An explosion sounded in the night, bright fire lit up Desmond’s vision. Parts of the Pime Tower were breaking off as smoke and flames engulfed the Eastern center of the skyscraper. A brief glimmer of white lines shone around the tower and then faded as the pieces fell away, crashing into neighboring buildings and burying the streets with a rumble.
The white gravity had failed, how could–?!
A strange sensation swept over Desmond. Kaldoa was famous for its good mage genetics, it was no surprise more came to call that night. They just killed his people before his eyes, yet he was too far away to help.
“Ready the turrets!”
Des turned to his turret and caught sight of Quentin staring in horror at the far tower. It was only a moment though, his expression turned to determination as he joined Des at the controls. His eyes almost looked glassy.
Their tower lights went out, only a faint gleam of red illuminated the world. Distant sirens sounded and patrolling shuttles flew by the tower and the airbase. The ones by the tower blasted at something in the sky, chasing it further east. He gritted his teeth as they flew past the Tolnare Tower. But they quickly passed it. A tiny flash of gold light and the enemy ship was gone. The fighters began circling around.
MANUAL TAKE OVER PROCESS FAILED.
Des glanced at the turret control screen. Quentin’s eyes were narrowed as his code failed too. What a way to start their first battle!
That was not supposed to happen. Sure, it could still fire on its own with its unhackable crystal core, but that was set to aliens. Could the Kaldoans have hacked it so their turrets wouldn’t recognize them as enemies? The grid of olive still glimmered across the city.
“Randy, get over here!” Des called.
The olive dashed over, one hand on an energy bar and his other at the ready to hack. He would have to fix all their turrets.
While munching on his bar, Randy created a solid sheet of olive light around the turret, protecting it from the enemy influence as Des succeeded in switching it to manual. They found the turret had indeed been hacked to not engage Kaldoan targets. They quickly fixed that.
More shuttles to the west engaged an enemy in the dark sky, one explosion popped in the sky, but the shuttles still persisted their attack. The Kaldoans were definitely invading.
Randy dashed to the other turrets.
Their own tower’s sirens began blaring, and a small detachment of soldiers were sent to guide the now-wakened residents in their building to safety. There were plenty of bunkers in the city, but a headstart is what mattered.
The olive grid faded from sight. Did they run out of magic or did they decide to retreat?
A few Telmarran fighter shuttles split off from the formation and attacked elsewhere. How many cloaked Kaldoan ships were there?!
Des aimed the laser turret, tracking where the shuttles seemed to be chasing a ship, while Quentin monitored the plasma cannon. The shuttles were chasing a ship coming right towards them.
The radar of the turret kept turning, and Des heard a sound he did not want to hear. A sort of long, quiet beep as the AI calculated a ship’s shape.
“That’s not a Kaldoan ship…” Quentin said.
They could hear the thrusters now. Blue shields appeared and vanished where their fighters tried to hit it.
A dark blue ship with rounded edges.
Coming straight towards them.
Every plasma cannon engaged it automatically even as Randy had yet to undo the hacking on all the turrets.
The Xytari had come.