Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Making Time for the Past.

The Adventures of Avon Sagan and the crew of the Aura

(For full insight as to the appearance of the Crew you will need to read Xian Curse First)

"Tig! ships status."
"The crew are engaged in combat training, except for Hannah and yourself Captain; Hannah has been running a full diagnostic of the ships systems and is flushing out the air scrubbers in the starboard deck sir."
"Excellent, and are you still initiating the engine upgrades?"
"I am indeed sir."
"Well carry on and let me know when we can put that to the test."
"I will inform you when all is ready sir."
"Thank you Tig."
"My pleasure sir."
"OK you can shut up now and get out of my head..."
"Getting out of your head may require a spanner sir."
"Shut it OK?"
"I'm shutting it sir, but Sir... some would call you arrogant, I would never do that. "
"Thank you Tig."
"No, smug is much shorter.....did I make a human humour Sir?"
"You certainly made something Tig... I need some me time, can you do a full diagnostic of the Engine calibration, make sure you haven't missed anything."
"I will get on with that now Sir."

Avon pushed back from his Napoleonic desk and leaned back into the lavishly upholstered red leather high back chair, he'd been finishing the ships log for the yesterday, and was studying the old ink pen he had been using, he loved the smooth feel of it's plastic surface, worn smooth by his grandfather, who had be given it by his own grandfather, who may have even gotten it from his... it's been in the family a long time, and even the ink he used was a synthetic copy of the ink it was originally designed for.
Then at the corner of his eye he was sure something on the desk had moved...
he looked to the blue crystal cube, with it's constellations of the stars as they would have appeared on Earth running through it, like a captured segment of space, when this fairly heavy cube was held to the light, the ten planets orbiting the sun could be seen along with the main trajectory routes taken by the early space traders. 

He was just about to put the logbook away, assuming he'd imagined it when it vibrated and move in an anticlockwise rotation. 
"What the.... That's never happened before." he told himself, just to make sure he was paying attention.

He picked it up and could see a sequence of lights flashing, and he noticed for the first time small indents that could be a key pad... he judged he was holding it in it's correct orientation, and pressed the indents following the sequence shown within the cube.

It violently spun from his grasp and hovered above him, the centre was now glowing so brightly it hurt his eyes to look,  he was shading his eyes with both hands when the beaming of a person began. The unmistakable movement of the air with it's static burst that charged his hair that lifted to tickled his face, followed by the intensive shimmering blue light that was so familiar, just like all the  transporters he'd ever experience.
When the beaming was complete the cube fell to the desk with such a thump, it even made this uninvited guest jump. 
"What the Hell!"
"That's what I was about to ask of you!" Avon said standing, instinctively reaching for the hilt of the plasma sword at his waist

"WoooW Woow Woow there fella... I come in peace."
"Well if you don't explain yourself," And looking down he added, "and who wears pointy shoes for goodness sake? but first explain yourself or you will be leaving here in pieces."
"I'm a a a friend of the owner of that cube... where did you get it?"
"Hey! I'm asking the questions here.... you don't board my ship and start interrogating me you loon!"
"Fair enough, may I sit?" the stranger pointed to the chair opposite Avon's.
"Be my guest."
"Thank you I don't mind if I do."
"Do what?"
"Be you're guest of course, has language changed so much no one under stands me now?"
Avon sat heavily into his chair, which made the leather give out a squeal of disapproval.
"So who are you?"
"I'm Tamius Reed, you may have heard of me?"
"No....no I haven't."
"Really? hmm, that's a shame it would have helped a bit."
"Would it now..." Avon replied sarcastically, "You've been here 30 seconds and I'm still none the wiser, so go on, who are you?"
Tamius was around 42 at a guess, his slim handsome face was clean shaven, and he had ridiculously blonde  floopy hair, like a teenage school boy with the clearest blue eyes  Avon had ever seen, they seemed the glow.
He was slender but muscular, and Avon assessed he looked as if he could look after himself, and no one had the right to be that handsome in this universe unless he could fight well, he didn't even show any battles scars, as  Avon did.
"Well as I said I'm Tamius Reed, my friends call me Tam, as you see I'm wearing the uniform of the sixth fleet's space special ops, from Earth." he noticed a picture on the desk 
"Which is where I served alongside that fella probably...." 
"You served with  Fabien Sagan? my Grandfather? that's impossible you're far to young to know him."
The Stranger looked at Avon in horror.
"What year is this?"
"It's 4043."
"43'... are you alright?"
"You're asking if I'm alright when I've been trapped in that cube for over a hundred years?" Tam's expression was one of complete confusion.
"We.... your grandfather and I, were on the track of man who was responsible for the deaths of our crew on the Leonora, he must have spoken of it?"
"No, Fabien never spoke of the past, I think it haunted him so much he kept it locked away in his head."
"So he never spoke of me?"
"Well that's charming isn't it, What a freaken cheek.... 20 years I served with him and not even one tiny mention? that's terrible... we were like brothers! when I knew Fabien he was ten years younger then me! I just recognised the uniform, I hadn't realised that was Fabien, he looks so Old."
"Well I think life just went on for Fabien, I wouldn't take it personal."
"Well I do.... I would have died for him."
"So what's with this cube? I thought it was a paper weight."
"I'm not sure, the Man we pursued used to leave these behind where ever he went..."

Avon could see that same look his Grandfather had in his eyes... that haunted look of someone who's experienced all of mans evil, which lead to events he was powerless to change. He imagined how it must have been to lose so many, the regrets, and always wondering if  there was something he could have done to change the outcome, any little thing, like move to the left instead of right.

"This is crazy... I was literally just with him."
"My Grandfather? .... So what happened how were you trapped?"

"Brathenn Fuller.... the man we were chasing, I thought he'd thrown a grenade, and as I was closer then Fabian I did what we were trained to do in the open, I dived on it and told Fabian to get down. That's all I remember, I must admit when I first saw you in that uniform I thought for a moment you were him, it's really disturbing, you look so alike."
"Well they say it skips a generation, my father looked nothing like him."
"What's wrong?" Tam asked, after seeing Avon's expression change.
"What's worrying me is something you said earlier."
"And that was?"
"You said he left these where ever he went... what if he wasn't out to kill people? but trying to save them, those other devices you mentioned may hold countless lives, even the rest of your old crew mates on the Leonora!"
"OH MY GOD! We must find them!"
"Yes I think we must." Avon agreed.
"But what makes you so sure he was trying to save people? and from what?"
"Well the first part of your question is simple, if he wanted to destroy he wouldn't preserve them in this cube, but as for the rest we will have to find out, I do know not long after my Grandfather left the service the Phellentine 7th Fleet was systematically attacking ships to put a Holt to what they called in the infestation of their governing states, they destroyed whole civilisations fleeing in ships to colonise other systems when their suns were dying.

"Whole civilisation? genocide?"

"Yes but that has been dealt with believe me... and now the main man responsible has answered for his crimes,  the fleet is in disarray following the discovery he was working with others to bring about a new age of the Xian. It's amazing how things fall apart when people can no longer trust each other, everyone to scared to talk in case they get reported. that includes friends and family... people will sacrifice you just to be out of the gaze of those in power.

"So nothing really changed since my incarceration in that cube then."
Avon laughed... "I guess not, come I'll introduce you to the crew."
'Tig' everyone in the ready room now....' he projected the order with his mind. 

They met Hannah in the gangway as she left the bridge.
"Hannah this is Tamius, you can call him Tam, Tam this is Hannah, she's a genius with anything computerised... and lethal with any weapon."
"Where did he come from.?"
"A blue box Hannah I'll explain when we're with the others."
"Well of course." she lent into Avon and whispered, "He's a handsome devil isn't he."
"Tam you have a new admirer."
"Oh Lovely to met you Hannah."
"Just remember she's deadly Tam, she's not someone to be trifled with, besides that, if she's upset then we are all upset, and we don't play nice to those who upset us."
Now it was Tamius's turn to laugh, "Understood."

Sol, Pip and  Saveena were sat in their usual seats, everyone had their favourite and each were individually unique.
 "Everyone this is Tamius Reed an old friend of Fabien, but as you will have no doubt observed he's quite young, this is due to the fact he was locked into that space paper weight on my desk."
"Some paper weigh," Pip chipped in, "I think I could use a spell in that cube if I come out looking that fresh."
"You wear the uniform of the sixth fleet, were you on a mission when you were.... captured, or trapped as Avon put it?"
"Tam this is Sol, he has wisdom beyond his apparent years, don't let looks fool you, he's older then  you even."
Tam reached out to shake his hand, but Sol declined as was his custom and he just bowed his head, "We are not friends Tamius, it is impolite to offer your hand to me."
"Sorry... it's a gesture of greeting where I come from."
"I know, I still have a lot to learn about humans, you're a fascinating species who are a fine cocktail of evil and good, until I learn of your goodness I can not take your hand."
"Lovely...well nice to meet you anyway." Tam said smiling.
"Well you all look nice a sweaty, so I guest you have all had a good work out?" Avon asked.
They all smiled and agreed it was.

"Right then before you all bombard me with questions as to what's going on hear, I'd like to explain, so sit back and enjoy the show." and at the the lights dimmed and the visual holographic display filled the room with a galaxy of stars.

"The Pandora system, so called by the early settlers because it had hidden dangers, the planetary systems you see here had five races all at each others throats."

"Until we Humans arrived."
"Yes, like Tam said, until we Humans arrived then they all decided we were a far greater threat and they formed an alliance to see we passed them by, but of course we didn't and the Syrus war began, Syrus was the most Earth like planet in this system so Our forefathers wanted to settle, a group called the Friends of Zion staked a claim and the war lasted 56 years, two carriers from the Sixth fleet protected the Friends of Zion, until agreement was reached and the people of Syrus allowed the settlement to remain, old news I know, and part of our history, but it's here where Tam and my Grandfather encountered a man called Brathenn Fuller," And as Avon spoke the name appeared in front of them in laser blue letters 30cm high, and it grew as it passed over them like a wave until it hit the rear wall in a flash of light,  "so Hannah I need you to find out all you can about this man."
"Once settlement was reached as you all know one of the carriers remained, other species looked to them for protection until they too could settle on Syrus and five other planets of the Pandora system, and it's here on the third planet of Zereon where the Galactic Enforcement for Interstellar Peace and Law was form, with representatives form every race of all the known universes, the best minds of all of us, with abilities  that makes each of the chosen special."
"The GEFIPL has brought the peace we all enjoy today of course." Saveena added.
"Indeed Saveena, and we have all encountered them in our travels, due to the fine line we take between this Law and Order."
"So how did you get here from a paper weight exactly?" Pip asked.
"Well on that subject I have no idea." Tam answered.
"I noticed some movement form the cube Pip, and when a light sequence started I just followed the pattern on the finger pads, then he pop'd out like The Genie from the bottle with pointy shoes and all."
They all looked down at Tam's shoes, making him squirm, "It's Space issue what can I say?"

"OK you all know as much as me so lets get to it, we need to find out if this guys still exists, and more importantly we need to know if more of these cubes are around, so as it started in the Pandora System that's where I'm heading... agree?"
"Aye aye cap," Pip said
"I will study this cube, there is a possibility they are connected in someway and we may get the location of the others if they haven't been destroyed." Sol offered as he rose from his chair.
"Good Idea Sol, follow me I'll fetch it, you can take it to the lab, as for you Tam are you hungry?"
"Yes I am actually... did my stomach growl or something?"
"I just guest, I'm sure if I was locked up over 100 years I'd be hungry and possibly a bit cranky."
"What do you mean possibly... you're always cranky if you haven't eaten." Saveena said smiling.
"Fine, well miss innocent butter wouldn't melt, you take Tam to the galley, he can get cook to whip him up something."
"And again a word of warning Tam the man... this one bites." he said laughing as he and Sol headed to his cabin.
'Tig' keep an eye on our guest, we can't be too careful now can we.' and with the telepathic link they had Avon was the only one to hear Tig's compliance.

Pip not given a task just said to the departing crew, "I'll just sit here then."
"No you won't Pip you're to help Hannah, and when Sol is ready he will tell you what he needs built to link those cubes... Capish?"
"Aye Aye Captain Capish.... you know I should call you that from now on it has a ring to it."
"And so will your ears if you do." Avon warned still walking away.
"Fair enough Captain Capish" Pip whispered. 
"I heard that!" Avon shouted back over his shoulder.
"Damn your ears Cap.... you're like some weird hover lizard from Glemm, those blood suckers can hear a pin drop before you even drop it."

On Blenum Prime an Acheient being smiled, "At last it's been found." when the cube at his bed side table vibrated.

When they entered the cabin Avon asked, "So what's your problem with Tam? you don't have any handshaking rules?"
"He was wearing a Black ops insignia... those people are not to be trusted."
"But Fabien was in his unit!"
"Really... did he tell you that before you told him who you're grandfather was?"
"Man.....you're good, I didn't think of that, this is why I like you Sol, you're like a walking analyzer."
"Well that disc on his wrist gives him the ability to take blood samples, the less he knows about me the better."
"This is indeed true, you're special."
With a laugh Sol agreed.
Sol took the device to the lab, leaving Avon who was now heading to the galley, after all that talk of food he was feeling hungry, and he hadn't even had his coffee break yet.

CatZet I want Chilean bacon, cut the rind and fat, 2 votto eggs pouched and layed on granary seven seeded bread, meadow mushrooms, and navy cooked beans with a little chilli  pepper. 

The CatZet was the best catering reconstructer money can buy, this can contain the ingredients of any foods you can name,  the tech is old school matter beaming constructing, so if you have the data to fill the buffers you get exactly what you ask for cooked fresh, as all the grills, ovens pot or pans where also stored in the system, they would appear as required,
right now a hologram of a chef Avon met on Cerry 5 station was preparing and cooking the ingrediants. this is hard holo technology, the same as the combat sims they used on board. The Chef is amazing too.

Avon sat in the canteen, and as Pip had also stopped for a break he brought Avon's food through for him.
 "Thank you Pip." 
"Anytime Cap, by the way are we seriously going off on a mission with some complete stranger?" He looked over to Tamius, who was sitting opposite Saveena, he nodded to him, "No disrespect man, it's just we don't know you, Fabien never mentioned he'd formed any friendships in his commissioned years.
"No, Pip, isn't it right? I understand believe me I do." He continued to eat his ham and eggs, while making light conversation with Saveena  who laughed  politely at his tales.

"Is it OK if I sit with you Cap?" 
"Sure Pip, I'm only surprised you had to ask, Avon looked down and smelt the bacon, Oh Brother this smells delicious, he took a mouthful that he'd dipped in egg yoke, "Hmm... oh baby."
"This is why I asked Cap, Should I leave you two alone for a while? I feel I'm coming between you and the love of your life."
They both enjoyed the moment, it was always good to relax for a while.
Hannah walked through to the Galley and made her order, "Do any of you need a drink?" she barked out while she was there.
"Two Black Coffee's here Hannah." Pip said then adding, "Please."once his ankle received a kick. 
"Hey! those Gravity boots hurt Man, be careful?"
"We have drinks here Hannah, we're fine." Saveena shouted back to her as she spun in her chair like a child to face Avon, "You own me a rematch with swords Captain, it's two to one in my favour at the moment, Pips taking bets." She said with a grin.
Hannah came through and brought her toast and jam over on a tray with three steaming mugs of black coffee.
"Remember Captain's rules Hannah no talking business while he's having an orgasmic experience."
Hannah just laughed, everyone knew Avon loved his food.

"This is Boada... he's out, get the men together, you will find him, kill him, and take the star stone from him, I've waited a long time for this, so kill him slowly."
"As you command Zar Boada, I will have the men and equipment loaded for departure within the hour."
"Good, God's Speed Adris, the signal is coming from the Reamus system, he will be on one of the space stations, they only have five so place five troopers on each and get that stone."
"I will not fail you Zar... My men are ready."

After Avon wiped his plate clean with the remains of the bread he sat back and sighed...
"That, young Pip was heaven on a plate and does wondrous stuff to the taste buds, when you're done please go with Hannah, I'm sure the two of you will find something useful, Hannah make sure his mind is focused on the task, no game playing, you know the drill."
"We'll be fine, I've not found anything regarding this Fuller character, I've found millions of Fuller's just not him. 
"Well Rome wasn't built in a day, it took at least two."

"I'm curious Captain, Why aren't you using the facilities on the Space Station?"
"Well Tam, we have everything we need here, I came for supplies and we've done that, and I don't know what it is with these Station commanders they do insist on being paid straight away."
"Imagine that... Well it seems a waste to me... they have facilities a weary traveller needs."
"I know what you mean Tam and we haven't  time for Shenanigans, as soon as we have a location to go to we'll be off." 

In the far reaches of the Maga System an mature woman with long flaxan hair, slender body, and classic beauty, patted the Cube which has been part of her family for generations, she was given charge of it after the death of her mother who was  Chase Kemp, and she the daughter of Great Grandpa Tam's daughter Teah, she spoke and a com link which instantly open to her son,  "Aiden."
"Yes mother?"
"It's time to join you're Great great grandfather."
"Wow! really?"
"Yes, it's all we trained you for, I know you're ready, if Fabien Sagan is still alive, you must seek him out, the location of the Aura will be sent to your ship. God's speed son, l love you dearly."
"I love you too Mum, will Vontell be coming too?"
"No, if you need your brother, he will know where to find you, this is something you must do alone, at least for now, the less who know the better it is for us all."
"Sure thing, I'll contact you when I find them."
"Please don't Aiden, we may be monitored, if you need help call Von, until then we must be clever and not raise any alarm, there will be a lot of people made aware of this awakening, and some of those are not our friends."
"Hmm... I bow to you're wisdom Mother, I'll leave at once."
"Goodbye son, keep safe and return soon."
"Have no fear Mum, I've been waiting for this my whole life, I'll give you're regards to Avon."
With this Fairyn laughed, "Tell that rouge we miss him and he should come visit us sometime."
"Will do....I'll be fine so don't worry."

"Avon! you better look at this."
"What is it?"
"There is something happening on the Stations, I think they are being attacked."
Tamius raced into the bridge when he heard.
"What is it?"
"Well according to my scans, we have five Troopers on each station opening fire, they are searching for someone, and I'm guessing it's you." Hannah replied without taking her gaze from the view screen showing live transmissions form all five stations.
"I was hoping we would be away before that happened, damn these people hold grudges a long time." Tam said.
Avon looked to Hannah, her mind was in continue link with the ships computer system, which took away the old fashioned need for a key board, and a hundred times faster.
"Hannah, do we have a place to go?"
"We have established links to the cubes, and there are thousands of them scattered throughout the systems," she looked at Avon full of concern, "I've no idea which one to head for!"
"What is the furthest?"
"Because that's where we're going, punch it in Tig."
"Consider it Punched Sir."
As you all should know by now, Avon spoke to Tig in thought, unless it was a direct order as in now, but in his mind he said, 'Didn't we have this conversation about calling me Sir!'
'We did Sir.'
'I've decided I prefer to call you Sir rather then Captain or Cap, I'm here to serve, and don't require any need for the familiarity you have with the crew."
'hmm.....you've developed a personality all the same Tig."
'Indeed I have Sir.... as I'm programmed to.'
All this took milliseconds and Avon conceded on the grounds he would never win.
'You spiky ball of attitude, please yourself.'

"Yes Pip, and I know what you're about to say, Why the Furthest... where would you go if you were on the run and didn't want to be found."
"Well as you're asking... I'd stay put, because everyone expects you to run....Don't they?"
"Your Freaken right... hmm what to do.....what to do."
"Let's go to the furthest first, what have we got to lose? we're not on the clock here, but we do need to get away." said Saveena as she joined the others.
"What a bunch of clever clogs you all are.... OK Tig continued with the original location."
"We are already underway Sir, as I knew this would be your plan."
"Like I said... I'm surrounded with clever clogs."
"Hey you... you were meant to be fighting me remember... swords at noon, or whatever time we are keeping at the moment."
"OK, we are underway, so get ready to fight Saveena."
"I'm always Ready."
"That you are...come Tam you might learn something."
"Will I now... I helped train Fabien you know."
"Yes but that was then this is now, and you'll be a bit rusty, what with spending time suspended in a box."
 "Cap? what about the Stations? we're not going to leave them like this are we?"
"Don't you worry Pip, It's us they are  after and we are about to get their attention."
'Tig bring those new light stream modifications into play... Lets make a noise."
The sonic boom of the Aura launching into space did indeed get everyone's attention, and a tracking droid had just located the ship and welded it's feet onto the hull as it left.

"Damn that arrogant dog... get the troopers back on board and pursue that son of a Beek Hound."
"Sir one of our droids is sending telemetry, it's locked on the the Aura." "Good... this will be easier then I thought." and on his face Adris had an evil smile all insane henchmen had. 

"Woooow that was loud!"
'Sir!.... this is rather embarrassing but my modifications have caused two of the light beam manifolds to fail, we must stop at once, or we will burn through the hull of the ship.'
'We will need more time, reset our path to  the the nearest cube, the ship can take it.'  he said and he hoped it could.
"OK we are changing course, we have a problem with the light containment, Pip get to your workshop and make six new manifolds in Hedium, that metal will be more then enough to cope with the light beams."
"Aye Aye, on my way."
"Set the coolers to full when we stop, you will need to replace them as soon as possible, Saveena and Sol, help him, we might need to leave in a hurry."
"Like always then." Saveena smirked. and with a smiling Sol close to her heels all three headed to Pip's workshop."
When they entered Sol whistled, "Tidy...very tidy." He said impressed.
"I'm here a lot so I like things in there place, and a clean workshop is an efficient workshop. 
"So, what do we do?" Saveena asked.
"Well until we are in the engine bay you two do nothing," He cried out in alarm as she was about to touch a containment clamp, "NO! don't touch that if you want to keep that hand, those are a precision tools and in the hands of a novice very lethal."
 "OK.... that sounded rather patronising!" she barked, annoyed.
"Watch..." and pip dropped a spanner on the spot she was about to touch and the spanner was shattered into  metallic confetti. 
"Oh...well you could have said." she said laughing at her embarrassment.
"All I need to do is transfer the spec's for the manifolds into the material beaming constructor or the MBC as I call it, will manufacture all six parts in next to no time."
The beams zigzagged and crossed at such speed the parts started to form as if by magic.
"There all done... OK you two the coolers will take a few minutes to cool the manifolds when we stop but they will still be too hot to touch, you'll both need to wear these." Pip handed paper thin gloves to Sol and Saveena, "They can take up to 400 degrees C and you are sure going to need them."

"So how long till we arrive?"
Hannah looked to the screen, "Vaa is 2 clicks it will take us another 2 hours at least."

"Tibez, this is Zar Boada my men are tracking Avon Sagan's ship, he's heading you're way, I believe he's headed to Vaa, you can be there ahead of him, my crew won't be far behind but they can't match the Aura for speed... they need time and you have  an axe to grind with Avon, so do us both a favour, Take him out, I don't need him or his crew interfering with my affairs."
Tibez is an enhanced breed, engineered for one purpose... to kill. Back in the colony wars they decimated the fuany system of ten planets, until the GEFIPL was formed, with the powers they possessed they over came this Breed and made them out casts, but there was always someone willing to pay for their services. with a shark like barbs in their flesh they can rip the skin off any attacker, and a bulbous face with the large orange eyes looked frightening, they breath through gill slits instead or a nose, that traveled across the centre of their face starting small but getting larger towards the middle in a stretched triangular shape, under which is the mouth of a carnivore, and that alone could tear an man in two.
at two and a half metres tall and a muscular body with think arms and legs at full charge they are unstoppable, and many found that out the hard way. 

"It will be my Pleasure Boada, this one I'll do for free."
"When you land go to building 342, there is a package I want you to hand to my men, the box code id is zz4512, the key is in box o23 in the station office, you can smash it, it's not armoured like the other."
"That, will cost you, I'm not a postman."
"You will be paid 50 gold bars, agreed?"
"Fine.... then we have a deal, now do what your breed do best KILL!"

Vaa was filling up the view screen when Avon ordered Pip and his new Apprentices to the engine bay, "We will be at full stop in Ten Pip be ready to move."
"Aye Aye." sounded over the com.
"Let's go find that cube shall we... after you Tam."
Avon, Tam and Hannah beamed to the visitors reception pad.
And Vaa was beautiful... A honeymoon retreat for many, the greenery lay mostly unspoilt, most building hovered over the land in antigrav pods and there white shells shone and reflected the light from one of it's three suns, this was a planet that never saw darkness. and vast waterfall in the forests were the main talking point. 
The visitor's beaming pads were on the ground as were the visitors reception terminal.
"Wow... this is lovely, why have we never come here before." Hannah asked.
"Because life gets in the way of such pleasantries Hannah, that's why."
"We had shore leave once here in the 3920's, infact I was at Fabiens wedding but that was in the southern region, in fact they don't normally allow Aliens in the southern parts but our crew was given special privileges  for services rendered." Tam said looking up and through the canopy of trees that filled the sky from the clear dome of the reception terminal.
The Vaaian receptionist asked, "Is your stay business or pleasure madam and sir's.
Tam answered Pleasure while Avon was saying Business.
"Ah so you are all individual guests, sorry for not asking you independently."
"No we're all together, in body at least, if not in mind." Avon quipped.
"Can you point us to your main docks, we need to find the terminal building 342, that is our business interest here today thank you."  
"I will order you transport right away sir, you must of course leave your firearms here, you can collect them when you leave, we hope you enjoy your stay and visit us again soon."
"Ah yes, so easy to forget." Avon unholstered his guns, and Hannah did the same, Tam was told he could keep his sword as he was about to unbuckle it... "Swords are fine Tam, they just want our guns." Hannah told him.
They left the building to await the taxi, and all arrivals except Sol squinted at the bright sunshine on exiting. 
"Busy place this." Avon said, more to himself.
"Even in my day it was hectic," Tam proclaimed,  "they never had those hover buildings back then, if anything it's more beautiful then I remember."
"Well here's our ride."
"OH they are beautiful, what are they?" asked Hannah.
"Arabian whites... beautiful aren't they, it's because of those some of the Earth settlers were allowed to stay, This planet forbids all forms of machinery, only animal drawn vehicles are allowed because they help fertilise the soil, looks like we lucked in, the Yacks fart like no ones business." Avon said, feeling as excited as Hannah to be driven by such a beautiful animal.
"Allow me..." and Tam offered his arm to allow Hannah to step up into the carriage, "your carriage awaits."
"Smooth... I'll give you that Tam, you're smooth, are you going?"
"Get lost..." and they both laughed.
Hannah sat back and as they travelled she closed her eyes resting her head, as she felt the suns warmth and breathe the heavily scented air, she felt like a queen, and the motion of the horses movements almost sent her to sleep.
"I hate to interrupt your inner peace Hannah but that's the Building are we looking for."
woken for her almost dream she sat bold upright, "Oh sorry... it's let me see," and the computer in her mind opened to showed terminal building 342, and the vault they needed to open.
"Terminal 342 please driver, that one straight ahead." she told the hooded coachman.
The building looked old, and was clad by the very wood that surrounded them.
Some very smelly Yacks passed them as they drew nearer.
"OH MY GOD! POO, that really takes your breath away." Hannah protested holding her nose tight, then one of the horses made the loudest noise of breaking wind Ever...
"Thank goodness we've arrived, this is turning into a smell fight." she added.

They entered the building from the north entrance and headed through the corridors towards the personal bank deposit vaults.

Avon entered the room first and as he did so the vault door slammed shut, with Tam and Hannah still outside, both began banging the door to get in.
"It's no good Hannah we will never get through this."
"I've an Idea," she lifted her arm, "Pip? can you hear me?"
"What's up Hannah I'm in the middle of a tricky change here."
"We need you down here to get us through the vault doors, Avon is locked in on the other side."
"I'm Sorry Hannah I can't, we are all halfway through this change, we can't stop now, besides It's Avon, what can happen, go back outside and see if there is another entrance from the outside."
"Good thinking, we'll do that now, we can't get through these door's without a charge or our guns anyway."

Inside it was total darkness, something this planet treasured, "Hello? anyone  Home?"
Then the hairs on the back of his neck rose and he drew his Plasma Cuttess, it's hissing blade filling the room with an eerrie red light. 
The blade was wrenched out of his grasp by a huge hand, and it tossed it across the floor, while at the same time his legs were kicked out from under him... and just as Avon hoped to gain some balance when he hit the floor, he was to be disappointed as he was caught by the throat  in mid air, and lifted half a metre from the ground, now totally helpless, he tried reaching for his guns but the belt holding them was torn away as he fell, completely forgetting out of habit, he'd  handed them in and the beaming post.
"Hello Avon, do you remember me?"
With the sword still hissing and lighting the room as it lay on the ground, a large ugly face filled Avon's vision, he felt his foul breath on his face.
"It was a struggle to talk as his throat was being crushed but he managed to grunt, "Haansey eatting U ere, ha mint hight be hood four U." Avon was attempting the make light of the brutes halitosis.
There was nothing Avon could do to protect himself, so he spat, "Dooo UR VuRST HIT 4 GAINS."
The Dagger was half a centimetre from entering his chest when through his blurring vision he saw a samurai sword blade just missing the tip of his nose as it cut the big brute in two.
He instantly fell to the ground, unceremoniously onto his backside, with a hand still tight round his throat... and two smelly halves of Tibez either side of him, where his entrails covering him in green slime, "Eeeow, this will not wash out, I know I've tried." With some effort he prised the fingers open until it lost it's grip. 

"You look terrible! look at you with all those scars since I saw you last... you've not been looking after yourself mate."

Avon looked up and was astonished to see the hand reaching down to him belonged to Aiden, and he took it in both hands.

"Aiden? is that you?"
"In the flesh dear boy, so who's your friend?"
"OH...Hmm he's someone I may have upset in the past at some point, to be honest I'd need Hannah's data base to remember them all... but let me get a good look at him, Hmm... I think it's Titan or Tiberius or some such name, this lot all look the same to me, I can't believe it... Aiden how did you get here?" 
"First off, mother sends her love and says you should come visit more often."
Avon laughed, "Did she now... Honestly, you are the last person I'd expect to save my bacon."
"Well I'm here and I did didn't I, did you see the height I fell from? That must be 6 metres or more. "
They both looked up the the upper gallery.
"Slimy bugger isn't he?"
"Yes..." Avon answered but still looked at Aiden in disbelief, "You were ten when I last saw you, and you were just 5 when you came for training, Hannah will go mental, she really liked you."
"Well your father then your Grandfather trained me well I'd say, my uncle did the rest."
"Yes they did indeed, and thanks for that, I was at a loss as to what to do next, I think it was die."
"Rubbish you would have thought of something."
"This time I don't think I would have."
"Well whatever, Mother has told me to seek out Fabien because he has the Cube my Great Great Grandfather was last seen jumping on, we now understand they are storage devises."
"I'd say i'd have to agree with that assumption, and the guy that emerged from it, is Tamius Reed, he's the otherside of that door," Avon stated, pointing back over his shoulder with his right thumb.
"Yes he's my Great Great grandfather, in fact I'll just say Great Grandfather to save space in case we ever write our exploits."
"Really?...Why didn't I know this nugget of information?"
"Well I'd guess it was a need to know thing, if you didn't know you have perfect denial."
"I can't believe even my own father didn't tell me."
"I doubt he knew either, your grandfather made me swear not to mention it... until it woke he said."
"That sly old fox..."
"Yea, he is."
"Was.... he's dead, and so is my father, mother and brother come to that."
"Oh...I'm so sorry..... we didn't know?... He meant so much to you, are you OK?"
"It's life my friend and somethings we have to accept and move on, Fabian was never the sentimental type."
"I Guess not....Well I better go meet my Great grand Father hadn't I."
"The doors locked.... but hey, you may as well help me find  a box!"
"Number zz4512? I've already opened it, it was on Mums list."
"Did you have the Key?"
"No, did You?
"Well like I said Fabien taught me well."
"Well in that case we best be off, no point hanging about, if this guy found me, who knows who else will be coming," he raised his eyebrow and asked,  "so was there another cube in the box?"
" Yes it did contain a cude, a control cube in fact," Aiden strolled to the entrance, "let's get the lights back on, oh and you just as well shut this down before it drains down to nothing," he said, while stooping to bring up the spitting  Cuttless, "you know powered weapons are banned here right?"
"It's what I'm used to having with me, I forgot this when I handed my guns over, I'll hide it."
"There's no point hiding it now, they must have mistaken it for a real sword."
"This is a real sword!"
Aiden waved is sword.... No this is a REAL sword, your belt and scabbard are over there, but that belts a gonner."
"Yes it is, but the scabbard will still attach to the suit." He slapped Aiden shoulder,  "Hey! look at you...looking all cute and muscles, you've been working out! so lets see it."
Aiden took the cube from his sleeve pocket.
"I take it you mean this?"
"Oh...That's tiny! the one on the ship is four times that size, I have a rubik's cube bigger then that!"
"YOU HAVE A RUBIK'S CUBE? How cool, I've only read about those, besides size isn't everything you know, this is a control cube, as I believe I mentioned, with this we won't have to gather the cubes one by one, they will come to us, this is one of six."
"Does EVERYONE know more about these things then I do?"
"No, only the guardians... we were once in our thousands, some have turned rouge, others have either died through age or been murdered, there is one man convinced the star stone will give him immortality, he's been after it for years."
"Guardians of the cube? star stone? what the hell has a star stone got to do with this?" Avon asked.
"The star stone will power the cubes, even I'm in the dark as to it's real purpose, and you may have guessed your Grandfather was one of the founding members of the Guardians, he picked us."
"So who's this Rouge element? did Fabien pick him or her?"
"No... no he definitely wouldn't have picked Zar Boada. The Zar found out from his family member, who he then killed to take charge of his cube, but he has turned some of the others Fabien did pick."
"Don't tell me.... he has one of the six control cubes right?"
"Wow, you are as good as I remember, with mine that would make two, but he's not going to give that up without a fight."
"Well like I said, there's no point hanging about here, we best make haste, I have a bad feeling others will be arriving here very soon, and this Zar fella will be behind it I'm sure."

Like everything on this planet the Door mechanism was manual, Avon unlocked it and they both stepped out into the corridor, "Hmm, Hannah and Tam must be outside." and they exited to be  immediately fired upon.
Hannah and Tamius had both ducked for cover when they walked out under fire. and now so  did Avon to his left and Aiden to his right.

"Some people really know how to flaunt  rules round here." Aiden joked to Avon.
"Aiden?" Hannah said in shock, and she was even more shocked by his arrival then the attack itself.

Aiden looked over his straw bail and waved, "Hey Hannah, how's it going?" the straw was then ignited by a laser blast, "Well that's just rude!" he cried.
Hannah's cheeks reddened, Aiden had grown into a very handsome man.

"Tam... meet your great great grandson Aiden, it seems your arrival has sparked a chain of events that might very well get us all killed."
"I have a Grandson?"
"let's discuss it latter."

Just as  Avon was about to leap his bail and run at the attackers a squad of Vaaians appeared.

"PUT DOWN YOUR WEAPONS AT ONCE, YOU HAVE COMMITTED SEVEN VIOLATIONS OF CODE #234/z and 3, and possibily #4b as well." Announced their leader. 

Five of the troopers turned to fire on this new threat.


The five opened fire, and the weapons exploded into a ball of fire blood and body parts.

"Do you really have to shout Commander, it's making the men jumpy."
"SORRY... I mean sorry Sergeant, spread out the men I want those law breakers apprehended."

But before they could be reached the rest of the attackers beamed out.
"Hmm.... well that's another violation right there." the commander pointed out, in disbelief at such wanton behavour.
"You may step out now, we are sorry for the delay, we trained to react in 5 seconds this has taken us  15."
The four stepped out and brushed the dust off their clothes... Everyone except Aiden was staring at the green slimmed Avon... "Yes about that.... we were attacked in the vault room, my friend and I wish to lodge a complaint." Avon told him.

"We are SOOO sorry sir, we will provide the appropriate form pads as soon as we get to the interrogation building. this is the second incident here in a hundred years, the last time we were unable to prevent a murder, this is why we train so hard to respond, 15 seconds was far too long I know."
"Well training always comes with the knowledge of something about to happen, it's never that easy in the field, your're very polite here aren't you." Avon smiled.
"You are really too polite sir." the Sergeant chipped in.
"I'm Not... Oh Well yes I am, but that's how we are here... this is Vaa."
"Indeed it is.... well lets forget the complaint forms, my colleagues and I have a pressing engagement."

The Vaaians are as green skinned as the trees they protected with passion, and at a average height of a Vaaian is 1.2 meters they looked like a troop of school children. the green of their skin made the yellow of their uniforms even harsher... they also had very black oval eyes, lemon shaped hairless heads and pointy ears and very small button noses.
Vaaians had tails to counterbalance while they clime, and they were very agile climbers. 
"You know you're uniforms kind of stand out... you would have been sitting targets if you hadn't disrupted their equipment."
"Do you really think so? well this is the first time we've had to engage law breakers, any suggestions to help us would be welcome, wouldn't it Sergeant."
"If you say so Commander."
"Well can't you add some greens and blues for camouflage?"
The Commander passed a hand over the Sergeant's uniform as he altered it's appearance to that of jungle Camouflage, and it looked very good indeed. and far more flattering to the mans complexion. 
"Like this you mean?" he asked.
Avon read the leaders name from his uniform, "Haven? well what do you think guys?" 
The Vaaians seemed pleased.
Now content he'd made a good impression he asked, "so have you really been training one hundred years for this?"
"It's Commander Haven actaully, maybe we should add that to the uniform as well."
"May I have Sergeant on mine sir? asked the Vaaian named Kaavor,
And Haven passed his hand over the breast pocket of Kaavor's uniform and the wording changed to included Sergeant, he did the same for himself and the rest of his men, including the new look.
"There I think that will stop the confusion." the Commander said, "As to your question yes as a reaction force my people have trained for a hundred years to prevent this very thing, we take protecting our visitors very serious, we however only have a life span of 40 of your human years."
"Yes I can see you're a very serious people, with all the tree hugging stuff." Avon replied.
"Like I've said I'm very sorry this has happened here again."
"You mean the last event happened here too?" Tam asked.
"On this very spot Sir... it's becoming a bit of a hot spot now don't you think? we will continue to train and reduce the response time, I assure you."

"One hundred years? wasn't that...." and Avon cut Hannah off with a stare that said Hush...
"Well you all seem to have this sorted, what will you be doing about that mess there," Avon asked pointing to the troopers and the one in there," he added pointing back to the building.
"They will be composted as we all are here, it's our greatest honor to serve the planet that provides us life."
"Hmm, a bit harsh isn't it, don't you want to know where they are from, or inform family members as to their fate? although I could think of worst things to do with the bodies I suppose." Avon reflected.
"I've no interest as to their origins or family Capatain,  they are law breakers, they gave up any rights to decency when they fired on you, and when they attempted to harm my troop, so No no no, we will  put them to good use feeding the soil, now as for you and your comrades, I would like to make amends for the inconvenience you've all suffered here, allow me to invite you all to stay at our most luxurious Pod over looking the seven falls." Commander Haven said, and his whole face lite up in a genuine show of happiness.
"Another time perhaps, we have matters to attended to," Avon said, hoping Pip and the others had completed the changes needed to move on.
"Well allow me to give you my contact should you wish to return, do you have a communicator?
"Do I have a communicator..." Avon answered with a laugh, " What sort of Captain would I be without a communicator.... I ask you." As he looked down at his sleeve, then he realised he hadn't strapped it on before leaving the ship; this was due to the fact  he become accustomed to having Tig with him most of the time, but Tig was on the Aura, insuring the recalibration was initialised  as soon as possible.
"Haaaa... Hannah hold out your communicator for the lovely Commander would you please."
"Aye Aye." And she with a laugh, and punched his ribs as she held out her other arm for Haven to pass is hand over."
"All done, and go with our Blessings Capatain."
"It's Captain..."
"Yes like I said Capatain."
"Oh and Commander Havan you should seriously get out more... take your troop out for a jolly sometime.
"We really should do that Commander." Kaavor agreed.
"You really think so? what about all the current activity here?
"Really? twice in 100 years?"
"I'll consider it."
They all thanked the Commander and returned to the departure area where they retrievied their guns.
"I don't understand how they managed to beam down without having their beams disrupted, isn't that what they do here?" Aiden asked.
"Well beaming down yes, beaming out no, this group must have arrived as we had." Avon suggested, "I assume that's what triggered the alarm."
Aiden had a wide grin, he was excited to meet his Great Great Grandfather at last, and he knew once on board the Aura he would be spending some of  his time getting to know him, he brought a family data globe to help introduce Tam to all he'd missed.
In fact Tam shared the same thoughts about getting to know his family.
"You look like your mother..."
"Your Great Great Grand Daughter?"
"No....I was thinking of my daughter."
"You mean Gran Teah?... Oh she would have  loved that."
"Is she still alive? this is very awkward, I've lost so much time."
"Oh yes, well that's understandable, No she died in 38'  her mind was as sharp as ever right up to the end, she would have been excited to have heard from you, you were all she talked about when I was a kid."
"I would have liked that myself, I'm glad she had a good life, she was a baby when I was caught up in this cube thing."
Hannah was doing her best not to stare at Aiden and his muscular body but she coudn't help herself, she liked what she saw very much.
He turned to her, and reaching into his tunic he said, "Look Hannah forever friends...Remember?" He pulled out a silver locket, with one clasped hand, the other should have been worn by Hannah but she lost it years ago, and the two halves would have made a full handshake.
"I'm sorry Aiden I lost mine on a mission."
He looked disappointed after looking after his half for so long.
"I've a sock draw full of those... where the hell did we get those from?" Avon asked.
"Mauder station," they both answered then both looked uncomfortable.
"I'm so sorry Aiden, I feel terrible."
Aiden smiled and put his necklace around her neck, "There... it still works like this right?"
She smiled and looking at the silver hand in her hand she lent over and kissed his cheek, "Thank you, I promise not to lose this half." She said crossing her heart.

Back at the vault building, the troop had finished supervising the clean up when the Sergeant asked, "Are we having a jolly now Commander?"
"I'm not sure, but we can make it one.... Right men we will have a jolly."
"Ohrah!" Yelled one of the privates.
And after a few seconds of embarrassed stares and heel rocking, the Commander announced, "Well that's enough of that, don't go boasting about it back at barracks... it will only get the others jealous, it's been a bit of a day hasn't it."
"Yes Commander, Right you heard the  Commander, MEN fall in, Left right left right left right.........." and they marched back to the barracks which was set up beautifully within the canopy of the tallest trees, here the wooden buildings had connecting bridges to each cabin, and the main parade deck.

"Nice people the Vaaians we really should take some time out here one day," Avon said back on the bridge, "When all this is over of course." he added
"Pip! how's it going down there?"
Pip, Saveena and Sol entered the bridge, "All done Cap, I'd say that was good timing."
"So you had guests then?" Saveena asked Avon looking at the slime, "How is Tibez? I took off two of his four arms when we last met."
"And you knew that because?"
"The smell... I never forget a smell, especially one like his."
Avon looked to Aiden, "You have to admit, he did have odor problems, but I didn't know he was meant to have Four Arms? can you imagine that Aiden?"
"No.... he looked beside himself when we last saw him."
Avon laughed.
"I'm going for a shower, if we're ready to go I'm sure Aiden will know where we are heading next."
Pip was about to ask who the stranger was, but Avon's statement cut him short.
"So Aiden... where to?" He asked.
Avon was already into the gangway when he shouted back... "I'd like to introduce everyone but getting this smell off me is far more my priority right now, so until then introduce yourselves."

As Avon showered he asked Tig for an update.
'Well Sir, the new manifolds are holding and I believe more then capable of reliable containment.'
"Your Welcome Tig."
'Yes Sir you made a good sound choice of Materials.'
'Your Welcome.'

Hannah introduced Aiden to the crew, and explained how she knew him, and also the relationship with Tam.
"So it's one big happy family reunion it seems." Sol said while shaking his hand.
Tam noticed but said nothing, after all he was a stranger from a box, he wasn't sure if he would trust anyone appearing out of  thin air either.
"So where are we headed next Aiden?" Pip inquired.
"I'll show you.... my mother gave me a map, can I add it to your visual system?"
"Go ahead, you can screen it or project it into the room."
"The screen will do fine."
The map had several quadrants new to Pip, "Well that is a vast amount of space to cover." Pip said nodding to the further reaches.
"Yes and luckily we don't have to travel most of it...." He placed the new cube on the control panel, "We just need to find four more of these, and one of those will be hard to get."
"Why." Asked Sol.
"because it is in the possession of a crazied lunatic hell bent on living forever."
"Another of those.... we seem to make a habit of meeting those guys." Pip informed Aiden.
"Well your on the Aura, I'd not expect anything else."
"So what's with that crazy crown of your's Pip." Aiden asked, and he couldn't really help but notice it as soon as Pip entered the bridge, with it's large red jewel held in the golden ring crown it kind of looked out of place on the young man.
Sol answered, " it was a gift from me, but unfortunatly for Pip, it can't be removed without killing him, tendrils from the jewel have entered his brain, it will protect him and give him abilities like walking through walls, show him Pip."
"OK... here goes." And just before Pip vanished through the bulk head his body seemed to shimmer like he was out of phaze with everyone else.
As he returned he mentioned he could also take anyone with him as long as they maintained contact with him.
"That looks  to be a very handy toy Pip."
"Believe me it's more then a toy," Sol corrected, "It will protect him from any harm."

"I can't believe we're heading back to Reama's  stations, what were the chances another control cube exsisted there?" Pip said, taking yet another close look at the map.
"Billions to one no doubt, but stranger things do happen in space." Hannah replied.
"Avon is taking his time."
"Well he did stink awfully bad."
"that's the truth Hannah.... that is the truth."
"So you knew the guy Sav.... what was he like?"
"He wasn't someone you'd like to meet in the dark Pip, plus his people had a tendency to eat their victims."
"Oh he sounds nasty."
"Believe me he was, at least he won't be bothering people anymore."
"I just hope he hasn't got Family... they always turn up wanting revenge." Hannah put in.
"They are born in batches, they have no family... they are bred to kill, end of, they have no other purpose, revenge isn't proffitable unless your're paid to do it, and his kind are all about the money." Saveena declared.  
"Good because I'd not enjoy washing that off of me, Avon is going to need yet another uniform." said Pip.
"He had a Navy Camo suit just hanging waiting to be used, that comes with micro thin shielding plates that can stop a Trillian cannon." Hannah chirped.
"Oh I can't wait to see him in that... those are skin tight." Saveena said giving Hannah a knowing wink. 
"Oh you girls..." Said Pip.