Chapter Ithe prompt by @NextColony
It was raining. The howling of the shield generator was heavy over the mud track marked by deep furrows. Landcrawlers with wide crawler tracks used the runway several times a day to transport raw materials from the mines to the spaceport and supplies from there to the settlement.
Landcrawlers are huge trucks of 8-10m width, 10-20m height, and over 100m length. Mostly consisting of a tractor on two pairs of tracks, a semi-trailer with another pair of tracks, as well as another trailer consisting of a semi-trailer with an additional track drive as coupling to the front semi-trailer. Why Jack Steel volunteered for the safety team that secured the track, he couldn't say today, almost a week later, because the payment was moderate, it had been raining for 4 days without a break and the construction of the game barriers along the perimeter was more than sluggish.
One could not claim that Jack Steel was particularly attentive after an uneventful week in the increasingly colder air of the beginning winter. Something in the corners of his eyes suddenly caught his attention. Adrenaline washed through his body in the moment of shock...
Chapter II - The siegefrom here it's my entry.
A great wave of light expanded in the sky, making the shield that protected the planet vibrate, then would arrive the typical sound generated by the powerful canyon of a Frigate Redmill. A second and a third wave of light would accompany the first, which already vanished after stretching for thousands of kilometers through the shield. Dozens of rockets crashed into the force field, illuminating the sky with thunderous explosions.
"Shit, right now?" Jack Steel knew full well that the shield generator had little energy left. He had noticed, the generator was working since the mining process began and soon the shield that protected the planet would fade away.
The transporters were almost ready for takeoff, only the cargo arriving at the landcrawler protected by Jack was missing.
"Boss, I'm retiring. I don't think train robbers are a threat right now. Take the landcrawler to the port and get the cargo to the transporters as soon as possible.
"But where are you going, Steel?" asked the Landcrawler's chauffeur, without getting an answer.
Jack Steel ran in the rain towards the spaceport towers, where the anti-aircraft batteries were located, to anticipate the imminent battle.
The defense posts were vacant, thanks to General Silver's negligence, the rain and the soldiers' blind confidence in the impregnable energy shield, which was about to expire.
"General Silver, the officer in charge of landcrawler security speaking. Deploy the Corvettes squadrons and send operators to the anti-aircraft batteries immediately," Jack communicated through the intercom in the defense tower.
"How insolent," thought the General as he placidly watched the fireworks through his office window. "Stay calm soldier" finally Silver answered, "The siege will not last more than half an hour and the shield is working one hundred percent".
"General, the shield will cease to function at any moment, we must be prepared," replied Jack.
"Calm down, sir... Steel. Our engineers have already assured us that the shield will protect us during the entire extraction and transport process".
"Idiot!" Jack had no decorum when it came to talking to a superior. "We're a day late because of the rains, am I the only one in Metallium-VI who noticed? Because it seems that the enemy does take it into account".
A chill ran through General Silver's body, in fact, the extraction work had been delayed a whole day because of the floods in the mines and the functioning of the shield would not extend that time by divine providence. how the hell could he overlook that detail, if he had not been so distracted, it was all Laura's fault, his lover. They had lived an intense romance during the rainy days and Silver had no mind for anything other than the naked body of the exuberant woman.
"So you noticed it too," Silver said, disguising her incompetence. "Well, keep your position and I have taken the necessary precautions.
Metallium-VI is a peaceful planet dedicated to mining and trading metals such as copper, its inhabitants had not suffered any enemy attack since the launch of the generator of the energy shield, which had been donated by the empire, after the planet suffered the last battle known as "the great looting" several decades ago in the past.
It had become routine. The extraction and transport process was accompanied by the start-up of the generator and the activation of the energy shield. Once the transporters were sent to their destination, the shield was deactivated and the generator entered its recharging phase, the work in the mines slowed down and the anti-aircraft batteries and defense squadrons came into operation, however, this was a symbolic defense, in reality, very little or nothing was what the rusty Corvette Crocus ships could achieve against the powerful enemy Frigate Redmill ships.
Jack Steel was not a native of Metallium-VI, he grew up in the empire and became one of the best pilots and number one by firing through the psychic link, but deserted after seeing how the empire enslaved the peoples it colonized. He escaped to Metallium-VI and adopted the surname Steel as a low ranking officer, advised by his friend Professor Sebastian Chromium.
The tenuous atmosphere of the planet was suddenly illuminated. The detonations that hit the shield in the sky were transported to the ground where hell was now unleashed, for the first time in thirty years Metallium-VI was being attacked and there was no shield to protect it.
The Corvette Crocus squadron was quickly deployed to bravely engage enemy fleets in what would undoubtedly be an unequal battle.
Jack's attachment to the anti-aircraft battery was almost natural "like riding a bicycle" he boasted. The system was somewhat rudimentary but the psychic link worked well, Jack had managed to shoot down a couple of enemy ships when the alarm was activated.
He threw himself out the window, just a second before the tower exploded into thousands of pieces, he was lucky enough to fall into a coal container, curiously one of the most scarce resources on the planet. He quickly reintegrated, observed how the other defense towers were demolished and realized that the spaceport was no longer a place to fight.
He ran through the rubble until he reached the parking lot, which had not yet been damaged, and boarded a motoslider to undertake the flight at full speed zigzagging, with some luck, between the explosions.
In the bunker at the spaceport, General Silver was looking for Laura with concern, he had to be prepared to flee on his personal ship, and he didn't want to leave the planet without his lover.
"I saw her a moment ago, sir. I was with Colonel Bronze, they were heading for the hangar," an officer told her.
"That jerk Thomas now wants to play the gentleman and save my damsel," thought the General and ran to the hangar.
The colonel and Laura were boarding the ship when they heard Silver's screams.
"Laura, come with me... Laura"
"What's that asshole doing here?" asked Thomas Bronce and Laura shrugged.
Thomas activated the machine guns against the general, but he reacted quickly and managed to hide behind the fuselage of a ship that was being repaired.
"Shit, I failed." Thomas' ship rose through the gate and then disappeared into the battle collage drawn in the sky.
"I've been an imbecile," said the General while banging his head against the fuselage "how could I not notice? Thomas fucking traitor!"
Professor Chromium was very worried, already smoking his fourth consecutive cigarette when he saw Jack arrive.
"I thought you wouldn't come," the professor reproached him.
"Well, I'm here. Let's find out if that thing really is ready.
It was an old Battlecruiser Lion shot down decades ago during "the great looting". It had been found by the professor and had been trying to repair it for several years, the technology of the Battlecruiser Lion was somewhat advanced and its controls were complex, but it resembled imperial ships. If anyone in Metallium-VI was capable of piloting it, it was Jack Steel.
The improvised hangar door was opened to free the Battlecruiser Lion, but the inexperienced pilot preferred to tear down the front wall.
"I'm sorry, professor, I'll pay you back," apologized Jack as he got used to the controls of the powerful ship.
The professor shrugged his shoulders, "if he can save us, he will have paid for that wall in full," he thought.
The Corvette Crocus ships who defended the planet fell like flies, it was only a matter of time before Metallium-VI fell. The V formation was about to disintegrate when a strong explosion rang behind them, the Frigates were destroyed by a mysterious ship joining the battle.
"This is Officer Jack Steel in charge of landcrawler security, I am aboard the Battlecruiser Lion and request permission to join the battle" was heard through the intercom at the spaceport.
"But what the hell, he's alive! and aboard a Battlecruiser" was pleasantly surprised General Silver who commanded the air operations, had resolved to give the fight after feeling responsible for the attack. "When the hell did you need permission to do something? Shame on you! Go and finish them off."
"As in the old days," said to himself Jack Steel, remembering his days of battle with the empire. Onboard the powerful ship, he shot down the enemy Frigates as if it were a simple video game.
The battle lasted for hours, and although there were great losses, Metallium-VI resisted. The enemy fleets were forced to retreat when they saw that they were beginning to be at a disadvantage because of Jack's Battlecruiser.
Jack Steel was awarded the supernova medal of honor, was promoted to captain and would now be in charge of the Metallium-VI defense fleet aboard his Battlecruiser Lion. However, he did not attend the award ceremony and was never heard from again.
Six months later, Professor Sebastian Chromium would receive an envelope with a letter that said: "I have transferred 25 million cryptocredits to your account, more than enough to cover the costs of the wall I knocked down and the ship I took without your permission. Thank you for all my dear friend, I hope to visit you soon. With all my affection, Jack."
All images in this post belong to the @nextcolony game.