Well, first off, it’s good to be back. Been gone wayyy too long.
Second off, this…
Well, thought Nathan McWatt as sipped his caf, “there could be worse ways to start the day.” He sighed inwardly. It wasn’t that he disliked reading the morning Federal Stock Exchange, just that it was so…boring. Besides, he was aide to the freakin’ Head of the Department of Commerce, not some underling that nobody gave a care about. Many would die for his position. Bu…oh well. The job payed well Which, thought Nathan, [i]is a definite plus considering how the economy is.
Ah, here we go…[/i] He began jotting down stock rates with the speed of an experienced broker. Let’s see…Applesoft, 10506.32 up 56.07, Vericast, 7903.91 down 12.44, Praetorian Ind., 129543.56 up 5604.42, ArcWing Ind… Wait, wha- Nate had never heard of this “ArcWing” company, and one of the reasons he’d gotten his position was because of his excellent memory. Which means that…
Then, the screen blanked. Nate bit back a long string of curses. The display’s brand new. Brand. Freaking. New. Then it dawned on him. The display wasn’t malfunctioning.
The feed was. Or, as the holostream came on, the feed had been hacked.
Wonder who-Son of a defaulter!
Nate had reason for his outburst. The ship that appeared on the monitor wasn’t a Federation ship, which, while cause for concern, was comforting compared to the fact that the ship wasn’t from any known race.
Then, as Nate’s unease compounded like the interest rate of his bank account, the ship fired on a Lion dreadnaught traveling some distance away. The target was the Tides of Progress, as he later learned.
Poor choice for them thought Nate. Lions were the finest in the fleet…and the attacker, by the looks of it, appeared to be a cruiser. Something that Lions easily ate for breakfast.
That dreadnaught, one ship among the finest ship class that the Federation had to offer, blew up.
And this was live.
And the attack was done was by a cruiser.
When Nate’s mind finally comprehended this, he felt helium-3 run in his veins.
At that point the screen faded to black, except for a single line of text.
As the hacked broadcast ended, Nate kept staring at the screen, not noticing the frantic network anchors or the sensor feed from nearby ships as they scrambled to look for survivors and salvagable scraps.
Not noticing anything.
But for that last line of text, which he kept replaying in his head.
The one that said, “Courtesy of ArcWing Industries.”
(First out of four, plan to do one for the other three core races.)