Angelika, Queen of Mars Chapter one
The story thus far:
Queen Angelika and her small bands of followers were a month away from home, having fled a revolution fostered by an organization known as "The Eye of the Mother." They appeared to have the support of the people, but that was only their propaganda promoting that. Underneath, it was just another self-serving organization looking for domination. As Captain Varod was always saying,
"Where's there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters. He is the one intent on being the master."
The "Giuffrida," is a second-generation fighter transport of the Marsaid class. Since it is the queen's personal craft, it had been dramatically overhauled with advanced engines, weaponry, and cloaking abilities. While not luxurious, the ten staterooms were comfortable, the beds accommodating two, should someone want company for the night. Queen Angelika Armun, along with captain Boykin Yarod, Mendar Temuchin, Dori Kerk, and general Zennor are of the dominant Murgu race. The queen wears a tight and revealing leather outfit, pleasing other's with it's revelation of her cleavage. She often tells other's she wears it to giver her that extra second to get the jump on enemies threatening her.
The queen's short black hair and white/olive countenance gives her a rather severe appearance, but she counters that with an abundance of finger and wrist jewelry. Captain Boykin Yarod is the queen's pilot, and her chief advisor. While certainly no "yes" man, she often runs ideas by him for the fresh perspective and keen insight he usually gives on her questions.
Sharla Danth is an Averlander, who started out as the queen's personal servant when they were but girls. That eventually turned into devotion, and a lasting friendship. Sharla became the queen's advisor, often times arguing with captain Yarod. Averlander's of both sexes' had a soft grey, light blue skin complexion, and darker eye shadow around their grey cat-like eyes, with black vertical pupils. with silver body decorations adorning her face. Their hair was usually worn at their jaw line, but not always. The male's hair ranged from a very deep and dark ret, to the more common black, worn at medium length or short.
Rek Stirner is a male Averlander, on and off lover of Sharla, and the ship's engineer. Averlander's were often thought ignorant of technology, but when not flying, Rek could be found racing Streadtreks. These were rugged all terrain vehicles designed to run at high speed across extremely rough terrain. Knowledge of mechanics and engineering are a must for anyone involved in this sport.
Tarf Edipon is a Sammand, male standing at roughly six feet.
Built like a Streadtrek, his sinister appearance belayed his extreme sense of humor. Accidentally left behind by a Sammad trade mission, he befriended captain Yarod, who told him to "Make yourself useful." he did, and has been a part of the queen's crew ever since. Versed in every sort of weapon, he can easily make one if the need arises. Usually found in the engine room helping Rek, exchanging wild stories. Tarf's other pastime is tormenting young Dori the ship's electronics whiz. Practical jokes and off color remarks might indicate adversity between the two, but Tarf in truth is devoted to her.
Mendar Temuchin, is another Murgu like the queen, and the ship's doctor and surgeon. A close friend and advisor to Angelika's father, He usually spends his time in the company of Mikah Ulric, one of the "Drenai People." They are a race of beings devoted to study and learning. Life is a never-ending quest for knowledge. They have shaved heads decorated with blue tattoo's decorating their skulls instead of hair. A quiet and reserved nature might indicate a meek attitude, but try to argue or belittle them, and you will wish you never had. Mikah, is also a genius in figuring out languages, creating translation programs, in very short order. Rounding out the rest of the crew are general Elicas Zennor, the ship's weapons officer, and the other half of the security team along with Tarf. He is the queen's favorite general, a well-read man of wit, and knowledge of any sort of weapon. Dori Kerk is the youngest member of the crew. In addition, a Murgu, she wears her long blonde hair down to her right shoulder, but the other half of her head is shaved with an elaborate vine-like tattoo decorating it. She irritates Sharla by her free spiritedness and disregard of the "rules." Dori is a genius at electronics, as well as hacking. She looks at Mikah as some sort of "god," and Queen Angelika as the woman she wants to be.
At this point in time, the crew believing that they are being pursued enters a black hole to escape. Mikah strongly advised against doing this, but was over-ruled. After what seemed like an eternity of buffeting and battering, they have suddenly re-appeared in a strange universe. None of the star clusters or planets make any sense. The current feeling aboard is that, "At least we're all in one piece!"
"Look at this galaxy your highness," said Mikah pointing out the planets in this strange solar system
"The way this massive sun is distanced, at least one of the farther ones should support life, but here's one that might offer possibilities as well."
"Captain, let's check it out move into its gravitational field, and let us take up an orbit," said Queen Angelika. She sat in the chair next to captain Yarod, with her weapons officer general Zennor on the other side. The ship had just "popped" out of a black hole, a phenomenon little understood by scientists back on Grocyra, most thought you would simply explode or disappear, they were extremely rare, and the one ship sent to study one never returned. Now they had no idea of where they were, however there was the strong possibility that two of the planets in this system might have life on them. Right now, things looked like they might be in for a long haul, so she announced.
"We all are aware of each other's rank or standing; it's starting to look as though we're going to be stuck on this ship for a long time. For the time being, why don't we pass on titles and rank, going on a first name basis is fine with me, so until I say different, just call me Angelika."
It wasn't long after they had achieved orbit, that Dori said,
"I'm picking up a very weak signal coming from this planet, it doesn't appear to be coming from the surface, although I'm picking up a signal broadcasting into deep space that's coming from the other side of the planet, but it doesn't appear to be a ship, or any size of civilization."
"Let's take a look at this one first," replied the queen, "Boykin, get us down on the planet, and let's see what this is." Once over the site of the signal, they could see it to be a large rock overhang, just below a larger stand of sharp pinnacle's. Pointing to the larger one captain Yarod said,
"Our scanner indicates that this spire is indeed a broadcasting tower, as is this one over here. It would seem that there might be someone living here." The queen then called over to Dori who was monitoring for any transmissions coming from these towers.
"I'm not picking anything up you're…I mean, Angelika, if there's anyone home, they aren't talking."
"It looks like there is a level spot right in front of that overhang," said the queen, "Boykin, set us down as close as you can, Elicas, have those guns on line and ready to blast, let's not take any chances shall we." The Giuffrida set down directly in front of the rock, Tarf, and Rek went out on their suits to investigate.
"Captain, this "wall" if front of us is not rock but some sort of metal made to look like the surrounding rock. There is also, what appears to be a sort of keying device. My guess is that if we can hack this lock, we can open this door, tell Dori to shag her sweet ass out here."
Dori eventually came out to them complaining of how uncomfortable her suit was, and that it felt funny walking in this level of gravity. However, she was able to examine the lock and with a small device she carried, get the door to open.
The huge door camouflaged to resemble rock, noisily slid open, re veiling a large hanger inside.
"I've got the control to respond to our signal now my queen; I've set it for the name of our ship, so we're all set." Captain Yarod, then cautiously entered the spacious room, once the ship was inside, the door automatically closed. Then a loud hissing indicated that the room was being filled with oxygen. When the hissing stopped, a blue light came on, near a smaller door. The ramp came down, with general Zennor came down first holding an Arebac 500 auto rifle joined by Tarf as everyone cautiously moved to the smaller door. Again, Dori had to hack the lock, then changing the password in the process.
"These codes are in some strange language," said Dori, "Mikah, maybe you can look at this and figure out the language." Mikah then examined the coding device, which brought up previous passwords.
"This is quite interesting," said Mikah, I'm getting a lot of clues to their language here; I think this will help us decipher their language."
This proved to be the last lock. With general Zennor and Tarf, leading, the rest of the base was carefully searched, finding no one here, and indications that no one had been in a long time. They found the galley stocked with still edible food, Rek managed to figure out the power source, and get it to come up to full power, bringing the control room back on line. After a thorough inspection general Zennor said,
"It doesn't look as though there's been anybody here in years, but my hat is off to whoever designed and built this place, offhand, I'd guess it's some sort of monitoring station, the separate rooms all look to be quite comfortable."
"I get first call on that first room over there," said Queen Angelika, it's close to the control room, the rest of you…Well take your pick. Mikah, will you and Dori see what you can make out of the control room, and possibly who was being monitored?"
About two hours later, Mikah announced that they had figured out that, the station was monitoring the next planet, and that there was an incredible amount of radio along with all sorts of audio and video traffic coming from the planet.
"It will take me some time to translate, not only the language of the people who built this place, but that of the planet they were watching," announced Mikah,
"Well people, this looks like where we call home for awhile, "said Queen Angelika,
"I think we'll be safe enough here, Mendar, while Mikah and Dori are figuring out who is being watched, could you get some idea of what this planet is made of, along with anything else you can dig up."
By late the next day, Mikah had got a handle of the languages, and the doctor had a report on the planet, along with it's two moons. Dori had discovered how to get the intercom to work, as well as music from an unknown race to play.
Mikah and Dori were finally able to break the language barriers and come up with a translation program. Queen Angelika then put Mikah to work on converting the foreign language used by the "Falthians," as was discovered into Grocyran. Shortly after, they learned that they were on "Mars," with "Earth," as the planet where all the data was blasting from. One morning Queen Angelika and Sharla were sitting in the small lounge area enjoying their méw dras, when the queen idly mentioned,
"So this is Mars eh, we seem to be the only ones here; maybe I'll just declare the planet for my own Ha! Angelika…Queen of Mars, I like it, say, Mikah told me those transmitters were set to broadcast towards this Falth, what if we turned them towards this earth, and I declared myself queen of this place." Sharla took a sip of her méw dras then observed,
"What if they show up here with an armada of ships to dispute your claim?" Angelika shrugged,
"Mikah doesn't think they have one. He told me they seem to be able to orbit their planet, and send unmanned probes, but that appears to be it. Once we learn more about these "earthlings," I might just pay them a visit, oh we'll cloak up of course," tapping her head, she added,
"I've got an idea cooking up here, if it works, we'll get Grocyra back; if not…Well, look at all of the beautiful terrain we've just conquered." Thanks to Dori's efforts, the transmitter was turned so that it would broadcast directly at earth. Angelika spent considerable time making herself up, being sure just the right amount of cleavage was showing, then sitting in front of the camera pressed a button that Dori said would begin broadcasting.
"People of earth, my name is Queen Angelika, I'm speaking to you from the planet you call Mars. I do not know of you claim this planet as your own, but as I look upon the landscape, I see no signs of your presence, therefore I'm declaring that Mars belongs to me now, if you wish to dispute this, please do contact me. If I don't see warships orbiting this planet in oh…Say two of your earth weeks, I'll have to assume you do not have the ability to travel in space. If that's the case, too bad for you, looks like I own a planet." Angelika sat for a moment then turned to her crew who were sitting behind her.
"Well how did I do?"
"Well I guess we just wait and see," replied general Zennor, "if they can't get here in a couple of weeks I don't think we have anything to worry about heh, heh."
"So Mikah," said Angelika, "how long do you think it will take that signal to reach earth?"
"Hard to say my queen, Dori and I managed to capture two of their video frequencies, and re-direct them through the transmitter, which appears to be some sort of high speed sending unit, probably because this Falth is so far away."