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Read Out Of Space 3 Engaged

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“Combat Information Center confirmed contacts as five Swarm Parasite cla.s.s bio cruisers!” Everyone looked up from their consoles as the report came in. Parasite cla.s.s bio cruisers were the Swarm’s mainstay s.p.a.ce-borne weapons. Birthed whole right out from a Queen cla.s.s hive ship like some insect. It is made of living tissue and carapace and has a simple brain that controls the bio cannons and the organic ion propulsion at its back. Scientists have yet to discover how they are able to generate wrap fields to travel faster than light.

It looks like a giant s.p.a.ce squid with 2 trailing tentacles like limbs which acts to grapple objects. It has a mouth cavity under the ventral front that when opened, stretches as long as seven meters allowing it to swallow small asteroids or even ships whole, crashing them into chunks before its stomach processes them into resources to be used as fuel or organic materials.

The sides of the parasite cruiser have several protrusions, which fire out spores seeds. Each spore seed contained over a dozen of warrior drones in stasis, protected in a jelly-like sac which acts as shock and temperature absorbents, allowing the drones to survive re-entry into a planet or even slamming against a planet surface or ship. The jelly also acts as a sort of nutrients for the drones, allowing them to survive in s.p.a.ce for over a week. Once the seeds land on a surface, the jelly sacs will break open and the drones will awaken. The parasite cruisers will fire their spore cannons to land their warriors on ships. Once the ship’s crew has been subdued, they will ingest the ship and produce more spore seeds. Swarm ships are known to eat and feed on their own wounded kind to sustain and repair themselves.

“Enemy contacts designated Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and Echo coming within main gun weapons’ maximum effective range in 10 mins.” Weapons Officer Yan Fey licked his dry lips as he stared intensively on his screen. “Guns are primed and ready sir!” The atmosphere in the whole bridge was tense except for Captain Blake.

Captain Richard Blake seemed like a changed person, from being indifferent to like a tiger on a hunt. He sat on his chair, with his back straight, his untidy grey hair has grown long since he last had a naval regulated haircut. His week-long unshaven face twitched in antic.i.p.ation of the engagement and his brown eyes glowed with a sign of fire that has rarely appeared lately. “Have all main guns target Alpha, fire two volleys when in range,” he commanded.

“All departments ensure all non-essential personnel is locked down.” Cmdr Ford double checked the crew members again. “Marines are standing by at key points for enemy boarding actions. Security crews are also securing their stations.”

“Enemy contacts designated Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and Echo coming within range in 3 … 2 … 1!”

“Fire!”

Since the launch of UNS Singapore from Mitsubishi-ST Orbital Slip Seven,, she has never fired a shot in anger. Now more than 60 years later, it finally fired. Six 3.2 kg nickel iron slugs flung out at a velocity at roughly 290 km/s towards the projected course of target Alpha. Five seconds later another volley of six slugs were fired.

“Target Bravo! Two volleys! Fire when ready!” Blake snapped.

“Aye two volleys on target Bravo!”

Everyone in the bridge stared at the screen as the timer on the 1st volley countdown to impact. At a distance of 5,000 km. It takes the volleys 17 secs to arrive.

“Target Charlie 2 volleys!” Blake continued.

“No hits on Alpha! Nothing on the sensors!” SO Randy turned and looked at Captain Blake in horror. “We are missing!”

“Back to your station!” XO Ford stormed. “Keep your eyes on your screens!” He glanced at Captain Blake.

“Switch back to target Alpha, Two volleys again,” Captain Blake ordered.

“Aye target Alpha, two volleys!”

“Enemy closing in at 4,300 km! We getting into their weapon range! Sir!” SO Randy cried. “Wait! Hit! target Bravo is leaking atmosphere!” The bridge erupted in cheers at this news.

“Quiet down! It’s not over yet!” Blake shouted. The crew quiets down but their morale was up.

“Targets are going into evasion action! Charlie no hits! Enemy at 3,900 km and closing!”

“Fire at Alpha, 2 volleys again!” Captain Blake barked. “Stand by to go evasive maneuvers and ready point defense lasers and missiles. They are gonna fire their spore cannons soon!”

“Multiple contacts detected! They fired their spore cannons!” SO Randy tensed up as he looks at his screens. “60…80…92, no, 93 spore seeds!” He looks in horror. “7 seconds to impact!”

“Go evasive now! Fire countermeasure missiles!” XO Ford yelled! 20 armored hatched popped open and 20 AIM-32H s.p.a.ce Sparrow interceptor missiles blasted out from the tubes and dart towards the incoming cl.u.s.ters of spores. Each s.p.a.ce Sparrow has…o…b..ard infra and heat-seeking sensors to detect spore seeds in the depths of s.p.a.ce with a range of 1,000 km. Seconds later 20 tiny light b.a.l.l.s appeared in the time as the 2nd volley of missiles were launched. The spores that survived the 2nd wave of missiles continue on till they got burnt down by the point defense lasers. None made it within 300 m of the ship.

“Spores all destroyed!”

“Target Alpha is crippled! It’s leaking atmosphere and dropping out!” Cheers greeted this news and Captain Blake smiled. “Switch to target Bravo, continuous fire!”

As the parasites cruisers approached closer, UNS Singapore’s railgun accuracy increased, successfully hammering target Bravo into b.l.o.o.d.y chunks of meat. The other 3 parasites dodged and returned fire with volleys of spore seeds. By luck and chance, the crew of UNS Singapore managed to do damage enough that the 3 parasite cruisers fell back slightly. But the waves of spore seeds never stopped coming.

———-

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Published inOut Of Space