For years my team and I had been tracking their movements. From small gatherings, to ferocious victory speeches with thousands in attendance. Drones were abandoned in the late 20th century, moving to more sophisticated techniques such as “Citadel Recon”. Citadel Recon involved using a handful of space stations to observe the ground. To insure complete accuracy, ground units of informants practiced espionage, relaying information back to command.
From the comforts of the Russian fabricated “Ripper” space station, we would watch the tyrannical leader command his army of followers. Seven days a week, 365 days a year, we observed. Never to intervene.
Named after her creator, Dr. Anatoli Ripernski, Ripper was our greatest achievement since the success of the Colonial Wars, in 2045. Nothing of this magnitude had been created until now. Developed in complete secrecy, against all authority. Almost 1 kilometre in length, and 5 football fields wide, it was the pinnacle of Soviet ingenuity. Capable of 10% light speed and filled to the brim with various armaments, we now controlled what was said, and done on Earth.
“Popov, bring us around 30 degrees, align us with this … gathering of worms.” Marshal Volkov ordered.
“Sir” I promptly replied. No questions asked.
Volkov had been losing his mind a little each day being up in this “tube” as he called it. The fact remained, Ripper had just as many luxuries as home, if not more. If you had to be up in the frigid loneliness of space, Ripper was where you wanted to be.
“I can’t take the sight of them,” Volkov said, leaning against the center console “they have no idea the power I could unleash. They think they are being strong, coming together as one. Cute, but folly.”
I had been secretly destroying logs for months. Not because I was an agent of the resistance, but because I simply believed that all humans deserve a right to a full, prosperous life. Being born into a lesser society shouldn’t attach a shovel to one’s arm, so to speak.
Images, video, audio, everything was being systematically and meticulously destroyed. The biomechanical drives were being physically erased, and vented into space. New ones were transferred semi annually during our reprieve.
Volkov must have known.
“Popov, put your key into Omega 1” Volkov ordered.
“Sir?” I questioned.
Volkov removed his pistol, placing it firmly on my temple.
“Omega … 1 … NOW!” he barked.
My life, or millions of theres? I had no choice. My beliefs a side, I followed my commander’s orders, entering my key into Omega 1. Bomb bay doors 1 through 25 opened, with nuclear warheads armed and ready.
As quick as I had entered my key, a flash of light like a solar flare suddenly lit the space around us. Our ship tilted slightly as the spacial matter was temporarily sucked into the void.
“Sir! Radar contact bearing 285, range 50 miles!” A voice beaming from across the room announced.
“What the fuck, they’re on top of us!“ Volkov stood frozen in complete disbelief.
A sphere more than 30 kilometres in diameter appeared from the void, opening all 200 of its nuclear silos.
USS Harmony had weapons lock, and fired.
From the author: I didn’t have as much time to write as I normally do, so I challenged myself to get this from concept to published in 45 minutes or less. Not my best work, but the mental block with a passive word such as ‘Harmony’ was strong. Went with the first thing I thought of and started mashing keys. Quite challenging, and borderline stressful!