An Idea.

I have a thought for developing some areas here in Granbury. I’m not sure how difficult it would be to pull it off, but I like to think it would allow me to create some nice pleasant homes for folks, or at least vacation rentals and the like, while being environmentally friendly. I have some ideas, but as with all things I need funding, knowledge, and support both materially and morally. I think I can pull it off within the area I live, and make things so very pleasant along this side of Lake Granbury.

My plan in my head is to purchase all the multi-acre farm lots around and build them up like classic farm houses and the like, and make them a good little farming home for families to move into that area as off-grid as possible. Frankly I’d probably rent out the houses so I could maintain some maintenance schedule for my tenants. I would HOPE my thoughts and such would be sufficient for low-income folk to move in as well.

I need advice and money, anyone who is willing at least to chip in some thoughts. I would of maintain as much of the surrounding nature as possible, while trying to make it just as green as possible, both philosophically and literally.

All houses would have to have solar power or something similar. All of them would also have to have a good gray-water arrangement that feed into ponds for beautification and the like. Texas doesn’t restrict rainwater harvesting at all, and in state law actually prohibits municipalities from preventing such things. I would like that at least. Composting toilets for some nice non-water using plumbing as well.

I want to try and build something more then just a few houses and farms. I like to think the facilities exist where I am to create a very nice community and such over time. I don’t know how or what not but it be a good idea in my view. We need more community in my mind.

So anyone willing to help build something nice and such with me is more then welcome to do what they can, even if it’s just advice for a good business plan or what not. I’ll take anything. Join the conversation. Maybe you can try something in your local area.

Free Commerce Activate!

Well, I’ve been trying to get some money together, and I’ve had ads runing on almost all of my pages. Well now I have this, an Amazon.com aStore for Dhampir Dreams. I’m going to add content to it, books that I’ve enjoyed and the like as I go along, with some catagories. This store I’m keeping strictly literature, and if you find you like one of my recommendations, then please purchase it from the store here. I get a small percentage of each sale.

I’ll add more over time, but that is what I’m trying to do so, yea. I’ll be adding subject specific stores to the groups and such of Fanbards.net here as well over time. Hopefully they will build me up some capital over time.

NASA MAY have created FTL Flight.

Yesterday I caught a link to an article summarizing a forum discussion on NASASpaceFlight.com that indicates that NASA may have accidentally created a warp drive. For those of you who HAVEN’T ever seen Star Trek or anything like that, a Warp Drive in Fiction is a method of Faster than Light travel where an engine generates a field around a star ship. This field allows the ship to move faster than light without time dilation effect, getting around General Relativity.

This brings the possibility of Space Flight to others stars, not just planets within our own star system to potentially being within our lifetimes if it can be replicated and scaled. We need to work on the engineering and science, but it’s possible.

I had an interesting discussion on Facebook about this in the Star Trek group and it brings to light a wonderful idea of new possibilities. Lets get to building the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Trying to Fund a Home!

I’ve been wanting to move back out of my folks place for a while. I’m working part time and looking at other jobs, but at the end of the day I want to be able to pay for a place and build a nice off-gird home there. With Earth Day just having passsed I kept thinking on the subject.

I figure, at least looking at property around here, that it could cost upwards of 200k if not double that to get an off-grind home built and greened up. That’s the cost of the land, designing and building the house and plumbing systems, solar installation, and whatever is needed for cable internet to be plugged in. Costly.

I WANT to earn the money for it over time as well, hence the posts here, the ads, the donation button on the side. And the posting of links from Amazon in my personal accounts. I need to see if there are any ideas on what to do to create a store on Fanbards for these things.

I frankly would also like to document and post about the process, going through local regs in order to pull this off. It would be a bit difficult all things said and done, but I like to think it’s worth it.

What say you folk? Is it worth trying to build a home in a sort of rural area off grid, or do you think I should just move back into the city and say to hell with the whole green housing thing.

Contingency – Chapter 5: Preparedness

Three Months, One Week after the Vancouver Incident

“Hijo de tu puta madre!”

This had followed a small explosion from the direction of the Armory. It had been going on for the better part of a month. Juan had been trying to modify the pulse weapons from the Bladed Claws armory for weeks now. And every time he’d get close something would cause it to go wrong. He couldn’t get the pulse fields to pierce soft warm butter let alone anything close to human flesh. Oh he could get the field to take on the shape he wanted, it just burst like a soap bubble the moment it hit anything denser than air.

The minor explosions and deep wounds from destroyed pulse weapons had provided DuFrane with a chance to test the cruzzir drug. Under Cranex supervision he had applied the drug to the man’s wounds. Cranex had noticed that the rate of cellular regeneration was enhanced in humans but noticed no other problems with it. Juan had so far not reported any differences either. DuFrane was still worried it could cause Cancer… or turn Juan into come kind of Wolverine.

Juan had told him if that happened to just call him the Chubacabra.

Both DuFrane and Cranex had watched him leave with the same deadpan level glare. Jackson was certain that Cranex might not be the best influence on DuFrane. Though Cranex was concerned as they had kept an eye on Juan during treatment. That was what lead to Captain Drake being in the medical for the moment. “I have never seen a species take to Cruzzir as well as your species does. You consume close to four time the amount of nutrients, oxygen, and water of any species in the galaxy. Yet the smallest amount applied on a wound and the result is almost instantaneous. I’m honestly shocked,” Cranex said.

Drake nodded and asked, “Are there any side effects so far?”

Cranex shook his head, “No, Cruzzir works exactly as it is supposed to on your people. Perhaps a bit faster but that is it.”

Drake nodded, “That’s good then…”

All of the sudden the conversation was interrupted by a loud explosion and Juan’s voice screaming, “Chinga tu hermana!”

Drake sighed and rubbed his temple, “Let me know when he grows another arm or something Bones.”

Cranex just sighed and pulled out the vial of Cruzzir and an application stick.

Six Months after the Vancouver Incident

Drake was walking up to a small clearing. Jahmal and his working group and summoned him out here to day. They had spent the last several months working on their project and apparently had something to show for it, finally. Drake had hoped for something. What he saw as he reached the group was at least very intimidating.

The group was walking around a volunteer who was standing there, the armor was a glossy black in places, with some kind of black fabric underneath the individual plates. The helmet was an opaque black as well, but with a white skull on the front. There was also what could only be described as a cloak over the figure, draping down his shoulders with a cowl over the helmet.

Drake felt that was one creepy looking setup.

“Ah Captain, we are just ready to show our demonstration.”

Drake nodded and said, “Tell me you are documenting this. Earth is going to need this advantage or at least something to work from.”

Jahmal nodded, “We’re recording everything and we’ll make sure we have it fully documented. We’ve got Brooks working on a computer system to store everything we are developing here.”

Drake knew of Brooks second project. The Central Intelligence Core, where everything they figured out was being documented and stored. IF and When they finally managed to get back to Earth they would have something for the boys at JPL, MIT, and yes maybe even Area 51 to work with.

“Now, we’ve been operating on the idea that we’d have to have armor good enough to at least stand up to traditional Earth weaponry. Compared to a Kinetic Pulse Weapon this is a considerable threat. We probably won’t see any projectile based weaponry out here but better safe than sorry,” Jahmal said.

“We’ve based the plates on traditional armor plating. The Fabricator has allowed us to experiment with certain material combinations while not wasting our resources.”

The Fabricator seemed to allow them to process most forms of matter into usable products by recombining matter at the molecular level. So even though they didn’t have a lot to work with they could have the fabricator take whatever waste they had and recycle it into new objects. Though from the number of warped, pierced, burned, melted, and one that looked like it had been turned inside out, that had been a lot of recycling.

“First off the under layer you can’t see right now is where the pressure is being applied to the body. By replacing air pressure with mechanical pressure we are able to provide the soldier with a greater field of movement. The under layer also has the environmental temperature regulation, as many materials available to us can be used that aren’t available on Earth.”

Drake nodded, thinking of the big bulky white suits that were basically wearable space ships. Drake took a moment and asked, “What kind of field of motion are we talking about?”

Jahmal handed Drake a piece of fabric he assumed was for the suit. It seemed to stretch rather easily, but not too much. In fact it seemed to only have a little bit of give as he tugged on it. Than Jahmal pressed a button he had mounted on the sample and the fabric loosened up significantly.

“We decided that if something happened and the armor lost all power it was better to design the survival systems to be able to maintain necessary conditions when unpowered.”

Drake nodded, it made sense to lock things down to improve the longevity of the soldiers life as much as possible.

Jahmal continued, “Over that was have the actual armor. Using the material samples we had from your flack jacket we were able to create something we hope will be up to the task. We took a carbon-Kevlar composite and overlaid it on top of a titanium tri-weave fiber that should stand up to a hand gun with little problem. Combined with the basic electro-static defense screen everyone uses out in space it can stand up to several hits from a standard assault rifle. A Barret .50 cal sniper rifle however will still end you without you even knowing it.”

Drake thought for a moment and asked, “What’s powering all this?”

Jahmal answered, “We’re using what can only be called a quantum power battery. We pulled the energy sources out of a few of the defense harnesses in the armory. I’m not sure how the stuff the Hunters had when they attacked Vancouver compares. We’re not sure how it will all work in actual combat, but for now we know no one uses bullets so we should be fine.”

“Yea, just record everything and see if the guys back home can figure it out when we get them all of this information,” Drake said, grinning at the camps attitude towards alien technology. Its space magic, let the white coats back home figure it out.

The problem they had was they really didn’t understand a lot about what was available. Space Magic was really how they were treating everything right now. It was all they could do. Because in spite of how intelligent they were, they were still soldiers, fighters, criminals, and killers. None of them were researchers.

Jahmal took a moment and said, “We’ve still got a few ideas, but we’ll be playing around with them before even thinking of adding them into the standard armor kit. We are including fusion blades inside the gauntlets. That way if you need a knife it will be handy. There are also maglocks at the hip and on the back for larger weapons like side arms and rifles. Juan has finally given up on trying to make the standard pulse weapons work as he wanted. They just keep exploding on him. And even when he got it to actually fire like he wanted, the moment it hit something denser then air it popped like a bubble. Doesn’t matter how much force goes behind a soap bubble or how it’s shaped, it will still pop.”

Jackson thought for a moment and asked, “Then how the hell can we be using this sort of science to fly, or shield against anything?”

Jahmal looked at him for a moment and then said, “Strictly speaking, we can’t. At least not against anything we’ve developed on Earth really. We still don’t understand HOW it allows for shielding, or providing lift and thrust in space, or flight, or gravity. Right now it just… does. The scientists who got a hold of the tech from the Vancouver Incident probably were able to figure out a Hell of a lot more than we are.”

“Still it’s all just so fanciful. Let me ask you, how much of this stuff do you think we could have developed or figured out on our own if they hadn’t interfered with us like they did?” Jackson asked, the question something that had bothered him for a bit.

Jahmal thought for a moment and then said, “To be honest, I don’t know. The basic premise of how some of this seems to work LOOKS like it could operate with regards to KNOWN principles. An electrostatic field creates a bubble around a ship, that bubble glides along the surface of space. It was theorized by a Mexican Theorist Migul Alcubierre that you could create a bubble around an object, and with this bubble push and pull on Space-Time in such a way that you could effectually bypass Relativity. You can go faster than light without the actual vessel ever getting close to light speed. That looks to be HOW the FTL drive on the Bladed Claw functions.

“A lot of this is all guesswork on our part though. I’m accessing a lot of the galactic data network, which seems to have a fully accessible copy of our internet, make of that what you will. We’re referencing enough to put what we have into context, but aside from that… there is still so much that we don’t know,” Jahmal admitted.

They needed to fix that.

 

Eight Months After the Vancouver Incident

The burn of muscles, the dripping of sweat as she completed the well-remembered movement of the form. Claudia Dresden had always found the state of mind she achieved in the movements of the many forms she had mastered calming. She could take whatever was bothering her, from a case at a dead end to a relationship problem and let the stream of movements and muscle memory take over and by the time she was done everything would be clearer to her. She desperately needed that right now.

She had been gathering intel, interrogating the crew of the Bladed Claw and doing some digging through the galactic information network. There was something bothering her, something at the back of her mind that really told her something was wrong with the Galaxy. And it wasn’t just the fact that the rest of the Galaxy was more scared of Humans who had apparently from what she had found always seemed to prefer to be friendly with them then the Hunters who just destroyed and ate them.

That was one thing that bothered her. The other was something she had heard during a meeting from DuFrane about the Corti Neural implants. That frankly was eating at the back of her mind much more when she took into account certain things. The neural implants were able to communicate with each other, and using an artificial language called Complex, were able to ensure that anything a person said, or tried to communicate through body language and the like would be understood. Complex was developed to ensure translations between languages, both verbal, visual, tonal, and anything else was faithfully translated. Nothing could be misunderstood or misinterpreted thanks to these implants. That bothered her significantly though.

The amount of information needed just to be able to process that let alone transmit between implants was astounding in her mind. That the Corti had accomplished that was impressive, but it lead to a question in her mind. One that might just be paranoia. What else could be transmitted, and how far?

It was just another reason she swore she would only be using the Translator headsets or Reaper helmets and not getting an implant anytime soon. At least those she could remove. A neural implant was far too invasive for her liking. The sentiment was shared by everyone else that was human at least. Cranex assured them it was perfectly safe, and had already been cleared by the Directorate for Human use. That was going to be something else for them to take up with the Directorate at some point.

She hadn’t been a fan of Star Trek, but an old boyfriend of hers had, and she had watched all the series with him. To her the Borg were by far the scariest monsters that they had come up with. Because with machines in their heads they all became part of the machine. She just couldn’t help but think that these Corti Implants might be that particular Pandora’s Box that should never have been opened.

She just finished her last form when Drake walked in. Claudia was the soul female among the group, and had frankly just kept herself busy. Like everyone else she had focused the last several months on the tasks they had assigned themselves. The only reason anyone followed Drake for so long had been because no one else had anything close to the authority to make any decisions. His rank in the Military had just been a convenient excuse for the soldiers that had been snatched and grabbed to put the responsibility on him. Everyone else had just gone along with it, even though aside form her and maybe a few others the rest were civilians, criminals, and terrorists.

President Ronald Reagan had once given a speech where he pondered the effect a common foe from beyond the stars would have upon the world at large. She was seeing that principle in action here. Drake himself had risen to the challenge but like her kept a lot hidden. She was the ONLY female among a group of men. It had been an interesting time for her.

She was admittedly a very attractive woman, her skin a creamy pale color and smooth save for the callouses on her hands from the hours of training and the constant typing on a keyboard filling out paperwork. The hours of exercise and training had kept her in good shape, as she had to make sure that no matter what she could bring down a suspect without endangering her own life. She was not what one would call buxom, but her gender could NOT be mistaken from any angle as anything other than feminine.

Her brown hair fell in waves down her shoulders when free of the tight ponytail she had it in when she worked out. No one had really bothered with maintaining their hair length though due to fear of using fusion blades anywhere near their heads and necks. The men were all looking a bit shaggy now, Drake no exception. However, Claudia had had her gym bag on her when she had been grabbed, and had been able to use the fabricator to make some things she needed for her own hygiene. Included shaving her body hair.

The men hadn’t felt the need to do the same, but they kept as clean as possible using the facilities they had at hand. Nothing on a good hot shower and soap, but nowhere near what they’d have smelled like if it had been eight months without ANYTHING. The lack of deodorant had taken some getting used to by everyone.

Especially as everyone had shared every aspect of their combat training, and aside from Mark Ryan the kickboxer and MMA fighter she had the most extensive training in hand-to-hand combat. Everyone was expanding their skillset as much as they could. They were still working on how to properly use fusion swords and knives but were getting close to an acceptable method.

She had been in extremely close contact with everyone, Drake included. She had been on the outs with her last boyfriend, and while she had been given some privacy she like most everyone had her desires and needs to work through. She also however had a very different issue to everyone else. One that was hard to ignore.

There was no birth control out in space. It wasn’t needed, plain and simple. No other species in the Galaxy, not a single one, had sex for any reason other than procreation. Even the Corti had sex, even if they transferred the resulting embryo to a specialized tank in order to ensure it met with the Directorate’s strict eugenic controls. But none of them had sex as a form of recreation, or intimacy. It was only considered in the arena of childbirth. If she really wanted she could probably work something out with Cranex, but he was a Medical Doctor.

A Medical Doctor who had no experience or even comprehension of Abortion. It would be a mistake for him to even TRY to abort a pregnancy unless absolutely necessary. She’d just have to accept the consequences if she decided to indulge in that particular past time. Which considering their situation would be irresponsible on far too many levels. Still…

Drake had pulled up a punching bag and had started working hard on it. Claudia decided she needed to go and take advantage of that privacy she had been afforded, better than the alternative at the moment.

One Year After the Vancouver Incident Classified Star System: Code Named Forge Corti Military R&D World

The shipments of Allebenellin heavy troopers left Forge on schedule and delivered to the front lines for both the Celzi Alliance and the Dominion. Granth could only smirk as the Directorate, and by extension his superiors in the Hierarchy continued to ensure the prolonged engagement failed to come to a conclusion.

Granth starred out the window as another company of heavy troopers marched into a Celzi troop transport for some system on the line he couldn’t be bothered to remember. All was going according to plan, the conflict would end when the Hierarchy choose to end it, not only to gain the benefit of the influx of credits from weapons sales to both sides. It would end at the appropriate moment to increase Hierarchy, and by extension Corti supremacy over the galaxy. The Corti had already mastered their Evolution, they had mastered their technologies and had made themselves indispensable to the rest of the galaxy. The only way one species could possibly strike at them was if they were willing to go to war with the whole of space itself.

Only the Hunters were both willing, and potentially able to do so. At least they had been. The Humans had both the will and the reason. Cranex frowned as he considered that mess. He trusted that 07 and other members of the Hierarchy had a plan for the Deathworlders, but in his estimation everything that had occurred could be considered a declaration of war. If the Humans ever achieved FTL and managed to get themselves out of the containment shield, then they could potentially declare war against their Wardens.

And with all the returned abductees back on Earth, they could decide that there are no allies to be had out here. That would be a worst case scenario. Thankfully in Cranex estimation, the actions of the Mother-Supreme of Gao by accepting the Human Female Xiu Chang into the Clan of Females would stay Humanities war machine for long enough for possible diplomatic and economic talks. That did not mean that contingencies weren’t needed.

He had already considered a few that would ensure extermination of all Human life on Earth, but none seemed practical as the other species of life on that world were extremely profitable to other ventures of Directorate research and profit. He had already sent out a scouting team looking into potential other Death Worlds for both Military and biological research. A Colleague at the R&D system of Chrysalis might be interested as well. He always enjoyed Vrenzs company, and had sired many children with her that were the top of the genetic spectrum. Perhaps it was time to see if she were interested again.

Granth frowned though as he thought about those worlds. A large concentration of Category 12 Temperate worlds were located within a few light-years of Earth. One at what the Humans Designated Proxima-Centauri, another at Epsilon Eridani, and two in the Vega system.

He had dispatched a research team to reevaluate all of them, and potentially mark certain species of interest. Vega 3 had some promising biological flora specimens that could be potentially new medicines or recreational agents. Vega 4 was also looking to be a source of potentially new fauna for weaponization.

The team had several more months before departing Vega for the journey to Epsilon Eridani. He wondered what they would find there.

One Year Four Months Two Weeks After the Vancouver Incident

It was a bit of a special day for the Abductees. It had been on the suggestion of one of the civilians that if they were going to be out in the Galaxy and seen they should take on a name taunting their oppressors. IT had begun with Jahmal’s team calling their armor Reaper Armor and designing it to look like one of Earth’s Death Gods. It had evolved into a poll in the Mess hall they had put up first to take suggestions, then to vote for a winner. In the end they had decided to call themselves as a collective the Shinigami, Japanese Gods of Death.

And Today SSgt Clark Brooks unvailed his contribution. The Bladed Claw had been gutted and rebuilt into a design less blocky and far more sinister looking. The utilitarian and thin grey metal hull had been replaced with thick armor and black carbon fiber plating to make it invisible to most scanners. The ones they could test against anyways. It had a sleak winged appearance, and almost looked like a crow wit hwings spread flying through the night.

Brooks had re-christened the ship “The Valkyrie.” The Chooser of the Slain.

They partied hard that night. Juan had in his spare time found a plant that he had managed to turn into extremely high quality alcohol. It had been lovingly dubbed Space-Tequila. Jahmal’s group respectfully declined to partake.

Jackson was sitting back away from the crowd, enjoying his drink when Claudia walked up to him. Being the only woman on the planet had resulted in her having to deal with and accept the occasional cat call and sexual innuendo. If anything it had become a sign of affection, but no one disrespected her.

Jackson gave her an appreciative glance and lifted his glass in welcome, “Claudia.”

“Jack, how does it feel to be Captain of this Pirate ship?” Claudia asked, an amussed look on her face.

Jack shook his head and said, “I’m not sure if we are Pirate’s yet. But if we are we can just ask Juan to start working on creating Space-Rum.”

Claudia laughed softly, “It may come down to that. Earth is still lost to us, the Galaxy is terrified of us. It just doesn’t make sense that We scare them worse then the Hunters. We don’t eat sapient species alive after all. Yes, we are carnivores but not cannibals, if that word applies here.”

Jack looked at her, “You’ve been thinking about the implications on the Neural Implants again haven’t you?”

Claudia raised an elegant eyebrow at him, “And you haven’t?”

Jackson didn’t answer for a moment. After gathering his thoughts he said, “I think, with all the information we have now, and everything we’ve ended up warning ourselves about in popular media that maybe you are right. That there might be something to this neural network being potentially a danger in and of itself. Cranex says no, that the implants aren’t designed that way. But at the end of the day, he’s a medical doctor. It doesn’t mean he knows everything about these things that he doesn’t need to know.”

Jack took a moment and took in Claudia’s profile in the light of the bonfire. HE sharp chine and aristocratic nose all seemed to work with her high cheekbones and her eyes to convey the look of a hawk, watching from on high to see it’s prey running along the ground. He couldn’t help but find it attractive. That focus on something she had no proof for, only a gut instinct. That certainty attracted him to her on a level more then just physical.

“I want you to get with Brooks, now that he’s done with this see if the two of you and Jahmal can figure out a way to potentially monitor this neural network. Keep it between the three of you and me. I don’t want anyone else to know about it,” Jack said. He had decided to let her run with it long before now, he just wanted Brooks and Jahmal to be able to provide her with technical support.

Claudia looked to him and smiled, “I’ll let you know what we find out.”

She walked up to him, so close they could both smell each others individual scents. The lack of any perfume, aftershave, deodorants, seemed to make things less contrived and more primal. In that moment she finished her space-tequila and grabbed Jack by the back of his neck and forced him down into a kiss. It was a searing, passionate exchange between the two. It lasted for only a few moments, but it was long enough for them to both to breath heavy and feel a burning crush of desire.

The moment the kiss was broken Claudia looked up into Jackson’s green eyes, and backed up slowly, almost reluctantly. She said, “I should turn in for the night. I want to get a fresh start on this project early tomorrow.”

Jack nodded, his throat a bit tight as he said, “Yea, I should probably as well, don’t need to end up with a space-hangover.”

Claudia smirked, “We really need to stop putting space in front of everything we do out here.”

Jack smiled, “Probably, won’t stop us from doing it though.”

The pair retreated, but neither forgot that kiss, the moment, the urge. It was only their professionalism, and the knowledge of what could result if they let go that stopped them. Had this been Earth, then something completely different might have happened.

In a way this was better, it might not burn out so quickly had it been otherwise.

One Year Five Months After the Vancouver Incident

ULTIMATUM FROM HUNTERS: DEMAND ALL HUMANS BE TURNED OVER ELSE QUOTE SWARM OF SWARMS ENDQUOTE WILL RAID KNOWN HUMAN LOCATIONS. ALL SHIPS, STATIONS CARRYING HUMAN PASSENGERS ADVISED: JETTISON IMMEDIATELY. NOTIFICATION ENDS.

Everyone sat in the Mess Hall after one of the watch officers had heard the message over the Dominion Emergency Notification System. A simmering rage had ignited in everyone there. Drake didn’t shout, didn’t yell, didn’t even bat an eye. He simply stood there, and though he said it quietly it could be heard as if he had shouted it from the rafters.

“Ready the ship. It’s time for the Valkyrie to ride.”

Re-thinking Worlds

Many people have tried to answer the questions revolving around our universe. Who are we? Why are we here? How does time flow? Questions that have as many answers as the stars visible in our night sky. And many of these answers shape our reality just by being thought of. When we dream of worlds beyond our own, sometimes those world take form and breed gods with power beyond our understanding. And sometimes when we make the smallest of changes to our everyday lives, miracles happen.

All of these lines, these realities we form branch off as they are built upon and dreamed by others we share them with. We give more reality to these things as they build and evolve. One could say that for every idea conceived, every story told, every thought written down a new universe is opened up. Some would describe it in a way similar to the World Tree Yggdrasil, and reality crawling along her many branches.

Perhaps there is a place, where some watchful gardener takes a cutting from Yggdrasil. A snip, a young man watching two suns set on the horizon. Another, two brothers travel a lonely road protecting people from things beyond our realm. Yet another, a war between people who were once proud to call each other friend is waged across the stars. And yet another, where a group of extraordinary individuals band together to fight a god. An orchard of worlds, each telling its own story. Each slightly different from the world tree it was cut from, yet still the same in so many ways.

And as with all trees in many orchards, there are places where branches from different trees intersect. With their roots entangled with one another, this orchard of worlds regularly collide with unusual results.

I’ve been pondering things to write for all the sites and things of that nature. I’m already working on an idea in my head for Starbase-42, and I’m trying to create some worlds and such for Darkscribes. Original and Fanfiction creation is a difficult process. Fanfiction gives you a world of characters and history to work with, but you have to be able to bring something compelling to that world or it’s not worth it. Sometimes you get a major idea and want to build around a few things with elements from other worlds. Personally depending on how that is handled it always seems… over done to me.

There is a way to combine and mix and match elements of stories together WITHOUT making it feel tacked on or over done. I try to achieve that myself with crossovers but it’s a fine balance. You can’t make it too much one way or the other.

But if you can pull it off it makes a great story.

Contingency – Chapter 4: Readiness

Two months after the Vancouver Incident

It seemed that everyone human on Babylon had decided to follow Drake’s lead for now at least. He had started first by having everyone start back through basic training, getting the combat capability up for the troops under his leadership. He had tasked a Russian Army officer by the name of Yuri Chekov the duty of integrating everyone’s individual training. From there they would work towards getting everyone on the same page.

SSgt Brooks was in charge of engineering. Both getting the Bladed Claw flight worthy as well as research and development into weapons and armor for any kind of offensive action. They had to take into account not just the needs to protect the body from injury of weapons, but potentially a zero-atmosphere environment, aka space. SSgt Brooks had mentioned he was going to have to base some ideas on fiction due to time, but that was fine.

The former crew of the Bladed Claw had been moved to a permanent facility off the ship. The Gravity kept them from being too active, while their injuries continued to heal as best as Cranex could care for them with the available medical supplies. Hshrif had decided to be helpful as his resources were all they had to survive on and most of his crew didn’t expect to survive on a planet like Babylon even in perfect shape.

The Bladed Claw had boasted a military grade fabricator on board, allowing them a wide range of uses so long as appropriate material was available. It would require some work, but it had already had some pre-programmed items in its system storage.

Armor was not something that had been designed in a man portable configuration. It seemed no one in the galaxy had bothered with anything related to ballistics. Cranex had taken the moment to explain that due to the evolutionary paths most if not all other species had taken. IT had led to most species being unable to handle the force of recoil from hand held black powder weapons. This had led to no development in the field of ballistics or defense against ballistic objects.

The kinetic pulse weapons on board had been the tried and true weapon for every species in the galaxy. No recoil, lethal to most every species in the galaxy that wasn’t Human, and most of the standard variants programmed to reconfigure themselves for the species they are being handled by. With all the strange appendages and hands the crew of the Bladed Claw had, it made sense for a weapon to be designed for multiple species use.

The armory was full of them, and none were usable. Since humans were not in the database of species they pulled from, they remained useless lumps. The same could not be said of the large supply of fusion weaponry on board. Apparently fusion weapons were designed for cutting instruments instead of using the energy in a ranged weapon. The Armory was being taken care of by a mid-level bodyguard from one of the Mexican Drug Cartels by the name of Juan Salazar.

That had been another problem. There were thirty four abductees, but only thirteen had been military or law enforcement. The rest were a combination of civilians, terrorists, and criminals. The only thing that kept everything together at the moment was the shared desire to either return home, or avenge Earth. Drake didn’t know just how long that would last.

Oddly enough of that group the one he was least worried about were the five Islamic Militants. They were educated, even if he disagreed with their politics. Hell, they were probably the best among the group when it came to figuring out several problems that needed to be solved. It been these five men he had tasked into researching and developing the tools he would need to accomplish their mission.

Everything from explosive devices that could be secreted into locations without being seen as explosive to simple designs for habitation. They were the best among the group at figuring out a solution with what was available. Drake hoped they could figure out some of their equipment concerns.

He had no idea of how they would go into combat in a situation where the air could just stop being there. Space suits were bulky things and easily damaged. They wouldn’t be the best things to fight in. Hell, they’d barely be the best things to walk around in if the gravity in that ship went off.

HE shook his head when he tried to think of the Bladed Claw as a ship. It was more of a flying brick then anything that looked like it should be space worthy, or even fly. IT was something to do with fields and gravity manipulation. Drake thought these aliens were far too dependent on their tech.

He shook his head. Plenty of time for coming up with human space ships. Time to start the slow process of building the shield to protect the world. Time to ensure the future of humanity.

Classified Star System: Code Named Forge Corti Military R&D World

Granth paced in his office, annoyed. Hshrif had failed to return, and the Confederacy quarantine of the Human’s home system had gone up nearly a standard week ago. He had been certain Hshrif would have been able to get him his specimens without getting caught on that death world. Though logically after the Hunter attack the Human’s military would probably be on a heightened state of readiness.

He had humans in stasis, several of his colleagues did. However more and more were ending up dead due to Human’s getting lose and showing their… displeasure with the Corti research program. The recent events that had propelled them to Galactic notoriety would only cause more problems. Granth frowned as he continued to work through variables in his head.

The Humans had been used as weapons before. Corti in his position knew about the one Human that had fought about 10 standard cycles ago for the Dominion against the Celzi Alliance. While his fate was not truly known, his impact on the war at the time was. The Humans had the recovered tech of the Hunter drop pods to work from, that alone would advance their technology by centuries.

What that truly meant didn’t matter. The fact was that the galaxy had for all intents and purposes gave them more than enough reason to go to war. They were too great a threat to the galaxy. Granth knew that. His superiors knew that.

Granth was no fool, he had wanted trained Human Soldiers for a reason. Every Human that had made an impression on the Galaxy were untrained civilians. Ordinary people in extraordinary situations. What horrors would trained soldiers, masters of the arts of war be capable of?

Granth shook his head, he turned to the intercom on his desk and contact his assistant, “I want a full read out on everything currently known about Human physiology and theoretical potential curves we have. Then I want a full team to look into ways to test against these things.”

“Yes Sir.”

Granth nodded, knowing his orders would be carried out and activated a secret relay in his office. The room darkened and a red hologram appeared over the desk. The hologram was nothing more than 07 – Audio Only.

“What is your status?” 07 asked, his voice masked under digital interference.

“My specimens never arrived. I am assuming this means Human military capability may be greater than first anticipated,” Granth reported.

“You are assuming a threat?”

“I always assume a threat,” Granth replied. 07 understood, it was what made Granth such a good weapons designer.

“Very well. Current events prevent us from taking more direct action. Proceed with you current projects. Our obligations to the Dominion and the Alliance must be fulfilled in spite of this threat. We believe the actions of the Confederacy may buy us some time. You will proceed in finding a way to create an answer to the Human problem,” 07 said.

Granth nodded and said, “Understood. I will report with my preliminary results in approximately one standard month. Granth out.”

The hologram faded away. He had loyally served 07 and the hierarchy for as long as he had been able. He would continue to do so, for the Greater Good of the Corti.

Epsilon Eridani Three – Babylon Two Months, One Week, Three Days after the Vancouver Incident

It was mid-afternoon and the heads of the various groups were meeting near the fire pit to discuss their status. Drake was sat on a log next to Claudia Dresden. For the last week they had all gone through what might have been considered Special Forces training. Of course everyone was required to take part, even those who were civilians on Earth.

“Okay, first thing is where are we supply wise?” Drake asked.

Jamal Abu Siad was doing double duty as the supply clerk and head of the R&D group. It made sense as they needed to know what they had in order to figure out what the group could use in order to accomplish its goals. Jamal was an MIT student that had left school in order to join an extremist group in Syria. He was a true believer in the cause of his movement, but he was also intelligent enough to put that aside and get the job done. This was bigger than the cause. This was THE cause of all time.

Jamal pulled out a notebook he had used the fabricator to create and turned to a small page of notes, “We currently have enough food for every human on the planet. Our hunting parties have managed to get us some pretty good sticks, and we’re doing all we can to preserve that food for the long term. Our prisoners only need one of those nutrient balls a meal in order to be alright. Better them then us with those things, it takes four to fill you up and tastes like crap.”

Everyone nodded, they had all tried them in the first few days. MRE’s were better, and that was saying something. Jamal went on down his list and brought up the next item, “We also figured out our communication problem. All communications seem to be based on Quantum Entanglement theory. This makes communications extremely secure, however very difficult for those of us who haven’t figured out Quantum Mechanics. With some help, and some programming from a Corti Neural Translator I’ve managed to create a headset for everyone to wear. IT will let us keep in contact, as well as provide the same functions of a standard Corti Implant without having to trust one to install it.”

He flipped another page, “We have made some progress on the Zero-Atmosphere Combat problem. Prior to our unscheduled departure from Earth I had read an article on work happening at MIT towards next-gen space suits. First you have to understand that current NASA Space Suits are bulky mostly so that they can provide support for cooling, heating, and to maintain an appropriate amount of air pressure on the body. Seas Level pressure on Earth is about fourteen point six three pounds per square inch, one atmosphere. Now, our skin is pretty good at keeping our insides… inside. But if we are going to potentially be fighting in zero atmosphere we need something that will provide pressure on our bodies from one atmosphere down to an absolute minimum of point one five atmosphere.”

There was a murmur around the group, no one had known that. “The Human body can adapt to extreme conditions, we’re planning on the suit providing minimum extreme protection as a safety concern. Just in case. Getting back to what I was saying though about MIT’s work, they started working on the idea of replacing Air Pressure with Mechanical Pressure. A suit that would be skin tight and exert a mechanical pressure easily enough for a Human to survive in space. The problems with this originally was that the suit had to be so tight it was almost totally impossible to put on. However, with material sciences having advanced as they had the last thirty years they had a new idea. I’m planning on using this idea as a base for our needs.

“Also, there IS an Exo-Frame in the database that can be built on for our needs as well. It was actually based on the Human body, and designed for fighting a non-sapient species known as the vulza. Everyone one here however will recognize them by the name of Dragons. The shell was built out of a material based on Human bone, and muscle tissue knitted under the bone plates in order to enhance the wearer’s strength. We’ll see what we can do with these designs and hopefully cut development time.”

Capt. Drake nodded at the report, “Good work, let us know what else you guys come up with. Where are we on weapons and ammo?”

Juan Salazar grimaced and said, “We only have maybe enough for one clip for all the 9mm we have. Your M4 is our only assault rifle, and you know how much ammo you had for it coming out of that firefight. I’ve tried programming the fabricator to create usable rounds from what we have, but apparently military grade out here doesn’t cover black powder. And I’m not trusting any of those plastic piece of crap the rest of the galaxy calls a gun. My ex-wife hit harder than that thing… literally. I will say the guy who stocked the armory really liked his swords. Those things have been very well taken care of.”

Drake thought for a moment, “Can we do something like scan some gun powder into the fabricator?”

Juan shook his head, “Tried that. Apparently, anything that explodes is too dangerous for a space ship, even a military one. All I can get are just the slugs, no propellant. Then I had a thought.”

Juan held up his fist for everyone to see, “Now, when one of those pulse weapons fires it sends out a softball sized and shaped force field. That mostly just obliterates anything in its path, except Humans. TO us it’s like me punching you. I hit you in the chest, it hurts but you can just punch me right back. Now I take that same force and use a knife instead, then you aren’t getting back up that easily. Same amount of force on a smaller area. I’m going to look into seeing how we could make the emitted pulse form these things hit a single point instead of punch it. No promises though.”

No promises, there never were.

He turned to DuFrane and asked, “What’s the situation with our medical supplies?”

DuFrane sighed and said, “We’re using most of the stock on the ship and what we can get from the Fabricator on the original crew. Dr. Cranex is trying to put together some cybernetic replacements for the crew that lost limbs from the missile attack. We’ve also got a lot of medicines that I honestly don’t know how it would effect any of us. One is called Cruzzire, it’s a cellular regenerative according to Dr. Cranex. It’s basically rapid healing in a tube, but it was designed for what is basically the galactic standard. Human physiology blows that out of the park in pretty much every area.

“For the time being I’m going to recommend we NOT use any of their meds until we can determine they can be used safely on us. Cranex tells me we can reliably fabricate medicines we have, but in some cases we might just have to block it out and power through.”

There was some grumbling about that but no one wanted to end up with two heads and three arms. Yuri however spoke up, “What are the concerns with these drugs like this Cruzzire?”

DuFrane looked over and said, “From what I can tell most species can handle it just fine, it goes in, causes rapid cell growth until it works it’s way out of the system, then that’s it. Humans already have an event that is close to this. It’s called Cancer. I’m concerned that if this stuff got into our blood stream it would kick start massive tumor development through out our bodies. Something meant to save lives would end up killing us in one of the most painful of ways. Or we could end up like some comic book super hero. It’s 50/50 either way.”

Yuri nodded in response. Drake turned to DuFrane and said, “See what you can do with the Doctor to determine how safe his stuff will be with us. Does anyone have anything else?”

Drake looked for a moment, when no one had anything else he called the meeting to a close. They were far from ready for what the galaxy would throw at them, but they would adapt. And then they would take what they learned back home.

Working on the Weekends

So I’m sitting here waiting to start my shift at work on a Saturday morning thinking about the world. We all have a thought that someday we will “Make it Big.” Of course Big being subjective, our dreams are always a little different from the next person but revolve around a central theme. We’ll be happy, healthy, and have a home with people we care about. It of course changes up and down the spectrum but that is the basics.

So what do I want for my “Big?” That is a question to which the answer has changed over the years. Before it was to have a good career and live out my life happily. Now it’s still sort of that, but the details are different. I want a home but I want it somewhere simple, I want a relationship but I don’t know where to go or some such.

I’m mostly working on ideas but never going further then plotting out events and scenes in my mind, I’m also wondering what at the age of 36 I could possibly do that would be of interest. I have to admit, I feel as if my life has stalled at times. Also, when you think of it you see the world, and you see people ten years or more younger then you already retiring, it can get depressing.

So, what does one do then?

One idea is to stay the course, stick it out and try to figure out how to get promoted at your current job and just work slowly there. Lot’s of famous people are in their early to mid-forties and just really getting started. Time isn’t THAT fleeting… at least I hope it isn’t.

The other is to try and pull a J.K. Rowling and try and come up with “The Great American Novel.” This is mostly what I’m trying to do, or at least provide some interesting thoughts folk to read.  I know I’m not exactly a very broad based person, but I do hope I have SOME kind of following.

But first and foremost one must define themselves really, if only who they WANT to be in their heads. The Legend of their own mind. What is our self-image, that person we see ourselves as? Is it some clerk somewhere always working and never getting any further in their lives? Or is it some action hero from the 1980’s? Once one has who they are in their minds, they can start working towards changing that, or enhancing that image into what they are towards everyone else.

So we go from there and start trying to push towards that sort of life. You can have a great life without ending up a famous person. Probably more enjoyable in general that way if you ask me.  We figure out how we want to be remembered, either by those around us or the world at large, or if it’s even worth it. Some of us are very forgettable, myself included in that at times.

But at the end of the day, forgettable or unforgivable, we can define how we want to exist. I would be happy with the stereotypical existence from the 1950’s, at least as it was defined as being a family, a house, and a stable livelihood. Even if the details have changed, the basics haven’t.

One day, one day.

Digital Presence – How we put ourselves out there!

I’ve been thinking about site building for a while now. Site building isn’t like development to me, in that development you are really just working with PHP code, creating modules, sites, scripts, and things of that nature. You are going from the ground up in code to a finished product. Then you have building, which to me at least implies you are mostly if not exclusively finding modules and using scripts someone else maintains. This isn’t about the benefits or drawbacks of either, just defining our terms for this discussion.

When the internet first started becoming a thing for the general public we had sites like geocities. You could go and build a simple html website there for free, and not really have any issues. It was ok. I had a simple page there with gifs and the like. I used Mozilla Composer to build it first. Then I started learning some simple html code. Things have sort of spiraled out of control since and now I have to basically use a project to do anything. That is frankly not too big an issue as an open project allows for updating to code to be handled more easily if others are doing the backend work for you. I get to focus on the content and presentation.

But that’s really interesting in a way. We’ve seen it become much easier over time to create your own space on the internet. You can do something simple like just use a Facebook profile as your personal page, or create a group, send out short tweets with links to Youtube videos. You can even just get easy to setup blogs from wordpress.org. Structurally at least creating a personal presence on the web has become extremely simple.

So while I could probably save cash I still do things with an eye towards this idea. I like not focusing on the code and focusing more on the layout and the content. It’s what I do mostly so the question becomes what is best for what you are trying to do?

For an archive like Fanbards.net you can either just do a straight archive using something like eFiction.org’s archive software. You can use Drupal as well to construct things the way you want. I’m hopefully done with structure for a while until Drupal 8 comes out. Or you can create a WordPress Blog, generate pages and things of that nature to build things up slowly. It works, and works greate for a personal setup.

But that’s structure, in the end it’s what you put out there that defines your precense. I run five web addresses. Four of which are all part of the same website. It’s basically a separation of interests. I’m not sure if I will eventually be able to make anything of all these interests but I try. And that is something a lot of people do. Try to provide an interesting precense on the web. We have Video Blogs, and Kindle Books, and all sort of things that make it easier for the common person to do what needed an entire company of people to do only twenty years ago. And it’s only going to get easier.

I think over time we will see more of a simplification and consolidation of things. Maybe having more interlinks between profiles on different sites, posting things we post on fictionpress.net to our Facebook Pages, things of that nature.

I like the idea, but we’ll see over time.

 

Contingency – Chapter 3: The Oath

One month and Three Weeks after the Vancouver Incident

It had taken them an entire week to limp their way to the Third Planet of the Epsilon Eridani system. The Ships head engineer had survived the explosion that had occurred with the missile had impacted the Bladed Claw. Unfortunately for him, without access to a fully stocked med-bay he would never walk again, his legs having been crushed by a collapsing bulkhead. He was quickly turned into an instructor as SSgt Brooks started pumping him for information in order to keep everyone alive.

Epsilon Eridani – 3 was a beautiful world. Gravity was one G, Oxygen/Nitrogen atmosphere. No apparent toxins or pathogens in the air that could cause the Humans on board any problems. Dr. Cranex however was worried about the rest of the crew. The gravity was 30% greater then what was galactic standard and the atmosphere thicker. It was frankly perfect for the combination of military and civilian personnel.

Capt. Drake felt the planet was beautiful as it filled the view screen, but it wasn’t home. It was untouched wilderness with its own challenges to their continued survival. Thankfully only the Corti had bothered to chart the systems within about twenty light-years of Earth. None of them had been interesting to the Corti save Earth, and the lack of any Temperate worlds Class 9 or below they were seen as uninhabitable to the other races of the Dominion.

They had to survive first, then they had to find others. If thirty-four of them had been abducted by the crew of the Bladed Claw, then the number of humans out there could have been in the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions. Jackson Drake, and the majority of the humans on board, had all sworn oaths to defend their countries and their peoples from all enemies foreign and domestic.

But what was the operational objective? He had thought about that over the last week as they had tried to learn how to fly this alien craft to safety. It was clear to him that Earth was in danger. Who that danger was from was up for debate. The Corti Directorate definitely ranked up there. The Hunters not far behind on Drake’s scale. The Hunters were for all intents and purposes Ambush predators/cannibals. They could be defeated with minimal effort it seemed. The Corti however were amoral scientists that would be facing life sentences back home if they had tried any of their actions within Earth Jurisdictions… most of them at least.

Then there was the Celzi Alliance, they were currently at war with the Interspecies Dominion from the limited amount of intel they could gather from the ships database. That was another thing they needed, information. When they got back to Earth, not if, then they would need to be able to let their respective commands know of the general and specific details of life out here as they could. The database was the first step.

One of the abuductees on board was a detective with the NYPD, a Claudia Dresden. Det. Dresden had been collecting evidence and assessing all the information they had available to them and had kept Drake up to date on what she had learned. For now she was their best choice for an intelligence officer. There was just so much they didn’t know, that they needed to know. The state of the Galaxy, the politics, the economics. They needed that information, if only so they could determine their next course of action.

Clearly they had to return to Earth. The ship provided a fully operational FTL drive, at least according to Brooks. The only reason they couldn’t use it at the moment was because they weren’t certain on what damage may have occurred when they were hit.

He hit the public address button on the central chair and spoke, “Alright everyone, we are about to make planet fall. Strap yourself in and hold on tight, we may encounter a little bit of turbulence and then… explode.”

A few people on the bridge couldn’t help but chuckle at that. Seaman Matthews had figured out how to fly the ship rather easily once he figured out what controls were what. Navigation towards Epsilon-3 had been easy enough with the ships navigation suite. They had made orbit that same day and drilled the survivors of the crew hard for the last day about re-entry procedures. It seemed a lot of things had been automated to the point of excluding the need for an organic pilot.

One of the other soldiers had medic training. Specialist DuFrane had been learning from Cranex. DuFrane had been working towards a Medical Degree, hoping to get his commission and serve as a medical officer. When asked, the man had said he wanted to help people as best he could, to cure them instead of making them feel better while they died. Cranex had begrudgingly accepted him as an intern. Drake had everyone he could all over the ship, trying to keep them busy while he figured out their next move.

Maybe things would become clearer on solid ground.

One month, Three Weeks, and Four Days after the Vancouver Incident

It hadn’t been an entire week yet, but they had managed to survive pretty well so far on Epsilon-3. One of the soldiers had started calling the planet Babylon after the television series. It had stuck, and now everyone was calling it that. The clearing they had landed in had been fortified over the last several days in order to keep some kind of defense going. Watch was kept, and everyone took their shift.

The damage to the Bladed Claw looked worse than it actually was. SSgt. Brooks said he could get the hull repaired and everything ship shape, but it would take a while. A routine had started taking shape as they explored the immediate area around the camp. Groups would be seen running in formation in order to maintain their fitness level. Some with hunting experience had gone out to both explore the local area, and return with meat for the camp.

Det. Dresden had found the galactic news feeds and kept a constant watch on it. The information had to be considered filtered and possibly censored, but still held some kernel of usable Intel. It was on the fourth day of her watch that the news had mentioned Earth. She took down all the information, but as she did she got angry. She also knew it would piss off everyone else, but they needed to know.

Night had fallen on Babylon, and Drake had spent the entire day thinking about what Claudia had brought to him. He had to admit, he felt lost. Earth had been denied them, and just assuming form their experience so far there had to be hundreds if not thousands of Humans lost in the galaxy. Possibly even more depending on how long the rest of the Galaxy had been abducting people form their homes with no moral or ethical concern.

The news that one of the alien governments had decided to blockade Sol fueled a rage in Drake’s heart he had never felt. Not really. It was one thing to see an act of terrorism against your country. This was different. This was an Act of War against his species. He had been debating what they should do for the last several hours, and always came back to the oath he had sworn when he had been commissioned.

I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

That was really what it came down to. He had thirty-three men and women, all with various levels of training in various fields. He had a ship that was FTL capable, but needed some repairs. He had potentially hundreds of thousands of people lost out in space, waiting for a chance to come home. He had his Oath.

All Enemies, foreign and domestic.

His decision would echo through history, as the start of a Greater Darkness or a Greater Good he could not say. But a decision had to be made, a course set.

He stood up and walked to the center of camp where everyone gathered for the evening meal around a large bonfire. It was time to set them upon their path. May God have Mercy on their souls. He got to the front where everyone would be eating the roasted meat of the strange game animals they had started hunting. If Cranex could be trusted it was safe for them.

“Can I have everyone’s attention real quick?” Drake said, speaking loud enough to be heard through the clearing. He waited until everyone turned their eyes on him.

“By now, you’ve probably all heard the news. An alien government calling itself the Guvnur-whatever Confederacy decided that they had the right to blockade Earth until such time as THEY see fit to free our world. I know a lot of you are probably as angry as I am about this. From what we have gotten from the crew of the Bladed Claw, the Corti have been kidnapping or paying to have kidnapped humans from earth for at least seven thousand years. And it’s not just us, it’s every pre-FTL race in the galaxy. The Corti Directorate has managed to make itself too important for any one species to go against, the others are so dependent on them. I think we can safely assume their position on Earth now.

“The fact is that for all intents and purposes, we might as well be at war with the Interspecies Dominion. Their actions, and their inactions in defense of not just humans but all races that are unable to do anything about them is unacceptable. Now, not everyone here is U.S. Military. I know we have a few cops, some special operations forces from other countries, and a few professional fighters. I won’t make any of you follow me into this.

“The facts are however that if we do nothing, then there is a good chance that we will never see home again. Our friends and family will never know what happened to us. If we do nothing the rest of the galaxy might decide to take it one step further and exterminate us. We cannot allow that to happen.

“There is also the fact that there could be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Humans out there. We owe it to Earth, and the people out here who just want a chance to go home. Everyone who is with me will go out and we will bring every single man, women, and child we find out there back here. We will establish this as the first Human colony and build this world for Earth. A second home for the human race in exile. And as we do that we will also strike against the Dominion and any other species that thinks it can prey on those who have yet to step out into the night.”

Drake took a breath and paced in front of the fire. He looked to the flames and for a moment could see Earth itself burning. He just hoped that what he would do wouldn’t be the cause of that.

He turned to the crowd of men and women, of soldiers, and saw in their eyes the same hope. The dream of being able to return home. He stopped for a moment and said, “Don’t say yes tonight. Take the evening, talk amongst yourselves, and decide what you will do. No matter what, we all will have to work together to survive. It’s just a question of what each of us can do to help. Sleep well everyone.”

Drake left the bonfire, he didn’t feel too hungry that night.