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25. Romano: In Love?

It had been just one week since the conclusion of the most sensational trial in the experience of the UNS Divine Scepter survivors. Several Crusader henchmen, followers of the corrupt and murdered Shaspa Hendricks, were found guilty by a Tribunal of four of the most influential leaders in this nomadic human society. They had perpetrated physical and sexual abuse against Marine personnel as well as those victims’ family members. Given sentences of life imprisonment, they were incarcerated in the ship’s brig awaiting transfer to a prison to be built on the planet below.

ArcLieutenant-General Helena Romano was visiting the home of her CO Thomas Hastings. On this day, Helena was fulfilling a promise to help Hastings’ daughter, Alexis, with her preparations for the entrance exams she faces in a few weeks. Alexis has decided on a Navy career and has applied to the Navy Academy for Officer Training. The entrance requirements are quite demanding, but the seventeen-year-old Alexis remains undaunted and committed. Continue reading “25. Romano: In Love?”

24. A Daring Proposal!

The trial phase of the extraordinary court martial of four Crusader soldiers had just ended. They were convicted of the torture of the civilian brother and rape of the two sisters of Marine Sergeant Ames – who died by execution for ‘blasphemy’ by spacing him. (See: 14. There’s Trouble Afoot, Sir!)  The Tribunal judges were, Marine Commandant Kingsley, Navy CO ArcGeneral Hastings, Crusader CO Shappa Durant, and High Chancellor Hayes. They had agreed unanimously that the accused were guilty of the charges brought against them. Now they had to decide upon the punishment. We join the four judges in the comfortable office of High Chancellor Hayes.


“The Gods are pleased, I’m sure, that we four agreed unanimously on the guilty verdict.” Hayes eyed each of his companions in turn. “And now, we need to return a just sentence so we can put this ugly chapter to bed. Shappa, what say you?” Continue reading “24. A Daring Proposal!”

23. JoJo And Jethro #2

In our last episode, young JoJo asked his beloved grandfather why their new house on the planet surface had not yet been built. He asked if it was because of the monsters. The monster reference goes back to a brief encounter with giant aliens who suddenly appeared at the edge of the clearing where heavy dozers were preparing the construction site for Genesis City.


“Monsters? Where did you hear about monsters, son?” Jethro’s voice is soft and kindly so as not to alarm or discourage this topic. Continue reading “23. JoJo And Jethro #2”

22. JoJo and Jethro

“Papa! Papa, wake up!” Little JoJo, sitting on his beloved grandfather’s lap, carefully reaches his right hand out to lift his Papa’s left eyelid open. “You in there, Papa?”

Jethro Hodge, the Director of Building Operations for the capital city construction project, is back aboard the United Nations Ship Divine Scepter to testify before a tribunal and is enjoying his final day at home. Continue reading “22. JoJo and Jethro”

21. Papa Jethro Continues His Story

The next day, JoJo creeps into his grandfather’s reading room only to find him fast asleep in his chair. The boy stands still in front of his beloved Papa and gazes at his peaceful face. Very carefully, Jojo climbs into his Papa’s lap only to find him wide awake and grinning.

“Did I wake you, Papa? Are you mad at me? Can I hear more of that story? Please?” Continue reading “21. Papa Jethro Continues His Story”

20. Papa Jethro Tells A Story

Director Jethro Hodge is back aboard the colonizer ship orbiting Genesis for a brief three-day respite from the intense construction of the capital city area. His return has a dual purpose of attending meetings with High Chancellor Hayes and ArcGeneral Hastings as well as to celebrate his wife’s birthday with his young grandson. Hodge was summoned to give private testimony about the school science trip that had unfortunately triggered the criminal acts perpetrated upon Marines and civilians aboard ship by Crusader officers and soldiers. Hodge has just returned to the peace and tranquility of his home and is relaxing in his study.


Joachim Hodge bounds into his grandfather’s cozy reading room to find its owner sitting in his favorite chair, absorbed in an old-fashioned book. Hearing the boy’s running steps, the silver-haired family patriarch drops the book in his lap just in time to reach out, catch his airborne five-year-old, and set him upon his book. Continue reading “20. Papa Jethro Tells A Story”

19. Tragedy & Justice

Previously, High Chancellor Hayes met privately with his Crusader Commanding Officer, Shappa Durant, to discuss ArcGeneral’s plea for justice. He sought a remedy for the heinous crimes committed against two Marines and civilian family members of the first Marine. The alternative would be an armed conflict between enraged Navy Marines and Crusader soldiers. It was deemed a no-win scenario. Hayes informed his Shappa that they would put the accused Crusaders on trial.

The following day, Commandant Kingsley and ArcLieutenant-General Romano led every unit of the Marine Corps, transported to the surface of Genesis, deep into the jungle. They arrived at a large clearing, beside a river bank, where the Marines were ordered to seat themselves on the ground facing the river. Kingsley, Romano, and a few other officers stood before them. Continue reading “19. Tragedy & Justice”

18. Ultimatum: It Must Stop… NOW!

In our last episode, ArcGeneral Hastings had delivered a firm ultimatum to High Chancellor Hayes and the CO of the Crusader Army, Shappa Durant. Hastings pleaded with them to punish the Crusaders who assisted Shaspa Hendricks in the unlawful execution of one Marine, the torture and rape of that man’s siblings, and the coercion and violation of a female Marine. If they refused, an all-out war between the Crusader army and the Marine Corps could ensue.

[We join the conversation between Hayes and Durant after Hastings left their presence.] Continue reading “18. Ultimatum: It Must Stop… NOW!”

17. “ArcGeneral, This Is Blasphemy!”

In our last episode, ArcGeneral Thomas Hastings, his XO Helena Romano, and Marine Commandant Gerald Kingsley decided upon a plan to defuse a possible military coup led by the Navy Marine Corps. Phase one was to transport the entire Corps to the planet surface for hastily scheduled training exercises – thus separating these enraged soldiers from the hated Crusader army. Phase two involved Hastings persuading the High Chancellor and his top Crusader general, Shappa Durant, to punish the Crusaders who perpetrated injustice and sexual violence upon a Marine and two civilian relatives of another Marine – unjustly executed. Continue reading “17. “ArcGeneral, This Is Blasphemy!””

16. Can Disaster Be Averted?

Previously, Marine Commandant Gerald Kingsley was on his way to meet with ArcGeneral Hastings in the hope of averting bloodshed between his Marines and the Crusader Army. Feelings were running high among the Marines and many among the civilian Naval or technical class after the execution of a Marine sergeant, the whipping of his brother, the sexual violation of his sisters and a marine private – all at the hands of Crusaders. Kingsley feared total disaster – a full-blown civil war between the two social classes aboard Scepter and on the planet surface.

(Office of ArcGeneral Hastings – Kingsley, Hastings, and Romano in attendance. We join the meeting in progress. Kingsley has finished his briefing about the unrest among many Marines due to Crusader abuses.) Continue reading “16. Can Disaster Be Averted?”