The Korona Empire has held most of the Galaxy for over two-thousand years, and has brought peace and prosperity too it's people. But now strange happenings have been reported on the outer fringes of the Empire. Ships have gone missing and far-out Communication Stations have been silenced. The Empire has taken little notice until the Battle Cruiser Infinity
disappeared with a Imperial Admiral on board. This sparked the interest of the Emperor. He gathered up a fleet to investigate the disappearances. The Fleet assembled at the planet Aeondar, the Empires great capital planet.
Organized from smallest to largest.
Ibis Class Shuttle (30m)
Osprey Class Patrol Cruiser (220 m)
Aggressor Class Battle Cruiser (1107 m)
Phoenix Class Carrier (3191 m)
Imperial Class Command Ship (4033 m)
Nebula Class Star Dreadnought (18056 m)
IF YOU HAVEN'T READ PART III, DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING
A New Enemy
The massive Imperial Battle Cruiser Infinity floated in space, none of its crew anticipated what was going to happen that day. Admiral Delaton stood on the Bridge, but, as usual, was beginning to fall asleep. However, his fitful sleep would soon be interrupted.
“Sir, we are picking up an electrical signature’s reading; it seems to be coming from behind one of Gelafron’s moons, but- they must be errors, they are too large.”
“It must be enemy ships, trying too over throw our great Empire! Go and investigate, and next time, do not wake me!” The Admiral roared, frustrated to have been woken up from his nap,
“Yes, sir.” The deck officers glanced at each other. After being on the Infinity with Admiral Delaton, they were beginning to wonder if he was still sane.
Time passed as the Infinity neared the moon. Most of the crew was skeptical of the Admirals outrageous claims of Enemy ships. The Korona Empire hadn’t been at war in over eight-thousand years. It’s was an order though, and they couldn’t directly disobey and order. Once they reached the moon, the electrical signatures slowly disappeared.
“Admiral, we have lost the signatures, it must have just been an error. There isn’t anything here.”
“Oh, yes there is! And don’t question me, Commander! Get all men to battlestations.”
“Yes sir, but with respect, there aren’t any enemy ships; we would have picked them up already. Those signatures were massive. Too large for us not to pick them up on any other of our sensors, we would know if there was anything out there.”
“I do not care. And I do not appreciate Officers who talk back! Now, do as I order, Commander.” The Admiral spoke the last word with scorn. As the infinity rounded the moon to where the signatures had been picked up, nothing came up on any of the sensors. It was empty, void of anything, just empty space.
“See Admiral Delaton, nothing; false alarm. We can turn back now.”
“No, I want another full circuit of the moon.” The Admiral grunted peering out the viewport.
“Yes Sir…” the Commander said, clearly exasperated. The Ship began inching forward as it began its circumnavigation of the moon. Everything seemed fine then-THUD
The crew flew forward as the ship seemed to collide with empty space.
“What the Hell was that!” the Commander shouted. He was the fastest the recover, and look out the viewport
“Dear god, we are doomed.”
[spoiler]Twenty-two year old Andrew Thane was a fast runner. A good thing to, as for the fact that he was late for almost everything; and he was sprinting for something he didn’t want to be late for. The Shuttle to the IAC Integrity, an Imperial Assault Cruiser, he had just joined the Imperial Navy, and did not fancy his prospects if he missed the Shuttle to his very first assignment. He wasn’t just a very good runner, but a very good sleeper as well. He had slept through his alarm, which he had set two hours early; and he had woken up forty minutes before the Shuttle left. He had skipped breakfast, and had quickly donned his uniform and hailed a Taxi to fly him to the naval base.
“Lieutenant Thane… You are late. Turn right at the junction straight ahead, landing bay forty-one.” The Marine at the gate had yawned, but you could tell that he also had a slight smirk on his face.
“Tha- Thank you Sir!” Andrew said, dashing through the gate. He ran into a few officers, who had quickly reprimanded him, but he ignored them and kept on going. ‘Here it is, bay forty-one’, Andrew quickly thought, dashing through the gantry into the actual landing bay.
“Andrew Thane, from the commendations you received, I will not hesitate to say I expected better. Now, hurry up and get on the shuttle.” Said Colonel ‘Jerard, that’s what it is. I need to memorize the names of the commanding officers of the Integrity. Andrew thought as he boarded the shuttle. Fifteen other recruits eyed him, most likely sizing him up in case of a fight. Andrew smiled at the thought. He was tall with little muscle. Most of the Recruits were most likely Marines, muscled with close cropped hair and tattoos. Andrew spied two recruits, who looked less likely to beat him to a pulp if he tried to sit next to them. He walked over to them and sat down, strapping himself in.
“Lieutenant Andrew Thane.” Andrew said, smiling and outstretching his hand the man closest
“I’m Lieutenant Derek Carth, and this is my friend, Castin Miltak. Is this your first assignment?” Andrew shook Castin and Dereks hand then responded.
“Yes, I only joined a few weeks ago. You?”
“Same, with all of this news about disappearing ships and such I decided to join up. I applied to Bridge Engineering.” Derek explained
“And I’m Weapons Specialist, I joined six months ago, spent them training at the Fleet school, I was hoping to go for at least a year, but they assigned me to the Integrity. It’s funny, because Derek and I grew up in the same building. And we got assigned to the same ship.” Castin said as the Colonel walked into the shuttle.
“Ok boys, buckle up. We’re going to be leaving soon. Once you reach the ship go to the Quarter Master, ask him where your room is and who your bunkmate is. You can request a bunkmate, but they also have to request you. the Artificial Gravity won’t set in until we reach space. So you’ll feel weightless while we’re still in the upper atmosphere. I will be on the cockpit if you have any questions.” ‘
The Flight was relatively pleasant. As they exited the outer atmosphere, they began to float, restrained only by their straps. Then Colonel Jerard floated into the hold.
“Since you will be serving on a Military Space ship, there is a possibility of the artificial gravity generators getting destroyed in battle. You need to learn how to go about your duty and fight in Zero-G conditions. Undo your belts.” The recruits did as ordered. The feeling of weightlessness was very good. Andrew and his two new friends floated around, while the Marine grunts at the other end of the shuttle struggled to hold onto the seat, most likely whimpering for their mommy.
“This is awesome!” Andrew said to Derek and Castin “It’s just like water, except you can breathe and you don’t have to worry about floating to the surface!”
“Now, imagine we turn off life support. You would not be able to breath, just as you are not able to breathe in space. Remember that. Now, we will turn on the artificial gravity.” The Colonel said, disappearing into the cockpit. Andrew, Derek, and Castin pushed of the ceiling to their seats, and quickly lay down, just as the gravity turned on. The three of them fell softly onto their seats, as did eight other recruits. But most of them just fell hard onto the floor.
“Now, we are beginning to dock with the Integrity.
Once they had docked Andrew, Derek, and Castin were some of the first off the shuttle. They walked into a large, metal hanger with polished black floors.
“You are currently in the bow of the Integrity. That door there leads to the main Corridor. You can get anywhere from there. If you go all the way you get to the Engineering deck. But before that you reach two lifts. They lead up to the Command Bridge and Captains quarters. Now, in battle the ship isn’t commanded from the exposed Command Bridge, but from the Battle Bridge. The Battle Bridge is located deep in the heart of the ship surrounded in a solid Titanium casing. The crew quarters are located on the rear left wings of the ship, Communications is located on the front left wing, and Armory, firing ranges, Zero-G combat facilities, and Marine living quarters are located on the front right wing of the vessel. Most of the bottom and rear of the vessel are made up of the workings of the vessel. Dismissed.” The Colonel said, and then walked away.
“Well, I guess we go get our room assignment.” Andrew said, shrugging, as he began heading toward the large door.
“Hey, Andrew!” Derek said, running after Andrew “Do you want to bunk together?”
“I don’t really have anyone else in mind, and I don’t fancy sharing a room with one of them.” Andrew said, tilting his head towards the other recruits.
“Yea, I know what you mean. Then we have to go up to the observation deck. We probably should take a look at the fleet.” Andrew and Derek began walking at a brisk pace towards the door, and when they went into the main corridor, they both gasped. Five stories high and four-hundred fifty feet across, the corridor ran for the entire length of the ship.
“The Colonel said the back wings, right?” Andrew asked
“Yea, but I’m just wondering where the Quarter Master is?” Derek said, scrunching up his forehead, obviously thinking.
“It’s probably not as hard as you think.” A rough voice from behind them said. They both spun around, and saw the main who had spoken. A man with rough features, about six feet tall dressed in a crisp white uniform.
“Welcome aboard the Integrity. I’m Captain Wiggan. Quarter Master. And who might you two be?”
“Lieutenants Andrew Thane and Derek Carth, sir!” Derek, said, snapping into a salute, Andrew did the same.
“So, do you two want to bunk together?”
“Yes, sir, if it’s possible, sir!” Derek said, still saluting. Captain Wiggan chuckled, and smiled
“No need with the entire ‘Sir, Yes Sir’ stuff with me, at ease, solider.” Wiggan said, smiling. “Come with me, I’ll find an open room.”
They followed the man all along the corridor, and their necks never stopped swiveling. There were so many people on board, and they all walked with a purpose. Andrew could tell this was a no-nonsense ship.
“Sir- I mean, Captain Wiggan, how many men are on this ship?” Andrew asked, still looking at his surroundings
“Eight hundred. Don’t think it’s a lot, the Nebula Class Star Dreadnaught has a crew of over two-hundred thousand.”
“And how many of them does the Imperial Fleet have?” Derek asked
“Six, three of which are in this fleet.”
It took them another five minutes to reach the crew quarters. Captain Wiggan walked up to a computer console and pressed in a code. After browsing for a moment, he spoke.
“Room seven-hundred and eighty nine is free. If you have trouble finding your way, just walk up to one of these computers and type in your room number. It will give you directions.”
Derek and Andrew found their room fine, and it was quite nice as well. Small, but comfortable; it had a bunk bed, two small desks and some drawers. After they had settled in, Derek insisted that they go to the observation deck. They walked back to the corridor, and found their way to the lifts to the deck by asking the computers along the way.
“These computer are handy, I doubt I’ll ever get lost on this ship. “ Andrew said to Derek as they got onto the lift. “And believe me, that’s saying something.” When they arrived at the Observation deck they learned that it was really more of a lounge. There was a small bar in one corner, and couches, chairs, and tables strewn throughout the room. A few of the chairs were populated by both male and female officers. The entirety of the wall ahead of them was glass, looking out onto the fleet. They could see around twenty ships.
“Look, that one must be a Dreadnaught!” Derek said excitedly, pointing to a massive ship, taking up most of the viewport.
“Yea, it is. The ISD Levitation.” One of the Officers sitting nearby said with a slight accent. “Don’t want to mess with that bad boy, She would rip you too pieces.” Andrew and Derek just continued gazing. They could see the planet from here, most of it was a dull, silvery color, the planetary metropolis of Aeondar.
“This is incredible…” Derek said slowly
“Yea, but let’s sit down and get a drink, I’m thirsty!” Andrew said, eyeing the bar
[spoiler]“Now, welcome to the Battle Bridge. This is the heart of the ship whenever it is in Battle. Unlike the Command Bridge, the Battle Bridge cannot be touched by enemy weapons, meaning it is much safer for the commanding officers…” Andrew drowned out the boring tour guide. She kept on telling things they already knew. He slowly edged toward Derek, who’s head was tilted too one side and a blank look on his face.
“Derek!” Andrew whispered
‘Huh?” Derek responded, his neck snapping back into normal position and his eyes widening “Oh, it’s you.”
“Mastered the art of sleeping standing up, eh? What if Colonel Medila had decided to move on?”
“Oh, she wouldn’t have. Remember, we stayed for two hours in the hold; probably the most boring place on the ship. We’re going to stay here for at least three more hours.”
“Good point.” Derek and Andrew withstood another hour of the Battle Bridge, and then they moved onto the Command Bridge. Most of the recruits in the tour had left during the Battle Bridge Tour, so it was just Andrew, Derek and three other recruits.
“I am Commander Onasi, Captain of the Integrity. Today I will tell you all about the workings of the ship. And where each of you will work once your training is over.” And thus began Derek and Andrews first full day aboard the Integrity.
“Starboard thrusters at 75%, boost frontal shields.” Andrew said quietly as a Pirate ship began approaching “Remember, shoot to disable, they have civilians on board. Send out a warning, they are not to come any closer to this ship.” But the pirate ship continued approaching. “Open hailing sequence.” Andrew said, and a man appeared in a hologram on Andrews’s chairs arm. Andrew was slightly intimidates by the man’s appearance. He was wearing furs, he had large boots, little hair, and yellowing teeth,
“I am Commander Thane of the IAC Integirty. I demand that you hand over the hostages immediately, or else you will suffer the consequences,”
“I, will NEVER bow to Imperial rule, you scum! Now prepare to die!” Andrew knew that the man would refuse.
“Arm non-explosive static charges, run a diagnosis on the ship. I want to know its make and layout.”
“Yes Sir.” Derek said with a smile. Andrew slid back a panel on the arm of his chair to reveal a screen “Is the diagnosis in?”
“Yes Sir, it’s a Rouge Class Freighter, heavily armed with both non-explosive and explosive static charges. It is equipped with a modified mining laser. It could possibly be used as a weapon.”
“Thank you Captain Carth.” Andrew responded, pulling up the diagnosis.
“Aim the charges at the ion conduit at coordinates 447. One charge should do it.” Andrew watched as a streak of yellow light arced from the ship and hit the Pirate’s ship. A stream of blue gas began streaming from the ship, and it slowly drew to a halt.
“Captain, we have incapacitated your ship. I will ask again for the hostages you have taken. Or else I will take them by force and blow your ship to pieces.”
“Yes… Send a shuttle over here. I will give them to you.”
“You must also be aboard the Shuttle when it returns, as must your crew. You will be taken to a low security prison on the moon of Aego.”
The screen turned off, as did all of the stations on the simulation bridge. Andrew got up and walked toward the door, and Colonel Jerard cornered him just as he walked into the Corridor.
“You show promise kid. Keep training, and you will someday become a deck officer. You did well in that simulation.”
“Thank you sir!” Andrew said smiling
“Hey, Andrew, good job!’ Derek said from behind him
“Hey Derek, you didn’t do that bad either. You were pretty snappy with that diagnosis. A Commander always needs someone like you. I’m surprised you don’t have a deck job yet.” Derek laughed
“No Andrew, it’s you who needs a deck job. You have potential. More than I do! Anyway, I got to go, see you at the mess hall?”
The weeks had past as the IAC Integrity sat idle, waiting for the armada to move. The Recruits training had been hurried along, and there was an all around mood of anticipation around the ship. Three more ships had joined the fleet after the planet of Gelafron stopped sending or receiving any transmissions. Rumors began the spread, it was a massive space beast, or rebels! Andrew didn’t believe any of these. In fact, he didn’t know what he believed. But then one day, the call came. The Fleet was moving out.
Andrew was sitting in the Navigators seat. But this wasn’t a simulation. Commander Onasi had recognized Andres potential and wanted to see how he withstood to a real test.
“Lieutenant Thane, set a course the Gelafron. Coordinates 45675 Delta.”
“Course set sir.”
“Good, is the Warp Core heated up?”
“Activate warp drive in 3… 2… 1… Jump.” The stars on the viewports began to stretch and elongate.
“Estimated arrival time, fifteen minutes, warp core stable.”
“Good. We’ll see what’s waiting for us when we arrive.”
[spoiler]The fifteen minutes passed slowly. The air in the bridge was an air of tense anticipation,
“Five minutes until arrival.” Andrew said “Plasma conduits stable.”
“Good. Lieutenant Carth, Begin shield recharge. Get those capacitors running at full efficiency”.
“Sir, we are approaching the Gelafron system.” Andrew said as he franticly checked the ships engine diagnosis “Everything stable. Plasma conduits cooling down, fuel flow increasing.”
“Thank you Lieutenant.” The Commander said, leaning forward in his seat, so he could get a better view out the viewport. The Stars began to unblur as the ship left lightspeed the entire crew held their breath as they entered the Gelofron system, and on the viewport there was… nothing.
“Lieutenant Thane, where is the rest of the fleet?” Commander Onasi asked skeptically.
“They should be here sir, this is the Gelafron system… The entire fleet couldn’t have put in the wrong coordinates.”
“Something is wrong. Lieutenant Thane, run a scan of the area.”
“Commander, the scan is in. We are picking nothing up. No unusual heat or electrical signatures; nothing, this system is empty.” Andrew said, shaking his head after studying the results.
“Can’t be. This is where all those ships disappeared… And now our fleet has to” The Commander mused, stroking his chin
“Sir, we are being hailed!” The Communications officer, Captain Weylon said with a look of utter bewilderment.
“Put it on the View Screen. “ The Commander said, and the view port darkened, and a man appeared on the screen. He was wearing darkclothing, he had yellow teeth and very little hair
“I am Elder Kumatov of the Hunters. You are entering our space. If you do not turn around, you shall die. You are a small ship against the grand Hunter fleet. I request again that you turn around.” Then, the man disappeared.
“Who was that…” Commander Onasi said
“Sir, there are no ships in the system. The only place that could have come from is the planet or the moon. Both of which are uninhabited, except for a small Communications Station of the planet.”
“Strange. Lieutenant Thane run another scan. More detailed this time, atom dispersal and such.”
“Wait, sir, I’m detecting something sir!” Andrew said excitedly, running through the signature charts.
“What do you mean “Nothing”, are you detecting nothing?”
“Yes sir, in the charts, there is a massive gap where a large dispersal of Atoms should be. That could mean a- a cloaking device sir. Something is pushing those atoms aside,:
“Genius, Lieutenant Thane! But how could these ‘Hunters’ have cloaking device? Even the Imperial Navy doesn’t have one.”
“I have read up on the matter, sir. Either the Hunters have kept themselves secret for thousands of years or they aren’t from the Empire. Meaning they are from outside the Fringe.”
“More likely that they are a foreign power, now, we wait. I am sure they will hail us again.”
They didn’t have to wait long, ten minutes later Elder Kumatov appeared on the screen.
“I see that you have ignored our kind requests… Now you shall suffer the result!” Before any of them could say anything, the screen the man disappeared. Andrew swallowed his nerves, this is what you joined on for, and you hoped for action, you get it he thought. But he was pulled away from his thoughts as he noticed something on his readout
“Sir, we are picking up very large electrical output, we can assume it’s from the Hunters vessel. It’s most likely they are uncloaking.” Andrew was correct, the Massive Hunters ship approached
“That armors to think, there is no way we can punch through it.” A rough voice said from behind them. It was Castin, who neither Derek nor Andrew had seen in two weeks. He had disappeared to the Marine quarters on the second night on board the Integrity. “Me and the gun crews have ran a diagnosis of the ship. Its weakest point is on the neck that connects the front part of the ship to the back. But it’s also heavily protected with Thermal Shielding. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Castin said taking a seat at the Combat Control station. “My recommendation is for us to sit still, wait for them to come to us.”
And they did just that as the massive hulk approached the small IAC Integrity.
[spoiler]They waited as the ship drew nearer and nearer they saw two massive doors slide open, and a large hanger appeared on the side of the vessel.
“I believe they planning on pulling us into the hanger with a tractor beam. Once we are close enough.” Castin said, true enough, as the ship drew alongside the ships shook and began creaking. They looked around; they seemed to be in a large storage hanger. The walls were grey, and were illuminated by a ghostly white light. Directly ahead was a large tunnel that was slowly extending toward the hanger doors at the front of the vessel.
“If I am correct sir… I believe they may be attempting to board the vessel.” Castin said, magnifying the walkway. “Yes, that even has fusion cutters strapped on. Should I go get the Marines ready?”
“Yes, that is most likely the best course of action at the current moment. Andrew, Derek. Go with him. Find some armor in your size. Fight along Castin.”
“Ok Commander, good luck.”
Derek and Andrew followed Castin as far as the armory, where they split up to find armor in their size. Andrew found some, and, after around five minutes of struggling, snapping, and tightening, he was in his armor. He put on the helmet and turned on the HUD. The helmet was equipped with distance sights, radar, and even a link to your rifle, telling you how much ammo or charge it had. This is pretty handy, he thought as he adjusted the shin-guards.
“Bravo One here.” He said, testing out the radio.
“Bravo Two, reporting.” Derek said, clearly, it was as if he was standing next to him.
“Bravo Three, I’m here with Alpha and Beta Squads. Meet me in the Corridor.” Castin said
“Roger that.” Andrew began heading toward the Corridor, he grabbed a rifle and synced it too his HUD along the way. He arrived in the Corridor at the same time as Derek. Thirty other Marines were there as well.
“We’re heading for the Docking bay. I just checked in the Commander. It has reached the doors yet. If we hurry we can make it before the Fusion Cutters even begin working their magic.” Castin said, signaling for them to follow him.
They reached the hanger jus as the Fusion Cutters began cutting. The Thirty-three men spread out across the hanger as the red light of the cutter. Everything was silent except for the sizzle of the cutter cutting through the foot and a half of solid titanium.
“Steady…” Castin mumbled, raising his fist as the cutter completed the full rectangle. Silence, then-
The hanger door fell onto the floor, shaking the ground. Then the Hunter’s began streaming into the hanger. They were armored in metallic bronze-colored armor with mechanical supports on the neck, shoulder, elbow, thigh, and knee. They ran at surprising speed and opened fire. The Kinetic Bullets whizzed by the Marines and put miniature craters in the wall behind them.
“FIRE!” Castin shouted, springing up from behind the crate he was hiding behind and opened fire. The Hunters were without cover, and there armor was no match the reinforced titanium bullets.
They held them for five minutes, casualties mounting; they had only twenty men when it came. The Integrity shook, as did the Hunter ship it was encased in.
“Now, Andrew, run to the access panel next to the hanger door, shut the auxiliary doors!” Castin shouted, and Andrew listened. He dashed for the panel, shooting as he went. He rolled behind a crate as a Hunter tried to punch him, but Andrew pulled out his pistol and blasted him and the chest.
Eventually he made it to the panel and activate the emergency blast doors, the heavy doors began closing on the hole that the hunters had cut. Once it was closed, The remaining Marines cleared up the rest of the Hunters, and began heading back to the Corridor to report back to the Captain, but there was no need.
“Bravo Squad, do you read me?”
“Loud and Clear Commander.” Andrew said
“Good, the fleet has arrived after realizing their mistake they began the jump back to Gelafron. They are blasting the doors know. Get to the starboard escape pods. We’re getting out of here.”
“Yes Sir. We are on our way.”
END OF PART I
Aeondor in Flames
The Hunters, A mystic, out of galaxy race, that, at the beginning, we knew nothing about. As the war progressed, we learned that they had been forced out of their own Galaxy by a Civil War, which destroyed their home planet. They left intent on revenge. That landed them in the Korona Empire. They destroyed every planet they captured, reducing it and its population to molten slag. We did all we could to prevent it. The amount of ships in the Empires Navy almost tripled in the two years since the first encounter. My name is Captain Andrew Thane, of the IMV Intrepid.
“Get ready to convert all power flow to the engines, let’s blow right past them.” I said, leaning back in my chair, studying the Hunter Cruiser. Despite being armed to the teeth, the Hunter vessel was slow moving, unable to keep up with the Intrepid, I observed as we passed directly under its hull.
“Is the thermal shield still holding?” I queried to the Combat Commander, Commander Melisa Tera.
“Yes sir, our shield is at 63%, while our Torpedoes have punctured their shields in multiple places.”
“Weapons free. Three Torpedos spread at coordinates 378, set delay, ten seconds.” My plan was to puncture the hull with the first Torpedo, and set the two remaining torpedoes to explode inside the ship, causing maximum kinetic damage the interior of the enemy vessel. I am proud to say that it worked beautifully. The explosion was spectacular, at least. You feel both good and bad when you destroy an enemy vessel. You realize that you just saved at least a thousand innocent lives from total annihilation, but yet you just snuffed out another thousand lives. It isn’t easy, however, after doing it many times you get used to it; just as I did. But don’t think I enjoy it. My thoughts were interrupted as my Communications Officer alerted me of a call from Shadow fleet, which was currently engaged near Aeondor. I was concerned on that front, if they launched an offensive on Aeondor, -the heart of the empire- then the war may be as good as over. Oh, I forgot to mention, in the two years since First Encounter Onasi had been promoted to Admiral; he was now in command of Shadow Fleet.
“Captain, I have received a communication from Admiral Onasi of the Serenity, he calls for your assistance near Aego.”
“Respond. I will join him as soon as possible. Commander Kire, set coordinates for Aego.” I will say, being Captain of a ship is quite easy. All I have to do is think; the deck officers do the rest. “Charge up the shields and reload the Torpedoes; the odds are we’ll be arriving directly into a battle.” I usually prefer to give the crew a break before jumping directly back into the fray, but some things cannot be fixed; especially at this point in the war.
“Coordinates for Aego are in the computer, awaiting your command to jump.”
“Hit it, let’s get out of here.” I said casually, adjusting my position in the incredibly comfortable command chair. I closed my eyes as we began the jump. My logic is that we wouldn’t arrive for another ten minutes, and I was utterly exhausted and hadn’t slept in more than twenty-four hours. War does that to you.
We arrived earlier than I expected. And, as I predicted, we jumped directly into the middle of the Hunter formation.
“Ahh… Interesting situation.” I said, as the ship tilted ominously to the port side to avoid a Hunter Battleship
“Let’s make the most of current predicament; if I am correct they probably have all shielding focused towards the front of their ships. Target their engines with explosive Charges, one to each ship should do.”
“Yes Captain.” Another thing I love about deck crew, they obey every order without question. Unless it’s an abundantly foolish order like ‘Aim our torpedoes at our own Command Ship!’ I would, of course, never give such an order. But I’ll stop giving you a lecture about the minutia of captaining a vessel. Anyway, this is where things begin to get interesting.
The Admiral raised us on the Comm soon after I gave the order to target the enemy ships.
“Captain, I can’t tell you how glad I am too se you! You have gotten yourself into a good position to attack. For some reason the Hunters were foolish enough to leave the rears of their vessels on shielded, we’ve already ran the scans.”
“I was thinking the same as you Admiral. I already have the charges armed.”
“Well then, what are you waiting for? Fire!” I figured I didn’t need to respond, as the following explosion was answer enough. We managed to hit one Frigate directly in a plasma conduit, which began leaking. The plasma cloud was then sucked into the engine and ignited… It wasn’t pretty. I was still frustrated though; once the Hunter fleet was alerted of the threat they would boost their rear shields. Of course, true to style they figured it out pretty much immediately.
“Captain, join the fleet, you’ll get torn to pieces!” I don’t enjoy being told what to do. As you might imagine, this might have made getting promoted problematic; but I managed… somehow.
“Admiral, I will join the fleet when I see fit, for the time being I will do what I see necessary.” I already knew how the Admiral would respond; they all responded the same. I would come back into his favor in a few hours, as I always do.
“Captain, you are being insubordinate! I will report you once this battle is over, you will join the fleet.”
“No Admiral, I will not.” I said with my usual malicious smile
The battle only went downhill from there; we began losing ship after ship. Four Osprey-Class Cruisers and two Aggressor Battleships, the fleets two Carriers barely made it out. This was becoming the story of our lives. We couldn’t stop the flow of Hunter vessels; every time it seemed like we had them cornered they would slip away, only to strike again somewhere else. We were beginning to adapt to their cloaking devices. Our scanners had been modified to include Atom Dispersal and other signs of a cloaked star ship to the regular scans; this only moderately helped.
But here I am, discussing minutia again, remind me to stop doing that.
“Captain, you need to find a way to take that Dreadnaught down! He’s already taken down two of our Battleships, and I trust you to get the job done!” Admiral Onasi shouted through the static of his comm. I did tell you that he would get over my insubordination.
“Thank you sir, I will find a way.” I am sure Onasi took this as ‘I’ll lead him on a collision course with a moon and pull up, scraping the hull of my ship but the non-maneuverable dreadnought will crash’ or some other unorthodox method that I’d try, I dare say he was correct.
“Commander Tera, target Kinetic Torpedoes at coordinates 723, which is about where the command bridge should be.” You are probably wondering why I wasn’t aiming directly at the Bridge. It’s because on every captured Hunter ship we have learned that their bridges are surrounded by not just Thermal Shielding but Kinetic and Ion shielding as well. It would be a waste of ammo. We had never actually captured a Hunter ship of this size, but it would be safe to assume it to be the same. However, the area around was less likely to be shielded as so. We would launch a shuttle and land it in the breach; a team of marines would go into the ship and get interior scans, then move onto the bridge, kill the officers and set charges and then get off the ship, with interior scans and a destroyed enemy dreadnought. And I wasn’t planning on sitting around waiting for the result.
“Commander Tera, you have the bridge. I’m going with the Marine team.”
“Yes Sir.” She said, getting up and sitting in the now vacant Captains chair.
The Aggressor has a very different layout to the Osprey class I served on in the past. I was going up, instead of down. The Armory and staging area are located 15 decks above the Command Bridge. Also, in an Osprey you had to walk the long corridors, in an Aggressor the lifts go in all degrees of motion; so you can ride the lift down the corridor if necessary. Once I arrived I found my armor and began putting it on. I never did mention just how hard to put on it is. It consists of about twenty different armor plates and uncountable number of straps, buckles, and pockets. Needless to say, it was also uncomfortable.
“Shadow Team, come in.” Shadow Team was my hand-picked squad of Elite Marines who I chose whenever I needed a planetary of ship-to-ship action carried out reliably. It usually consisted of two-hundred fifty soldiers, but for this mission I was only taking ten.
“Sir, we are waiting in the staging area, our shuttle is already prepped; awaiting your arrival, Shadow two out.”
Why were they always faster than me?
I dashed into the staging area to see the ten Marines standing next to the boarding ramp, the moment they caught site of me they dashed up the shuttles boarding ramp, quick as ants. Pardon me; I’ve never been very good at analogies.
“Captain, we have breached the hull, but now we have very few Torpedoes left.”
“Ah well, you won’t need them after this.” I said as the Shuttle ramp closed and I took my place on the bench. The flight was five minutes, but it was a rough ride. The pilot kept on weaving in and out of laser beams, charge’s and torpedo spreads; he was no doubt a gifted pilot. Things really began heating up as we began slowing down for entry into the Dreadnoughts hull.
“All clear! Go go!” The Sergeant of the Squad shouted as the ramp came down “Seal your suits!” The usual hiss accompanied me saying ‘seal’ into my helmets Microphone, those things are incredibly handy.
We jumped out of the shuttle and began drifting, but the all-knowing Sergeant shouted magnetize at exactly the correct moment, and we all fell –feet first- the fifteen feet to the floor. We landed with a thud, and began walking towards the blast doors.
“Private, you brought the Fusion Cutters?”
“Of course Sir.”
We reached the door and the aforementioned Private began working the fusion cutters. Within five minutes we were in, and, believe it or not, the Hunters seemed to have learned about our presence and sent a welcoming committee. They didn’t last long against Shadow Team.
“Close the blast doors!” I said to one of the privates, who was near the control panel, but before he reached it the Sergeant called de-magnetize, and we all fell to the floor. We began creeping along, but of course we ran into a few… interruptions.
I scrabbled for my gun; it had been knocked out when a enemy soldier had clubbed my over the head with his mechanically reinforced limbs. Not only did it hurt like heck, it had knocked the gun from my arms. The Hunter picked me up by the neck and pushed my against the wall; not the most comfortable position, but it gave my arms free range of movement. I would have asked the rest of the team for help, but they were just as tied up as I was. I reached down to my hip and pulled out my pistol, emptying a clip into the Hunter chest. I slid down the wall, gasping for breath, as the Hunter collapsed, his body smoking. I ran to aid the Sergeant, who, with his helmet knocked off, was wrestling with a Hunter. I walked up behind the enemy and blasted him in the back of his head. He went limp, and the Sergeant slipped from under his corpse.
“Thanks.” He gasped, resting his hands on his knees
“Any day.” I responded, handing him his helmet. I began running out of the hallway, where we left one of our own lying, dead on the floor.
“Here we are.” I said after glancing at a hologram.
“Guards!” Sergeant shouted raising his blaster. We quickly dispatched the five guards.
“What do you think this door is made of, my helmet can’t come up with any positive scans. Not titanium, not ferro-plastic. Nothing will come up positive. Private, try the Fusion Cutter anyway.” I said, after scanning the door multiple times with my helmet scanner
“Yes sir.” The Private said, pulling out the long, red tube. He pressed it against the door and pressed a button. As spark flashed at the rear of the tube and disappeared into the tube. The tube jerked and a red beam appeared at the tip, He slowly moved it in the shape of a rectangle, once the cut was complete, he turned the cutter off and stored it in his pack. The Sergeant and I stepped up and kicked the door. It fell in and we walked onto the bridge.
It was strange, six Hunters, most likely the deck officers turned towards us and pulled out blasters. It was beautifully executed, if I say so myself. The remaining eight Marines flowed in behind me, six of them fired six stun charges at the officers, and each charge hit its mark.
“You six, sling these men over your backs, we’ll question them back on the ship. The remaining two, set the charges.” I said as I studied the progress of the battle out of the viewport. The IMV Serenity was withstanding a brutal onslaught from the Hunter fleet.
“Hurry up!” I shouted at the Soldiers. Less than a minute later the charges were set and the six captives were gagged and bound over the Marines shoulders. We began the sprint towards the shuttle.
“Pilot, we’re on our way, prep the shuttle.” I said to the shuttle pilot; then I spoke to the six soldiers “Place retreaters on them, don’t let any of them die.”
We reached the shuttle, which was slowly moving towards the large gap leading into open space. We leapt onto the ramp just as it began closing.
“Good job Shadow Team.” I praised as I removed my helmet. Then my comm crackled to life.
“This is Admiral Onasi; I have noted you for exemplary actions in my official report. The battle is over, the destruction of the Dreadnought made the rest of the fleet go to lightspeed. A job well done Captain.”