Quasar, p.1
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           Philip R Benge
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Quasar
Quasar

  A Story by

  Philip R Benge

  ***************

  Published by

  Quasar

  Copyright Philip R Benge 2014

  Cover Art Copyright Philip R Benge 2014

  Thank you for downloading this eBook. You are welcome to share it with your friends. This book may be reproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes, provided the book remains in its complete original form, with the exception of quotes used in reviews.

  Your support and respect for the property of this author is appreciated.

  This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

  Quasar

  Chapter One

  The Making of Quasar

  The small moon orbiting the gas giant in the Penates planetary system had at one time been full of life, albeit within the shelter of the pressurised living quarters set within a small crater that was itself set within the large lava plain in the moon`s northern hemisphere. However, after the attack on the complex last month, which luckily had been beaten off, and with the front line drawing ever nearer they decided to abandon the complex. The decision had been taken reluctantly though, for the complex was producing impressive results that might have given the Moranian security forces the edge over the Mechanoids, given time that is. The scientists, together with most of their equipment, had left aboard a transport ship escorted by three heavy space cruisers the day before. The moon`s defences had been dismantled and taken away just two hours ago, only twelve security men were left on the moon now, and they would soon be leaving, the final demolition charges were about to be set and then the empty living quarters would be destroyed.

  Third Officer Rhiet was sitting at a computer terminal punching in a series of numbers that would cause the small nuclear generator sited five miles away from the complex to malfunction and explode, but not until the remaining members of the security team was well on its way back to Morania, their home planet.

  The four small attack ships came in low over the rim of the crater and were upon the remaining Moranian defences, such as they were, before Rhiet and his troopers could do much more than die. If the attack had happened two hours later the attackers would have found it abandoned, but then they knew this, this is why they chose to attack now, when most of the base personnel had left, just two hours earlier, taking the highly effective defence equipment with them. This left only a dozen base security soldiers there to oversee its destruction. Within a few moments of the attack starting, most of the buildings within the crater had been destroyed.

  Third Officer Rhiet responded as quickly as any of the other security men, but he knew that it was hopeless; all he could do was attempt to take out as many of the tin cans as he could before dying. This would probably happen when the building that he was in was decompressed by a direct hit from one of the Phaser cannons mounted on the stubby wings of the Mechanoid`s ground attack ship. He moved quickly to the last remaining weapons console and powered up their small Phaser weapon dug into the lava plain, this was the only means of defence now available to him. As he sat at the console, Trooper Malik rushed through the open door of the security room, fear written over his young face.

  “Third Officer Rhiet, we are going to die, tin cans do not take prisoners, they always kill Moranians and leave our bodies for us to find. Please you must do something, talk to them tell them that we mean them no harm.” Malik pleaded, although he must have known that any such attempt to beg for their lives was useless.

  Just then the building next to them took a direct hit from the Phaser cannons mounted on a Mechanoid ship that was hovering over the rim of the crater, the unit exploded in a blaze of light, the two men working there dying instantly. Pieces of the building were flung effortlessly through the air, a large section of one of its walls falling on the roof of the unit Rhiet was working in. Rhiet fervently prayed that it had not caused any structural damage to his building; he had enough problems trying to survive as it was. Looking at his computer screen, Rhiet watched as the enemy ship slowly moved until its weapons pods were aiming directly at them, Rhiet did not wait for their enemy to open fire; he pressed the button on the keyboard before him. A beam of energy shot out from their small Phaser cannon and struck the enemy ship, however its defence screen deflected most of the energy of the beam, providing Rhiet with a dazzling light show, and what energy did get through did little damage to the heavily armoured vessel.

  Rhiet was about to power up his weapon again when he heard the main airlock cycling, had some of his security team managed to survive the savage attack upon their base?

  “Trooper Malik, go see who that is, but be careful.” Rhiet ordered, he did not seriously think that it could be a tin can, for they never took prisoners, but he gave the warning anyway.

  From outside in the hallway Rhiet heard the sound of a Phaser firing, but curiously, it sounded as if the weapon had been set on its low power setting, and then he heard the sound of someone falling to the floor. He knew that he needed to see what was happening outside his room, but even so he turned to the computer and fired again at the Mechanoid attack vessel, but he did not wait to see the result. Rhiet rushed to the door to find out what was happening and why a Phaser was firing using its low power setting. As he approached the airlock, he saw the sprawled body of Malik laying half in and half out of a small room that had been used as an office by the cleaners of the complex. Then from around the corner, two Mechanoid troopers suddenly appeared before him, and before he could do more than aim his own weapon at one of the enemy troopers, he was hit by a blast of energy that stopped him in his tracks.

  “We will take these two back to the home world as prisoners, for some reason the scientists back there want some organics to play with.” One of the two large Mechanoids said.

  Rather them than me, those scientists scare me with all of their experiments.” Mechanoids rarely experience emotions, for they were not supposed to exist within their brains, but occasionally they appeared.

  **********

  Four large bright metallic figures stood bent over a polished stainless steel laboratory table, they were looking down upon a reptile, a reptile who would soon go by the designation of Quasar. The light from the large overhead lights reflected glaringly off their metal bodies as well as the table, however, their eyes easily adjusted for it, a polarised filter blocked out any glare. Their current project was now in its final stage, and had this been Earth the scientists there would have been in a state of extreme excitement, albeit of the contained variety. Here though there was no such emotion, merely a mechanical calmness that pervaded throughout the rest of the planet. However, for a brief moment something approaching excitement did show itself, it did rise above the automated normal calm of the Mechanoids.

  “Victory over the organics will soon by ours, Scientist Supreme.” The Mechanoid with a blue slash across his silver breast said smugly, once again as a member of the Mechanoid civilisation such emotions were supposed to be beyond them, and indeed this one faded away as quickly as it had appeared.

  “Yes, Science officer second class, by the end of one of their years the organics will be all but destroyed, and by one of their own.” The Mechanoid designated as scientist supreme, and who had a purple slash across his breast, replied looking down at the still figure of the reptile. “We will then rule the galaxy, and without any of those disgusting organics to deal with. Hail to our supreme leader for leading us to our brilliant victory.” He said in a flat monotone voice. His voice sounded similar to his junior Mechanoid but it was a little louder, denoting his senior rank.

  The four Mechanoids then stood to a
ttention and thrusting their right arm upwards, they cried out loudly together. “Hail, hail, hail.”

  To someone from Earth, the Mechanoids would look hilariously theatrical; however, in fact they were anything but hilarious. Their life was all about finding different ways to kill more of their enemy, the Moranians this time, Quasar was simply the last in a long line of such creations.

  The Mechanoids could communicate without the need to speak, but for some reason they seemed to prefer to speak orally, maybe it was a memory of far off days when they had been the servants of the reptile race that they so despised now. Whatever the reason was, they used this method to converse whenever possible.

  A single tear slipped down the side of the face of the Moranian, he lay there unable to move, partly because of the drugs within his body but also because of the restraints that bound him to the table, he knew that he was going to die, but to go like this, with a whimper. A silent roar was there within his brain, but it never left his mouth, anger rushed through his body and he thought how he would beat these mobile tin cans into so much scrap metal, should he ever get free.

  **********

  Quasar first became aware ten minutes later, it was when his creators input his first thoughts. Then more information was fed into him and it simply blew his mind. His body quivered as he took it all in, all he wanted now was more information, that and a way to utilise what he now knew. His two small eyes flashed open, they were set upon two short stalks attached at the top of a thin flat ovoid creature that measured six inches by four, this was Quasar. The two eyes slowly looked around the room, finally coming to rest upon the figure of the senior scientist.

  The Mechanoids seeing their creation come alive now placed Quasar at the top of his soon to be host’s back. Quasar quickly affixed himself there, held firmly by a powerful sucker. The Moranian normally wore body armour and this would conceal Quasar. Quasar now sent one of its two specially adapted tentacles up towards the neck of his victim. The tentacle entered the Moranian’s neck behind where the armour would be and bored upwards and carefully into the brain so as not to damage it, the very end of the tentacle was no thicker than a hair, but much stronger and filled with micro fibre optics. The micro thin end of the tentacle stopped at the centre of the brain and it was now that Quasar took the brain over.

  The Moranian had once been Third Officer Rhiet, a soldier in his planet’s space fleet. When Quasar took over his brain, essentially Rhiet no longer existed; there was only Quasar who on the surface looked like a Moranian.

  The Moranians were an intelligent civilisation living on the outer edge of the Andromeda galaxy. One that was fighting for its very survival against an intelligence that was without emotions, and one without even the smallest amount of mercy. They were a telepathic civilisation that had descended from the reptile branch of the tree of life, it was this telepathic ability that Quasar had been designed to utilise in the war against them. For when his own mental abilities were combined with those of his host`s they would become super charged, and way beyond those of a mere mortal.

  Quasar was part organic and part computer, one that was programmed to work autonomously, however he could also be operated by a remote computer. Although Quasar was in fact asexual, as his host was a male, so Quasar now thought of himself as a male, it was to help him fit in to Moranian society and not attract any undue attention.

  Quasar now transferred his mind into that of his host, essentially leaving his own body as no more than a lifeboat to go to should his new body be on the point of dying. Quasar was as much a computer program as a living creature and this was why he could move his mind about so easily. He got all the necessary power and nourishment he required to keep his own body alive from his host body, for his own body was a parasitic life form. However, he could use his second tentacle to drain energy from a passing Moranian, or even an animal, should the need arise, while his first tentacle attended to more important matters.

  **********

  The next day, inside a large council chamber, a number of Mechanoids stood before a larger golden Mechanoid; it was their supreme leader. It was built into a large super computer that was fixed to the rear wall of the chamber, and all the sensors of the silver Mechanoids were upon this golden Mechanoid.

  “Report, Scientist Supreme, is your new project ready to be put into operation?” The supreme leader asked in a very loud but squeaky metallic voice.

  “We are ready to send Quasar into battle Supreme Leader; we only await your command.” The scientist supreme reported.

  “Then do it now, the stain on our ancient ancestors must be erased, and as soon as it is possible.” The supreme leader cried out angrily with just a little madness thrown in for luck.

  “Yes, my Supreme Leader.” The scientist supreme replied before turning to the reptilian figure standing quietly by his side.

  “Quasar, you have your orders, take the captured Moranian spacecraft to the planet Markus IV and give us our victory.”

  “Immediately, Scientist Supreme.” Quasar replied in a gruff voice. With that, Quasar threw up his right arm and led those assembled in the traditional salute. “Hail to our Supreme Leader, hail, hail, hail.”

  With that, Quasar turned and left the chamber and hurried to the main spaceport of the Mechanoids, and his waiting spacecraft. Two of the Mechanoid scientists accompanied him to his spacecraft, as his presence would have caused alarm amongst any Mechanoids who happened by chance to see a Moranian walking freely about their world. As he was a top-secret project, only those of a high enough rank knew of Quasar and his mission.

  Quasar had on board his craft two crates filled with glass phials, within them was a deadly virus that had been created in the laboratories of the Mechanoids. The virus was designed to reproduce at a terrific rate within the body of its Moranian victims. For two months, the only signs of its presence in its victim would be a slight cold, persistent but not bad, which is how the virus was to be spread amongst the population. Then the virus swiftly mutated and it killed its Moranian host within hours of reaching its new deadly state.

  **********

  The captured Moranian spacecraft piloted by Quasar was soon approaching the planetary system where Markus IV was located; and here he was met by a local patrol craft.

  “Spacecraft WP-1, why have you turned off your transponder signal, turn it on immediately.”

  WP-1 was the code written upon the side of his Moranian spacecraft. Quasar decided not to comply with the Moranian officer`s instructions to activate the transponder, for the Moranian`s computer would have shown the spacecraft as a part of the fleet operating at the border between the two warring civilisations. This information would then be flashed across to the command centre on Markus IV and his ship would be taken to a holding area. Here his craft would have been boarded, he interrogated, and his papers inspected. This was clearly impossible for they would soon find out whom his host was, an officer missing in action and presumed dead, although with his awesome powers Quasar could easily make them release him, it might cause problems later. It was just easier not to pursue this route.

  Using his advanced telepathic abilities, he was able to bypass the request made by the commander of the Moranian patrol vessel. Quasar used his ship`s specially adapted sensors to carry his thoughts across to the Moranians and assure them mentally as to his right to be there. He was soon on his way, he landed the spacecraft at the spaceport on Markus IV without any further problems, and once there, he used his advanced telepathic abilities to pass through any further challenges that came his way.

  During the month following his landing on Markus IV he spent much of his time at the space port, the local travel termini, and when the urge came upon him at one of the large shopping centres. Quasar spent this time well, for he released his entire stock of the deadly viruses and successfully infected a large number of travellers and locals alike, these Moranians then carried the virus to their many and varied destinations.

  His main task over, Qu
asar spent some of his time walking amongst and talking to the inhabitants of Markus IV, although the planet was on a war footing it inhabitants seemed to spend much of their free time in various forms of amusement. Although essentially a computer program he still enjoyed the time he spent sitting in the sunny squares having a local drink and watching the locals walking by, he seemed almost, Moranian.

  Within three months of his landing on Markus IV, the Moranians were dying by the hundreds of thousands across their entire empire, many of them important individuals in the military or the space industry. The Mechanoid victory seemed to be assured, for Quasar was also using his advanced telepathic abilities at the spaceport to bring chaos to the Moranian space fleet, proving that he was anything but a Moranian.

  However, during those three months something changed within Quasar, for he was constantly receiving data from the Moranians eyes, ears, mouth, nose and of course from his body. This data was processed by the Moranian’s brain, which now also housed Quasar, and he evolved from a complex computer program into a truly self-aware being, something that the Mechanoids had not intended to happen. This error made by the Mechanoids soon became self evident, for Quasar developed a personality of his own, rather than the one built into him, it was because of this mixing of the Moranian mind with his own. He was now a truly living being housed within a Moranian body, why he even had a few Moranian friends!

  His creators had not envisaged the mental power that their creation would attain in this way, and use, for Quasar soon outgrew his limited programming and now he reprogrammed himself and then the brain in which he resided. His next act was to sever, albeit only temporarily, the link to the super computer and the golden Mechanoid that ruled the Mechanoids and supposedly Quasar; he was now a free agent. Quasar then began to draw upon the technology of both the advanced Moranian civilization and that of the Mechanoids, and Quasar found that it was awesome to the extreme. With his newfound freedom came freedom of thought, and his first thought was that the two warring empires should indeed become one large empire, but one ruled over by him, and so he began to wage a relentless war against both sides.

 
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