As Pegasus left the Solar System and Kraz’ox returned from the fake threat the humans instigated, things changed for the worse for humanity. As soon as Kraz’ox realized that something had left the Solar system while they were occupied with the threat and that one of their scout ships was missing on top of that, they started investigating everyone.
Meng felt a knot form in his stomach as the Kraz’ox interrogated him and the other members of the International Space Station. He knew that they were looking for answers about what had happened that day, who set up the false alarm of Anoi ships and he feared that they would discover the truth about the Pegasus and their secret base on the South Pole.
Meng and others had been instructed to keep their involvement in the Pegasus project a secret at all costs, but with the way Kraz’ox had been pressing them, Meng feared someone would break eventually.
Despite the fear that gripped him, Meng remained calm and collected during the interrogations. He stuck to the story that they saw real Anoi ships and just sounded the alarms, if anything shady was going it was the work of the Anoi, that they somehow hacked their systems.
Days turned into weeks, and the tension on the International Space Station continued to mount. The Kraz’ox were becoming increasingly aggressive in their questioning and general behavior towards humans.
Mens was not allowed the leave ISS and go back to Earth, but he had heard from various sources that the Kraz’ox were not as friendly as they once were. There was no tolerance toward humans anymore, there were more and more conflicts between humans and the occupiers and the Kraz’ox were not merciful anymore, best case scenario you were sent to one of the remote work camps or killed in the conflict.
The situation of the South Pole Statio did not change much. Luckily for them, they were not discovered by the Pegasus launch so they continued with their work further. By the time Pegasus left they were almost halfway done with the second ship, called Vanguard. The only thing that has changed is that they have kept contact with everyone outside the station at a minimum. No one was allowed to leave the Station nor come in before Pegasus returned.
Captain James and the crew of the Pegasus had been traveling through the vast expanse of space for what felt like an eternity. As they flew through the inky blackness of space, the days and nights began to blend together into one long, never-ending journey. The monotony of the voyage had begun to take its toll on the crew of the Pegasus, leaving them feeling isolated and alone.
Captain James felt a sense of dread gnawing at his gut as he thought about the people left behind on Earth. He couldn’t help but wonder what had become of them and whether they were safe under the Kraz’ox occupation. The thought of not being there to help them made him feel helpless and vulnerable.
The rest of the crew felt similarly uneasy. They all had families and friends back on Earth, and the thought of never seeing them again was a constant source of anxiety. Despite their fear, they knew they had a mission to complete, and they were determined to see it through to the end.
On their way toward the old Ellad system, the AI made several detours to abandoned space stations left behind by ancient civilizations. The AI collected all the data from the station in hopes of finding something he was missing on what happened to his creators. More important to Captain James and the earth was the fact the AI was also collecting old technology before the Ellads started using sources. They amassed a large fleet of drones and battleships and two large cruisers that they decided to leave behind and pick up on their way back to earth.
Captain James spent much of his time in his quarters, poring over maps and data provided by the AI. He was determined to make the most of the resources at his disposal, and he knew that every decision he made could mean the difference between success and failure.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the Pegasus arrived at the coordinates of the solar system provided by the AI. They scanned the area for any signs of life but found only silence and emptiness, no one was here ever since Ellads left the planet alone.
“Attention crew of the Pegasus,” announced AI over the ship’s intercom. “We have arrived at the designated coordinates, and I am pleased to report that we have located the long-abandoned planet of the Ellads. Our scans have indicated that there are still remnants of their civilization on the planet’s surface, and I believe this could provide valuable insight into the fate of my creators.”
Captain James nodded in agreement. “Understood. But before we go down to the planet, we need to make sure it’s safe. Are there any potential threats we should be aware of like the creatures on Eluphea III or your Drones and Stations around the planet, I have to ask one more time?”
“Captain James, we have been over this a hundred times and I apologized even more,” The AI said trying to imitate boredom with his voice. “There is nothing down there, this planet was used way before Ellads started using the source, so there is nothing but some animals on the planet.”
“Fine,” Captain James said. “I had to ask, crew, let’s get ready for the finale of our mission.”
The crew nodded in agreement and started making preparations to send a team along with the AI down to the planet’s surface in order. As they descended, they couldn’t help but feel a sense of excitement and curiosity about what they might find on this mysterious, abandoned planet.
This time they decided to only take one ship and bring no scientist with them. Just a quick in-and-out mission consisting of Captain James and AI inside his suit, Chief Lawson, and four members of Lawson’s team. James once again left Chloe, his XO, in command of the Pegasus until they returned.
They descended onto the planet’s surface, their spacecraft hovering above the lush green forests and crystal-clear lakes. The moment they stepped out of the ship, they were greeted with the sounds of wildlife and the sweet scent of local flora.
“Wow, this place is beautiful,” said one of Chief Lawson’s crew members, awestruck by the scenery.
Chief Lawson nodded in agreement. “It’s hard to believe there are so many beautiful planets out there.”
Captain James turned to the AI in his suit. “Are you sure we’re in the right place? I thought this planet was supposed to be devoid of all life, only a few animals and some vegetation scattered around the planet.”
“Yes, Captain,” the AI responded confidently. “This is the correct planet. But it appears that life has managed to thrive here after Ellads abandoned it.”
James nodded, slightly amused at the AI’s surprise. “Alright then, let’s get to work.”
The team carefully made their way through the lush jungle, following the guidance of the AI. The atmosphere was thick and humid, and the sounds of wildlife echoed through the trees. The team had their weapons at the ready, but the AI assured them there were no known threats in the area.
After a few hours of trekking, they finally reached the research facility. The building was overgrown with vines and moss and a pinkish plant James could not recognize, but the structure still seemed intact. They cautiously approached the entrance, scanning for any potential dangers.
As they entered the research facility, the team was met with a dimly lit hallway by the sun the shine through the windows and cracks in the walls. As they reached the first room out of the hallways the AI detected that a large amount of equipment was missing from the facility.
“Captain, it seems that someone has beaten us to this facility,” the AI reported to James.
“Are you sure?” James asked, his grip tightening on his weapon.
“Yes, Captain. The equipment that was supposed to be here is no longer present,” the AI replied.
James frowned, his mind racing with the possibilities of who could have taken the equipment. “Alright, let’s split up and search for any clues. Be cautious and report back to me if you find anything,” he ordered.
The team split up and began searching the facility. As they moved deeper into the facility, they found more and more evidence that someone had been there, and to AI’s surprise, it was recently. At first, James didn’t notice it but with the guidance of AI, he noticed patterns in the strange Alien equipment and its missing pieces.
After a few hours of searching, the team regrouped to report their findings to James.
“Captain, I found this in one of the offices,” Chief Lawson said, holding up a piece of equipment that did not look as old as the one in the facility.
James took the device and examined it. “What is this, he asked the AI?”
“To be honest,” The AI said. “I have no idea, there is no reference to this device anywhere in my database.”
“What do we do now?” James asked.
“I think it’s best we leave right away,” The AI said. “I found nothing in the devices I was able to infiltrate, finding the truth will have to wait. Let’s go and liberate your planet I can see you were all on the edge, the whole trip.”
“What about this device?” James asked.
“Bring it,” The AI said. “It might lead us to who was here before us.”
James nodded and the team quickly gathered what they could and made their way back to the ship. James’ mind was buzzing with questions and theories about who could have taken the equipment and what their intentions were.
After returning to the Pegasus, Captain James gathered the entire crew for a meeting to share their findings. They discovered that the research facility had been raided prior to their arrival, but it was unclear who or what caused it. However, the team did find an unknown device that even the AI couldn’t identify the origin of. It was clear that something was going on and the AI was right to come here, so they needed to be extra cautious on their way back to earth.
As the Pegasus prepared to leave this faraway solar system, the crew couldn’t help but feel a mix of excitement and apprehension about what lay ahead. They had a long journey ahead of them back to Earth and once there was a difficult task of liberating their home world. Finally, they initiated the jump, and the stars streaked past as they hurtled through the vast expanse of space.