Author: Dao Zang Moua | Banner: Dao Zang Moua
Acting Captain Susumu Kodai sat vigilant in the captain’s chair as the Space Battleship Yamato exited its warp towards Iskandar. His concern over the captain’s health stood in the back of his mind as he watched the vast expanse of space come into view past the cloudy blue energy of the warp. In an act of caution given by the ship’s pilot and his old friend, Shima, they had not warped directly towards Iskandar’s coordinates, but near the edges of the planet’s star system. In front of them lied a massive gas giant surrounded by several rings of meteors, moons, and space dust.
“Good job finding coordinates closer to Iskandar before the big jump Aihara, and you too Shima for flying us closer to our target. Now, scan the perimeter for any possible approaching or following Gamilas ships that may have caught our warp signature. On our next warp, we head to Iskandar, but for now let’s get ready for anything,” Kodai stated as the crew stretched their limbs.
Standing from his seat, he too began to stretch his arms as he beheld the glittering stars beyond the ship’s glass. Space was as beautiful as it was dangerous in his opinion. Any of those glittering sparkles in the distance had a chance to hold some form of life. And it was this infinitesimal chance that gave life to humanity on the Earth, as well as the appearance of the violent Gamilas that turned their blue planet into a barren, crater-filled wasteland, devoid of its former beauty.
It was their duty to reach Iskandar, and find a cure for the radiation and destruction the Gamilas bombarded their world with. The last hope for humanity to revitalize their dying world and change the course of their war against the Gamilas Fleet. Kodai kept hope that what the Captain believed would be true, that despite there being no plans or blueprints provided by Iskandar Probe that they could revitalize the Earth, that they had the technology to do so. He was living proof of that apparently. At that moment, Dr. Sado walked onto the deck and motioned him over.
“How’s the Captain doing?” Kodai asked.
“He’s still kicking, but I’m not too certain he’ll survive long enough to get home,” Sado stated calmly as she broke the news to Kodai. “The trip is taking its toll on his body, and his medication is no longer working.”
Kodai slammed his fist into his hand as he thought over what to do. If they sailed fast enough through space, they could get to Iskandar within a few days time, but there was no telling if the Captain’s body could hold on that long or if the Earth’s forces could hold out until then.
“Kodai,” Sado spoke as she grabbed his shoulder, “He knew he wouldn’t make it back to Earth even when he was assigned as Captain. That’s why he brought you aboard.”
“I know,” he replied, leaning against the wall for support. It was then that the deck crew began to hear the distinct beep of the radar system.
“Sir! We’re detecting something approaching quickly on our radar!” Communications Officer Aihara stated as the crew began to rush back to their posts. “Two large objects at 10 o’clock!”
“Is it the Gamilas?” Kodai asked as he rushed to the captain’s seat, ready to give the order for attack.
“No sir, the signatures are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. I’m getting reports from the computer detecting some sort of high frequency sound waves from one of the signatures.”
“Sound waves? In space?”
The light of the nearby star quickly revealed to the crew what was before them as the ship rode forth, showcasing something unexpected for the crew of the Yamato. In the distance, they could see what appeared to be two massive creatures in combat. Both seemed to be almost as large as a Gamilas warship or the Yamato itself, and both were somehow alive in the vacuum of space with no air to sustain them.
Of course space had to prove him right about how deadly its beauty was.
“What the hell are those things?” Kodai asked as the crew stood in shock at discovering more alien life other than the Gamilas.
The first creature was a massive, beetle-like creature. It flew on iridescent wings through the void, seemingly trying to escape its pursuer with green fluid dripping from its body, presumably the creature’s blood.
The other creature however, had the appearance of a massive, blood red bat with massive ears and talons like a dragon. Its skin seemed to be covered in armored scales like a reptile, with large, jagged plates covering its body as it seamlessly glided through the vacuum on massive, leathery wings. Green fluids dribbled from its maw as it opened its mouth wide, a powerful yellow light emitting from its maw at the beetle, causing pieces of it to fracture. The computer detected more high frequency soundwaves from the occurrence, as they watched the beast falling to pieces.
“I can’t believe there’s creatures that big capable of even existing, nor the fact they seem to be able to traverse freely in the vacuum of space and seemingly have no need for air!” Dr. Sado said in awe of the beasts.
“Who cares about more alien life right now when their fight seems to be coming towards us?!” Kodai shouted, watching the insect turn towards their ship. Immediately he grabbed a hold of the ship’s mic as the crew quickly began preparations for either battle, or escape. “How long until the Wave Motion Generator is ready to warp?!”
“Not for another 16 minutes at minimum!” came the response quickly through the deck’s speakers.
“Damn,” he whispered before coming to a quick decision. Raising the mic to his mouth, he quickly gave his orders. “Battle stations. All guns prepare for combat against two giant alien lifeforms in the form of a giant red bat and some big beetle thing. Black Tigers, I want you on standby in case we need to draw them away. Be aware this thing can fire some type of sound based energy ray and can really scream out there. We need to hold out until we can warp away from this conflict and head to Iskandar!”
“We’re going to fight?” Shima asked as people rushed to their stations, red alarm lights flashing overhead.
“Better to be safe than sorry,” Kodai said as he noticed the red bat staring at them, almost in hunger. “I’d prefer that we avoid these two, but as they are coming right for us, I’d rather us not become the snack of some space beast and leave the Earth helpless. Aihara, get those coordinates ready to warp us out of here, but if it comes down to it, we’ll use the wave motion gun.”
“Roger that, Captain.”
“Black Tigers! Get ready to sortie!”
The Korghan Beast smirked as he saw his prey limply flying as the sonic screech slammed into its mighty shell. It was unknown to others how the Korghan Beast could let loose sound waves through a vacuum, nor was it understood how he could do so and simultaneously hear the sounds of life across galaxies. It was the latter however, that alerted the bat creature to his prey, as well as the latest arrivals to this battle zone.
He had been tracking this insect across the solar winds to devour ever since it had caught his ear. And now, some noisy thing had shown up right as he began to hunt down his prey, granting him the luck of having even more food to satiate his hunger till the next planet filled with life. The taste of the current creature was somewhat foul, but he had eaten worse in his travels. With a flap of his massive wings, he jetted towards the insect which fled towards the newcomer, and his talons opened wide to grapple his prey.
Diving down, he slammed into the back of the insect, digging his claws into its body and causing the bug to let out a silent scream into space. Grappling the tough shell with his claws, he opened his maw right between the armor and the wings, and let loose his greatest weapon once more. High frequency sound waves concentrated and released from his throat towards the insect below, forming a yellow ray which shattered the glittering wings away from its body and cracked open the shell. Frantically, the giant beetle monster thrashed its limbs and body, unable to dislodge the bat from itself or escape any longer. Digging into the crack with his wing claws, he ripped the beast apart, revealing the vile, yet filling, flesh within as the insect’s lifeblood glistened in the void.
The beetle lost touch with its body as the draconic bat ripped it in two, its mouth briefly chattering before going still. Yet, the bat didn’t stop there. Turning his head, the Korghan Beast flapped his blood red wings, catching the solar wind as he dragged his meal towards his next target, the Yamato.
Twisting his body, Bagorah spread his large wings and took off toward the battleship, flinging his current meal to the side for later as he focused on the newcomer, wondering if this one tasted better. As he approached, the main cannons of the Yamato took aim, glowing blue with plasma. With a burst of energy, deck cannons one and two began to fire blue positron lasers at the two massive space beasts. Bagorah twisted his body about with grace, twirling around the beams as he soared through the vacuum upside down. His meal was less fortunate, as the beams blew holes through its fractured shell, sending bits of flesh rocketing off into the distance.
Missiles and blasts of energy shot out from the side cannons and launchers of the Yamato as the bat split from his prey. Explosions of fire burst against the monster’s hide, causing him to screech in pain and rise upward in a panic. Blasts of cannon fire struck his hide like a miniature meteor shower, blinding him with bursts of light and pelts of debris.
Seeing more of the missiles coming his way, Bagorah released a powerful, less concentrated scream, bursting the oncoming projectiles early as he swooped below the red ship. The bat quickly let loose another shriek against the hull of the ship, intending to rip it apart with his voice.
Sparks flew as the ship shook from the high frequency sound waves vibrating its structure. People were knocked off their feet as the impact of the sound waves shook the entire ship, while the screeching sound of metal vibrating kept them on the ground as the resonating noise overtook their sense of hearing. Small streams of sonic rays split from his voice, slamming into the battleship with powerful concussive force, causing the ship to begin to spin out.
Kodai screamed out in pain with the deck crew, holding their ears to try drowning out the vibrations as their bodies lurched to the side from the blasts. The reinforced quartz glass on the deck of the ship shook violently, but held against the soundwaves resonating with them. Soon, noise slowly came to a rest as the bat hovered before the ship, seemingly inspecting the damages he had done as Shima struggled to pull them out of their spiral.
“Shima! Get us under control! Someone fire the counter missiles before it gets the chance to do that again! Aihara! Get me a reading on the damages that attack caused to us!”
“What was that?”
“I can’t hear you! I have to stabilize our position!”
“I’m going to launch the counter missiles before it does that again and hope they can block sound!”
Bagorah circled up around the ship from below, ready to bite down on the object, when several missiles fired towards him. Seeing the discharge of the explosives caused the bat to immediately release his scream once more, intending to detonate them prematurely once again and deal more damage to the ship. Right as the monster let loose his screech, the missiles burst open, creating multiple energy shields between the Korghan Beast and his prey.
The screech slammed into the energy barrier, and immediately reflected back towards the crimson predator. Intense pain filled his mind as his own attack struck him point blank at full power. Small bursts of sonic waves slammed into his body as they bounced off the barrier, while the powerful soundwaves threw off his balance.
Side launchers unloaded on the draconic bat as he wildly flapped away from the ship, missiles blasting against his scaly body and sending him reeling back from the impacts. Shaking his head to try and right himself, Bagorah turned his head towards the ship only to receive a blast from the ship’s positron shock cannons. Explosions burst against his scales as the multiple bursts of energy slammed into his chest.
Pain led to rage, as the bat let loose another powerful screech at the battleship, this time concentrating his voice further than he would usually. The once tiny rays of sonic waves coalesced together, forming a singular beam of soundwaves that shot towards the Yamato. The battleship responded with another burst of their barrier missiles, yet it wasn’t enough. The condensed beam of sound slammed into the missile barrier, struggling against it briefly before shattering past it, though dampened. The sonic blast struck the Yamato in the side, flipping the ship over as sparks flew from its hull. The flames in its engines slowed to a stop as the ship floated around, slowly spinning as the bat approached.
The bat monster then began to fly towards the ship, ready to rip into it to get the meat beneath its exterior.
The crew held tight as the ship quickly flipped upside down from their perspective, gravity pulling them towards the roof before rapidly returning back towards the floor and back again.
“Engine Room,” Kodai said as he felt his body lurching in his seat, “what are the damages?”
Static greeted him, causing him some concerns before finally a response came through.
“That blast knocked the power cables out for most of the ship. Weapons systems we can fix in a couple minutes, and the auxiliary motion systems are still functional. However, we’ll need more time to repair and fix the damages to the main engine, maybe half an hour or so if we rush.”
“Damnit,” Kodai spat out, holding the microphone to his head. “What about the generator?”
“Wave Motion Energy is just about charged back up. Though we cannot warp without the main engines working.”
A thud echoed throughout the ship as it suddenly stopped its spin, causing all the crew to lurch to the side from the sudden stop. Emergency lights came on as the crew regained their bearings. The ship remained on a slant, with the floor at an angle.
“We’ve stopped spinning,” Shima said as he looked at his controls, “We must have hit something!”
Another impact echoed throughout the ship as lights flickered around them. Kodai looked out the window, noticing that not only had they stopped spinning, but they were moving. In the distance, he could see the massive insect creature’s corpse was rapidly growing closer to them.
“We didn’t hit anything,” Kodai said in realization. “It’s got us in its claws.”
“Captain, what do we do?”
Kodai gazed upon the crimson wings, battering through the darkness towards the broken shell of a massive insect.
“We’re going to fire the gun and burn this thing to dust before it can eat us.”
Murmurs filled the room at his command, some nervous and others looking on in disbelief. It made Kodai nervous inside, but he would rather this thing be destroyed than his crew.
“Engine room, begin charging up the generator to fire the cannon! If we can get a good shot, we are going to take it!”
Static filled the command room before another voice filled the chamber.
“This is the hanger. The Black Tigers are ready to launch on your command sir!”
Kodai seemed both relieved, and worried as they approached the other creature’s corpse. But as captain, he knew just what was needed to end this battle, and keep them all safe.
“Black Tigers, your mission is to keep the target away from us, and keep him in line for a shot of the cannon. If possible, target some weak points for the positron cannons to fire at. Do not get killed, and retreat as soon as he is in position”.
Bagorah growled as he held onto the battleship, flying towards his original prey. It would not do to lose track of such a hard fought meal by getting lost chasing another. Releasing the object, he herded its drifting stature towards the massive bug before it. The ship came to a stop as it bounced off the shell of the space monster. Licking its lips, Bagorah wondered which prey he would devour first.
The insect had more meat on it, though the other being wasn’t moving any longer. Perhaps he’d take a bite of the red one before moving onto the main course.
He bit down on the ship’s belly, before spitting out to the side at the horrid taste of metal. This thing was inedible. Hopefully this wasn’t like the other metal things that sometimes attacked him when he hunted down prey across the cosmos. Yet, to his hypersensitive ears, he began to hear something. He could hear the sounds of shuffling creatures, incessant yapping and growling somewhere within the object. Listening closer, he could hear more within the red metal, dozens of creatures moving about.
Then, he heard the release of gas, as the bottom of the ship seemingly opened up. Perhaps it was dying, ready to drop its armor and reveal the succulent flesh within?
Instead, he reeled back in pain as a loud ringing filled his ears, several small things fleeing from the belly of the steel armor. Minor explosions rocketed his body as the tiny insects soared past him.
They wanted to continue to fight? He would devour these insects, then rip the metal one to shreds! Letting loose a screech, he twisted his head side to side, intending on shattering the smaller beasts to bits. Instead, they all swerved around him, avoiding his call and blasting away at his hide.
Another bombardment struck him from behind, causing him to release his grasp on the metal ship. As he turned to screech at them, he saw they were flying far away from him, like cowards. He would not let this attack stand! Springing his wings out fully, he launched off towards the tiny insects, mouth ready to bite and devour them all or burst them to space debris.
Unbeknownst to the bat, the ship began to move, sprays of gas righting the machine’s position and slowly turning it towards the battle ahead.
The great devourer of life flew as fast as he could in an attempt to catch the tiny creatures, but while he had size and power, they were small and agile. They would swoop around his body, blasting away at his scales with insignificant stings, while others would release missiles the moment he attempted to screech, filling his vision with smoke and flame.
“I’ve got a lock on the beast,” Kodai spoke, watching as the Black Tigers continued their assault. “Black Tigers, evacuate the area. All hands prepare for the recoil! Wave Motion Gun is ready to fire!”
Hearing the command, the squadron boosted towards Bagorah for one final assault.
Several missiles launched at the Korghan Beast, peppering him with explosives and keeping him still.
Bagorah screeched into the void, trying to decimate the tiny insects any way he could. Unfortunately, six blasts of energy slammed into his body, two on each wing joint and the last two striking directly at his chest, knocking the wind out of the beast and crippling his movement.
Six more blasts slammed into his chest, pushing him against the remains of an asteroid as flames covered his body. As he struggled to regain his breath, he snapped outward with his maw, hoping to take down one of the irritating bugs as one ship flew directly towards his face.
Missiles fired from the ship, striking the bat directly between the eyes, swerving just out of range of the sharp, bloodthirsty jaws at the last minute. The bat recoiled as the flames and ash filled his vision, the fighter already speeding above the area as fast as it could.
The smoke cleared from his face, revealing the glowing muzzle of the battleship aiming his way. The Black Tigers had already split and boosted themselves out of range, leaving him directly in the path of the blast. Even if he couldn’t get out in time, he could still try and disrupt it.
“Wave Motion Gun, FIRE!”
The Korghan Beast released his screech as loud as he could toward the ship, but he was outmatched in sheer firepower. The Space Battleship unleashed a powerful azure beam from its bow, ripping across the void with immense energy as a shockwave of power pulsed from the cannon.
The blue ray ripped through the sonic screech and struck the space bat head on. Pain seared his very being as the intense energy burned and pushed him through the void. Heat burned away at his hide while the concussive force shattered his bones, when finally, the condensed energy burst apart with Bagorah as its epicenter.
A massive explosion like that of a miniature sun overtook the space monster. The pain was unlike any other he had felt before. It was as though he had fallen into the sun itself. He could feel his scales turning to ash, his blood boiling as energy seared through his body. There was no breath to let loose noise, to scream and fill the void with his song as the flames filled his lungs and seared his eyes to cinders. Wings blistered and burst, shriveling into chunks of burnt flesh scattered out into the cosmos. His mind pounding and rattling with agony before that too began to fade.
And then, there was silence.
Regret filled Kodai as he watched the explosion overtake the creature. He could hear the cheering and relief from the other crew members, and while he too was relieved of their safety, the burden of firing the weapon still weighed heavy on his shoulder. The light was a reminder that this journey was one of life or death, and the cruelty of the universe they lived in. Or perhaps, this was the inherent cruelty of man and other sentient life in the cosmos, destined to destroy everything they came across. As the light and energy died down, he could not see anything remaining of the once bloodthirsty bat, only floating debris.
“Captain,” spoke Shima as the crew celebrated around them. “You did what had to be done to protect the crew.”
“It doesn’t make it right though,” Kodai said as he sat down in his seat. “Make preparations to leap to Iskandar, and let’s hope we don’t end up finding anything else like that thing. After all, if both humanity and the Gamilas exist in this universe, there are probably others like us out there. I’d rather not leave humanity’s first impact on the greater cosmos to be acts of destruction.”
The Yamato drifted off in the direction of Iskandar, unknowing of the being watching them leave the scene of the battle. A black and silver figure watched the victorious battleship soar away in the void from below their vessel, pondering on the potential of these humans. It was rare that a budding species could survive an encounter with a monster as fearsome as the Korghan Beast, even rarer that one could defeat the monster. Many worlds had fallen to the beast’s insatiable appetite, and yet these apes, these humans, had not only beaten the beast, but killed it. The potential for warfare and combat they held as a species could be quite useful for him in the future. If they had a future.
He would keep an eye on them for now, perhaps contact them about their war with the Gamilas and trade them a few bioweapons in return for their knowledge and a potential treaty. After all, the Gamilas were breaking the interstellar treaty about requiring a living biological weapon to “interfere” with another planet. They had only gotten away with their actions as the usual overseers and guardians had all been forced to return back to the Land of Light due to an internal conflict.
Such actions would send ripples of chaos into the universe should they succeed in their conquest of the human’s home world. Their victory would sow the seeds for other races to ignore the treaty, and business would plummet for him. If that were to happen, there was no telling how much destruction would happen from interstellar warfare before an adjudicator finally interfered and destroyed all involved. History would repeat itself if the laws were not held to all, and a full scale, universe wide war would wage once more, wiping out many of the remaining species. If that were to happen, there was no telling how many worlds would burn before the Adjudicators’ jobs were finished, and peace brought back to the galaxy.
In the end, we are all in the same boat. A most favorable saying. With a thought, his body began shifting into a blocky appearance while shrinking down, becoming more human in appearance, before his body began to shift into blocks, disappearing from the drifting debris. He had a boat to infiltrate, and an offer to provide.