Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer
Faced with almost certain defeat, Earth Command committed 70% of its deep space fleet to a last ditch effort to conquer the Arcturian homeworld. But the Arcturians were well prepared, and Earth’s future was looking bleak as the defenders were ripping apart the attacking forces.
The bridge of the Starship Saratoga shook violently as an enemy torpedo plowed into its starboard bulkhead. “We’ve lost shields and weapons,” reported the tactical officer.
Reluctantly, the captain was forced to retreat, at least temporarily. “Helm, take us to the other side of the sun.” The Saratoga left formation and streaked away from the battle. And the Arcturians let her go, for now. They’d mop up the scattered remnants of Earth’s fleet when it was convenient. The captain opened the intercom, “Engineering, how long before the weapons are up? The Admiral needs every gun we can give him.”
“Sorry, Captain,” replied the chief engineer, “but he won’t be getting any of our guns. The reactor’s containment field is failing, and I cannot repair it. We only have a few minutes before the warp core explodes. We can save the crew if I jettison the core, or we can take our chances in the escape pods.”
“Based on what I’ve seen of the battle so far, Chief, I don’t think anyone will be around to rescue us, and the Arcturians don’t take prisoners.” The captain racked his brain for options, even bad ones. “Listen, Chief, I have a crazy idea. Do we still have warp drive?”
“Eye, sir, but you’re not going to get very far in 90 seconds.”
“We only need to get as far as the sun. I was thinking about creating a Corbett Prominence.”
“A Corbett Prominence? Ahhh,” replied the Chief Engineer as he realized what the captain was proposing. “Planning to go out with a flare, eh? Well, I like it. But, sir, the Corbett Prominence Theory is just that, a theory. Scientists have never been able to generate one.”
“Well, Chief, they’ve never tried to do it with a Galaxy Class Starship. Helm, put the sun directly between us and the Arcturian homeworld.” The captain rose from his command chair as the Saratoga made a gentle arc to align itself with the sun. “Gentlemen,” he said, “Let’s see if we can cook some Arcturian butt. Maximum warp, Lieutenant.”
The Saratoga leapt into warp drive. The engines became deafening trumpet blasts as the ship’s velocity raced upward. The Saratoga entered the Chromosphere at warp 7.5, and was accelerating past warp 9 when it entered the photosphere. Seconds later, it vaporized, just as it was entering the sun’s core. However, the warp bubble maintained its integrity for a few additional seconds as it burst out the far side of the sun. In the wake of the collapsing bubble, an enormous solar prominence erupted from the surface, its arc extending millions of miles into space. Then, the super prominence snapped, releasing a quintillion tons of plasma in a conical plum headed toward the Arcturian homeworld at nearly the speed of light.
Ten minutes later, the coronal mass ejection impacted the planet, bathing the sunlit side with a lethal dose of ultrahard radiation that instantly exterminated every living thing it its path. Although the Arcturians on the night side of the planet escaped the onslaught of radiation, they helplessly clutched their throats as the fiery plasma blasted their atmosphere into space.
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