"200-30, 220-35, 220-45, they're coming closer!"
Gabe Skritcho pulled the trigger of his Mk30 half-automatic several times, burying armor-piercing bullets in dozens of faceless enemies. Shot after shot, he killed the targets, his scout marked for him, but they won't stop coming. Swarms of spider-like robots kept washing over the federation's barricades and killed everything in their path, while Gabe and his friends gave everything they had to hold them back.
One eye closed, his trigger finger twitched with a clockworks precision, but the swarm was an unstoppable force. As the robots started to climb the tower, Gabe stepped back and realized the bitter truth; the federation was about to lose another outpost.
He dropped his rifle and pulled the radio from his belt. His voice nearly cracked, as he tried to call for support "BULLSEYE REQUESTS CODE HELLSTORM! IMMEDIATE ORBITAL STRIKE AT ZERO-ZERO-ONE!" Gabe didn't hear the answer anymore as he jumped backwards off the tower. 'Five, four, three, two, one-'
"Bullseye, you okay?" Gabe squinted at the white ceiling of his room. The remnants of his dream faded away and he tried to remember, where he actually was.
"Bullseye, I hate to wake you up, but we just got message, that the 'Liberty' will arrive here in 90 minutes" He pressed his hands against his temples, barely hearing Terry's voice over his own thoughts "Liberty, what-" "Legat sent three support units to our coordinates, Gabe, would you please tell me now, why we're running away from animals and plants?". The sergeant moaned and sat up in his bed 'Can't I have a calm day once?' "Later, when they're here, I promise..."
Meanwhile, the pretty bored crew of the Liberty tried to pass the time somehow.
AJ did some sensor calibration at the main bridge, next to his captain, who sat stretched out in his chair, stiff as a board and tried not to look at the anti-space outside the front screen.
This was clearly a bad time to become warp-sick. After witnessing a stressed groan from him, AJ interrupted his work and observed Kila for some time, then he said "Captain, you're not claustrophobic, right?" "Nope" Kilas voice sounded very stressed "But I am slightly afraid of flying tins that are able to bend space and time on their own and vaporize into titan and helium at any time and for no reason." A deep sigh came from the back of the room "Well, it's very unlikely, that these fusion engines will ever fail, but... If you really can't stand it, I remember an unused closet in the back of the ship. It hast no windows and the engines give a pretty calming background noise" Without a further word, Kila got on his weak knees and slowly wobbled out of the room. Soon it was a lot better, when the squirrel passed the gravitational blind-spot of the ship. Eddie SanHusky stood there about halfway to the engine room and stared out into the flashing and flickering anti-space, seemingly pretty amazed by some passing photon streams. "Oi, captain, watcha doin'?" "Trying not to spill" "Aye, good luck with that".
Finally, Kila really found, what he was looking for and nearly jumped through the door, as relieved as he was. The closet was really small, but nearly empty and there was a nice box to sit on. 'Oh my god, finally...'
'Did he just really-' Eddie approached the engine room with a slight smirk on his muzzle "Oi, Watts, did the captain really just hide in that closet?" "Seems like it" Archie stated impassively and looked back at his screen "Watcha doin' 'ere, all alone?" "Working, obviously. Shouldn't you be on the bridge, navigating the ship?" "Nope, not on hyper drive. So, watcha doin' EXACTLY?"
Archie sighed deeply and weaved at two large tanks at the back of the messy room "The fusion engines. Someone has to keep an eye on those babies or they're gonna blast our asses right into the next life"
Eddie placed his rump on Archie's desk and played with a screwdriver "Wadda'ya know 'bout Loki" Archie choked on his hot chocolate and nearly dropped his mug "Fu- dude- ah, only rumors...I heard, they are a very old nomadic species. They came from a galaxy in- fuck, it doesn't even belong to our cluster. Their nameless home world is about 2.5 million light years away and they entered our galaxy about six years ago in search of some all-out weapon called 'Arc Nemesis'. It is said, that this weapon is based on...just a second...there it is: trans-warp technology that generates fast-oscillating cosmic super strings that can collapse the whole universe within a split second"
"Wow, sounds like someone's a lil' butthurt" Eddie laughed
'Oh, you have no idea...' Kila thought, while he listened to his crew members. He wanted to convince himself of the opposite, but more than ever, he was scared of what lied before him. Three ships were all, the federation brought up against its biggest enemy? His friends were running blindly into certain death and the commander couldn't do anything about it. Orders are orders.
AJs voice buzzed through the intercom and a cold shiver ran down Kila's spine.
"We just entered the short-range scanner field of Darath-LP; Eddie, I'll need you to set the solar orbit. ETA 20 minutes, com distance in 5"
Alright, twenty minutes and their fate would be sealed.
The hull of the 'Liberty' produced a painful squeal, as the ship missed the airlock of the station and drifted a few feet forward. "Man, can't you be more fucking CAREFUL with my baby?!" Archie's more than irritated voice complained over the intercom.
Eddie scratched his forehead "Kay, zero-one ions backwards, inerts on 30 degrees and out wit'da clamps"
The ship jerked backwards and kissed the station again and this time, the hydraulic anchor and the inertial dampeners held the 'Liberty' in place.
Kila rose from the captain's seat and let his gaze wander from the consoles out through the front screen into open space. The toroid middle section of the station filled the top right corner and Darath, the bright, blue fireball came slowly into view. The liquid crystal layer inside the screen filtered most of the sun's light and Kila kept looking at it, as if the solution to all of their problems lied somewhere below its blazing surface.
"RCOM channel open, Darath, your computer can adjust our warp field to match your artificial gravitation"
AJ finished the synchronization of the computer systems, then he left his post and stood next to Kila "Nervous, captain?" "We're gonna die, AJ" "Let's just do it like last time" "Why last time" "Last time we survived."
Kila could've sworn he saw a smile on AJs scaly muzzle, before the dragon turned away and followed Eddie to the airlock. The captain looked back at Darath for a second, then he pushed the intercom. "Mister Watson, gathering at the docking bay...and put on a shirt"