Governor Cooper was sitting in the biggest room in the bunker, deep down under the tons of mountain’s rocks. It was a command center outfitted for the nuclear war scenario. Multiple screens displayed telemetry from satellites on the orbit, observatories on the ground, dynamical projections of “Kali’s Trishula” flight. So far, everything went as planned and there were no deviations from agreed upon flight path.
“The corvette still doesn’t respond, we can’t establish the link,” said General Reynolds wiping his sweaty palms against his uniform.
Suddenly, the emergency line beeped in Governor Cooper’s ear. It was one of his numerous aids.
“What is it?” burst Governor Cooper with impatience. General Reynolds turned towards him with the look of alerted confusion but then he saw that Cooper was pushing the earpiece with his index finger. General Reynolds returned to watching the telemetry.
“It’s an emergency request from Callisto 01,” said the aid. “She says it’s something of utter importance about the corvette we are expecting.”
“Put her through,” barked Governor Cooper.
After the short call, Governor grabbed the shoulder of General Reynolds that he turned around with a look of pain on his face. Governor Cooper was pale and all he could do was just stutter: “Burn this motherfucker! Burn it now”
The bunker became an angry, disturbed swarm of bees, everybody returned to their stations.
“Do we have it in the scopes?”
“Two minutes for re-alignment and we are a go!”
“Why can’t we fire now?” squealed Governor Cooper.
“Corvette engaged in evasive maneuvers twenty-five seconds ago!”
Right when I got the call, thought Governor Cooper. He gritted his teeth, there was nothing they could do before the Prometheus system was properly targeted. Minutes stretched into eternity as the humid and foul-smelling air was flowing out of air recyclers working at full capacity.
“It’s too fast, do you authorize a beam split?” asked General Reynolds. “There will be even more casualties.”
“Do whatever it takes to vaporize this bitch, it’s a fucking bio-weapon!”, slipped Governor Cooper into high-pitched, hysterical voice.
A wave of chattering engulfed the bunker, people pausing their intensive work in disbelief.
“What are you looking at, engage the split beam approach, it has to be destroyed before it reaches the ground!” yelled General Reynolds at his subordinates.
In a few moments, one of the engineers reported, “Ready to fire!”
“Fire at will!” yelled Reynolds.
Outside the bunker, high in the dusty atmosphere, “Kali’s Trishula” was falling as the sword of Damocles bringing judgment to the last survivors of Earth. It was performing evasive maneuvers that should not be possible for a massive physical object like a corvette. It defied inertia. Cutting through the dark clouds, like a hot knife cuts butter, one large beam from the Prometheus system was trying to catch up with the ship. The beam was bloody red due to the dissipation of blue wavelengths of the solar spectrum in the dusty atmosphere. It left wildfires and scorched earth in its wake. The beam frequently changed its path but the corvette was faster. Until, suddenly, one large beam changed into a fractal lattice of smaller beams and one of them had cut through the corner of the corvette. The ship seemed to lose its engines or whatever was helping it to defy the laws of physics and crashed straight down to the ground evading the shanty towns around Cheyenne One base by several kilometers. The beam lattice had raged for a couple more seconds but disappeared once the kill was confirmed. The whole settlement looked like it was sliced and diced by a maniac with a laser scalpel. Gaping holes in makeshift buildings were full of smoke, fire, people running for their lives or to recover those that might have survived the rage of Prometheus system.