This is the prequil to Through the Sea of Black.
Ebon Blacknes with pin pricks of light. That is what deep space looks like. It's cold. It's lonesome. But it is far from lifeless.
Thousands of sentient species abound in this galaxy, but the only one you can trust is your own. Sure, there are allies and those you call friends, but in the end the're just watching out for themselves. Making temporary truces with those they distrust the least and the ones with the biggest weapons. Waiting for the most opportune time to stab them in the back and steal what they want.
Then there are the hidden species. The ones about whom only rumors of their existance abound. They lie in wait, like a snake beneath a rock waiting for the best time to strike...
"Mr. Post, take us out." Said the Captain as he sank into his chair. "Let's get out of this cesspool as fast as we can."
The young pilot responded with the customary "Aye, Sir." Skillfully, he eased the massive battle cruiser, Death's Head, away from the station and back into open space.
"Set course for the Dantarian front. Let's push those Lizards back into that swamp they call home."
Twelve fighter wings stood ready to deploy from the flight deck of the Death's Head. Their pilots in constant alert mode. Jokes and good natured rivalries masked the tension in the pilot's lounge, but it could not hide it. You could cut it with a knife.
Pavel Tentsov, commander of the fourth wing looked around the room at the faces of the young men and women assembled. Most in the room were rookies, fresh out of flight school, too young and too inexperienced to be serving onboard a battle cruiser. At twenty eight, he was the third oldest person in the room, and the one with the most combat experience and flight time.
"How many of these rookies am I going to have to retrain?" He wondered. "How many are we going to have to replace?" Closing his eyes he leaned back in his chair and tried to think of something else.
"Hey, Pav, you ok?" Asked a familiar voice. Rico, his wingman was sitting across the table and had noticed the concern on the young Russian's face.
"I'm fine, Rico. I'm just... just..."
"Just what? Scared?"
"Maybe I don’t know. Something just feels… wrong."
The wing man grew sullen and quiet, and sipped his drink, he had learned long ago to trust Pavel’s instincts. A lesson he had learned the hard way.
The masive object on the scanners appeared so suddenly, that the navigator, Lt. Ostersen had to do a double take before she reported it to the Captain. "Sir, I’ve got something on the scanners."
"What is it?" Asked the Captain.
"I don’t know. Whatever it is, it’s big and it’s fast."
"Let’s have a look." The image appeared on the main viewer was disturbing. Massive and black, three times larger than the massive Death’s Head. And heading toward them at an incredible speed.
"What is it" Questioned the Captain.
Another crewman chimed in. "Sir, at that speed they’ll be on top us in no time."
An explosion rocked the ship as the mysterious new enemy launced it’s initial volley. And was followed in mere seconds by a second and third.
"Shields! Return Fire! Launch All fighters!" Was all the Captain was able to say before the bridge went black.