The conflict started as a regional affair along the border of the Beta Worlds. Before long though, outposts were beginning to be attacked across the entire frontier.
The repairs facility, Arrow One was one such outpost. After a month of intermittent attacks, the station commander, Major Jonas Sedgefield ordered that a lottery be held to determine who would be able to leave and seek refuge off-world and who would have to stay and defend what was left of the facility and to facilitate the escape of the others.
The remaining resources were only adequate for twenty defenders. Major Sedgefield would remain, of course. Trooper Filip Dario and Private John Smelling volunteered to remain as well. The other sixteen were chosen by drawing tickets bearing red dots. Among these “Dotties,” were Corporal Angela Hess, and Privates Freda Olsen and Dwight Carling from the Maintenance Division. None of the three were “frontline” types, but they new the facility better than anyone. Besides, as Hess put it, “fair is fair,” when accepting that she drew a red dot.
The defenders put up an incredible covering fire as the three escape vessels made their left offs. One was brought down almost immediately but the other two were able to clear the planet and the alien scout ship orbiting nearby.
“What should we do now?” Private Tim Marvin, one of the Dotties asked.
“Hold your position,” Acting Sergeant Dario said.
“There is something moving out there,” Marvin observed.
“Keep an eye on it, but don’t waste ammunition shooting at shadows.”
After ten minutes the shadowy movement emitted a six-flash sequence.
“Did you see that?” Marvin asked. “Small red flashes.”
“I saw it too, Private Olsen,” declared.
“There it is again,” Marvin said, pointing it out to Dario.
Dario launched a flare over the position, and it became clear that the flash was being made by two humanoid beings. One of which started to wave her arms seeking recognition.
Dario ordered his team to be prepared for anything, and then motioned for the individuals to approach. As the pair began to approach, they drew fire from beyond the perimeter.
“Covering fire,” Dario ordered.
A moment later Nurse Lieutenant Jilly Anderson, and Trooper Jamil Ali slid into Dario’s forward position.
“We were on the shuttle,” Anderson said. “I don’t know if there were any other survivors. We we lucky to get out, and even luckier to get past the ‘Lizards’.
“We could hear them finishing off the injured,” Ali piped in.
“I don’t suppose ‘welcome home’ is appropriate,” Dario said. “Ma’am, I guess since you’re back we should get you to Major Sedgefield.”
And thus, the Siege of Arrow Station begun.