Standing up I picked up my bag and again thanked the gracious pilot for her help. I'd offered her payment but she had refused, saying that it was a joy to pick up a hitchhiker.
"Are you sure you want to stay here?" the middle aged Siriusen asked, " this place is looking pretty rough."
"Yea, I know. I have to say. Its my Duty." She nodded
"That's alright I understand." And with that I turned and stepped through the airlock onto the dockside.
Normally I didn't have the slightest difficulty navigating the extensive warren of corridors that made up the station. Although normally speaking Central station didn't have huge chucks missing out of it or entire sections closed off. That and various other difficulties like nonfunctional lifts.
I was surprised at how little time it took me to get from the dock to what had once been the seniors' center but was now a temporary command hub because the actual command module had been blown off. I glanced at the damage report on my wristcomm-a powerful wrist mounted computer with almost astounding capabilities....if you really thought about it.
The casualties could have been a lot worse, especially considering the damage to the station.
The number of dead however low was still almost too much for me to take. Who the hell could have done this?
I stepped though the sliding glass doors into the makeshift command center. It was filled with all the buzzing activity that defined a station command center, except that there was a grim aching overtone to it. These people had been working far too hard. There had to be a way to get the United Elements' attention. Of course there was little that they could do after all central was just a minor backwater outpost on the edge of known space. I sighed; it hurt to see the people of this place in pain.
I don't know exactly why but my heart went out to this place, Even though the longest I'd ever spent here was just over two weeks, I'd always felt like I was coming home when I arrived.
It was also strange to me in a way because I'd never really felt that way about any place. Not even the planet where I'd grown up.
"Captain on deck." Some one announced. What? I wondered silently. Oh yea, that's right. I'd just been promoted the week before.
"Can some one tell me what happened here?" I asked.
"We're not entirely sure sir." A young Feloryn ensign replied quickly. "We were attacked but were not sure by whom."
"I see. Where is the station head?"
"He's dead sir."
******

Later as I walked down the corridor to my quarters I mulled the question over and over in my head: who the hell did this to my station? I stared at the information on my wristcomm, nothing added up at all. None of the information added up to any known race, at least any one known race. The Kalians had clocking technology, the Catsairians had heavy weaponry like this and humans employed tactics like the ones that seemed to have been used. I just didn't make any sense at all. The doors to my quarters hissed open. I stepped into the darkness. The only illumination in the smallish room was the glittering of far off stars and the dull green flashing of the chronometer mounted on the wall above my bed. I sighed and flopped down on the bed.
I squeezed my eyes shut trying to block out all the stress. There was no way I'd get to sleep like this, not with all these crazy thoughts screaming through my head.
"Computer? Are there any massages in my data bin?" I asked.
"There are two messages currently unread."
"Display them oldest first on the terminal screen." I glanced up at the screen on the wall as it came to life with the handsome image of Captain Devon Gunner. He was an imperial elf with deep chestnut brown hair and lively mossy green eyes.
"Hello Raven, I heard about your promotion. Just wanted to congratulate you. I know your probably busy with your usual 'need to know' business so I'll let you go, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm proud of you." The image of my old friend disappeared and was replaced by the silver and midnight blue StarGuard insignia. I smiled softly to myself. It had been good to hear from him.
"Computer display next message,"
"Unable to comply,"
"Why?"
"Compromised Data," shit, crappy data the message must have been screwed up in the attack.
"Who is it from?"
"Kage, Alexander ker Arthur." I sighed, Alex hated sending messages, this was probably important.
"Try to retrieve that data."

I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep. Hoping that sleep would eventually occur. ******* Some time much later I was awoken by the sound of the door chiming.
"Come in." The door hissed open and a strong but slightly rough around the edges looking spacer stepped into view, black hair gleaming in the greenish light.
"Alex-kun." I squeed. Jumping up and throwing my arms around the tall man.
"Hey kid what's up?" He asked.
"Not much, really." I said gesturing for him to sit down. " I've just been promoted though."
"So I've heard Captain Raven Heeler." I grinned as he used my new title. He suddenly looked as if he just remembered something and started to rummage around in his bag. He pulled out a small cube about the size of a deck of Magic cards and handed it to me.
"What is it?" I asked turning the cube over in my hands. It was midnight black covered in a glass-like diamond coating and tiny silver patterns. IT seemed to capture the dull green light of the room and throw it back out amplified a thousand times. Alex Spoke softly;
"It's a map."