Story I-The Human Revolution
Commander Chess checked the star-map on the bridge of the cruiser "Checow". They were on a two-day mission in Alpha Centauri space. The dots on the map came clearer as he focused on planet.
"Sir" Chess heard. It was the weapon specialist looking at him. "Contact at two o'clock. Advice."
"Friend or foe?" Chess asked.
"Unknown." came the answer.
"NAV make curse with the unknown contact. Try to get a link with the ship and ask them for ID."
"Yes sir." Chess relaxed and looked at his screen. A yellow dot came to his radar.
"Distance?" he asked.
"Fifty-five Klicks and closing."
Chess looked at the target and then pressed a button so he could see the starmap again.
TWO HOURS LATER. Flatbed tug "Wormie" came to check out a huge radioactive
area that they had just discovered. The commander ordered a small one manned fighter to
take a peek ahead. Later the fighter saw something:
Debris of a cruiser. Thousands of debris, with high radioactive radians. The fighter found a plate of the cruiser that said: "CNV-176 Checow".
Somebody else continue...
(New Alliance Navy Headquarters)
"So that is the proper way of assaulting large capital ships," said Clay,
"Any further questions?"
There were none.
"Alright, class dismissed. I expect you to ready for the simulators by the end of the week."
It was strange, thought Clay. At one time, he was the best known captain in known
Now, he was no longer "Jefferson Clay: War Hero" but instead "Jefferson Clay: Holographic Professor of Advanced Combat Tactics".
He knew that he was overreacting to his new teaching position at the naval academy, he still saw the admiration in most of the cadets' eyes. It had been three years since that fateful day when he thought his "digitized reality" had come to an end. He expected to become a martry along with the main hull of the Dreadnaught. After all, "a captain should always go down with his ship."
But the eggheads at Navy HQ had planned ahead. They couldn't allow such an experienced
captain perish if they could instead preserve a portion of him. They downloaded his
digital personality into the main computer archives where he could be put to "good
Now, he not only taught the next generation of recruits for the New Alliance Navy, but he had access to every piece of information that was acquired by the Navy.
Even now, this "Unknown Contact" had spurred an enormous amount of scrambling of naval personnel. Of course, the destruction of a cruiser should get that type of reaction.
Even now, certain Navy captains and admirals were being recalled for a war council at Navy HQ.
One name in particular caught Clay's attention. None other than the rookie captain that
had proven his ability under Clay's watchful, computer eyes. It seemed that his previous
"close encounter" had called for his analysis of the situation.
Yes, this would be very interesting indeed.
The Mega-Transporter Argon was cruising through Centauri space on LDS. The freighter was currently 12 days out from the new colony in the Xi Bootis System. It was carrying a shipment of ore to Earth which was vital in the production of starship hulls.
Capt. Cutter sat on the bridge of the freighter, as usual on these long trips, nothing was happening, and the crew was getting restless with a lack of activity. At least they would reach Earth in a day or so thought Cutter. The helmsmen alerted the captain to a new contact.
"Sir, UIV at 6 o'clock 100km approaching fast on LDS."
"Radio them helm, find out who they are."
The radio returned static to the helmsmens hail.
"Sir, we are getting no response."
"That's strange... All crew, battle stations!"
A klaxon sounded thorough out the ship, crew ran to their posts, Anderson a new member to the brew for this trip tightened the crash harness at his weapons console, he had the responsibility of protecting the craft if attacked, he was about to be tested...
"Helm, hail them again!"
"Still No response sir!"
The UIV closed to within 10km and dropped out of LDS.
"Theyre assuming attack posture sir!"
"Gunners! Fire only when fired upon!"
The UIV fired once, the engine of the Mega Transporter disappeared in a massive explosion.
"Sir, they have destroyed our engines!"
"Send out a mayday on all channels, open fire all weapons!"
Anderson heard the order to fire, and let rip with the PBC. The UIV dodged the first few shots, then turned to fire again on the freighter. This time the craft broke into two pieces amid a large explosion, and started to drift in space. The UIV drifted with the wreckage for a few minuets, then turned away and entered LDS.
Anderson sat drifting in the escape pod; he had been auto-ejected moments before the explosion that had destroyed the freighter reached his station. He started scanning the wreckage for other survivors, he picked up no other escape pod beacons, or energy readings within the wreckage...
"Senator Connors from the colony of Alpha Centauri!" Came from the speakers
as Connors entered the room. All of the other senators were all ready present. The
senators were sitting around a long table. At the end of the table, under a huge
Commonwealth logo was new president Janet Hopper, looking mean at other senators,
especially Connors. Connors wiped the moisture of his skin and sat on a stool that was
reserved for him.
"Now that we all are here we can get to the business." said Clark looking Connors.
"Yes, " Connors said "Of course."
"Admiral" Hopper said pointing at a stage at the other end of the table.
Admiral Gudenow entered from the dark to the stand where she would make her speech.
"Esteemed President and senators" she started "There has been disturbing news about the space of Alpha Centauri. Weve lost two ships in that area. A cruiser, the Checow, and a megatransport that was bringing ore from their the Xi Bootis colony. There is a record of these ships encountering something unknown out there and we dont know what that is. This man " a big screen behind him flashed a picture of Anderson came to the eyes of the senators "is the survivor of the Argon, the sport. He says that they encountered an unknown object that destroyed the transporter in seconds.
"According to the black box of the Argon, they did encounter something unknown. It fired at them only one shot in the thrusters and the sport was destroyed." an unfocused video of an unknown ship came to the screen. It was so unclear that nobody could make out what it was "This is from the box showing the unknown fighter Look." The video slowed down and showed as the object came out of LDS and fired a one red shot at the transport and then static.
"I believe we have a problem in the A-Centauri system or what do you think admiral?" Hopper said.
"I called our greatest flight instructor to analyze the video and all of the record." Gudenow said and pressed a button on her stand. Clays 3d head came to the screen looking angry. The picture got unfocused turning Clay into static and then back to normal.
"Good day." Clay said feeling stupid.
"Jefferson Clay, the war hero of the independence war." Gudenow said and turned to Clay.
"Clay, have you found out anything about those ships?"
"Of course admiral" Clay turned to the senators and got unfocused again and then back "On the area of Checow a flatbed tug found traces of radiation. This would mean that the ship that attacked the Checow had a leaking reactor. It had been in a firefight. I checked the records of firefights in the next days and found a match. An hour before the attack on Checow a tug doing some cleansing in an asteroid belt near A-Centauri was destroyed. Records say that it was an asteroid hitting its thrusters, but after my check I would say that the destruction could have only been done by a PBC. An UNKNOWN kind one."
"Could it be the new cannon that we are testing?" a senator asked.
"No." Said Clay " The destruction was done by a much heavier than we have in our army. I would say that we have a serious problem in our hands senators and Ms. President."
"What would you suggest?" the president asked.
"Send an armada of ships searching for that ship." Clay said and vanished from the screen.
"Thank you Clay," Gudenow said "President?"
President Hopper was thinking. She couldnt decide now what to do maybe tomorrow or maybe today.
Later senator Connors left the Earth in an elevator to space. A man came behind him.
"Any news?" the man asked.
"President says that shes going to send an armada after the unknown ship." Connors said.
"Interesting." The man said.
"Its not one of ours," Connors asked "Is it?"
"No, Mr. Senator," the man noted " Believe me, its not one of our. COSA has been on the run for over three years cause of that captain that found our base and helped to destroy it."
"Yes, " Connors said, "We all know what happened to him."
"Yes we do " the man said.
"Look I just pay you guys and expect to get more back, OK?" Connors said.
"OK, but I can assure you, Mr. senator, it wasnt our ship." Man said.
"Then what was it?" Connors asked " A friggin alien?"
(New Alliance Navy Headquarters)
"Gentlemen! Time is short, so I will make this brief," said Admiral Yarwood.
The naval personnel gathered in this briefing room were the elite of the entire fleet. Once it was discovered that the Checow was destroyed in Alpha Centauri space, a recall code was sent out for a "war council" to deal with this new threat.
"You have all been briefed on the situation at hand. The forensic reports are
still coming in, but we can't wait any longer."
The group settled in and waited for Yarwood to continue.
"The initial reports indicate a new attacker with vast new technology. This would suggest an alien presence. For that possibility I will refer this question to the only one among us that has ever had a "close encounter". Captain?"
An officer with a starched navy uniform stood up, glanced around the room and prepared his answer. This captain was the youngest officer in the room aside from Captain Tifger. But the experience that was shown on his was that of a veteran. All of the people in the room knew of the recent tragedy that had occurred in the young captain's career. A routine patrol in an asteroid belt turned disastrous when a mine exploded against the hull of the Dreadnaught II. A total of 29 crewmembers were killed in a few seconds. The captain was exonerated of the incident; sensor records proved that the mine was equipped with a stealth device. The captain almost resigned, but was convinced to remain in the Navy.
"The ship that is responsible for all this is neither a Narnia nor Chaos vessel. The configuration is all wrong and the weapons are different. I've seen those ships in action and they were totally different from what we see here."
"Thank you Captain," said Yarwood, "hopefully this situation will become clearer as time passes."
"After we destroy that ship!"
The room stirred, this was the part that they had all been waiting for.
Yarwood scanned the room before he defined the mission. "A task force under the command of Admiral Brett aboard the Brazen, will head out to Alpha Centauri space to search out the alien vessel and remove it."
The fleet wasnt very big. Only a couple of corvettes and PatComs, three destroyers and one cruiser, the Brazen. A young black officer, Jeremy Low looked from at the fleet from the window of a cafeteria on a space station orbiting Earth. The cafeteria wasnt full. Almost everybody that didnt involve in the fleet had been removed from the station. Jeremy drank his coffee and started to walk to his ship on the stations artificial gravity floor. At the halfway to his ship Jeremy had to give the coffee to a officer who let him pass to the non-gravitational area of the station. Jeremy "flew" a small elevator and pressed a button, so it would go down. The elevator went down near the docking collar of Jeremys ship. From there Jeremy floated to a small hatch and opened it to enter the ship. Jeremys ship was a corvette called The Omen of Low. After going inside the hatch Jeremy started feeling gravity again. He walked in the corridors of the corvette until he came to the bridge. Nobody was there. Jeremy sat on his chair in between Weapons and Engineering. Jeremy pressed a button on his computer and a picture of a star map came to the screen. Jeremy examined the map for a while. Suddenly the screen tilted and a green face came to the screen smoking a cigarette. Jeremy recognized the face.
"Clay" He said, "Long time no seen."
"Just here to check on how are you doing." Clay said.
"I dont need you to check over my shoulder on how Im doing." Jeremy noted " Remember? I was the best in our class."
"You werent the best Low," Clay looked angry "You just followed everything by the rules and sometimes you gotta make 'yer own rules."
"And get shot by a destroyer like you." Low mused.
Clay stood quiet looking angry.
"Your point?" Clay asked.
"There were several other ways in Toliman Jump-point." Low answered " You could have just run away using the LDS and wait."
"And see the ships smeared all over the blocker?" Clay said.
"You could have used a REM missile from a long distance." Low said.
"Didnt have any." Clay answered.
Touché! Low looked Clay quiet and then turned of the screen. He didnt like Clay. Clay always was so loose and didnt want to teach new comers tactics from the book, but always told them to improvise or develop new techniques from the old ones. Jeremy didnt like that; he had always liked to learn a couple of moves that were in the navy guidebook. The SNF-move, a classic, but Clay told Jeremy that everybody was expecting that move and got their guns ready. Oh yeas Jeremy didnt like Clay at all. Suddenly Clays image came to one of the screens in the bridge. Jeremy looked at Clay amazed.
"Hope you like company, Low" Clay said "cause Im coming with you."
Admiral Peter Brett stood at the bridge of Brazen. He looked around the empty bridge. All of his crew were taking a break at the station. Brett was wearing his old Commonwealth uniform. Suddenly the door behind him opened and Senator Connors entered the bridge.
" Senator. " Brett said.
" Admiral, " Connors started " We should already start to move to the Alpha Centauri if we want to be on time. "
"There is no need to hurry. " Brett said and looked at the senator " At
our present timing we should be at A. Centauri space on time. "
Sweat dropped from the senators forehead. Brett noticed this.
"Something wrong senator?" Brett asked.
" No, no, no " Connors started " There must be something wrong with the heating system. Are you sure that taking instructor Clay with us is a good thing? "
"You gotta have faith in us senator. " Brett said, " Most of our captains are young, fresh of the academy you know. We lost too many veterans at the war against Kings armada. I knew almost everyone of them. Harris, Cage, Connery Theyre all gone."
" Im sorry, but we dont have time for memories now. This is now, not then. " Connors said.
" I know, but its hard to not think about everybody who died in the war. " Brett said.
" Trust me, admiral, I know how you feel. " Connors said, "I lost many people that I know."
" Very heart warming, but soon its time to get a move on. Ill call the captains and then well
head for A. Centauri space." Brett said.
" Great! " Connors said " Inform me when we are going. Ill be in
Connors started to walk of the bridge. Suddenly he stopped and turned around.
" Admiral. " he said.
" Yes? "
" Loose the uniform. "
Date 25th December
Location: Local STC - Xi Bootis System, Wolf Lobe
The STC ops room was quite, well, what kind of person wants to work on Christmas day eh? Johansson had the unfortunate luck of pulling the sit and watch shift on this day. While his colleagues and friends were partying their hearts out down in the saloon, Johansson was stuck sitting in the ops room, watching empty scopes and completing pointless paperwork. Well at least, thought Johansson, that he would get an extra two weeks off for pulling this shift, with the money he had saved up, this would allow him to make the trip to Earth which he had been wanting to make for years. He had never seen the fabled 'home' of mankind, and by doing this shift, he had the opportunity to fulfill his dream. This was because Johansson was part of a new breed of human, the children of earth who had been born on some far away alien world, or a space station, and could quite possible go their entire lives without seeing the home planet of their fore fathers. For some this was not a problem, for others, earth was a place of mystery and adventure.
The jump point sensor went off, announcing the imminent arrival of a ship through the jump point. Johansson looked up from his dreaming, to a monitor, the arrival was unscheduled, but not a problem, at least it gave him something to do for a few moments... He panned a camera in the direction of the jump point, the ship returned to normal space, Johansson had never seen a ship like it, it was huge! Johnson hailed the UIV,
"UIV, this is Xi-Bootis STC, please identify yourself, and state your destination.
The reply came as static,
"UIV please respond to standard request, Over!"
The reply still came as static, Johansson started to get worried, he had heard rumors of UIVs and the trail of destruction following them, he decided to alert the stations commander. He patched up the comm system and paged the captain, her face appeared on the screen a few moments later,
"What's the problem Johansson? Bored?" She laughed, Johansson realized that she was drunk.
"Mam, we have a very large UIV which is refusing to id itself just arrived at the jump point."
"What do you mean big?"
"Mam, look out the window..." she turned to a portal beside her and looked out, she turned back moments later...
"That's big! REM a fighter to buzz them, give them the idea that they should ID immediately. Report back as soon as it is done. Out."
She terminated the signal, and Johansson started the REM link to a C-Fighter sitting on one of the docking arms, this was one part of his job he really liked, flying a ship by remote, safer than being there...
By the time he had launched the fighter the UIV had re-orientated itself and was heading towards the planet, the jump point alarm went off again, this time it stayed on, damn! thought Johansson, more ships! He flew the small C-Fighter towards the large vessel which had been the first to arrive. He decided to pull off a fancy maneuver by flying close by at high speed, that should wake them up he thought. As the small craft closed on the ship the REM signal started to break up, Johansson checked the transmitter, everything checked out OK, something was trying to jam the link, Johansson went into a cold sweat. The small fighter exploded on a view screen amid a stream of Cannon fire from the ship. Johnson paged the Captain again,
"Sir! The ship just destroyed on the fighter! And the first vessel now has some...."
The STC exploded in a cloud fire light as it was ripped apart by the streams of cannon fire from the newly arrived companion ships.
Several Days later...
"Good morning ladies and gentleman. It seems our first encounters with the UIVs we have been hearing about recently was a prelude to an invasion. The Xi-Bootis system has been invaded; all New Alliance Vessels in the area have been destroyed. We have however managed to obtain this footage of the invasion force from an old Indie pirate under the name of McDuff."
The view screen in the briefing center at New Alliance HQ showed a large ship of a strange unknown design in orbit around a planet, a fire fight was in progress around the ship, the people in the room could see clearly ships of human design fighting smaller unidentified ships, it was obvious that the humans were losing this battle, and it seemed the enemy was not suffering heavy casualties. The Large ship, started to launch smaller craft from a hold, these ships started to descend towards the planet, the human ships fought gallantly to try and stop the unknown enemy, but the battle was already lost. The video sequence ended shortly afterwards.
"McDuff managed to escape from the system in LDS, just. Since then, three other systems have come under attack. We are now at war ladies and gentleman, and we are losing. We don't even know who is doing this. Your orders are to with draw to New Alliance bases, and defend all key positions at all costs."
The room went quite, Adm. Brett knew that he had signed the death warrant for many young people, but there was nothing that could be done, it was now a battle for survival, between the New Alliance, and an unknown enemy, possibly alien in origin.
" I know how you feel people. " Peter Brett was talking on the intercom to
all of the ships in the armada still wearing the Commonwealth uniform " We are at
war, with something that we have never seen or heard at. Our plans have changed and for
that there are plenty of changes in the old one. Instead of going to A. Centauri our
orders are to help the ships escaping from the Xi-Bootis system. We don't know the
motivation of out enemy or the strength. We must hold on and fight to the last person
standing. This time it isn't about independence, this time it's the species. We must show
these invaders, if they are aliens, that the human race is the dominant species in the are
of the New Alliance! "
Brett pressed a button and the intercom turned off.
" I told you to loose the uniform," said Connors standing next to him.
" It's my lucky one. " Brett answered.
" Your speech was pretty, but you must remember that we don't even know if they are aliens. " Connors said.
" I know. " Brett said " They need something to rely on and I just gave them answers to some questions that they would like to have the answers. Even if they were right or wrong. "
" I know what you mean admiral. " Connors wiped sweat off his forehead. " We must keep the morale up. "
" We? " Brett asked " Senator, the battle area has changed so we don't need your help anymore. Theres a corvette leaving to A. Centauri as soon as you have packed. "
" Sorry admiral, " Connors answered " but I can help you in the Xi-Bootis system. "
" How? "
" I have very powerful friends there. "
That was right. Just a couple of hours ago an UIV attacked a COSA base in the Xi-Bootis. The war was also official in the COSA union. With the message came also a note that Connors was supposed to give to Brett. Connors gave the note to Brett.
" What's this? " Brett asked and started to read it.
" My friends wanted me to give it to you. It is a declaration of peace from COSA.
" Connors said.
Brett was shocked.
" You are part of COSA? " Brett asked.
" Yes, but that isn't important now. Like you said this time it's the species, not between humans. " Connors answered.
" You know senator... " Brett said " If this war wasn't on I would arrest you and you would be put on a airlock without a suit and jettisoned in to the atmosphere of Jupiter. I would like to see your guts crush when you enter the gas clouds dead! "
" I know how you feel against COSA, but please, send it to the president. Let her judge me if she will. We only want the mark of outlaw of our back and a contract that would allow us to do free market with weapons and our technology to any group that we wish to sell. "
" I will, in the mean time... " Brett put the note into his pocket. "
Two men dressed in marine uniforms came to the bridge.
" Take Senator Connors to the prison area and hold him there until further noticed." Brett said.
Guards grabbed Connors by his hands and took him to the prison are. They put him in a sell with a mutineer. Few minutes after Connors got his stuff from his cabin. Connors opened a bag and started to change his clothes. He took of his fine suit and put on a normal jeans, a T-shirt and a vest that had many pockets. He opened one pocket and took a pin that had the logo of the COSA. He placed it on the vest and sat on a small stool. The mutineer looked Connors for a while.
" You're with COSA? " the mutineer asked.
" Yeah, " Connors answered " You gotta problem? "
" No, no... " the mutineer answered " I just got one question. "
" Shoot. "
" Did the ex-president work with you guys? "
" That information is classified. Only people with a need to know can know and you're not on a need to know basis. "
The mutineer blinked.
War was at its highest point. Thousands of flashes were reported seen into the next
system. All of those flashes was an exploding ship, one of New Alliances. The president
had approved the contract between NA and COSA. COSA supported the battle by sending ships
and weapons through L-points to help the battle against the unidentified ships. Near the
star of Xi-Bootis a cruiser was attacking an UIV. Cruiser launched its full squadron of
C-fighters. Fighters attacked the UIV's front. PBC's exploded at the ships front hull.
Pieces of metal and biological mass came out from the hull. The UIV fired at the cruiser
hitting its rear thrusters. On the bridge it created a huge fire. Captain knew that it was
too late and gave the order to launch the anti-matter pod. A part of the cruiser opened
and the AM pod was launched just before the cruiser exploded into a fireball. The fighters
looked at the fireball and knew that they were doomed. The pod came toward the UIV without
it noticing the pod. The fighters kept attacking the UIV until the pod hit the UIV. There
was a huge explosion and the sky was white. There was a huge fireball that expanded into a
wide area until it disappeared. When the fireball was gone the UIV was no more. Only small
pieces of the UIV reminded that it had once been there. Small fighters were half in fire.
One of them was just OK. Only a small breach in the weapon, but OK. The pilot looked at
his display. She felt sleepy; there was a small radiation leak inside the fighter.
There must bee a hole in the reactor, She thought.
She saw a fighter in front of her. She hailed the fighter and got no response. Suddenly the fighter exploded in to pieces. The exploded fighters pilot crushed into her window. She closed her eyes and again felt sleepy. She closed his eyes and almost started to sleep when a beeping noise took his notice. She opened her eyes and looked at the scanners. They were beeping. She examined the scanners.
" Interesting ", she said aloud.
She saved the info on a pod and launched it. She saw the pod moving away and then heard another beeping. Every scanner on her fighter turned red. She knew what it meant. The radiation leak had grown to a dangerous height. Suddenly she fell asleep and a few moments later her ship exploded.
Cruiser "Chef" came to examine the battlefield. The battlefield was empty, no survivors. Pieces of fighters, the cruiser and a UIV floated in space. Two corvettes went to look for survivors or anything that would help them. Cruisers captain, Ned Gerblansky, looked the battlefield from the cruisers bridge. A communicator next to Ned beeped. He pressed the communicator.
" Captain Gerblansky? " the metallic voice asked.
" Yes? " Ned asked.
" Captain of the corvette "Primus" here. " The voice said. " We found a pod. It looks like it has some interesting info. "
" Bring it in " Ned said.
The Corvette docked with the pod and sent the info to "Chef". Ned examined the information on his screen.
" Interesting " he said.
The corvette "Birmingham" cruised on its patrol run through the Xi Bootis system. Captain Magnis had spent most of his career on these patrols, with occasional dogfights, until he aided the Dreadnaught in the famous battle to protect the Indie base against King and his fleet. Now he patrolled in this brewing war, knowing he would be doomed if any action came his way.
Drinking his "morning" coffee at his command seat, things seemed peaceful and the violence seemed far away. He was patrolling a weak LaGrange point, just incase. Without warning his WEP officer, called out "Sir, the jump sensors are picking up a contact coming through the point medium size ship"
At that moment, a UIV came through the point. It was shaped like a 20th century aircraft and had an unusually high thermal trace.
"This is Captain Jack Magnis of the Corvette "Birmingham" to the UIV, please respond", then-as an afterthought- "or you will be fired upon. You have 10 seconds to reply"
Aboard the UIV "Miscanthus" (or as any translation could ever provide), the commander did not need ten seconds. A bolt of pure energy erupted from a port on the hull of the small ship. The bolt hit the upper LDA of the Birmingham but depleted the shield completely.
Capt. Magnis saw the familiar blue flash from his seat and called battle stations. And then the real horror began. "NAV, full burn! Bring us about bearing 150 full pitch thrusters"
Now, the Birmingham was dodging shots as she began to move erratically, just as Magnis wanted. "Helm, 360 on all axes on my mark now! Pull us under the UIV and make it close! I want to scratch some paint. WEP, fire forward PBC fire!" With a blast of light, Birminghams PBCs blared away, firing until engineering had to cut off power due to over heating.
Yet the UIV was able to shield itself. It has shields on its 6! But as the Birmingham came under the "Miscanthus" the Birmingham fired a shot which damaged the power supply of the UIV. With 30 seconds of power left, the captain of the UIV was going to take his shot.
Captain Magnis soon realized his 6 was exposed. That had to be remedied quickly. "NAV, 180 pitch now." The NAV officer responded "Yes, sir, but some of the pitch thrusters were damaged." As the Birmingham began its maneuver, Miscanthus took its final shot. The turn which Birmingham made exposed its upper hemisphere, the one whose LDA no longer functioned. The shot went at the section of the Birmingham. A violent shake took hold of the corvette and when all of the bridge crew came to, a flurry of alarms were blaring.
"Damage report!" cried Magnis. The engineer got up and made a call and went over her control board. "Sir, accommodation unit one has lost all air pressure, aft PBC and roll thrusters are off line." And so the Birmingham rolled while the powerless UIV struggled to get its power back online.
With that much damage, it would be impossible to repair any part of the damaged area of the ship. 22 crewmembers had already died. Birmingham was out gunned and severely damaged. However, there was one functioning part of the ship which could righten the vessel: the LDS drive. "Okay, WEP, launch four seekers from the aft bay on the UIV on my mark. NAV and ENG, prepare to go into LDS and set us on a course to the WEAKL4 to SaltlakeSTC."
The Miscanthus was getting its weapons online. Magnis said, "Fire on the bogy! Engage LDS! NOW!" In an instant, Birmingham disappeared as it made an inertia-less jump which righted it and gave it distance from the UIV. With limited hull integrity and not much power, acceleration was slow. The Birmingham used its last bit of fuel to go through the WEAKL4 to Saltlake.
The Miscanthus was about to pursue with its alien tracker device when four seeker missiles homed in on the UIVs engines. Just as the Miscanthus antimatter pod detonated, a huge UIV ship came through the WEAKL4.
The new ship, which was 17 KM long and was the most powerful thing ever devised in history, was seriously damaged. However, the ship had extensive armor coated to combat anti-matter. Despite this, much destruction was done. Captain Magnis did nor would ever know it, but he had saved the New Alliance for a while.
All the while, a new ship, the "Dreadnaught II NAV-346" was being completed and was to be commanded by a very famous person
Sitting in the cockpit of his heavy interceptor, the 'Julius Caesar' and reading the rambling narrative over the neural link, captain Noitall wondered 'What's it all about? What's the point? Do these pitiful, spacehappy excuses for pilots have nothing better to do with their time than invent and broadcast their nonsense to bother the entire galaxy? Will no one stop them?'
He set course for Earth's orbital broadcast relay, punching into LDS simultaneously. 'Nobody's going to interfere with MY peace and quiet...
An hour later the Caesar's cloak was shut down and her main proton cannon was coming online. The massive device ran the entire seventy-five meter length of the ship and accounted for one quarter of the Julius Caesar's mass. It could deliver a powerful accelerated proton burst every one point three seconds, the first of which would vaporize a commonwealth corvette.
Captain Noitall ordered his two gunners to man the particle beam turrets, then he turned to powering up the torpedo magazines. Moving in on the five-kilometer long comm relay, Noitall fired six shots at it in quick succession with the proton cannon...a giant fragments of the former relay shot out in all directions.
'Ha ha ha ha ha! Serves them losers right!' exclaimed the captain. 'Never in my life have I been so happy!'
Just then a pair of commonwealth cruisers and a destroyer, escorted by a squadron of corvettes moved into range in response to the Caesar's fireworks display. 'Unidentified vessel, this is the commonwealth cruiser 'Soon to Die'. Surrender your vessel immediately or be destroyed.'
With a wry grin, Noitall patched in the neural comm link. 'Foolish commonwealth ships, this is the Julius Caesar. I'm gonna smear you all over this entire sector real quick. Just so you know.'
With that Noitall let loose with the Caesar's entire arsenal, and true to his word, within eight seconds, not a single commonwealth ship remained intact in the entire system.
(New Alliance Navy Headquarters)
As Admiral Yarwood began looking through the battle reports for today's war in the Xi-Bootis system, he realized that they were in serious trouble. Not only have the casualties risen tremendously in only a few of fighting, but the enemy war machine wasn't slowing down at all.
The tally for the war showed that for every enemy ship that was destroyed, the Alliance
lost two ships. It was, plain and simple, a war of attrition that the Alliance would lose.
It was true that the pieces were still being picked up from the Independence war three years, almost four years ago. Shipyards were still running at a portion of their peak production rate, ships were still trying to be replaced from all of the losses from that war. And, Yarwood thought, the most significant reason for the current weakness of the Alliance was the fact that it was still brand new.
What has been accomplished in a few years is impressive, but it isn't enough yet.
Especially the militaries. The old Commonwealth navy and Independent navy operated under
totally different tactics and protocols. Yarwood was still trying to unify them into a
coherent fighting force when this new enemy entered the fray.
Yarwood gazed through the reports, he shook his head, it wasn't good at all. The Yaeger task force lost the destroyer Zargon and the corvettes Ginger and Damion, while the cruiser Yaeger received severe damage. That task force would have to be recalled for repairs and refit.
But that wasn't the worst news. The task forces Butler and Revere were confirmed
destroyed after they lost contact late last night.
It was then that Yarwood rose his head and looked at his support staff. "We have waited long enough", said Yarwood "its time that we send in every ship that we can."
"That might be a problem," said Patrol Administrator Parker "we still need to have the fleet in vital areas to prevent pirate activity. We would be limited by the need to maintain peace in all of our systems."
"Damn the pirates!" That was Strategic Coordinator Lubner. "There will not be any peace at all if we don't stop these things from invading us. We have all seen what is happening in the Xi-Bootis system. If we don't use everything we have then there won't be an Alliance!"
Yarwood hesitated; he saw the logic behind both men's thinking. But there was another
person he wanted to consult. "And what do you suggest Henderson?" he said.
"We can't let war consume our people." Navy Adjutant Henderson said calmly. She was known for being cold and calculating whenever it came to tactical evaluations and downright emotionless when she dealt with long term strategies. That was why Yarwood had her on his staff. "What good would the Alliance be if we sacrifice everything to save it," she said "extreme force will be necessary to turn back this foe, but it can be done without overwhelming numbers."
"Understood," said Yarwood, "We will send in a considerable number of ships without leaving the Alliance unprotected. Start making the orders for a major fleet movement."
"We will need to inform the president of this, since it will involve taking control of more than fifty percent of the fleet."
"I will inform her," said Yarwood," As for the commander of this armada, I am going to put Admiral Brett in charge. He has the most experience with large fleets like that so he should do the best."
The alien cruiser hung dead, drifting in space, a massive hole ripped in its side by a freak collision with an asteroid while in LDS. The crew had all been killed in the sudden decompression, and it was now a drifting lifeless hulk, heading towards the fleet under the command of Adm. Brett.
The watchship sat drifting 250km ahead of Admiral Bretts fleet. Its purpose was to give advance warning to the fleet of any approaching enemy vessels. It utilized stealth technology to reduce its radar profile and its heat admissions, this usually allowed it to get closer to enemy vessels without being seen and then report back on the strength to the main attack fleet. The watchship carried minimal armaments, but did have a beefy engine to get it out of an area as fast as required.
The two man crew were tracking a new target on the radar, the had been unable to ID it so far, but they suspected it was one of the alien vessels which had been wreaking havoc among NA controlled space, they radioed back to the main fleet.
"Sir! We have a priority signal from the watchship Avenger. They have detected an UIV, they report that it seems to be drifting in space, life support and power readings are minimal."
Brett rose from his seat, this could be the chance that the NA had been waiting for, a
disabled enemy vessel! If they could board it and gather first hand intelligence, they
might be able to gain the upper hand in this war. He ordered the fleet to close at full
"Boarding team Alpha prepare to board and capture enemy vessel! All ships, englobe the target and protect the boarding operation!"
(New Alliance Cruiser Brazen, Brazen Task Force)
"This isn't possible!" said Admiral Brett trying to convince himself that he
was right and the evidence was somehow wrong. But it was all too obvious to be mistaken.
Early that morning, Brett's newly strengthened task force encountered a derelict alien craft. The boarding teams were immediately sent in and the ship was ransacked for any possible information that would aid the Alliance in the war. That information was found all too quickly in Brett's opinion, but the ramifications were frightening.
Just as the boarding teams entered the derelict they found a dead life form floating near their entry point. As they got closer they were presented with the shocking truth that was now in front of Brett.
The alien ships were crewed by human beings!
The technology for the vessel was certainly alien, there was no doubt about that. But how could humans get a hold of it? Or, more importantly, why were they using the alien ships to attack the Alliance?
The possibilities swirled in Admiral Brett's mind as he tried to come up with a
workable reason for all of this. Were these humans somehow captured by these aliens and
brainwashed so they would attack the Alliance? Did the Independence Movement somehow find
the alien ships and kept them as an ace-in-the-hole, with no way to shut it down?
Brett stopped. It wasn't his job to figure all of this out. It was his job to stop it.
"Communications! I want all the material that we found here today sent back to Headquarters by FTL immediately."
Brett also knew what he had a responsibility to the Alliance to fulfill.
"Helm! Set navigation to the Xi-Bootis jump-point, we will leave the corvettes Centurion and Broadway to stay with the derelict until a proper work crew can get out here to check her over."
As the commands were carried through, Brett hoped that he could at least stop the enemy from invading the rest of the Alliance until they could figure out just what was going on.
Drone Unit 18465-AX stood on the bridge of the Tsunami Cruiser Brutal Slayer. He was the commander of the task force which had so successfully routed the humans New Alliance in all recent engagements. His masters had ordered his fleet to destroy all resistance among the descendents of the escaped slaves who had broken free of the Tsunami Empire nearly 40 centuries ago. He did not know why the all-powerful Emperor had waited so long to take revenge on them, but he did not care about that, he was not programmed to think for himself. Only to think about how to command a fleet to be most effective in combat, and above all be totally loyal to the all-powerful emperor who gave him life.
18465-AX looked up from his day dreaming; his fleet was about to drop out of capsule space to perform the final decisive engagement of this 'small' border conflict for the Tsunami Empire. He had been ordered to capture the planet Earth which was these renegades slaves home planet. After this all resistance would collapse and the all-powerful rule of the Emperor would be re-imposed on these renegade systems. His fleet dropped back into realspace, the space in front of him was filled with hundreds of ships! Renegade slave ships! Explosions filled the space in front of him, the ships were ramming ships in his fleet! Each explosion was the destruction of one his ships in a fireball of nuclear destruction. It was a trap! Some how the slaves had found out his... 18465-AX ship exploded in a ball of destruction and heat. The engagement had lasted just over a minute and the Tsunami Fleet of 60 vessels had been routed.
Adm. Brett sat on the bridge of the Brazen, he watched the destruction of the Enemy fleet, it was lucky they had found the battle plans of the enemy. If they had not, Earth and the New Alliance would be invaded and part of this 'alien empire'. He did not understand much about his enemy, but after Clay had come up with the idea of using 'Fire Ships' to take out enemy vessels he knew it had to be done to buy Earth and the NA time to prepare for the next assault.
A communications officer informed Brett that REM links to the fire ships had disarmed
the remaining nuclear devices and sent them back to their mother ships. Brett accessed the
Fleet wide communications link,
"Brett to task force, Well done, you have bought us the time we needed, set course for Saltlake. Brett Out."
(New Alliance Cruiser Brazen, Brazen Task Force)
"Brett to all ships! We are heading back to the Xi-Bootis system at maximum speed. Some crucial information has just been discovered from the alien database. A war council will commence will all ship commanders once we arrive at the Xi-Bootis jump point."
"Sir?" asked the tactical officer. "We weren't that far away from Saltlake base. Why the sudden change?"
"Time is of the essence in this matter, Jacobs. Everything will be explained at the council." said Brett. He hoped that they weren't already too late.
(Xi-Bootis Jump Point)
"Gentlemen! We have just discovered the location of a vital ship for the alien
fleet. This is there command ship for the entire invasion so far. Now, what we have been
able to find is that these ships are the "flagships" for big operations such as
this invasion. It serves as the main communications and command source between all the
Normally, these ships are at the forefront of the assaults; but this one isn't. The reason it isn't leading the attack is because it has been severely damaged and is currently at the main jump point that connects the Xi-Bootis system to the alien space. It seems that upon arrival at that jump point, one of our ships was trying to make an escape through it at the same time. That ship was the corvette Birmingham commanded by Captain Magnis. That ship and her crew might have given us the biggest chance to halt this invasion.
This ship is so huge and well armored that the capsule jump impact didn't even destroy it. But it did leave it crippled enough to become an easy target. We are going to enter the Xi-Bootis system and proceed at maximum velocity to that jump point where the battleship is."
The task force commanders were all whispering this discomfort with the plan. Striking deep at the enemy would leave the Xi-Bootis entrance to the rest of the Alliance open to attack. Everyone was wondering if this attack was the right thing to do.
Still, Brett continued. "I am only bringing this fleet to attack the battleship. The rest of the task forces involved in this conflict have been ordered to secure the Xi-Bootis jump point. It is believed that once the battleship is taken out of the fight permanently, the entire alien force will take a blow to its command structure. Not to mention a moral victory against them since these ships are supposed to been invincible.
This assault will have two phases. The first will involve this fleet attacking the battleship. Once the battleship has been destroyed, the other task forces will begin a new offensive against the enemy. The end result of this assault will be the retaking of the Xi-Bootis system."
That statement was enough to raise a few heads. It was generally thought that no matter what happened further in the war, the Xi-Bootis system would be lost to the Alliance whether it was held by the alien forces or was declared uninhabitable by the conflict. This was the chance to meet the enemy on a more balanced plain and take back what was rightfully theirs.
"All of our forces are already in position." Brett concluded, "Return to your ships and make it clear to your crews that we must succeed at destroying that ship if we want to end this invasion. We leave within the hour."
"All ships report ready for jump, Admiral." stated the tactical officer.
"Good. All ships, its time to show these aliens what it means to face the full power of the New Alliance Navy."
And with that statement, all 71 ships of the Brazen Task Force jumped into the Xi-Bootis jump point to bring the war to enemy battleship.
"The time is now! We have the opportunity to strike the Emperor and his follows a mortal blow! We must join with the Humans in the battle against the Tsunami Empire. We have enough supporters carefully positioned on major fleet vessels to take many fleet vessels with us in the defection. We must act now!"
The small room aboard one of the Tsunami's outposts on the edge of the Empires space was filled with the leaders of the rebel forces within the Tsunami Empire.
"But what of the Creag Dubh? (Pronounced Craig Do) We all know that the Emperor puts a small contingent of his suicide troops on every vessel in the fleet to stop something like this happening!" Shouted out one of the leaders. Mumbles of agreement from the other leaders filled the room. The leader of the rebel war council responded,
"We have a plan to remove this threat, the Creag Dubh will not be a problem. No
return to your ships, and wait for the signal. then all Rebel vessels are to jump to L4 in
The Conspirators filled out of the room, the leader of the rebellion turned to one of his aides. "We better hope that the leader of the Creag Dubh has done his job by placing our loyal followers within the Creag Dubh on the ships we have taken to take otherwise this will be the shortest rebellion in history!"
"We will be alright we all know that when a Creag Dubh gives their word, they will do their best to fulfill it."
"I hope so, I hope so."
(Creag Dubh within this story has no relation to the Muntaineering Club in Scotland. So please to any Creag Dubh members out there don't kick my head in :P)
(New Alliance Cruiser Brazen, Brazen Task Force)
After a few hours in LDS, the Brazen Task Force has reached its target by the jump point leading into alien space. It was time to go to war with the alien command ship.
"There she is!" Brett shouted out excitedly, so they weren't too late to take down the ship.
"All ships set to assault formation alpha! Launch all fighters! All corvettes and PatComs will be a part of the forward wedge. Cover the fighters as they go in until our line ships can come to bear on the battleship."
Through the forward viewport, Admiral Brett gazed at the huge warship. Even from this distance he could see a gaping hole in the front of the ship where the capsule collision had done the damage. Brett only hoped that the warship was crippled enough for his forces to take it down. Even now, he saw the flares of all the task force's fighters, PatComs, and corvettes charging at the ship. It had to end here, no matter what.
"Alright Black Squadron," said Commander Jarn, "our target is the upper section of that nice, big hole in the front of that warship. I want all of you switched to manual fire, we need to put as much firepower into that ship as fast as possible."
Black Squadron was one of the nine fighter squadrons that were approaching the warship. Commander Jarn didn't care if his squadron would get the glory; he only wanted to accomplish the mission.
"Sir!" said Lieutenant Gawdfree, "Look at all of the power coming out of that ship! It reads mostly as FTL frequencies."
"Thats probably how its communicating with the rest of the alien fleet. If we knock it out they no longer have a central command unit." stated Lieutenant Parck.
"Doesn't matter right now!" said Commander Jarn, "What matters is that ship in front of us isn't supposed to be there anymore. Its our job to make that happen."
It took another few minutes for the lead attack force to get within striking distance. Everyone a part of that assault was thinking of the huge proportions of the target, a couple pilots broke radio silence to state their amazement of the gigantic ship. But whenever a person thought that it would be impossible to take down something that big, they remembered everyone that was depending on them back home. It was time to end it.
"Corvettes and PatComs launching LDSI missiles!" said Lieutenant Parck,
"Now they are launching Seekers and Remote Missiles right behind the others."
A few seconds later, dozens of missiles went streaming past the fighters towards the warship.
"Max speed!" said Commander Jarn, "Those missiles will cover our approach and I want us on top of that battleship by the time the first missiles explodes!"
But before any of the missiles could detonate, the fighters were blanketed by hundreds of beams that could only be particle lasers.
The fight had begun.
But for Commander Jarn and 5 of his fellow pilots of Black Squadron, the fight was over before they knew it. The last thing that Commander Jarn thought as his cockpit erupted in flame was the hope that his squadron would not let him down.
"Senator Conners, we cannot permit that!" the president bellowed.
"We must have access to all your top other military information", was the quick reply from the senator.
The Senator and the President had been in a shouting match for the last few hours over COSA's demand that the NA open all its military information them. The meeting was not going well.
"Mrs. President, if we are to defeat these aliens, ships, whatever they are, we must be completely unified; that means complete military co-operation, we must TRUST each other."
"Mr. Conners, no, and you listen to me, during the end of the Independence War I watched plenty of good men and women go to their deaths. People I knew and cared for. Your people influenced that war in a way they had no right to do. No, I don't feel like 'trusting' you."
The president at this point was ready to burst. Memories of fine military officers she knew flashed through her mind and further focussed her anger on the man in front of her. The white anger within those words was sincere and stunned both of them. It held in the air and it was a long time before either of them would speak.
"Mrs. President, both our sides have done things we regret, but now is not the
time to discuss them, we have a war to run. Will you give us the information we
Gradually, calm was returning to the President's mind and she realized that going on like this was pointless. After pondering it a while longer, she spoke.
"Yes, but on certain conditions, first, in exchange, you will give us a registry of all the ships and weaponry you have, any ship not on that list, even if it carries COSA markings, will be considered hostile and fired upon. Second, any information going to COSA will be placed on computers that myself or Admiral Brett can destroy at any time. Third, you will fully account for all the MIA's which still have not been accounted for from the end of the Independence War. IS THAT CLEAR."
Senator Conners seemed to consider this for a moment and finally acceded.
"Mrs. President, we will conduct our transfer before the day is up, I thank you and look forward to the day when we can trust each other."
(New Alliance Cruiser Brazen, Brazen Task Force)
It was absolutely incredible, thought Admiral Brett. The amount of firepower in the alien battleship's opening volley filled space with beams of light that engulfed most of the initial attack force. Alpha group consisted of the Alliance fighters, PatComs, and corvettes. Out of the nine fighter squadrons that launched a few minutes ago to attack the warship, a little more than four squadrons remained. The 11 PatComs were brought down to 7 and the 28 corvettes were reduced to 21. Al of this took place in a matter of seconds, the alien's first defense.
The good news was that the alien warship didn't seem capable of a continuous attack like that. The battleship was now firing with its individual turrets at the Alliance ships flying around it. It would still be a few minutes until his destroyers and cruisers of Omega group could get into combat range of the alien warship, and if this kept up, there wouldn't be anything left of the Alliance vessels already in battle by the time the capital ships got there.
"Sir!" said Major Hirsey, "The destroyers Leigh and Cambridge are requesting to go to max acceleration to attack the battleship!"
"Negative." said Brett, "We need a concentrated front as we approach, the cruisers need to keep up with the destroyers. Those destroyers wouldn't last long without proper backup. We stay in formation!"
Brett only hoped that his ships were fast enough to get to that warship before it was too late.
"Break left, Garson!" said Lieutenant Hequar as he tried to keep what was left of Red Squadron intact. Out of the twelve fighters that made up Red Squadron only 5 remained. Their commander was taken out just after the first volley so now it was up to Lieutenant Hequar. As he was going into evasive maneuvers, he noticed something strange about the alien battleship. When he took a closer look, he saw the sides of the alien ship were open like huge hangar doors. That was when he saw the tiny flares set against the dark black hull of the warship.
But they weren't heading towards the battle, they were veering off to the sides. Were they trying to flank the Alliance fighters? Then Hequar saw it. Those alien fighters weren't needed to take down the Alliance vessels right now, the warship was holding its own. Those alien fighters were setting up for a pincer against the Alliance Cruisers and Destroyers. He immediately called in his report.
"Sir, if those alien fighters reach the Omega group then this operation is in trouble." Tactical chief Kifber stated, "Their fighters don't have the strength to take on our cruisers and destroyers, but they will slow us down enough so that warship can wipe out our Alpha group forces."
Brett examined the tactical map. The enemy was trying to take them down one at a time, first destroying the fighters and other small Alliance vessels, then turn their attention on the main fleet.
"Signal Alpha group!" Admiral Brett knew his strategy, "Break off from the Battleship! Flank the alien fighters now!"
"All destroyers of Omega group! Go to max acceleration! Lay down cover fire so Alpha group can take down those alien fighters!"
"Understood!" said Lieutenant Hequar, "Red Squad! Break off and attack those alien fighters!"
Although the alien battleship was still a threat to Alpha group, its particle beams weren't that difficult to evade. As Hequar approached his new targets, he realized that the alien fighters were in a very tight formation. He switched his PBC to manual and once he was in range held down his trigger with all the force he could. His PBC blasts wiped out the entire group of fighters that he was firing upon. The flanking maneuver caught the aliens by surprise, he only hoped that they could keep this up. He rolled his fighter to come up on the tail of an alien fighter, he fired on it and realized that this was Alpha group's real chance for payback as the alien fighter exploded.
"All guns! Concentrate fire on the front of that battleship!" commanded Captain Montgomery of the destroyer Broadsword. His destroyer was the first to get into range of the battleship and he would make sure that he would hit it with everything he had. The reports were coming in as Alpha Group made some early successes against the alien fighters, but it was quickly turning into a gruesome dogfight. Montgomery knew that the Alliance fighters were the best in known space, so he concentrated on his part of the mission.
The alien battleship was now attacking in full force. Luckily the rest of the Alliance
destroyers had reached combat range and the battle commenced. Montgomery was impressed at
how much damage that alien battleship could take, the combined firepower of 12 destroyers
were having an affect, but not as much as Montgomery hoped for.
The entire bridge shook as the Broadsword took a direct hit by two particle beams. The improved shields that R&D had come up with a few weeks ago to combat the alien threat wouldn't last long, but it would have to do.
Brett watched helplessly as he saw his destroyers go blow for blow against the alien battleship, not surprisingly, the battleship was winning. Brett knew that he didn't have any more resources to bring to the battle. His cruisers were about a minute from combat range. Hopefully it would be enough to take down that alien battleship for good, but deep down, Brett realized that his entire task force was on the verge of destruction.
Admiral Brett watched helplessly at his fleets dying destroyers. The cruiser "Hamingford" was covered with holes. Enemy fighters swarmed about in a rage. Soon, the defense of the Tsunami Battleship would come upon the Brazen. Brett felt he should say some last words.
"We have fought to out fullest, and we have done our best. Now, we must do what we all know is right. WEP, arm all missiles. Helm, set ramming course for the Battleship. All hands Semper Fedilis."
While all of the Brazen began to prepare for their futile attempt of victory, the event that would determine the fate of the New Alliance came about.
From the WEAKL4 came flurry of activity. In flashes of light, came a huge fleet of mixed ships. 58 COSA PatComs, One COSA cruiser, 22 NA PatComs, 40 NA Corvettes, and the Alabama emerged from the point. The entire event lasted 3 minutes.
"All thrusters! Stop ramming!!" screamed Brett
Aboard the Dreadnaught II, Captain Elena Haas started the fight immediately. "Alabama! Launch all fighters! Purple PatComs, cover the Alabama. Red Corvettes: cover the fighters! Dreadnaught to all COSA ships: attack the Battleship. Grey Corvettes and Yellow PatComs, attack with them."
The advanced shields and weapons of the Dreadnaught II would do much damage to the enemy. Taking the Con herself, Haas weaved the ship into excellent fighting positions that were out of the gunnery angles of the Battleship. She and her wingman the "New Birmingham" (commanded by an experienced Captain Magnis) attacked key points, while the other squadrons began to tear at the hull of the ship.
Victory seemed in sight, as each turret of the battleship was taken out. Despite all differences, the COSA ships and the NA ships were working in harmony. However, one turret managed a shot on the Dreadnaught II. First, the LDA was at 50%. Then, with two more blows, it was taken entirely, leaving 1/5 of the hull to the mercy of the enemy (the Dreadnaught II had 5 shield generators on each hemisphere. With its very high-output FEPS drive, this kind of power could be achieved.) The Battleship fired, and hit the hull.
"Attitude control is down!" yelled the chief engineer of Dreadnaught. The New Birmingham was in tight formation with the Dreadnaught. The damaged corvette began to slide into the New Birmingham. Both ships flew away from the fight in a tangle
(Made by Dreadnaught and HAL9000)
(New Alliance Cruiser Brazen, Brazen Task Force)
As Admiral Brett coughed, he looked around the Brazen's ravaged bridge. Smoke filled his view, numerous consoles were in flames and most of the crew was evacuating. The Brazen put up one terrific fight, but it wasn't enough to stop the alien battleship. Even now, the Brazen was falling back to a safe position. But Brett wasn't finished by a long shot. He still had his tactical map in front of him and a barely active comm station that would carry out his orders. The reinforcements changed the situation for his fleet. The alien battleship was still active even though it had taken quite a beating. His remaining forces were swarming the warship, hoping to crack that invincible armor enough to reach the alien's power source. Brett looked at his tactical map, ready to give his commands once he saw the right opportunity.
"Attack pattern L2! Launch seekers!" shouted Captain Grane. His corvette was one of the original Alpha group that started this attack and he was determined to get out of it alive.
"Incoming fighters!" warned his tactical officer.
"All stop! Let them break over us!"
As the Corvette Courage braked, the alien fighters flew just in front of the ship.
"Bring us on an attack vector for that damned alien battleship! Its time to finish
the job on the hole on the front."
The Courage maneuvered into an attack pattern for the warship, when the reached optimal PBC range the captain ordered them in closer.
"Sir, if we get any closer we are going to be inside that ship!"
"Thats exactly my plan!"
Captain Grane's crew followed his orders. The corvette moved slowly into the mangled wreckage of the forward sections of the battleship.
"Sensor scan!" the captain ordered.
"Sir, I am not scanning any power sources in this section."
"What?!?" yelled the captain, "This isn't even a vital area! The whole fleet's been shooting at armor and wreckage!"
"Sir! I am getting a very strong surge of power in the rear of the ship! It looks like the same algorithm that modulates a capsule drive."
"They must be attempting to jump as soon as the get to the point."
"Not only that, but the power surge is erratic, I don't think they made all the proper repairs to their system."
"And if the fleet could hit their capsule drive then that would cause an anti-matter explosion inside the ship!"
"Signal Brett and get us the hell out of here!"
"All ships! Attack the aft sections of the battleship! Repeat! Attack the REAR sections of the battleship!" Brett shouted into the commlink. Now it was going to end one way or another.
"Navigation. Set course on intercept of the alien aft section. All weapons target the capsule drive array." said Commodore Ferris of the COSA Cruiser Black Dawn. His ship stood the best chance at destroying that warship and he would do it. As the battleship maneuvered towards the jump point, the cruiser opened fire. The rest of the Alliance and COSA ships were trying to add their firepower to the attack, but the Black Dawn was the closest.
The alien battleship seemed to realize this as it concentrated its firepower on the incoming cruiser. The devastating blasts that were exchanged in the duel between the two ships was impressive. But it didn't last long. The Black Dawn had taken far too much damage; internal explosions racked the entire ship. As the bridge collapsed around him, Commodore Ferris had a grim smile on his face, closed his eyes and let infinity consume him. The destruction of the Black Dawn was barely noticed. The alien battleship was surrounded by explosions. The assault on the capsule drive array was successful.
"This is Brett! All ships retreat! Get out of the blast radius!" Brett watched as the alien battleship crumble before him, the Brazen was already at a safe distance from the possible explosion of the alien warship.
Even as he saw the ships from his fleet and the reinforcements race past the Brazen at
LDS speeds, Brett saw the brilliant void that they were escaping. The alien battleship's
core went nova and enveloped the entire ship and some of the surrounding space.
It was over. Or, at least his part of the operation was over. Without their command ship, the alien forces all across the Xi-Bootis system were in chaos, especially when the other half of the Alliance forces in the system blazed through. It was time to re-conquer Xi-Bootis.
But that wasn't Brett's responsibility, his mission was over and it was his obligation to rescue whoever he could that fell in this battle.
"Brett to fleet! Begin recovery operations! And good job people! You may have just saved the Alliance!"
(New Alliance Navy Headquarters)
"Recall Admiral Brett back to headquarters immediately. I want a full military
council to look over this new information that we have just discovered. Send a courier to
the president. This news is far to important to risk exposure on FTL relays." said
They had been studying the alien database for a few days now, once all of the potential military data was collected, the survey teams looked into the alien historical libraries and any other pertinent information. What they found sent chills through Yarwoods spine.
Could the information be true? Could everything that the human race has gone through be some sort of offshoot of a higher power?
No, he wouldn't let his mind wander. All of these questions would be answered soon.
Yarwood would have been comforted by that realization if he wasn't so terrified by the answers to his questions.
Yarwood was amazed at what he was reading, for the fourth time, trying to make some sense of it.
:: /\Timeline of Tsunami Empire History Gh8399 Empire Date to Aa3089 Catastrophe Date/\ ::
Gh8399 - Creation of Slave Race begins, using most advanced life form from planet Ryurtha.
Gh9063 - Slave race is perfected. Slaves have no will or sense of self. Slaves Commence working in all fields using matter. Slaves are called Uhmaghns.
Gi6523 - Tsunami Empire dominates 50% of galaxy, a tenfold increase from before creation of slave race.
Gk2155 - Slaves on Ryurth discover way of neutralizing Tsunami Empire containment fields. Huge amounts of carnage occur on both sides within the system. System is abandoned since rebel slaves put up containment disabling field on fourth planet. Device is shaped like Uhmaghn face mocking Tsunamians.
Gk8390 - Area around slave controlled system falls out of use, patrols pass through only once every 107 years.
Aa0000 - Catastrophe occurs. Clouds of matter pass through Tsunami Space. Many caught without containment fields and die.
Aa3089 - Reconstruction finished. Re expansion begins. Priority given to gaining back escaped slaves, who have called themselves Humans, and their planet Earth.
:: End of file error - file damaged - cannot recover ::
This was all they could find of history on the damaged database. But it was shocking. For thousands of years humans had been slaves. Some still were. It seemed to raise more questions than it answered though. What was the meaning of the containment fields and clouds of matter causing a catastrophe.
Something was coming throughout the LP. Probably the first of the brass he had called for the meeting, he thought distantly. He called up the scanners just to check.
"BATTLE STATIONS!! TARGET SHIP JUST ENTERING SYSTEM!!!" It was a Tsunami Empire Ship!! A small one, equivalent to a destroyer, but much more powerful than one of our cruisers. Adrenaline started flowing in his blood as he called up tactical maps.
Another display crackled to life- the COMMs display. A strangely accented voice spoke in broken English. "Nopt Fiyre!Nopt Fiyre! Wee clome inc pieches! Peache!? Iy cantnot cknow."
"This is Adm. Yarwood. IDENTIFY YOURSELVE!"
"Drone 77362-IF, ushed tol bey off teh Tsunami Empire. Wee figghted are maystaers yand wun! Wee cayn thell you varluarble yinfarmation."
"Tell me why the aliens have containment fields on themselves!"
"Zhey are mayude of anthi maytther. Thayt ish whuy zhey mayude us fer slavs. To weurk wisth maytther."
"You have permission to dock. We hope you can help us win this war!"
Note on dates: Tsunamians use a two letter 4 digit dating system. 4 numbers like ours, two numbers the right one on ten thousand years the left one after z is reached foron the right one. They started a new era with the catastrophe.
The Dreadnaught and the New Birmingham glided away from the battle scene. They were caught in a tangle of metal, drifting . The ships were also in a slow yaw.
"Attitude control can be restored, but it will require a 10 minute EVA. And I dont think that any standard suit could stand all the radiation from that explosion."
"Send someone on an EVA, Engineering", replied a cool-minded Haas.
"But Captain! There are other ways! We could put the thrusters on a slow burn so that "
"Ahhhh yes maam"
"This is Dreadnaught to New Birmingham. We are sending an EVA to repair our attitude thrusters. I suggest you do the same for your ship."
Over the static Comm link came a "Were one step ahead of you, Dreadnaught. Birmingham out." Haas could se he was trying to show up one of the best captains in the navy. That would get him into trouble someday
In the hush of space two suited figures came from the airlocks of both ships. Neither paid much attention to each other, as they both feared that they must finish soon lest they come back as mutants.
On the bridge of the Birmingham, Captain Magnis sat in his command seat. "Still needs to be broken in " he thought to himself.
"Sir! We have an incoming alien fighter bearing 140, at 40 klicks and closing. It must have survived the destruction of its mummy."
Magnis was quick to order "inform the Dreadnaught"
Haas had gotten word of the incoming fighter. She couldnt signal the fleet, because the closest ship was too far for their damaged comms relay. It would not have been so much of a problem to shoot the fighter once in range: the Dreadnaught could do it. But while tangled with another ship Haas could think of nothing.
Dreadnaughts WEP officer, Lila Kusu, however, did. "Captain. If we aim our aft PBC at the moment out yaw gives us a shot, we could damage the fighter or even get lucky and destroy it!"
"Well, the firing computers get a bit tricky because it is had for them to compensate for the yaw, relative speed, angle of attack, the Birmingham so I would have to aim manually and fire at just the right moment. If I miss, we could hit our cooling systems but I think its worth a shot."
"Fire when you feel you have the right angle", ordered a more tense Haas.
The fighter was equipped with a gun, but it was leaking fuel and could hardly scold a piece of hull. The drone pilot had no intention to attack either of the Corvettes. The drones programming, stuck in a loop, was simply going at full speed towards any enemy target.
"Im almost ready to fire ready steady "
Not many have been 30 meters away from a PBC firing rapidly. It was a shock to the two space-suited crewmembers working. The fighter did not attempt to dodge any shots. None hit the craft either.
"Dammit!!" yelled out WEPs Kusu. I missed! I missed! All hands, brace for impact!"
At 5 KM and closing, the fighters control units were frozen. On the bridge of the Dreadnaught, all were still. "Yaw thrusters restored captain!!!!" yelled out ENG officer Movshon.
"NAV, put out forward PBC on the plane. Add all thrust, well be towing the Birmingham on this one! WEP, fire when ready! Dreadnaught to EVA crews, fix yourselves to something!"
Sluggishly, the two ships began to stop their yaw and turn to head face-on to the fighter. A bolt of particle energy erupted from the Dreadnaughts forward PBC. One two hit the fighter, and it was knocked off course.
NAV officer Kraig began to edge the two ships apart ever so slowly, to avoid any rupturing. And, so it happened, the two ships began to drift apart. "This is New Birmingham to Dreadnaught. Lets join up with the fleet."
In an instant both ships went into LDS and went to the fleet. Not many ship do this, but while in LDS, anything can be in the LDS field and survive. So, armies of EVA engineers cam cautiously out of the two ships, each to work on their craft. It was a dangerous job. If someones head slipped out of the field, they would be ripped in half and their head would be left behind at just the speed that the Dreadnaught was moving at. However, it could and was done. Both ships would be very much ready for the upcoming fight.
As the Dreadnaught was cruising with the New Birmingham, Haas relaxed in her seat. When the Dreadnaught arrived at the jump-point where the fleet was, a struggle to get home was in progress. Miscanthus class ships were attacking the COSA and NA ships. Also, a large Tsunami ship was blocking the jump point from anyone leaving
Meanwhile, back on Earth, Admiral Yarwood found a very interesting reference in Earth's history that related to these invading aliens...they seemed to have a suspiciously close resemblance to characters of ancient Earth folklore
"Sir, I have the latest briefing from the interrogation of the Tsunami Captain. It
appears that his ship is the messenger from a large proportion of Tsunami ships which have
defected. They request asylum."
How many ships have they got?"
"The Captain says that they have only managed to escape with a small number of ships. He says his fleet has 80 defecting vessels in it. Most of Destroyer class and above."
"80 ships! And he calls that a small number! I think this enemy is more powerful
than we possibly imagined! Thank god for this defection!"
Yarwood dismissed his aide shortly after that.
In the Xi Bootis system a fleet of small LST and Dropships were preparing to assault the main colony and drive off the Tsunami invaders. The decoy attack on the alien command ship had pulled away all ships guarding the planet and it was now wide open for attack. Unknown to them, the Emperor had placed to legions of his finest Creag Dubh warriors on the planet, the NA troops new the upcoming battle would be hard, but they were about to experience a new kind of war, total fanaticism and total disregard for personal safety. Also the Creag Dubh were trained since birth, they were the best. All they knew what to do was fight, and they did that well.
(New Alliance Cruiser Brazen, Brazen Task Force)
"Alright," said Admiral Brett, "we have completed our recovery
operations and most of the fleet has been patched up enough so we can all go home."
Everyone in the ready room breathed a sigh of relief at that last comment. The battle had been long and hard for the Brazen Task Force. In fact, the mighty flagship of the task force was very close to crippled. Its weapon and shield systems were inoperable and some sections of the ship had to be evacuated due to hull ruptures.
It was reminiscent of the battle that they had fought here today. Out of the 71 ships of the Brazen Task Force that entered the battle, only 29 would be returning. The losses for the COSA reinforcements were grimmer. It seemed that once that fleet arrived, it became a ruthless assault against an alien oppressor. The COSA ships were the most devastating to the alien fleet, they proved to be more heroic than anyone would have thought. Many Alliance officers watched in awe as the COSA ships would ram turrets on the enemy battleship, or the one COSA PatCom that flew in the path of four alien missiles to prevent the destruction of an Alliance cruiser.
The COSA losed 90% of their forces, including that unbelievable cruiser of theirs. Many officers were wondering if COSA was still going to be an organization after those horrendous losses, but that would have to wait.
"Captain Haas has informed me that the mine laying operations are now complete. It will be while before anything else can come through this jump point."
Brett knew that the minefield was a good idea if not a hopeless one. Although the aliens seemed to use this one jump point to attack the Xi-Bootis system, everyone knew that there were other jump points that would allow the aliens' passage. But if this blockade would give the Alliance just a short time of protection, then Brett thought it was worth it.
"Admiral Yarwood sent an FTL message to me about nine hours ago, we haven't been able to respond because we don't have any FTL comm transmission capability. We can receive messages, just not send any. We have been ordered back to base immediately. Phase two of the Xi-Bootis re-conquest has already begun, but that doesn't involve us. We need to go home and get this fleet back up to optimum performance first. We leave within the hour. Dismissed."
Admiral Yarwood was confused. He had to summarize this out in ways other than those only anthropologists could understand.
"So, what you mean to tell me, from your research into the alien database and your interrogations is that, several million years ago, our ancestors found a way to break the Tsunami containment fields. However, the humans were not ready to have a society and their lifestyle crumbled. That is what led us on our current evolutionary path? Correct?
"Now, it is 4-5 million years later, and this device which has kept space from allowing the formation of the Tsunami protection and manipulation fields is malfunctioning and partial fields can be maintained. That is why the Tsunami have begun their assault, now that they are more powerful. So, ladies and gentlemen, we might have a solution. Somewhere on this planet is that device. We must find it."
"Well, not exactly", cautioned the Scientist at the meeting. Those early humans had some space-faring technology, about the same as we had in the LDS MARK II drives. That device is somewhere in this solar system "
Meanwhile, in the Xi Bootis, now a horrendous war ground, a fleet of 74 new allied LSTs was preparing to enter the atmosphere of a planet that controlled the main LaGrange point. 2000 troops were going to invade the planet. 2 of the LSTs carried atmospheric fighters, 4 to each LST to provide support. While the troops were to exited and nervous to see it, there was not yet any facility to take them off the planet once the LSTs landed. They were on a sort of suicide mission. Meanwhile, the crippled Brett taskforce, now down to 10 Corvettes, 12 PatComs, one new armored Puffin Tug, and 12 COSA PatComs, was in Earth orbit being repaired at Saltlake and GKON in a hurry so that they could be put back onto the frontline to be put back into action and protect Phase Two Troop Invasion.
This was a moment of truth, and the wounded admiral Brett was pessimistic. Back at earth, tugs and LSTs were being prepared for a Solar System Wide search for a 4 million-year-old machine. One which might secure a victory for the newly united human race.
The Creag Dubh patrol lay in hiding on the sides of the valley. They were about to ambush an NA convoy moving towards the front line. The patrol had been operating behind NA lines for several days now, and had been quite successful so far, only two fatalities and a couple of minor injuries. The NA on the other hand had lost nearly 100 personnel and associated equipment to this patrol alone. However the patrols luck was about to change for the worst...
Lt. Harrison of 4th Colonial Marines watched the progress of the convoy on his control panel. He had been the one who had come up with the idea of attempting to capture the Creag Dubh patrol which had been wreaking so much havoc over the last few days. His plan was to pilot a unmanned convoy on remote into the suspected Creag Dubh ambush, when they attacked, Harrison would shell the area around the convoy with Knockout gas. The NA troops would then move in and capture the unconscious Creag Dubh for interrogation purposes.
-- Begin Transmission --
Destination: Reuters - Gkon
From: Lydia Morrison - Xi Bootis Colony
Date: 1500hrs 15/12/60
Subject Matter: The Continued Battle for Xi Bootis.
-- Begin Message --
The screen showed a women crouched down behind a wall at night, explosions lighting up the sky every few seconds, and the sound of gunfire filling the area.
"This Lydia Morrison reporting from the frontline in the Xi Bootis Colony. I am currently with 4th Colonial Marine Detachment, The Hound Dogs who are about to make an advance on a heavily defended Creag Dubh position."
From somewhere nearby comes the cry,
The camera shows Marines diving for cover and Morrison dives for cover as the camera shakes and is filled with an ungraceful picture of the reporters rear end. An explosion happens extremely close by and earth and debris shower in front of the camera. Screaming starts to fill the air...
"MEDIC!! I HAVE WOUNDED! GET ME A **** MEDIC!"
The reporter continues to make here report from a crouched position...
"The Marines have been given a hard beating by the Creag Dubh Soldiers. The Creag Dubh will not retreat unless it is to their advantage, or all their troops in that area have been wiped out. So far any wounded Creag Dubh soldiers have done their best to continue fighting, often with fatal injuries. They never cry in pain or surrender, who are these enemies who fight with unnatural dedication and fearlessness? This is what they look like:"
The camera pans to a body of a Creag Dubh Solider missing the lower half of his body.
"This is our enemy, a human, this young boy appears no more than 20, he fought until he was brutally killed by the marines, refusing to surrender. This one Solider alone killed and wounded nearly 20 marines after he had had his legs blown off. What do the NA troops think of their enemy? We asked some of them earlier today."
The camera cuts to a different location, probably a trench near the frontline, several
marines are in it some occasionally standing up to the parapet to fire a burst or two
towards an enemy position. Morrison starts to talk to the Marines:
"Crpl, what do you think of the Creag Dubh?"
The Marines with corp. stripes replies,
"Actually I'm acting Srgt, as ours got it this morning. the Creag Dubh, they are nutters, they never give up, they are trained to kill, it's all they do."
Another marine pipes up,
"You got to respect their courage though, they are heavily out numbered, and they are obviously going to loose, but they won't give up."
One of the Marines who is firing over the parapet in the background head explodes as he is hit by a Creag Dubh bullet, his body drops down into the trench while bits of blood, and brain spray his comrades. A bit of brain matter hits the camera lens, the camera operators blurred hand appears in front of the lens and wipes it off.
"FUCK that was Collins! Eat this you Creag Dubh (Censored)."
All the Marines in the trench stand up and start shooting towards the Creag Dubh lines, The reporters voice is drowned out by the gunfire. The interview ends and returns to the reporter crouching behind a wall.
"RECON COMING IN!"
A bunch of four Marines vault over the wall which the reporter is hiding behind, some of them land on the reporter, and her cameraman, they mutter a few apologies while firing the odd burst towards the enemy trenches. One of the recon team reports in the background, the reporter listens in,
"Sir, They are advancing, I lost 2 men falling back, they are advancing in force."
"Thank you Srgt. Notify all Squad Cmdrs to prepare for attack!"
The Captain turns to the reporter, I advise you pullback now, unless you want to stay and fight."
"I will stay, but I am a reporter I am not a solider!"
"Listen Lady! When those crazed nutters come over here, they are not going to give a monkeys ass about who you are, they will just kill you as efficiently as possible!"
"I repeat, I will not use a weapon!"
"Suit yourself Lady."
The Captain walks away. One of the Marines cries out,
"Here they come!"
Firing erupts from both sides of the reporter and incoming fire throws dirt up into the air. Suddenly over the wall leaps three Creag Dubh Troopers, they quickly dispatch all the Marines within a 20-meter radius. Morrison picks up a rifle and tries to attack the nearest Creag Dubh solider. He responds by smashing her with his fist throwing her against the wall unconscious. At that point the picture goes dead as an explosion decapitates the cameraman and destroys the camera. Static fills the screen.
-- End Message --
-- End Transmission --
Morrison opened her eyes, all she could see was blackness. She stood up and started to move around in the blackness, arms out in front of her. She found a wall by touch and starts to follow it, a rectangle of light floods the room and a silhouetted figure of a man stands in the door.
Morrison starts shaking and says in a shaky voice,
"Where am I?, am I dead?"
The figure replies by stepping into the room and saying,
"No you are not dead."
He turns the light on. The figure was obviously a Creag Dubh solider, but Morrison could
not identify the rank, as the only Creag Dubh she had seen were ordinary soldiers.
"Who are you?"
"I am Creag Dubh."
"Yes I can see you are a member of that bunch of mind washed fanatics, but what is your name?"
"No you do not understand, I am Creag Dubh, the mind washed fanatics as you call them are my loyal troopers."
"How did I get here?"
"One of my patrols picked up your unconscious body from a recently captured Slave position."
"What do you want with me?"
"I want to surrender."
"Well why don't you just wave a white flag?"
"It is not that easy Ms. Morrison."
"How did you know my name?"
"I have seen your news reports, you have a lot of passion for your job."
"Thank you, but why would you watch my reports?"
"The first rule of warfare, know your enemy, your kind broadcast openly quite a lot of information. My intelligence department gather it all together and try to interpret any useful information from it. One of my men recognized your face and they brought back to my HQ."
"So why can't you surrender openly then?"
"My men have inflicted such a violent attack against the Marines and have killed many of their comrades, from recent reports, I believe that they would try to kill us. I am not bothered by my personal death, but I must insure the safety of my men. They serve me well and are totally devoted to me, I can not let them down."
"One thing bugs me still, why would the leader of the tsunami emperors crack troops suddenly decide to surrender? And another thing, what would you the leader be doing this close to the frontline anyway?"
"I used to be totally dedicated to the Emperor, then I saw something which changed me."
"You don't need to now that, the reason I am so close to the front is so I can have the chance to surrender easily. I also have a gift for your government Ms. Morrison, I will give them a Tsunami Military Coordinator."
"You will what?"
"I have arranged for my most loyal and trusted men to be on the bodyguard detail of the only Tsunami in this sector, and it is on this planet. If your government will give my men and myself sanctuary, I will give them the Tsunami. I am sure that your government would love to interrogate a real life tsunami wouldn't they?"
Morrison was lost for words, she was about to get the biggest scoop of her life, Pulitzer Prize here I come she thought..."What do you want me to do?"
"Take this message to the commander of the NA forces on Xi Bootis. My men will get you back across to your sides lines."
"How? they would shoot your men on site..."
"My men are the best they will get you across the lines. Here is the message. Now
I must go, the marines are about to advance again and I have to stage a fake
Creag Dubh handed Morrison a data pad with a letter on it, she started to read it:
"General Oyzanski, Comdr. of NA forces Xi Bootis.
I am Creag Dubh leader of the tsunami forces on this planet, I wish to surrender myself and my loyal follows to you and your men. As I believe that we can not openly surrender to your forces as they seem to loath my men and their skill in battle I have a proposition for you to insure our safety. I will give NA forces the Tsunami commander for this entire sector. I am sure your intelligence department would be most pleased to get hold of a real life tsunami to interrogate.
If you agree to these terms, raise a yellow flag on the building at these attached coordinates. Then my men will be ordered to surrender. I warn you General, betray either myself or my men, and I will wipe all NA existence from this planet. You my have thought that you were winning this battle, but I have ordered my men to continue falling back while giving the impression that we were fighting. Cross me and my men will show you what this battle would really have been like.
(someone continue as you see fit...)
"This is Admiral Yarwood to all ships in the Sol system. You are ordered to suspend all FTL and radio transmissions for the period of one week. The New Alliance will pay for any financial losses. You are also ordered to power down to minimal power for this period. Any ships that are detected with high thermal traces or are transmitting radio signals will be towed and/or fired upon by NA ships until the offending systems are offline. Certain NA ships will have authority to remain active.
"This is admiral Yarwood, signing off"
The search was on. 20 tugs and one LST began a system-wide search of any major inertial targets or inertial targets with high thermal traces.
6 DAYS LATER
The tug "Mystic" was skimming near moon Callistio, one of the airless moons of Jupiter. Even with the widespread colonization of space, none of these moons had ever been colonized except for a small base on Ganymede. Aeons ago, this moon was bombarded, almost to the point of extinction by debris from the depths of space. The tug was using all of its thrusters at maximum to skim 2 KM over the moons surface. This state could only be maintained for a short time until an actual orbit was created and the engines could cool off.
On the bridge, Captain Mafioso sat at the con seat. People searched in shifts, since there was no reason for a whole crew to be active for such a boring search. This way, every member of the crew got a chance to be at the con and man the engineering station for practice. Suddenly, a huge valley opened up before the ship.
"Another goddamn crater " his voice trailed off. Currently, at the bottom of the crater a glimmer of light accompanied a huge, dark mass.
"Engineering, con. Can we land this ship?"
"Well, I guess we could sir, but we would have to adjust the gravity and I am not sure we could get off easily."
"Well take that chance"
The Mystic landed on the moon on the far edge of the crater. As the years would prove early humans were quite resourceful. Using the electromagnetic properties of Jupiter, namely the Great Red Spot, the Containment Field Inhibitor signals could reach farther. And besides the age of the machine those ancestors had made a miscalculation as to the stability of Callistios orbit
"Sir, unidentified ship coming through the L point."
"All hands, battle stations! Lock on to incoming ship."
"Sir, ship matches no known configuration but it looks like on of those ships I saw when I was on the Dreadnau incoming transmission!"
"We are the Narnia our ship is Tinchok. We_wish_to_make_offer_to_you. We wish_to_give_you insight about_your_past and how you defeated_Tsunami. We do this as favor, you will repay_some_day you_could_prevail you_could_live. Tsunami are not as stong as_you_think. Early_humans_were_stong"
"Sir, another ship coming through. Its a corvette! Incoming transmission from corvette"
"This is anchorwoman Morrison !"
(someone continue as you see fit)
(Saltlake Base, Commander's Office)
"I don't believe this!" screamed Commander Gestard, "I mean, first we
run into these strange aliens that start wiping out our ships in Alpha Centauri space.
Then everyone seems to be running around with their head cut off (actually, with those
aliens that probably was that far from the truth), until Command finally decides to do
something about it.
"As soon as warships were sent in to investigate just what was going on, the aliens disappear from Centauri space! So, the Alliance rejoices, the big, bad whatevers are gone and its safe to fly the friendly space lanes. Not gonna happen. The aliens come right back and INVADE the Xi-Bootis system."
Commander Gestard's second-in-command shifted in his seat, he had gotten used to his superior's ranting and raving and he knew that he could only go along with it if he wanted to keep his job. "But sir," Lieutenant Commander Rafe said calmly, "it has been determined that the initial attacks in Alpha Centauri space were merely alien scouting missions, preludes to the actual invasion."
"I know that!" roared Gestard, "You didn't think I knew that! It was the only thing that command was capable of saying so they would have frightened little spacers running around yelling for protection against these horrible monsters. Anyways, the invasion starts. Everything is so confused around here that half the ships that docked here didn't know whether they were coming home for patrols or going out to the front."
"Well," said Rafe, "we shouldn't have to worry about that anymore, the new order of battle that command is using seems to be working quite well, so no new ships should be needed for the front lines."
"We shouldn't have had to worry about it in the first place. I swear that the Alliance can be the most organized and efficient machine that has ever existed as well as be the most useless and panicked pack of turkeys at the same time! I mean, we lost so many ships in the opening days in the invasion, all because Command had no clue what they were dealing with. Heck, it was a wonder if anyone lived to describe what kinds of ships that we were fighting! Yarwood is in his secure base, all the way from the front, while Brett is running around chasing shadows of these bad guys."
Commander Rafe had to laugh, he admired how his commander could put everything into perspective. There was a war on a few light years away and here his commander was, criticizing every little thing that has happened.
"Ooh! Then we find out that COSA is alive and well, not only that, but it wants to help! Gimme a break! The only thing that they want to do is get a share of the profit for the scrap metal that are ships are turned into after each battle. I wish I could get that Senator Connors in here right now so I could show him what its like to fight a real man who doesn't hide behind shadows!"
"Well, you are stationed at the most protected and safe area in the Alliance." said Rafe.
"Watch it mister! I could care less if COSA wants in, there is plenty of bloodshed to go around in this war. And all of our people are probably dosed up on all of that anti-matter that is pouring off those ships. But wait, thats not all. It turns out that not only are the aliens beating the crap out of us, but they ARE us. Friggin humans are fighting us once again. I thought this Alliance thing was supposed to stop all this internecine warfare but noooo, now we have to fight aliens that are humans that are pretty angry with us."
Gestard paused to look out his viewport at Earth, all of the ships that were floating in space in between his view of Earth were in for repairs. They would be working on those ships for a while, but it was necessary to get them back to the front.
"Now, where was I? Oh yeah, these alien-humans are some sort of slave race of another alien race that is from another universe! Whatever! Talk about some strange science fiction! Where do they come up with this stuff? I still think that those humans are descendants of the huge group of people that were abducted by aliens so long ago."
Rafe looked at his commander with a grin, he himself had heard the news and was astonished by it, but he didn't deny that it could be the truth.
"Then Yarwood sends half the Alliance fleet to the Xi-Bootis system to take it back from the aliens! Me, I would have let them have it, there isn't that much good real estate there anyway, let the aliens worry about the upkeep. Then Brett comes back to me a few days later saying that he defeated the Alien Battleship or something like that. Not only that, but he wants me to fix up his broken and battered fleet. I mean Jeez! If I was given a fleet that size you wouldn't see me rushing in an getting it busted up. I hear that he also got COSA reinforcements along with that new corvette prototype that will never work. At least Brett still knows how to trash COSA ships, too bad he got a lot of Alliance ships messed up as well."
"Sir, isn't this bordering on treason?" asked Rafe.
"Not even close," replied Gestard, "I have every right to talk about my fellow officers and our COSA "allies". At least they shouldn't be that much of a problem anymore, they lost a lot of ships, including that darn cruiser that they managed to hide from us for all these years.
"And now Yarwood is tearing up the Sol system to look for this alien artifact that will clue us in to our past. Whatever! Rumors are flying that those aliens that we ran into during the infinity war have come to us to enlighten us. Yeah right! They probably want to take a piece out of the Alliance as well.
"I don't know about you Rafe, but I ain't buying this whole "human outcast story", I really don't think that all of this can be wrapped up into a neat little story that we were once a slave race of these wave aliens..."
"Tsunami", Rafe interjected.
"Whatever they are called. Humans started on Earth and that is final.", said Gestard.
"But look at all the evidence that we have found." said Rafe, "And if Yarwood finds that artifact..."
"Yeah well, you might be one of those alien human descendents but I'm not!"
"Thank you sir." said Rafe, "I better get back to my duties." He got up to walk out of the office and decided that reality was really getting confusing.
"And another thing who the hell are these Craig Doob people I keep hearing about.
What? Are we fighting some privileged school kids or something? Oh well, I can't wait to
hear about all the new junk that is coming out of this war from that airhead reporter who
somehow manages to live even though she is right in the middle of this thing."
Commander Gestard turned on his holoviewer.
"What channel is she on again?"
Creag Dubh dived for cover behind some rubble, the NA forces had raised the yellow flag agreeing to his plan. However it appeared that the Emperor's Secret Police had suspected treachory within the Creag Dubh ranks and had planted some of their officers in the Creag Dubh. They must have monitored communications, and when Creag Dubh had lead the defection, the Secret Police had acted, they had used a mind control weapon to regain control of his more weak minded followers, and these 'reprogrammed' individuals were now hunting him and some of his escaped followers down.
He had decided the only option was to run for the NA lines and hope they made it alive.
"Sir, I see more of them advancing."
"About 20 to 30 of them, with tank support behind them."
"We are only 300 meters from the NA lines, we can make it if we hurry."
One of his men turned to him,
"Sir, you will stand a better chance if I stay, I will try to give you more
Creag Dubh looked at the man, he knew he was right, they would have a better chance if someone fought a rear guard action. However that person would face almost certain death.
"You don't have to stay Azon."
"You know it is the correct choice Creag Dubh, you would make the same decision. Just make sure the Empire falls."
"I understand Azon, you will be remembered for this."
"Thank you sir."
A glint of understanding flashed between the two men and Creag Dubh led the rest of his men towards the NA lines while Azon prepared to fight. Creag Dubh had moved on about 100 meters when he heard a cry from behind him, he turned to see Azon standing with his Plasma Rifle firing towards their pursuers screaming,
"Death to the Emperor! Long Live Freedom!"
He cut many of them down before they realized what was happening, as soon as his rifle was out of ammo, he dropped and charged forwards to engage them in hand to hand combat. He through them left and right, stabbing some with a combat knife, while knocking other out cold with a smash from the his fist. then without warning Azon was absorbed by a massive explosion, killing many of the pursues as well, he had set off all his grenades to through the pursues into chaos. It worked, Creag Dubh turned to his surviving men,
"Lets us not waste Azons sacrifice, we must make it to the NA lines."
(Xi-Bootis System, Fenton's World)
"Are you serious? You can't believe anything they say at this point!" said Governor Helen Fenton, "They started this damned war on my planet and now you are going to let them go!?!"
General Karmen had to shake his in disbelief of the woman's reaction to the news that the war was actually over in Xi-Bootis. He remembered that four years ago he wouldn't be having this same problem. Back then, Fenton was still a Captain in the science division of the navy.
When she lead the survey group of the entire Xi-Bootis system she seemed to fall in love with the new system, especially the first planet that she examined. Although that first survey was almost a catastrophe if it weren't for the brave actions of the Dreadnaught that saved
Fenton and the entire group.
Soon after that incident, Fenton wanted a more direct role in the colonization of the Xi-Bootis system. So she applied for the governorship of the aptly named planet, Fenton's World.
"Governor, we have all been through a lot these past few months." said General Karmen, "I mean, we have witnessed the rebirth of COSA, the discovery of a new alien race that comes from a different universe, and a long lost heritage that links us with a whole new history. All of these things by themselves would be enough to shock any citizen of the New Alliance. I think I would be pouring over all of this new data just so I could make sense of it. But no one has had the time! We are at war!
"The fleet has been devastated by this conflict, the government is trying to hold on to the security of known space and we have just gone through an invasion. Now, don't you think that we all deserve a break. Creag Dubh has offered a formal treaty to stop the fighting and we took it."
"That's right! You took it! Without any authorization from the local planetary governor! Heck! I didn't even know about this treaty until one of your grunts informed my staffers that we will have to look for accommodations for some tired Creag Dubh troops!" Fenton yelled angrily.
"Look, you know that I am not required to answer to you for anything! I have complete authority on this planet until the threat is over!" said General Karmen, he didn't like chewing out civilians, but sometimes it had to be done, no matter who they were, "You should be glad that you will be able to sleep safely tonight instead of worrying about your mansion getting destroyed by artillery. Now, the treaty has been signed and all of my troops are being rotated off this planet, it will be your job to reassure all of your citizens that the war is over for them."
"How can I tell them that?" asked Fenton, "There are still quite a large number of Creag Dubh here and not all of them are friendly."
"That's true." said Karmen, "Creag Dubh has refused transport off Fenton's World until everyone of his disloyal troops have been taken care of. I think he has the best chance of making your planet safe from any more attacks. he said that it will be another two weeks before he can be sure that everything will be taken care of."
"Wait! You are going to be leaving my planet to these Creag Dubh while your marines prepare for the next battle?!" asked Fenton.
General Karmen frowned, he heard the pleading in her voice that time. "There will still be two of my divisions helping out with the clean up operations," said Karmen, "but Creag Dubh is in charge of the hunting. The rest of my marines will need to be available when and if the high command sees fit."
"You keep saying that I should tell my people that the war is over. Is it?" asked Fenton.
"To tell you the truth," said Karmen, "I don't even think it has begun."
(New Alliance Cruiser Hector, Hector Task Force, Xi-Bootis System)
"Bring in the prisoner!"
Commodore Watley stood at the end of the docking collar, a little behind the marine guard that was escorting the prisoner. He had been put in command of all operations in the Xi-Bootis System. At any other time, that might have been considered the most glamorous command in known space next to Earth defense duty.
Except now the war was at a standstill.
The Tsunami attack force had been dealt a critical blow and the treaty between ground forces on Fenton's World had ended all major hostile activity. Everyone seemed to be catching their breath at the moment.
The only reports that seemed to come across Commodore Watley's desk were the minor
skirmishes that were involved with clean up operations.
But hostile activity wasn't the only thing that was important in Xi-Bootis right now. Commodore Watley was fully responsible for transporting the most valuable cargo that was possible to come out of this forsaken system.
The actual Tsunami commander was now a prisoner of the Alliance.
Creag Dubh had come through in his promise to deliver a Tsunami to the Alliance. Now it was up to Watley to make sure that he was delivered so the interrogations could begin.
Everyone at home was now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Tsunami because of that reporter that traveled all the way to Earth just so she could get the scoop on this information.
This Tsunami was going to be answering questions until command was satisfied or he simply died or both.
As the marines brought the shackled Tsunami past Watley towards the detention area, the Commodore had to smile. The being in front of him was slightly shorter than the marines and a lot weaker. There seemed to be some sort of energy aura that was emanating from the Tsunami.
Maybe that was how they even could exist in this universe and protect their anti-matter properties. "Lieutenant, inform Navigation to set course for Headquarters" said Watley, "I bet everybody can't wait to get their hands on this guy!"
(New Alliance Navy Headquarters)
"We will ask you again." said Admiral Yarwood, "What is the overall battle plan and strength of the Tsunami forces in this region of space?"
Admiral Yarwood sat with a panel of high-ranking officers that were in charge of this "interrogation". Yarwood and the others knew that this was more like a question and answer session with an unknown alien. Yarwood looked at the protective glass between the panel and the alien, who knew what a Tsunami was capable of doing, even with a marine complement waiting outside.
Surprisingly enough, the Tsunami spoke English quite well. Of course, the Tsunami were the
masters of an identical race of humans that were enslaved across the galaxy, so the mastery of certain languages is to be expected.
"You will not win this war!" said the Tsunami with a crackle of his voice. The strange glow that emanated from the prisoner seemed to vibrate along with his body.
"That seems to be the only words that you are capable of saying!", said General Destive.
"This is a waste of time." added Admiral Oliver, "We have a war to fight."
"Enough!" said Yarwood, "We all know that the Tsunami forces have been routed, but our own forces are far from peak condition. It will take years to get back to our pre-war fleet level. There will not be any offensive operations made by this navy until we are at full capacity.
"We need to know how much more the Tsunami plan on sending our way before we can do anything else."
"The Tsunami will prevail." said the Tsunami prisoner, "Your forces would have been beaten back by now if our Creag Dubh did not betray us."
"Oh really?" said General Destive, "The way I see it, your assault fleet was crushed by our fleet and our marines were making progress on Fenton's World before the treaty."
"You humans are flawed." said the Tsunami, "When you were created, your genetic structuring was accidentally laced with a gene we Tsunami have termed the "Rebellious genome", that gene was the reason you broke away from us, since your defection, the gene has been purged from the rest of our creations."
"Then how do you explain the Creag Dubh?" asked Admiral Oliver.
"The Creag Dubh was a compromise." replied the Tsunami, "We required the best warriors in the galaxy, so our cleansing treatments were not as thorough with the Creag Dubh. Be sure that the rest of Tsunami Empire will be strong against any aggression."
"Your fleet was powerful until we took it out, you can't blame that on the genes." said Admiral Drossh.
"The Tsunami battle doctrine has been formed through centuries of warfare," said the Tsunami, "the weakness that you found will be erased by the time you do battle with our forces again."
"How many forces did you have in the invasion and will there be any reinforcements?" asked Yarwood, trying to get back to the question at hand.
"I will tell you this humans, only because of the innovative reversal of my tactics that your forces used against me.
"There are no more Tsunami forces in your systems except for stragglers. There are no reinforcements because I didn't request any. If the emperor sees fit to send out another assault force then it can arrive here as soon as one of your Earth months.
"And you can forget about that pathetic minefield that you placed in front of the
jump point that we came through, there are many paths to strike at your systems."
Yarwood frowned, he thought that the minefield was done in secrecy enough to hide it from the Tsunami forces already here, apparently, he was wrong.
"Alright, that is enough for today, you will be returned to your cell now.", said Yarwood.
"I grow tired of this questioning, I have told you more than enough. This is your last chance to release me.", said the Tsunami prisoner.
"Guards, return the prisoner to his cell." commanded Yarwood.
"For the Emperor!" yelled the Tsunami.
With that remark, the prisoner touched something that penetrated his body, the glowing essence around his body flickered.
By disrupting his containment field, the Tsunami prisoner allowed his anti matter being
come into contact with the matter in the room.
The admiralty panel never even knew what devastation that a single Tsunami prisoner could cause.
In a matter of a second, the entire New Alliance Navy Headquarters, along with 4,200
navy personnel vanished in a huge ball of light.
It would take weeks of investigations and recovery operations to discover that the Tsunami prisoner destroyed himself to act as an anti matter bomb that detonated inside the huge Navy headquarters.
The area of space where the Navy Headquarters used to be was a remembrance of what the war would lead into.
The opening moves of the war were complete. Each side had taken horrendous losses, but it would still be a while before the war would take on a higher level.
Sgt. 'Mad Dan' Hughes waited in the drop pod attached to the corvette Hutchins with his stick of four men. They were about to perform an operation so dangerous, it had only been attempted 3 times within the last century. A parachute jump from almost outside a planets atmosphere. The mission to gain first hand intelligence from a Tsunami outpost prior to an assault by NA forces. The problem was that this base was extremely heavily defended, so that any attempt by an insertion craft to get lower enough to deploy a team in the normal way would not work. The decision had been taken to try this dangerous maneuver of jumping from just below a low orbit by sending a damaged corvette piloted by REM from another vessel nearby. The crew were replaced with corpses so that incase any wreckage of the craft was recovered the Tsunami would assume that it had been an accident. Mad Dan and his team waited for the corvette to b piloted into its terminal dive in to the planets atmosphere. They all wore space suits as the height they would exit from would put them in almost a complete vacuum. They intended to jump from 120,000, almost the edge of space. Mad Dan checked the telemetry data for the flight path,
"Ok team, were are on the glide path, two minuets to drop!"
The team of four prepared themselves by sealing their suits and depressurizing the drop pod.
"Preparing to detach drop pod!"
The drop pod dropped clear of the corvette which was surrounded by the fire of re-entry. The drop pod would allow the team to make a safer entry in to the atmosphere as it was heat shielded. When it was discarded, it would look just like another piece of wreckage.
"Stand by to jump!"
The door opened in the pod and the team clipped themselves together to form a tight stick. They stepped in to the blue. They quickly attained terminal velocity and they accelerated through the sound barrier. The jump computers auto deployed drogue shots to slow them down and absorb some of the shock of the main shoots opening at 20,000ft. Then they separated and made they own separate landings within a few KMs of each other in the darkness of night.
It was a text book insertion by the NA elite special operation division known as the Suicide Club to its members, Bravo Division to the commanders.
(New Alliance Headquarters, Earth)
"I want this to stop." said President Hopper.
"Madam President, what exactly do you mean?" General Deraks asked.
"I called this meeting so I could inform you all that I want all offensive operations against the Tsunami Empire halted." said Hopper.
"Miss President, you can't be serious." said Admiral Marione, "We started our operations months ago, some of them will take weeks to call back. I know that everything has gone to hell what with the invasion and retaking of the Xi-Bootis system, the sorry state that are fleet is in and with the recent destruction of the NA fleet headquarters, but we can't let up on the Tsunami. We have to use all of our losses and victories as a rallying point for the people, if we have their full support, then we can take this war to the Tsunami."
"As my joint chiefs, I respect all of your opinions, but I am telling you that we cannot continue down this path." said Hopper, "The entire navy has to be reorganized to replace the loss of the high command and the loss of the shipyard within the navy headquarters.
"This war has hit too close to home. Our people are frightened right now, because they don't feel that they can be protected if we can't even protect the most important space station in known space."
"Madam President, we will abide by your decision, but are you sure that this is the wisest course of action?" asked General Frenzo.
"I am positive" repli8ed Hopper, "the last thing we need is to escalate this war further. We need to rebuild our fleet and reorganize our forces.
"Also, we need to make sure we are protected from any further attacks before we strike back at the Tsunami. I want the Xi-Bootis system upgraded to level five system security. That means gunstars at every LaGrange point, an active patrol fleet, and a space station for central command and communications. Also, I want the SS for each system within a ten light year radius of Xi-Bootis upgraded to level three."
"This will take a while to complete," said Admiral Jorge, "all of these
specifications will take a large amount of resources and if we are talking about bringing
the fleet back up to pre-war status then we are looking at about five years before
everything is accomplished."
Everyone in the room looked around uneasily.
"I know that this is not exactly what you expected. You all feel that we have to turn the war back on to the Tsunami, and I understand that. But I promise you all that you will get your chance when the New Alliance is ready.
"Alright, inform your advance teams to come home and to leave some probes behind, I want as much warning as possible if the Tsunami are on the way.
"Good luck gentlemen."
The war had lasted a little less than three months. Both sides had lost enormous amounts of "people" and ships, all in a conflict over the actions of long-dead slaves of the millions of years ago. When the entire story was reflected upon later some would wonder: did we really win?
The Narnia had given invaluable amounts of information about the whole story that took place millions of years ago. They were able to give schematics of the ancient Containment Field Inhibitor, or CFI. It took the computer talents of Jefferson Clay himself to design and make tactics for the new application of the CFI technology. The result was a disrupter-type weapon that could take the containment shields of the Tsunami ships offline, leaving their weak hulls exposed and their anti-matter power systems on a hair trigger ready to explode.
The newly repaired Brett task force, Gimon, and Smith forces proceeded to invade Tsunami space after a single Tsunami ship began to retreat and it was tracked back to its home. The last major fleets of humanity put their all into fighting, wreaking havoc on the enemy. Victory seemed in sight until a huge fleet of enemy ships guarded the home Tsunami system. Humanity could never break through it, not in its current state. This Tsunami defensive system began to attack the fleets. The New Birmingham was lost after a heroic, but futile fight along with almost 200 others.
a CFI which could collapse the natural magnetic containment fields
of the Tsunami individuals themselves. The war was at the standoff, after admiral Brett
made it clear that the NA had such a weapon that could kill a Tsunami and destroy
everything around them. Basically, this weapon turned each Tsunami individual into a
President Hopper lost no time, setting up the fleets which would defend the vital systems of humanity, lest the Tsunami attempt to take the systems before the new weapons could be employed. The offense stopped. With haste, the fleets would be rebuilt. Research into human cloning was re-opened so that such huge fleets could be manned.
Life quieted down for a while perhaps it might be another million years until the next war, now dubbed as the Human Revolution. Perhaps it would be only a year, or less. But whatever happened they were out there. Waiting to regain their dignity from their former slaves
I think its safe to say:
I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to this great, if not slightly hectic story! I had a lot of fun reading and writing it with all of you! Special thanks to Bolodin for starting this whole idea in the first place.
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