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Authors: Tobias Roote

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The Pattern Ship (The Pattern Universe)

BOOK: The Pattern Ship (The Pattern Universe)
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Table of Contents

 

THE PATTERN SHIP

THE PATTERN UNIVERSE - BOOK 1

BY

TOBIAS ROOTE

 

The Pattern Book series of novels are the exclusive work and copyright of ©Tobias Roote 2013

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author.

FOREWORD

Science Fiction has been my true love in books since I was a young boy and was given Dan Dare Annuals for Christmas.

I have read thousands of books over the years. The advent of the eBook has given me the chance to re-purchase a lot of them in electronic form so I am now able to carry and enjoy them wherever I travel. You have to love the technology its given me the freedom to write from wherever I am.

About the Pattern Ship

This is a series that started off as a short story then when it reached chapter four it decided it would become a book.

Put away because there were too many other projects on the go, I resurrected it again in Autumn 2013 after thinking about the characters and how they would interact. I then wrote the first draft in a few weeks after publishing my first book Mercury’s Secret (not a Sci Fi novel) in the November. Book 1 was launched on the 20th December 2013

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking my beta reader, John, my long suffering Wife and Editor, Louise, and all of my ‘Ex Pat’ friends who are always full of enthusiasm for my work and who keep me motivated at times when it seems difficult to achieve my ambition of becoming a published author.

As corny as it sounds, without all of these people my books would never be written.

All of the characters and events in this book are a work of fiction and do not resemble anyone real, friend or enemy. Any coincidental references to places are just that, All identifiable references are culled from publicly available material.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author.

I would like to thank http://SelfPubBookCovers.com/Fantasyart for their contribution to the front cover of this book.

- 1 -

A cosmic disturbance occurred within the open vacuum existing between the watery planet and its cratered moon. An unseen ripple was forming, a distortion in local space.

It spread outward, causing molecules floating in the vacuum to become suddenly agitated by whatever was creating the anomaly. The effect resulted in a swirling cloud of cosmic dust visible for hundreds of miles.

From behind the planet’s moon the occurrence was keenly observed. The dark shape hiding in the shadow of the orbiting satellite pulsed once, then not wanting to be detected by the encroaching ripple, its already insubstantial mass dissipated into the ether leaving no detectable trace of it's former presence.

The growing anomaly shimmered as a corona of gas molecules appeared, pushing through it's surface ahead of a small sleek object. A spaceship nosed its way into normal space.

As it completed its entrance, the foggy bow wave created by its arrival was sucked in behind it as the silver ship, now free of the distortion, increased its speed and distance from the wormhole, which was already collapsing as the technology that generated it passed it by.

The Ship had materialised close to an asteroid belt, but rather than alter course it switched its hull shields to deflect everything except the largest rocks, which could easily be avoided. Uninterrupted, it continued its flight between the nearby planet and its moon.

The T-Ship, so named because of its shape, had begun its planned realignment for another leap into hyperspace, when unexpectedly something occurred to delay its jump.

Proximity alarms on the ship’s shield instantly relayed to the single occupant, evidence of a cloaked object locking onto the mass of the ship. It was immediately identified by the on-board A.I. as a Nubl missile.

The small antimatter missile was set to match velocities with the T-ship until it made contact. Then an on-board computer would accelerate the small, but powerful motor enabling it to push its way slowly through the shield’s thin defense.

As a result there were now only seconds before it pierced the shield to make contact with the hull and detonate.

The Occupant noted almost absently that only the proximity to the asteroids, prompting the activation of the shield, had allowed time for any action to be taken at all. Unfortunately, very little could be done except escape.

He scanned local space, unable to detect anything other than the immediate threat. He suspected Nubl Assassins, but picked up nothing in the vicinity. Nonetheless, the ship made a complete scan of the solar system collating as much data for later analysis as it could in the few seconds it had remaining.

Then, with no time to consider any form of retaliation, the ship’s occupant instantaneously uploaded himself and all other T-ship patterns to the tiny Escape Pod.

At the precise moment of the ships detonation, the orb ejected, cloaked and at high velocity on an evasion trajectory that had been burned into its navigation array moments before.

The T-ship’s physical occupant had only a millisecond to confirm successful ejection before he was de-materialised along with his ship in the resulting antimatter explosion.

The escaping Pod's passive on-board sensors detected the Nubl fliers as they winked in and out of local hyperspace coming closer to the expanding wreck of the T-ship, sending out armed Seekers to hunt for the anticipated Pod.

No longer needing their cloaks, each Seeker carrying antimatter mines only needed to be in proximity of the quarry to detonate; they would not assume that the debris field was all that was left. Every piece would be examined for useful data.

Not wanting any witnesses to their kill they would be thorough... very thorough. The Nubl did not know if there had been an Escape Pod launched, they would just assume so and be exacting in their search, as was their way.

The Pod's A.I. allowed itself to be put on standby as observer while the Occupant's pattern took over all on-board tasks. The Occupant continued to plot at lightening speed, any and all trajectories that would allow it to complete its escape to the planet below undetected.

It was a very compact Pod with no means to sustain any lifeforms. Its only purpose was to evade detection at all costs in an effort to preserve the extensive library of collated patterns acquired from all over the known universe, including that of the Occupant, one of its Makers.

So small that it might be mistaken for a piece of wreckage, its speed of ejection from the T-ship was timed to coincide with the explosion so it would hide in the expanding debris field and follow a computed trajectory. By the time the enemy Seekers could establish its existence, the Pod would hopefully have vanished.

The Occupant’s pattern, using the impressive speed of the on-board computer had within 3 seconds of dispersal from the T-ship, selected a set of coordinates on the distant planet. It activated the ‘Dematz thrust’, a technology for de-materialisation patterned from a prior technological civilisation and incorporated for its own use. It was still in test mode so not yet implemented on the main ship.

A hazardous manoeuvre because it could only work while the ship was uncloaked, which was necessary only for the briefest of seconds it took to initiate. Once de-materialisation thrust was engaged it could secure its escape without likelihood of pursuit. The danger was always in those first few seconds.

While they relocated and materialised, the Occupant had a few moments to think.

The discovery of Nubl in this system was very bad news. It had been many long years since it had needed to evade them and the T-ship's battle defence array had long since become outdated.

No contact with its brethren had occurred in the last eight thousand or so periods, giving no opportunity for a melding which would have shared knowledge amongst all the brethren. It was probably why they had found them so quickly; their hive systems having continually evolved and improved, now obviously able to track a T-ship’s signature.

All that it could do was evade capture, or at worst, deletion and hope they had not anticipated their plotted destination. The Occupant intended to land on the planet and hide, reconstituting itself and ship using saved patterns from any source of exotic materials available.

A few minutes later the Pod materialised above the destination planet.

Unfortunately, in the few seconds required before its cloak re-engaged, it came under fire from a Nubl sentry already in stationery orbit around the planet.

The Occupant was startled. So, they had anticipated the T-ships potential gambits ahead of the attack, or worse were already established on the planet below. It appeared they were primed; their sensitive robotic sensors keyed to the signature of the specific craft type as they reacted automatically in the milliseconds it took the Pod to materialise.

There was no time to expand the shield beyond the hull. The impact of the first missile took out the subsidiary power arrays leaving no means of initiating the Dematz again. The cloak would also no longer engage and there was no time for anything other than immediate evasive action.

The A.I took over, in microseconds plotting all possible options. There was only one that had more than a 60% chance of success. The A.I. completed the relay and the Pod leapt into the new trajectory, heading for the planet below at an alarming speed.

It had correctly computed a greater success in aiming for the nearest land mass which, as the planet contained a rich atmosphere, would mean a fast entry; risky if not fully controlled. There was also more chance of evading pursuit amongst the mixed liquid and land terrain with its large continent covered in heavy vegetation.

The A.I. had no time to complete a survey other than to note there were no detrimental elements within the atmosphere to damage the hull.

With only a few seconds before the Pod hit the atmosphere and relative safety from attack, it would be a matter of milliseconds in timing. The Nubl's missiles were useless in anything but zero gravity. It was a weapon designed for space.

Another Sentry detonated itself near the Pod’s location, the resulting antimatter explosion causing the Pod to rock from the pressure wave but not close enough to cause any damage. Sensors also tracked a small clutch of incoming missiles, some way off, but closing fast.

Out of time and risking everything, the Pod’s A.I. reset to a steeper trajectory heating up dangerously as were the missiles trying to follow it down. Not designed to cope with planetary re-entry they reacted to the intense heat build-up which caused them to become unstable and detonate.

The first of the batch blew in turn causing a chain reaction that created a massive antimatter blast, throwing the Pod right out of its already dangerous trajectory and sending it tumbling helplessly out of control towards the planet.

Now in danger of burning up, it switched its shields to maximum in an effort to reduce damage. The Pod spiralled uncontrollably towards the land mass, somehow missing the worst of the high mountainous regions before finally hitting the ground at an acute angle causing its shield to overload and almost fail.

The angle of impact allowed it to bounce through the undergrowth forging a shallow furrow before landing at a distance on a soft surface. The Pod came to rest at what the A.I. thought was the edge of deep mass of vegetation.

With its sensors offline it came as a complete surprise to the A.I. when the Pod rapidly began to sink into a semi liquid swamp. With thrusters temporarily unavailable, the Pod could only watch helplessly as it completely submerged under the mire.

Above, the solid looking but waterlogged surface was already knitting back together leaving no outward clue to any recent disturbance. The Pod meanwhile, unable to activate any of its servos, continued to descend through the quicksand into the depths. Fortuitously, the mud and water above also dampened the Pod’s tell-tale signature beyond Nubl sensor range.

So, when a Nubl sentry probe flew across the area some minutes later following the Pod’s projected trajectory, it detected no tell-tale wreckage, or signature, other than the massive furrow that had been gouged out of the land by the shielded Pod as it landed. It incorrectly surmised the Pod had bounced and then resumed its flight to another location.

When it finally completed its circuit, reporting a negative response to its central control, it was designated a new search sector well away from the current location.

BOOK: The Pattern Ship (The Pattern Universe)
5.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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