Jack Darby stood at the window and looked out at the Earth before him, the Home-world of Humanity. As he marveled at the beauty of the blue planet, the young Man could not help but reflect on the events that had brought him this far in his life, since before he turned Sixteen, Jack's life was not what you would have called eventful. Probably in no small part to the fact that he lived in a small dusty Town in the North American State of Nevada, and that Town was called Jasper.
He lived there with his Mother, June Darby. And he had a lot of responsibilities thrust upon him after his Father left early on in his child hood, something that she would not have wanted for her Son. But Jack never complained, completing any task given by her or dropped on his shoulders by their situation as a Mother and Son team. He even got a after-school job at the local Diner, so that he could help with the rent for their home.
Jack never thought that this job would do anything more for him than help put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. But after the events that happened next, the young Man would wonder if this was all really in Fate's control. Since one day he came across a beautiful blue Motorcycle in the Diner's Car-park, and it was this moment that would change his life forever.
Because this Motorcycle turned out to be an alien robot or autonomous Robotic Organisms from the Planet Cybetron, as he would later be told. And this one in particular was Femme called Arcee who then took Jack and two other Humans called Raf and Miko to meet the rest of her team, which she referred to as 'Autobots'.
There was Ratchet, the team's grouchy medic and Bumblebee, the team's scout. The team's heavy hitter and former 'Wrecker' was Bulkhead , while Arcee herself was the team's second in Command. The one in charge of the group was Optimus Prime, who was noble and compassionate leader.
Jack and his new friends soon became part of the Autobots conflict against another group of Cybertronians called 'Decepticons', who were led by the tyrannical 'Megatron'. It was a war that had started on and consumed their Homeworld Cybertron before spreading out amongst the Galaxy and finding it's way to Earth.
But the Teenagers new Alien 'friends' were not fighting alone as they had secret backing from the US Government, who's contact went by the name of Agent William Fowler. It was not always the strongest of alliances, but it held on and grew during the ongoing conflict between these two powerful groups of 'Transformers' even when faced with more threats like the treacherous Human group called 'MECH'.
Over the years that the War raged on Earth, in secret of course. The Bots and Humans friendships blossomed, while also being tested at times. And the Autobots gained new soldiers to their cause...like Smokescreen, while also losing some too…..like Bulkhead and earlier before that, Tailgate and Cliffjumper, both had been close friends with Arcee. Every member of 'Team Prime' had a part to play, including it's Human members.
Jack himself became a temporary bearer of Optimus's 'Matrix of Leadership', after the Autobot Leader was missing in action after the defeat a god-like being called 'Unicron' who inhabited Earth's very core. The Prime had chosen Jack for this purpose after witnessing how mature and responsible the Teenager was, seeing something in Jack that was more than meets the eye.
After Optimus retrieved a powerful relic called the 'Star-Saber, the war entered an almost stalemate-like state for a few years as the Decepticons held themselves back in fear of the power the Autobots now possessed. But there were still skirmishes between the two sides, and Jack and Miko found themselves working alongside their friends in the field and gaining the kind of experience that others of their age would not even dream of.
By the time that Jack had turned twenty one years old, he was already experienced in the ways of war thanks to his part in the Cybertronian Civil War. But it was at this point that the Decepticons made their presence known to the rest of the world for Megatron was furious with his failure to destroy the Autobots, after discovering the location of their Base near Jasper. So he unleashed the entirety of his Decepticons on Humanity, sending groups to attack major Cities around the Planet while the Con Leader himself attacked Washington DC.
And while Jack stood at the window and looked down at the planet as he thought about all of this, he found himself recalling the events of that battle.
'As Arcee sped down the road in her Motorcycle mode with Jack on her back, they both could not help but wonder how the battle was going for everyone else.
"I hope everyone else is doing alright, Arcee?" the twenty one year old said with a worried tone while looking down at her futuristic dashboard. "I'm sure the others are alright, Jack, I am more worried about what you had just been through with Starscream." the Femme replied with a supportive tone to her voice, earning a lopsided grin from Jack in return.
"I have been through worse than that, Arcee, we both have. And besides, you scrapped that stiletto-heeled true and proper." he said back with a tinge of pride to his voice, which if she was Human would have made the Femme blush.
"Thanks, Partner, but he had it coming…. that and more." "I know, but still…." Jack started to say before both his and her Com-links activated.
"This is Ratchet, is there anyone in Washington who can respond?" the voice of the Medic said in a heightened and yet still grouchy voice.
"We read you, Ratchet, what's going on?" Arcee replied as the pair sped through the devastated streets of the US Capital, heading toward the sounds of explosions and further fighting nearer it's center.
"I believe Optimus is in trouble…" the Bot said back, making Jack's eyes widen in response.
"What do you mean, Ratchet?" the Human asked, getting his words in before the Femme who instead kept her focus on the road as she let her Partner do the talking.
"Jack, Optimus told me to ground-bridge Bumblebee and Smokescreen to assist Wheeljack and Miko at the Trinidad sector of the City, after the pair reported more Vehicon reinforcements overwhelming the Military there. But soon after I lost contact with him and have been unable to regain contact with anyone else before you." the Medic said back with a worried tone.
"Well we are heading North West up Pennsylvania Avenue right now, Ratchet, so can be at the White House in a few minutes." Arcee spoke up as they turned onto the stretch of road.
"Alright, Arcee, I will try to regain communications with the others in the meantime. Be careful." Ratchet said back.
"Will do, Arcee out." the Femme replied before accelerating to full speed, making Jack tighten his grip on her as they sped onwards. Just a few minutes later and the pair entered the President's Park, immediately spotting their Leader as he was fighting a group of Vehicons and Megatron at the same time.
"Optimus needs our help, Arcee." Jack said as he saw the Decepticon Leader knock his Adversary to the ground, destroying more of the South Lawn.
"First things first, Jack." the Femme replied in an urgent tone as two Vehicons spotted them and opened fire, hitting the ground next to the pair. The force of the nearby explosion sent both of them into the air, with Jack flung off the Motorcycle in response.
"****!" he shouted in return. but Arcee quickly transformed back into her bipedal form and caught her Partner with one hand, while changing her other into a cannon and firing back at their attackers. With one blast hitting an enemy Con directly in the spark chamber, while the other rolled out of the way as the Femme landed back on her feet.
"I've got you, Partner." she replied, earning an affectionate smile from the Human as she put him back on the ground. "Never doubted you, Arcee..." Jack replied, gaining a quick smile from her in return as he equipped his rifle.
"…now let's even this out and help Optimus." he added, earning a nod from the Femme as she activated an arm-blade with her free arm.
"Let's do this." she said as the pair ran towards the battle unfolding before them, shooting at the other Vehicon as it took cover behind one of the trees. But they were now close enough to hear what was being said between the two leaders as they fought, gaining the attention of Megatron as he glanced in their direction while pinning Optimus to the floor.
"Take care of that wretched Autobot and her Human Pet, Prime is mine to finish." he spat at the remaining Vehicons, who all turned their attention to the new arrivals and opened fire. Optimus though took this as his chance and punched the Decepticon Lord in the face, knocking him away and allowing the Prime to get back to his feet.
"This will not by your day, Megatron." he said in a stoic tone, while his rival smirked back at him as he wiped some leaking energon from his mouth.
"I have already won, Optimus, you just don't see it." he spat back before the pair charged at each other once again, trading blows as each hit they took erupted with sparks and squirts of energon.
"I have put up with you and your wretched Autobots for long enough, Prime. And because of that, this world that you care about will now suffer the consequences….and burn." the Decepticon Leader added as he elbowed the Prime in the face, making him stumble backwards.
"I pity you, Megatron…" Optimus began to reply as he recovered from that hit, while Megatron followed through with a punch to the Autobot's chest. But the Prime saw it coming and blocked the attack, countering with an uppercut as he continued.
"…For we were once friends…" he added as he then grabbed Megatron and lifted him into the air. "…but there is no redemption for what you have done now." the Prime continued to say as he through the Decepticon to the floor, making him grimace as he rolled onto his front.
"And who says that I want redemption, Optimus?" Megatron said in return as he got onto his knees, while the Autobot Leader stared back. "Because our species now stands on the edge of extinction and rather than watch us die slowly, like this war has made us do. So I would rather burn everything around me…" he added as he activated his blade, which slid out from beneath his arm-cannon.
"…and feel your spark crush in my hands!" he spat before launching himself at the Prime, who activated his own blades and brought them up deflect the Enemy's attack.
"We might have used up our life energy in this pointless war, Megatron." Optimus replied as he continued to defend against the Decepticon Lord's continuous attacks.
"But there is always ho…" he started to say, before Megatron suddenly sliced the Prime's right arm off and followed through with a stab to his lower torso.
"Optimus!" Arcee shouted after killing another Vehicon with her arm-blade, gaining Jack's attention as he felled another with his rifle. 'Oh no!' he thought as he saw the Decepticon Leader stand over their friend and Mentor.
"I really have had enough of your sanctimonious drivel, and cannot for the life of me understand how we were ever friends." he said as Optimus bled out energon from his wounds and fell to one knee, with Megatron lifting his blade up for a killing stroke.
"Time to meet the Allspark….Optimus Prime." But just as he was about to kill the Prime, Arcee suddenly jumped in and slashed Megatron across the face with her arm-blade, gaining a grimace from him as Jack shot dead the last Vehicon.
"I will kill you, Megatron!" the Femme spat while quickly following through by firing her weapon at the Decepticon Leader, but he simply shrug the blasts off and knocked her to the ground with one punch which cracked her chest-plate armour, winding the Femme in the process.
"You really wish to die before your Leader, very well!" Megatron spat as he swung his blade down at Arcee, but was suddenly stopped in mid-attack as the armour on his attacking arm exploded, earning a cry of pain from him.
"What?" the Femme said before seeing Jack stand there with his rifle smoking from it's grenade launcher.
"No one hurts my Family." he said with a defiant tone, earning a smile from her and a look of shock from the Decepticon Lord.
"You?" he spat as he left Arcee on the floor and turned to face the Human, a look of pure hate on his face as he narrowed his red optics.
"You have been a thorn in the Decepticon cause for far too long, Boy! I will enjoy ripping you limb from limb!"he said before lunging with a fist at Jack, who dived out of the way just in time as Megatron's fist hit the ground next to him.
'Got to make this count!' he thought as he landed on his front, before rolling onto his back and firing another sabre round which hit the Con Leader directly in his chest-plate.
"Arrrggh!" he cried out as he reached to his damaged section, which had left his Decepticon insignia charred. Jack then used this distraction to get back to his feet and get some distance from the Enemy as Arcee watched with widened optics.
'Jack!' she thought as she tried to move, but gasped in pain as the wound Megatron had given her was still causing her trouble. So all she could do was watch as the Decepticon Lord returned his attention to her partner.
"You will pay for that!" he spat as he then fired his Cannon at Jack, only for it to hit the ground near him. But the blast was enough to knock the young Man to the ground and wind him, while Megatron walked over and smiled as he saw his Enemy lying there in pain.
"Jack!" Arcee screamed as she fought through the pain, trying to lift her cannon-arm up to help as the Decepticon aimed his weapon down at her best friend. But Megatron had heard the Femme and took pleasure in knowing his about to end the life of yet another friend of hers as inside of his Cannon's barrel began to glow with purple energy.
"You die now!" he said as he prepared to fire but then suddenly Optimus came out of nowhere and barged into the Con leader, knocking the weapon away from his friend.
"No, no more!" he shouted while pushing the Decepticon Lord away from Jack, who rolled out of harm's way before getting back to his feet and watched as the two Leaders clashed again.
"You don't have what it takes to end this, Prime, but I do." Megatron spat as he blocked a punch from Optimus's remaining arm, while also reactivating his blade which slid out from under his cannon. But just as he was about to swing it towards his one time friend, Jack fired his last remaining sabre round which hit his left knee and shattered it in an explosion that made the Con Lord cry out in pain.
"Arrrragh!" he spat as he began to fall forward, but Optimus instead punched him back in the face. The force of the hit made Megatron lean back while the Autobot Leader readied another attack. "
Megatron, be gone...for good!" he spat before punching his former Friend in the chest and crushing his spark chamber inside, which made the Decepticon Leader's optics fade to black as his body went limp and fell onto it's back.'
The shock of Megatron's death demoralized the Decepticons and they surrendered to the Alliance of Autobot and human forces who had fought side by side in the battle.
Ever since that day, nothing was ever the same. As Megatron and Optimus realised in the last days of the war, both sides had used up all of their remaining energon reserves and so were no longer able to maintain their bodies, which meant certain extinction for the Cybetronian species. But instead of succumbing to what Megatron had seen as the inevitable, the remaining Cybertronians under Optimus's leadership decided to transfer their sparks into the human like pretender bodies that the cons had been building, which originally was so that they could infiltrate Human society . As a way to show appreciation for their efforts to save Earth, the leaders of the planet allowed the transformers to build a city for both species to live and work together in peace and they named the city New Iacon.
But after a few years Jack felt that he was no longer needed in the new Utopia that was being built and with Optimus's blessing joined the newly formed joint defence program. Arcee didn't take the news well but wished her close friend the best and told him she would wait for him to return. Miko joined the force too, but only so she could then work with Wheeljack, who had promised her a place among the Wreckers. Bulkhead had died during the war and Miko saw this as the best way to honour his memory.
Raf had decided to join the Autobot Science Foundation and Bumblebee stayed with him, loyal friend to the end.
Jack made a few friends during his training, one in particular named Kaidan Alenko. And he was part of the reason why Jack was where he was now. He was aboard the Alliance's newest starship, The Normandy.
Jack looked away from the window when he heard voices approaching him from behind.
He turned around to see two men walking up to him, still talking to each other. One was an African-British man in his mid-forties. The other was a Caucasian man, who was in his early fifties but still in good shape considering his age. Jack recognized both of them. The former was Captain Anderson, the Normandy's commanding officer. The latter was Optimus Prime in his pretender body. Even after all these years Jack was still surprised whenever he saw the Prime.
"So this is the young officer that you wanted to have on my crew." said Anderson as he reached out and shook the young man's hand.
"Its nice to meet you again, Darby."
"Same here, Captain." responded Jack. Optimus looked at both of them before speaking.
"Yes, Jack has been a tremendous asset to my team during and after the war. And now that he is a officer in the Alliance, I believe that he could be of greater help to your ship and crew as it explores the uncharted areas of our galaxy."
Anderson took a moment and pondered on the Primes words.
"Well with your rank, Darby, you would become my XO. I hope you will be up to the challenge that goes with such a position."
A slight smirk appeared on Jack's face.
"Yes sir, you can count on me."
"Good, well I am needed in the CIC, please join me there after you are finished with Optimus." replied Anderson as he headed to the elevator.
"farewell, Captain." Optimus said.
"Prime." Anderson acknowledged and as soon as the Captain was out of earshot, Optimus turned back to Jack.
"So how have you been Jackson, it has been a while since we last spoke." Jack looked back out the window.
"Well I suppose you heard about the incident on New Terra."
"Yes, the colony came under attack from a large force of slavers looking to abduct the colonists and killed the majority of the security personnel. It looked perilous for the families there. But you took command of the remaining soldiers and even though they were still inexperienced, you helped them keep their cool and successfully drove out the slavers with hardly any casualties to your group." Optimus recalled with pride in his voice. Jack didn't know where to look, suddenly feeling very embarrassed by the Prime's words.
"Yeah, those kids did well despite the desperate situation we were in. But they really deserve the credit, all I did was not abandon them." Jack sheepishly replied. Optimus looked at him.
"You shouldn't be embarrassed by it Jackson, you showed them that they weren't alone and inspired them with the belief that they could overcome any threat or obstacle. That is one of the virtues of being a Leader, which again proves your potential to becoming a Prime one day. That was why I gave you the key to Vector Sigma all those years ago. I take it you still have the key on your person?"
Jack nodded and undid his uniform's collar button and pulled out a chain that he wore around his neck. On the chain and glowing ever so slightly was the key. It had shifted to the size of a pendant (like most Cybertronian artifacts, it had mass shifting ability).
Optimus smiled at Jack.
"I see that the key still resonates with you Jack. It takes a very strong spark or soul as your people call it to make the key glow like that." Jack put the key back under his uniform and buttoned his collar. He looked up and suddenly saw regret in the Prime's eyes.
"Optimus, what's wrong."
"Jack, I am sorry I was not there for your promotion ceremony, I was forced to back out do to an incident between an Autobot transport and the Quarian Flotilla." Jack smiled and patted Optimus on the shoulder.
"You shouldn't blame yourself, Optimus, I know you would have been there if you could. Mom was there and recorded the whole thing. When next you see her, I'm sure she show you the video. She shows it to everyone."
Optimus's face brightened up and he took a breath before replying.
"I did hear about that and I will ask her the next time we meet."
Jack raised an eyebrow at that comment.
"How did you hear about it?"
"From Arcee of course, she attended the ceremony. You didn't see her there?" Optimus asked curiously.
"No." Jack replied sadly as he looked away from Optimus for a moment, his memories of Arcee quickly overtaking his own thoughts. He had missed her as much as she was obviously missing him. But if that which had happened on the last night they were together had not occurred, then he might not have so readily accepted Optimus's suggestion to join the defense force. He faced Optimus, a little guilt showing on his face.
"I didn't know she was there. I mean we have messaged each other while I was training, but I haven't seen her since I left for basic training."
Optimus looked at Jack not quite sure as what to say.
"Well I am not sure what had transpired between you two which has caused this predicament. But I think that whatever it is, you shouldn't let it get in the way of your friendship….."
Optimus was about to say more when his com-link activated.
"Optimus, its Ratchet. The world leaders have asked to meet you in New Iacon at the Decagon, it's about the new transit system we will be making available to them."
The Prime put his hand to his audio receiver.
"Acknowledged, Ratchet, I will be there momentarily." He then deactivated his com link and turned back to Jack.
"It looks like I have to be on my way, Jackson. If you ever wish to talk about anything that's on your mind, just give me a call..." He said as he placed his hand on jack's shoulder and smiled at the young man.
"..And I also want you to know that I am very proud of you."
"Thanks, Optimus." Jack replied as Optimus smiled at him before turning away and entering the elevator, its doors closing behind him.
Once he was at the CIC, Jack walked straight up to the cockpit and saw Anderson standing there talking to the pilot. Anderson noticed Jack and beckoned him over.
"Commander, this is our pilot, Hotrod."
The pilot stood up and looked at Jack. He was a Caucasian male who looked to be in his mid twenties. He had orange hair with yellow highlights. He smiled and offered Jack his hand.
"Hi, you must be Commander Jack Darby, it's a real honor to meet the human who helped put down Megatron."
"Thanks, so you are from New Iacon." Jack replied as he shook Hotrod's hand.
"Yeah..though not originally, I was the one piloting the Ark when it landed on Earth years back. Prowl said I was one of the best pilots around so put my name down for this gig." Hotrod exclaimed proudly.
"Well it's good to know that our ship is in safe hands, Hotrod. Now if you will take us out of Earth's orbit, I want to see what the Normandy is capable of before we leave the Sol system. So we will be taking the ship on a shakedown cruise around the system." Anderson ordered as he beckoned Jack to follow him back into the CIC.
"Aye Aye, Captain." Hotrod replied as he took his seat and started working the controls, taking the Normandy out of Earth's orbit and into outer space. Jack and Anderson stopped at the Captain's terminal next the galaxy map.
"So have you had a good look at the ship yet since you have been on board, Commander? Anderson asked while looking over reports at his station.
"Not really, Captain, I came straight up here as soon as I boarded back at Earth." Jack replied, earning a look from Anderson.
"Well then, since we are not leaving the system yet, I see no reason for you to be up here right now. Take a few hours off and take a look around. I'll call you if I need you up here."
Jack saluted the captain and turned to leave.
"Commander, also your quarters are on deck 3 and your belongings are already there." Anderson added as he looked back at his XO.
"Yes, Sir, thank you." Jack replied, earning and annoyed expression from the Captain. This made Jack swallow hard in return.
'Great, only been here five minutes and already irritated the Captain.' he thought to himself.
"Enough with the sirs, I like to keep things informal with my XO's, okay?" he asked, making Jack smile and nod back.
The captain returned the smile and returned to his station, leaving jack to his thoughts as he left the CIC.
In the hour or so after leaving the CIC, Jack had visited the engineering deck and Shuttle bay. He had met with the crewmen there. They all seemed like good, honest people who loved the job they each did. And he was pleased to meet each of them. But as of right now he just wanted to go to his quarters and relax until Anderson called for him. So Jack exited the elevator on deck three (crew deck) and made his way to the door to his quarters.
He opened the door and walked in. He was stunned by how large it was. It had a full sized bed, office desk and standard furniture. No bathroom, guess that meant he still had to share with the rest of the crew. But he was very impressed with it. The last digs he had was the top bunk in the crew quarters. he walked over and sat down on the chair and rested his arms on the desk. He then looked over to the personal terminal to his right and activated it. The blue screen lit up and displayed three options, messages, Journal and ship database. He noticed that he had one new message and selected it. His eyes widened at the name of the sender. 'Arcee' he thought to himself. He felt his heart skip a beat as he opened the message and began reading it.
'Hi, Jack, I know we haven't spoken for a long time but I hope that in sending this message to you that we can change that. I don't know how else to say this so I will just go ahead and say it, I miss you. Ever since you left it has not been the same without you partner. In the time after you gone Miko left to join up and Raf and Bumblebee soon after and it seemed that the Silo was more like a tomb than the happy home that it had been for the number of years since the three of you had come into our lives. Ratchet at first looked like he appreciated the quiet especially since it was usually Miko and her electric guitar giving him a headache as he tried to work on his experiments but now it looks like he misses the company too. As for Optimus' he just focuses on his work which as gone up a lot since the war ended. Funny, you would think that it would be the other way round. But I can see it is just his way of getting by. But myself, I have found it really hard to go on each day and not see your face smiling back at me when ever I go out for a ride on your motorcycle (which I have kept in perfect condition) or watch the sunset as we used to do. I have tried to keep busy but I find my thoughts always drift back to you. Jack, I am sorry. If it was something I did I wish you would tell me. I mean very little has been said in the messages we have sent to each other in the past and I feel that we need see each other and get things straight. So I hope you read this that you will at least consider us meeting up. I will be on the Citadel for the next week or so with Optimus. Apparently Perceptor is having a hard time with the council (once again it is the Taurian Councilor causing trouble for him), and I heard that the Normandy will be making a visit to the station in that time so I hope to see you there, Partner.'
Jack sighed as he contemplated whether or no to answer. He then highlighted the respond button and was about to press enter when the ships intercom activated.
"Commander Darby, you are required on the command deck." A female voice spoke over the the com. Jack stopped and turned off the terminal, got out of his chair and straightened his uniform.
"I'm on my way."
With that he left his quarters and headed to the CIC, leaving his thoughts of Arcee there in his quarters.
Jack entered the CIC as Anderson was standing over the galaxy map. He saw Jack and beckoned him over.
"What's the situation, Anderson?" Jack asked, though he still felt a little uncomfortable with that.
'Still not used to that.' he thought as stopped by the Captain's side.
"We are receiving a distress call from Ultra Magnus at the colony on Eden Prime." Anderson said before turning to the Yeoman.
"Put it up on the galaxy map."
"Yes sir, I have worked it through several filters as it it is highly fragmented, probably due to enemy jamming." she replied as she typed at the olo-interface of her terminal.
"Okay, show us what you have, Yeoman." Anderson replied as he and Jack watched the galaxy map change into the transmission as it began playing out in front of them. The image showed what appeared to be a battlefield with a man in red and blue armour talking in front of it.
"This is Ultra Magnus,Autobot leader of the wreckers. The colony is under attack from the Geth, I repeat, the Geth are attacking the colony. We are outnumbered by superior forces and need assistance. Please hurry befo…" The transmission fizzled out and ended leaving all the bridge staff stunned. Anderson took a moment to ponder his thoughts before he straightened his uniform and composed himself.
"Hotrod, set course for Eden Prime and take us into the space bridge, set condition one throughout the ship."
With that the lights around the CIC dimmed and the alert sounded around the ship. Everyone went serious and took to their stations. Anderson turned to Jack.
"Commander, I want you and Lt Cmdr Alenko to suit up and prepare to go down to the planet as soon as we arrive. I will also place another soldier on your team. Your orders are to find Ultra Magnus and the rest of the wreckers and find out why the Geth are attacking the colony and help in any way you can."
"Yes of course, Anderson." Jack replied as he saluted the Captain.
"We will be the first ship on the scene. I know the Alliance will have be sending other ships too but we have to do what we can in the mean time." Anderson continued as he turned from Jack and walked away to the cockpit.
"Do you duty, Commander." Anderson finished and Jack nodded and turned to leave the CIC via the elevator.
With that the Normandy flew up to the space bridge as it came to life with a massive bright portal expanding in all directions out of the device before the ship took off into it and out into the galaxy at beyond the speed of light.