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Blades of light lanced towards the Venciliator’s observation deck as it streaked through void-space at unfathomable speeds. It was quiet in the richly adorned space, and Brawsh filled the silence with the imagined sounds of a dying homeworld as yet another disgusting species was subjugated by the Empire.
The doors hissed open and Brawsh clicked his fangs as his aide hurried from clanking metal hallways to the soft carpeted interior of the observation deck.
“Your Excellency,” she bowed.
“Reatie,” one of his globular eyes darted to acknowledge her and then snapped back to the kaleidoscopic void-space corridor, “From this interruption, I take it we will be arriving presently?”
“Yes, your Excellency. I am patching the Captain of the Venciliator through to you now.”
Brawsh winced as the harsh sound of static invaded his space, “Captain?” he asked.
“Ambassador Brawsh, we have received word form Admiral Trithe through the void-comms, she has made contact with the human world and has begun her subjugation.”
Brawsh’s lips curled back from his red fangs in a cruel smile, “Excellent, we won’t have long to wait upon arrival before we here the lamentations of our new servants. Exerting power, Reatie, that’s why I took this position, it’s what our kind do.”
“Yes, your Excellency,” Reatie said.
The Captain announced their arrival over the speakers, “Exiting void-space in three, two, one.”
The lances of celestial light lassoed the image of a small blue dot as the ship slowed back into real-space with a dull roar. Their planetary array was in shambles, their satellite orbits littered with the debris of their ruined fleets and installations, empyreal fire from Imperial battle ships had shredded their . . . Brawsh furrowed his brow.
“Captain . . . ?”
“We noticed, scanning for Admiral Trithe now,” the Captain said.
Reatie leaned in past Brawsh and scrunched her eyes to see through the prolific wreckage before them. “Where are they?” She asked.
“I have no idea,” Brawsh wondered, “They were clearly here, the humans have been all but obliterated.”
“Umm,” Reatie pointed at a piece of wreckage that drifted in a slow tumble past the observation deck, “Is that?”
The wreckage turned to reveal lettering signifying an Imperial ship . . . ‘Acrimony’
“That’s the Admiral’s ship!” Reatie cried, “This wreckage is the Imperial fleet!”
“That can’t,” Brawsh stuttered as a cold twinge of dread rippled across his hide, “That can’t be…”
“Ambassador,” the Captain’s voice broke through his spiralling panic, “We are being hailed by a human vessel.”
“What’s its location?” Reatie asked.
“Unknown, we aren’t detecting the technology required to obliterate our fleet, just a radio signal.”
“Hone in on that signal!” Brawsh ordered.
The observation screen pulsed as the overlays translated the radio signal into a visual beacon, then zoomed in on a tiny little vessel darting – albeit leisurely – around the wreckage of the Acrimony towards the Venciliator.
“What weapons does that vessel possess?” Brawsh asked.
“Whatever weapons it has equipped must be cloaked. All we detect is rudimentary propulsion, life support, computational power . . . and the radio signal . . . really, we only detected it because they hailed us, Ambassador.”
Brawsh set his quivering lips and found an air of authority to go with his next words, “Patch them through.”
“Greetings, invasion fleet, this is Barry Young, do you read?”
“We read you, Earthling. This is His Excellency Ambassador Brawsh, are you an ambassador ship?”
“No sir-ee, I’m the hard bastard that vanquished your fleet.”
Reatie gasped and looked to Brawsh, who ignored her, “In that ship?” The overlay zoomed in on Barry’s ship as it exited the debris field and came more into view, a bulbous mining tug vessel by the looks of it.
“With ones like it, yeah.”
“How? You aren’t military?”
“Nah, when your invasion fleet arrived the military pressed the mining guild into overtime to sustain the defence effort. Overtime pay was not provided . . . the union sent me to make sure the workers weren’t taken advantage of.”
“You’re a . . . Miner?”
“A Mining Union Rep to be exact, negotiations with the military and CEO’s weren’t going too well so we decided to act. Got in past your defences with these lower tech vessels which were designed to tow mineral rich asteroids. We clogged up your fusion drive exhausts until they exploded.”
“You destroyed the invasion fleet with mining tugs?”
“Yeah, anyway. Military said seeing as we were in the area we could be the ones to demand your surrender . . . you are an ambassador ship yeah?”
“Yeah . . . but . . . I won’t treat with low class scum! Captain, take us away, we will come back with another fleet.”
“Your Excellency,” The Captain acknowledged and the Venciliator pulled away from Barry’s mining vessel.
“Well, can’t say we didn’t try,” Barry laughed, “Pull away boys and girls, before she blows.”
“What?” Brawsh watched through the vobservation screen in horror as dozens of other mining tugs came into view, pulling away from the Venciliator and its fusion drive exhaust ports. “Captain?!”
“THERMAL PORTS OVERHEATING, ABANDON SHIP!”
Reatie screamed and bolted from the observation deck as the warning lights and sirens went into overdrive. Brawsh watched the retreating mining vessels, undetectable until now because the Venciliator simply wasn’t looking for such low tech ships.
Just before the nuclear fire engulfed him, Brawsh uttered his final curse, “You troglodyte bastards!”
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