A note from neo Koh

updated 16/1/2020

"Combat Information Center confirms contacts as five Swarm Parasite class bio cruisers!" Everyone looked up from their consoles as the report came in. Parasite class bio cruisers were the Swarm's mainstay space-borne weapons, born whole right out of a Queen class hive ship like some insect. They were made of living tissue combined with a super hard carapace and had a simple brain that controlled the bio cannons and the organic ion propulsion at its back. Scientists have yet to discover how they are able to generate wrap fields to travel faster than light.

It looked like a giant space squid with 2 trailing tentacles like limbs which the only purpose was to grapple objects. It has a mouth cavity under the ventral front that when opened, stretched as long as seven meters allowing it to swallow small asteroids or even ships whole, crushing them into chunks before its stomach processed them down into resources to be used as fuel or organic materials.

The sides of the parasite cruiser have several spike like protrusions, which fire out spores or acid seeds. Each spore seed contained over a dozen of warrior drones in stasis, protected by a jelly-like sac that acted as shock and temperature absorbents, allowing the drones to survive re-entry into a planet or even slamming against a planet surface or a ship. The jelly also acts as a sort of nutrients for the drones, allowing them to survive in space for over a week. Once the seeds land on a surface, the jelly sacs will break open and the drones will awaken. The parasite cruisers will fire their spore cannons to land their warriors on ships. Once the ship's crew has been subdued, they will ingest the ship and produce more spore seeds. Swarm ships are known to feed on their own wounded kin to sustain and repair themselves.

"Enemy contacts designated Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and Echo coming within main gun weapons' maximum effective range in ten mikes." Weapons Officer Yan Fey licked his dry lips as he stared intensively on his screen. "Guns are primed and ready sir!"

The atmosphere in the whole bridge was tense except for Captain Blake. Richard Blake seemed like a changed person, from being indifferent to a tiger on a hunt. He sat on his chair, with his back straight. His untidy grey hair has grown long since he last had a naval regulated haircut. The week-long unshaven face twitched in anticipation of the engagement and his brown eyes glowed with a sign of fire that has rarely appeared lately. "Have all main guns target Alpha, fire two volleys when in range," he commanded.

"All departments ensure all non-essential personnel is locked down." Cmdr Ford double checked the crew members again. "Marines are standing by at key points for counter enemy boardings. Security crews are also securing their stations."

"Enemy contacts designated Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and Echo coming within range in 3 ... 2 ... 1!"

"Fire!" Blake snapped sharply.

Since the launch of UNS Singapore from Mitsubishi-ST Orbital Slip Seven over Earth's high orbit, she has never fired a shot in anger. Now more than 80 years later, she finally has. Six 3.2 kg nickel iron slugs were flung out at a velocity of roughly 290 km/s towards the projected course of target Alpha. Five seconds later another volley of six slugs was fired.

"Target Bravo! Two volleys! Fire when ready!" Blake commanded.

"Aye two volleys on target Bravo!" The Weapons Officer replied grimly.

Everyone in the bridge stared at the screen as the timer on the 1st volley countdown the time to impact. At a distance of 5,000 km. It took the volleys 17 seconds to arrive at its target.

"Target Charlie, two volleys!" Blake continued.

"No hits on Alpha! Nothing on the sensors!" SO Randy turned and looked at Captain Blake in horror. 
"We are missing!"

"Back to your station!" XO Ford stormed. "Keep your eyes on your screens!" He glanced at the Captain.

"Switch back to target Alpha, Two volleys again," Blake ordered.

"Aye target Alpha, two volleys!"

"Enemy closing in at 4,300 klicks! We're getting into their weapon range! Sir!" SO Randy cried. "Wait! Hit! Target Bravo is leaking atmosphere!" The bridge erupted in cheers at this news.

"Quiet down! It's not over yet!" Blake shouted. The crew quickly silenced down but their morale was up.

"Targets are performing evasive actions! Charlie no hits! Enemy at 3,900 klicks and closing!"

"Fire at Alpha, two volleys again!" Captain Blake barked. "Stand by to go Evasive Pattern Alpha and ready point defense lasers and missiles. They are gonna fire their spore cannons soon!"

"Multiple contacts detected! They fired their spore cannons!" SO Randy tensed up as he looked at his screens. "60...80...92, no, 93 spore seeds!" He looked on in horror. "7 seconds to impact!"

"Go Evasive Alpha now! Fire countermeasure missiles!" XO Ford yelled. 

Twenty armored hatches popped open and twenty AIM-32H Space Sparrow multi role missiles blasted out from the tubes and darted towards the incoming clusters of spores on an interception course. Each Space Sparrow had onboard heat-seeking sensors to detect spore seeds in the depths of space at a range of 1,000 km. Seconds later twenty tiny light balls appeared at the same time as the second volley of missiles were launched. The spores that survived the second wave of missiles continued on till they got burnt down by the point defense lasers. None made it within 300 m of the ship.

"First wave spores all destroyed!"

"Target Alpha is crippled! It's leaking atmosphere and dropping out!" Cheers greeted this news and Captain Blake gave a shark smile. "Switch to target Bravo, continuous fire!"

As the parasite cruisers approached closer, the UNS Singapore's railgun accuracy increased, successfully hammering target Bravo into bloody chunks of biomatter. The other three parasites cruisers dodged and returned fire with volleys of spore seeds. 

By luck and chance, the crew of UNS Singapore managed to do enough damage and three out of five parasite cruisers fell back slightly. But the waves of spore seeds never stopped coming.

A note from neo Koh

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