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Excerpt for The Holo Droid Saga - Part 3 - The Sphere of Destiny by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


The Holo Droid Sagas

Part 3 - The Sphere of Destiny


Adrian Holland

Published by AMAZOLA

The right of Adrian Holland to be identified as the Author of the work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988.

Copyright © Adrian Holland 2018

ISBN 978-1-909466-88-3

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.

For further information please contact the official website at

www.amazolapublishing.com

A copy of this book is held at the British Library.

Cover design by Adrian Holland


I was very close to both of my parents who were my best friends, and I have lost count of the number of happy times we shared, and all of the creativity and laughter. Like my beloved father Joe, my mother Margaret was so special, and my total inspiration. I would therefore like to dedicate this book to their memory.

Contents

Introduction

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty One

Epilogue

We could never even imagine a universe that did not contain observers (us)...

Because the very building blocks of the universe, are the acts of (us) observing the universe.

John Wheeler

Introduction

Captain Bjorn Blonqvist, know to his friends as Bear, due to his enormous size, sat alone in his cargo hauler watching and waiting. It had been several years since he had retired from the Titan Super Soldiers, and life had been good. Travelling from one system to another gave him plenty of time to relax, but not today.

He must admit that he had seen so many worlds on his travels, only this time he was able to appreciate them. It had been hard, always training and preparing for dangerous missions, some of which he had been lucky to survive, even though there was always a Replicant body ready and waiting for him.

The whole process of chopping and changing, never altering his outward appearance was not the bad part, it was the mental upheaval that he had finally succumbed to. Yes, he did miss the camaraderie, but not the stress that came with it.

Bear had enjoyed a quiet retirement, until the encrypted message he had received yesterday...

One

"Stealth field engaged!"

Supreme Commander Vilgot Bodil pulled hard on the controls as his shuttle craft lifted off the landing pad, just missing the security shuttle that was parked next to him. He was going to have to use all of his piloting skills to get away, as an alarm sounded within the Royal Palace.

Next to him, Gaia's engines spluttered into life, as the liquid mercury plasma engine fired up the magnetic field disrupter. An electrical current soon flowed with enough charge to counteract the ship's mass.

Somewhat different from the Commander's shuttle, which had the more traditional ion engines, electrons flowed from the negatively charged electrical plate at the base of a craft, towards the ball of positive charge at the top. A shimmering haze indicated that the whirlpool field was now active, and she had gravitational thrust.

Starfield was still in a daze, standing on the other side of the main control room. His moon glass shell was scared by laser pulses, but they were nothing compared to the ones in his mind.

The subtle movement of the anti-gravity drive passed by unnoticed, as he stared out blankly.

"Incoming security shuttle!"

Gaia's voice sounded hesitant, fearful.

Ren was also in a daze, doing her best to get them into the air. She was slowly getting used to the strange operating system, but could still do with some help.

"Starfield!"

The Holo Droid remained stationary.

"Starfield, I need you!"

He needed therapy!

"Oh Flux!"

Ren swore as the security shuttle opened fire.

"I need weapons!"

She watched the Commander's ship breaking away, trying to draw them off her.

A bright flash and a dull thud rattled the ship, as Gaia took a direct hit. Fortunately, Ren had managed to raise shields, but her mind could not cope with anything else.

On the main screen, she could see her uncle Vil firing back at the purusing vessel, as another bright flash of light erupted in the sky. This time it was the Palace's defenses, and his shuttle took a direct hit.

Ren knew that it would not take many more before the shield started to fail, and she simply had to do something!

"Flux!"

They were gaining in height, rocking violently from side to side, although that was more to do with her piloting skills than taking evasive action.

The black security shuttle caught them again, weakening their shield, as it took a direct hit from the Commander's laser cannon.

"Follow me, and try to keep up!"

Vilgot's voice rang in her ears, as she did her best to follow. Ren was not much of a pilot, especially having an experimental craft.

"I will do my best!"

Another shot hit them, and she began to realise that her best was not going to be good enough!

Both craft shot up into the sky, with their pursuer hot on their heals.

"I can't shake it off!"

Ren's voice had more than a little desperation in it.

"Shield down to 63%."

Another pulse hit them, this time from the ground.

"52%."

Gaia was suffering too!"

"43% and falling!"

That did not sound good, and Ren had to do something.

"31%."

The countdown to destruction continued!

More shots flashed both up from the ground and from the pursuing craft, as the Commander fired back.

"Serenity, you have to do something as I can't hold them off for much longer!"

Vilgot's voice now sounded desperate.

Ren looked at the Holo Droid again, and cried out in desperation.

"Starfield!"

Still there was no response as yet another pulse hit them significantly weakening their shield.

"Starfield!"

Ren shouted as loudly as she could, before holding her breath, as they were engulfed in brilliant light...

Two

Bright colours swirled down like a waterfall of rainbow stars, and then, as if a dam wall had just burst, the stars spilled out everywhere.

"Flux!"

The offensive language rang around the inside of Gaia's hull, although it was not Ren who was the offender on this occasion.

Starfield could not help himself, as the desperation of the moment overwhelmed him.

"Oh, my!"

Gaia was shocked, and whether it was instinct, desperation, or a little of both, Starfield had fired the ship's main weapon, vapourising the security shuttle.

Neither Ren nor Gaia could believe it!

Starfield had sworn again, but that was nothing compared to him eliminating six more Reptilian Hybrids, doubling his kill count!

Ren was just thankful to still be alive, but that feeling did not last long as another laser pulse hit them from the ground far below.

"Shields are down to just 5%!"

They all realised that the next shot would flow right through the shields and impact on Gaia's moon glass hull.

There was nothing else that Ren could do but chase after the Commander's shuttle, and as she did so, she suddenly realised that it was heading straight towards a large cargo hauler.

The craft was so big, that she doubted either of them could avoid it, as a collision indicator rang out.

Ren began to panic as everything went into a blur...

Commander Bodil could see the hauler blocking out space above him, as laser pulses continued to ring out around him. How he wished that he was still aboard the Titan Super Soldier's craft, which had been named The Porcupine, by Joan because of its spines. They were a combination of guns and energy dispersers, as it was heavily shielded, and with a full complement of crew, it would have been far easier to withstand the barrage...

Ren felt a sudden jolt, assuming that they had been hit, and closed her eyes waiting for the inevitable explosion followed by nothingness. She held her breath, scrunching up her eyes, as her fingers dug into the palms of her hands.

Gaia started to vibrate, as the whole of her life began to flash before her eyes.

She could see her parents as a small child, happy times spent together. Helping her father and sparing with her mother. Her uncle Vil and the way he doted on her. The assassination attempt and then going into hiding.

Was it all going to be in vain...

Vilgot saw something shoot out of the cargo hauler, just missing him, and before he could react, something else swept past, as his shuttle shook.

He looked at Halvor, wondering if this was the last time, he would ever see his old friend?

There was no time for words, although he knew there was no need for them. Both men understood exactly how the other felt, and were equally honoured to have served with the another.

This was finally it, as a green glow engulfed them, as twin explosions shattered the fabric of space-time...

"Serenity!"

Ren could hear a distant voice calling out her name, for a moment she thought that she was in the after life.

"Serenity!"

The voice was a familiar one, her uncle Vil.

Was he accompanying her into Valhalla?

"There is no reason to be alarmed."

She supposed that there was not, after all, he would be with her, along with her parents.

Gradually, Ren opened her eyes, expecting to see a bright tube of light. She actually did see one, although it was a shade of green.

"Uncle?"

Vilgot Bodil breathed out a huge sigh of relief, thankful that she was still alive, as he let go of his controls.

The green light had a hold of him too, and he began to relax as he recognised its frequency.

"So much for an easy retirement!"

A deep strong voice echoed through the speakers, as he began to smile.

"Bear!"

There was a deep laugh.

"The one and only, Sir!"

His message had got through, and as usual, the big man had not let him down.

"Am I glad to hear your voice!"

Bear had managed to grab hold of both vessels with his tractor beam, and pull them inside the hold of the cargo hauler. He then, launched two decoys, which were destroyed covering their tracks. The ground based laser instillations would assume that the explosions would be them!

"Just a minute, Sir!"

Bear then spoke to space traffic control, confirming the story. He had been passing by the planet on his way to the spaceway, and witnessed two craft being destroyed. Naturally, he had an alias, wishing to remain anonymous.

Sometimes old habits died hard...

Three

Patrol ships swarmed around Asgard, like a hive of angry bees, as news of the Empress’s abduction quickly spread. Alarms were raised all over the Empire, quickly followed by the devastating news that she had been lost - killed by her own people.

The recriminations would reverberate over the Aesir worlds for years to come, as an investigation was quickly launched.

Never before had the people been so stunned, and a week of mourning commenced as the sober tone spread far quicker than the nano virus....

Flickers of light swept across the surface of the small glowing device situated deep within the Aesir Security Service Head Quarters, as the situation was assessed.

The gunners stationed at the ground based laser cannon which had fired the fatal shot, felt themselves moving in unison towards an awaiting shuttle. They did not understand what they had done, only that they must leave now. Entering the vessel and taking their seats like robots, they engaged the main drive unit and lifted off into the air.

All about them was a state of confusion, but their minds were clear, and they knew exactly what to do.

Four more corporeal entities suddenly left the joined, although this time there was no need for investigation. A large explosion caused by the self-destruct mechanism would hide all traces of their infestation.

It would be inevitable that this race would succumb, just like all of the others, and with the Aesir worlds now in a state of shock and confusion, a new opportunity had presented itself which would prove to be very advantageous...

"Uncle Vil?"

Ren felt very disorientated, not quite knowing where she was.

Had she just died?

The faint outline of the inside of the ship began to form through the green haze which had engulfed her.

"Gaia?"

What was the ship doing here?

"Yes Serenity!"

There was no way that they could have survived or was there...

"We have company!"

Several patrol ships swarmed around the cargo hauler, hailing Bear.

"Please identify yourself."

A curt voice rang out, as Bear answered it.

"Captain Lindquist, of the Falk (Falcon)."

Vilgot smiled to himself, as Lindquist meant Twig, and anyone hearing it would presume that he was small in stature, as opposed to being the size of a giant spruce.

"State the nature of your business."

Bear sent across his flight plan.

"Cargo haulage."

Hopefully the paperwork would be enough to settle the mind of the person speaking to him.

"Did you witness an explosion?"

Bear chuckled.

"I certainly did, two in fact, and what's more they were uncomfortably close."

He was playing along sounding as innocent as he could.

There was then a brief pause before he spoke again.

"Can you state the nature of the explosions?"

The voice on the other end seemed to be buying his story.

"That's classified."

Bear continued to act innocent.

"Can I help you with anything else?"

There was a grunt on the other end of the line.

"No, be on your way!"

The Commander breathed out a huge sigh of relief, as there was nothing to connect them with the explosions...

"Gaia, what's our status?"

Ren was also hoping for more information, but unlike the curt voice, Gaia knew exactly what had happened.

"We appear to be inside the hold of a cargo hauler."

Suddenly, everything began to make sense.

"Uncle Vil..!"

Starfield stood there mesmerized by their sudden rescue. One minute they had been fighting for their very lives, and the next, safely inside the Falk.

Nothing seemed to make sense to him anymore, as he analyzed his own behaviour.

A Holo First class descending into savagery!

He hardly noticed his injuries, or felt the pain from the fiber optic cables embedded into his moon glass shell. He was able to sense many things through them, including the burns which he had received inside the palace.

What was to come of him?

"Performing diagnostic."

Gaia's voice sounded tired, if that was something a ship's computer could feel.

"I have a few systems reporting malfunctions, and my energy shields need a complete overhaul."

Ren lent back into the pilot's seat, feeling the comforting texture wrapping around her, as she closed her eyes for a moment, suddenly feeling very tired.

"Where are we heading?"

Gaia tried to get a fix.

"We should be approaching the entrance to the spaceway in a few minutes..."

Four

A familiar sensation ran through Ren's body, as it felt so heavy that it would sink right through the soft material of the pilot's seat, or chair as she sometimes referred to it.

Whenever she relaxed, Serenity felt the connection with Gaia increase, and had gone beyond the initial phase of seeing herself standing naked in a darkened room.

Adjusting to her surroundings, she let her thoughts drift, reaching out with her mind, as outside, the Falk had just entered the spaceway.

Subtly, somewhere out there Ren could also sense another presence, as if something was tingling somewhere at the back of her mind. Then, as she tried to reach out towards it, faint flickers began to manifest at the edge of the darkness. It was almost like the light at the end of a tunnel, gradually getting closer until a cloud of bright sparkles began to manifest at the periphery of her vision.

Light then began to stream all around her, above and beyond the twin screens which lay in front, as Ren drifted away from the holographic matrix which comprised of Gaia's consciousness.

A floating shadowy figure began to emerge from the darkness, and as it did so, she could see that it was somewhat different to Mjolnir. For a start, it was much larger, and the wings were more defined. However, there was something very unusual about it, and yet strangely familiar.

Ren continued to concentrate on the image forming in the mindspace where Mjolnir usually appeared, and the more she concentrated upon it, the more shocked she became, for there, materialising in front of her, was of all things a Dragon!

"Please do not be alarmed!"

Well she certainly was!

"I mean you no harm."

Despite resembling a large red and green dragon, with a white scaly chest, she could detect a sincerity that felt very real.

Could it be some kind of a trick?

"My name is Ga'latec, and I would like to ask you for your help."

Ren did not know what to make of him.

What was a Dragon doing inside her head, and why was he purportedly asking her for help?

Ga'latec could sense her apprehension, and under the circumstances, he could not blame her.

"I promise you I mean you no harm."

This would be the first Reptilian not to!

"Please let me explain a little about myself."

Normally, the only conversations to be had with a Reptilian were short and to the point - Surrender of die!

"I am one of the spiritual leaders of my people."

Ren did not know that they even had a spiritual side.

"Many, many years ago, the Reptilians you are familiar with, originated on my home world. In those distant days, we were of one people. Some of us desired to remain as we had always been, and pursue a spiritual path, whereas others wished to progress. Eventually, a split developed and those desiring to explore our solar system and beyond left."

That seemed plausible, if unlikely.

"One day, a group of them encountered another species who had been infected with nano robots created by the Artificial Intelligence, which was in turn created by the Archons."

Suddenly, what Ga'latec had been saying began to make sense.

"They were then taken over, and the infection soon spread to others, until the whole population was infected."

If it had not been for her father and uncle, then her people would also be on the verge of succumbing to the infestation.

"The Leavers had already become arrogant and aggressive, with a belief that they had evolved to be superior to not only us, but all others species. This suited the Artificial Intelligence, as the Leavers had already conquered every civilization that they had encountered, and were the perfect candidates for what they intended..."

Ga'latec looked forlorn, and his mannerisms and overall characteristics indicated that he was telling the truth, although there was no way to be completely sure.

If he was, then that begged the question:

What could she do about it...

Five

Thoughts swam about like fish in a pool, each going in a different direction, and yet the school swimming as a whole. Over the past few days, Serenity's life had been turned upside down and then back to front, never quite righting itself. In fact, ever since the attempted assassination, everything had been topsy-turvy.

That was one of her mother's expressions, and she doubted whether even Ga'latec's sincerity would be enough to not send her towards the nearest fire axe!

Ren was still sitting there, her body in the pilot's seat/chair, and her mind halfway between her body and Gaia, with all parts drifting through the spaceway, talking to a spiritual dragon.

She knew just how Starfield felt...

The Holo Droid was still standing motionless, oblivious to what was going on around him. Maybe that was just as well, as he would not have been able to deal with his own problems, let alone anyone else's...

Gaia could perceive what was happening, as it was all being filtered through her holographic matrix. She was being pragmatic as usual, which was just as well, as there was little that she could do to help either.

After a long pause, Ga'latec continued.

"Mjolnir contacted me because I have vital information!"


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