Friday, December 28, 2012

SPARK of Tyranny - Part 58: The End

The Bucephalus, having dropped off its passengers at a refugee center on Mars, came back to find the battle was largely over. Jade was ready to head back and see if the people she’d dropped off wanted a lift home when a familiar voice came on over the com. They found Michael and Alex floating in a SPARK escape pod, patiently waiting for pickup. As they pulled the two into the cargo bay, they found themselves with front row seats for the destruction of the SPARK as it flew into the Sun, destroying it utterly and completely.

Friday, December 21, 2012

SPARK of Tyranny: Part 57: Putting Out The SPARK

Alex punched his accelerator as he escaped the volley of fire that took the last of his Alpha Squadron. He hadn’t heard anything about the state of the refugees, and he was sure didn’t want to know what was happening on the other side of the planet.
Alex was exhausted. His arms ached from the strain of piloting; the joints of his hands protested every movement. They hadn’t even had an opportunity to launch a strike at the SPARK, now it was all anyone could do just to survive the fight. To the credit of the assembled mercenaries, pirates, and smugglers, few, if any, had tried to leave when the tide turned. They were here to see it to the bitter end.

Friday, December 7, 2012

SPARK of Tyranny - Part 56: The Needs of the Many

“Are you kidding me?!” Jade shouted into the hatch. “We barely got off the ground, barely! How can we not be ready to leave yet?!”
Kwame poked his head out. “You are the one who flew reentry like a meteor crashing onto the planet. Did you ever consider just how much damage you did with your flying?” Kwame asked, ducking as a wrench came flying at his head.
“Guys, this isn’t going to work if you’re yelling at each other!” John said, also ducking away from a flying wrench. Jade was readying another one when she heard the Bucephalus’s engines fire back up.
She leapt back up the ladder to the cockpit. “That’s my baby, I know my baby.” she said. Kwame followed quickly after.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

SPARK of Tyranny - Part 55: Half the Battle

Captain Darlon paced back and forth across the bridge of his ship. After the incident at Miraxix Station he’d been promoted to the command of a capital ship, the Kilon cruiser Narox. It wasn’t just because of his actions in alerting command to the threat against the SPARK; in the recent weeks there had been a considerable loss of command crews to assignments unknown. Across the Kilon Expeditionary Force, officers were being pulled from their commands and reassigned, never to be heard from again.
It was because of this drain of senior officers and the destruction of the fleet’s flagship that recently minted Captain Darlon found himself in command of the attack on Earth. Stopping at the station of an intel officer, he leaned in to get a look for himself.
“Status of the fleet, Commander.” Darlon said. He knew what he was looking at, but he was hoping that he was simply wrong in his assessment.

Monday, November 19, 2012

SPARK of Tyranny - Part 54: Countdown

Climbing down into the AC51, Alex was glad for the sense of the familiar. This was a place where he always felt confident, where he always knew what to do. The cockpit encased him like a second skin, the fighter was an extension of himself. Here, everything made sense.
Alex looked over his controls, booting up systems, checking the gauges. He flipped an indicator switch to signal the ship he was ready to go.  he felt his stomach drop a little as the fighter was released, a thruster burst pushing him away from the carrier. He liked the feeling. Alex couldn’t fight the grin on his face as he grasped the controls, and took the fighter into space.

Monday, November 12, 2012

SPARK of Tyranny - Part 53: War Room

Alex didn’t have much time to compose himself before Eliza and her camera burst into the war room. In spite of everything that was happening, she was clearly enjoying herself. After all, what journalist doesn’t want to narrate the apocalypse?  

“How many people can we expect to see this?” Alex asked, straightening his clothes. Even with the eminent destruction of the world at hand, it’s hard not to care about what you look like on TV.

“By our estimation, ever since you flew into town, if there is a screen with a connection to the network, we’ve been on it. For all intents and purposes, TCN is the voice of and for the planet.”

“Good,” Alex said, “when we go live, just let me go, please. I have to get this message out, and we don’t have a lot of time.”

“I know,” Eliza said. “We’ve already broadcast that the Kilon fleet is en route.”

Sunday, November 4, 2012

SPARK of Tyranny - Part 52: Taking Up The Shield

The top floor of the New York KLLA offices had become the de facto headquarters for Operation Defender. From here, Drake and Lieutenant Kapoor were working with Marc to try and coordinate the efforts of everyone who came to fight for the Earth. It was a tall order. Mercenaries, former fleet officers, vigilantes, even some private citizens from the Martian Confederation had answered the call. Some were in orbit, independently patrolling whatever section of space they saw fit to defend. Others joined the captured Kilon cruiser now dubbed the TSS Shield, or escorted refugee ships from the atmosphere to the edge of Earth’s gravity well, where the transports could make their jump to wherever they thought they could find safe harbor. Most of them, though, had chosen to seek out whatever place on Earth they deemed to be their ancestral home.

There were billions of human born who’d never seen Earth in person. It could be assumed that many of the people who’d volunteered were coming home one time before there was no more home to come back to. Squadrons of rogue fighters, armed small freighters, and even small warships were scattered across the planet, with no one to answer to. The best that Marc and Lieutenant Kapoor could to this point was keep tabs on who was where and how many were there.

The entire ride back to New York, Alex was ready to change his mind. Who was he to try and take charge of the defense of Earth? If anything, the people who’d ignored any effort to bring everyone together would just ignore him too. But all of the cynicism that Alex could muster was nothing compared to what he could see plainly with his eyes.