Out in deep space, many parsecs away from the nearest civilized system, a small fleet coasts ever further, searching. It has been months since their last encounter, just a small asteroid from which barely any material could be mined. The fleet’s commander, James Aklom, refuses to lose hope despite the odds.
Aklom himself is quite an eccentric character. His decrepit form owes to his extraordinarily long life, greatly enhanced through bionic implants and experimental medical procedures. His former life as a businessman was earning him trillions, until he finally renounced the corporations, the taxes, and the bureaucracy in favor starting anew in an uncharted galaxy. Their goal: to colonize the unknown as much as possible while making trade within as efficient as possible.
The Market Expansion Leaders Navy or [MELN], as they came to be known, is an ambitious project. Not just a navy by name, their arsenal is quite extensive, and they are armed with all the ships and gadgets that money can buy. Should they encounter pirates or even greedy corporate rats, Commander Aklom has stated, “We are not above using force, if necessary.” Should the fleet discover a new homeworld, they come equipped with dropships, communications and radar arrays, space cabs, autonomous land vehicles, and everything they need to start a colony and eventually a trade hub on an undeveloped alien world.
Growing tired of traversing the vast nothingness that is outer space, Aklom paces in the bridge of the flagship when a sudden annoying beeping begins to blare from one of the monitors.
“Commander,” exclaims one of the Signals Specialists, “We have something.”
“What is it this time?” asks a weary Aklom.
“One of our probes has detected a small celestial body in a nearby system!”
“Excellent! Inform our Shareholders that we have a lead.”
“Aye aye, sir!”
The Specialist put on his headset, turned to another monitor, and began sending an encrypted message back to the known galaxy. The once quiet bridge was now buzzing with excitement. Aklom was already envisioning a utopia on his new world with a robust economy, teeming with homesteaders, miners, police, scientists, everything a society needs.
“Sir?” said the Specialist looking perplexed. “No outgoing signal from Terra.”
“Try again,” Aklom was trying not to let this interrupt his daydream.
“I did, sir. Three times…”
“Get maintenance up here. I want a sweep of the entire system!” ordered Aklom, growing more concerned.
“It’s no malfunction, sir,” the Communications Officer interjected, “Mars went dark, too. Along with every other known system we have in range.”
“Impossible,” Aklom mutters to himself. What is going on over there? Is Terra compromised?
Although Aklom claimed to have severed all ties with civilization (apart from the communication he maintained with his Shareholders), this was not really the case. He still had a deep love for Terra, his homeworld. A lifetime ago (or more), James Aklom was born to a noble family and enjoyed the privileges associated with high society. With the classic Terran fruits like the banana, blueberry, apple, and others having gone extinct, his most cherished memory was eating the juicy watermelons grown on his family’s private farm before they began to shrink and become scarce.
One of Aklom’s own personal aspirations was to see the melon brought back and restored to its former glory. To once again slice into the rind and reveal vibrant red flesh. To bite into it and have its juice trickle down his cheeks and drip from his chin. To see the look on the faces of his new society after having tried it for the first time. Then, and only then, would he graciously welcome death’s cold embrace.
“Make for the planetoid,” says Aklom solemnly, “and broadcast a coded signal, disguised as a pulsar, urging any pilots to make for our new home.”
And with that, the commander retired to his quarters.
eXode is a strategy space colonization game here on the Hive blockchain. If you haven't joined eXode yet, now is a great time to do so! All you'll need to play the game is one of the three Origins sold in the store for $10 each or $20 if you get all three. If you join the game with this link you'll also receive 2 free booster packs with 5 NFT cards each! For more information, also check out the developer's page, @elindos. If you're interested in joining [MELN], here is our discord server.