By Relic

24th Aug 2010

Ch.2 The Discovery

Lt. Kenneth Price tapped the gauge again needlessly, it was plainly clear that something had come loose by the rattling coming from within the number two I-flight engine. Already the temperature was rising fast. Making his decision he reported the malfunction to the captain though the comm as well as a request to shut it down.
Lt. Kenneth "Kenny" Price was considered young to be the head of the engineering department,only twenty-five, but he had grown up on board his family's merchant ship and knew every part of the Rhadamanthus well enough that he could tell what was wrong with her most times by the sounds she made from her twelve ancient engines, but since the evacuation three months ago she had developed an entirely new sets of sounds and problems.
"This bucket was never designed for prolonged I-flight." He muttered.
"Whats that sir?" coming from the Machinist's Mate Neal Long.
" Huh? oh nothing prepare to shut down no.2. Lets take it apart when it cools down and see whats wrong with it this time."

Captain Richard Wiles knew it was time to drop out of I-flight, it had been three months since they had fled. During peace time operations the Rhadamanthus would never have been in I-flight longer than a week at a time, but he had been given little in the way of orders and information other than laying a course out towards the rim of the galaxy and look for a suitable planet to colonize, and he was worried about pursuers, the Urians were known to chase down fleeing enemies until they were all destroyed. Nonetheless he would have to risk it, reports were coming in from all ships for repairs that needed to be done, and it would be easier to detect hospitable planets. Decision made he ordered a cease to I-flight and a full sensor sweep for all ships.

Down in the ship's recently installed CIC, Operations Specialist Rachel Nguyen started the sensor sweep of the area and was immediately surprised by a massive metallic signature unlike anything she had every seen. For a moment she just stared, quickly regaining her composure she reported to the captain though the comm.
"Sir we have a massive metal object baring twenty degrees to port six thousand miles out. It's the size of dwarf planet sir!"
" Are you sure!"
"Yes sir!"

On the bridge Richard ordered the view screen on and searched for the area of space Miss Nguyen had indicated. He remembered from school the subject of metallic planets, they were rare and a source of great wealth for any nation that had them. Finally locating a spot in space where no stars showed as if blocked by a darkened object. It was then he realized something.
"Miss Nguyen is there a star or remnants of a star nearby."
"No sir, no evidence of any stars ever being in the general area."
"Could it be a comet?"
"No sir, it's strangely still, sensors show no movement."

Reports soon came from Minos and Sarpedon as they to caught sight of it. Richard could not think what it could be, had it been a planet there would have been indication of a star nearby but that had not been the case and stranger was it actually wasn't moving. Deciding that it should be investigated, but reluctant to risk the ships and refugees, he ordered a shuttle launched to approach it.

Boatswain mate 2nd class Freddy Scott entered the shuttle followed by Gunners Mate 2nd class Dennis Silva and Rachel Nguyen. Taking the pilots seat he began the startup procedure. He had been in his third year at the military academy six months previous and had been assigned to the Rhadamanthus like many other cadets and was giving the Boatswain mate 2nd class rate because of his good grades. He looked at Dennis Silva, the big Gunners Mate had been on board the battleship Aurilous but had been literally thrown off because of his behavior, along with three others, and had subsequently been assigned to the transport, no doubt as punishment. If that fact bothered him he didn't show it. Already he had become well know for his exaggerated sense of humor,pranks, and his rambunctious behavior. He was also the ships Hercules, being the most battle experienced gunner on board and the best shot. Turning away he looked at his other passenger seated the console next to him.
He had known her only by sight at the academy and had always been awed by her exotic looks. At the academy she had been notoriously shy and had refused many advances by others preferring the company of book-pads and consoles earning her the nick name bookworm and teacher's pet along with the no.1 seat in the class and the choice of ship assignment when the war approached. It wasn't known why she chose a converted transport over a plush military assignment but rumors had it that she was friends with Lt.Commander Maria Vasquez, who had shared a similar popularity, when she had been in the academy.
"Bridge reports permission to launch."
Startled he quickly looked away in case she saw his blush.
"Aye launching."

Fifteen minutes later the shuttle closed the distance to within a thousand miles and Freddy turned on the two spotlights located on the sides of his shuttle craft. Rachel transmitted everything they saw to the view screen on the bridge of the Rhadamanthus. At their distance they still couldn't make out any details. Detecting absolutely no gravity coming from the object, the hair began to rise on their necks. Everything this size had gravity was the general consensus in the scientific community, and for something this size to not have gravity seemed utterly unnatural.
Moving another five hundred miles closer, Freddy finely began to feel a slight, almost non-existent tug at the controls. Compensating he moved yet closer still trying to make out some details. Without realizing it he approached within hundred miles. Finally noticing how close he was he came to a stop. It was then he noticed he was holding his breath. The view screen was filled entirely by the silvery metallic object. It was polished to such an extent that he could see his shuttle reflected back at him.
"Whats that?"
Having forgotten about the big Gunners Mate, Freddy looked where he was pointing above him. He could just make out a series of blemishes. He noticed two things at that moment, the first the sound of Rachel gasping in shock, and his own surprise when he realized that he could read those blemishes.
He didn't know what that meant but it was written in Human galactic standard. He than noticed another blemish on the polished area just below the unknown word. This one looked like a emblem of sorts... A blue, green, and yellow planet surrounded by a number of stars with three banners in the back ground. He recognized it instantly, It was an emblem known to every human in the universe... one not used officially in twenty-thousand years... A symbol of unity and power... the United Republic of Earth... The greatest empire in galactic history.

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