Old man Peters stepped out of the dark night into the lights just as Jihan rushed from the compound and bumped into Peters almost knocking him down. “Oh, gosh I’m so sorry.”


“What’s so important to bring me out at night?” Peters pulled out an old-time compass that shined in the moonlight. “Maybe, it’s your birthday?”


Jihan gushed when she saw it. “That’s the one from your personal collection. You can’t be giving it to me.”


“You my dear are more special as my collection. So what’s up?”


“I called for you because I have something to share with you.” She hesitated to continue. “You are the only person I trust to tell this to. They’re here!” Jihan shouted.




“The rescue ship from Earth, I saw it.”


“Are you sure?”


“I know what I saw. It wasn’t Khad. It established an orbital radius that was less than 300 kilometers and then decelerated into a low orbit, and then fired its rockets to course and enter a final trajectory along our hemisphere.” She said all in one breathe.


“Breathe, you’re about to hyperventilate. “I guess there’s no point arguing.”


“I wish I wasn’t marrying Sean.” Peter’s expression changed to anger startling her and she took a step backward. “After what Bethany told me,”


“What exactly did Bethany tell you?”


“She told me I would marry a spaceman from Earth.”


“Old Bethany, the prophecy.”


“Do you believe in the Prophecy?”


“I’ve always been in awe of Bethany’s ability.” Peter’s stopped, “But what of this arranged marriage?” 


She looked up at Peters with her beautiful eyes welling up. “Well, now that the prophecy seems to be coming true.”


“I suppose you think this changes everything?” Peters’ face ran cold, His gaze off into the night. “The three celestial bodies are in the same night sky. The occasion for a Royal marriage to take place.” He sighed, “Unfortunately more believe in the Khad armada than do they in Bethany and her prophecy.”


“I know what you are trying to say, I have responsibilities to the people and the House of Aurora. No matter who arrives from Earth I can’t disregard responsibility.”


“I grow more proud of you with each passing day. Having said that the truth is I no one knows what the future holds; except for maybe Bethany.”


Jihan laughed hardily. “Thank you, Peters, I love you.”


“There you go again trying to give me a heart attack.”


“Well good night.” She kissed his cheek and went inside.


“Good night.” I hope your ready





 Class G: our Sun. Alpha Centauri A, Capella, Tau Ceti

Class F: Procyon

Class K: Alpha Centauri B, Epsilon Eridani, Aldebaran


Mars (Sol System) Terrestrial Army

Alpha Centauri Proxima Station

82 Eridani (Interstellar Fleet)

Epsilon Indi A (Extraterrestrial Army

Tau Ceti (United Earth Space Force)

47 Ursa Major (Sector One)

Procyon A (Advanced Military Science and Tech TRAP DOOR)

58 Eridani (Star Gate to Great Divide)

61 Cygni A (Special Forces Annex – Top Secret)

Alpha Sigma Epsilon (Far Side Station)

Vega United Colonies (Independent Colonial Marines)

 Earth-Dom Colonies and bases

58&82 Eridani: Military Bases

Omicron2: Science Station Planet 4

Alpha Centauri B: Space Station Proxima Centauri

Tau Ceti: Full Earth Colonies, on Aries 3, Cetus 4

18 Scorpio: Science Bases on planets 3 & 5

51 Pegasus: Science and Exploration bases on planets 3 & 4

Eta Cassiopeia: Earth Colony on Achird 4,

Alpha Cassiopeia: Earth Colony on Shedir,

Beta Cassiopeia: Earth Colony on Caph,

Delta Cassiopeia: Earth Colony on Ruchbah,

Epsilon Cassiopeia: Earth Colony on Segin,

Theta Cassiopeia: Earth Colony on Marfak,

Mu Cassiopeia: Independent Colonies on Yamagata & Ikari

61 Cygni A&B: Main Command Deneb, Cygni A/Military Cygni B

VEGA Alpha: Independent Colony/Main Planet Lyrae

Wolf 359: Earth Colony

Lalande: Major Science Center

Barnard’s star: Major Transportation Hub on Ophiuchus


Alpha Centauri Proxima is the triple-star system just 4.35 light-years away. The Earth Station there is the entry port to the CANALS; a series of wormholes linking the entire sector. It’s believed some ancient race artificially created them to allow advanced civilizations to travel to other Solar Systems. The Canals are not even halfway explored by Earth ships. The hub at Alpha Centauri is the link to the planet Earth itself.

Tau Ceti is in the same brightness category as our sun. It’s compared to the sun, long-lived enough for life forms to evolve. It is the first system colonized by Earth.

Epsilon Indi A, about 11.8 light-years from Earth. It’s a star somewhat cooler than our sun, and was recently found to have a brown-dwarf companion.

Epsilon Eridani, 10.5 light-years away, is a star somewhat  cooler than our sun, and is already home to a full colony on its one habitable planet.

Omicron 2 Eridani, also known as 40 Eridani. It’s a yellow-orange star about 16 light-years away, and is roughly the same age as our sun. It is home to Earth’s largest Military Base beyond Alpha Centauri.



The shuttle had standing room only; but no one seemed to mind. Since many had never flown before it was a treat. One young man was smiling as he gazed out the portal. Another young man had a similar smile only his was for Tatiana, who loved the attention showing him how the shuttle operated as if he was listening.

Maggie sat in the crowd her eye constantly on Matt as she wondered what was going through his mind. Lorne had stayed by her side. He stood over her and when she struggled to her feet, he was there to help her. Maggie moved over to where Matt was sitting and he immediately rose and offered her his seat.

Flattered by the gesture Maggie smiled. “I can’t remember the last time someone did that. Anyway, I’d like to stand,” Matt remained standing with her as Lorne looked on puzzled. “I want to apology for how I acted earlier.”

“Well we probably deserve worse than that.” Matt selflessly.

His acknowledgement seemed to have a profound effect on Lorne. Here was someone with considerable power who wasn’t acting like it, he was not a Braggart, in fact he was downright polite.

The ship hit turbulence and Maggie sprang into Matt arms. Lorne unable to help her looked on awkwardly.

“Sorry Major.” Maggie said softly. As she pulled away her face turned bright red. “I must smell like an old sheep dog.”

Matt had noticed the overall smell of the group. “After all you’ve been through I wouldn’t worry about that.”

Deforest stepped in and got Maggie’s attention. “How in the world did you guys put that beacon up there?”

Matt looked at him annoyed, but then Sadia barged in too.

“Yes, tell us?”

Now Lorne stepped in. “How would she know anything about that? You don’t need to answer their stupid questions?”

“Quiet Lorne,” Maggie retorted. “I helped put it there.”

“You, that’s not possible,” Lorne said angry. “I can’t believe you of all people would take credit for such a thing?”

“I’m afraid, young man, there’s a lot you don’t know about me. I had to keep it secret.”

“Some of your equipment is quite impressive.” Sadia inferred.

“Yes,” Matt added musingly.

“You can thank the Old Man for that.”

“Old Man,”

“Peters? Nobody knows him better than Lorne.”

“He’s an old hermit; but he’s the smartest man I know.”

“We’d like to meet him.”

“Please set up a meeting.”



Like a royal leader, Asim the Overseer led the caravan of trekkers. He sat tall in stature and rode an Arabian horse a direct descendent from Earth. He handled his prize horse with competence and respect. He possessed a menacing gaze with eyes that were brilliant bluish Gray and seemed out of place against his dark complexion. Men feared him and with good reason, He held the power of life and death in his hands.

Asim always travelled with his trusted comrades. All of them orphaned as children. For a gang for survival now the most feared men on the planet. The entourage traveling across the desert as dusk was falling was mostly different bands of desert dwellers.

Omar was Asim’s must trusted comrade. A big burly man with piercing black eyes, contrasted by a voice sounded as if whispering. Asim and were as brothers. He had grown to be Asim’s protector and voice of reason.

He had spent the ride conversing with the many camp leaders. Among the groups were all the camps from the northern desert and beyond all the way to the outlands. Omar knew they were key to keeping supplies flowing and made a special effort with them.

“What about this upcoming wedding?” Omar asked but Asim kept riding as if he didn’t hear, but after a moment Omar rode to catch up to Asim. When he finally caught up to him, the two stared silently at each other for an awkward moment.

“What’s on your mind?”

“What are you planning to do?”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re going to let them marry off Jihan?”

“I’m going to do as am told.” Asim started to ride ahead.

“Well it was only a matter of time before they started meddling with the people that we care about.”

“I don’t have time for this.” Asim insisted.

“Maybe you need to make time.” Omar said keeping pace.

“What’s your point?”

“We’ve known Jihan since we were children.” Asim slowed down to a trot. “If it wasn’t for Jihan’s family who took you in and cared for you until you were old enough to rejoin the desert.” Asim stopped his horse. “Then Jihan ignored her family to sneak out and see you.”

Asim smiled. “She learned the ways of the desert. The girls taught her to dance in our old desert tradition.”

“She taught you to read and write. She helped all of us.”

Asim’s smile left his face. “And now she marries the Basrilian.” For a second there was fire in his eyes. At that moment, much to Omar’s surprise Asim returned to his gallop.

“You owe her, we all do.” Asim continued to ride away. “But you choose to do nothing.” Omar knew Asim had heard him this time but said nothing. “You like to pretend you’re strong.” He decided not to press the issue.




Lorne looked over and gave Maggie a look of confidence then signaled for people to take up their positions again. He made a move to stand up and she grabbed him and pulled him back deeply stirred by the boy who had become a man, “Please don’t be a hero.”

Lorne wanted to tell her how he really felt about her especially if this was the end and hugged her.

She thought for a moment the hug was a little too robust but there was no point in stopping him. She opened her eyes and was about to say something to him when she saw a black object hurtling down the side of the cliff. Maggie screamed.

Lorne pulled away, “I’m sorry I guess I got carried away,” then realizing Maggie was staring up at the cliff wall. He turned just in time to see The Black armored figure make a last second summer-sort into a pinpoint landing, quickly stood upright and started walking toward the Khad soldiers.


Startled at first the Khad just stood there looking at each other. Then the Khad leader aimed and fired his energy bolt that hit Matt directly in his chest sending him flying backwards. Maggie screamed in horror as the black shape slammed into the cliff wall.

The Khad returned focus to the rebels but stopped in astonishment as the armored figure got back to his feet pointing his gloved finger at them. None had a chance as a laser beam severed three of their heads and sent them rolling like bowling ball along the ground.

The remaining Khad fired back but this time an energy shield formed around the armor and the bolts ricocheted off it in all directions. The finger laser beam fired cutting several Khad soldiers in half as the rest scattered behind the rocks.

Maggie and the others looked on stunned. Then much to her horror the ground began to rumble beneath their feet. It was the Khad’s heavy artery vehicles rolling into view.

The Tanks wasted no time and fired bolts much more potent than the rods could produce. Much to everyone’s surprise the fearless Black Knight changed tactics and began dodging the blast while taking shots at the vehicle.

Since his laser wasn’t strong enough to pierce the tank’s plating so he took cover behind the rocks. Suddenly laser beams filled the air as four black forms made their way down the side of the cliff firing as they came. Together the four lasers did enough to halt the armored vehicles assault.

Just then, the loud roar of the shuttle thrusters hovered above the armored vehicle. “STAND DOWN OR WE WILL OPEN FIRE.”

The tanks made a feeble attempt to turn their barrels on the Shuttle but not fast enough, the shuttle fired its pulse cannons blasting all three to smithereens. The Khad were on the run.

Cheers rang out as the now ecstatic rebels ran from their cover. “We needed a miracle,” Reba said to Maggie as she hugged her. “And here it is. Who are these people?”

Maggie waved her hands in the air and They hushed as she stepped forward to be the first to greet them. “Who are you?”

An inaudible muffled sound came from the Armor. Realizing his helmet speaker was damaged and not working he removed his helmet. With a big smile, he introduced himself. “Major Matt Stewart, United Earth Space Force.”

Instead of looking happy, Maggie turned serious. “But how did you get here?”

“We received your signal; the one you sent to Earth.”

The others were now ecstatic applauding.

“That’s enough!” Maggie yelled. Everyone was surprised to see she was furious. “You mean you’ve just arrived from Earth.”

“Yes, we’re here to rescue you.”

“Well then you’re THIRTY YEARS TOO LATE!



Matt carefully led the landing party across the ice-covered terrain toward the structure. As we got closer, we could make out the halo of an apparent force field. The bluish green light that created a dome that surrounded the area field keeping the machinery safe against the violent weather.

“Okay Professor let’s see you answer this one?”

Matt moved closer to the field for a better look. He noticed at the base of the beacon there were battery cells sprawled across the ground. “What’s the life of these cells?” Sadia asked.

“Based on the model I’d guess five years would be a good bet.”

“It figures you’d seen the batteries before.” Deforest guessed. “That means this has been powered at least 25 years.”

“More like 30.” Sadia corrected him.

“Apparently, somebody believed we’d be coming?” O’D added.

“They somehow made a transmitter capable of sending a signal back to the Earth.” Sadia marveled. “But it doesn’t add up, the signal should have reached the Earth in six months. We should have received it decades ago.”

Matt knew they didn’t fully understand the type of a wormhole D-A 2012 was. “Remember the Wormhole itself is unstable. The signal immerged from the wormhole at the Canals.” He was about to go into one of his lectures about traversing through hyper-spaced tunnels when something caught his eye. NEUTRINOS INTERFACE.

“Matt, what is it?” Sadia asked when she saw him stop. Matt pointed to the equipment. Sadia recognized it almost immediately. “That’s a Neutrino Interface Adapter of some kind. Older model, they probably used it to boost the range of the signal.”



“What’s up Mundy?”

“We received message Horizon picking up energy signatures coming from your position,”

They looked around and examined the area but saw nothing. “All clear, are you sure the indications are from here.”

“That might be coming from below the summit on that ridge below us.” Deforest added.

“That must be it. How far away are you?”

“We’re about twenty minutes out.”

“Meet us at the ridge below the summit, come with guns blaring, Stewart out.” Almost Involuntary he was off at full speed running toward the ledge.

“Matt, shouldn’t we wait for the shuttle.” Sadia yelled.

“No time for that.” He told her as he ran faster than humanly possible and did a swan dive over the side.

Sadia yelled, “It’s at least a hundred meters down. Can his suit survive that?”

Deforest peered over the ledge. “Hopefully, he thinks so.”