Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

In the heart of the cluster, near the most populous planet of all urban worlds, the battle raged most fierce. There was no more bargaining. There were no more peace talks. Both sides, containing countless races, killed at will. There was at least one large battle cruiser exploding in low orbit every fifteen minutes. Countless short-range fighters popped like so many insects on a re-entry windscreen. For those below, in constant survival mode, and on the continuous hunt for prey from the other side, one of the biggest hazards was dodging falling bodies.

She could take no more. She had to do something. The majority of both armies were nearby. Everyone in this quadrant was pretty much insane, hell bent on killing one another. This would be the place to strike; if there was to be any hope for the survival of intelligent life in the rest of the galaxy.

She knew how to fly the family yacht.

In the middle of a fierce volley a Xanthphantzian captain was interrupted by his communications ensign… “Look sir, off the starboard bow!” For a moment the battle seemed to disappear and all on the bridge stopped what they were doing to watch the beautiful sailing ship pass silently between their massive vessel and the nearby smoking and burning cruiser of their adversaries.

The elegant human woman stood upon the deck of the small but graceful pleasure boat, protected from the cold harsh elements of space only by a thin survival bubble. She was like a goddess under a glass dome. Her ship was a gossamer butterfly amongst so much carbon-scored grey steel.

Both sides seemed hypnotized as she passed; solar sails spread wide, casting glimmers like diamonds against the starry backdrop. And onward still she careened… into the very heart of the battle. And as she continued forward, others stopped their fighting to gaze in wonder at the strange and beautiful sight, until she reached the very epicenter of the war, where two massive galactic warships had been, up until recently, busy trying to vaporize each other. And not one officer or soldier fired a weapon as the beautiful gossamer yacht glided amongst them all.

Suddenly the communication consoles of ships on both sides crackled to life. Her face was even more striking up close. Her high cheekbones and wide-set eyes made her seem both mysterious and regal. She spoke to anyone within earshot of a ship’s address system. “The time has come for closure on this chapter. You’ve all fought bravely and I hope every one of you feels at least somewhat vindicated.” She then held up, for all to see, a simple wormhole opener; a device that occupied most ships’ galleys.

It seemed harmless enough… what could a wormhole opener do? They had failsafes built in. They were for retrieving food. One would not activate anywhere near a dangerous place like for instance in the fire of a planet core… that would be deadly to potential users. It is difficult to imagine what would happen if a transference line were to open in the vicinity of say… a super nova. All that energy would be instantly drawn through. Luckily the opener would not activate in such circumstances. The real trick would be if you could predict where a super nova was “about” to take place, a real trick indeed.

“It’s all about sacrifice,” she said as she engaged the device and the fires of creation poured forth.


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