The frigate known as Cavalier limped into the inner system having dropped out of FTL. The hull was scarred by weapons fire, and she was barely capable of maintaining engine power now – another FTL bubble would be impossible.
What she carried into the depths of the system was no cargo nor even just herself. She carried tidings of a grim fate.
Her sister ship – Chevalier – and the Martin Whittaker, Mars’ flagship lie thousands of light years behind, destroyed during humanity’s first contact with a living alien species.
The news she brought would dishearten not only Mars, but all humanity: tidings of an alien race who do not communicate, but only destroy; of a nascent colony likely destroyed along with the ships that had protected it.
There would be no good tidings this night.
Prompt of “tidings” provided by Rob. Another No Heaven story, this one following on from one on the No Heaven website.