Why thank you Admiral!!
Location: On the bridge of ASV Raptor, Fold Space, Outskirts of Bevora System, Alliance Outer Rim
The continuous multi-hued flash of the photonic hyper-field would have normally been a hypnotic sight for the young Starfleet officer, but he was too tense thinking of the chain of events that had led to his current situation.
Just barely two months from Earth, while cruising in deep space, re-charging the photonic emitters for the next jump, he had received the tragic news of the fall of Bevora II. More than 180 million people, fellow humans like himself, exterminated almost to the last person by those metallic monstrosities from mankind’s worst nightmares. Although the almost two million strong Bevoran Terrestrial Army had fought well, destroying more than half a million drones, they had been no match for the grim efficiency and firepower of the advanced Collective troops. And he had been powerless to stop them! What was even scarier was the irrevocable announcement of war by N-1, the leader of the Collective, hours after the ruthless attack on the planet. In its own words – “This galaxy was not big enough for the both of them.” A grim reminder of the fate of the fabled Iconians, the most ancient of the younger races.
The crew, though shocked to their core by the grim news had stoically gone about their duties, although it didn’t need a genius to figure out that morale was at an all time low. As for the captain, a white hot fire raged in his heart. Revenge!
Then in its last stopover in real space before reaching the Sadoc system, the Raptor had been contacted by the Commander of the Alliance starbase Redwood, located at the outskirts of the same system. Just a few hours back sensors aboard the massive military station had detected an incoming alien ship – another of the nightmarish Yor troop transports. According to the latest hyper-spatial trajectory calculations, its destination was the relatively newly set up colony of Sadoc II. Would the Raptor arrive in time? Or would yet another planet succumb to the horror that was the Yor?
A crisp professional voice brought the captain out of his grim reverie.
“Sir, we are nearing the hyper-egress point near Sadoc II. Phase Out in two minutes.”
It was time.
“Okay people, this is it! You know the situation. We cannot let that ship reach the planet. Power up the missile systems and sound the alert. Mr. Hector, prepare to scan!”
The sleek destroyer warped into the real space of the Sadoc system.
“Full scan! What is the bearing and ETA of the transport?”
“Sir…we are receiving another data packet from AS Redwood. This matches the data from our sensors. Incoming bogey at 118 degrees portside. ETA 2 minutes!”
“Helm, plot an intercept course. Weapons, prepare to acquire target and fire on my mark!”
The numbing tension of the next two minutes was interrupted by a flash of pure terror as the large enemy ship appeared just a few hundred miles off their port bow. The large angular metal superstructure, resembling the carcass of a gigantic beast was scary enough, but the knowledge that it housed more than a million merciless machines programmed to eradicate all human life was what made it truly terrifying.
The captain was once again brought out of his trance as a panicked voice shouted, “Captain, the ship has engaged full thrusters and is heading towards the planet!”
“Target their starboard reactor section!”
Time passed in slow motion as the enemy ship came ever nearer the defenceless planet with its deadly cargo…
“Sir, they will be in launching range in another two minutes!”
“Target acquired & locked.”
The captain gave a sigh of relief.
As the two bright yellow streaks sped towards the alien ship, it did something unexpected. It turned…
“Sir! The enemy is changing course and is on a direct intercept course! Sensors detect weapons powering up.”
“Incoming weapons fi…”
The ship shook violently like a bird in the maw of a cat, as a series of searing green plasma beams crashed into it, one after another.
The bridge was swathed in red lights and it was utter chaos. Small electrical fires swirled around burned consoles with a hissing sound, accompanied by sparks.
Ignoring the growing bruise on his head, Eddie Rogers managed to seat himself upright once again.
“Enemy ship status?”
The answer was spectacular.
As the missiles tore through the rear fuselage of the enemy ship, the large fusion warheads exploded in a paroxysm of destruction. It set off a series of small explosions throughout the length of the hull, until the massive ship finally disappeared in a blinding blast.
The dampening sensors struggled to reduce the visual intensity of the blast to non lethal levels.
As the light cleared and vision returned to the shaken crew, the view that met them on the viewscreen was astounding. Where there had been a large ship in their path a few minutes ago, now there was nothing other than a slowly expanding field of debris.
One million Yor had just been blasted to oblivion.
“Sir, port hull has been breached. Heavy damage in port section, decks 3-4. Light damage to reactor. Three crew members reported wounded, one in a bad condition. Engineer Larsen didn’t make it.”
The young captain cursed inwardly. His first action and he had already lost a man in battle. How many more would die in the days ahead?
“Damn! He was a good man. Well, we will grieve for him later. But first we have to ensure we can keep this vessel in one piece. Seal those decks! Send over the engineering and medical teams. Engineering priority is the reactor. Contact the Sadoc II government and tell them to receive us in orbital dock with a full repair crew.”
As the badly damaged destroyer limped into orbit of the planet they had just saved, Eddie finally calmed down and retired to his quarters, leaving his X.O. Patterson in charge. He knew they would need all the sleep they could get.
The war had just begun…