Thursday, 4 February 2016

The Adventures of Avon Sagan and the crew of the Aura, Series One The Xian Curse.

The Adventures of Avon Sagan. 

Thousands of years have passed since Earth, the planet thought to be the origin of the human race, died. Now the decedents of these desperate souls colonise any livable or remotely livable planets they can find. It has been a continuing mission to find peace and settle. Over the millennia they have spread the remains of the species throughout  what was once the unknown reaches of the galaxy. where Man was to discover that beyond this galaxy were uncountable others.
Men and women, because one can't exist without the other, have learnt the hard way to share these galaxies with other species, who were themselves  in varying forms of advancement.
War was inevitable but now considerably rare, mainly because those with the advanced weaponry annihilate those that didn't.
So Man had to fight his instincts to dominate all he surveyed in order to survive, trade and negotiations with others for co-existence was the only way forward.

Planetary life was on the main bearable and the aim of any species, but for the few who never felt the need to put down roots space life was the norm.
Such is the life for the crew of the Aura.

So let us join these misfits at the Nursia system, where it’s cold sapphire darkness filled the Aura's view screen, stars have been drawing the imagination of man since he first viewed the heavens, but now it's the common backdrop for this crew and all the awe has gone, these stars in particular looked to have been scattered like hand thrown corn and surrounded the gaseous cloud called Jade’s belt, which twisted outwards a spiralling smoke as if from an unseen fire, with its reds, greens and purple wisps,
So in this lonely spec of Space the Aura looked to be motionless, like some discarded sugared Almond from a race of sweet toothed giants, but this relic was Captained by none other then Avon Sagan.
Now what could I tell you about Avon Sagan, that hasn’t been told throughout the known universe a thousand times over; well Hannah Fletcher could tell you all you need to know but I’ll attempt to describe this rambunctious scallywag, for I know dear reader you crave information and who am I to deny you this?

Avon’s friends are few, which is of his own choosing and he was thankful for it, as he’s beholding to no one but his crew.
At thirty six years old, Six foot three (1.9m) with an athletic build, he was a formidable character, the dark tussled hair has never seen a comb in his lifetime and this sits atop his slim but rugged face, the curves of that face are only broken by the square jaw line, his distinctive but not overly large nose divides the green eyes that would seem to pierce right into you when he had his inquisitive gaze on you... He would claim to be an honest man; others would call him a rouge and Pirate but he would prefer to be called a Privateer.
Avon has no living relatives to his knowledge and this vessel he calls home was inherited from his late Grandfather who acquired it 120 Earth cycles ago...  To be totally honest, and I can see by the way your gripping the page I need to be, Avon has never called it home, he calls it Aura, which isn't strange as this is what happens when you name something; like "Hello, I'm Malcolm and I live at Seaview," or some such silly name people give to their homes. 
The Aura was already extremely old by the time Avon's Grandfather acquired it, and the exploits of the Aura and Fabien Sagan are legendary, the scared paint work could have been blue or grey but years of space dust and meteor fragments had polished most of its surface to a golden shimmer, the metal is unknown as is whomever built the ship but it was defiantly none human…this race now lost in the eon’s of time since it’s construction controlled it’s systems telepathically in a language which was as much a part of Avon as Avon was to the ship. It was a symbiotic relationship, each needing the other to survive the constant dangers of space and he commanded this vessel without conscious thought.
Another secret of the ships longevity was the extraordinary ability of its metal to renew and repair itself like a living organism.
Avon had never experienced the joys of planetary life, this was the only life Avon knew since birth, so answering the needs of the Aura were second nature; you’d not describe Avon as timorous, His Stubborn belligerence and total disregard for authority or his own safety is something that would apply however, as for brave, no self respecting Sagan has ever run from a fight... but this isn't bravery it's an inbuilt stubbornness to yield, and to be honest you wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of their rage.

Avon trained in all forms of the fighting arts has no fear, this was a family skill past down from  generation to generation, his Grandfather was a fearsome man in his own right. These ancient methods are known to a very few, and considered a lost art, and in this universe you are unlikely to meet anyone with all these skills, after all who needs to learn these rather tiresome arts when those with the gun feel anything more than squeezing a trigger is over exuberance.
Avon wore the uniform of a Galactic Captain from the old Earth Fleets. He discovered it in an old chest under the bed in his Grandfathers cabin, now his cabin, the jacket was a navy blue with gold insignia at the collar and cuffs, with a scarlet centre, to hide the blood from the men its said, and had a line of three gold buttons at each sleeve. These matched the ten larger buttons that travelled evenly down both sides of the jacket front.
He also wore black cavalry trousers with red twin piping down the outsides that ended at his leather bound gravity boots with there five silver buccaneer type buckles, these boots looked heavy but were in fact light as air and twice as comfortable… the sensory systems gave the wearer the equivalent gravity of Earth, that long dead forsaken planet of his ancestors and overcame the weightlessness of space, not that they were needed while on board the Aura but should the need arise to inspect the outer hull or board other less sophisticated craft they became invaluable.
A black leather belt held the holstered phaser and the curved hilt of the plasma sword at his waist.
The Galactic Fleets were a thing of the past, the colonies out grew the effectiveness of any central forces and build forces of their own to guard and protect their planetary systems. Avon wore the clothes for his love of style, plus he thought it made him look heroic.
Also on board this fine vessel was Pip, with jet black slicked back hair, hazel eyes, and slender nose, firm mouth gave him the simmering looks that would melt many a young girls heart, and he also had the advantage of youth on his side at twenty one years old, he’s five feet ten (1.8m) and also a skilled fighter, due to the training of Fabien and now Avon.
Pip preferred the all in one suits used by the old Zytonian Navy, a grey and blue camouflage patterned suit, used on planetary night missions with the same boots worn by Avon, he wore an ancient samurai sword at his waist and on his opposite side he had a Thaygon Phaser rifle strapped to his right thigh, Pip Braddock was from the hostile Zyton System, where you fought to live.
The Zyton System had 7 planets with humanoid life forms the fifth of these was called Destra, this having a harsh environment that no one in there right mind would choose to live on, but being rich in precious metals and stones it gave men the incentive to try, many generations had fought and died there, it takes a tough breed of men and women to survive this unforgiving planet and it had little in the way of law enforcement. What didn’t kill you would feed you, as the old Zyton nursery rhyme will tell you. They did however have some of the most lavish space stations ever built in any system, families made rich by the mining of Destra lived on these stations and in doing so built a thriving community of station dwellers, it had 312 space stations on last count. Each family had its own interpretation of the Law so clashes seem to happened on a daily basses
Fabien had rescued Pip then five from a fierce battle between two rival families, but while returning to the ship with the crystals needed for the Aura’s Stardrive, the shuttle had been cut in two from a blast that came from a vessel already docked at the station. It took some impossible manoeuvres from Avon to get his Grandfather still clutching Pip on board, but at the loss of his Brother Damien and both parents, Hurcual and Nemera.
Hannah Fletcher had witnessed it all from the observation deck on the ship; she was another stray the family found on their travels. She stayed with Fabien who was badly wounded and the boy, while Avon beamed onto the ship and killed everyone on board, first by surprising the six bridge crew with the speed of his attack, then disabling weapons and setting the ships self destruct, a sizable part of the Space stations docking area was also damaged.
It’s impossible to beam crystals as they disrupted the beaming process and many a ships been lost attempting it, a shuttle is the only way for safe transport and now shuttle 3’s shattered remains floated around the Aura in a burning spiralling storm.

When Avon returned to the ship Hannah  was shocked to see the hate had not yet receded in his eyes, this wasn’t the cool headed Avon she knew, this was a scary twin as he stood over his Grandfather.
He had a fresh phaser burn, that was now a vivid red, scarring his chin, “They would have fired on us Hannah, you know that,” he said, when he saw the fear in her eyes.
“Yes I know,” she answered reassuringly.
Hannah is beautiful, her raven hair cut in the classic Telorian bob, gave her an exotic look, with clear blue eyes that shone with youth, and at five feet four (1.62m) she still looked every bit as capable as Avon, her purple uniform seem to be made from space with what looked like stars gleaming over it’s surface, making the cloth a glitter as she walked, she also wore the silver Telorian battle breast plate, with its ornate engraved patterns on the armour. Like Pip she also favoured the Samurai swords and she carried two. One half the length of the other. And two holstered laser pistols at her waist on crossed belts. The boots didn’t look like they belong to this outfit but as they are standard issue for this crew so you can over look this fashion foe par, with those pal blue eyes and the golden skin of a Telorian, Hannah is a woman you’ll not forget in a hurry.
Fabien blamed himself the for loss of his family, it took him three months to recover from his injuries and he used his 10,000 year old sheathed samurai sword as support as he never gained full strength to his right side. Avon now his only living relative took on the increased training he had to endured knowing his Grandfather was preparing him for a the time he’d be the last of the Sagan’s.
The Aura can carry a crew of fifteen, it had four shuttles now three, and 14 life pods due to one chamber being empty when Fabien found it, these would only be used in extreme emergencies, so it’s believed the former owner abandoned ship for whatever reason, for fear of his or her life.
From the outside the Aura looks golden, it’s smooth surface showing no windows, docking ports or access at all, it was as if making these visible spoilt it’s curved lines, and perched up top of this oval hull held a silver dome at its centre, this is the observation deck, again there are no external windows the whole dome was like a bubble in space from the inside, But no one could view into it from the outside. it just looked as smooth and as the metallic body, on very close inspection outer hull and dome contained ancient symbols raised from there surfaces by thousandths of a millimetre, some of the old paint work clung on stubbornly as if to stake it’s claim to be there, it takes an agile mind indeed to master all it’s systems but this crew of three are more then a fair match to a Phellentine Battlecruiser or two, with a complement of one hundred and fifty crew, and you don’t want to mess with a Phellentine Battlecruiser if you had any sense or need to live.

Maybe Avon should have avoided the meeting with the Holy Order of The Seventh but when did he avoid anything.
Now I’d better tell you the story of the Seventh or you’ll be wondering what all the fuss is about later, won’t you. So let us begin.
The Holy Order of the Seventh is a religious group following the teachings of the seventh Brother of faith.
It is said the Seventh Brother saved the lives of the Selig system by giving his life that others may live. He gave himself up to a race called the Xian.
The Xian were a warring race who moved from system to system taking technologies and any treasures they could find, their lizard like green eyes gave them an evil look, the eyes looked even more intense due to their grey rhino like skin, with large bullet shaped heads and no neck, on long bodies and strong muscular legs and arms all armour clad.
The Average height of 7’ feet made their very presents scary.
They always kept ahead of their intended foes with advanced weaponry and dominated every system they entered, they ruled with an iron fist, leaving their own governing bodies in their wake, backed up by the formidable armour clad armies, these men fought as one, unyielding and they would soon crush any rebellion to their leadership.
It wasn’t all bad for the people though, once order was established some even became the richer from the experience, by the new trade the Xian bought.
The one thing you couldn’t have under their reign was freedom, the majority of the people were no more then slaves, some would say this was agreeable as this brought education and medical advances, but Freedom is something that has been fought for since man first hurdled a rock as a weapon.
The Xian Home World was the red planet Xiantus
The Seventh Brother travelled to the Xian home world, telling them they should leave the Selig system or The Xian will be humbled by the hand of the one god, who would show no mercy...
Well you can do many things but threatening the Xian meant death.
After a brief and some would say unnecessary trial at the highest court of the realm, he was taken to a place of execution, where the Seventh Brother was stripped of his robes and they found he wore a golden shield strapped to his chest, the shield with its religious symbols and artistry depicting stories of the Selig God, it was about to be removed when the Brother asked, “do you fear my God?”
This brought laughter to the surrounding Xian’s gathered in the arena, “If you do not fear my God then allow me to wear his words.”
A guard taking a knife from his belt was about to cut the shield free when,
 “Stop!” was shouted down from the main gallery...
The Xian Emperor Turus Tec walked down to the Brother looking him in the  eyes and his grey face creased in a big grin... “You think you can mock us with your ancient mumbo jumbo?... If this is the symbol of your ridiculous beliefs,” he said while placing a hand on the shield, where he felt a tingle in his finger tips that forced him to pull his hand back quickly, hiding his shock,  “then we will destroy it! Along with You!” He finished.
“Thank you,”  was all the Brother uttered, and the entire audience to this mans death erupted into laughter again…
“Stand ready!” The captain of the Guard ordered at the 6 men of arms; and the armour of these Xian’s shone like flames on its silvery surface, under the bright Xiantus sunshine lit by its two suns.
It would have only taken one soldier to turn this monk to dust as a molecule disruptor would literally blow him away. But now the 6 Xian soldiers with bullet shaped helmets over their bullet shaped heads with their long horizontal slits for the eyes stood motionless awaiting the order to fire.
“On My Word Fire! you will fire!” The Captain said, “ Take aim!” the 6 men lifted the disruptor's to their shoulders… FIRE!!
The Brother’s Body dissolved into dust as did the shield but before the shield vanished it glowed like molten gold, it was so bright all the viewing public closed their eyes and turned their faces away as if they were looking directly into the sun itself, when the grow lessened they all looked to see the Monk and his shield were no more.
Then ripples of golden dust emanated from the precise space occupied by the Seventh and as it touched the surrounding Xian they in turn also turned to dust, within 3 hours there wasn’t a single Xian on the planet, all that remained were the slaves or members of others races, not a single building was harmed it was just as if the whole Xian race ceased to be!.
It took several years to spread through the surrounding systems controlled by the Xian but one by one this once powerful race turned to dust, even those that converted to the order of the Seventh, in the hopes of finding salvation.
The remaining armies once ruled by the Xian disbanded and returned to their own systems, those that did try to keep the old Xian order were soon over run, and a new life for those who had been controlled for hundreds of years began, of course without the Xian some of their advanced technology was lost, as was the advanced medical skills but each race now advanced at their own pace as before.
Over many millennia even the buildings of the old Xian race returned to nature because nature is always there biding it’s time waiting for Man or any other race that came, to slip up and then it would restore everything as it was.

“We want you to find an artifact for us,”
“Oh really!” Avon said eyebrows rose in his best disbelieving face.
“We have been told you are a very resourceful man and ….let me see, how was it put to us...? Ah yes, and you have no fear!” The Monk in his blood red robe of the seventh opened his old winked eyes wider, “Where you will be going, be sure, there will be plenty to be fearful of, and much danger,” Avon had to stop himself coming out with the old adage I laugh in the face of Danger and even changing it to I chuckle at fear, didn’t make it sound any less of a clich√© in his head.
“So you know all about me eh?” He said, shifting on the flat rock the Monks use for seats, “did anyone mention I like payment too?”
“Ah yes… indeed they did, and you must believe me when I say, what I have for you is beyond price,” the Monk chuckled softly, and nodded his head to Avon’s inquisitive gaze. (The one that could look right through you)
Avon was slightly put out that he never got his chuckle in first,
“Now listens here my Monkey friend, what you believe to be priceless isn’t going to be of much interested to me. I mean look around, you have rocks for chairs, a pillow would be priceless at this moment!” He leaned to the right this time still trying to get comfortable on his Freaken Rock. 
“Look I’m a busy man, the crew and I are due some RnR, it’s very nice of you to think of me old man Buu…” as he was about to finish his statement and leave, The Monk said, “We believe the knowledge we have will be as precious to you as the artifact we ask you to seek, is to us!”
Now intrigued Avon sat back on his rock, forgetting the discomfort as his interested heightened, “Well now, is that so,” now impatient he added, “Well lets have it! Give me this wonderful knowledge with all speed! Oh… this Freaken rock I’ll have a flat backside when this chat is over,” he remarked.
“How would the knowledge of who built your vessel, The Aura I believe you call her, and not only can we prove that this is the race you seek, we also know where you can find them.”
Avon blinked for a second as he took this news in “Them! Are you telling me they still exist?... Oh My Giddy Gods!!”  He was thinking how long his Grandfather spent trying to find Who had built The Aura, he would Have given a limb, OK maybe not 'His' limb but he would of given a limb for this knowledge, so who was Avon to turn away from this. They could refurbish the worn equipment, maybe fit a Jacuzzi!
“I’m not saying I believe you because, hey we just met, so what I mean to say is. I don’t believe you.”
The Monk Chuckled to himself again.
Damn Avon thought, that’s two Chuckles to my none, I’m losing this battle of wits. 
Reaching into his robe, that got the reaction of eww, from Avon, ‘now what’s he going to pull out?’ He said in his head.
“This is a manuscript from a play, only no one can read it except you!”
“Well how do you know it’s a Play?” said Avon now smiling at how cleverly he caught the Monk off guard.
“It has a PICTURE of a man in costume, on the front.”
“Well, OK , but that still doesn’t make it a Play does it.”
“And,” added the Monk, “it says this is a play, written in English at the bottom.”

"What? Give me that thing! and talking of plays, where did you go for your negotiation skills Rada Centauri?  I think you like a bit of drama yourself, come on hand it over wise guy." 

The smiling Monk handed him the manuscript, "So?" the Monk replied
Sitting back with the script in hand Avon’s eyebrows almost cleared his forehead completely as he started reading."
“This is something you are familiar with yes?"
"Familiar!" he laughed, still reading the words that were usually only formed in his mind. 
"I should think everyone knows the works of Billy Shakespeare, this is a script for Richard III, now Monk, even you know Richard III right? maybe this race had a fascination for mans ability for self destruction."
"Indeed, it also says that in English on the back…Are you satisfied?" the Monk gestured to the script. 

"You can clearly see it is a match to the builders language you know so well, the builders of Aura?" he trailed off waiting for the gobsmacked Avon to reply but Avon had already touched the communicator on his wrist.
"Hannah check the data banks for trade with the Unie" the communicator projected a hologram of Hannah sat at the main console, "Unie?" she quizzed "Who the Freak are the Unie?"

"Just do it" then he added, "Please," as an after thought.
"Ok, checking........Hum.. Nothing… no wait? As I thought Nothing! What were you expecting?"

"I’m not sure at this point Hannah, will you doubled check all systems to find any reference of them, I will beam out shortly to explain, don't worry about calling me back if you find anything, we can talk about it when I return, Tell Pip we will have two guests for lunch"
"Will do, over and out." Hannah said signing off.
"Well" enquired the Monk, "Do we have an agreement?"
"We will discuss it over Lunch" Avon raised his eyebrows again but not as far as last time as he added, "Monks do eat I take it?"

"Yes as strange as it may seem, we do eat" he pointed to the hooded monk sat quietly in the corner of the chamber, "This is Sol" he will be travelling with you." Avon now standing turned towards Sol. 
"Now wait a Freaken cycle old man, I never said anything about being a passenger liner." Avon's mouth was open slightly as he looked in disbelief at the Old Monk,
"Sol is part of this, and how shall we put it, This collaboration! We consider this undertaking of the utmost importance and maybe even beyond your, Ahh... considerable talents Mr Sagan, Do we have your agreement?" the Monk replied head down and then looking up at Avon, in that, do we understand each other look.

"OK, we can talk about it onboard the Aura."
Now it was the Monks turn to ask a question. 
"How did you know there would be two of us joining you?"
Avon just laughed, "Old Man, didn't anyone tell you I'm a genius!"

On the Aura as you would expect, everything was pure white and pristine….. Well that’s what you Might have expected, but what you get on The Aura is a crazy day at a Steampunk Convention.
The bronze looking interior looked like it was held together with a million rivets the surfaces a muddy gold. The walk ways a florescent jade as though under floor lighting had been installed but this was the natural state of the smooth metal like surface.
“Please take a seat,” Pip said as the Monks entered the function room… also known as the dinning room, technology centre and training room, this was the relaxation area of the ship, a place of silent study or combat, as you’ve no doubt guessed it’s the none flight essential room,  on a ship of the old Earth, you’ll probably call this the captains cabin situated under the beating heart of The Aura’s Bridge; even if the protective force shields clasped this room and that of the main bridge above, was heavily shielded with the strange organic metal, a sheet of this metal 6mm thick 60cm sq would be as light as old Earth A4 paper. But a strength unmatched by the best Phellentine armour plate.
Pip spun the bucket style seating with it’s red leather upholstery round to allow the old Monk to sit, he then offered the hooded companion a place, “Sol is it?” Pip asked. Sol bowed to Pip and said “Thank you” in a soft voice that seemed at peace.
Then nodded before accepting the offered seat that sat directly opposite his master The Old Monk.
The younger Monk lowered the hood as he sat, revelling long jet black hair, he was 19 years old with dark blue eyes and a slender face, and His features had the look of innocents. The blood red of his robes made his tanned skin look even darker. He was five feet eleven (1.803m) and by far the tallest of the Monks Avon had met on the surface.
Now with the hood no longer covering his head the gold ornate head band with its one red ruby at its centre was visible, and on closer inspection you would have observed the religious script engravings that completely encircled the band. It looked like something a prince of an older time would of worn and maybe to this religious sect he was a prince, because Sol is a direct descendant to the Seventh Brother of faith.
Now from what we have learnt from the story of the Seventh, I bet your guessing this head band held some secret power, and you’d be right but that will be revealed later.
So the guests ate and talked politely of trivial matters and agreement was met that Avon and his Crew will help find this lost chalice, until Sol said, “Do you know the Phellentine 7th Fleet Captain?” Well that was a conversation stopper and everyone except the two Monks stopped eating.
“Why do you ask?” Then after a pulse Avon continued with, “Vanlak F Praetor admiral of the 7thFleet is someone you wouldn’t want to meet, we may have bumped into him from time to time shall we say and I can tell you one thing his reputation for being the meanest son of a Salian Pirate isn’t exaggerated.”
“Well my Father wishes us to relieve the Admiral of a certain individual called Mellitus Boniphus an exiled Brother of the faith.”
“And what’s he to us?” Hannah asked, “Ex Monks come ten to the dozen, it’s difficult enough trying to trade with a Phellentine let alone surviving the encounter, with Praetor you just as well shoot yourself and save him the trouble.”
Avon  laughed…remembering the last time Vanlak crossed his path, he and his Grandfather managed not only to slip passed his battle Cruiser, but pulled off a sweet deal after acquiring a considerable amount of the Admirals fuel, thus allowing a Gwen fleet to escape the Phellentine blockade. He swore to kill them both on site.
The old Monk stood “Well Mr Sagan I believe that concludes our talk.”
“What do you mean? Concludes our talk,” his gaze shifted to both Monks in turn looking for signs of the deception…the old Monk looked to Sol and bowed, “Sol we trust your judgement on this endeavour, help Mr Sagan obtain the chalice and return to us soon.”
“I shall Father.”
Pip’s eyebrows arched in surprise “So he’s Daddy now?” and laughed.
“Actually Yes he is” said Sol.
“What?….well what I really meant is,” Pip scratched his head searching for what he really meant, then squinting inquisitively at the old Monk, “isn’t Father just part of your religious thing? know, I thought like, father where art thou?”
He still looked puzzled.
“So you’re part of a religious sect that allows sexual relations?” Avon said amused
“We may marry if we wish, oh… your puzzled by your own ignorance of us I see, how would we continue our faith without the family lineage?”
“Whatever” Avon replied, now bored by the father son sentiment, “I personally don’t give a Salian monkey’s ass what you weirdo’s get up to, Now where can I find the Unie?” he set his jaw firm in his; don’t give me any nonsense stare….
“You’re so mistrusting Captain, we will give you what you’ve been seeking on completion of your task,” Sol said then added, “Boniphus we believe hid The Chalice Mr Sagan under the orders of my great grandfather and only he holds the key to its location.”
“Oh I see” said Avon sighing … “So what you’re not telling me is this Mellfist.” “Mellitus,” corrected Sol.
“What ever the freak his name is, he’s being sought by others including Vanlak, Who probably knows everything by now, is that right?”
“You’re very astute Mr Sagan, we did approach others with your skills and they unfortunately concluded that working without us would yield more profit.” said the old Monk but before he could finish.
 “And for Freaks sakes stop calling me Mr Sagan, Mr Sagan was my fathers name OK?... so we weren’t for first choice?”
The old man shrugged.
“Well you know how to make things harder to achieve don’t you… tressmires pits (The tar mines of Tressmire) this could get sticky.”
Both Monks nodded.
“Good… Now listen I need to know everything! If we’re to help you, this little snippet, that seemed to have slipped your mind could get us all killed!”
The old Monk smiled, “Ah Yes as I was saying Mr…Ah…Avon” he looked to Avon to see if this term was more agreeable and it appeared grudgingly to be so.
“We fear others as well as those who betrayed us, are after the knowledge Mellitus holds, this is why we must retrieve it quickly or every known universe could be in great danger.”
“Oh so now it’s the whole known Freaken Universe at stake, Well why didn’t you say sooner!” then shouting Avon added “I COULD HAVE CANCELLED THE FREAKEN PUDDING!”
He stood, took a deep breath and tried to calm himself….. “Ok ...well it appears this is going to be far more trouble then I anticipated, I’m pondering now, if this information is worth our lives, let me think” he closed his eyes a second, “so you say you know the builders?”
“Yes” said the old man.
“Well I think, I can over look this lack of intelligence for their location.”
“You will be given this information on completion of your mission... Avon,” he almost said Mr Sagan but the Monk corrected himself.
“Yea yea yea, so you keep saying” Avon replied.
“But,” continued the Monk, again reaching into his rode and produced  a white spiky ball no bigger then a golf ball, “To show our good intentions and to honour this undertaking, I will introduce you to tig.”
“What the Freak?” Avon responded, he looked towards Hannah and Pip who were both smiling at each other in amusement at how absurd this toy looked,  what good was a spiky ball? Was the unspoken words between them, and how was a tiny piece of some weird ping pong game going to compensate them for their time….
“You’re giving me a Ball? …called tig?
“This is no ball Mr Sagan sorry… Avon, this is a proximity device, it will mentally graft itself onto the mind of this ships captain, which is you… it has many uses, the alien captains of their time who piloted these ships used such devices to maintain the ships systems, so they could free their minds for other duties, think of it as the captain’s log with benefits, for instance it will constantly record and store data, such information as our meeting will be stored because I had it with me when we met, it can also be used as a probe and once it’s imprinted on you, it will never work for anyone else, unless you command it… it’s part of this ship Avon and it will be a great asset to you, even I am not aware of all it possesses, it may teach you more about this ship then you could ever know.”
Sol interrupted with, “I believe it to be a computer of some kind, it will communicate telepathically only to the one it’s imprinted on, I also surmise it will have total access to all your systems and main computer, surely this is adequate to show our good intentions.”
Avon took the devise as the old Monk reached out, “really?” Avon looked from the Old man to his son, “Aren’t you the chatty one all of a sudden,” then as he held the ball it suddenly struck out with it’s spikes entering his palm and Avon felt as if he’d grabbed a red hot poker made from cactus.
Pip and Hannah instantly put their hands to their swords.
Avon hissed through his teeth, “Wait!” then still with a searing pain that distorted his voice he added, “This better be interesting old man!”….He held up his free hand up to reassure Pip and Hannah, still grimacing, now they all watched as the ball first glowed red then blue to green… settling to an amber glow
“What the Freak?” Avon exclaimed, as he tried in vain to shake the device off, but it only made the tig clamp itself even deeper into the flesh of his hand, then Just as suddenly as the pain started it now subsided, to be replaced by a warm tingling in his finger tips, the hairs rose on the back of his neck and a cold chill ran down his spine.

Tig detached itself, then  began orbiting around Avon, hovering round and round just two hand widths from his head, Avon heard babbling then ‘Yez … yez, yez.’
Ok stop that he thought and ‘Yezz,’ in what to Avon sounded like a robotic voice replied.
Avon found with just a thought he had total recall of the entire encounter with the Monks in every detail, including things he’d not noticed, in total clarity.
“Wow…this is totally cool!” and all that information passed in a nanosecond.
Weapon! The warning in his head showed a scan of Sol and as he turned to face Sol the scan overlapped so he was able to see every concealed weapon on Sol’s body, this process again took nanoseconds, and to all those who observed him since the device was activated was the time it took Avon to say, “Wow…this is totally cool!”
“You’re packing quite an arsenal under those robes of yours aren’t you Sol?”
But Sol just smiled happy in the knowledge his point was proven.
At the command hide given in thought only……tig vanished “oh this is awesome, the Tig has a stealth mode” Avon said to Hannah smiling.
“As you can see Captain, Tig is now part of you…it will enhance you in ways you could never imagine,” Sol said, he also looked satisfied that the gift was well received.
“I don’t know about that Sol, I can imagine quite a lot.”
“No doubt you can,” Sol replied.
The old Monk bowed, “I must return to the Chapel it’s time for prayers, I wish you all a swift journey and with Gods help you will return to us soon.”
“May the 7th bless you my son.”
The parting over, the old Monk returned to the chamber where he and Avon first met.

In a Galaxy Far away…. (Yes it does happen) a team of 10 mercenaries, the meanest scared faced bunch of pirate scum money could buy, had already been sent on the same mission to retrieve the exiled Monk, the leader of this shambolic group is the Celorian Messa Sarktec, a race with grey scaly skin as hard as armour and Messa has a reputation of getting what she sets out for, she’s a grey mean fighting machine. Her Black hair was plaited half way down her back, where the scabbards of the crossed swords met. Messa’s cat like yellow eyes were unblinking as she looked into the eyes of Seth, the man who’s attempt to relieve her of command had just ended badly, she slowly withdrew the sword she had thrust through his throat and into his skull, and his limp body slid down the bulkhead wall. “Get rid of that, sling his stinking carcass out the airlock” she spun round at Fadda and Peke who we’re still frozen in shock at the speed of the attack, “Now!” she screamed waving her hand in rage as she carried on to the bridge.

Well that leaves 9 who are already closer to the Phellentine 7th Fleet then the crew of the Aura.

With Stardrive at full the Aura arrived an hour behind the Mercenaries ship The Cuffa 213.
The Cuffa Crafts were built for speed and the military of Celorian used them as troop carriers and were made to withstand a heavy barrage... the objective was to land as many troops as possible during the first stages of attack.

"So we're here... this fleet use mines to protect the ships and they will attack anything none Phellentine, so we have to find a way round them, My Grandfather used to mask the ship with a fake signature, but they are on to that trick, we will be cut to pieces if we try it." Avon informed Sol.
"Ah... then I suggest you ask Tig for a suggestion."
"Really! That’s your best advice? Ask a computer? Your tactical skills amaze me no wonder you've lived to be so young."
"Try it...what have you to lose?"
"Fine!" Sighed Avon, "Tig..." then he was interrupted by Sol, "use your mind... you will get used to it eventually."
"OK!.." and with his mind he asked, 'Tig...observe our situation,' and the word 'Tig' entered his thoughts in acknowledgement.

'TIG... The information I've gathered would suggest stealth mode will be the most effective.'

"We have a stealth mode?"
"We Do?" replied Hannah and Pip at the same time.
"Snap!" said Pip, with a self congratulating smile at getting the snap in first.
"It's hardly surprising Avon having witnessed the Tig using It." surmised Sol.
"That's fair." Hannah agreed.
"Alright... according to Tig the mines will not detect us in stealth, so it's reasonable to conclude the fleet won't see us coming either," and with his mind he ordered stealth mode engaged.

Unseen by those on board the lettering surrounding the ship started glowing with a florescent blue light…then as if reading an incantation the words lit up one after the other at such a blinding speed the Aura looked as if it had been wrapped in a silk cocoon by a space spider who intended adding it to it’s larder for sustenance later.

If any of the crew stood on the observation deck they would have witnessed this event as the words flashed round the dome and the hull of the ship, but the only thing noticeable was some flickering on the view screen, and they all assumed it was cause by the stealth engaging.
"Here goes nothing... take us in Pip."
"Aye Aye Captain, we have engines at 000001 parsec speed."
"There's no need to speed Pip, just edge us in slowly."
"Aye Aye, slow it is."
There was no sign of the other ship... the fleet with it's massive carriers and cruisers filled the screen.
"There," Pointed Avon, "Take us in to that bilge rats ship."

They came alongside the massive hulk of Admiral Vanlak F Praetor 's flagship and it filled the view screen completely, and they attached the Aura like a flea on a dogs back.

"That was easy!" Pip Pipped in.
"Yes and I hate that," said Avon, and he had the uneasy feeling they were being watched.
“Hannah, put the detention deck on screen.”
“Aye Aye Captain” she spun in her chair, “on screen now, was there any level you had in mind?”
Avon studied the screen, wondering where a sick minded individual would imprison the Ex Monk.
“You could send in the Tig Captain, do you remember Sol said it could be used as a probe, so let’s probe!” Pip said smiling.
“Brilliant! Well remembered Pip.”

And Tig vanishes in the blue beaming light to board in stealth.

On the screen it was evident some sort of siege was taking place on board the carrier, the security detail of 30 were attempting to gain access the level 5 from the south end but the corridor breach doors looked to be on full lock down, and carrier crew had five to unlock or break through before they could engage with the mercenaries, and the Northern and portside of the detention levels were inaccessible due to the Cuffa craft with 213 painted on it’s hull protruding into these lower levels of the ship.

“Well that seems a haphazard way to get through the Fleets minefield… they must have hit the carrier at speed, like a torpedo.” Hannah observed.
“An effective barricade though…so why haven’t the crew’s security team beamed in to gain access?” Sol asked.
“Because,” Avon offered, “the Cuffa ship uses beam blocking as standard, we won’t be getting into that level in a hurry, we would have to fight off the whole crew before we could even think about charging into the Cuffa crew.”

“Well that was a wasted trip then.” Pip remarked to no one in particular.
“We can gain access Avon,” Sol said, but you need to manoeuvre the Aura alongside that lower level, so we can get behind the three aiming the bazooka canons at the access doors.”
“Ok, then what are you thinking we can drill a hole?” Avon asked.
Sol smiled and said, “No we will walk through.”
“Yea…right, that’s going to happen, move us down Pip, we are going to walk through these paper thin Bulkheads, on second thoughts...” And Avon ordered Tig to return and manoeuvre the ship.

"We need to get our war faces on, Sol stay right where you are we'll be right back."
When Avon returned Sol said, "Are we off on a date?"
"You! your wearing makeup, is this some weird ritual I need to know about?"
"Oh, now I understand, you see we have this tradition of wearing war paint to help strike fear into our foes," Avon relied satisfied he'd made an impression.
"Well your looking fabulous." Hannah said, unable to hide her amusement, she was wearing her usual three black finger strokes down her face, with the middle strip travelling the length of her nose and down to her chin.

"What the Freak is wrong with you two?, "He asked,  "Sol, I can possibly understand but you... you know our ways."
"And usually I wouldn't say a thing but your paint has strayed to your upper eye lids, it looks like eyes shadow."
"Really?" Avon walked to the view screen and set it to internal view... then when he saw himself he had to laugh, "I do look rather fetching don't I, well it can't be helped, now are we set?"

As Pip returned he open his mouth to say how lovely Avon looked when Avon cut him off, "Shut up Pip or you will need a real plaster across your nose." because Pip wore a white strip 23mm wide across his face, and travelling across his nose.
"You'd have to catch me first darling," he said instead.
They all laughed and Avon shrugged, "Who knows I may keep it as a look." he laughed as Hannah and Pip were wondering if he was being serious, but the typical laugh gave him away.

As Tig lowered the craft and set down on the level Avon had selected, Sol with outstretched right hand placed it against the wall, and as he concentrated he said, “lower please,” then his body tensed, “Here, this is the entry point, stop here.” He said turning to the others, then in the quiet calm voice they had become accustomed to, he told them, "Listen! you must do as I say, I need you all to hold on to me, if you let go while we are walking you will be forever part of this ship, or the other." He started chanting “trec puc coom, Trec puc coom, trec puc coom.” over and over, while Hannah place a hand on Sol’s left and Pip and Avon took his right.

The stone in his crown started to glow as he step through the hull of the Aura, although the three were tempted to resist, they swallowed a last breath, and followed Sol out through one hull and into another, to the three it felt like walking through silk curtains, and into a summer days heat, which blew into their faces.
“Ok, let’s not do that again,” and Hannah looked green and about to vomit as they step on to the Admirals deck.
“It’s disorientation… it happens, it will pass.” Sol reassured her.
Hannah fell to her knees just as a sword passed over her head, Avon was the first to react and he kicked Messa back 4 metres backwards, where she struck a guard rail hard and tipped over the side falling to the next level, where she landed on her feet.
“Bitch!” Hannah screamed and she jumped over the rail to follow her down.
“Pip move move move, fast, come on move it.” Avon ordered.

Sol was already throwing two three spiked discs towards the Bazooka crew, one struck a Big Veeda warrior in the base of his neck killing him instantly while the other struck the back plate of Peke’s armour where it stuck fast.
Peke was unharmed and turned in a furious rage firing his laser rifle at Sol, who was upside in mid air as he somersaulted across the chamber, and catching the returning disc while he did so, the blue skinned, shark faced warrior fell from his level backwards with his evil razor sharp teeth gnashing as he fell.

Pip followed behind Hannah while Avon ran at the two remaining bazooka crew.

Peke and the other Veeda warrior turned to face Avon, Peke, still firing his weapon cut a jagged black scar across the bulk head wall following Avon’s back.

The Veeda made the mistake of trying to turn to Cannon onto this new threat.

He died as quick as his brother, when the Plasma Sword sliced him in two, and with an upper stroke Avon managed to remove Peke's Rifle with both his arms still attached, cutting him from the elbows down, followed by a vicious kicked that sent the stricken soldier against the doors he was thought to defend, and with a loud clash of Armour on metal he slid to the floor like a limp doll.

Avon turned still running towards the other deck Sol had just landed on, just to see him Sol frozen in thought.
"What's wrong?"
"It has occurred to me, why would they ram their ship into the carrier, knowing they would never be able to back it out after the breach locking fluid had effectively cemented them in?"
"Oh....damn! I should have thought of that..." he touched the communicator, "Pip! return to the ship, I've a feeling the beam will work on this level, but ready yourself, we have guests on board."

"I'll be sure to give them our warmest greeting." Pip assured him, as he hit the retrieval stud at his sleeve, nothing happen! "I can't comply Cap' we're still being block!"

"Right...that would happen... there's nothing we can do about it now, I see you below us, where’s Messa?"

"She slipped into the detention bay, two of her thugs are holding the door shut, but Hannah cut her, she's going to need medical attention."
"Yea, Right I'll make that my first priority when hell freezes." Hannah could be heard saying over the com.
We're coming down... Sol and Avon landed lightly on their feet, hardly making a sound.
Avon looked through the port hole into the adjoining corridor to the detention cells.
"Who's that?" Thug one asked of two.
"I don't know but he's looking fabulous!"
"Isn't he just."
Both thugs from a clan of Tyrrell 6's Station cluster, wore a Tartan sash from a bygone age. Carrying broad sword phasers set to kill, they insured no one would pass alive, should anyone get passed the doors.
Mc Nish had long dark hair, bushy eyebrows and a face that's been hit so many times everything looked broken, with his round fat lipped face pressed against the left porthole he blew a kiss at Avon, daring him to try getting in, his bearded and Ginger hair colleague laughed out loud, until Avon's fist punched the glass, sending the shattered pieces into Mc Nish's face and eyes, making him an impotent threat.

Screaming out he made it clear with some terrible language that he was blind.

Mc Greggor took a step back as the doors were pushed open and holding up his hands, "There's no need for anything hasty here... I'm not prepared to die for a flippin Cup!"

"Fine!" said Pip, stooping to retrieve Mc Nish's weapon, and setting it to Stun, then he shot Mc Gregger who collapsed to the floor next to his pal.
Talking to himself, although Sol assumed he was talking to him, Avon started to count, "Messa had 10 members to her bunch of cutthroats when I last met her, we've taken out three, two here...and Messa so that leaves four unaccounted for, I'd guess they wouldn't have sent less then two to my ship, so where are the other two?"
"With the Monk obviously." Hannah concluded.
"Pardon?" Avon asked still in thought.

"Erin Spectre!" suggested Pip.
"Erin who?" Sol asked puzzled.
"OH YES ERIN SPECTRE! perfect make it happen Pip." Avon ordered.
Still puzzled Sol could only look on as the three of them stood at the detention cell doors.

"Knock Knock!" Avon announced in clear view of the glass plate.
Then a device hidden within the doors Exploded taking the three out with it.
The smoke was chocking, and the gapping hole where the doors once stood was torn with burnt jagged edges.

"Well that went well I thought." laughed Pip.

"Indeed, how rude of them to be so aggressive to cold calling...Who knew?" Avon added.
"So let me get this straight...." Sol interrupted, "This Erin has something to do with Hologram Technology?"
"No! not just something," Pip said still beaming, "She is a Hologram techno genius... she's changed the gaming world forever!"
"A waste of time.....gamers, so annoyingly." Hannah said with conviction as she walked into the room.
"Think of it as mental combat training Hannah," Avon said after her, "with real time reality so real you know your there," Avon informed  the still unappreciative young woman.
"Not impressed Captain." she called back.

Avon stood at the opening to the detention cell control room, where he saw Messa strewn on the floor under the blood smeared wall where her body slid downwards, she was unconscious but not due to her rapid loss of blood, but because of the open wound at the right side of her head, she had been shot with a hot bolt gun, and looking towards the Large man at the desk he saw the hand gun was still smoking, Avon squatted beside her and felt her neck, she was still breathing but not for much longer at the rate of her decline.

And to everyone's surprise the man smirking at them as they entered was the Admiral of the fleet.... he was cupping a  golden upper skull like a half cut ball shaped trophy.

The last of Messa's thugs, who had been manning  another Bazooka cannon, was also shot in the back of the head, but he was seriously dead.
"If you ask me," Avon said shrugging his shoulders, "This party really got out of hand, you people need to avoid each other."

"Well when they said the Monk had the location in his head I didn't think they meant it literally... I mean, look at this beautifully etched map of our universe, this would be the envy of any science museum." Vanlak Said, he voice booming in the 5 metre by 4 metre room.

"Haven't you got a Fleet to run?"
"I've decided to Retire Sagan, when these thugs entered my ship, all I wanted was their crushed bones under my boot... but what I've learnt fascinates me. this is Priceless as you no doubt know, you filthy pirate."
“Enough of the sweet talk Tubby, we’re not here to barter, why are you here?”
“this is my Flagship you buffoon!”
Not here here….. I mean here in this section, how did you get passed this crack team?”
“Oh…that! Well as much as I hate to admit it they caught me off guard, and beamed me here from my cabin where I was sleeping.”
“Well you certainly seem to be on top of things now… so what happened?”
“They got careless and left this gun," he said pointing, "within my reach, but I’m not here to answer your Questions!  I'm going to take your ship and run! but I'm curious... how the satin's pits did you get on board? do you have the beam encryption codes?" When all Avon did was rise his eyebrows  The Admiral shouted, "How did you get on board?”
“I’ve learnt some new tricks that I’m not prepared to share…it’s a secret and if you tell it’s no longer a secret, that's not how secrets are meant to work isn't it?

He looked to Hannah who was examining Messa.
"Would you say Messa is the type to be careless with a weapon Hannah?"
"Only when she's pointing it at me... but if you're asking would she allow one, anywhere near that Gorilla, I'd say no way." Sol stepped forward…. “Allow me to speak please.”
“Fill you’re boots Youngster. It’s your show.”
Avon stepped back out into the corridor, where he paced with frustration at his apparent lack of cool around that arrogant  skunk breathed megalomaniac.

“What’s wrong Cap?”
“Nothing Pip…. I just need to think.”
“Right’O, I’ll leave you to it Captain.”

“Tell me Mr Praetor, what do you want?”
“Is that any  business of yours? I've no need of you, or your childish questions.”
“I’m no child Mr Praetor.”
“And it’s Admiral to you Sonny.”
“Didn’t you not just say you had Retired?”
“Oh I see Sagan has another smart ass in his mists!”
“I represent the owners of the item you feel so priceless, so I’ll ask you one last time, What do you Want?”
“What a insolent 
Child you are?, are you a lost brother of this scum?" He asked indicating Avon with his thumb, "How dare you even look me in the eye… I could crush you like a bug!”
“I very much doubt that Mr Praetor, but never the less I am prepared to make a deal with you for the Map.”
“How would a Trillion Gold Bars suit you….BOY!”
“We have no need of wealth Mr Praetor, so if this is all you require, then you shall have it.”
“REALLY?” called Avon from the hall.
“Yes Really.” Sol answered back.
“Fine! Carry on.” Avon uttered in mock agreement.
“Well Mr Praetor do we have an agreement?”
“And why should I trust the word of a boy and his Pirate friends? Eh? Do I look a Fool?”
“I could answer that.” Offered Avon still pacing.
“Shut Up Scum!”
“Where would you like this Gold sent?”
“Sent?... I’ll take it with me in the Aura.”
Avon step back into the room in a rage…”Over my dead body.”
“You will not be taking the Aura Mr Praetor, be assured of that… but I can provide transport if you need it.”
“I’m betraying the Fleet…Of course I NEED IT!”
“Raising your voice Mr Praetor doesn’t bring your point across any firmer, You will have a ship and your Gold, but to get it you must come with us.”
“Deal! He said spitting into his hand and offering it to Sol, who declined to shake it.
“Fine!” Praetor said wiping his hand down his uniform, “We are in agreement, you would never get passed the quarantine of region 23 anyway, not without my connections.”
“These things can be discussed on board…” Avon said in annoyance, and stooping over Messa he removed a small remote from her belt. 
“I suggest you hang onto something!” he said shooting a grappling bolt into the deck as he fastened the wire to his belt, he then held onto Messa. 
Hannah and Pip had already done the same with their grappling blots.
Sensing what was about to happen, Sol wrapped the sleeves of his robes round  Avon’s wire.
Avon didn’t care if Praetor was ready or not, he pressed the remote self destruct to the Cuffa. And the whole detention deck levels decompressed… sucking anything not screwed down out into space… 
Pip Ducked as first a chair then three cabinets flew over him.

Avon saw that  Praetor was unfortunately still with them.

“Hannah Beam us back.” With a flick of a switch on her cross belts Hannah locked everyone on to a transport beam and while the room still screamed with escaping air the six were transported to the Aura under a blue shimming light.

On board they discovered Two of Messa’s men frozen in an energy field.

Without worrying about their fate Avon beamed them back into the corridor full of the Admiral’s crew.
Quietly he thanked Tig, who was becoming a valuable asset to the Aura and crew.

“That will teach them to keep such bad company, speaking of which get Messa into the Med Bay… I think she has information we will need.”
“If she survives and I do mean If! With the head trauma she’s received I doubt she will have any memory of  who she or what she is, let alone anything that's taken place.”
“We’ll soon know Hannah…plug her in and let the Med Aid Tech deal with her.”
“Aye Aye…I’ll let you know, I’m going to staying with her for quite a while.”
“Fine.” He looked to  the Admiral, “As for you, I haven’t decided what to do with you yet, so until then, hand Sol here the map and Pip will escort you to your cabin.”
“The huge man was about to disagree when a nod from Sol indicated it would be for the best.”
“It had better be better then this Scum bucket of  bridge!”
“Don’t you Worry I’ll see you get the best scatter cushions and scented candles.”
Grunting the Admiral complied, grudgingly following Pip.
“Pip! Lock the door when you leave.”
“Aye Aye Captain.”

“I don’t like this one bit Sol, there’s something fishy going on round here, I wouldn’t trust that man under any circumstances, he’s hiding something… he’s a career Officer… this stinks big time, his predecessor was vaporised on a deck cannon for less, and the dashing Admiral was the one pushing the Button.”
“I understand your worries Avon, I will handle him, but he was right about one thing, we will need his contacts to get through the quarantine, or we will be obliterated as a threat of contamination, because we are going to the Xian Home World.”

"We could use Stealth."
"Not for the length of time would take to pass the two light year parameter, the Galaxy is too afraid of the consequences to risk another out brake of sudden death, we would be detected."
"And you think he could make it happen?"
"Do you have any better idea?"
"Fine, so we wait and see, either way I'm watching him like a Terran Falcon."
"If you feel it necessary."
It's very necessary if you expect a good out come to this venture."

"On my way Hannah," He patted Sol's head, "now you go play nice with that Tub of lard, we need to know what he's up to."
"You can count on it Avon."
As the doors of the Med Bay slid open, Avon saw Hannah studying a blood sample on the view screen.
"Well whats got you so concerned?"
"Take a look for yourself." And Hannah back off the view to show the whole body internal scan.
"Well I see a strong heart beat, the blood flow looks fine, treatment to the head is looking good, with some cell regeneration healing the wound."
"Well she's looking OK to what is that? can you zoom in?"
Hannah zoomed in and the screen was full of blood vessels pumping blood through the body with some additional help.
"Nanites, I should have known, she always healed fast didn't she."
"They are doing more then that Avon... they have been and still are re sequencing  her DNA, what ever she is, she's not Celorian."
"Can you find her real DNA pattern anywhere?"
"I found a small trace which explains her unusual eyes, it appears she is Bristitarian."
"Are you sure?"
"As sure as jammy toast always falls jam side down, Why are you looking so strange?"
"Do you remember the Gwen Fleet?"
"What, the story you told us of the blockade?"
"Yes... Well what I might not had mentioned when the Fleet first encounter the Phellentine 7th Fleet, the cruisers protecting the transport ships abandoned them in order to protect their Carriers, and Mr Charming sharing the delights of this ship destroyed every one of the unarmed ships, and one was carrying the last known members of the Cat people... The Bristitarians."
"You mean he wiped out an entire race?"
"He wiped out more then a Million lives on those transports, and yes he could have wiped out the whole race, we many never know if others survived."
"So someone must have picked up survivors? do you think they may have changed her DNA to save her?"
"One thing I do know, if anyone picked up survivors The Admiral wound have had them blasted out of airlocks... This isn't to hide her DNA, someone wanted to enhance her Body to make a weapon out of her, Celorians are the most feared fighters ever encountered, they are hard to kill, and heal fast."
"I don't understand?"
"I'm saying She was altered to make her a formidable soldier, if it was to hide her true species, whoever changed her could have chosen a thousand other more pleasant races... this was thought out by someone who wanted to control his or her own force."
"Your just guessing, it could have been to protect her and make sure she could defend herself."
"Hmm, maybe but my gut feeling is the one behind this body altering has been using her from the start, this could be bigger then we imagine, lets just say you wanted to make a fortune but you wanted to maintain the appearance of being a humble servant, or Politician, you could effectively make yourself invaluable and insure your never suspected of any wrong doing."
"Wow! where did that come from? we only have this vicious woman, who's hounded us for Like.. Forever! and now you think she's a puppet? I'm not buying it... she's one mean bitch."
"I know your gut's never wrong, which is even more annoying when you think about it, most people use their intelligence to make these assumptions."
"Is she going to live?"
"Yes I think so, she's a tough old bird, but as I told you her memory could be impaired after suffering such a severe trauma to the head,  there's no telling what she will remember."
"These nanites effecting her DNA, can you disable them?"
"To disable those I will have to disable them all, including the ones responsible for keeping her alive."
"That head wound is healing right?"
"So the nanites saved her but they are not doing any more then the Med Aid can cope with... Disable the nanites."
"If you say so... but she'll never survive a shot like that again without them."
"Well she will have to learn to be like the rest of us then won't she."
"Oh harsh, OK I'll  get on to it, you know her appearance will change right?"
 "Yes... let her be 'au naturel' as nature intended, it works for us Right!"
"You did get out of the wrong side of  bed this morning didn't you Mr Grouch."
"Your funny."
"And your weird."
"I've had another Idea."
"Well your full of them today aren't you Captain."
Avon spoke into his whist band, "Sol can you join me in the Med Bay....Pip you too!"
and both confirmed they were on the way.
"Hannah, put a hold on disabling the Nanites for now, I think we can help her regain some memories."
"Really? how?"
"You'll soon find out."

Hannah was still making fun of Avon as Sol and Pip entered the Med bay.
"What's the problem?" Sol asked
"I was about to say the same Cap' is the equipment playing up?"
"No, I just want to help Messa here regain some memory... I think she's had a Mind Wipe, but it's there somewhere we just need to sift through the layers."
"How do you Propose that Avon?"
"Well that's why I asked you here Sol... your a Man train in the mind right? as part of your beliefs?"
"Well yes, with my own people, we can share a single mind if we need to."
"I what you  to try on her," Avon said, indicating the comatose Messa,  and as he did so he felt her pulse in her neck, "I think she's strong enough of mind to take it."
"She won't be conscious Avon, you do know that right?"
"I'm depending on it Hannah."                                                                          .                                
"So what do you want of me Cap'? I've been thinking of going through the archives, I was interested in finding out more about this  Tig thing."
"I want you, my freckly friend, to set up a virtual hologram so we can see her memories."
"OK dissing the freckles again, and What? is that even possible? you know this isn't a film right?"
"Work with Sol, make it happen."
"Avon if I may use Tig, I believe I could use it's mental imagery system to pass on some usable data for Pip to work on."
"Excellent! I can see we make a good team, well I better get on with piloting the ship and I'll send Tig down to you." 
Pip busied himself placing the three triangular 1cm mirrors used to project a holographic image as he did on board the carrier, the sleeve of his left arm held all the computer systems needed to control the stream, he hoped he could use, he tapped in the commands and waited till he had enough data to work with.

Vanlak was fuming in his cabin, he banged his huge fists on the door when he heard the lock engage, he shouted out to Pip before he left, "I'm not your prisoner you space trash, unlock this door at once do you hear me?"
But Pip was well on his way to the Med Bay, and he didn't really care what The Admiral wanted anyway.
"What an idiot," He muttered to himself.
Avon was on his third coffee when Pip announce they had something, So with one last sip he downed his cup.
He figured that this far out in space it was more or less safe to put The Aura on Auto pilot, as long as there were no meteor storms or imminent attacks planned, and that wasn't likely as no one was pursuing them and no storms had been detected.

He entered the Med Bay with his usual smile.
"What have you got for me?"
"Well first off, let me say my Genius with code has paid off, as I've practically rewritten a whole new program."
"I wouldn't expect anything less of you Pip." he answered, winking.

The Admiral paced the room looking for a way out... then he pulled a small communicator from his boot and sat in the hammock, "Are you receiving  Fadda?... Fadda are you there?" realising the ship had some jamming device in operation he grudgingly put the communicator back in his boot. 
He knew Fadda would have escaped His carrier, as there was always a plan B and C to fall back on.

Fedda was on board the Aura with Secorvek the Android when they all returned to send him back to the Carrier, he used a chameleon mask to appear as The Admiral on their arrival on the lower decks, where the massed crew who were attempting to regain control of the detention level were now desperately working to ensure the breach was contained. 
"Captain VeeK why are you not firing on those Pirate scum!"
Alarmed At seeing the Admiral appearing from the shimming blue transporter beam, VeeK just stuttered, " Wa wa  wWhat  ship are you referring to Sir? the Pirates ship detonated and blew a hole big enough for a cruiser the pass through, there's nothing remaining to threaten this ship any longer." 
"You miserable excuse for a Phellentine, I'm referring to Avon Sagan's ship your Cretin."
"I don't understand Sir, we haven't had any reports of the Aura in this sector or detected any other ship." 
"Well How by the fire pits of Krang do you think I got here?"
"I've no idea sir, I believed you were on the Bridge!"
"On the!..... Lieutenant Grum! Take command and have this man ejected from my ship."
"At your Command Sir." and he ordered three marines to escort the captain to the nearest airlock.
"I've done nothing WRONG! I'm in command here Grum stand your men down at once."
"Sorry Sir you're no longer an officer on this ship, by the guidelines of  fleet Command order 55678-a delta you are to be removed of Command, and ejected into space."
"You FOOLS! you're being led by a mad man!"
"When your done Grum, ready my private craft for immediate departure, tell Hellec and his eight marines to join me in the transport  hanger.... You have your orders now carry on, you are promoted to Captain as of now and have full command of this ship until Admiral Secca arrives, are we clear?"
"All clear and by your Command Sir!"
"Good, I will deal with Avon Sagan and his scum of a crew myself, it's time to cleanse this Sector of their kind once and for all."
"At your Command Sir, good Hunting."

'Tig' announced himself in Avon's mind to inform him it had blocked an outgoing signal.
'Well we know who that will be.' he told himself.
"Oh nothing for you to worry about Sol."
"Carry on Pip, you say you have something?"
"Yes... are you ready to send Sol?."
"Yes Pip, I'm ready, but please allow me to get comfortable, I will need to clear my mind." and as he spoke he sat crossed legged on the floor.
"Do you need a cushion Sol?" Hannah asked, concerned that the hard floor wasn't her idea of comfortable."
"Believe me Hannah compared to the rocks they give you to sit on, this floor 'Is' a cushion." Avon assured her.
Sol said nothing, but he did have a broad smile on his face as he sat bolt upright with his hand laying lightly over his knees palms up.

A scene from a child's past filled the room.
"You must go to the shuttle Saveena, hurry now my sweet child." 
And an Adult cat like female spoke directly at them, she was wearing a golden jumpsuit with an jade silk over jacket, her skin was smooth and the colour of shadow, as you'd expect from a race of hunters, her oval human like face was exquisite, with a button nose, and her cat like eyes stood out a vivid green in contrast to her skin. her pointed ears and hair was hidden under the jackets hood.

"Man, she's beautiful." Pip blurted out louder then he intended. 
"Wait! I remember these people!" Avon blurted out in surprise, "So is this 'Her' people?" he asked Hannah.
"I guess so, I don't know anyone who's met them, I could search the archives, I'm not even sure if any survive today." Hannah replied looking quizzically at Avon.
"This is one of the ships under attack when the Gwen abandoned them, Fabian put me on board to help evacuate any survivors, while my parents and brother worked on the other ships."
And as soon as it was said a 15 year old Avon appeared reaching out to take her hand.
"Come with me, I have your pilots readying ships in your shuttle bay."
"Her name is Saveena, please you must take her, I need to find her bothers," then the mother whispered to Avon, "Her fathers dead, please hurry," then louder, "I'll meet you there."
"Come Saveena, it's time to leave this party," He handed her a lemon and lime flavoured Lollipop, from his pocket, but she spat it out, "Yea, maybe not to everyone's taste I guess, come little one, we must run!"
They ran through the corridors then down three flights of stairs, as it wasn't safe to use the turbo lifts.
The Hanger was swarming with people and crew.
A shuttle pilot was about to close his hatch and lift off when Avon leapt on to the deck pushing a protesting crewman aside.
"She won't take up much room," he said leaving her.
One of the surviving Bristitarian females took her in her arms, "She'll be fine with us, thank you."

The memory faded as did the image.
"I can't believe she's the same girl? I mean.... Look at her now!"
"It's genetic  alteration Pip, she will soon transform back to her former self, once I disable some nasty Nanites!" 
"Ready? Wow, if she's anything like her mother she's going to be a Babe!" 
Three unimpressed faces forced him to add, "I mean, she'll be very different."
"Well, it won't quite happen that quickly, her skin is tough, it will take a while for her to shed it."
"Shed it?"
"Yes Pip, like a snake, it will become dry and flaky... but this current skin is as hard as an Armadillo, you remember them don't you?"
"NO! why would I know that?" Pip exclaimed, gesturing with his arms out, "I'm a Space brat remember?"
"OK you two, lets get back to it... Hannah, she will remember this now I take it?"
"Yes I believe she so, the nanites have rebuilt her brain tissue, so now it has something to store."
"Right I can see this will take some time, you three keep working I'll be at the helm, if anything important to our safety comes up, call me, otherwise I'll be heading to Zereon we will be there in two clicks."
"Hey Cap'!"
"What is it Pip? It better be good."
"You were a babe to fella." said Pip laughing, and Sol and Hannah couldn't help but laugh too.
Avon tuned to leave, "Yea, well you've either got it or you Ain't Pip." 

"Have you found Them?" Hellec asked Fedda.
"We don't need to find them."
"We Don't?"
"No... because we know exactly where they are going, only now we can get there before they even arrive." Fedda held up a clearance Disc for the Xain sector. 
"And we can give them a very warm reception."

Two hours later the Aura was orbiting Zereon, it was here the Galactic Enforcement for Interstellar Peace and Law was based; considered one of the oldest planets, it was here The Great Minds of Heira first reached out to other civilised worlds to ensure Peace and gain Allies in it's wish to protect all the known Galaxies.  
The  grave yards held the last resting places of Aliens seen as Gods in some Worlds.
Representatives from every know plant with sentient life, were chosen by The Heira for their special abilities and inherent goodness found in their soul, beings that had shown an advanced state far beyond others of their worlds, were trained to use these powers for the good of all races.

"You want to go to Xain Major for what reason?"
"As I stated to your Minister for Universal Safety, we believe there is a risk to all life, still laying somewhere on that Planet, and Sol here represents..." But Avon was cut off.
"I, Mr Sagan know exactly Who Sol represents, and I will welcome his council," The White faced bug eyed Alien raised his monobrow and added, "Alone Mr Sagan if you don't mind, can you be so kind as to wait here, my assistant will bring you and your companions refreshments."
In his red and green finely patterned robes with golden edging, SpiraZat Varg  Looked like a King among peasants, he was 244 cm tall and he looked down on the Crew of the Aura as he rose from his seat that sat behind his finely polished Gray stoned desk.
SpiraZat was a Pareediean, a race with a flesh so white it seemed to glow, their heads looked to hold a huge brain, mainly due to the  large round black eyes being set two thirds down their skull, if you over look the large brain the remainder of the face had a oval shape, with breathing gills on his neck he had no need of a nose and his mouth was average sized for a human, so it looked small on his large head.
He escorted Sol to a private chamber.
"Well that's typical isn't it, we have that  fat Admiral gloating about his special connections, and it turns out we don't need him after all!"
"Good job we didn't bring him down with us then," Pip offered, taking a hot drink of Passion Berry from the Ministers assistant.
"I should of ejected him, why Sol insists we drag his fat backside along with us I'll never know."
"I think before this day ends we will know," Hannah said, as she took an iced Keva Beer.
"I'll have an Earth Cider if you have it, cold without ice.... who does that too cider?" 
"We do indeed have Earth Cider Sir, do you have a particular favourite?"
"Surprise me... I like surprises."
Very well sir, may I suggest you all wait in the main gallery, the view form the domed lounge is rather lovely at this time of day."
"Very well....Thank you, Can you bring a menu with that drink I'm famished."
"Of course sir, how remiss of me not to ask."
The three walked on through the large gathering hall into the Gallery, the mix of seating was designed to cope with the variety of  races who visit, in the hopes of getting a favourable outcome to disputes over their civil rights or property.
Hannah headed to the edge of the dome and sat at a chair with a lengthened seat to allow the occupant to lounge. she sat resting on her side with her elbow supported on the armrest, "Ah... this is the life, a lady of leisure that's me, Oh and isn't this just lovely, I could get used to this." She affirmed as she stretched out, placing her drink on the green glass topped table.
"So how much do we know about Messa now?"
"You mean Saveena Cap', "
"Whatever!.. So what have you found out?"
"From what we can piece together so far, her craft was damaged, and picked up by the Fleet and the then Admiral was replaced by Vanlak as you told us.
"Hmm... Interesting, so that's when he really took command."
"It appears so yes." Hannah conceded.
"There was something else Cap' but we didn't want you going into one of your strike first ask questions later faze."
"Really? And what was that?"
"Well at first we thought we were viewing her memory as you'd expect, only knowing her age at the time Hannah believes someone grafted a part of his own memories on hers in order to aid his control over her mind."
"And what makes you think it's a He?"
Embarrassed Pip looked to Hannah for support, and as he reached for a audio play back jack to plug an ear piece, she nodded, there was no way Pip was going to use wireless ear pieces, that would get Hacked in seconds.
Avon heard a crackle then the unmistakable voice of the Admiral. 
"I want you to fire of that shuttle before they reach The Aura."
"But sir they are unarmed?"
There sound of a laser blast then, "Does anyone else here question my orders?"
"No sir." was the reply from more then one man.
"Peke take over, fire on the shuttle now! Fadda your with me, we will negotiate an offer for the ownership of this station"
"You mean Kill all who disagree?"
"Do you have to ask?"
"Just making sure we're on the same page Sir."
While listening Avon's jaw visibly tightened and the scar there seemed angrier as it reddened, and he clenched his fists.
He stood, "I'm going to cut that ugly head right off his shoulders!"
"No!" they both said at once, then Hannah continued, "Sol asked us to talk you through this, he needs Vanlak  on the Planet when we arrive."
With an evil shout  Avon screamed, "Why?"
"He's Xian Avon."
"It's true Cap' Sol believes he altered his DNA like he had Saveena."
"he also believes those he places his trust are also Xian Avon," Hannah said, and she wished she could take that hate from his eyes. 
"Freaken Xian!! Is he kidding me?"
"Your Drink sir and a menu, can I recommend the lassian steak? it's so tender this early in the season."
"No, I've lost my apatite."
"Will your companions?"
 "No they wouldn't."
"Well I was just thinking of hav..... no nothing for us." Pip agreed.
Avon downed his drink in one... 

And in a ship not so far away... "Peke, what do you think of your new arms? pretty cool eh?" Fadda asked.
"As long as I get to strangle Sagan with them, they will do."
"but they come with a freaken Laser man... that's so cool."
"How would you like me to arrange for you to have some?"
"Hey! no need to get touchy my friend, I came back for you didn't I"
"Avon sent you back to the ship you bakat! you never came back for anyone."
"Well I saved you just the same, so be grateful."

Avon had calmed a little when Sol returned unaccompanied.
"We can leave as soon as your ready Avon."
"Well isn't that honky dory, so how long have you known about our guest?"
"I'm sorry Avon, I was going to tell you at an appropriate time, I wasn't to know about his private army," He paused to look sincerely in to Avon's eyes, "He knows the Xian ways, Avon, he he's able to regain their technology and reestablish links with the old fighting force, this galaxy and many others will be torn apart!, The Heira asked me here, these are dangerous times Avon, if he rules the old Xian elite you and many others will be swotted like flies. We can't allow these old ways to return."
"Well if I cut his head off all will be sorted then won't it?"
"No! Then why not?"
"We don't know how deep this goes, he could already command a force bigger then any of us can even know, He has to show his hand Avon, and he will do so on Xian Major."

Avon unable to speak in frustration began pacing the hall.... but after the rage he felt subsided he returned to the others, who where now eating at the table.
"Yum... looks lovely I'll have the same as them if you could be so kind? what is your name by the way? and the Human assistant for the minister replied my name is Emilia."
Then for the first time from beneath her blonde curls she noticed her beautiful hazel eyes. 
"Will you join us?"
That's most kind of you but I'm going to decline, we were not meant to meet for another three years."
But Emilia had already turned to stride off, giggling to herself as she left.
"Could this day get any stranger?" He asked no one in particular.
"Probably Cap'... In fact I'll bet you it does."
"Shut up and eat Pip, you need some meat on your bones, and beside I don't pay you so you've nothing to bet with."
"Well there is that I suppose."
"Avon, may I ask... you are all good friends, practically family, so why do they refer to you as Captain?"
It's tradition Sol, my family have sailed space since man first took to the heavens, I even called Grandfather Captain."
"Ah... So it's a term that allows you to remember them."
"You know I've never thought of it in that way... But yes I believe your right, and when the last of us is Captain, then they can remember all those who came before too, Isn't that right Pip?"
"Captain Pip does have a ring to it." he said smiling.
And the friends ate their fill.
Avon stood to leave, and return to the transport area, because it was still illegal to beam in or out of an undesignated area, when he was approched by a two headed female Vyven, a creature who's natural environment was under the sea of Jenuvern , but a sophisticated suit held all her bodily needs long enough to survive on land, well at least for for short periods, until they had to return to their fluid filled ships.
"I'm a medium!"
"You look more a laar..."
"They are trying to warn you!"
Avon looked about him, "Who, exactly?"
"The four at your Shoulder!"
"look spooky lady, I haven't time for this." 
"You Will Die under Two red Suns!"
"Well if you have to go, I always insist on topping up my tan for the wake."
"You mock me! but I see them!"
Avon tipped back the last of his drink, "Two more of these and I'll be seeing them too!"

As they all walked through one chamber to the next Hannah asked, "What was she going on about?"
"Nothing to worry your pretty head about Hannah."
Which left her feeling even more concerned.

Back on board the Aura Avon asked Pip to take over as pilot, while he and Sol went to the observation deck to make plans for their arrival.

Over the com's Pip asked "Is it really practical to monitor two parsec of space Hannah?"
"They have been doing so for 200 years Pip, and each machine is capable of replicating it's self once a day, using the same beaming technology we use to transform any matter, which would then be converted in the beam, to manufacture replica parts, after all you can't build something from nothing."
"Blimey! that's a lot of ships, so where does all this materials needed to build come from?"
"Monitor platforms Pip, far lethal than ships and armed to the teeth, the materials come from everything the Xian left behind Pip... from the humble pen to the Massive Fleets."
"I see, so if anyone gained Xian Tech..."
"Then they would be able to have control over the Platforms, yes Pip, and if they are used in force, they would be unstoppable, even if we merged every ship of the current fleets they would just be like drips in a bucket."
"I was going to say like flies round a massive...."
and interrupting Hannah chided, "Shut up Pip." 
"Pie." Pip continued unabated.

Even with the clearance disc's giving out the required signals, some of the platforms moved to intercept, filling the screen with their huge mass.
Sensing more then seeing Pip knew he was no longer alone on deck, "Ugly but effective... just like it says in the manual." Pip chirped.
"What's our arrival time Pip?"
"Four more Clicks Cap',"
"In that case, go free the Ape, and return to the Med Bay with Hannah."
"Where do I allow our guest to go?"
"Don't worry he''ll head right for us, his urge to kill is strong."

On his release from confinement Vanlak was intent on taking out his frustration on the young Pip, so he barged through the door, but Pip always light on his feet side stepped and the weight of the man took him forward to land heavily on the far bulk head. 
Pip just smirked and headed to the Med Bay.
"You insolent Pup! where is HE!"
"Let me see....last I saw we where hurtling through space being hassled by bigger brutes then you, so I don't know what goes on on your Carriers but here we like to be on the bridge."
"Bugh!" and Vanlak pushed off the wall and headed to the bridge even more intent on hurting someone.

"How did you get the Clearance!"
"What! Without you you mean?" Avon answered, spinning round in his chair to face the man who killed his family.
"They don't give them to Pirates!"
"Well it's a good job I'm not one then isn't it, is there anything else? because from where I'm sitting you look pretty unless to us..." Seeing the Admiral's fists clench he added, "I'd think twice about the next thing you say to me on MY ship, I've had a trying day." Avon spun back to view the forward screen.
"You there Priest or whatever you are... come with me."
Avon looked at Sol to gauge his reaction, but Sol's features never altered in the slightest, he still had a grace about him.
"Very well Admiral, please I'll meet you  in the ready room shortly, can I have a moment?."
Huffing the huge man left cursing.

"I have to admit Avon you have far greater control of your temper then we have been led to believe."
"Really? So where did you learn of this?"
"Survivors of the Station, where you attacked a ships crew."
"Humm .... yes well it was a concern for my Grandfather too, it was his will that I focus my energies away from uncontrolled flaring,  he told me it would only end wasn't easy.

"In this case I'm pleased, and I'm happy these stories are now unfounded."
"Hold on there... I'm all for keeping those impressions circulating, it saves a lot of effort."
"Your secret is safe Avon." and for the first time Sol bowed and touched his forehead and gestured with the palm up.
"Is this a good thing?"
Most definitely."
"Well anyway as for the Temper, we worked on it, I broke a few things and we worked on it some more....I'm a changed man," then leaning back in his seat he shouted back, "Hey! Van Man... if you need help shedding some of that extra weight you're carrying let me know and I'll cut your head off!"
Sol tilted his head to study Avon's face, "You seem to have a knack at making others angry however."
"It's a gift." Avon said, as Sol followed the now bellowing Vanlak.

"Cap' can you come to med... someones awake."
"On my way Pip."

On the Home Planet of the Xian the welcome committee was setting up a perimeter, which didn't include bunting as you'd expect from  a ragtag bunch of killers.
Fadda was shouting orders while Peke marvelled at how quick and strong his new arms were, "I should of cut my old arms off years ago!" he announce.
"Well you soon changed your tune, I've always looked after you haven't I?"
"Yes... Well I never asked to have them removed at the time, but now," and he laughed, "this is much better, fancy an arm wrestle?"
"We haven't time for messin about, get yourself hidden, I want us ready for the  old man, and those pirates will be here soon."
 Fadda thanked his lucky stars that he'd had the chance to glance at the map on board the Carrier, or they could have ended up searching the entire planet for Avon and his crew.
McGreggor was also keen to reacquaint himself with Avon, as he had to abandon his blinded colleague back on the Carrier.

"What's new Hannah?"

"The nanites have done all that's needed so I've disabled them, they have already passed through her systems, she's clean, and surprisingly awake."
"if you call eyes rolling and moans awake." Pip added to clarify her current status.
Avon looked down at the once leathal Messa, her one grey skin was dry and peeling,  making it look white.
"How much will she remember?"
"She will remember the younger you, that we know for sure, so maybe she will react kindly to your presents, she will remember being shot in the head by Vanlak so he's won no friendship medel's there, we saw some sketchy bits of her training, also more of her family life on her home planet, but having said that, we will either have the crazed killer we all know and love, or someone completely different."
"Oh please let it be the crazed killer, I loved her eyes when she got mad."
"Shut up Pip!" they both said.
"Shutting up."
"Well Sol seems to be keeping Tubs busy, so is there any way to revive her now?"
"Of course, if you're sure."
"I'm not saying I'm sure, but we need to know who's side she's on before we get to that Planet."
"Well the restraints are on but I advise standing back." 
Hannah used the med-gun to administer a stimulant through the skin, this wasn't the syringe of old, this blew the chemical through the skin and directly into the blood stream, usually leaving a slight blemish to the skin, but in this case nothing changed. 

Her eyes opened and the once yellow eyes had the most beautiful turquoise colour around her cat like opaque pupil. 
"Nice." Pip blurted before holding a hand to his mouth.
Her eye moved and dilated until they adjusted to the light, then as she focused on Avon's face hovering over her she moaned, "Whaaa...Where am I?"
"Hello, your on board The Aura, do you know it?"
"Should I?"
"Possibly but that's not important, do you know who you are?"
"I'm......I'm.... Who am I?"
"Good question and I'm glad you asked," said Pip, immediately taking the seat meant for Avon, to hold her hand as he spoke.
Avon amused said, "Have you met Dr Pip?"
"No.... he seems very young for a Doctor."
Pip was beaming from ear to ear. 
Hannah now chipped in, "I suggest more rest, are you Hungry?"
"Yes...I feel I haven't eaten in days."
"Chicken soup and a bun coming up!" Pip said jumping from the seat and heading to the galley without waiting her answer.
"Hum.... I hope you like chicken?" Avon asked.
"I don't remember it? what is a Chicken?"
"Another good question and one scientist have been asking for years, I'll leave you with Hannah here," he gestured, "If you remember anything or want to ask anything, she will call me."
"OK..... I think."

The Admiral was blocking Pip in the galley when Avon arrived.
"What are you up to Tubby?"
"You will talk to me with repect or not at all!"
"Hum, not at all it is then, but if you want to keep that arm I suggest you let Pip pass."
Grunting in rage Vanlak swung his massive arm only to strike the balk head behind Avon.
"Temper temper, didn't your tubby mother teach you anything?"
"I will KILL YOU!"
"Keep that thought I'm rather busy at the moment."
Avon waited only to see that Pip was allowed to pass, then he pushed Vanlak towards the Bridge. 
"Come on you, we will be at Xian Major soon, you could have used the shower in your room you know, it was free, I'm sure we can have a chat about over things after we conclude our business with Sol.

Reluctantly the Huge man moved, he knew there was nothing he could really do on board this ship, what he assumed would be a classic drive station, turned out to be a telepathic linked drive, and he had no way of controlling it.

Sol was at the drive station, "We have arrived," he announced.
"Good lets get down there." Vanlak said, keen to be off this ship and somewhere where he could control events.
"I need to anilyse the atmosphere before I we go anywhere," Avon barked. 
"Very well, then lets get on with it, I don't what to be on this toilet any longer then I need to."
Avon raised his eyebrows, "How were you expecting to get home?"
The Admiral just huffed and sat down, and the chair creaked under his weight.
Pip joined them having taken the soup to the med bay, "Someone needs a chill pill I see, wasn't your bowl of gruwett worms to your liking?"
"Shut Up!"
Pip laughing added, "Shut up is my second name, and I call them Gruwett Worms because I grew it myself, did you see what I did there Cap'."
"Unfortunately Pip Yes."

Sol was just looking in wide eyed wonder at Avon, "Hey, don't look at me pal, you volunteered for this remember? This is about as sane as it gets."
Over the com Avon told Hannah to put her war face on, Pip sprayed his one stripe and Avon painted his blue.
"Let's get it on crew.... the eagle has landed."
Avon always used the Eagle when they were planning a surface attack.
"Admiral your with me," Pip told him.
"Why aren't we going down together? What tricks are you playing here?"
"Rule one Tubs.... never put your eggs in one basket, we scatter." Avon told him.
"Hannah are you ready?"
"Aye Aye Captain." 
Avon beamed Sol and Hannah down together... then Pip and the Admiral.
Before Sol had left, he asked in private, "Why do you call The Admiral names? isn't it rather childish?"
"Maybe, but my Grandfather always maintained an angry opponent is an easy opponent."

He knew Hannah would have sedated Saveena, so it was just left for him to beam down.... "Wait!" the voice of Tig said in his head.
'There is another vessel in orbit Captain.'
Avon was so shocked that anyone else could be here that he completely missed the fact Tig was taking on a personality all of his own, and called him Captain, as all members of the crew did.
"Where is it? and have they detected us?"
'I believe we have been detected Captain, would you like me to disable the ship?'
'Yes do it... I don't want anyone joining us on the surface."
'There are 8 life signs plus our crew on the surface Captain."
"Freak! OK..."
"Crew we have company where ever you are duck down out of sight."
Over the com there was the sound of a blast...
"I'm here Captain, the noise was over by Pip."
"Pip? are you alright?"
Tig anounced 'there are no life signs from Pip's suit Captain.'
"That fat did he get a blaster?"
'I can only anilyse factual Data Captain, but if you will allow me to surmise, I believe a weapon was left there for him.'
'you mean he's connected with those on the surface?.... Damn it... I should have known by the way he was tip toeing round me.'
"Hannah, can you see Pip?"
"No, but I know where he is, I saw Sol heading there."
Avon thought for a moment.... he had left Sol alone with the Admiral, could he be working for him?.
"Hannah punch in Pip's last coordinance, I'm coming down, I suggest you move and keep moving outward, you are surrounded, four are stationed behind you, do you have any thermal detection Grenades?"
"Throw two at whatever cover there is behind you."
He heard the blasts.... and three of the life signs flashing in the map in his mind were extinguished.
"Good Girl, I'm beaming down."
Avon materialised in a mix of blood and fire... Pip was nowhere to be seen but he did catch the Admiral running into an old hanger almost hidden in undergrowth.

Unbeknown to Avon, Sol had turned in time to see the Admiral about to fire on him, then somersaulting backwards he landed and ran round the outcrop where Pip and the Admiral had been standing, he heard the shot, and was in time to see Pip falling to the ground, he ran at the Admiral who now had his back to him, then he did something out of desperation, because he had no reason to believe what he was about to do would possible, this was not how he was trained to think, but being in this form in the company of the crew was making him more human and irrational.
He wrenched the crown from his head, which was connected directly to his brain, blood was pouring form his wounds and he felt sick and dizzy, but he leapt taking the Admiral by surprise and sliced his blaster in two, then as he was about to strike again the huge man slammed him to the ground and stamped hard on his chest forcing all his breath out, but even while he fell he ran a small blade down the mans leg and into his foot, Screaming out in pain the Admiral fled, kicking Sol into the bolder by Pip... 
Reaching out Sol placed the crown on Pip... the tendrils entered his brain and he simply vanished.
Rolling over in pain Sol wiped the blood from his eyes... he saw movement to his right and ran at them, throwing the three bladed disc.

Avon ran to the hanger, tucking in behind some shrubs at the entrance, "I'm coming for you Admiral." 
"Be my guest, It's time you saw who's in charge round here."
there was a deep Hum coming from within the hanger.
"What are you up to Admiral? don't make me come in there and beat you with your own arms."
He only heard laughter.... that insane laughter all mad men had.
'Captain,' Tig said in his mind, 'I believe he has found the device.'
"Crap!... you mean he has the goblet or what ever the heck it is?"
'It's a transmitter Captain, more sophisticated then your human mind could ever envisage.'
"Transmitter for what exactly?" he unintentionally said out loud.
'It's a multiphasic re-dimensional transmitter Captain.'
With it deactivated this planet and all its cities will rejoin us in this existence.'
"And it's people?"
'Yes Captain and it's people.'
'So the Xian where never really destroyed after all.... they were just out of phase with the rest of us.'
'You learn fast Captain.'
'I'm a geni..... Oh never mind, So why were we not told?"
'That is Sol's decision Captain, you could say it was his Sol purpose....did I make humour Captain?'... it is he who is assessing you.'
'No you made a quip. What do you mean assessing?' 
'Assessment is where an individual or many individuals are...'
'I know what is means.... Why are we being assessed?'
'Your suitability Captain, you are using technology belonging to an highly advanced race, and they have abilities far greater then you can comprehend.'
'Ok... Just tell me this after, what do we need to do now, can you stealth me?'
'Before the device was deactivated yes.... but the planet is now drawing all the energy it can find, soon I will be depleted.'
'You mean dead!'
'That is another term I could have used, thank you for the correction Captain.'
'What about the Aura? is that being drained?'
'No captain it is shielded.'
'Return to the ship at once.'
'Returning now Captain.'
As soon as Tig was gone Avon realised all the planet telemetry went with him.
I should have asked Tig to leave a route map.... never mind, he thought.
Hannah hissed, "Over here!"
Avon joined Hannah in the undergrowth, she looked exhausted, "You must return to the ship Hannah."
"Where is Pip did you find him?" 
"Pip is dead Hannah."
"NO!...he can't be dead I ....I saw him."
"Did you pick up life signs from his suit?"
"No.... but all my readouts are acting crazy!" she showed Avon the screen on her wrist."
"Well I'm informed the item we came here for has been deactivated, everything with a power source is being drained, you can put you're guns away they won't work here now."
Hannah was trying hard not to get emotional.
"Look, I hate to bring this up because I know it's a touchy subject with you, you lost your family in a heated battle caused by the Admiral, I never mentioned his involvement because you needed training, my Grandfather and I couldn't  tell you because you would have looked for vengeance, and you were no match for him then. Look I know you are close to Pip, he's like a brother to you, you've grown up together, your suit is now subject to this planets power consumption, I need to find the Admiral and you need to return to the ship before it's to late to do so, I must reactivated the device."
"I don't understand, Why was it active? wasn't it just a vessel to hold the power to target DNA?"
"Ah.... about that," Avon look round but felt no immediate threat, so he ducked back down.
It's more then we thought, it is some kind of phase altering device that targeted the Xain, The Xian.... Well they never left, they were all brought here to exist in another dimension, it seems the 7th wasn't the cause of a mass distinction after all, what a bunch of softies." He look into Hannah's eye's to judge her reaction.
"So they are still here, all the buildings all the people are invisible to us now?" 
"The old building here have deteriorated because we only see what was here before, in their Dimension I imagine everything has been maintained or even rebuilt, and they will be back if I don't reactivate it somehow, and we could end up crushed under the new city they must have made, so you must leave." 
"I can't leave, you need me!... without Pip, it's just the two of us, you know we can no longer trust Sol, you'll be alone here."
"It's Too dangerous for you."
"What do you mean? what's happening?"
"Reversing this devise has cause an energy drain like I've said, so it's compensating by drawing what ever energy it can find," He pointed to her Hand guns, and I've told you your weapons won't work, but I could use your swords."
Avon looked beyond Hannah and shouted out a warning, "Behind you!"
as she spun around to look, Avon punched the beam retrieval, and drew her Sword, she vanished in the blue shimmering haze.
"If I survive this there will be one piss off girl waiting for me." he said aloud.
"I guess so." Sol said as he collapsed beside Avon, he'd lost a lot of blood, his face and upper torso was completely red.
"This body hurts."
"Well what do you expect? I imagine you Unie live a life of pure energy right?"
"You got me... yes we do, and in a realm untouched by other beings, we evolved centuries ago, we have no need of flesh and bone."
"But you felt bad about all that tech you left behind, so you had to stop the Xian from gaining an unfair advantage over other races...yes?"
"When did you figure that out?" Sol asked, and even his blood stained face couldn't hide that inquisitive stare.
"When you gave me the Tig, for a people supposedly absorbed in a religious cult you knew a lot about the Unie."
"Well in your talk I guess I'm busted."
"Indeed you are, so I assume I can trust you? What do we do?"
"This is my responsibility Avon, you return to the ship, it's going to get messy down here if I get my way."
"Big talk from one so young, and look at you! you're already a mess, those stains don't budge, I know, I've tried."
"I'm 456 of your years old Avon, I'm hardly young."
"Well I signed on for the duration so get used to the idea."
"Very well... There are only about three members of Vanlak's team left." 
It was Avon's turn to do the stare.
"I've been busy... I saw Hannah leave so, I hoped I could get you to do the same, it's us against 4."
"I feel sorry for them already, it seems so unfair."
"Indeed," Sol stood wobbled and Avon took his weight.
"Give me a sec OK."
"Take your time old man."
They both had a smile on their faces at that.
Now both ran into the hanger where Avon slid to the left and Sol leapt to his right...
Avon almost took Peke off his feet as he slid into him, but he was off balance long enough for Avon to swing Hannah's Sword and remove his new arms... "Sh...." then he removed his head before he had time to say more, after all it was he who fired on his Family, and his death was long over due.
Sol was weak but to those he was up against he didn't show it, Mc Greggor was dead before he even saw him, Fadda was behind Avon lifting his Gun when Sol's disc struck him in the throat. Avon only heard him fall before he was aware of him even being there. He nodded his thanks, even though his weapon wouldn't have fired, he had enough sense, once he'd realise to slip a knife into Avon's back.

In the middle of the hanger was the unmistakable form of the Admiral, there was a mad activity of gold flashes as the  Monk's ancient device spun at incredible speed.
"You can't stop it now....MY PEOPLE ARE RETUNING!"
The Admiral knew he was untouchable now... so he didn't bother trying to kill them, as he now preferred the idea that they witness his greatest achievement , his glorious moment, he would be a hero to his people, and his reward would be great. plus he felt his people would carry out a far more painful punishment for these two scumbags.
"Do you trust me Avon?" 
"Of course....Why? what are you thinking?"
"May I have your Sword?"
Avon handed over the sword and in a blur Sol hit the beam retrieval for Avon and he was gone just as Hannah.
He slowly walked toward the Mad Man, who's mind was clearly deranged, he knew The Admiral would never receive recognition or reward from the Xian because he wasn't pure Xian.
"What you have not calculated for Vanlak, it that the  destruction of this device while it's running will destroy this world and your people for ever!"
And with a flash of red, as the finely polished sword reflected Sol's blood drenched body, the blade cut through the spinning gold... there was a sound as if all the air was being sucked into the fragmenting object.
Sol hit his retrieval while the Admiral just stood open mouthed unable to move.

When Sol appeared on the Bridge he shouted for all the hear... "Tig override safety protocaols light speed now, give our trajectory your best shot.....punch it!"
Avon and Hannah just had time to grab the straps to their seats as the ship moved faster then a human could bare and they both blacked out.

As The Aura powered passed the grand structures they all exploded one after the other in a chain reaction.

In the part of space that once contained a world of the Xian race there now existed the largest  Blackhole ever recorded, and a huge power source that was much appreciated by the surrounding systems.

The old Monk was standing over the waking forms of Hannah and Avon.... "Did anyone take the space number of the ship that hit us?" Avon asked looking up.
Seeing the Monk he added, "Oh please tell me you put some money aside to purchase some scatter cushion?"

Sol, close to his fathers side helped them both to there feet.... 

"You should see the reality suite they have here Cap'." Pip said joining them
Avon blinked.... and as much as he was glad to see pip alive he had to asked, "How?"
While Hannah just ran over and hugged him, screaming, "PIP!" and jumping like a school girl at a football match.
"The crown was made for me to allow me to return to my people Avon, I had no idea it would work for a human, we have ways of restoring damaged bodies if we catch it quick enough, Pip was still alive when I reached him, I had little time and even less options."
"But why is he still wearing your crown?"
"That's easy Cap' it can't be removed, I would die if I tried what he did," he said punching Sol's arm in a brotherly way, "it comes with cool stuff too."
"Yes like walking through walls." Hannah said, still overjoyed to see Pip again.
"We owe you a great debt Sol, how can we repay you?"
"My Son would like to join your Crew Avon, he can no longer return to his previous form, when he gave Pip the crown he gave up his immortality too."
"Yes Avon I would be happy if you'd accept me." Sol said bowing like he had before.

"And I would also like to join you." Saveena said now entering the chamber and Avon's eyes almost popped out of his head, she was now fully recovered and her skin was as dark as night and as smooth as silk, her ears were pointed as Avon's  Great Great Great Grandfather's old Entertainment disc's showed of a character called Spock.
she wore a silk tunic that complemented her eyes perfectly.
"Are you sure you want to join us? it can get very dangerous out there?"
"I wouldn't have it any other way Captain."
And Pip Jeered, "OH you're saying Captain already... you'll go far."
"Lets hope so."

So now with his motley crew of four strange and wonderful beings, Avon and the Aura Ventured out into the vastness of Space. 

No comments:

Post a Comment