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Episode 1 - They're Here

Episode 1 - They're Here

Major Ruscov pushed back his chair as he stood to his feet behind his console in the Concord command center. “General Bardon,” he called over the noise of the officers giving orders to squads all over Alpha Three.

General Bardon’s head snapped up from a report that had just been handed to him from an aid. His neatly trimmed moustache seemed to quiver to attention at the major’s voice. Since the victory over the Scourge on the other side of the planet and the vanquishing of the Barrier the Concord morale couldn’t have been higher. They knew they had two weeks and Major Ruscov had the most important job on all of Alpha Three.

“Report Major.”

“They’re here.”

Without a second thought to the aid at his side or the report he was reading General Bardon nodded his head in acknowledgement and strode off towards the command conference room. A sudden silence descended across the command centre as every officer dropped what they were doing and watched the general enter the “think tank”. They knew their jobs and the critical situation they were all in.

In one motion General Bardon closed the door behind him and pulled out a high backed black leather chair to sit at the large boardroom table. “They’re here”, he said.

General Alban’s pony tail swung as she pinned Bardon with her gaze. “Ruscov’s confirmed it?”

“There was no need. They’re here.”

General Frank MacLeod, his normally impeccably neat silver mustache was now matched by a five o’clock shadow. He’d been sleeping in his clothes again and didn’t have time to get cleaned up after a quick nap earlier in the day. There was just too much to do. Although exhausted, his eyes were like those of an eagle, not missing a thing. “Thoughts generals?”

General Bardon said, “We’re as prepared as we’ll ever be on the ground. All battleframes have been repaired, all settlements have been augmented with any mounted cannons we have. It helped that we could strip the Scourge base of a few larger weapons.”

“Do we know the composition of the Scourge fleet?” Aldan asked.

“I came straight in here but Ruscov will put it up on the monitor in a minute.”

Just as General Bardon uttered the words the main screen at the end of the table came to life. Displayed in a classic V-formation were the three massive Scourge troop carriers that the now deceased General Grendig had revealed to Whizzbang and his squad of Earthmen. What was a surprise was the battleship leading the fleet and the two destroyer class ships bringing up the rear.

“We’ve got three really serious problems,” Alban stated flatly.

Franky ran his hands through his grey hair as he leant back in his chair. His face a mask of concentration. “That’s a frapping understatement and they’re arriving in just under two hours.”

“As if the troop carriers weren't enough of a worry! What are we going to do against those?” General Bardon asked as he indicated the escort ships. “We haven’t got a thing that will light up the shields on the battleship let alone the destroyers.”

General Alban sank back further into her chair. This was just so unfair after their recent victory. “They’re going to pick us off from up top and then walk right in.”

“How many drop ships do we have?” Franky asked Alban.

General Alban’s brow furrowed for a minute, although still young in years, right now she was feeling old, “We have thirty-six available for combat and troop movement.”

Franky sighed deeply, “General, I would like to suggest that you get a squadron of them to the satellite station and evacuate the personnel. They’re sitting ducks up there.”

General Alban nodded and immediately began tapping away the evacuation order on her wrist-comp. Her blond ponytail swinging behind her as she shook her head from side to side in concentration. In thirty minutes the crew would be off the satellites and back in the command center. Her pilots were always on standby and they were very good at their jobs.

“Has anyone seen the Earthmen? We need them more than ever now,” General Bardon asked.

Alban looked up from her wrist-comp, indicated the screen and said, “What good are they going to do against that?”

General Bardon’s moustache seem to flare as he said in exasperation, “Frap Alban, I’ve no frapping idea but I just know that things seem to get a little better with the Earthmen around.”

“I’m sorry general,” Alban replied to General Bardon. “I know that these Earthmen have done amazing things but we’re talking about a capital ship. I know about flying machines and let me tell you that we’ve got nothing here that can stand against that.”

General Bardon turned to Franky and asked, “How about the old Barrier repulsor cannons? Could they be jerry-rigged as a ground based weapon?”

“Already looked into it and the techs say no. Apparently it’s a completely different form of energy or something like that with a lot of gobble-de-gook.”

General Bardon nodded in understanding. “If that’s the case then it sounds to me like we need to dig a great big hole under a mountain and go hide in it.”

Franky turned to General Alban and looked her directly in the eye. “General, I hate to ask this but could the drop ships be rigged as guided manned missiles? We’d ask for volunteers of course.”

Alban closed her eyes in pain. She loved her pilots and would do almost anything for them but this was too much. Thankfully General Bardon interrupted when she was just about to speak, “It’s no good Franky. The drop ships can achieve a stable orbit but the Scourge escort ships would pick off any of ours aimed in their direction. Even if we packed them full of infused Tellurite they’d only just bounce off the shields of the battleship.”

Just then the door swung open and a voice asked, “How about something a lot smaller than a drop ship?”

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Comments 1

mgilmour on Monday, 13 April 2015 17:22
Keep up the good work !

Definitly need you to finish the book now, that appetizer tasted good :D

Definitly need you to finish the book now, that appetizer tasted good :D