1 Descent

"Red Alert! Red Alert! All crew proceed to battle station!"

A loud siren accompanied by an explosion shook their spacecraft. Various personnel of the ship were scrambling about to get to their stations.

"Damage report?"

The steel door opened and Captain Heather with his son immediately asked without waiting for the door to close as he entered the bridge.

"Rear shield – 9% damaged, All their missiles are targeting our thrusters. Our enemy seems to plan to just immobilize our ship!"

Officer Laila answered as she checked on her monitor the damage. She noticed that all missiles are aiming their ships aft.

"15% damaged!"

"Put all power on rear shield!"

"Yes, Captain! Shifting shield priority."

"Maximum output activated on rear shield."

After a few more bombardment, the damage reached 24% on their shield and the ship's shaking came to stop.

"Did you recognize the fleet? How come they've closed in without being detected?"

"Yes. That's the newest battle cruiser of Meredith Empire – 'Executor'. If it weren't for the mines we sent out before, they would have gotten even closer."

As the comm officer answered the captain, he immediately projected several feeds of the spacecraft on the center screen. Everyone in the bridge noticed that their number wasn't small.

'No wonder'. Captain Heather realized why their radar wasn't able to detect this stealthy spacecraft.

Everyone was aware of this new battlecruiser of this invasive empire. Executor was a medium-sized vessel with excellent maneuverability and high firepower accompanied by the most advanced stealth technology of the Empire.

Although its size was way smaller than their Dreadnaught-Class Zymeth, their spaceship's current firepower is at its lowest.

They had just left a battlefield and were on their way back to resupply their munitions. They discovered a few relics of an alien technology but before they could leave the place, they were ambushed by their business rivals.

Yes, the Dreadnaught-Class Zymeth wasn't a part of the army of some Nation or Empire but owned by a business tycoon which is Captain Heather himself.

They no longer hired someone to protect them on their business trades in space but had their own forces to protect themselves.

Unfortunately, they had no means to resupply and seek reinforcement with their branch that was still three standard hours away from their current location.

Captain Heather trip to Asteroid Bul'Zar was to retrieve a certain relic from who knows how many millennia ago. He invested a lot on this dangerous trip causing him a lot of loss on his trade business. The captain never expected this trip to attract so much attention. They made sure that this expedition was kept in secret.

"To think that even the Meredith Empire is involved in this, at least they probably don't want to destroy the relic we have retrieved"

Captain Heather looked at the several dozens of Executor circling around their ship. He noticed that a flagship that had previously been in stealth mode appeared behind a cluster of these Executor.

Everyone in the bridge could only feel helplessness seeing this Imperial-Class Arcane Star. If it was only these Executors, they could have maximized their shield and propulsion to escape this entrapment ignoring the firepower of these medium-sized Cruisers. Even though they had few munitions and could not retaliate massively, they were somehow confident that they could withstand the shots of these Executors.

"What's your order Captain?"

"Let's wait. They will contact us."

He was confident as he believed that the empire wanted to acquire the goods without any damages.

As soon as he said this, a contact immediately arrived and the comm officer asked permission to the Captain. But before answering, Captain Heather looked at his son before turning to his subordinate.

"Shin, execute protocol Last Cycle."

He was looking very seriously at Shin, a retired lieutenant in the army, who nodded with the same determination as his Captain.

"Wallace, follow Shin and he will help get you in safety."

Wallace was a bit reluctant to leave the bridge. Although he was only 15 years old, he contributed a lot in the previous battle at Asteroid Bul'Zar which had a very treacherous environment. But looking at the situation and the serious look of his father, he knew that there wasn't any room for argument this time.

He was also aware of the current status of the ship. Aside from the shield they could rely on, they only had a few missiles and hadron beams they could use before their canons will fail. Even their Mech Frame only had 6 left from the previous hundreds. They could never win this upcoming battle.

"Yes, father. Please be careful"

Wallace could only abide to his father's order leaving with his Uncle Shin.

After the door closed, Captain Heather heaved a sigh before nodding to the comm officer to accept the audio-visual call of the enemy.

"Captain Heather, we meet again." A deep and calm voice echoed in the room as they saw the representative of their enemy ship. They all looked at this stern soldier in his mid-thirties sitting on the captains seat.

"Solon, so it was you!" Captain Heather looked at the familiar person on the screen. Everything now made sense to the captain.

"I never knew you were such a high ranking officer of Meredith Empire."

The captain gritted his teeth as he tried to contain his anger and disappointment in his voice. Solon was delighted seeing Heather came to a realization.

"You know why I'm here Heather."

'I will never hand it over to you Solon.'

Captain Heather said in his mind as he looked at one of the small surveillance screen on the bridge. He noticed that the preparation for Last Cycle Protocol was almost completed.

'I'll buy as much time as I can. It's all up to you Wallace. Farewell, son.'

***

"Uncle Shin, what's with the protocol?"

Wallace asked as they walked along the hallway. He noticed that they weren't going to the shelter but actually to the warehouse where the relics were left in stock.

"It is to safeguard you and the relic, Wallace. You have to survive in this place. The relic cannot be handed over to anyone. This relic is the fruit of your mother's research."

Uncle Shin answered as he opened the door to the warehouse. Several containers could be seen tied in the right part of the room.

Wallace was astounded that the relic his father had been trying to obtain at all cost had some relation to his mother. He never expected it.

He was only aware that the relic could earn them a huge sum of money.

'It seems there is still a lot of secret in this relic.'

He would have liked to ask a few more questions but they obviously didn't have enough time.

His uncle Shin stopped momentarily and pressed a few control buttons on his wrist guard.

Whoosh~

A room could be seen after the walls on the left part of the room split open.

What Wallace saw was a very impressive ship. It was a small ship that looked like a luxury Corvette-class spaceship.

Uncle Shin urged him to go in.

Wallace obediently nodded and started to get in.

"Let's wait the others here then? Hmm... I didn't think we had this ship."

He checked the status of the ship. The ship was already on standby mode and ready to take off anytime.

These kinds of ships weren't for large scale battle but even if that was the case, when looking at the design, he could see some advanced technology from a powerful empire including the exquisite propulsion tech that this spaceship was using.

"How about you, father, and everyone?"

As he realized that his Uncle Shin wasn't answering, Wallace asked again.

He knew that they could not all fit in this spaceship in case they needed to escape. He was aware that there was a specific shelter with several escape pods on the ship.

There was nothing wrong to retreat whenever there was extreme danger ahead. After all, although the crew they had was mostly retired officers, mercenary and professionals on their field, they weren't patriotic soldiers trying to protect some country but were all here to supposedly earn a profit on this expedition.

He believed that if their ship couldn't handle the battle, his father would order to handover the relics to the marauders and would not sacrifice his men's lives. But if these marauders weren't satisfied with just that and wanted them to be silenced, he believed they could only retaliate as much as they could and order an escape if possible.

But with everything said, it seemed that Wallace was still ignorant on how important this relic was.

"You will take this ship and escape. We will have our own escape route."

***

Wallace immediately woke up after hearing some noise coming from the monitor. He looked at the screen and noticed that he was nearing to a planet.

The buzzing sound was due to multiple errors and warning sign telling him that this planet was not included in any database that human civilization had reached.

It was already his second week wandering aimlessly in the space. He set the destination to the coordinates of that planet.

"About six standard days."

He murmured as he noticed the number on the screen when checking the ETA.

There was no choice but to try to check that planet and try his chances there. Though looking at his supplies within the ship, he discerned that they would last him maybe an entire year but he would never know if he would even see any known planet in his current location. During his entire journey the ship's A.I. tried all possible calculations on its huge database but they could never identify their current star system or galaxy.

This all happened after his Uncle Shin ordered his quick departure. The ship's A.I. who he called Avalon, as it was written on the screen, was activated by his Uncle as soon as he was on pilot seat. Avalon actually took over the flight and Wallace only watched as his small ship that was in stealth mode escape the entrapment of the enemies.

He was actually shocked during that time as even the Meredith Empire's latest technology could not detect his ship with all their radars and sensors.

He remembered that when he looked at the monitors on the screen and observed the situation of Zymeth, it looked like they were about to be besieged. But as his ship moved away from the encirclement he noticed that there was some changes on the center screen and quickly looked at it.

Last Cycle Activated.

It was the only words written and after that, a bright light took over his vision. His visor immediately activated to protect his sight. He looked at his back where the light came from and noticed a cube that was just the size of a fist only after several adjustment of his visor due to the bright light it was discharging.

He thought at first that it was just a decoration but looking at it now, it seemed to be one of the relics they retrieved and the place it was attached to seemed to be linked to the whole ship as he could see lines of light webbing through some part of the ship.

`Is this a new type of energy that my mother is researching?' This was what he had in mind as he nervously waited to see what this phenomenon was about to do.

He heard some buzzing sound and looked at one of the screen and noticed that the ship was locked on by the enemy ship. It seemed that due to the energy of activation of the cube, their stealth was seen through. But the bright light didn't last long and it only took a bit over 15 seconds then he almost lost consciousness.

It was because after that bright light, his ship continued its flight but with unimaginable speed. If it was seen from another's point of view, after the ship discharged its bright white light, it just disappeared.

It was then the start of his aimless journey in an unknown location in the space until he found this unrecorded planet.

Haaa~

Wallace sighed as he remembered his father and his crew on the ship. He wondered if they were safe. He tried contacting them and even tried logging to the Dark Net but after multiple attempt even with the help of Avalon they are unable to connect. Even Dark Net who boasted to have connection in more than a hundred galaxies is unusable. He couldn't browse or get any information online.

***

Wallace was now wearing a combat suit. It was a black bio-armor suit that fitted his entire body. You couldn't see his face as well with his solid matte black full-face helmet.

He was now looking at the planet which was roughly the same size as planet Earth and as the ship went closer he already prepared himself on whatever he would encounter on this journey. His first aim was of course to check if the natives of this planet had human civilization or were friendly with it but if they weren't, he would come up with something to escape. He was confident in his survival skills.

Wallace was a bit worried of the language barrier if there was an alien civilization below since this planet should be undiscovered until today. He could only rely on the tens of thousands languages stored in Avalon database that human civilization accumulated in thousands of years.

His second aim was to find a way to communicate with his family. Whatever would happen, he would first have to descend on this planet and take it from there.

"Avalon, start descending."

The ship's A.I. dutifully obeyed the instruction. He already waited for almost 12 hours for any form of communication that could come from the planet but no one contacted him so he could only command to descend.

He could think of a few reasons, maybe their technology was too backward, or there were no intelligent beings living on the planet or some other possibilities that could stop them from making contact with outer space.

He was worried of those possibilities because it meant that he wouldn't be able to communicate with his family if even his ship's small pieces of communication device were much more advanced than the technology of this planet.

He looked at the now dimmed cube at the center of the pilot room just at the back of the pilot seat.

"Whatever you are, you're most likely one of the reasons for this entire situation."

Wallace talked to the cube but immediately shook his head. He would first have to set his priorities. Uncovering the secrets of this cube would come later once he settled his current predicament.

*****

Wallace was now seated on the pilot seat and was monitoring the damage report popping out of the screen as his ship descended on the planet. His ship obviously wasn't in a good condition and needed to be repaired. It had already accumulated damages when his ship was transported by the light that came from the cube. This descent added to the damages. He would obviously need to repair it first if he wanted to travel back to space.

It could also be seen that the A.I. was multitasking, trying to get photos or relevant information it could get on the surface of the planet. The ship was now trying to fly safely in the atmosphere and Wallace could now see the surface of this planet.

"It doesn't look that different from Earth"

Wallace muttered as he could see this beautiful scenery of nature. The ship was currently flying on top of the ocean but looking in front was a land with lush forest and mountain. The land seemed so enormous that he couldn't see the end.

"Damage has now reached 82% and exceed the threshold. Recommending for immediate descent."

A robotic voice was heard as Wallace was viewing the scenery.

"Permission granted."

"Scanning for a safe location to descend."

It only took a few seconds for the AI to scan the surroundings and find an isolated small island near the mainland. The system started its countdown for its descent. Wallace saw a few dozen small islands near the mainland. The chosen island was about 5km away from the mainland. As the ship neared the island and after a few shakes on the ship, it safely descended.

Wallace heaved a sigh of relief as it safely descended as the system's countdown stopped. He wasn't warned by the AI as well for any living being that could be near the ship, aside from the unknown but familiar small insects and animals living in the small island.

The young man was now equipped with a rifle gun, grenade, and handguns. He also brought his only laser gun. Even though he was equipped with a bio-armor suit, it only increased his defense and he still needed some offensive equipment as the bio-armor suit was initially only equipped with two blades.

The two handguns placed on the left and right side of his waist were seemingly attached to the bio-armor itself and only the handle was sticking out.

This bio-armor suit was the latest technology of his father's company and he luckily had 4 more extra suits on the ship.

The suit's usefulness was at the top of the Galactic Federation and Wallace was confident in protecting himself on this planet.

He was confident in its high adaptability in any environment but he could not know what was awaiting him in his journey on this planet and could only hope for the best.

As he landed on the ground, he clutched his chest in pain and died.

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