442 Unnatural Energy

    Three days later, Daniel and company finally arrived to a place which, according to the memories of the two aliens whose memories he had been able to explore, possessed a name which in the human language, would translate as the phrase 'Starting point of conquest'. The capital of the Kruga alien race.

    The atmosphere of this planet was very peculiar, and matched perfectly the one contained within the research facility in which Tirah was being held before Daniel had rescued her. The concentration of oxygen in the air was very scarce, and while perfectly liveable for the horned race of the Kruga which Daniel had faced, a human would suffocate before the lethally high temperature could kill them.

    Nevertheless, if not for these frightening aspects, the planet would not appear any different that any of the inhabited planets that were part of the universal government. Thousands of ships with different appearance, use, and size would depart its atmosphere at every minute, and just as many would land back on its surface for various reasons.

    Floating at about a thousand kilometers of distance from the planet's crust, yet fully visible due to the low density of the atmosphere, was a continent sized spaceship. An immense construction which had started as a simple spatial station for a civilization new to space travel, and had now become a liveable moving continent, detached from the planet it had spent so much time overlooking.

    The most interesting detail of this immense ship were the hundreds of docks builts by its gargantuan sides, where thousands of battleships were currently docked, and waiting for deployment.

    Back on the planet's surface, in what could be described as a waiting room for those who had to reach the space station, waited thousands of fully armed Kurga soldiers, who sat in wait for their turn to board one of the many shuttles that would take them to the space station.

    Whenever their turn would arrive, a handful of these alien soldiers would be required to give up their identification, and be asked to walk through a metallic corridor which would lead them to the shuttle they were assigned to, and where they would meet with their officer in command, who would remain as such until the very end of their deployment.

    After more than eighteen hours, only around a dozen of these aliens had remained.

    After a simple motion of the supervisor's hand, these twelve soldiers stepped forward, and just like those before them, approached the desk one by one, and allowed for the screen present in their right arm to be scanned right before being allowed through. Soon after, the group walked through the curved metallic corridor, at the end of which, the last of the shuttles was waiting to carry them out of the atmosphere, and into the immense spatial station.

    From the behaviour of these twelve soldiers one could infer the excitement they were feeling, after all, they had just completed their training, and that was the first time they would be leaving their planet and be able to see the vastity of the universe. This state of mind was shared by all but one, who stood behind and looked at the constricting metallic tunnel with more than a hint of nervousness.

    This feeling of entrapment did not last long, and after about two minutes, the training of this last soldier finally kicked in, and he was finally able to get rid of his nervousness by replacing it with the excitement of leaving his planet behind for new adventures.

    With this newfound excitement he hastened his pace in order to reach the group that would soon become his team of comrades, but just before he could see the bodies that would match the shadows that were cast on the grey floor, he felt the cold metal disappear from underneath his feet, and disappeared into it before he could even attempt to scream for help.

    A few seconds later, from the metallic floor where the Kruga soldier had disappeared into, emerged another identical looking one. The only difference between the two was that the helmet of the soldier who had just emerged from the floor was loose, a problem which he solved soon after by properly securing it to the rest of his spatial suit. Then, with an odd looking walk, the soldier disappeared behind the curve of the metallic corridor without making a sound.

    Forever trapped in between slabs of metal, right underneath the metallic floor of the corridor, was the corpse of the alien soldier, never to be seen again.

    After taking the place of one of the soldiers, Daniel approached the gate that stood at the end of the corridor, where another slightly bigger Kruga soldier with different markings on his armor, appeared to be waiting for him. His nervous behaviour reflected his lack of patience.

    Based on the information that Daniel had been able to see in the memories of the soldier whose place he had just taken, this soldier was his direct superior.

    Daniel approached the gate with an unsteady walk before stopping in front of the angered captain. He then raised his left hand, and tapped his chest with it, a sign of apology in the culture of this particular alien race.

    Hopeful that the captain would not think too much of it, Daniel tried to head into the door and take his place, but he was stopped by a stretched arm which was suddenly protruded between the two. "Are you drunk? Why are you walking like that?" Asked a mechanical voice right next to Daniel's ear.

    "Apologies Captain, I just got the armor back from maintenance, they must have forgotten a part or two when reassembling it." Responded Daniel in the human language, which was promptly translated by his modified helmet into the incomprehensible gibberish used by the Kruga soldiers, to communicate when using their spatial suits.

    The incompetence of maintenance was not an old joke amongst the Kruga's military corpse. A completely unfounded stereotype that within the years, had become a believable reality, and that was despite the actual verifiable instances of faulty maintenance in a year, could be counted with the fingers of a single hand.

    "Damn maintenance." Said the captain before brushing his hand over the top of Daniel's helmet, which was stained by a spill of oil. "After we reach the Skyborne Commodore, have it replaced with a functioning one." He then added before lowering his hand, and opening the door by allowing for the scanner mounted next to it, to read his authorization.

    After stepping through the door, and going through another short corridor, Daniel found himself into a seed-shaped shuttle. The members of his, as well as the four previous teams, were already in, strapped to the shuttle's walls, and waiting for the alien which Daniel was impersonating to turn up so that they could launch.

    Daniel did not bother to apologize to these soldiers, and instead walked towards the smaller of the two empty pods. Once in, he strapped himself in the same way the others had, and as soon as the last of his belts clicked, two halves of a glass dome emerged from the sides of each of the soldiers, and closed them into a separated and controlled environment.

    The captain walked into the shuttle, and without saying anything, he quietly began to make sure that each member of his team was properly secured. If not, the sudden acceleration of the shuttle would cause the belts to turn into deadly traps, which while unable to slice through their armor, were more than adequate enough for the soldiers to snap their necks with.

    After making sure that everything was in order, the captain entered the last of the pods and strapped himself in. A similar glass dome closed around him, creating a gravitational secured zone that would allow both him and the others to not feel the pressure caused by the acceleration of the shuttle.

    Once done, he started to tap the small monitor present on his wrist into a specific sequence, which ignited the engines of the shuttle, and in a burst of speed unmatched by any object ever created by the human race, allowed it to exit the atmosphere and approach the Skyborne Commodore in only a few seconds.

    As if on autopilot, the shuttle approached one of the hangars of the massive station, which soundlessly opened to welcome them in along with a dozen other shuttles.

    "All that wait for a few seconds of travel." Said one of the soldiers after bumping his elbow against Daniel's in an amicable way.

    Daniel was not in the mood to make friends, so he decided to destroy all of the hopes that the soldier could have in finding a friend in him, by saying, "A meagre price to pay to witness the power of our great navy." His intention was clearly to sound like an obnoxious military man with nothing in his mind but the will to serve and die for his home. A type of individual which, regardless of race, was considered boring to be around.

    With more ships waiting to dock, the shuttles were sent back, and the groups of soldiers were quickly taken to their frigates, where they would have to live when not busy with patrolling the vast expanse of space on their side of the wormhole.

    One after the other these spaceships were filled with soldiers, and soon enough, just like a swarm of wasps that had been warned about an incoming threat to their nest, these ships were detached from the spatial station, being left to float in space. Once done, through the use of low-thrusters, the ships distanced themselves from the Skyborne Commodore, before lighting their propulsors, to get in position.

    Daniel observed all of this from his cabin, where he sat over the slab of stone that the Kruga race of aliens would call beds, and made use of his comprehension of mana to understand how these beings would move around in space.

    Unfortunately, nothing much of what he saw could be considered an interesting discovery, as both the cold gas thrusters used to adjust the ship's position, or the Ion thrusters used to provide acceleration, were quite simple to understand.

    However, that changed a few minutes later, when the many frigates finally managed to come into a formation which surrounded a single different type of spaceship. Round in shape, devoid of any passenger, and equipped with a propulsor whose power matched that of the other ships.

    The moment this packed formation was completed, the thruster of the round spaceship turned on, followed by that of the rest of the ships, which matched its acceleration while keeping their tight positioning.

    For what felt like a million kilometers, the swarm of ships traveled at a decent speed, but nothing that would catch Daniel's attention. Nevertheless, just as Daniel was about to lose interest in the ship's mechanics, he started to feel that something was not right.

    Something within the oddly shaped spaceship had been suddenly turned on. A source of power which Daniel had vaguely felt when facing the alien warriors, and that now had reappeared in an immeasurably bigger scale. This spark of immensely powerful energy was forced to move at a superluminal speed within the spaceship, constantly accelerating, to a point where its speed was too vast to fathom.

    Once this spark of energy was put into motion, the spaceships that surrounded it, still in their original formation, activated a sort of warp bubble that separated them from the surrounding space, which quickly started to curve around the round spaceship up to radius of half a million kilometers in the distance, creating a shortcut that allowed the flotilla to travel for hundreds of thousands of kilometers in just a few moments.

    The round spaceship kept moving forward, keeping on bending the space in its path, and extending the shortcut it created for the flotilla that surrounded it.

    Daniel was dumbfounded. Never in his life had he seen something that wasn't light, that could travel at such a speed.. nor had he seen an artificial cosmic event of such proportions. The power that fueled the round spaceship, as well as the spacesuits of this Kruga alien race, was clearly not natural in nature, or he would have recognized it. Instead, it was likely to be the pivot around which the era of space travel of which this race was such an expert about, had evolved around.
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