CHAPTER ONE: MEMORIES OF A FUTURE PAST
The city sized battle fortress the Law of One emerged from the space-fold gate
travelling from Canis Major to the Kuiper Belt in a matter of seconds. Anchored roughly forty AU from the Earth, the legendary star fighter carrier camouflaged itself within the giant icy bodies of the ring surrounding Terran system. While the Law was in silent running operations, the belt provided better cover than the stealth system’s ‘shroud’ hiding each of the dozens of city ships assigned to the third tier of the Nevaehan fleet. All was eerily calm aboard the ship being prepared to launch a massive offensive against the Intergalactic Sovereign Empire occupying Earth.
Michael quietly lay in bed beside Brielle while she still slept. Meditating first thing in the morning always seemed to center him upon waking from the disturbing Dream shared with his eight siblings, the debilitating, apocalyptic nightmare they could never recall in their youth. As a result he was distracted, with his mind operating in overdrive, replaying each stage of the attack plan backwards and forwards, imagining any unforeseen circumstance that could place attaining their objective in jeopardy.
Instead, with his hands above his head twisting the roots of his shoulder length dreadlocks, he staring up at his reflection on the translucent ceiling, with the darkness of outer space silhouetting his star speckled, mocha skin. Frustrated, he shifted his focus to the transparent bulkhead opposite the bed, looking at the other city ships stationed amongst the hefty ice bodies. He tried not to think about every painful event in their turbulent lives that had prepared them for today.
Being the first morning none leapt up in bed trembling in fear, jaws clenched and teeth chattering from the cold, sweat soaked sheets clinging to their burning skin like a spider’s web didn't help his foreboding. But seeing Brielle still sleeping peacefully instead of tossing and turning had an oddly calming effect he knew wouldn't last. Today was D-day, and perhaps the final day the seers had prophesied since time immemorial.
His eyes sought escape from contemplation, tracing the curvy lines of Brielle’s half naked, half covered body. He followed the Hopi necklace nestled between the caramel mountains of her gently heaving bosom like a great river flowing north like the Nile before encircling her neck. Her thick dark curls usually tied in a braid seemed to cascade from the outline of her serene face which showed no signs of the usual early morning distress just before waking.
If her dark brown eyes were the windows of her soul, then her high cheek bones and full lips were the path to the front door. Time slowed with his unintentional unification with her mind, causing Brielle to react instinctively, slamming shut the gateway damming the memories of their every incarnation throughout the history of the five Spheres, reducing the eternal moment which only existed between the unified beats of their heart.
“There are more direct ways to wake me up you know.” Brielle grumbled.
“I didn't mean to intrude.” Michael kissed her on her neck.
“Let me guess… you were drinking in my gorgeous visage as if for the last time.” Brielle rolled over kissing him.
“Something like that.”
“I recognize that tone.” Brielle sighed. “You’re thinking too much again aren't you?”
“Let‘s see… it’s the morning of the mission to retake Earth and last night not one of us had the Dream that’s plagued us our whole lives…”
“Whether we like it or not the time for concern is over baby. So let’s just enjoy what little time we have left.” The Alpha and Omega lost themselves in the eternal kiss while the surging fold drives caused the Law’s translucent plating to glow like sapphire. Already excited by their arousal, the hairs all over their bodies stood like needles with the dance of the of blue and white bands of dark lightening crackling along the outer hull. The dark energy arced several kilometers outside the ship, coalescing into a sphere tapping the dark matter pervading the universe. They felt time hiccup before the blue and white bubble of energy engulfing the ship imploded, like a particle unifying with the wave blanketing corporeal reality, momentarily opening their minds to the timeless All Field radiating from the core of the highest and innermost dimensional Spheres.
Here, Nu humans could see the past, present and myriad of potential futures in a singular moment. Before revealing the outcome of the pending operation, the fold bubble expanded like a particle separating from the wave, exploding in a blinding flash completing the fold jump. For a brief moment they felt complete serenity seeing the pebble sized Earth and moon for the first time since the great exodus from their home planet.
Immediately, a thunderous boom preceded the violent shaking of the enormous battleship. “Lights off!” Michael barked while he and Brielle darted up, instinctively activating their Morphogenetic suits. Directed by their will, the genetically grafted suit’s bio-fibres mimicking cotton underwear transformed into a damage resistant leather as it expanded, shooting up over their bodies dressing them in a protective layer of snake-like skin, reinforced by Bja armour, what the ancient tribes of the Earth called the metal of Heaven. Seeing two sets of hands force open the door to their cabin prompted the anxious couple draw the hand guns from the holsters their suits forged under their arms, targeting the two figures cautiously entering the cabin with their own weapons training for targets through the smoke filling the room from the hallway.
Michael and Brielle’s minds unified as their eyes darkened, revealing the stars of the universe within preparing to unleash their supreterrestrial abilities. Had they been boarded? By how many? Are those combat suits? Are they traitors? Was the mission in jeopardy? Should they kill the intruders then burst into the hallway with guns blazing?
“Brielle…! Michael…!” the familiar thoughts called out, temporarily setting their minds at ease. Uriel, their lanky, pale skinned brother who’s blonde hair looked to be spun from the sun itself, and Raphael, stout like a young Malaysian bull, with pin straight, jet black hair, tanned skin and dark sloping eyes centered on the dark, motionless mound in the middle of the bed.
“We’re alright.” The relief Brielle and Michael felt seeing two of their brothers unharmed would quickly pass following another series of ship rattling impacts. “What’s going on? Are we under attack?” Brielle asked.
“They hit us as soon as we exited fold!” Raphael shouted over Admiral Brandt’s instruction repeating over the comm. “They were waiting for us!”
Michael stared out through the transparent bulkhead watching the flashes of light filling the space surrounding the fleet, reminding him of the fireworks display in Hong Kong the previous New Year’s Celebration. “Sit rep.”
“Weapons and standard communications are down.” Uriel replied. The four entered the corridor noting the once smooth and glassy surface was now stained by the smoke flooding the ventilation system. They crammed into the current of panicked bodies running to and fro, pushing their way towards the main junction.
“Ordnances?” Brielle asked.
“The girls were in the launch bay doing pre-flight checks when we got hit!” Raphael reported.
“And the payload?” Michael asked.
“Payload’s secure and ready!” Uriel replied. “The strike’s been ordered, we gotta move!” Uriel advised.
“You heard the Admiral, move it!” shouted Quinn, the Law’s chief weapons officer at frazzled crew members blocking the passageway on her way to the bridge, snapping them into warrior mode. Before continuing to the bridge, the tall, Malagasy Amazon with east Asian features and sandy coloured skin proudly watched the crew scramble to their posts while the Law’s attack force mobilized amidst klaxons blaring throughout the battleship.
Hearing her sisters Nicki and Deanna’s mental call, Mariel, the commander of the Nova star group picked herself up off the hanger bay floor amidst the chaos. Inspired by her sisters focus on readying their fighters, she calmly tied back her long black hair while her Morphogenic suit to transformed from the officer’s uniform, covering her olive skin with the same black combat suit and body armour accented in the red highlights of her squadron. “What’s our status?”
“All pilots accounted for and flight ready!” Deanna, Brielle's Laurasian twin reported activating the cockpit’s systems.
“All Nova fighters and bombers are fuelled and ready for launch.” Nicki reported while performing remote controlled flight checks of the entire squadron. With fiery red hair and powdery white skin, her M-suit added to her dainty façade a grace their enemies had been taught to fear and respect, or underestimate to their own detriment. In the hands of the sisters, no fighting style could match the grace of the crane.
“All but two BTC Units are manned and ready!” Emanuel added from his single seat compartment, he opened his mind to Mariel allowing her a last look at his husky reflection before the screen lit up with activity. Through his star filled eyes she noted his short wavy brown hair was starting to curl and his goatee needed trimming. Looking through her own eyes she was always too captivated by the long lashes encircling his sparkling blue eyes. How she hoped she would see them again. “Our ride should be here any second.”
“How long do you think we should wait?” Matthew chuckled. Lean with a sporty build and pin straight jet black hair, Matthew was the cocky, lady killer of the group.
“You’ve got jokes… good for you.” muttered Michael.
“There’s plenty more where that came from.” Uriel added.
“That’s good, we’ll need them.” Emanuel interjected.
“A hundred and forty-four… sound off!” Mariel said climbing into her cockpit.
“Heru-Khuti here.” Emanuel said.
“Se-Bek here.” Matthew said.
“Te-Huti on route.” Uriel reported.
“Au-Sar on route.” Michael reported. While the other BTC operators sounded off, Mariel breathed a sigh of relief knowing at least her sister and brothers were alright.
“Brielle, where are you?” Mariel called.
“We’re just outside the launch bay!” Brielle shouted. “All Nova groups stand ready to launch!”
“I need communications Kim!” Brandt shouted as Quinn arrived on the bridge seeing all of the senior staff plugged into the command stations, cerebrally interfaced with the living battleship’s primary systems.
“Status?” Quinn asked seeing snowy interference on the wall screen.
“I’ve got the helm Quinn, Marty needs you on offensive weapons!” Brandt shouted. Brandt was a tall, tawny skinned, powerful man who looked more like a professional wrestler than the commander of Nevaeh’s flagship. Martinez, the sharp featured dark haired Latin dream was showing visible strain being interfaced with both the offensive and the defensive systems. Her eyes darkened revealing the universe within while her M-suit fashioned "Tiamat's eyes" over Quinn’s. Tendrils grew like vines from the pads of bio circuitry connecting the interface device nick to the corners of her mouth, she could feel Martinez’ relief as she submerged into the interface manning the Law’s offensive weapons station, bypassing her sensory organs feeding the Law's scanners, sensors, and detectors directly to her receptors. “All Tiers prepare to receive new target packages.”
The Law of One and other PtahGenic vessels were like fish in the galactic ocean. Interfaced with the Law of One’s external sensors, Quinn had to force herself to ignore the joy of sharing the Law’s space dwelling experience. She had to focus on the swarm of enemy ships seeming to fill the space like schools of piranha surrounding her now city sized body. “Holy Christ… guys are you seeing this?” she thought, broadcasting her perception of the entire fleet being attacked from all sides to her eleven siblings.
“It’s just like you and Nicki said Urie…” Matthew spoke over the comm. “The Consortium’s projections were way off. Aerospace vessels outnumber us three to one”
“Let’s just hope the Dragon Coalition took my land based projections a bit more seriously.” Uriel replied.
“They did.” Nicki said. “Sunny spoke to General Masubi this morning. The entire Laurasian infantry has been assigned to the invasion. They landed this morning.”
“Guys… I‘m sensing a disturbance on the surface…” Matthew thought, “… the land offensive is already underway.”
“Without air support?” Mariel barked. “What the f... who the hell gave the attack order?”
“General Austin is the battlefield commander.” Emanuel replied.
“I always knew that man was a fool.” Nicki added.
“So much for the element of surprise.” Brielle said stopping at the bomber marked with her call sign “Au-Set” staring into Michael’s dark, almond shaped eyes in what she hoped wouldn’t be the last time.
“Don’t worry, we’ve got a few surprises left… Now move your asses!” Mariel shouted.
“See you in a bit baby.” Michael said kissing Brielle.
“I’m counting on it my love.” Brielle thought.
“Watch yourselves out there.” Raphael said shaking Uriel’s hand.
“That goes double for you two munchkin!” Uriel jabbed bumping shoulders.
While Brielle and Raphael boarded the bomber, Michael and Uriel glanced at the ruined elevator then at each other before leaping over the guardrail overlooking the bomb bay. Helmets formed over their heads while falling fifty feet before landing hard on their control chairs, plunging three stories down though the tops of their six story polymorphic spheres nicknamed the Ball Busters, plugging into their BTC Unit’s control centers. Living neural optic cords plugged their M-suits directly into their vessel's neural interface, rerouting the operator’s motor signals enabling the twelve story tall Bio Technological Combat Units to perfectly duplicate human movement.
“The fleet‘s formation’s breaking up Admiral!” Quinn said looking up at the wall screen showing Sovereign ships heavily outnumbering the Nevaehan fleet.
“What‘s you launch status Alpha?” Brant thought.
“All Novas are ready for launch!” Mariel thought back.
“All infantry is ready for deployment!” Michael thought.
“All bombers ready for launch!” Brielle thought.
“Communications is back up Admiral…” Kimberly reported as the snowy signal covering the image on the main view screen cleared, showing the surrounded fleet in disarray.
“Open a channel to Chief Admiral Naples!” Brant shouted.
Kimberly’s heart sank detecting the wreckage of their sister ship. “Sir… the ‘Three Realms’ has been destroyed. Admiral Kinnley has ordered the fleet to retreat to fall back coordinates.
“Set jump coordinates for the inner Oort cloud.” Brandt ordered.
“Admiral… if we’re ever going to do this we have to do it now!” Quinn advised Brandt as he looked to Martinez for his opinion.
“I concur Admiral. If that Pentacore becomes operational there will be no stopping him…” Martinez added. Brandt looked into the eyes of the remaining bridge crew, seeing the same look of determination.
“Thanks for your recommendations… but when I accepted this mission, I never had any intention of turning back.” Brandt said taking his seat.
"And you're only telling us this now?" Martinez chuckled. "I'd like to be reassigned please."
"Cut our glorious leader a break Marty, he knows if we make it out of this we'll be given our own commands."
"If we make it out of this...? You guys really have to work on those motivational skills of yours." Matthew chuckled.
“How's this for motivation..? Kim, open the comm. fleet wide… attention all ship Commanders and personnel, I’m taking command of the fleet. Assemble into Burning Spear formation behind the Law and prepare to commence operation deep strike.”
"Admiral Kinnley is hailing sir."Brandt nodded for Kim to open the channel. The image of Admiral Kinnley's stabbing glare and thin, pursed lips spoke volumes before the utterance of his first words.
"Brandt, tiers one and two were ambushed while in silent status."
"Now it's a party..." Martinez jabbed.
"If we proceed with the mission we'll be going in alone."
"You calling off our bet Kin?" Brandt smiled.
"I wouldn't dream of it. You know I love a challenge... but this will be our only shot. If we don't hit the mark it's game over."
"If we retreat and that Pentacore goes operational, we'll have to repeat this whole cycle again... only he'll have the advantage having altered the design."
"In any case I'll see you on the other side my friends." Kinnley smirked. "Good hunting."
“Admiral… reactor output has dropped to 72 per cent…” Martinez advised.
“And the burning spear manoeuvre requires 70 per cent leaving us with barely enough for life support… I know, you have your orders.”
The Nine could feel the pulse of the energy systems increase in rate and strength as the Law began it’s offensive. “Good hunting horsemen!” Nicki shouted as the hanger bay doors opened. To the Archangels, the ability to hear the ultrasonic weapons fire and thunderous, electrostatic explosions circumvent the natural laws of nature was like listening to a symphony the other human branches couldn’t hear.
Through their PtahGenic connection to Nu, only they could hear the ear-splitting noise of the super dimensional PtahGenic weaponry piercing the eerie vacuum of space. The spears of light blasts streaking back and forth ahead of their exit made their adrenaline rush like a waterfall. Although only the battleships were large enough to power Nova blasts, just knowing the weapons of the Deities were indeed in the hands of unfeeling, space dwelling humans was more than enough reaffirm the urgency of their life long mission.
“Alright Horsemen… give em hell!” Mariel put thrusters to full catapulting her fighter out of the launch bay. Her sisters followed with an immediate series of twists, turns and close calls as the twenty four Nova star fighters engaged the slower, less manoeuvrable enemy fighters at point blank range. For the Sovereign fighter, fighting the quicker, impossibly maneuverable, heavily armoured Nova star fighters was like a Mako Shark trying to out swim a Sailfish.
The Nova squadron collapsed enemy squadron’s formation in a matter of moments, attracting the attention of the enemy cruisers previously firing on the Nevaehan battleships.
“We got cruisers coming in off the Law’s flank!” Deanna shouted.
“Let’s head em off!” Mariel replied.
“Admiral I’m detecting a massive energy build up on the surface!” Quinn said sending the satellite image of the battle zone from tactical to the main projector, showing a target sign in the form of a familiar energy signature being detected below the surface of the Capitol.
“PtahGen…” Muttered all the siblings sensing the Pentacore reactor powering up. The bridge crew nearly jumped out of their seats hearing the urgency of the PtahGenic weapons detector identifying a target lock. “Admiral, sensors are detecting a massive energy reading coming from the surface! The Pentacore‘s operational!” Martinez reported. “They’re firing!”
Reacting just in time, Brandt turned the Law of One into the path of the energy blast exploding from the surface, hoping the densified armour would stand up to a glancing impact. But even as the beam of PtahGenic energy destroying a third of the invading fleet merely grazed the Law’s outer hull, the feedback overloaded conduits exploding across the power grid, ripping through the Law’s power distribution network.
Crew members not fortunate enough to be seated with safety harnesses in effected areas were swept by the hurricane winds blasting through the corridors venting out to space before blast doors could close off the series of breaches.
“Brie that last hit damaged the main reactor!” Brandt shouted over the comm. “We‘re not going to last much longer out here!”
“Abandon ship Admiral, we’ll take it from here!” Brielle replied despite the number of enemy ships blockading Earth.
“Negative, we still have weapons, we’ll get you to the run coordinates.” Brandt ordered with pride watching Quinn, Martinez and the bridge crew continued their duties despite the bridge burning all around them.
The Law of One concentrated fire while leading the six remaining battleships ploughed through the enemy fleet’s first blockade line, shielding Red Horse squadron flying a few metres behind. Once clear, the Law of One’s interlocking armoured plating separated, uncovering the bomber squadron while struts anchoring the bombers to the enormous vessel’s hull started to blow.
The enemy fleet converging on the legendary battle fleet launched a final flurry of missiles and energy blasts targeting the anchored bombers. Brielle set thrusters to full power ripping free of the Law then immediately banked escaping the enemy bombardment destroying the entire bomber squadron, leaving the Ball Busters floating helplessly in the debris field.
“Mariners sound off!” Brielle called.
“We’re alright Brie!” Jan shouted as the surviving Archangels blew the shells of their Ball Busters, unleashing their jet powered, armoured exoskeletons. Like the heroes of old they engaged the incoming enemy vessels heavily outnumbering them. “… continue the mission, we’ll hold them here as long as we can!”
“Damn it.” With Brielle’s cruiser being the only one to survive, the Nine knew there was now no margin for error. There would be no backup if they were to fall, no second chances if they failed. “Red, Yellow and Blue squadrons form up on me!” Brielle said commanding the twenty-four Nova star fighters lead by her sisters into diamond shaped defensive formation, leaving behind the surviving BTC Units holding the enemy fighters advance.
The Nova squadron escorted the shrouded bomber through the ongoing space battle towards the war torn planet. The fighters encircling the Nova cruiser had the edge of full PtahGenic technology, the neural interface designed exclusively for Nu human physiology enhanced their ability to think and act with one mind. The enemy fighters were hard pressed to match the squadron navigating the hot zone like a flock of sparrows preparing for the journey south.
“We’re almost in position ladies, clear us a path!” Brielle said as the second line of enemy drone fighters and battle cruisers opened fire hoping to strike the invisible bomber.
“Take it to ‘em Horsemen!” Nicki shouted. The squadron of Nova fighters aggressively broke formation drawing out the enemy ships from the last line blockading Earth. The near invisible Nova cruiser sliced through the remaining ships like a sword, passing the last line a thief in the night. Several drones followed, shooting blindly in hopes of revealing the invisible bomber to the final line of orbital defence. The gigantic, heptagon shaped weapons platforms began indiscriminately blanketing the approach area with ion blasts, destroying their own fighters in the attempt to zero in on the veiled bomber with glancing hits. The alarms blared as the last impact damaged the bomber’s shroud.
“Brie the shroud’s offline! We’re visible!” Raphael reported.
“We’ve already past PNR Raph, divert power to the deflectors… I‘ll try my best to get us there in one piece!” Brielle said as an indirect hit rattled the bomber.
“The deflector’s off line! I‘m increasing armour densification but I don‘t know how long it‘ll hold against those platforms!”
“Hang on to your helmets knights! The final leg‘s going to be a bit rough!” Brielle said proceeding to twist, turn and jump around the incoming fire exploding ever closer. Brielle reacted to a grazing hit on the Nova’s nose as though stuck in her face. She wiped the blood trickling from her nose and shook the pain from her head as she tried to pull the quadrupled image of the platform together. “Da-Heti, if you’re not to busy… we could use some help!”
The Nova squadron broke off their engagement sensing a powerful upsurge of power from the opposite side of the hot zone. An enormous bolt of lightening burned through the center of the combat zone, vaporizing the all but the Nova fighters and BTC Units, striking the weapons platform directly in the bomber’s path.
The siblings felt tremendous relief seeing internal explosions blow the platform to bits with the Castellan, an elegant, thirteen story armoured exo skeleton erupting through the top of the fireball, rising like a winged Tokugawa Samurai.
“Are you guys okay?” Da-Heti asked.
“The deflector’s down but we’re alright! Just watch our backs, we’re going in hot!” Brielle said approaching the northern porthole.
“Alright Novas… let’s light them up!” Da-Heti commanded. The Castellan’s wings expanded, jet thrusters glowing white on it’s back exploded, firing the powerful armoured giant like a bullet, penetrating the hull of the vessel leading the incoming enemy fleet. The Nova fighters hooked on to the BTC Units like winged jet-packs and followed the Castellan inside, unleashing hell while blazing through the ship’s massive interior. The series of internal explosions following the squadron’s eruption out of the opposite end consumed the enemy’s flagship giving the Sovereign fleet pause.
The white central sun of earth’s interior broke through dark clouds smothering the horizon, illuminating several monolithic stone statues. The imposing Tamoanchan figures standing atop the Thirteen Mountains, overlooking Nevaeh City, the capitol city of inner Earth was more than enough to encourage the army approaching the legendary city of the Deities occupied by the Akhromas, the gray skinned human invaders from outer earth. Brielle and Raphael's hearts sank seeing the once endless forest and fields surrounding the futuristic island metropolis had been transformed into a dying wasteland. Enormous flags representing the 12 Divisions linked the seemingly endless front line of a vast land army approaching the massive defensive line of BMC units barricading the Capitol’s colossal fortified wall.
Behind the wall, a large Ziggurat adorned with representations of the zodiac house of Cancer crowned the Citadel, a gargantuan central tower looming ominously over the glass and steel of the mega city. Peals of thunder and violent flashes of lightening seemed to intensify in response to the war cry of a million shouting voices demanding the city's surrender.
Aaron, Brielle’s father and the former head of Special Projects stood chained in front of a wide opening on the Ziggurat's top tier staring with awe and dismay. “Like dawn spreading across the mountains, a large and mighty army comes such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come...”
From Reactor Control deep beneath the Citadel, Seth, the corrupt High Priest and self proclaimed regional ruler activated the city's defenses. He glared at the image of hundreds of warriors charging the defensive line feeling rather confident while routing power from the Pentacore reactor to the ten towers posted along the great wall, emitting sounds like a thousand deep voices trembling in the space between atoms throughout the solar system. “Let them come…”