Portar, the Benzite scientist, emerged from the turbo lift. He quickly walked around the bridge looking over the shoulders of the on duty crewmen as he evaluated each of their efforts. He passed in front of Captain Dorra d’Hexplora before taking a seat beside her. He leaned towards her and said, “The experiment is ready. It’s time to begin, Captain. May we proceed?”
* * *
“Captain Molayne, why are they just sitting there?”
“Pay attention, Lieutenant. They are attempting to provoke a reaction from us,” the pale Captain replied from the large table-like tactical station as it displayed a three-dimensional holographic representation of the dreadnaught. He reached for it and rotated the ship to get a better view of its profile. “Identify weapons ports,” he ordered the computer, which promptly overlaid tactical data on the hologram in the form of hundreds of boxes with indicators detailing each port.
Molayne had seen enough. With a wave of his hand, he cleared the holographic tactical data. The view of the Scarran vessel returned to its original state. The dreadnaught was larger than his command carrier by nearly 25% and its weapon compliment showed a proportional increase. They were outgunned, but their technology offered them a slight advantage. If a fight broke out, it was too close to tell who would be victorious.
“Captain Molayne, I’m detecting unusual readings near the Scarran vessel!” a Tech girl replied from across the massive bridge of the Peacekeeper Command Carrier. Several others confirmed the readings.
“What is it?” he demanded looking up from the hologram, and it’s blue glow casting shadows across his face.
“I … I don’t know,” the Tech Commander on duty answered. “We’ve got nothing like it on record.”
“Show it to me,” Molayne replied.
The hologram shifted its viewing angle to a patch of empty space just a few metras below the dreadnaught. It was emanating a distinct gravimetric signature that was distorting space around it. The percussive force of the distorted space impacting against the Scarran’s hull, shook the command carrier. When the anomaly exploded to life, it punched a massive hole through the dreadnaught. It set off a chain reaction of explosions that would eventually lead to the ship’s long slow demise.
The buzz and chatter that erupted after a moment of stunned silence was deafening. Molayne had to call for attention multiple times before the entire crew settled down and focused on him. ‘What did we just witness?”
The crew just stared at one another. No one spoke up. “It destroyed a Scarran dreadnaught with a single volley. I want to know what kind of weapon can do that,” Molayne said pointing at the exploding hologram.
“Something is emerging from the anomaly,” someone called out, but Molayne was already looking at the three motra object that maneuvered away from the detonating ship.
“I’m not detecting any life signs,” announced another.
“I think it’s a probe of some kind,” a third replied. “It’s scanning the anomaly, the dreadnaught, and … us.”
“Destroy the probe,” Molayne ordered, and hail the Scarran vessel.