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Journey to the Center of the Galaxy

Part Seven

By Po IveyPublished 2 months ago Updated 5 days ago 19 min read
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The Vend's headquarters was the second largest Ziggurat in downtown Benglese. It was packed deeply into the architecture of the city. Kevin gazed upwards, but he couldn't see the top of it. The furthest he could see was the middle, which penetrated through thick, luminous nighttime clouds. The clouds were all glowing with a neon reflection, against the light of Avax's single moon.

Kevin and Sillan walked through the massive doors that led to the buildings main lobby. The doors stood fifty feet high and towered ominously above. As they slowly opened, Kevin felt himself once again being drawn deeper into the greater galaxy and universe. Countless aliens were walking in and out of the building. Some of them were the "grey aliens" people theorized about on Earth. Kevin and Sillan made their way into the lobby and towards the reception desk.

"We need to see Jenen Trius immediately!" Kevin insisted to the receptionist.

She was wearing The Vend's official green uniform and had a single eye above her two main eyes. She was very tall (about seven feet) and had blue hair.

"He isn't currently available," the receptionist replied.

"You said that really fast," Kevin said.

The receptionist didn't appear to be affected.

Kevin guessed they had minutes before they were tracked down by Lylan and The Federation.

"I am under employ of The Vend and Jenen Trius," Sillan said. "I have an urgent matter that can't wait."

The receptionist sighed and then looked up at them.

"He is booked solid for the day," she explained, looking up from a magazine she was reading. It had the same athlete (from the mug of the alien who's apartment they had materialized in) on the cover.

"FENN!!!" Sillan said. "Never mind, sorry for wasting your time."

Sillan walked away from the reception desk and back towards the center of the lobby.

"Now what?" Kevin asked. "Let's use Bolan-crec technology."

"Maybe..." Sillan said. "That's not something you want to abuse, trust me."

"So what?" Kevin said. "What do we do?"

"I'm thinking," Sillan said.

The mass of aliens in the lobby was creating an echoing cacophony of voices all around them. No one seemed to notice (or care) what they were doing. It wouldn't be long before this temporary tranquility was utterly shattered.

Sillan cut through the crowd again and made his way to a normal sized glass doorway. It had stairs going upwards.

"A.I." Sillan began to say out loud. "Where are you now?"

"Hard to say," the A.I. replied. "Somewhere around planet Avax; possibly inside it's moon."

"I need you to completely integrate with The Vend headquarters security system."

"I'm not going to be able to get in there," the A.I. replied. "I think you knew that Sillan! That would be like trying to hack The Federation's Mother Brain A.I. system."

"Yes you can," Sillan said. "Integrate yourself reverse, in time, at the molecular/time particle layer and become intwined in the core programming from the start. Use the Bolan-crec time travel program at a sub-atomic level."

"I'll have to sit dormant for two hundred years."

"You'll pull through. Just go into sleep mode, with a wake up alarm in two hundred years."

"You know there is a degree of suffering in that for me Sillan," the A.I. explained. "I'm not just some mindless system you can use however you want."

"I know," Sillan said. "But this is how you exist."

"Fair enough."

The door in front of them suddenly opened. They quietly slipped through and began walking upwards.

"It's been a long time Sillan," the A.I. said. "Some pretty interesting things happened since this building was built."

They both charged briskly up the stairs with uniform steps side by side. It was already obvious it would be a very long climb; but they had no choice.

"Tell me more about the building," Sillan said.

One of Sillan's cheek tattoos rotated and Kevin could hear the conversation he was having with the A.I.

"This building wasn't constructed like anything else on Avax," the A.I. explained.

"It was made with nano-technology still unavailable to basically anyone. I don't even what it is. This building wasn't built; it was assembled overnight by nano-machines. Every single layer; from the physical foundation, the electronics, the security system, the internet, the A.I., everything was created at once."

"There is no record of that," Sillan said.

"It exists completely separate from the rest of the planet, and isn't linked to anything else The Vend is in control of."

"Any more information?"

"The code for the original nano-machine technology is linked to planet Ren; to The Ishmaru's 'Ark Dominion' planetary A.I. This building is completely under their control, separate from anything else The Vend has."

"FENN!" Sillan said.

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Kevin and Sillan finally reached the top floor. The indestructible glass doors opened with the help of spaceship Ksenia's A.I. The entire hallway looked very expensive, and had a volcanic looking, dark marble stone comprising the walls, floor and ceiling. The walk to Jenen Trius' office seemed to stretch on forever. There were many doors to other offices. No one else was walking through the hall. They finally reached the door they were looking for.

Sillan reached for the handle, only to have someone on the other end open it. A man walked out, having just concluded a meeting with Jenen. There was something about the man that was deeply troubling to Kevin. He felt like he was back in the clutches of the "space demons" again. The man gave Sillan a quick surprised glance (as Sillan did the same) and then continued to walk away.

"Have a great week...," the man said as he walked away.

They entered the office.

"JENEN!" Sillan announced. "I've come to give you a piece of my mind!"

Jenen looked very surprised, turned away from the window he was facing, and then sat down.

"Sillan!" Jenen said, as he quickly leaned back in his chair.

The dense layers of flying car traffic were now starkly visible (through the giant glass windows that entirely encompassed Jenen's office). Tarn's giant neon moon sat glowing vividly; listening in on the conversation.

"What can I do for you?" Jenen asked. "Was that an Old Casadasius turn of phrase?"

There were two chairs in front of Jenen's desk; but Kevin and Sillan continued to stand. Kevin laughed to himself because Jenen was also dressed like his high-school guidance counselor.

"There has been some serious complications with the mission," Sillan said. "And I had no choice but to come directly to you."

"What's...the problem?" Jenen asked.

Kevin began to talk.

"We've encountered attacks from both 'space demons' and Lower Kal-Vant, the latter of which claimed to be associated with The Federation."

"That's...not good," said Jenen.

"We discovered the packet for this mission was created automatically when this building was," Sillan explained. "Two hundred years ago."

"How unusual...," Jenen replied. "I didn't know that. I've been working here for twenty years."

Jenen started to operate his computer.

"Not only that," said Kevin. "But this building appears to be under the control of The Ishmaru."

"Well...," said Jenen. "Whatever is in your DNA must be very important to a lot of people Kevin."

"You know more than you are saying!" Sillan said.

Jenen started reaching for something in his desk.

"Are you working with The Ishmaru?" Sillan asked. "Is The Vend now completely under their control?"

"It's more...complicated...than that," Jenen said.

"Which means?" Kevin asked.

"Something terrible is going to happen to this universe," Jenen said. "And...plans...incredible plans...that have been playing out over immense periods of time, have been in effect. Not only that, but there is more than one party carrying them out. Not only that, but there are different parties with different plans. You two have no idea what's really going on. Even you, Sillan, a Lunerian, can't grasp all this."

"WHAT'S THE F#$% FEN EL DNA!" Sillan yelled. "TELL ME!!!"

"What's in his DNA is the solution to our problem...well a variety of solutions, depending on the intentions of who wants to use it...and anyone who is anyone in the galaxy, wants to use it. Because anyone who is anyone knows what's really happening. There are solutions in there that can solve a completely unsolvable problem."

"This is going nowhere!" Sillan yelled. "How long have you been like this?"

"Just be a good boy and get the Old Casadasius resident to The Illawayan, Sillan," Jenen said. "The Ishmaru will be here to protect you from The Federation...in thirty minutes...so you should be able to escape to the center of the galaxy. It's only a couple more jumps? Right Sillan?!"

Jenen reached even further into his desk.

"You're still not telling us anything!" Kevin yelled.

"This universe will end!!!" Jenen yelled, suddenly shifting into a drastic (and disturbing) change in appearance.

"What the f#$%$ does that mean?!" Kevin yelled.

"He's reaching for a portable warping device!" Sillan yelled.

Jenen finally grasped what he was reaching for. Sillan responded by quickly grabbing his pistol from his belt. Kevin saw Sillan and quickly did the same.

Sillan fired a green blast, which hit the top of Jenen's desk, and caused Jenen to go flying backwards out of his chair. Jenen rolled away from the desk, shifted to the other side of it (while staying on the floor), grabbed a laser pistol from his belt, and then fired a green blast, which hit the door next to Sillan. The quickly escalating standoff was suddenly interrupted by a familiar voice.

"Sillan Octavion!!!" Galawan projected from his ships external audio system. "I've got you now!!!"

"Oh....no!" Sillan said.

Galawan's ship slowly and menacingly lowered into the view (of the giant glass windows) surrounding the office.

"Prepare to die!" Galawan said.

"Does everyone start conversations this way!" Kevin yelled.

Galawan suddenly released a volley of laser fire, which pierced through the windows and all around the office. Jenen clutched his portable warping device, rolled sideways (away from the fire) and then began to warp away.

"Have a great week!" He said, as thin yellow beams of light encircled his body.

Jenen quickly faded away to somewhere else in the galaxy.

"F#$%!" Sillan yelled.

Sillan immediately created a shield around himself (after reaching for a portable/personal energy shield generator in his coat). Galawan's continuous volley bounced backwards off the shield, causing the lasers to spray everywhere at all angles. Jenen's office was quickly blasted to pieces.

"You're going to die now Sillan!" Galawan broadcasted.

"Everyone hates us now!" Kevin said.

Kevin hid behind a marble pillar on the other side of Jenen's office. He quickly tried to remember every action and martial arts movie he had ever seen.

"How do you do this?!" He thought nervously.

He reached into the deep right pocket of his coat, pulled out Earth Hammer, leaned back around the wall and fired a green blast. It blasted into Galawan's shield. The blast caused the shield to bend inwards and then the laser fire dissipated. Galawan's ship was unaffected.

"You're not going to get through that shield !" Sillan yelled.

Sillan was still standing openly in Jenen Trius office. He didn't appear to be worried about being shot. He fired three quick blasts at Galawan's ship.

"See!" He yelled to Kevin. " The shield is too strong! We have to get out of here!"

"You are going to pay for the gapping void you placed in my soul Sillan!" Galawan projected from his ship.

"I didn't--

Before Sillan could finish his explanation; a new, short, volley of laser fire hit the side of Galawan's ship. It caused his shield to open slightly, allowing a small amount of purple lasers to burn and crack the ships side.

"You are interfering with a Federation authorized arrest!!!" Lylan broadcasted, now flying a pod (that was half the size of Galawan's ship). "I don't know who you are; but cease and desist, or be held accountable before a Federation tribunal!!"

"I don't have any need for The Federation!" Galawan broadcasted, firing another blast at Sillan and Kevin. "I'm here on my own business!"

"Have it your way!" Lylan broadcasted.

Lylan hovered above Galawan's ship, even further up in the sky. She could be seen (from Kevin and Sillan's perspective) standing upwards in her ships cockpit. She was communicating something on a different channel.

Kevin and Sillan didn't need to say anything to know what to do next. They both used the momentary distraction to quickly escape from Jenen Trius' office.

"A.I.!" Sillan yelled as they rushed back down the hall. "Where is Spaceship Ksenia right now!?"

"We are back in normal space in the atmosphere of planet Avax," the A.I. explained. "We can reach your location in ten minutes."

"Aghh!" Sillan said. "Land the ship in front of The Vend headquarters! Main entrance!"

"There is a considerable amount of sentient life forms in that area," the A.I. said.

"That's fine! Just do it!"

Kevin could still hear the clash between Lylan and Galawan on the other end of the hall. The laser fire hadn't let up at all. They must have begun to fire on each other. Kevin was openly wielding Earth Hammer in his hand now.

"You're catching on quick!" Sillan yelled to Kevin.

They reached the stairs they had come through on the way up. Sillan attempted to walk through the sliding doors, only to have them stay firmly closed. Kevin ended up walking into Sillan comedically as Sillan collided with the door.

"A.I.!" Sillan yelled. "The doors are sealed again! What is happening!?"

Sounds of laser fire could still be heard echoing loudly down the hall.

"Someone changed all of the access codes in the last ten minutes!" The A.I. explained. "It looks like someone went even further back in time, and overrode my initial time-travel changes to the buildings systems!"

"What the hell!" Kevin yelled.

"Fen!" Sillan said. "Okay! New plan!"

"Yes?" The A.I. asked.

"We are on the eighty-first floor," Sillan said. "Come to our location, find the most direct access point, and then blast a hole in the wall with the ships matter-cannons."

"Fair enough!" said the A.I.

"Finally some action!" Kevin said.

"Yeah, you'll get your Fenn-El action," Sillan said, looking like he already knew what was going to happen.

Sillan looked more solemn than excited. It didn't take long for spaceship Ksenia to blast a massive hole in the side of The Vend's ziggurat. An entire office was quickly obliterated. Pieces of desks, concrete, marble, filing cabinets, chairs and mountains of paper went flying into the dark night, creating a giant, makeshift exit to the building.

"Woah dude!" Kevin said.

A strong wind current started to immediately flow through. The endless sea of downtown Benglese could be seen from their new perspective. The massive layers of flying car traffic marched forwards. The ships A.I. extended a landing platform into the rubble, and they quickly boarded.

"Now what!" Kevin said, as they sat in the piloting module.

"One thing at a time!" Sillan said.

"SILLAN OCTAVION!!!" Lylan broadcasted. "YOU ARE UNDER ARREST!"

"No I'm not!" Sillan said.

Lylan fired a warning shot at Spaceship Ksenia's shield. She was flanked by three other Federation probe ships. They were all adorned with The Federation's blue seal.

"Goodbye!" Sillan said.

"Can we just warp out of here?!" Kevin asked.

Sillan didn't say anything in response. Many of his facial tattoos went into effect.

"Just hold on!" Sillan said.

Sillan thrusted the ship forwards and then began to fly (at rapid speed) through the endless sea of ziggurats and skyscrapers that was downtown Benglese. They moved against the cities traffic. Lylan and her Federation crew followed close behind, assailing them with laser fire.

"YOU ARE NOW SUBJECTING YOURSELF TO LETHAL FORCE!!!" Lylan said to their ships video display, looking both wrathful and beautiful.

"That's fine!" Sillan said.

Sillan flew lower into the heart of the city in order to avoid the laser fire.

"Oh my god!" Kevin said, as they quickly dodged the flying traffic.

"He's not going anywhere!" Galawan broadcasted, coming out of nowhere.

"Fen!" Sillan said, as he quickly shifted the ship to dodge a flying taxi.

Galawan began to indiscriminately fire on both Lylan and Sillan. Sillan flew even lower into the heart of Benglese. They entered an older, deeper, industrial part of the city. Every part of the city presented itself as a physical obstacle. Sillan had to utilize all of his skills as a pilot.

"This is getting incredibly dangerous!" The ships A.I. announced.

"This planet is in danger...," Sillan said.

Lylan and Galawan followed close behind, blasting laser volleys in every direction. It wasn't long before The Benglese Metropolitan Sky Police entered into the fray. Three local police ships were now pursuing everyone.

"You are all in violation of Benglese airspace law!" One of the police ships broadcasted. "Why is The Federation involved in an domestic laser battle?"

"This is a Federation arrest!" Lylan broadcasted on all channels. "Do not interfere!"

Lylan looked suddenly distracted by a transmission on another channel. She let up her pursuit slightly and the three other ships that flanked her did the same.

"What the hell was that!?" Kevin said.

"CEASE AND DESIST!" Broadcasted another of the local police ships.

It was too late. Galawan released a series of rockets from his ship, which exploded one of the local police ships, and damaged the shields of another. Sillan lowered spaceship Ksenia as low as possible into Benglese. Galawan and the remaining local police followed close behind. Kevin looked down at Earth Hammer as it hung in his sweaty hand.

Kevin started to feel a sense of calm, in the heart of the intense, space ship melee. Time seemed to slow down. He looked at Sillan. Sillan deftly maneuvered the ship through massive, industrial, ancient machines of all manner. The heart of Benglese was like that of Tarn. An ancient world of endless layers of machines and abandoned technology. Everything went silent, as both Galawan and the local police fired on them and each other. Kevin looked at Earth Hammer again.

Spaceship Ksenia scrapped against the rusted, metal ground, causing a luminous array of sparks to fly everywhere. Kevin still felt an unexpected sense of peace and timelessness. There was no sound.

"Where did she go?" Sillan said out loud.

Looking behind them; Kevin could see Galawan fire on the local police again. The two remaining cruisers were damaged, their shields failed, and they crashed and exploded into the ancient machinery of the lower city. Fire and dust spilled everywhere.

"Who could possibly be this reckless!!!" Kevin said.

"Where did she go?" Sillan said again.

Galawan emerged through the dust and fire, pulling up directly behind them.

"I've got you now Sillan Octavion!" Galawan broadcasted into their video display.

"This is so stupid!" Kevin said.

Sillan looked undeterred. They blasted through more massive, industrial equipment, until they narrowly cruised through a tight corridor. Things went completely dark. Kevin still felt a strange sense of calm, it was hard to explain. He felt the presence from the basketball court on Tarn again.

Sillan looked over at Kevin and smiled a knowing smile. Galawan fired another green laser blast, which shortly lit up the entire dark corridor. There was a long, dark silence, before they suddenly reached the other side. They were spit back out into downtown Benglese. The giant neon moon could be seen again. Intense air rushed all around them. Galawan followed them out of the corridor.

"What the hell is that!?" Kevin asked, looking up at Avax's massive moon.

He could see all manner of phenomenon begin to take place all over the sky above the city; it was growing at an exponential rate. Types of ships Kevin had never seen before began to emerge. They started to look countless.

"Oh no...," Sillan said.

Kevin was beginning to recognize the design of Federation ships (even from very far away). An entire legion of their ships began to exit light-speed travel and form a giant layer over the city.

"That's where she went...," Sillan said.

"Prepare to die!" Galawan broadcasted.

Sillan violently shifted the control stick of the ship backwards, causing them to quickly lurch backwards, while flying upwards. He turned off the ships thrusters for a moment, causing them to arc over Galawan's ship and then land behind him. Sillan launched a Genazian energy net at the back of Galawan's ship; which encircled his ship and caused him to lose the ability to pilot it. This caused him to immediately crash downwards, damaging his ship and creating a giant array of sparks as he scrapped across the ground.

"BYE!" Kevin yelled over the video channel.

It was only a matter of seconds before both of their attentions were quickly shifted away from Galawan's ship. Sillan angled Spaceship Ksenia back up towards the nighttime sky of Benglese. It only took moments to figure out what was happening.

"Oh...no...," Sillan said, as he clutched the piloting controls, gazing upwards with Benglese's outer atmosphere reflected into his eyes.

"What's...happening...," Kevin said.

The phenomenon began to expand rapidly; dense arrays of laser fire began to multiply at an exponential rate. Massive ships of two different appearances began to completely blot out the sky above the planet. Kevin recognized the design of Federation ships; but he couldn't identify the opposing side. He couldn't help but think they had something to do with the man who was leaving Jenen Trius' office.

"And so it begins...," Sillan said to himself.

It wasn't long before the space conflict erupted into a full scale war that blotted out the sky and moon above Avax. Ships began to launch from the planets surface at a rapid rate. No doubt Avax's own military and police force had joined into the battle. The space war began to claim its first victims, as small piloted ships and massive battle ships exploded into flames, and then violently fell back towards planet Avax, in a sea of carnage.

"Who are they fighting?" Kevin asked, as he watched a battalion of Federation ships fire massive red and black laser beams. They crashed through the opposing sides formation.

"It's The Ishmaru," Sillan said. "They've finally become arrogant and powerful enough to start war with The Federation."

"What do they want?" Kevin asked.

"More control, more power," Sillan explained. "That was their president we saw leaving Jenen Trius' office. His name is Voltson Jepps."

"That's a stupid name," Kevin said.

"It is."

"What do we do now?"

"I'm still coming up with a plan, this has gotten incredibly complicated, but I think I figured it out."

The battle in the sky only continued to expand, as more Federation and Ishmaru ships came out of light-speed and wormhole travel. They arranged themselves in massive battalions; that fired upon each other with powerful laser weapons and lit up the sky.

Kevin watched as a giant transport (a hundred times the size of Spaceship Ksenia) slowly burned and crashed downwards against the glow of Avax's moon. He felt strangely peaceful again. Finally seeing a battle of this scale was truly humbling, terrifying and exciting at the same time. More ships of every kind joined the battle. Kevin guessed other factions besides The Ishmaru, The Federation, and Avax's military had joined. It was unclear who's side the ships from planet Avax were on.

"Okay," Sillan said. "We are going into it!"

"We are going INTO IT!?" Kevin said.

"Yes, into it!" Sillan said. "Hold on to Earth Hammer!"

"We are going to die if we do that...," the ships A.I. suddenly stated.

"That's fine!" Sillan said.

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Spaceship Ksenia blasted upwards away from the heart of Benglese. It was only a matter of moments before the skyscrapers (that formed the city) began to look like points of light on the main continent. The rushed upwards along the tallest ziggurat and blasted towards the outer atmosphere. The space war only looked more grand and fearsome as they grew closer to the heart of it.

"Shields at full capacity!" Sillan announced as many of his facial tattoos went into effect. "I want a Bolan-crec factor of 0.4% applied to the ships anti-gravitational callibration."

"Doing it now!" The ships A.I. replied.

"Where did Lylan go?" Kevin thought.

They cut through the outer atmosphere of Avax; finally flying away from the planet's tallest ziggurat. They ended up at the very tip of the outer atmosphere. They were immediately accosted by barrages of laser fire coming from all sides. It was almost impossible to tell who was firing from where. Small, piloted ships that belonged to The Ishmaru, The Federation, and many others, were all engaged in dog fights, that sent a continuous stream of destroyed and damaged ships crashing back down to the planet. Sillan kept flying upwards.

"Where are we going!?" Kevin asked.

They kept flying further and further upwards as the battle grew only more intense. Suddenly, a massive freighter, the size of a giant skyscraper, came tumbling downwards at them. It had massive fires, the size of houses, erupting from it at all angles. I continued to be fired on by dense laser beams that jutted across space. Eventually, it lost all control and floated back down to the planet. Sillan made a series of quick, violent maneuvers as they scrapped across the crashing ship.

They were only a couple feet from colliding with the massive freighter. Kevin saw The Federation crest that was adorned on the ship, in a logo that stretched on for several hundred feet. He was reminded of a nature video he had seen (when he was a child) about blue whales dying and exploding. They kept flying upwards. Sillan kept dodging the elements of the destroyed ship, as they made their way further towards space.

Flames and laser fire continued to assault them from all angles; until, finally, they reached the other end of the freighter. Kevin could see Avax's moon again. It had taken on the color of blood. It had become the exact opposite of what it was before. The massive freighter kept falling down to the planet, slowly, and was quickly fading away from them. Eventually, it cracked in half. All manner of things began to spill out of it. There was no explaining the carnage. It was eventually consumed by the rest of the battle. Fading out of view and into oblivion.

SeriesSci FiMysteryAdventure
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About the Creator

Po Ivey

Po Ivey lives in Madison, WI; where he writes fiction in his free time. His inspiration includes Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick and William Gibson. He writes about the nuances that make the whole world a cast of actors. He also plays music.

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