Cyanos Geosynchronous Orbit: Group Conference, Secure Channel
Commander Ddraig – CSA-TET-1
Commander Tova: CSA-TET-2
Commander Kranz: CSA-TET-3
Commander Kaerulaus: CSA-TET-4
Chancellor Saxe: Cyanos Central Committee
Monday – early evening
A group conference – secure channel, was underway between the four TET commanders, and Chancellor Saxe acting as chair on the surface. Commander Tova was completing her report.
Commander Tova: The contact identifies herself as Bugaarian Matriarch, Queen Anostosia. She is demanding that we deliver to her the nest, with a non-specific ultimatum that we have until the dusk of one Solaris to do so. She also claims that this nest has been interfered with in some way. Her general demeanor and manner is that of someone who likes and expects to have their own way without question. Her subordinate Number Six seemed quite afraid and cowed by her. At this point it is unclear as to exactly what kind of threat she may pose, however until we know more I would advise caution.
Commander Kaerulaus: Does anyone have the faintest idea what this nest thing is that the big giant bughead is talking about? Surely her one ship, if you can call that hulking monstrosity of her’s a ship, would be no match for our four TETs and squadrons of fighter drones.
Chancellor Saxe: Commander Kaerulaus, I would advise you, no matter how unpleasant the Queen may seem, that we still afford her due courtesy and the benefit of the doubt, until proven otherwise. We must try to avoid direct conflict and take the path of diplomacy.
Commander Kaerulaus: Well as far as I am concerned if this so called Queen puts one spiny claw further over the Cerulean Meridian, we make our point clear with drone diplomacy.
Chancellor Saxe: Thank you Kaerulaus, your view is noted.
Commander Kranz: This gets us no further to knowing what or where this nest is that she is referring to. Does anyone have any ideas at all?
Commander Ddraig: The dragons have records and legends going back many years, I could make enquires with my people, however that will take time, and time it would seem is against us.
Commander Tova: Agreed.
I gave my assurance to Queen Anostosia that I would contact her again within the hour. That time is almost up. I suggest that we try to seek more information from her as to what and where this nest might be and how we might be able to assist if at all possible. This may buy us some more time while we conduct our own inquires. A level of diplomacy however will be required, as demonstrated by our last conversation, she seemed rather irritable and agitated.
Chancellor Saxe: Very good.
Commanders Kranz and Kaerulaus, you will continue to provide a defensive watch. Commander Ddraig, please contact your people and find out what you can. Commander Tova will contact the Queen again and see if she can gain any further information and offer our reasonable assistance.
CSA-TET-2 Control Room
Monday – evening, a short time after the conference
Hanne: FLIGHT-COMMS: I have established contact with the Bugaarian ship.
Commander Tova: COMMS-FLIGHT: On main viewer.
The holographic image of Queen Anostosia and her subordinate once again filled the viewer. An hour had not improved her looks or her mood.
Queen Anostosia: You again! It’s about time!
Her mandibles clattered like train wheels – steel on steel, passing through a set of points at a switch.
I am not at all accustomed to having to wait! It will brook no favour with me if this intolerable treatment continues!
Commander Tova: Queen Anostosia – the Government of Cyanos sends you their greetings. Please accept our apologies for the delay, there was no disrespect intended. Time was required to properly consult with my peers and to discuss how we might be able to assist you best.
Queen Anostosia: Assist?! Consult?! Discuss?! And what possible assistance do you presume that I would need to reclaim that which is mine?! With whom is there any need to consult?! What possibly is there to discuss?!
I shall brook no further delay! I will descend at once to the surface of this miserable planet. This, the very same planet that once failed to produce sufficient sustenance for myself and my brood, and forced my ignominious retreat so long ago.
Yet – I see that suitable replacement provision has been grown in my absence. This meager offering of re-forestation will be acceptable to appease me. My brood is hungry and is in need of sustenance.
I am Queen Anostosia – Bugaarian Matriach of the Wandering Stars! I shall reclaim that which is mine!
Commander Tova: Queen Anostosia – we are unable to allow you to proceed any further. We require more information as to what this nest is and details of its location…
Queen Anostosia now flew into a complete maniacal rage, as lurid green fluorescent spittle began to fly from and drip from her mandibles.
Queen Anostosia: How dare you! Unable?! Allow?! Require?!
Never have I experienced such wilful insubordination! Let me demonstrate to you what happens to those who displease me!
Then without any further warning, the Queen whipped her head around to Number Six who was still cowering beside her and bit his head clean off. His lifeless body fell at her feet. She then proceeded to scream out of view to other subordinates unseen.
Queen Anostosia: Bring me Number Seven!
Any further reasonable discussion at this point seemed out of the question.
Commander Tova: COMMS: Terminate link!
Hanne: FLIGHT-COMMS: Multiple new contacts swarming from Delta-1!
Rönd: FLIGHT-TACTICAL: Swarm has crossed the meridian!
Recommend condition RED!
Commander Tova: Set condition RED!
Wolfgang: FLIGHT-TETNO: Advise – TET-4 drones are assuming attack formation.
Commander Tova: COMMS-FLIGHT: Get me Kaerulaus now!
Hanne: FLIGHT-COMMS: Commander Kaerulaus is on your viewer.
Commander Kaerulaus appeared on Commander Tova’s screen. He had a wild eyed look.
Commander Tova: Kaerulaus! Disengage attack formation! Maintain defensive formation as ordered!
Commander Kaerulaus: That bug has crossed the meridian! They are attacking! I will defend our planet!
Kaerulaus’ image disappeared from the screen.
The Bugaarian swarm and the formation of fighter drones leading the charge from TET-4 were converging rapidly. As to who fired the first shot was going to be a matter of debate and inquiry for some time in the future, however the immediate consequence of the two opposing sides rapidly converging on each other was entirely predictable.
A fierce melee ensued.
The battle between the TET-4 drones and the Bugaarian fighters raged. The Bugaarian fighters used a spitting venom weapon, that pulsated with the same acid green colour that had dripped from the jaws of Queen Anostosia. The effect of a direct hit to a TET drone was effective and immediate, a devastating and catastrophic explosion.
When a Bugaarian fighter received a direct hit from a TET drone, the result seemed to be the opposite. It was more like a dissolving green implosion, rather like a large bug hitting a windscreen, while driving at night.
By now any thought of maintaining a defensive stance by the other TETs was moot. Having had their paws forced by Kaerulaus’ reckless attack, the others now had no choice but to join. While the TETs usually maintained a stationary geosynchronous position, they were perfectly capable of moving when they needed to. TET-3 now moved into a rear-guard position behind TET-4, engaging the Bugaarian fighters with its apex anti-matter plasma weapons. These weapons could fire simultaneously from each apex and began to destroy many of the Bugaarian fighters. The main TET shields seemed to be holding out against the spitting venom weapons of the Bugaarians – for now at least. With each hit the TET shields would fizzle and crackle ominously for a few seconds, while the sound of skittering crepitations reverberated throughout the entire outer pressure hull.
More ominous still the Bugaarian ship had crossed the Cerulean Meridian and was now approaching rapidly.
Each TET had a weapon of last resort. It could fire a single enormous pulse from the core of the reactor itself. The energy required would effectively drain everything except a small reserve to maintain the vital life support needs of the station taking some time to recharge. With the Bugaarian ship now bearing directly down on him, and closing in fast, Kaerulaus’ options had run out.
Commander Kaerulaus: FIRE THE CORE!
TET-4, already locked onto the approaching Buggaarian ship, fired its geomagnetic wide beam core weapon.
The beam of super charged energy left TET-4 in an angry red streak of station quivering wrath, draining all but essential reserves of power. It found its mark, and for a moment, as it completely enveloped the Buggarian ship in a fierce storm of red geomagnetic glowing plasma, it seemed as if Kaerulaus’ gambit had worked.
It had not.
As the plasma storm that surrounded the Bugaarian ship slowly dissipated it remained completely intact. Kaerulaus was now directly in the sights of the Bugaarian Queen who was now closing in on her helpless and weakened prey. The energy reserves of TET-4 to attack or defend were spent.
The Bugaarian ship returned fire. A lethal surge of green venom spat from the distal corpus cavernosum of the ship’s bow dome.
The Bugaarian venom found its mark.
Images of TETs and Bugaarian ships in this episode commissioned from Colourbrand