Ares Chronicles: The Best of Both Worlds part II

Jim Brew supped at his beer and glanced out into space. In the background was the casual humming of machinery and the talking of young ensigns amongst themselves. The general mood in the station bar was a happy one, as imports and freighters were so common, the storage barrels could barely be built fast enough to keep up with the demand. The war for independence had been very profitable for Earth, and humanity had been resting in the lap of luxury for several years now. With the Cantharan war a distant memory and all alien contact shut off, mankind had become fat and lazy.

I don't care if the weed was accelerated genetically, this is still the best damn beer I've ever had Jim though to himself. All of a sudden, the mood in the bar changed as klaxons began wailing. Oh that nearly forgotten sound he mumbled as he looked outside. To his shock, a jumpgate was forming outside the station!

Unauthorized Jump Gate formed! Red alert initiated! Chimed the computer voice. Despite protocal requiring him to go to his patrol craft, Jim stayed at the table and watched the jump gate open, widen, and then close again. Apparently, nothing had gone through the gate. Suspicious, Jim put down his mug on the table and headed for the docking ring where his brand-new patrol craft was sitting.

As he walked down the hall, Jim kept finding himself glancing nervously out of the windows. Nah, you're just paranoid from those damn Cantharan cloaking devices during the war, Jim he though to himself. Nevertheless, he still felt a bit uneasy and knew the sooner he got to his ship, the better. He walked through the airlock and into the hull of his small ship.

Hallo there, Jim! Chirped Sara, Jim's second-in-command. Anything new about that mysterious jumpgate? she probed.

Nah. let's go check it out. Jim said sardonically. She nodded enthusiastically. 'Why did she always have to be in a good mood?' he asked himself.

The ship pulled out of the Docking port and roared into deep space towards the general direction of where the jumpgate was. Just in time, too. With a large explosion, the station's docking ring burst into flames and a large, black mass appeared just over the station. HOLY HELL!! screamed Jim as he realised that the attacking ship was Salrilian. A blast of raw T-bolt energy indicated that it was a carrier, along with the flights of fighters that it was now unloading.

It'll only be a matter of minutes untill that station starts to disintegrate! Sara yelped. Jim watched helplessly as the carrier tore a defensive flight of Gunships to shreds. The carriers U.N.C. Goth and the U.N.C. Ambrose are on their way to intercept that Salrilian... thing, but by then the station will have been destroyed!

Almost in perfect sync with Sara's observation, another jumpgate formed from behind the carrier, and out of it shot a large, heavily studded white-hulled ship. A shot of laserfire lanced out from that ship and struck the undefended portion of the carriers hull, searing it and blowing off plates of armor. A series of flashes from the forward cannons of the mysterious ship threw a stream of uranium slugs at the carrier. The slugs impacted and fused to the Salrilian hull, slowley dissolving it and irradiating it.

With a gasp, Jim realized who these mysterious defenders in the white ship were. That ship is of Gaitori design! he breathed. A destroyer if I know it. The carrier responded violently, firing a group of homing flares at the Destroyer. As if it was no effort, the Destroyer shot them each before they could deliver their deadly payload. The nearly crippled carrier turned about, facing the destroyer, and unleashed a final blast of electric death before it's hull gave way, sending the destroyer spinning towards the Earth, trailing a shower of sparks.

It was an impressive explosion as the Carrier, colvulsed in explosive fits, crumpled in upon itself and exploded, sending a shockwave out that circled the Earth twice before dissipating. This is station command, the commbeep crackled what are we gonna do about that Gaitori ship, should we let in burn up in the atmosphere? The communications officer questioned.

Nah... send a ship down to retreive it and bring it to the Mars Ship Impoundment Center. Jim grumbled.