Gods help us.
I’m sorry my darling Dia.”
The planet was chaos incarnate.
The shuttle was ready, but Deniv was having a hard time getting off the ground in all the confusion.
The sky was full of metal, ships attempting to leave the atmosphere all at the same time. Even down on the ground outside the domed arena, Draliv could see even hover vehicles attempting to fly up towards space. All of them either crashed or were crushed in the sudden press to get the hell away from the human homeworld.
Worse, nobody seemed to understand what was truly happening. The Navy, according to Markeros, couldn’t understand why their technology was failing so miserably around the asteroid.
They’re too dependent on it, thought Draliv. Too used to being the superior force with superior technology, overwhelming the opposition before they can respond. Now look at them.
They refused to think of the obvious.
Their technology wasn’t working, so therefore the asteroid was putting out something that dampened it, or simply drained the energy. They needed to do something about that before they could tackle the rock.
But they were all scared.
Draliv was still stood outside the arena, staring up at the sky.
Markeros stepped up next to him.
“What did they say?” he asked the Terran.
“That they respectfully decline your request to assist them.”
“Respectfully?” he questioned.
Markeros shrugged. “No, they were quite rude, actually, but I thought I’d make it seem like they were being polite.”
“What now, General?”
Draliv looked down at the Terran. It was almost like Markeros was viewing him as a superior officer instead of a visiting alien soldier.
“I don’t know. This isn’t like fighting an enemy army; I have no experience with something like this. All we can do is evacuate as many people as we can.”
He turned to the arena behind. Most of the diplomats were in the process of leaving, panic filling every soul in the building, desperate to get off the humans’ homeworld and back to their own.
Draliv knew evacuation was the only way.
Barring a planet-killing weapon, he thought.
He didn’t think that was likely to occur, as even the Terran Royal flagship, HMS St. George, was far away in another galaxy, or so the Terrans claimed. The Terrans were not the kind of people to develop such weapons in any case.
The roof was sloped in a long wide circle, the door leading them to the halfway point down the long side. Above, the sky began to fill with rock and fire.
Meteorites fell like missiles, blazing hot trails of smoke.
Many simply burned up, but the rest crashed into the planet.
Draliv saw dozens more civilian atmospheric craft smashed to pieces. Metal fell as well, bigger craft hit and careened towards the ground, unable to keep themselves aloft. Pieces of space station came down with it, some knocked by the demise of Eagle Station, others hit by wounded starships and rock.
“Gods above,” somebody intoned.
It was Markeros, by Draliv’s side still.
The young Terran was staring open-mouthed at the carnage, everyone around them aping the gesture. Draliv was the only one who noticed the chunk of twisted rock and starship raging towards the stadium they were stood on.
It came in at a forty-five degree angle, fire and molten metal spitting behind it, lighting up the city below. It split, the first hitting the far face of the stadium’s structure, rocking them all, knocking them to the roof. One ambassador, too close to the edge, bounced off the metal and went tumbling over the edge, screaming impotently before he hit the ground ten storeys below.
The other half ripped through along the midline, part of it digging into the structure far under their feet.
Draliv saw what would happen, and dropped, clinging onto anything.
Markeros did the same.
The roof tipped awkwardly towards the centre of the stadium, dropping to a steep angle and a squeal of tortured metal.
Two more tumbled whilst the rest managed to dive and hold on to something, anything to stop them from a nasty end. The building had collapsed completely, the section they were on groaning as it threatened to join the rest of the now flattened and burning building.
The entire section, superheated from the crashed meteorite and starship parts, started to slide down, the foundations shattered and lower beams and supports melting.
With a groan and a roar, the section of the arena finally gave in.
Draliv closed his eyes as his stomach lurched and they dropped towards the ground.