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Chapter 3

-Lieutenant Getty Roberts – 16 – Destiny – 3.7.2127

Getty stared at the black nothingness in front of the Destiny with a confused expression on his face. The pilot double and triple checked the coordinates Admiral Tesik had given him against the Destiny’s current location.

“This isn’t right,” he said with a frown. “There’s fucking nothing here!”

Getty stared at the different indicator lights, trying to see if anything could give him a clue as to what happened. The frown he wore deepened. He was about to activate his comm-unit when the door behind him slid open.

“I hope I’m not interrupting something important,” AJ said as he slumped down into the co-pilot seat. He looked around them in confusion. “Why did we stop here? There weren’t any alarms in Engineering.”

“I have no idea why we’re here,” Getty said with a hint of frustration in his voice. “This is where I was told to go.”

“Who would send us to the middle of nowhere?”

“My father.”

AJ and Getty both jumped and turned to see Jackson Tesik standing in the doorway with his own frown. Jackson nodded at the two crew members before he stepped through the door and stood directly behind Getty. The man’s blue eyes were focused on the nothingness in front of them. He remained silent for several moments as he seemed to contemplate their current situation.

“I think I know why he sent us here,” the ACE officer stated as he directed his attention back to Getty.

“I’m listening,” Getty said as he waited for the colonel’s explanation.

Jackson sighed wearily.

“I think he wants us to summon a wormhole. . .”

“Impossible!” Getty snapped. “The Destiny doesn’t have the technology to summon a wormhole. She’ll barely be able to hold together if we even try to use a wormhole!”

Jackson smiled softly and gazed back out into the darkness for a moment.

“You actually do have the technology to summon a wormhole, Captain Getty.” Jackson stated. “You just don’t trust it enough to use it.”

With that, Jackson turned and left the two men staring after him in confusion.

“What’s he talking about?” AJ demanded. “I’m fairly sure we would know what kind of technology the Destiny is equipped with. We’re the ones who have been living in her the past year!”

Getty remained silent for a few minutes as he considered the words of Colonel Tesik. Then, he realized what the man had been getting at and the pilot frowned.

“Fuck!” He grumbled before he kicked one of the metal panels, making AJ jump in shock.

“Did you figure something out?” AJ asked.

“Unfortunately,” Getty said before he stood from his seat. “You have the con, AJ. I have to go talk to Andrew.”

AJ just nodded as he watched the younger man slip away.


-Eddin Tesik – 15 – Destiny – 3.7.2127

Eddin studied his brother’s motions closely before he tried them himself. His brother was refusing to train him, since he had yet to apologize to Mason, but the teen figured he could still try to learn. Eddin glanced over to see that Wade had started kicking at his dummy, and Eddin immediately started trying to do the same thing with the dummy he was practicing on. The boy tried to emulate the motions of his older brother as the young man swept his left leg around and planted a solid hit on the side of the dummy’s head, but Eddin simply fell as he tried the spin kick maneuver.

“It would be easier if you just apologized to Mason, Eddin.” Wade called out as he watched Eddin hit the floor again.

“It would be easier if you just trained me like you’re supposed to be doing!” Eddin snapped in anger before he stormed from the training room.

Eddin was a cloud of fury as he stomped through the narrow corridors in search of his own cabin. The boy was so lost in his own anger that he didn’t even notice Mason sitting along the inside wall with the white-haired prince until he tripped over the outstretched legs of the two boys. Eddin slammed into the floor with a cry of pain, and immediately jumped back to his feet and whirled on his cousin and the strange boy that never spoke to him.

“You’re nothing but problems for me!” Eddin screamed at his younger cousin. Mason’s eyes went wide as he caught the words being said through his mental connection with Deegan. “Oh, take care of Mason, Eddin! You better apologize to Mason, Eddin! Nobody will like if you don’t, Eddin!” Eddin stepped closer to the two boys, the anger he was feeling was clearly present in his eyes as he stared them down. “You’re nothing but a defective piece of shit, Mason! Why don’t you just fucking die already?!”

Deegan jumped to his feet and stood face to face with Eddin. His silver eyes flashed with their own hidden fury as the red-faced Eddin looked at him with contempt.

“What do you think you’re going to do, fag?” Eddin snarled at the slightly shorter boy. Eddin stepped closer to Deegan, but the younger boy just smirked as Eddin continued to try to intimidate the two boys. “Just wait until my grandfather hears that you’re trying to make Mason a fag, too! He’ll destroy your entire fucking planet, little boy.”

Eddin’s anger finally reached the boiling point, and he made the single mistake of going to push the Prince of Pydrak. Before his hands could even make contact though, Eddin found himself being slammed into the wall of the corridor.

“Let go of me!” Eddin screamed as someone kept a firm grip on the back of his shirt.

“No,” came the icy reply from Prince Deegan’s tutor. “Your Highness, would you like me to get the Colonel?”

“I think it’s going to be necessary, Sir Chos.” Deegan said regretfully. “Could you also ask Captain Getty to pull the security footage from this position, please? This way we have enough evidence when we get to port, and I call my father to file charges.”

“As you wish, your Highness.” Chos said with a slight bow of his head. “And this one?”

“Take Eddin to his Uncle Jackson, please.” The prince said with a hint of sadness in his voice. “Inform the Colonel that Eddin will be extradited to Pydrak when the charges are filed.”

Eddin’s eyes went wide in fear as he listened to the conversation behind him.

“You can’t do this!” Eddin screamed in fury. “You have no rights here! This is an Association starship! Nothing you say can have any type of effect on me! Stupid fucking aliens!”

“I suggest you silence yourself, Mister Eddin, before you make this worse.” Chos warned delicately. “You have assaulted the Crown Prince of Pydrak. Do you know what the punishment for that crime is?”

“He’s not the prince of anything!” Eddin lashed out. “He’s just a fucking faggot in space!”

Chos sighed.

“My Prince?” Chos looked to Prince Deegan sympathetically.

Deegan nodded simply before Eddin found himself being drug through the corridors by Chos’s tight grip on the back of his uniform top.

“I’ll tell my grandfather, and he’ll have your head for this!” Eddin screamed in a last-ditch effort to save himself.

Eddin’s Uncle Stanley looked up in surprise at the commotion when Chos brought Eddin into the main passenger cabin of the Destiny.

“Eddin?” Stanley looked at his red-faced nephew before he turned to look at the tall tutor. “Sir Chos?”

“Sergeant Tesik,” Chos began as he glanced around the room. “Would you know the location of Colonel Tesik? I have a situation that needs resolved.”

Stanley looked between the two in disbelief.

“He’s just a boy, though. . .”

“It does not matter the age of the attacker when he threatens the safety of my Crown Prince,” Chos said without emotion. “Now, Colonel Tesik?”

Stanley glanced between the two again before he finally replied.

“My brother is on the bridge visiting with the Captain at the moment, Sir Chos.” Stanley said cautiously. “He should be back any moment.”

As Stanley finished his sentence, the door behind Chos and Eddin slid open as Jackson entered the room. Jackson froze the moment he saw the serious expression on Chos’s face.

“What did I miss?” The colonel asked hesitantly.

“This fucking alien grabbed me for no reason. . .” Eddin started to scream out, but a quick look from his uncle made the boy’s voice fall silent.

“Now,” Jackson turned his attention to Deegan’s tutor. “Sir Chos, how can I help to resolve this matter?”

“The only way to resolve this matter, is for the child known as Eddin to be extradited back to Pydrak to face trial for his crimes against my Crown Prince.” Chos said, again without any hint of emotion in his voice to betray his feelings.

Eddin began to tremble as Jackson looked at the boy in shock.

“What are the charges being brought against my nephew?” Colonel Jackson asked as he tried to maintain a diplomatic stature in the strange situation.

“He threatened to assault my prince after insulting him,” Chos relayed the information in a dutiful manner.

Eddin felt his heart beginning to race in his chest as he witnessed a flash of anger pass through his uncle’s eyes. This wasn’t going how he wanted it to go.

“Sergeant Tesik,” Jackson turned his blue eyes to his younger brother who was watching the scene unfold in front of him.

Stanley quickly stood to his feet and saluted the Colonel.

“Yes, sir?”

“Eddin Tesik is hereby confined to his quarters until we arrive at our final destination,” Jackson said without hesitation. “All luxury items will be removed from his room besides the basic necessities. . .”

“What? No! You can’t do this!” Eddin began to protest angrily.

“All of his meals will be taken in his room,” Jackson continued as if the boy hadn’t even spoken. “He will have no contact without my permission, Sergeant.” Then, Jackson turned his attention to Chos. “Will that be sufficient until we reach our destination, Sir Chos?”

Chos bowed his head slightly.

“That will be sufficient, Colonel Tesik.” The tutor said calmly. “If you need me, I will be having our Captain pull the security footage of the event in question.”

“I would like to see it when you do, Sir Chos.” Jackson stated with a brief nod.

Chos hesitated before he nodded in acceptance and released his grip from the back of Eddin’s shirt. The boy jerked away from the slender man.

“Sergeant?” Jackson turned to Stanley without any emotion on his face as Chos left the room.


“Escort Eddin to his room,” Jackson commanded. “His confinement begins immediately.”

“This is bullshit!” Eddin screamed in fury at his uncle. “That little faggot. . .”

Eddin didn’t even see his Uncle Jackson move, but he definitely felt the sharp sting of pain across his cheek as his uncle slapped him. Tears began falling down his cheeks as the man glared at him.

“I’m telling grandfather. . .”

“You have brought nothing but shame on our family, Eddin.” Jackson said in a disgusted tone. “Get him out of my sight, Stanley, before I lose my control and hit him again.”

“Aye, sir.” Stanley stepped forward and firmly grabbed the stunned boy’s arm. “Let’s go, Eddin.”

Eddin sobbed in defeat as his Uncle Stanley half-dragged him back to his room in silence.


-Dinrak Soren – 23 – Destiny – 3.7.2127

Dinrak studied the screen. He wanted to double check the results of the test he had the AH-57 run but wasn’t certain how the android had come up with the answer.

“Can you show me your work?” Dinrak asked curiously.

Andrew nodded before he closed his eyes. Dinrak turned his attention to the monitor as different figures and expressions began to flash across the screen. The man nodded once or twice before he turned back to the android.

“Thank you, Andrew.” Dinrak said. “Your work is exceptional as always.”

“Thank you, Commander Dinrak.” Andrew replied with a slight nod of his head. “Do you get picked on much for your outwards appearance?”

Dinrak was startled by the question, but he quickly overcame the need to rationalize the android’s sudden curiosity.

“It mostly happens when I am not around those of my own species, Andrew.” Dinrak explained. His entire species aged at half the rate of humans, but they still celebrated their birthdays within the four-hundred-day timeframe created by the Galactic Commission centuries prior. Andrew nodded.

“My apologies for causing you discomfort by bringing up bad memories, sir.” Andrew stated.

“It is of no worry, Andrew.” The Commander stated with a shrug. “How else were you to know if you didn’t ask?”

A knock at the door distracted both of the men, and they turned to see Getty standing in the doorway.

“Am I late for my watch, Captain?” Andrew asked, with a hint of worry in his voice.

“No, Andrew.” Getty reassured the android. “You’re not late for anything. I actually came down here to ask a few questions from both of you, if you have time?”

“It would be unworthy of us to not accommodate you, Captain.” Commander Soren stated. “How may we be of assistance?”

Getty sighed before he stepped further into the room.

“Admiral Tesik has been giving point-by-point coordinates on this journey,” Getty explained. “After reaching his latest coordinates, we have happened to find ourselves in the middle of nowhere.”

“I take it that Admiral Tesik has not been responding to hails?” Dinrak asked curiously.

“Negative, Dinrak.” Getty said. “I’m not permitted to try and raise comms with any other vessel, either. No matter what. We’re flying radio silent and we have been since I first picked up the Tesik Family.”

“What do you need from us, Getty?” Dinrak asked curiously.

Getty smiled patiently before he turned to look at Andrew.

“Are the AH-57’s able to create wormholes, Andrew?”

“Only three of the forty-two units constructed are able to summon wormholes, Captain Roberts.” Andrew replied dutifully.

“Andrew, are you one of those three units able to summon a wormhole?” Getty phrased the question carefully.

“I am, Captain Roberts.” Andrew replied. “I have summoned seven successful wormholes during my programming.”

“Were there any failures?”

“Only one, Captain.”

“What happened?”

“Captain,” Andrew began to explain with a hint of sadness to his baritone sounding voice. “As I dialed the code for the wormhole, a solar flare went through the area and disrupted the wormhole as our ship begun to pass through the horizon. The ship was ripped in two, and nearly the entire crew died.”

Dinrak let out a low whistle. Getty looked at Andrew in shock.

“How did you survive?”

“I am an android, Captain Roberts.” Andrew stated as if it should have been obvious. “I have my own built-in protection against events of that nature. As long as I am not directly exposed to a solar flare, I am able to survive. It did take them three months to regrow my skin.”

“I’m sorry, Andrew.” Getty stated truthfully. “I know that having those losses on your head must be horrible for you. I will try to refrain from holding my own personal grudges against you as a member of this crew.”

Andrew nodded once in acknowledgement.

“You have my thanks, Captain.”

“It’s Getty, by the way.” Getty Roberts stated before he turned to leave. “By the way, Andrew. I believe I’m going to need you to summon another wormhole.”

Dinrak smiled slightly as Andrew looked after the Captain in disbelief.

‘Things are getting better,’ the Commander told himself before he returned to his experiment.


-Renly Tesik – 68 – Earth Star Port 1.1 – 3.7.2127

Admiral Tesik stared at the images of the five other Council members as they appeared on the monitors across from his desk. Due to his time in service, Renly had been chosen to be the first Leader of the Council and had been serving in the seat for the past three years. That was when the ‘visitors’ had arrived and shared their technology with the earthlings. They had kept warning everyone that something dark was coming, though. Something that even their technology would have little chance of stopping. The Association of Colonization and Exploration was immediately formed by the highest-ranking Fleet Admirals. All of the petty wars were stopped, and mankind turned their attention to surviving whatever was headed their way.

“There have been disturbances in Sector-3.6, Renly.” The man on the far-left monitor said in a grim tone. His green eyes seemed disturbed by something he had personally witnessed. Admiral Charles Porter; head of the ACE Intelligence Division. “I think it might be time to dispatch a few scout teams to keep us advised of the situation.”

Renly nodded as he made a note on his pad.

“What do you say, Maxwell?” Renly asked Maxwell Fort; the Counselor in charge of the Military Division of ACE. “Can you spare a few scout teams for us?”

The man on the middle screen nodded his head once in acknowledgement before the meeting continued.

“Excellent,” Renly said before he turned to the next subject. “Now, in regard to the Lazarus Project, do we have any more information on the status of Subject-7?”

The Intelligence Commander smiled again.

“I believe I may have some insight on the matter, Commander Tesik.” Charles said with a grin. He was the only one who knew how much time Renly had devoted to the research project.

“I’m waiting,” Renly stated impatiently.

“Subejct-7 is progressing faster than anticipated, Commander.” Commander Porter informed his friend dutifully. “The Research Team Leader believes that Seven will be ready when Angel-1 reaches the next checkpoint.”

“He needs to be,” Renly said absently. “Is there any other news to bring up?”

“I have something, Commander Tesik.” Commander Thomas Cross of the Diplomatic Division stated in a tired voice. The man’s once vibrant black hair was now dotted with gray and white, while his green eyes seemed almost faded from the once bright color they used to be. Renly had been friends with Thomas at one point in their careers, but the two men had drifted apart socially as their lives within ACE developed.

“Go ahead, Commander Cross.” Renly greeted the man with a brief nod.

The man on the second to the right monitor sighed briefly as he seemed to study a document on the desk in front of him.

“It has been brought to the attention of the Diplomatic Division of the Association of Colonization and Exploration that one of Pydrakians from Pydrak has been trying to gain access to our Top-Secret files, Commander.” Thomas explained dutifully. “We are currently working with members from the Intelligence Division to figure out exactly what the subject may have discovered during his time sorting through our files. While we don’t believe he encountered anything overtly sensitive, we would feel better being able to interview the subject so we may learn what he has learned.”

“Who is the subject of your investigation, Commander?” Renly asked, knowing that he wasn’t going to like the answer.

“Chos Birk,” Commander Cross stated firmly.

It took everything Renly had not to laugh as he saw the look of smug satisfaction on the older man’s face. Only Renly Tesik knew the true purpose of Chos’s search, and he wasn’t about to let Thomas know anything more than he needed to know.

“Where did he access your files from, Commander Cross?” Renly asked, hoping that the man would give him a ridiculous enough answer that he could throw it in his face. He was not to be disappointed.

“One of our workstations here on the Star Port,” Thomas said with the same smug grin. “I found the invasion myself, and immediately set to work tracking down the culprit. It took some time, but I found the workstation that he had used within an hour of finding the breach.”

“Why haven’t you apprehended Mr. Birk as of yet, Commander?”

“We have yet to find him,” Commander Cross replied with an exasperated sigh. “I’ve had police out looking for the suspect for the past two hours, Commander Tesik.”

“Just to save time, and to save the police force a huge waste of money,” Renly stated as he was barely able to refrain from letting loose with his own grin. “I think you should divert your attention elsewhere, Commander Cross.”

“And why is that?” Cross demanded, angry all of a sudden. “Did you have something to do with the alien’s infiltration into my database?”

“No,” Renly stated as he struggled to maintain his patience with the man. “But I do know that he would not have been able to access one of the terminals here in the Star Port.”

“I always knew that you were an alien lover, Renly!” Cross declared fiercely. “I’ve known it since we first joined ACE together! You’ve always been about establishing a line of communication with other species, while I’ve had to go through and make sure that you weren’t dragging us into another war!”

“Are you about finished?” Renly asked calmly. “Or would you rather I let you continue to make a fool of yourself?”

Thomas stared at the older man in disbelief.

“What do you know, Tesik?” Thomas demanded.

“I know exactly where Chos Birk is at the moment,” Renly snapped angrily. “And I know where he has been for the past seven days! He’s not here! That’s for fucking certain! Now, are you going to listen to me and turn your attention elsewhere, or do I need to make it an order?”

Thomas Cross spluttered red faced for a moment before his screen went dark.

“Commander Fort,” Renly said with a scowl. “Make sure that Commander Cross is removed from his office within the hour. We can’t let a xenophobe like that be one of our lead diplomats.”

“Aye, Commander.” Max acknowledged before his screen went black.

“Now, is there anything else we need to handle today?” Renly asked the remaining three men who each had their own expressions of surprise. He didn’t continue until they each remained silent. “Good. I need to check on my family after they were attacked by a bounty hunter earlier.”

“Who sent a bounty hunter after your family, Renly?” Garret Roberts asked angrily.

“I don’t know yet, Garret.” Renly Tesik stated darkly. The admiral was certain that it was one of his own counselors that had set the bounty on Jackson, but he didn’t have the solid proof he needed to justify an arrest warrant against the man. He doubted the man would have been able to pull it off alone, though. “When I find out who it was though, they’re going to wish they were never born. I’ll talk to you tomorrow at our usual time, gentlemen.”

With that, Renly reached forward and ended the conference call, making the three remaining screens turn black. The man sighed darkly as he considered Commander Cross’s actions.

‘I hope I made the right choice to remove him from his position,’ Renly thought grimly. ‘If I didn’t, I’m going to have a hell of a mess on my hands.’


-Mason Tesik – 14 – Destiny – 3.7.2127

Mason watched Chos’s hands closely as the man taught the boy the Pydrakian language using only sign language. The fourteen-year-old was an apt pupil and even surprised the tutor with how fast he was able to learn the new language. Chos was constantly telling Mason how skilled the boy was. Mason was even able to hold multiple conversations at a time while he was learning how to control the mental link between himself and Prince Deegan. Mason could hold the link with Deegan while having a conversation in all Pydrakian Sign Language with Chos, while the boy’s own father would use his own English words to test the boy’s communication skills. Jackson was more than surprised with his son’s advancement over just a few days. Mason was a sponge for any type of information, and he was able to remember almost everything that was told or taught to him. While learning the different languages he was being taught by Sir Chos, Mason spent time with the android named Andrew Harper learning all he could about the programming and functions of the walking machine. Andrew had been reluctant to tell the deaf boy anything about himself until he heard the boy’s small voice in the back of his mind. The moment the connection was made, Mason and Andrew were constantly talking back and forth – just like Mason and Prince Deegan had been doing. Andrew had heard Eddin’s outburst from that morning and had spent nearly an hour telling Deegan and Mason how he planned to torture the fifteen-year-old. The android didn’t stop until Mason actually laughed. Then, Andrew’s thought processes were taken over by Commander Dinrak so the young-looking man could run his own set of tests on the creation, and Mason went in search of Captain Getty while Prince Deegan left to meditate like he did on a daily basis. Mason figured that Getty would be the only person that could tell him why they had suddenly stopped in the middle of nowhere.

Mason arrived at the bridge to find AJ manning the helm. The brown-haired man was diligently checking the different readings that were popping up across the multiple displays that the cockpit of the Destiny was equipped with. Mason knocked firmly on the door frame until the man turned and smiled at the boy. Mason smiled back and stepped onto the bridge. AJ motioned towards the empty pilot seat and told the boy to make himself comfortable. The boy smiled nervously before he did as the man directed.

‘Do you know why we stopped?’ Mason asked with his fingers as he glanced out the main window to see the blackness dotted with pinpricks of starlight.

“Sorry, kid.” AJ said, speaking low enough for Mason to understand him. “I don’t know sign language.”

Mason held up his hand and acted like he was writing on his palm. AJ got what the boy wanted that time. He grabbed his notepad and flipped it to a blank page before passing it to Mason. Mason wrote out the question before holding it out to AJ.

“No idea, Mason.” AJ said with a shrug. “Lieutenant Roberts seemed like he got an idea after talking to your father and took off out of here.” Mason looked disappointed for a moment. “You’re more than welcome to wait until Getty gets back.”

Mason smiled and nodded at the man’s suggestion before he settled into the chair. Mason studied the different controls that Getty had pointed out to him the day before and tried to remember the different names while he waited for the pilot to return. Getty was only mildly surprised to find Mason sitting in his seat but told the boy to remain where he was as the man turned and started talking to AJ rapidly. Mason giggled lightly as he saw the pilot talking animatedly with his hands. He quickly looked away and blushed when Getty glanced at him with a slight scowl. AJ only stayed for another minute or two before he disappeared, leaving Getty and Mason alone together. Getty tapped Mason on the shoulder to get the boy’s attention before he sat in the co-pilot seat.

“What’s wrong, Mason?” The pilot asked the boy.

Mason blushed before he started asking Getty about the sudden stop.

“Ah, that.” Getty said with a brief smile. “These are the coordinates that your grandfather gave us, Mason. Apparently, he wants us to summon a wormhole. . .”

‘Aren’t those dangerous?’ Mason asked, the boy’s eyes went wide in fear as he posed the question to the pilot.

“Sometimes,” Getty replied with a shrug. “I don’t like the idea any more than you do, trust me! But your grandfather sees things differently I think.”

Mason nodded in agreement, making Getty chuckle.

“Andrew is supposed to be able to help us, though.”

‘Andrew?’ Mason asked. He looked confused for a moment. ‘I thought you didn’t like the android. . .’

“I didn’t at first,” Getty admitted with a frown. “There’s something about him, though. Something that seems to draw you in.”

Mason nodded again before he suddenly looked thoughtful.

‘It is like he is part human,’ Mason stated which made Getty’s eyebrows go up in surprise.

“A very astute observation, Mason.” Getty commended the boy. “What makes you say that?”

‘His eyes,’ Mason replied quickly. ‘They look sad whenever he talks about you.’

“Me?” Getty asked in surprise.

Mason nodded and smiled.

“And you believe that makes him seem human?”

Mason nodded again. Getty let out a soft sigh as he thought about the black-haired android and how his blue eyes always seemed to study Getty whenever he entered any room that Andrew was in. He thought about how the android always seemed to drop his gaze whenever the pilot was around, as well. Mason giggled, effectively drawing Getty’s attention.

“What?” Getty asked the giggling boy when he caught his eye.

‘You like him!’ Mason accused with a grin before he started giggling again.

“That is highly unlikely, Mason.” Getty said with a shake of his head.

Mason just stared at the pilot in disbelief. Getty was about to say something when the door to the bridge slid open. Getty and Mason both turned to see Chos’s tall frame occupying the doorway.

“Hello, Sir Chos.” Getty greeted the man.

“Hello, Lieutenant Roberts.” Chos greeted the man with a slight bow before he greeted Mason as well. ‘Hello, Mason. Are you well after this morning’s events?’

Mason nodded.

‘Everything is fine, Sir Chos.’ Mason replied swiftly with his fingers. ‘I do not think Deegan is holding up as well, though.’

Chos bowed his head briefly.

‘I will speak to the Prince about what happened, Mason.’ Chos replied.

“What happened this morning?” Getty asked nervously. His smile was quickly fading.

“There was an incident this morning between Eddin Tesik and Prince Deegan, Captain.” Chos stated formally. “I would like to procure the security footage from the corridor where the incident happened if at all possible.”

Mason frowned as he realized that Eddin’s punishment must be worse than he imagined.

‘Does he really deserve to be locked away?’ Mason asked himself. ‘I need to talk to Eddin.’

‘Are you sure that’s a good idea, young Mason?’ Mason flinched as the Tutor’s voice penetrated his own thoughts. ‘We really need to work on your shielding.’

Mason blushed until he realized that Sir Chos still expected an answer to his question.

‘I need to talk to my cousin, Sir Chos.’ Mason pushed out with his head. ‘I can fix this.’

“Okay! Okay!” Chos replied out loud as he quickly put his hand to his head. “There’s no need to shout, Mason! I will get your uncle’s permission.”

Mason smiled happily and couldn’t resist hugging the tall alien. Chos was clearly stunned by Mason’s show of affection, but he adapted quickly and patted the boy lightly on his back. Then, Chos left Mason alone with Getty.

“Make sure you talk to your cousin before we summon the wormhole,” Getty warned Mason once he had the boy’s attention.

Mason nodded in acknowledgement before he ran in search of his Uncle Jackson.


-Eddin Tesik – 15 – Destiny – 3.7.2127

Eddin lay on his back and stared up at the dark ceiling of his room. His cell. If only he had kept his mouth shut. The boy was terrified of what the future had in store for him. First, he would have to go through a wormhole alone. Then, he would be taken to an alien world to face judgement. . . That is, if his grandfather didn’t kill him first.

He needed to apologize. First, Eddin needed to apologize to Mason before he apologized to Prince Deegan. Then, Eddin would need to apologize to Deegan’s father, as well as his own grandfather – the Grand Admiral of the Association of Colonization and Exploration.

‘You really fucked up this time, Eddin.’ The teen thought to himself as he rolled over onto his side and gazed out the small window of his cell. ‘You fucked up bad.’

He trembled slightly as he began to cry, grateful that he would be alone so nobody could see him do it. The boy cried until he fell into a deep sleep, not aware that Mason was in the process of pleading a case for him at that very moment.

The dream was confusing.

Eddin was not on the bridge of the Destiny. It was only large enough for two people to crew the transport ship. No, Eddin was on the bridge of another ship, where he was working at a console, wearing a flight suit that was not the same style that the members of ACE wore. He recognized Getty sitting in the Captain’s seat, wearing a black uniform with a gold collar. Eddin and Mason were sitting at neighboring consoles wearing gray suits with silver collars that denoted their rank as officers. The silver-haired Prince of Pydrak was sitting at the communications console, while Andrew Harper; the resident android, was seated in the Executive Officer’s seat.

‘Where am I?’ Eddin thought curiously. ‘None of this makes sense. Is this my future?’

‘Beg forgiveness of those you have named, and all of this could be your future.’ A feminine voice said in the back of Eddin’s mind; instantly startling him awake. ‘You can get yourself back on the correct path, Eddin. Your family needs you.’

‘I’m an embarrassment, though.’ Eddin thought grimly. ‘Even Uncle Jackson thinks so. And poor Mason… I must have humiliated him…’

‘Mason has already forgiven you,’ the voice said dismissively.

‘How could he? I said some pretty rotten things to him.’

‘You’ll see soon, you stubborn boy.’

Eddin frowned and rolled over. He froze the moment he saw Mason and Deegan standing five feet from his bed with their fingers intertwined. The prince’s eyes flashed in anger before Eddin ducked his head, afraid to meet their gaze again.

“Mason needs to speak with you, Eddin Tesik.” Deegan said flatly. “I’ve tried advising him against it, but your cousin’s love for you is stronger than I imagined. He still has faith that the event we witnessed earlier was just a mistake. He has also gone on to assure me that…”

Eddin glanced up when the prince fell silent to see that Mason was looking at Deegan. Both of their eyes seemed to glaze over for a moment before they both turned to look at Eddin.

Before you start,” Eddin said to keep either of the younger boys from saying anything. “I’m sorry for the way I acted earlier. It’s not me, and there’s no excuse for what I said or my actions. Mason is my cousin, and he’s my best friend,” Eddin paused as a few tears fell down his cheek. “I was just jealous, I guess. Everyone loves Mason, and when he came to tell me that he could hear the stars, I blew him off. I don’t know why I did it either. Everybody was just staring at us, and he was talking faster than I could keep up with…” Eddin paused again. “That’s not an excuse. I failed you, Mason. I’m sorry. I should have never said what I did. I should have never called you what I did.”

Eddin stopped to gather his thoughts before he turned to face Prince Deegan and dropped to one knee.

“Prince Deegan Aurdyn of Pydrak,” Eddin began haltingly. “I have slighted you, and for that I humbly beg your forgiveness. There is no excuse for my actions, and I will humbly submit to whatever punishment you believe is necessary to help me better learn from my mistakes.”

Eddin glanced up in time to see the prince was visibly stunned by his proclamation, but the younger boy was quick to recover. Deegan smiled for a moment before he closed his eyes and summoned his Tutor.

‘Bring Colonel Jackson Tesik, as well.’ The prince sent as an afterthought.

‘What are you going to do, my Prince?’ Chos asked in return.

‘You’ll see, Sir Chos.’ Deegan replied smugly. ‘I promise, it is all for the best.’

‘If you say so,’ Chos replied doubtfully.


-Admiral Renly Tesik – 68 – Earth Star Port 1.1 – 3.7.2127

Admiral Tesik stared out the window of his office at the night enshrouded city below. The star port was on the sunlit side of Earth at the moment, but the domes light shields were closed, effectively creating a nighttime feeling to the residents of the domed city orbiting the planet below. The domes wouldn’t reopen until the morning hour of 0600 arrived, and the day was officially scheduled to begin. That was still seven hours away, though. Renly was tired, but he couldn’t rest. He was waiting to hear who had tried to take down the Destiny. More importantly, he was still waiting to hear from Lieutenant Roberts if they had made it to their destination yet.

‘They should have been there this morning,’ the man thought grimly as he checked the time piece on the wall of his office. ‘It’s not like Getty to not report in. Maybe, I should call them.’

Then, Renly made the decision to upload the remainder of the Destiny’s coordinates to the communicator before he sent them. The man didn’t know why he had done it, but he knew it needed to be done. Renly glanced up from his computer screen as the door to his office slid open with a hiss.

“I was told that you would be in your office this late,” the strange man said as he stood just inside the door with one of his hands in his jacket pocket. “Sorry that I have to do this, Renly. It’s just my job.”

“What?” Renly managed to ask before the man yanked his hand out of his jacket, and a blue light filled the room.

Renly slumped over the desk in front of him as the life slowly began to drain from the laser wound in his chest. . .


-Andrew Harper – 16 – Destiny – 3.7.2127

“Are you certain about this, Andrew?” Getty asked nervously as he stared at the black nothingness in front of them.

“Yes, Captain.” The android replied positively. “I am certain that I can handle this.”

“Okay, then.” Getty said with a nervous grin. “AJ and I will go make sure that our passengers are ready for us to make this jump.”

Andrew smiled before he turned his attention back to the console in front of him. The human passengers were being put into a deep sleep while Andrew piloted the Destiny through the wormhole. The entire journey should only take an hour, but the mental strains on a person would be too much for them to handle if they remained conscious during the brief journey. The other issue were the forces that the Destiny itself were going to be under would be too much for a human pilot to remain in control of the ship. No. The only way for them to make it through this alive is for Andrew to put his human side to sleep, and pilot the ship through the wormhole.

Andrew opened up a hidden menu on the console where he entered the coordinates for the wormhole. He briefly entered the codes that would compensate for galactic drift before he sent out the activation code. The android discharged the plasma canister from one of the torpedo tubes before he sat back and waited. It would be a few minutes before the canister was far enough from the ship and Andrew could safely activate the wormhole. It would also give Getty enough time to secure the remaining passengers.

‘Getty to Andrew,’ the captain’s voice crackled slightly over the comm-unit.

“Go ahead, Captain.” Andrew replied dutifully.

‘Give me three minutes to enter my own suspended sleep before you go through the wormhole, please.’

“Aye, Captain.” Andrew responded. “Are all of the other passengers secure?”

‘Affirmative, Lieutenant Harper.’ Getty replied. ‘Begin three-minute countdown. . . now!’

“Countdown begun,” Andrew replied. “I’ll see you on the other side, Captain.”

The pod detonated with a tiny flash of light before the space in front of the Destiny was filled with the gaping maw of a swirling bluish vortex. Lightning danced around the edges of the vortex, and Andrew could almost feel the energy coming from it. Once his timer reached zero, Andrew made one last announcement over the comm-unit.

“Passengers and crew of the Destiny,” Andrew began nervously. “I will now begin the process of piloting us through the wormhole. The message has been sent to Admiral Tesik that we are getting ready to begin our ‘hop’, now. Thank you.”

With that, Andrew sent the message that Getty had already written to Admiral Tesik before he began maneuvering the Destiny towards the wormhole. There were several metallic groans as the ship drew closer to the vortex, and Andrew kept his hand firmly on the thruster in order to make sure that the ship wasn’t yanked through the wormhole uncontrollably. Then, the android put his own human side to sleep just as the Destiny passed the threshold of the wormhole, letting his computer side handle the next part of the navigations.

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