Rear Admiral Gordon looked up eagerly, as a young officer entered the room and stood to attention.
'Captain Mallory,' said Gordon brusquely. 'I understand Naval Intelligence can help me with my little alien problem.'
The young man gestured towards a screen on the wall. 'I can sir. May I?' A map came to life under his nimble fingers. 'They're called the Lazloi, outwardly humanoid, and a matriarchal society. Nobody knows exactly where they come from, but they first came to our attention in the Candor district.'
Gordon peered at the map. 'That's the other side of the Autocracy.' He scratched his beard for a moment. 'Wasn't there some trouble in Candor?'
Mallory nodded, 'Huge sir. About eleven years ago, there was some kind of blight, a biological phenomenon that affected the population and all the wildlife. It would have gone out of control, but the Lazloi got involved and stopped the blight from spreading.'
'Stopped,' said Gordon cautiously, 'stopped how?'
The captain gulped. 'They destroyed a star system, so that ships couldn't make the hyper-jump across into the rest of our territories.'
Gordon sat back in his chair looking deflated. 'I have aliens in my backyard who can destroy star systems?'
Mallory shook his head. 'We don't believe they created this technology, we think they inherited it from a culture that died out long ago.'
'And you're saying these Lazloi saved our collective ass from this phenomenon?'
'Officially, we're saying the Lazloi attacked us,' said Mallory conspiratorially. 'It's a great story when the Naval appropriations come up for renewal.'
Mallory turned off the map and approached Gordon's desk. 'Unofficially, yes; they saved us. The Lazloi are usually benign, but their technology is thousands of years ahead of ours, so don't piss them off.'
'And now they're here, on my world, up in the mountains and cooking up who knows what.' Gordon buried his fist in the other hand. 'Sounds like an invasion.'
Mallory reached into his jacket and held out a folio of photographs. 'We don't think so. We've seen them arriving on other worlds too, but not in ships we seen before. These vessels look different, transports by all accounts, and many overloaded with passengers.'
'War?' said Gordon suddenly.
'Civil war,' corrected Mallory. 'This is very speculative, but we think their society is imploding. They're divided into clans and factions, and something has broken the balance between those groups. It could be chaos.'
'Alright, captain,' said Gordon gravely, 'I want you to stay on base, I might need to talk to you again after I've assembled the chiefs.' He pounded the desk with his fist. 'All this trouble, and I still don't know who's paying for the hole those Lazloi left in my runway.'
Forest Superior scenery, with an original spacecraft model created in Cinema 4D.
Scene assembly and final rendering in Cinema 4D R15 Visualise.