Chapter 1: Age of Lies(Book 1 of the Markelium Series)

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

Reads: 242

Prologue

The gentle smell of spring showers of his hometown flowed over the man as he lay on his back watching the heavy clouds pass in the sky above him. The night approached as did a growing sense of unease. The night brought the man a full sky of shinning stars that shimmered as his eyes wondered among them. Suddenly dark clouds moved into view, sparking with unseen red and yellow lighting. As the man rose to his feet a steady throb could be felt in the earth. A coldness settled on his skin raising goosebumps as the throbs waxed and waned. Much too quickly the sky grew black and darkness highlighted by red, yellow and blue flashes appeared as the darkness began to swallow the man as he stumbled along. The sweet smell of rain was replaced by the smell of oil, metal and sweat as the throbs grew stronger and the metallic screeching rattled his ears. Out of the dark smoke that lay around him shadows moved as if he was being hunted. The man slumped to his knees as his now weak body betrayed his will to move. One of the shadows moved towards him, blurred and buried in smoke, hiding its features. As the shape drew close the young man thought he recognized the figure and called out in a weak dry voice, “Markus.” The figure moved as if in slow motion and was soon kneeling beside him. Blackness surrounded the man’s vision as the darkness tried to cover the light. Moments later the young man’s vision turned black as night. His last view was of a stranger whom he had never met.

 

Sometime later the man slowly opened his eyes to find himself in a white room. He tried to raise his head but a sharp pain descended upon him. Forced to choose between laying back down and blacking out the man relaxed and lay his head back into the pillow that comforted his head. Darkness crawled at the edge of his vision as he tried to turn his head to view his surroundings. However, all that greeted him was an empty room. He rested a moment to catch his breath and soon tried again. Several minutes later a door was opened and from around the corner a young lady and man appeared. Groggy thoughts and ideas drifted through the man’s head as he tried to think of who they may be. The man stepped closer, “I see that you’re finally awake. Can you tell me your name?” The young man in the bed shook his head. The man looked to the woman in white who jotted a note on her clipboard. The man looked back to his patient, “Can you tell me what you last remember?” The young man struggled to remember and after a few moments he looked up, “I . . . was on a . . . hill. . . and a storm came. . . with flashes of light and bellowing smoke. Then I fell down and someone came to me.” He paused trying to remember, however a wave of darkness brushed across his vision and the young man slumped back into the bed. Struggling to stay awake, the man clenched his fist in frustration as he helplessly lost the battle to stay awake. Moments later his eyes closed and his grip relaxed slightly. The doctor came up beside the bed and checked the sleeping man’s signs on a screen behind the bed. After the nurse jotted down the notes the man turned toward her, “They finally did it. After all those years, trying to unravel the mysteries.” The man gazed upon his patient with a sad expression, “I wish he wasn’t the only one though. We shall let him rest today and see if he remembers anything tomorrow.”

 

The next day the doctor and the nurse appeared once more in the doorway to the young man’s room. What greeted them was not the confused look of a man who remembered nothing, but rather a man who was struggling for hope. His voice cracked as he began but became stronger as he talked, “I finally remember . . . You are the ones who must have found us. . . Our message, was it received in time? Where are my crew members? Where am I?” The doctor looked at the nurse who nodded and walked out of the door. The young man’s face grew dark with panic, “Please, say something. . .” The doctor walked over to the bed and sat at the foot of it, “Son. . . Your message got through. Earth is safe. . . However, as for your crew mates.” The doctor paused a moment. The young man sighed in relief, “What about my crew mates?” The doctor breathed a deep breath and looked the man in the eyes, “I’m afraid you’re the only one. . . Markelium.”

 

Several weeks later. . .

 

The star frigate FR1203-45, otherwise known as the Talon, moved steadily through the asteroid field that surrounded the planet Yemopit, heading for the bustling starport that loomed over the large arid red planet. 

First Mate Xavier whistled softly as yet another asteroid passed right by the bridge he stood upon. To his left, the navigation officer called out course adjustments to the helmsman who seemed to be sweating up a storm as more asteroids clouded the monitors in front of him. Xavier turned as he heard the bridge doors slide open and called out in a crisp voice, "Captain on the bridge!", as he saw Captain Tyler enter. At this, the bridge crew quickly perked up and saluted Captain Tyler. "At ease men," he said, and after a moment of looking over the bridge crew, he then proceeded to walk over to the ship wide comms.

The bridge crew watched carefully as Tyler picked up the ship-wide comm handset. Tyler brought the comm slowly up and paused. After taking a deep breath he then activated the comm and spoke, "This is the captain speaking." After a slight pause he then began to address the Talon's crew. "Men and women of the Talon, we are far from home, and far from any allies. We have been hunted by our own countrymen for crimes that we have never committed, and we have faced odds that few men have ever faced before. Yet you have overcome them . . . of course not without loss. . ." Tyler paused struggling to keep his voice from shaking. “We are but a few dozen men and women who strive to bring the hidden truth to light. You are some of the bravest men and women that I have ever met and served with. I am glad to have fought and bled alongside you; but I fear that the worst is yet to come. I have recently received news from a source within the United Planet Space Command, that the Light Cruiser the UPSC Raven and her special ops unit the Night Ravens, have been tasked to hunt us down. . . . I pray that she does not find us, but if the worst comes to worst we will have to stand and fight against great odds. But for now, you my loyal crew, deserve some rest when we reach the star port here at Yemopit. I will grant you leave after we complete repairs and restock our supplies. After that we shall meet up with our brothers and sisters aboard the Fang. So let’s work quick and efficiently. Tyler out." Tyler placed the handset back and turned around to face the bridge crew.

Xavier and the bridge crew promptly saluted Captain Tyler who earnestly returned it. As the bridge crew went back to their assigned posts, Tyler walked up to the command chair and sat down. "Helmsman please begin the final approach to the station but keep our energy signature down, and comms, please inform the station that we are entering the final approach." The helmsman and communications officer both replied with a prompt "Aye aye captain." Xavier walked forward and stood by Tyler. "How is the crew holding up?" asked Tyler. "Well everyone is tired from our constant running and fighting these past few weeks, and there has been some bickering among a select few. But they are holding up. Meeting up with the Fang and seeing friendly faces would do them all good." Xavier replied. Tyler shifted through some information on his monitor and without looking up he said, "Good. Let’s hope that we can dock safely and avoid being spotted by the navy. Until then, keep on high alert."

At this time the communications officer suddenly and in a confused voice said, "Captain, the star port has asked us to leave this area. They said something about a navy cruiser entering our space within ten minutes!" Tyler grew pale and stood up, "Helm get us out of this asteroid field and get ready to warp! Raise shields and sound battle stations now!" The lights dimmed and red flashing lights began to light up the interior of the ship. Alarm bells throughout the ship blared to life as they prepared for the worst. Captain Tyler stood in front of his command chair watching his experienced crew jump into action. "What's our status?" called Tyler as he gripped the support rails that lined the raised floor for the commander's chair. "We are four minutes from exiting the asteroid field sir. Weapons and shields are still powering up. But they will take eight more minutes for minimal operational status," replied the X.O.

Tyler held the rails in a death grip as he quickly made a decision. "Reroute all power from weapons and shields to the engines and jump drives now!" Captain Tyler paced back and forth ignoring the minor gravity fluxes as the helmsman raced to exit the chaotic asteroid field. A moment later Tyler asked the Nav-Officer, "Are the jump drives spooled up yet?"

"Five more minutes’ sir," replied the man who continued to work desperately on getting every last bit of power he could for the jump drives.

"This is going to be a close one," muttered Tyler as he anxiously waited for the drives to charge up.

"SIR! WE HAVE EXITED THE ASTEROID FIELD!" yelled the helmsman as they raced past the edge of the field. The bridge crew gave a mighty cheer.

"T-minus sixty seconds to warp. I repeat T-minus sixty seconds till warp," announced the ship's A.I on the ship-wide comms.

Tyler began to relax slightly and looked at a holo-portrait that was on his personal locket that he had in his chest pocket. "We are almost home Elizabeth." He whispered.

Suddenly, a new set of alarms blared and just outside of the asteroid field a rift in space formed and in it appeared a dark ship. Two more rifts appeared alongside the first ship and from them more ships appeared. The ships' dark hulls lit up as their weapons began raining fire upon the helpless Talon. Tyler managed to whisper one word in anger and despair . . . "Raven", and then all went black.


Submitted: September 14, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Tazunte. All rights reserved.

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