The Nemesis Vector

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Mission Black Spider is officially over... Or is it?”

Chapter 32 (v.1) - Mission Complete?

Submitted: February 10, 2018

Reads: 183

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Submitted: February 10, 2018



Chapter 32
“Well… orders are orders,” Rex notes as he looks at the bound aliens who are now starting to stir as the nerve gas wears off. “Looks like what we will need are just the two aliens that are sitting in the proverbial captain and co-captain chairs and the two lying on the floor. Get them all safely secured, and let’s get the others on the ISS to the aft airlock.”
“So, what you’re saying is that the three live ones and their deader-than-a- doornail comrade onboard the ISS are going for a space-walk and then we will bring the others, the flight crew, back to Earth?”
“That’s right Duke. Do you and your men think that you can handle that?”
“Absolutely Sir; it will be my total pleasure to show them the exit door.”
“Take Rider with you and use the aft air lock and dispose of them. Price and Beck will stay here to stand guard over the rest of them until I’m ready for them to be moved over to the ISS. When you send them out the airlock; do it two at a time. When you are finished, return here for further orders. Is that understood?”
“Sir, Yes Sir!”
“And take their explosive devices with you also. Throw those out after them in a separate package and… also, leave their hands tied; just in case they have any other tricks, we have yet to see, up their sleeve. I want this to be as quick and clean as possible.”
“Copy that, Commander. Rider you’re with me.” Duke rounds the now semi-conscious aliens up as Rider drags the dead creature along to the aft airlock.
“Man, this skinny bastard is a lot heavier than he looks. He must have lead in his boots, that’s all I can say,” Rider complains.
Reaching the aft airlock, Duke places the dead alien in with the first live evacuee. “Any last words you alien scum?” Duke asks with a smirk. Receiving nothing but an emotionless stare back from the creature, Duke reaches for the button and answers his own question, “I didn’t think so.” As the outer door opens, the bodies are quickly sucked out into the cold, unforgiving vacuum of space.
Prodding two more of the creatures toward the airlock, Rider points a finger at them and yells, “You should have brought your A game with you today boys. Just bad luck, I guess. Humans - eight; aliens - zero.”

Reluctantly the last two of the aliens shuffle up to the aft airlock and Duke shoves them into the chamber. Just as he is ready to push the button opening the outer door to release the last of the alien crew to their deaths, the larger of the two manages to turn towards him and with a look that could kill; he stares directly at Duke thru the window. Duke pauses for a moment, as if to read the alien’s thoughts and then with a half-smile pushes down hard on the evac button, yelling through the glass, “Man it really sucks to be you; Karma is a bitch. I suggest you take a deep breath, because it’s gonna be your last!”
Within a split second the stare down is over and the creature is gone, but the evil Duke sensed still haunts him. As the outer door closes behind the last duo, Rider lets out a nervous laugh, “Man, I’m glad that’s over. Now that’s what I call aliens in outer space.” As if to justify the act, Rider says, “You know Duke, they deserved this… it is war after all, a war they started. The killing started with them but I’m glad it ended here with us; at least it did today.”
“…And it will every day. Actually Rider, I am glad that’s over too. I have to admit, I am really glad they are off the ship. There were too many of them for us to keep track of, had we been ordered to bring them ALL back.”
“Copy that. That last one you had in the airlock; the one who did the stare down with you… man if hate had been for sale, that sucker had a whole warehouse full.”
“That’s an affirmative.”
“As far as I’m concerned, the better species won here today. We took their ship just like taking candy from a baby. I think that if this is the best they have, we can beat them in any fight on any day of the week.”
“From what I saw today, you could be right Rider… but you never want to underestimate your adversary. It does, however appear that as smart and technologically advanced as they are, deception is a new concept for them. Let’s wrap it up; we’re done here… we’d better get back.”
“Hey Duke, what about these explosive devices?”
“Oh yeah, go ahead and stick those in the airlock. We want those out of here too. Don’t want to give the four that are left, any opportunity to do something stupid, or we might need to off them too.”
“That would be a plus in my mind! After all, we are at war here.”
“I don’t disagree, but we might need them as Commander Scott and Commander Huntley try to figure out how that ship works. We still gotta get that bird home.”
“Let’s just hope that they can actually fly that ship so they can get it back to Earth.”
“They will, trust me… they will.”

“I hope so. Can I tell ya, I’m really glad this mission is all but over? We need to be on the move now and head back to Earth… before those alien bastards are missed and their cronies come looking for them.”
“Copy that… copy that.”
Back aboard the alien craft, Rex is amazed that most of the panel is digital or 3D. He looks over the control panel and tries to make sense of what each control button or lever does, while, Rory stands guard on the SAGA radar to make sure another bogie is not eminent. Duke and Rider return from the disposal of the alien crew members to find Price and Beck still standing guard over the remaining aliens that are still bound in their chairs aboard the alien craft. Each man feels a bit of relief that the major part of the mission has been accomplished, but also a bit of concern that now Rex must discern the ‘how’ of flying this ship back to Earth.
“Price, move these bastards to the floor, will you? I really need to sit down and think about this panel.”
“Consider it done, Commander.”
“Damn, I really need to get some pics of this ship, and maybe even these aliens,” Rider remarks as he boards the ship. “These creatures really look a lot like us; similar features and not nearly as ugly as I would have thought they’d be.”
“No Rider, they look a lot like you,” Beck laughs, firing a comment back.
“I’m serious guys; they aren’t all that spooky looking at all.”
“So Rider, you’d let one of them marry your sister?”
“Sure Beck… sure… that is a really dumb comment,” Rider retorts, pulling out his cell phone to take some pics. “What do you say we get a group shot… one for a photo album?”
“Hey, that’s a great idea. Let’s get one right here in front of the alien com,” Price says as he moves in the direction of the com center. “Just set your timer Rider, and then hustle back over here, okay?”
Sprinting back to the line-up, Rider coaxes, “C’mon… say cheese.”
As they gather around to view the shot, Beck laughs, “I don’t know Rider; you might be as ugly as one of those aliens in this pic.”
Price laughing harder and moving away from Rider’s reach says, “Yeah, but you know that alien is certainly better looking than his sister.”

“Price! Hey you leave my sister out of this or…”
“Or what Rider?” Price yells back taunting him.
“You can be such a dickhead sometimes Price.”
“Alright everybody… Price you and Rider stow that shit and all of you clear the com area NOW! Your selfie party is over! We have work to do, or as least from what I can see, we have work to do. Am I missing something gentlemen?”
“No Sir… we do have work to do and we’re on it.”
“Good to hear…”
In amazement, Rex sits down at the command center. Noting that all of the controls of this craft are at the fingertips of the person sitting in the main chair, he continues to examine various control knobs and buttons. Noticing that it has been about 15 minutes since he last checked in with Rory, he contacts him on the portable LBC com device that he had taken with him through the boarding tube.
“Anything on radar, Rory?”
“Not a thing… thank goodness! How’s everything looking on your end, Rex?”
“Honestly, their flight control setup looks pretty simple… will just have to test through a few things, but all in all, it looks pretty straight forward?”
“Copy that… good to hear.”
“When you get a moment, have Duke take over the watch on the radar and head over this way. Want you to take a look at this with me before I try to retract that boarding tube and see how this bird handles.”
“Will do… Duke should be back here in just a minute or two. He’s headed to the storage locker to stow some excess gear in preparation for the trip back.”
“Copy that.”
“Duke… glad you’re back. Can you take over the SAGA while I take a walk over to the alien craft? Beck, go ahead and finish the needs list for take-off… that way we should be ready to head out when the flight plan comes through.”
“Right away Commander.”
Rory walks towards the airlock into the boarding tube for his first look at the alien craft, but the closer he get, the more anxiety he feels.

Whispering to himself as he walks, “Where is this coming from… wow, take a deep breath and shake it off! Probably just adrenaline let down… shake it off.”
Walking onto the ship was surreal; so strange… yet so familiar. He felt the anxiety dissipate when he saw Rex sitting at the command panel.
“Hey man, you look like you might even know what the heck you’re doing,” he chuckles as he looks down at the aliens still sitting tied up and only semi-conscious on the floor.
“Well, I sure hope so. It really doesn’t look too confusing. This must be the ship’s weapon targeting system. And over here is a hologram star map. Check this out; here’s the Earth. They have a very sophisticated 3D star map that is linked with their flight control system and it seems to be very easy to read and not as complicated as I feared it might be.”
“Wow… check out this map. Looks like you could actually reach out and touch those planets and stars.”
“I know… it is truly amazing. You know, this technology is going to put us light years ahead in space travel from where our program is now… light years.”
“Copy that. I think with a little bit of time behind the wheel Rex, you will have absolutely no problem flying this ship back to Earth.”
“Thanks… but first things first. I need to find the controls that will retract that damn boarding tube away from the airlock… so far haven’t found anything that I think it might be.”
“Hey, check over to your far right… could that be it? …The one right under the two black oblong knobs… do you see it… the one with the two arrow looking things and a cylinder?”
“Yes… I see it… I haven’t looked at that one yet. Thanks… this ship will go nowhere without closing that airlock opening. After everybody is off the ship, I’ll try it.”
“So just curious Rex… how did you decide what each button does?”
Laughing, Rex responds, “Trial and error…”
“Trial and error? Seriously? I damn well hope there are no self-destruct buttons on this com.”
“Yep… me too,” he says, laughing harder now.
The four remaining aliens, now regaining consciousness, look on with what appears to be utter disbelief in seeing their comrades gone; themselves, unable to move and a human sitting in the com chair. Realizing that their own command had miss-judged and underestimated the capabilities of this species, they see they have indeed commandeered their spacecraft and they themselves are now captive on their own ship. Rex, seeing the aliens are now conscious, orders Price and Beck to take them back aboard the ISS and put a guard on them near the airlock.

“Okay gentlemen; I want everyone off this ship. Price, Beck… the two of you keep both eyes on our new friends here and do not leave them alone for even one second… do you understand?”
“Yes Sir.”
“These creatures are NOT… I say NOT to be out of your sight.”
“Understood, Sir.”
“Okay… everyone back onto the ISS. I’m gonna see if I can take this bird out for a little test drive.”
“Alright Commander… on our way. Good luck in your travels and God’s speed in getting this bird figured out for the trip back to Earth. Have a safe flight.”
“Thanks Price. Rory let me know when everyone is safely back on the ISS and then I will disengage the boarding tube.”
“Copy that Rex… be careful out there. I still think we should have flipped a coin.”
“No man… this is an unknown. You’re going to be a Dad soon… this is one time, it happens to be best that I just do it. Test the com lines when you get back, I want to make sure everything is on a frequency where I can hear you… then I want radio silence on the com until you are safely out of here; communication on the LBC only.”
“Copy that my friend… copy that.”
Alone in the cockpit of the alien craft, Rex awaits confirmation that the com lines are working and that everyone is safely back on the ISS. Upon confirmation, Rex pushes the control button with a number of small stars printed next to it and immediately the 3D star map appears in front of him. The map glowing in an iridescent green and yellow appears to sparkle with white highlights. He sees the sun and all of the known planets and dwarf planets in our solar system as well as what appear to be additional planets beyond what has been viewed by Earth’s telescopes. Curiously our moon is represented in shades of greens, browns and blues… much like Earth. As he examines the map further, he finds what appears to be some type of index and as he scrolls down through it, he chooses one of the entries and pushes the button to find a new map appearing. To his astonishment, he quickly understands this is a map of all of the planets now inhabited by this alien species. All totaled, there are 12 planets of which there are several beyond what is known as our solar system. He realizes, looking at the map, the moon is slated to be a new colony; the thirteenth colonized sphere for this species and that UEA was correct in their assumption that the goal is to terraform the moon for habitation. As he continues to scroll down through the index, he luckily finds the third entry is a type of radar which is exactly what he was looking for. What he sees floating closest to him, is the moon and then near the moon, a number of smaller vessels in close proximity to the moon. He also sees the ISS and the ship he is sitting in, as well as the large orbs, and the ever growing black space cloud. Thankfully he notes, no alien ships can be seen further out in deep space heading in their direction, nor is there any other bogie in close proximity. Both of these realizations are a definite relief. In reviewing the weapons control and targeting system, he is amazed that the systems are so familiar; they feel as they could have been designed on Earth. The directions are simple Icons, and a touch display for deployment.
“Very user friendly,” he thinks to himself. “This ship is indeed a treasure trove of needed Intel.” Realizing this, he knows before leaving, he must share some of this information with NASA… just in case things go bad in his attempt to get the ship back to Earth.
As he makes the walk back to the ISS, a flurry of thoughts and questions enter his head. He wonders how UEA Command will respond to this new information which definitely confirms their worst fears. As thought, this alien race is in the process of terraforming the moon and when they are done will likely move onto the Earth for further colonization. He also wonders how the Earth’s population is now being impacted by the ever growing black cloud; a cloud that obviously can now be seen from Earth. Is it now dimming the sun’s rays or affecting plant life? He thinks… or perhaps fears… the Earth could be in for a long and perhaps futile fight considering the number of colonizations evidenced on the map. Most importantly, he realizes just how crucial it is for this craft to be returned to Earth’s UEA Command. The knowledge that will be gained from it may be the only hope the inhabitants of Earth will have for survival. He also thinks about quirky Dr. Rice and how he was absolutely correct in his thinking regarding the UEA’s desperate need of this technology. Rex has a great deal of respect for the Doctor, in spite of his quirkiness. He has been right about a lot of things and Rex and his team owe their lives to his think tank and their plan.
Arriving back at the com, he sees that most of the Intrepid’s needs list has been fulfilled and that the Seal Team has readied the ship for departure when the flight plan is received. Duke is still manning the SAGA radar as Rory pours over some flight details trying to keep his mind occupied and off of Sahara and the baby. The sad realization that this threat is very real occupies his mind most all of the time and the more real it becomes, the harder it is for him to visualize in his mind, the life he had hoped for.
“Are you still here?” Rory smiles as he takes a moment to look up from his calculations.
“Yep, still here buddy. Wanted to talk with NASA before I head out of here and share some important intel with them… you know… just in case.”
“What do you mean, ‘just in case’? Flying that thing will be a cake-walk for you. What intel?”
“Well, first… I feel I have a good grasp of how to fly that thing and how to use the weaponry...”
“Well, that doesn’t surprise me… and I don’t think it will surprise Houston either. What else?”
"The maps… there is more than one of them and there is also a radar screen where I can see that they have a number of other ships near the moon. On one of the maps, there are twelve planets that have been colonized by this species…”
“How do you know that?”
“It is quite easy to see what is being communicated in each particular map… I can show you. It is also quite evident from the colorization of the moon that it is next in line for terraforming and colonization. There are numbers that might indicate a star date and from those numbers, it seems that they move from one planet to the next.”
“You said twelve planets?”
“Yes… from the map, it appears that several of them are spheres outside of our solar system.”
“How can you be sure of all of this Rex?”
“You’ll see when I am able to show you the map, Rory.”
“You know Rex… I already knew all of this… just a gut feeling, I guess. All of this has been churning in my mind… and my gut… ever since we started this mission. I look at what we have been through and then I listen to what you are saying about what you’ve found on that ship and I really am afraid that all of this might just be the tip of the iceberg. Things might actually be worse than anything you, or I or the ‘think tank’ has come up with. I’m also afraid that I’m not going home anytime soon and that Sahara is going to deliver our baby without me. But most of all, I’m just damn fearful, my child will never know what it’s like to grow up… to play with other kids… to go to school or have a girlfriend… to get married and have a child of his or her own. I know too, that right now, there is absolutely no time for an emotional breakdown… only time to focus on the things that need to be done to give the Earth and all of its inhabitants a fighting chance against this menacing threat. I have to tell you… it’s damn hard for me to stay focused… damn hard.”
“Yeah, you’re right about that Rory… we do need to focus and it is hard… very hard to stay positive in the middle of a very negative situation. I really feel for you and Sahara and what you are going through… but I’m more optimistic after seeing what that ship has to offer the UEA. I firmly believe what can be learned from this technology will help UEA to defeat them by allowing a more level playing field. You just wait and see Rory; for God’s sake, DO NOT lose hope… do not!”
“Roger that… I’ll work on it… I will.”
“That’s what I want to hear my friend… that’s what I want to hear. Now let’s get on the LBC to Houston. Houston, this is the Intrepid… do you copy?”
“Yes, Commander… this is Houston, we copy.”1
“Houston, important intel to be conveyed during this message. Can you be sure that this message is being recorded for Dr. Rice and his colleagues?”
“Absolutely Commander; ready whenever you are.”
“On board the alien craft, I was able to bring up a 3D space map that would indicate this species currently inhabits twelve planets and our moon is their next intended target for habitation. It would also confirm that they have been migrating from planet to planet, terraforming each planet as needed to expand their species and now they are getting ready to terraform the moon which would lead me to believe that the Earth will likely be next in line as it already seems to have an agreeable environment in which they can survive.”
“Commander, you said twelve planets?”
“Yes Houston, many of those planets are not… I repeat… not in our solar system. The map stretches beyond the scope of our solar system for sure.”
“Copy that… Intrepid, please stand by… I am being alerted to something here… please stand by.”
“Affirmative Houston… we are standing by…”
After a near sixty seconds, Houston breaks the silence, “Intrepid… sorry to cut you short like that. I will pass that intel on to UEA Command ASAP. Also, I have just learned that your return trip is a no go at this time. A huge weather system in the Atlantic is causing the delay. It looks as though it will be a minimum of three days before we can even consider launching the replacement ship, Triton. In the meantime, we will notify UEA Command of your findings and for now, stay on defensive alert until you receive further orders.”
“Copy that Houston.”
In a disgusted tone, Rory remarks, “Well… I hate to say it, but that doesn’t surprise me… I had a gut feeling about that too… DAMN! I KNEW we weren’t making that trip today.”
“Well, you were certainly right about that gut feeling Rory.”
“Yeah, I hate when I’m right. Well, you might as well fire up that mean machine and get some flight time in… shake the bugs out of her.”
“Yeah, like Dr. Rice said, not much for me to run into out there…”
“Well just point her off in the opposite direction from the ISS, if you would. At least until you get a feel for her.”
Laughing, Rex jokes, “Ah c’mon… don’t you need a little more excitement in your life?”
Without a sound and a look that speaks a thousand words, Rory just stares at Rex.
“Okay… I get it… no more excitement… Rory wants no more excitement,” Rex says with a smile turning towards the airlock and the boarding tube. “I’ll just head over there now, but before I take that bad boy out, we will check the frequencies one more time to make sure we can stay in contact… oh, and do me a favor; give the aliens a window seat. I want them to see this so-called ‘inferior’ human flying their superior ship. I just want to rub it in their face… just a bit you know.”
“Understood… I’m sure you realize that you will have both an alien and a human audience critiquing your flying skills… or lack thereof,” Rory says with a mischievous smile.
“No doubt… no doubt in my mind.”
Rex heading back to the alien craft smiles as he thinks of his partner; how he values his wit and sense of humor. Sitting down at the com panel, he quickly confirms the communication frequency.
“Com check, testing… testing… Intrepid, do you copy?”
“I read you loud and clear. You are good to go on my end Rex. Have fun out there… and be safe.”
“Keep your fingers crossed…”
“Yep… my fingers, my toes, my legs, and my eyes… all crossed!”
“Now that’s a sight I would like to see… tell Rider it sounds like a photo op to me.”
“Copy that…”
Activating the ship’s radar and star map, Rex then pushes the suspected boarding tube retraction button, and hears the tube suction release and the tube retract.
“Well, good to know that wasn’t the self-destruct button,” he speaks aloud to himself.
Firing up the ship’s power plant, he feels the vibration of the engine, and for just a moment he gets an adrenaline rush like none he has ever experienced before.
“I am so ready for this… so ready.”
Back on board the ISS, Seal Team One has taken watch out one of the viewing portals near where the aliens are seated, feet tied and arms secured behind them. Price turns the creatures facing outward so that they will have a bird’s eye view of the ship when Rex flies by. Nearly twenty minutes pass with no sign of the test flight. As everyone begins to feel a little uneasy, Rory checks the SAGA radar screen for any indication of Rex’s location.
Before he has even had a moment to look, Duke yells out, “Look! There he is and… you have got to be kidding! He is flying that damn thing… UPSIDE DOWN!!!
“Look at that crazy son of a bitch!” Price yells out.
Rex flies by, signaling a victorious one finger salute, as the aliens look on with undeniable defeat written all over their faces.
“Well team, it is obvious that Commander Huntley has mastered the controls of that ship,” Rory laughs.
“Does he always fly like this?” Rider asks.
“You just never know, it really just depends on the mood he is in and at this moment, I would say he is in one of those moods. I’m sure he will be hard to live with when he docks.”
“Hard to live with, Commander?” Duke asks.
“He’ll be pretty damn proud of himself,” Rory laughs, “…But then again, he should be.”
“Yes Sir! He’s quite a pilot… for certain.”
Breaking com silence, Houston hails, “Intrepid, this is Houston… do you copy?”
Grabbing the headset, Rory responds, “Yes, Houston we copy; Commander Scott here.”
“Good to talk with you Commander; we have an update for you and I’m sure it will be good news to all. UEA Command has decided that you, Commander Huntley, the Seal Team, Commander Huntley and, of course, your unwelcomed guests, are to return to Earth immediately via the captured alien craft. After discussing the information shared earlier by Commander Huntley, this decision was made. UEA Command agrees that the intel that has been secured is invaluable and it is in the best interest of Earth, and its future security, for you all to return to Earth with that intel, sooner rather than later. As the Triton shuttle launch will be delayed for at least three days due to weather conditions in the Atlantic, we feel it best to have you return with the alien craft now rather than wait for your replacement crew. Three additional days might give alien command time enough to consider an attack and we can’t afford to lose this technology.”
“Understood Houston… that is really good news. I will let Commander Huntley know just as soon as he has docked with the ISS. He has been giving us quite an air show over the last hour; he has definitely got those alien controls hammered out.”
“Good to hear… very good to hear.”
Finishing the shut-down of all systems, Rex sits back and takes a deep breath to relax. “Wow… what a rush,” he says to himself aloud. “…A real, out of this world, rush.”
Getting up and walking towards the airlock and the now extended boarding tube, he feels good and positive; the best he has felt since seeing the technologically advanced ship docked to the ISS nearly three weeks before. With this intel and alien technology, the Earth has gained a fighting chance… however small… it has a chance.
Moving through the tube and back onto the ISS is a bit of a shock. The change from the alien craft’s gravity floor back to the zero gravity of the station is strange at best.
Hearing the boarding tube suction up against the C airlock door, Rory moves in that direction to meet Rex.
“Great flying there Ace… quite an air show I must say… how did she feel?”
“You know Rory, I can’t even describe it… you’ll have to wait until you fly her to understand… no words can explain the feeling… that’s all I can say.”
“Looking forward to it… that’s for sure. Not to change the subject, we have new orders from UEA Command. We are to set the SAGA radar and the bearing gun on auto mode and head on back to Earth. UEA Command has decided that staying here for the additional three or four days may be a risk to the intel we have secured in that ship. They believe and I agree, that this technology is just too valuable to risk should those bad boys come looking for a fight.”
“Good… I’m really glad to hear that. After flying that craft, I believe this technology is going to help save our planet.”
“That’s the best thing I’ve heard all day!”
“Copy that. How are we doing as far as having everything secured and ready to head out?”
“Seal Team is getting the last of everything shut down and equipment stowed. Houston has instructed us to land at Groom Lake and UEA Security will be there to take the alien prisoners into custody. I don’t know about you, but I am Looking forward to delivering these bastards to UEA… really looking forward to it!”
“Well, Rory… looks like you might be getting your wish after all; some time with your wife. Tell the others that we are out of here in fifteen minutes. As fast as that bird flies, we should be home in twenty minutes max… maybe sooner. Looks like mission Black Spider is officially over.”
Shaking his head in agreement, Rory remarks, “I’m sure UEA Command as well as Dr. Rice will be happy with the results of this mission.”
“No doubt… they should definitely be thrilled. Let’s get to the com and just let Houston know on the LBC that we will be heading back in fifteen. After leaving the ISS we will be stealth on the trip back.”
“Copy that.”
“Houston control… do you copy?”
“Yes Intrepid, read you loud and clear.”
“Black Spider team is packed and ready to head home… we will be flying in stealth mode so we will see you in Groom Lake.”
“Copy that Commander; we’ll have a welcoming crew standing by.”
“Sound’s good Houston, Huntley out.”

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