Read Steven Gordon 3: The Modloch Empire Online

Authors: J W Murison

Tags: #space adventure, #Aliens, #Space Opera, #steven gordon series

Steven Gordon 3: The Modloch Empire

BOOK: Steven Gordon 3: The Modloch Empire
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The Modloch
Empire

J W
Murison

Copyright ©
2016 JW Murison

All rights
reserved.

ISBN:

ISBN-13:

 

DEDICATION

 

 

In memory of Don Michaud

1937-2016

When you talk to a fighting man
my son, stand tall and hold your head high. Look him straight in
the eye and let him see the metal that lies deep within. Treat him
with respect and you need never feel afraid. For this man shall
forever stand between you and those that would do you harm. He will
give his life if need be to keep you and yours safe. For those
fighting men that made it through the wars, there will be no
parades of remembrance. There will be no statues, no names inlaid
in gold on the roll of honour. Yet he will not complain, for his
battles were won and he returned to those he loved and who loved
him. This was reward enough. If you come across a place where one
of these fighting men were laid to rest then lower your head, close
your eyes for a moment and give thanks. Honour and revere them, for
these are the men that saw the battle won.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

 

I would like to thank Jeannie
Michaud for her continued support of my writing and novels. Thank
you for the new covers Jeannie and know that my heart goes out to
you and your loved ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER
1

 

The infernal noise banged on for hours.
Strange soldiers in strange uniforms, marching to strange musical
instruments that the Human ear could not appreciate. It was the
official handing over of the giant city ship to the Modloch
Emperor. There were a few Humans who wished for the city ship to be
retained by Earth’s forces, but those in power knew the importance
of getting rid of the hard won goliath.

This was all supposed to have taken
place weeks before, on the day the Humans crossed the great
barrier. It had started well enough; however, within a few hours of
crossing the barrier the Modloch ambassador to Earth, the only
survivor of the Burning Winds crew, collapsed. Panic had ensued.
The ambassador had been whisked away into isolation and the city
ship abandoned to the Humans. The Emperor had retreated hastily to
his own personal battle cruiser, the biggest in the Modloch fleet,
and the Humans had endured a six week quarantine. Things had been
very tense to begin with and the Humans had been unsure of whether
they were going to be attacked by the Modloch fleet.

The ambassador had been diagnosed with
the plague, the same one that had cost billions of lives thousands
of years before. Despite this he had recovered after a few weeks,
and was now almost completely fit again. The Modloch had sent
suited doctors onto all of the Human’s ships and conducted tests on
a sample number of each crew. No Humans showed any signs or
symptoms of the strange plague. On board the city ship, teams of
Modloch had proceeded to decontaminate the whole city.

It had been decided that the official
ceremony to hand over the city ship would take place at the Modloch
home world, and both fleets had set course. They had arrived a week
previously, and preparations for the handover had begun.

As no one else came down with the
strange plague tensions had begun to ease, and both fleets began
the journey towards the Modloch home world. Another problem had
arisen though. The Modloch Emperor refused to negotiate with the
team sent alongside the fleet, or even with the designated
ambassador. To that end a leader had to be chosen on Earth to
represent the whole planet and rushed out to join the fleet.

Earth had chosen the current American
president, who turned his administration over to his vice president
and rushed out to join the fleet. He wasn’t the only representative
of Earth to arrive. The first thing the President had done was to
invite the British King. It was a very shrewd move on his part. The
Modloch Emperor finally felt he had someone of equal status to talk
to.

The King and his new bride had been
presented to the Emperor the evening before, with the full pomp and
ceremony deserving of the occasion. The two monarchs had
immediately hit it off. Now they sat side by side in their full
regalia chatting easily as the ceremonies unfolded before them.

Now it was the British King’s turn to
describe what was happening to the Modloch Emperor as the Humans
began their part of the ceremony. The massed pipes and drums of the
Scottish division began the show and there was an immediate wailing
of distress from the gathered Modloch nobles. The Emperor stilled
the noise with a disapproving look, and the distress soon turned to
curiosity as the Highlanders came into view in all their finery.
Right after them came the soldiers of the Highland division; the
Modloch were captivated as they marched past in review. After them
came soldiers from many different nations, and of course the
special display teams. The whirling silvered bayonets left them all
dazzled.

The grand affair was held in front of
the old command centre, the grandest building on the city ship. It
had now been moved to a secondary command centre and the original
building was being converted into a royal residence. In front of
it, stands had been erected for the purpose of this grand event. It
was set in tiers. The highest was for the Emperor and his guests.
From there they stepped down. Military commanders, then nobles and
round the side of the large square, the top families of the Modloch
nation.

Steven Gordon and the men of his unit
had been given a place on a tier low down on the main stand. It was
a mark of respect for their part in the battle to capture the city
ship. Steven suspected that if it hadn’t been for Lady Jane’s
status and her relationship to the King, they well may have never
been invited at all. He stood with Komoru at his side. He was in a
kilt and she stunning in a pink silk Kimono. It had been a
wonderful spectacle and Komoru had especially enjoyed it. Steven’s
eyes flicked up towards the Emperor’s grandstand. The Emperor was
obviously laughing at something the King had said. Isobel sat next
to the King and at her side sat Lady Jane. She wasn’t the only one
from the ship’s company to be sitting in the royal box. Mya also
sat in the box, slightly to the rear of the Emperor in the place
that would have been reserved for his brother Gairloch, who had
died many months ago on the African plain, back on Earth. Gairloch
wasn’t the only one who was smitten by the tiny Mya. The Emperor
himself seemed to have fallen under her spell.

Steven’s only interview with the
Emperor had concerned the passing of his brother. Steven had to
answer a barrage of questions while the Emperor interrogated
him.

When Steven had returned to his ship he
had Babes search for every piece of information she could on
Gairloch’s visit to Earth. Steven edited it into a documentary
style film and sent it to the Emperor. The Emperor has sent a
personal note of thanks, something which was considered a great
honour in the Modloch Empire.

The men around Steven were all dressed
in the new fleet dress uniform. All except Charlie, who was dressed
in the full dress uniform of the Gordon Highlanders. Although he
was now a full crew member, he was still legally in the Scottish
army.

Buzz Anderson sat to Steven’s right,
his eyes gleaming at the spectacle. Behind them sat the officers of
his crew. In the third row were the bridge crew along with Charlie
and Sergeant Kelly. Kelly was wearing his 1945 dress uniform that
babes had made for him on the day he met Gairloch. There was a vast
contrast in the medals worn by the two men. Both uniforms were
adorned by sergeant stripes.

The last event was the final of the
Brickwoods Trophy, a Naval Gun Competition that had been going on
for over a hundred years. This year there were finalists from each
branch of the service. It was a competition unique to the British
forces, and many had never seen the spectacle before.

Hundreds of men ran onto the square and
set up the obstacles. The three teams took up their places while a
commentator described what was happening and the history behind the
competition. By the time he was finished, a silent expectation hung
over the gathered crowed.

A flashbang started the race. The
gathered Modloch howled with glee as the guns were taken to pieces
and ran over the course. As the last gun fired off its three blank
rounds of the competition, the Modloch people came to their feet
and stomped their appreciation. Even the Modloch Emperor had come
to his feet and was clapping in a Human fashion, which many of his
people copied. The King also stood to clap his appreciation of the
race.

A senior officer presented a replica of
the prestigious Brickwoods Trophy, and again the crowd showed their
appreciation.

With the ceremony over, the Emperor
addressed the gathered dignitaries and nobles. He thanked all those
who took part in the ceremony to celebrate the forming of this new
alliance between worlds. The celebrations would conclude with a
royal banquet that evening at the palace.

CHAPTER 2

 

 

Back on board their ship Steven had
sought out Charlie. He wanted to know if Charlie had picked up any
of the Emperor’s stray thoughts. Charlie admitted he had been able
to pick up one or two, but apart from enjoying himself the Emperor
had given away nothing of use. Steven returned to his own room,
frustrated at his lack of progress. For weeks now they had been
stuck in the shadow of the fleet while he had been pushed farther
and farther away from the centre of power. That in itself didn’t
bother him. In fact it pleased him no end. However, before he
waltzed off into the unknown, he had wanted to know exactly what
the Modloch Emperor was thinking. To that end he had taken Charlie
with him when he was interviewed by the Emperor, but Charlie had
been stopped at the spaceport and not allowed on board the city
ship.

Steven took off his jacket and tie and
slumped onto his seat. He spun it round to face the wall and sent a
silent command. The wall in front of him began to shimmer and the
Modloch planet in all its glory was revealed to him. It reminded
Steven of a green marble he once had as a child. Bands of different
greens encircled the world. The top and bottom of the strange
planet were white capped. They already knew that the planet was
larger than Earth and had no wobble. There were no seasons here,
and most of the water was trapped at the poles. There were
occasional large water-filled lakes that resembled inland seas, but
there was nothing like the great oceans that existed on Earth. At
one time the centre of the planet had been a vast desert, but now
it was a solid green band. Technology had long since defeated the
great singing sands. White bands of clouds radiated out from the
great white poles, adding to the marble like effect of the planet.
Steven thought it was beautiful and could sit for hours trying to
make out the details below. Vast cities stretched along the edges
of the bands. At night time they resembled rings of fire.

BOOK: Steven Gordon 3: The Modloch Empire
13.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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