Star Pilots of Draco – Ep6

Episode 6: Lull

“…And on the latest news coming from the Centauri system, after two years of conflict between the Centauri Liberation Front and Starlance Security Force a peace treaty has finally been established. A fierce battle took place that allowed the CLF to apprehend the mastermind of a rogue faction, a general by the name of Dalton Greer. The security force was dragged into this conflict after they assaulted one of their own, then branded as traitors, for defending a space colony said to be harboring criminals. What the security force didn’t count on was that their aggressive pursuit of control gave rise to various groups, many of which were branded pirates and terrorists. The unprecedented cooperation between these factions opened the way to better relations between the colonies. A new government is being established with the idea of having every voice heard. Currently the Liberation Front along with members of the colonies and the new leadership of Starlance have begun talks to take charge in rebuilding trust as well as fixing the damage done by the war. We will have further information to share later so stay tuned. This is Paul Evans reporting.”, I turned off the monitor. It was good to see that other systems were stabilizing. Piers would be particularly happy, surely he would want to return home soon. I looked back at my shelf. History books, some dusty science books and several flight manuals. I’ve studied how we left Sol system after the discovery of stellar jump tech. We have had many conflicts since, but soon after we have also found new and better ways to coexist. It was as if we didn’t have Earth history to draw upon. I guess it is still a learning experience for everyone. It’s been a while since a lot of us have been back on Earth, maybe I should pay a visit to our ancestral home. I wonder how the government there is doing.

These days have been fairly quiet. The attacks by the Armada have decreased. Many of their ships have been recalled to Rastaban Prime. We suspect they’re simply waiting for the inevitable. It feels like we are just a few steps away from recovering our lost peace. The battles they won, areas under their control have now been abandoned. There wasn’t any real strategy to any of this except for one thing. The Armada kept us away from Rastaban Prime. Every battle took us further from them. It has been one distraction after another. It was only after we rescued Mira and acquired the data from the space station at Rastaban II that their plans came a little into focus. High Lord Ohmaaran found something on Rastaban Prime and one of its moons. What those things are is anyone’s guess. That information was not available in that station’s systems. Julian spent days with a group of the most talented engineers from the Alliance. There was nothing else that could be gleaned from the data we took. Now all we could do is make a direct assault on Rastaban Prime. Something like this will take quite some time to prepare for, but at least now we feel better prepared. Not only is Draco Squadron one of our best elite units, we also have two of the three star pilots with us. Although they aren’t joining the squadron they’re still the elite aces that we relied upon before. It is our hope that we can end this all soon so that we may have a chance at rescuing Stella.

The next day I made my way to the mess hall early in the morning. I need to go through a number of reports and familiarize myself with the fleet formations of the Armada. If we’re going to battle them I’d better be prepared for anything. As I finished breakfast Piers, Julian and Hino joined me.

“Grand Marshall, how are you today?”, said Piers, ever formal.

“I’m doing well, Piers. Did you see the news on Centauri?”

“I did.”

“And? Will you be leaving soon?”, I was curious. He had mentioned before that his intent was to return once things settled down back at his home.

“No. Although I’m still opposed to all the conflict here, I feel it’s best if I stay and help out.”

“I’m glad to hear. Julian, anything to report?”

“Nah, just that I’m still tired from staying up late last night.”, it was obvious from his looks that he had not slept well.

“Doing what exactly? You know we are all encouraged to rest properly.”

“Oh, well, General Yen Li asked me to crack a coded message that was intercepted from an Armada outpost. I got most of the solution matrix I needed but it still falls short of decoding everything.”

“I see. Don’t make a habit of this, I need you at your best. Was there anything worth noting?”

Hino interceded, “Liv, you’re getting that in the next debrief. Let him have his breakfast.”

I smiled, “Ah, you’re right. Sorry, I get too caught up in all this. I’ll head to the command bridge. Get some rest before getting back to work alright?”

“Will do.”

The squadron is grounded for a few days while all the preparations are made. Meanwhile I keep busy studying combat tactics and information on enemy movement. At the Command Bridge, Yen Li was busy giving orders and receiving reports. People were moving to and from the briefing room. The other two generals kept almost constant communication with our base. This had become the main hub for the offensive that would soon launch. Dealing with the Rastaban Armada was not going to be easy. The largest carriers had been positioned in different areas of the sector and could provide quick support to most defense stations. As I kept reading on, coffee in hand, I chanced upon what Julian mentioned earlier. Although the data was incomplete, due to the missing decoding, there was a part that caught my eye. Brief descriptions of a base or station that seemed odd. There wasn’t much else to read on the data, so I moved ahead with other reports.

“Didn’t expect to see you here so early.”, Yen Li stopped by the terminal I was using.

“Ah, I can’t keep myself calm. This quiet time is unnerving. It feels like the Armada just bought itself whatever time it needed to execute their plans.”

“We don’t know what they’re up to, so until we see anything we still have the upper hand. So far all that is clear is that they retreated to Rastaban Prime and are probably waiting for the inevitable confrontation. Relax, the other generals and I will handle the preparations. Speaking of, I should head back to the briefing room.”, Yen Li left. She must feel a heavy burden right now. Our peace is in their hands. Of course, it’ll also be on ours soon enough. She has a point though. Stressing over this is taking its toll. I’ll do some training in the combat simulators and call it a day.


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