The Safest Place in the Universe by David Scholes

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In the history of the Universe the ancient race of the Tolden achieved a level of advanced technology second only to the mighty Brell. Like the Brell before them the Tolden exercised a benign hegemony across multiple Galaxies. Also like the Brell the Tolden eventually on into history or so it is generally believed.

The commander of the Bloord Starfleet did not hold to the general belief, nor did his superiors in the Bloord home systems. Over 1,000 vessels strong the huge fleet continued to scour the star systems in this most remote part of what humankind calls the Greater Magellenic Cloud. With no evidence to support the view the best mystically enhanced Bloord electronic/biological computers had predicted the continued existence of the Tolden. Reclusive elements were thought to be still living in a near undetectable redoubt over a million years after their reported demise.

The best Bloord computer modeling supported by mystical seer predictions had recommended the search of a number of volumes of space. The current search area/volume had not been highest in terms of probable success but had been far from lowest. After months of unsuccessful searching the Bloord fleet began to gather in preparation for return to the home systems. The great starships began to gather speed in preparation for the jump into hyperspace. Well before commencing the jump the 1,000 + vessels were inexplicably teleported a distance roughly corresponding to the diameter of a reasonable sized star system.

The Bloord fleet had no sense of being teleported or otherwise interfered with but somehow while still traveling at well below light speed they were instantly moved six thousand million kilometers. The fleet came to a halt and maneuvered around seeking to return to the coordinates where they had been teleported from. Again without any sense or evidence of being interfered with, other than their coordinates in space, the Bloord fleet was instantly moved approximately 6,000 million kilometers whence they came.

A less technically advanced might have chosen not to pursue the matter and simply to leave that area of space. To the Bloord, however, this constituted the first tangible fragment of evidence of the existence of the Tolden. Large numbers of Bloord interceptor fighters left their base ships and subjected themselves to the "teleportation phenomenon" enabling a "mapping" of the volume of space subject to the phenomenon.

The Bloord fleet then dispersed taking up over 1,000 positions at different points on the computed periphery of the phenomenon. Only moments thereafter a fusillade of energy projections issued forth from all starships present. Even the smallest of the starships was of planet busting capability. Still with all this the streams of energy were themselves teleported distances ranging from as much as 7,000 million kilometers to as little as 4,000 million kilometers to the opposite side of wherever they were projected against the phenomenon. Needless to say this outcome had been considered as a possibility and the Bloord starships had been located in such a way as to avoid possible loss to "friendly fire".

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