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4 Captain Argentear

 It wasn't until Ivan's stomach grumbled in displeasure that he realized he hadn't eaten anything for the past fifty millennia. The hyperspace gravitational sonar was operating under an automatic system and would alert Mazur and himself should any threat be detected.

"I'm going to have a look around," Ivan stated but Mazur simply waved his hand to express his disinterest in accompanying.

Ivan left the bridge and rather than taking the linear elevator, decide to walk and get a feel of the ship. He walked through the passageways and inspected each part of the ship.

The largest part of the ship, occupying nearly fifty percentage of the ships space, was a massive storage warehouse. It was empty at the moment with the exception of a few shipping crates worth of food and fuel. There were several hovercrafts for travelling along a planets surface, as well as two heavy duty hoverlifts for loading and unloading the cargo. Finally there were a large amount of reinforced steel cages for holding wild beasts.

The next largest were the private quarters. There were a hundred private room and another hundred communal with four people per room. The ship is designed to function with a crew of 500, but most of those are repair and maintenance crew, which Mazur decided to go without as he is capable of repairing anything on the ship himself.

Ivan simply chose a random room near the front of the quarters and registered it to his hand print. There was only Mazur on this ship so it wasn't necessary, but Ivan had developed a habit of security when he sleeps due to memories from the Galactic Fleet Captain. The one was the same as the rest, with a basic bed, several cabinets and drawers, a television, and finally an information and communication terminal.

At the rear of the ship was the engine room. Ivan looked up at the massive Sol Reactor that looked like a dead ball of black steel, but he knew that inside several containment fields within the reactor was a highly pressurized hydrogen fusion reaction. Inside it was essentially a pseudo star, hence the name; Sol Reactor.

Ivan also found the armory, which had several weapons in case of 'self defense' as Mazur often puts it. He helped himself to a standard Cobalt M32 Pistol and Rattle PP3 Plasma Rifle. This wasn't the type of pistol that Ivan used to know, but one which shot armor piercing compressed lead rounds. These were highly effective against people using personal energy shields. The plasma rifle shoots a compressed charge of plasma capable of firing once every three seconds and capable of putting a hole the size of a fist through almost anything.

The kitchen, or 'mess' in Ivan's memory, was a reasonably large room capable of sitting nearly a hundred people at a time. Ivan felt a little lonely in such a large space by himself as he found several fridges in the food preparation area at the back. He was saved the embarrassment of making food with unfamiliar items though as he also managed to operate the automated food preparation service to make him a meal out of the stocked ingredients.

"Hmm, it's a little bland," Ivan mumbled disappointedly to himself after tasting the pasta Bolognese-like dish presented before him.

"Ivan, we are about to arrive at our destination. Come back to the bridge," Mazur's wizened voice sounded across the internal communication line inside the mess.

"On my way."

Ivan scoffed the last of his food and took a linear elevator back to the bridge. He was just in time and operated the reverse thrusters and dropped out of hyperspace just outside of the Oberon Solar System.

"A bit closer and we would have dropped out of hyperspace inside the solar system. The Galactic Fleet's Hyperspace Defense Shield would have turned us to dust," Mazur cackled to himself, getting kicks out of how close they were to instant annihilation.

Meanwhile Ivan had beads of cold sweat on his forehead. If he had knwon there was a HDS over this solar system, he would have opted to drop out of hyperspace at least a light hour away. He quickly operated the reverse thrusters to slow the ship down to half of light speed in order to avoid activating the Kelbert-Izac Particles spread throughout the solarsystems and running into a figurative impenetrable wall at speeds measurable against light.

Ivan glanced across the holographic monitors several times as they flew deeper into the solar system. His tension was high throughout the next hour as they approached Oberon II, the second planet within the system.

"Deep space radars are picking up a signal of an incoming battleship. It's the Galactic Fleet and they've already locked onto us. Don't let me down Ivan, or we are both as good as dead," Mazur nonchalantly stated while glancing over several of the ships radars.

On the monitors, a massive battleship several kilometres in length appeared from the nightscape heading toward the Poseidon. It had large arrays of XMP multi-barrel torpedo launchers, 155mm Anti-Mechanoid Impulse Guns, and a pair of Armstrong Mk IV Positron Cannons for direct annihilation of anything made of matter.

An incoming call appeared on the monitor which Ivan hastily accepted. An image of a regal captain in his early thirties appeared on the screen. His short black hair made a sharp contrast to the two silver stripes on his shoulders. A pair of pointed ears and aesthetically pleasing face told him that he was a human specie 'elf'. Despite his looks, he could be seen as a young captain though, and Ivan felt an instinctive jealousy toward just how young he was.

"This is Captain Grant Argentear of the Galactic Fleet. You are currently in a restricted area, state your purpose immediately."

"Captain Argentear, this is Captain Ons under orders from my direct superior to patrol through the surrounding several galaxies in order to draw out any pirates hiding. This is a tactic proposed by the latest movement against the scourges."

Captain Argentear frowned slightly before replying, "Your vessel is not registered to the military. I also have not heard of such an operation taking place, nor have our radars detected any fleet destroyers or battleship nearby to support the destruction of any potential pirate fleets. What is your military personnel identification number, Captain? We need to verify your identity, please be aware that impersonating any military personnel is a crime punishable by up to ten years of incarceration."

"My identification number is E47-MF915A-B337," Ivan said resolutely and prayed the video quality wasn't good enough to see the sweat on his forehead. "We are aware that this is a dangerous operation, but it is the politicians above that make these decisions. Our ship has been customized to have most systems automated in order to reduce crew requirements. This way we still follow the orders of the higher up, but also protects our comrades."

The video and sound cut off as the Galactic Fleet battleship ran a verification before unmuting the channel Captain Argentear replied, "You're identity has been verified, Captain. I pray you remain safe during this mission, this is going to be a dangerous year. Should you require reinforcements, send out a distress beacon and we will come immediately."

"Many thanks for your concern, Captain," Ivan nodded his head slightly before closing the communication line.

"You did well, you must have been quite successful before stasis," Mazur nodded in admiration before moving back to his controls and making several minor adjustments to the ships vector depending on the responses of the long-range scanners.

"You have no idea," Ivan sighed helplessly and also continued to monitor from the commander's chair.

The star at the center of the solar system gradually got closer, and Ivan saw the outline of a brown and blue planet against the light. The planet only magnified as they got closer to the point it became a massive giant orbiting everything below the Poseidon.

"Ahh, truly beautiful," Mazur sighed as he looked at the life planet.

"Earth was beautiful, this is... somewhat decent," Ivan couldn't help but rebut.

Mazur rolled his eyes and simply stated, "The birthplace of the human race? That planet became nothing but a barren, dry rock fifty thousand years ago. It was sucked so dry scientific analysis can no longer deem it as a 'life planet'. This planet however is full of life. Extremely valuable, life extending life."

Ivan felt that Mazur's ideal of beauty somewhat differed from what he was imagining, but stayed silent and aided Mazur in flying the ship to descend through the planet's atmosphere. The artificial gravity system also doubled as a gravity neutralization device, so the Poseidon descended safely with only a minor amount of friction with the atmosphere. The main cause of the friction is the fact that Oberon II had a very dense atmosphere, to the point the sun burned red through the atmosphere and the sky was yellow for most of the day.

The artificial gravity within the ship was turned off and replaced with the gravity of the planet. Ivan had already seen on the planetary monitors when entering the atmosphere the gravity here was 1.6G, but it was still a massive burden to suddenly be placed under such pressure. Mazur meanwhile was perfectly fine and seemed unaffected, but this is precisely what he meant when he said Ivan, as a pure human, was considerably weak.

The Poseidon's landing gear operated under an automated systems and several legs extended from the base of the ship as it landed on the dusty planet.