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View Full Version : My first book(someday) "Fleet Action"



Abacus
November 8th, 2010, 12:17 AM
Chapter 1
Home at last, for now

Earth, in all its colorful glory, floated above the holoviewer set in the middle of the bridge. The image, over twelve feet in diameter, extremely thorough in detail, right down to the storms that raged in the southern Atlantic. The holoviewer created an image that looked so solid and of such clarity; one could simply reach in and dip their hands into the oceans. It looks so peaceful, quiet, and beautiful. A planet like Earth is a hard thing to find, but terrain planets do exist out in space, scattered to the great void like dust to the wind.
Darien Parker commands the legendary lost Amaron fleet, a fleet with no crew; only him and his wife onboard. While sitting in the command chair, he watched the world he had been searching for, for the last six years. Taken away to the planet Asroth by an accident involving a race of beings called the Kamell. He still remembered the pain of the involuntary journey, and his arrival at a facility in charge of researching hyperspace teleportation. He had suffered injuries from the hyperspace journey and from Asroth’s gravity makeup that is eight times stronger than Earth and periods of fluctuations of gravity reaching as high as fifteen times greater. Then there was the genetic treatment he had received allowing him to move normally under the high level of gravity, over thirty-two painful injections all around his body. In addition, the implantation of the vocal and audio translators that allows him to understand and speak all languages known to the Galactic Alliance.
He shuddered at the memory, but the warm embrace of his wife, Isis, took him away from that event in his past. It brought him to the time when he first met her on the planet of Derhajak, a world of great beauty. A planet with three major and two minor continents, all covered in rich, colorful flora and fauna, both outside and inside the large cities. Crystal blue water covered the rest of the world. The natural inhabitants of Derhajak have varying shades of blue skin and their hair colors range from white to a near dark blond. Their eyes were like gems and could vary in color depending on their mood. Their ears came to a point, as one might expect of an elf.
Isis was of royalty, the fifth daughter of Krandrin Derahaja, High Emperor of Derhajak and his wife, Frendra Derahaja. Isis had inherited many features of both her parents. She had her father’s height as she stood nearly seven feet tall. Her hair on the other hand, came from her mother; it was a shade of blond, which was almost gold in color. Her body looked light and thin, but proportioned right. If it were not for the color of her skin and the look of her eyes and ears, she could pass for a human.
Derhajak is a peaceful world that has been involved with the Galactic Counsel, the ruling body of the Galactic Alliance, since its inception three millennia ago. It had taken his wife's people most of that time to reach their current level of influence that was rivaled by only a few other systems. However, Darien's influence had risen like a rocket to the sky since his first battle while in command of the Amaron fleet. During his six-year quest to find his home, he had many adventures. Now, he was almost home.
His wife hung on to him from behind the command chair, looking at the planet that was the home of her beloved husband. She had heard him talk of this planet many times. To her, it sounded like a primitive planet unlike what she was used to seeing within the area controlled by Galactic Alliance. This strange planet was only beginning to step out into space. Its people still used fossil fuel for almost everything. Even with all the things that were amiss with this planet, it still held a strange beauty. Looking at the three-dimensional image, seeing the clouds, the oceans and the large landmasses, she saw the beauty of this world. Isis was eager to see the world up close but Darien had told her of the fear that his people have of things that were different. He told her of how the government of his people may have been hiding the existence of beings from other worlds for years.
However, of all the people on the planet, she only wanted to meet three of them, her husband’s parents and his younger brother. They were his family and they were hers as well. In a few days, she would get her chance to meet them, but for now, Darien was taking it slowly. He was eager to get back, this she could tell by the tension in his body while looking at the planet that he had not seen for six years. He was being cautious, not wanting to alert the governments of the planet to his arrival until he was ready for them. They both stayed and watched the image, not saying a word.
The fleet spent the next three days maintaining a position that would keep it concealed from the Earth's view. They hid behind asteroids, moons and a few planets to obscure its approach. The flotilla had to spread out a bit to pass through the asteroid field that separated the system’s inner four planets from the outer ones. For the smaller ships of the fleet, this was a nearly easy task. The three battleships’ size, approximately four miles in length, prevented them from doing the complex maneuvers the five smaller ships could do. Instead of trying to go around every rock in the field, the battleships plowed through with their salvage fields on. This ended up providing useful information about the composition of the field. It had many materials that the fleet’s construction facilities could use. The position of Mars hid the flashes from the fields’ contact with the asteroids.
Once the fleet assembled behind Mars, it awaited the Earth’s moon to be in a position between the two planets for the fleet to move closer to its goal. It took the fleet a day to move from behind Mars to the dark side of the moon, where the fleet could hide from the Earth’s surface.
With the fleet hidden from view, Darien looked at the data pertaining to the planet’s condition. Despite the great beauty, the planet was sick. The Ozone layer had a large hole in it, whole forests were missing and pollution had effects on almost everything. He looked at his homeworld with sad eyes. He had heard how bad things were in the news before his departure from his home planet, but he never really understood them until now. He took one last look at the data before wiping it from the screen. He could study the data later, but right now, he had matters of more importance on his mind. He had to think of a way to find his parents and then figure out what he was going to say to them. He paced the room back and forth, his mind trying and discarding ideas on how he should present himself and his wife to his parents.
Isis watched him pace with a concerned look on his face. She understood her husband was worried about her meeting his family. She knew that he was nervous just thinking of how they would react to his sudden return from deep space.
“Please calm down my love, what happens will happen,” she said trying to reassure him.
“That’s what I am afraid of,” he said as he stopped his pacing to look at his wife, “I’m afraid of what could happen. What if they don’t want to know me or meet you or…”
“They are all ifs dear,” Isis said as she stood up to embrace her husband, “If they truly love you, they will accept you no matter who you have become.”
“But what about you?”
“We will deal with that when the time comes. First you should deal with your relationship with your parents.”
Darien was about to say something when Isis put her finger on his lips to silence him and looked into his deep blue eyes. She smiled as she lost herself in them and kissed him deeply.
A moment into the kiss, Darien got a message from the ship’s computer. He groaned inwardly as he cut short the kiss. Fortunately, Isis understood what happened. She knew that Darien had a bio-interface, a device that gave him a mental link with the ships. She had been with him long enough to read his body language when the computers were talking to him.
I am sorry to interrupt you sir, but I have the information you asked for, Armageddon said.
You seem to have a great sense of timing, Darien thought back to Armageddon.
I was able to gain access to the planets network and found the data on your family.
What did you find?
Your parents are still at the residence you gave.
And my brother?
He is currently living in the city called Seattle.
Seattle Washington, huh? I never thought he would move to the West Coast.
He is also married and has two children.
I’m an uncle?
It would seem so, sir.
Wow, I never thought that would happen. Well, find a suitable landing site near where my parents live and have construction begin building a transport that will look like an Earth one. I don’t want to be noticed.
Yes, sir.
“Well?” Isis asked.
“Looks like I might be meeting my parents within the next few hours or so.”
“That is wonderful.”
“Yes, but I’m still nervous,” Darien said with a sigh.



* * *

Darien looked over the vehicle that the ship’s construction had built for him. He was a little startled by its appearance. It looked like a beat up old pickup with rust spots and a red paint job.
Um…was all Darien could think to Armageddon.
After researching data gathered from the planet, it was determined that an older vehicle would attract less attention than a bright new one.
Okay, but did it have to have rust on it?
For the area of the planet, it would fit in better with a rusty appearance even though there is no actual rust on the vehicle.
Looks real to me.
Thank you sir.
What’s under the hood?
By appearance, the truck has a six-cylinder standard internal combustion engine.
What does it really have?
Micro-fusion power cell.
A bit much for something so simple.
It has many features, sir.
Such as?
All surfaces can withstand the impact of up to thirty-millimeter rounds, can reach speeds of up to three hundred and forty miles per hour in eighty seconds, auto-drive system with link to probes in orbit, communications system with a range of up to five light-years, and standard AI computer system.
What? No kitchen sink?
Kitchen sink? Do you want a kitchen sink installed? Such a…
It’s a figure of speech.
Very well, sir.
Darien continued his walk around the truck and looked at the license plates on both ends. Nice job on the plates.
Thank you, sir. The vehicle is completely registered with the state department of motor vehicles.
You hacked into the DMV?
Yes, sir. It was determined that should, for some reason, that some one want to check your license plates, that they be legitimate.
Nice. What of insurance forms and drivers license?
All necessary documentation is in the vehicle.
Good. It will do for now. Next time build something a bit newer, okay?
Yes, sir.
Plus, make it with more passenger space.
Yes, sir.
“It is an interesting transport,” Isis said with an amused expression on her face.
“Yea, Armageddon thought this would fit in better,” Darien said as he scratched his head.
“What are you plans?” Isis asked as she came up behind Darien and held on to him.
“What I always do in situations like this, dive right in and improvise,” he said as he held on to Isis arms where they wrapped around him.
“It is the best way.”
“Yes I know, but that doesn’t make it any easier.”
“True, but you are strong of heart. You will be fine.”
Darien headed to a nearby locker and pulled out a small duffel bag. It contained some clothes that he would change into on the trip down to the planet’s surface. He then signaled the ship through his mental link to prep a shuttle for the trip. Soon after the sounds of machinery at work filled the bay as mechanical arms moved to take a shuttle down from its cubicle on the bulkhead of the large bay. The shuttle came down to the deck and the arms retracted to their stowed position.
Once the shuttle was in place, its bay doors open, Darien gave mental commands to the truck, and it drove into the shuttle’s small bay. The main hatch opened on the side of the craft and the gantry lowered. Darien walked up the ladder and paused at the hatch. He looked at his wife and smiled.
“Do not worry. I will be all right here,” Isis reassured him.
“I know. It’s just that this is going to be the hardest thing I have ever done in my life,” Darien said with a bit of doubt in his voice.
“You did not have this kind of problem when you met my parents,” Isis said with a smile.
“Yes, but I didn’t know you then, and I came to your world because I felt I should for how your parents have supported me,” Darien said as a smile began to cross his face from the happy memory.
“True, but you would have gone through the same thing then as you are now if you had met me first.”
“I doubt it, but you can tell me what it is like when you meet my parents,” Darien said with more confidence.
“Good luck, my love,” Isis said as Darien walked through the hatch and it sealed up behind him.
She stood there and watched as the bay doors opened up into space. The shuttle rose up from the deck and moved over the opening. As it hovered over the opening, it slowly turned around and Isis saw Darien in the cockpit waving at her. She waved back and watched as the shuttle lowered into the void of space. She watched as the force field shimmered like a disturbed pond. The shuttle sank through the field before heading off to the planet on the far side of the moon. She wished her husband great luck and hope.
Darien watched as the bay rose up out of sight as he sat in one of the cockpit chairs. He could not help but be mesmerized by the sheer size of this battleship as the shuttle skimmed by the hull before starting its approach to Earth. Once his home for almost the last six years was out of sight, he headed back to the passenger area. He was thankful for the gravity generators on the shuttle as he began to change out of his typical uniform into something resembling civilian clothes that would help him blend in. He made sure that they were to his tastes unlike the pickup, which he had let Armageddon take care of. After he changed, he took a seat and waited. The trip to Earth would take a few hours. It would be faster but he wanted the shuttle to take a flight path that would make it look like a meteorite to those watching radar screens. The path would take him over the Atlantic Ocean about three hundred miles off the eastern coast of the United States. It would be about dawn when the shuttle should land at the predetermined site. Checking maps generated from the probe data, it would take him about three hours to reach his parents’ place from where the shuttle would land. That would put him there sometime around six thirty in the morning. He looked at the bulkhead he sat next to and it faded. He could see what was out side as clear as if he was out in space. Stars in the distance slowly moved in reference to his apparent stillness. The moon’s surface passed by on the other side of the shuttle as it traveled from the dark side to the light side of the moon. He had done such things before, seen things like this before, but it never ceased to amaze him. Even more so was the fact that this was the moon for his home planet. The place he had searched for, for six long years. He looked forward and saw the blue planet before him. It was increasing in size, as he got closer to it, closer to home.
Elsewhere, a nighttime radar monitor was watching the scopes. On the screen, were blips from the junk that still clung to the fringes of the Earth’s atmosphere. He was young and tired. He never did like nighttime watches and he hated nighttime radar watches even more. All he did was stare at a screen for hours and nothing ever happened, maybe a piece of junk left over from some long ago rocket launch would start to fall, but nothing else. He had his head resting in the palm of his hand, his eyes slowly closing and his head was about to slip out of the real world when there was a beep from the computer and he sat up straight. On his monitor was an unidentified object. He rubbed his eyes and looked again and it was still there, descending slowly through the atmosphere.
“Hey Jake, I got something here,” he said to his watch supervisor.
“What is it, a piece of junk falling?” Jake replied.
“No, it came in from a higher orbit,” he replied.
“Okay Robby, I’ll look,” Jake said as he walked over to the console were Robby continued to monitor the object.
“Well?” he asked as he saw his supervisor and best friend’s face next to his.
“Hmm, pretty straight trajectory there,” he said before taking a seat at another console.
“Should we call this in?”
“Hang on a sec,” Jake said as he typed some commands into the computer.
The computer took the data so far gathered on the object and compared it to the data it had on every object the computer has ever encountered. After comparing the data, it displayed the possible identity of the object.
“Wow,” Jake said reading the computer’s answer.
“Well, what is it?”
“What you have there is a pretty big chunk of rock heading down to the Atlantic about three hundred miles off the coast.”
“A meteor?” Robby asked.
“Yep, about the size of a house. Fortunately, no one is in the area of impact.”
“So, do we call it in?”
“Are you eager to wake some one up?” Jake asked his friend.
“N, no.”
“Well, we should, just in case some one is out there,” Jake said nodding to the phone next to his friend.
Robby pick up the handset as the phone system automatically dialed a preset number. On the other end of the line, a light turned on as the man looked around to find the annoying sound that had woken him up. On the nightstand next to his bed, he saw the red light blinking on the phone.
Quickly he picked it up and said, “Yes?”
“What does the computer say?” the man said in reply.
“That’s pretty big, but why did you wake me up for that?” he questioned the person at the other end.
“No, don’t bother,” he said.
“Continue tracking it, if it changes course then call me back.”
“No problem, not every time we get something that big coming down.”
“Well, good job there son, keep up the good work.”
“Goodnight,” the man said before he hung up the phone and turned out the light.
“Who was that dear?” his wife asked, still sleepy.
“Just a large rock heading for the Atlantic dear, nothing to worry about,” he replied, as he got comfortable.
“Okay dear, sleep well,” his wife said as she drifted back to sleep.
“You too,” the man replied as he drifted back to sleep.

Sir, radar is still tracking.
Bring us as close to the water as possible before leveling out. I want to fool them as much as possible.
Yes, sir. I believe they should loose me at about four hundred feet.
Not much room there.
For the craft of this world, I would agree sir, but I should just kiss the water lightly when I level out.
Darien smiled as he thought back to the craft, You know, it’s interesting how all the computers have picked up many Earth type phrases.
Well sir, we have been linked to you for some time. In addition, we are linked to the same database.
Yes, I know. I guess that you have all made a big leap from when I first came to the fleet.
Fifteen minutes until surface, sir.
Thank you.
Darien looked at the view outside the shuttle as it continued its sharp descent through the sky, occasionally the view being block by a cloud the shuttle passed through. He laid his head back into the rest as the view shifted to the shuttle’s interior bulkhead and he drifted off to sleep.
The shuttle continued down on its course as it monitored for any radars that were tracking it. The one that had been tracking it stopped about five hundred feet above the ocean. With no tracking sensors detected, the shuttle leveled out its course and headed for the coast of the nearest continent. The shuttle stayed no more than twenty feet above the sea, sweeping ahead with its sensors to avoid hitting anything or being sighted by any vessels that might be in range of the flight path.
After zigzagging for a few hours over the water, the shuttle reached land and climb to one hundred feet above the land as it continued on its way to the destined landing site. So far, the shuttle had only been tracked by space directed radar and it shook the track off over the Atlantic. The trees zipped passed underneath the craft as it moved about avoiding being spotted by any of the planet’s inhabitants.
Just as the sun began to creep over the horizon, the shuttle came to a hover over a small clearing and descended slowly to the ground. Once it touched down, panels on the top opened and a camouflage net spread out to cover the shuttle to prevent it from being spotted from the air by passing craft.
Darien woke up to the shuttle’s computer telling him that they were on the ground and the site was secured. Darien entered the cargo bay and got into the truck. He sat behind the wheel but gave the truck the commands to move out. He would not be driving himself; it had been too long since he had driven any kind of wheeled vehicle, so he let the computer handle it. He only sat in the driver side for the benefit of others who would see him.
He kept his hands on the wheel as the scenery past him by. Though he looked like his was paying attention to the road, his mind was on other things, the family he had not seen in six years. He wondered what had changed since he had been gone. Would they remember him? Would they recognize him? Would they accept him? Questions kept flying through his head as time passed on along with the distance. He never felt as worried in all his life as he did now.
A small display on the dashboard told him he was only a few minutes from his destination. He began to steel himself to the emotions of the meeting. He had been in many battles, but they faded in comparison to what he was about to do. His mind fell back on the unanswered questions that had been in his mind since he found his home, but no answers would come until he walked up to the door and knock.
He watched the familiar scenery pass by as he came up to the street he would be turning into. The truck slowed down, signaled the turn, and when traffic was clear, moved onto the street. The slow twenty-five mile per hour speed did not seem slow enough as the houses passed by. Ten, eight, six houses left to pass as the truck made its way down the urban street to its destination. The two-story house came into view; it had a small front yard with three large trees in it.
The truck slowly turned into the driveway, which a small SUV and a minivan occupied. Darien was amazed, the SUV was new but the minivan was the same he remembered his parents having last time he saw them. He looked at the house and sat there for a few minutes before slowly opening the door and getting out. Emotions began to well up in him, happiness, nervousness, fear. They all welled up inside him like a whirlwind, as he got closer to the door. He stepped up, knocked on the door, and waited.

nineteen
November 8th, 2010, 01:56 PM
Hello:

Analysis of the first few paragraphs:

"Earth, in all its colorful glory, floated above the holoviewer set in the middle..." reasonilbe start but i remind you that the only reason i know what you're talking about it because i watch a lot of sci-fi.

"The holoviewer created an image that looked so solid and of such clarity; one could simply reach in and dip their hands into the oceans." Interesting but superfillous. You haven't included any 'action' at this point and the things you describe are vauge and intangible.

"It looks so peaceful, quiet, and beautiful." Did it? Why? Who thought that? Why should i think that?

"A planet like Earth is a hard thing to find, but terrain planets do exist out in space, scattered to the great void like dust to the wind." And now you're talking about something else with no good reason, in a hurry to get to the story? Again: superfilous.

"Darien Parker commands the legendary lost Amaron fleet, a fleet with no crew; only him and his wife onboard. While sitting in the command chair, he watched the world he had been searching for, for the last six years. Taken away to the planet Asroth by an accident involving a race of beings called the" This is what we call 'exposition' and exposition is best achived when woven into the naritive and not over-and-above it. You're telling me things that i don't want to know and couldn't possibly care about.

Right, enough line-by-line, why don't i like the first few paragraphs? and why won't i read anymore?

Writing a peice of this length is always commendible and difficult but i can tell by your first section that this will be a hard read and i can't be bothered. You are primiarily interested in telling me a story, which is fine, but the best stories are not just put down on a page: they're filled with emotion and human charachters. You can't just tell me "X is this and Y is that" you have to make me care enough.

be subltle. Start with some action and revel the plot as it comes. I wish i could give you an example of something to read but i'm just new on these fourms too. try to weave your exposition into the narritive: most of the fact you're telling me here are irrelivent and i don't need to know them... yet. Introduce charachters (properly) before exspousing the story.

Hope i helped,

Abacus
November 9th, 2010, 04:11 AM
Thanks for the input. If I understand right, I have to many facts in the story that have no emotional ties to anything so the read would not be interested in them making it useless, right? Even if that is not it I think I at least understand that I am putting to much gloss on the substance of the story so far.

Lord Reecingale
November 10th, 2010, 06:23 AM
I agree with 19. Show, don't tell. it's perfectly fine to write about things that your readers know nothing about without explaining it so long as it's entertaining to read. Give us a character to attach to asap and explain through showing, not telling.

Abacus
November 29th, 2010, 05:02 AM
Here is the Chapter again with some revisions to the beginning of it.



Darien Parker sat in the Commanders chair studding the three dimensional image of the Earth projected by the holoviewer set in the middle of the bridge. The Earth looked so solid and of such clarity; one could simply reach in and dip their hands into the oceans. The image, over twelve feet in diameter, was extremely thorough in detail. Storms that raged in the different parts of the world flashed on occasions from lightning. It looked so peaceful, quiet, and beautiful to Darien. A planet like Earth is a hard thing to find, but terrain planets do exist out in space, scattered to the great void like dust to the wind.
He watched the world he had been searching for, for the last six years. Taken away to the planet Asroth by an accident involving a race of beings called the Kamell. He still remembered the pain and the injuries suffered from the involuntary journey, and his arrival at a facility in charge of researching hyperspace teleportation. Then there was the genetic treatment he had received allowing him to move normally under the high level of gravity, over thirty-two painful injections all around his body. Asroth’s gravity is eight times stronger than Earth’s and periods of fluctuations of gravity reaching as high as fifteen times. In addition to the genetic alterations he went through implantation of vocal and audio translators that allows him to understand and speak all languages known to the Galactic Alliance.
He shuddered at the memory, but the warm embrace of his wife, Isis, took him away from that event in his past. It brought him to the time when he first met her on the planet of Derhajak. Isis was of royalty, the fifth daughter of Krandrin Derahaja, High Emperor of Derhajak and his wife, Frendra Derahaja. Isis had inherited many features of both her parents. She had her father’s height as she stood nearly seven feet tall. Her hair, on the other hand, came from her mother; it was a shade of blonde, which was almost gold in color. Her body looked light and thin, but proportioned right. If it were not for the blue color of her skin, the multifaceted gem like appearance of her eyes and the elf like ears, she could pass for a human.
Among the eight ships of his fleet, only Isis and he were the only living beings to be found. All the ships were controlled by sophisticated artificial intelligence, eliminating the need for crews other than a commanding officer, a requirement made by the original makers of the fleet A.I. Since he had been given command of the fleet, influence in the Galactic Counsel had risen like a rocket to the sky since his first battle. During his six-year quest to find his home, he had many adventures. Now, he was almost home.
His wife hung on to him from behind the command chair, looking at the planet that was the home of her beloved husband. She had heard him talk of this planet many times. To her, it sounded like a primitive planet unlike what she was used to seeing within the area controlled by Galactic Alliance. This strange planet was only beginning to step out into space. Its people still used fossil fuel for almost everything. Even with all the things that were amiss with this planet, it still held a strange beauty. Looking at the three-dimensional image, seeing the clouds, the oceans and the large landmasses, she saw the beauty of this world. Isis was eager to see the world up close but Darien had told her of the fear that his people have of things that were different. He told her of how the government of his people may have been hiding the existence of beings from other worlds for years.
However, of all the people on the planet, she only wanted to meet three of them, her husband’s parents and his younger brother. They were his family and they were hers as well. In a few days, she would get her chance to meet them, but for now, Darien was taking it slowly. He was eager to get back, this she could tell by the tension in his body while looking at the planet that he had not seen for six years. He was being cautious, not wanting to alert the governments of the planet to his arrival until he was ready for them. They both stayed and watched the image, not saying a word.
The fleet spent the next three days maintaining a position that would keep it concealed from the Earth's view. They hid behind asteroids, moons and a few planets to obscure its approach. The flotilla had to spread out a bit to pass through the asteroid field that separated the system’s inner four planets from the outer ones. For the smaller ships of the fleet, this was a nearly easy task. The three battleships’ size, approximately four miles in length, prevented them from doing the complex maneuvers the five smaller ships could do. Instead of trying to go around every rock in the field, the battleships plowed through with their salvage fields on. This ended up providing useful information about the composition of the field. It had many materials that the fleet’s construction facilities could use. The position of Mars hid the flashes from the fields’ contact with the asteroids.
Once the fleet assembled behind Mars, it awaited the Earth’s moon to be in a position between the two planets for the fleet to move closer to its goal. It took the fleet a day to move from behind Mars to the dark side of the moon, where the fleet could hide from the Earth’s surface.
With the fleet hidden from view, Darien looked at the data pertaining to the planet’s condition. Despite the great beauty, the planet was sick. The Ozone layer had a large hole in it, whole forests were missing and pollution had effects on almost everything. He looked at his homeworld with sad eyes. He had heard how bad things were in the news before his departure from his home planet, but he never really understood them until now. He took one last look at the data before wiping it from the screen. He could study the data later, but right now, he had matters of more importance on his mind. He had to think of a way to find his parents and then figure out what he was going to say to them. He paced the room back and forth, his mind trying and discarding ideas on how he should present himself and his wife to his parents.
Isis watched him pace with a concerned look on his face. She understood her husband was worried about her meeting his family. She knew that he was nervous just thinking of how they would react to his sudden return from deep space.
“Please calm down my love, what happens will happen,” she said trying to reassure him.
“That’s what I am afraid of,” he said as he stopped his pacing to look at his wife, “I’m afraid of what could happen. What if they don’t want to know me or meet you or…”
“They are all ifs dear,” Isis said as she stood up to embrace her husband, “If they truly love you, they will accept you no matter who you have become.”
“But what about you?”
“We will deal with that when the time comes. First you should deal with your relationship with your parents.”
Darien was about to say something when Isis put her finger on his lips to silence him and looked into his deep blue eyes. She smiled as she lost herself in them and kissed him deeply.
A moment into the kiss, Darien got a message from the ship’s computer. He groaned inwardly as he cut short the kiss. Fortunately, Isis understood what happened. She knew that Darien had a bio-interface, a device that gave him a mental link with the ships. She had been with him long enough to read his body language when the computers were talking to him.
I am sorry to interrupt you sir, but I have the information you asked for, Armageddon said.
You seem to have a great sense of timing, Darien thought back to Armageddon.
I was able to gain access to the planets network and found the data on your family.
What did you find?
Your parents are still at the residence you gave.
And my brother?
He is currently living in the city called Seattle.
Seattle Washington, huh? I never thought he would move to the West Coast.
He is also married and has two children.
I’m an uncle?
It would seem so, sir.
Wow, I never thought that would happen. Well, find a suitable landing site near where my parents live and have construction begin building a transport that will look like an Earth one. I don’t want to be noticed.
Yes, sir.
“Well?” Isis asked.
“Looks like I might be meeting my parents within the next few hours or so.”
“That is wonderful.”
“Yes, but I’m still nervous,” Darien said with a sigh.



* * *

Darien looked over the vehicle that the ship’s construction had built for him. He was a little startled by its appearance. It looked like a beat up old pickup with rust spots and a red paint job.
Um…was all Darien could think to Armageddon.
After researching data gathered from the planet, it was determined that an older vehicle would attract less attention than a bright new one.
Okay, but did it have to have rust on it?
For the area of the planet, it would fit in better with a rusty appearance even though there is no actual rust on the vehicle.
Looks real to me.
Thank you sir.
What’s under the hood?
By appearance, the truck has a six-cylinder standard internal combustion engine.
What does it really have?
Micro-fusion power cell.
A bit much for something so simple.
It has many features, sir.
Such as?
All surfaces can withstand the impact of up to thirty-millimeter rounds, can reach speeds of up to three hundred and forty miles per hour in eighty seconds, auto-drive system with link to probes in orbit, communications system with a range of up to five light-years, and standard AI computer system.
What? No kitchen sink?
Kitchen sink? Do you want a kitchen sink installed? Such a…
It’s a figure of speech.
Very well, sir.
Darien continued his walk around the truck and looked at the license plates on both ends. Nice job on the plates.
Thank you, sir. The vehicle is completely registered with the state department of motor vehicles.
You hacked into the DMV?
Yes, sir. It was determined that should, for some reason, that some one want to check your license plates, that they be legitimate.
Nice. What of insurance forms and drivers license?
All necessary documentation is in the vehicle.
Good. It will do for now. Next time build something a bit newer, okay?
Yes, sir.
Plus, make it with more passenger space.
Yes, sir.
“It is an interesting transport,” Isis said with an amused expression on her face.
“Yea, Armageddon thought this would fit in better,” Darien said as he scratched his head.
“What are you plans?” Isis asked as she came up behind Darien and held on to him.
“What I always do in situations like this, dive right in and improvise,” he said as he held on to Isis arms where they wrapped around him.
“It is the best way.”
“Yes I know, but that doesn’t make it any easier.”
“True, but you are strong of heart. You will be fine.”
Darien headed to a nearby locker and pulled out a small duffel bag. It contained some clothes that he would change into on the trip down to the planet’s surface. He then signaled the ship through his mental link to prep a shuttle for the trip. Soon after the sounds of machinery at work filled the bay as mechanical arms moved to take a shuttle down from its cubicle on the bulkhead of the large bay. The shuttle came down to the deck and the arms retracted to their stowed position.
Once the shuttle was in place and its bay doors open, Darien gave mental commands to the truck and it started up and drove into the shuttle’s small bay. The main hatch opened on the side of the craft and the gantry lowered. Darien walked up the ladder and paused at the hatch. He looked at his wife and smiled.
“Do not worry. I will be all right here,” Isis reassured him.
“I know. It’s just that this is going to be the hardest thing I have ever done in my life,” Darien said with a bit of doubt in his voice.
“You did not have this kind of problem when you met my parents,” Isis said with a smile.
“Yes, but I didn’t know you then, and I came to your world because I felt I should for how your parents have supported me,” Darien said as a smile began to cross his face from the happy memory.
“True, but you would have gone through the same thing then as you are now if you had met me first.”
“I doubt it, but you can tell me what it is like when you meet my parents,” Darien said with more confidence.
“Good luck, my love,” Isis said as Darien walked through the hatch and it sealed up behind him.
She stood there and watched as the bay doors opened up into space. The shuttle rose up from the deck and moved over the opening. As it hovered over the opening, it slowly turned around and Isis saw Darien in the cockpit waving at her. She waved back and watched as the shuttle lowered into the void of space. She watched as the force field shimmered like a disturbed pond. The shuttle sank through the field before heading off to the planet on the far side of the moon. She wished her husband great luck and hope.
Darien watched as the bay rose up out of sight as he sat in one of the cockpit chairs. He could not help but be mesmerized by the sheer size of this battleship as the shuttle skimmed by the hull before starting its approach to Earth. Once his home for almost the last six years was out of sight, he headed back to the passenger area. He was thankful for the gravity generators on the shuttle as he began to change out of his typical uniform into something resembling civilian clothes that would help him blend in. He made sure that they were to his tastes unlike the pickup, which he had let Armageddon take care of. After he changed, he took a seat and waited. The trip to Earth would take a few hours. It would be faster but he wanted the shuttle to take a flight path that would make it look like a meteorite to those watching radar screens. The path would take him over the Atlantic Ocean about three hundred miles off the eastern coast of the United States. It would be about dawn when the shuttle should land at the predetermined site. Checking maps generated from the probe data, it would take him about three hours to reach his parents’ place from where the shuttle would land. That would put him there sometime around six thirty in the morning. He looked at the bulkhead he sat next to and it faded. He could see what was out side as clear as if he was out in space. Stars in the distance slowly moved in reference to his apparent stillness. The moon’s surface passed by on the other side of the shuttle as it traveled from the dark side to the light side of the moon. He had done such things before, seen things like this before, but it never ceased to amaze him. Even more so was the fact that this was the moon for his home planet. The place he had searched for, for six long years. He looked forward and saw the blue planet before him. It was increasing in size, as he got closer to it, closer to home.
Elsewhere, a nighttime radar monitor was watching the scopes. On the screen, were blips from the junk that still clung to the fringes of the Earth’s atmosphere. He was young and tired. He never did like nighttime watches and he hated nighttime radar watches even more. All he did was stare at a screen for hours and nothing ever happened, maybe a piece of junk left over from some long ago rocket launch would start to fall, but nothing else. He had his head resting in the palm of his hand, his eyes slowly closing and his head was about to slip out of the real world when there was a beep from the computer and he sat up straight. On his monitor was an unidentified object. He rubbed his eyes and looked again and it was still there, descending slowly through the atmosphere.
“Hey Jake, I got something here,” he said to his watch supervisor.
“What is it, a piece of junk falling?” Jake replied.
“No, it came in from a higher orbit,” he replied.
“Okay Robby, I’ll look,” Jake said as he walked over to the console were Robby continued to monitor the object.
“Well?” he asked as he saw his supervisor and best friend’s face next to his.
“Hmm, pretty straight trajectory there,” he said before taking a seat at another console.
“Should we call this in?”
“Hang on a sec,” Jake said as he typed some commands into the computer.
The computer took the data so far gathered on the object and compared it to the data it had on every object the computer has ever encountered. After comparing the data, it displayed the possible identity of the object.
“Wow,” Jake said reading the computer’s answer.
“Well, what is it?”
“What you have there is a pretty big chunk of rock heading down to the Atlantic about three hundred miles off the coast.”
“A meteor?” Robby asked.
“Yep, about the size of a house. Fortunately, no one is in the area of impact.”
“So, do we call it in?”
“Are you eager to wake some one up?” Jake asked his friend.
“N, no.”
“Well, we should, just incase some one is out there,” Jake said nodding to the phone next to his friend.
Robby pick up the handset as the phone system automatically dialed a preset number. On the other end of the line, a light turned on as the man looked around to find the annoying sound that had woken him up. On the nightstand next to his bed, he saw the red light blinking on the phone.
Quickly he picked it up and said, “Yes?”
“What does the computer say?” the man said in reply.
“That’s pretty big, but why did you wake me up for that?” he questioned the person at the other end.
“No, don’t bother,” he said.
“Continue tracking it, if it changes course then call me back.”
“No problem, not every time we get something that big coming down.”
“Well, good job there son, keep up the good work.”
“Goodnight,” the man said before he hung up the phone and turned out the light.
“Who was that dear?” his wife asked, still sleepy.
“Just a large rock heading for the Atlantic dear, nothing to worry about,” he replied, as he got comfortable.
“Okay dear, sleep well,” his wife said as she drifted back to sleep.
“You too,” the man replied as he drifted back to sleep.

Sir, radar is still tracking.
Bring us as close to the water as possible before leveling out. I want to fool them as much as possible.
Yes, sir. I believe they should loose me at about four hundred feet.
Not much room there.
For the craft of this world, I would agree sir, but I should just kiss the water lightly when I level out.
Darien smiled as he thought back to the craft, You know, it’s interesting how all the computers have picked up many Earth type phrases.
Well sir, we have been linked to you for some time. In addition, we are linked to the same database.
Yes, I know. I guess that you have all made a big leap from when I first came to the fleet.
Fifteen minutes until surface, sir.
Thank you.
Darien looked at the view outside the shuttle as it continued its sharp descent through the sky, occasionally the view being block by a cloud the shuttle passed through. He laid his head back into the rest as the view shifted to the shuttle’s interior bulkhead and he drifted off to sleep.
The shuttle continued down on its course as it monitored for any radars that were tracking it. The one that had been tracking it stopped about five hundred feet above the ocean. With no tracking sensors detected, the shuttle leveled out its course and headed for the coast of the nearest continent. The shuttle stayed no more than twenty feet above the sea, sweeping ahead with its sensors to avoid hitting anything or being sighted by any vessels that might be in range of the flight path.
After zigzagging for a few hours over the water, the shuttle reached land and climb to one hundred feet above the land as it continued on its way to the destined landing site. So far, the shuttle had only been tracked by space directed radar and it shook the track off over the Atlantic. The trees zipped passed underneath the craft as it moved about avoiding being spotted by any of the planet’s inhabitants.
Just as the sun began to creep over the horizon, the shuttle came to a hover over a small clearing and descended slowly to the ground. Once it touched down, panels on the top opened and a camouflage net spread out to cover the shuttle to prevent it from being spotted from the air by passing craft.
Darien woke up to the shuttle’s computer telling him that they were on the ground and the site was secured. Darien entered the cargo bay and got into the truck. He sat behind the wheel but gave the truck the commands to move out. He would not be driving himself; it had been too long since he had driven any kind of wheeled vehicle, so he let the computer handle it. He only sat in the driver side for the benefit of others who would see him.
He kept his hands on the wheel as the scenery past him by. Though he looked like his was paying attention to the road, his mind was on other things, the family he had not seen in six years. He wondered what had changed since he had been gone. Would they remember him? Would they recognize him? Would they accept him? Questions kept flying through his head as time passed on along with the distance. He never felt as worried in all his life as he did now.
A small display on the dashboard told him he was only a few minutes from his destination. He began to steel himself to the emotions of the meeting. He had been in many battles, but they faded in comparison to what he was about to do. His mind fell back on the unanswered questions that had been in his mind since he found his home, but no answers would come until he walked up to the door and knock.
He watched the familiar scenery pass by as he came up to the street he would be turning into. The truck slowed down, signaled the turn, and when traffic was clear, moved onto the street. The slow twenty-five mile per hour speed did not seem slow enough as the houses passed by. Ten, eight, six houses left to pass as the truck made its way down the urban street to its destination. The two-story house came into view; it had a small front yard with three large trees in it.
The truck slowly turned into the driveway, which a small SUV and a minivan occupied. Darien was amazed, the SUV was new but the minivan was the same he remembered his parents having last time he saw them. He looked at the house and sat there for a few minutes before slowly opening the door and getting out. Emotions began to well up in him, happiness, nervousness, fear. They all welled up inside him like a whirlwind, as he got closer to the door. He stepped up, knocked on the door, and waited.