by Hobe Hoskiins

Date: March 26, 2392. 0430 Hours. On board the spaceship Maya.

It was another morning on board the starship Maya. The captain of the ship, Captain Johnathon Riviera, woke up to the buzzing of his alarm clock. He always tried to mislead his mind into thinking he wasn’t hearing something, but he could never delude himself about his duties he had to do that day. His tasks were very significant now, considering how the whole Human army was at war with the Dreughs. It had been like this for the past four months.

The Dreughs were an alien race. They had four feeler like legs and walked on them upright. They also had four claws for hands, which could be hazardous in melee combat. The military intelligence supposed they originated on a planet with a marine atmosphere. They alleged this because the Dreughs bore a similarity to a crab.

The Captain prepared himself ready for his morning schedule. He had woken up later than usual, so there was less time to prepare for his patrol of Serani VII. This meant nothing to him; he was known for coming through when things became rough. After he scrubbed up, Captain Riviera went to the mess hall to eat on some early breakfast. Maya had just received a delivery of food a day ago, so their stock was full. Johnathon skimmed through their vast inventory and chose a wholesome meal.

The Captain reported to the bridge where the rest of his crew was found and checked the radar on his console. Last night, the radar had shown an enemy ship 300 kilometers away. The change in distance was startling; it had approached 250 kilometers that night. At the speed it was moving, it would be in the vicinity of the planet in no less than two hours. This dramatic acceleration caused panic for everyone. The Captain sent a distress signal to all nearby ally ships and down to the planet of Serani VII.

Date: March 26, 2392. 0515 Hours. Human military base on Serani VII.

Commander Calavara was in his chair writing a request to the Admiral for a new unit to be transferred to his squad when his computer started beeping. This disturbed him and made him jump, causing him to mash his hand down on the keyboard. He swiftly expunged his mistake and read the message on a different program. It was a signal from Maya, the ship that was patrolling Serani VII this month. A Dreugh warship had advanced in speed and was approaching the planet.

This was unfortunate; he only had two hours to gather all of his troops ready for battle, in case a drop-ship was to land. He rounded up all of his troops and told them the lamentable news. One soldier tried to escape and run as far away as he could from the base. The Commander ran after him and tackled him to the ground. He gave him a strict order to stay with his troop until the war was over or he died. The soldier regained his thoughts and followed through with the mandate.

For the next hour, the Commander gave the troops enough time to write letters to their loved ones and psychologically prepare themselves for the battle. In the last hour the troops readied themselves and went to the arsenal to suit up. They didn’t grab the high-tech weapons, because the Dreughs used very simple weapons. Even the Human’s rudimentary weapons could beat out the Dreugh’s. It only became risky when there were a large group of them simultaneously.

Date: March 26, 2392. 0700 Hours. On board the spaceship Maya.

The captain had decided to use this time to charge up the ship’s shields and weapons to full power. Even though the Dreughs were not very strong themselves, they made well-built ships. When he asked the weapon’s director how the charging of the weapons was going, the director abruptly realized he had forgotten to switch them to their next phase of charging when they were ready to continue. The Captain looked at their power and saw they were only powered up to 75% power. This inexcusable failure wouldn’t go un-punished; the director’s mistake would make him receive a demotion

The weapons had to be charged up as much as they could within the next fifteen minutes. They would at least charge to 95% power. When the next fifteen minutes had passed, the Captain was puzzled. When he checked the radar, he saw the ship had stopped and deployed some drop-ships. This was quite perplexing. Why not just come and attack the big threat, first?

They tried their best to take down as many drop-ships as they could, but a few slipped through. When another group came by, all but one passed through the beams by layering itself in between ships. This became even more troublesome and annoying. To take care of this vexatious problem the Captain set a route for the main ship. He was going to take it down, so the ground troops would have only a small number of Dreughs to take care of.

Part 2

Date: March 26, 2392. 0730 Hours. On board the spaceship Maya.

The ship Maya was on a crash course for the Dreugh warship that was releasing all the smaller ships, which the humans had recently code-named, Shadows. Captain Riviera was a bit nervous, but he was fully assured his plan would go as intended.

“Captain!” exclaimed one private as he saluted Captain Riviera, “Are you sure this will work?”

“Of course,” Johnathon replied. “I’m positive about this one.”

Prior to this battle, Captain Riviera had been in another space battle with the Dreughs. The method that he used then cost 100 soldiers their lives. He’d been trying to out-run a homing missile by weaving everywhere and hoping it would hit some debris, but instead it hit the side of the hull. The strategy he was using this time would not end up like the previous one, or so he hoped.

Date: March 26, 2392. 0745 Hours. Outskirts of the human military base on Serani VII.

Ba-tatta-tat! Ba-tatta-tat! Commander Calavara could hear the gun-fire as his army kept accelerating on foot, as opposed to the sluggishness of the Dreughs. His squad had covered a great distance since they started out. Their main objective was to rid the planet of the Dreughs. They had already cleared out three drop-ships alone. There were an expected nine drop-ships that had landed. Calavara estimated eight drop-ships worth had been cleared if you included the other troops’ body counts together.

The squad stopped for a breather from their five mile run. Calavara froze as he heard gunshot then felt a bullet fly by his head. He took a few seconds to recover from the shock to check what was behind him. It turned out a soldier had shot a Dreugh that was about to crush his head with its claw. The Dreugh wasn’t alive, seeing as how there was a bullet hole that went straight through its head. It had been 20 years since Calavara had joined the army, but he still abhorred the sound of gun-fire.

“Soldier!” Calavara exclaimed. “You know I loathe the sound of gunfire. You could’ve warned me the Dreugh was approaching, and I would’ve have shot it myself. It was a good job, though.”

“Thank you, sir!” the soldier responded.

Date: March 26, 2392. 0800 Hours. On board the spaceship Maya.

“Navigator, what is the estimated time of arrival?” the Captain asked.

“The ETA is about 10 minutes, sir,” Navigator Timoths replied.

The Captain fancied a bottle of scotch, but that unreal thought meant nothing right now. The Captain only had 10 minutes to evacuate most of his crew to Serani VII. The Dreugh’s warship had only a few weaknesses, but there was one the Captain would take advantage of as his crew evacuated. The warship only had one turret, so it could only aim at one target. As the turret activated its shields dropped. It could either fire at evacuation pods and be blasted to pieces or fire at the ship and let the evacuation pods escape. This was an easy weakness to exploit.

As Maya approached the Dreugh ship, the Captain prepared some soldiers to be ready to attack the inside of the ship. The Maya’s shields were strong enough to stay stable and create a hole in the side of the Dreugh’s ship. Once inside the Captain planned that he and his soldiers would go inside and locate the commander of the ship and commandeer it.

After seven minutes had passed, everyone but the Captain and his soldiers had evacuated to Serani VII. As Maya crashed into the Dreugh ship, it threw everyone off-balance. The Captain twisted his ankle as he landed on the ground. This caused him great suffering. This affliction would be sure to slow him down, but he would wrap it up before he left his ship.

Date: March 26, 2392. 0815 Hours. Dreugh Landing Zone (LZ) on Serani VII

Commander Calavara and his soldiers reached the area where the Dreughs had been dispatched. The drop-ships had dropped off some smaller ships so the Dreughs could launch an air attack. It seemed many of them had taken some of the ships and done so. A couple of soldiers, who had help from a more experienced soldier who taught them how to operate the ships, also took some of the ships to attack the Dreughs in the air. This veteran soldier stayed behind, in case the rest of the soldiers needed anymore help with the Dreugh technology.

A couple of Dreughs had stayed hidden as the soldiers arrived. The ones that had not gone were the infection type. These could bite into humans and turn them into Dreughs if the process went right. If not, they died a painful death. If the other soldiers knew one soldier had been bitten by an infection type, they had to put them into quarantine. The infection hadn’t been researched much, so most soldiers died while in isolation.

These Dreughs were harmless, though. They were easy to kill. Once they were all disposed of, Commander Calavara recieved a call on his com-radio. Other soldiers and crew-members aboard Maya had contacted them through their portable radio links and were willing to help. Even though the crew that had landed were superfluous, the Commander was willing to take them and use all the help he was offered.

Calavara planned to take those troops and have them transport the stationary guns and other equipment the Dreughs left behind and use them to protect the military base. If the Dreughs were to drop off more squads, the base would have more defenses to protect itself with. Calavara had hope that this base wouldn’t fall to the Dreugh like some of the others had. It would only take a few hours to finish off any oncoming troops that tried to attack the base.

Part 3:

Captain Riviera’s Last Stand

Date: March 26, 2392. 0830 Hours. On board Dreugh Warship

As the Captain of the former spaceship Maya, Jonathon Riviera, rushed down the halls of the Dreugh ship, he was cognizant of the dangers that could arise in this situation. Dreughs could come at him and his crew when they least expected it. The Captain made sure that he was ready for an attack from any direction at any time.

When the hangar came into view, the Captain and his crew halted where they were currently standing. They didn’t want to draw any attention to themselves and ceasing movement provided them the best cover. The way the hangar was set up, it could not be matched in any way. The Dreugh’s technology was unparalleled by anything and everything. The attack team slowly moved in so they wouldn’t be heard, even the slightest bit.

The Dreughs could see far, so the soldiers had to find as much cover as possible. The cover included shipping crates, pillars, and other vehicles that were around the hangar. The soldiers knew the Dreughs were not short-sighted, so they made no mistake in this covert operation. Once the soldiers were within close firing range, they pulled out their most silent weapons and took the Dreughs out quickly. Little to no sound was made, which made this plan even more of a success.

The soldiers had to be close to mute to make it through the rest of the ship alive. This helped them survive in places where they would’ve quickly died if any sound was made. When the crew reached the Control Room of the ship, they couldn’t take out anyone without another Dreugh noticing. They changed their plan to take out Dreughs secretly until they were found out. This would keep them alive a little longer than if they’d just come all-out and attacked without reason. That type of onslaught would be ridiculously idiotic.

Bang! The first shot was fired at a nearby Dreugh. As the sound echoed through the room, other Dreughs looked around and tried to find the source of the bullet. As more Dreughs moved closer to the group, more went down from gunfire. After the first four Dreughs were killed, the group was found from the pattern of the dead bodies; all of them lay close to the spot where the soldiers were hiding. Many plasma shots and bullets flew throughout the room.

Some soldiers were hit in the chest with plasma shots; these were untreatable. No relief had been found for these types of wounds by the human military, yet. The battle went on for what seemed like hours. When there was only a small group of humans, about five, and only one Dreugh left, the humans captured it. The Captain had an idea of what he was going to do, but he had to run it by the rest of his surviving crew, because he knew there was no chance they would survive.

“Soldiers, I have a new plan. It’s highly risky, I don’t think any of us will make it out alive,” he started. “We will have to gather the data we can and send it to our base on Serani VII. Once they receive it all, we will have to destroy the ship. All the Dreughs will probably take note of this and take every escape pod that is left. Once the self-destruct sequence starts, we will have roughly ten minutes left to live,” he explained sadly, trying to be as optimistic as he could.

The rest of the crew was flabbergasted by the Captain’s daring plot. None of them dared to defy him at this point; they were determined to defeat the Dreughs no matter what it took. While the Captain prepared the last action of this mission, the rest of the soldiers surveyed the immediate area to make sure they wouldn’t be ambushed during the middle of all of this.

As time decreased, the soldiers thoughts about their families, friends, and lives. Once enlisted in the army, they knew they could face the choice of giving up their life for the greater good. As the last ten seconds approached, the soldier’s could see Captain Riviera break a faint smile. He knew that this destruction would start the downfall of the Dreugh Empire. It seemed the rest of the crew knew what he was thinking, as they smiled along with him.

On the planet of Serani VII, the only thing they saw was a huge fireball in the sky and heard a small boom as the ship exploded. A celebration was held that night, but the next day brought the rest of the battle. By the following night, the army hoped to have the planet cleared of Dreughs. It would take a long time to repair the damage, but they had the coordinates to the Dreugh’s home planet, and plans would be made to continue this war, and hopefully, the Dreughs would be wiped out very soon.

Part 4:

The Final Battle

Date: March 27, 2392. 0630 Hours. Human military base on Serani VII

Last night had been the human biggest victory in the history of the war. One warship had been destroyed and vital information had been captured. With this information, the Dreughs could be wiped out in a matter of weeks. The vanquishing of the Dreughs was inevitable. Of course, this came with a great burden. Some of the military’s best soldiers had been sacrificed in order to make this mission possible. The deaths of the most cherished soldiers in the service had been mourned.

Plans had already been made for the final attack on the Dreughs. Since they had received the coordinates for the home planet, the plan was to attack with all they had and show the Dreughs what they were made of. The humans would need help with their weaponry, though. They were hoping to receive help from their allies, the Coctyans. These two races had been friends for the past 300 years, since the battle of Primus IX. The Coctyan’s technology was far more advanced than the Dreughs.

The Coctyans were known for their war-like instincts. They never had to give anything a second thought while in the heat of the battle. Whenever engaged in war, whether they won or lost, the most carnage was always caused by the Coctyans. Being an intelligent species, they could never take their minds off of knowledge that related to recent studies. Since the Coctyans were so engrossed in this sort of work, they were usually the first race to have the newest weapons and technology. The Coctyans had a cone-like skull and a near human body. Their arms came out and bent straight down at the elbows. The Coctyan’s legs were more like a Horse’s legs, except they stood on their back two legs.

The attack on the Dreugh’s home-planet, Grangius, would be a swift and short one. Human bombers would come in as nimble as a bird and drop the Coctyan’s explosives. The bombs were heavy, so they dropped fast. After the first attack was launched, the ground troops would be released and they would take the capital city by storm. While this was happening, the human war-ships would have to keep a firm hold on the passage to the planet. This was important, because if any outside troops were released onto the planet, the humans would be done for.

The attack was planned to take place on the 14th of April, so the troops would have enough time to practice and the Coctyans would be able to prepare their explosives. This attack would be decisive. If it failed, there was barely even a slim chance they would win the war, but if it succeeded, the Dreughs would have enough brains to know not to mess with them anymore. For this reason, the soldiers needed to practice as much as possible. While the soldiers were training, the intelligence personnel read about the Dreugh’s defenses from the top secret information which they had received. This preparation would also add to the chance of victory.

Date: April 14, 2392. 0900 Hours. Human fleet on path to Grangius.

The day had finally come that the Dreughs would hopefully be destroyed. The Coctyans had made their best weapons and armed the bombers with them. All it would take was a push of a button and the bombs would be released. Every soldier was excited about this mission. Knowing they had the bigger chance of winning had them overjoyed. Private Greene was literally squirming in his seat. Hopefully, this wouldn’t mess up his aim and precision.

The battle seemed to pass within a few minutes. The bombs were dropped successfully; the explosions could be heard from space. Quickly, after the bombs were dropped, the ground troops were deployed with their guns drawn. Rushing out of the carrier, they were surprised Dreughs weren’t there to meet them with hostile fire. This was very unexpected; they had figured once the bombs had been dropped, the Dreughs would follow the carrier to its landing spot.

It was assumed that the largest building in the city would be where the highest ranking officers of the Dreughs would be stationed, so part of the troop went inside. The rest of the troops stayed hidden outside, in case the troop inside was ambushed. As they had figured, the leaders of the Dreugh’s army were inside. They realized it was better not to shoot them dead right then and there. It was decided to capture them instead. The prisoners were going to be shipped to Earth and given an execution broadcast all over the world. It was no problem transporting the leaders back to the carrier since they understood it was no use to fight back against humans armed with weapons that could kill them all in no less than five seconds. As they walked back to the ship, they noticed many Dreughs hiding in buildings and other forms of shelter.

Date: April 14, 2393.

It has been exactly one year since the assault on the planet Grangius. The humans, Dreughs, and Coctyans have formed a peace treaty and have worked as allies ever since. Today has been marked an inter-global holiday as VG-Day, Victory in Grangius Day. Although peace has remained among the three races and nothing is expected to happen between the three ever again, the saying goes, history always repeats itself.

The End

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