Preface: The Tide is Up

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An explosion rips through the massive hull of a Confederate Battle Cruiser, tearing it cleanly apart. Plasma and atmosphere vent out into space carrying the human casualties of battle with them. Two more ships of the line move up to reinforce the Confederate formation. A wall of destructive energy surges from them toward the Alliance force, hammering into their enemy with no remorse.

In retaliation, a fusillade of Anti-Capitol Ship, or ACP, missiles rocket away from the Alliance Battle Cruisers. They smack into the Confederate behemoths with violent splendor.  

Amidst the giant spaceships of war, tiny-by-comparison starfighters twist about. They—Z-42 Hammerheads of the Galactic Space Alliance and IT-15 Interceptors of the Confederation of Seceded Systems—engage in a furious and deadly ballet underscored with explosions and laser light.

Holding fast in the belly of the Alliance Battle Cruiser Exped, a dozen Hammerheads rest on landing struts on the flight deck. Behind the controls, their pilots remain cool and collected. This is business as usual for them. They bide their time patiently—waiting for the ideal moment to enter the fray. For, too early or too late, and the Arcturus system is lost.

With the fiery destruction of another Confederate Battle Cruiser, Captain Gonzales "Gonzo" Antreya, leader of the 332nd—Defiant Squadron—receives his cue.

The tide is up.

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