Shango Punch gazed out the window of his tiny shuttlecraft, looking in awe at the tremendous warship ahead of him. The warship was a United Earth cruiser, and looked something like a gray sausage with four huge red fins protruding out of it's sides. In between the fins, there were a ridiculously large amount of blaze cannons, and shield generators.
It had been three years since the United Earth defeated the savage alien race, the Voinians, in a catastrophic war. The Voinians out powered the United Earth's navy with incredibly powerful, but slow, ships.
The UE had fought back with weaker, but more nimble ships, and a fleet of swift fighters that could run circles around any Voinian ship. Even so, every day the Voinians were gaining on the UE; destroying more and more of their ships.
Then came the UE cruiser. Anna Balashova, a woman who had designed all of the United Earth warships, designed the cruiser, which could take on a number of Voinian ships at one. The tides of the war changed, and the UE started to win.
Five years later, the galaxy was relatively devoid of any Voinian activity whatsoever. The UE rushed to colonize what was left of Voinian space, and soon it was a bustling web of trading and profit.
Then came the Hankou. One by one, the former Voinian systems blinked out of UE control. The Hankou were an organized rebellion, and even had their own naval fleet. They had constructed the fleet north of Azdgari space during the UE/Voinian war, patiently waiting until it was time to attack.
The UE, just getting over the aftermath of the Voinian war, were furious. They organized a mega fleet, containing dozens of UE cruisers, carriers, and destroyers. Expecting to quickly overpower the Hankou, they marched right in, and watched in tears as their fleet was ripped apart by the much faster Hankou ships.
"The end of one war is the beginning of another, my father used to say," Shango told his co-pilot, Dash Skarii.
Dash continued to stare at the UE cruiser with a blank, emotionless look on his face and quietly muttered "Yeah."
Shango felt sorry that he had to bring his lifelong friend along for such a suicidal mission. A few months ago, Punch was a mere smuggler doing blockade runs for the Hankou. Now he was Commander Punch, leader of the 134th Hankou fighter squad, Raven Squadron. He was to distract the UE cruiser's fire while a few Hankou warships jumped into the system and took down the unprepared cruiser.
The craziest part of the mission was how Shango was going to distract the cruiser's fire. He was to do this by firing on the cruiser from his unshielded shuttlecraft. The shuttlecraft, with shield generators removed, had enough space to be outfitted by a small pursuit missile launcher. He was to fire his load of missiles at the cruiser, then dodge the laser blasts from the cruiser until the Hankou warships arrived.
Crazy, Shango thought, crazy.
Before he knew it, it was time to get on with the mission.
He switched on his target computer, and typed in the coordinates of the cruiser. Above him, he could hear the missile turret turning; aiming at the UE cruiser. He hit a bright red, flashing button below his legs.
"Wolves one, two, three, four. Launch."
Shango's shuttle rocked as the four explosive cylinders launched towards the cruiser. Each one smacked into the shields, exploding in bright green flames.
"Did I ever tell you what they put in those missiles to make the fire green?" Dash said as Shango prepared the shuttle for evasive actions.
"No, but tell me later...if we survive. Fasten your seat belt, and prepare for evasive actions."
"Ok. Good luck."
The first few blasts of bright red light came zooming at them from the UE cruiser's blaze cannons. A sharp turn to the left had the lasers flying right past them, but hundreds more lasers and missiles were coming at them.
"They just launched two squadrons of UE fighters! Dammit, they're coming right at us!" Dash screamed as the shuttle jerked upwards, dodging a missile.
"Alright, it's time. Commander Shango Punch to General Screer!" Shango said through his comm while dodging a barrage of laser blasts.
"General Screer here. Is it time?"
"Oh yeah, sir. Bring in the ships-" Shango was cut off as a laser blast slammed into the hull of his ship, sending him spinning out of control. "Bring in the ships, now!"
"Acknowledged. We should be there in roughly thirty seconds." General Screers voice said through the comm.
"Dash, prepare to initiate.Dash, hey? Dash?" Shango said with fear in his voice. Dash was not answering.
Shango slowly turned his head to see a huge hole in Dash's stomach where the laser blast had gone through him.
"SHIT!" Shango screamed. "My friend is dead, and we're leaking atmosphere!"
He looked at the UE cruiser, noticing that no fire had been directed at him for a while. The cruiser was in flames. All around it, sleek black Hankou warships fired veils of deep blue lasers that smashed into the cruisers hull.
"Commander Shango Punch reporting. Requesting dock with Tranquility's Harvest. Co-pilot dead, atmosphere venting." Shango said dully as tears streamed down his face.
Dash, you can't be dead! The smell of burning flesh was already overwhelming his senses. He looked again and noticed that Dash was still breathing. A closer look uncovered that is was just the ship rocking back and forth. More tears streamed down Shango's face.
He brought his shuttle towards the dock of the Hankou cruiser Tranquility's Harvest. He spared one last glance at the UE cruiser. Although it was still firing a small amount of laser blasts, the hull was torn in half, and over half the shipls crew was dead.
Why do all these people have to die? No war is needed for our purpose. Do people remember diplomacy anymore!? Shango screamed with rage and punched his fist through the control board of the shuttlecraft. Sparks flew everywhere, burning him all around.
"But the pain...feels good..."
It had been a long and tiresome day. Shango sighed, then collapsed into the sparking control board.