Along the edge of space high over the Northern Pacific a war is
being fought, and in mute, systematic agony, wars most recent victim
appears slowly in the distance. Its mushroom shaped bow shield half torn away
and noisy internal damage relentlessly giving away its position, the warship
coasts along a now decaying orbit. Larger than the other orbital machines
nearby, this vessel is a controller ship it has people on board. Until a
few minutes ago their mission had been operational control of Australian
orbital forces passing over the Southwestern Pacific. Now their job was
With most of
their command destroyed and their own ship a death trap, both darkly covered
forms worked frantically from the relative comfort of their flight couches,
their hands flicking away at data threads as they barked out orders and
demanded ever more information from their on-board assistants.
running out, they knew it. Another salvo of enemy fire was already tracking in.
One form motioned toward the other as they spoke through the network. In
near-perfect unison, both leaned back in to their couches, allowing the
ejection system to slide over their slender outlines. As the ship shuddered
under another trio of hits, the controller units shortened the countdown,
sounded the jettison alarm and with a staggering explosion and blast of
g-forces the two emergency reentry shields shot free of the crippled vessel.
The ship continued on its way, glowing shear lines visible where debris passed
through the hull at thousands of feet per second.
above, two small points of light diverged from the crippled ship's orbit and
sped on their own trajectory down into the planet's atmosphere.
the war raged on.
02. Assault on Tars Peliti