The Dragon and Its Child - Cover

The Dragon and Its Child

by maxathron

Copyright© 2023 by maxathron

Science Fiction Story: A 'Dragon' and its 'Offspring' are sent to a remote world to survey a location for a new temple. The smaller one has almost full breadth of its powers but needs guidance.

Tags: War   Science Fiction   Aliens   Extra Sensory Perception   Robot  

“The only catch is that we must protect our Little Ones?” asked the corvette.

“The only catch is that we must protect our Little Ones, yes,” responded the destroyer.

The two ships sat side by side floating in the air above the temple. The elder one was a destroyer-class vessel, some eight hundred kilometers in length, shaped as a hexagonal prism, resting on one of its bases. The younger one was a corvette, a ten kilometer long pyramid resting on one of its base points. They were ships of the Catalum Empire, an intergalactic empire that claimed tens of thousands of galaxies.

The two ships were here on this planet because their Little Ones were scoping out a new spot for a diplomatic mission. They were tasked with finding a nexus location for a temple that would be the center of the Empire’s local administration in the star sector of a remote frontier galaxy.

Between the two, the destroyer had been around the block once or twice. The corvette however was newly forged to be the guardian of its Little One. Little One indeed. The corvette was astounded that the citizens of the Empire weren’t the gigantic spaceships like themselves, but tiny little organics. The spaceships instead served the Little Ones as companions and guardians.

High Command requested the destroyer and its elder Little One to go out and survey a new temple location. Somewhere centralized but large enough to berth and resupply diplomatic ships. Those were frigates. They were also the size of mountain ranges. Each.

So, the temple location had to be massive. The destroyer settled on this planet with a huge continental plateau as an ideal location for the temple. High Command was requesting enough space for eight frigates and support craft like corvettes and probes. The plateau was large enough for the job.

The only problem was that the planet was also home to a number of sapient species and their civilizations. High Command paired the destroyer with a newly forged corvette as a kind of shake down cruise. The corvette would help the destroyer in scouting and taking notes. It would also be a good lesson as it matured into a proper adult ship.

This was a challenge at times. The corvette was jumpy at threats to its Little One and frequently threatened to unleash Armageddon on whatever poor sap that came across and frightened its Little One. The destroy had to intervene and set the being on its way with a message that the Little Ones are not prey animals to hunt and eat.

That corvette had the power to destroy. All imperial ships were artificial intelligences. Their computer brains had impossible levels of processing powers and access to all manner of advanced technology from teleportation to matter-energy conversion to energy weaponry and shielding. They also had cloaking devices but for the mission set in front of them they were not allowed to use them as they would need their presence to stake out a suitable temple location.

Imperial ships were armed to the teeth with directed energy weapons and plasma gun turrets. Larger ships having more and more powerful weapons. Larger ships also carried flights of probe-class sentinels, which were under half the size of the corvette but had no associated Little One and were effectively slaved to the larger vessel. The destroyer had a flight of six of these probes and their use was to provide fighter escort and aid in information gathering.

The corvette had a centrally mounted energy beam emplacement. The destroy also had these, both in the smaller size category like that of the corvette, but also much larger anti-ship weapons in more centrally mounted locations. These weapons gave the impression on the locals that the two ships were dragons and over the centuries as they were making sure the plateau was perfect for the temple location, they were venerated as such to the closest of the civilizations.

Today was just like any other day for the corvette. A being from one of the distant civilizations was traveling through the alpine forest on the edge of the plateau. The being was hungry and was hunting for food. It spied one of the Little Ones and attempted to kill it. The corvette powered up its weapon systems. The destroyer blocked them. The being cowered in fear until the destroyer talked to it in its mind and explained the situation. The man would now leave the Little Ones alone.

“But it would have been an easy kill and bag. Why did you block my weapons?”

“Besides annihilating part of the forest for a single being?”

“It was about to kill my Little One!”

“The Little One is safe. Your processing systems know what the being was about to do a full ten minutes before it was going to execute its actions. You can project energy shields like any other ship. Even the probes. There’s nothing that being can do to penetrate your defensive projections.”

“Fine. Fine. Fine!”

“Furthermore, letting it go would send help send the message that the Little Ones are off limits. Killing the being would require significantly more deaths until they finally figure this out. And we’re here to build a diplomatic mission, not to annihilate the locals. If this was the case, Command would send a battlecruiser and be done with it.”

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