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A New Watcher

copyright 2010 TooBooks, all rights reserved.


The battle had not yet started and again, she found herself alone. Alone with only her thoughts;
alone with the sensor noise; alone with only her ship, Variax to keep her engaged.

She had been directed to a deep hidden ocean area with specific instructions to only gain
information and report, not to engage the enemy unless she had no other choice. Her ship had
approached the water and a heightened sense of warning permeated her mind. Variax’s sensors
showed nothing so she cautiously continued. Her experience told her how the day unfolded would not
be what she planned. In the end, she knew she could only rely on her training and instincts.

This time there was a difference, the enemy came not from her planet, but emerged a day
before in a large craft in orbit; a ship in orbit massive in sight. The alien unit appeared anything but
sleek in design. Constructed for space and encompassing an area larger than their largest cities, the
enormous ship design drew quick attention and fear from around the planet.

No hints of the event occurred before the ship simply appeared in orbit. The planetary systems
provided significant ability to track rough asteroids so that the planet could be protected, reported the
alien’s arrival first. The sensors immediately detected the alien ship and word flashed around their
world, but failed to detect any signs of an approach.

They expected to meet extraterrestrial life; the odds were too large for them to be alone in the
great expanse of space they sensed. Their star’s location was on the edge of the universe, the
understanding was a simple deduction; they viewed many more stars and galaxies in one direction, but
almost nothing in the opposite bearing; still they were just a part of a galaxy, a huge collection of
thousands of stars; one of billions.

The leaders of the different parts of the planet didn’t wait for what they considered the
inevitable attack. They were a violent race and why should they expect less from any other civilization
they encountered? Quickly word was issued for the various forces to spread and prepare for battle. For
generation they had argued and battled amongst themselves and like a threatened family they were
now in this fight together.

So here she sat; alone and waiting.

She had been trained to operate the powerful sensor systems on this, the most prized detection
ship they had ever developed. In fact she had helped design key parts of special units during its
construction. The ship sensed motion from within a five click radius of a machine or warm body. The
sensor’s design allowed Variax to intercept any electromagnetic signal for over five hundred clicks and
compute the origin location to within a targetable radius. Under the right training, Variax’s design
allowed actions as a powerful deadly transmitter, but its main design focused on detection.

She listened to the noise being picked up by the sensors, even from deep in the ocean she could
sense signals from orbit around the planet. With only noise coming from the sensors, her mind tended
to drift to the home she had been forced to leave behind and her mates that had been called to their
own missions. The four of them had been together forever, they gone to school together, trained
together and fought together. They had been part of a much larger team, but many of those they had
trained with, fought with and loved had died. Now only four survived. They were a family of only four.

The noise filtered through her mind triggering random thoughts of the past. She thought back
to the last conflict. Nothing special about the deployment appeared at first, just another command
received to position for another battle over one of many extensive mining operations in the North
Country; an area always in contention. The word arrived of an attack force being sent to take over the
mine. Again her strike force deployed.

The men dropped into the assigned sector using their personal glide packs and controlled ammo
carriers in the dark from a one click altitude. They were tasked with defending one of the mine
entrances. She had been deployed away from the drop zone to monitor and give them situational
awareness. While facing a large force, they were more than capable of protecting the mine entrance
given the enemy deployment structure. Her sensors monitored their progress and her ship provided
them intelligence on enemy movements through phased radiation broadcasts using rotating encryption.
They were Special Forces, of all they were the best; only Special Forces executed in this manner and
only they operated against these odds. When leaders identified a tough job, their team would be the
ones called on.

The mission had gone sideways shortly after the drop deployment. A signal arrived with
information the rival forces broke through at an opening to the mines fifty clicks away. With the break
out, additional enemy units were flooding into the team’s area attempting to take this second entrance.
Her team mates were caught between a growing force in front and one working its way inside the

She was positive the trapped men’s communications had not picked up the transmission due to
enemy jamming. These men she loved, she would die for; they were in immediate danger. She decided
she had to break protocol to send the message to her trapped team.

With the main force deployed fifty clicks from her position, at a far end of the sprawling mine
system, a rescue operation would be too far away to arrive in time. There was no other ship in the area
to provide a pickup or reinforcements, only her.

Her training taught her to expect fatalities. She’d been trained to fight as well as to watch as the
body monitor’s blinked out on her console indicating the death of one of the team and accept the event.
She knew the names of each of the indicators on her display, each and every one of them that she loved
as much as she loved herself, if not more.

Aces, always with cards; always starting a game.

Stoney. He never smiled at even the best jokes. He only seemed to smile when she was around.
Sparks the field communications expert.

Tipper, always had a bottle available to start the drinking.

Fish; the one that started the team in their fishing tradition. Loved to fish, but rarely caught

Trigger; quiet in a group, a born leader with confidence. The best marks man of the team.
Joker; He knew every joke ever told, always the center of pranks, but someone you wanted
protecting your back in fight.

She lived with them all; she trained with them all; she loved them all and she would fight for
them all. Her job was to give them information to show the enemy positions before the enemy
identified team locations. Her job; give the team a key advantage to keep them alive.

Now the team found themselves in a no-win situation with only her to save them.

She intercepted a message indicating opposition forces about to exit the mine and attack from
the defenders rear. She knew she had to act now or all would be lost.

She quickly pulled up the display and reviewed the enemy placements. The enemy in this sector
had no air support, they were basic ground forces. She understood Variax’s capabilities; she had
personally worked with the design team to add the unique advancements. She reached over to the
drive controls and began to power up the engines and lift off. At the same time, she started to play with
the transmitter control panels with two hands. She tuned the transmit frequencies and power levels to
generate a set of tightly focused beams. She continued to increase and focus the transmit beams with
the ship rising and rotating in the air. Under her expert control, beams turned from sensing energy into
deadly tools.

Preparing the systems and lifting the craft into a high speed flight configuration, she reached
over and activated the crypto radio system. "This is tracker, get your radiation gear on and prepare to
be picked up. It's going to be cramped. Shed and destroy your gear as you enter. Hang on! I will be
there in a moment. Out!”

She was scared; she was always scared going into battle. But once the mission started, her
focus took over. She shoved the fear into the back of her thoughts; she had to concentrate. Her team
was at risk. All that mattered was saving them, but to save them meant getting in and escaping. Her
training kicked in as her adrenaline rose and her mind narrowed in on the tasks at hand.

With her hands blazing across Variax’s panels and her mind dealing with the multiple efforts
required, her craft picked up speed, dodging between locations where the sensors identified enemy
positions. Nearing the pickup zone, there were no gaps to dash through. To survive, she needed
surprise and speed on her side. Her ship bounced and swerved as her hands directed powerful radiation
beams to the enemy target points. Explosions and fires erupted wherever a beam struck. The battle
field exploded at what appeared to be random points with the radiation rays reaching out to strike.
On her display, the life tracker lights blinked out as her team’s defense points were being
overrun. First Fish, then Stony. She had to move faster as she coaxed Variax to continue to pick up
speed, ignoring safety over the need for speed.

Tipper’s light blinked out.

The enemy attempted launches against her ship. The weapon projectiles being thrown in a
concentrated effort to bring her ship down. Between her magic with the controls and the automated
response systems, nothing approached close to the fast maneuvering ship. Some projectiles were being
launched too late as they under estimated the speed, others missed due to quick maneuvering of the
nimble ship, the rest were destroyed by the powerful radiation beam.

The bottom of Variax maintained strong armor to protect against basic ground gun fire, but she
had to rely on the automated flash beam defense to take out larger armaments. The enemy fire
continued relentlessly. She willed herself to focus on the most deadly launches as her beams reached
out in front of the planned transit.

With each life light blinking out, she pushed the engine speed even higher, worrying she might
be too late. Now she had the problem of stability. She exceeded the stability point of the ships
computers to control flight as she continued to accelerate; Variax now relied on her adjustments to
maintain the key margin of needed for flight.

She didn’t even notice the sweat dropping off her arms and body on the control panels. Her
concentration focused on reaching her objective, saving the team. Only their lives mattered.
A pop-up projectile appeared directly ahead of Variax coming in fast. She redirected the
transmission beam directly at it and increased power. She played chicken with the deadly incoming
attack explosive while continuing to push Variax faster.

She continued to focus on the distributed attack trusting her concentrated beam to destroy the
incoming target. If the systems failed, she would never know. If the systems failed, life would be over.

But if the system succeeded then she had to make sure there were no other launches making it through.

Her hands continued to blur across the many control panels. She took note that the beam had moved
on to another target when the incoming projectile exploded, clearing her path ahead.

Her ship closed in on her team. She radioed ahead observing explosions happening around the
target landing point. "Hang on, I'm almost there. I see the landing pad. Zone clear to land?"
Trigger answered back, "Cleared most of the area, but we're nearly out of ammo."

"Understand, be prepared, I'm coming in hot."

"Roger that. Heads low. Hot spot at on the right edge extra active."

Another light blinked out, Sparks was gone as the enemy surged on the right. Her ship raced
over the final ridge to the landing zone. Her beams reached out to support the right edge as projectiles
lifted in an arch towards the ship and the remaining team positions.

She didn't slow down Variax as she approached at full engine thrust just barely off the ground.
At the last moment, she pushed the engines into full reverse; the ship seemed to almost buckle in mid
air. At the last moment, the landing gears dropped. The ship quickly hit the ground and the shock
absorbers worked to the maximum, absorbing the pressure.

She continued directing the energy beams at mapped targets around the landing zone. An
enemy on the right edge launched some small explosives. The sensors picked up on the arching
projectiles and instantly fried the deadly units causing explosions just as they cleared the blocking tree.
With the explosion, the trees erupted in flames. The radiation beams continued sweeping the area
attempting to suppress enemy fire. Attacking troops attempted to rush the ship from the right. The
radiation beam swept the zone and the enemy bodies erupted and exploded from the energy burst.
The remaining three Special Forces men pounded at the side of Variax by the entrance hatch.
They continued their suppression fire while waiting for the hatch to open from within Variax.

She maintained focus on the threats but one hand reached over and released the entry hatch
allowing her team in. With one of the Special Force men continuing to spray the area, the other two
quickly released their equipment harness and crawled into the tight hatch way. After the first two had
entered, the third hit his equipment release and dropped it into the pile, tossing in a timed explosive.
He continued spraying the area with suppression fire. At the last moment, he tossed his weapons into
the pile and dove into the hatch rapidly pulling it closed as a shell exploded next to her ship and the
discarded equipment erupted in flames.

With the yelling coming from the entry tube announcing the last man was aboard, she activated
full thrust, turning Variax and twisting it in mid air while the focused beams continued to sweep the
area. The final team member struggled to latch the hatch internally as she pushed her controls to their
maximum to lift off.

With Variax rising off the landing area, new projectiles were launched from the mine entrance
towards her ship. Most were destroyed in flight, but one struck the right strut jerking the rising Variax.
She fought with the controls while redirecting fire on the mine entrance to take out the weapon
launchers. Her hands continued to blaze over the control panels as Variax accelerated to maximum
thrust leaving the mine entrance far behind.

The three men braced themselves. Trapped in a tight tube, they bounced as Variax jerked and
swayed its way through the maze of enemy placements. She continued her focus on the controls; she
had twenty eight clicks to cover before they were out of the danger zone and could reach their landing
location. Her hands continued to dance across the eight control panels surrounding the flight cabin
keeping up the suppression fire as the ship raced to safety.

Danger continued to be launched from below in an attempt to bring down her ship, but the
enemy’s weapons were no match for her abilities blended with the powerful ship defenses.
Slowly the incoming projectiles ceased to be launched and with a sigh, she took a deep breath.
When they were finally out of danger, she turned the ship south towards the nearest base. The
motion smoothed out and the noise from weapon fire faded away. Only then did the men edged their
way up the tube till the first man emerged, pushing his upper body into the pilot’s cabin.
With a smile; "Hello beautiful!"

She smiled down at the man partially emerged from the hatch, "Hello handsome. You guys

Ace responded with a tired look on his face. "Better’n back there. Can't thank you enough for
your dropping in, we owe you dinner and drinks when we get back."

"Can't wait." She semi smiled. While happy she had saved three, her heart mourned for the four
whom died.

When they reached the base with emergency vehicles surrounding the landing area, she fought
with the controls till finally Variax landed firmly on the ground. The destroyed strut had given way and
her ship would need significant repairs.

With the three emerging from Variax’s tube, an ambulance pulled up. They loaded Trigger on
the stretcher as the medics fought to stop the blood flow. He had caught metal from the final shell as
they were escaping.

But in the end the four emerged safely. Trigger’s wounds laid him up for a few days but he
would survive.

The day after Trigger walked out of the medical ward, the final four remaining team members
took a trip to the sea shore. Both a tradition and a commitment, ever since the team first formed, they
had all agreed to return to their spot after a mission. It took on special meaning when any of them
failed to return. Those that returned gathered at their special site and remember their fallen comrades.
The location was a simple black sand beach where they would pitch their tents and build a fire
against the cold wind. During a night of remembrance, once the fire burned down to coals, a copy of
the picture taken when the team of twenty first formed would be placed on the coals. While the
picture slowly burned away, each of the survivors took a shot of the team’s favorite drink and told a tale
about their fallen comrade.

The larger ritual would last all night till the light rose across the ocean. With a final drink they
would have a final group hug, say their final goodbye to the fallen as the sun rose and finally head off to

The four of them had held this ritual too many times. Each time promising that it wouldn’t
happen again, but each time every one of them knew it would happen again. They also knew the next
time they may be the one missing or maybe none would be returning.

The government had given the group many metals, many citations of valor. They had been
called heroes after most of their operations. The team had been celebrated in songs and even once a
story had been written about their epic tales.

The truth? They just did what needed to be done; it was their lot in life, it was what they had

chosen to do with their lives. They fought for each other, they risked everything for each other and they
would give their lives for each other. They didn’t consider themselves heroes, they had little other

concepts of life than their training, their missions and their comrades. Deep down they had dreams, but
the dreams were just dreams. None had expected to have a normal life, none expected to grow old.
This time it would be different. She decided it had to be different.

The formation of a family unit happened quickly. Life being short drove the mating process to a
rapid completion and their living arrangement quickly reorganized. The four surviving members of an
original team of twenty, mated for life. A natural event, given the closeness they felt. She couldn’t
imagine anyone else she loved as much and cared for as these three remaining lugs.

Forming a family didn’t change their focus, if anything it was the final closeness. The family
move happened partly because they were the last ones of the group, but mostly because she needed
this and because they all knew the time had arrived.

Now she sat in her favorite ship only a short period of time having elapsed from the previous
mission, waiting for the new battle to begin. Her mates deployed out of her zone, she couldn't help
worrying about them, and she could no longer provide their protection.

Like every time before a battle, once again she found herself alone with her thoughts.

While she waited, her mind became overwhelmed. An image began to present a large grouping
of life forms. The crowd of alien life in her mind appeared to extend forever and all seemed to sense a
single unique alien. The strange life form appeared to be dominating her mind’s view after a short time.
With only two vines acting as arms and fingers it appeared to be writing a set of symbols. The
image of the alien morphed into views of majestic dust clouds filled with stars and views of galaxies.
The mental picture continued with a view of a massive sphere wrapped around a star, with apparent
life on the impressive enclosing structure of a size she could barely comprehend.

When her mind gained control, she realized the signal panel flashing an indication a
transmission had arrived. She dashed her fingers across the control board until the message with an
image appeared on the heads-up viewer. The attached picture showed an alien matching the being in
her vision. The message indicated the picture had been captured by surveillance based on a narrow
beam transmission from the alien ship.

She wasn’t quite sure what to do at the moment. Her instructions directed strict radio silence
from her ship until such time as she had “tactical” data to transmit. However she knew the images
were connected. Her visions had been so vivid. Even now, the images were as clear in her mind as the
control panels in front of her eyes.

She pondered the situation when she blinked and found herself sitting in her seat in a large
room totally empty. The walls were black with no point of reference making her feel like she floated in
empty space. She might be dreaming or may have lost all her senses. Her mind told her she was
somewhere else. She felt weight; she felt the floor beneath her. She reached out attempting to sense
anything; but this was not her ship, not her comfort home.

She had been trained to control her panic, but keeping control grew harder with each passing

After what seemed like an eternity, a light appeared and an alien with vines as arms stood in
front of her, just out of her reach. She watched as the alien held up a glass pad showing an image of
her. The alien motioned with its vine hands towards what appeared to be its mouth.
With her fear dissolving and thinking she understood, she spoke. “I am called Mcia.”
The alien continued showing images as she gave the alien words used to describe the object

After the tenth image the alien spoke. The sound of the alien’s speech rang very melodic in her
ears. The voice seemed as if many different tones were being emitted with each word, just like in her
image. Not a common sound, she began to understand the accent.

“I am known as Xteny. I am from a race known as the Old Ones. We have been attracted to
your planet because of you.

“We are here in peace and do not wish to cause harm. You are what we call a ‘Watcher’ and
you are a most rare life form in our galaxy.”

The speech startled Mcia. Not that the alien spoke, but that the alien came because of her.
What made her so unique that they came for her?

“You were within the transmission we broadcast a short time ago. We tracked your pattern
through a planetary survey we have been doing. We do not wish to disrupt your planet, but finding you
is a great event. You’re existence has been foretold in the Master Plan.”

This just kept getting stranger. Master Plan? They observed her in the broadcast? They found
her deep in the ocean on a planet of a billion people?

The next move became even more startling. As she blinked and wrapped her six arms around
her body, in a flash, her mates and her ship were in front of her, all together in the empty room. Her
mates were stunned, but she rushed to let them understand it was okay. “Stand down, he is not a
danger! It’s okay.”

The alien spoke “We are here to make sure no harm comes to any of you. You are more
valuable to the future of your race and to our future than you can currently understand.
“We wish you to act as ambassadors to your people. We desire for you to explain that we come
in peace and not to interfere. However, we cannot allow you to be harmed in your race’s violent
clashes. Either they stop immediately or we offer all of you a new life among the stars helping us until
such time as it is safe and your society will no longer harm you.

“Please talk with your people, and then decide on your future.”

Still in shock, Mcia and her three confused mates found themselves standing on the stage in
front of a collection of members of their race, the Xvyia. From a look around the room and the dress of
the different people, they assumed they were in the World Meeting Hall based on images they had seen
in the past.

They were there, but still they were not there. Their images were projected on the stage and
their conscious mind could see both everything in the room with the gathering people and still see
themselves in the room with her ship and the alien.

The room quieted down and everyone stared at the sudden projection within their room. Mcia
realized it was her time. She stepped forward to address the gathered leaders.
“Please, I need to talk with you.”

She identified herself and her mates and events which had just happened to them. She
explained information the alien had told her and also the decision she and her mates must now make.
She completed her statement when the alien image appeared on the stage with the small family unit.
In the strange sing song voice, the alien took over the presentation. “We are called Old Ones.
We have discovered a key pattern of our universe in this woman. This makes her one of the most
valuable resources in our galaxy.

“What she has recited to you is the truth. You are a very young society and under normal
conditions we would not have made contact at this stage. We will not tell you what you must do, but

we must protect her from harm. Too many races in our galaxy need her unique talents to permit harm
to come to her.

“We will stay in your star system for a time to allow Mcia and her mate’s to understand and
make a decision. This also means you must make a decision to change and to protect her.

“We will never again be far away, but we will not interfere with your society’s decisions. “

At the end of the statement, the images disappeared from the stage. The leaders were left to
contemplate their options.

After days of quarrelling, with the alien threat no longer an apparent worry, the leaders did not
listen to Xteny, but returned to their arguing and fighting. Since the leaders made a decision to return
to their warring, Tracker (Mcia), Aces, Trigger and Joker decided to stay with The Old Ones and begin a
new adventure traveling the galaxy. Their life as warriors were over, the past being left behind.

Leaving the planet was hard, but not nearly as difficult as leaving their pain and nightmares of
the battles they had fought along with the suffering over their brothers they had lost. The ancient race
changed them so they were able to interact with other races without physical danger. Over time the
pain would fade with the help of the many alien races and viewing the wonders of the galaxy, but the
start of a growing family in peace helped even more.

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