Marketing planet Earth one project at a time.

First Launch

The President faces a military coup and extrasolar war when a covertly built second generation space shuttle reveals a worldwide military destined to confront an alien presence on Earth.

Abiel Yonah watched in horror as the biblical destruction of his homeworld Shinar replayed holographically. The Premier of the Eighth Synedrion Council was determined that history would not repeat itself on Earth—the legendary First World.  While enroute to the historic Earth Shinar conference in 1972 after their revelation during the Apollo missions, he implored the importance of Earth’s survival to his youngest son Cedric. Little did either know, that on arrival, the entire council would mysteriously disappear during an unknown atmospheric disturbance after being greeted by the United States Army. Cedric’s determination to find the council have clashed with a directive from his own father, one that could lead to war and the end of life on Earth.   

Since the meeting in Brussels two years earlier in 2014 when President Colton signed Operation Troy, the President finds she is no closer to learning what’s inside a secret hangar at Wright Patterson since her own military refused access.

When the President is informed by the Treasury Department that General Reager not only has access to certain weapon systems, but that a massive aerospace construction project is underway, Elisabeth Seward, her National Security Advisor and member of Cedric’s Ninth Synedrion Council, tells the President he needs to be stopped—even if it means violating Abiel’s directives. On this knowledge Cedric instructs a system, known as Central, to prepare to take total control of Earth’s electronic systems. Little did Cedric know that forces exceeding his own would soon materialize.

Learning that Reager has violated Troy, the President calls on trusted members of her cabinet to assist in bringing Reager down. But not knowing entirely where Seward’s loyalties lie, the President calls on one person who may be able to finally learn what’s in that hangar—Major Ellen Sampson – who is torn between the oaths she took while struggling to understand who Cedric is after he tried to recruit her.

While monitoring the planet, Central reveals that a film by a camera operator from the conference of 1972 has been located. As Cedric plans a clandestine operation to retrieve the film, Reager convenes a “Wannsee style” conference in Washington to implement plans to rid the planet of an alien race that appears to be slowly assimilating Earth’s inhabitants. With the retrieved film in the process of being decoded by Cedric’s technicians, Sampson reveals the conference details to Cedric who conveys to her why he was truly sent to Germany during World War II – Central’s detection of an anti-gravity bomb – a suspected type of device that may have caused the holocaust on Shinar.

As Sampson arrives at Wright Patterson under the protection of Central’s monitoring, the President is briefed by Elisabeth that Reager not only controls part of the nuclear triad, but that one of Cedric’s own people is behind this worldwide shadow operation. An operation that Reager reveals when, after decades of development, the second-generation space shuttle, SS Constitution, is launched from an underground hangar that isn’t at Wright Patterson. Fully equipped with anti-gravity propulsion and advanced armaments, Earth has now achieved parity with Cedric’s otherworldly Arctran fleet—but to what end?

Moments after Sampson enters the hangar her eyes fixate on Cedric’s reconstructed Arctran that crashed in 1948 killing his brother. With Cedric watching intently, the film from 1972 slowly reveals its findings from the other side of the mysterious atmospheric disturbance. Finally, the impossible—Cedric’s long thought to be dead older brother, Kenton, from the crash is seen in the crowd. Hearing footsteps near her, Sampson turns to see Kenton in the flesh—or was he?

As Reager’s operation comes under attack by Colton’s military and Cedric’s fleet, he now finds himself under arrest for treason. Although the President was able to avoid an extrasolar war for now, it cost her the election with the incoming vice-President elect a Reager conspirator.  

With Cedric convening an emergency meeting with the Synedrion Council to address the revelation of Kenton and the SS Constitution, Kenton leads Sampson under detention to an underground bunker that reveals what Cedric confessed to her two years earlier—something else is here.

The Synedrion Council Chambers (concept art)

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First Launch is the sequel to First Signal. Written by Mark Lund (markashtonlund@gmail.com), the story takes place during the events in the ebook Covenant and is a prequel to First World.