Author's Note: This is a story I began writing long ago. It's part of what would have been a trilogy. I haven't worked on it in ages but decided to post if for other fans enjoyment.

"From the Void" Part One

"Whole planets do not just disappear, Commander Marsh."

J.T. Marsh squared his shoulders and faced the investigation committee of seven members of the newly reformed Homeworld Senate. "Sir, I know what I saw," he addressed the chairman, a balding man of fifty with tired blue eyes named Breckwoldt, "The alien ship...absorbed Chaos. Everything. The planet, the people."

He could see the doubtful looks on many of the council's faces. Only one, the young Senator from Southern New Nepal on Venus showed any conviction or concern.

"How many ships were there?" she asked, worried.

"Four or five. But there might be more," J.T. answered, "We don't know what kind of weaponry they have. They could be..."

"They could be friendly." Senator Simurda interrupted.

"They took an entire planet!" J.T. exclaimed, "How friendly is that?"

Breckwoldt startled them both by slamming his hands down on the table. "That is enough! You are dismissed Commander."

"But..."

"This examination is adjourned. We will discuss this latest event with the Homeworld Senate."

Breckwoldt's voice carried a cold finality to it that told J.T. not to push anymore and he turned and left the room angrily.

Sean Napier leaned against the opposite wall in the corridor.

"How'd it go?" he questioned.

"They refuse to believe anything is going to happen." J.T. responded bitterly."It has to be staring them in the face before they'll do anything about it."

"You can't blame them really." Sean injected calmly, straightening. "We just finished one war, no one wants to begin another one if they don't need to."

"I know." J.T. sighed reluctantly. "But a lot of good people were on Chaos."

"This isn't about all the people on Chaos. This is about one person in particular isn't it?" Sean ventured.

"Partially." J.T. agreed.

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Colleen O'Reilly moaned softly and rolled onto her back as she gained full consciousness. She opened her eyes slowly although it did her little good since her surroundings were pitch black. She pulled a small work light from her belt and flicked it on. The beam didn't illuminate far before being lost in the murky darkness. The only thing it did reveal was piles of twisted metal and rock scattered everywhere. Where was she? The last thing she remembered was J.T. taking off in his E-frame and a couple of minutes later everything went dark.

She did a quick inventory of herself. Well, she was still in one piece. A couple of scratches and bruises but nothing broken.

Colleen scanned the light around her but was only met with more rubble and darkness. Her gaze fell on a form laying motionless near a pile of boulders. She moved toward it cautiously. As she got closer she could discern that they were breathing and knelt next to the man. She rolled him on his back carefully, mindful that he could be injured.

"Hollis?" she called softly.

Hollis opened his eyes sluggishly and blinked a few times before bringing her into focus. Colleen helped him sit up.

"Anything broken?" she inquired.

Hollis moved his arms and legs experimentally. "I don't think so. Just a little sore. What happened?"

"I was hoping you could tell me."

"I don't know. There were some strange energy readouts on the screen and J.T. went out to take a look. He said he couldn't catch whatever it was. Then everything just went off-line." Hollis explained.

Colleen hoped J.T. was okay. Alec DeLeon had been right, she should have told him how she felt. Now she didn't know if she'd ever get the chance. She brushed a strand of hair back and stood. "Come on. Let's see if we can't find anyone else." she told him, trying to mask her fear and extending a hand to help him to his feet.

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Maggie Weston looked around her in awe. She couldn't believe the resilience of the human race. The war had only been over a month but overnight the change in Greater Paris was unbelievable. The sun was shining, people were walking on the streets without fear, and reconstruction had already begun. There was still an undertone of fear and despair but even that was being erased by the warm sun and the hesitant chatter of the denizens of the megalopolis. She craned her head up as the shadows of E-frames fell across the street. A hush fell over the street then picked up again even louder as if they were assuring themselves they were free again.

She was standing in once had been a residential area. The buildings were all sad looking with their broken windows and blaster riddled fronts. To think that once this had been a happy place, filled with clean streets and immaculately clean yards with children playing in them. How many of those children had survived? Maggie felt tears prick her eyes and blinked. Alec had wanted to come home and see if any of his family had survived the war before reporting back for active duty. Home. Maggie doubted she still had one. It had disappeared when her family had died. She had nothing except the ExoSquad.

Alec was coming down the steps toward her. "The house was abandoned. They probably cleared out when the war began and moved to my grandfather's in the country." He shaded his eyes and looked up at the position of the sun. "We can make it before sunset."

He noticed the tears shimmering in her eyes and stepped next to her. "Mags?"

She looked around sadly. "All those lives. Gone. For no reason except because one man wanted power."

Alec pulled her into his arms tenderly and hugged her. "But the war's over now." He released her and took her hands in his. "Maggie, thank you. For everything."

Maggie smiled hesitantly at him. "Anytime DeLeon."

"You okay?"

She nodded. "Yeah, let's get going."

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Nara stood and stretched until her back popped. She tiredly brushed her hair back and gazed proudly across her family's farm. From her perch on top of the dome she could see all the way to the hills. In the few days since she'd been home she'd cleaned the house until it was at least semi-livable, patched the dome, weeded the overgrown garden, and fixed as much of the equipment as she could. Tomorrow she'd try to plant one of the fields. Her wandering gaze fell on the tree shading her parent's and James's graves. Thankfully she hadn't had anymore episodes since then.

She froze as she saw a man approaching the house from the west field. She slid her blaster into its holster on her thigh and climbed down the ladder quickly.

She slipped out the door quietly and leveled her gun at the intruder. "Hold it right there."

The man halted and slowly put his hands up. "Easy. Just passing through."

Nara lowered her gun but held it ready. "You can put your hands down."

"Thank you, Ms. ....?"

"Nara Burns."

"Jerron Knox." the man introduced, extending his hand. "Nice to meet you, Nara."

She took it hesitantly. "Forgive me. I don't get visitors often."

"Don't worry. A cautious person is a live person." Jerron told her pleasantly. "Been home long?"

"Couple of days." Nara answered, relaxing slightly. "Would you like something to eat? It gets pretty lonely out here by myself."

"Never could refuse food." Jerron smiled.