Tiny Things

Posted: May 26, 2014 in Creative Writing, Fiction

So, here we are. The edge of the galaxy; a bleak, dark, gods forsaken place where even the nearest star is light years away from us.

The edge of the galactic void.

There is beauty out in the void though, and for the first time in months I’ve allowed the shutters of the ship to open.

Light, from any source other than the weak greenish yellow glow of the corridor lamps, is a welcome respite.

The fact that the amber and purple light bathing our vessel is coming from the burning husk of a Kellexus warship is moot.

Burning plasma leaks from the beasts midsection, and from the intensity of the light, it must be from their version of a Void Drive. The purple hues are coming from the smoldering flesh of the ships exterior, tentacles writhing in slow motion as it dies naked in the black.

A flash of blue and white is echoed by a shockwave that makes the amber cloud shift and swirl, a bright white impact on the beasts side, the impact of our primary mass driver.

The beast begins to list to its side and we can see little forms being sucked out into the vacuum, the bioships crew, vented from the breach. Kellexus can survive fifteen minutes in total vacuum, it’s a blessing then that they drift into the burning plasma cloud and erupt like those little tissue paper poppers my son would throw at the concrete back home. A quick, faint pop and then gone. Hundreds, maybe thousands.

“Life signs of the bioship have ceased, sir.”

Here, on the edge of the galaxy, all light must fade.

“Very well. Weapons, target all available guns abroadside, torpedoes and missiles free,”

“Generating targeting solution, all guns abroadside, missiles and torpedoes locked. Targeting solution green, request permission to fire.”

All light must fade.

“End it.”

The sky burns as tiny stars of white hot plasma, glowing warheads and artillery shells streak towards their target.

The beast spins out of control as jets of burning plasma and gods only know what else vent explosively, the erupts in a brilliant amber and purple flash.

“All hands, brace for shockwave,”

I barely remember to say the words, the sight is too beautiful.

The hull trembles and I feel the ship rock and list, a fraction of what I’d expected.

“Comms, send word home, the first of the Kellexus have come through the Void Gate. We welcomed them accordingly.”

Something is amiss. Why is the hull still trembling?

Klaxons blare, red light fills the command deck.

“Report!”

Saunders, the navigation officer, has a panicked look in his eyes.

“Saunders!”

He snaps out of it, his wild eyes looking up at me.

“Void Traverse Field detected! Incoming at lattice 57.6, helion 3.”

Something else was coming through?

“Point of origin, Saunders?”

He was scrambling.

“Saunders!”

“I’m trying commander! The vector doesn’t make any sense! It’s reading as originating in galaxy NGC 1365, lattice 000, helion 0.”

That made no sense, I double check his math on my command screen.

“That’s impossible, there is no Void Gate that far out.”

“Gate sequencing engaged, VTF contact in 45 seconds, no recognition codes transmitted.”

This was impossible, there was no Gate in that galaxy, no way to fold the space between the galaxies. There was nothing there…

“Sir? Orders?”

This was impossible.

“First contact protocol! Engage axial rotation, charge weapons! Weapons, get me a firing solution on their contact point.”

The floor bounces as the center of the ship unlocks from the rest, gravity plating modulating as the mass begins to orbit around us and affect the overall gravity.

I feel my stomach lurch.

“VTF contact!”

Time slows, an effect of the Void Gate beginning to fold space to ‘catch’ the incoming object. The remaining plasma, still burning from the final onslaught of our guns, allows us to see space warp and ripple, like dropping a pebble in a still pond.

My jaw slowly goes slack at what I am seeing.

It is a behemoth, a leviathan, easily triple our size. Chitin plates and pulsing sacs of fluid and sensory organs, a thousand eyes staring and lidless.

It is a Kellexus ship, but one unlike I have ever seen, bigger than the largest of Draxi battle dreadnoughts. Impossibly big.

The time distortion is going longer than normal, and that massive hulk baring down on us is getting closer.

Time snaps back to normal like releasing a stretched elastic band.

“Hail them,”

The communications offers gives me a nod.

“Kellexus vessel, you have entered the sovereign territory of the United Terran Empire, use the codes we are transmitting to you to decode your language and respond at once or you will be fired upon.”

There is a pause.

“Unknown vessel, you will respond.”

I motion, the main mass driver firing a salvo past them.

“The next one will not miss, I assure you.”

Tiny things.
Little things.
Kill you
.

That psychic imagery was all I needed.

“All batteries, fire at will!”

It’s magnificent, the true unbridled fury of the Gentry Ascendant brought to bear, enough firepower to burn Earth itself to a cinder.

And it is doing absolutely nothing.

Charged plasma shells, high intensity directed energy weapons, high explosive ordinance that could level a city block, torpedoes and missiles that are banned from being used near population centers because they can ignite an atmosphere.

Nothing is so much as making a scratch.

“Arm the primary and secondary canons, full yield shells, emergency targeting solution.”

My hands grip the rail of the command station.

“Put a hole in its head!”

That head, if you could call the armored lump at the front of it a head, rotates slightly towards us.

It’s thinking, deciding what to do to this pest flying about and tickling it.

Well, this pest has a sting!

My console glows as the computer notifies me and the weapons officer that its reached a targeting solution. I don’t bother to wait for my officers confirmation.

“Fire!”

The ship lurches as both mass drivers fire in unison, over one hundred fifty thousand tons of ordinance streak towards the monster in front of us at nearly half the speed of light.

They hit home, making the beast reel and list, but as the blinding light fades I can see its barely scorched.

Tiny things. Break you.

A thousand eyes fix on us.

“Commander, VTF detected!”

You have got to be kidding me.

“Where, Mr. Saunders?”

His eyes get wilder.

“Lattice 11.2, helion 6…Engineering section! VTF Core!”

What the…

“They’re folding space! They’re folding it inside the ship!”

My hand is on the comms button before he’s even done speaking.

“All hands, abandon ship! To the escape pods! Now!”

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