The Evaran Chronicles II: The Lost Ship | The Rift Impact

Prequel Image

Title: The Lost Ship

Series: The Evaran Chronicles II

Book #: 0 (Prequel)

Publisher: Quantum Edge Publishing

Published: February 23, 2023




The Evaran Chronicles II Prequel

Sometimes it’s better to be quiet in a galactic forest.

Captain Herix Trellis just wanted to command the UPS Alpaca, not fight to the death against a vicious reptilian alien species known as the Gorkeens. One year after crash-landing on an unknown planet and with his crew dispersed, there isn’t much hope of a rescue.

One issue is they got there by a portal they couldn’t avoid, and now they have no idea where they are or when. Another problem is that over half the crew has been enslaved and used for food. It also doesn’t help that another third of the crew escaped and has not been heard from since.

Enter Evaran and M, two cosmic beings who travel through space, time, and beyond to help those in need. They, along with Herix and his group, need to rescue the other human survivors and bring justice to the Gorkeens while also navigating galactic politics.

Read the sample below!

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Series Note

This is the prequel for the The Evaran Chronicles II. This book serves as another entry point into the Evaranverse, and timeline-wise, comes after The Final Evolution, Book 15 of The Evaran Chronicles. However, it is not critical to have read any othe rbook in the Evaranverse for this book. This is a novella that covers the second Evaran's first adventure. It serves as an introduction to Evaran's new form as well as his various technologies, and some of the philosophies that he stands for.


Chapter One

M wiped mustard off his robotic body as he detected that he was the only artificial intelligence in a space diner that was over two hundred million light years from Earth. It was November 4, 404,890 AD, 1:00 p.m., and traveling to faraway places in space and time wasn’t unusual, but dropping condiments on his chest was.

He didn’t need to project a hologram around him in a place packed with aliens of many types who would have no idea what a human was. Although he was a cosmic energy orb in a robot body, he could fly out, but that was not needed at the moment.

Across from him in the booth sat Evaran, a being who appeared human but possessed cosmic energy, the most powerful of all exotic energies like M.

Evaran and M traveled through space, time, and beyond in Evaran’s ship, the Torvatta, helping those in need. They had decided to visit an interesting civilization and now hung out at a diner near the spaceport where the Torvatta had landed.

Evaran had fair skin with a slight tan. His black hair was pushed up front, and on the sides, it was combed back. He had blue eyes and a chiseled jawline with the outline of stubble that started at his ears and met on his chin and went up around his mouth. Per M’s attractiveness algorithm, Evaran would be considered handsome.

His advanced one-piece suit was made up of several layers. The first was a black mesh that clung to his athletic build. The second layer was a light-gray material that had golden borders and covered certain areas like his chest and upper outer arms. His shoulders, forearms, collar, belt, and boots were covered by white-striped lightly armored pads. His belt also had multiple items on it.

Each forearm had a Personal Support Device, or PSD. They used dimensional mechanics, a technology that allowed something to exist in a dimension outside this reality. That allowed the PSD to shoot stun, mist, repulsion, grappling, and heat beams. M had the same on his body.

M pointed at the dish before Evaran. “Your food item looks like a hamburger.”

Evaran dipped his head to look at his plate. “I guess it does.”

“Although we don’t need to eat, you ordered an Earth-like item.”

“It would seem so.” Evaran gestured at M’s chest. “You got a hot dog, and it looks like half of it is on you.”

M looked down. “It was more slippery than anticipated.”

“That or you put too much mustard on it.”

“Perhaps so.” M studied him. “You’re thinking of Earth. Maybe we should go there.”

“We will,” said Evaran. “My old form could show very restrictive emotions. A half smile here or there, or even a slight frown. This new form is much more expressive, even with limited emotions.”

M had been studying Evaran ever since they had died, then re-formed into their current incarnations. Although M could view the video history feed of V, M’s previous incarnation, he had not ascribed any emotions to them. However, he did have an algorithm that could simulate what they would be.

In conjunction with his orb, he could feel emotions. Evaran was different in that his previous incarnation’s memories existed as is. Per M’s assessment, he was depressed, even if it looked like he never was.

Whenever the Torvatta issued a summons, Evaran and M would travel to the point in space and time that was defined. They would then deal with whatever was specified, or if it was vague, they would seek to discover why they were needed there. Instead of going back to Earth where their previous forms had spent much of their time, they had been on over ten summonses outside of Earth since their re-formation.

“My analysis indicates you’re avoiding Earth,” said M.

“I’m not. However, I want to make sure I have control of this form,” said Evaran.

M smiled. “You’re Evaran. A powerful cosmic being. This would be a trivial operation for you.”

Evaran eyed him. “Thanks for the pep talk.”

“Acknowledged.” M raised his hand and extended it.

Evaran grinned as he high-fived him. “Good to see some things haven’t changed.”

M got an alert. “The Torvatta is indicating that a group of security guards are trying to move it.”

Evaran’s face returned to its emotionless, neutral state as he stood. “Then we must go.”

M hopped up, and they took to the air and flew down a connecting street. The soles of Evaran’s boots were pads that used dimensional mechanics. M had the same but only when he was not using density control.

When they had landed at the spaceport initially, an inspector verified their ship had nothing dangerous. She had spent most of her time blown away by the fact the Torvatta used dimensional mechanics. M calculated that the civilization understood the implications of such technology and waited until he and Evaran were away to try to take it for themselves.

The denizens resembled worms with two legs and four arms. They had brown segmented bodies and six eyes on their heads. They were no match physically as individuals, but they were intelligent, had numbers, and were technologically advanced. While M hoped to avoid a fight, messing with the Torvatta was strictly off-limits. He had already hooked into the civilization’s digital network, and an alert showed that the government had put bounties on their heads.

“I saw the bounties too,” said Evaran.

“We may meet unsavory characters on our way,” said M.

“So be it.”

M’s robot body was human-sized to fit in with humans from Earth. He had portholes everywhere where a nanoswarm could emerge to create a sturdier and larger form. However, in defensive mode, he could not fly, but he still had his armor plating, density control, and strong shielding. The downside was he moved slower, and while more durable, he preferred his body’s default state since it allowed him to take to the air. His orb could also go out at any time and stay linked to his body, but he used that for reconnaissance mainly due to being smaller, nimbler, and having the ability to enter stealth.

On the way, two lanky giraffe-like aliens in a mishmash of gear opened fire below them.

Evaran dodged the shots, then spawned an energy shield on his left arm to reflect the beams back at them, knocking them down.

M scanned the aliens as he flew past. They were still alive, and the energy beams they shot were not lethal. They were meant to disable or cause harm, but that would not be enough to slow down Evaran even if he had been hit.

When they reached the spaceport, they landed, and M entered defensive mode. Nanobots swarmed out and added several layers of armor, and his density control would make it hard for anything to knock him down. His shielding output also increased.

They rushed toward the Torvatta.

It was round, roughly fifteen feet tall and thirty feet wide, and M had heard it referred to as disc-like or resembling a hockey puck. It had pitch-black panels near the back, with two horizontal slats for thrusters. The front half was solid metal, although from the inside, they were transparent. A light-blue shield covered the side doorway, which was where they were headed.

A small army of workers and security forces had surrounded the Torvatta, and a machine of some type tried to break through the Torvatta’s shielding. That would never work, but the attackers didn’t know that.

Evaran had already been shot at by several assailants, but his ability to reflect beams caused everyone to take cover. A team of four had tried to engage in close quarters combat, but Evaran had extended his right forearm and used a repulsion beam to send the guards sprawling.

M took on a barrage of shots that lit up his shielding. He retaliated, stunning those he could target, and any attackers that got close were tossed away. One assailant tried to hit M with a stun baton but stunned himself when the hit bounced off the shields.

A hovercraft with a cannon entered the area and fired.

Evaran leapt out of the way, but M stood strong. The blast made his shielding glow, and while he had its focus, Evaran landed on the hovercraft and bent the cannon. After jumping off, they dashed into the Torvatta.

The interior consisted of an open area, with one hallway that led off to dimensional rooms. A chair resided in the middle along with a workstation to the right and slightly ahead. The rest of the room was bare but could spawn hard holograms as needed. Usually when flying, the walls went transparent and the floor semitransparent, and it was like they were floating.

Evaran took his seat in the command chair while M sat at the workstation.

“Activate scan profile one and stealth mode,” said Evaran.

“Acknowledged,” said M.

Scan profile one made the Torvatta undetectable to almost everything. Scan profile two made any scan show a small, cramped ship. Stealth mode allowed the visual component of the Torvatta to appear invisible. The only beings who could detect it in this mode were those the Torvatta had chosen.

The confused spaceport force looked around in confusion. From their perspective, the Torvatta would have vanished.

The Torvatta hovered, then ascended.

“We need to downplay the advanced nature of the Torvatta next inspection,” said Evaran.

“I agree,” said M. “However, they came in as friends. They betrayed our trust.”

Evaran gazed out as they soared to low orbit. “It happens, sadly.”

“It also appears we have another summons.”

“Where to?”

A holographic projection showed various zoomed-out windows. One showed the Milky Way galaxy, and yet another with a planet and a red dot.

“A location on an unknown planet in the Milky Way galaxy in 80,133 AD,” said M.

Evaran interacted with his augmented reality interface, or ARI. It allowed a half sphere only visible to him, starting at his waist and ending at his head, with interfaces on the inner part. M also had it, but he did not need to physically interact with it.

“I’m unfamiliar with this planet, but we have been to that time period a few times. Well, our previous forms have,” he said.

M remembered two summonses he did as U4, another incarnation before V. “I recall them. Are we going to investigate, or do you wish to find another space diner?”

“I think you’ve had enough hot dogs. Let’s check this out.”

Scene Break

Captain Herix Trellis gazed around the command center aboard the United Planets Ship, or UPS, Alpaca. Although not as ready for combat as other ships, the Alpaca could hold its own.

However, its main priority was that of a transport ship. Its armament was enough to easily repel pirates, and it had the power needed to jump away in condensed space if it should encounter heavily armed ships. With a crew of 256 and a civilian group of 604 being transported, that was a lot of lives under his command.

It was 4732 AD, and his current mission was to bring the refugees from a colony on the outer edge of United Planets space to a safer place. A new alien race had decided to attack the colony but was repelled by the arrival of the nearby United Planets fleet.

The Alpaca was headed toward what the United Planets termed a checkpoint world, a place that had strong defenses and a fleet to itself. It amazed him that people wanted to live so far from a safe environment, but he also understood the desire to explore and be challenged.

He ran his dark-skinned hands through his gray hair. While trips like this were monotonous, he stayed in shape with a daily exercise regime. As someone who was over two hundred years old, he had done many missions like this one. Little rarely happened outside the ordinary, and everything was fairly automated at this point.

He glanced around at the rest of the crew in the command deck. They wore their white outfits with blue-and-silver outlines with pride. Over half were human, while the others were a mishmash of alien species. That spoke to the diversity of the United Planets but also showed the impact of having Earth and Fredoria, which were almost all human, as founding members of the United Planets.

Bzzt! Bzzt!

The buzzing startled him out of his thoughts. A quick check on the large screen that wrapped around the front half of the room showed an anomaly had been detected. His heart raced when he realized it was in front of them and they were going to collide.

“Brace for impact!” he said.

The command crew attached special constraints meant to hold them in place. They were calm despite the blaring ship-wide alert.

Herix stared at a large oval-shaped tear hanging in space. Its edges were alive as light-blue tendrils arced out. He had only seen images of this before, but he knew this was a portal. There was no way to stop the ship from going through, and a part of it had already entered.

Based on what had been researched to this time, they could be going to a new location, a new time, or a new location in time. It was extremely rare for this to occur, but this type of event had happened in the United Planets’ past.

His stomach churned when the command area passed through. It was like a curtain of light swept by. The first sign something was wrong was the power shutting down, then emergency systems kicking in.

He focused on Commander Shenna Kirling. “Report!”

She inspected her ARI. “Main power, shielding, weapon systems, and our main communication network are offline. Navigation hasn’t found out where we’re at yet. Medical teams are dealing with the injured and wounded as they’re discovered. The portal we passed through has disappeared.” She flicked a finger toward the front screen that displayed a highlight of each department and what it was working on.

He appreciated that his crew could respond so fast to an emergency. Wherever they were, they weren’t going back through the portal. The six planets in the planetary system that had been detected around a yellow sun were promising. One planet showed as habitable, although that didn’t always mean it was.

“How’s the solar collectors?”

Shenna sent another set of data to the front screen. “You’re looking at it. Roughly 75 percent of them are damaged. The rest are locked in.” She eyed him. “You considering orbiting the sun?”

“I was,” he said. “But if our solar collector situation is this bad and our shields can’t get up before then, that’s a death sentence. Trying to get by on only 25 percent of our collectors is off the table. There’s no guarantee we’ll even get main power back.” He pointed at the habitable planet. “However, we can land there and repair everything without need for life support. We’ll only need the matter replicators to work, and those systems are still online.”

Shenna examined the planet. “Atmosphere is a little rough, but there’s also a satellite there. There might be a civilization.”

“Maybe, but it’s our best shot.”

“It’ll be tough to go through the atmosphere without shielding.”

Herix grinned at her. “The Alpaca was built to handle that.”

“Yes, but we’ll take damage. It’ll be dangerous,” said Shenna.

“Perhaps, but one thing to note is that we don’t know whose territory we’re in. A planet is a good place to hide while we repair.” He motioned at her. “Pick a safe landing spot, and then begin preparations.”

“Yes, sir.”

Herix needed to give a ship-wide broadcast to let everyone know of the situation. At least secondary communication was available. Although the command crew had been exemplary in responding, he was sure that was not the case everywhere else. The civilians would probably be frightened, and they had good reason to be. He had no idea where the Alpaca had arrived at or when, and the ship was damaged.

After a few minutes of choosing which words to say, he gave a brief speech meant to calm everyone. Shenna had nodded at him and showed him some feeds where groups of people had gathered, and they seemed to have relaxed some. He let them know about the upcoming planet landing, and they took it in stride.

He went over to Shenna’s workstation and examined the various locations she had selected as potential landing places. Although they would not get a full scan on the planet until they could get in orbit, the initial spots chosen were adequate. There was a higher mix of water to land than he liked, and the place she had given most of her attention was by a large inland body of water.

The Alpaca had a sturdier hull than most ships, and its bottom in particular was thicker than most. His main concern would be getting through the atmosphere with everything intact.

For the planet landing protocol, some external components, such as antennae, communication dishes, and the like, retracted to inside the ship, while every other system was locked down. There were also several designated areas that people went to that were essentially self-contained pods that could break off if needed. Some were larger than others, but everyone had a seat on one. He kept a skeleton crew out to maintain things, but hopefully there would be minimal issues.

“Approaching the planet,” said Shenna.

Herix reached into his pocket and rubbed a small marble. It was a family heirloom and had a hole through it so it could be worn like a necklace. The story was that Jane Trellis, his ancestor, had been given it by Evaran. Whether that was true or not, the marble had been passed down through the generations, and it was said to glow in the presence of Evaran. After almost sixteen hundred years in his family, it still held value as a good-luck charm to him. Hopefully he wouldn’t need any for this landing.