I was taken as a child from my parents, raised by a military cult, trained to be one of the galaxy’s greatest killers. The greatest fear any Black-Sun soldier has is of the Sun Speakers and their terrifying powers.
Because of all that, there was a large part of me that was convinced we would fail. That the physical and magical might of Black-Sun would come and stop us like a parent with an unruly toddler.
We arrived at home base and I felt them before the sensors started beeping. “We have company,” I said and jumped on the sensors in the ship. Diamond and Flint had run off to the satellite arrays to upload the information on the matter replicator, the anti-Sun Speaker device, and Black-Sun stealing babies.
“Ah and I haven’t dusted the living room yet,” quipped Onyx.
Trying not to get distracted by the mental image of him dusting in very little clothing, I concentrated on the terminal in front of me. The sensors were telling me that there were two Black-Sun destroyers in orbit.
Heading to the pilot’s chair, Sphene said, “Only two. I guess we’re not that important. If we launch now, we can maybe lead them away from home base.”
I was going to agree when a wave of nausea made me regret being born. “Wait!” I managed to say without gagging.
Putting the sensor view onto the ship’s main screen showed something weird. A small black mass coalesced into a ship. The Mountain’s voice came over the coms, “You’re having a party and didn’t invite us? That’s just rude.”
The Black-Sun should have fired on him the moment he arrived, but they hesitated, looking at the patchwork and frankly ugly ship. That gave the Mountain and his crew enough time to fire two bombs at the destroyers.
The bombs hit the Black-Sun ships and instead of exploding they stuck to the hull for a moment before imploding. “Where did you get Plasma-Gravity Bombs?” I asked in disbelief as the mass of the ships was crushed into a dense ball of metal.
Sheepishly, the Mountain said, “I’m a scavenger. Blackbird and his crew are dead; they didn’t need all their stuff in that secret base.” He paused before adding, “I brought a whole bunch of stuff for Ronnie. Just ’cause her old man was a dick doesn’t mean she should suffer.” I doubted that Ronnie was suffering, from what Diamond said they were both extremely happy together.
“Thank you,” I said earnestly.
“It’s only a matter of time before more Black-Sun show up.” He stopped for a second and I saw that Diamond had managed to send the message out. The Mountain started to swear.
The message went out and wherever it went, it was spread as far as possible. Soon the entire system had the tools to fend for themselves and defend themselves against Black-Sun.
We all braced for a fight, but they’d relied on the Sun Speakers and their psychic powers for so long they didn’t know how to fight regular people. When the military turned against them, they retreated to the edges of the system where they had their bases.
The acolytes of the sun were dealt with in bloody and terrifying ways. Regular doctors started taking care of childbirth and infant mortality dropped to nearly nothing. That meant a lot more mouths to feed, but the matter replicators made sure that wasn’t a problem.
We stayed with Diamond, whose real name was Ruby, for the first month. She came to see me while I was doing upgrades on the Revenge.
“Everything okay, Dia—Ruby?” I asked.
She put the Diamond Stars holo-emitter next to me and said, “I’d be honoured if you would take on the mantle of Diamond.”
Every night since we’d sent out the broadcast, I’d had nightmares. I tried to convince myself they were just dreams, but I knew they were psychic visions.
“I can’t,” I said.
“Bullshit. I see in your face that there’s something you need to do and no matter what it is, you can do it as Diamond.”
“I think I’m meant to leave the system,” I said.
That took her a few seconds to process. “Well, this system has had Diamond Stars for several centuries. Time we shared with the universe.”
I put my hand on the device and thought of all the people who’d used it and the hope they’d brought to the system. “Thank you.” I turned and hugged her. “Thank you for everything.”
“This ship is called Revenge because the first Diamond wanted revenge on Black-Sun for everything they’d done. The name is a promise and it’s your turn to fulfill it.” With that, she walked off the ship.
I didn’t know why a Sun from so far away had chosen me to be its speaker, or why I’d gotten so lucky as to be kidnapped by this crew, but I was thankful.
It took me a few more months to upgrade the ship to both survive deep space and defend itself. When I was done, I dressed the part of Diamond Stars and went to say goodbye to Ruby.
“Diamond,” she greeted me. “It’s been an honour getting to know you. Are you going to tell the doctor?”
I shook my head and said, “He deserves a better, and longer, life than I can offer.”
“Good luck,” she said and I left.
On the bridge, I closed the hatches and ran through the preflight checks. I felt a pang of guilt and loneliness as I took off. They’d be better off without me and my crusade.
With stealth activated, I took the closest jump gate to the system’s edge. It would take a little time for me to reach the Black-Sun fleet that was massing. My plan was to follow them, piggybacking on their wormhole, and help whoever they were attacking.
I was half way when I started smelling something delicious. I walked towards the kitchen and said, “Whoever you are, you’re obviously not Galactic Police or Army. They don’t use that much garlic in their tomato sauce.”
Onyx turned to me as I walked into the kitchen, “Oh shut up. You love my spaghetti sauce.”
“I do,” I said before adding softly, “You shouldn’t be here.”
Sphene looked up from her datapad and said, “You’re an idiot, Diamond.”
“What my little sister means is that you’re not getting rid of us that easily.” Onyx walked over to me and gently smacked my shoulder. “Stop being all dramatic and come sit down for dinner. We’re family now.” He bent over and kissed my cheek. “Please don’t try to leave me again. I don’t think my heart could take it.”
I took his beautiful face in my hands and pulled him into a deep, passionate kiss. “I love you, too.” Somewhere between the smell and the kiss, I’d started crying.
We were going to help fight the most powerful people I knew of, but we would do it together and together there was hope.
I am Diamond Stars, I’m a Sun Speaker of Sol, and I’m going to make sure Black-Sun knows the name of my ship.
While you wait for 2022’s serial story, check out the previous ones:
- 2020 – Point Zero (Superhero, Sci-Fi)
- 2019 – Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station (Sci-Fi Adventure Mystery)
Want to learn more about what Sun Speakers are? Check out what the one in our solar system is up to.
In the distant future humanity has spread to the other planets in our solar system. These stories follow Hal (a prophet for a godlike entity that lives in the sun), and his friends, as they try to make the solar system a better place.