Posted By: kr142616<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 16 September 2007, 1:30 am
"Today is a tragic day for the UNSC," the news anchor began, her voice deadly serious.
In the bar where he sat, John watched the news intently. Something's not right.
"Quiet," the bartender said with a shush from behind the counter. "This sounds important."
The news anchor continued. "Recently, all contact with the Outer Colony world Harvest was lost. Harvest is a major agricultural world in the Outer Colonies, and has been a stage for several minor conflicts in the Insurrections."
"Think the rebels took it?" a man John didn't know asked from beside him. John shook his head, his gaze not leaving the monitor.
"GNA responded to rumors of recent naval activity by sending a probe to Harvest, and discovered this
A fierce muttering erupted from the crowd now gathered around the monitor, nervous and hurried.
In a classroom, thirty students fidgeted in their seats, all nervous, all silent, watching the monitor apprehensively.
and discovered this," the news anchor said, and the image on the monitor switched to something not at first recognizable.
Joshua heard a teacher gasp, and another one shushed the students. He looked at the image, an orb roiling angry red in space. What
Then, the anchor answered his question for him. "This is all that remains of Harvest."
Joshua couldn't believe it. It looked fake, like old digital animation. How could the rebels on Harvest do this? Why would they?
Then, the news anchor answered for him again. "Soon after arrival in-system, this was found
In a mess hall on Reach, Lieutenant Erickson watched the news with growing apprehension. This isn't good. How can they do this?
If the lieutenant had had any idea that it was the Harvest rebels before, the thought simply vanished once the image on the screen changed. He couldn't identify what was on camera, but there was only one thing it could be: a starship. The food in his mouth no longer tasted good.
"Above Harvest was what appeared to be a starship, of no known design in use by the UNSC or rebel factions. After several minutes, the following happened:"
The image of the starship, a long, sinuous shark-like thing of smooth metal, began to move. It grew larger in the view of the probe's cams, and suddenly, a section began to glow. Motes of light began collecting around a point, gathering into an orange ball. Then, without warning, the fireball sped towards the probe. There were shouts from onboard chatter, then the camera went to black.
"Luckily, the crew managed an emergency jump through slipspace, and was unharmed."
Erickson stared at the screen, oblivious of his meal and the fellow officers around him. His thoughts raced. What the hell is going on?
The minister stood at the head of the congregation, his sermon hanging empty in the air, as the horror on the news continued.
"The remains of Harvest's complement of warships were found dead in space, along with one last chilling transmission picked up by the probe."
Emily watched the broadcast, mouth agape, not believing that the news could get worse. However, it was the way of things that it always did. From the monitor came a rumbling, inhuman voice, speaking flawless English.
"Your destruction is the will of the Gods, and we are their instrument."
Behind her, Emily heard a sob.
"So let us remember the citizens of Harvest, for they will not be unforgotten, and prepare for the worst of times," the anchor said. "This is Susan Aldrich, for GNA."
The admiral, in his darkened office, switched off his monitor, the only light in the room coming from his desktop's screen.
Why now? he thought. We're not ready. We can't fight this war.
The admiral leaned heavily on his desk, head in hands. What were they going to do? How could they stop the panic?
In the silence, a beep rang through the air. "Admiral?"
"Yes," the admiral said aloud, suppressing the urge to sigh.
"Admiral Cole, the Joint Chiefs wish to speak to you immediately."
This was written on 9/11, after noticing several parallels between the attacks and the glassing of Harvest, and was intended as a tribute of kinds.