UOCS Broadside
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Good morning, Rear Admiral.

Morning Commander.

Admiral, we detected a rupture near Neptune. We believe a starship has entered the system.

Send me the coordinates. I'll send in a fleet to deal with it.

New information came in. It is a Bismarck-class cruiser. I recommend a single ship to eliminate it.

In that case, send it to Captain Zoey.

The new captain? Is that wise, Admiral? She is fresh from the academy and has yet to fully grasp the reins of command. Perhaps we can send in a more experienced captain to handle this -

Are you doubting my judgement, Lorenzo?

No, Admiral. I'll send the message to her at once.

Near the orbit of Neptune, a number of explosions could be seen silently from deep space. The blasts that blossomed across the entire aft section of the ship eradicated all but the interior. The holes were appearing faster and faster with each shot.

From the viewing screen, Captain Zoey Newman shouted out her orders for her crew to follow. The Gunnery chief shouted out the different cannons that are ready to fire whilst the Data Handlers were performing their duty by reading out the data that is flowing into the ship.

The entire crew were working autonomously. From the Data Officers, the Gunners can order their cannons to appropriate locations, and the Engineering deck loads the shells for firing sequence. This mostly left Zoey to her thoughts unless she was needed to give special orders out or to give permission to firing vectors and such matters.

One thought she was constantly going through was the reason behind the battle. What purpose does killing the enemy provide for humanity? Their shields aren't raised so why continue this fight? These questions are piling themselves on top of one another as she goes deeper into the thought process of it all.

A sudden bang on the bridge pulled Zoey out from her trance. Her Political Officer was busy shouting out orders for evasive procedures. Her crew were frantically trying to get their ship out of the zone. She got up from her command chair and stared at the cruiser that was breaking before her.

"Strukov, status update!" Zoey commanded. Strukov, a short fat Russain sat at the Data Chief's desk, stood up and delivered a datapad with scrolling data.

"Ma'am," Strukov said in a thick Russian accent, "It would appear that our shots have ruptured through the armour plating and into what we can only assume is a power core."

Newman looked at the constant flow of data, who cannot make heads or tails of what she was staring at. "What does this mean, Strukov?"

"She's going to blow, Captain."

In the end, there was no boom or resounding sound. Just the force that came from the exploding core can be felt through space before it calmed down and dissipated into nothingness.

But Zoey's frigate was within the blast radius. Her ship turned hard to port and accelerated on maximum thrust. Behind them, the silent force was catching up to them. Its wave was giving Zoey's frigate a run for its money. Every meter her ship gained, the wave gained another two.

But as soon as the ship made it around one of Neptune's moon, the force vanished. Zoey's frigate came back around to investigate the enemy vessel that had blown up. They were going in to investigate whether or not they can salvage any of the technology or if they can learn any new information about their enemy.

Even far away from the sun, it still shone on Newman's ship.

The UOCS Broadside.

The barrels of all eight port and starboard cannons shone in the light of the sun, the big guns had finally fallen silent. The automated defence turrets swivelled on their stations, locking onto the closest object heading towards them. The Void Shields, however, were bouncing away any debris and unfired projectiles from the Broadside.

Inside the Broadside, the crew were singing songs of joy as they had confirmed another kill from the starboard side. The kills were becoming easier and easier with each flight. Even the four STRIKE teams on the ship, whose purpose was solely to defend the ship from invaders or to perform a boarding action, hadn't been used for such a thing for some time.

Later on, the Political Officer and a STRIKE team would go down into the hold to commend the brave men and women that fought for Earth and the Universal Occult Coalition, whilst also disciplining those who would be unruly and disrupting the morale of the troops.

The only one who would not take part in any festivities except reading the recent data flow from the ship they had conquered on the Observation Deck was Zoey Newman.

She was sat on the couch, facing the recently demolished cruiser that she had destroyed on orders from the Rear Admiral. Normally she wouldn't have bothered with reading the data, as that would be the job for the scribes.

In any normal circumstance, the vessel would have attempted to fight or fly away, in a futile attempt to escape the Broadside's firepower. In a normal circumstance, there should have been something done to preserve the vessel from utter destruction.

But not this time. The enemy's shields should have caused a fizzle or flicker to stop their cannons, to show their shields were active, but there was none. She did have confirmation from her comms officer, after the fight, that the enemy vessel did have shield capacity, but for some reason, the shields weren't turned on. The weaponry was the same situation, as they were unpowered, according to their scans.

So why hadn't they opened fire? Furthermore, why had the Rear Admiral ordered such an attack?

As she flicked through the data intake, she saw the alien's signal. According to Strukov, it was a video message on repeat. She pressed on the icon that allowed to play the video.

The video showed three beings that looked similar to humans. The only difference is that the skin colour was a deep red instead of a colour usually seen on a human. They were saying something but Zoey had no idea how to translate it.

But Zoey did understand the actions they were making, repeating over and over again as they were speaking. A finger on the neck, followed by a point at themselves.

Kill us.

This had only raised more questions. Why were they running? What were they running from? Were they civilians? The last question made her blood boil. She had fired on a civilian ship without confirmation from her command council. She acted on the Rear Admiral's orders and intelligence alone, and it is also one of the things they teach at UOC Captain training on day one.

Only slaves follow High Command orders, without a doubt. A Captain listens to their crew and acts accordingly.

Once again, the negative thoughts were hitting her further and further. Did the Rear Admiral know? Did he know the whole time and no one voiced concerns about it?

Zoey looked back outside. In the far background hovered Neptune, the calm blue of the planet behind did not help Zoey calm her mind. The weight of the action was suddenly bearing down on her. The entire ship's action was her choice, her choice to bring the now destroyed ship down.

"Captain!" said the voice on the ship's internal comms. The sudden voice had snapped Zoey from her mood, bringing her back to reality. "We have two messages on UOCS Frequency. Priority Level: Black. Shall I wait for you in the bridge or shall I send them to your tablet?"

Zoey wiped a tear from her eye as she watched the corpse of a red humanoid fly by the window. She pressed a button on the tablet to allow the window shutters to close, shutting out the cold void from the interior of the Broadside.

"Send them through to the tablet," she said to the Observation room's intercom. No less than a minute passes, she received two messages from Officer Jacobs. She tapped on the first one, and suddenly, her screen displayed a black screen with green text.

| To: All Captains of the Universal Occult Coalition
| From: The United Nations
| Subject: SCP-3396/KTE-4407-Mendal-L'Engle
| Priority Level: Black

Attention all UOC Captains,

This is GOC High Command to all UOC Captains. Our home, Earth, is under attack from an anomaly previously contained by the SCP Foundation. They have suffered heavy casualties and the GOC is currently attempting to neutralise the threat from the Las Vegas area.

As a sub-division of the Global Occult Coalition, the Universal Occult Coalition is to rendezvous over Earth's orbit and await further instructions.

- Global Occult Coalition High Command

Zoey pressed the next button to play the next message.

| To: All Captains in UOC
| From: Rear Admiral Silver, codename "Shiny"
| Subject: Pluto Station alerts
| Priority Level: Black

To all captains of the fleet,

We have received word of a fleet of anomalies heading for our system from Pluto station. We have reason to believe that the Bismarck-class cruiser was a scout for this armada. All fleets are to re-convene at sector Libra-Alpha to proceed with planning our defensive plan against them.

We have already confirmed that they're hostile by entering our space and not announcing their intentions. We shall hold the line against this threat as we have done for so many other threats.

- Rear Admiral Johnathon "Shiny" Silver

She got up from the couch she was sat on and left the observation room. Zoey would not jump to conclusions again, not after what she had done. She tapped on the comm icon on her tablet to activate the internal speakers across the ship.

"All officers," Zoey spoke into her microphone embedded into the collar of her jacket. "Meeting in the War Room in ten minutes. I want all officers in there in ten minutes."

A number of blips appeared on her tablet, confirming that they have received her orders. Zoey then tapped on a separate icon to initiate a private conversation with Comm Officer Jacobs.

"Ma'am?" Jacob's firm, deep voice was nice for Zoey to hear.

"Jacobs, before you head over to the War Room, signal the captains of the frigates Sol Surfer, Path Finder and the Good Will."

"Yes, ma'am. What is the message?"

Zoey kept striding down the corridor, doing some simple salutes to the crewmen she kept passing by. "Just tell them to connect into the Broadside's war room. I want them to join in the meeting."

"Shall I also send a message to the Reaver?"

Zoey slowed down her pace for a bit before picking it up again. "No, just the ones I mentioned will suffice. Although, you can also patch in carrier Top Gun as well."

"Of course ma'am. See you in fifteen minutes."

Zoey wouldn't make a decision like that again, not without her crew's consent.

Time to make a choice.

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