The galaxy has been at war for over a quarter million years. The emperor has been fighting a losing battle for some time now, but still believes that his technology and his people will prevail. Emperor Shinza's empire stretched out to encompass nearly one third of the galaxy, sending out ships filled with sleeping colonists, hoping that one day that they wake up to find a pristine planet just waiting to be colonized. The reason why they hoped was for a very simple reason. That the emperor wanted to expand his territory, but certain fanatical sects wanted to slow down this progress and save all the money that went into exploring. Slowly, but surely, ships began to disappear. They were presumed either lost or destroyed. Too much area to search and not enough ships to cover the territory they already held. For one reason or another, sabotage was always involved. But our story doesn't start here, no, it begins in a star system with a yellow sun and nine planets.
Lt. Saran orbited around the single moon close to the only inhabitable planet in this backwater system. His fighter managed the routine grid search for the tenth time in the last half cycle. The planet below was uninhabited and could support life without complication. Saran was scanning for available resources to repair the damage done to the main ship. Saran remembered exactly what happened that stranded them here, under orders from the empire they were suppose to scout out systems that could be colonized or made available to colonize by terra forming. While in cryo-sleep, someone tampered with the navigation system and when the crew finally emerged from cryo-sleep they were not where they were supposed to be. They were literally thousands of light-years from the nearest imperial outpost. Help would not be coming anytime soon.
The captain of this ship ordered that the navigation systems be checked and found out why they were so far off course. The part of space that they were in, was heavily unexplored, and had no idea where home may be. Captain Tarmac had heard rumors of sabotage and ships disappearing, but it still shocked her that it had happened under her watch. When the chief engineer reported that they could still turn around and backtrack their flight path out of this system, Tarmac gave the order to do so. On their way towards the systems edge however, a shuttle launched from the landing bay, it's sub-light engines at maximum. Then Tarmac commed the shuttle and ordered it to stop or be fired upon. The AI suddenly informed the captain that weapons had just gone offline, and a small explosion took out their sub-light engines. They only had enough back power to head back in-system and reach the habitable planet. The person on the shuttle, commed them as they were leaving the system, said, "I hope you enjoy your stay", and went out of sensor range. That was a little over half a solar cycle ago.
Saran and the rest of the crew held little hope for being rescued, or of finding the materials needed to repair the ship. The materials needed were unreachable under the third planets' surface, they simply didn't have the required mining equipment to reach the material. They had little or no options left to them. Eventually they would have to stop and move on with their lives, but they still had hope. Saran turned his fighter around and headed back to the ship, noticing how sleek his fighter was in the yellow light of this sun. His fighter was nine feet long with a ball shape cockpit at the rear, and an almost triangular needle like nose. The sub-light engines gave off a faint blue glow as he made his way towards the planets surface.
As Saran landed his fighter in the landing bay, he noticed all the techs and flight crews running around securing everything down. For Saran, this was a normal activity, but what made it strange was all of them wore the same facial expression. It was the face of panic and fear. As he opened the hatch to his fighter, he heard the blaring klaxon and over the comm system he heard, "Attention all personnel report for a general meeting with the captain in five time units, that is all." Saran knew that this was different from all previous meetings, for the captain had come to a decision about their fate. When he arrived at the galley, it was packed with standing room only against the far wall. All the faces around him were anxious and nervous at what his captain had to say. They didn't have to wait long. The captain approached the center of the galley and began to speak, with a somber expression on her face.
"I'm not going to lie to you," Tarmac spoke at once, "we will never be able to leave this system again within our lifetimes." At this remark the crew began to murmur all over the ship until she spoke again. "So what we hope is one day our decedents will be able to repair the ship, someday, but until that time we will leave the ship and hide it underground near the base of the near by mountain. The ship's AI will then shut down all of the systems and go into sleep mode, until such time, when one of our decedents comes back to discover their heritage." Everyone in the crew just looked at her like she'd grown a third arm, including Saran. They knew it was coming, yet it was still a surprise. "All personnel will lockdown everything on the ship, and will take the bare minimum with them in order to survive. That means no advance technology, just in case our decedents don't suddenly stumble upon it lying around somewhere. We will be leaving in two planetary cycles. That is all." At this point the captain left the galley and proceeded to her quarters.
Once there the ships AI contacted her, "Captain, some of the crew are upset by your announcement, and are trying to take more than is required. Shall I send them off into the wilderness somewhere, with no supplies?"
Captain Tarmac replied, "No just make sure that all the extra things they take makes it back onto the ship in their proper places." "As you wish Captain" replied the AI. "Now, do you understand what needs to be done by you AI?" "Yes, Captain I understand." replied the AI. "Good I hope the next time you wake up, you'll have a better captain then me." Two planetary cycles later all of the crew were off of the ship, some happier then others, and the ship buried itself near the base of the mountain. All went silent inside the huge ship, and while the AI powered down it wondered whether what the captain had said were true or even possible. But that would have to wait until the AI woke, and who could tell when that would be.
Ten thousand year later, the answer to that question would soon be coming. The date was April 20, 2005, and Mike Anderson was just arriving home from school. Mike goes to Burlington County College, in Burlington, New Jersey. Mike had just turned 21 and was still had a little hangover from the night before. Mike isn't a heavy drinker, being last that night was his first time drinking with his friends. He was hammered after two drinks, then when his friends brought him home they took a magic marker and drew on his face obscene language and weird hand gestures. Mike had a huge crush on his best friend and next door neighbor Emily Ross. Through Mike wasn't movie star handsome, but he was attractive enough to deserve a second glance. He was 6'2 with light brown hair and green eyes with a pale complexion. He wasn't athletic either, but had plenty of muscles with squared off shoulders. Emily was a curvy blonde with shoulder length hair and deep blue eyes. She had legs you could get lost in for hours at a time and a medium size bust. Mike had kept his feelings about Emily to himself, and was afraid what her reaction would be if he told her how he felt. Truth be told, Emily already knew about Mike's crush and had her own feelings for neighbor Mike.
After getting home Mike had watched Emily come over and asked if they could hang out. Mike said sure, but he wanted to take his afternoon jog into Mount Holly and asked if Emily wanted to come alone for the run. "Can I take a rain check on that run, I have to be back before my dad gets home." said Emily. "Yeah, it's ok, I understand, maybe next time though." replied Mike. Emily then strolled back home swaying her hips as she went. Mike thought, "I wonder if she knows she does that intentionally." Then Mike went into his two-story house to change into his jogging gear and after five minutes was on his way. Half a block from his house Mike decided to change routine and turned down an old dirt road that had become over grown over the years. Mike had always passed this road on his jogs and now he knew why. There were potholes all over the place, trash littered the ground, and weeds grew like wild fire. Mike's pace was slow going. He'd heard rumor's from kids, back in high school, how they came out here to party and drink to their hearts content. Though, the kids did say there was something strange about this remote area. Nothing definite, but just a feeling of being watched by unseen eyes. Mike now knew what they were talking about. He too felt like he was being watched. He didn't feel any hostile intention towards him, but he felt like he was being observed or evaluated. Mike just shrugged off these feelings, and discovered a small deer trail leading deeper in to the woods. Mike felt compelled to follow the trail
He had been on the trail for no more than five minutes, when he came across the biggest hole he'd ever seen. The hole was five feet wide, ten feet long and he couldn't see the bottom from his vantage-point. Mike hadn't heard any stories about this hole, but it looked freshly made. Mike assumed that the hole could be the result of last summers' flooding. Half of Burlington County's damns burst and flooded several homes and major roadways. It was possible that the flood water unearthed an entrance to a cave system below. Mike thought it be a good idea to turn around now and go home. But as he was turning to go, the ground underneath him started sliding into the hole. The last thing that Mike remembered was rushing darkness and fading light. He felt like he was flying, but knew he was falling. Then suddenly everything went black, as Mike lost consciousness.