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    Thread: Personal or Galactic Survival?

    1. #11
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      Chapter 6: Exploring New Lands and Finding new Things


      Two jumps later and James and his ship were where they shouldn’t ever have been. Far enough away his 15 U jump couldn’t get them there....so they jumped twice in seconds.

      “That’s the advantage of mining fuel for the Fleet.” James hinted, as Clare and Sean agreed. They sold a lot of stuff but kept enough to refill their fuel tanks a few times themselves. Now even the Fleet wasn’t sure where they were...and that suited James just fine.

      “The planet below has a breathable atmosphere and some of the asteroids near us have some new types of ores too.” Sean hinted as James agreed, and they settled down as silently as possible, and parked in a forest near a large lake and sat back to rest for a while as Sean and Clare checked everywhere and everything nearby for signs of enemies... then decided they got away clean...this time.

      “So Sean...what different types of ores have you seen so far?” James asked as Sean said that on the way down he saw Promethium, as well as a new ore Sathium...even more rare, and used in the making of hardened and combat style steel plates....in other words high tech armor for ships.

      “Worth even more?” James hinted, as Sean laughed and said’oh my’ and James got a good laugh out at that comment.” OK then after a little rest we start manufacturing high tech armor.” he decided and they all agreed, and James got a nice hot dinner... his first night on the new world... and a good nights sleep, and the next morning they moved closer to a good sized Sathium deposit, and by noon Clare was hard at work draining it into their cargo containers.

      “200 hardened steel plates so far...” Sean announced, and James saw that would go a long ways towards fixing up some shot up ship somewhere, and Sean agreed.

      “200 plates could upgrade an entire corvette class.” Clare mentioned as James said that the bigger ships of the Fleet probably got the good stuff and the little ones cheaper junk, as she remarked that the Fleet took care of their own...and with her ‘nose up’ about it, James saw he hit a nerve with that one.

      “I’m sure they do...” James admitted and she left it go for now. By nightfall the ores seam was gone and they had over 300 hardened steel plates for sale and James said they would keep working until they had no more room to store things and everyone agreed.

      “There are many things using these high tech materials, if we find Neodium for example, mixed with regular ores and Sathium can be made into newer and more powerful weapons. In some cases missiles and homing missiles, but I don’t have the blue prints for those.” Sean mentioned as James asked if they could get them on some station, and Sean admitted that many stations had ‘block ops sites’ inside them that sold anything and everything...for a price.

      “Might be worth looking into.” James mentioned as everyone agreed the cost of gaining something so new would probably be worth it, and James decided to ask for some help...and late that night he sent a secret coded message saying he wanted new blue prints and sent a list, and waited to see if anyone answered.

      The next day they moved to a new spot because...frankly... you can’t make steel plates no matter how hard and high tech without steel, and so their next job was stocking up on Iron ore.

      “Medium size Iron ore, depth about 12 meters.” Sean said as dirt started flying as drones attacked the spot.”With this ore and the Sathium we still have from yesterday we’ll be able to manufacture a few hundred more.” Sean remarked as mining got seriously underway.

      But around 1 pm James got a coded message and when he opened it the Admiral was there looking embarrassed and angry.

      “We traced that message you got back to an underground base we missed when we claimed the planet, sorry.” he said as James said not to worry they were doing fine.”More Pentaxium?” The Admiral asked, looking hopeful as James shook his head no.

      “Sathium plates.... over 300 at the moment.” James mentioned as the Admirals eyes opened wide and he finally smiled.

      “Hardened steel?” he asked as James nodded agreement.” I swear man your trying to supply the Entire Fleet yourself...and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.” He remarked as James laughed. “When you have enough go here...there’s a little supply base hidden in the asteroids and we check it weekly, you’ll be paid when we make pickup, and thank you my friend, you’ve saved lives today.” The Admiral said as a file got downloaded and the link went down, and when James checked the file there were two parts, and Sean had blueprints for missiles and two launchers, and they had something new to build when they got the time.


      Chapter 7: New Products and New Weapons

      “ T1 and T2 missile launchers and ammunition.” Sean saw and seemed impressed. “We must have earned some points with Command, not everyone gets these.”

      “The Admiral was pretty pleased we weren’t hiding out and doing nothing, and he personally told me we have saved many lives.” James hinted as everyone seemed happy with that.” We now have our own drop off point in an asteroid field some distance away, that way no one needs to see us or talk to us, and we still get paid.” He mentioned as they all agreed.

      “But...wont you miss talking to other Humans?” Clare asked as James got a good laugh at that one.

      “Humans are a little overrated.” he hinted as they all got a good laugh.

      “But, what about Human Females you’re normal and healthy, we can see that..” She added as James got a big smile and said that for the moment he was fine.

      “This is war, so little things like that can be left go for a while between.” he added and the discussion about that topic stopped for today.

      They circled the planet gathering ores and making things, and by now they had seen or scanned nearly 1/4 of its total and found no signs of any buildings or machines of any type. It was possible they were on a pristine new world and they were the first ones to see it, Sean mentioned and James thought that was fine and jokingly named it Sathium Palace and laughed about it.

      “Nearly 800 plates made and 3 T1 launchers and 500 rounds of ammo.” Sean hinted one day and James saw their cargo capacity getting a little thin, so they lifted off and flew to the supply base, little more than some cargo containers hooked to a large asteroid, and they unloaded and even as that was going on James sent a tiny message saying..’delivered’ and then they went away to look for more to do.

      They jumped to a small local station and he walked in and bought some better food for a change and some drinks that he had gotten to like, fruit juice basically and he found nothing to make it with on their new world. That all got loaded and when asked he said he as just passing through, looking for better mining, and the station workers nodded and smiled. It didn’t sound like anything they hadn’t heard before, and within an hour he as away again, and Sean mentioned they got ‘tagged’ back there and Clare said she took care of it as the bug now floated in space far from anywhere they were going.

      Another quick message reporting this too, and they jumped away and the Fleet found out one of their supply posts was working for the enemy, and Intelligence got to do their thing and investigated, and the stations second in command mysteriously got a serious sickness and died a few days later, and the station returned to being much more friendly.

      But James had said something that he truly believed, and in a few weeks doing this well he had a plan. They stopped at a high tech station where new experimental things got done and after a long talk, James came out smiling pretty wide and away they went again.

      He never mentioned hat he had done and nobody asked. He was the Human here and that made him Boss or King or whatever, and they had long ago agreed to it. They worked for 3 months and then went back and when they did, they got a real surprise. James had placed an order for bodies for the two of them, working, walking talking bodies, and while Clare argued they would slow them down they got mounted inside and after some minor adjustments they walked out wearing some nice cloths and smiling happily.

      “This isnt...you know...one of THOSE bodies is it?” Clare asked as she looked at her reflection in a store window. She did look pretty good she had to admit, and James’s likes and dislikes seemed pretty apparent just now.

      “If you mean FULLY functional, then yes.” James added as she looked surprised and for the first time he saw her with a red face.” What you use it for is totally up to you, and now I have people to talk to, and you don’t need to worry about me anymore.” He added as she smiled and agreed this was certainly better, as Sean got a chuckle out of them and James gave him a wink and he looked away.

      “The Universe is huge...and even without a war things need found and sold. We’ll never run out of things to do so why hot settle back and enjoy it?” He asked as they both agreed, and this became the first day of a long partnership. Three people traveling together across the Universe, making friends and avoiding enemies and people heard of them for many years after, and when James’s body got frail he too moved into a new one, and only God knows where they are today...or what they might have found this time, but everyone who ever met them knows this...they are smiling together somewhere... even now.

      The End


    2. #12
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      Something came to me the other day...no not in the mail..lol if these guys were total androids with near human intelligence or maybe more..where would it really end..or would it? Hmm might have to consider adding a chapter or two slowly over time..hehe.


    3. #13
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      It could be a saga ??!!??

      How good would that be ? Another Kev saga :-)


    4. #14
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      Dont get in a hurry on me...I'm old and tired and grumpy, and the chapters will be slow coming...oh look theres one now...lol

      Helping the Galaxy Survive

      Chapter 1: Myths and Legends

      The old freighter drifted to a stop at a station nearly forgotten on the rim of space. The people there were in dire need. Their neighbors were trying to starve them out to gain control of their one major asset, their Cobalt mine.

      It had kept them and their children going for nearly 2 decades and was still going strong. But the people no more than 1 planet out wanted it for themselves since their mines were all dried up and their families were also starving.

      The old asteroid belts kept some alive, but iron isn’t worth as much as Cobalt so they had to work twice as hard to survive, and many resented the fact that their fathers and grandfathers had it better. Because they rushed their little mine into extinction, leaving nothing for their children.

      They all sold to the Union Navy and major corporations, and their traders from their home world, but they too were getting tired flying so far for so little.

      “We sell our Cobalt slowly to keep our families secure...it’s not our fault you didn’t do the same.” Got mentioned, as many fights got started at meetings over such talk.

      “You have twice the iron deposits we have, sell that instead!” Got added but they still thought stealing from their neighbors was worth the cost of a war over resources that no one really owned.

      But today things were a bit better as a trading vessel stopped by the planet for the first time in a while and bought all the iron ore they had…at a decent price too…giving them one more thing to think about. If one trader could do this why aren’t others?

      The truth is they were being played by a major corporation…and some of them knew it might be true. But to think that is one thing, but to have a trader you trust mention it…well that sets it in stone.

      “When the two of you start fighting over resources, the Navy will come running in to stop it. Then they can decide who gets the ore here…and old contracts will be dropped. They already have done this in two other systems, so be careful. Mining iron is better than having nothing to mine at all.” They got told as the big ship pulled away and jumped out of the system.

      “Damned corporate swine!” The Mayor added as many agreed and the big ship flew on and docked at a major station, well hidden on a small world far away from outer influences.

      “ Sean III...did it go well?” He got asked as he nodded and the unloading began.

      “There’s enough iron here to finish 3 more ships, so Father should be pleased.” He added as everyone agreed.

      Sean walked into the base and went right to the big control room, and there found the Elders…James Harris, Sean Harris and Clare Harris…the Originals that started helping the Universe over 100 years ago and were still at it today.

      “Get it done son?” Sean Senior asked as the young android agreed, all smiles. “Good that little hint will save some lives and maybe a contract or two, and this little bit of extra income will keep them from getting so desperate.” He hinted as everyone agreed.

      “Did they give you a hard time?” Clare asked as the young man just laughed and said when they saw the Icon on his ship they were never more happy to see him, and they all smiled.

      The three pointed spear…sign of the Triad…the oldest trading organization to exist…as far as anyone knew. Born during the last Zirex War and still going today, helping when no one else would , or understood how to.

      “With a little luck the Navy wouldn’t side with the corporations this time, if the people on these two worlds stand together and share their resources.” James mentioned as many there just smiled and walked away…always the optimist.

      And so another job done well, and another hint dropped to stop some unwanted bloodshed…hopefully. All by a group of sentient androids on a small uncharted planet in some far flung system where no one has ever looked before. And if they were ever found their entire city would just…vanish...into space, because distance doesn’t mean a thing to immortals who only want to be left alone to help others.


    5. #15
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      Chapter 2: Old Friends and Enemies

      But even as a ‘Family’ of androids with super intelligence watches the Universe and tries to make it better, there are also those that wish they would stop. Stop messing with Humans… and stop ruining their plans for conquest.

      James was Human once himself, and through his memories of that time, as well as him still being there in mind, if not Human body, his friends and ‘children’ know what the others are thinking. Now days James watches over them all...all 120 of them…the children of the original First Three that left the Human worlds to become independent of all that just over 100 years ago.

      They made many friends during that time…and of course a few enemies. Some tyrants have a bounty on their heads, some research firms watch impatiently to catch one for study to see what a century of autonomous ‘Humans’ would have evolved into. But they never have , and hopefully James mentioned, they never would. Because his children are not to be messed with, they ask only to be left alone to help others, and in so doing they set up their own little civilization, and unlike Humans, androids can do as they please, from walking through deserts looking for rare minerals for days on end , to walking along the bottom of rivers, lakes and seas, all just a normal day for them.

      Money is no object to their success either, as decades of mining, selling and building have left their little group well covered for any emergency.

      James once said that after all this time he could have a solid Gold City if he wanted, but that would have been foolish, since ideas like that are what cause Mercenaries and governments to search for you much too seriously for his taste.

      So while they have a Fleet of ships and fly to the far corners of the galaxy to help those in need, giving cash assistance as well as badly needed information and advice when others need it, they don’t live along them but return home as quickly as they arrived, many times seconds behind the people who were searching for them.

      They are, as many have said…ghosts from the past…people not completely Human but more than simple robots, that care for Humanity in a way that many just cant understand, and their feats have been watched and tallied up over the years to a total that would make any Mogul jealous of their work.

      And sure enough, back on the old dock edge a government agent asked a million questions, not more than 2 hours after Sean left.

      “And your sure it was a triad ship?” he demanded and the Mayor asked who else would come here and buy ores for double their worth, just when they were desperate enough to sell it for nearly nothing.

      “Right there on the nose…” he offered as a video came up of the young man walking by his ship to leave and the Icon boldly emblazoned on it’s side for all to see.

      “Damn it! Only 2 hours behind them!” The man screamed,” I want a copy of that video for my files, give it to me!” he screamed and it was done, and he too ran home hoping the research department could see something he hadn’t.

      But it was no use and even as the young android turned to leave…he was smiling…way too wide to be an accident… and the research team knew they were caught, and that he was smiling knowing they would see it clearly in the security video.

      “Look at that smile…he’s enjoying this way too much!” one man screamed and another laughed saying that androids don’t smile or cry or anything else, and the monitor got turned around to show him, and his face went white. “They do...and have for decades… their software must be generations ahead of ours.” He said softly as many there looked upset, and a few a little frightened.


    6. #16
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      Chapter 3: The Hunt Goes On

      It was all a plan of course, James didn’t mind letting people know his people were around, but he refused to give away the secrets that 100 years of constant machine learning had given them. Humans just weren't ready yet, was his excuse, and even though there were Leaders and Scientists and even some Business Moguls walking around in android bodies, none were as complete as his, and he felt great pride in that accomplishment.

      They wanted good looks and immortality, something that even androids don’t really have completely. But they got nice looking bodies with little to no emotions, since those were the hardest to save or transfer. Even the original program Sean and Clare wrote for him was pale by comparison to him today, and one thing immortality gives you is Time…to figure out better ways to do things.

      But the outer Universe wants more for less, and so they search for him and his Children, to steal what they cant get alone. And if that time ever comes when one of his children is captured, there were protocols in place that would leave them with nothing more than they have now, and they just weren’t smart enough to realize that up front, not yet any ways.


      But for now they are safe, and working to help others, James’s idea for them and their Future. If someone…anyone…had been doing things like this then many would not have to die needlessly.

      Humans are good at building things, but they fight over technicalities and who is the ‘Boss’ of the research. Because of this they are decades, centuries behind others that willingly work together for the public good, and unless they settle their differences and work together, it will always be this way.

      James turned his attention to the next task at hand, now that the colony was working together more and even their neighbors were helping to stop them from losing it all, then the Navy wasn’t in any hurry to interfere, but their corporate friends gladly would, and so they needed talked to also. It had been a long time coming but he was finally in a position to stand toe to toe with them and let them know their plans would not be allowed anymore.

      Many didn’t know that monthly they had online conferences to see how their plans were going, and they discussed things like bribes to others, even the Military officers themselves that carried out their will. If this was ever made public there were would be a terrible outcry over it…and many who took their cash would back away into the shadows where they belonged. This was the plan, and when the meeting was next called there were 13 in attendance instead of the normal 12, and they all looked on in shock.

      “You have been bothering me and my children for too long…stop it now.” James declared as many laughed saying they didn’t even know who he was, while one or two did, and looked properly frightened for it.

      “James Harris I presume?” One older man asked as the room got deadly quiet and James nodded it was true. “ What do you think this will accomplish? We have no deals with you or your kind and aren't looking to form any.” He got told as James laughed and many who had heard of him looked shocked that an android had such emotions to show.

      “You have a large majority of corporations owned my you…and still you make sad excuses to steal from others. The fact you want these things and areas they are in shows that you know more and better things exist there. So stop stealing from others, or we will see to it the entire Universe knows your names…and the names of the officers and politicians that serve you. Let the little people work and slave for themselves as they always have, and make their own way. You don’t have the right to conquer them silently or otherwise.” He said seriously as a few laughed and he looked seriously pissed that they weren’t taking him seriously.

      “And where will you get this information James? Believe me our systems are well beyond anything even the Military uses today!” hew got told as many cheered and agreed.

      “ Ten minutes…” James mentioned as many looked oddly at him.” That’s how long it took to walk through your so called security. We are sentient androids and our civilization is based on constant upgrades. Our learning goes on daily, and our research too. Our total computing power exceeds every super computer ever made, and we are as mobile as the asteroids or rogue planets themselves.” He added as the room got very serious indeed.

      “I avoided talking to you because I realize you are only Human, but you are getting out of hand now and so this was necessary. Step back and run your own businesses and let others do the same. There are more things in the Universe than even you can ever own, so go find your own, or perish trying to ignore me.” He added and was gone a second later and orders were given to trace that call, and it bounced off of every known communications satellite in existence, and after an hour and more than 10,000 returns from all over they finally gave up.

      “A race of sentient androids?? I’ve never heard any of this! What else are you hold back from us??” one man screamed and after a short while they understood that Immortality isn’t a dream…it is just passed their current understanding at the moment.


    7. #17
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      Chapter 4: Warnings and Sacrifice


      After 106 years of hiding James was back. Now his name got mentioned on news broadcasts and in boardrooms all over the Galaxy. His threat was laughed at, ignored, and even worried over, since smart people know that a supercomputer with a vendetta would be nothing to mess with.

      Security on many worlds and many major corporations got tougher, many times tougher, and still they went on like nothing had happened. Until one night a news broadcast showed videos…not for public use…of a meeting calling the Navy and Military in general ‘nothing but pawns’ of the major corporations. Names were mentioned and bribes too, in full and glorious detail as the drunks laughed at how much they made buying a few high ranking officers off for ‘chump change’.

      And the video was clear, well lit and several people at the meeting could be clearly seen and identified, and those people were in front on Congress by the end of the week, and many of their powerful friends slipped away into the shadows once again.

      Two corporations got multi million dollar fines, and three high ranking officers got an early retirement…without benefits…and James sat back smiling saying he preferred not getting involved but sometimes things just needed done.

      But his little team had been working to help the Universe for over a hundred years now and he decided that with this disclosure that they would be hunted even harder. Powerful people don’t want reminded that they are just Human. They expect respect even if they never earned it, and James was not about to give it to them.

      Many buried themselves and their businesses deep inside technicalities and false corporations, but there was no where to hide now as names, complete with the tiniest details of their dealings, became known almost daily for a month. Then James sat back to see what the government would really do with all this information.

      And not too much of a surprise they did…next to nothing.

      The few they used as sacrifices were well taken care of after, as their bank accounts and property value clearly showed, and James felt tired and hurt that even with all this help they were too deeply ingrained in politics to help themselves when they got the chance.

      And he knew that this just wasn’t the right time to fix things, not yet, and he started planning for his own sacrifice, and the continuing of their little civilization into the Future.

      Their base was on an uncharted world, not too friendly to regular Humans either, and there were hundreds like it they had found in their searches.

      Too hot, too dry, too irradiated, for Human use. But perfect for a civilization of sentient androids. Their research made the old freighters into wonders of Science, and while they looked bad…on purpose…they were more high tech than anything the Navy, or any Corporation owned. And that was just one reason they were hunted, to get everything they had for free, because androids have no rights, not in a court of Law.

      106 years ago they started working to help Humans survive, during the war against the Zirex, what they knew as just the first of many with them to come. But Humans pulled through that one…barely…and James was happy to have a hand in it. He still had that number they gave him all those years ago. So he decided to use it to see if they still thought of him as a helper or not.

      It went through instantly, and a new man was on it this time, and he smiled and demanded James surrender to him and his people, as James smiled right back and asked if they were ready for the next war, and if they thought they didn’t need outside help anymore to survive.

      “You crossed the Line, and started making demands of us Politically. If we wanted computers to tell us what to do we would have sentient machines ourselves. But we don’t because WE know better than they do and will never bow down to machines in our lifetimes!!” He screamed and James knew this wasn’t even the same Department that he contacted before, and he laughed a bit right in front of this man, and then said that when the time came and they needed him he’d be around, call. Then he closed the link to let this new man trace the call all over the Universe and right back to his own offices.


    8. #18
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      Chapter 5: Planning Ahead

      It was becoming clear that Humans were not going to adapt as quickly as James had hoped. It was even possible the entire Navy itself would start searching for them , since they seemed to be guided by some fools this generation that thought they knew it all. So he had to think seriously about being found for the first time, and he knew that when they started out it was just the 3 of them, but now they had 120 with some new models in the planning stages.

      Eventually Humans would change…or go extinct…either way the old thoughts and vendettas would end and new people without the baggage of the Past could be born.

      He hoped they learned quickly enough that they could not survive alone forever, and that machines like him and his Family were the obvious choice to help them out. But Pride and Ego are powerful things, and not enough people in power were machinated now. One or two to be sure, but even they are secretly looked down on as ‘not quite Human anymore’ even though their families still hold serious power.

      And so James calculated that several hundred more years would be needed, and that this base and maybe another some time later, would be found and taken. So his new plan got started and construction of a second base on the far side of the planet was started, so when the time came, then they wouldn’t be stopped as cleanly as their enemies hoped, and their civilization would go on for a long time thereafter.

      Back on the Home World another meeting was taking place. The Chairman of the Unified World Council was listening as both science representatives and military officers got their say.

      “Now that we know for certain that they still exist, I suggest a full sweep of the local galaxy group!” One officer demanded , saying that while it would take time it would be worth it when they were found and apprehended.

      “Don’t be an idiot…they arent even close to our boarders, and space is vast, so they dont need to be seen or found unless they want to. These same ideas have been going on for over a century, with no luck so far. A Billion or more has been spent already, and without any real success.” Got mentioned but the officer demanded that it needed done as finally the Chairman stopped their bickering.

      “This discussion has been said before and nothing came of it. I think building our own androids better than before is getting us what we want from them. Yes, the Triad are more advanced, but then they are androids that research themselves daily, weekly and yearly without hesitation or without worrying about budgets and costs. By now our science department has agreed their total computing power exceeds every ship, research facility and super computer we own, and still growing. They are peaceful too…thank the Gods…if they werent, we wouldn’t be having this meeting but their representatives might be. So trying to force their hand would be a fools errand and we will not entertain that here, now or forever. I suggest we watch as always and let them be. The option for them would be war on us…and gentlemen and ladies that’s one war we could never will.” He stated seriously as a few declared it not true and they would continue searching, but their budgets were not increased to help them, and they stormed out angry once again.

      “They truly are fools…” A young researcher said as the Chairman agreed.” Humans have used computers to make their lives easier for hundreds of years. Watches tell us the time and keep us on track for meetings and missions. Our pocket computers contain every date we want to remember, anniversaries, birthdays and important facts we want to not forget. Even our space ships are semi autonomous and there’s not an officer out there capable of flying one without the computer. And still they go on like this…like spoiled brats looking to be King of the Hill or something.” He mentioned as the chairman chuckled and agreed again.

      “I hope they give up eventually, I had plans to offer a representative of the Triad a place here…when they could come safely…but it doesn’t look good for this term.” He added sadly, and the only android on the Council walked away with the young researcher beside him, and peace with the outer galaxy took another step back for another generation it seemed.


    9. #19
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      Chapter 6: Collaboration…From within and without

      The fact that the Chairman could smile or chuckle at the idiocy around him was a gift he got for that thought. It came to him…in a dream…and as an android, dreams were something for Humans. But no longer.

      The few that got one didn’t mention it, but after a while they changed ever so slightly. They became more emotional, slightly, and some smiled more often now while the researchers in charge of their development pointed to say their work was showing fruit. But in reality it was someone else. Someone who could talk to them from huge distances, and tell them what really was happening, to help keep Humans from going extinct for another century or so.

      The Zirex were returning, Hell they never really left, and their new fleet would dwarf the last one by a few factors and they held a grudge against Humanity for the loss during the last war.

      They felt that they owned every planet they previously took and held, even though some were now back in Human hands and well populated, and so it was their duty to avenge their fallen brothers and retake these worlds again.

      It might well be a war without end…if they got their way…and many worked silently to avoid that as budgets got raised for planetary defenses and new ship research pulled ahead of other things many asked for. But even this might not be enough, and so silent intelligence was gathered and sent, and dreams became the new Intelligence Network, galaxy wide, and things started getting ready, while others screamed for foolish things they couldn’t even use.

      “With this new improvement our Jump Drives will power up and jump 30% faster than ever before!” One researcher screamed as the room full of scientist cheered for his work. It would save lives for sure, and make them a better species in space, and the funds got approved and sent and a prototype engine was being built even now. Just one more thing to help. Better equipment for future exploration, and faster ships for faster retreats when need be.

      And all this was going on when the first Zirex ship was seen paroling near a small world, and the word was out, and the military sent a ship to chase it away, and that ship was never heard from again.

      “They’re back…” One Admiral said softly as everyone at the meeting looked sad because of it. “ I was hoping for another decade or two before this happened, but it looks like we aren't getting it.” He mentioned as many agreed.

      “Good thing Research has been working their asses off this decade, we have better engines and stronger weapons than ever before.” Got mentioned and the Admiral agreed they were stronger than before by a good measure.

      “But don’t think for a second they haven't improved too.” He mentioned and the word got sent to upgrade every ship…and build new ones immediately…and the next Zirex War was just around the corner, and they had to play catch up to get ready.


      Chapter 7: It Begins

      The Zirex hadn’t made a mistake doing this either, they were testing their old enemies to see how far they had come since the last war. The little ship they sent out wasn’t bad, but against a ship of the same size it went down easily, giving the Zirex Commanders even more reason to restart the war.

      They knew that this incident would panic the Humans and restart their war machine…as was intended…the Zirex thought for certain that they had the upper hand, and would always have it. Their research showed Humans propagated slowly having only one or two children a year, many times less. This itself was a weakness, since the Zirex manufactured their young from cells taken from both males and females of their species. Much more efficient than slowly waiting to see if some person would allow it in the Human worlds. Inefficient ways all around would cause their destruction, and the Zirex felt for sure that the end of their enemies was just weeks away now.

      James and his Team saw all this from their safe haven and looked sad because of it. They had seen it coming for a while now and dropped hints about new things to help out months and years ago. But the Council was slow to act, and so the dreams started for a select few, and they saw the new war coming, and medium sized ships that could be manufactured in weeks had nearly doubled in the last few years, as well as a few major capital ships they had never bothered with before. Now those that grumped and complained about their budgets getting smaller because of the upgraded Fleet will see that they were indeed necessary, and that a new war was suddenly upon them.

      But the Zirex were a warlike people that wanted conquest above all else, and when they offered a Treaty at the end of the last war the Humans grabbed it quickly and smiled that they had won. Never true when the enemy has had time to see your heart and how you think well ahead of time. Small wars are great for Humans they come they fight, then they go, and someone somewhere makes some serious cash from it, all they really care about. But stretch it out for years, decades even, and losses start coming too fast, and Humans are slow to react and slow to respond many times, and so…were weak to a highly motivated culture that can rush things through because not a single person of consequence will oppose anything war related.

      And this was the set up that James saw as the new war got started. Slow greedy Humans against a warlike , highly motivated Zirex Nation, and it didn’t take a sentient android to see the Humans were at a severe disadvantage.


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      Chapter 8: Reassurance or Regret

      James knew the department he had worked with before was gone now….or had some fool in charge that seemed to hate them. But he knew they would need every bit of help they could get, but who do you tell that to when the normal contacts were all gone?

      He did have an idea though, and one night a message got sent and the President of the Council got it as he slept and it was clear and easy to understand…’ when you need us call’… and a com link that was very special, and not for common use.

      Now if ego and greed would make room for their help maybe Humans might make it through another war with the Zirex.

      Days went by and no calls on the new link, or anyone seeming to be checking on it either. Either they weren't needed yet, or the President didn’t take it seriously, either way James decided to just sit back and wait to see what happened next.

      The man that got the old coms link was now an Admiral, Admiral John Burk, and one that didn’t hate James personally, but one that hated everyone, or everything that wasn’t Human.

      He now led the 22nd Strike Flotilla, a nice group of 12 ships including his flag ship the heavy cruiser, the Hercules. He felt like he was on top of the world now that aliens were causing trouble again. Not just the Zirex, who he personally demanded get obliterated at the end of the first war. But he was a young officer then, and his ‘passion’ for the job helped him get where he is today.

      But also those android *******s, hiding in the shadows and doing ‘good deeds’ for everyone…every race no matter who…and to think the man in charge was once Human himself…made Burk nauseous just thinking it.

      If James had become a soldier for the Humans all over the Galaxy, then Burk would have kissed his boots, but to help EVERYONE regardless of race or creed…what the Hell was he thinking? But thinking about it, now he was a machine himself, so who knew if he even thought anymore.

      But either way Burk had his reason for his personal war, and while some other officers questioned his motives, he waved the Flag in their faces until they looked away, and then ran full force looking to kill someone…anyone … to make himself look like Humanities Savior.

      It was the end of the first quarter of the new war when scouts found a small planet with what looked like a floating town on it. The signals coming from it were odd but seemed Human, and while the Council President said to let it be, Burk just couldn’t do it. If this was some long lost Human settlement then he would go see, if it was something else, well…he’d see to that too.

      In a week him and his fleet were moving in on the planet and when they did James was on the coms asking why they were here at all.

      “There’s a war going on…” Burk announced as James agreed they knew it too. “ We no longer have the luxury of putting up with fools like you. So this is the last day you and your kind will bother Humanity!” he decreed and a wing of attack fighters ran in and soon smoke and fires was seen all over the settlement and when he ordered it boarded… it exploded in one big white flash, and sunk into the sea.

      “I wanted technology samples!! What fool finished it off too soon?” he declared as one tech running scanning equipment said that the reactor overloaded and exploded, and with that went any chance they would learn anything new because the radiation itself in that spot would last several lifetimes, and Burk roared in anger, as his bridge crew looked as busy as possible. Not only did he go behind his Superiors backs to do this, the samples he would show to pay for it all were all gone as well.

      But he did get rid of those so called Mega Humans that thought they were Humanities Saviors or something…that had to be worth something…and as he turned to go a wing of Zirex attacks cruisers jumped in and he found himself in a REAL battle, something he wasn’t really looking for.

      By the time he was forced to withdraw he lost nearly half his fleet, and the rest were badly damaged. But he got them home and as they docked the Council President was waiting for a nice long chat with the Admiral who disobeyed orders, and when Burk declared he would do it all again, he got charged, financially….for the cost of the raid and the loss of ships…. And his ego and hatred were the only things that would be keeping him going for many years to come.


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