I. A room in space
The room in question was in fact quite spacious, far more so than any obvious need would require. So dimly lit that you or I would be hard pressed to determine it’s exact size and shape. The walls and area nears the walls contained a great number of devices that were obviously meant to provide information to somebody of alien intelligence.
there were four such somebodies near one side, the most prominent occupants of this room, resting on padded frameworks that could be made to swivel and tilt and had all the executive functions., And rightly so , because these four comprised the leadership council of the Rogon expedition to Urruth-not, aka Alchibah.
Without any motion or sound on their part, the great interior volume of the room was suddenly filled with strange lights. To you or me these projections looked like streaks of colors with multiple ghost images or echoes of the same, but to multifaceted alien eyes the projection was a perfect three dimensional representation of four UN spaceships some 5 million kilometers away in real space.
More than just a holographic image, a being with keening sense could actually feel the cylindrical bulk of UNH Orion, or the lean weapon laden bodies of her companions. Even the high velocity plasma of the exhaust plumes could be felt.
As they watched four more ships quite suddenly appeared in the field of view, one large and three smaller, although apparently of human construction, they were of no type previously seen by the Rogons. As they accelerated and made their attack runs, from keening, it was clear that no human ship could perform like that.
Symbols appeared near the UN warships, signifying that the task forces advanced Rogon weapons systems had been locked out.
‘Shintok; maylock-A, wise has acted” said the first Rogon, Ossog; sespes-AP “yes “ replied the next “ship, Chewpess is!”
Ossog; sespes-AP disagreed ”likliness is not, certainty is not, certainty must be”
But as they watched the tragedy play out nothing was revealed to solve their dilemma; one thing was clear, this was resistance unlike any they had ever encountered.
As they mysterious warships retreated from the field of view Shintok; petok-S brought up an unpleasant possibility “dragon heads, same is?” sespes was adamant “ same must not! Dragon heads to speak, Urruth-not, Chewpess must not, waiting is ”
The image above was one of crippled ship and spreading debris, a Rogon shuttle accelerated madly from the scene. And the view changed completely, in a different direction but not so far away was a lone shape, as it grew into view all that was seen was a featureless ovoid.
Nothing more was said.
II. A view to a kill
Shintok; elron-A, along with his broodmates had climbed high across an open field, and were just entering the tree line below the crest, when the impossible happened. Well below them where the last stragglers, a group of hapless Sheen struggled upslope with their captive burdens, came the unexpected sounds of strange weapons and death.
He could just keen the shapes of the human younglings, and the creature called a dog moving freely about, but there were places he could not keen, as though someone had placed walls in the field below where no walls had been when he passed.
A group of adult humans was among the Rogons, but he could not count them as they passed behind these strange shifting walls. To test this theory he aimed and fired his weapon at an area of blankness, but the wall was not knocked down.
Not far down slope, a group of Shintok began firing at targets that elron thought must be humans, when another unexpected thing happened, something was flying slow and high toward Shintok, just like a bird.
Alone among the Rogons, elron understood, for he had seen this bird not-bird before. On Urruth, at a place called Bogota, elron has seen the thing called a grenade.
“Shields must” he cried out, but no-one heeded, his own shield as it came to full strength pressed against the trees and even pushed his brood brother teth into the snow. Elron was locked in a vice of his own protection, when the swarm of fragments impinged upon his shield in a fluorescent green display.
The Shintok below were decimated , but elron could keen nothing as a wall of blankness obscured everything particles reached his shield and be found himself sprinkled with warm water.
Elron had little time to enjoy this as a certain number of grenade fragments had passed by his shield and streaking through gaps in the trees had hit his brood brother huk resulting in serious injury to what we would call his right rear hip. The individual wounds were numerous and deep, and blood was flowing.
Further upslope the lead group of Rogons had stopped and the four broodmates began climbing in that direction helping poor injured huk along.
When they arrived they found a group of perhaps 20 Rogons centered around Shintok; cantor-S, who was using a communicating device.
Just then the dragon head ship which had brought them to Urruth-not rose from the farm field down below and rapidly climbed to just above the ridgeline where is made a hard turn to the south. In the valley beyond missiles and cannon shell were fired in a great volley at the alien vessel. The dragon head’s shield expanded to a globe and as it reached the near by hillside several acres of trees were blasted to splinters. The ship angled up and accelerated instantly causing an immense sonic boom that shook trees and set off avalanches of snow up and down the ridge
To elron and his broodmates teth and argo trying to help huk, and control bleeding, the up blast of snow blocked both keening and vision just like the end of the world, for the first time in their lives, they felt a sense of hopelessness, stranded on this terrible world and now their ship had left.
In fact the departing dragon head had made a wide turn south and now was on a northward course rapidly descending to land in liberty city between the mangled dragon ship 4 and the still smoking crater where the First inn had until recently stood. The human settlement had sustained tremendous damage and the area all around was strewn with bodies, human and Rogon alike. Survivors… UN troops, Rogons and some colonial prisoners streamed to the ship. Shots continued to ring out from the forest surrounding the clearing and more brave Rogons and more UN slave troops died. A few minutes and much returned fire later she rose and departed to the south rising steadily away from the planet.
Less than a minute later dragon head 7, having been recalled from the Mayflower assault, came streaking down towards the city center and unleashed a hellstorm of fire at the crippled dragon ship and destroying Liberty town hall in the process. The shock wave hurled up tons of snow and loose objects of every description, even tearing limbs off trees as it reached the distant forest. When everything had settled the ship was long gone.
On the ridge above Sarra’s farm Shintok; cantor-S roared out the command ”Shields up! Shields up!” and as the Rogons all brought their shields to full strength the welcome sight of dragon head ship 8, also having left her assault team behind on the mayflower, came streaking in from the south firing a barrage at anything that was not a rogon shield.
Strips of trees were literally turned into matchpicks, and as she settled down the entire slope below was engulphed with a cloud of descending snow.
Elron was overcome with emotion as he helped pull huk into the dragon head ship “safe is! Safe is!” he said to everyone and no one “safe is’
And so the Rogons left Urruth-not, retreating into deep space, but not before learning a terrible and costly lesson: Real men (and women) will fight for home and Country.