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Guile And Ingenuity: A Starflight Story (standard:science fiction, 8650 words)
Author: BrockleighAdded: Feb 09 2003Views/Reads: 1731/1107Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The Spemin have a new toy which threatens Arthean space, and Hixon is sent coreward to discover the source of an unexpected sign of life
 



Guile and Ingenuity: A Starflight Story By Kevin Stasila 

Note: Elements of Hilsfar & Co. (© 1999-2002 Max Boucher) used by
permission. Thanks to Max for all his help. 

The bridge on the ISS Strike Eagle was quiet and serene on this day.
Captain Ian Trafford calmly commanded his bridge on a routine patrol of 
the Arthean-Spemin border, sipping on a hot beverage. Captain Hilsfar 
from the ISS Belfast Windfall had told him about this drink, and he was 
trying it for the first time. Sanka, Hilsfar called it. Trafford tasted 
it, and thought it could take some getting used to. He set the drink 
down and settled in for the rest of his patrol. 

He looked over his bridge. All his crewmembers seemed a little bored,
and rightfully so. Their patrol took them along the edge of the Spemin 
border, from the Gazurtoid frontier to the Velox border. The crew 
became more alert closer to Gazurtoid space, but interest waned as they 
moved coreward and the threat of attack decreased. The Spemin were no 
match for an Attack/Defense Vessel such as this one, and as they were 
more than half way along the Spemin border on the way to the Velox 
border, there wouldn't be much to do. Trafford turned to his console to 
keep himself busy. 

Trafford was then thrown from his chair as the ship rocked violently.
Klaxons blared and lights flashed as the bridge crew struggled to 
overcome their surprise and determine the source of the disruption. The 
confused captain picked himself up from the floor, and his first 
response was immediate, "Report!" 

The Strike Eagle's science officer piped up, "Spemin, sir, dozens of
them! They've opened fire on us." The ship bucked wildly again as the 
attacking ships fired again on the surprised ADV. 

"Condition Red, shields up, arm weapons and return fire." Trafford
shouted to his tactical officer, and then turned to his science office, 
"Why the hell didn't you alert us?" 

The science officer looked helplessly at his captain, "They just came
out of nowhere! They weren't even there a second ago!" The science 
officer scanned over his controls. "There's twenty-six scout sized 
ships, level 1 lasers, all firing at us. Shields failing, sir, there's 
too many of them." 

"Then fire faster!" The captain shouted back. Tension ran high on the
bridge as the Strike Eagle strained to stay alive. The Spemin were 
firing at an incredibly rapid rate, and although their weapons were 
crude, they were doing enough damage that the Empire ship wouldn't be 
able to withstand the barrage much longer. The Strike Eagle, for it's 
part, fired its class 7 lasers and missiles in return. The missiles 
easily vaporized the Spemin ships, shields and all, while the lasers 
took two shots to destroy the slugs. The Strike Eagle was decimating 
the Spemin, but there were still so many of them, and the situation was 
getting desperate aboard the Empire ship. 

The engineer aboard the Strike Eagle came across the squawk box,
"Captain, we can't take much more of this. Shields are dead, engines 
are taking flak, and there's a minor hull breach on deck 3. We gotta 
get outta here or something!" 

The captain mind raced trying to figure out his options, as the Strike
Eagle kept firing on the Spemin contingent. Two missiles and two lasers 
took out three Spemin ships, reducing the number of the attacking force 
to eleven, and following that volley, the Spemin ships turned and sped 
away, just as quickly as they arrived. The crew of the Strike Eagle was 
left stunned and unsure of what just transpired. 

"Engineering, damage report!" Trafford shouted into the squawk box. 

The engineer shouted back over the din in the aft section of the ship.
"Not good, Captain. Shields are toast, we're putting out fires in both 
engines, melted electrics on three conduits, and we have to repair that 
hull breach. It'll be two days before I can even get us moving again." 

Trafford swore under his breath and spoke back into the squawk box,
"Prioritize the shields, lieutenant. We're gonna need them if they show 


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