A lone ringed planet lies ahead as the United Territories Frigate Alexandra moves across the otherwise vast emptiness of space. Captain Charles Anders stands front and center on the bridge, politely sipping tea and admiring the view. He stands proudly, full of age and wisdom, as technicians, navigators and the like shuffle about.
He turns to a young officer at a nearby console. “Surveillance, report.”
“The sector is secure, Captain,” Ensign Briggs replies. “No signs of enemy activity in the area.”
“Very good. Keep her steady on. We’ll make a quick pass around the planet and move out.” Anders takes a look around. The long war has left his crew weary, and he can’t afford mistakes. “Look alive, people. This is our last run in this quadrant. After this, we’re headed back for some well-earned rack time.” The crew responds with scattered smiles, cheers and claps. The hope returns to their eyes.
Another young officer approaches, dapper and enthusiastic. “The Alliance will be happy to hear the Carteagans haven’t made it past Feron, sir.”
“Not on our watch, Lieutenant Harrison.” The captain smiles back at his favorite bridge officer. “Takes us home, Dax.”
Lieutenant Dax Harrison cheerfully salutes back. “Yes, sir!” As he moves back toward his navigation post however…
*BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEP*! An alert blares from the surveillance console. “Captain!” Briggs shouts. “We have incoming on our six!”
“Shields up!” Anders wastes no time.
“Stealth-class warbird, sir,” Briggs continues. “It’s the Carteagans!” Outside, a Carteagan stealth fighter de-cloaks and zooms down toward the Alexandra, twin laser cannons firing.
Anders barks orders at the crew as they scramble about the bridge. All business now. “Red alert! All hands to battle stations!”
“Captain! We’ve got incoming pulse blasts—“
*BOOM*! The strike cuts Briggs off as the ship rumbles and lurches. Scattered systems spark and short out, and several of the crew tumble to the deck.
The enemy fighter continues its assault. The craft is small, but the damage wrought by its blasts is calculated. It makes another pass, and the Alexandra takes another beating. More crew are sent flying. More sparks erupt from the once pristine equipment. Anders holds himself up against a console. “Return fire, dammit!”
Tactical officer Reynolds taps frantically at her screens. “Weapon systems offline, Captain!”
“Unacceptable! Get them back up, ensign!”
In the cockpit of the stealth fighter, a vile grin stretches across the Carteagan pilot’s face. A large humanoid alien, green with scales. Seemingly a combination of man, lizard, insect and rage.
A third large blast rattles the ship. The console which Anders has been steadying himself with begins sparking and overloading.
“Captain!” Harrison dives, pushing Anders out of the way in the nick of time. The computer explodes in spark and flame. Pulling themselves from the floor, the two men freeze, eyes locked on the main viewscreen as a massive Carteagan warship de-cloaks in space ahead.
The assault ceases for a moment as a voice takes over the ship’s intercoms.
“Alliance vessel, shut down your engines and prepare to be boarded. Comply, or you will be destroyed.” Anders gets back to his feet, grimacing at the Carteagan commander’s ultimatum.
“We’ve got to run for it.”
Harrison is shocked at his captain. “Sir, shouldn’t we stand and fight?”
“We’re out of options, Harrison.” Another strike. Reynolds goes down for the count. Harrison takes command of the tactical station.
“Sir, the hyperdrive is fried. On regular engines, they’ll run us down in minutes.”
Anders lowers his head in exasperation. “Do you have any better suggestions?”
The lieutenant gazes out to the view of the nearby planet, an idea sparking behind his eyes. “Head for Feron.”
“Let them chase us into the planet’s ring. We put all power to the rear shields, but leave the deflectors down. We’ll need to hold out just long enough.”
“For what, Harrison?!”
He turns to Anders with a grin. “The right moment, sir.”
Moments later, the Alexandra moves toward the ring, passing through a sea of dust and rock. The Carteagan warship follows. The enemy commander returns to the intercom. “You think you can hide? Ha! Foolish humans! You will be destroyed, along with the rest of your pitiful race! This galaxy is ours!”
Another blast sends the pilot flying from his seat. Harrison takes the helm.
“Shields at twenty percent,” Anders warns. “The time is now!”
“Activating tractor!” Harrison’s hands fly across the console controls with precision. In space, a tractor beam activates in a column of light behind the Alexandra. Slowly, it begins to pull a large asteroid toward the ship, towing it close behind. Meanwhile, the warship continues pursuit, closing in fast.
From the bridge of the warship, the Carteagan commander glares at the Alexandra, narrowing his gaze at the asteroid in tow.
Harrison monitors the action from the helm. Their dreaded pursuers are directly behind them now. Anders prepares himself at a nearby console.
“Deflectors on in three, two, one!” Both men slam down on their controls in unison. Outside, a storm of light begins to build at the rear of the ship. A firey orange force field grows rapidly, as the deflector energy smashes against the tractor beam. The two opposing forces rumble the entire ship, threatening to tear it to pieces.
The tension mounts for a moment as Anders and Harrison watch from the bridge monitors, beads of sweat at their temples. More systems malfunction under the strain, overloading and bursting into flame. Anders shields himself from flying sparks.
“Now, Dax! Now!” Harrison slams the controls again, releasing the tractor beam. The stifled deflector energy erupts, rocketing the massive asteroid back toward the pursuing warship. There’s no time to react. Rock and ship collide, and the Carteagans are obliterated in a spectacular crash.
Harrison breathes a sigh of relief. Roots and cheers are heard throughout the bridge from whatever crew members remain conscious. Hugs, pats on the back and the like. Anders turns to Harrison with a salute.
“That was damn fine work, Lieutenant. I bet those green bastards will think twice after losing one of their flagships.”
“Thank you, sir.” He returns the salute.
“I may be exceeding my authority here, but I’d say the Alliance owes you a promotion when we get back.” Before Harrison can respond, an explosion is heard from the entry to the bridge. All eyes lock on as the door slides open. The stealth fighter pilot barges in, with a hostage in his grip! The young lady cadet shouts in protest as the Carteagan barbarically shoves her into the room, a disintegration pistol trained to her head.
“Who destroyed the Akshaata?!” The reptilian-like alien hisses with fury. Harrison isn’t fazed. He approaches his enemy, boldly standing mere steps away, face to face.
“I did. Just as I’ll destroy you, unless you let her go.”
The creature growls in return. “You shall all pay for this… IN YOUR BLOOD!”
The lady cadet stuns the Carteagan with an elbow to the jaw. Harrison lunges at the Carteagan, pushing the pistol away in the nick of time. It fires, missing the young woman by inches. They struggle for control a moment, but Harrison deftly performs a series of Krav Maga hand and elbow strikes, stunning the attacking alien. The gun drops free, and in one swift motion he grabs the free-falling pistol, spins around, blasts the Carteagan into dust, and catches the falling cadet in his arms.
She gazes into her hero’s eyes. “You… you saved me.”
“Those were some smart moves yourself, cadet.”
“He almost had me there for a second,” she continues, holding tightly to Harrison’s rippling muscles.
He smiles back. “Not on my watch, Miss--?”
“Calico, Cassie Calico. And you are?”
“Dax Harrison, at your service.” The two kiss passionately, Miss Calico still dipped in his arms, her long golden hair blowing in a wind which seems to come from nowhere. The rest of the crew explodes with applause and cheers all around. The music swells and…
The scene continued on the television, as a young ten-year-old boy watched on, gleefully awestruck. He gripped tightly to his Commander Harrison action figure, palms sweaty from the excitement of the made-for-TV movie.
“Alex,” his mother lovingly but impatiently called. “Dinner’s getting cold on the table!”
“Okay!” Begrudgingly, he set the toy down, climbed off his Commander Harrison bedsheets, and headed out to the hallway, as the commercial announcements began.
“Our feature presentation of Commander Harrison: Birth of a Legend will continue after these brief messages…”