The ship commander stared unblinking into open space for hours. Only the distant stars peppering the inky blackness of space were visible. Then suddenly a small ripple appeared, as if a bubble pressed from behind the dark blanket, and then it popped.
Out of the darkness came the Sobya, suddenly motionless after traveling at almost a trillion kilometers per hour for the past seven days. The 300-ton ship was a distant blip of bright light in the middle of The Reft.
The commander listened for signal from the Sobya. He turned his head and looked with anticipation at his sensors console for the signal. The meson transmission from the black droyne infiltration crew never came.
Three searing beams of laser stretched across the thousands of miles of darkness with surgical accuracy, slicing through hull and weapons of the black droyne ship. The Sobya maneuvered to evade and quickly made distance.
The ambusher had become the ambushed. He gave terse commands to his crew to pursue, disable and board. With one particle accelerator disabled and the smaller craft out of range of the pulse turrets, the only chance of disabling the opponent was to outmaneuver them. The CEW systems were easily blocking the Sobya’s attempts to jam them.
As the black droyne pilot quickly began accelerating and closing the distance, more volleys of lasers ripped into their hull. The commander became increasingly frustrated at the lack of effect with his weapons. When his sensors picked up the Sobya powerplant diverting energy to its jump drives, he smashed his comms unit on the console in frustration.
The surgical triple beams cut into the black droyne ship one more time before the Sobya jumped into the void of space.
The crew were blasted off their feet with the explosion that rocked the bridge. The pilot quickly regained his senses and turned to his commander for further instructions. There were none.
A large piece of steel from the console was protruding from the commander’s torso where his head had once been.
The Black Caste Master was not going to be pleased.