Authors: Bill Parker
Tags: #romance, #scifi, #aliens, #action adventure, #pirates
“Mom! Dad! Wake up! Everybody up!” Jessica
shouted down the hall and kept it up until they all were. Finally,
her father came out of his bedroom.
“What’s wrong? What’s wrong?” He had a pulse
rifle in his hands.
“Jags! The Jags are back. They’re coming now!
We’ve got to get out of here!”
“Oh, my Dear God! What nonsense is this? That
damned that crazy old Henry Morgan has made my daughter crazy!”
“I am not crazy. Jack called …”
“Jack Morgan? Henry Morgan? It’s all the
same. They have you believing all of this ridiculous Jag nonsense!”
That’s when Ben heard the old Jag Alarm sounding in the
Jessica’s Dad could see the action from a
second story window. The Jags were like a nightmare from mankind’s
distant past. Jags came in many shapes and colors and could only be
adequately described as gargoyles or demons. The Union had named
them the ‘Jatarian Alien Group’, which everyone quickly shortened
to Jags. Had their ancestors visited our ancestors ours on Earth
sometime in the distant past? No one really knows. All that anyone
really knew was that they were still our worst nightmare. They were
smart, and they were ruthless and the Jags only had one use for
humans – to kill them. Was it an ancient vendetta? But there was no
negotiating anything with the Jags. Jags don’t negotiate and they
only take prisoners to kill them slowly later… just for
Their house was high up on a hill and well
hidden in the woods, but it would not take the Jags long to find
it. Everyone dressed quickly in the dark. There were three pulse
rifles that came out of Ben’s closet. Her Dad and two brothers
would protect the women. Jessica’s mother, Alice was crying
“Don’t scare the kids,” Ben told her.
“What will we do?” she sobbed.
“Well, if we stay here we will surely die,”
Jessica told them. “Jack told me that we have to get to Shelter 47.
He said that he would come for us as soon as he could, but we have
to get there now.”
Ben considered his options. “Gather behind
me. We are going to Shelter 47.”
“Do they still exist after all these years?”
Alice asked Ben softly as they left the house.
“I sure hope so,” he whispered back to only
They did well. Benjamin Talbot moved his
family quickly away from the danger by moving them from cover to
cover. They moved silently out toward where Ben knew the old
shelters once were, in the foothills a few kilometers outside of
town. He could hear firing in the distance behind them but so far,
they moved freely. He stepped up the pace.
“We need to get to the shelter before dawn.
We need to keep together, but we just have to go faster,” he told
his family in a loud whisper. Pulse rifle fire in the distance
behind them kept them jogging along at a good pace now. Morning
twilight was just setting in when Ben came to Shelter 47’s door.
You wouldn’t know what it was unless you were human. It just looked
like a rock face unless you knew how to find the keypad. Benjamin
Talbot looked deep into old memories to recall the code that his
family was given to no avail.
Jessica walked right up to the door while her
father just kept on trying codes. Jack had assured her that this
place was safe. What was wrong? Logic fled from her. The crystal
necklace that she wore came alive. It pulsed blue. The door control
responded. It pulsed blue in return and then went green. After a
brief second, the door opened for them.
“We’ll be OK now,” Ben told his family when
they were all safely inside. Jessica found a small blue card tacked
up next to the monitor panel. It read, “This shelter is serviced by
the volunteers from StarQuake Engineers. We sincerely hope that it
never has to be used.” It was signed, “Calamity Jane.” She lit up
the defensive force field just as Jack had instructed her to.
It was late morning before the first Jag
patrol wandered by. The sight of them alone was enough to scare the
weak of heart half out of their wits.
“Those things out there are flesh and blood
just like us,” Ben assured his boys. “They’re not demons. We can
kill them so whatever you do, don’t you ever stop shooting.”
Ben Talbot watched them on his monitor panel.
The Jags were on the scent of humans but just couldn’t quite fathom
why the scent went cold. For not being demons, they surely acted
the part. They were arguing and scrapping amongst themselves when a
second group arrived. This group had scientific instruments and
began sweeping the area. They walked right up to the hidden door
and pointed right at it and smiled. The group of them began howling
and shrieking and dancing about. Ben turned down the audio. His
family didn’t need to hear this.
A blazing hot noon sun beat down on the Jags
as they rolled up one of their light field cannons. Benjamin
gathered his family together in the back of the shelter.
“If any survive the door coming down, I want
you to keep firing at Jags as long as you are able. Do you hear
me?” He asked his two teenage boys.
“Yes sir,” he eldest son answered. “We’ll
Ben hadn’t counted on the force field holding
as long as it did. It wasn’t until the fourth shot that the lights
went out. The field generator and power source were spent. The next
shot would blow the door.
“Hold your ground,” he told his sons. “Don’t
stop firing no matter what happens. You must keep firing.”
Jess could faintly hear Jack’s voice, but was
it just in her mind? Their whole world collapsed in an instant.
They tumbled in light gravity. Their stomachs cramped as they
scrambled for any reference to up or down when sound returned
around them and echoes of their own cries in the darkness returned.
Gravity returned and they fell in a heap on the deck. Jack brought
the lights up slowly.
“I am sorry to have to bring you all up here
that way, but you had a force field up that I couldn’t reach
through.” His eyes were on Jessica as Benjamin thanked him
profusely for saving his family. “Just how did you get us out of
there?” He asked Jack.
“You know that crystal necklace I gave Jess?
It’s a beacon of sorts. It let me zero your position in precisely.
And then, well, it’s a long technical explanation. Let’s just say
that I timequaked a portal.”
“And just where is ‘here?’”
Hank walked into the room.
“Welcome aboard the Crystal Dragon,” he told
them, “but time flies before us. Captain Henry Morgan, at your
service. Benjamin, do I understand correctly that you are a
“That was many years ago.”
“Well, you are again. I find myself
shorthanded. Jack and I can fly this thing, but I really could use
a trained hand with the guns. You will find them very familiar by
Jessica recognized the crew of this ship as
they moved to the bridge. They were all of the contractors!
“Glad to have you aboard Jess,” Calamity
called out to her from her battle station.
On the bridge, Ben strapped himself into his
gunner’s stations. Jessica and the rest of her family found seats
for themselves as the Crystal Dragon moved in jumps. Space blinked
around them. Their course plotted out in 3-D on a tactical display
in front of Jack and Ben. The Crystal Dragon moved like no other
ship that Ben had ever seen. It went instantaneously from one point
in space to the next.
The Crystal Dragon closed in on six Jag ships
in battle formation. Jack ran the engineering console while Henry
did the piloting. Captain Henry Morgan was maneuvering on the Jag
ships. He moved the Crystal Dragon just like a normal starship for
a bit… just to draw them in. They bought it.
“I am going to make two jumps,” Captain
Morgan told his new gunner. “When I give you the signal, shoot at
everything for all you are worth… but not one shot before.”
And so the tale is told by the people of
Benara-3, of how they were saved that terrible day from those
demon-faced Jags, by a Pirate ship called the Crystal Dragon. Now
many they believe and many they don’t. And some will say that the
Dragon went on to defeat an entire Jag armada that day. But then
who really knows? Now let me introduce myself. My name is Jacob
Morgan. My Mother is the lovely Jessica. My Father, they call the
One-Eyed-Jack. And I’ll only be asking you this: If the Crystal
Dragon didn’t save all of those people that terrible day, then who
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“We come in peace” is what we told the anoza
when human explorers first encountered them, but you would have to
ask the anoza how that worked for them. They would tell you fast
and quick that humans were cast into the outer darkness because of
the evil in our hearts. It didn’t take them long to figure that out
when we left the blood of four innocents on their hands. In fact,
we convinced them of it by trying to hide the evil that was done.
Union Fleet flew an unmarked ship into space docks after the
Corporate War, intending to secretly scrap it out, intending to get
rid of the evidence. A time-space distorted Tesseract had killed
its crew of humans, or so they thought. Or, was that just a
rationalization to hide their shame?
By the end of the Corporate War, Dallas Blake
had lost everything: his wife, his daughter, his whole family. He
was a man in need of far more than just a new beginning. What
Dallas needed was a resurrection. Dallas went to the Union Fleet
space docks to buy a war surplus scout-class ship. Instead, he
unknowingly buys the Tesseract. It does not take Dallas long to
find out that its crew of artificials seems way more human than
they should be and every bit as much in need of a resurrection as
But, Dallas Blake is outworlder to the nines
and ready for whatever life throws at him, except maybe for Mariah.
Despite the fact that she is extremely smart and multi-talented,
she can drive a sane man crazy and frequently does. And, oh, by the
way, did I mention that Mariah is techno? Mariah is but one of the
mysteries of the ship once called Tesseract, now named the Five
But no one was cutting Dallas any breaks. The
ship’s alien technology and artificial life forms are the mysteries
that he must solve as the action-packed rescue of Emma from more
than just the mercenaries that kidnapped her leads Dallas and the
crew of the Five Moons into danger.
At this point, however, I must warn you –
Five Moons: Resurrection
is not your
father’s science fiction. It is funny. It is a love story. It is a
mystery. It is science fiction with the full flavor and robust
action of a guns blazing Western. So, put on your recon armor, grab
your pulse-rifle, and get ready for full contact, take no prisoners
sci-fi that does not quit on your mind to the very last word.
Novels in the Five Moons Series:
Five Moons: Nexus of
Five Moons: Zep
Five Moons: Suzy
Short Stories by Bill
Legend of the Crystal
A single quantum of
Novellas by Bill Parker
Heart of the Crystal