The vast expanse of darkness surrounded the ship, even as it was projected at thousands of miles per second, a spearhead of the other four identical masses of metal. At the observation deck of the front ship, stood The Marshal, a modestly-dressed man, who was a bit on the shorter side, but his elegant stance made him a giant in nature, his Peaked Cap reflecting the little light from the ship and the Great Beyond outside of it.
He took a deep breath, before he turned around, to the audience of countless officers arranged in rows before him, nervous, or anxious, or mixed in feeling, for they feared, but admired the Marshal at the same time-as his subordinates.
"Everyone. We are 4 months from our arrival for a System check. It's been a long twenty-two years, and especially some of you have been asleep the whole time and I'm aware that some of you grow restless. But today-today, we have a great revelation, from our Scientists onboard. How about that?"
The Marshal spoke with confidence and enthusiasm, but that did not stop his eyes from scanning, out of suspicion-across the audience of formally uniformed men and women before him, in rows of green and blue. He soon turned from facing the crowd to a more senior person-another man, with his hair greyed, and a slight twitch to his hands-whether from fear of the Marshal before him, or simply out of the matter of his age-was unknown to the crowd watching.
The scientist held a holographic touchpad, where he began typing, The Marshal's back covering what he was showing to the crowd.
Tap Tap Tap, is all they heard.
After a few moments of silence, the Marshal turned around, to the simultaneous hologram behind him and the Scientist.
He grinned with excitement, for his call to duty.
The Hologram showed a Man and a Woman, who were inside the cabin of another ship, which had natural sunlight peering through the window of the ship-and the slightest sound of the Man's voice, without a single movement of his lips.
The Woman began speaking. "This is Simone Watkins, onboard Scout Ship 002. I am from the Gamma, Bradley Trench-the man beside me, is from the Beta. We are here to inform the Second Wave Fleet that we have arrived, and that Mrs. Eade and Mr. Eade have been KIA, approximately after landing with still alive Viola Eade. We have determined that this planet-named 'New World' by the locals-has been subject to a second war. It seems to be two human factions against the native species. Simone Watkins out."
As the Hologram receeded, Marshal's grin grew larger.
"You hear that!? They. Are. Suffering!"
The Observation deck filled with murmurs amongst the attendees to the Marshal's meeting.
"And we, left from their Old World, in the event they needed help. Do you know what that means?"
The Observation Deck instantaneously stopped with the murmurs-now becoming nervous glances at each other.
"We are the Third Wave. We must help them. They're probably stuck fighting that same damn war, and with the second wave having landed some-The Marshal looked at the touchpad, taking note of the year the message was made-NINETEEN YEARS AGO!"
Silence. Not a single person dared interrupt The Marshal.
"They're probably having more people to fight with, sure-but a whole lot to account for. As long as a handful are still alive, we have hope we can save them. Third Time's the Charm, isn't it?"
The audience was mostly in shock and disbelief, but as the silence grew evermore, from the Marshal's revelation of his plan all along, a great sense of heroism swept over the Observation Deck-with a loud jolt of hoorays and overall celebration-for the time to come.
As the Observation Deck's chaotic festivities carried on elsewhere, The Marshal turned to the elderly scientist in the lab coat, once more. The Marshal looked on, turned away from the scientist.
"We are set course for orbit of the Planet, yes?" The Marshal fixed his gaze onto the nothingness outside.
With haste, the Scientist replied-"Y-Yes, Sir. And we are told to begin on one of the two moons, Sir. Unless ordered otherwise by command."
"Who is the Highest Commanding Officer, within the fleet?"
"Uh-Sir, well-we-erm..well, we're not on Earth anymore, and yet we were-"
"WHO IS THE HIGHEST OFFICER HERE!?!?" The Marshal raised a hand at the Scientist, forcing him to cower under his firm fist.
The Marshal's grin grew the largest, a sense of crookedness to the edges along it.
"You set course for this planet, Directly on it."
The Scientist wasted no time, typing furiously onto the touchpad he held shakily in his aged hands.
"Did I stutter, you scum?"
The Scientist gulped, biting his tongue.
"S-Sir, of course not, Sir...just...where to, sir? It Requires a name."
"New World, John. New World."
A Short Story, based off-in case the hints were a bit too subtle-Chaos Walking, but, time will tell if this stays a Short Story or a Prologue to a Story game in the near future of writing.
Yes, the "unresolved" information is the beginning of the conflict for the rest of the story.
Very good work. Makes it very interesting to see how everybody reacts to the news differently. This would be a good short story but i could see it working as a prologue to a larger story.
One of the only thinks i didn't like (and this is a slight nitpick) was how when the Marshal looked at his tablet, it didn't show " marks and you used - instead. I get it's your style of writing but it makes it a little confusing on the first read.
Duly noted, and about the reaction to the news-I'm glad i could convey that message to you, the reader :)
And about the prologue part, yes, this is intended to be more interpreted as a Prologue to the larger story, but, it is ultimately until I see how it is overall received, will it either become a one-time short story or a prologue for the 'larger' story at hand.