This story is by Elisabeth Davis and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
“Sir, your presence is requested at the control center!” Admiral Kane’s thoughts of the distant past were abruptly interrupted. Frequently reflecting on ancestors’ stories of an old world, planet Earth, could lead a man too far down the rabbit hole. He quickly returned to the present and teleported down.
“Report!” Kane commanded as he began to appear on deck. “The signal has grown stronger sir, it is now coming across on all frequencies!” The signal was the very reason they were all headed toward Ipsos 9. It started faint and had grown stronger as they drew closer, calling to them like a siren at sea. “Full speed ahead,” Kane ordered.
As the crew prepared, time almost stood still. For a moment, the very atoms of all that existed aboard seemed to stretch. Like a rubber band pulled back before the snap, then suddenly the ship moved forth at cosmic speed. As they traveled, thoughts began to emerge in Kane’s mind.
What would they find in Ipsos 9? Who or what could be sending the signal? Could this signal really lead to the end of what was for so many, a life long journey?
Once again a voice came between the Admiral and his thoughts.
“Admiral sir, we seem to be entering a solar storm. It appears the storm stretches on for at least a parsec.”
The risk of damage and possible separation from the other starships was too great, even worse, the fleet could be swallowed by a black hole or disappear into another dimension. In the best interest of his fleet, Admiral Kane advised his crew to move around the storm.
“Raise the unification field,” Kane instructed. The force field would connect all of the ships in the fleet, causing them to act as one massive ship. Thus, ensuring all of the fleet’s safety while traveling around the storm.
The Admiral watched the storm through the porthole. Brilliant colors and flashes of light performed a cosmic dance mesmerizing Kane and the crew. He wondered what storms on Earth must have been like, and what kind of storms they might behold on a new planet. Suddenly, a violent crash shook the fleet of ships. Red light flooded the control deck like blood in water and alarms screamed.
“What the hell was that?” Kane roared.
“I thought we were clear of the storm!”
A voice answered “Sir, it’s not the storm. It seem’s we are under attack!”
“Under attack?” Kane was confused, no other ships were assigned to sector 9.
“All views on the main screen!” Kane instructed.
As he scanned the images before him, Kane saw something puzzling. There was an unfamiliar ship on the screen. He enhanced the image to get a better look. The ship was enormous but very old, ancient in fact. Admiral Kane could see that the ship was deteriorating. Rust riddled the relic of a spacecraft. Colors of what appeared to be a white, blue, and red flag could faintly be seen on the ship. “I want shields raised, and contact with whoever is on that ship now!” Kane commanded. Kane’s heart raced within his chest. He wondered what voice would come across the waves.
“This is Admiral Peter Kane, who dares attack my fleet?”
Nothing but static could be heard coming through the intercom.
He persisted “This is Admiral Peter Kane, respond!”
A faint voice came through intermittently through the static.
“…Admiral” “…Russian” “Fed…”
Kane ordered the crew to adjust the frequency in hopes the voice would come through clearer.
“I am Admiral Alexander Sokolov of the Russian Federation, surrender your fleet!”
Kane could not believe his ears. Russian Federation? The Earth itself had not existed for a millennia, let alone Russia. How could this be?
The voice came through again;
“I am Admiral Alexander Sokolov of the Russian Federation, you have entered an active war zone, surrender your fleet or be destroyed!”
Admiral Kane knew from the size of the ship, damage was probable, destruction however was highly unlikely.
“Admiral Sokolov, let me assure you, we are not your enemy,” Kane attempted to reason.
As Kane did his best to buy time, he quickly checked the facts. An inquiry on the fleet’s coordinates revealed yet another strange find. The ship had not arrived at Ipsos 9. Surely his eyes were mistaken, he blinked several times and read the results again. A second look confirmed his fears. Somehow the fleet had found its way into the Milky Way Galaxy. “This is impossible,” Kane whispered to himself. The Milky Way Galaxy had been sucked into the Dark Flow space vacuum long before Kane’s lifetime. The only possible explanation was that somehow the fleet had crossed into the multiverse while trying to avoid the solar storm.
“Admiral Sokolov, it appears that my fleet has happened upon you quit by accident…”
In the midst of his realization another blast jolted the fleet.
“Admiral Sokolov, you must listen!” Kane pleaded.
Kane recognized efforts to reason were futile. Just as stories told of the old ways of life felt like a myth to Admiral Kane; the thought of a fleet of ships from the future would be nothing more than science fiction to Admiral Sokolov.
Kane yelled “return fire!” In an instant the ship was obliterated. Regret washed over the Admiral, he brooded then dismissed his feelings. He could not help but wonder what consequences would come of these actions. The lights returned to white, the alarms silenced. The signal they had long since followed was gone. A voice echoed into Kane’s ears. “What now Admiral?”