Cathy smiled both warmly and a little sadly, knowing her mother would never return, but she had found happiness at last on some alien world.

      But General Xin was furious by now. He had come for revenge and here he sat...for days now...and his temper was getting more out of hand every second. When the call came saying he was to return in a few hours, thats all he needed... and half his fleet ran towards the U.S. and the other half towards Europe and they attacked every town and city as they flew and only the fighter squadrons of the countries they passed did any damage to them at all.

      It took a little while to get organized, after all they got told not to interfere, but this was not what they had hoped... and now every nation sent ships and fighters by the hundreds... and soon ships of all kinds and sizes fell from the skies as the main fleet forced its way towards the main nations that had suppressed them for so long. The U.S. and Geneva...home of the U.N. But it wasn’t going to be easy. Many nations now had first generation Teams working, and guns, missiles and beams answered the fleet and they lost even more small to medium ships, as their numbers got cut in half.

      The enemy fleet was approaching the East Coast now and James and his Team met them off shore and the battle started with over a hundred fighters and bombers helping to thin them out as quickly as possible. But the main Command ship wasn’t seen yet...anywhere on the planet... and they all knew by now that the Gate was closing and this was the enemies last big attack...and Earth’s last stand.

      So long as they kept them fighting then they had a chance to survive this, time was on their side and they knew this fleet was the last...and was in the process of being recalled even now.

      “Don’t let them in range of the Capital...” the message went out... as both the European nations and the U.N. put everything they had into the battle, even firing from ships and artillery on land just trying to buy time if nothing else.

      “We need to crush this resistance...do it now!” The General screamed from his cloaked Command ship, as his fleet did their best to get into weapons range before they were forced to leave.

      “You’ve had your fun General, its time to go.” He heard a second later, as he demanded they could win, but he was told that the Gate was closing, and he and his people would be left behind unless they left now...and he swore and called retreat and every ship turned on a dime and ran back into the Gate as James and his Team followed in his ship, and as the last enemy vessel ran through...the vortex slowly got smaller until it was just a speck in the sky, then a loud ‘POP’ and it was gone and only a heavy wind was left...for about a minute... then nothing.

      They carefully watched for nearly an hour and finally the announcement was made...”The war is over, the enemy has withdrawn”..James called, as the entire world cheered and a day of celebration was declared and everyone went home and got some rest before the big ceremonies were to start.

      The World was thrilled and celebrations went on everywhere, even as the last battle was cleaned up and the wounded and dead got counted. The Earth and all its people had stood together just this once, and had defeated a much more mature and powerful race. Now they had something to be proud of and they agreed, from one nation to another, to stay close and help each other. The new technology they gained would last them for generations, and soon fleets of spaceships would soar through space, looking for peaceful and pristine worlds to claim and settle and the new power of the Suits that had helped to save them would be used again and again, from defenses to powerful new space drives for interstellar travel.

      The Earth had matured under the most strenuous tasks possible. Millions had died, and some cities just disappeared forever. But they had learned a lot,and now their planet was a Park...and they all worked together to make it that way forever, as generations of Humans found and lived on other worlds, and soon enough the Legend of Earth, the first Human World was just that, and no one but the most History oriented even had a clue where that ‘pretty blue pearl’ even was in space.


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      THE END..lol


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