The Great Betrayal - By Michael G. Thomas


The four racial groups of the Helions purported to represent all of their culture. The ANS Conqueror Incident of 360CC, however, revealed a massive underclass known as the Zathee who had been exploited for centuries. These people had fought as cannon fodder in the wars with the Biomechs and now lived as little more than servants. The Zathee Insurrection, as it soon became known, spread through the entire planet of Helios before igniting slave revolts on other Helion worlds. Within three months, the flames of revolution had spread as far as the empires of the Anicinàbe, Byotai, and even the Khreenk.

History of Slave Labor

The dull blue star sent a shimmering glint of light over the thousands of ruined and smashed ships. The ancient graveyard circled the system’s single sterile planet like a cloud of pestilence that betrayed some apocalyptical battle hundreds of years earlier. One capital ship waited while a small group of robotic fighters hurtled through the debris in search of their quarry. A larger shape moved ahead of them, a spacecraft bearing the markings of the old Centauri confederacy.

“Here they come. Let’s do this!” shouted Khan.

Spartan nodded and activated the controls that sent a surge of power to the maneuvering thrusters. The obsolete Broadsword class heavy bomber spun about on its axis so that it was facing in the opposite direction. Due to the peculiarities of space travel, the bomber continued on its original trajectory but now faced directly at the group of pursuing Biomech fighters. All of them were forced to travel slower than they were capable of as they moved through the thick debris field. The front of the delta shape spacecraft exposed a plethora of weapons, each one easily capable of tearing apart a fighter.

“Now!” shouted Spartan as he depressed the trigger.

He expected to feel the shudder through the structure as the array of weapons opened fire, but instead there was only a deathly silence and three red indicator lights on his gunnery control panel. He pressed it again and again but was met by nothing more than the click of the trigger.

“Good work, Khan, still no guns!”

He shook his head and hit the thruster controls to bring the vessel back around. A rocket rushed past them on the left of the craft and exploded when it struck one of the many pieces of debris floating about in the polluted zone of space.

“I can get the turrets working, just give me another minute!” called out his friend.

“Yeah, if you say so,” Spartan muttered under his breath.

He redirected a burst of emergency power to the dorsal thrusters just in time to move past a large piece of capital ship wreckage.

Bloody hell!

His heart pounded as he half expected the top of the craft to tear open from the impact. As they moved past, he watched the top with his right eye. Luckily, nothing untoward happened, and he was able reset their course without further damage to the aging bomber. He reached out instinctively with his left arm to try and speed things up before remembering the hideous wound caused by the Biomechs. His left arm was now no more than a stump. The thought of what had happened merely increased his zeal. A flashing light above his head caught his eye.

What now?

Glancing at the light, he spotted the fuel-warning marker next to it. For a moment Spartan thought that was it. They were out of fuel; and would soon be dead and adrift in space. The light flickered though and then burst. With no indicator, he was forced to check the management screen on his left. There were three tanks and all showed as being well stocked with fuel.

Must have been a faulty light, he hoped.

The computer system monitored the debris thousands of times a second and brought up potential vectors for them to follow. Unfortunately, the safest routes made them the easiest targets for the fighters. They had also been forced to alter course, and this bought them a few more seconds. Spartan glanced out through the tiny windows on the sides and at the space junk flashing by. Most of it was unrecognizable, but some parts were visibly ship related.

There must have been one hell of a battle here.

He tried to imagine how many ships would have been crippled and torn apart in such a small part of space, but the sight of the robotic fighters brought his attention back.

Concentrate you fool. You have to escape!

The battered and exhausted looking Jötnar shook his head. He’d