The Maranos Conflict #1.7
The Opening Guns
The Free Trader ‘Rubicon’ emerged from hyper-space. The crew were tired and looking forward to some rest and recreation planet-side after a long but hopefully profitable voyage. Captain Wainwright switched on the comm link;
"Hello Maranos Spaceport, this is Free Trader Rubicon requesting permission to land – over”
"Free Trader Rubicon, we have you on sensors, permission granted. Slave your systems to ours and we will guide you in. Spaceport Traffic Control out.”
Wainwright leaned back in his seat and breathed a sigh of relief. He looked round at his bridge crew, smiled and said "The drinks are on me guys. I think we did rather well on that deal!”
His relaxed mood was rudely interrupted as his console suddenly came to life. Sensor lights flashed, alarms sounded and his comm was alive with outside transmissions. His comrades’ stations were similarly illuminated.
"What the ….!?” Shouted his navigator.
"Gimme visual” barked Wainwright.
They all gaped incredulously at what they saw. Space was filled with ships and portals opening to let yet more ships through. They spotted UNA and Therian craft heading for the planet.
"Free Trader Rubicon, this is Maranos Traffic Control you will have to jump out of our space. We cannot guarantee your safety… Repeat; We cannot guarantee your safety.”
They didn’t need telling a second time and the Rubicon disappeared into hyper-space.
The battle between the UNA and Therian fleets ended inconclusively as each tried to sabotage the other’s invasion plans. Both sides lost a few battle cruisers and lighter craft but neither could inflict enough damage so they both withdrew to a safe distance. The battle would have to continue on the planet’s surface. They were soon joined by the other belligerents and each began to implement their landing strategies. Six bridgeheads were created and consolidated on Maranos’ surface. The conflict was about to begin.
"No one escapes war!"