I stepped out of the research center and into the open air to find some of my suspicions confirmed once more. I could tell even from a distance that some other building had been attacked and there was the fact that the government building in the main city center was not there at all. I could see even at this distance with night falling, it had been destroyed. A lump filled my throat because it meant my father might be dead. As the automatic lights began to pop up one by one across the city, I began to feel very alone. The whole things was eerie in its silence.
I had hoped the monorail was still working but no such luck. I found the monorail in pieces once I rounded the first corner from the research center. I looked around and found a open topped grav car. I used my electronics knowledge to by pass the key card that would be needed to start it and it fired to life. I then drove it the city center.
Regulus City was the only real city on the planet. It however was not very big, 5,000 people lived here, but it was very modern in its design. There were a lot of outlying towns but the largest of them was maybe 1000 people. Dad told me the population of the colony was about 10,000. There were a lot of farmers out there spread over the planets surface but they all lived in small town like communities. Regulus III was a small world with a standard atmosphere, it was about half water and most of that fresh water. It had the potential to be an agricultural world but due to the low population was still developing that part of the economy. It really had little industry but was a medical research center of sorts for the Republic. Now it was nothing.
I guided the grav car to the city center. The government building had been obliterated. We had been a colony government owing our allegiance to the Republic central government. There was some talk of self governance but that would have not been possible until the population got much larger. Usually the Republic gave up direct governance once a colony hit 50,000 people. My father’s job was to be the chief administrator representing the Republic on Regulus III. He administered the few laws we had and made sure criminals were punished. Not that we had many of those. I mean the laws of the colony were pretty loose, pretty much only explosives and undetectable weapons were banned. Very few other things were illegal as dad pretty much let people handle their own problems. He saw his role simply to make sure things were fair and just and nothing more.
I got out of the grav car to look around but there was nothing left to look through. If I had to guess the building had been destroyed from orbit by a starship. I hopped back in the car and floated toward my home which was only a couple blocks from the government building.
The front door of my house had been blown inward so the place was wide open and had been so for a whole year. The grass was tall and brown. As I stepped in crowbar in hand I realized that it seemed there was not a single thing that hadn’t been broken or smashed. No picture remained on the wall. I don’t know if you have ever had your home invaded but I felt violated. The kitchen, living areas and bedrooms were all the same. Even my room had been turned upside down and all my clothes had been ripped and all my stuff broken. I checked the last room, my father’s home office and found the same but I then smiled. The pillagers had missed something.
My father had always kept a safe at home. The thing is he did not keep it in a standard place like behind a picture or something like that. He made it look exactly like part of the wall, right in the corner of the room. You had to push it just right to get it to pop open. I went to the corner and pushed the upper left corner and it popped open. I entered the lock code and the safe opened. Inside was dad’s emergency stash. It had two backup ID cards. – one for him and one for me. It also had 10,000 Galactic credits in cash made up of ten 1000 credit notes. The Galactic Bank was a megacorporation that specialized in one thing – creating and maintaining the hardest currency in the galaxy. It was good in every known government in space. There was also dad’s pistol a high powered slug thrower with a twenty shot magazine. It had a holster and belt, so I took it out an put it on. I chambered the first round and then dropped it back in the holster. There were two extra magazines in the belt so I had sixty shots total.
After sliding the ID cards and the ten 1000 credit notes inside my shirt on the top of my left breast, I now felt I was a little better prepared. The thing that made me sad though was the fact that I now knew dad was not at home when the invasion took place. If he was at the government building then he had probably been vaporized. It was at this point I kind of lost it a little and fell down on the floor wrapping my arms around my knees sobbing. The tears fell for some time until I finally realized that dad would want me to keep going and find a way to survive. There was really only one way to do that – get off the planet and get to another where I could reconnect with the Republic.
I got up again and hopped back in the grav car. I headed for the starport. I did however make a few short stops along the way. I stopped at the clothing store and after only a short while had changed outfits to something more my liking. I now had spacer boots, a one piece jumpsuit with pockets, I collected a few other outfits and I found some underwear. I then stopped at the gun shop but it had been complete pillaged, I went on to the food store. I filled some empty boxes with some freeze dried and vacuum sealed foodstuffs. I had enough to last a month.
I then arrived at the starport. Regulus III’s starport is class C. That means it has no dry dock or shipyards. It is purely a refueling station and maintenance port. It did have a Scout base so I knew I might find a scout ship if the invaders had not taken them or destroyed them. I might possibly be able to find out through the computers what was going on and maybe even get off planet using it. Most of a starport is an open field, Not as big as you might think. With Gravitic Modules a starship can pretty much do a vertical takeoff or landing but these ship are 100 tons displacement or more so they do take up some room. The most I had ever seen on the launch areas was five ships. Usually it was a couple scout vessels and maybe a Free or Far Trader. The rest of it is a single hanger for maintenance and a terminal that allowed processing of travelers one way or the other.
When I finally arrived I could see the terminal was going to be of no use, it had been completely flattened. I drove around the debris to the launch/landing area and I found what I feared. There was a single scout vessel and it had been ripped apart by an orbital shot. The same was true for the Free Trader parked next to it. The hulls were both gone and fire had taken he rest of what might be valuable. Scrap metal all of it. That left only the maintenance hanger. I crossed my fingers and floated over to the hanger.
I nearly jumped for joy when I saw it. There was standard triangle shaped explorer class scout ship in the hanger. Both of its ramps were down as well as the landing gears. On the port side the doors were opened that allowed the enclosed Grav Explorer to get out of the ship. There was a twin turbo pulse laser mounted on the top turret. It was painted white with the blue crescent moon of the Republic Scouts on all four outer panels. The only problem I could see and it was a big one was that there were maintenance panels opened all over the outside of the ship. The ship was in for maintenance and it was only partially completed. Even the Grav Explorer had panels opened and looked like it was being examined. The one good thing was I now had a place to sleep and a little hope. The inside of this ship would have a kitchen, living area and four staterooms. I might as well stay here and get the ship up and running. Unfortunately, it just would take a lot longer than I thought.