By Papafox on pixabay.com
This is a continuation of this post
Jack had fired and employed new people over the past months, just to realize it didn't change a damn thing. Buildings still took forever to build, contact to other planets was only possible via secondary communication channels, and the surrounding space was only observable through exploration.
Exploration! At least that was something his colony was finally able to do, after weeks upon weeks of building and training. He still didn't understand why his highly skilled crew, with which he had successfully left Earth after all, suddenly needed to re-learn everything all over again.
He had stopped questioning it, there was no point. Instead of despairing over the inefficiency of his own crew, Jake had bought some robots from a friendly neighbor, which were able to do some menial tasks. It wasn't faster, but it was more consistent, and his crew could at least sleep more.
The explorations were ... uneventful. Over a hundred times ships had been sent out now, flying hour upon hour into empty space, just to return and having found nothing. Nothing at all.
Reports from other colonies were even more demoralizing. Others were finding planets right next to theirs, and the more planets they found, the more resources they had at hand, and the more they could explore. The effect was almost exponential.
People were losing hope.
One morning, during his morning routine of checking up on all facilities, making sure the robots were running smoothly, and reassessing what resources should be used for, Jake looked up at the sky and saw ...
They seemed to have come out of nowhere, about 20 of them, and they were readying their weapons. Hectically, Jake reached for his communication device.
"Geralt, get our defense fleet ready! We're being attacked!"
It had been a good decision to prepare for war. Even though Jake had never intended to attack anyone, he knew he couldn't leave his colony defenseless. He didn't understand why anyone would attack another human settlement, especially after Earth had fallen victim to their silly fights over resources. But human nature seemed to be violent no matter what, and he had anticipated this day.
Three groups of ships with 10 ships in each group deployed only moments after his transmission. Once they reached orbit, the battle started.
His heart beating fast in his chest, Jake watched the battle unfold. His colony had ten ships more than the attacker, they knew the planet and its orbit better, the fight should be a clear win.
And yet, something seemed ... wrong.
One by one, his ships were taken out, without even causing a scratch on the attacker's ships. And before he could even understand what was happening up there, Jake watched his whole defense fleet go up in flames.
"My pilots ...", he whispered, horrified by the thought of having to tell the families that the pilots had been killed in what should have been an easy battle. What had happened? He couldn't explain. It didn't make sense.
The attackers had taken everything. Their bunkers were empty, free resources had been taken away, explorers that had been waiting for their first mission had been destroyed. And their battleships, of course.
Nothing was left.
Jake sat in the ashes of his colony, fighting tears.
The communication device chimed, indicating an incoming transmission. Jake pressed a button to accept the call.
"Hello?" He asked.
"We will be back", the enemy commander's voice stated. "you're ours now. Don't even try to rebuild your fleet, we will take away all your resources again, in just a few hours."
"Why?" Jake didn't know what else to say, he didn't understand why anyone would be so cruel.
"Because we can", the commander said.
And then the communication channel fell silent.