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Super Star Legend

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The development of technology over five thousand years has led to the prosperity and flourishing of human civilization, enabling the realization of the desire to explore the universe. The era of interstellar travel is upon us. However, in the depths of the unknown universe, humanity not only encounters the mysteries of the deep cosmos but also countless dangers. This time, humans are no longer fighting for exploration but for survival...

Chapter 1

Chapter One: Homecoming

In 1969, the Apollo 11 spacecraft landed on the moon, marking the beginning of a new era in human space exploration. In 2046, humans landed on Mars and established the first settlement, which lasted for 49 days. By 2158, the human population on Mars surpassed one thousand. In 2290, the Mars Terraforming Project was completed, signaling humanity's capability to terraform planets and the beginning of the interstellar migration era.

By 2584, the successful extraction of zero-point energy from quantum vacuum marked humanity's ability for long-distance travel. In 2999, miniaturization of vacuum engines was achieved. In 3248, a new super material called Baberta No.1 was developed, making space travel more accessible and leading to widespread colonization of planets.

The year 3459 saw the outbreak of the first space war, leading to a surge in space warfare technology and the establishment of a federal government. In 3856, the first artificial intelligence was created. However, following a robot uprising in 4123, strict regulations were imposed on advanced artificial intelligence, and high-level AI development was discontinued.

The year 4257 witnessed large-scale uprisings of mutant and clone populations, shattering humanity's dreams of waging war using substitutes and plunging the world back into an era of physical conflict. In 4288, the exhausted federal government announced its dissolution, ushering in an era of warring states.

In the same year, the second space war broke out, with the debut of space mechs, but it ended in failure, earning the mechs the derogatory label of "clumsy space toys" and "sitting ducks" in space. By 4574, space mechs had become the dominant force on the battlefield, replacing traditional aircraft and earning the moniker "butchers of space."

The third space war erupted in 4638 and concluded with the formation of a new federal government, leading to a renewed era of unity among humans. In 4859, the first warp drive engine was completed, enabling superluminal travel and ushering in the era of interstellar voyages. Finally, in 4988, humans made the first contact with extraterrestrial life on a distant planet.

Fast forward to the present day, year 7255.

Boom! In the dark expanse of space, ripples of light spread out like water waves, heralding the arrival of a battered starship that emerged from the void, leaving behind an invisible ripple stretching billions of kilometers in the vacuum of space. Despite its appearance resembling a salvaged wreck, patched together from a heap of debris with numerous battle scars riddling its hull like a honeycomb, this vessel miraculously completed a faster-than-light journey.

As the electronic voice of the ship's intelligence, Laura, announced the completion of the jump in the command hall, the entire chamber erupted into jubilation.

"We did it! We made it back!"

"We're finally home!"

"We've returned alive."

Amidst the celebration, all eyes turned to the young officer seated in the captain's chair.

He was young, with a thick mane of golden hair and a handsome, resolute countenance. Despite his youth, the crew rose to their feet, offering their most sincere and fervent applause to their commander.

Their gratitude and admiration stemmed from the fact that he had safely brought them back from a perilous journey.

"Not quite yet," Johnny Reno chuckled modestly, feeling a bit awkward amidst the accolades.

He wasn't entirely accustomed to such attention in public. The Abrodyne was to continue for another three days at sublight speeds before reaching its destination.

During these three days, the crew finally let out a collective sigh of relief, releasing the tension that had gripped their hearts for far too long. Some drifted off to sleep, never to awaken again.

After a restful slumber, Johnny Reno rose from his quarters. Stepping up to the viewport, he gazed at the looming blue orb that grew larger in his sight, drawing in a deep breath.

At long last, they were nearing home, and only now could he allow himself to acknowledge this fact. Before others, he had to maintain the image of a cautious and measured commander, not quick to declare victory or defeat.

This was Earth, the birthplace of humanity. Reno gazed upon the planet with curiosity and reverence, captivated by its natural beauty. Though he had seen countless images of Earth, the actual sight still managed to stir him. Here, he could behold true grasslands, towering mountains, swift steeds, and billowing clouds, untouched by artificial constructs found on colonized worlds.

Unfortunately, due to the overpopulation of the human race, exceeding five hundred billion, Earth had been designated a restricted zone. It was no longer open to external immigration, except for those individuals who made special contributions to the New Federal Government, providing temporary residency.

Upon completing this mission, he should be able to enjoy some time on Earth, Reno mused leisurely. Three days later, the Abrodyne traversed into Earth's orbital plane and docked at Spaceport Twelve, where twenty-six colossal mechanical arms, resembling octopus tentacles, locked the vessel in place with anchor chains.

"Docking complete," Laura's voice echoed through the command hall once again, prompting a round of applause, albeit significantly less exuberant than during the leap into space.

"We have a communication request from Earth," reported communications officer Daniel Braid.

"Patch it through," Reno responded.

As the communication connected, the three-dimensional holographic image of a middle-aged officer materialized in the command hall. His demeanor exuded a sense of ruggedness, and he immediately began with a confrontational tone, "Jeram, you need to explain to me why you've consistently ignored my communication requests, and what about the completion of the mission..."

However, his speech abruptly faltered as he cast an incredulous gaze at Johnny Reno, "Who are you? Where is Jeram?"

"Captain Jeram perished in battle sixty Earth days ago, Colonel Chrisp," Reno replied. Although Chrisp didn't recognize him, Reno knew him well. He was Sean Chrisp, the executive vice admiral of the Earth Fleet, and a haughty and detestable fellow.

This death-defying mission was issued by him. "And what about the executive officer? Where are the other backup commanders?" Chrisp demanded.

"They all perished as well," Reno calmly replied.

"Well then, who are you?" Chrisp pressed on.

"I am Captain Johnny Reno, commander of the Second Mech Squadron, currently serving as the acting captain of the Abrodyne," Reno stated without fluster.

Chrisp was taken aback, "You, a mech pilot, commanding a starship? This is sheer madness!"

"In fact, it's not madness," Reno retorted calmly. "According to the Federal Star Defense Act, in the event that all commanding personnel aboard a starship perish, the highest-ranking officer at the time automatically assumes the role of acting captain. In the past five centuries, there have been three hundred and forty-two similar incidents, and nearly forty percent of the acting captains successfully completed their missions."

"But they certainly didn't return with a ship riddled with holes like a sieve!" Chrisp exclaimed, visibly shaken. Even without examining the damage report, it was clear to him that the condition of the ship was dire.

Johnny Reno shrugged, offering no further explanation. Yes, those people definitely didn't return with a ship in such a battered state.

The true extent of the Abrodyne's injuries far exceeded what was visible. The vessel had endured over two hundred attacks, with a hundred and thirty-seven critical breaches, sixteen of which were in vital areas. The energy shields were down to a mere three point four percent. The propulsion chamber suffered severe damage, with six out of eight ion engines blown, leaving only two operational. Life support systems were severely compromised, and the crew relied on the mech suits for survival. The power system sustained eighty-two percent damage, resulting in severe energy shortages. These were the reasons why Reno hadn't responded to the communication; every ounce of energy had to be allocated to maintaining flight.

For others, this might have been just a string of cold statistics, but for battle-hardened generals like Chrisp, seeing these figures automatically conjured up harrowing images of war in the vastness of space—terrifying barrages, desperate shouts of soldiers, and the despair of the battlefield.

In such a desperate environment, even the most outstanding starship commanders might not have been able to bring back a ship.

But now, a mech pilot had achieved the impossible.

This was a monumental irony!

Nevertheless, Johnny Reno had no intention of explaining himself. He simply said, "Colonel Chrisp, I understand your doubts about my qualifications as a starship commander, but I believe whether I am capable of commanding a starship is no longer important. What matters is that there are still three thousand one hundred and eighty-two wounded aboard this starship."

"So many?" Chrisp was visibly taken aback by this number. Despite restrictions placed on artificial intelligence due to the robot uprising three thousand years ago, starships still employed a high level of AI, and typically housed between eight hundred and a thousand crew members, two-thirds of whom were mech pilots.

"This includes personnel from the Crimson Rain, Autumn Day, Bullhead, and Magro," Reno added.

Chrisp understood. Out of the five ships sent, only one had returned, and all the other crew members were lost in the depths of the cosmos.

How did he manage to accomplish this?

Chrisp noticed that while Reno was speaking, no one else on the ship interrupted, and the crew's admiring gazes indicated that Reno hadn't relied on chance to complete this journey.

But what concerned Chrisp the most was a different matter. He inquired, "How did the mission fare?"

"The cargo has been brought back," Reno replied.

"Excellent. I will send a team to retrieve the cargo," Chrisp sighed in relief.

"Colonel, I believe you should dispatch a medical team first," Reno interjected. "As I mentioned earlier, there are over three thousand wounded aboard, with over eight hundred in critical condition. Every second you delay could mean the loss of a chance to save a life."

"What did you say?" Chrisp's gaze turned hostile.

Reno met his glare evenly.

After a moment, Chrisp finally relented, bellowing, "What are you standing around for? Send a medical team, and bring back the items!"

The military's response was swift.

A medical team arrived in fifteen minutes.

The personnel were carried out of the Abrodyne, loaded onto specialized medical craft, and then departed.

They would be taken to various hospitals, where they would receive the best possible treatment.

With this task completed, Reno's heart finally eased. The heavy burden that had weighed on him for countless days and nights had finally been lifted. Apart from the profound sense of relief, he inexplicably felt a tinge of melancholy.

Shaking off the feeling with a wave of his hand, Reno walked the bridge as he observed the medical team's work.

He watched as the medical staff transported injured soldiers, each one thanking him as they passed by. Reno responded with a standard Alliance military salute, pressing two fingers against his temple before giving a light salute.

He watched them depart with a sense of reluctance.

Farewell, comrades. After this, I won't be your commander anymore. Reno thought to himself.

The Federal Government imposed strict and intricate requirements on every starship commander. Reno didn't meet the criteria to remain as the captain, and soon he would resume his role as the commander of the Second Mech Squadron.

Admittedly, he couldn't say he felt no regret. While he thoroughly enjoyed piloting mechs for exhilarating space battles, commanding a starship had also been a childhood dream.

He had come close to realizing that dream, only for it to be shattered by an unfortunate incident...

A burly soldier lay on a stretcher, being carried past Reno. His body was robust, reminiscent of a bear, with bandages wrapped around his arms. Despite his injuries, he spoke with vigor, sounding like thunder, "Hey, boss, don't make me go to the hospital. I'm not that badly hurt."

"Shut it, Tychus. Your wounds are infected. If you don't get proper treatment, you'll end up losing a limb!" A tall, elegant female officer with sapphire-blue eyes, and short, golden hair intervened.

She was Claire Jia, the chief medical officer on board, a captivating figure who had been instrumental in keeping many of the injured soldiers alive.

In the eyes of the Abrodyne's crew, she was akin to an angel.

Upon seeing Claire, Tychus fell silent.

If Tychus was a mountain, then Claire was the water—her beauty and gentleness could melt the heart of any stalwart.

Reno remarked, "Don't worry, buddy. You won't have to stay in the hospital for too long. The Abrodyne needs extensive repairs, and until it's fixed, we won't be going anywhere. You'll have plenty of time to relax and enjoy Earth. From my experience, this 'vacation' will likely last at least three Earth months."

"Wow!" Tychus whistled upon hearing Reno's words. "I'm going to find myself a few girls on Earth."

Reno replied, "Believe me, you won't find any. Only the affluent and the privileged reside here. There are few poor soldiers like us."

"Perhaps a certain princess will take a liking to my bulging biceps," Tychus flexed his arm, trying to show off his muscles.

Unfortunately, before he could continue showing off, the medical staff had already rudely dragged him away.

Reno exchanged glances with Claire and shared a smile.

At that moment, a commotion erupted in another part of the starship. It quickly spread, extending to the deck, disrupting the transportation of injured personnel.

Reno had no choice but to walk over.

A soldier rushed toward him, saluting, "We have a problem, sir."

"I can see that. What's happening?" Reno inquired.

Before the soldier could respond, a group of soldiers clad in black uniforms, bearing the emblem of the Purple Thorn, and wearing white gloves, approached Reno. They were members of the military police.

Leading them was a tall, lean officer with a striking aquiline nose and a slight mustache adorning his lips.

"Look who it is, it's Matthew!" Claire exclaimed in disbelief.

"An old foe always crosses paths," Reno shook his head.

Matthew, the imposing young officer, walked over and came to a halt beside Reno, fixing him with a scornful gaze.

After taking three long breaths, he spoke in a mocking tone, "Look at who it is? Isn't this the renowned genius Johnny Reno from Alpha Academy? The expelled prodigy, hahaha!"

As his laughter rang through the chamber, his men joined in with mocking amusement.

Although they didn't understand the history between Matthew and Reno, their derisive laughter suggested ulterior motives.

"Enough, Matthew!" Claire snapped in anger. "You're going too far!"

"Oh? Isn't this the famous Alpha Flower, Claire Jia? I'm sorry I missed you earlier. Are both you and your sister still following this shameless guy, Reno?" Matthew exaggeratedly spread his hands.

Claire fumed, "If you remember my sister, then you shouldn't forget her habits."

Matthew's expression suddenly changed.

His neck stiffened, and with great effort, he lowered his head, noticing an imperceptible red dot that had appeared on his chest.

Right at his heart.

"Nora!" Seeing the red dot on his chest, Matthew's voice choked with disbelief.

He finally realized his mistake in provoking Reno.

Nora Jia, Claire's twin sister, the covert assassin who operated in the shadows.

The most terrifying aspect of Nora wasn't her incredibly precise marksmanship, capable of hitting a mosquito from ten miles away, but her fearlessness in undertaking any action. To Matthew, indeed to all who attended the 856th term at the Alpha Military Academy, there was nothing Nora wouldn't dare to do. She and her sister Claire were polar opposites—where Claire was gentle and caring, akin to an angel, Nora only brought death.

That meant when Nora's gun was aimed at his chest, she was truly willing to pull the trigger!

Fortunately, Reno knew this too.

He stepped forward, placing his body between Matthew and the path to imminent death, "Matthew, I suppose you'd like to file a complaint against me, but for now, kindly stand aside while my men leave. Any issues?"

Matthew's complexion looked as though it had been drained of blood.

Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Enrollment

Central Star.

This is a planetary system located in the Alenbar system of the Milky Way galaxy.

Its diameter is about 1.4 times that of Earth, with a large rocky layer on the outside and molten lava on the inside, revolving around the Alenbar star. When it completes one revolution around the Alenbar star, it rotates 428 times, so a year here is 428 days, and each day is 83 minutes longer than on Earth.

After more than 100 years of transformation, the New Federation government made this planet habitable and designated it as the capital of the New Federation in the year 5142 of the Earth calendar.

In 6457, the New Federation moved its capital to the Sanctuary Star, and Central Star became the second capital. Although it is no longer the center of the human world, its past glory remains and continues to this day.

Phoenix City in the Gelterson District of Central Star.

Standing in front of the academy's gate, Johnny Re

Heroes

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