Chapter 1: Lost in Space

It had appeared to James that he had been out here for hundreds of years. In actual fact it had been a few months since the Federal Cruiser, Discovery, had encountered the wormhole.

The vessels objective had been to head into uncharted space to probe for new Bug colonies. However, a strange wormhole phenomenon had occurred and pulled the ship into a completely new zone of space.

James, a Squad Leader in the Head Hunters Mobile Infantry outfit, had been staring out of the porthole for a good hour or so. Watching the stars drift gently by.

It should have been a soothing sight, but it wasn't. One of those little white lights may be his home or maybe not. He had harboured little hope of ever finding something else to hold onto.

The ship was scarred from the close shave so many weeks ago. If it hadn't been for Captain Ibanez they would never have gotten through the asteroid field. Still, James did not hold out much hope.

Even Captain Ibanez would run out of luck at some point. The ship was lost, with no hope of retrieval or reinforcement and around every moon or planet could lie bugs or worse.

James had no idea what worse was, but it wouldn't be long before he'd find out.

"All hands prepare for engagement!" Captain Ibanez shouted over the intercom.

James looked around himself, the other Head Hunters who shared his quarters had gathered inside, around the huge screen on the front wall.

James walked over meekly. He knew he didn't want to see this, but he had to. The screen flickered on, showing the current course of the Discovery.

There, flying straight towards the Earth Cruiser, was another space vessel. Another Cruiser. The ship was almost certainly not a Federal one.

Where the Federation would have nice rounded Cruisers, this one was a strange, triangular shape. Much larger than their own Discovery and much fiercer looking.

The Earth Cruiser was really, a rounded, cylinder shape. This alien ship, was sharp and rugged. Much, much larger. It seemed to have two or three stories more than the Discovery and was propelled by four huge, round engines.

Both ships proceeded slowly towards one another. Neither seeming to be prepared to back down or divert. James felt a heavy shadow fall over his heart. By the faces of the other Head Hunters, they all felt the same.

James knew that Captain Ibanez wouldn't fire first. It would be downright suicide to engage an alien ship, much larger than ones own and in a completely new, un-supported area of space.

But strangely, the alien vessel chose not to fire either. It loomed ever closer, the sheer scale becoming clear on the screen, but it did not open fire.

The tension was too much for all of the Head Hunters, staring, devastated, at the screen. One of them, a young Private in James' Squad, burst out.

"Why don't they kill us already! What are they waiting for!?"