Battle Stations

The battle for the galaxy is about to begin.  Man your Battle Stations!

Excerpt of the short story “Battle Stations” from “Cosmic Tales” by J.S. Hernandez.

Battle Stations

In a flash five Red Pirate ships emerge from stellar drive and glide in a V formation towards Acacion Station 22 on the Outer Rim of the Space League.  Kang and his Blood Crew dock and walk in like they own the place.  Kang shouts at the dock workers, “Fuel up my ships and I want dark torpedoes installed on my ship!  Make it snappy!”  The dock workers bow their heads in agreement.  The dock leader Zonk says,  “We’ll jump right on it Kang.  Just a FYI, Captain Rico will arrive here soon.  Do you want me to inform you when he arrives?”  Kang grunts and says “Yea and thanks for the heads up.”  He flicks him a gold coin as he leaves the dock.  The lights are flashing with red, green, blue and white as they pass by the casino slots and the crowd splits and clears the way for Kang and the Blood Crew as they head toward the Moonbeam Night Club.  Kang is dressed in his signature red and black.  He carries a gold plated blaster on his left hip and walks with the authority of a boss.  As they approach, the corsair walks up to Kang and says, “Welcome Kang!  We have your table waiting for you and the Blood Crew.  Let me escort you and your men to your seats.”  As they enter the Moonbeam Night Club, the DJ turns the spotlight on Kang and says…  “Give a big welcome to Kang and the Blood Crew!  All hail the Red Pirates for their support of the rebellion on Europa!”  The crowd cheers and the dancers hit the floor, the music starts pumping as the beer and wine flow.  Kang is in his element as he drinks and puts his arms around the scantly dressed exotic dancers from all parts of the galaxy.  He takes a snort of green powder off the tits of a reptilian and then a shot of whiskey from another stripper and says, “Time to celebrate the success of the Red Pirates on Europa!”  The crowd goes crazy and the strobe lights flash as his Blood Crew surround him and raise their goblets full of beer and drink.  Meanwhile on Europa… 

The Space League successfully quelled a rebellion on the space colony of Europa.  Premier Starlite personally showed up leading Space Armada 1 and 2 and crushed the Red Pirates led by Captain Rico and the rebel forces.  Several armada ships have been damaged and many Space Marines have paid the ultimate price to defend Europa.  There are a number of questions that need to be addressed in the aftermath on Europa.  Premier Starlite has assembled the Space League Intelligence Agency (SLIA) to get some answers as to why this happened.  He doesn’t know it but Pandora’s box is about to be opened to a new chapter in this Cosmic Tale.   

Killian Kobalt is the Director of the SLIA and enters the Starlite Beach City Hall.  He is a  tall man dressed to the nines in a grey suit.  He enters the room with a fancy tablet that serves as his briefcase.  The room is a bee hive of activity.  Everyone is prepping for the meeting and the battle lines are being drawn.  The news has been buzzing for days with accusations being thrown left and right about what happened and how it happened.  In the press, several talking heads have been bomb throwing and the Red Pirate Captain Rico, has been giving interviews about the working conditions on Europa and the needs of the common people.  His opponents have highlighted the sex trafficking and lawlessness of the Red Pirates as proof that Rico only wants a foothold in Europa.  The European Colony has banned the Red Pirates from using its facilities after a mass sex trafficking incident.   

Suddenly a chime goes off and Premier Starlite enters the room.  He has on a brightly shining cloak and is of average height and build.  Everyone scrambles to their spots and the room goes quiet.  The piloted news drones buzz above the crowd the cameras flash and several questions are shouted.  “How can you let something like this happen?”  Another one asks, “How did the Red Pirates get such powerful weapons?”  He ignores the questions as he shakes hands with Admiral Kelly of the Star Destroyer Aries and is flanked by the Defense minister and the regional governor and mayor of the Europa colony.  Another chime goes off and everyone takes their seats.  Premier Starlite is dressed in  a blue garb with white highlights.  He turns and heads to the dais and takes his seat.  The security drones escort out the news and a sound proof forcefield is erected around the room. 

A hammer slams on the table and Premiere Starlite says, “I call this oversite meeting to order!  The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the recent events on the colony of Europa!  I am disturbed at these events.  The sudden developments around the Red Pirates getting such powerful weaponry have shocked the galaxy.  We have called Killian Kobalt, Director of the Space League Intelligence Agency to discuss this important matter and perhaps shed some light on this development.  Director Kobalt before you take the floor, I have a few things I would like to say…  I want answers and I want them today!  We don’t need any grand standing or inside the airlock type of coded talk.  I want plain speak and if I don’t get it, there will be hell to pay!  Now proceed with your remarks.” 

Killian could feel the heat coming at him from the entire room.  He shuffles around his holographic papers emanating from his tablet and looks down at them and then adjusts the microphone.  In the back of his mind he can see his entire career flash before him as he begins his remarks.  “Premiere Starlite, Mayor and Regional Governor.  The recent events on Europa have been a confirmation of what our intelligence agency has been warning about.  Six months ago we reported that the colony of Europa was a volatile mix of chaotic characters that pose a threat to the stability of the region.  The colony has grown by double digits over that past decade and the economy has been robust.  The decision to not award the colony with another dome was that catalysts of the recent events.  Our sources in the asteroid belt and the far outer rim have picked up cross communication between someone called the Green Manalishi and Kang of the Red Pirates.  We have traced the communications to Acacion Station 22 at the edge of the Outer Rim.  We believe that is where the action is taking place.  The scum of the universe frequent this place and the Red Pirates run a black market there.  They own the place.  They killed the local garrison there and took it.  Lots of gambling, drugs, sex and human slave trafficking fill this place with the worst of the worst.  That is why Kang likes it there.  He has a woman out there called Stardust.  She is the featured girl at the Moonbeam club.  She can sing like a bird and move like gymnast.  She is double jointed, very good with a blade and is trouble walking.  Her clients pay top dollar for her.  Our Covert Marine Raider Unit has been deployed for reconnaissance.  We are just as surprised as you that the Red Pirates got a gamma weapon.  We think this Green Manalishi has a tie to the Reptilian Empire.”  Premiere Starlight slams down his gavel.  “What do you mean we are just as surprised as us that the Red Pirates have a gamma weapon!  It is your responsibility to know these things and inform us!  Killian you are on thin ice and I want a complete report on my desk tomorrow afternoon.  Now get to work on this!”  Killian bows his head in agreement with him and leaves the room. 

Before the oversite committee meeting Premier Starlite had a secret meeting with Admiral Kelly of the Star Destroyer Aries.  Admiral Kelly has come across some top secret intelligence about developments deep inside the Reptilian Empire.  Admiral Kelly salutes Starlite, his old Captain, as he enters the room.  The Premier sits down and says, “It is good to see you Admiral.  It seems like yesterday we were on Rigel.  Now tell me what you have learned with this new toy our Orion friends have suggested.  We need all the help we can get in this fight.”  The Admiral takes a puff off his pipe and says, “Premier Starlite it is good to see you!  We were relieved that you showed up when you did.  The Europa rebellion was a real fight.  This Red Pirate gamma weapon is a dangerous development for the entire Space League.  Commander Kreel is my first officer and is an Orion.  He has been working on an amplifier to enhance intelligence gathering.  He has channeled his ESP through an amplifier and plugged it into our fission reactors.  This allows him to project his ESP across the galaxy.  It has revealed some startling things.  The Red Pirates are working with someone in the Reptilian Empire and it is not the Emperor.  The Pirates are using the Asteroid Belt as not only a bank but as a hideout for Reptilians.  Our ESP Amplifier senses a much broader plan of possible invasion.”  Starlite then leans across the table and looks Admiral Kelly in the eyes and says…  “I am not surprised by this development.  The Red Pirates have been a minor player in the galaxy until now.  This ESP amplifier is more dangerous than any gamma weapon if misused.  Make sure that Commander Kreel is the only Orion that uses it.  We could be opening Pandora’s Box if we are not careful.”  He deploys the Aries along with Marine Raiders supported by several battalions of Space Marines.  They are headed to the asteroid belt and then to the Outer Rim.  Admiral Kelly is set to take on this secret mission to investigate what is happening in the asteroid belt and if the Reptilians have successfully infiltrated the Mining Guild.   

…Continued in “Cosmic Tales”.

 

© J.S. Hernandez. All Rights Reserved.