Standing before the vortex its angry maw hungry for his soul. He could feel the coldness of death reaching out to him and trying to pull him towards it. Knowing if he tried to step back it would only pull harder. All he could do was stand his ground. Just as the pull was almost too much for him he heard a wailing in the distance. He sat up from his bunk with a start realizing he was only dreaming and the wailing he heard was the alarm for all hands to man combat stations.
With years of training and honed instincts he was fully awake with in a few seconds and pulling his boots on. As he stepped out of his quarters with one last look at the sparsely decorated room he grabbed his flight helmet and shut the door behind me.
In the passage ways was controlled chaos. Crewmen and officers hurriedly made there way to their stations without ever actually breaking in to a run. He eased into the flow moving towards the flight deck not realizing he was was in front of his wing-mate, Smoke. Tapping him on the shoulder to get his attention he just nodded with out turning around or stopping.
“What do you thinks is going on, Slicer?” Smoke asked using his call sign he earned in flight school after slicing the melee combat instructor's finger off with a sword. Out here that is all we ever used is call signs we never learned anyone’s real name. With a pilot survival rate of only two missions, well, that just made things easier.
he shrugged his shoulders and turned the next corner to find three more pilots from his squadron entering a lift to go up flight ops deck. “Might just be a drill for all we know. That is all we have been doing for the last month is drills,” he said over his shoulder as he stepped into the lift. “What makes you think it's not a drill.”
“Eh maybe you're right, but don't they usually announce that it is a drill right after the call for combat stations?” Smoke said coming up behind me. Knowing that he did have a tendency to over react, that's how he got the call sign Smoke. In flight training his fuel mixture got rich and a little bit of Smoke started coming out of the engine. Slicer still think if he wasn't flying next to him to calm him down he would have lost control.
“Yea guess you got a point there. Guess we will find out in just a minute there is the ready room.” Pointing to the squadron ready room as the lift doors opened. The number of people in the passageways was thinning out.
The two wing-mates made our way to the door. At first glance everything look normal for a drill, then he noticed everyone looking in the same direction. The front wall was covered with a screen that would usually display flight rosters, duty stations, or mission briefings. Right now the only thing displayed was he picture of earth from high orbit. Slicer walked the rest of the way in to the room then he saw what had everyone’s attention. There was a battle going on over a blue and green world.
“What the...” Smoke did not get to finish when squadron commander Papa interrupted him.
The squadron commander Papa was standing next to the display. Papa was in his 40's but his hair was already mostly grayed.“It all started about three hours ago. We got a message through Comm Matrix One.” Pointing to the screen it zoomed in on the upper right quarter of the screen. “It seems who ever these aggressors are they are not the ones we have been fighting for the last six months. This group jumped in right on top of Earth defense force and immediately opened fire on anything in orbit. We lost six of our command ships within the first minute of the engagement.” He pointed out at least two of the broken hulks that where a Command Carrier and a Dreadnaught. “After that we got organized and have been fighting back and doing the best they can.”
The screen zoomed out a little and we could all see ships of all sizes with lances of light and miniature novas exploding between them.. and inside of them. “As hard as they have been fighting they are still loosing.” The screen zoomed out once more and flicked to show the night side of the blue marble that we all called home. “It has been decided at the highest level that earth is lost.” Gasps of shock and looks of horror on everyone's face quickly turned towards anger and out rage. “I know what you are all thinking I felt the same way when I heard the order. However; it would take almost every ship in the armada to repel this attacking force and there is no way to get them all together in time. Earth has been placed under Evacuation Order One. Yes the complete evacuation of every person and genetic profile of earth species as possible.” Slicer just noticed small to large spots of light leaving the surface and breaking out of the atmosphere. “The remaining defense force is just trying to hold long enough to get as many people away as they can.”
“Um Sir, Where are we going to go,” Panic asked tentivly, giving voice to the question on everyone's mind wiith his hand up for everyone’s attention. “I mean earth was our home, and all we have out here are small colonies.”
“Your concern is noted Panic. Yes we only have a handful of colonies and even those we have been fighting to protect.” The screen changed to a star map and Papa walked over to point at a small star on it. “These are the coordinates that we have been given. All combat assets are to proceed at best possible speeds. However any ship of cruiser size or larger around or near a colony is to offer escort to any civilian ship wishing to join us.” A green line traced from that star to another point on the map. “this is where we are now to get there at our max speed will take four weeks. We have one small shuttle that we will meet with and then will proceed the rest with them on board. Any questions?”
Several hands went up among the pilots both new and seasoned. he just sat there and all he could think about was his dream. It was not the first time he had that dream and may not have been the last. What will tomorrow bring.