Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep. These sounds come from a small device and cannot be heard from space, but are vital for the survival of Fifteen Thousand souls. This device flashes colorful lights as it travels its pre-determined path. Its sole purpose is to chart the vast space it travels. Its simple task is to look for anything in its way, or anything that could prove harmful for human lives. There is a reason this small, five meter by seven-meter object was given the nickname “Lifeline” as it chirps away, scanning, sweeping, exploring what it can, it transmits its data behind it. Roughly fifteen hours behind Lifeline, comes its mothership. The massive eighteen-mile-long, five-mile-wide, and five-mile-high Colony ship received the Lifeline’s burst of data.
The ECS (Earth Colony Ship) Pegasus is one of only three Colony ships built. Her Sister ships, the ECS Andromeda, and the ECS Orion had both launched several months before the Pegasus, due to some mechanical and technical glitches her launch was delayed. As a result, the Pegasus left Earth with a minimal crew.
The Colony ships were the largest man-made object ever built in recorded history. Each ship was designed for a journey that would take at least, several hundred years each. Each ship was designed to take an initial 50,000 crew, with support for a growth rate to accommodate a total of 300,000 people. It also was designed to carry, store food, and other supplies. Certain sections of the lower parts of the ship were designed to be artificial ecosystems. Farmland, and Livestock were able to grow there so the crew always had fresh food. Small Factories, and warehouses were also onboard to provide various commodities and luxury items for the crew. One entire deck, all Eighteen miles is designated the Shopping deck. Everything that one would see back on earth, the colony ships provided.
After the recent invention of several ground-breaking technologies: Fusion Generators, Anti-Gravity, Artificial Gravity, Artificial Atmosphere scrubbers, and full blown Life Support Systems, space travel became more of a reality.
Right after the Third World War, Earth’s governments were in complete chaos. Their only option was to unite together to form a World Government. Several people from the only remaining superpowers, The United States (Who started the world war from a massive Civil War / Civilian Rebellion) and the United Kingdom started what is now called the United Federation of Nations. All governments were brought in and all countries of the world were united under one rule. Communism, Capitalism, Democracy, all aspects of government were merged to form one, Democratic Federation. The Main goal, and the first section of the Federation Charter states “For the Betterment of Mankind as a whole, Every Human will be treated as equals.” Within 75 years, Disease, famine, War, Poverty were all obliterated. Every single Human had a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear. Greed was no longer the driving force for humans, but the hunger to better themselves was stronger than ever! As a result, Religion fell and Science thrived.
After the Discovery of three planets that were thought to support life were found to be relatively close to Earth, the new Federation of Nations acted to build three ships, One for each planet; the Andromeda, the Pegasus, and the Orion. These ships were designed for one purpose, a one-way trip to each of these planets and to start the Federations First Deep Space Colonies. The Andromeda and the Orion launched first, with a full complement of 50,000 personnel. With a little over half as enlisted officers, and the rest as Civilian’s / Families and Scientists.
On the Pegasus, life was good. The Captain, Captain Sam Dawson, is on the Bridge looking over some data from the Lifeline.
“Ensign, cross check these readings for me, I need this verified” the Captain ordered as the comm officer complied. Captain Dawson is a second generation colonist, His father was part of the original crew and also served as Captain. Sam Dawson is a man in his late Seventies, born on the Pegasus he has never set foot on a planet, but he knew his ship well. Dawson started to serve when he was only ten years old, putting everything into the ship. His life left no room for a family, as a result he does not have any children of his own. Something he deeply regrets.
As the Captain sat down on his center command console, a group of children led by a school teacher came in.
“Permission to enter the bridge!” the Teacher said
The Captain stood up and greeted the school children “Welcome to the Bridge! The Command center of the Pegasus!”
“Sir” a young ensign interrupted the tour that was in progress with a brisk salute
“Ensign, can’t you see I am showing these fine young officers around?” The captain said with a smile
“I’m sorry sir….” The ensign said with a slight stutter
“It’s alright Ensign, what do you got?”
“Sir we just received this in from Naval command”
The Ensign hands the captain a small data pad with information on it. The Children were all curious, trying to read it, asking questions about it while the captain read it.
“Thank you Ensign” the two exchanged Salutes again as the Captain walked over to the Lifeline command station.
“Children, we just received two pieces of information. I was going to wait to share this with the crew, but since you are here you can watch first hand!” The Children were excited, a little too excited as the teacher had to calm them down.
The Captain pressed a button on the Lifeline Consoles as he inserted a little device into a slot. He had opened a comm channel to the entire ship, He was also looking directly at the Larger of the twelve displays, this recorded his image from where he is standing and displayed it, not only on the Large display in front of him, but on every other non-critical screen on the ship.
“Ladies and Gentleman of the Pegasus, enlisted crew and civilians this is a ship-wide broadcast. We have just received two pieces of Information that I believe we all should know! First, the Lifeline ran a course analysis. You all will be happy to know that will not arrive to Pegasus on schedule as planned” The Captain briefly paused as a look of confusion came across most of the crew
“Instead we will arrive Twenty-Three Years Early! Bringing our remaining journey to just under Two years!” the Entire crew erupted in cheer that could be heard in every
“Also since the F.N.C.A (Federation Naval Communication Agency) has been having troubles with the Titan Array, we missed an entire year of status updates from home. Yes, I realize that even with the year missing, there is a delay of two years however we just received an update today. It is filled with letters, and other updates. Plus, a message from the President! I will let him tell you the next part”
As the Captain was switching controls to play the message the captain noticed some strange readings on a smaller display by the larger one for Lifeline. He activated the president’s message but sat down to check out the strange readings.
“To the Crew and Families of the Pegasus I first want to thank you for your dedication and support for this very important mission you all have volunteered for. Before I go on to say what we have done in the last three years, I am honored to inform you, that both the Orion, and Andromeda crew have successfully landed and established their respected colonies. The Human Race Has Officially gone beyond the stars and stepped into a galactic world!”
The Entire crew cheered louder than before as excitement overcame the crew. However, there was one man that was not cheering. The Captain was still sitting down staring at his display, what he saw brought chills down his spine. On the screen showed two ships ahead of the Lifeline, two massive ships that were shaped like long claws, very intimidating. Right in the middle of the cheering the President continued to speak, but the captain was continuing to stare at the screen when all of a sudden a large light shot from the bigger of the two ships, came at the lifeline and poof. Every screen except the large screen showing the President’s speech went from live data, to static.
No one had noticed it, everyone was still caught up in the moment and watching Earth’s updates when the Captain shot up out of his seat and immediately shut off the transmission and began to broadcast on all ship wide channels.
“All Hands, Emergency stations Alpha Nine, all Fighter squads launch and initiate protocol Charlie Three”
The Children were confused as the teacher was trying to get the children in line
“Mam, you best stay there” the Captain said to the teacher.
“Its going to get really crazy on the command decks, it will be safer for the children to stay here for the time being. Besides, the Bridge is large enough”
Several other officers had entered the bridge all rushing to their stations, Including the Executive Officer.
“Sir, what’s going on?” the XO said
“Ben, we lost the Lifeline”
“What?” Ben Childs the young thirty-year-old Executive officer said
“Looks like it was destroyed, by an unknown alien”
“That feed is Fifteen hours old!” Ben said
“I know, that’s what scares me” replied the Captain
(beep) “Sir” a Lieutenant said as his station light up like a Christmas tree and chimed louder than a group of carolers.
“What is it”
“Alpha squad is reporting in; they are tracking two ships closing in on our location.”
“Do we have a visual?” the Captain asked
“Yes-sir” the young Lieutenant said, pushing a few buttons he transferred the sensor data from the lead fighter to the main view screen on the Lifeline Data center.
What the crew saw was shocking. Two alien ships were approaching the fighters. Large and Metallic Silver these two ships looked like vicious predators stalking for prey. The Larger of the two ships had several claws protruding from the central fuselage, three were larger than the rest, they all were curved outward, then back in forming a vicious pattern. The other smaller ship was only a quarter the size and was a disc like shape. It had a round protrusion on the top that would resemble a bridge, and the front of the ship had a large chunk missing from the disc forming two points where weapons were easily housed. The two ships also had no visible markings other than a few red lights facing forward, eerily similar to eyes in the night.
“Ensign” the captain started giving orders after carefully examining the alien craft
“Begin broadcast all frequencies, all known languages”
“Aye sir” the Communications officer replied
“This is the Earth Colony ship Pegasus, we are peaceful explorers and we mean you no harm, we would be happy to talk and learn about your species”
After a long pause the computers of the Pegasus began to flicker, and change screens at an extremely rapid pace.
“Sir” a bridge officer called out, “Our database is being probed”
“Sir, I recommend locking down the computer and reacting appropriately” the Executive officer said
“No, maybe they just want to learn about us before they make a decision”
As the screens stopped flickering the larger of the two ships began launching a wave of smaller ships, the same size as the fighters from the Pegasus.
(beep)(beep) “Sir, I am reading a dozen smaller fighters being launched” the Young Lieutenant said as his console started beeping rapidly
Before the captain had a chance to react all the speakers on the Pegasus came to life, at first it was random static and other garbled noise, then finally a male robotic voice played “We are the Legion. Your species has a history of self-annihilation and destruction; you are a threat to our existence. You will be eliminated. Power down immediately and prepare”
The Captain didn’t even flinch as he shouted out “All Hands Battle Stations, launch all fighters, Beta and Theta Squad, Defensive formations, Alpha and Delta squad full assault take out those fighters. Helm, come to Eight One Three Mark Seven, prepare for full burn!
The ship began to turn as it attempted to maneuver away from the on-coming slaughter they knew was approaching. The remaining fighters rushed out of the ship, and flew at top speed to get in their formations. The Pegasus started turning away from the coming onslaught, hoping to get a clear line to initiate an emergency burn of their main engines, but it was too late. The smaller of the two ships jumped, at amazing speed, instantly closing the gap between the Pegasus and the Legion fleet, coming within firing range within a blink of an eye. The Fighters engaged, but were slaughtered within seconds. Nothing stood a chance, the Legion swept over the Pegasus with ease. The Smaller ship only fired a few volleys at the Pegasus, quickly and effortlessly cutting threw her shields, and rupturing her engines. Before anyone on bored realized, the Pegasus exploded, ending their journey.