"Dal’an, what’s that blip on your screen?"
"I’m not so sure commander."
"Tel, can you send a probe to that quadrant?"
"Commander So’xli, it will take 10 energy banks to send a probe that way and with but 4 fully charged for life support, the other energy banks are being recharged for an attack and the leftovers were destroyed from our last battle."
"Damn it, Tel! I’m your Commanding Officer."
"If you’d like to file a report with the Prime Advocate, I will not stop you sir but we will not be sitting ducks with barely any energy left for life support systems sir!"
"You know, he kinda makes sense, Commander."
"Shut up, Dal, I know."
"Sir, according to the computer archives, that is a non-active organic sensor relay placed at the edge of that system by the Progenitors."
"The Progenitors? Heaven’s Light, Dal, is it still functional?"
"The only way to find out sir is to send a theta burst."
"Tel’an, please inform me that this is possible without breaking our energy banks"
"Commander, you made a joke haha! Yes sir, a theta burst at that distance will only deplete 2 banks. We should be able to manage, Sox’li Jus."
"Don’t call me that, I don’t deserve that title anymore. Make it so, Tel’an. The Progenitors, hmm."
"You seem pensive, sir. Is it my brother? I’m terribly sorry about him, he’s was dropped on his head as an infant.
"Do not fret, it is of no consequence, Dal; it’s something I remember from the Old Book."
"No, don’t worry. I don’t follow the Faith anymore. It’s just that a line from ‘A Memoir of Sleep.’ Chapter 3 is bothering me. ‘Yes, for our sins we were forced towards the core and one by one fell into a deep slumber. Something in the heaviness of the air in the caverns caused it but some of us only got drowsy. The only source of light the three of us have left is my 3DS, and also how I am writing this. Whatever happens here, remember us, the 3rd.’"
"I’m no expert in ancient religion sir, so you’ll have to excuse my ignorance."
"60 seconds for theta burst, Commander."
"Dal’an, what do you remember of our home world?"
"That we have been there for more than 2 millennia, sir. That we build cities underground for the warmth of the core and that we are only allowed 1 cycle of sun and sky a week. That you are also our King, Sox’li Jus."
"All correct but for the part of my being King. That’s all in the past now."
"But the Ant Warren Massacre was not your fault, Sox’li J… I mean Commander!"
"Dal, I admire your loyalty but the people will believe what they want to believe… Now back to that verse from the Old Book. Do you know how we came to be on that planet? Alca’lia is not our original planet. We are descendants of a long forgotten race that fled their home in the midst of a war, just like what we’re doing. The Progenitors, they were called for from their line do we owe our existence. I was doing research with the Keepers of the Books before I was pressed into knighthood by my father. If you only saw the things I’ve seen, Dal, you would lose your faith as well. I’m only telling you this because you’ve been a most faithful friend, Dal’an, but on the day I was to triumphantly march back to Cave 1, the day my father the true King was assassinated, I was going to give him back the Pick and Spade and return to being a scholar. Before the Sky Jumpers came and ambushed us, I was closeted with Brother Lic’rair in one of the wagons and we came upon that same verse. ‘The number 3 is the key to everything,’ he kept whispering, and that’s when the cavern roofs collapsed."
"Commander, 2 energy banks fully charged. Ready for theta burst!"
"Thank you for your sacrifice. Tel, engage theta burst! Dal, keep your eyes on your screen for sensor activity."
"Theta burst released, Commander, we should get readings now."
"Try moving the antenna around!"
"Still nothing, Commander."
"Damn it! We sacrificed two energy banks for nothing!"
"Dal, scan the lower frequencies that the old men used back home."
"Good thinking, Tel! Wait…"
"What is it?"
"Very faint audio, Commander. Almost inaudible. It’s either signal decay or someone else is hijacking the signal reception."
"Tel, boost the reception."
"There it is sir, spotty as the Core but it’s the best I can do."
"Patch it through the overhead, Dal."
"…name is … Anderson. I don’t know who you are, but if you are hearing … that means you are an advanced enough species to understand us. Our … called Human. In the 21st century, we waged a war against ma … created. When we bl … their source of energy, they instead harve … bioelectricity as a substitute power source, while keeping us trapped in a shared simulation of … the turn of the century. I managed to hack into the simulation, free our specie, end the war, and I now reach out to … are here, we exist, we survived. Our planet has been called many names: Gaia, Terra, The Blue Planet. We call it Earth. We now live in peace with the machines. We are the third…"
"It all makes sense now. The energy banks, the Core, the underground, the matr…"
"Sir, our reception is being jammed!"
"By who, Dal?"
"Sensors show no other contact sir, but our rear sensor was damaged at the last battle!"
"Check our 6, Tel."
"Commencing Crazy Íva’n, sir!"
"No contact sir."
"Sir, straight ahead, I see a refraction in the ambient light. Possible cloaked interceptor. With no shields, we are dead to rights if they decloak and fire."
"Nice work, Ensign Tel. Dal, how long will decloaking and firing take them if they decided to do so?"
"About 5 minutes, Commander, if they’re fast."
"Tel, how much energy do we need to reach that system?"
"Sir, it would have taken all the banks we had charged but with the two banks we used for the theta burst, one was damaged and needs a new host and it will take time for the ship to accept a new host!"
"Sir, I volunteer as the new host."
"No, Dal’an. I am the last one of my line with ports. I hereby bestow upon you the ring of the Pick and Spade. But before I do, my last decree is that you do not stop any of my actions from this time to eternity. Tel’an, I have acted as host to an energy bank before so it will only take moments for me to be received. Men, do you accept this condition?"
"Sir, this is suicide!"
"Do you accept!?"
"Yes, Sox’li Jus."
"No, you are the King now, Dal’an Jus. Now go, and carry out my wishes. Reach that system and tell them about what happened to Alca’lia. You carry the honor of my house now Dal."
"Yes, Commander Sox."
"Time to go home…"