The Phage had travelled the vastness of space, intent on conquest; indeed they knew no other way existing in their strange half-life, neither living nor dead, but assimilating all others. They were parasites beyond equal. Alien, frightening and greedy for other life forms, they were a constant threat.
They had breached the outer defences, stealthily enslaving some of our comrades on the outer rim of the trade ways, feeding on them, using them, biding their time. We only knew of the incursion when it was too late. Using an oxygen freighter returning for replenishment they had traversed the great distances until they were poised at the heart of the system.
The oxygen freighter docked on auto-pilot as usual at Pneumo-Port to load up on life giving supplies to distribute to the outer worlds. There was a sudden explosion as the freighter was torn asunder. Emerging from its wreckage the horror of the Phage was revealed; alive and yet dead, biomechanical but robotically relentless. They had six legs around their data control nexus and mouthparts, their heads were carried behind and were smooth and shaped like a cut diamond. They swarmed upon other freighters in the dock. Other freighters exploding here and there and from each explosion the swarm grew and multiplied.
Alerted to the threat the Home Fleet launched a counter attack, determined to regain control of the Oxygen supplies, but their plasma weapons proved obsolete and inadequate. The Phage gained the upper hand in the engagement, ruthlessly destroying the defenders and capturing other plasma gunships for themselves. Yet out of the defeat one escaped, it had scanned the different proteins and elements that made up the protective Bioarmour of the enemy. Other gunships sacrificed themselves, ramming the alien invaders, ensuring that the one with its precious cargo of knowledge escaped to report to the system core.
Soon they were everywhere spreading through the trade routes and throughout the colonies, the whole system went into spasm as the alien infection bloomed. All seemed lost as normal life ceased to be, as the Phage insisted upon the compliance of all. The system was shaken to the core, in a fever ridden nightmare, as the aliens stalked around the central Core gathering for the final attack.
But those of us in the Core hadn’t been idle, we had learned from the defeat at Pneumo-Port. The sacrifice had not been in vain. All other industry had been shut down in favour of a rearmament programme. Our new fleet , with effective weaponry ,prepared to launch and engage the Phage…
“Will he be alright Doctor? He’s been in a fever for over two days now, sweating and delirious”
The Doctor smiled at the boy’s mother and lifted his hand from the patient’s forehead. He still had a temperature but it was finally going down. “Don’t worry, his fever has now broken. Ensure he rests and stays hydrated. I’ll pop around tomorrow, but he’s strong; his system is now fighting back at the virus.”