Author : Patricia Stewart, Staff Writer

There were many heroes that day; men and women, drones and gynes. Two evenly matched warships, each led by brilliant military commanders, and crewed by battle hardened soldiers. Fighters swarmed like angry hornets, as antimatter torpedoes and photon cannons unleashed their furry. For eighteen hours, the two massive starships engaged in their mortal bout. But in the end, they had only succeeded in destroying each other, and the two lifeless battlecruisers drifted aimlessly apart. However, amongst the halo of debris and floating bodies, two lone fighters faced each other like old west gunslingers, waiting for the other to draw first.

The human activated his head-com and translator. “Okay, cockroach, prepare to meet your Queen.”

“And you Satan,” was the crackling reply.

But neither adversary fired. What was the point? They were both dead already. Neither fighter could survive without the mothership. If they killed the other, they’d die alone in the cold empty void of interstellar space. Nothing to do but listen to subspace static until your oxygen ran out.

“Well, what are you waiting for?” snapped the earthman. “Let’s get this over with.”

“Are all humans so eager to die?” inquired the drone.

“What? No, of course not. I don’t want to die. I have a wife, and two kids.” He glanced at the holograph to the left of his instrument panel. “I want to see them again. But that isn’t going to happen, is it?”

“No. I suppose not,” was the solemn reply. “I too will not see my family again. Hundreds of my brothers and sisters have died today.”

“Hundreds? Oh, that’s right. I forgot that you’re all related. It must be hard having family die before your eyes. At least I can fight knowing that my family is safe, back on Earth. Listen, this isn’t personal. I’m just a soldier, doing my duty. Hell, I don’t even know why we’re fighting this war. Look, if it means anything, I’m sorry about your family. If it’s okay with you, let’s talk a little while longer. I’m not ready to have it end like this…”

Just then, the alien ship exploded as a missile slammed into its port side. “Wooooeee. Great work, Joe. You had him so distracted, he didn’t see me coming. I think that was the last one, buddy. Looks like we won, eh?”

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