Execution of the Traitor
On board the flagship of the Gamilas forces, a strange ritual was being carried out. Dessler sat on a raised throne facing a circular floor where a Gamilas man had been placed. The man who had insisted upon the pursuit of Yamato stood before a gathering of executive officers and spat out the most extreme opinion.
“So, by the name of Leader Dessler, we pass judgement upon the traitor Gastel…”
The officer stepped out into the center of the floor and shouted as he raised a hand.
“…the traitor Gastel, who took command of the mission to search for the enemy ship. When he encountered this single battleship, not only could he not destroy it, most of the allied fleet was defeated. This is serious treason against Leader Dessler. Thus, we apply a method of execution appropriate for first-degree treason: Death by Abomination!”
As this was spoken, Gastel’s expression twisted with fear and humiliation. Before long, his body was secured inside an oblong box out of which was hollowed a figure, as if it were a mold for a doll. This was fixed to the floor, and a similar object was lowered from the ceiling opposite, which could be thought of as the cover of the box. Slowly and steadily, it drew close to the box which held Gastel. As his face twisted into a grimace, the cover could soon be seen to press down on his body.
“An ugly death for a traitor!” one of the officers suddenly shouted. “Unbroken loyalty to Leader Dessler!”
Others joined in to raise their voices until, eventually, Dessler stood up to respond to his subordinates. He slowly walked up to Gastel’s gallows and placed his hand on the box.
“Gastel! Your life of glory is over. I strip you of all titles and your pride as a citizen of Gamilas. Go now! Go to the land of eternal death for our enemies!”
At that moment, green light shone out from the lid as it approached Gastel and his body was shoved into the box. And what happened next! In a moment, his beautiful face instantly changed into one of ugliness, and his youthful limbs – muscular as an antelope’s – also began to mutate horribly. Was the green light a kind of cellular remodeling ray?
Gastel was completely transformed in only a few minutes, swiftly turned into an alien creature. For a beautiful and proud race, it must have been an unbearable punishment. But the execution was not finished. The true death was only beginning. When the green light went out, a transparent cylinder descended into the box to surround Gastel. This cylinder would be released from the ship’s launch pad.
Gastel, former officer of the Gamilas forces, had lost the pride of his beauty and was expelled alive into the vacuum of space. A cruel and brutal punishment indeed.
Finished with the execution, Dessler returned to his throne and one of the executive officers stepped forward.
“Leader Dessler! There is another affair for which we ask instructions…”
“All right, go ahead.”
“Yes. In fact, we obtained a prisoner of war in this battle. What measures shall we take?”
“Must I instruct you on such a thing? You are an embarrassment!”
“Yes. I beg your pardon, your highness.”
“Very well. First, compel the prisoner to disclose the purpose of the enemy warship, then consider a strategy that puts the prisoner to use.”
“I see. It will be arranged at once.”
“In any case, for only one ship to fight our magnificent Gamilas forces and claim a victory is a stunning thing. Their commanding officer must be exceptional despite being from an inferior race. I think I’d like to meet him.”
“By your leave, your highness. By all means, we will bring the enemy warship to you as well as the enemy commander and force him to bow before your supreme presence.”
“Very well. This can be achieved so long as you do not repeat the folly of Gastel.”
“By the way, I find these additional fleet activities to be wearying. I was thinking of taking a brief respite. Is one of my leisure areas nearby to this sector?”
“Yes. The closest presidential palace from here is on Planet Bolzon…”
“Hmm, Bolzon…I haven’t been there lately…”
Dessler muttered with an expression of deep emotion.
“I have conquered many worlds, but Bolzon kept slipping through my grasp.”
One of the executive officers gazed off into the distance with the same expression.
“When it was all over, I was only able to build my palace. The conquest of Bolzon ended up having to be abandoned, and to the Bolzon we are hated invaders. I doubt they ever want to see our faces again, and yet they calmly offered us a plot of land for my palace. Such a strange lot, they were…”
“Very well, Your Majesty. We’ll travel to Bolzon at once and resume our search for the enemy after your excellency has transferred to the palace.”
“…and after such a long time, I will enjoy dinner with the Bolzon King…”
As if already tasting the pleasure of rest, Dessler’s body sank deeper into the throne.
After escaping the Milky Way Galaxy, Yamato advanced into the boundless dark. Because of a warp energy filling shortage, the ship proceeded at sub-light speed toward a star whose name wasn’t even certain, shining like a lighthouse in space.
“Captain. We need to have a little talk…”
Covered with oily dirt from head to toe, Chief Engineer Hikozaemon Tokugawa appeared on the first bridge. The entire crew was in a state of collapse after the end of their fierce battle, and not even Juuzo Okita could hide the tone of his fatigue.
“Mr. Tokugawa. Is something wrong?”
“Yes. We’ve investigated the trouble in the light speed engine, which was likely caused by damage on the surface of the ship. I’d like to order a detailed inspection, but…”
“Engine trouble. Is it enough to interfere with our progress?”
“Yes. Currently, there’s no specific impact, but power output is falling little by little. The sooner we can treat it, the better.”
Eighty hours had elapsed since the battle with Gamilas, and the bruises received at that time were delaying Yamato’s progress. The lightspeed engine was the critical foot that propelled Yamato into warp flight, and it had been disrupted. Given the purpose of this voyage, it could be said that engine trouble was far more frightening than the presence of Gamilas.
“All right. Get to it at once.”
“Captain,” Susumu Kodai interjected, “what can I do to help?”
Susumu had lost his only friend and took a vow to give up the love of a dear woman, so now work was his way toward salvation.
“Hmm…since working outside the ship is dangerous, someone familiar with it would be preferred. Right, that’s your assignment, Kodai.”
“Roger! I’ll take it immediately.”
Yamato was out in the middle of the universe. Outside the ship, Susumu emerged from an emergency evacuation hatch in the lower bow, wearing a space suit with magnetic boots and tethered by a lifeline at his waist.
“There’s a lot of damage on the port side bow…many broken points near the second bridge…making my way toward the stern…”
One after another, Susumu sent reports to the first bridge. Yamato’s surface damage was far worse than expected.
“This is terrible…”
As he muttered this, Susumu slowly advanced through a dark world of nothingness. It was as if the scene symbolized all the misfortune that had been heaped upon the humans of Earth. It was a lonely, deserted view.
“Captain, I see the cause of the light speed engine’s reduced output.”
Susumu stopped at the lightspeed engine nozzle at the stern.
“The nozzle was heavily slashed by the enemy attack. No wonder the engine is affected.”
Okita’s instructions sounded in Kodai’s helmet.
“All right, very well, Kodai. Come back in now and give me a detailed report.”
“Roger! I’ll return immediately.”
An hour later, the chief of each department convened on the first bridge for a meeting about how to restore Yamato. A complete chart of Yamato’s hull was displayed on the video panel with the damaged sections lighting up one by one.
“It’s bad,” Okita muttered. “Mr. Sanada, what are the prospects for repair?”
“Yes. One section in particular needs urgent repair. There is damage to the injection tube, and it’s very dangerous. There will be severe impacts if it is left as is.”
“Then get started on repairs at once.”
“No, it’s not possible.”
“This repair will require significant amounts of titanium ore, and Yamato has none in stock. In other words, in order to obtain titanium for the repairs, we have to conduct mining operations on a planet somewhere.”
Okita’s expression instantly shifted to perplexity.
“This is serious. Yamato has no time to spare. If we can obtain some, how much time would it take for restoration?”
“Yes. First, if we’re lucky enough to arrive at a planet with titanium ore, at least two weeks will be necessary.”
“Two weeks! An accident that costs us two weeks is a terrible loss…”
“It’s the best we can do, Captain. As it is now, isn’t it impossible for us to proceed…?”
“Then we’ll continue on and immediately begin searching for a planet with titanium ore!”
At Okita’s roar, a rush of heat lifted up the sinking bridge crew.
“Captain,” the main radar officer shouted, “we can identify one fixed star ahead, what shall we do?”
“The distance and stellar type?”
“Distance approximately 1 billion, 10 million km. It’s spectra type G class…”
“The same as our sun. Can you confirm any planets?”
“Yes. From this angle, we can confirm six.”
“Right, we’ll close in and investigate! Set course for that star system at the speed of light!”
“Roger! Changing course, proceeding at speed of light!”
Beyond the vast darkness, the star glowed with a bright orange color. In about an hour, the gigantic figure of Yamato drifted into the unknown star system. Looking out the window of the first bridge, the chief pilot uttered a cry of admiration.
“Everyone…we’ve got a wonderful view.”
He pointed out a single blue planet with a fresh appearance.
“Look at that…”
Susumu practically screamed.
“It’s Earth! It could be Earth itself…!”
Every person on the crew felt the same, even if they couldn’t hear Susumu’s words.
“It’s beautiful,” someone murmured longingly. The planet had the same beautiful blue presence that Earth once possessed.
Everyone had embarked on this difficult journey to prevent the home of the human race from being lost. At the same time, it could be said that this view made them desperately homesick and was a cruel stab to the heart. The crew crowded up against the ship’s windows to gaze silently at this planet, some with tears in their eyes.
“Right,” Okita announced, “we’ll begin an investigation of that planet.”
A specially-organized expeditionary team would soon leave Yamato.
Compassion of an Unknown Planet
Captain Juuzo Okita joined the planetary expedition group, which consisted of a science group to take charge of titanium ore mining and a Space Fighter platoon as escort, lead by Susumu Kodai. The transport boat headed toward the planet at high speed, flanked on the left and right by two combat boat escorts.
“Captain. I’m getting observation data from the planet ahead.”
In the control room of the transport boat, Juuzo Okita was surrounded by remote sensors that scanned the planet.
“Good work. Are you able to land?”
“Yes. The atmosphere has a similar composition to Earth’s, so we won’t need space helmets.”
“I see. That’s good.”
“However, the planet’s mass seems to be slightly bigger than Earth. The computer indicates a gravity of 1.5.”
“Hmm, 1.5G…I weight 70 kilos, so it will become 105. It will be inconvenient to move around much.”
“There are no problems indicated by the other data.”
“All right, plunge into the atmosphere! Check the preparations!”
Before long, the bow angles of the transport and combat boats changed, rushing toward the planet straight ahead.
“Maintain an altitude of 10,000 and analyze the topography of the planet.”
As Okita reeled off instructions, the craft switched to jet navigation and took a taste of the planet at full speed.
“The topographical structure is very similar to Earth. Ocean, mountains, plains, all in the same balance as our planet.”
“What about life signs?”
“Yes. Because the conditions are ideal for the development of organic life we could consider the presence of a Homo Sapiens-type life form, but there’s no such reading yet.”
“If there are Homo Sapiens-type life forms we should be able to detect them. Are there any villages or readings of artificial materials?”
“No, not yet.”
Then something strange happened. Without warning, the cockpit instruments suddenly went mad, and a “Zaza” noise arose from speakers on board the ship.
“Wha…what is this? What’s going on here…!?”
The flustered pilot hurriedly attempted to adjust the instruments, but there wasn’t a single clue.
“I don’t know, it’s some kind of interference…”
Immediately after Juuzo Okita muttered this, something astonishing happened. A strange voice emerged from the speaker and began to flow in what was unmistakably Japanese.
“Calling the flying object sailing over our planet…”
Everyone on the transport boat was stunned to silence.
“Calling the flying object. State your identity and your reason for flying to our planetary sphere.”
No one could imagine what method had been used to convey that voice on the transport boat’s speaker, but it undeniably came from a resident of the unknown planet that spread out before their eyes.
Juuzo Okita was baffled. Disclosing their identity and purpose wasn’t a problem. In this case, the Earthlings were merely sudden visitors, so to speak, and even if they were thought to be suspicious invaders, it was natural to announce that they had no hostile intent. However, in what way should that message be conveyed? They had no knowledge of the other party’s identity, let alone their location. Since the boat’s communication system was limited to only one frequency, a transmission to the the unidentified party was unreliable.
The mystery voice flowed out from the speaker again as if it had anticipated Okita’s bewilderment.
“You may answer our question from your location. We have a method of catching it. State your identity and purpose promptly.”
Juuzo Okita had the feeling that he had already failed in his conversation with this invisible man, but nevertheless he began to speak into the empty air.
“We are people from the Milky Way Galaxy, and we came from the third planet of a fixed star we call the Sun. We have no hostile intent. Please forgive our unauthorized intrusion into your planetary sphere. I sincerely apologize.
The reason we are investigating your planet is that our spaceship has suffered damage from certain circumstances and needs immediate repair. However, we lack titanium steel for the repairs and will soon be unable to travel any further. Therefore, may we have your permission to conduct the mining of titanium ore?”
Okita’s words were filled with genuine feeling, and when no reply was returned the boat was filled with an air of anxiety. The silence continued for a while. If they were refused, Okita had no more hands left to play in this game. This planet’s cooperation was now critical.
The speaker suddenly trembled as the voice returned.
“We fully understand. We welcome you as friends. We will ensure that you receive the necessary materials.”
The favorable attitude of this unknown planet was completely unexpected. Okita’s voice was filled with cheer.
“Thank you very much. I sincerely thank you for your kindness.”
“We will take control of your craft and guide it to a landing at our spaceport. You may be fully at ease. We will now discontinue this transmission.”
When the voice stopped flowing from the speaker, the instruments returned to normal operation. Before long, the transport boat and the two combat boats descended, drawn toward a single point by an unseen force.
“Captain, this is Kodai. You heard that…?”
It was Susumu Kodai, transmitting from a combat boat.
“Is it all right? I feel like it’s too good to be true…”
“Kodai, don’t worry. The universe is large. It can’t contain only brutal creatures like the Gamilas. As it is now, all we can do is trust our luck to heaven…”
Okita shifted his gaze down toward the unknown planet, now looming up beneath them.
The landscape was strange.
The flat topography of the small hill had surely been artificially leveled to a degree that it could be called a rocket pad. It wasn’t like the vast open space seen on Earth, and there was no building on the natural grounds that would correspond to a control tower.
The transport boat and the two combat boats, their engines stopped, descended quietly onto the milky-white bedrock. Gradually, the occupants of the three Earth boats emerged without space helmets. Okita cried out as the 1.5 gravity took him by surprise.
“Well, this body is heavy indeed.”
Susumu was the first to jump out of his combat boat and rushed over to Okita.
“This is definitely strange! They welcomed us as guests, but I don’t think they get much traffic in this dreary place. Do you really think this is a spaceport!?”
Thinking it was indeed a strange place, Okita cautiously planted his foot on the unknown planet and slowly looked around. There was little difference between this sky and landscape from those of Earth. Memories of Earth flooded back as the men picked up stones and breathed the air fully into their chests.
Suddenly, one of them shouted as he pointed down the hill.
“Something’s coming toward us!”
Out of the dense green forest at the base of the gentle slope, a shining silvery object emerged and started up the hill. Susumu shouted tensely.
“Should we go to alert?”
“Right,” Okita said, “ready your weapons and take up emergency positions around the boat!”
At Okita’s command, the others took up defensive stances with Susumu at the head. The mysterious silver object was quickly approaching the ridge line of the hill. Susumu raised his voice when he finally got a clear look at it.
It was a square platform about five meters on each side. It stopped directly in front of Susumu with a mysterious person standing on top of it – undeniably a Homo-Sapiens-type life form. It was shorter than an Earthling, but otherwise a completely humanoid figure. Casting its gaze at the motionless Earthlings, it slowly came to a landing on the ground.
A white robe reminiscent of ancient Greece hung from its shoulder. The person smiled peacefully at them from a face topped with dark green hair and stepped toward Susumu with an outstretched hand.[Friends from distant lands, welcome to my planet Bolzon…]
The words were suddenly conveyed into the minds of the Earthlings. Okita and Susumu instinctively glanced at each other. It didn’t look as if the white-robed person had spoken, merely smiled and held out both hands. The mystery was soon solved.[Your suspicion is reasonable. On Planet Bolzon, we have no need of words. We speak and listen by communicating our feelings from the heart…]
Head bowed, Juuzo Okita placed his gun back in its holster.
“I see. In other words, when you sent the transmission to our transport boat, you were communicating telepathically. Anyway, I apologize for troubling you, and thank you.”
[Now then, I will guide you to the capital city of Planet Bolzon. The king awaits your pleasure…]
At the recommendation of this white-robed figure, Okita and Susumu stepped onto the platform as the other men watched uneasily.
“Kodai and I will go and speak to the leaders of this planet about Yamato’s repairs. You men wait here for further orders!”
Their anxiety dissipated at Okita’s strong words. At the same time, the platform floated up without a sound and began to descend down the slope. Okita and Susumu had no idea what kind of technology allowed this vehicle to move, but even with nothing to hold onto, they had no trouble maintaining their balance.
“…Captain, this is a strange vehicle. I have no idea what kind of power system it uses.”
“Hmm…this civilization on Planet Bolzon seems very different from ours on Earth…”
The white-robed person spoke telepathically as if to answer their questions.[…This is not what you think of as a vehicle. It does not have such mechanisms as an engine or fuel…]
“Hmm…but some power source must be needed to move a metal plate with this much mass. Jet energy, perhaps, or an anti-gravity device…?”[No, neither of those. And this platform is not made of metal, so to speak, it is entirely a mass of energy, a substance similar to gas…]
Amazed, Okita and Susumu looked own at the material beneath their feet.
“Th-this is all energy…?”
“This is made of gas…!”[Yes. Now it takes the form of a square vehicle, but it changes into various shapes as needed using the universal energy of Planet Bolzon…]
“But…” Susumu murmured in a tone that indicated he still didn’t understand.
“I can understand that it’s energy, but what corresponds to an engine that burns this energy? Without that, how could you make it work for you?”[Hahaha…I see. I cannot explain it in a way that will make sense to you. Friends from space who visit Bolzon for the first time are caught up in wonder. The thing that corresponds to what you call an engine is within our brains.]
“Your brain…!?”[Yes, it is. Everything reacts to the power we release from our brains, and the substance that is particularly sensitive is the universal energy.]
“I see… You Bolzonians are, so to speak, psychic aliens.”[Psychic power? Hahaha, I see. That’s how you think of it…]
With the laughter of the white-robed person riding on it, the platform soon entered the green woods.