I did not like the battle plan. I did not trust those that had made it and I did not think we had a chance. It was simple we, a full company of highly trained soldiers would be put into capsules and ejected out of a ship. It would be behind the moon and we would be in stasis until we reached the planet.
As we entered the atmosphere the capsule would wake us and then peel away. We would freefall in battle suits and use grav shrouds to slow and land. After that we had a hundred kilometers between us and our target. Along the way was at least four divisions in armored positions. Even if we took out our target there was no sure way off the planet.
I checked each of my men as they went into their capsule and were put into stasis. I settled into mine and shifted to get comfortable, "alright captain lets get this over with."
I sagged as the suit slipped the needles into my arms and the stasis drugs began to flow. The capsule was closed and sealed before being loading into the ejection chamber. I did not feel it when I was fired out into space and did not know I was not on the right course. I did not know there was a flaw in the capsule or that those on the planet knew we were coming.
Time slipped by unnoticed.
Debris salvage is boring and routine but Hansen sat up when the ship picked up something not on the scan. He turned on the outside monitor and jerked up and hit the grav tractor shutdown, "shit!"
He spun and hit the system fleet emergency comm, "this is Oh Joy we have a drop capsule in high orbit."
"Oh Joy this is destroyer Bane's Fate. Is there any markings?"
He glanced at the monitor, "yeah, the freaking emperor's crest with crossed swords and flaming lizard."
There was a pause, "did you say the emperor's crest?"
Hanson grinned, "you are damn right."
Someone else came on, "Oh Joy this is the carrier Emperor's Son. Do not bring it aboard your ship. Bane's Fate you are to head for Oh Joy and send out a SAR team. Do Not bring the capsule aboard your ship. We are heading in and will match orbits."
The SAR team was a two man team specializing in space rescue. Master chief MacDongul was a veteran that had seen a lot. He floated closer to the old capsule and looked it over carefully before reaching out. He touched a tiny spot at the head of the capsule and hissed, "damn!"
"More information chief."
The chief shifted as he worked the controls, "how about unbelievable?"
The lieutenant at the grav console sighed, "not helpful."
The chief turned to look at the destroyer, "how about this. He is still alive and in stasis."
That got everyones attention and the lieutenant glanced at the captain, "ma'am?"
She shook her head, "we have our orders. Have the chief net it and attach a grav buoy."
When the huge carrier arrived two men went out in suits and plugging in a comp and began trying to override the capsule directives. Finally one nodded and they had the grav buoy pull the capsule to a waiting bay in the carrier. The men and women in the bay snapped to attention as the pipes went off and a team moved to the capsule.
My eyes snapped open and I saw the whole front of the capsule gone. I was in a room aboard a ship. I arched my back and flexed as I snapped to my feet and brought the suit rifle up. Men and women were falling back and down as I crouched and pointed at the two armed soldiers by the door.
A man in a dress uniform and a lot of braid stepped forward, "freeze mister!"
I glanced at him but kept my weapon on the two men who shifted. The fancy uniform took another step, "I said freeze! Lower your weapon."
I flipped on the suit speakers, "who are you?"
He looked me over, "fleet admiral James Ardell."
I knew every admiral in the fleet and Ardell was not one. I pointed the rifle at his chest, "the fleet does not have a fleet admiral Ardell."
He smiled, "you have been in stasis for over five hundred years captain."
I looked at him and then at the other two soldiers before activating the suit comp. I glanced to the side before stepping off the metal table I was standing on and landing in a crouch. I shifted the rifle, "I need a direct link comm to the emperor."
The admiral sighed, "your unit no longer exists. The emperor did away with it two hundred years ago."
I growled as I lifted the rifle again, "let me explain something. I am a company commander in the imperial special forces. My allegiance is to the emperor and I am sworn only to him. Only he or my commander can command me. Now I need a direct link comm to the emperor."
He looked at me carefully before gesturing to the two men by the door, "tell the captain I want a priority comm to Central and the emperor."
One turned to a panel beside the hatch and began speaking into it. The admiral looked at me again, "while we wait why don't you let one of the medical personal check you."
I glanced at those still on the floor and smiled. Not that he could see it, "after I have spoken with the emperor."
The wall panel emitted static and I glanced at it before someone spoke, "this had better be good admiral."
I looked at the admiral as he moved to the panel, "sir we have found the capsule for Captain Lamour. He was the company commander for the imperial special forces strike company Able. He was in stasis and is alive and aware now. He is your liegeman and only you command him now."
I hesitated before crossing the room, "sire?"
"Captain Lamour, I am afraid all imperial forces sworn to us have been disbanded."
I cleared my throat as I thought of subterfuge, "respond to imperial authorization Norman twenty."
It was a moment before he answered, "that brought back a lot of painful memories. Dickens five seven."
I sighed and relaxed as I let my rifle hang, "your orders sire?"
"Do what admiral Ardell tells you."
The panel lights blinked and then went off. I sighed and reached up to touch the helmet release. It spilt and I took a breath of fresh air and tried to still the gagging coughs I knew would be coming. I took the helmet off before they hit and then I was staggering to the table to hold on. The medical personal rushed to me but I pushed them back.
I hacked and gagged and coughed and shook before finally taking a huge breath. I shook my head and reached inside the suit collar, "I really hate that part."
The admiral had a worried look and then grinned, "I take it the suit does not use pure air?"
I shook my head and began the long and difficult process of taking the suit off, "it uses a mixture of gasses."
I looked at one of the men reaching for the suit back and growled, "do not touch."
He looked from me to the admiral who cleared his throat, "none of your unit combat suits survived."
I glanced at him, "our battle suits are imperial eyes only classified."
He gestured to the man, "but long out dated."
I was working on removing my legs from the bottom half of the suit. I was wearing a standard special forces skin suit under the armored suit. I stood once I was free and slid the sleeves down. They shifted and adjusted like they were designed to do while the people in the room stared.
I opened a compartment on the inside of the back portion on my battle suit to remove a holstered pistol. I touched it to my right thigh and pulled the pistol to check it before returning it to the holster. I looked at the admiral and absently reached out to touch a hidden switch, "do not touch the suit."
There was a blurring before suddenly the whole suit sagged and melted. Everyone gasped and the man that had been looking at the suit jumped, "NO!"
I looked at him before turning back to the admiral, "classified means classified."
He sighed, "to bad. We have no idea how to create them."
He turned towards the door and I followed, "I do."
What followed was three days of debriefings and another two weeks of history that covered the last five hundred years. My company had made it to the planet, well some made it, the rest died on the way through the enemy fire. Those that lived did take out the target at the cost of every single man.
We had been betrayed by the imperial council who tried to stage a coup. They died when not just the imperial special forces but the whole fleet went after them and the few rogue ship captains. It was another two hundred years before we were disbanded. I did a little checking and one of the things no one had thought to do was remove my clearance.
After the two weeks of history I was stuck with two old men who began to ask me constant questions about my life before I went into stasis. We were on a courier headed to Central and the ship captain grinned every time I slipped onto the bridge to escape. Everything seemed so different, even common controls had changed.
I had used a synthesizer to make a new utility uniform which felt a lot better than wearing the skin suit all the time. When I was led into the palace it was completely changed and different and that was when it really hit me. I was wearing a dress uniform that was five hundred years out of date. The only thing on it that was not were many of the medals and awards.
The soldiers and guards I passed snapped to attention and saluted. I walked into a huge anti chamber and a guard cleared his throat, "you need to turn over the weapon."
I glanced at him and smiled, "have you run my clearance?"
He frowned before turning to use one of the small comps. He jerked and turned to look at me with shocked eyes, "you may go right in sir."
I headed for the tall double doors, "thank you."
.... There is more of this story ...