Final Assault

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Postby deathblane » Sat Aug 23, 2003 12:06 am

Ok, I kind of lost the first story from this computer, so while I was off-line for a while I started this new story. It describes events alluded to briefly in the intro to my first story. This is all set in My Universe ;) , which I have spent far too much time thinking about and hence have a (fairly) complete history for. And lots and lots and lots of ships designs. Well anyway on with the story, and just remember it's only part of a much bigger future history.....

Final Assault

Captain Iore stood back from the armoured view port. Outside, ship after ship assembled, taking up their assigned battle positions. Seemingly to the left, the great red orb of Jupiter filled half the view. Carefully skirting buckled and missing floor plates Iore made his way to the nearest inter-deck ladder. The lifts were out in this section; it had caught an AM blast two, no three months back. Iore sighed, too much of the Terren fleet was like this, a patchwork of damage and incomplete repairs. Damn it, this ship, his ‘Night Wolf’ was only operating at about 80%. He climbed out of the ladder shaft on the command deck. As he walked along the corridor he returned the salutes of several crewmen, unconsciously he stepped over the protrudences of the blast doors, they would be closed in combat, to prevent explosive decompression and to delay boarders. A door opened to his left, the communications room, and 1st Lieutenant Mariana Sketz stepped out. She had been his second in command for almost a year now. “Ah captain, I’m glad I’ve caught you.” Lt Sketz had a pleasant voice, but with a hard edge gained over five years of warfare. Originally she had been part of the fleet reserves on a small colony world, which meant she flew antiquated police vessels as a deterrent to raiders. An enemy strike force had destroyed her home, more than three years ago. There wasn’t much more than a hole in the ground left now. All her family had been killed save for her brother who was an officer in the marines.
“The command ship has ordered us to move to sector J,12,32,45. Apparently the ‘Siege Breakers’ engines just failed.”
“I thought the ‘Siege Breaker’ was destroyed last week?”
“Almost. Apparently Captain Sarid destroyed two cruisers single-handed. Still from what I saw of the ship I’m surprised it’s still habitable, let alone battle worthy.”
“Well Captain Sarid was never one to quit” Iore chuckled, but then some steel entered his voice. “And today Terra needs all her ships, no matter what state they are in.”
Saluting the marines guarding the entrance, the captain and 1st lieutenant entered the bridge.
The bridge was a large cylinder, double the height of a standard room. Almost twenty people had their stations here, fitting for one of the largest ship classes in the Intersystem Defence fleet. The three helmsmen sat on a raised platform placing them approximately in the centre of the room. This was to take advantage of wraparound real-time view of space that would be projected from the walls and the ceiling. Other crewmen and officers had stations at the banks of consoles or in one of the pits in the floor. The captain’s chair was set against the pillar that supported the helm platform. A swivel mechanism allowed him to survey the bridge in its entirety.
“Captain on the bridge” It was 2nd Lt Rackson. A tall slightly severe man, he had trained to become a historian on Terra before the war caught up with him. Unsure about himself, he was promoted on the death of the last 2nd Lt two weeks ago. “Sir, the ah crew are at battle stations. Um, latest, ah intelligence reports the enemy fleet to be no more than, uh two hours away. Sir”
Iore strode over to his chair, Lt Sketz had moved over to instruct the helmsman on the course change.
“Very good Lt. What is the condition of the fleet?”
“There are almost eight hundred capital ships sir, every class imaginable and over ten thousand small ships and fighters.” Something like awe had entered his voice. “It’s the biggest fleet the navy has ever gathered.”
“May I remind you Lt that this is the navy. And that the approaching fleet contains eleven hundred ships on last count, almost two hundred of which are Haradine ships, each worth four of our equivalent ships at full combat efficiency.”
“Not that we won’t win of course, after all we have the station.”
The Behemoth class station, well fortress to be more precise, was the largest independent space object to have been constructed by mankind. At more than eleven km from bottom to top they sported am AM pulse cannon capable of launching blasts of antineutrons weighing in at 10tonnes and moving at ½c. They looked like two cones, stuck base to base. Where they met the docking and habitation section flared out to form a distinct cylinder. Ports large enough to hold the biggest ships pierced the sides of the section while secondary and tertiary AM weapons, surface buildings and thousands of portholes of all sizes gave it the appearance of a city. The sides of the cones were bland by comparison. Sheer walls of armour, tens of metres thick relieved only by thin strips of buildings and towers, spaced regularly around the cone. The only noticeable difference between the top and bottom was where the cones terminated. At the base of the station there was a hemispherical protuberance that housed the thrusters necessary to counter the huge recoil of the blast. At the other end of the station a vast hatch covered the main weapon for most of the time. When it opened the four huge sections, each more than a kilometre across, swung up and over to lie against the cone. Only eight had ever been built, and six normally orbited Earth. Now one of the six was a dummy, not much more than a collection of rocks and sheet metal. The real station (officially station no3) was presently in orbit around Jupiter, carefully hidden in that huge planet’s shadow, away from the sensors of the approaching battle fleet. It had been no mean feat to arrange this. The similarisation inhibiters were carefully weakened at a specific point, made to look natural of course. Half of the fleet was then positioned, much as would be expected given an unpredictable attack vector. The rest were hidden behind Jupiter along with the station. The visible fleet then congregated around Jupiter, which just happened to be in the line of easy advance for the enemy fleet. It was made to look as if a final battle around earth was being avoided, and the enemy commanders were only too happy to oblige. Destroying what remained of the Terren fleet away from the dreaded platforms would be a prize indeed. And so while one half of the fleet made an inviting target for the onrushing invaders, the other half waited in ambush, just out of sight.

“Black Viper one to Black Viper four, you’re drifting forwards a little, cut speed slightly and maintain formation.”
“This is Black Viper four. Loosen up a little Sir. What does a few meters matter, especially now?”
“This is the best damn squadron in this fleet and I won’t stand sloppiness, not now not on Armageddon. Get me?”
Pilot Fason muttered to himself and cut the speed a fraction. The sleek shape of his Silent Eagle interceptor slowed slightly. Around above and below stretched the shapes of almost a thousand other fighters, bombers and corvettes. They were the vanguard of the IDF, sent to stop at all costs the Scouting forces of the advancing fleet.
“Want to get there a bit faster than the rest of us Fason? Get a few extra kills to your record?”
It was Sahara from Black Viper three.
“Damn, never could slip a thing past you…”
“Cut the chatter people, I’m sure there’ll be enough targets for everybody.” That was Larkson. Flying Black Viper two he was one of the best pilots in the fleet but quiet and sombre with it.
Suddenly the command channel burst into life. “This is Admiral Sedger. Pilot’s the first wave of enemy craft will be entering you’re sensor range in the next few minutes. Let none pass. The future of the human race is depending on you. I know you will do us proud.”
“No pressure then…” joked Fason.
“My God, there are so many of them. This is Black Viper three too Black Viper one. Are you getting this Sir?”
Fason had instantly glanced at his hud. For a moment he thought it was malfunctioning, the sensors were showing thousands of enemy craft and not just fighters too.
“Black Viper one to Black Viper squadron” Fason hadn’t heard Capt. Hiedson sound so grim in a long time. “Before you, you see the enemy. You are the best in the fleet and today is the day to prove it. Now remember to stick with your assigned wing mate, so Larkson with me and Fason with Sahara. No fancy stuff, just remember your training and experience and I’ll be buying you all a drink when we get back to earth port.”
“All right time to weapons range in ten, nine, eight, make this count people, six, five….”
“Two, one, fire at will!”
Fason pressed down on the trigger for the long-range pulse cannons. Immediately bursts of plasma left each side of his ship, plunging towards his pre-selected target they joined the hail of fire erupting all around. He threw the ship to the left to avoid an incoming missile and then the computer threw them to the right to avoid a plasma burst. Loading missile he prepared ordered the computer to find a Haradine ship. The missile were AM tipped and his best chance of taking down the superb, deadly fighters of the Haradine fleet. Suddenly Sahara came on the comm., “I could really do with a hand over here, now!” The computer had already locked on to his wing mate’s position and so he easily located her craft. She was being pursued by two Haradine Nightshade fighters. Little more than scouts they easily matched the human Silent Eagles. “Now I know why I armed those missiles,” Fason muttered to himself. Locking on to the first craft he let fly a volley of three. Intent as they were the Nightshade took out the first missile with countermeasures and dodged the second missile. The third missile closed in, passed through the ray shielding and exploded hard against the hull of the fighter. The resulting detonation would have blinded Fason if had had been observing it through his naked eyes. Moving behind the second fighter he used his forward laser to blast the rear shields of the enemy. It didn’t have a great effect He opened a comm. Channel to Sahara. “flip, now and target the bastard”
In mid flight Sahara’s Silent Eagle back flipped so that to any observer it appeared to be going backwards. Adding her laser to Fason's they both started reducing the shields of the Nightshade, now desperately trying to escape. Primitive though the lasers were compared to the shield they were trying to take down, the combined blasts had the desired effect. Leaving the fighter a smoking spinning wreck.
“Ok people a new wave is about to enter combat range….”

“Sir, the enemy fleet will soon be in range” Lt Sketz shook Captain Iore from his thoughts. He had asked to be informed when a few minutes remained until engagement. The big projectors were showing a magnified view of the fighter battle raging a few hundred kilometres ahead of the ship. It was a sobering thought to know that every flash could be another Terren pilot, and that soon now it would be his turn. “Very good lieutenant, shields up and power the main beam cannon. Targeting I want a range of options. Large ships and Haradine cruisers only please.”
It seemed as if the bridge had suddenly come alive again. Red circles began to pick out some of the approaching ships on the projection. The bigger ones were starting to show recognizable shapes now. Iore pressed the button for general comm.’s. “This is you’re captain speaking. In a few moments now we will commence battle. I know I can count on you.” Little more needed to be said, every man and women on the ship new what was at stake. This was the endgame, the final act of a fifty-year war.
Iore considered the targets on the screen. “Might as well go for broke.”
“Nothing lieutenant. Target the main weapon on the enemy flagship. Tell our escort to do likewise!”
The Night Wolf, like most other Resolute class battleships, had as primary armament a long range anti-matter beam cannon taking up just under 20% of internal space. The gunner in charge of this weapon pressed the appropriate button locking the weapons target as the enemy flagship. A few seconds later the ship began to hum as the conversion chambers warmed up and the capacitors charged. Once all gauges showed green the weapon was ready but the computer held firing for a further ten seconds as the target hove into range. The gunner of course had little to do with this process, but his finger was poised over the manual controls just the same. The bright turquoise glow that was emitted from the beam as it raced towards its target belied the enormous destructive potential of the weapon. A fractal pattern in the beam insured that the mix of neutrons and anti-neutrons remained separate until encountering an extremely disruptive event. Such as impacting on a ships particle shielding.
“Direct hit! Were registering a 20% drop in their shields.”
“Incoming fire, brace for impact!”
“Shields at 78%...”

Fason felt his ship buck “Damn!”
“Rear shields down to 12%” the pleasant female voice of the computer spoke into his ear. “I know I know.”
His ship was being tailed by a Cryinthan fighter, very manoeuvrable but not to hot with the weapons systems.
“Want a hand?” Sahara’s masked face appeared in the comm. window.
“From you, anytime. Half my systems are fried and I’m out of missiles”
“Coming right up”
Too his left he could see her fighter coming in on a blaze of afterburners. Opening up with all weapons the inferior shields of the enemy fighter imploded, the thick armour breaking open under a torrent of energy.
“Shit, my engines just blew out, I can’t turn. That bastards gonna' get me from beyond the grave….”
Fason watched in horror, as Sahara and the Cryinthan’s ships seemed to disappear in a blast of blue white light.
“This is command speaking, to any ships left out there you’ve done your job. The fleet will do the rest now.
“Not without me it won’t” Fason brought his fighter round in a huge arc and headed back towards where the main battle was now progressing.

“Sir the flagship has left our firing arc, shall we attempt to turn the ship?”
“No” replied Capt. Iore. “That ship moves too quickly. Tell the gunners to fire at will”
“We’ve got enemy bombers incoming!”
“Where is our fighter support?”
“Send a general request for more cover damn it. Now!”

Weakly Fason received a priority one signal. “ now. This is the battleship Night Wolf, to any fighters out there, we’ve got bombers incoming and need fighter support now. This...”
Fason could see the ship now. At least two cruiser class vessels were giving it their full attention and it looked like the shields were failing. One good bombing run should finish it off.
Engaging afterburners he ambushed the wings of bombers, destroying two before they could react their munitions going off like beacons. He could see at least three other craft doing likewise. They were going to save this ship. He came round for another run.

“Target cruiser e112 with the starboard secondaries...”
“The Revenge is asking for covering fire...”
“Twenty seconds until they enter the Behemoths firing arc...”
“Get that ship before it makes it’s attack run...”
“Shields sector 32 down...”
“The Behemoth is firing!”
The Haradine flagship, a vast vessel almost 2km long was attempting to cross through the wall of Terren heavy ships. Their main weapons were essentially fixed forward, and so once behind the more manoeuvrable flagship could engage with relative impunity. Using targeting data relayed around the planet, the station had already locked onto the swiftly moving vessel.
A single vast pulse was enough to utterly destroy the proud warship. The shockwave from the blast actually shattered the ship and started to scatter the pieces before the AM-biased plasma cloud began to react violently with the portions it was in immediate contact with. When the overloaded sensors of the battling fleets cleared the half of the Terren fleet that had been hidden could be seen emerging like ‘a fleet of avenging angels’ as one officer cum poet would later write. Supported by the almost apocalyptically powerful weapon on the station the now two-pronged attack caught the invading fleet and smashed it.

The Night Wolfe had made it through the battle, barely. Two of it’s four bastion like structures where the secondary armament was mounted had been torn away. That entire side of the ship was a wreck, with deep gouges into the hull armour. The main shield generators had been destroyed, and only one matter/AM reactor was still operational. One particular impact had sent a shockwave through the main bridge. The floor had erupted in sheets of flying metal and the ceiling had rained conduits, lights and support beams. Once emergency lighting had been activated 2nd Lt Rackson turned around to ask for instruction from the captain. When he looked up he say that the helm position was gone, the supporting pillar on it’s side the base a mass of wiring and pipes looking like an uprooted tree. Of the captains chair there was no sign.
“Sir, the first lieutenant’s been taken down to the sick bay.” It was crewman Mannist. He normally worked on a roving repair team. “Sir, you are the ranking officer.”
Rackson did not consider himself to be command material. It was a constant wonder to him that he had been promoted so far already. Still it looked like he was going to have to try. He looked around the stunned chaos of the bridge and took a breath.
“Yes of course. Ah, um, I’m going to need a status report on the bridge, and some replacement crew. And then a full damage report on the ship.”
He could get used to this command thing after all.

Wearily, Fason joined the queue of fighters outside a carrier. Patching into the carriers frequency he asked for landing instructions. He had already been turned away from three other possible landing berths. At first he had been angry and tried to argue with the harassed flight officer, but then he caught sight of the other ships trying to land. By the standards of the wrecks they were flying he could have flown his out of the factory. He flew on.
To his surprise he was given permission to land. It was not until a week later at the fleet bastion on the moon that he caught up with the rest of his squadron. A week after that he found out what had happened to Sahara. Here life pod had survived the impact, but heavily damaged it had gone undetected for two days. She had survived but was on a medical ship orbiting mars.

Three hundred Terren ships were destroyed outright in the battle. Nothing survived unscathed. Nearly ten thousand navy personnel died. Of the enemy fleet, a few hundred ships attempted to flee. Chased across the system the last ship was destroyed only minutes from similarisation distance.

The IDF sent scouts out a few days after the battle. They used the surviving beacon network to jump to the edge of the core worlds of the Terren Alliance. There they regained the defensive line had been held for the few months before the final assault on the solar system had driven all before it. There they stopped and patrolled and waited, but the Haradine never came back.

Meanwhile the military high command, which had been the real power on earth for a long time, consolidated their power. It would take sixty years of struggle to dislodge them.

[size="1"][ 23. August 2003, 12:15 AM: Message edited by: deathblane ][/size]

"there's nutrients in that beer"
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Postby Calavan » Sat Aug 23, 2003 1:46 am

:eek: great story!

id really be interested in readin a prequel to this ;)
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Postby InocPrime » Wed Mar 17, 2004 5:41 am

Guess I never read this. I agree with Calavan, very enjoyable.
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