Another day is coming to an end on the western hemisphere of Earth. The shining blue marble adrift among a cold and voided nothingness of space.

This beautiful planet has existed for billions of years. It has witnessed every possible historical events. From the moment the first raindrops started filling its rocky ocean floor and cooling its molten surface, to the moment the first living organism took form in the depths of its salty water. From the moment the first plant ever grew on barren soil, to the moment creatures and animals completely dominate the land. It has been a very long journey, yet the planet has only just begun its seemingly eternal existence.

Everything on this planet is dictated by the rules of universal and physical nature, from its mountains, rivers, lakes, oceans, islands, landmasses,… Everything happens according to the flow of a natural balance. Mountains rise and fall, rivers flow and dry up, sea shores constantly change, even the continental landmasses move about on the planets crust. Nothing stops here, everything change continuously in one way or another.

Due to the perfect distance between it and its star, the Sol. The planet is able to sustain all of the essential components to give birth to life. But the greatest achievement of this world doesn lie in the fact that it can create life, which is an utter miracle by itself. No, Its greatest achievement is that it created sentient life. In other words, intelligent beings.

These beings call themselves ”humans ”, their intelligent far surpassed that of all other living creatures. Armed with endless curiosity, unmatched ingenuity and the ability to adapt as well as the will to push forward. These human creatures although weak, they slowly but surely dominate the world, which was supposed to be reserved for only the strongest apex animals. And from then on, the world shifted to an entirely new era, an era of man. An era where everything revolves around the existence of one species. An era where humanity rises to absolute sovereign of planet Earth, their homeworld.

Through thousands of years of history, through countless ups and downs, mankind reached a stage where they started to question their existence among this vast universe. They started to reach outside of their home planet, in search of more knowledge, in search of life outside of their world. Equipped with advanced technology and thousands of years of knowledge, they built contraptions and vessels and left their home world behind. Venturing far far away into the darken abyss of space.

The second era of exploration has already begun, sparking countless fires that tingle the curiosity of man. And the heat has yet to die down.

Whereas in the previous one, mankind rides the waves of the ocean to new undiscovered corners of their own world. Now, they fly through the oceans of infinite sparkling stars to reach new undiscovered worlds.

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May 29th 2367 Earth year, 2033 hour. United Earth Council central HQ, Washington DC.

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It has been a ridiculously long day.

I have been working my arse out since 7 in the morning. Dashing back and forward between the UEC, the USSC and USAF offices non stop.

News of the discovery of an intelligent alien civilization have been blaring all over the public media, from the news outlets to social websites. The people from Earth as well as her colonies and planet states gets extremely excited when the news were first heard.

Apparently the discovery shuttle Teslelon had found and scanned a continental world in the Sarir-B binary star system. Living creatures along with artificially built infrastructures on the planets surface suggest the existence of an intelligent species other than humans, the first one to ever be discovered.

The whole humanity went into an uproar on steroid. Things have been quite chaotic eversince then.

All of that are basically the reasons why I am so overworked right now. Well, its not like I am not always overworked given my position and status. But today was quite too much for me.

Of course being a member of Kansa, news of newly discovered planets, especially ones like this, always excite us. We have always been one of the few families who are known for being excellent planetary governors. Though I doubt the ”excellent ” part.

Our history dated way back to the start of the 22nd century, the time of chaos where the Great Sol war, otherwise known as the Earth Mars war was occurring. My ancestor, an admiral of Mars republic ended the war between Mars and Earth and brought independence to Mars. After the war, he led the people of Mars and rebuilt the baron, war-torn planet into a flourishing world, rivaling that of Earth. His children and grandchildren continued his legacy, managing to successfully colonized planets on other star systems.

We establish a new nation on Mars called the Republic of Corsia and bring it up to a status similar to the United State of America back on Earth. We are the dominant global power on Mars. And from the perspective of the whole human space, we are third in terms of general national power, from military to society and economy. Although I would describe it as a secretly dictatorial regime, hidden behind the mask of ”republic ” and ”democracy ” since the Kansa bloodline have exclusively held leadership for the last hundreds of years. The amount of times somebody not from the Kansa assumed the title of prime minister can be counted on one hand.

My father is currently the governor of Damascus Prima, a habitable planet of the Damascus system about 30 light years away from the Sol systems. Corsia has the majority of the planet claimed and has been developing it for decades, hence why its easy to see he is elected as governor. I do have to admit he is doing his job very well. Damascus Prima is rising through the rank as an important chokepoint for intergalactic trade and its people is generally content with the leadership. Its infrastructure, economy and security is slowly aproaching the core planets.

Though he hold much authority, the current head of the family is not him but rather, my grandfather, who is in his 160s. He greatly surpasses my father in terms of being ambitious. And he will quite literally go to any ends just to get what he wants.

Ever since my birth, my father has been educating and preparing me for the future, just like what my grandfather did to him. From boosting my school performance when I was young to lining my way with his status and connection as a planetary governor. Also the fact that I am his only child doesn help either. Because of that, I had to work extra hard to bear the responsibility of being a child belonging to the Kansa family.

To be honest, our family as of now is no longer in its glorious state like it used to be back in the day. Not anymore. Obviously the public does not know about this.

The ways of which my family attains their goals vary, from questionably legal to just borderline against the law. I have always hated how my family operate. The amount of shady deals they have with the political world, both ”above ” and ”underground ” are insurmountable. But of course I have to abide with it, after all I am one of the familys member.

I am at the moment walking toward the meeting room in the USAF where I will have a remote meeting my father. The corridor around me is clad in a light gray tone, the cold and lifeless alloy that was used to build this corridor can be felt on my skin. That or I have just walked by an air conditioning unit. On my left are doors that lead to different offices and on my right are windows overlooking Washington DC. I am currently on the 114th floor right now so I can see the entire city below. Occasionally there are pots of plants, substance dispensers and benches lining the wall on my left, which really makes this place looks like your typically normal office building, but its not.

The environment is illuminated by several light sources coming from underneath both side of the walkway as well as light coming from the windows on my right. I can see behind my reflection on the glass is a lively Washington living its night life. Shiny light spots of buildings, of streets, of vehicles on the ground and hovercrafts on the aerolanes moving about. I slightly dash my gaze to the right and catch a glimpse of the White house. Since the headquarter for the USAF is in the United States. The famous resident of all Americas president since the 1800s, its still here after all those years, getting retrofitted every 20 years or so all the way til now. Pretty much all of the worlds historical sites remain intact, except for the Great Wall of China and the Statue of Liberty which were destroyed during world war 3 near the end of the 21st century. But they were quickly rebuild. They even built several more world wonders since then bringing the total amount of wonders up to 11 on just Earth alone.

I keep on walking while looking outside the glass panels, trying to savor the scenery. As I know I will not be seeing this planet again anytime soon.

Though the humans have policies regarding absolutely no contacts with intelligent alien species that have yet to reach space age technology, if we do meet them of course. I know without a doubt that my family would want to seize control of the new alien planet along with its alien inhabitants whatever it takes. And I will be the one theyll send in to control it. Its too valuable of a target to just skip out. And I know many other nations would also want to expand their influence over this planet as well.

”You have arrived at your destination, sir. ”

A voice was heard in my head, intercepting my train of thoughts, as if something is talking directly to my brain. Well that is the voice of my AI assistance ALAN. I made him myself several years ago and have been keeping his existence a secret since then. He has been a great help in assisting me with a multitude of tasks and duties. And I am still overworked despite his assistance!

Using my mind I communicate with him, ”Yes, thank you. Prepare the necessary archives and present it to my lens, also get ready to record the upcoming meeting with the old man. ”

”Yes, sir. ” Alan replied in a soft robotic tone.

Sensing my presence, the metal door slides to both side while creating a hydraulic hissing noise. I step into the door and it closes automatically behind me.

The room is dimly lit. Lights are turned down to accommodate its function, which is a meeting room modified to be compatible with VR activities. The low intensity lighting makes you focus more into the VR images apparently, at least that is what they say. I on the other hand feel nothing else but uneasiness within this eerie darkness. The light comes from the light spots on the floor near the edges where the floor and the wall meets. On the far side of the room, hangs a large screen displaying the logo of the United Stars.

I walk further into the room. It is completely silent apart from the sounds of my boots hitting the hard and smooth metal floor. The room is a round shaped room, with two tables situated in its center. Each table is shaped in the shape of a half circle, each also has approximately ten seats. The two crescent shaped tables form a loose circle in the room, leaving two gaps about two meters apart at each tables end. In the middle there is a hexagon shape imprinted on the floor, with the emblem of the United Stars on it.

I take a seat on one of the chairs and fold my hand, waiting patiently. An outline of a small square lights up on the wall in front of me and opens up like a sliding double door. Inside is a small well lit vent like corridor containing a white object with a black square on its front. It exits the small square hole on the wall and fly towards me.

”Robusta Espresso, make it double, medium sugar. ”

”Order received, please wait a moment, ” a robotic response was heard coming from the flying thing. It is of course an beverage drone. Pretty much the only feature I like about this building, is that they have these guys installed in almost every room, save for storage rooms and restrooms.

Sounds of boiling and dripping water can be heard from within the drone. Then a paper cup is putted down on the table in front of me.

”Thank you, that would be all. ” I thanked the drone and it flies back into where it came from.

The scent of robust coffee immediately invade my nose. Ah the oh so sweet scent of instant Espresso coffee. Finally after a long day I can enjoy you at last.

I pick up the cup and put my nose near it, then I inhale a bit to savor the iconic smell of cheap mediocre quality coffee.

I close my eyes and put my lip onto the cup, preparing my mouth to welcome the still steaming hot streams of this favorite beverage of mine.

”Good evening, enjoying the drink? ” a voice suddenly interrupts me, along with an image of my father sitting across the room being projected into my optical lens.

”Father, good evening. ” I answer in a slightly irritated tone, begrudgingly putting my coffee cup down without being able to taste even a little bit of it.

”I assume you have already known the details regarding this quick meeting yes? ” He asked, eyes looking down as if he is reading through some sort of documents and both hands holding something invisible on the table. But he is holding nothing from my perspective, thats because the system only shows him and not the objects around him.

”Yes, I got the briefings when I was on transport. ” I replied, still irritated by the fact that I didn get to enjoy my coffee break.

”Repeat it then. ”

”Right, so to summarize I will be visiting the science team on the observation orbital platform and talk to them, then I will be spending my time there to study the alien races, their world and their societies, learning as much as I can within a month, then return and… ” I paused.

”And? ”

”And prepare for colonization. ” I continued, hesitantly.

”Good, you will know what to do then. Our sponsors and benefactors over at the council have already arranged everything. You will be the final piece on the board to complete everything. ”

”So everyone is in on this? ”

”Not really, but most of the important people are with us. Just leave everything on this side to me, your job is out there, not here. ”

”Also I have already arranged transports to the station. You will also be escorted there by a Delta 6 task force. ” He ended his sentences with a peculiar name.

This raises many exclamation marks in side my head. Delta Six? Curious. This is a simple mission, just visiting a place and go back. Im not going into a war zone. In fact the Sarir-B system is tens of light years away from the current hot zones. I don even need escort for this.

”Why? It is not necessary. ” I replied to him. Questioning him about the necessity of including such a highly valued special force into this mission.

”It is, trust me. It is. ” He then switches his gaze from the table to me after finishing his statement. His eyes stare directly into mine. ”As usual, I expect high result from this, this special planet hold important strategic values. The Republic of Corsia needs a foothold on it. ” His tone gets even more serious, as if he is commanding me, as if failure is not an option.

”Of course. I will not fail you. ” I replied, trading cold gazes with his eyes.

”Then that shall conclude this meeting. ” His voice become less serious. His eyes now diverted back onto whatever he has on the table in his office. A moment later, his signal disconnected with my system and his image fades from my lens.

I sigh, picking up my coffee cup again. It is still warm, but whatever enthusiasm left to enjoy from this wonderful beverage has all but vanished after such a meeting.

”Should have told it to add less sugar. ” I sip the drink and let the black liquid floods my mouth. I can even enjoy this drink now thanks to him ruining my mood.

I continue to sip my coffee in silence, surrounded by dimly lit light from the floor and a large screen on the wall bearing the symbol of the United Stars. Quiet hum fills the room, coming from the various systems hidden behind wall panels.

”Who is responsible for the drinks in this facility anyway? ”

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”My masters mood? You want to know how to read his mood, your highness? It is very simple. Do you know the humans black drink called coffee? It is his favorite beverage. There is a sweetener substance called sugar, it is duang in your kingdoms language. His positive emotion is proportional to the amount of duang he puts into his coffee. Basically the sweeter his drink is, the happier his mood is. But may I ask why you need to know this information? ”

– A.I unit A-LAN –

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