Hundreds of squid-like alien bioships surged outward from a massive quantum singularity, laying down an intense barrage of orange-red weapons fire on a large, blocky vessel. The bioships were compact and efficient, organic by nature, killers by design. They did their job with the utmost precision, leaving nothing but flames and debris in their wake.
Despite its larger size and dreadfully menacing look, the large, blocky vessel didn’t stand much of a chance against its nemesis. Even so, it fired its every last weapon, striking several of the bioships—even destroying a few of them, but in the end, it was still terribly outnumbered. For each bioship that was destroyed, ten more emerged from the singularity, pounding the blocky vessel until finally, the fatal blow was made.
A beam of yellow light shot out from the blocky vessel’s phaser banks, slicing one of the bioships in half. As it died, the vessel seemed to shrivel up like a prune, expelling a pasty white substance into space before slamming into the side of its destroyer. Both were immediately engulfed in flames.
The battle was over, and the once great Phobian Republic was dead.
As the realization of their impending doom spread throughout the crew, a sort of crazed panic began to take root. Phobian officers jammed the corridors, frantically performing last minute operations before proceeding to the escape pods—though they knew that their chance of survival was slim, the enemy had been known to miss a few escape pods in the past. One, maybe two would survive. But no more…
Amidst the chaotic atmosphere, moving slowly against the flow of crazed and panicked traffic, were two adult Phobians, a male and a female, accompanied by a small child. They hastily ducked into a dark, secluded corridor and crouched down beside one of the vessel’s few remaining escape pods.
“Everything will be okay,” the female told the child.
He nodded sadly as the male Phobian opened the hatch to an escape pod. “Go now,” said the male. “Go, and be safe.”
The child hesitated as he stepped inside the sleek black pod. For a moment, it seemed as if he would not comply, but a meaningful glance from the female seemed to generate enough encouragement for the child to slip into the small pod.
“Good-bye,” said the female once the child was secured inside the claustrophobic pod.
The male made a few last minute adjustments to the escape vessel before running his fingers over the control panel on top, effectively sealing the hatch. “Activating stasis unit,” he said once it was secured.
His hand returned to the control pad and grazed a large red button near the center. A moment later, a soft whoosh emanated from the pod, indicating the stasis unit had successfully activated. Inside, the child was sleeping peacefully, ready to embark upon a journey of epic proportions… The male smiled faintly. “Let this moment mark not the end of our empire, but the beginning of a new one…”
The ship suddenly shuttered as its bulkheads began to fall apart. A stream of fiery sparks rained down from the ceiling, and a thick cloud of smoke rose from the smoldering floor. Both Phobians were tossed up against the wall across from the escape pod and fell to the floor.
The female looked up to see a gaping hull breech down the corridor. Nothing but a forcefield was protecting them from the vacuum of space, and given its constant flickering, not for long. The female nudged the male gently to bring him to his feet.
He did not comply.
When she brought her hand back to her face, she noticed it was covered in a thick coat of runny blood, and her heart skipped a beat. Frantically, she shooed the invasive smoke away from herself just enough to see a large bulkhead had fallen upon her companion. He was resting quietly—motionlessly—in a large pool of velvet-red blood.
“Nooo!!” she shouted. “No!!!!”
Feeling her heart shatter into a million pieces, she slumped down on his cold, dead body and wept loudly for several moments. She wept until the buzz of the escape pod brought her back to reality.
The female glanced out the new window down the corridor. The forcefield was about to fail. Already, she could see the very structure of the ship crumpling due to the stress of the hull breaches. A moment later, bulkheads started crashing to the floor. Sparks and billowing flames sprayed outward from the inner hull as the warp core breached.
As fast as her damaged body could propel her, the female lounged at the escape pod and pounded at the launch mechanism. For a moment, she was able to hear the sound of the pod exiting their doomed starship, but the oncoming explosions soon muffled those comforting sounds of hope.
The forcefield had failed. The entire deck was being blown out into space in a sea of flames…
Plumes of swirling orange and yellow fire shot through the ship’s weakened hull. The vibrant yellow warp nacelles crumbled away, and then, caught up in the growing maelstrom of fire, blew themselves into massive balls of flame. Just as the blast seemed to be dying down, one final explosion rocked the ship—an explosion so large it consumed the entire vessel and many of the tiny escape pods nearby…
Only a handful escaped the deadly shockwave, free to make their way into the final frontier…
FIRST OFFICER’S LOG, STARDATE 73201.1: The Starlight has rendezvoused with the Alexander to retrieve Commander Tompkins from his mission to the Zephyrus System. Following the exchange, Starfleet has ordered us to embark upon a series of tactical drills in preparation of the coming Elorg invasion.
Lieutenant Bator stood quietly in front of a small, sleek escape pod that had arrived from the Alexander a few days earlier. Quietly, because it was his escape pod. The one the crew of the Alexander had found him inside all those years ago…
The Phobian sighed. “I have not seen this in years,” he told Commander Matthew Harrison, who was standing directly beside him.
“Well, it’s yours,” said Harrison. “Captain Talbot said you could have it.”
Bator gently stroked the top of the sleek, black pod and shook his head. “What should I do with it?”
Harrison raised an eyebrow. “That is entirely up to you, Lieutenant. Put it in storage if you’d like. Have it vaporized. Donate it to the Smithsonian back on Earth…”
Each of Harrison’s ideas seemed to have merit. If he put it in storage, Bator knew he could see it whenever he desired. It was one of the few pieces of his heritage that remained. Then again, it was also a dark piece… and not a very exciting one—hence, vaporizing it also seemed valid. But Bator sensed that to be a selfish course of action, so perhaps he would donate it to the museum…
Sensing Bator’s indecision, Harrison smiled. “There’s no need for you to decide at this very moment,” he assured him. “It’s not going anywhere.”
Another valid point. He had all the time in the universe to make his decision, and given his indecisive mood, Bator knew that moment of truth had not yet arrived. “Later sounds like a good idea to me,” he said, taking one last look at the first home he knew, before turning in tandem with the Commander and heading for the doors.