Four colony worlds abruptly cease communication. Probe ship Bluebird under the command of Captain William Star is tasked to investigate Procyon Colony. Upon arrival in the system, Bluebird encounters radioactive debris, the remains of the two probe ships Star was to rendezvous with. Hundreds of colonists are dead or missing. The war has begun. But who is the enemy?
A Sci-Fi novelette @ 13,000 words.
“New contact,” Maninder said. “Above the planet’s north pole, sitting in the Van Allen belt overlap. It’s accelerating away from New Horizon. It’s a ship. Acceleration is rapid.” The hull-mounted cameras feeding imagery to the forward viewscope weren’t powerful enough to pick out whatever Maninder’s scanners had detected. They’d need a telescope with a kilometer-wide lens for that, bolted to the hull. The contact however appeared in the navigation tank as a bright pink spark in close proximity to New Horizon’s sphere.
“No IFF signal detected, Captain,” Tarkov said.
“I am declaring the contact hostile. Pilot, please bring us to bear.”
Halley fired the maneuvering thrusters in a series of delicate bursts, turning Bluebird in increments until the X-Y axes were aligned on the distant contact. The tank projected the OPFOR’s heading. It was zeroing in on Probe Two, responding to the wide-band emission source. Halley responded to the positional shift, keeping Bluebird lined up on the unseen object, going purely by the coordinates data in the tank, supplied by Maninder’s scanners.
Star linked to the beam projector crew chiefs. Their faces, on his display, seemed to look up at him. “Gentlemen, may I assume you are following events.” Both chiefs nodded confirmation. “Estimates, please?”
Parsons, the senior of the two by ten years of service in Space Navy, spoke first. “From this distance, hella tough call, sir. I’d need a couple of ranging shots to calibrate before I could guarantee a strike.”
Kazimir, on the starboard beam projector, nodded to confirm he was thinking the same thing. “Maybe more than a couple, Captain. I must declare low optimism.”
Star wasn’t surprised by this, but he’d wanted to reach out and touch his gunners so they were on the same page. “So noted. Stand by.” He wiped his display and said to Fairbanks, “Asteroids, Mr. Fairbanks. We need to steal a ride.”
While I am a long-time Trek fan, this is not Trek fanfic.
All characters, settings and events in this series are original.
The Starship Captain stories are based on the webcomics of the same title.