The plan
First Contact – part 21



Time to read



Monday & Friday

James pondered everything that happened ever since they left Earth on Pegasus. The dreams, Alien artifacts, the AI. Their mission was a success but was cut short by an unexpected threat of the Void. The Void had entered the solar system they were in and was heading straight for them.

The journey to the Pegasus was fraught with tension. The Void was closing in fast, and every second counted. James’s mind raced with thoughts of the safety of his team, and the fate of their ship as well as humanity as a whole.

When they finally caught sight of the Pegasus, Captain James felt a rush of relief. The ship was waiting for them some short distance from the original destination. They quickly docked their ships and boarded Pegasus.

“It’s good to see you, Captain,” Chloe said, “What happened down there?”

“Good to see you too Chloe,” James said with a smile. “Weird things, what’s status with the crew, is everyone ok?”

“Everyone is ok at our side, we had a small skirmish here. We were attacked by the alien platforms defending the planet, but they went idle once again.” Chloe said.

“So I’ve heard from our new friend,” James said.

“New friend?” Chloe asked curiously.

“We found an ancient AI in the lab down on the planet,” James said. “He controls most of the things on and around the planet. He asked for a ride, so we brought him with us.”

“Where is he?” Chloe asked.

“Inside my suit,” James asked. “For now.”

“Hello Ms. Chloe,” an unfamiliar voice said directly to Chloe through comms. “I am the ancient AI in question, we really don’t have time to further introductions now with Void being after us and all.”

“Hello,” Chloe said. “I agree. Let’s get out of here.”

“Captain,” The AI said. “Your ship is rather big, do you mind if I bring a few of my controlled drones, the old ones without the source so void doesn’t follow us,” AI asked.

“I guess we could use any help we can get,” Get them inside but hurry up.

“They are already at the door, just open the hangar door,” The AI said.

James agreed and allowed almost thirty AI-controlled drones to dock in his ship’s hangar. James rushed to the bridge and ordered the ship to move away from the void before they decide on the location for their jump.

“Where to Captain?” Chloe asked him.

“Can the void follow based on our hyperdrive?” James asked the AI.

“No,” The AI answered. “It’s only able to follow the source. But just to be sure we should jump two or three times once we leave this system to cover your tracks.”

“I was thinking the same thing,” Chloe added.

“Yeah…” James said with a sigh.

“Where do we even go?” Chloe asked. “We can not get to Earth just like that, the Kraz’ox will be waiting for us.”

“Well…” The AI said through comms for everyone to hear. “I can help you get rid of the Kraz’ox occupation, but I will need something in return.”

“How? and what?” James asked.

“I need you to help me find out what happened with my creators, I need a ship and a crew. And also I will need you to build me a body.” The AI said.

“How would you help us get rid of the Kraz’ox?” Captain James asked.

“Well… I was thinking we visit a few of the old Ellad’s systems.” The AI said. “I will start my investigation of what happened to my creators and build you an army from whatever I can find of the old technology without the source.”

“And you are sure you can beat them and liberate Earth?” James asked.

“I could probably beat them with a little modification to Peagasus.” The AI said and the crew shared a few looks with each other, the offer was tempting.

“How do we know you won’t betray us once we reach the next Ellad system?” Captain James asked.

“I will keep my end of the bargain, Captain James,” it said. “I know what your situation is, I kinda feel sorry for you Earthlings with everything that happened to you in the past few years.”

“Let’s just jump away and we the crew will talk about it and make a decision.” Captain James said ordering the crew to prepare for the jump to a nearby system.“

Once they arrived at their new destination Captain James had given them all time to consider the offer before convening a meeting in the ship’s conference room.

“I know this is a lot to take in,” Captain James said as she sat at the head of the table. “But we have to decide whether or not to take the AI’s offer. I want to hear your thoughts on the matter.”

The crew exchanged glances, each one weighing the pros and cons of the proposal. The AI had promised to help them get rid of the Kraz’ox, but in exchange, it required their assistance with an unknown mission, getting them deeper and deeper into the secrets of the universe and everything it held.

“I’m not sure about this,” Chief Lawson said, his brow furrowed in concern. “We don’t even know what we’re dealing with here. For all we know, the AI could be leading us to our demise.”

“I agree,” Eric chimed in. “And even if we gather an army there is no guarantee we can free Earth, maybe we anger them even more and make our lives back home a living hell.”

The room fell into a moment of silence as the crew considered the risks. But then, XO Chloe spoke up.

“Look, I understand the concerns,” she said. “But we’ve been searching for a way to get rid of the Kraz’ox ever since we created our division. And if this AI can help us do that, then we owe it to ourselves to try.”

The other crew members nodded in agreement, and Captain James smiled.

“I’m glad to see that some of you are open to the possibility,” He said. “But we still need to be cautious. We don’t know what we’re getting ourselves into.”

The crew spent the next few hours discussing the AI’s proposal, weighing the risks and benefits of accepting it. In the end, they decided that the potential rewards were worth the risks, and they agreed to move forward with the plan.

“So…” James said to the AI. “We accept your offer but under a few conditions.”

“And those are?” The AI asked.

“Liberating Earth is our priority, we go and gather an army of your ships and drones and as soon as we have enough we go and get rid of the Kraz’ox, and then and only then we go and help you with whatever you need.” Captain James said. “I will personally go with you and stay with you as long as you need.”

“Deal,” The AI said. “What about my body?”

That was not a focal point of their earlier discussion and giving a body to an unknown ancient AI felt dangerous, but James agreed, one problem at the time.

“Where to?” James asked the AI.

The system the AI gave the coordinates to was in a remote and desolate area, far from any known civilization. According to the AI that was the System the Ellads used way before they started experimenting with the source and was abandoned due to its location, being far from every other system Ellads populated and it was not worth building gates for this alone system.

The AI calculated their jumps to the shortest amount of time. The trip there and back to Earth with all the jumps, missions there, and a few other stops before they gather an army would take at least six months if everything goes according to plan.

James did not like abandoning the Earth for that long, but they had no other choice, he managed to convince himself this was the only and best way for the future of humanity.

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