What Comes Before
Part IV: The Execution of the Plan
"Sir, we have reached 9.57 kilometers within the station," reported a lieutenant.
"Helm, increase speed to maximum. Set course for the station's main power generator. Firing control, arm the antimatter pulses."
"Sir! The Cantharan vessel is increasing speed and is straying from their current course!"
"What are they doing!" exclaimed Captain Hendricks.
Within a matter of seconds, Captain Xet can already see his target, the station's main power generator.
"The enemy still has not raised their shields!"
"Send out the signal," commanded the captain. He walked right beside the lieutenant at the firing control and pushed down the blinking red button.
A single burst of green light from the Left Hand of Doz is immediately followed by an explosion on the station.
"Helm, 180 degrees. Get us out of here!"
The Cantharan navy operates with clock work precision. While the station is rocked with explosions, Cantharan cruisers and heavy cruiser de-cloaked from everywhere, surprising their human counterparts. They proceeded to decimate the entire human navy. Spatial distortions followed. The flag ship accompanied by multiple gunships and transports jumped into the system. By the time Admrial Mek Het got his first look at Earth, he is pleased to see that his fleet has already begun its orbital bombardment.
Saying that the Cantharans rained down disaster from the stars may be an understatement to the plight of the humans and the hopelessness of their cause. Antimatter pulses targeted key human facilities while beam weapons targeted the most populated parts of human cities, spreading panic and horror. The antimatter pulses are targeted on dams, energy reactors, military facilities that are capable of launching land-to-space rockets, barracks, and other key facilities. They are designed to paralyze human resistance. Meanwhile, scattering beam fire targeted at the cities are designed to scatter the human population onto the roads, further clogging them, thus making the transport of human troops difficult. A vital part of the invasion plan in preparation for the Order's transport's to land its troops. While Cantharans will be moved via transports, the humans will be grounded. They cannot rely on their air transports because their air fields has already taken critical damage. Moreover, Cantharan warships are shooting down air transports left and right.
A single beam fire cut right through an air transport. It was a clean cut, dividing the transport into 2 halves. Each half turned 90 degrees, spilling its passengers outward and crashing down back to Earth, creating a crater on the ground which ironically became the grave of many of its former passengers, now turned into charred remains. Another shot. Another air transport was hit. This time, the beam fire hit the fuel tanks. The explosion, though loud, was almost completely covered by the sound of wailing and explosion coming from the planet. The violent explosion tore the transport into shreds. A brilliant fireball replaced the transport in the sky, if only for a moment. Debris rained down, killing and injuring more.
Like the Romans facing the incoming Visigoths and decided to hide in their cathedrals to seek divine protection, many humans now seek the shelter of their holiest shrines, if just for a place with a roof to shield them from flying debris that was killing and maiming so many others on the streets. No amount of prayers and masses can save the humans from the Cantharans, who targeted areas of high population density. No amount of sacrifices and Hail Marrys can deliver them from the horror that has now engulfed the planet. Like the last days described in the Revelations, their fate has been sealed.
Then again, if the deepest shelters can be destroyed by antimatter pulses, if the strongest bunkers can be punctured by Cantharan weapons fire, where will you hide? Perhaps in the time of Revelations, it is best to have a faith than to have none at all. To have no faith while weathering the bombardment is to abandon all hopes.
The orbital bombardment continued. Supply transports carried in new energy fuel cells to replenish the Cantharan warships. The admiral's orders were for a ruthless and extended bombardment that will paralyze the humans into surrender. His Cantharan subordinates dutifully obliged.
All the major human cities of power and wealth, from Tokyo to Beijing to New Delhi to Moscow to Berlin to Paris to London to Washinton D.C. now resemble the remains of cities after being torn through by a tornado. Cities on the Eastern Hemisphere were at night. But their brilliant night life has turned into a dreary death. The streets have been emptied. Every here and there, traffic lights still function with regularity, although there was not a soul in sight for them to command. Cantharan weapons fire is sytematically reducing these cities to ruins.
"Enhance the image," command the Admiral Mek Het.
The image on the screen was enhanced to give the bridge crew of the flag ship a better view of the systematic destruction of the human civilization. Every now and then, a few fingers, some internal organs were seen lying on the streets, indepedent of their owners. The streets are colored by black dust and red blood, forming an interestingly brilliant canvas. Every now and then, sensors pick up the image of a person walking, aimlessly. After all, where does one go in a situation like this? When there is no enemy in sight, when death is delivered from above the clouds?
Admiral Mek Het sighed. He had no compunction about what he did. But if all this could be averted somehow-
The entire bridge crew suddenly noticed the Salrilian ambassador who had silently slithered onto the bridge. The live and ever-changing image of destruction was so captivating that none among the bridge crew noticed the ambassador until he spoke just now.
Other than some Cantharan scientists and high-level Cantharan officials, few Cantharans has ever seen a Salrilian. Although the Salrilian ambassador is a more common sight, even he tried to reserve the Salrilian tendency to avoid contact with others.
Unlike the ceremonial uniform of the ambassador usually wears to represent his people, the ambassador is wearing a glittering uniform, filled with countless small and nameless gems. The gems glitter so brightly that one has trouble seeing anything but the ambassador's head.
"Well this is a surprise. I don't recall ever seeing you on the bridge of this ship before. Or any other Cantharan vessel for that matter."
"I wanted to ensure that our test subjects will be delivered immediately."
"Do you doubt our ability to deliver upon our promise?"
"Of course not. Frankly, I can be just as intrigued as the next person when one gets to view destruction live."
"Well, enjoy this sight while it lasts. But to answer your question, no, these lower life forms do not deserve my pity. My pity is only reserved for the families of my fallen troops."
"Then that sense of regret is..."
"I regret that we couldn't give them a chance to surrender."
"Admiral, you know as well as I do that people do not surrender even when facing overwhelming odds. They must taste their blood and experience pain first-hand before even considering that option. Be assured, your ground troops will still have to fight long and hard to pacify this world."
"I know. It's just...It's just such a waste of resources. I prefer efficiency."
"Cantharans and Salrilians are probably the ones who can most appreciate efficiency, admiral. But even we cannot save them from their fate. They are doomed by their stupidity. We can only save their future."
"They did not choose to be ignorant."
"Really? But does it matter? The natural order of things is that the weak must service the strong or perish. We give them a chance to become one of us, so generations from now, their descendents will be the ones standing on bridges of ships like this one, raining down destruction on other primitive cultures. I would hardly consider this a curse, admiral. If I may say so, this is indeed a blessing."
"The dead has no blessings."
"I must disagree admiral. Putting these miserable creatures out of their miserable existence is simply a blessing in disguise. We save them from wasting away in their boring daily routines. Then we give their children a chance to become gods, like ourselves. They will be able to look down on other primitive peoples centuries from now. Indeed, I would even suggest that after their re-indoctrination, they would come to see, just as we do, that this is a glorious day in the evolution of their people. They have been given a chance by a generous people, the Cantharans, to make a gigantic evolutionary leap that their scientists can only dream of. We will re-shape their culture after our own image. We will purify their culture of their dirty baggages.Centuries from now, they will come to agree with us that this is indeed the day of salvation when they are delivered from their ignorance. Their primitive minds will grow to appreciate Cantharan literature. Their miserable existence will be alleviated by Cantharan technology. Their infantile philosophy will benefit from an infusion of new ideas. Their juvenile customs will be replaced by the much more mature Cantharan traditions. Indeed, I would say that they will celebrate this day as the Salvation Day generations from now."
The admiral stared at the ambassador. He was under no illusions as to what was done today. Therefore he looked with shock and disbelief. Then he saw the clear eyes of the ambassador and realized that he believed in everything he just said.
If he didn't know the ambassador well, he would regard him as a fanatic, or some kind of lunatic. But he knew that the ambassador was above all else, a practical person who deign to even waste words. The ambassador believed genuinely and sincerely what he said.
"Sir, our ships are reporting that the inincreasing density of the dust in their atmosphere is strating to create interference for our sensors."
"Order our ships to commence atmospheric bombardment."
The transports remained in position while the warships, including the flag ship, moved into the Earth's atmosphere to improve snesor efficiency while beginning another ruthless round of bombardment. However, atmospheric disturbances continueto interfere with the sensors. The ships are also beginning to have trouble holding their positions.
Admiral Mek Het realized that it is time.
"Order our transports to begin landing. Inform our warships to clear alanding area for them and provide cover fire."
"How many losses did we suffer?"
The lieutenant looked up.
Masterfully written. I especially loved the philosophy of the Salrilian ambassador. I may have to borrow it sometime j/k
Throughout their history these "unenlightened" beings have continually opposed and fought abuses of power wrought by their own bretheren. We, as the prophets would do well to learn from these Humans.
-Final statement of the Salrilian reformist Sirthis shortly before his execution.
Thank you again for your compliments.
The word "borrow" implies that it will be returned. If it is to be "borrow(ed)," might I ask when and how will you return it?
"Borrow" implies plagiarizing. Which was followed by just kidding. Can't you even take a complimenting joke without analysing it?
Originally posted by Sargatanus:
**"Borrow" implies plagiarizing. Which was followed by just kidding. Can't you even take a complimenting joke without analysing it?
Can't people understand jokes without j/k, :), ;)...etc.? j/k
Most can't. Which is why the pseudo-suffixes are necessary.
That was excellent. Do you write as a job? (honestly)
Long Live Apple! Long Live the Mac!
Thank you and no.