Chapter 38: The Forgotten Galaxy
Travelling through to another galaxy often took time; a few hours for Bogon but for Polaris, several days at being much further away.
However, the Kavorian Galaxy wasn’t far in comparison. It only took a mere two hours for them to arrive close to their said destination.
Ace was highly alert now, just as much as Jake and Jenna were as they sat near him. He was very intrigued by what was to come and could only wonder what these people were like, what kind of technology they used and what Vaelidius was like too. But even so, he wanted to know more about the crisis this planet and people were currently in. Could he and the Seekers really tackle this problem? Like they have many times before?
He was unsure. Even Jake didn’t appear to be as confident as he usually was when bracing himself for a mission. Jenna looked valiant though; gazing ahead as their ship came to exit the hyperspace flight, out into a dark view of space again.
Ace glared outside immediately. Everybody else stood up to look out the windows too, into the new galaxy. Already, it looked much different to Solana, Bogon and Polaris. It looked almost… empty.
There was no space traffic flying about, no space advertisement billboards, and no inhabited moons. It appeared to be devoid of life. Until another, much larger star-ship was spotted by Ace to his right. The other Seekers followed and looked out at the ship. It was massive in size, dwarfing their own star cruiser. It also had a unique kind of architecture, unlike anything Ace had seen before in other galaxies.
“Look at that… it must be the Vaelidian star-ship we got the transmission from”
”It is. It looks just like the star-ships I remember as a kid; huge in design, heavily fortified by many. Capable of housing thousands. These must be the rebels who escaped from our planet many years ago. My father was too late to send me and Jenna on one of them and so, we had to be sent off in an escape pod alone with Leera. I never knew we lived in an unknown galaxy though. Then again, our people rarely ventured outside of the galaxy to begin with”
”So our home planet is somewhere in this galaxy, brother? I wonder if… our father is still alive? Ace, what about you? Maybe somebody from your family line is still out there. You don’t need to talk about your childhood if you don’t want though but-“
”it’s fine, Jenna. I don’t even know how I ended up on Bolden 3. I only know that I spent my first birthday there at the earliest. There was no trace of my parents anywhere after I was taken into the orphanage”
She gave him a look of sympathy, Jake copying her. Ace grinned back however; he couldn’t quite feel down about it, because he never actually knew his parents. Didn’t know their names or what they were like.
The team who took him in was like a family, the team he currently resided with. Some of the Seekers were like missing family members, or simply close friends who he could trust and get along with.
Kurt went up to the holoscreen again, as his computer nearby started to flicker with yet another incoming message. This caught everyone’s attention immediately.
Another Vaelidian message appeared onscreen, drawing in Jake’s attention once again. Aster groaned though, seeing the mass of foreign text on the holoscreen.
”Oh great, why can’t they just send a holovision video to speak to us? Or are they really that concerned with their appearances?”
”Don’t be silly Aster. We are in a relatively unknown part of the universe and so they probably don’t have the same kind of technologies as we do” Kurt told him.
“Excuse me, but we verpardi DO have video call technology! But… I don’t think they use holovision format. It was something else, like uncompressed AVI or Visor-vision”
Jake said, before he resumed reading the lengthy message. Ace and Jenna both looked over at the message as Jake continued studying it.
They both wished they could understand it, but it was all just a jumble of unknown characters to them. It was especially annoying to Ace, not knowing what the words said.
Man. For a moment, I actually feel dumber than Jake…
”Okay guys I got it. They said that they are grateful to see us here in the Kavorian Galaxy, and they’re pleased to know that we got their message. But before we can meet them in person, they want us to aid them in an assault against the karnifex warships… the ones guarding Vaelidius, not too far from where we are right now”
”Why don’t they want us to meet them in person now? They seem… suspicious. I don’t think we should trust them so easily!”
”Shush Aster! You don’t even know them, I DO! And I know what those karnifex are like. But the Vaelidians believe that if we all work together, we will be able to destroy their outer space forces to allow us to land onto the planet’s surface”
“We should shoot ahead with it. I want to see Vaelidius. And if we need to fight for it, then so we should… if they are on our side or not”
Ace said, standing up to look out towards the foreign looking star cruiser. For some reason, he really felt compelled to fight alongside everyone in this mission. Only just days earlier, he didn’t want to be involved with another superhero-like mission again.
But this was different, and much more important than anything they’ve fought for in a long time. It was also new and unknown to what he was used to dealing with.
Ace and all the Seekers prepared themselves, wearing their protective clothing, arming themselves with their weapons and making way towards the smaller, space jets down below the ship.
Kurt, Jenna and Leera remained inside the Star Cruiser to keep guard and control as the others made way out into the space surroundings from the lower part of the cruiser. From Ace’s jetfighter, he could already see many other fighter spaceships come out of the Vaelidian star ship too; lining up outside in the same kind of fashion as he and his teammates did.
And in only a matter of minutes… each and every ship took off towards their destination; their said home planet.
Speeding into the unknown, Ace, the seekers and the rebels all passed by planet after planet to arrive right near their destination.
Ace’s interest was caught by something outside ahead; ignoring the many jets and ships surrounding him. He saw the planet out in the distance: Vaelidius. Two suns shone from behind it in the far-off distance and the planet also was accompanied by several moons, at least five of them from what he could make out.
It had several small rings around the planet’s centre, similar to those seen on planets like Torren IV. The surface of Vaelidius clearly showed it was an arid planet, with deserts and dry grasslands, a few patches of lakes, very large mountains and canyons and even thick forests around the centre. Some snow and ice was visible at the poles from what he could see here.
He was very curious of this planet now, wanting to land on the surface to check it out. But his daze was interrupted as he saw another large ship come into the view…
And it didn’t look Vaelidian.
He frowned at the sight of it and even more so as he saw two more of these ships come into his view. They looked different to anything he had ever seen before; pitch black in colour with a few green lights glowing from various parts of the ships. They were flat in design and appeared as dark and lethal as the Karnifex were described to be.
Neither side wasted any time. The dogfight had begun and ships flew all over the place. The smaller Vaelidian ships were numerous, at least a few hundred out there in the battlefield. Ace flew up close to one of the Karnifex warships, examining it with his sensor to check what kind of strengths and weaknesses they had but he had to fire with his jet blasters when defence turrets popped out from the surface of the battleship.
Ace did well in avoiding the incoming fire, swiftly eluding the shots and gunning down turrets as he flew by. It had been a long time since he was involved in a real space battle.
Bettilena and Aster flew around the other side of the same ship as well, manoeuvring past the deadly cannons and firing back in retaliation. The other Vaelidian ships flew by constantly too, blasting the ships with all their might, just as the Seekers did. Jake appeared to be tagging along with the other Vaelidians as he shot his own pair of blasters.
Nobody could tell which side was winning. Small jets and ships swarmed the battlefield, vigorously attacking the three much larger ships constantly. But the karnifex did not sit back and do nothing.
Their battleships had hundreds of turrets activated, even a few small crafts popped out from the decking underneath. Ace could see the apparent danger and he was worried when he saw some of the Vaelidian ships go down or be blown to bits in a matter of seconds. Seeing this brought anger bubbling through his veins and he fought back harder, chasing down a single karnifex craft and blasting it short in its tracks.
Just as he did that though, several begun to chance after him as well; shooting violently with their own set of lasers. It was too difficult for Ace to swiftly turn around to shoot them since there was so much happening around and ahead of him, forcing him to flee for his life.
This bothered him immensely.
Flashing out to his right came a familiar line of fire, and the chasing foes were swiftly brought to an end, giving Ace the much needed relief. It was Jake, flying past and giving thumbs up. Ace responded with a grin, having no time to give proper thanks as he saw more of the turrets up ahead of him, firing out from the sides of the battleship.
He continued to fire down each one as he flew across, even attempting to gang up on one of the larger cannons at the centre of the Karnifex ship. He and several Vaelidian jets all fired at the cannon, causing it to explode on impact, bringing a smile to Ace’s face.
Now all the smaller Vaelidian ships moved away from the battlefield seemingly appearing to be making way for something. Ace and the Seekers did the same and in the distance, the much larger Vaelidian star ship came into view. The very centre opened up to reveal a cannon of their own, very large in design and it gathered energy rapidly…
It all made sense to Ace. They wanted to destroy as many turrets and other defences on the Karnifex battleship so that they could bring in their main ship, and use their top weapon without the high risk of being attacked by many enemy forces.
The Vaelidian cannon immediately released the blast of energy from the centre of the ship, impacting the Karnifex guard ahead of them and causing massive damage. It blasted another two times, ships flew out of the way to avoid parts of the destroyed battleship hitting them, even some of the small Karnifex crafts were trying to avoid it.
And while Ace watched it… he was reminded of something. Especially seeing that large super weapon come from the centre of the ship; just like on their old ship when it was called the Sonic Starfighter.
The beam even had a similar violet glow and for some odd reason, Ace felt uncomfortable about this.
Why am I thinking about this now… this is not the same as it was back then!
Ace shook his head, fighting those thoughts. He thought it was ridiculous that those past memories were brought up in his mind just now. As the first of the karnifex battleships were destroyed, they only had 2 more left to clear before they could safely land on the planet’s surface.
But the karnifex were furious. More and more of their crafts came out of the remaining battleships to attack the Vaelidians and the Seekers. Ace looked around to find the location of the others seekers and he could see that Jake was helping guard the Vaelidian’s large star ship while Aster and Betty helped fight against the second of the enemy battleships.
Ace flew over towards the ship as well, already gunning down any of the karnifex crafts that were caught in his view. They were a lot more numerous now and his jetfighter was starting to take a few hits from the opposing gunfire. He sped through space quick, darting side to side to minimise the damage and strike back with his own pair of blasters. He was doing quite well again, as did Betty and Aster nearby.
He swerved back around to help take down more of the enemy turrets guarding the Karnifex ship. However, as the space battle went on… more flashbacks became apparent to Ace…
Shooting down these emerging turrets, one after another, chasing down enemy spacecrafts as they came into the open. It was almost the same as when he was fighting the Balatroids, all those years ago.
The whole atmosphere and feel of it was the same. The similar thrill and dangers of fighting an alien race in space, the use of a giant laser cannon to finish the job off at the end; and the apparent horror that happened afterwards. He looked out his window for a moment, staring down at what could be his true home planet… Vaelidius.
Ace shook his head. He had to stop thinking about what happened in the past; this is different and neither side had a weapon capable of destroying an entire planet. It wasn’t possible. It wouldn’t happen!
But he couldn’t help it, he started to feel worried. He didn’t want this planet to face the same kind of fate his foster home planet did…
A sudden sharp knock to the side of Ace’s ship snapped him out of the trance. He yelled a bit, as the impact forced his body to suddenly shift to the side of his ship, knocking his head slightly too.
His head hurt now and he clenched his teeth in annoyance; feeling very angered with what had hit his ship. He was also feeling a bit foolish for not noticing the dangers around him for even just a moment. Ace tried his best to continue flying ahead to avoid any more danger. Suddenly, his holovision unit activated, showing Bettilena’s mug onscreen.
”Ace, what are you doing!? I just saw an enemy craft attack you out in the open! Is there something wrong? Is everything alright?”
”Yes I am fine. Just continue with the fight”
He didn’t have time to talk. He flew back around to destroy more of the enemy crafts that were flying about, out of spite. Destroying more of them helped ease his nerves.
Then soon, the Vaelidians moved away from the second Karnifex Battleship to make way for their top weapon beam, much like before. Ace and the Seekers did the same and over in the distance, Ace could see the Star Seeker as well. It had flown all the way to the battle as well to help take down the remaining battleship.
What shocked Ace the most was that the Star Seeker had a cannon emerging from it was well. It was almost the same in design to the one they had many years ago - like the one that defeated the Balatroids and now, he felt very uncomfortable.
He thought that the Seeker’s ship was unarmed!
The Vaelidian cannon blasted once again to help damage the second battleship while the Star Seeker prepared to fire. Ace couldn’t move now, he was too mortified to react. He knew that it wasn’t the same deadly weapon but knowing that Vaelidius was here and that this whole battle felt similar to what he was involved with in the past… it was all too much. He didn’t like being involved with this.
Every time something bad happens… I am always there, involved with it in some way. I have already lost my home planet once and… I can’t let it happen again!
He was angered, but with himself this time. All this thinking took his mind off the battle raging behind him; a clumsy thing to do at such a dangerous time like this.
After the Vaelidians blasted the opposition, pieces and debris flew everywhere and Ace’s ship was struck from behind by a large piece of iron. He was thrown forward violently, forcing his chest against the steering controls and knocking his head onto the dashboard quite hard. This fazed him and he lay there for a moment… dazed and unable to think straight. A small amount of dark red blood trickled down the side of his face too, as he attempted to move back to sit in his seat properly.
He wasn’t knocked out, but his thoughts were a bit jumbled for a moment, unsure if he was even piloting his ship anymore or not. The emergency lights were flashing inside his ship, a red glow illuminated around him; trying to alert him of the jetfighters damage.
Man do I feel stupid right now…
His ship was still cruising ahead, but not by Ace’s control.
Bettilena Flightfire was right outside, flying alongside him and using her ships tether to haul him back towards the Star Seeker. He was safe for the time being, as there were no more enemy spacecrafts flying about trying to kill him and the Seekers. Not even the Vaelidians were being chased after.
All of the karnifex battleships were destroyed as those minutes passed by, thanks to the help from both the Seekers and the Vaelidians themselves. Ace was unaware of this, as he was still fazed and having not taken notice of what was happening outside.
But they had defeated the Karnifex space defence, and now the Vaelidians and the Star Seeker were set to land onto the planet’s surface…