By Griffin Vengance

3rd Jan 2007

Behind the stationary frigate, a rupture three times its size in space opened and it almost vomited out a huge cylinder. The vessel was a bog-standard colony vessel on loan from the TallDude shipyards, and carried close to twelve thousand men and women, ranging from brilliant scientists to simple farmers; they were the trail-blazers, who would tame their new world for generations to come.
Out of the nearly invisible Heracles, the six fighters that comprised the small frigate's single-ship complement zoomed out to meet it.

Herby was glad that Alpha Squadron wasn't green. He wasn't in the mood for directing a pair of numbskull idiots; neither was Aurora, as she had plainly pointed out in the middle of her spaghetti pie the previous night. The six single-ship fighters took up positions on either side of the three kilometer-long colony ship, and activated their long-range scanners to create a defence net.
In honesty, six fighters was a fraction of the force needed to accurately guard a ship of this size; their long-range scanners lost pin-point accuracy after 500 meters, so it would be relatively easy for a foe to slip in a mine or a missile. However, neither the Shadow Guard Council nor Herb and Aurora expected anybody except them in the system...hence the three second long shock when a nuclear missile impacted solidly against the colony ship's shields.
Herb was ashamed in later life at how long he hesitated, but he focused instead on his training; locate your enemy. Right now, his enemies were the fourteen nuclear missiles rapidly closing in on the colony ship; without thinking, his finger quickly flicked open the phase pulse triggers...and let them rest. If he detonated those missiles at this range, they'd consume both the colony ship and Alpha
"Alpha, listen up!" roared a fierce voice from Wildfire. "Those nukes detonate on impact, not remote; use your atmospheric thrusters to move them away from the Aquarius...and delicately gentlemen. Wildfire out."
That was why Aurora was his wingmate.
Herb clicked on his own comn.
"Deactivate shields before you get near those nukes; the energy would blow them. Aquarius, lower your shields and put every man and woman on spotting duty; we need to know if anything else comes. Heracles, compute targets to put those nukes into for all of Alpha. Work fast everyone; more will come. Falcon out."
Alpha wasted no time in getting to the nukes, even as the Aquarius and Heracles followed out their orders. Within a mere minute, Herb found himself closing on his first missile.
It wasn't easy. The Falcon was probably the smallest ship of its type in the galaxy, and knowing that the waste plasma would burn through to the nuclear material inside, he had to ever so slightly wink his starboard wing's landing thruster, while making sure to keep the Falcon steady by alternating his other thrusters. Still, he was a top-class pilot; within 30 seconds, he had successfully altered the missile's path, and now he could concentrate on the second one.
Eventually, thanks to some expert piloting and a brilliant last minute maneuveur by the Aquarius' engineering chief, the missiles were safely detonated far away from the Skylord ships with drones, and now the convoy had another problem; who had fired on them.
When he heard, Herb cursed in seven different tounges.
"THE PLANET!!!???", he roared.
The young scanning officer onboard the Heracles physically drew back as if he'd been punched, but still stuttered his confirmation.
"Y-yes sir...what looks to be a space station orbiting the south pole..."
The captain onboard the Heracles was equally livid.
"Bloody lazy knobheads, that's what," Herb muttered in a private channel to Aurora, who rewarded him with a giggle.
The captain shook his head at the scanning officer, and opened FLEETCOM.
"Aquarius, go to the nearest Shadow Guard homeworld ASAP; tell them we'll need reinforcements. Alpha Squadron, lock and load; we're going to knock those bastards right back into the stone age."
If the poor scanning officer had seen the look on Herb and Aurora's faces at that particular moment, he would have peed himself. Again.


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