The Alien City

Perfect silence, perfect dark, space was as empty as ever it was. But somewhere far away, a journey was about to begin...

It was a perfect day for a launch, a perfect day to escape the long suffering planet that had been home for so long. The skies were empty now, wildlife having long ago retreated to darker, safer places amidst the war that had torn a once peaceful civilisation in two. Even the launch site itself was visibly suffering from the planets ordeal, red sand burning where once there had been green grass.

The sister ships Jupiter and Saturn were the planets last hope to live on in peace elsewhere, leaving their home to the unstoppable forces that now consumed it from deep within. In recent months, even these escape plans had seemed hopeless as the Jupiter was destroyed wihtout hope and the Saturn was seriously damaged.

Now, years of perserverance had finally paid off and the Saturn was complete, ready to seek out a new life away from the doomed planet that had created her. The vessel was set to leave the planet, and the system, to find possible sites for terraforming and colonisation. The civilisation that once flourished on the now tortured planet would fall back now and rise once again in new surroundings. From dust and ashes would rise a civilisation that would one day return to claim what was rightfully theirs. Their planet, their history, their home...

As thousands watched, the ceremony began, the enormous vessel moaned into life as it prepared to leave forever... But all had not gone to plan. The Saturn was leaving to seek out its destiny in the stars but its crew had not been chosen or in any way forseen... The craft was capable of holding over a million souls and it did so. It was capable of scouring a universe for a suitable target and it did so. It was capable of saving the human race from destruction and extermination, but it did not do so...

As the Saturn lifted from the ground beneath it a million faces watched through tears. Their last hope had been forsaken, their salvation lost forever... The war would continue for years to come with no avail and the only means of survival and escape was leaving without the very people it had been meant to save.

As the Saturn vanished into the distant skies, all hope left with it. The planet was silent, the people unconsolable. It was the darkest of all days and of late every day had been darker than the blackest night. But salvation there was... For a million souls had escaped the torment, avoided further war...

The Saturn left Mars that day and would never return. It's computers had been reprogrammed, it's objectives altered. The colony ship was no longer on a mission to  terraform but a mission to conquer. The Martian inhabitants had been replaced by an Ethereal host, a force capable of conquering a thousand undeveloped worlds with neither trial nor effort.

As Saturn passed Phobos it was no longer the tool of salvation it had once been but a tool of alien conquest. A colony ship of evil and malice that would not stop until there was no other to oppose it...

There was no Saturn, only T'Leth...