The Fall of New Kanawa
There are moments in history that burn brightly in your mind, moments of horror, pain, or even triumph. In ancient Earth, there was a revolution for independence, sparked by an event. Humans called the event, The Shot Heard Around the World because of its impact, its importance to the history of not just the country, but the world. Today, we know of another such event, though one that took place on a galactic scale. This is the story of the fall of New Kanawa.
New Kanawa was the perfect place to have a colony. Located in the “Goldilocks Zone”, a temperate place, far enough away from the star that the surface did not burn, but not so far that it freezes. Like the fairytale the name hearkens to, the environment was “just right”. In fact, it had been so similar to Earth that many native species found themselves right at home, and the native plant and animal life seemed fine with that! There was no huge competition, no big environmental wars, but rather, every species brought over from Earth just adapted to their new life.
The colony had the most important thing going for them. They had reached a stable balance, able to use the resources of their planet to sustain themselves. Nothing more could be asked of a colony, especially one pushed so far outside of the reaches of their home planet. They had no major imports or exports needed, and grew most of their food, both native and imported from Earth.
The colonists themselves were Terran genexs, human-like animals. Their species ranged from rabbits, cheetah, mice and many other mammals from South America and Africa (which was common for the Association of Aligned Worlds). They were a hardy people, and had turned this frontier colony into a bustling metropolis that could easily be mirrored on Earth itself!
The citizens of New Kanawa went about their daily lives, oblivious to the doom that crept their way. They had co-existed peacefully with the wildlife of New Kanawa and had turned that planet into a prime example of what a steady group of willing hands could do to reach out into space. They had existed successfully, and peacefully, though that was all about to change.
The city skyline was a clean, crisp example of a modern metropolis, sunlight gleaming at the feet of the colonist going about their daily business. Children ran in the streets, playing games and having fun while adults walked to and from businesses, shopping, working or relaxing. The sirens barely had time to sound before the day turned to night as the sun was blotted out by the first ships in orbit.
They say in space, no one can hear you scream, but those that witnessed the fall of New Kanawa and the slaughter of the ships in orbit wish that were the case. The screams and cries would echo in their minds, a memory that no amount of drugs or alcohol, no matter how copiously partaken, could ever burn out. The battle was swift, brutal and efficient. It started with Terran ships trying to hail the Tenner ships and ended in the wholesale destruction of the defense fleet. Officers watched helplessly as ships were split apart and the crew exposed to the vacuum of space, those cries cut short as the cold of space crept in and their organs began to boil. The blood from their eyes crystallizing, floating lazily away as their officers could only watch...waiting for their own turn. That’s not to say the Terrans did not give a good fight, but the Tenners had 4 ships to every 1 the Terrans did, it was a one sided battle, only witnessed by those on the ground as the eclipse of the Tenner ships darkened the skies and the bright pinpoints of light streaked across the horizon as ship after ship burned up in the atmosphere.
The sirens blared and screams rippled through the crowd as the largest Tenner ship released clouds of bright cyan wafted almost lazily from the ship. It was as if the galaxy itself had reached in past the atmosphere, but it was far worse than that. The mists that pumped into the sky were filled with barely contained antimatter, released a little at a time so that those who watched were not subjected to a sudden catastrophic explosion, but a slow, horrific tearing away of their atmosphere before the cloud would come for them.
Parents grabbed their children, rushing for the nearest shelter, people screamed, dropping whatever they were doing as the sirens echoed into the streets. Doors locked and people cried as they all knew there was no true escape. No one could come for them, no shelter was safe, no matter how far they ran...it would all catch up eventually. The atmosphere was the first casualty and its effects were felt in the passing hour. The Tenners did not bother to bombard the planet, the antimatter would do their work for them.
With the atmosphere stripped, those unlucky enough to still be on the surface were subjected to the vacuum, some were lucky, having suffocated long before the cold of space crept in. The streets looked like a frat party gone horribly wrong with men, women, children and even animals collapsing where they stood as the air they breathed slowly whittled away and the cold empty of space replaced it. They gasped, choking, begging in their hearts and minds for someone to come, but no help came, not even as the light faded from their eyes as the full force of their sun was felt for the first time.
Those that died on the surface, far away from others...they were the lucky ones, their deaths were swift, even if many died as their oxygen starved lungs cried for air, even as they watched the ominous black shadow above their planet that had ripped away their atmosphere, even though their deaths were hardly slow...they were spared the worst fates of all. The Jump Coms lit up as desperate families tried to raise a call for help. Their partners, their friends on Earth only able to sit back and watch as the ventilation systems stopped functioning, the sickening grind of collapsing floors above them echoing on the still open coms.
The most powerful images...were those that were left running on video. One family had managed to find their way into the communication centers bunker first set up when the colony was formed. A mother, a father and two children watched, unaware that the video was streaming as thousands watched helplessly. “It’ll be alright James, you’ll see, we’ll get out of here.” said the father, knowing he was lying to his son. People watched helplessly as the vents failed, hissing as antimatter slowly crept in. They watched as the family started to scream, to cry, to beg for help that would never...could never come as their skin was dissolved, falling in chunks onto the floor. It was lucky that they died fast, though even in whatever afterlife they would have, those children watched their parents melt, choking on their own blood. stripped of flesh...bone...air as they tried to shield their children for the fate that inevitably came to claim them.
This...was the start of the Tenner-Terran War. In time, all that would be left of the once vibrant colony was the husk of the planet that it once was on.