Not such good news was coming from Eastern Europe as one of the massive suppression ships supported by almost one hundred attack craft began to obliterate cities below. In order to avoid the deadly Decimator weapon sited in Greenland, the bombardment ship had descended to the edge of space at one hundred kilometers altitude.
At this height the first wisps of the upper atmosphere caressed the massive vessel and increased its drag. On its deadly path toward the Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan the resistance suppression ship reduced the cites of Dresden, Vienna and Warsaw in Poland to lifeless craters with its fifteen megaton fusion bombs. The sickle-shaped attack craft had done their job of taking out the space defense weapons that could have destroyed the behemoth. Under the concentrated onslaught of the alien attackers, both space stations as well as the entire Earth orbital defense network had been obliterated.
The city-sized spacecraft was almost over Kiev, the capital of Ukraine and about to fire another nuclear weapon, incinerating the four million inhabitants below. Warrior Caste drones aboard the bombardment ship saw no attackers on their threat display screens save for hundreds of atmospheric flyers, incapable of striking the massive ship in low Earth orbit. The soft-life city below was in range and would be destroyed. As the Warrior Castes programmed the nuclear weapon to fire they ignored the ineffective flyers below. That was a fatal mistake.
Pavel Malenchenko of the Ukrainian Air Force received a tactical data link from air defense command in Krasnador Russia indicating the gigantic bombardment vessel was approaching Kiev. Malenchenko was flying one of the specially modified MIG-25 Foxbat fighters that had been fitted with strap on solid rocket booster packs and thruster controls to operate for brief periods above the atmosphere. The MIG-25, more like a winged projectile than a fighter, was built for speed, not maneuverability and under full military power, could exceed mach three. Malenchenko acquired a radar lock on the massive target as his thirsty Turmansky turbines went to full afterburners and climbed vertically at mach three point two. Nearing one hundred thousand feet, the jet began to starve for air and lose aerodynamic control. Malenchenko then fired his solid fuel rockets slamming him back into his seat as he climbed out of the dark blue sky and into the back vacuum of space at an altitude of ninety kilometers. There, above him was the city- sized bombardment ship. He felt like a flea attacking an elephant except, his fighter held the bite of a cobra. He carried a single American made GAR-11 air to air nuclear missile with a two kiloton warhead. As he closed to within five miles of the gargantuan alien vessel he fired the missile and pushed over into a dive, streaking earthward to escape the detonation of the weapon. It was only at the last second that the Hive tactical display indicated that a soft-life fighter had flown out of the planet’s atmosphere and fired a weapon. As one of the subclass drones turned to its high caste controller, the GAR-11 detonated just below the command deck. The two kiloton nuke was tiny compared the size of the vessel, but it blasted a white hot hole through the entire command section, killing all of the Warrior and Thinker Castes. The great galleon of space pitched over, losing stability and slammed into the upper atmosphere, glowing red, then white as great chunks of molten metal tore free from the vessel. Like an enormous meteor, it streaked across the sky, breaking apart and smashing into the ground in Northern Tibet. When it struck, the nuclear device that was primed to fire at Kiev, detonated, blasting a massive thirty mile wide crater into the frozen landscape and sending a glowing mushroom cloud into the stratosphere.
Pavel Malenchenko’s MIG fell like a rock as he fought the controls to keep the nose pointed at a steep angle for a diving glide. At twenty thousand feet, he managed to restart his turbines to the blaring sound and flashing red lights of the low fuel alarm inside his cockpit. He rolled his jet out over the longest runway at Kiev’s Borispol Airport and set down, coasting to a stop, without enough fuel to even taxi back to the apron.