A new colony amongst the.., p.1
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       A New Colony amongst the Stars, p.1
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           Philip R Benge
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A New Colony amongst the Stars
A New Colony amongst the Stars

  A Story By

  Philip R Benge

  ***************

  Published by

  A New Colony amongst the Stars

  Copyright Philip R Benge 2016

  Cover Art courtesy of NASA camera on the Deep Space Climate Observatory satellite.

  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.

  A New Colony amongst the Stars

  Contents

  Chapter One: A Secret War is declared

  Chapter Two: Departure

  Chapter Three: New Caledonia

  Chapter Four: Battle Commences

  Chapter Five: Interrogation

  Chapter Six: Mark Summers is put in Command

  Chapter Seven: The War Heats Up

  Chapter Eight: A New Player

  Chapter Nine: Revenge

  Chapter Ten: A New Survival Strategy

  Chapter Eleven: The Final Battle

  About the Author

  Other Books by the Author

  Chapter One

  A Secret War is declared

  The small automated drone has only recently arrived in the vicinity of Earth; it came aboard an Aldebran freighter carrying various ores that are more common on their side of the galaxy. While the freighter had waited for navigational orders from the large space dock in geostationary orbit above Earth, the small alien drone left the mother ship and attached itself to a defunct communications satellite, for the freighter had stopped quite near to this piece of space junk for just this purpose. In doing this the alien drone had made itself almost undetectable from Earth or from space, visually anyway. The small drone has come from an alien civilisation whose home planet, named Aldebra by its inhabitants, orbited a sun that was 179 light years from Earth. Among other things that the drone had been programmed to do was to listen in to all of the communications that flowed between the space dock and the many space ports on the planet`s surface. Anything that might be of interest to its builders it sent back to Aldebra via a tight communications beam that was also virtually undetectable, especially from Earth, for it sent its messages only when the drone was between Aldebra and Earth. One such item was about the upcoming departure of a colony starship that was due to leave Earth orbit in just seven days, and when the ruler of Aldebra was informed he had immediately called a meeting of his military advisory council.

  The meeting was held in the large briefing room within the emperor`s equally large palace, and just before the emperor had walked into the room it had been filled with a babble of voices as those assembled asked one another what the current emergency was about. Some of the people were fearful in case a slight transgression by themselves had come to the notice of the emperor, some were hopeful that their lot in life might be about to get a boost forward due to a mistake by one of the other men seated within the room. The babble stopped immediately the ruler of Aldebra, Emperor Taluk Ki-Chek, walked in and stood behind his ornate throne. The assembly rose and waited for the emperor to take his seat, and when he was sitting comfortably they resumed their seats. Emperor Taluk Ki-Chek was a large overbearing man, six feet tall and quite handsome, on Earth people might even have remarked on his classic roman looks and masses of dark wavy hair. Unfortunately, he was prone to irrational anger, and this made all those who came to speak with him quake inside with fear, one other thing about the emperor was that he was a megalomaniac of the first order, in fact much like some of the emperors of Rome`s distant past.

  All was quiet in the room as the powerful military advisors looked expectantly upon the most powerful man in this sector of space. The emperor in turn looked around the room at the assembly of generals and admirals, the expression upon his face matching his angry mood, and made his advisors even more fearful that one of their own transgressions had come to light.

  “We have just received information from our Eavesdropper probe that the barbarians of the planet Earth plan to colonise planet P1056, they must be stopped at all costs. Not only is the planet on our own colonisation list, their presence on P1056 would bring them to a position in space that would threaten the future expansion plans of the empire.” Emperor Taluk Ki-Chek said angrily.

  “Their colony spacecraft departs from their planet in just seven of our days, the trip to P1056 will take them exactly eighty four days, which means that they will arrive on the planet up to twenty eight days before a similar craft of our own could ever hope to reach the planet, even if it left tomorrow!” Emperor Taluk Ki-Chek exclaimed even angrier for it signified that Earth`s technology might be slightly in advance of that of Aldebra.

  “What I need from you gentlemen, is a creditable plan to stop them from colonizing the planet, and without initiating an interplanetary war, one which we might not be able to win, and one that would certainly cost us dearly in men and materials.” Emperor Taluk Ki-Chek stated firmly.

  He looked around the briefing room for a sign that someone would offer such a plan; however the eyes of those assembled were now mostly staring down at the table to ensure that their emperor did not repeat his request to them personally. One man in the briefing room though did look up at his emperor, for he thought that he had a partial answer that might earn him some valuable brownie points, it was Admiral Lou-Wing, and on seeing him signal his desire to speak, the emperor nodded at Lou-Wing, this was to signal that he had the floor.

  Lou-Wing had risen through the ranks because he had betrayed his peers in his bid for greater power, it was also rumoured that he had blackmailed many senior officers into promoting him far above his limited abilities. He was of medium height, medium weight and not unintelligent, his problem was that he was immoral, and he loved it. Initially he had been fearful, wondering what was behind the reason for this special meeting, and the veil of sweat upon his bald head, testified to this. Now though his pulse rate had dropped, for it was now apparent that his latest misdemeanour was not about to be aired by his leader. Feeling secure in his position, for the moment anyway, he outlined a hastily conceived plan, one designed to give him some leeway while he buried his misdemeanour deep within the bureaucracy of Aldebra.

  “Our beloved Emperor, I have an idea that might comply with your desires.” Lou-Wing began, looking around the table and catching General Yang`s unwilling attention.

  “We have in our space fleet a small but fast special operations starship, The North Wind, it could get to P1056 within ninety days, the same time that the Earth craft is due to arrive at the planet, that is if the North Wind left tomorrow. The only drawback is that it will only be able to carry a maximum of twenty four soldiers, however, General Yang has under his command a company of specially trained men who may find a way to drive the earthmen scampering back to their planet.” Admiral Lou-Wing replied in a very insipid voice as he attempted to ingratiate himself with the emperor.

  “Admiral, if we were to drive them away, their fleet may well return to rout out the attackers, and that could initiate a planetary war, or at best a loss of face on our part. No, I want the colonists to disappear silently and without trace.” Emperor Taluk Ki-Chek replied and then turned to General Yang.

  “General Yang, can your team do that, make all of the Earth colonists disappear without word gett
ing back to Earth about our attack, and without leaving a trace of either party?”

  General Yang was a violent man who had disposed of many who had attempted to best him, to this list he was now debating whether to add the name of Lou-Wing. The General stood up, stretching his tall muscular frame to its fullest height, and after throwing a look of contempt at Lou-Wing he answered his emperor’s question.

  “As long as no questions are asked of them once they have completed their task, then yes, they may well be able to comply with your order.” General Yang replied as he then threw an icy glare across the room at Admiral Lou-Wing to add to his contemptuous one.

  “Have no fear General; the senate will not query how your victory is obtained.” Emperor Taluk Ki-Chek promised. “Only your defeat, should your team let the Empire of Aldebra down.” Emperor Taluk Ki-Chek added grimly. “However, we still have the problem of their starship.”

  Admiral Lou-Wing now attempted to repair his earlier mistake by offering another suggestion.

  “If we were to send a heavy duty salvage vessel to P1056, it could cut the ship into sections and drop them into the middle of one of the planet`s oceans, and so there would not be any traces left to be found by a rescue ship sent by Earth.” Admiral Lou-Wing suggested.

  Emperor Taluk Ki-Chek was silent for a moment while he considered this second suggestion and having considered it he gave his decision.

  “It is all agreed then, we send a crack team of soldiers to rid us of the colonists, and a salvage vessel to rid us of their vessel.” Emperor Taluk Ki-Chek ordered and after thinking the matter over he then added a further order.

  “General, have a full company of your men follow along in one of our troop ships, they can assist your initial attack team, if necessary, when they arrive twenty eight days later, between them they should be able to rid the planet of the earthmen. I also want you to send a large freighter along with the troopship, I want it filled with one hundred farming families, they can colonise P1056 for us. When a rescue ship arrives from Earth in search of their missing colonists, it will confuse them to find that an alien agrarian colony is already living on the planet, especially when there is no sign of their own people or the vessel that should have brought them there. One of the junior officers can take initial command of the planet, after we have rid ourselves of the colonists and their ship, and have a squad of soldiers remain with him to help him oversee the peasants.”

  As Emperor Taluk Ki-Chek made to leave he stopped and turned to General Yang and the general became just a little fearful when he saw his Emperor`s smile, for it normally meant that he was going to punish a mistake made by the recipient.

  “General, your son has just passed out of the officer training academy with good marks, appoint him as second in command of the initial operation to rid us of the earthmen, we will see how he stands up under fire, if he does well his future will be a bright one, of that I promise you.”

  General Yang smiled happily, for his son`s future looked to be very bright.

  **********

  The elite squad of soldiers that Admiral Lou-Wing had referred to was called the immortals, they were a squad of battle hardened men who did not hold back, be it against space pirates or Aldebran civilians. General Yang simply wound them up and away they went to war, soldiers who only knew the sound of victory, and dismissed the pleas of the defeated. When told about their new enemy their only thoughts of them was one of contempt, for they had encountered their own rebelling Aldebran colonists and punished them severely, and they held all such people in contempt.

  The morning after the briefing, Admiral Lou-Wing sought out the captain of the special operations starship North Wind. Commander Leander was from the south of the planet Aldebra, and so he was not one of the ruling Northern elite, and therefore he did not command one of the sleek space cruisers of the Aldebran fleet, but he was thought to be very effective in this sort of situation. He was not tall, being only 5`7” in height, but he was handsome and in good shape, and these attributes had won him many a woman when he had been younger, now though he was only a few years away from mandatory retirement. As he still enjoyed his chosen career, that of being the captain of a starship, he had decided that when he did retire he would seek out a captain`s post amongst the merchantmen of Aldebra, a lot less action but still in command of a starship.

  “Commander, is your craft ready to leave on this deep space mission?” Yang asked when he finally found Leander on the compact bridge of the North Wind.

  “Yes, Admiral, we only await your command to head out.” Commander Leander assured his superior officer.

  “Bear in mind that this mission is of the utmost secrecy, we do not want any spies from that barbaric planet Earth to hear of it. This means that there must be no stop overs en-route, any in-flight problems that occur must be resolved by you or your crew. Ensure that your craft keeps radio silence at all time.” Admiral Lou-Wing explained. “The only excuse that I will accept is that your craft has suffered some sort of engine trouble and cannot be repaired and that your planned rendezvous with P1056 is impossible, although we will all incur the wrath of the emperor if this should be the case, do you understand?” Admiral Lou-Wing asked.

  “Of course Sir, have no fear as regards that, my small crew is one of the best in the fleet, we will not let you down.” Commander Leander replied.

  “Earth initiated this war Captain, we contacted them a year ago to tell them that the area of space in which P1056 is located was ours, and that under no circumstances should their vessels enter it.” Admiral Lou-Wing said grimly.

  This last statement was a lie, but then Aldebrans were used to listening to such lies and they no longer dared question them, for they knew that imprisonment would be their answer.

  “Captain, you are to send the code word Imperial, the moment that the assault on the colonists is launched by Commander Lu-Song, and when we are victorious you will send the word Retribution.” Admiral Lou-Wing ordered.

  General Yang was also there; to speak to his squad of soldiers and to see his son off, seemingly satisfied with what he had just heard he moved off to talk to his elite squad of men about their coming victory. He did not consider the possibility of defeat, for they were being led by Commander Lu-Song. Lu-Song was a respected veteran of many battles and with a low death rate amongst his men. What General Yang did not know was that as of late Lu-Song had not been sleeping well, he had been seeing the faces of the people killed by him and his men in his dreams, or to be more exact his nightmares, and had woke up feeling exhausted and with his body drenched in sweat. He had decided to retire, for he did not want to add to the faces that were already appearing in his dreams, he also feared for his sanity if his present way of life continued. Yesterday morning he had decided to hand in his commission, but before he was able to he had been ordered to lead this latest operation, one in which his emperor had initiated, one which would consist of nothing but killing. His desires were forced into the deepest recesses of his mind as he readied himself for his last mission, for he was a professional soldier, and one who would not allow his fears to stop him from doing his duty for his emperor one last time.

  Yang said farewell to his son, assuring him that he would do well under Lou-Song, and then he turned to the squad of soldiers currently standing at attention as they awaited the order to board the space craft.

  “Soldiers of the emperor, after you have landed on P1056 you will have fifty six days to obliterate every trace of the colonists and then to return home. You go to fight for the Empire of Aldebra and for your Emperor. I will be here to honour you upon your victorious return. Remember these words, if you die upon P1056 then die with honour, do not let your families down.” General Yang warned his men.

  His last words were a reminder to the soldiers of what could happen to their families, should they themselves be captured or run away from the field of battle, they must either be victorious or die fighting. For the gulags were filled with innocent people who had come t
o the notice of the powerful for the wrong reasons and who had paid the price for it.

  “One final instruction Commander Lu-Song; today is Divine Justice Day minus ninety. You will launch your attack on DJ day plus one, no later; the emperor is planning a large party on that day to celebrate your attack.”

  The soldiers response was to cheer his words, and then as one they broke into their battle cry which resembled the screams of a banshee, this cry froze most of their enemies long enough to enable the Immortals to gain the advantage. With the fearful sound of their battle cry ringing within the ears of all present, they boarded the spacecraft North Wind. Soon after General Yang`s speech the North Wind left the planet Aldebra far behind it, its course set for the planet P1056, a journey of ninety days. Everyone aboard the vessel travelled in cryogenic pods, all environmental systems had been turned off, for the ship was being navigated to its destination by its main computer.

  ********

  Fifty six days had gone by unnoticed by the sleepers aboard the North Wind, the small sleek craft moving rapidly but silently through deep space, but all was not well aboard the vessel. Suddenly the environmental systems slipped silently into action, silent except for the whoosh of air flooding into every compartment of the craft. The heat slowly returned to the ship as the computer woke its sleeping crew of four, red flashing alarm lights flooded every section of the craft with a psychedelic display intended to gain the immediate attention of the crew.

  Commander Leander shivered as life came back into his body, then he remembered where he was, he was on board the North Wind and on course for the planet P1056. He opened his eyes and then quickly closed them as the glare from the flashing lights temporarily blinded him. Even so he responded quickly to the message sent by the emergency lights, after swearing quietly under his breath he donned his uniform and then checked on the other three members of the crew, they had only just finished dressing seconds before and were now waiting for him in the corridor.

 
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