Merrick and the Fleet

2021 Annual Literary Contest

2nd Place
Young Writers
Senior (12+)

Brandon Phui

Long ago, almost at the beginning of time humanity was a futuristic, technological species spread across many planets and star systems. They were a thriving race only bothered by primitive species. They had a massive army in which they would regularly send patrols of starships out to the borders of their star space. One of these was the Marathon Sword. A decorated flagship that valiantly fought in many wars and had some of the most skilled crew.

Among them was the ambitious graduate Merrick. He broke the record by graduating in only five years’ time, unlike many officers in the regulatory, seven. Now he was stationed on the bridge as a helmsman and first officer. Although he was proud and joyful, he always felt that something was going to go wrong, and he was usually right. So when they were picking up supplies at the colony Daybale he had that feeling again. He raised the shields without the admiral’s order, secretly called the Daybale home fleet, and ordered everybody to battle stations when the admiral was away.

“Ring!” The radar’s alarm went off. A large fleet was headed towards them, but when the admiral ordered that everyone prepare for an attack, Merrick eagerly replied “I did it in advance sir” As the Daybale fleet crept upon their position, the alien fleet emerged from warp. It was even bigger than Merrick expected. Eight massive ships emerged first, they were blood red with flesh spewing from the sides and squid-like creatures jumping from its pores. Next, an assortment of flying saucers emerged. Finally, two ships, exactly the same as the first eight appeared. They were five times as big with a long bridge connecting the two, this was the mothership.

Although the alien fleet was powerful, they were no match for Merrick. He skillfully steered the ship away, dodging lasers and pieces of alien flesh. But they kept sending ships to attack them. When the crew knew that the planet was lost, they warped back to the capital planet Leviathan.

They landed on the planet’s surface and made their way to the Great Council warning them that something was coming. The council addressed their warning but did what they do usually: send it to the Senate to decide. Merrick knew this wasn’t a good idea as the Senate was very slow and they could take up to a year to decide on a matter. A year was time they didn’t have. Merrick tried to warn the council but had no success.

As the alien advance claimed more planets the crew only became more annoyed with the Senate’s speed and the Great Council’s cooperation. They would rush them daily but not gain any success. But hidden within their annoyance was fear, a fear that the aliens would catch up with them. And they soon would….

One day the planetary alarm went off. It was a massive network of space elevators around the planet, built for security but had never gone off before. The crew rushed to the Marathon Sword, trying to get as many civilians on as possible. They lifted off with the council and some 100 civilians. The alien fleet had more than a billion spacecraft. The council ordered the Marathon Sword to warp away, leaving the rest of their civilization behind.

They warped to unknown coordinates shortly after and found an ancient alien relic. The crew saw a label and immediately knew what it was. “This is a Byrunner Artifact!” Merrick exclaimed. The Byrunners were a highly intelligent species most known for defeating the Mars Aternnum aliens. (the one the humans were getting attacked by.) Just then the same alien fleet came out of warp. The civilians stepped out on to the relic. They were greeted by a Byrunner Prophet who opened a portal. He told Merrick that this portal would lead to a beautiful planet, filled with life. This was Earth, the planet that the Byrunners sacrificed their entire civilization to protect. The council agreed. 100 civilians lined up to go through the portal. In doing so the Humans sacrificed their civilization to start a new one. The crew and the ship were given extreme power but also cursed in that the aliens would come back every year.

That’s why Humans live on Earth and why you can look up and see the Marathon Sword returning home and going around to stop the alien invasion in an infinite cycle. That is also why we must conserve the planet to honour the sacrifice of the Byrunners and the past humans.