The cold, emotionless void of space outside a quiet, peaceful planetary system lay silent, unaware of the short and brutal war that would soon rampage just outside the borders of the body of planets.

A system of seven planets had been discovered by a scientist on a comfy chair on his home planet of Earth. Four of which have been deemed possibly habitable. With this find so close to Earth, relatively speaking, and the reality of an already overpopulated planet, the Emperor, under a veil of secrecy, sent a small fleet of seven ships to probe the system and confirm whether or not they are indeed habitable for human colonisation, of which they indeed were. The Emperor kept the mission a secret, known only by the crews of the ships and their command counterparts stationed on Earth, Knowing, if this information was fed to the over populated throngs of people, riots would ensue and a mad dash for the colony ships would result in many deaths, and much more damage to the infrastructure than could be afforded. The people of Earth were desperate. Food and water were in short supply, natural resources; almost spent. And wavering loyalties amongst the governors of the various countries and continents that lay beneath his shield of protection. This, would appear to be the miracle he needed to secure his rule and stamp out the rebellions.

The lead ships command bridge had the soft green glow from its control terminals, light had been reduced to a minimum inside during the travel of their final jump. The Axiom is a proud ship of the Human fleet, complete with a shining silver hull with a single navy-blue stripe down the centre of its beautiful slender frame. The Axiom swam through the void, bringing the ten thousand souls to their latest mission. The long smooth silver ship ran two kilometres in length, The Pride of the expeditionary force sent forth.

”Captain, we will be leaving Jump Travel within ten minutes, all other ships are alerted. ” said the chief helmsman. Captain Smith nodded his aged head in acknowledgement, standing proud in his clean and pressed uniform, at an age of seventy, he had a long and pristine career where his long years of service will not be soon forgotten by the people of Luna, Earths moon. Captain Smith was the primary officer involved in crushing the Luna rebellion some years ago. Losing many, many lives in that dreadful conflict, but saving, so many more.

Returning to his luxurious chair, to await the empty void of space surrounding the designated Merriden System, he lazily watched the countdown to their new home, which had been confirmed to support no civilised life by high command.

Nothing could have prepared him for what really awaited the expedition fleet. The reports Earth prepared, were wrong. Very wrong.

The White walls of the Space station early warning outpost orbiting the fourth planet gleamed as The Gryph aliens worked away at their almost transparent consoles, their long slender paled blue frames dressed in soft blue cloth that clung to their bodies. Their eyes oval and a light blue, darting across their consoles, occasionally calling out numbers and requests.

”Governor Arden! A moment, please! ” called out a paling Gryph whos electric blue eyes edged closer to his consoles, sweeping back his thick cream-coloured dreadlocks as the Governor approached his station.

”Yes Junior? ”

”Governor, we have seven space signatures, subject to enter near the northern hemisphere of the planet. ”

”Alert the defensive fleet, send a formation to intercept the co-ordinates. ”

”Aye, Governor. ”

”Commence Security Procedures. ” said Arden flatly and coolly, rubbing his oval eyes.

The command floor momentarily fell silent before security teams entered the room, strapping on long helmets to cover their oval long heads, and the aliens at their consoles began barking out dispatch orders to their corresponding ships. The walls began to dim, it was the walls that provided the light in the circular command room. The glass roof, no longer reflecting the chaos of the command floor and scurrying Gryph. Now the lights had dimmed, the glass became transparent, and the endless cold embrace of space could be seen. An orange circle bearing a timer had positioned itself on the glass where the space signature readings would show themselves.

The Axiom command bridge buzzed with excitement as Captain Smith dialled another ship that was riding along side. ”Axiom to Divergence. Danny, its nearly time, we
e here. This will be an enormous winner for us! Be sure to get your dress blues cleaned, this will be a grand retirement for me, and a brilliant career step for you! Axiom Out. ” and with the good Captain cutting off the message to the Divergences Captain, the chief helmsman called over his shoulder, ”Sir, we are exiting warp, in three…two… one… mark. ” The Axiom glided through the warp void as graceful as an angel followed by its six-cruiser fleet. The Axiom, Divergence, Faithful Hand, The Spirit of Terra, The Wyre, The Jenny Lee and The Hammer Head, all left the warp together in a perfect triangle formation with the Axiom at the spear head central point.

All that the Captains and Bridge crew saw when their ships steadied, was the battle-ready armada that lay waiting for them, however the comms remained silent. Captain Smith stood blinking at the floating emerald uniform ships, at least seventy strong, and all had their weapons aimed directly at his small party.

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