Part one: Chaotic encounters Cruising across the cosmic gateway towards the Kaliguar System, stars whipping past the port windows at the speed of light casting gold and silver streaks across the endless black of the known galaxy, was the Nautica's Phantom. The Phantom, so named for it's intended purpose as a covert-ops scouting ship, is mid sized, fast and packing enough fire power to hold her own against small fighter craft and destroyers alike. The crew of about 40 (at least a third of which are A.I and janitorial robots) reside in close quarters, sleeping together in bunk lined, dorm like rooms and sharing each meal in a communal cafeteria. Conditions are far from optimum, as the comfort of the crew is sacrificed for the compact structure of the Phantom. The collective nerves of the crew are on edge while tension heats to a boil between the Merrix and the Shadow breed. Most of their recent battles have been political as whispers of all an all out explosion of arms has sped across the galaxy. No agreement can be met, and a war for resources, territory and control is imminent, unknown to the humans aboard the Nautica's Phantom headed straight for the epicenter of the conflict. "Commander Ryan, we're nearing the Kaliguar system, right on schedule" The Kaliguar system was visible from the port window in the navigation control room, an epicenter of stars and planets, some not yet colonized but ripe with resources. It was indeed a desirable territory, and few could question why two dominate races would kill for claim to it. Commander Castor Ryan nodded in acknowledgement as knuckles cracked from within clasped hands, a nervous habit that had not been picked up during his years in the trenches wielding plasma rifles against advancing alien hordes, but rather just recently as a commander of a scouting ship. Go figure With no further instructions, Castor turned and headed towards the door. Polished black boots echoed a steady pounding down the east wing corridor. His brow furrowed heavily beneath a thickly creased forehead, his eyes little more than carved slits in a stone cold face. He was a hard man, no one questioned that, but he was also fair and empathetic towards his crew. With the missions objective looming in the distance and weighing heavy on Castor's shoulders he passed through the vacuum locked doors that would lead him to the main flight control bridge.