The battle was brief and bloody, with casualties on both sides. It can only be a miracle from the Great Goddess that nobody was killed, at least not permanently.

The Storm Crow of the Dark Sister held its ground effortlessly against a series of attacks against its shields. Its protective lines of force flared incandescently under the furious attack of two Songbird ships, those most loyal to the Clan Mother Kyraenia. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to surround the frail human ship with our force fields. We watched it spiral away towards the planet below us, and it took all our ingenuity and that of the ships simulacrum to protect it from destruction.

Lower and lower the stricken ship fell, leaving a vapour trail of debris and ionised gas behind it, a path down which the Storm Crow both followed and danced in its bid to rescue and protect the precious craft. Only as the ship approached the upper layer of clouds could our vessel capture it, cradling it with a combination of tractors and pressors to bring it to safety on the ground. The force field operators laid the ship carefully in a small valley but despite their best efforts, the craft broke in half and lay askew, like a dead animal with a shattered spine. One of its engines was already missing and with its back broken, there was nothing to prevent the main part of the ship from keeling over.

The Storm Crow moved away and hovered at a short distance from the ship, whereupon I formed a small delegation to make contact with the humans, hoping that all our efforts had not been in vain.

Despite our human form and design, we have always regarded the humans as greatly inferior to us, and that contrast could not have been made plainer than by the broken remains in the valley and the curvaceous bulk of the Storm Crow floating nearby. Whereas the human ships are fashioned from iron and steel with scant regard for form and design, our vessels are full of colour and light, formed from the blue metal that has no place in nature.

I stood outside the ship for a few moments, practicing the words that I might say, but realising that no words could express the emotions I was feeling. Kyraenia had told me that my daughter had died, and yet hints and clues told me that it was not so. Perhaps I should tell her that she was the product of a crime, the crime of conceiving a child with a human against all our laws, a crime indeed against the ancient science that said such a conception should not be possible. I could tell her that she was also a miracle, proof that the ancient science could be overcome, that there might be a way to save our race from oblivion.

There was no sign of life from the ship, so we approached what appeared to be an access point. The ships name was emblazoned there, Thunderbolt, an appropriate name for a ship recognising what we know ourselves, the awesome power of nature. This thunderbolt however had expired and faded, so we had no option but to use our disintegrator fields to cut through the door and enter the dark interior.

When we found the crew, they were bruised and dazed from their ordeal. Our appearance did not seem to shock them, and indeed they all looked towards one individual who whirled to face us. Her blue eyes met mine steadily, her white hair marking her heritage without any doubts.

"I am Siandyha Rhand, captain of this ship," she said confidently. "These people are hurt, will you help us?"

I smiled and held out my hand, "of course Siandyha, I am your mother."

-- Alisandra ny Hybritta ny Kyraenia hept Zilaerion, Commander of the cruiser, Storm Crow of the Dark Sister


V4 figure with Peacekeeper outfit by Xurge3D, Nabia Hair by 3Dream. Storm Crow is an original model created in Hexagon 1.21

Scene assembly and final rendering in Vue 8 Complete. Post processed in Photoshop CS2

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Updated: 21 May 2010

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