Authors: Jeff Sims
Tags: #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Science Fiction, #Alien Invasion, #First Contact, #Space Opera
The Solarian Celebration
Book 3 of the Alliance Conflict
By Jeff Sims
I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks to everyone that helped me with this book.
© 2016 by Jeff Sims
All rights reserved. No part may be copied or reproduced in any manner or by any means without prior written permission by the author.
Cover art by Anthonie Williams
The Solarian Celebration is a work of fiction. All names, places, characters, and events are products of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously. For more information, visit
Chart of known hyperspace lanes
The chart shows the hyperspace connections and relative distances. It does not necessarily show the physical location of the system in space. The shaded ovals contain a planet with intelligent life. The ‘S’ Denotes a secret route and a secret, habitable planet.
Many more systems have been charted, but only the ones relevant to the story are shown.
Time Chart for hyperspace lanes
Carank – Brilliant Scientist
Dolen – Admiral of the home fleet. Stationed on
Frank – Alliance Senate member
Figur – Alliance Senate member
Lexxi – Retired Alliance Naval Officer
Solear – Admiral (in reserve)
Clowy – Retired Alliance Naval Officer
Lorano – Brilliant scientist
Korno – Alliance Senate member
Amy Weisman – President of Victory Games
Jim Donovan (Pinball) – Captain of the
Russ Brand (Rush) – Pilot of the
First Squadron - Edward Williams (Ace), Gus Swanson
Alpha Squadron – Chris Armstrong (Kip), Ralph Dellman (Rubie)
Engineers – Colin O’Neal, Becky Matthews, Ben, Mike, John
Blifgot’ne (Bline) – Ambassador to the Alliance
Fruid’la – Admiral in the Hiriculan Navy
Loid’pe – Sewage engineer, stationed in Solaria
Lopeq’la – Admiral in the Hiriculan Navy
Prued’mo – Disgruntled doctor
Victor Bullpeep (Tyrano on Earth) – Captain of the mini-freighter
Crista Bullpeep – Victor’s wife
Ella Birdsong - Retired Alliance Naval Officer
Jack Dogbarks – Captain of the mini-freighter
Circa 3,900 years earlier. Conversation is in an alien language:
“They must never know what we did here. Are you certain we have erased all evidence of our presence?”
“Yes. Everything has been erased. There is only one thing left to do.” He targeted the navigational beacon with a defensive laser and destroyed it.
“What about those we are leaving behind?”
“They will live their lives here. There are worse things I suppose.”
“Then the age of imperialism is truly coming to an end.”
“The people have spoken.”
“What if someone finds out later?”
“We are on the outer edge of the known galaxy. No one is ever going to come this way again. Exploration is simply too expensive.”
“No, I mean what if someone can’t keep a secret.”
“There are only a handful of beings that know besides us and none of them are going to talk about it. In a generation, maybe two, the secret will be forgotten.”
Frank looked at himself in the mirror. He didn’t like the look of the person staring back at him. It was his eyes, he decided. Specifically, it was the worry lines forming on the outside of his eyes. The past three days had been filled with near endless meetings about the loss of the Advranki fleet in Influenla.
The initial report had been sent only to the Alliance Senate members. It read - Influenla was a trap. Armada captured.
the lone exception. The surviving crew members are going to be transported to Hiricula for trial. They received a later update from the
had been attacked and heavily damaged in Trilon, but had managed to escape.
The second message also noted that
r’s two squadrons of pilots had been stationed on the
during the battle. Therefore, the only silver lining to the whole debacle was that the Hiriculans didn’t learn that there were humans serving in the Alliance fleet.
It takes 8 hours to jump from Opron to Conron, so the 10 -1 time dilation in hyperspace gave the Senate 80 hours of advanced notice. The Senate decided to wait the three days until the
reached Conron before making the announcement. This gave them time to craft a clever response to the situation and help assure everyone that they are in control.
Unfortunately, the hour of
arrival was at hand and a clever response was not. Frank rubbed out the wrinkles out of his eyes with his index finger. He backed away from the mirror and stopped. The lines were still there. Frank opened a drawer and retrieved his harmonic decollagenator and rubbed it in the offending areas. He checked his appearance in the mirror again. Perfect.
Frank and the other 7 senators assembled on the steps of the Senate building and started the press conference. Since Senator Figur was the sponsor of the bill, the other senators allowed (well, forced or coerced are probably better) him to take the podium and speak.
Figur tested the microphone, received verification it was working and said, “Gentle beings, I have some stressful news. The Alliance has learned that the Hiriculans illegally placed a military base in Influenla. A fleet was dispatched to investigate. Unfortunately, the fleet was defeated and forced to surrender.” Figur paused for a moment and asked, “Are there any questions?”
The reporters shouted several questions and waved for recognition. It was unclear who or even if someone asked the question, but Figur answered, “The fleet consisted of 16 ships, well technically 16 warships and one resupply ship.”
Again shouting followed by Figur saying, “One ship was destroyed with almost all hands lost and one was damaged beyond repair. The supply ship was trailing the fleet and escaped. Finally, one ship was acting independently and was damaged, but escaped. Its fate is not yet known. The ship names will be released shortly to give the admiralty time to notify the families of those presumed dead and captured.”
There was more shouting; followed by Figur saying, “Yes. Our specialists have reviewed the treaty in detail. Since the battle occurred in neutral space, the Hiriculans cannot legally hold our military members. Our warships, however, were forfeited the moment that our armada surrendered.”
Still more shouting; with Figur responding, “Yes. We intend to pursue every means possible to obtain the release of our people.”
Senator Figur ended the press conference at that point. Basically, there was no other information that they could share. Further, those were the only lines he had memorized. All eight senators retreated back into the Senate building.
They each congratulated Senator Figur for sticking exactly to the rehearsed script. The answers were all truthful, but possibly not entirely earnest. The specialists had been pouring over the treaty for the last few days and found several clauses that looked promising, but none expressly stated that the military members should be set free.
More than likely, Frank thought the two sides would agree on a compromise – the return of the beings in exchange for financial restitution and their forced retirement. No matter how this was resolved, it appeared extremely unlikely that the prisoners would be allowed to continue serving in the military. The forced retirement of that many trained and talented officers and crew was a huge blow. Recruiting their replacements may be difficult after this humiliating defeat.
Frank wondered if they could fill the positions with humans. It should be fairly easy to round up the thousand or so needed. No. not yet. An experiment was one thing, but society wasn’t ready for a massive influx of humans.
Frank’s communication pad beeped. He looked and saw that his mystery man was contacting him. Frank left the other senators and ducked into a bathroom. He visually checked to make sure it was empty and said, “Computer, activate personal security field and set to maximum. Then answer the call with voice only and do not record.”
The voice on the other end sounded metallic. Frank suspected that his mystery contact was using a voice changer. He didn’t know why the other man bothered. This line was completely secure; there was no way that someone could be listening to their conversation.
The man said, “It is ready. You will find it hidden in a safe at coordinates 168.42 by 857.63. The combination is 123456.”
Frank chuckled and replied, “That is a pretty innovate combination you chose.”
The man responded, “No one would ever think to try it.” The man cut the connection.
Frank typed the coordinates into his com pad before he forgot them. He saw that the coordinates were relatively close, no more than a 15 minute walk. Senate business was nearly done for the day, so Frank retreated to his office.
He removed his suit and changed into a non-descript jump suit – the kind that sea moss harvesters typically wear. He applied aging make-up to his face and lightly brushed gray paint through his hair. Finally, he relaxed his face and changed his smile to a slight frown. He looked at himself in the mirror and grimaced at his appearance. He was completely unrecognizable.
Frank snuck out of his office in the Senate building and walked through an underground tunnel to an adjacent building. He entered this building and took an elevator to the 50
floor. The capital city Avunk was densely populated and was filled with skyscrapers; most having a minimum of 80 stories. Each building was connected to those around it by a skywalk attached to the 50
floor of each building.
The Senate building was possibly the lone exception. The senate building was only 18 stories tall. For a city consisting only of skyscrapers, this building’s short stature was impressive and a clear sign of its status.
Frank walked along the skywalk from building to building until he reached the 50
floor of an apparel store. He double checked the coordinates. They were definitely in this building. Frank then double checked his appearance and continued to slightly frown.
Frank walked to the actual coordinates listed on his com pad. He was currently standing near the northwest corner of the building. He intently scanned the area. The only thing of note in the immediate area was a type 669.25.28 wall mounted waste receptacle.
He scanned the area one more time to see if anyone was watching him. No one was, so he turned and faced the receptacle. There was a cover with the word “Push” in both Advranki and Alliance Basic. When pushed, the cover would slide up and out of the way and reveal a slot. One then simply tossed their trash in the slot and released the cover. The trash then fell down to an incinerator in the basement.
Frank had seen these waste disposals thousands of times. They were standard in every building. Frank looked closely at it and saw that just below the slot there was a maintenance panel with a numerical pad on it. Frank pressed 123456 in combination.
After typing 4 numbers, Frank heard a negative beep. He realized that the code was only 4 numbers, but he had been given a 6 digit combination. Frank looked around a minute and had a sudden revelation. He said, “Computer, how many floors are in this building?”
…There are 84 floors in this building. Some of them are unoccupied…
Frank looked at the numbers on his com pad. He figured that the combination was 4 contiguous numbers. That meant the remaining two must be the number of the floor where the weapon is hidden. He played with the sequence for a moment and found that there were only three logical choices. Floor 12 and combination 3456, floor 56 with numbers 1234 and finally floor 16 with combo 2345.
Since he was standing on the 50
floor, he decided to try floor 56 first. He walked to the electro lift and rode it 6 stories up to the correct floor. This floor was relatively busy and Frank had to move around several shoppers. He finally made it to the trash chute. He looked around to see if anyone was directly watching him. No one was, so he deftly typed 1234 and received a negative beep.
Frank retraced his steps and rode the electro lift down 40 floors and got off on floor 16. He again walked to the trash chute and verified he wasn’t being watched. He typed 2345 and was rewarded with a negative beep.
Frank rode the electro to floor 12. He stepped off and looked around. The entire floor was empty. It was currently undergoing renovation, probably for a new tenant or perhaps a new use. He realized that he could have saved himself some time if he had cross referenced the three floors with whether or not they were currently occupied.
He reached the trash collector and typed 3456. This time the panel slid open. Frank immediately noted that there was some sort of bag stuffed inside. He grabbed it and briefly rolled it around in his hands. He could feel around the loose wrappings that there was something inside that felt like a beam weapon. As always, he found it in the exact last place that he looked.
Frank knew better than to inspect the weapon here. Even though the floor was abandoned, there still may be cameras. He couldn’t risk getting caught. He quickly peeked into the wrapping and verified that there was indeed a weapon inside. He shoved the bundle into his pocket and closed the trash collector panel.
Frank returned to his apartment. He was just about to enter when he heard loud noises coming from inside. Darn. Frank had completely forgotten about the construction crew. With the ever present threat of a coup d'état or a Hiriculan military annexation, he had recently hired a firm to build him a safety bunker far, far underground.
When completed, there will be a hidden electro lift in his apartment. It will go down an unspecified number of floors to the bunker. The bunker will be independently powered and have an untraceable satellite connection to the websphere. There will be living space for up to 6 beings. It will be fully provisioned for 10 years plus have the ability to grow sea moss. Frank will be able to disappear at a moment’s notice and stay hidden indefinitely.
Further, the design called for a secondary escape corridor leading to another much smaller electro lift. This way, if the primary lift were discovered by his enemies, he could detonate the entire shaft and seal it with rubble. It would take months for them to dig down far enough to reach him.
The project was slightly behind schedule because he decided to have it competitively quoted by all of the large, well-known construction firms. One firm was building the main electro lift tunnel, a second firm the bunker, a third the actual electro-lift, and yet another firm for the secondary escape.
The down side was that more people knew about the secret hiding place, but the plus side was that no single person or firm had full information about it. However, each firm had signed a letter of confidentiality, so there was little risk of them exposing the secret.
Frank decided that he didn’t want the construction workers to see him in his disguise, so he stopped before opening the door. He briefly considered visiting his secret family since he was already wearing a disguise, but decided against that as well. Finally, he decided to go back to his office in the Senate building.
Frank’s marriage was legitimate and in no way improper. Frank was just keeping his wife and son a secret because Advranki voters generally preferred their politicians to be single. However, societal norms often changed and someday (probably soon) the public would expect their elected officials to be married. At that time, he would call a press conference, reveal his family, and state that he had been married for years.
When he reached the office, Frank removed the aging makeup, shed the worker outfit and put back on his suit. He checked himself in the mirror several times to ensure that all vestiges of the gray had been removed from his hair.
When he was satisfied that his appearance was again perfect, he enacted all of the necessary security features and called his mystery friend.
Once connected, he said, “I have the package. Thank you. Now what do I do.”
The mystery man replied, “Did you read the directions?”
Frank hadn’t even seen them, let alone read them. He responded, “I didn’t see any directions. Perhaps they fell into the trash chute.”