NEW STAR HORIZON

TOO HIGH A PRICE

Drea barked into her Comlink, “Ruthie, Danaya get back to the Horizon.”

“Forget it, Horizon is gone,” Ruthie’s responded.

“WHAT?” Danaya asked almost in tears.

“We’ve completely lost connect.” Ruthie barked, “What about the missile launch pad.”

“I’ll take care of it.”

Jet was too far off to get to Drea’s ship. “Damn girl we were supposed to do this together.”

“No time, get these shuttles to base camp.”

“Drea, don’t do anything stupid.”

“Are you kidding? It’s a little late for that.” What was strange was the fact that she had never cared about anything. No causes, no groups, no relationships. Now she was about to risk her life for colonists. Yet the truth was she felt it was worth it. She was never prouder of her friends or herself.

The SR10 rolled over and did a tumbling move leveling off at tree height. She made a desperate dash for the coordinates where the hidden launch pad should be. There she needed to create a hotter spot than her own engines to misdirect the missiles and destroy the battery at the same time.

She put the SR10 onto a collision course with the launch pad as the main battery lasers began firing on her. She ignored the beams and the fact that she would probably not outlive the encounter. She pushed open the throttle. She had one chance to make it work she had to get closer to the battery before she launched her own missiles.

Drea flicked the arming switch on her console. She then activated the guidance systems. As she hit the correct distance to the target the system automatically launched one of the decoy missiles they used to confuse the enemies’ scanners.

The missile jettisoned out and she pulled hard to the right and away from the course the missile was taking. She caught the firing of its motor out the corner of her eye. Had it not fired it was too late to arm another one. As she climbed she saw the launch range clearly for a moment. It was much larger than any of them had expected. This must have been their main base. The other bases were probably diversions to keep the targeting away until they bombed the hell out the settlement. No one would have seen it coming.

Drea pulled the SR10 into a sudden turn back to the left, away again toward the range. The battery lasers were in the center of her console screen. If her plan didn’t work, she would have to take her ship right down their throats Kamikaze style. She bet this was one technique the Khad never heard of.

Her own missile appeared on the screen and detonated. If she was lucky the other missiles locked on to the decoy, they would follow down into the maelstrom just below the ship. That would be something she would not see. An armor piecing laser ripped thought the hull of her ship just missing her helmet. The ship tumbled out of control as huge parts of the fuselage went flying in all directions.

From the distance all eyes were on their console screen as the remains of the S10 fell beyond their view. At that moment an eruption could be felt from even that distance. The inferno that was once the Launch range left no doubt that her sacrifice was not in vain. “GOTCHA.”

 

NEW STAR HORIZON

ONLY TWO MORE EPISODES AFTER THIS ONE

INTO THE FIRE

The INVISIBLE HORIZON pulled around the planet to get a look at the incoming enemy. Two battle ships were dropping transports to the surface leaving them wide open for attack. Quinn transferred the ship controls to the center seat. He could override the computer; his basic instinct wasn’t to trust a machine in a situation like this. “Tactical.” A schematic materialized in front of the view portal showing the two Khad ships. “Prepare to fire all forward cannons.”
CAUTION IS ADVISED
“Caution for what?” He bellowed clearly annoyed.
INTEL INDICATES THE KHAD WERE BRIEFED WE HAVE CLOAKING ABILITY, YET THEY SEEM ALMOST CARELESS IN THEIR ORBIT SELECTION
“So why is that our problem? We need to get rid of these ships as fast as we can, so we can help our people below.”
SORRY REGULATIONS 30-2248 PARAGRAPH 16 STATES NO EARTH SHIP SHALL EITHER ENGAGED OR RISK ENGAGEMENT WITH AN UNKNOWN ENEMY UNTIL ALL INFORMATION ON POSSIBLE STRATEGIC COUNTER CONDITIONS CAN BE ANALYZED. FURTHERMORE…
“That’s enough. I’m giving you a direct order so carry it out.” Quinn stood. “Prepare forward weapons.”
WEAPONS MAXIMUM EFFECTIVENESS IF LAUNCH AT ZERO POINT SIX-NINE-NINE. WE WILL BE IN POSITION IN LESS THAN THIRTY SECONDS
The Horizon moved steadily towards the Khad Ships. Suddenly the control room was bathed in red light as the sirens came on. “Mother what’s happening?” Quinn screamed over the noise.
A THIRD SHIP HAS ARRIVED, AND WE HAVE BEEN TARGETED
“But how…? They can’t detect us?”
WE HAVE INCOMING
Quinn couldn’t believe it. “Bring the force field to maximum. Hurry!”
It was too late.
The blast from the Khad ship sent the Horizon tumbling over and the ship righted itself just in time to get hit by the second blast. The stabilizers were the only thing that saved the crew from being smashed against the bulk heads.
In the Control Room debris was everywhere, the lights are out, and all is pitch black except for the consoles glow. The area where the center chair used to be is shattered and the wall behind open to the corridor.
Upon seeing this Keiko activated her headset. “Jim, are you, all right?” There’s no reply. Keiko shined her light to the spot where the captain’s chair should have been. Keiko struggled up and over to the center area and look around. “Jim!”
“Seavers reporting, I’ve got Haffs and Belvedere with me.”
“We’re okay.” Peter announced.
A few seconds later a faint groan could be heard. Keiko looked around. “Did you hear that?” Keiko shines her torch in the direction the sound came from. The groan sounded again. She moved forward to see Quinn on the ground, lying protectively over Doris Travers debris covering Quinn’s back.
“Quinn’s here,” Keiko hurried over to him.
“We lost the Control Room in the blast.” He mumble disoriented aloud. “Did WE lose the Horizon?”
“No, we haven’t lost the Horizon, at least not yet, and we did not lose you.” Keiko told him.
“That’s good.”
ALL SYSTEMS ARE OFF LINE
“Get us the hell out of here.” Quinn ordered.
MAIN ENGINES WILL BE OFFLINE FOR 30 SECONDS
“Then switch to manual,” Doris said from below them.
“Manual thrusters full speed ahead.” Seavers said at the helm.
The Horizon lurched forward and traveled along the planet’s atmosphere. It managed to get beyond the dayside and into the darkness on the other side of the planet, the battleship in hot pursuit. The HORIZON had to out run them or be destroyed.

NEW STAR HORIZON

ONLY THREE EPISODES LEFT

THE NATURE OF OUR SITUATION

“Drea this is Alison, my Shuttle is under attack.”

“Alison what is your position?”

“We’re getting our butts kicked up here.”

“This is Drea I’m coming to assist you. Jet; return to the Horizon. There’s no point in both of us getting killed.”

“Who said anything about getting killed?” Jet changed course to catch up with Drea who had a big lead on her.

Drea’s ship cut in front of the emergency shuttle and steered towards the incoming interceptor missiles.

“Listen to me, I will increase my forward force field and discharge a solar burst. Hopefully this will cause the missiles to lock on to me and I can lead them away from you.”

“Can’t we just blow them out the sky?” Tatiana asked.

“Not a chance, I might get two or three but the others will have you guys. They have to be lead away from you.”

Jetsenia arrive just in time to see Drea’s maneuver. She watched the bright flash appeared in the sky as the shuttle went one way and the S10 went the other. It worked as the missiles turned to follow Drea and were easy targets for Jet’s pulse cannons.

Then their missile warning system lit up again. This time it was further off. Off to their left they saw a white flash. “Something has just launched.” Jet announced.

“This one is way too big to be ordinary rocket.” Drea added. “Where the hell did it come from?”

“Drea those sneaky bastards have a hidden launch base.” 

“No shit Alison. But where is it located? Run a diagnostic Ruthie.” Drea ordered. “Hurry before it reaches our altitude.”

Ruthie’s ship had advanced computer relays that the others lacked. “I’m on it.” Her onboard screen lit up with schematics of images. Then it read possible alien technology. “I got a ninety percent match. It’s a dual stage ICBM.”

“I lock in the coordinates when the missile launched.” Tati shouted. “The base is twenty kilometers down east. Oh, shit guys their target has just revealed itself. Drea It’s the COMPOUND!”

 

At the Compound Matt and the colonist received the message, “They’re a lot smarter than we gave them credit for,” Deforest said to Matt with a dejected sigh.

“Yeah, BASTARDS,” Matt said sporting a glower, “Where in the hell did they get those long-range missiles?”

Maggie heard him and walked over, “They were probably already there hidden in solos.”

“I thought they were abandon and empty.” Matt admitted, “I wanted to nuke them anyway,” He turn to look for April, “But that would have been an act of aggression. Omori Shi may be ugly, but he’s no fool.” 

The loud speaker boomed; “INCOMING”

Matt realized all eyes were on him. “OKAY. Time for plan B!”

“There’s a plan B?” Maggie asked.

Sadia just smiled at her. “There is now,”

“EVERYONE, TO THE COMPOUND!” Matt yelled, “FORCE FIELD FILL MAXIMUM POWER, everyone inside and hold on to something and brace yourselves.”

First there was a sonic boom then the projectile hit the barrier. The explosion and shockwave was surprisingly mild. “THE FORCE FIELD HELD,” Sadia screamed.

Matt took a deep breathe, on the screen it showed how much power remained in the generator. “Strike team, do you read me?”

“Drea here, You guys still there?”

“Yes, but we won’t be if we sustain another missile hit. You have got to take out that Launch base or it Farewell,”

“Understood, pray for us. Drea out,” and they all began to pray.

 

 

NEW STAR HORIZON

ANGELS EVEN HIGHER

The Horizon launched all Airships capable of entering atmosphere. The shuttlecrafts were equipped with pulse cannons rail guns and missile-launchers. Drea and Jet were in the lead. The others flew behind in formation, The Fighter Hawks watching the rear. All the crew had to do was find the targets. They would hit the advancing troops from above scatter them and stop all movement. Then they could drop assault teams to pen them down giving the compound time to regroup and send out its counter attack.

The big shuttle with its armored plated hull led the way. Onboard Alison and Tatianna and the paratroopers led by Mike and Bob O’Donovan waited anxiously for their turn at the action.

The Emergency Shuttle was being piloted by Ruthie and Danaya. The shuttle itself was an aerial fortress though its primary function was to bring medical assistance and transport the wounded to anywhere it was needed.

Everything was planned like clockwork, but as always, the enemy had other ideas. Mobile launchers had been carefully hidden awaiting any possible air strike and they began firing their deadly barrage as soon as the ships were in range.

The entire company of SRA-10’s had been converted with antimissile detectors. Along with attack computers they had equipment that identified an enemy position before the missiles were launched. They would have to take out three sets of battery launchers before they could target the fighters. “Can you get a fix on them?” Drea asked.

“Negative. Ah hell it looks like they just got a fix on us.”

“Better take it. We are almost out of time.”

“Got you it, the weapon is a surface to air interceptor.

The first stage is for propulsion only. The second stage has an onboard guidance system that locks on to its target.

“They are targeting our fighters.”

“We need the fighters free to complete the mission.” Jetsenia informed her. “So, Who’s with me on this one?”

Drea knew that the only chance they had to knock out the launcher was to take on the missiles and give the team the chance to reach their objective.

“We’ll take care of the missiles.” Drea pulled the ship’s nose down as Jet followed. They turned into the oncoming missiles. The close proximity worked as the missiles were now turning down towards them. The lead missile locked on to Drea. She made a sharp turn that brought her ship away from Jet’s. When she felt at a comfortable distance she slammed into reverse and watched as the missile overshot her. She had a clear shot at its exhaust. As her laser blast hit the tail end the missile exploded in bright blinding light.

The second missile was locked on Jet’s ship and climbing to intercept. Jet threw the aircraft upright and used the excess airspeed to zoom up towards space. This placed the missile in a position where it could not make the turn required to intercept.

Drea had to turn hard right to keep distance from the missile. Than it exploded as Jet was able to hit it from behind with her laser. “Where’d you learn to do that?” Drea marveled.

“I used to teach this shit in flight school.”

 

 

NEW STAR HORIZON

BLOWN

The squads were instantly covered. The sand blasted against the energy field like a tidal wave hitting the shore. The sand interfered with the cannons and prevented the tracking of the enemy. Visibility was zero. Com links were ineffective because of the level of noise. Matt tried desperately to regain his feet and prepare for what was coming. After a few moments, the sand storm began to die down but then the Khad’s attacked.

The storm had masked their approach and they seemed to burst out of nowhere striking the site from three directions simultaneously. Matt surmised the Khad must have been warned about earlier encounters with the HORIZON combat troops as the horde charged in waves like disciplined commando forces.

Matt had one fleeting thought about how terrified Sadia must be, but that faded quickly and was replaced with an unbridle desire to spill enemy blood. He fired laser bursts, but in the confusion and poor visibility their effectiveness was limited as the laser beams fragmented in the wind-blown sand.

One of the cannons finally went back online after haywire the team was now in the range of fire. Matt had to time it just right to warn the crew before it triggered and started sending blasts in every direction. “Hit the dirt!” Matt screamed and everyone dove for the ground.

Quite a few enemy troops were killed by the blasts but after a short time the cannon was out of ammunition. The momentary carnage was enough to allow Matt to regroup, “individual force fields on full power.” Matt ordered. They could only sustain full power for several minutes but that was long enough for them to take back their position.

Matt made a dash right down the middle of the horde scattering the enemy as he went, Khad soldiers flinging all over the field and crumpling against the rocks. The salvos by the Armada were deflected by the body shields. Soon the squad realized they were impervious to enemy fire and their bravery increased. The return fire by the settler was a far different story. Enemy soldier’s body parts were flying everywhere.

No sooner did they have the Khad’s on the run another sandstorm hit. But Thanks to the body shield they could keep their position. This time it was the Khad’s that were scrambling in the dark. The cannons could fire before the sand reached them. They easily took out the remaining enemy leaving bodies sprawled across the desert. When the storm cleared the settlers were the only ones standing.

“Power down and Conserve your energy. This is not over yet. In fact, it’s just beginning.” No one liked what they heard but everyone agreed with it. Matt wasted no time making it back to the compound. Sadia joined him. Matt stopped and removed his helmet. Seeing the look on Matt’s face she wanted to know what was going on.

“Matt what is it. Didn’t we do good?”

“No Storm. The Khad are a lot smarter than I expected.”

“I don’t understand?”

“That was a tactical move to see what we’ve got.”

“They let all those troops be slaughtered?” He let Sadia come to terms with it. “What do we do now?”

“It’s time to launch our air assault!”