The Tale of McClain
Stellar Year 21043. A streamlined mothership is cruising between stellar systems. Inside the mothership, in the physical scanning room surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, a young woman in her 20s is running on a treadmill. She had several sensors on her body which were hooked up to a screen that displayed the data. She was second lieutenant McClain of the U.N.S military. She looked impressive as she ran on the treadmill in a compression suit, her fierce eyes faced forward however, she was deep in thought about her father who had been MIA for a long time. Her father’s name was Colin. He was a navigator. In an effort to overcome the crisis a long time ago, he volunteered for the pioneer efforts New Route Expedition set forth by the U.N.S. General Commander San Martin. 5 new routes were discovered and he was awarded a medal for the best Navigator. However, in the same year after McClain’s birth, her father set out for his 6th expedition and they lost contact with him. McClain’s mother set out on her own to find her husband and she was never heard from again. Before McClain had become a year old, she had become an orphan. She was resentful of her parents who had left the world far too early. McClain was scared of the ‘New Route’ that had stolen her parents away. After a difficult time during puberty, McClain learned how to handle her misfortune. When McClain became of age, she enrolled in the U.N.S. Military Academy and requested to be a guard at the ‘Stargate’, the entrance to the New Route. Today marked a year since she was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Coincidentally, she was on the way to arrest members of the Black Flag for illegally occupying the Stargate. There was a ping that let McClain know that her physical was finished. McClain slowed down on the treadmill and wiped the sweat from her face. The results read ‘excellent’. McClain was pleased with her results and headed to the showers. Moments later, McClain enters the mission room in combat uniform and sat at a desk. Her desk was covered with wanted posters of the resistance members. McClain loaded a battery module onto her electric gun and holstered it to her hip. Suddenly, the desk screen caught McClain’s eyes. A U.N.S. military broadcast was on. They had released the identities of the people illegally occupying the Stargate. McClain held back her tongue as she filled with anger when she saw the images of the rebel army. At her condition, she could shoot all the rebels and still have energy left. This mission was not to shoot on sight but to capture the rebels instead. Then, an android commander, AI called McClain. “Second Lieutenant McClain. We picked up some strange readings by the boosters and would like to give you a report.” “What is it?” “Do you mind if you could come this way?” With a look of suspicion on her face, McClain got up from her seat. Her eyes followed the trail of hexagonal metal scraps. It was an ancient piece of technology that has been traveling in space called the UNO. AI showed McClain that she had to see for herself with her own eyes. UNO was made before the founding of the New Route and all of the new route coordinates were already stored in the hard drive. McClain couldn’t believe what she was hearing. It meant that when her father was on his expedition, he had already secured all of the new routes. She asked as her voice shook. “Are you sure the data hasn’t been damaged from all that time in space?” “I suspected that as well but you can see that it has been getting live updates from the U.N.S. headquarters” It was as if she was hit with a ton of bricks. AI's voice sounded like a bullet had gone off. What was even more surprising was that the last docked place was at San Martin’s personal Mothership, the General Commander who started the expedition for the New Route. McClain was in shock. ‘If he had already known and found those routes, why did he gather all these people?’. Her mind raced. ‘Did my parents die in vain? But why?’. The voice of the commander from the speakers pierced through the silence. It was an alert that there were 25 minutes left until they arrived at the battle scene and the combatants should change into their combat suits. McClain was blank and didn’t know what to do and AI approached her. “Lieutenant.” She came to and ordered AI, “AI, I want you to sync your information processor with the main data storage.” “Could you repeat that, ma’am?” “I said to connect to the data storage!” “Lieutenant, I need a code from a superior to authorize this” “I’ll take care of it, just sync the data” “This is a breach of military law. Connecting to the headquarters.” When AI tried to communicate with the headquarters, McClain hesitated. Her fingertips twitched as they hovered above her electric gun. In the blink of an eye, she aimed her gun at AI. BANG! With a flash of white, the CPU located at the top of AI was destroyed and it was deactivated. McClain looks out the window. Several hundred warships were moving towards the orbit. In the distance, the Stargate shone brightly. The gate was set ablaze from the Black Flag’s attack. Everything was in chaos.