Landing at New Francisca

After several hours of floating in space, Silas was begining to get nervous. He was a sitting duck if anyone should choose to attack him here, and after the last fight he hadn't had a chance to complete repairs on the hull before being drafted into this arms run, and he wasn't sure that the Orchid could last long in a pitched battle.

Suddenly, the communication panel lit up, a face apeared on the screen for a second, flickered off, and then apeared again. It was a military man, with short cropped hair and a thin face fronted by a curved moustache. He was wearing a sergeant's uniform and a weary smile."Welcome to Hydrian Major captain. That is the shipment we've been expecting isn't it? Hows life treating you Silas?"

Silas sat up, smiling at the sound of his old friend's voice, "This is the shipment," He confirmed, grinning,"All the way from the rim. Life continues for me much as it always has. How is life stuck planet-side treating you?"

Sergeant-Major Reav Yohanisberg turned and hit the confirmation button, granting the Silver Orchid docking permission, then turned back to the camera and pulled a face, 'Don't try it,' he replied, "It sucks."

The Crew cheered as the news was announced, the flight crew lept from their seats and raced to the cockpit to take their places. The Orchid lurched breifly as her engines came back online, and then plunged planetwards, heatproof pads extending from her underside to take the friction of entry.

As the ship emerged from the thin clound layer, Silar got is first proper veiw of the planet. He had heard stories about this place, and the destruction that the interior rebellion had wreaked on the surface, but none came even close to seeing it for himself. The ground, although it looked healthy from the air, was cratered and barren, with huge, alge-filled pools giving the planet it's green colour. The churned up, burn ground had seen more orbital bombardments, ground assaults and seiges than almost anywhere else. Although the defences had never actually fallen, they had come very, very close to being overwhelmed hundreds of times. Only in the areas surrounding the few inhabited cities was there any signs of life. Conservationists were attempting to re-introduce the natural fauna and flora to the planet, but were having a very hard time doing it. Now that the war had been re-commenced, Silas thought, they'd never have a chance.

Silas steered the ship downwards towards the docking facilities at New Francisca. They were contained in huge, rectangular buildings in the city center, with a huge scanning dish and hundreds of AA lazer turrets, that swivelled to face each ship as it docked. The Orchid slowed its decent, and the massive roof slowly opened to receive it. As soon as she was inside, the roof slammed shut above her, and massive, magnetic docking clamps slammed onto the sides, making Silas wince. The engines, shut off, and the ship was slowly swung round and realeased into an empty docking bay. Silas wiped his forehead with his sleeve, as all around him the flight crew relaxed and began discussing what the were going to do once they got off.

"I always hate landing." he muttered, as he grabbed his coat and headed to the balcony to dismiss the crew.

The End

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