Author’s Note: This story takes place in the Marvel Universe, approximately 20 years in the future. The Pan Galactic United Front, led by the reformed Nova Corps, fights a bitter and long intergalactic war against the hostile Badoon Empire.
ANDROMEDA GALAXY: Kra’karn System, 4 light years from Pericles’ Crossing (Crux).
The rocks and debris split apart on the monitor and the scanners lit up on the ship’s panels.
Eros of Titan opened his eyes from a brief nap as he dozed at his station.
A light glimmer from the tiny solar system’s small star shimmered off a floating wall of micro ice crystals as they drifted through space.
The outline of the dark metal craft behind the debris was unmistakable. Eros hit the reverse thrusters.
“It’s a ship!” Eros said as he stared at the report. The red haired Titan’s fingers danced through terminal screens on his station’s “heads up display”. His eyes flashed as he reviewed the ship scanner’s data. Next to him, Nova Centurion Elijah Bradley also processed the incoming data.
“Let’s have a look.” Eros remarked as he flipped a switch on his terminal.
The Titan’s Fury activated its spotlight on the cold vessel. A thick LED stream illuminated the dark husk in space. It was not a good scene. The ship was black. No activity blinked inside. Massive carbon stains and clusters of ice crystals hugged the side of the bulwork. The Fury’s spotlights probed the side of the gutted vessel and looked for any clues as to what had happened. Like everything in the depths of space, the ship was dead.
The lights flashed across the numeric designator. After a few seconds, the spotlight beamed in on the charred remains of the Nova Corps emblem. Astrovik let loose a subdued sigh. The side of the ship read The Simon Williams.
“It’s the Williams for sure” Eros said as he looked at Vance Astrovik, the ships’s captain and time displaced hero extraordinaire.
“All this ice…its got to have come from the ship.” Bradley said.
“Damn” Vance said. “That’s not good.”
The ship’s starboard hull had a huge hole in it. Debris still dribbled from the hole as it floated in the vacuum of space.Were those bodies? Vance wondered as he stared in the visual monitor.
“No life signs” Eros said.”No power at all”
Astro gave a frown. The Simon Williams had been lost prior to the battle of PC. The elite Nova destroyer known as The Titan’s Fury had been tasked to track down the missing light destroyer. Astro and his crew had been looking around the clock for the ship for days now. Astro had hoped the ship had just broken down somewhere on its last route. Like anything in war, it looked like a worst case scenario situation had reared its ugly head.
Everybody on the ship hoped to find the Williams quick, but nobody was hoping to see a gutted out hull float through space.
None of that mattered now. As he looked at the shattered remains of the war ship, all Astro could think about was the ninety eight souls that had been aboard the ship. Now, the thing was a ghost wreck.
“Wait!” Bradley interrupted. “I have something, at least.”
Astro looked down at his crew. “God, give me some good news Centurion Bradley” Astro asked.
“It’s faint, I barely caught it.” Centurion Bradley said as he reviewed the data on his terminal and typed the panel. “Heat trail. Some Ion particles.”
“A shuttle” Astro said “An escape Shuttle.”
Astro paced back and forth on the bridge, “Any chance for a navigation course? ” Astro asked.
“Yep, I got it heading to that ice ball over there. Large earth sized planet, sub Artic temperatures near the western hemisphere. ” Eros said. “it’s not a pleasant place.”
“They never are.” Vance replied.
“I’m reading some pulson signature as well.” Bradley said as he typed in some calculations.” Shit..pulson trial comes from the same planet. Looks like the ship was hit from a blast..maybe a planet side cannon from the look of it.” Bradley reported.
“Can we get a planet side grid coordinate?” Astrovik asked.
“Pulson trails don’t hold up well, I’m reading patches here. Ghosts.” Bradley replied as he focused on the information.
Astro raised his head and sprung into action.”Scans and raise shields now.” Astro said. “Comm down to weapons and have them charge the cannon and prep torpedoes”
“Too far away to tell, I’m not picking up anything. It’s got a pretty robust atmosphere and debris field.” Eros noted.
“Maybe former victims?” Astro said out loud. “Hmm, or maybe just on the other side of the planet with the rotation. I wonder if we lucked out.” Astro remarked.
“Maybe they have not seen us yet either, this ship has got a much better stealth rating than the Williams.” Eros said.
“Or they may have evac’d when PC fell? Not likely the Badoon would stick around. It’s just an ice ball with a bargain basement atmosphere.” Bradley said.
“Vance, you forget what I’m capable of, this ship’s stealth engine is years ahead of the Williams. They probably have no clue we are even here.” Eros replied.
“Maybe it’s not Badoon? We don’t have many friends in this part of Andromeda, Vance.” Eros said.
“Plot a course. Keep the shields up and the scanners running. “Astro said as he hit his chair’s call button to the crew bay. ” Crystar, prep The Madslashers for cold weather operations. Meet me in the tactical bay in twenty mikes.” Astro said.
Vance looked at the white planet in the monitor. The swirling white clouds wrapped the bluish planet in a churning and violent embrace. The world looked like a giant blue slushy topped with whipped cream.
“What’s it called?” Astro asked Eros.
“No name.” The Titan responded. “I have no record of any race exploring this system.”
Astro looked deep into the monitor as he pondered his next move.
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