Crack the Can

A pair of vast graphene cylinder spin like thousands of others, ten kilometers long, a radius of one and a half kilometers, each home to over ten million souls. Held together by a lattice framework of steel and graphene and connected to the center of each cylinder like a cotton wheel on a spool the megastructure futher surrounded by a network of solarpanels, sattelites and domes. Small vessels dart between the artificial island in space, while effortlessly orbiting the Sun.

A black cylinder which had been hidden in the shadow of a piece of tumbling ice traveling a short few dozen kilometers from the habitat sprung visibly to life. A blaring thermal signature, monstrous acceleration, cargo doors silently slide open and vast metalic gods ready to hurl themselves into space.

“Hey, Charlie?” Tariq the sensor operator asked sounding a bit bewildered.
“What’s up” Charlie was stood on the ceiling reading an inventory log.
“I’ve got a massive heat spike coming from that rock we indexed for a fly by.” Tariq prodded some buttons.
“That doesn’t sound kosher, got visuals?”
“Just getting some along with a full scan.”
Charlie spun to face one of the larger monitors as the image came in, black on black, but the light from the sun barely reflected off the surface. “What the fuck” he mouthed.
“This ain’t no cargo hauler in a rush.”
“Analysis of object would indicate a space craft, given its behaviour I would suspect it’s hostile.” The ships AI chimed in. “Activating collison defenceses.”
“Tariq, Raise the island, get them to the emergency shelters!”
“Ahead of you already.”
“Unauthorised systems access at outer docking doors.” The AI added.
“Got a visual feed?” Charlie looked out across docking can which the nest protruded into. Metrics and messages streamed across the inteligent glass as claxons howled.
Four large stealth black combat mechs were attached to the outside of the cans hull. “Combat sleeves.”
“Why aren’t they reacting to the drones?”
“I guess they don’t care.”
Tariq looked across at Charlie “I guess that ain’t good”
“You’d guess right”
The docking bay began to open, and as it did a small cylindrical object began to float into the docking can. They stared for a moment.
“Holy shit, get down and cover your fucking eyes!” Tariq screamed as he dove to the ground. Charlie a moment behind. The light so bright that even with face buried on the floor it was as bright as day. An elecromagnetic pulse rippled from docking can and through the habitats destroying all electrics.

“This is Diver one, package delivered, moving to collect the prize.” A womans voice oveer the intercom moved her armoured combat sleeve through the docking can outer door and into the sea of blackness the other sleeves following in, maintaining firing archs and vision.

“This is Diver three, Scan shows the package did the work, controls on their reactors are scrubbed and the whole thing has shutdown.” A male from the recon sleeve.

“Pop the can Diver two, we need into cylinder two.” Diver one directed. She looked across at the nest, two thermals, she lifted her snub cannon and pulled the trigger, no thermals.

“This is Diver Two, Confirmed”

“Diver three, make sure we’re ghosts.”

“This is Diver Three, On it Diver one”