Erish's ship, the Aldebaran is under attack at the Solar Temporal-Portal.
Windows on the Aldebaran bridge darkened as arching flashes of plasma struck shields. Large concentrators, stationed at intervals, like netting, outside the Solar Portal’s protective sphere, operated the alien weapon. She looked aside, hiding her eyes, as each plasma strike struck visual scanners.
She turned, focusing instead on the display at the rear of the bridge. Each metallic device acted as a kind of magnet, pulling material, like whips of burning gas, from the surface of the Sun. It lashed ropes of molten metals onto spherical shielding around them. Each lash causing the force-field to ripple and churn, to splash like water, weakening outer layers.
On a joining screen, she watched another weapon do its work. Projectiles burrowed into points around the shield, releasing biological agents feeding on electrons. Sections of the force field flashed as charged bonds were broken. Without electron sheeting, inner layers of carbon fiber were useless against the Tlaloc nerve weapon.
Voices and signals sounded over communications channels, ships leaving the Portal, obeying Erish’s order to abandon the structure. Most of her own crew had already ejected in pods. Only two remained. An Amelu male stubbornly stood at the weapons console, watching, waiting for the enemy to finally pierce shielding. A Chava vessel, the last one remaining, fell away from its position outside the shields. Its power drained by the Potacas agent, it careened, hurtling towards the Sun.
Gula, the diminutive Chava standing in as her first officer, offered, “… no word from them.” She looked around at Erish helplessly. She was powerless to help her friends on the Chava vessel.
“What about the weapon?” Erish asked.
“…bacteria-like, organic, delivered by conical projectiles.”
“Get a message to Gashan,” Erish ordered, unaware the scripting specialist lay dead at the bottom of a Lunar transporter shaft. “…intercept all communications. We have to understand these weapons.”
She glanced back at the display. “It makes sense,” Erish whispered to herself, thinking of the Allatu, the Amelu ship. She had been issuing orders when the Potacas agent, whatever it was, attacked not only the ship’s systems, but also the crew’s cybernetic components. In mid-sentence, the Amelu captain collapsed, convulsing, until his corporeal systems powered off. Erish’s bridge crew watched him, as organic components supported by failing technology, shut down. The cyborg crew and the ship ceased functioning. The Allatu drifted until the Potacas blasted its unprotected hull.
Sections of the ship seemed to, almost beautifully, fly apart from each other, like a demented ballet. Sheets of metal, ribbons of connective materials glistening in sunlight, twisting, turning, lifting away from each other.
“Shields at 63 percent,” H-43, the Amelu at the weapons console announced.
“Where’s Namazu?” Erish asked. She was perspiring. She asked the Goddess to ease the suffering of her remaining crew. She could foresee Namazu’s warning come to pass. She would be abducted, along with the two who stood with her. She was determined to go down fighting.
“38 percent,” H-43 announced.
She turned around, looking at the abandoned consoles behind her; the spherical map shining as it hovered above navigation. She felt for the weapons disk at her belt; wondering if she would remember any of this.
“The shields have failed, Captain.”