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Kyo Compact: Prelude

PostPosted: Wed 02 Jan 2019 03:27
by Cralis
Markus came to a sudden stop in front of the small bulkhead window above the couch. He crawled onto the family couch and stared at the largest star, still farther away then he could imagine, yet closer than any other star in the universe at the moment. He loved to watch the stars, especially when they were this close. He raised his hand up to the star and closed his fist as if to catch the star, only to stop when he fingers appeared to touch, leaving a small coin-sized area between his fingers full of yellow starlight.

"Captain, no pirates at this star" he muttered to himself. And then he leaped off of the couch and swung his toy ship in an arc over his head, making blast-off noises.

Markus imagined himself as the captain of his own Dawn-class "battle freighter." He pretended to fly from star to star, picking up and dropping off important people, chasing pirates across the galaxy, and defending Earth from the occasional alien menace or two. At 7 years old, "Captain Markus" imagined himself as the youngest Captain of the Earth-Space Navy. Captain of the E.S.S. Piratekiller.

Markus made whooshing noises while he held his toy freighter aloft over his head. The freighter zoomed around the living room of his family cabin, the largest room in this suite, but it only took a second or two to cross at a full zoom. His mission: to hunt down and destroy pirates with his... his laser canon! That's right! Those pirates better fear young Captain Markus of they will end up dead! Markus flew his ship to the Orion Nebula, situated over the bright red blankets covering his parents bed in the bedroom. Then he'd hop from the bed and fly close to the deck of the cabin, trying to sneak up on pirates while hiding from the galactic mom-beast that would take his ship away if he flew right into the middle of whatever chore she was doing. As Markus zoomed into the SoniClean shower to find the pirates shelter there, his mother called out. "Markus! Come to dinner."

Markus immediately thrust his freighter out ahead of himself and started to run out of the room. He glanced into the main room and yelled "Captain Markus returning to base!" As the freighter soared through the one meter length of hallway. He banked the freighter from his left until he had to grab it with his right hand, suddenly needing to veer away from right-side bulkhead and then the front door as he swept into the back into the family room and towards the dinner counter on the other side.

He very nearly collided with his father, who was standing in front of the hatch. He stopped and almost pitched over, but looked up at his dad and jumped! He was wearing his light blue work suit with the dark blue collar of command and the golden pipes of the ship's captain.

"Hey kiddo, how was pirate hunting today?" asked Markus's dad.

All excited, Markus jumped up and down and piped out "It was great! We got lots of pirates and returned their stolen cargo to the poor worlds!"

"Great!" Markus's dad said, and watched as Markus hopped around him, swinging his toy freighter out with a whooshing sound and held it straight out with both hands, straightening it out towards the counter.

"I shot up a pirate lord and a hundred of his pirate ships. He won't be able to steal any more!" Markus said, slowing to a walk as he lined up the freighter, slowing and lifting the nose of the toy as if it was landing on the counter.

"Earth Station this is Markus PirateKiller requesting permission to land" said Markus, glancing towards his dad, who was walking to the counter. His dad gave him a large smile, then lifted his hand to his mouth like it was a microphone.

"Markus PirateKiller this is Earth Station," his dad said in a muffled voice, "you have permission to land for dinner."

Markus's mother cleared her throat. Both Markus and her dad stopped for a moment and looked at her. "Captains, remember that no ships are allowed at dinner. Young man, you park that thing where it belongs."

Markus gave his mom a quick glare but noticed she was already narrowing her eyes at him. So he made a loud swooshing noise and veered his freighter off to the side, and made a landing on the deck. After his ship settled onto the plastic tile, he let go and jumped into his stool as his mom was dishing out something white and weird from the cooking pan onto his plate.

"Da, did yoooouuu get to kill any pirates today?" Markus was still bouncing in his seat in expectation, pursing his lips to make the elongated ooo sound.

"Oh, maybe a pirate or two. I have heard that there is a young captain that has been wiping out pirates all across the galaxy. We freighter captains don't see very many pirates these days."

"Oh da! Really? Did I get them all?" Markus grinned from ear to ear, before looking at his plate and sniffing at his food.

"Yes son, you really got them all."

But then Markus had to eat his dinner. And to Markus, it didn't taste any better than he thought it looked. Markus mostly tuned out his parents talking about adult stuff during dinner, focusing on trying to eat and thinking about his freighter. He was still trying to decide if he wanted one or two laser canons and where they would be on his freighter when his mom told him to stop playing with the last of his food and instead go get ready for bed.

"If you hurry up and get ready for bed," Markus dad said as Markus jumped out of his seat, "I have time to read you a story."

"Oh! Oh!" exclaimed Markus as he grabbed his freighter, and not even making it fly right made a whoosing noise all the way to the bedroom. By the time his dad caught up to him, Markus had already changed into his pajamas covered with fighter planes and was lying on his pull-out bunk, moving the toy freighter in circles over his head. He smiled when his dad entered.

"How long until we arrive at our new home da? And do I have to live on the planet again? I like it here with you."

"We should arrive to the new world in a few months kiddo" his dad said as he sat on the edge of the bed. He was holding his personal pad that contained all of the books he brought on the trip. "What do you say we read some more about the adventures of John Paul Jones?"

"Um... isn't that the captain who sailed on those old wood ships on the ocean?" Markus asked.

"Yes kiddo, he certainly did."

"When can we read about space ships? Da, why do you like all those old ships?"

"Markus," his dad said gently, "these stories are not just about old wooden navy ships. It is about the history of ships and navies, about the brave men who braved the seas, and how their actions and sacrifices built the navies that eventually became the Terran Space Navy."

Markus frowned.

"Besides," his dad continued, "there were a lot more pirates on the ocean and a lot of brave men who were needed to bring them to justice!"

Markus's eyes got bigger and he giggled. "I want to fight pirates too!"

"And someday you will!" Markus dad said with a grain as he activated his pad. He selected the right book and the bookmark that he inserted the last time they were reading. He cleared his throat as Markus wiggled into under his blanket and the velcro saftey ties that his dad had told him would hold him and his pillow and blanket in place in an emergency. He didn't know very much about emergencies on a ship, but since it was part of living on a ship and they kept talking about it in his school classes, he just accepted it.

Markus dad waited until Markus stopped wiggling and then started to read.

"I see that the last time we read, brave Captain John Paul Jones had commanded his crew to grapple with the H.M.S. Seraphis so he could pull his ship alongside to board and capture the enemy ship. Instead, his ship the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard rammed the H.M.S. Seraphis! The impact was so great that the mast of his ship crashed to the deck, bringing with it the ship's flags and colors. The Captain of the H.M.S. Seraphis yelled out 'Have you struck your colors?'" and Markus dad poked Markus in the belly. "Do you know what that means?"

"No... da... " Markus wheezed out through his giggles.

"It means to surrender you ship to the enemy. Do you think John Paul Jones was going to surrender?"

"No da! No he was brave!" Markus said.

"That's right," his dad grinned. "Of course he didn't! Instead, Captain Jones said those famous words, 'Struck sir? I have not yet begun to fight!'..."

Before long. Markus fell asleep while his dad continued to read.

Markus bolted upright, suddenly awakened. It was dark in his little room, and he wasn't sure, but he thought that he felt his bed shaking. Still groggy, he struggled against the velcro safety ties before he realized what he was doing. He started to pull at the ties to loosen them when...


He did feel that! He heard it too! His mind imaged that the noise was a distant, crashing meteor bouncing off the ship's hull. His mother suddenly appeared through the hatch to his room and was frantically loosening the safety ties and pulling him out of his bed.

"Hurry Markus! Into your suit!"

Because his dad was the captain of the ship, Markus's family could afford to have personal suits. Markus wondered if any of the other children on the ship would be so lucky. But only for a moment.


"Wha... whats wrong?" Markus stammered.

"I don't know," replied his mother, "your father is too busy to call. Maybe a meteor swarm." Markus's mother quickly stripped off his pajamas and helped him wiggle into his suit.

Markus realized that he could hear an emergency alarm and heard some girl saying that the passengers needed to close and secure all hatches and secure themselves into the emergency couches available through out the ship. His mind couldn't keep up with being jostled into his suit and trying to figure out what he was hearing and feeling.


Markus heard crying, and looked up at his mother. He saw that she crying, and her panick started to cause him to panick. She barely got his suit velcro snug and snapped his helmet into place before she pushed him out into the family room and then sitting on the family couch. She pushed the glowing buttons on the console next to the couch and it released emergency straps. His mother and secured him onto the couch before running back to the hallway and the bedrooms.


Markus could feel the vibrations getting stronger and the noise getting a little louder. He started to cry from the tension building up in his young mind. He tried to imagine meteors bouncing off of the ship as if they were pebbles bouncing off of his toy ship.

Instead, he panicked. "Mom! Moooooom! Mooooo..."


Markus not only heard the last noise, the loudest noise yet, but felt it throughout his entire body. It felt like his body was being smashed into the couch and he saw a bright flash and felt the heat coming from the hallway. Then he felt his body yanked from the couch and the straps holding him to the couch bit into his shoulders, hip, and chest. The air howled and pulled at his arms, legs, and head. Papers from the counter, dishes from dinner, his color books on the floor, and even the E.S.S. PirateKiller lifted from the floor into the air and sailed with the howling wind towards the hallway and bedrooms. Markus closed his eyes. But before his mind could make any sense of what was happening, the howling stopped and he sagged limp against the couch, held firmly in place by the straps.

Markus opened his eyes and tried to blink away the tears. Every light in the cabin was dark, except for a flashing red light that had appeared above the front hatch. Markus couldn't hear any voices or sounds except for the occasional vibration he could feel through the couch. Markus was scared, mom did not come back, and he couldn't do or think about anything other than to shake and cry.




Markus felt the ship's shaking through the couch with each impact. Markus lost any sense of time while he was crying and hardly noticed when the vibrations stopped. The room was absolutely still, illuminated only by the red flashing light. Markus lay strapped into the couch for a long time, crying and whimpering for his mom and dad, before he fell asleep from exhaustion.

Markus opened his eyes, startled awake from his exhaustion. He started to move his arms, his mind realizing that something had grabbed his arm. He blinked away the crust from eyes, new tears creating wetness around the edges of his sight. He could hear his breathing inside the confines of his suit. He saw a fully suited crewman leaning towards him, with another crewman floating behind him. Markus started to scream but... but... it was his dad! Markus saw his dad's face through the visor of the suit, and realized that the crewman was his dad and not some stranger.

"Da! Daaaaaa!" Markus started to scream, then shook his head and mumbled when the unexpected loudness of his scream shocked him. Still he reached towards his dad. Even though he couldn't hear yet,

Markus could see that his dad was talking, and as soon as his dad pushed his helmet against Markus's and he could faintly hear his dad's voice through the contact.

"Markus! Markus! I'm here now. You're safe now."

As Markus cried his dad unbuckled him from couch, then pulled him into a tight hug. Markus leaned upward in his dad's arms to make helmet contact, grasping tightly and sobbing.

"Where... where... is mom?" Markus asked through his sniffs.

"We'll find mom later" his dad said. Markus continued to cry, holding tightly to his dad's suit. He wasn't going to let go and his mind was numb from exhaustion.

All Markus could remember was his dad's soothing voice. His dad held him tightly and he kicked away from the couch towards the hatch. He could barely see the other crewman from the ship doing...something. Suddenly he realized that his dad had stopped at the cabin hatch. Markus looked around to see why. A crewman handed something to his dad, and his dad handed it to Markus. It was the E.S.S. PirateKiller. As he handed Markus the toy ship, his dad made helmet contact again and said "We got away this time, but we will need new pirate killers more than ever before. Can you be brave and help me with that?"

Markus sniffed a few times, and tried to blink away tears. He appeared to be in thought for a moment, tired, but he knew the answer.

"I want to help you with that, da."

His dad gave a big smile and Markus could see his dad saying something he could no longer hear. Markus squeezed his dad with a bigger hug, and laid his head against him and cried. His dad swung them through the cabin hatch into the corridor, and then pushed them down the corridor deeper into the ship.