U.S.S. Corsair - NX-011979
Nebula II Prototype
“Sic Parvis Magna”
(Greatness From Small Beginnings)
“Progeny of the Progenitors – Part 27”
Captain Zane Akina lie helpless on the white floor of the alien complex as Captain Ramius was forced at gunpoint toward the tall, white column in the center of the room by NeoDyne’s mechanized guards. Unwilling to allow NeoDyne to kill an innocent boy before him in cold blood, Ramius had finally capitulated to his archenemy’s demands.
The scene that had unfolded had been hellish as NeoDyne had executed two of the marines and an innocent woman to persuade Ramius to concede to their demands. The intelligence officer could not begin to contemplate the terrible weight that now hung around Ramius’s shoulders.
“Now that we have your cooperation we can get down to business Captain”, the pleased voice of the NeoDyne president rang out across the circular chamber.
“What do you want Merikai”, Ramius answered his voice flat devoid of any emotion.
“The column before you. All I require is for you to touch it with both hands. Simple yes? Too bad three individuals had to die for such a simple request no?”
Ramius looked up at the screen that held the president’s smiling visage and then turned to gaze at the white pillar nearby. It appeared to be an unremarkable object tainted by the blood of his men who had given their lives to prevent NeoDyne from achieving its twisted goals.
Stacked against him was a room of armed guards, two mechanized robots with advanced weaponry, and the life of a small child who had just lost his mother at the hands of the NeoDyne soldiers. More would continue to die if he refused NeoDyne’s request and their lives would forever weigh upon him. He had no choice.
Turning toward the pillar, Ramius extended his hands and slowly made contact with the column. Its smooth surface was cool to the touch as the pads of his fingers pressed against its surface. Suddenly gentle warmth enveloped his hands. The column’s surface seemed to change from a solid to a liquid as his hands passed into the column.
Captain Akina watched the captain and the unusual reaction having regained his footing. He took a step forward as Ramius suddenly jolted upright as if being shocked his eyes going wide. The harsh jab of a rifle butt into his side prevented him from aiding his friend who now appeared to be in serious distress.
Ramius’s consciousness faded from the room around him and was quickly replaced by another he could only barely interpret. A chorus of unnatural sounds he could not comprehend could be heard growing louder. Suddenly the sounds faded replaced by images which came and went at a nearly intolerable speed. His head was being force fed data in a manner and at a speed no human was capable of processing. Trying to break free he was unable to move as some unknown force compelled him to remain frozen and in contact with the pillar. The visions turned violent crashing into one another as they slowly became clearer. The sounds returned and oddly some now seemed to hold vague dreamlike meanings. “Welcome home.”
Akina watched as Ramius stood like a statue in front of the column until after several moments he collapsed onto the floor lifeless and unresponsive. As Ramius fell back the column began to pulsate with energy. The empty white room was quickly illuminated by unknown lightsources as dozens of invisible displays appeared all around them. Electronics, unseen in the walls, glowed to life as holographic control surfaces appeared transforming the empty room into some sort of electronic alien command center. Displays scrolled images and code in an unknown language while others seemed to depict various areas of the underground facility.
“Wonderful”, Merikai shouted in delight as the room came to life before him on the conference screen. As the theatrics faded, Merikai turned his attention back to the captain. “Is he alive?”
A nearby medical officer who had moved in to check on Ramius nodded. “Barely. Heart rate is elevated and brain activity is similar to the other test subjects. He seems to have survived the shock however we will not know if his higher brain functions are intact for sometime.”
“Test subjects”, Akina shouted. “You mean you knew this would happen?”
“Quite unfortunate, but our genetically modified candidates did not survive the interface with the alien machine”, Merikai replied. “It seems your captain managed to survive however it is anyone’s guess as to what condition his brain is in assuming he wakes up at all. His sacrifice has activated this facility’s systems and we will soon be able to learn the secrets of this place. Just think of all the knowledge this race once possessed Captain Akina? Ramius opened the door for us and removed the lock. At long last we can explore and exploit the secrets of this forgotten race’s true power and potential.”
Akina curled his hands into fists but not before he was again struck down by the overzealous guards at his back.
“Take the prisoners and captain Ramius to a cell and keep them under heavy guard. We may still have some use for them.”
Akina was forcefully pulled to his feet and pushed into line with the two remaining marines as Ramius’s lifeless body was collected and thrown over a shoulder like a slaughtered animal.
“I want the science teams in here immediately going over every last inch of these systems”, Merikai ordered. “It is only a matter of time before this entire facility is under our control as well as its advanced technology. I will at last see Operation Cerberus succeed where my father failed.”
Akina was given no chance to insult the NeoDyne president as he and the marines were herded off to some unknown confinement. Being confined had its merits in that they would be alone and could discuss methods of escape. Akina could see a glimmer of rage in the marines’ eyes which telegraphed their strong desire to exact some measure of revenge against those who had mercilessly executed their fellow soldiers in addition to innocent captives.
Akina’s gaze turned toward Ramius who seemed dead to the casual observer. The doctor had indicated he was alive, but only time would tell if he would regain consciousness. Whatever that machine had done it seemed that many before Ramius had not survived contact with the alien device. Without Ramius’s perpetual optimism and recklessness, Akina suddenly felt alone and perhaps for the first time in his career felt the sting of fear. There were sinister things at work that he could not comprehend and if NeoDyne was allowed to exploit them then he feared for the safety of the galaxy and beyond should they succeed in their twisted efforts.
[ To Be Continued … ]
Captain Taverain Ramius
Commanding Officer, USS Corsair
Captain Zane Akina
President, Neodyne Defense Corporation