The storm clouds broke. Kleiner was the only one to look up and notice they were being caused by atmospheric displacement as a large ship descended. For a moment he felt relief that the fleet in orbit was providing support – until he saw the vessel. It was too bulbous and smooth in design and GCPS ships generally didn’t sport tentacles. Kleiner reloaded the cartridge in his pistol and readied himself – these were new arrivals to Starfall.

A few hours later a GCPS Recon Cruiser patrolling the Mariana Curtain received an encrypted distress relay…



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