LOGLINE:

The Avengers meets Star Trek for Millennials & Gen Z

Join the Blue Variants as they explore in adventures of time, space and dimension.

A unified galaxy republic of heroes protect against a rogue coalition seeking to reverse the timeline for the survival of their Alien race.

To protect the timeline means some survive, but not all witness the future.

Chapter 1

Upon opening her eyes, Captain Kelley found herself staring up at the bright ceiling lights, her vision a bit blurry around the edges as she felt herself coming out of a mild stupor.

"I warned you about watching your left flank," spoke the vague outline of a person standing over her and off to one side.

Despite the aching alongside her head, Kelley found herself smiling. "And you told me that you'd tone down your biomechatronic servos."

"I did. And that was my other arm."

Kelley chuckled and sat up on the padded mat, shaking her head of bushy, thick hair. She took in the surrounding gym, where she and Alala were the only two members of the Victory's crew now working out. Neither wore their standard uniforms but sported red monotone workout clothes. "That was your non-enhanced arm? Glad you're on our side."

As Alala's blue hand reached out to pull her up onto her feet, Kelley heard the mechanical gears whirring in her first officer's arm. Members of the Surian race had no qualms about such enhancements, making some flippantly call them cyborgs. But such a term would hardly faze Alala, being a hard-as-nails martial artist.

Captain Kelley held out her brown-skinned hand, clasping the blue arm and allowing herself to be hoisted up. As she came almost face-to-face with Alala—who stood a couple of inches taller—she smiled at the blonde-haired woman's steely gaze, finding herself unable to tell which of Alala's eyes was cybernetic.

"Though if I may be so bold, Captain," Alala said while turning away, grabbing a small hand towel, and tossing it to her, "it would seem your mind wasn't truly focused. My guess is you're still dwelling on the accident with Martinez?"

Catching the towel, Kelley's smile vanished. "You had to remind me?"

"Hardly. You need to forget."

"Easier said than done." As Kelley dried off her sweaty neck and face, her mind drifted back to the incident that had lost her a crewman. She found it hard not to blame herself. In the weeks since then, Dr. Niles Harmon had told her to stop persecuting herself as it had begun to affect her judgment and command reflexes, which she couldn't afford, especially as the ship drew near its latest destination.

Kelley walked to a wall intercom and pressed the button next to the speaker. "Ensign Braxton, what's our ETA to the Jarellian settlement?"

The young, brash, eager man's voice responded. "At current warp, less than an hour. Shall I increase speed, Captain?"

Kelley smirked at Alala, who merely rolled her eyes. The ensign navigator was always asking to increase speed, much to the chagrin of their Chief Engineer, Nora Yates. Even when Braxton strolled down the corridors, he couldn't help but speed walk.

"No," Kelley responded, "that won't be necessary. Captain out." She clicked the button again and turned back to Alala. "Thanks for the workout. One of these days, I'll actually take you out."

"Of course, Captain." Despite the first officer's usually stoic facade, Kelley caught a glimmer of a smile, which wasn't surprising, as they both knew it would never happen with Alala's training and enhancements. Still, Kelley enjoyed their camaraderie and blowing off steam from the day-to-day decisions required of her in running the flagship of the Unified Coalition of Planets.

"I better go clean up in my quarters," Kelley said. "Assume you've had enough?"

"Affirmative."

As they both entered the corridor, Kelley couldn't help ribbing her friend. "You know, I believe Kyle Braxton has had his eye on you."

Alala scoffed. "On average, the men on my planet are two feet taller than him. I would never even consider such a little boy."

Kelley held her laughter in check. "I've heard the Jarellians are taller than the average human. When we beam down with a contingent crew, you'll have to tell me how they compare as I've never met a Surian male in person."

Without any levity, Alala turned toward her. "This routine mission you volunteered for our ship and crew—picking up orphans from the settlement—it means a lot to you, doesn't it?"

Upon reaching Kelley's quarters, they stopped, and Kelley nodded. "Having been an orphan myself, there's definitely a personal aspect to it."

"It's also a very… safe… mission. Little risk of anything going wrong."

At that, Kelley glared at her best friend, who was acting more like her first officer during their downtime. "Whatever it is you have to say, Commander, just spit it out." Her breathing grew shallow and her eyes narrowed.

She half-expected Alala to give her a mini-lecture about duty and not shirking from dangerous missions. So, she was taken aback when Alala simply gripped her shoulder and said, "Martinez's death wasn't your fault. No one thinks that but you." With that, the tall Surian released her and headed down the corridor.

Turning to her quarters, the door swished open and Kelley entered, where she felt welcomed by the familiar setting of a few abstract paintings and statuettes. She knew her first officer and Dr. Harmon were right; she would tell any crewman the same thing. But still, the Victory and its crew were under her watch, and she had been directly involved with Martinez during that away mission. She found it hard not to wonder that if her decisions had been different, then maybe they wouldn't be awaiting a replacement from UCP Command.

A few minutes later, after a sonic shower, Captain Kelley had changed into her uniform. She studied herself in the tall mirror, noting her two-toned blue suit with yellow highlights, violet boots, and broad eye visor that enabled her to get private computer readouts when necessary. She smirked at her dangling earrings, which certainly weren't standard issue, but as Captain, she didn't enforce such unimaginative restrictions on herself or others.

Suddenly, the ship rocked violently, and the lights flickered. She stumbled, catching herself against the dresser fastened to the wall. Instinctively, all self-doubt from thinking about Martinez vanished as her hand flew up to the communicator near her shoulder. "Bridge, report!"

"Captain!" came the voice of Lexi, the Chief Security Officer. "A preliminary spatial disturbance slammed into us! It emanated from several parsecs away, with more to follow. It dropped us out of warp, which we can't get back online. I've raised shields."

Kelley nodded to herself, grateful she had such a stellar team to respond to the unknown. She ran out of her quarters and down the corridor as Alala exited her room, now also in her Surian uniform of black and blue.

"How many more waves can we expect?" Kelley continued saying into her communicator while grabbing Alala by the arm and pulling her along, though it wasn't necessary as both women were now sprinting. "And will the continuing waves diminish or intensify?"

"Outer scanners," began Lexi, "are a bit hard to decipher as there's something strange about the waves—they don't seem to simply be energy pulses. And it appears they'll grow stronger until we're finally hit with the main burst from which they emanated."

Both Kelley and Alala entered the turbolift, the doors swishing closed behind them. "We'll be there soon, Lexi," Kelley replied. "Sound red alert. And see if you can get Auxiliary Control to boost our shields. And turn us into the waves to decrease the impact."

"Aye, Captain. Lexi out."

Kelley tapped her foot several times, as if she could mentally push the turbolift to move faster. Just as the red alert sirens began blaring, the ship rocked again, even more violently, throwing both her and Alala into the wall. After they both stood, the doors flew open.

Kelley strode out onto the bridge and gripped the handrail that ran around the upper floor. "Report!"

"Shields holding at 68 percent!" Lexi said from her security station to the left.

Lexi was a Fenabri, so rather than hair, she had tentacles coming out from the back side of her head and down to the middle of her back. Her yellowish face had almost fish-like features. Though she was quite short at just under five feet, everyone knew you never messed with a Fenabri or they would… change… making her role as the Head of Security a perfect fit.

"We've dropped to sub-warp," Braxton replied, spinning around in his chair near the front of the bridge. His usually young, eager expression beneath his neatly parted red hair was now a mask of panic as he looked to his captain for instructions.

"Just hold us steady, Mr. Kyle," Kelley said, waving a hand at his console to indicate he should remain focused on it.

"Captain," Alala said, who had relieved an ensign and was back at her station to Kelley's far right. "Next wave's impact is imminent. Twenty seconds."

"On screen," Kelley commanded.

After Braxton tapped a few buttons, the oval blue screen at the front of the room flared to life. For a second, all that could be seen was the vast darkness of space and distant glittering stars. Then suddenly, a white pulsating energy could be seen growing in the distance.

"Reynolds," Kelley said, turning to her immediate right at the bald communications officer, who was of Asian ancestry. "Give me ship-wide communications."

The expert linguistics officer's hands flew across the console. "Channel open."

Kelley gripped the railing in front of her and tensed. "This is the Captain speaking." She could almost hear her own voice echoing throughout the ship. "Brace for impact in…" She paused, looking to Alala, who held up four fingers. "… four seconds."

Planting her feet, Kelley watched as everyone gripped their console. The white energy wave grew impossibly fast and struck them hard; she only barely held onto the railing as the ship reared back, creaking and groaning under the strain.

"Shields holding, but now down to 22 percent!" Lexi shouted as the lights flickered. "Auxiliary Control is trying to give us more for the next wave!"

Kelley strode around the railing and sat in her command chair at the center of room. "Reynolds," she barked, spinning in her chair. "Any ship or personnel damage from the first wave that hit us when shields were down? Or subsequent damage since then?"

"Only shuttlebay reports minor damage to aft bulkhead, but no causalities or injuries."

Sighing a breath of relief, Kelley spun back to face the front. "How many more of these do we have to withstand?"

"Only the last one that created these shockwaves," Alala said in her infuriatingly calm voice. "But it's…" The Surian paused at her station and slowly turned around. "Let's just hope Auxiliary can give us a lot more."

"Lexi?" Kelley asked, turning.

With a somber expression, Lexi merely shook her head. "Sorry, Captain." Kelley had never seen a Fenabri look so defeated; in fact, she wasn't even sure their species had a word for it. "But they've only been able to bump us up to 31 percent."

Kelley slammed a fist onto her console chair as she stared in shock at the massive, white, rippling wave in the distance that was quickly growing larger. "Yates! Unless you can divert all power—including Life Support—into our shields, then we'll have no need for Life Support!"

"Working!" came the exasperated cry from Engineering. After a few seconds, which seemed much longer, Yates finally replied. "That's all I've got for you, Captain. If it's not enough…"

The sentence hung there, remaining unfinished. Kelley turned to Lexi, who merely shook her head. Kelley glanced again at Alala, busy at her controls. As if the Surian could sense Kelley's gaze, Alala turned back around, her face impassive and lacking all hope.

"Braxton," Kelley muttered, panic rising in her voice as she stood and stared over the navigator's shoulder to study his panel for herself. "Is warp drive still offline? No chance of outrunning the wave?"

"Sorry, Captain," Braxton's meager voice stammered. "Warp is completely inoperative from the first wave that hit us when our shields were down."

Without a word, Kelley slowly stepped back and sat in her command chair. "Reynolds," she muttered in almost a whisper, "Ship-wide communications again. Please."

With a wavery voice, Reynolds muttered, "Ready."

"Crew of the Victory…" Kelley began, her voice calm. In those few seconds, a myriad of phrases came to her, but all seemed far too inadequate for their final moments together with all options spent. Instead, she gripped the sides of her command chair, knuckles turning white. As she glared in defiance at the swelling energy wave, she hissed out, "Brace. For. Impact."