King Kraal Ishtar flexes his hands before the ship's control panel, like a magician about to start the show. The engines roar to life with perhaps unnecessary volume as he speeds out of Chroma's atmosphere with an equally unnecessary corkscrew, grinning at both the memory of his cheering subjects seeing him off, and the nagging voice of his vizier crackling through his radio.
"Your majesty, you should have sent me to get Lady Ree, or at least a few soldiers. You're the king now; it's too risky to let you fly around on your own," she chides.
"You're right, I am king, so I can do whatever the hell I want! It's been too long since I've gone off-planet. I can take care of myself," Kraal replies, "You can manage Chroma while I'm away, but if you so much as fantasize about seizing power…well, you know what happened to my last vizier." Static silence before a quiet, "Yes your majesty," and the radio is silent.
Kraal is on his way to pick up Lady Ree from Flax, for trade negotiations. As the king of Chroma, he's better known for his cruelty and military prowess then his diplomatic skill, but he can haggle like a Black Friday shopper on speed. He's pretty young for a king, in his mid teens, but after twenty-five wars, sixteen conquests and the occasional marooning, he has more experience than Caesar.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, he wants to trade with Flax, or as you may know it, Mars. They visited your planet once or twice, to set up the Roman Empire and get things organized. Now they use it for tourists. Not tourists coming to see you of course. They come for the dolphins. Unfortunately, the tourists did influence Earth culture a little. You saw the people come from the sky, and they were just the coolest thing since sliced mammoth! You started worshipping them, talking like them, dressing like them, while civilizations on a different part of the planet took after other visitors…the result is a jumbled mess of a planet that can barely pave a road without a fight breaking out. Sorry about that.
You do have some lovely dolphins though.
Kraal isn't interested in you however, he's interested in Flax and how much money they're willing to pay for military protection.
"Computer! Take me to Flax," he orders. "Rake fleas to tracks?" the interface asks. He gives the monitor a one-fingered salute and sets the coordinates himself, switching the warp lever on. Flax is on the other side of the galaxy, but with warp it only takes fifteen minutes to get there. Once he arrives at the star system, he sets the landing gear and waits for the ship to slow down and begin orbiting Flax.
It does not.
Instead, it speeds up, hurtling towards the blue planet next to Flax.
"What the hell! Stop!" Kraal shouts but the computer can't seem to hear him. He pulls the brake lever as far as he can, he reverses the direction of the engines, but the controls are jammed. He runs to the chamber containing escape pods, and finds an empty room. The landing gear hasn't even deployed properly. There's no way off the ship and no way to control it. Knowing he has seconds, maybe a few minutes to live, Kraal quickly puts on his armor, pressing a button on his helmet for life support. Then, he sits back in his chair and prepares for impact.
Someone planned this, he thinks as his ship enters the atmosphere, Someone meant for me to crash. His vision is red as the saucer heats in the air.
Whoever it is, they'll pay.