My patrol was uneventful and needless to say, not even necessary. The last of the terrorist attacks stopped before I was even accepted into the Flight Academy. I didn't mind, I didn't become a pilot to kill my fellow Kushan. (Although a part of me still wishes I'd get a chance to put down one of those fanatics trying to stop us from reaching Hiigara.) And even if they didn't, the Mothership had already departed.

Alas for me it was just the simple joy of being in space. The dark empty void just seemed to strike the correct cord for me. And while I regret not being able to afford to get me and my family along on the great journey, I was more then content, happy even, to watch from my favorite place to be, as our colony ship disappeared into the great unknown via hyperspace. It was a magnificent sight.

I was an Arrow pilot. My job was to scout for resources (usually asteroids), guard salvagers or harvesters as they collected said resources, and of course patrol duty. Like I said before, it was uneventful and unnecessary. Mostly just to make the civvies feel safe.

It was the only job I could really do with my back problems. I was a bomb-jockey, a test pilot for the infamous Blade Project. I was test flying either the third or fourth prototype (I don't really remember anymore) in atmospheric conditions, when the ship blew itself apart when the plasma ducts burned through the magnetic couplings. I survived, but my spine was all but destroyed, I would spend the rest of my life never being able to walk again, but it was okay, I didn't fly with my back.

I presumed my patrol in melancholy. I knew that with the colony ship on its voyage, my days in space were numbered. There was no more reason to stay in orbit without it. It would return once from it test run, then leave and never come back. Afterword everyone would return home, the scaffold would be disassemble, and every other ship would be retired.

A week went by, the Mothership wasn't to return for another, and yet control was reporting a hyperspace signature. The only reason the Mothership would return so early was if it had somehow experienced a significant problem. I was on patrol again, but this time I far away from the scaffold, docked at a refueling station. The order was given for all support and military craft to return to the scaffold just in time for my Arrow to finish refueling.

I pulled away from the station and began to head to the scaffold as I listened to the communications frequency

"Somethings wrong, our readings are showing a large group of small hyperspace gates instead of one big one."

"That can't be right, run a diagnostic on your sensors"

"Control we're getting similar readings"

"Strange. Porter 7 and 14, get a visual."

"This is 7, we're seeing something, but it's not the Mothership. It looks like a group of sma-"

"Control! 7 just-"

"All units, be advised, we are under attack by a large group of enemy craft. Contact Kharak Missile Defense"

I couldn't believe it, under attack by a large force. This had to be terrorist; they must have been biding time, building strength. I hit my Arrow's afterburner but it was still taking me too long to get to the Scaffold.

"This is Kharak Missile Defense; we are launching all missiles repeat launching all missiles"

All missiles? This wasn't just a significant attack; this was enough to unleash the full power of our defenses. A group of fanatics could never pull that off. Was this a rebellion? Was someone staging a coup? But when I thought about it, nothing explained the hyperspace signatures.

I finally made it just in time to see the Scaffold explode. Destroyed by a huge fleet of large ships. None of them looked like anything a Kushan would design. It didn't make sense. Who… What, were these things.

I watched as the largest ship began to shoot some kind of missiles at Kharak.

I watched in absolute horror as my world literally burned right before my eyes. In seconds the entire northern half of my world became black. My friends, my family, everything I ever knew destroyed in fire.

I watched as a group of fighters flew in formation toward me. All at once they fired their guns at my ship.