Greggs crouched and glanced warily round the boulder. Another shot shattered fragments of rock over his face. Grimacing, he returned fire. With his pursuers closing, he was running out of options. Several blasts ricocheted off the rock, smashing into the sand near him. While it wouldn't be long before Cooplan reached an ambush position, and the tables were turned, he didn't like being pinned down.

Mere months ago he'd been a high ranking Federation Commander, head of a top secret facility and moments from capturing Blake. Then, in the blink of an eye, it had all gone: his position, Blake, his squadron. Although High Command had 'generously' spared him his life, they'd cut his funding, effectively ending research into his improved star drive. All he'd been left with was the ancient Pursuit Ship he'd been working on before the Federation had green lit his project.

After the Blake incident, Greggs and Cooplan had returned to their base, salvaged the ship and whatever else they could find and left. Generally, it was wisest to disappear after failing the Federation.

A few days into their flight to a frontier world, a Code Red Mobilization message had flashed up on the computer. Greggs knew what that meant and had no intention of answering the call. His dilapidated computer systems and first generation shields would be no match for an intergalactic battle fleet. The ship itself however, seemed to have other ideas. Upon investigation, it appeared that Control had embedded code into, he presumed, all Federation warships which automatically overrode command inputs until the ships reached their destination. And, of course, once he arrived, Greggs' choices had been rather stark; fight or be destroyed. Last he'd heard on the communication channel, Servalan's flagship had been obliterated with around half the fleet. Ironically, Blake's Liberator had been present and had been instrumental in keeping not just Greggs but many other Federation ships from being blasted. But in the end, his Pursuit Ship had suffered catastrophic failures and they'd been lucky to survive the crash landing.

A sudden burst of gunfire from the side of the canyon brought Greggs back to the present. Cooplan, it seemed, had reached his position. Greggs smiled to himself as he rose, picking off the last of his assailants.

"That's the second gang we've run into in as many days. I hope we don't meet any more, I'm starting to run low on ammo. Oh and Sir, from that ridge I could see the city in the distance. We're still going the right way," said Cooplan as he caught up. Even though they were relatively close to Federation controlled space, the planet was lawless and dangerous. They were yet to run into any authorities and the galactic war seemed to have been the perfect excuse for unsavoury characters to arrive planet side.


As Blake contacted Liberator, to say he was uninjured, he noticed that the escape pod's locator had been damaged. He knew it would take Zen time to find him. He didn't mind. He needed to clear his head. Had he gone too far? The more he thought about his desire to destroy the Federation, the more he felt his actions were justified. But the galactic war! He shuddered. Hearing those SOS messages, the screams. He'd been unable to help. Liberator had barely lasted until the first Federation ships had arrived. If it hadn't been for Jenna's skills and the repair circuits they would have been destroyed. For a short time they had formed a unit with some Federation ships. Acting together, they'd been more effective but all too soon they'd been overwhelmed.

And now the Federation was in tatters, its fleet essentially destroyed. So he'd succeeded? It was far from what he'd imagined. Freedom, it seemed, came at a price which he had failed to fully appreciate. Welcome to his brave new world.

Blake decided his best option was to get off the planet and head back to Earth. If he could get there quickly enough, perhaps he could unite the rebel factions and help bring some stability to the inevitable chaos. Grabbing his blaster, he set the console to scan for the nearest city. To his dismay the result came back: 2 days walk. He climbed painfully out of the escape pod and began his trek.


4th technician Cay was bored. Night shift at the listening station was about as dull as it got. Which was why, he supposed, they put 4th technicians on the duty roster. That was what he tried to make himself believe anyway. In truth, he knew it was because there were so few of his team left. After the last attack, when Simmons and the others had dashed out to repair the gateā€¦ No. Cay focused on the present. For them to have any chance of surviving they needed to contact the Federation. The message had been broadcast weeks ago. They were waiting for the inevitable reply that Federation Peace Keeping forces would be deployed. Cay knew it would be the end of his freedom but at least it meant he and the other scientists would live. All they needed was a response. And so the listening station had to be manned at every hour, even during the tedious night watch.

Finally, his console crackled into life. He groaned, it was only a local transmission. As he listened to the message however, his eyes grew wide in amazement.

"Liberator, this is Blake. I am uninjured and on a planet with a breathable atmosphere. Contact when in teleport range. Blake out."