by N.S. Howard

When the world of Haven was rediscovered 240 years after the colony ship Regal crashed landed, reporters Scott Pearson and Cindy Lorncroft were quickly sent to find interesting new stories. What they uncovered instead was a behaviour considered uncivilized and immoral by the Alliance Worlds' Charter of Conduct Office, igniting charges against the Haven government.


Chapter One

On the starship Regal, traveling towards the galactic centre, approximately 400 light years from Sol. 

By the year 2353 various divergent groups of humans had colonized several planets. The Regal was a group of three colony ships sent out by the religious group the Starlight Collective, to locate a habitable world.

“Sir. There seems to be a visual abnormality in sector four.” Ensign Elaine Trestle swivelled in her chair to face Steermaster Jason Elliot, giving him a slight smile.

Jason Elliot had already noticed this time the gravity wave fluctuations were more than just interesting. He walked over to where Ensign Trestle sat and studied the viewer. Under magnification, he saw some distortion of the star fields – like looking through a sheet of contorted glass.

“Lieutenant Mason, send a message to the Hood. Inquire if they are seeing any abnormalities in sector four and if so what they make of them.” Elliot had a second thought. “Ensign Trestle, is that interference only in sector four? How big an area does it cover?”

“I’ll check right away, sir.” She turned back to her screen.

“Lieutenant Mason, would you also inform the captain we may be having a situation and his presence is requested? And then contact Power Engineering and let me speak to Corporal Duggan, I believe he is in charge this shift.” He turned back to his station and turned on his intercom in response to the blinking incoming message light.

“Steermaster Elliot, this is Corporal Duggan in Power Engineering.”

“Corporal, are you getting any peculiar readings on your gravity wave generator?”

“Yes sir, we are. They’re still within spec, but I have had to make some minor adjustments the past few minutes. Like something was opposing the wave front. There is also a change in the electromagnetic field generation. The harmonics in the higher dimensions are unstable.”

“I see. Please inform me at once if there are any changes; monitor as closely as possible until I contact you again.”

“Yes sir.”

Mason approached his station, looking surprised. “I have the Hood sending a communication, sir. But it’s too soon for a reply to our inquiry.”

“Send it through. Did you get a hold of the captain?”

“Yes sir. He said he would be here as soon as possible.”

Elliot switched on his intercom.

“…we are experiencing absolute havoc in our field generation, both gravitational and electromagnetic.” The visual flickered off and on, revealing the communication officer looking worried and harassed. Electrical sparks, like miniature lightning bolts, could be seen randomly striking objects behind her. A shower of noise filled in over her voice. When it cleared again for a few moments, Elliot could hear shouting in the background. A new voice, filled with panic, came over the speaker. “Shut down your fields! Shut down your fields! Something is…” More noise covered the voices, then silence.

“Steermaster Elliot, this is Power Engineering. We are experiencing some difficulties in maintaining field controls. Situation seems to be getting more difficult, though nothing we can’t handle.”

Elliot thought the voice was speaking a little too rapidly for a situation that could be handled easily. “Stand by please.”

Trestle came over. “Sir, that cloud, or distortion, is all over in front of us. It’s covering everything in front of us and it’s moving in our direction.” She managed to keep her voice down, but he could hear the tension as she spoke.

Mason came running up. “The Hood has just exploded! It’s gone! I’m trying to contact the Mobridge, but they’re too far away. They’re probably just reaching the distortion now.”

Elliot thought hard. Damn! Where is the captain? “Power Engineering.”

“Yes sir.”

“Commence emergency shutdown of all fields immediately. Shutdown the fusion generator. I want everything off line ASAP.”


“Now. Move it!”

“Yes, sir!”

“Mason, sound the emergency alert. Inform all that we going to shut down all power immediately, including lights and gravity.”

“Steermaster Elliot, what the blazes is going on here? Mason, stay that order on power shut down until I say so.” Captain Anderson entered the bridge, his face looking flushed as he focused his attention on Elliot.

Elliot spoke rapidly, determined to change the captain’s mind before Mason communicated to Power Engineering. “The ship is in immediate danger! We must shut down all power! The Hood has exploded and the Mobridge is in trouble.”

Trestle interjected, “Mayday from the Mobridge life support computer. Direct communication is gone.”

“Do as Elliot says, shut down all power. Now!” The captain now stood beside him on the bridge, lowering his voice. “Jason, you better be right about this.”

“I’m not sure I want to be if what happened to the Hood is about to happen to us …”

“The Mobridge has exploded! It’s gone. Oh my God! Oh my God! It just exploded!” Trestle jumped up and away from her station.


N.S. Howard "Haven"


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