Thousands of years in the future, light-years away from the Solar System and humanity are Earth’s descendants which are called transhumans. They are living on a planet called Nuwurth in the Tarkington System.
The transhumans are apart of a worldwide government program called the Syndicate where six generals are in charge of the entire world.
When four of the Major Generals are sent on a classified mission, things go awry.
With lives at stake it is up to the Lieutenant Generals to intercede before it is too late. Will they be successful in stopping the Generals plan? Or will the Major General’s blood be on their hands?
Targeted Age Group:: 13-99
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
For years I had many stories and ideas on paper, but it wasn't until a few years ago that my love for science fiction and writing combined into one. I wanted to write a science fiction story that I could share with others.
General Deschner was standing with his arms behind his back, looking out the window inside of the conference room of the USV Valkanaut and saw Nuwurth underneath.
The USV Valkanaut, or the United Syndicate Vehicle Valkanaut which was the official meeting spacecraft that the Syndicate uses while outside of Nuwurth. In the distance behind General Deschner through the window was a glimpse of Snakardekus and Varenok.
General Deschner walked to his chair, which is at the head of the table, facing the door. He leans back in his chair with his arms resting on the armrests. This chair has been his seat for many decades; he had worn it down so much that the chair seemed to have molded around his body. The color used to be a vibrant red, but now it is a faded crimson.
As he was waiting for the generals to join him, General Deschner looked to his left, then he looked to his right, looking out of the windows that are nearest to him. He moves his head to his left and right, and all that he can see are four windows, two on each side of him.
As far as the eye could see was space. A black canvass sprinkled with white glistening dots everywhere. Above the table were hanging bright lights that filled the entire room with their glow. General Deschner always seemed to have a youthful look to his stature even though he was eighty-three years of age. Still young for a transhuman, though.
His onyx colored hair was slicked back; it was sprayed with a styling gel that allowed his hair to be styled in any way that he so chooses. On his face, he had some facial hair, but it never seemed to grow beyond stubble. General Deschner was always stressed and nervous and seemed to shave in times of extreme anxiety. His eyes were the brightest blue you had ever saw. General Deschner wore his standard blue uniform. Three buttons moved down his shirt opened slightly. His pants matched the color of his shirt, and his boots were almost as black as his hair.
Each side of his shoulders and along his chest were patches of military achievements with various symbols. The achievements were in various shapes, some looked like a mixture of languages, and another was a circle with multiple colors inside of it. The achievements had been worn for many years, due to their loss of sheen to them.
General Deschner looked at the hologram door and noticed figures standing behind it.
“Come on in.”
The hologram doors opened and slid into the door frame, and the figures that stood by the door then proceeded to walk in the room. The first general that walked in was Lieutenant General Ryker Armitage, who was dressed in his typical attire, a crimson-colored uniform that buttoned up to his neck. Over his uniform, he had on a grey vest. Lieutenant General Armitage had jet black hair. On his face, he had one scar that was still fresh; it started from the left side of his chin to his left ear. He looked young, even though he was fifty-two years old. He had some facial hair that you could tell he had recently shaved.
Following him was the other Lieutenant General, Ayesha dee Veyra. She just had her forty-fifth birthday recently, and she looked young for her age. Her face was flawless. Her bright green eyes were the main feature of her face, and they were beautiful. Her lips matched her eyes, they looked thin but delicate. Her long black hair fell in between her shoulder blades and was tied together in one thick braid. Lieutenant General dee Veyra had a long canary-colored shirt with white cuffs that were pointed. Her suit pants were identical to her shirt, cuffs, and all. Her boots were measured three inches in a modest shade of black. Lieutenant General dee Veyra always wore outfits that were quite bright to the appearance. Over her eyes, she wore hologram glasses, which she seemed to wear quite frequently. These glasses were had a purple tint to them.
Following her were the four Major Generals, Zaiyah Lokhorst, Cade Solbrig, Kasra Brentari, and Matzen Reingle. The Major Generals all wore similar outfits, which were grey uniforms that looked similar to the other generals’ outfits, but some small differences were exclusive to them according to their division. Each general had the initials of the divisions stitched on the left side of their breast pocket.
Major General Lokhorst had shoulder-length black hair, her figure was curvaceous, and her demeanor was assertive. She had an earpiece in her left ear and wore a bracelet that covered her entire left arm which had a monitor on it that she could access alongside her INH Major General Lokhorst has served in the Syndicate as Major General for a little over a decade, she was thirty-two years of age.
Major General Solbrig’s entire left arm was robotic. He was one of the few that had surgery as a child. He wore a brown vest over his uniform. Major General Solbrig had short hair that he kept neatly trimmed. He was a military man and had served in the Syndicate as Major General his whole life. He is the oldest Major General at age sixty-three in the history of the Syndicate.
Major General Brentari’s brunette hair was pulled back in a ponytail with her bangs above her eyes. She is twenty-six years old and has served in the Syndicate for a handful of years. Her attire consisted of a white vest over her uniform that had pink, yellow, green, and blue lines and shapes all over it.
Major General Reingle wore a white overcoat over his uniform that he buttoned up to his neckline. This overcoat was used worn quite often, it shielded him from most toxins that he would deal with in his division. He has only served as Major General for two years. He is the youngest Major General at age twenty.
All the generals walked in a line and sat down at each one of the black chairs that were empty along with the table. When the generals sat down, underneath the chairs, a small square hole opened, and it started to levitate. The backs of the chairs were taller than the generals while they sat down. The last general to walk inside the room was Major General Reingle; as he walked in, he turned around and pressed a button by the door, and the doors closed. He grabbed the last remaining chair and sat down.
Across from General Deschner sat the two Lieutenant Generals Armitage and dee Veyra. On their sides sat the four major generals, two each that they managed. From General Deschners’ left to right sat the two Major Generals, Reingle and Solbrig, then Lieutenant General Armitage. Next to him sat Lieutenant General dee Veyra, next to her, were the last two Major Generals, Lokhorst and Brentari.
General Deschner glanced at each one of them before he spoke.
“The view from up here never gets old, huh?”
Some generals nodded their heads in agreement. Lieutenant General Armitage turned his head, looking at the window to his right and spoke.
“I agree. I’ve been Lieutenant General for twenty years, and the view never gets old. It amazes me.”
“It really is something, isn’t it?” General Deschner replied.
“Yes, sir, it is.” Lieutenant General dee Veyra chimed in. “Being up here in space makes the perspective of what we do doesn’t seem like much.”
“Oh really, you think so?” General Deschner asked.
“N-no General. Not like that. What we do has meaning! What I really meant was that-!”
“I know what you really meant, and it’s okay. I feel the same way, too.” General Deschner admitted, “After all these years, I understand.”
General Deschner pushed his chair back and stood up. He walked towards the window to his left and looked out of it and started to speak.
“I thank you all for coming here. You really had no choice, but nonetheless, I wanted to thank you for continuing to be a part of the Syndicate. Each one of you has been fulfilling your duties, and we have been progressing in all six divisions faster than before. That is only because of your efforts as generals.” He moved his right hand and pointed through the window.
“You see those two planets over there?”
The generals shifted in their chairs without standing up to try and see them. Without looking, General Deschner could tell what they were doing.
“Stand up and look.”
The generals stood up with a sheepish look on their faces and walked towards the two windows overlooking that side of the ship.
General Deschner pointed at the orange-colored planet and said its name, “Snakardekus.” Then looked at the dark blue planet in the distance and said its name, “Varenok.” He shook his head. “These two planets are the reason why we need to keep all the transhumans safe.”
“Do you really think Snakardekus and Varenok pose a threat?” Major General Reingle asked.
General Deschner turned around and looked at him, then he turned around and looked back at the planets. “Yes. I know for a fact that they pose a threat, in fact, maybe even a galactic war is imminent. Luckily, it hasn’t happened, but until we show the inhabitants who the superior race is, we will constantly stay in fear.”
Major General Reingle replied and held out his hands as she spoke. “You don’t think they know that we are the superior race? I mean for all we know the Snargde and Frochen are just tall tales, we don’t even know if they exist.” Major General Reingle exhaled. “Our ancestors somehow traveled many light-years away just to get here, and for what reason? We don’t know, but what we do know is that we, as a species, just appeared on Nuwurth overnight compared to the other two.”
“You might be right about that,” General Deschner agreed, “But they have to know who is in charge of the Tarkington system. What we do here affects our fellow transhumans in the future. I may not be the most intelligent being in the Tarkington system, but I will do everything in my power to make sure that future generations do not have to worry about this.”
General Deschner turned around and looked at all the generals, he could see the frustration in Major General Reingle’s eyes.
“You are the newest general here, but the sooner you learn your place here, the smoother this will go.” He grinned.
With that, the entire room was almost as quiet as space outside of the ship was. Major General Reingle held his tongue. He knew it was better to be a general in the Syndicate than not to be.
General Deschner cleared his throat and walked back to his chair and sat down. “Anyways, as I was saying…”
General Deschner waved his right hand motioning the generals to sit down, and a blank hologram appeared over the table.
“Lieutenant General Armitage show me the schematics for the new vehicle that you have been working on over at MOD.”
Lieutenant General Armitage waved his hands in the air and with his left hand, moved it down slowly as if he was sorting through files and grabbed something with his thumb and two fingers and threw the hologram on the table. The hologram appeared in front of all their eyes.
“Right here, we have what we at MOD like to call the Kradnak. This thing is massive as you can see, it is now the biggest vehicle that we had built.”
The hologram appeared before their eyes and showed exactly what Lieutenant General Armitage was talking about. The Kradnak was a make-shift land vehicle designed at a moment's notice to change forms to become a universal vehicle. The body of it looked swollen, almost too big for its frame.
“Inside the body of the Kradnak, it can hold up to roughly ten-thousand transhumans. The wingspan on the Kradnak is roughly six hundred feet long.”
Lieutenant General Armitage moved his hands in a rhythmic fashion right to left to change what he was referencing to as he was speaking. The wings appeared on the Kradnak and a hologram of the Kradnak flying showing how it worked.
“That’s not all it can do; you see the six legs it has underneath its frame? The six legs can change shapes for every occasion. Watch this!”
Lieutenant General Armitage waved his hand, and he showed the generals how the legs change from big massive bulky cylindrical legs to support itself in arctic weather or to hold itself down it the heat of battle. Then he waved his hand again, and the legs changed where the legs were completely flat and joined together so they could be used to submerge into the oceans and on top of flatlands like deserts fast. The generals were impressed and looked on.
“That’s not all. We have finally been able to do something that we had never been able to do before.”
Lieutenant General Armitage waved his hand over the hologram, and the hologram showed the bulky legs decompress into the vast body of the Kradnak, and it hovered.
“We finally were able to modify a vehicle to hover across any kind of land, water, and air.”
“Whoa. That is impressive! I’ve never seen a vehicle capable of all of that.” General Deschner exclaimed in amazement. “I can see the hologram here, but how fast can it actually move?”
“Well, we are still running diagnostics testing… but we have recorded speeds clocked at 352 miles.” Lieutenant General Armitage proudly explained.
“Wow…That is impressive like I said, but it needs to go faster though. Especially if it can fly, it needs to go three… maybe four times as fast.”
General Deschner was amazed by the hologram hover.
“Impressive, though. I am definitely impressed.” General Deschner stated.
“Thank you, General.” Lieutenant General Armitage replied, “You see those plates all over the top of it and back? Those are solar panels, but a military-grade style which allows the Kradnak to hold a charge for around a year or so. We’re still trying to figure out how long exactly. Everything on the Kradnak is powered by solar energy. This means that the technology cannot fail due to any weather-related hazards we might endure. Check it out.”
Lieutenant General Armitage waved his right hand to the left as if he were swatting a fly. In a moment, squares on the solar panels opened, and a long rod appeared through each hole; it almost looked like a weapon.
“Right there is the newest and latest piece of military technology.” Lieutenant General Armitage paused and looked to his left at Lieutenant General dee Veyra. “Go ahead, Lieutenant General dee Veyra; I won’t take all the credit.”
General Deschner stopped looking at the table with the Kradnak being displayed and looked at Lieutenant General dee Veyra.
“Well thank you, I appreciate that.” She calmly spoke as she cleared her throat and moved her hand the same way as Lieutenant General Armitage did. “My team over at TAT came up with a weapon that has not been weaponized before. Allow me to give you an example.” She said proudly.
Lieutenant General dee Veyra moved her hand again, and the hologram did precisely what she was saying. “We armed the Kradnak with Antimatter. We combined the Antimatter with heat-seeking, automated missiles.”
General Deschner's mouth fell slightly open.
“We thought it could not work and wanted to surprise you. We were able to test it with a little bit of trial and error. Honestly, it didn’t take us that long, right Lieutenant General Armitage?” She turned and smiled at Lieutenant General Armitage.
“Nope, she’s absolutely right; it took us what, like six months or so?” he chuckled, then she laughed. “More trial than error, luckily!”
“You weaponized Antimatter, though…” General Deschner shook his head. “You do know what that can do, right?”
“Absolutely, that is why we had the Kradnak created with the strongest metals known to us. We used mostly Chromanium with a bit of Titanium…”
General Deschner looked in awe. “How in the – you were able to get your hands on Chromanium? How exactly?”
“Well, honestly, it wasn’t just Lieutenant General dee Veyra that helped; it was most of us. Major General Solbrig and Reingle helped out with the more technical aspect of it all.” Lieutenant General Armitage admitted.
General Deschner looked at the Major Generals and slightly nodded. “Impressive.” He nodded again. “Tell me more.”
“Well…” Major General Solbrig started to speak, “As general of the STAV, I had to find out a way to make safety the number one concern amongst our fellow transhumans. My task for working on the Kradnak was to make sure that the body of the Kradnak was reinforced with the best armor possible. We wanted to make sure nothing could penetrate the frame of it.”
Major General Solbrig moved his hands out, palms facing outwards. “Every single test we conducted on the Kradnak was about testing the durability of it, and it passed. We barely had to make revisions; we did not test it against Antimatter because well…”
“I understand.” General Deschner nodded.
Major General Reingle chimed in. “General, if you mind…”
General Deschner waved his hand. “You have the floor.”
“Thank you, General.” Major General Reingle waved his hands; the hologram showed folders on the table for all to see. The dossiers were labeled: “Classified: Antimatter.” “Classified: Kradnak.” “Classified: Solar Energy.” “Classified: Chromanium.” And other folders, some non-operational, and others were not shown to be read.
“Inside each of these folders are everything we know about each topic. My team over at SIR compiled all this information… it took a while, but it was worth it.”
General Deschner picked up the document labeled “Classified: Antimatter,” opened it, and flipped through the pages of it. Each time he turned a page, he licked his thumb and grabbed it. The other generals looked at General Deschner.
“I enjoy being the general at SIR; we have to conduct various experiments on chemicals, liquids, gases, and other minor properties. We especially had a hard time tracking down Chromanium, but luckily we were able to pinpoint the nearest asteroid that contained trace elements of Chromanium and then harvested its resources.”
“You’ve done a great job for the Syndicate, Major General Reingle.” General Deschner put away the papers and closed the document, and then he moved his hands to the left, and the hologram vanished. Then he looked at the generals. “All of you. You have done well.” He smiled. “Major Generals Lokhorst and Brentari, I have a request.”
Their heads piqued towards him, and they smiled at him.
“I want you two to work together and work on the relationships between the inhabitants of Varenok and Snakardekus. I am sure, with your expertise in your divisions combined, you two can work on the relations.”
The Major Generals Lokhorst and Brentari nodded, and in unison, they spoke.
“Anything else that I might have missed in this meeting, Lieutenants?” General Deschner asked.
Lt General dee Veyra looked away, trying to remember if anything was missed. Lieutenant General Armitage looked concerned and opened his mouth slightly.
“General Deschner, I have a question. I do not mean to overstep when I ask this, but…”
“Go ahead, Lieutenant.”
“Is there a reason outside of building our military strength that you wanted the Kradnak to be produced?” Lieutenant General Armitage asked.
General Deschner’s eyes got small, and his lips moved together. “Sometimes Lieutenant, you must plan ahead even if it seems like all is quiet. Nothing bad about being prepared, right?” General Deschner winked at him.
General Deschner looked down and thought for a moment, then he moved his left hand over the table and then moved both his hands as if he were sorting through notes. The other generals could not see what he was doing. He was looking at two folders labeled: “Classified: Snakardekus” and “Classified: Varenok.”
He pulled the two folders and threw them in the air in front of him, and with a flick of his wrist, he was reading through the folders as he flipped through the pages. His eye implants scanned the words and pictures. In a moment, he had flipped through all the pages for both worlds, and he closed the folders and wiped away the holograms.
“Major Generals, I have a mission for all four of you. You four have knowledge of public relations, education, and transportation. I know I just told Major Generals Brentari and Lokhorst to work on the relations, but I changed my mind. I feel like all four of you could benefit from this experience. You four will go to Snakardekus and Varenok to work on the relations between the inhabitants. Snakardekus and Varenok are not like anything that you have ever seen before.” General Deschner smiled. “Just remember to try and enjoy yourselves.” He chuckled.
“When would you want us to leave then, General?” asked Major General Brentari.
“Tomorrow morning.” He stated. “You four will break up into groups of two. Major Generals Reingle and Solbrig will go to Snakardekus, and Brentari and Lokhorst will go to Varenok. Your mission is to discover information about the planet and its inhabitants. You will learn what they enjoy and what they hate. Do what you can in one month and pass the information to the other group. After that month is over, you will leave the planet and go to the other one with the new information. This way, hoping we can learn more from what we will already know.”
The four Major Generals made eye contact across the table and nodded.
“Yes, General,” they agreed in unison.
General Deschner looked at Lieutenant General Armitage, and he continued speaking. “You will stay here, and we will call MOD and have them fly two Drakdels up here for your ships tomorrow.” General Deschner explained, then he looked at the Major Generals again.
“Yes, General.” Lieutenant General Armitage stated.
“Do what you must to get ready. You’ll spend most of the day tomorrow traveling, so you need to leave by 0600 hours.”
The generals nodded their heads.
“Oh, and Major General Reingle?”
“Don’t fret; it’ll be fun; you might learn a thing or two.” He smiled.
“Yes, General.” He smiled.
“You are all dismissed except you for Lieutenant General Armitage.”
Lieutenant General dee Veyra and the four Major Generals stood up from their chairs and walked over to the door. Lieutenant General dee Veyra then pressed the button, and the doors opened, and they walked through to the other side, and the doors closed behind them.
Lieutenant General Armitage moved his chair so that he was sitting across from General Deschner.
“I’m curious about something, General.”
“Sure, what is it?”
“Well…Why did you ask that I stay behind? You are the General over all of Nuwurth. You don’t need me to call MOD for you; you can do it yourself.”
“Well… First, I just want to say that you are brave for flat out asking. I admire that. I figured that I could talk to you about something. I’ll call MOD for the Drakdels after we’re done here, but I trust you, Lieutenant. I want you to join me.”
“What do you mean by that exactly, General?” Lieutenant General Armitage’s eyebrows tightened. “I already joined you; I am your Lieutenant, aren’t I?”
“You are indeed, but that isn’t quite what I meant, Lieutenant.” General Deschner exhaled. “I have a secret mission, and I want you to help me with it.”
Lieutenant General Armitage felt nervous, and his face showed how he feLieutenant
“Are you okay?” asked General Deschner.
“Yeah…I’m…uh just thinking is all General.”
“Well, what are you thinking about? I haven’t told you any details, nor have I told you about the mission.” He smirked.
“Yeah, you’re right sorry I guess I just had something on my mind.”
“Well, you need to fix that if you want to join me. So, will you help me with the mission? No other general knows about this, not Lieutenant General dee Veyra.” General Deschner explained, “I cannot tell you what it is beforehand, either you join me, or you don’t.”
Either he’s lying to me, or he's sincere. Why would he not fill in dee Veyra, and why just me? He had no reason to lie to me; he never had before. General Deschner was not a man to lie; I should know I have worked under him for many years, and he not once lied to me.
“Sure.” Lieutenant General Armitage agreed. “I’ll accept your mission.”
“I was hoping you would. I didn’t promote you for no reason, after all. I like you, Armitage, and I can see a future between the two of us.”
“I’m curious though, why haven’t you told Lieutenant General dee Veyra?”
“Well, to be honest with you… I’m not supposed to have a favorite, but I do. We all have favorites. Don’t get me wrong, she does her job well, and she is a great general for TAT, but she is not you.”
“Of course, she’s not me, General.”
“That’s why I asked you, not her. I see a lot of me in you, and that is a good thing. I know you won’t let me down.” General Deschner smiled.
Lieutenant General Armitage shrugged and smiled back at him. “So, what exactly is your mission, General?”
“First things first Lieutenant, the mission that I am sending the Major Generals on isn’t all fun and games. As you may have already suspected. I have been secretly probing Snakardekus for information, and it seems to me, or at least what I can infer from watching the Snargde is that some sort of battle or war is going to take place.” General Deschner put his hands together with each finger touching the same on the opposite hand. “Now, they think they are going to these planets for a scouting mission, but really I am sending them unknowingly into a hostile environment.”
Lieutenant General Armitage’s eyes widened as he heard the news. “You’re doing…what!? You realize those are our Major Generals, right!?”
General Deschner put his hand out. “Before you get angry at me, just listen.” General Deschner moved his left hand over the table, and a hologram from his INH showed the planet Snakardekus. “Look, Snakardekus is roughly two to three times bigger than Nuwurth. Most of it is desert with some rocky terrain, okay?”
As General Deschner described Snakardekus, he moved his hand in a circle, which enlarged the planet to show Lieutenant General Armitage what exactly he was talking about.
“I’m not exactly sure where the Snargde is located. Honestly, they are rarely seen. Lately, I have seen some strange creatures wearing some brown clothing. I believe it is Snargde, but I’m uncertain.”
“The… Snargde…are real?”
“Apparently so.” General Deschner moved his left hand to the side as he wiped away Snakardekus, and multiple pictures appeared of the creatures in the brown cloth. Many photographs were taken of the mysterious hooded creatures. Pictures were shown from close-up, far away, heat vision, 3-D images, and other miscellaneous pictures. Lieutenant General Armitage could not believe what he was looking at. An alien species that he has only heard about but has never seen before right in front of his face as living proof.
General Deschner had kept secrets from us, but why?
“I am hoping the Major Generals will compile data that could lead us to what the hooded creatures are. If they are new to Snakardekus, we need to know why. Many questions that need answers, Lieutenant.” General Deschner explained.
“What exactly do you think they are going to accomplish by going to Snakardekus? You think the Snargde – if that is what those are. You think they are going to accept foreign visitors and be grateful that we are going to their planet uninvited?” Lieutenant General Armitage asked. “That sounds like a great way to start a war.”
“I realize it may seem that way, which is why I am sending them on this mission. We need to know firsthand what we those are.”
“How are you so calm about this? You do realize you are sending them into possibly a hostile territory without any weapons or firepower, right? You know the Drakdels don’t have any sort of weaponry on them…” Lieutenant General Armitage stood up abruptly, and the chair moved back he stood across the table, with his voice raised at General Deschner. “You are putting them in danger!”
General Deschner leaned back in his chair and propped his feet on the desk. “I realize everything I am doing. Do you realize by sending some of our own generals into a planet who are armed with weapons headed towards their planet? What kind of sign would that say?”
General Deschner paused and gave Lieutenant General Armitage a moment to answer.
“What, do you have nothing to say? That would send a message and a bad one. By sending the Major Generals to these planets, the Snargde and Frochen won’t care if we are there or not.” General Deschner folded his arms together. “Oh, and the Frochen appears to exist as well. Don’t worry, Lieutenant General Armitage, it is all taken care of.”
“Frochen? Really? But…how? What is that supposed to mean that it is all taken care of?” asked Lieutenant General Armitage.
“They are generals, and they earned this position. They know the risks.”
I could not believe what I was hearing. General Deschner is literally taking a risk and sacrificing his own people for transhumans.
Lieutenant General Armitage sat there quietly in his thoughts.
“This may come as a shock to you, but you realize this is what we have to do, right?”
I must play along, at least for now, if I can just warn the Major Generals they might be able to be better prepared.
“After thinking about it, I think you are making the best decision not only for us generals but for Nuwurth and all the transhumans.” Lieutenant General Armitage tried to sound sincere. “I should have agreed with you earlier.”
“I’m glad you agree. I knew you would. You definitely remind me of myself, but in a much younger form, that’s for sure.” General Deschner chuckled. “When I was Lieutenant General, General Rhukduhl was in charge, if he ever said something like this to me…I would try to stop it from happening.”
“Can I ask why you would try to stop it, General?”
“Well…to be honest, I was naïve back then. I valued transhuman lives over the greater good. Since then, I have learned that one life is less valuable than beneficial information, that’s for sure.” General Deschner smiled. “That’s why, Lieutenant.”
Wow…he just admitted it. Lieutenant General Armitage thought. “You know, you’re definitely right about that, General!”
General Deschner smiled again. “Good, I’m glad you feel the same way. I knew I could trust you. Well… I better make a call to MOD and talk to Brigadier General Maruo. Go ahead and continue building more Kradnaks!”
“Yes, General!” Lieutenant General Armitage stood up and walked to the door and pressed the button, and the doors opened.
Lieutenant General Armitage turned to his left and looked at General Deschner.
“You forgot something.” He declared. “Open your INH”
Lieutenant General Armitage obeyed and waved his hand and opened his INH General Deschner tapped a button and flicked his fingers in the direction of Lieutenant General Armitage and on his screen were the words:
DOWNLOADING DATA FROM GENERAL DESCHNER
DOWNLOAD? YES OR NO
OPEN? YES OR NO
“What is this?” he asked.
“Oh, you know, our little secret.” He smiled. “Top secret mission, right?”
Lieutenant General Armitage nodded. He had not the slightest clue what he downloaded from him.
“Check out your new files when you get a chance.”
“Yes, General, you’ve got it!” He smiled.
“Good, thank you! I’ll be seeing you real soon. I just know it.”
Lieutenant General Armitage walked through the threshold, and the doors closed behind him.
I must warn them before they leave in ten hours.
Lieutenant General Armitage moved his left hand from his side and waved it across his face to open his INH. All sorts of shapes appeared on the hologram. Each form represented a button, and each button denoted a program. Lieutenant General Armitage had many programs on his I.N.H, some of the programs were in English, and those that were labeled: Call, Division Information, General Information, Health Progression, History, Mail, Message, Nuwurth Archives, Pictures, Scan, Videos, and many others.
Lieutenant General Armitage tapped on “Call.” Then he scrolled up and down through his contacts and selected the four Major Generals and called them on his INH With his right hand, he waved it to the side and brought up the ship's directory.
At that moment all four Major Generals had their INH projecting a message that read:
LIEUTENANT GENERAL ARMITAGE IS CALLING.
“Hello, Major Generals.” Lieutenant General Armitage expressed concern in his voice. “I know we were just in a meeting, but could you meet me somewhere? General Deschner forgot to tell you something.”
It was odd to the Major Generals that General Deschner would not call them himself, but nonetheless, he was a Lieutenant General, and he had just spoken to General Deschner.
“Uh…sure Lieutenant, but where?” Major General Lokhorst agreed.
The Major Generals waved their hand to bring up the ship's directory, as Lieutenant General Armitage did. Lieutenant General Armitage moved his right hand right on his INH while browsing through the USV Valkanaut on the left side, and the four screens of the Major Generals on the other side and he was searching for a place that would be secluded, but with such a small ship it was almost impossible.
“Hmm…” Lieutenant General Armitage thought. “What about the Medbay?”
“Sure,” Major General Lokhorst agreed.
“We’ll be right there.” Major General Solbrig stated.
“Sounds good. Meet you there.” Lieutenant General Armitage spoke. “And hurry.”
Lieutenant General Armitage nodded to them and wiped his screen away. Lieutenant General Armitage started walking to the Medbay. It was not far away, he thought. I just have to walk through one hall, then the Nexus, then another hall then Medbay. Simple enough. As Lieutenant General Armitage was walking, he could not stop thinking about the conversation that he just had with General Deschner. Does he sincerely believe that our lives are not worth anything?
Lieutenant General Armitage walked through the hallway into the Nexus. The Nexus was about a fourth of the USV Valkanaut’s size. The Nexus was the place where they ate food, lounged around, and relaxed. Half of it was painted baby blue where the kitchen was, and the other half was a beige color. In one corner of the Nexus was a projector that could be used to enlarge an INH to show the others if need be. The Nexus was an area where someone was always using their INH for research or leisure. This was the place where business was set aside, and pleasure took over. Lieutenant General Armitage looked around. Good, no one is here.
Lieutenant General Armitage continued walking to the Medbay and thought intensely. Almost there, Now how am I going to tell them what I know? What am I going to do about weapons? Should I inform Lieutenant General dee Veyra about this situation? I wonder if she would tell me if she was in my position? He shook his head. No, I cannot tell her. She would go to General Deschner about it. I have to keep this to myself. Just stick to the plan.
Lieutenant General Armitage pressed the button on the panel to the Medbay doors, and the doors slid open he walked inside, and the doors closed behind him. The Medbay was well lit. On the left side of the Medbay had four beds. Above the beds were two big circular metal objects that resembled dishes that were hanging from the ceiling over the beds.
These dishes would scan and produce electromagnetic radiation that would accurately scan the transhuman and relay the results to the Caretakers’ INH. The dishes would display a hologram above the individual to notify all the statistics of the transhuman lying down.
On the right side of the Medbay were two cylindrical shaped tubes, which were big enough that a transhuman could fit into. They were used for specimen identification and testing. The glass casing would fill up with a liquid, almost reverting the specimen back to life in the amniotic sac while having a breathing apparatus mask on. This was the most humane way; one could study a live sample without having to harm it.
Past the tubes was a desk with a black chair. The desk was bigger than normal, and it was flat and white, almost see-through like it was made out of glass. This desk was used to enlarge the I.N.H of any patients on more than one screen for medical reasons. Lieutenant General Armitage walked to the chair and sat down in it. The chair lifted itself up and started to levitate like the other chairs in the meeting room with General Deschner. While he sat down, he waved his right hand in the air, and his I.N.H appeared, tapped on the “Files” button, and he saw what General Deschner gave him. Two files that read: “NEW: SNAKARDEKUS” and “NEW: VARENOK.”
They should be here soon. Oh well, I guess I’ll start looking at these files.
Lieutenant General Armitage tapped on the Varenok file, and it opened before his eyes. Numerous pictures appeared from it. Photographs of the planet from space and from up close via a probe. There was data that were passed down from past Generals had sent probes to Varenok to try to discover more information about the blue planet.
He sifted through the documents and put them on the left side. Underneath the documents were videos. He tapped on one, and it started to play. In the video it showed three large landmasses, they had ice and snow on them. The video zoomed in as if something flew by while recording. There was a group of creatures on one of the snow-covered landmasses, on the screen captions appeared that explained what the individual was watching. The captions read that:
“These animals were called Brulids, and they are a type of land creature on Varenok that uses its massive amounts of body hair to stay warm. The Brulids can be seen on all landmasses of Varenok, and these are smart creatures that can easily capture their prey. They are tall creatures with heights up to ten feet for males and eight feet for females. The Brulids weight ranges from six hundred to seven hundred pounds. They have small beady black eyes with a snout that protrudes, and their incisors hang out of their mouth, making it seem as if they have fangs. The Brulids have six digits on each paw with sharp nails which they use to capture prey. The Brulids are also excellent swimmers. They can swim almost as fast as other aquatic life, but quickly have an advantage due to their claws. The Brulids squat on the side of the land and move their tail in the water and wait until a fish latches on. When their tails enter the water, pheromone releases, which attract bait. Their tails are designed to trap anything that grabs ahold of it due to the end of their tail that looks like the letter y. When the Brulid feels something biting its tail, it then moves its tail out of the water, turns around, and hits it against the ground, killing it in the process.”
Lieutenant General Armitage watched the video of the Brulids intently. He had never seen a creature like those before.
“Whoa…” he uttered softly.
I don’t care if it is against protocol, I must show this to Major Generals Reingle and Solbrig for their safety.
Lieutenant General Armitage heard the Medbay doors open, and he jumped in the chair.
“Did we scare you, Lieutenant?” asked Major General Lokhorst as she walked in, followed by the other three Major Generals.
“Oh, no.” he chuckled and shook his head and waved his hand to clear out his INH. “No, I was just…looking at the schematics for the Drakdels… that’s all.”
“We won’t tell General Deschner that we scared you.” Major General Brentari laughed.
Lieutenant General Armitage smiled and shook his head. “Thanks, don’t blow my cover.”
“So why did you call to meet us…especially in the Medbay?” asked Major General Reingle. “Is something wrong?”
“Well…yes, I mean no, I figured you all should be fully equipped with the latest and best tools and resources for sample collection, creature scans, and to show you how to upload everything to the INH.”
“I already know how to do all of that.” Major General Reingle noted. “I am the general for SIR…”
“Oh, I know, and I realize that, but do the other Major Generals know how to do this? What about Lokhorst and Brentari? Were you going to teach them?”
Major General Reingle stood there frozen, then he shook his head. “Well…” he started to speak. “I… guess I did not think about that…”
“I’m not concerned about you, Solbrig. You’ve been here even longer than I have.” Lieutenant General Armitage smiled playfully at him.
“Yeah, thanks, Lieutenant.” Major General Solbrig sarcastically thanked him and shook his head.
“Don’t sweat it, that’s what I’m here for.” Lieutenant General Armitage smiled. “Allow me to go over the basics with you all real quick.”
All four of the Major Generals walked closer to Lieutenant General Armitage while he stood up from his chair.
“Okay, so… Snakardekus and Varenok are two different planets with opposite climates, right? Well, when you go to those planets, you have to make sure to check your internal temperature or have your partner do it for you.” Lieutenant General Armitage waved his hand, and his INH appeared in front of the five of them.
“Right here is my internal body temperature.” He pointed to the top right of the I.N.H, which also displayed the time which was 20:12 and his temperature, which was 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the ship, which was 73.4, and the outside temperature, which was -454.81 degrees Fahrenheit.
“When you wave your hand over somebody, the INH will register what you want the temperature to be shown will appear. Like this.”
Lieutenant General Armitage waved his hand over Major General Lokhorst. “Look 98.6 degrees.”
The generals nodded their heads in agreement.
“This is how you would do a creature scan. To be honest, though, I’m not quite sure what sorts of creatures you will encounter in Varenok and Snakardekus.”
I can’t tell them about the Brulids, who knows how they will react.
“From far away, you can wave your hand and then point at the object you want to scan. Whatever it is, the INH will pick it up and scan it. For instance, if you were to scan minerals and rocks, the INH will tell you everything about it. If it is igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic, or unknown.”
“Creatures will be different since no transhuman has ever gone to these planets. Most of the information that you gather will be either unknown or it will try to incorporate and compare to what we already know-”
“We know? What do you mean? We know about the creatures there, Lieutenant?” asked Major General Solbrig.
“No, no.” He had to think without telling them what he had seen about the Brulids. “No, what I meant was that the creatures that are on Nuwurth. That is what I meant.”
Major General Solbrig nodded. “Gotcha, Lieutenant.”
Phew, that was close.
“The readings should indicate information such as organic matter or what the creature is made from. For example, creatures with fur, or fangs, or scales. That sort of thing. It should also tell you their internal temperature.”
“Well, that’s not too hard, right? To sample objects, you will need to learn how to harvest resources and how to upload it to the INH.. which you should already know how to do that.” Lieutenant General Armitage stated. “If not, here’s a crash course.”
“I can show them how to harvest resources.” Major General Reingle explained. “It’s not that hard.”
“Well, it is good to know that you know how to Reingle, but the rest of you do not, so I will show you all how to.” Lieutenant General Armitage looked around the room as he continued to talk. “You see this little plant right here?” Lieutenant General Armitage pointed past the generals and to the nearest window to their left and saw a potted plant on an end table. The generals turned and looked at it.
“So, say that is something, a creature or an object that you had no clue what it was. What would you do first?” asked Lieutenant General Armitage.
“Of course, you would bring up your INH.” Major General Lokhorst stated.
“Of course.” Lieutenant General Armitage agreed. “What’s next, though? How could I go about harvesting it and sampling it?”
Major General Lokhorst waved her hand and opened her INH then she looked for a button to scan the object with.
“There’s no button here to scan.” She asked, confused.
“Well, actually, there is, but you just don’t have it yet.” Lieutenant General Armitage replied.
“What do you mean?” Major General Lokhorst asked.
Major General Reingle waved his hand opened his INH, and saw the button “Scan” and tapped it and pointed at the plant, and his INH emitted lasers that only the eye implants could see. These lasers moved up and down on the plant. All the generals stopped what they were doing and watched Major General Reingle scan the plant.
“How did you scan that?” Major General Lokhorst asked.
“I am the general of SIR, remember? I have access to it.”
The Major Generals looked at each other confused, then they turned to Lieutenant General Armitage.
Major General Solbrig’s eyes squinted as he asked. “What does that mean, Lieutenant?”
“Well…” Lieutenant General Armitage started to speak. “Well… you see, you weren’t supposed to know about this, but each general has its own set of unique files to them according to their division.”
“How come you can access it then?” Major General Brentari asked angrily. “I know you are the Lieutenant General and all, but still, where is the privacy? Where is the trust?”
“Yeah! Why do you have files that we don’t?” Major General Brentari asked.
Lieutenant General opened his INH and tapped a button, and instantly the Major Generals’ INH disappeared.
“What the…What happened?” Major General Lokhorst asked, confused.
The Major Generals tried to turn their INH on but instead looked as if they were furiously waving to one another in the air without any response back.
“What did you do?” Major General Lokhorst asked.
“Yeah! You locked us out! Why?” Major General Reingle asked.
“Listen.” Lieutenant General Armitage tried to speak. “I can do more than just that, but just listen to me.”
The Major Generals shook their heads and stood there quietly.
“Good.” Lieutenant General Armitage opened his INH again and unlocked theirs. “There, I unlocked it. Before you open it, listen to me.”
“Tell us how you can access it!” Major General Lokhorst yelled.
“Alright, alright.” Lieutenant General Armitage reassured them. “Go on, go sit down on one of the beds there, and I will tell you all you need to know.”
He motioned them to where the beds were located. One by one, they turned around, and each Major General walked to the edge of the bed and sat down and looked at him.
“Okay, so first…yes. All Lieutenants have access to everything a Major General has.” He sounded defeated for their sake. “But that can be a good thing.”
“How so?” Major General Brentari asked. “You could just override what we do; you don’t really need us.”
If only she knew what General Deschner thought of them.
“We wouldn’t, though. We have zero need to do that unless situations got out of hand or a Major turned rogue.” Lieutenant General Armitage explained. “Those were the rules.”
“What rules?” Major General Reingle asked.
“The rules that we abide by when we become sworn in as Lieutenants.” Lieutenant General Armitage explained. “Open up your INH except for you, Reingle.”
Major General Reingle squinted his eyes but obeyed as he saw the other Major Generals listen to Lieutenant General Armitage.
Lieutenant General Armitage opened his INH and pressed the button “Contacts,” then he selected Lokhorst, Zaiyah, Solbrig, Cade, and Brentari, Kasra.
“Okay, I shouldn’t do this, but I am only doing this because I’m worried about your safety. I want to make sure you are well equipped.”
After he selected the contacts, he then tapped on “Files,” then he scrolled down to “Scan,” and attached it, and then hit the “Send” button. In a moment, Major Generals Lokhorst, Solbrig, and Brentari all received the file on their INH that read:
FILE RECEIVED FROM LIEUTENANT GENERAL ARMITAGE
OPEN? YES OR NO
DOWNLOAD? YES OR NO
They looked at him when they saw the text on their INH
“Go ahead, download it.” He nodded.
They all tapped download, and, in a moment, it was done, and on their INH was the button labeled “Scan.”
“As I was saying, you would open your INH and press the “Scan” button…” repeated Lieutenant General Armitage. “After that, you let it do its work.”
The Major Generals followed his command and pressed the “Scan” button on their INH Lasers projected from their INH to the plant, and in a moment, an analysis popped up on his INH that had an in-depth description all about the plant. Statistics and history of its type, lifecycle, how big it will grow, what it can produce, and so on.
“It’s that easy?” Major General Lokhorst asked.
“Yes.” Major General Reingle agreed.
Lieutenant General Armitage nodded. “Yes, it is. After you scanned something, it will download its data into your “Files.” Since you will be going to a new planet, well planets, in this case, to be exact, you probably will not receive any information on the creature or object other than what your INH can identify from looking at it.”
Lieutenant General Armitage opened his INH and tapped on “Files” and scrolled down to “NEW: SNAKARDEKUS” and “NEW: VARENOK” and tapped the two files and tapped on “Send To” and selected the names of the Major Generals.
“Look, I should not do this, but I have to… I cannot risk your lives by withholding this information.” Lieutenant General Armitage uttered. “This will give you a lot of information that you need for your mission.”
The Major Generals curiously waved their hands, and their INH’s were closed and looked at him.
“What do you mean, Lieutenant?” Major General Solbrig asked.
“Everything okay?” Major General Brentari asked.
“No, everything is not okay… after you left, I was alone with General Deschner, and he gave me these.” After he spoke, he hit “Send,” and each Major General received the files.
FILES RECEIVED FROM LIEUTENANT GENERAL ARMITAGE
DOWNLOAD? YES OR NO
OPEN? YES OR NO.
They looked at him, confused and worried.
“Go ahead, open it.” He motioned. “Won’t do me any good withholding that.”
They each then tapped on “Download” and then “Files” when it was done downloading. The two files were there “NEW: SNAKARDEKUS” and “NEW: VARENOK.” Each Major General tapped on the file and waved their hand furiously, looking inside of what they had just received.
A few moments passed, and it made Lieutenant General Armitage nervous. He opened his INH and tapped the “lock” button, locking each Major General out of their INH
“Hey! What gives?” Major General Brentari snapped.
“Really? Again?” Major General Reingle asked.
“Yeah! Come on, Lieutenant!” Major General Lokhorst shouted.
“Open and read these when we are done here. You understand?” Lieutenant General Armitage shook his head. “I’ve said too much, and I have done much more.”
The Major Generals looked confused at what he was telling them.
“Just listen to me, please…” Lieutenant General Armitage pleaded with them. “Just study these notes and prepare yourselves.”
“Okay, okay…” Major General Solbrig tried to console him. “We will.”
Lieutenant General Armitage opened his INH and unlocked theirs once again.
“Good, now go to your cabin before General Deschner or Lieutenant dee Veyra finds this to be suspicious.”
“Okay… say, where is she, anyway?” Major General Lokhorst asked.
Lieutenant General Armitage shook his head. “She wouldn’t understand. Look, just leave and remember what I told you.”
The Major Generals nodded, and they stood up from the beds and walked to the door. Major General Reingle pressed the button, and the doors slide open, and they walked out. Major General Lokhorst was the last one, and before she walked through the threshold to the hall, she turned around to Lieutenant General Armitage.
“Thank you, I appreciate it. I don’t know what you’ve done, but thanks.”
He nodded to her, and she turned around and walked away, and the doors shut behind her.
Was that the right decision in letting them know? I didn’t even read anything about Snakardekus. I’m sure they will be fine, but what if. I just don’t know if that was the right decision. Lieutenant General Armitage shook his head and walked to the door and pressed the button and walked through the doorway, and the door shut behind him. I cannot let it beat me up. I made my decision, and I am stuck with it.
He walked through the hallways to his cabin and pressed the button to open it. When inside his room, the doors closed, and the lights turned on. He saw his bed, which was disheveled, but he enjoyed it that way. He looked around his room, overlooking his bed was a window so he could see space. Across his bed were his desk and a chair. To the right of that was right a dresser and then a door for the bathroom. He walked over to his bed and fell on it, closed his eyes, and passed out.
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Nicholas is a nerd at heart. His love for science fiction began at an early age, and since then he has fallen in love with the genre even more. His favorite science fiction movie is the Star Wars trilogy. (The original trilogy, which is arguably the best.)
When Nicholas isn't writing, he is hanging out with his wife and their two cats. He could be camping in the woods, though!