Prologue: The Silent Darkness
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
Nathaniel Windell gazed at the computer screen. Several ominous, unidentified shapes had appeared on screen, growing ever larger. The observational outpost he was in had no windows, but if it had, Windell was sure what would be outside. Judging by the shape and velocity of the ships, they were no doubt Solarian. The Solarian fleet was approaching, with the space battleships leading the charge. Somewhere among the battle line, perhaps even leading it, was the Kaiser's dreaded flagship.
Windell's speculation was cut short by a radio transmission from the approaching battle fleet. The stern, foreboding voice of Admiral Lawrence Day began to speak. "By the order of His Imperial Majesty Kaiser Ulrich I of the Solarian Empire, Xanadu and her surrounding colonies are ordered to stand down," his tone sounded especially tired today. "Let it be known all who resist will be terminated with extreme prejudice!"
Nathan knew that if Ulrich's fleet had approached this close to the sentry outpost of Wilwarren, then the Colonial ambush must've failed. With the makeshift space fleet of the Allied Colonies undoubtedly defeated, there was nothing to stop Ulrich's domination of Xanadu. However, there was still time to evacuate. God only knew what horrors awaited the civilian population at the hands of the Solarians.
Windell sent out a signal he never hoped to. The evacuation signal had been sent, but he was concerned about other things. On the computer screen, Nathan saw something that raised his spirits for a second. A few remaining Colonial vessels were starting to fight back.
While he could do little in his unarmed outpost, Windell prayed and held a picture of his family. His son, Yusef, would be in school now. His wife, Leila, would probably be at work. That is, if they had not been evacuated yet. Windell sat silently and observed the picture. The photo of his family was the last thing Nathaniel saw before a missile blasted his station out of the universe. There was no sound afterwards, as Windell's charred body floated into the silent darkness of space.
Notes: This story is my attempt to rewrite an early story of a friend of mine, who goes by the penname "Silent-Nogood" here. Feel free to see the original Evil Devolution. We're both hoping this version's better.