The corvette erupted in a glorious ball of debris and expanding oxygen. It had lasted less than a minute once the Dragon pilots had targeted it.

“You stole my fucking kill!” shouted Fangz across the comms.

The reply he received was the united laughter of the other Dragon Commanders, as they turned to the struggling Type 9 nearby. This was a slaughter.

“Mohizz, get your fat ass out of my face!” demanded Fangz as he approached the limping ship, shields down, his Corvette glancing across his fellow Dragon’s bow. The Type 9 lasted mere seconds, its cargo spilling out as the power plant failed and the ship exploded.

“Find your own targets, you thieving piece of shit,” Mohizz laughed.

“Python!” shouted Nyxx. “No, he’s already dead.”

“Gentlemen, I apologise for my intrusion, but if I don’t kill one of these little darlings before my ammunition runs out, I’m going to be missing out on a vast amount of credits,” Furieux interjected.

“Well, there’s a Cobra over there… Oh, no he’s dead too,” muttered Fangz.

“That’s my targets done,” said Adamantium. “Heading home to cash in. Hold up. They’re retreating. Check your comms, looks like this war is over.”

“By the Mother’s swinging tits!” yelled Furieux as he desperately chased down a straggling Eagle, watching the craft’s engines power up for frame shift jump before it exploded. “Well, hell ,” he sighed,  “isn’t that just dandy?”

Amidst the debris, the Dragon ships gathered. The remaining Sadhen Holdings vessels could be seen flashing into frame shift and returning to their own system. 8th Dragon Squadron ships quickly dispersed. For just a few moments there was precious silence.

“To the bar then!” announced Furieux, quickly recovering from his disappointment.

Adamantium brought his ship to a halt. “There’s a lot more work to be done here. We should go and speak with them.”

The erupting laughter from the Dragons caused his comms to overload, and static screeched into his ears. “Trust me,” said Nyxx, “you don’t want to go and talk to them. You don’t play with your food.”

“Well, what are we supposed to say about all this? Aren’t we better off diverting all this nonsense and making ourselves look good?” asked Adamantium.

Fangz spoke first. “You do know we’ll be murdering  Patocuda League ships within a matter of days, right?”

“Yeah, I do. No harm in reducing the casualties. I’m heading to Fernao Do Po Port. Get yourselves back to Coney, I’ll do my best to allay any concerns,” reassured Adamantium.

“I’m coming too!” said Furieux.

“Me too!”

“And me!”

Adamantium leaned forward and rested his head in his hands upon the console. He took a deep breath. The night’s combat had been intense, and the booze had muddied his thoughts. “Ok, Dragons,” he mustered. “Let’s go.”

*****************************************

There was still evidence of the 8th Dragons’ occupation here. As the newly refreshed commanders, glad that the bar was still intact, walked towards the administration offices a security detail approached. Just four men. Adamantium, Furieux, Mohizz and Fangz glanced at each other and smiled.

The chief officer moved forward. “State your name and business.”

“I believe one of our officers is a big fan”, stated Furieux. “We’re the 8th Dragon Squadron, and we’re supposed to see an individual named ‘Blackburn’? We did just win the war for you, so if you wouldn’t mind pointing that gun in a less lethal place…?”

The officer looked to his colleague, and the records swiftly displayed on the data pad. The Chief snatched the pad from the younger officer’s hand, frowned and slowly looked up at Furieux.

“Dragon Squadron. A lot of us don’t like you. You’re no government, and you are bringing chaos upon us. Had she her way, Mrs Riordan would have  you declared as criminals for what you do.”

Furieux turned to the other Dragons. “Friendly bunch, aren’t they?”

Mohizz stepped in, “We’re here to make the system better, not worse. You just fought a war with Sadhen Holdings and how many ships did you lose? Maybe a hundred? If we were not here, you would have lost thousands. We won that war for you, and that is why we are here.”

Mohizz stood his ground, seeing the doubt in the officer’s eyes. Seconds passed like hours as they stared each other down. Then, the silence was broken.

“Send them in!” came the voice through the public announcement audio in the room. “Let them in now, I don’t have much time.”

The officers lowered their weapons, and the large bulkhead door before them began to open. Beyond was as Adamantium remembered it, with a corridor leading to a comfortable office, a wide and elegant desk amongst newly found regalia, and the most comfortable seat he had ever had the pleasure of sitting in. This was now occupied by a man with bright blond hair, sunken eyes, and an air of smugness about him.

The man’s eyes suddenly widened as the other Dragons entered the room. He pointed directly at one of them.

“No! Not him! No, Get him out! Remove that man immediately!”

The officers quickly grappled Furieux in an attempt to prevent his entrance to the room, dragging him beyond the bulkhead doors as they closed behind the other Dragons. The remaining three looked back in anger, but remained still.

Adamantium focused his gaze on General Kent. He began, “So, we’re going to be friends, and everything will be ok? Interesting statement you are making there.”

“Wait. I’m not going to be friends with these arseholes!” interrupted Fangz.

“That’s not helping,” replied Adamantium.

“Si vous le voulez mort, je le tuerais moi même,” added Mohizz.