Well, I'm back. Considering how I've finished the first installment, I feel pretty good. I had been working on it for a while, and I can finally get started on this one.
I hope that you all stick with this one like with it's predecessor, and if you haven't read the first installment yet, that you go back and read it first. It'll make much more sense that way.
The format for this story is the same as it's predecessor, so enjoy and review…
AVP War: Book 2: Rigel Prime
By Warlord Darnell
Pt 1: Declaration of War
Chapter 1: Return
"The military don't start wars. Politicians start wars."
Cold, empty, and resolute. That is what the gulf between stars was like. At temperatures approaching absolute zero, and encompassing a void that turned hearts towards peace, it was something truly spectacular.
Within the emptiness, a ship drifted, heading to a small, insignificant star that had nine planets orbiting it. A star called Sol, and a third planet called Earth.
It was said that a warship was always empty. Looking inside, one saw dark shadows, and cold steel.
Chains hung in the hangar, and Dropships stood waiting. A locker door swung in the ready room.
Inside of the bridge, a myriad of lights blinked from the super-powerful computers. It was like the entire ship was thinking.
Deep in the center of the ship, was the Hibernacula. The coldest room onboard, it was the place where life hung in the balance. One could find fourteen living humans, all asleep inside of the mist-covered tubes. The white mist that fell inside of the room was a special type of coolant that kept the human body temperature and tissue below freezing temperature, yet without actually turning iced.
There was the soft clack of shoes echoing through the ship. Looking at the sources, there was indeed signs of life.
Two Androids, both of entirely separate generations, wandered the ship, keeping themselves busy. The first was a clean-cut male-type that had the newest features seen.
The second was a red-headed female type that had become rather unkempt, the product of boredom.
Both had rather different programming and opinions, meaning that they had entirely different mindsets when it came to conversation.
They both kept to their side of the ship, each making sure not to annoy the other.
However, their separation would be over soon. Deep on the bridge, a proximity alert turned the ship from it's thinking state to it's activation.
The Navigational Computer immediately read through the coordinates, and shot a string of code, marking it with the message of being home.
The hibernacula computer took it, and compared it with the six months that it had kept them asleep. It knew that they were home, and immediately started to wake up the passengers.
On the terminal, the names were read off
Slowly and surely, the hibernacula began to warm, and the lights came on…..
Nathan Van Hold
He woke up with a start, just as the computer finally allowed him to wake up from what was his first nightmare in seven years.
Completely drenched, he saw that he was in the cryotube. He'd obviously been in Hibernation. He noticed that he was covered in electrodes, and that there were lights above him. Opening his eyes, and staring into the bright lights, his head began to hurt.
Sitting up and beginning to remove the electrodes, he felt incredibly weak. In simply removing Electrodes from his chest, he felt that he required all of his effort just to lift up his arm.
As he stood up on the cold floor, he felt the blood drain out of his head. Suddenly, the room became a large bright blur, and then black spots showed up in his field of vision.
Falling back, and hands resting upon his cryotube, he began to feel nauseous. He knew that this wasn't normal. He remembered basic training, and the Cryotest. The instructors told them the symptoms of hibernation sickness.
However, in his three years of service, he'd felt fine getting out of cryo. Moreover, this was the first time that he'd actually had hibernation sickness. Now, his mind was focused on reacting. He focused his entire mind on a single word, and fell down to the floor shouting one word.
"Corpsman!" he exclaimed, blacking out completely in the next second.
When he regained consciousness, he noticed that he had two things going on. Things that were obviously medical in origin.
The first, was that his left arm had an IV in it at the joint, and that it had been strapped in place.
The second was that he had a tube down his throat. It was obviously feeding him oxygen directly. It meant that they weren't taking any chances with his survival.
Opening his eyes, he saw that he was inside of the medbay of a ship. For a brief moment, recalling his time back with his platoon, he thought he was on board the Australis.
However, the normal course of logic jogged his memory. He was on board the Borealis. The sister-ship of the Australis.
And he was in the medbay.
Looking around, he saw that the room was empty. The restraints obviously kept him from sitting up.
Turning his head to the left, he saw something that helped to raise his spirits.
Standard was sitting in a chair, and gazing at him. For a brief moment, she had a look of fear on her face. Yet when he looked at her further, her eyes lit up in the literal sense, and a look of relief come to her face. She stood up, and walked over to him.
She placed her left hand on his chest, and with her right, proceeded to remove the tube from his throat. It felt like a wet salami, and there seemed to be three feet of tube when it was finally removed.
"What happened?" Nathan asked, confused "Did I pass out?"
"You had acute hibernation sickness" Standard replied, slowly running her fingers through his spiky hair.
"So that's what happened?" he sighed "Is there a way that you can remove the IV and I can stand"
"Not until Corwell gives you a go" Standard replied "You have been out for six hours"
"What the fuck?" he asked "Six goddamn hours"
"We've been docked for two of them" Standard added "You're incredibly lucky to be okay at this point."
"How did I even get Hibernation sickness?" He asked "I've never had that problem a day in my life. Not even on the two-year stasis to KX-284"
"It wasn't you, but the tube" a new voice explained.
Turning over as far as the restraint allowed him, he could see Corwell, and a new face, wearing what was obviously a dress uniform. That of one of the high command.
"You good to stand?" the officer asked.
"Yes sir" Nathan replied, trying to be as dignified as possible in his prone position.
"He good to stand?" the officer asked Corwell.
"He's perfectly fine now." Corwell explained "I'll get him off the IV right now" Corwell then nodded to Standard, who proceeded to slide the needle out of his arm, placing a pad of gauze on it, and wrapping it up in a flesh-colored bandage.
She then undid the leather strap, and he was free again. Nathan always hated being in Medbay.
He sat up, slid his feet off the table, and tried to stand. To his surprise, he felt completely fine. Then again, Acute meant minor in medical terminology.
The officer walked over, slowly, in the dignified way befitting someone of rank. As it turned out, he was a General.
Nathan immediately stood up, at attention, and gave his best salute. "Corporal Nathan Tyrell Van Hold, reporting for duty General!" he replied, putting on his best grunt act for this member of Marine Brass.
"As you were" the General replied. "I have to say, reading over the datastream from your ship, I'm rather impressed at how you managed to survive. And save that Standard-Model as well." The general paused, then extended his hand "I'm General Richmond. You'll be answering to me when it comes to the next two months."
"What exactly is going on?" he asked "Am I getting court-marshaled sir?"
"Far from it" Richmond replied "It's about that damned Datacrystal that you brought back. We've got it hooked up, and your story checks out as legit. What we're going to have to do next is what really scares me"
"And what would that be sir?" Nathan asked.
"You can dispense with the 'sir' Van Hold." Richmond clarified "I'm only called Sir by those under my direct command. We're going to be seeing a lot of each other, and you have complete permission to speak freely with me. The last thing I want to hear all day is 'sir', do I make myself clear?"
"Yes…" Nathan paused, choking back his instinctive reaction. "Crystal clear"
"Good" Richmond replied, clapping him on the back "Now let's get some chow in you. I want to hear more about those Hunters and what happened to the Australis…"
On the moon, it was initially a research station. It had been designed to test the latest technologies for weapons, space-travel, and medicine. However, the Military had begun to take over the station, not all at once, but slowly, and gradually.
As a result, Tycho Base had become a military town. Like Roswell, or Midway. It ended up becoming a place where Civilians, most of them research staff, or operators of businesses that were duty-free.
It was officially a military base, yet civilians were free to enter most of the facility. It was the actual research stations and barracks that were off-limits to civilians.
Inside of the atmosphere domes, it wasn't that much of a case. Divided into levels that would increase in security as one went deeper to the ground, and even underneath it, most of the traffic was towards the surface, and/or the top of the dome.
Looking around, one saw what seemed to be a modern-day Roswell if there ever was one.
He and Standard had followed Richmond off of the Borealis and into Tycho Base right after they'd left Medbay. It wasn't all that hard to talk to Richmond. The man was what the military called a Mustang, which meant that he'd started out as a Private.
As they were at a deli in the first level, they were currently talking about what all of this meant for Humanity.
"I frankly would rather keep this a secret" Richmond sighed, biting into his sandwich. "The fact that we're going to war, with a foe that is thousands of years ahead of us, and has an honor system that bans symmetrical warfare, shows humanity that we're not going to win. Especially how they just tested a response team with a colony they converted to Xenomorphs."
"Everyone already knows about them though" Nathan replied "This only adds one more race to our knowledge."
"People barely believe that xenos exist as it is" Richmond explained "The fact that Weyland-Yutani is exploiting to the fullest."
"Forget Weyland-Yutani" Nathan replied "The fact that Human Colonies will be lost is something that is too much to cover up."
"It's already too late for them anyhow" Richmond replied "You won't believe how many news outlets I had to send away while you were out. People know. And that's the last thing Weyland-Yutani ever wants."
"I bet their stock is sinking like a lead balloon." Nathan replied, setting his Ruben down and reaching into his bag of chips "Perfect opportunity for Driftech. Their turrets fucking saved my life."
"Nathan!" Standard chided, smacking his other hand "What did I tell you about your mouth?"
"That was for emphasis" He defended "If it was so bad, then why did you let me use it back on the Borealis?"
"That was in private" Standard explained "This is in a public place."
"I agree with her" Richmond explained, quickly taking a sip of his soda, before setting it back down "We're military but we aren't Navy. Marine talk is for among marines. You should really clean up your speech."
"Sorry" Nathan apologized "Some habits are hard to break"
"Well try and cut back," Richmond suggested "You won't be with another crew for a while. In fact, you won't be shipping out for a good two months. I've got a new situation for you"
"And what's that?" Nathan asked.
"You and Standard are going to be living in Tycho. You'll be on the base in Base Housing and will remain there for a probationary period of two months. I'm thinking of having Standard end up as one of your hard assets, and we can debrief you tonight. I'll show you to your new house, and you can get settled in."