– by Ryan Darkwolf
They shine….so brightly sometimes that it’s painful to watch. Night after night you can see the jets screaming into space. Not that we can really see space anymore…too many lights block it out…how I miss those stars…..
The beginning of the end
In the beginning, all was peaceful. My family lived on the outskirts of un-policed space, far from the terrible clashes of the Northern and Southern Coalitions; far from the ever raging Factional War between the four great empires. We had all we needed on our planet; food, water, shelter, even entertainment through GalNet. We thought that by getting away from it all and building a colony out here we would be safe from Capsuleers and the ever increasing demand for people to work in mines or on station. Not that I didn’t like space, but I didn’t want to get caught in the hull of an exploding battleship any time soon.
Life was hard, I’ll give you that. We had few drones to help with the work, but everyone did their share and our colony prospered. As Alliances came and fell by sabotage in space, we happily went about our lives, untouched by Capsuleer politics. Sure it was entertaining to watch these events on the Holo…but I never thought that we could be affected by anything short of some kind of natural disaster….Man was I wrong.
Turns out CONCORD decided it was time to allow Capsuleers to express their powers how they saw fit. They lifted the centuries old ban on planetary conquest that had only previously been given to the respective empires. At first we didn’t pay much attention; who would want a planet so far out here? We knew that some alliance had sovereignty of our space, but they were always out fighting some group or whatnot…never once had they paid any attention to us.
That changed….it took time, but eventually Capsuleers came to realize that planets like ours, planets with little civilization or industry had the best resources. A few months after CONCORD made their announcement, half the planets in Hi-security space had already been stripped clean, and we knew in time that the Capsuleers would be coming to us as well. And they did.
You see, since we had little industry, the night sky was always incredibly clear. Every once in a while you would see a small fast moving twinkle, some different colored beams and small explosions. On the rare occasion, giant behemoths would block out a section of the sky and incredible fights would take place. Most of the debris would end up being burnt up upon entering the atmosphere so we were never too worried about getting hit by destroyed ship parts. Well, that night there were no starts shining.
The ships we were watching were incredible….so massive that they looked like stations back in empire space. And then they fell…or at least that’s what it looked like. Massive blocks fell off the ships and fell towards the planet. We didn’t know what they were doing or if they were actually being aimed and finally they came to rest somewhere on the planet. Well, saying they came to rest is putting things incredibly lightly. They landed with enough force to break the glass in our homes and vehicles…enough to knock down trees that had been growing on this planet for centuries before we had even shown up. The sound it made was felt not just heard. No one was injured but somehow most of our vehicles were taken out of commission.
It was a few days ride on one of the least damaged vehicles before we reached whatever had landed. It was incredibly huge. It looked as if an entire city had landed and it was already billowing massive amounts of smoke into the atmosphere. It looked like it employed drones to create paths through the trees, and they laid down massive pipes that lead to what looked like a rocket strapped container. We sent people out following the different paths and what was reported was enough to make anyone sick.
They were eating the planet. One team died as they neared the end of one of the pipes. Attached to this pipe was a machine that was sucking the oxygen from the air. This huge contraption was somehow creating a vacuum and sucking the oxygen nearby. Two or our team had lost consciousness before anyone realized why everyone felt a little high from lack of oxygen. The other pipes lead to some machine that was eating away at the earth and the last lead into the ocean. All we knew was that our planet’s time had finally come.
It wasn’t until a few weeks had gone by that it really began. Massive fights above our planet. It seemed that the Alliance that lived here wasn’t the only group after the resources. As we watched from our homes, now bunkers, laser fire, missiles and plasma was being passed between these massive ships. It went on for hours and finally one group was victorious. We thought it was the alliance…. we were wrong. The winning force also dropped a Command Center on the planet, and we watched in silence as more of our planet was stripped from us.
Months have gone by; here I sit with a pulse rifle and armor, paid for by the original Alliance that had placed their Command Center on the planet, apparently they only wanted to plant one on the planet and take minimal amounts of resources; a likely story….yet I’m not the same man I used to be, and neither is my home. More Capsuleers have come and left their mark on this planet. So many in fact that most have left due to lack of resources…yet their processing plants and Command Centers are still here and active. This planet has lost its beauty. It’s nothing more than a ball of dust…but you know what…it’s my ball of dust, and if I have to fight to get my stars back, I will.