Chapter 4: Solitude and Fire
Qaprica and all the other Colonies of Qavel had been annihilated by the surprise attack, the Sylons had no mercy after the battle came to an end and the twelve planets, all hit with nuclear warheads for several days, were utterly devastated to the point that no Life was left on them.
Millions of Wizards and Witches had died that tragic Christmas day, either killed by the blasts or by radiation poisoning days later...
Very few of them had managed to flee the planets when the attack started, and even less had escaped as the Sylon Moonstars, outnumbering the Battlestars, had targeted civilian fleets and destroyed almost all of them!
Even though the Sylon fleet had suffered casualties they had destroyed many of the Battlestars, tens of thousands of lives lost in the battle... the fate of the William and its Captain Bill Weasley was unknown (perhaps blown to particles by nuclear warheads!) but there was a rather outdated ship that had escaped, a ship that was now trying to find a new world that Wizards and Witches could call home.
Battlestar Fleur was carrying the last remnants of humanity, but space was a cold and lonely place and they had nowhere to go...
Fleur was staring out at space across the window of her personal room twelve days after the attack, outer space was so scary and unimaginably vast and even though the view was beautiful, she could see nothing but the infinite stars and the civilian fleet just beside her Battlestar.
Her blue eyes were teary, hoping to see somewhere the outline of the William...
"Where are you?" she whispered, crying silently and looking at the stars- "My William, my Victoire, what happened to you?"
Fleur could still see in her mind the image of the William getting a terrible hit, that searing blast of white light just an instant before the Fleur escaped... What had happened to the most powerful Battlestar of the Space Wizarding Armada? She was trusting that the William had resisted, but after all they knew very well that almost no one had escaped.
The Sylons had practically exterminated their creators!
Fleur was recalling the memories of her life at Qaprica with Bill and their daughter, all those wonderful and happy days of a perfect life when they never imagined that something like this could happen one day...
All those sunny Qaprican days were over and now here she was, commanding which was perhaps the last Battlestar and the last remnants of humanity, all alone in dark space, fearing another Sylon attack and trying to find a new world to call home!
She could almost hear the laughter of Victoire having her breakfast every morning, flying with her little toy broomstick all over the apartment...
Fleur was crying silently, the stars reflected on her teary blue eyes... and then the metal door opened and a happy, dreamy-looking woman came in, walking quietly into the room and stopping a few paces from her Captain.
"Report, whatever" Fleur said, her voice weak and broken.
"Well, the Battlestar is severely damaged" said Luna Lovegood, wearing her black uniform and beaming dreamily with a rather bright voice.
"Oh really?" Fleur asked, looking at her for a second- "I had no idea!"
"So the repairs have to continue" Luna went on- "The Sylons seem to be following us but we cannot be sure. We have only seventy batteries ready in case of attack, thirty warheads have been prepared, the FTL drive is giving trouble and coffee is bad"
"Any signs of the William?" Fleur asked, turning around to look at the stars.
"Sorry" Luna said- "Fleur, I am sure that they are out there, somewhere..."
Fleur remained silent, Luna hugged her and then came Ginny's voice from the Battlestar's sound system: "Captain, I think you may find this interesting!"
Fleur walked with heavy steps into the now repaired bridge, Luna was following, many other crew were walking around and there Ginny was, illuminated by the red lights and looking at the giant crystal screen with a light of interest gleaming in her eyes!
The screen showed a possible jump route to a distant place somewhere in the other side of the galaxy, and Ginny, pressing many keys, was trying to calculate whether or not such a giant jump was within the Fleur's diminished capabilities.
"What is it?" Fleur asked, sitting down on her crystal and marble Captain seat.
"Fleur, at last it seems that we have found something!" Ginny said after pressing more keys, turning around to look at her- "There is a Qaprica-like planet seventy thousand light years from us- I know it's far, but if we calculate the right jump then maybe..."
"That's too far" Fleur replied- "We haven't even repaired our FTL drive yet!"
There was a long silence, Ginny shrugged and Fleur, feeling sorry for what she had said, looked peacefully into her eyes.
"You know, he would have liked you to be brave" Ginny said with a soft voice.
"We have to try anything we can!" Luna commented- "When we left Earth forever we had no idea what was going to happen, and after all we were lucky and discovered Qaprica"
Fleur was thinking of Bill and Victoire again, the views of McGonagall city, the malls, her apartment, her peaceful life, all those wonderful nights, the violet sky and the perfect beauty of the planet that she had learned to call home...
"When we left Earth there were millions of us" Fleur said with a dark voice- "Now we have twelve thousand people, and that's it"
Luna had taken a coffee mug from somewhere and walked towards the screen, and meanwhile Ginny, looking sad but understanding, walked towards Fleur and hugged her with love.
"I miss him too, and Ron was on the William as well" she said- "And... I still cry for Harry, I can see in my mind the moment when his Battlestar exploded! We were going to get married, and now it will never happen- the William, at least, is likely to be out there like we are"
"I just want to see them again..."
"At least the coffee is getting better!" Luna said- "Captain Fleur, the civilian fleet is calling and they demand to..."
Fleur looked up at the window and saw fiery flak flying past the ship at a hell of a speed. Heavy artillery fire was coming from somewhere behind, and a second later another attack came and missed the Battlestar by few yards...
"It's them!" Fleur screamed, Ginny dashed to the controls, Luna dropped her coffee and then Battlestar Fleur took a hit- "Battle stations and all weapons ready!"
The battle alarms began to howl, and everyone all over the ship was running, screaming and taking positions to fight! Another hit came as the Fleur was turning around to face its attackers, the civilian fleet trying to take cover behind the enormous Battlestar...
"It's seven of them!" Ginny said, sending orders to the batteries.
"Send all our Serpents!" Fleur ordered- "We go for glory or death!"
Two more artillery blasts made a hit but the shaken armor resisted, and then Fleur, discovering in the distance the seven Sylon Moonstars that had come to attack, prepared the warheads herself before giving the order with a high scream:
"Front batteries, FIRE!"
Battlestar Fleur shot a searing flak field that reached the Sylon starships within seconds, two of them getting hit and tearing apart between fire and formidable blasts- the five others evaded the attack, maneuvering around very fast with the intention to surround the Fleur and attack it from all directions at the same time!
The two damaged Sylon Moonstars managed to fire artillery and three missiles before getting blown up by the flak, all of that hitting the damaged Fleur's armor with no mercy- the Battlestar was shaken and inside people were falling amid smoke and sparks, but so far the old and outdated Fleur had proven to have a formidable resistance.
"The armor is holding!" Fleur said, maneuvering the Battlestar herself to escape from seven incoming flak attacks- Left side batteries, FIRE!"
Two more Sylon missiles missed the Fleur by feet, hitting instead the civilian fleet and causing mayhem and great casualties- then the Battlestar attacked and its heavy artillery fire hit another Sylon Moonstar, quickly tearing it apart and leaving it burning and crippled!
"They hit the civilian fleet!" Ginny shrieked- "THE FLEET!"
And indeed the thirty civilian ships were burning, people inside screaming and dying...
"Later!" Fleur screamed, and as she pressed the special keys a particularly large nuclear warhead was sent across the space straight at a fourth Sylon starship- it was hit squarely and there was a searing blast of white light, the Moonstar blown in an instant to radiation and particles...
The Serpents were now engaging the little Sylon fighters, thousands of them flying everywhere and attacking with missiles and gunfire- then the remaining three Sylon Moonstars had surrounded the Fleur effectively, attacking together with missiles and flak fields!
"We are trapped!" Luna screamed, and for the first time there was angst in her otherwise bright and dreamy voice- "Captain, thirty batteries are damaged! They have hit the FTL drive again!"
The Fleur was getting hit all over and the entire Battlestar was shaking, lights weakening and alarms howling all the time- the civilians that had been received into the military ship were running for cover and screaming everywhere, and it seemed that this time the heroic Battlestar Fleur had no way to escape...
"Armor fractures!" Ginny shrieked- "FLEUR!"
Fleur took control of the front batteries and managed to hit another Sylon Moonstar, but it resisted the blasts somehow and kept attacking- then the Fleur was hit with two nuclear warheads that damaged the armor even further, it seemed that there was no way out, Fleur was getting ready to ram the Battlestar on any of them and finally it happened:
A monstrous dark outline appeared in the space a few miles from them, searing flak coming from its Qaprican batteries...
"Is that...?" Fleur whispered in glee, crying in delight...
To be Continued!