1461 The Baffling Galaxy

    "You have given me your answer and now, I shall give you mine," Velon said as he nodded. "I shall give you guidance. Go to the Zwela Galaxy. At the edge of the event horizon of a black hole, you will find a binary star system. You shall find an opportunity there. Whether it is a boon or penance depends on your own judgement."

    "What? Zwela Galaxy? Where is that?"

    Velon face's drew a blank; muted.

    "Can you give me a little more hint?" Jiang Fei asked desperately.

    "Commander? Are you talking to me?" the crewman asked puzzlingly as he found his commander asking him for a hint for something he didn't know. Velon had left and this body had returned to the possession of its original master.

    "No. Nothing. Forget about it. Return to your station..."

    Jiang Fei walked past him quickly and entered the bridge once more.

    "Commander on the bridge!" the second in command announced. All men stood up from their seats and saluted Jiang Fei immediately.

    "At ease. Please, by all means, stop doing this nonsense salutes. You could have contributed that time and effort in completing the task I gave."

    "Commander, it is done," said the second-in-command as he handed Jiang Fei a piece of computer in the shape of a thin board that contained all the information about the Alpha Sector incident.

    "Good. Prepare me a universe map. As detailed as possible. Cram in as much information as you can," Jiang Fei asked. "0541, can you find out about the Zwela Galaxy?"

    "Aye, captain." 0541 jumped to work immediately as the second-in-command came racing across the bridge after preparing Jiang Fei a completed, up-to-date map of the universe.

    "Zwela... Where art thou..." Jiang Fei muttered as he tried to search for the enigmatic galaxy. After spending some time sitting on the chair, searching for the galaxy, he found it in the most unexpected location possible. The galaxy was situated at the core of the universe. In other words, the singularity point where the event known as the Big Bang centered.

    That place, now commonly known as the center of the universe, was a deserted area with high energy radiation spreading everywhere. Unprecedented gravitational force, coupled with intense gamma ray bursts, prohibited even the formation of stars, much less planets, and even more unlikely, life itself. The closest point to the center of the universe was at least millions of light years away where there were stars and galaxies. Zwela Galaxy was, surprisingly, the one galaxy that was located closest to the center of the universe.

    "I suspect there's going to be a lot of trouble there..." Jiang Fei thought.

    Zwela Galaxy was a dwarf galaxy with only a few stars orbiting the black hole in the center. Planets were non-existent in the galaxy; or at least none had been detected so far. Those stars that orbited the center black hole were at least 3,000 times the mass of the Sun in the Solar System. Only Red Supergiant stars existed in that galaxy as it took a cluster of that mass to fall together under the unpredictable intense gravity environment.

    What Jiang Fei needed to look for was a binary star system that was close to the center of the galaxy.

    "Captain, do you really want to go there? Based on previous explorations, it has been known not to host any living beings," 0541 informed him.

    "How is that possible?" Jiang Fei was bewildered by 0541's information. Based on his life in deep space, it was not impossible for living beings to thrive there. People could still migrate from other galaxies to live there.

    "Based on the given information, gravity is too strong there. No ships had managed to return from that point as they collapsed upon trying to go against the pull of gravity. Additionally, there are reports stating that dark matter is highly concentrated in the center of the universe. So far, there are no ships strong enough to stop the effects of dark matter."

    Jiang Fei frowned as he sighed dejectedly.

    "Do you know what it would take to go there? Where can I find such a ship that allows travelling to the Zwela Galaxy?" Jiang Fei asked hopefully.

    "Captain, are you still thinking of going there? I would advise against threading this suicide route. There are no ships currently that could go there. Even if there were, someone would have led an expedition to visit the galaxy!" 0541 said sternly.

    "The hell..."

    Figuratively speaking, Jiang Fei felt like a deflated balloon. He had no idea why but there was some kind of force in play that was making him compelled to go there.

    "Please. Don't. When even Ultralisks would not go near there, no Hypercruiser or any other ultra-omega ships can or should!" 0541 inserted a little hyperbole to advise Jiang Fei against going.

    "Wait! Ultralisks! That's it!" Jiang Fei gasped as he had an epiphany. Ships might not be the answer but if Ultralisks could, Jiang Fei could beg his master to give him a ride there on his personal mount!

    "Prepare the teleportation pad. Set destination to Turandot!" Jiang Fei declared loudly.

    "Aye, commander! Destination laid in! Teleportation commences on your command!" the second-in-command replied.

    5 seconds after some bright light particles swirled around Jiang Fei, he reappeared on the surface of Turandot.

    "Come in," Theon said before Jiang Fei's fist could even touch the door.

    "Master, I have returned with the thing you have requested." Jiang Fei handed over the board to Theon.

    "I will need some time to go over this. You are dismissed. I will come to you if I need to," Theon said as he immediately activated the digital board.

    Jiang Fei stood still. When Theon had already gotten comfortable, he spoke.

    "Master, have you heard of the Zwela Galaxy?"

    "Yes. What about it?" he answered. His eyes were still glued onto the board.

    "Can you bring me there?" Jiang Fei asked.

    "You want to do what?" Theon dropped the board and glared at Jiang Fei.

    "I... I was curious about it. I've heard someone say something about no ships being able to travel there unless it's on an Ultralisk. So... I thought maybe, master could..." Jiang Fei answered nervously, feeling the intense pressure as Theon stared at him.

    "I see."

    Theon turned away and the heavy atmosphere in the air was lifted.

    "What you heard is true in a certain way. The environmental condition there is too much to handle that even I could never survive being close to it."

    "Huh? Huh. Ha... Alright. I understand."

    Jiang Fei nodded and did not insist on staying on the topic. He realized the intensity in Theon's glare when he brought up the Zwela Galaxy and did not want to be on his master's bad side.

    "What is in Zwela Galaxy and why would Velon want me to go there... Why is master being so suspicious of me when I brought up the galaxy... What kind of place is it..." Jiang Fei had so many unanswered questions.

    "Leave me be. Oh, you can forget about Zwela. Even I can't go there," Theon said and reminded Jiang Fei once more.

    "Something is wrong. Why is he suddenly so uptight about Zwela..." Jiang Fei thought about it. Theon was always laid back, joking about things, but when the name Zwela was brought up, he got serious all of the sudden, bordering on worried even. That image in his mind had only reinforced Jiang Fei's curiosity about the baffling galaxy.
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