Chapter 1

The 12th Galaxy

Chapter one

– Then we are in agreeance?
President Hooper stood by the round table, eying all the present top politicians from the 5 planets that were on the Galactic Council.
His eyes shone with a sharp blue color, and his grey hair and goatee showed his age and wisdom. As president of the planet Xyver II, he was representing the largest of the inhabited planets in the solar system.
– Does anyone have anything to add?
His eyes searched the room.
– Prime minister Hayes?
A bald black man with bushy eyebrows dressed in a military uniform met Hooper’s eyes.
– We are in total agreeance…for once.
He turned towards the woman on his right side, duchess Blacklock. They were opposing powers on the planet Xyver, where life had started and spread out over the galaxy. The two nations had been at war for two centuries now, but finally they had found something that would unite them all.
The slim, pale woman with long blond hair nodded in agreeance with general Hayes, self proclaimed prime minister of Farmilation-land. Her voice sang through the room.
– The Democratic Nation of Xyver totally supports the council in this!
Blacklock was also aware that the present truce of Xyver was largely due to efforts of the Galactic Council, and she wanted support the council any way she could.
Hooper followed the round around the table.
A big man with a large golden chain around his neck and quite a noticeable pondus sat next to the thin lady. He wore a very expensive suit, and his glasses were gold framed.
– Mr. Goldstone?
The man cleared his throat.
– The people of the planet Orto is also totally behind this, he said with his deep, rough voice, one hand in pocket where he kept turning around two blue diamonds between his index finger and thumb.
There was a quiet hum around the table, and Hooper turned himself to a tall man with dark, fuzzy hair and a thick mustache.
– President Arnold?
The tall president licked his lips and made a funny face as it looked like he was concentrating hard.
– We on Plinky are also behind this decision!
The last man in the room was a handsome, brown haired man that wore a brown waistcoat over a white long-sleeved shirt. He looked very thoughtful.
– What do you think the emperor might do? He asked carefully with a low voice.
Hooper’s reply was instant.
– We don’t know, but I would think he would respect the decision of the Galactic Council.
– I do suppose, that the people of Minnus are behind this as well, then! he said, voice still low, but strong and serious.
– Thank you for your support, Lord Greyhill! Hooper said with a little sigh.
– Then we’re all behind it, he summarized.
– We will go to emperor Hoff when he returns on the Maxwell and give him our ultimatum. We are not taking his taxes and laws any more. After all, he is only one, and we are six nations on five planets. Why can he need so much material wealth just for one person?
Arnold cleared his throat now.
– He has an awful lot of robots on his starship. Maybe he needs money and resources to keep making them…
Hooper took control again.
– It doesn’t really matter! We’re all behind this, and I’m sure Hoff doesn’t really want a conflict with us all. Maybe we could give him a compromise; just give him what we think he needs for his upkeep.
The leaders all nodded their heads in agreement.
It was time to end twenty years of paying the man who called himself emperor Hoff a large sum of money every year plus all the raw materials that he required. The emperor had come once, a long time ago, demanding a large payment from the humans, then all living on Xyver. Three hundred years later, he showed up again, not appearing a day older than a hundred years before. Now, he met with the people of the 12th galaxy once a year, always presenting lists of what he required to leave them alone, threatening to bring war on the humans with his robots. Now, the humans felt that they were strong enough to withstand Hoff and his robots. Military had been building up a strong fleet of space cruisers that were armed to the teeth with rockets and bombs of different varieties. The time had come to kick some emperor ass!
President Hooper was very pleased with it all! It had all gone according to plan, all the leaders had embraced the plan about breaking the emperor’s yoke from their backs.’
– I think it’s time to break up, he said, a bit lower now, as if he was afraid that the emperor would hear him before the time was right.
-In three days he should be here. I suggest we send a messenger to him to let him know what we have decided.
Who should we send?
Everybody looked around. Nobody volunteered.
Hooper made a small sigh.
– I’ll do it, he said.
– I’ll meet him with the Blackbird, our newest pride and joy. As far as I can see, the Maxwell is not too heavily armed, and Blackbird should be able to withstand the old Max.
General Hayes bit his lip and straightened his uniform slightly.
– If the Maxwell is three hundred years old, just like the emperor, it should not be a match for our newest ships, he said seriously.
– There is, however, one concern I have, he added.
– Yes? Hooper lifted his eyebrows.
– Well, either the man is three hundred years old – at least – or he’s not human at all. It just worries me that we don’t really know much about Hoff or his abilities.
Lord Greyhill joined the discussion.
– We have never seen any sign of him having any other space ships. Our scans of Axomorphilidad has not shown any signs of enemy activity. I think we should act on the intelligence we have.
Hayes shook his head.
– It is very limited intelligence, he snorted.
– One of the main rules of military conflict is to know your enemy. I don’t think we know the emperor well enough.
Hooper cut in.
– Let’s put it to a vote, then, he said.
– I thought we were all in agreement.
The room got busy, and they all cast their votes.
General Hayes was the only one that voted against.
– I’m not against the act itself, he explained.
– Just the timing of it…
The council broke up, and Hooper left the Blackbird going back to Xyver II in his personal space shuttle. Mr. Goldstone was the next to leave in his small but speedy space cruiser taking him back to his financial empire on Orto. Then the Blackbird slowly turned away, and in a few seconds it jumped in to hyperspace, taking the rest of the council members home.

In the following days, president Hooper got his staff together to establish some long term policies and plans. He appointed Lynda Stockton as his vise president, fearing the worst if emperor Hoff were serious about bringing war upon the galaxy. The three days flew, and soon it was time for the meeting with emperor Hoff. With a great bang, the Maxwell appeared close to Xyver II, going into orbit. The Blackbird was nearby with the president aboard. It took less than an hour before Hooper and his space shuttle docked into the Maxwell. Two robots stood by the docking-door, ready to escort the president into the emperor’s audience room. As usual, Hooper had to wait for Hoff to appear. Finally, the young looking, longhaired emperor slipped into the room.
– You are alone? He said with his velvety voice.
– Yes, Mr. emperor.
Hoff waived his left hand.
– No mister, just emperor, he said calmly.
Then his voice got sharp.
– Why are you alone? he barked.
President Hooper swallowed hard.
– Emperor, we had a meeting three days gone, he started.
– The galaxy council decided to decline from giving you taxes and materials starting this year.
Hoff sat back in his chair, biting his top lip.
– Are you sure of this? He asked calmly and softly.
Hooper nodded his head carefully.
– I’m afraid so, he said, almost mumbling.
– Well, Hoff blurted out, jumping up from his chair.
– Seeing I’m such a nice, lenient person, I’ll give you the chance to change your decision, he shouted out.
– If you don’t, I will consider this an act of war against my person.
Hooper cleared his throat to make his voice stronger.
– I’m afraid we have already made our decision, emperor! He said respectfully.
Emperor Hoff smiled slyly.
– I see! he said.
– Well, in that case, we have nothing else to say to each other.
He waved with his hand.
– Please leave me!
The emperor’s smile was gone. He looked at Hooper as he started leaving, his eyes burning with hate.
– And Mr. President? he called out.
Hooper stopped In the doorway, looking back at the emperor.
– Yes?
Hoff’s eyes narrowed.
– I’ll still get my money and raw materials.
Hooper felt annoyed at this young looking punk trying to throw his weight around.
– Not from us, he exclaimed hoarsely. Then he turned and left the room.

As soon as the space shuttle landed on the Blackbird, the president went up to captain Hardy on the bridge.
He was an old man with only little grey hair and an enormous mustache.
– How are we doing? Hooper shouted.
The captain was looking on the big screen.
– No signs of them charging weapons, he said.
– They’re just gliding in orbit!
The command crew just stood there watching the Maxwell, wondering what they would do next.
Suddenly, a black man sitting by a command post called the captain.
– Sir, I read a flocculation in space right next to the Maxwell.
The captain raised his eyebrows.
– What is it, Parker?
Parker typed something on his desk.
– It appears to be a ship of some kind, Sir!
The captain turned around.
– Bring it on screen!
The Maxwell appeared on the main screen, showing a large part of space vibrating like hot steam in front of a window.
Without warning, a big, black battleship appeared only five minutes away from the Blackbird.
– Battle stations everyone! the captain shouted.
The battleship swung round and faced the Blackbird. On the front of it, Bakhtak was written with great, big letters.
– How many fighters do we have ready, quartermaster?
Captain Hardy talked to a red haired, stocky person sitting by the wall.
– 32 or 33, Sir!
– Launch them now, the captain barked.
– Very well, Sir!
He pressed some buttons.
– All fighter pilots ready to launch on my mark, he yelled into a microphone.
The Bakhtak had now come around, and laser cannons blasted through space, causing several explosions on the Blackbird.
– Parker, return fire, the captain shouted.
A big explosion blew three people up in the air on the bridge, and captain Hardy had to garb hold of something.
– Parker? he screamed.
– Yes, Sir! Any moment now, Sir!
Parker pressed some buttons, and the Blackbird shot back at the Bakhtak.
– Launch! the quartermaster barked in his microphone.
The Bakhtak fired several shots, and Parkers control desk exploded.
The captain ran over, calling Parker’s name.
– I’m okay, captain, he answered.
– But we have lost our forward cannons.
Hardy put up a sour face.
– Load torpedoes, he said.
Parker tried to excess his control desk.
– I’m sorry, Sir!
Parker shook his head.
– My desk is fried!
A bright, blue light shot out from the Bakhtak, hitting the Blackbird middle starboard. The big bird shook violently, and all the lights went out.
– Auxiliary power!
The captain was down on the floor shouting now.
Two more blue bursts shot out from the Bakhtak.
The Blackbird exploded in the middle, breaking in two.
The fighters were already out, but a few more shots from the Bakhtak blew up the rest of the Blackbird. President Hooper, captain Hardy and his crew were all deard.
Blinded by fear, the fighters ran for their lives instead of fighting the Bakhtak. About fifty enemy fighters launch from the Bakhtak, perusing the fleeing fighters.
The Maxwell turned round and shot into hyperspace. The first little battle was won by the emperor and his armies of robots.


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