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Gabekarnian

Gabekarnian

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Gabekarnian

Lungime:
454 pages
7 hours
Lansat:
Apr 4, 2020
ISBN:
9780463647905
Format:
Carte

Descriere

Its a future time in the Wayman Galaxy, a time where both human and AI powers work together in many ways, each recognizing both worlds. Technology, applications and solutions are on the rise in new and innovative ways. A new kind of brain implant has been developed providing higher processing abilities, access to immediate knowledge and information, customization enabling multitasking and interface to a variety of platforms. Four groups of people and their life path's converge together, they embark on a path neither of them could have imagined. A powerful advanced AI power from an advanced civilization across the universe leads them to new places, new people and friends, new and amazing knowledge and experiences. Advanced transformations take place, each of them are transformed in both mind and body, knowledge beyond their wildest imagination. Their lives take on new meaning as they deal with love, friendship, and strife. Together they return to their home galaxy, to begin building their civilization and people with their new knowledge, advancing their own civilization to whole new levels.

Lansat:
Apr 4, 2020
ISBN:
9780463647905
Format:
Carte

Despre autor

Much of my time is technology, design, application and management. I love spending time with my wife and family, we both grew up in Northwestern United States and consider this a wonderful place to live and play. Technology has always fascinated me, there are so many ways that technology and science can be advanced to further benefit all of us in our lives and future. I do believe in our future, our civilizations and people advancing our technologies, advancements that are only limited by our imaginations. Someday our people will branch out into the Universe, advancing our lives and technology, until then we can imagine and believe that one day it will be.

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Gabekarnian - Mike Fitting

author.


Dedication

This book is dedicated to our English Bulldog, Earl.

He shared a full life of 10 years with us.

We will always cherish your love and memories Earl.

We love you, you crazy dog!


Introduction

JT. Did you hear, there's some kind of shake up upstairs. said Kimbo.

I am just arriving through the portal from my last assignment, all I want is a beer, burger and about 12 hours sleep. I just cleared the clean room when Kimbo sees me and feels it necessary to fill me in on what ever has his attention. Kimbo is a short little bastard who make his job nothing, rumors and any other kind of nonsense he wants to tell anyone who might look at him, damned if I know who pays him to be so worthless. I ignore him and walk right passed him without any kind of eye contact.

I leave SecMod, SecMod is what we call the Security Module, the section where all Banders return, portal returns and clean room inspections. I am a Bander, another word for agent, spy, detective, prick, fuckface, we are known by many names by those we are sent to find for whatever reasons. We are on no one's Christmas list, that suits me. Kimbo doesn't let up, he insists on following me, chattering about whatever.

Listen to me you little shit, turn your ass around and get as far away from me as you can before I reset your height to a point where you can't see above your shoe tops. Don't ever say anything to me or look at me again! I yell making sure he gets my clarification as I turn and continue down the parkway toward my first stop Clancy's.

I walk in and up to the bar, not too many in here.

JT. Good to see you, been a while. Beer and smasher? asks Marla.

Ya, thanks. I said turning to look around the bar, seeing who's who. I see no one I want to see.

Here ya go JT. said Marla as she hands me a cold beer and a smasher, a burger with everything on it, especially hot peppers.

Marla owns Clancy's, passed down from her father Buddy Clancy after he was killed years ago by some asshole, shot right here behind the bar. Marla knows many Banders, this is a popular place for us. If you really want to know what's going on, ask Marla.

We are an elite group of enforcers for the Mardon Civilization, one of the largest and more powerful civilizations. We are called Banders, bloodhounds that search out a name, a name from a list, a name given to us by the upper echelons, you won't find good people on that list. We are to either return the person or ensure they are no longer available or visible to anyone. It can take time to complete our assignments, many weeks or many months, we only have a name and a facial profile. We search the galaxy for that name and face, not anywhere near easy.

At least there's someone else here I know, I'd rather look at Marla, a lot easier on the eyes. said a voice behind me, I don't have to look around, I recognize it.

Marla. Would you please hand me that air freshener, there is a foul smell behind me. I asked as Marla begins giggling.

Toby MacFarland, I could smell you anywhere, you should shower more often. I said.

Screw you JT, besides I had my annual shower only six months ago, what's your excuse. said Toby, one of a very few I might call a friend.

None, no excuses. Air fresheners are quicker. I said as Toby sits down next to me, Marla gives him a cold one and a smasher.

Where you been, its been awhile dude? asks Toby.

It was a long one, four months. I said. Four months, cosmetic surgeries do not evade our facial profiles, usually your skull doesn't change, still it makes it more difficult to find your assignment when they do all they can to alter their appearance, cosmetic surgery is just one of many ways they use to evade us.

We are Banders, not just an elite force, we are adapted humans. Our brain implants are much more sophisticated and powerful, our blood is a Class AZ1 Smart Blood full of programmed nano bodies that keep our health optimum, working to seal and restore any type of wounds. Our musculoskeletal systems have been adapted to increase our strength and stamina to five times that of normal humans. We have eye implants that enable vision of great distances including infrared and night vision.

So have you heard, something's going on. said Toby.

Shit! You too? That fucking little shit Kimbo was in my face about something. I said.

Ya, me too, the little bastard. Bolson was telling me that Cranston is out. said Toby. Bing Cranston is the Bander Commander, I never liked the prick, he's all about himself, no one else is on his radar. Cranston has been the Bander Commander for several years, he is a civilian not a Bander, not well liked, it doesn't make a dimes difference, I think I've talked to him once, thought of him less than that, he has never gotten in my face about anything.

Why? I asked, Not that I give a shit.

Don't know, Bolson said Executive Thielman wants things different. said Toby.

Executive Thielman is the Mardon Civilization Chief Executive, the big dog. Keith Thielman is a Bander, I have actually talked to him many times, not so much since he became Executive.

Ok, so what. I said.

I know nothing other than that. said Toby.

••ATTENTION! Report to SecMod Theater B58 at 1500 hours. said an all Bander message we all received through our implants.••

We barely have time to get there. said Toby as he and I leave Clancy's and head toward SecMod.

There are 300 Banders in our force, certainly not everyone is here, many will be linking in with their comm devices or implants. Theater B58 is one of the larger theaters, it holds as many as 400, there are less than 100 here. Toby and I have a seat, its not long before Executive Thielman enters surrounded by his security detail, walking up to the podium.

Thank you all for getting here on short notice, I won't take up a lot of your time. Your Commander Cranston has been dismissed, I have promoted Zeke Baylor as your new Commander. We need a Bander leading our Bander forces. Things will be very different, everyone of you are going to feel the changes. All of you will be receiving a wide variety of technology upgrades, Zeke will be working quickly with all of you as they become available. I have told Zeke that our Bander force is top priority, if Zeke needs anything, he just needs to ask. We have a lot of challenges in our Civilization, you are going to need these upgrades. Thank you all and thanks for your service. said Executive Keith Thielman.

I look at Toby, we both have raised eyebrows. Zeke Baylor is highly respected and a good friend.


ONE

A slight breeze is blowing in off the lake, enough to make the air fresh and not too musty as it streams in through my open window. The alarm in my head just blew me out of bed, finally I got some sleep last night. Clicking on the lights, its still dark, much earlier than I prefer to wake up, but this is how I adjust to normalcy after a long 8 month assignment. This morning I have to check in with medical at SecMod, we all do after a prolonged assignment. I feel my way to the kitchen, my coffee is brewing and calling me. I do not cook, coffee is the extent of my abilities and Thanks the heavens for automatic coffee makers, fridges and beer. I throw on my clothes, I don't have a washing machine and dryer as I remember to add cleaners to the heavens list, I'd be screwed if it weren't for Li's cleaners at the bottom of my apartment building. Oh, and Jakes, add Jakes Diner to the list too, one of the best diners just around the corner.

JT! Long time since I've seen you! Your up early this morning, what gives? asked Becky, the waitress here at Jakes, the kind of waitress that knows everything and everybody, a nice gal to know. If I had to pick a short list of true friends, Becky would be in the top 5 for sure.

Yep, just is. Becky how about some eggs over easy, hash browns, sausage and toast with marmalade, keep the coffee running. I asked with a smile, How are you this morning?.

Breathing, above ground, ready for anything and damned happy to be here! she said smiling as she pours my coffee. That is Becky's usual response, wiser beyond her years.

As I wait for my breakfast, I run through my messages, nothing but boiler plate operations crap. I wonder who pays people to come up with this shit, its meaningless, I have never found it useful in all the time I've been a Bander, its always there every damn morning. I see nothing else that passes the smell test, wait ... here's one from Toby.

••Be ready JT, Zeke is really mixing it up. I just met with him, no shit, he's wasting no time. Toby MacFarland.••

How informative, Toby MacFarland our Bander reporter on the streets. I wonder what the hell that means, good thing he clarified it so well, if it weren't for his detailed explanation I would have no fucking idea what he meant, twit!

Here ya go. Enjoy! said Becky delivering my breakfast, Thanks, looks great! I said.

I finish my breakfast, leave Becky a good tip, I always do, I start the six block walk up the boulevard to SecMod, the last time I'm going to make this walk. Today is a different day, after over thirty years of being a Bander in the Bander forces, doing all kinds of shit all over the galaxy, I'm done, I'm resigning my Bander commission, Commander Zeke Baylor doesn't know, no one does.

Its not a spur of the moment decision, no way, I've been planning this for the last five years. I have scrimped and saved every cent for many years now, I have accumulated a significant amount of wealth, wealth in many forms. I might be wrong but I think its going to be a shock to Zeke, not boasting but I think I'm one of the best, my performance numbers are at the top. I've lived in my dingy smelly apartment, the cheapest I could find, every day living as simply as I could planning another chapter in the life of Jordan Thatcher, that now all changes.

Not everything will change, some are not possible, at least not desirable. As a Bander I am classified and will always be classified, my A1Z smart blood is forever, my implants are as well, although soon they will be upgraded, by me, my choice. As soon as I talk with Zeke Baylor and hand him my resignation I'm on my way to see Dr. Brian Livingston, I'm scheduled to receive a Thormian implant. Thormian implants are powerful brain implants with many customizable options, everything about Thormian implants are insanely expensive. As much as I want to be a technology guru, I know that I will never be a computer guy, programming and all of that is just not in my genes, its interesting as hell to me, but I will never be a computer dude. The Thormian gives me many abilities that can give me knowledge and powers that many do not have, part of my plan.

Hey Zeke, you look good! I said as I walk into Zeke Baylor's office, this will not be easy, Zeke is a very good friend, one I've known for a long time.

JT! Back off your latest? Good to see you. said Zeke.

Yep, I'm back from a tough eight month stint Zeke. Zeke its my last, I'm resigning my commission, effective immediately. We've known each other for a long time now, I hope we will be friends for a much longer time. I said as Zeke's mouth falls open, staring at me.

What!? JT, are you sure about this? Have you thought this through? said Zeke.

I have Zeke, for some time now, I'm moving on. I said as we talked for maybe an hour. Zeke gets it, not happy about it, I have no doubt we will be friends for a long time. It goes without saying, although Zeke said it, anything I might need, he's there for me as I am for him. I leave SecMod for the last time as a Bander agent, many memories, memories that should be just that, memories.

I port over to Dr. Livingston's offices and medical complex, I will be here for maybe a week, maybe longer. Not everyone can buy a Thormian implant, you must be approved after several medical scans and compatibility tests, luckily I have been approved. Being a Bander has introduced more complexities than most, my blood, musculoskeletal system, eye implants, it makes the process more unique. I know I'm getting new eye implants, the Bander eyes I have now are not compatible and need to be upgraded.

After meeting with Dr. Livingston for an hour or so, we began the process. I don't remember anything for the first 36 hours, then I woke up, not sure if woke up is the right description, patches over my eyes prohibited me of seeing anything, the pain in my head was so intense, I drifted in and out of consciousness many times. It took several days before the pain subsided, another day before they removed the patches over my new eye implants. While drifting in and out, I kept hearing a voice, soon I was having conversations with the voice, the voice was my new companion, my own personal AI. Thormian implants come with an AI companion, a powerful and resourceful AI entity of our AI world, my new friend's name is Leo. Prior to my Thormian, downloads and resource information were very helpful, I did my best to use my implant as I needed. Now, with Leo, its a totally exponential change, I hardly feel like the same person. Its not just acquiring download information, its all so damn fast and is somehow immediately consumed by my brain, it transverses information download and becomes actual knowledge without even thinking about it. Leo is my guide, without Leo, I would spend an inordinate amount of time flailing around in a sea of downloads and information, Leo keeps me afloat.

My brain implant and Leo are one thing, my eyes are yet another unreal discovery. As a Bander I had eyes that enable me to see distances much further than others, both my sight and hearing enjoyed expanded senses. My new eyes are amazing, I'm a telescope and a microscope and everything in between. Stars and planets in space to micro life, not sure that I even thought about new eyes giving me this kind of ability but I'm not turning it down.

All of this is part of my plan, I heard about Thormian implants, researched them and although I was never sure just why I might need one, I knew I wanted one and could afford it, so I did it. Before I claimed that computers and technology were not in my genes, that I would never have the skills and would be forever envious of those who did, maybe that has changed, changed with my new found knowledge and capabilities. My plan is to be an explorer, I have been all over this galaxy of ours, always doing business and never having the time to enjoy and explore it. That's what I'm going to do, explore the galaxy. Before I get into full speed, I have some necessary things to do, things that Leo and I have to do.

>……………………¬

Dude!? I'm shutting off my connection to your nose, damn it stinks in here! said Leo as he and I enter my apartment after now a little over three weeks.

Leo's right, it is righteously ripe in here, it always smelled but my refrigerator has possibly come to life in ways that insult the word life yielding to a kind of ambience most would not approve of.

I look around, this old cheap apartment was never safe, I never kept anything of any value in here, I've been robbed more times than I can count. The only thing I might keep are clothes, but now they have been inseminated with the toxicity from the refrigerator, forever worthless. I turn around and leave the apartment, porting down to the lobby and telling the super that I am never returning and paying him for the last few weeks, adding a guilt payment to cover the costs of clean up.

Now what JT? Got to find some place to stay. said Leo.

Follow me, I have that covered. I said realizing that Leo has no choice, following me is almost a cruel play on words.

I grab a kelker, a transportation module and enter my destination down to the wharf here in the city. The wharf area is a large commerce center with fisheries, shops, restaurants and bars, there is also a large space port and huge warehouses sprinkled around the port.

Hey Corki, beer and a gabber please. How ya been? I asked an old friend Corki Warren, owner of this little bar and diner, Thumpers. Corki isn't just a good friend, she's my receptionist of sorts, anyone who knows me knows that Corki can contact me wherever I am.

Hey JT, your back, everything good? asked Corki pouring me a draft.

Yep, couldn't be better. Dax around? I asked.

Ya, he and Sara were just here, stepped out just a bit ago, I'm sure they'll be back in a few. said Corki.

Dax is an old friend, it didn't start out that way. Years ago Dax Leeman was one of my assignments, a genius with technology and ship building. Dax got mixed up with a nasty bastard called Galsker, a ruthless pirate who would steel anything from anyone, if they got in his way killing was a bonus. My assignment was to eliminate Galsker and reset Dax's life, hopefully giving him a chance to straighten out. Dax built and modified ships and freighters for Galsker, the guy is a Mozart with technology and space craft, a true savant with anything technology. I helped him figure out his life, helped him get started with his own custom business building and modifying crafts of all kinds, levitation transports to large space ships. He and his crew, just a handful of people, have unbelievable building techniques and methods, ships of all designs just happen out of nothing. Throughout the years he has become a good close friend, he's very thankful in so many ways. He met a gorgeous gal, Sara, they got married and have been happy together for some time now. Sara is the best thing that ever happened to Dax, she keeps the business moving. Sara has a real intellect with business and marketing, she has opened up new channels and designs for Dax, they are really doing well.

Corki brings me my fish sandwich, nodding toward the door as I see Sara coming in, she looks great, beautiful auburn hair down to her shoulders, gorgeous. Sara and Dax bought in with Corki some time ago, partners with Thumpers, grown it to a very popular place here in this part of the wharf. Sara sees me and walks over.

JT, how have you been, great to see you hon! said Sara with an embrace.

Babe, you get better looking all the time, if you ever get tired of Dax, let me know. I said as we both laugh, JT your such a looker, you can have any girl you want. she added.

Where is that guy? I asked.

Oh he's just outside talking with a couple guys, he'll be here in a minute. she said.

Is it ready? You got the new shielding and cloaking? I asked.

Yep, its amazing, its all yours, ready to go. said Sara.

Sara reaches up beckoning Dax over as he enters the bar.

Hey Dude! Thought you were going to be here last week? said Dax with a bro hug, Are you free? he asked.

Ya man, I'm free, no more Bander assignments, officially retired now. I said.

Sara says you were able to put those modifications in, awesome! I said.

We pulled some strings with your friend Zeke Baylor and some of my military friends, as you wanted your ship now has extra capabilities, powerful technology not available to many. Powerful weapons systems, Nordonizan Shields, Lushadar Cloaking, unreal stuff JT, no shit. said Dax.

Hope you don't mind JT, I restocked it, all kinds of food, beer, wine, alcohol, fully stocked, all ready to go. said Sara smiling.

You guys are the best, Thanks! Can't wait to check it out. You two be good, I'll check in on you later. I said as I embrace them both, good friends.

You too JT, if there's anything you need, you know where to come. said Dax as I wave goodbye walking down the six blocks on A Street to Dax's hangar building.

Walking in I stop and look at it, I never get tired of looking at it. It doesn't look like any space ship I have ever seen. I have named my ship Spirit, thinking free spirit. I wanted luxury, got it in the second level living cabin. I wanted hot technology, got it in the top level Bridge and Command section. I wanted an expansive cargo bay, it expands the entire length of the ship in the lower level.

Hey JT! Welcome back! said my ships AI pilot Fatz. Leo helped me find Fatz, he's some kind of legendary pilot in the AI world. Not just a pilot, he's also knows space forces and energies, pretty sure I'm lucky to have him.

Fatz! Good to be back. What do you think of the new goodies, everything ok? I asked.

Awesome! Freaking awesome JT, this ship is like no other, trust me, its insane. said Fatz laughing.

I think I'm lucky all the way around, a fantastic ship and two incredible AI's. Leo has told me about Fatz, he's renowned in the AI world. In turn Fatz has told me about Leo, things I would never had known if Fatz had not told me. Leo is legendary in the AI world for data and infrastructures, an analytical savant with complex data structures throughout the galaxy. The biggest thing, Leo is a member of the Federation AI High Council, his teams are highly respected, anything complex and difficult, Leo is the first contact.

JT, all ready to go, we need to book if were going to get to Arcinon in time to pick up the Linoshene for Koshner Station. said Leo.

Ok, hit it Fatz. I said as Fatz opens the hangar door and eases the ship out of the hangar ascending into space.

I've decided to do some transporting for awhile, through some of my friends I've obtained all the right transport licenses for some lucrative commerce and military contracts. Linoshene is a valued lubricant used in ship fields and a host of manufacturing centers, its expensive and I can make a real haul transporting it. Its stabilized and stored in 2,000 liter cylinders, I can carry 150 of them in my cargo bay, a serious transfer of cash.

Route clear, Warp 8 in 30 seconds JT. 76.3 hours and we emerge just outside Arcinon station. said Fatz.

Thanks Fatz, let'er rip. I confirmed.

>……………………¬

Emergence into Arcinon space in 2 minutes. announced Fatz.

Arcinon is a deep space Station belonging to our galactic federation, its a monster, over 40 billion people live, work, and play on Arcinon Station. It has everything you can imagine on it, oceans, beaches, mountains, anything and everything. Larger than most planets and brighter than many stars. Being a federation station, it has a huge military contingency attached, one hell of a lot of carriers, carrier task forces, and many many more advanced attack fighters, nobody gets near Arcinon station if they're not supposed to be.

We emerge and decelerate to sub warp 3, all ships approaching Arcinon station will advance no faster than sub warp 3, soon we will decelerate even further as Arcinon takes control. Arcinon will take control of all ships approaching.

Identification successful. said Fatz as we see two attack fighters quickly approach us, scan us, stop and make a visual identification, allowing us to proceed.

Arcinon is in control, bringing us in to docking slip AC3826, our cargo of Linoshene is awaiting us there. said Fatz.

It takes no time as the Spirit is guided into slip AC3826, we are so cautiously nudged up tight to the airlocks, two on each end of the cargo bay, pressure is accommodated and the process quickly gets underway.

Good morning Commander, all yours. I said to the shipping commander.

Good enough, 150 cylinders of Linoshene. Get them on board men! he shouts to his crew.

Almost like clock work, an hour later all 150 cylinders are loaded and we close off the airlocks and gently release our contact with slip AC3826. Fatz engages the cargo bay force fields ensuring that all cylinders are securely in place and prohibited from any movement on our journey to Koshner Station.

As we approach the required distance from Arcinon for Warp engagement, Fatz tells me that Arcinon has passed a word of warning, Burdian's are active in the area of Koshner Station, beware..

Burdian's are pesky pirate bastards, love to steal and kill. They are efficient, usually operating in groups of ten or more. They have rudimentary cloaking which allows them to surround their pray before many are aware, not us, our scanning technology is far superior, equal to the best military forces. Our shields are also of the highest military grade, Fatz tells me Burdian's can't touch us.

Koshner Station is not that far away from Arcinon, several hours later we emerge well outside Koshner station.

Visitors! announces Fatz almost as soon as we emerge. I walk over to our weapons hologram. There I see our ship, the Spirit, and approaching ships, eleven in total. We have already scanned each of the eleven, they are Burdian attack fighters with one transport usually reserved for their conquest and treasure loading. Our weapons hologram already has them designated and targeted, a shimmering red glow around each icon indicating a Target Lock.

Damn, that didn't take long, greedy little shits! I said.

Receiving Comm's. said Fatz as we are being hailed by one of them, presumably their brigade master.

Come to a full stop and prepare for boarding! If you decide to escape you will be fired upon! said the communications.

Open Channels Fatz. I said.

Au contraire! You all have three seconds to immediately turn and leave our space or you will never have time to regret your decision, what ever that may be. I returned as I started counting off three seconds.

They're charging weapons JT! said Fatz as I raise my finger and point it forward indicating engage.

Immediately eleven TAPO's are released. Tracking Absorption Plasma Orbs will approach targets at light speed, tracking them on any trajectory they choose, absorbing they're ship and within an instant releasing a powerful plasma energy disbursing only atomic sized dust throughout their vicinity in space, usually a bright flash of orange and white, no trace whatsoever of their existence.

Oooh ... Aahhh! I love fireworks! said Fatz as eleven Burdian ships are forever removed from this part of our galaxy.

I have secured a contract for military sub-assemblies, a delivery from Koshner station to the Federation Military Carrier Desmond. Our timing is almost perfect, they are awaiting us at Koshner, we can do an unload-load-go at Koshner, making way to the Desmond, 5 light years out. The Desmond is in critical need, its a rush. At Warp 10 we can deliver in 1.83 days, do I have to say this is a very lucrative contract, we'll definitely feel it in the bank account. said Leo.

That works for me, let's get to Koshner. I said as Fatz zero's us into Koshner space, a very large ship field of both commerce and military craft. As we approach I am amazed at the size, ginormous, I have seen ship fields before but nothing that approaches the size of this. Because there are military ships here, there's a large military protection force stationed there, a military outpost along side the ship field.

We offload the Linoshene, collect our credits with the purchasing agent, make the transfer in the same motion to our account, move the ship to another section and load a cargo bay full of crates, all kinds of subassemblies, the critical need by the Desmond are five crates of Pezshur Reactors, required components for Nordonizan Shields employed by most all ships from attack fighters to carriers. Our ship the Spirit also uses Pezshur reactors and Nordonizan shielding. Not everyone has the license to transport such highly classified cargo, this haul will net us a boatload of money.

Gently Fatz eases out of our birth and out to deep space to a safe distance prior to Warp 10 engagement to rendezvous with the Carrier Desmond and its task force. I have been on a lot of military ships, including carriers, the Desmond is in a class of its own, one of the newest and the largest federation carriers, I hear its a monster.

Warp 10 JT. Rendevous with the Desmond task force in 1.83 days. announced Fatz as we engage our warp drive, the stars suddenly turning into streaks then to black, then nothing but streaks of color, hues and waves of color as we pierce through space, nothing quite like a warp 10 light speed vision. Warp speed demands shielding of the highest order, our Nordonizan shielding is the the most advanced technology of our federation, without it space dust alone would obliterate our ship at any factor of light speed.

Wake me prior to emergence, I'm going to my suite and get some sleep. I said to Leo and Fatz.

>……………………¬

Spirit Captain. I am Commander Reed of RedHawk squadron attached to the Federation Carrier Desmond. We will escort you to Carrier Bay Bravo175. said RedHawk Commander Reed.

Thank you Commander, lead the way. I said as a squadron of 20 attack fighters show up within a minute after we emerge in the carrier's space.

We are a serious 600 Km away from the Mardon Federation Carrier Desmond, its size makes it look as though we are maybe a 50 Km out, more immense than I had envisioned, freaking huge. If this thing ever showed up in anyone's space, I would be very concerned. Its not just the damn carrier, its task force consists of two monster battleships, 5 frigates, transports, ice and water freighters, and Leo tells me it has 3000 squadrons of attack fighters, that's probably well over 600,000 attack fighters! There are thirty of these new classes of carrier task forces spread out across the galaxy, and they're building more.

Guys, keep my bander identity under wraps. Military circles are not too fond of bander's, they consider us mutants. I said with a subdued chuckle.

Bravo175 is a hole in the side of the carrier that is maybe as large as many planets. We approach fairly quickly and then decelerate to a slow glide, the carrier and the port opening consumes all we see, its like flying into atmosphere of a large planet, so immense. Fatz glides in to the landing section, its obvious this section of the flight bay is for transporting and shipping of all kinds.

Captain Thatcher, I'm Captain Bass. We're ready to offload if you are. It shouldn't take more than an hour, maybe close to two. Purchasing office is down the blue lane maybe a kilometer, follow the signs, you can't miss it. said a tall brawny Captain Bass.

You bet Captain, go for it. I said as I walk off the ship and head down the blue lane, a wide marked lane on the flight bay tarmac looking for signs leading me to the purchasing and receiving offices.

••JT, this is going to be a huge transfer, the purchasing officer should validate the shipment once Captain Bass confirms our load. They will make the transfer and I will validate our receipt almost instantly. said Leo.••

••Huge? What is huge, how much is huge? I asked, Never mind, I really don't want to know. You say its huge, that's ok with me. I added.••

••Enough that if we could get another one or two like this, you'll be set for life, maybe multiple lifetimes, I'm in the process of doing just that. I'm going to need your help, you need to find a Commander Marsha Paxton in the shipping offices. I have requested the contract for 800 crates of Dorsho Crystals to be transported back to Arcinon. Dorsho Crystals are the fundamental energy sources for medical labs and equipment. Its a highly classified contract and highly valued, usually requiring military escorts. I have submitted validated documentation verifying that our ship is well armed with protection and shielding. Commander Paxton has received our documentation and given her preliminary approval, she needs eyes on the Spirit Captain, an interview to confirm. said Leo.••

••Ok, I can do that. I said as I'm walking the blue line toward the purchasing and procurement offices.••

Its further than I thought, I pass a nice looking bar called Links, BBQ and meats. I have an hour or two before Captain Bass will be finished, I'm hungry and thirsty, why not. A lot of people, a lot of non military as well are in here.

What can I get you? asked the bartender.

The twister pork sandwich, fries, and a beer please. I requested.

Sure thing, up in a minute. he said pouring my beer.

So do you know a Commander Marsha Paxton, shipping department? I asked.

Ya, everyone knows Marsha. he said.

Do you know where I can find her? I said as he looks at me.

Ya, I do. She's sitting right next to you. said the bartender as I look to my right, looking at a small petite woman with short red hair, cute would be the right word for her. She's talking with another woman friend as I gently say, Excuse me, Commander Marsha Paxton? I asked as she looks over at me.

Yes. she replied.

Commander, my name is Jordan Thatcher, Captain of the transport Spirit. My procurement manager has submitted a transport request for Dorsho Crystals to be transported to Arcinon. He asked me to find you, you needed to talk with me prior to approval of the contract. I said as her eyes widened.

Oh yes, of course, Leo Gordon. she said, That's right Leo Gordon. I said.

Yes, thank you for finding me Mr. Thatcher. Its procedure and policy to actually have a personal interview for any Class Alpha shipments. Its customary that such shipments have a military escort, Mr. Gordon said that your ship was well armed and has the latest technology. she stated smiling.

Please call me JT, my friends all call me JT. Yes my ship the Spirit is unique. I said.

That's what I understand, in fact my intelligence indicates that you had a run in with some Burdian's very recently, not far from Koshner station. she said smiling.

Golly, that's quick, work gets around fast in your circles. I said smiling back.

My intelligence tells me it was very impressive. Class Alpha shipments are highly classified and of high value, they need the utmost protection. I would like to register you and your ship as pre-approved Class Alpha transporters for our Federation. In order for me to do so, I and my Lt. Commander here would need to tour your ship and validate what you tell me is correct. she said.

Hello Captain, my name is Lt. Commander Tass. said the Commander's friend seated next to her.

Pleasure to meet you. I said, Would you two like to visit my ship now, its currently being offloaded by Captain Bass, its a good time if you two have the time? I asked.

Perfect, let's go. said Commander Paxton as we leave the bar and I escort them to the Spirit.

Oh my! That is very impressive. I must say I have never seen such a ship as that, very unique. said the Commander, Copy that! said Lt. Commander Tass as they both stare at the Spirit. There are other deck hands walking around the ship also checking it out, it is impressive.

Thank you. I have a very good friend who built this for me, I regard him to be a genius, a technical savant of sorts. I said, "Please follow me to the Bridge and Command center as we port up to the bridge.

If they were impressed with the outside of the Spirit, this will nock them dead I think to myself. We emerge into the bridge and command center.

Commander Paxton, Lt. Commander Tass, please allow me to introduce my Pilot and ships AI Fatz. I said.

Commander, Lt. Commander, its a distinct privilege to meet you. said Fatz.

Fatz, please give Commander Paxton and Lt. Commander Tass the full tour, answer any and all questions that they may have. I said.

Absolutely JT, very happy to do so. said Fatz.

As Fatz is guiding them through our bridge section, they both are looking over at the navigation and communications hologram center, beyond that is the weapons and targeting control center, galactic and a variety of individual hologram projections up and displayed, their eyes and mouths are wide open, expressions of amazement.

Fatz gives them the full meal tour, not leaving anything out, its obvious they are more than blown away with what they see.

Lt.

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