Beyond the Stars, Week 4

As my troops amassed along the no man’s land between our nations, I sighed. I never thought I would be the one to start the war. But I couldn’t wait to be overwhelmed by the overzealous Hutama and the nation of Polystralia. He sent a word of notice, sending his troops to match mine. I had one last chance to back away from Polystralia, and to continue our uneasy peace. He asked my intentions, and I told him that war was upon him. I made the first move, and ordered my troops to fire.

I made the first move, and ordered my troops to fire.

The battle was brutal, with both sides losing soldiers. From deep inside Hutama’s territory, wave after wave of troops emerged. I had underestimated Hutama, who clearly settled this planet with martial law in mind. After a few attacks on his city of Freeland, he unleashed missiles down onto my troops, who I immediately drew back. And that’s when I realized my mistake.

Hutama’s troops moved forward, clustering around the city of Quyen, my largest hub. They decimated the troops surrounding the city, and even killed alien life wandering too close. And suddenly Quyen was taken. The bitter loss of a city fueled my anger, and troop production increased exponentially. Soon Quyen was left as nothing more than rubble, and I gathered troops for a second assault on Hutama’s territory.

Again my attack was repelled, but Hutama lacked the forces to continue his assault into my territory. He then came to me with an offer, proposing peace in exchange for Nhiet Tinh. That was too much of an insult, and I refused to lose two cities. I rejected him, before turning to Kavitha, offering Energy, Science, and Geothermal energy in exchange for an alliance and Kavitha’s support in the war.

As my troops and Hutama’s battled in the no man’s land, a siege worm found its way into the fray, completely obliterating waves of both sides in a matter of moments. I suddenly found myself with few troops, and withdrew again to build up the ranks and wait for Kavitha’s assistance.

The battles had taken a large toll on my side. The army was awash in new recruits, and many wouldn’t even live to see a promotion. Smoke filled the fields outside of Tiangong, and morale was at an all-time low.

Smoke filled the fields outside of Tiangong, and morale was at an all-time low.

The proposed solution for the war was drastic. My scientists had begun work on a series of breakthroughs. First, one from the vivariums had a breakthrough in her research, finding that alien xenocytes melded well with human tissue. The concept of “Earth-alien” hybrid organs was intriguing. Any advantage the planet could offer was under serious consideration. Secondly, we had begun working on domesticating and training the fauna as an attack force. Through our understanding of Harmony with the planet, we were on our way to creating Xenoswarms, mixed squads with alien life with human handlers. The second units were Xenocavalry, men mounted on aliens, swift beasts that were adept at navigating the land. Either would become a huge boon to the war effort, but both could be out of reach if Hutama continues his assault.

It seemed as though my entire people waited for the dawn on the horizon.

I had to come to terms with the reality that Tiangong, and indeed the entire Pan-Asian Cooperative, might soon fall at the hands of Hutama and Polystralia. It seemed as though my entire people waited for the dawn on the horizon.

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Dimitri Jordan is a freelance writer and editor, pursuing a Master's in Applied Sociology and a PhD in Gerontology. When he's not in class he enjoys looking up at the night sky, imagining who would win between the Geth and the Borg, and wishing he could become a xenoanthropologist.

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