A treasure hunt among the stars. 

 

Prolog, since all good stories have one.

 

          Liwydawg woke to the sound of claxons; his personal AI was off line. Not a good sign. He reached into the night stand beside his bed and withdrew a gleaning sphere, his own personal Utility fog. It flowed up his arm and encased his body, forming a battle suit.

          He charged into the Corridor only to find a squad of marines in combat with several flying headhunters, before he can react, he watched as one of the trio of drones decapitated the nearest marine. Almost with outthinking he formed an energy gauntlet and shoot down the headhunters without blinking an eye.

          The nearest marine turned and utter, “General they have broken through our defenses, the whole station is overrun.” Before Liwydawg could reply, more headhunters appeared in the corridor, chasing a group of technicians. The marine rush forward to engage, but before he could react, a hand settled on his shoulder.

          “This is not your battle Gullinbursti, the war is lost. Come with me.” A voice announce from behind him. He turned and found himself facing Henwen, the leader of the science caste.

          “What do you mean sow? My men are dying, the whole home world is in peril.” He shouted.

          Henwen stare at him, and he felt his body shutter. He found his breathing slowing down.

          “You know in your heart that our war is lost, all we can do is flee and rebuild our numbers.  For that I need you, and other who can fight the enemy without the aid of auto aiming computers, true warriors.” She answered in voice feel with calm that defied the events occurring around them.

          Henwen took his hand and led him through the station, all around them headhunters roamed the corridor chasing down the survivors, yet as Liwydawg observed none of the drones turn their attention on them, and before he could question Henwen, she offered.

          “Once the headhunters are finish with the rest of station, my jamming field will be useless. There will be no other brainwaves to cloak our, so we must hurry.”

They reached the hanger bay, scores of headless bodies littered the hanger and Henwen led Liwydawg to a waiting shuttle. Liwydawg shook his head, “We never make it, and the Hunter Killers will be on us the minute we launch!”

          “Do not fear, the grey bristles will cover our retreat. One last brave deed a life spent in combat.” Henwen utter as she threw the shuttle into drive.

          The shuttle burst out of the station into the darkness of space. All around them dogfights between the retire veterans of the long lost war with the enemy engaged the drone fighters of their enemies. As one of the Hunter killer lock on to their craft tail, a fighter rammed it; allowing Henwen’s craft to escape.

          The sight of the battle faded as the shuttle left the orbit of their world; the enemie’s Hunter killers descended toward the planet or tackle the thousands of craft attempting to leave the planet, Liwydawg could only shed tears of frustration as he watched the death of his world. And soon a dark shape filled the forward view screen.

          “We are here my Gullinbursti, the “cró muc”. Our Ark to carry the chosen to a new world.” Henwen almost smile as if she muttered something amusing. “I know your grief, but one day our descendants will avenge us.”

          Liwydawg hung his head, “So be it, let us no longer call ourselves Ne’er Queyon, the enlighten, but Hochog, Vengeance!”