Matt surveyed the specs from Belvedere while he had a chance to review the data. Despite being hidden elaborately there were half dozen launch pads. They were much bigger than standard space port size. “Their purpose became clear as each pad had a huge transport booster already in place to take off. If each launch pad is designed to have its own transport it indicated a massive exodus from the planet.”
Everyone in the room looked stunned.
“So why attack us if they are leaving anyway.” Moore wanted to know.
Matt leaned forward. “So, there’s no trace for Earth Force to follow.?”
“If what you are saying is true,” Moore shuddered. “What is going to happen to the us?”
“Except for the ones they’re taking with them, the rest will be expandable I guess.” Matt said totally serious.
“Oh my god,” The cry came from the back of the room. April made her way in front. “I was completely wrong. I owe you an apology Major Stewart.”
“Nope, non-needed,”
“I don’t understand.”
“If we lose this battle at least some of the colonists will be safe of some other world.” Matt said to her earnestly.
No one liked what they heard but everyone agreed that it was their only way to survive.
But Matt had a better idea. “I’ve been out numbered or out matched many times during my stent in the war, mostly suicide missions, therefore I know that superior strategy always wins out over superior numbers.”
“The problem is convincing them.” Former General Vermont said breaking his silence.
“We have the firepower to take out the armada,”
“Yeah but not without torching the planet in the process. That meant winning a conventional war against ground forces.”
“Well, I do have a plan.” Matt said with a smirk.
“Okay, so what is your plane Major?”
“The plan is simple really, we take all the settlers and move them out into the plain beneath Heaven’s peak. Once There we set up a fortification at the bottom of Heaven’s Peak and there we will set up an energy barrier spread out over a radius of several hundred meters using one of the Horizon’s spare generators to power a force field.”
“Do we have that of power and will this be enough to stop any attack launched by the Khad.” Maggie asked.
“Of cause to sustain the field would require enormous amounts of energy. We can take out their ground units from above and destroy their battleships in space since they won’t be able to locate and attack the Horizon while it’s invisible.”
A buzz began in the room. “Go on Major,”
“The Horizon is equipped with four shuttlecrafts and two fighters. Each has weapon systems far more advanced than anything the Khad have including missile magazines.” Matt pointed to the image. “These missiles are equipped with warheads and they can be fired from the forward launchers.”
“We are to believe you can do all this with an escort ship?” Moore questioned.
“The New Star Class Horizon was designed during wartime and intended to travel in enemy territory to go against the Taurean Empire attack ships, escort has nothing to do with it actual capability. We purposely designed her to be a small destroyer and these advances more than make up for her lack of size.”
“So, size really doesn’t matter.” Maggie quipped.




Matt was in full field uniform, his weapon holstered at his side and a strident look on his face as he walked to the town hall. This was not the Major Stewart everyone had gotten used to before. April Flowers found herself sizing up Stewart when she saw him coming her way.

“How yah doing?” Matt said to her as he walked past.

April was annoyed. “Your arrival was expected an hour ago.”

Matt looked at her annoyed and turned to keep an eye on her. “I was busy,” The two exchanged looks as she followed him into the hall.

The mood in the room was complete silence. Maggie greeted them, “There’s a vicious rumor going around about an eminent invasion have you heard anything Major?”

Matt looked at April for permission to speak. April stepped in front of him and addressed the crowd. “I would prefer to deal in facts not speculation.”

“You’re kidding, right?” Matt said in disbelief.

“What do you know Major?” Maggie insisted.

Mr. Moore stood up, “Yeah Major; what do you know?”

“Do I need special permission from you?”

“If I do I’ll let you know.”

 “You make it sound so formal,” Matt’s face turned to a blank stare. “I’ve just come from Omori Shi’s headquarters.” The room went silent again. “Three armada ships are on their way.” Screams of horror was heard.

“Governor Tor gave me his word.” April shouted.

“Omori Shi went behind his back.” Matt explained, “He has very powerful alias in the High Command.”

“What are you going to do about it?” Moore demanded.

“It comes down to our superior technology against their ground forces.”

“So, what do we do?” Maggie asked apprehensively.

“At the moment, we are totally isolated from the Earth. No communication, no place to evacuate to and no re-supply. It’s us against them winner take all.” 

“Have you ever killed anyone sir?” A young man asked.

“A few,” Matt answered him.

“Well we never have.” Moore Exclaimed

Maggie broke in, “So we’ll have to teach you.”

“You’re in luck, I know hundreds of ways to kill the enemy. And we’ll only need to know a few for our purposes.”

“Major you better take this.”

The Comlink was from Belvedere, “Recon found something.”

“It’s time to let everyone know what we’re up against.”




“I should blow your Wally Gator head off and shit.”

“I’m very sorry but I know nothing of this Wall E Gate.”

“I demand to speak with you, alone.”

 “I’ll have to take your weapon.” He said politely. “I have declared what you call it, Marshal Law. As I’m sure, you know we’ve just received word from our Armada that they are on its way here. You understand that demands I take every precaution.” Omori smirked tilting his head. “You’re not scared?” Matt smiled, and flipped his gun toward the guard. Omori Shi led Matt to a room that lacked furniture but had large nests Omori Shi reclined on one and seemed happy to see his adversary. “Have a seat.”

“Why are you doing this?” Matt demanded.

“To show you who your masters are.”

“So how many Ryptordian ships are coming?”

Omori was impressed that Stewart called them by their correct lineage. “My Ryptordian brothers have three ships on the way.” Omori Shi was sure the human would try to kill him. “What’s wrong human; don’t have the stomach for battle?”

“Fuck you!” it didn’t translate but Omori knew what it meant.

“I look forward to our battle human.” Omori Shi boasted. “I knew deep down you humans were more capable.”

“They came looking for a new home, a new start. You and your troglodytes took that away from them.”

“I’ve never heard of troglodytes but I assume its derogatory.”

“It makes me feel better.”

“Then by all means,”

“What are you a mad man?”

“Weak species should never wander beyond the safety of their borders.”

“Where I come from Picking on the weak is for pussies.”

Omori was confused again. “You call me now a cat.”

“You’re making a terrible mistake. The Earth ships with reinforcements will soon be here. They will come with weapons drawn. They’ll be looking for vengeance.”

“So, what,”

Matt paused for a moment. “Son of a bitch, you don’t plan on being here.”

Omori was impressed. “You are quite practiced in the ways of war. Good, the more anger you feel the harder you will fight.”

“We can start that fight right here right now.”

“Lord Shi?” the guard shouted as he ran in to protect him.

Omori Shi lowered his eyes to the floor. “This human has no fear. His race is not as I once believed. The next time I gaze upon you will be when I kill you in battle.”

The guard backed out of the way to allow Matt room to pass.

The lead guard spoke as he escorted Matt out. “The bow with eyes lowered is the greatest display of respect a Ryptordian warrior can give.” Matt was surprised that his enemy gave him that kind of regard. “He recognizes a worthy enemy.”




Omori Shi, his entourage and the governor walked slowly down a corridor with Alexa in the lead. Omori Shi finally broke in. “George Washington, one of your planet’s founding fathers once said that true friendship is a plant of slow growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.” Omori knew from Alexa’s blank look she had never heard of him.

Alexa moved dejectedly to the back of the group standing behind Tor, looks a little startled, and then stares at the floor. “Was he a wise man?”

“I see.” Omori pondered again for a moment and again addressed Alexa. “That is the most profound thing I have ever seen from you. You’re risking your life to beg for this spaceman! Well, that won’t happen. He has no fear, not this one. He won’t back down, got a lot of Aurora in him.”

“They’re willing to negotiate.” Alexa said almost apologetic. “We had no choice.”

“How it is that this human as reduced you to a state of weakness.” Alexa seemed surprised by Omori’s appraisal. “He is not you master. WHAT IS A MASTER, BUT A STATUETTE TO A NATION WHO IS WORSHIPPED BY THOSE BENEATH HER? Great power and privilege is not enough for you?”

“What about respect?” Alexa was back for a moment.

“Respect, yes! Certainly,” Tor said trying to intervene in Alexa’s behalf. “She respects this human. Not since her father has a man possessed the impressiveness the Major does.”

Omori made a sound apparently of aggression. “You of all should stay quiet. Your life is not worth what it used to be.”

“We Ascourian’s are cold blooded species not hot blooded like you. And, we still have the favor of the Orions. What you’re arguing to do will not please them.”

“And what do you suggest we do?”

“I suppose we can just leave the planet.”

Alexa was shocked. “Would you take us with you?”

“I don’t know.” Omori Shi was dour and quite serious. A guard came briskly into the room and whispered something to Omori. “I’m very sorry but I must attend to this immediately. Excuse me. Please, continue.”

Tor looked as anxious as a Reptoid could. His fears were well warranted and he rubbed his scaly hand through Alexa’s hair. This took her by surprise. “What was that for.”

“You have lovely hair, don’t think I hadn’t noticed. For a human, you are the most attractive.”

“Are you coming on to me Leeg?” Alexa laughed.

“SIS,” Sean yelled as he ran into the hallway. “The Earthmen have all left the surface.”

“Oh, my gods, all of them?”

“Every single one.”

A despondent Leeg Tor looked at the ceiling, “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE OMORI SHI?”


“TENCH-HUT,” Belvedere shouted.
“At Ease,” Lt. Quinn said as he rolled his eyes.  He spotted and moved immediately to Dr. Schenckler. “Major Stewart, what happened to him?”
“He looks in good shape.”
“Very good, and Sadia Mirza?”
Sadia who was on the other side of the partition felt surprisingly strange about the question. Dr. Schenckler walked over. “So far they both are being evaluated. Nothing conclusive yet.” She smiled at Quinn, “I mean it’s good to see the captain has more than the ship on his mind.”
After they left only Major Matt Stewart and the doctor remained. Schenckler was really at a lost as to what they were seeing projected of the holographic image of his brain. The subject of their interest was the strange object located at the frontal lobe of his brain.
The implant was in an area of the brain that made it impossible to remove without inflicting critical brain damage. And The implant was alive. “Are his numbers way off again?” She asked her assistant Dr. White scanning Stewart.
“His readings indicated he has somehow lost thirty pounds of fat since joining the crew at Alpha Centari Station. All the while, he is gaining muscle. His metabolism is at a rapid speed. He looked twenty years younger than his chronological age.”
“Well it’s not the implant.” She said to Dr. White showing concern. “Let’s run them again,” she smiled. “You don’t mind do you Major?”
Matt looked at the doctor. “Didn’t we just do that?”
“Third time’s the charm.” Dr. White added.
“Whatever.” Matt stretched out his back and rested his head on a pillow. “So, can you tell me just how that got there?”
“I’m surprised we even found it. The damn thing has the ability to camouflage itself to avoid detection.”
“Thank your girlfriend Sadia Mirza for that.”
Matt frowned. “She’s not my girlfriend.”
“Sure. Anyway, Sadia found a way to destabilize it,” The monitor flashed red and read gross error again. “Mind explaining this to us Major?”
Matt looked on bewildered. “Scientology,”
Neither Doctor got the joke. “Please Major?”
Matt sat up. “This has to stay between me and you.”
Schenckler nodded to Dr. White and she stepped around the partition and it closed behind her. “Don’t worry Major I’ll keep your confidence.”
“I was genetically altered during the war.” He rolled up his sleeve and showed her his branded tattoo on his right forearm, “I was a Black Knight.”
Dr. Schenckler waved her scanner over his wrist and her monitor filled with data. “An interface, only I’ve never seen one this sophisticated.”
“I have a complete neural connection and those are all the legitimate implants in my brain linking to the interface in my right wrist.”
“You’re a super soldier. I’ve never met one before.”
“I get that a lot. By the way, I hate that, anything but super soldier.”
“Does Sadia know?”
“Why should I care if Sadia knows?”
“Don’t you think you’d better tell her?”
“What exactly are you trying to say doctor?”
“She has feelings for you.”
“She’s just a kid.”
“No Matt she’s a woman.”
“I have to warn you doc, I’ve got a long history of failed relationships.”
The metallic voice of MOTHER boomed through the room;
The light in the room turned red,
The intercom signaled and the “we need Major Stewart in the control room ASAP.”
“You’d better get going.” She conceded.
“Saved by the bell,” Matt jumped off the exam table.
“I’m not done with you yet.” She warned. “You’re going to have to face her and if you don’t tell her the truth I will.”





Dr. White, Dr. Schenckler’s assistant, was busy giving her an injection and talking about the case history of the patience’s she had encountered with similar experiences. However, Sadia’s thoughts were elsewhere. How would she be able to live with herself if she were pulled from duty? Maybe this was what she deserved. Had she forgotten about her promise to herself to find her lost humanity?

Dr. Deforest marched into the room spotted Sadia and made his way to her side.

“Good you’re awake.” Deforest said smiling. Sadia was most surprised to find him in an uncharacteristic light mood. “I have some interesting news for you.” Dr. Deforest moved in closer and whispered in her ear. “Ms. Mirza. You have stumbled upon a startling discovery.”

Sadia was at a complete loss as to why he would find her predicament so fascinating. “What are you talking about doctor?”

 “The DSM XXI was the first to document a diagnosis that included unspecified psychic disturbance.” Deforest could hardly contain himself. “Most humans live their entire life unaware of their sensory ability.  

“No such test was ever given to Sadia.” But Dr. Schenckler was convinced that her recent episodes were psychic in nature.

“Laws to protect individual freedoms prohibited the use of involuntary testing to see if psychic predisposition is present.”

For Sadia, she had awoken in the infirmary much too often as far as she was concerned. There was no doubt in her mind that the doctor was going to label her unfit for duty after this one. “What are you getting at?”

“The Horizon,”

“I don’t understand.”

“She has active your telepathy.”

“What? How can that be?”

“The ship was designed with a Psychotronic Kinetic frequency.” Deforest showed her his portable computer screen. “It was sending telepathic signals in search of a receiver, and you picked them up.”

Schenckler moved forward to talk. “I don’t want it to happen again. Can’t we deactivated the system until we can figure out how to properly use it?”

“Well that’s another story, I just wanted to let her know that she wasn’t going crazy.”

Sadia looked at Deforest. “Anything else,”

“That’s it for now. But when you feel up to it I’d love to study this some more.”

“Not a chance.”

Shenckler led Deforest toward the entrance. “She has to get some rest.” She ushered Deforest out the door but then he stopped and turned back to Sadia.

“With this new-found ability of yours, maybe we have a new weapon to use against the Khad.” Deforest winked and left.

Sadia couldn’t be more upset. She again knew she had to dropped from the mission. Dr. Schenckler sat on the side of the bed. “Between me and you, I’m going to place you back on duty as soon as you tell me you feel ready.”

“Thanks Doctor. I owe you so much.”

“Get with the other psychic guy, and get running.”

The other guy was Matt Stewart,