A-Crux of Dragons – Prelude

3:26am Crux Prime Standard

“Captain to the bridge. All hands Condition One!”

Captain Sara Dawn jumped at the late night interruption to her sleep. She’d gone to bed fully expecting to sleep in, have a late breakfast with her staff and then prepare for the coming afternoon’s celebrations as they launched The Ninã on her maiden voyage into the unknown.

Pulling on her uniform coat she tapped the comm system and spoke, “Ensign, I hope you know what time it is!”

“Yes ma’am, and I’m sorry but this order came from the President herself.” Ensign Paul Martinez was normally level headed and calm even in the worst moments of training, but Dawn noted an almost sadness in his voice this morning. ‘What is going on?’ She wondered as she stepped out of her cabin and headed for the bridge three decks below her cabin.

As she walked she noted her crew responding admirably to the order. Already security teams were dispersing to key areas of the ship, most of the pilots were filling into the briefing room just above the launch bay, and others were busy locking down equipment and checking systems for whatever was to come.

The ride down to the bridge in the lift was quick and quiet, but as soon as the doors opened, explosions and screams filled Dawn’s ears.

Stepping out onto the bridge, she looked up at the main screen just in time to see the Capital Building of Kranos Delta erupt into flames so hot even the tungsten columns melted before her eyes.

“We have no idea who or what is attacking us! They knocked out the orbital systems, the colony on K. D. IV and VI and destroyed the primary defense grid in the first volley. We have no clue how many are dead, but…” The comm sound and video was interrupted with interference momentarily.

Dawn took the moment of quiet to fall into her seat completely in shock. Seeing the Capital Building destroyed means she likely watched her own sister die as well. As she continued to watch, anger filled her. She vowed to herself that she would hunt down and destroy every last one of what ever nation had attacked Kranos Delta, even if she had to do it with her bare hands and an E.V. suit!

Something shifted in the voice on screen as it cleared up, whoever was speaking has been scared initially, but now there was absolute terror in his voice.

“M-MY GOD! I can’t be seeing this, I must be delirious. I pray the visual sensors are seeing the same thing. I-I can’t even begin to describe it. The attacker…it’s not a ship! It, it, It is a DRAGON!”

On screen the sensors being projected shifted angles and began to zoom in on a dark figure high above the smoke and clouds. It chased the movements which we’re definitely not the movements of a ship Dawn had ever seen, even in concept.

As the visual sensors continued to zoom in and refocus Dawn watched the movements of the attacker. They seemed almost like that of a snake. But there were definable wings attached about 1/3 of the way back from the attackers bow.

Suddenly, just as the image finally came into focus it turned and headed straight for the sensor platform. In that moment Dawn realized the person in the ground wasn’t delirious. As the platform melted in flames and the feed cut to black, Captain Sara Dawn sat up in her seat. Her heart pounding and her brow sweating.

In all her years in service she’d never imagined the day would come when she and the fleet would be preparing to face a living, world killing dragon!

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