The Final Sunrise

Chapter 1

Mysteries

The year is 3003, a new beginning for humanity. For a while we have been waging war against a mighty race. A race that feared us so much, they attempted genocide. The thing they feared was our ability to change. That very factor that led to their very undoing. For people like me, things never seem to change. I'm a transport pilot, only a transport pilot, nothing special like the Three who saved us in the end. I am not like the legendary captains and admirals of their mighty fleets. I'm just a transport pilot.

In these turbulent times a new order has formed. I'm no politician so I don't care. My philosophy is that if works don't worry about it. I seriously could not care less about those bureaucratic bastards that make our laws. Finally the Anubians have set down, we are once again a relatively peaceful race till someone steps in your artificial lawn. Damn it, I have a call.

"Kevin. When is that blasted transport of yours coming in? You were supposed to have delivered it yesterday!" my boss yelled at me.

"Mr. Reynolds. Some privateers delayed me. Obviously people still don't like us," I lied.

"Kevin, why in the lord's name are you always lying out of your ass. These transports of ours have tracking devices, and last time I checked you weren't even at the checkpoint. If you don't get in by today your fired!" he yelled.

"Yes sir. I'll be there in less than 3 hours," I said, checking the computer for the time calculation. Damn, I hate my boss.

"Tunnel drives are almost fully charged," Deke, my computer, announced.

"Deke. Initiate full burn on my mark. Then move straight into the tunnel drives," I ordered.

"Preparing to initiate. Systems are optimal. Now folding lock systems on cargo. Firing full burn now," Deke announced.

"Activate tunnel drives," I ordered.

"Tunnel drives active in 5…4…3…2…1…," Deke announced, and my transport lanced forward, reaching the required speed to create the portal in normal space. Then all was white, and I was put into hibernation.

I woke up about 3 hours later. I checked the computer readings to be sure of my coordinates. Yes, almost at the Deloft station. "Warning. I am picking up distress calls. They are on the Deloft station's moon. It looks like a military encryption signature," Deke said.

"WHAT! Impossible. There is no military presence anywhere near here!" I sputtered.

"Would you like me to play the message?" Deke said.

"Yes might as well," I scowled.

"There was an ambush! We were scouting the moon for minerals to mine, when a patrol of aliens I haven't seen before attacked us. We're backed against our ship. Requesting military intervention," the message played.

"Deke do we have any weapons on board?" I asked.

"I do not suggest you lend aid. We will violate Mr. Reynolds orders," Deke said.

"If you think I will stand aside and let them get killed. You're wrong. Do we have weapons onboard!" I yelled.

"Yes. We have a K-117 upgraded assault rifle with burst options. We also have a plasma pistol. Three cartridges for each," Deke replied.

"Give me an update on the planet status. How many have transports run in," I asked, wondering if there was a connection.

"Two. One supply shipment by Gauge Industries, and an Adel shipment with no identification," Deke replied.

"No identification? How so?"

"There was no ID on the pilot, the cargo, or the ship. It was a blank vessel that landed on the moon. The research and supply station noted the landing and supposedly there was a scheduled supply shipment. They ordered the scouting party on the moon to discover the whereabouts of the transport," Deke answered.

"Well that would explain a lot. How long ago was this?"

"Three days."

"Three days!"

"Yes."

"Why the hell didn't you tell me that?" I demanded, annoyed with the SAI of the damn machine. SAI stood for a type of artificial intelligence. A part of the programming code within the AI itself, SAI, short for Self-Advancing Intelligence, was a system created to allow Artificial Intelligences to learn and to mature. I'd flown almost 70 some shipments in the Phoenix Lance, and my self-advancing intelligence system on the computer had "grown" quite a bit. But still. The damn thing was stupid. Even though I designed it myself, the government had heavy restrictions on the intelligence levels on a ship's AI. I had to be slow.

"Because you did not ask. My program parameters are strictly bond by question then answer."

"Shut up. I understand your programming. Damn it. But still, there may still be a chance. You still have my old marine armor and pressurization suit right?"

"Yes sir."

"Well. Auto pilot land," I said, still slightly annoyed. I released my seat restraints and activated the artificial gravity generator so I could suit up better. After making sure I was on the ground, I walked through and hit the switch to open the hatch. Inside a locker was a relic of a suit of armor from the Tide Wars. It was so old it still operated off a simple ethereal power supply using near depleted uranium. It didn't generate a lot of power, but at least it won't blow you to hell if it went nuclear.

"Well Pac. It's been a while," I said. I had served for almost 10 years in the Tide War, as a special branch of marine. Scout Division. The suit used basic cloaking technology similar to the Chameleon trooper. A generator in the back created a shroud, which enveloped the entire body while an EM coil on the breastplate kept it close enough to retain invisibility.

Optic sensors inlaid into the helmet adjusted the shroud accordingly to blend into the surrounding area like a chameleon, thus the name, Chameleon Trooper. The cloaking field created resembled only a shimmer, and being as Scouts never came close enough contact with the enemy, the shroud however limited was highly effective. Sadly enough, the Chameleon divisions were disbanded. The Federation disliked the insecurity of having invisible soldiers strut around with arrogant attitudes.

"Deke. How much longer till we land."

"Two minutes," it replied.

"Prepare the air lock," I ordered, pulling on my helmet and making sure the air seal and pressure seal where firmly locked in place. Turning around I hit the switch for the other locker Deke said the weapons were stored in. Sure enough there was simple plasma pistol, and an assault rifle. The boss didn't like his transporters, an ill given nickname, flying heavily armed.

"We've landed Kevin. Air lock prepared. Are you ready to go?" Deke asked.

"I want a communication umbilical cord between us. I don't have active sensors in this suit. I'll need you to guide me," I said.

"Understood. Establishing the link. Do you read the transmission?" Deke said.

"Yeah. Open the door. I better get moving. How about atmosphere," I said, forgetting to ask.

"Simple atmosphere containing large traces of nitrogen, and helium. There is some presence of oxygen, though prolonged exposure to air is not recommended, but it is breathable in case of emergency," Deke replied.

"Nice to know. Let's get moving," I said. I into a cradle attached to the power pack generating energy for my combat suit. As the air lock opened, the air whooshed in. I turned on my oxygen, worried mostly about the large helium concentration more than anything.

Lush forests of mountains covered the surface. Spires and peaks rose to the very sky, complimented by the shining orb of Deloft, which hung in midair. Checking the computer inlaid into my right gauntlet, the holo-display showed my suit's energy, and oxygen.

"Deke. Where are they? Do you have a signal origin?" I asked.

"Due west. They are not far. I still see life signs, though I cannot make out their shape or form."

"Going," I said. It was amazing that a moon like this could orbit such an ugly planet. The moon itself was a geological marvel, and was much of a riddle to the scientist. It did not have a core. There was no magma, no geological importance except for one fact. However, the Deloft moon had an unusually high concentration of the metal Trinium. Trinium, a super dense dark colored metal, was used primarily in creating alloys for armored plating.

"Deke. I can't make out how many there are. Give me a bio scan of the area surrounding the transport." I ordered. It was odd that even with my enhanced vision they looked blurry. Tapping the main interface panel on my helmet, the HUD's zoom focused. The ambient light from the planet's sun was just enough to see three figures.

"Activate voice shield," I whispered.

"Voice shield activated."

"Deke. Give me an analysis on the three bio signs you detected," I ordered, fearing the answer.

"I detect human and Anubian DNA structures along with some sequences have never seen before. I can't see how though. There seems to be an augmentation in the muscle structure. They have also created a simplistic endoskeleton. This cannot be. The amino acid pairing and structure cannot allow for this," he replied.

"That makes no sense. They have an endoskeleton? There isn't any room for it," I stated, my eyes still trained on them.

"Would you like me to cycle through possible reasons why?" Deke asked.

"Never mind," I said, "give me the targeting system, and boost reflexes."

"Targeting system online. Reflexes at maximum speed," the computer replied. Inside my helmet, the target program took over. The targeting program was designed to track heat signatures. The moment the program initiated my visor changed to infrared display, tracking heat signatures, and targeting the highest concentrations.

"Deke. Go through a full heat scan, and display the warmest areas," I ordered.

"Displaying," Deke responded, the HUD flickering as the screen tinted to show the thermal readings.

"Damn," I whispered, and as my finger eased the trigger, whether or not or should have fired made no difference. They turned and saw me, and then my weapon chattered to life. Depleted uranium shells, capped with armored piercing tips and compressed liquid explosives erupted from the muzzle of my rifle. But half the bullets were deflected. During my service in the military, I've never seen bullets so thoroughly denied.

"Warning. Your position has been made!" Deke warned.

"I know that," I shouted. Switching my gun from single shot to rapid burst I began launching slugs at the motionless enemy, as they stood there and took my fire.

"Warning. Enemies approaching your position," Deke alerted.

"Deke, analyze exoskeleton composition," I ordered, as I kept up the stream of fire. Click. Click. Click. Shit! My gun was out. I pulled the clip release, and the clip shot out of my gun. Reaching back I grabbed another clip and slammed it into the chamber, waiting for the first bullet to load into place with a satisfying click.

"I have the exoskeleton analysis. It is composed off simple organic compounds. The main compound is similar to cartilage, but the remainder is some form of organic metallic hybrid. The makeup is the exact same as Anubian armor, only it has one difference. It's twice as compact and dense, explaining the augmentation of the muscle and skeletal structure," Deke replied.

"That's nice to know," as I stood up, they were getting a little too close for comfort, "I need a weak spot."

"Wait. There is a weak spot. In the joint between the arm and the pectoral region, there is a gap between the pectoral and shoulder plate. Along the joint is also a major artery that has been augmented to increase blood flow to the muscle," Deke replied.

"That's good. Boost targeting program parameters. Engage sniping program," I ordered. Using the sniper program was risky. It activated servos running along my arms to adjust my aim on the target, but required tremendous concentration, as all it did was slightly correct my shots. The one disadvantage to the accuracy boost was I couldn't move so long as it was in effect. I stood still, then. Blam! My gun fired one bullet. It hit, and he went down. Not dead, just stunned. Blam! Blam! Blam! Three shots connected with the remaining two on each of their sides. The first one toppled, it's stabbing claw clutching the wound as he drowned in a torrent of his own blood. The other two however were only slightly stunned. Four more shells slammed into them, and they went down.

"Computer. Any more bio signs," I asked quickly. Still engaged in sniper mode.

"None nearby. The others are almost three or four miles away. There are at least 20 or 30."

"Damn. Autopilot the ship over here," I ordered, "Disengage sniper mode."

"I'm on my way."

"Damn," I said, ranting, "This makes absolutely no sense. Why Deloft of all places. It's out in the middle of nowhere."

"Kevin. I am receiving a transmission from the station itself," Deke reported.

"Play it," I ordered.

"Transport CR-7922. Phoenix Lance. Please state your purpose on the Deloft moon, as well as explain your involvement with the lost transport."

"Tell me who you are, then I'll answer your questions," I demanded, as the Phoenix Lance came up and landed nearby.

"I am Tolth. Now I want some answers," he answered.