2182 / I - Narix ship classes and designations unified with the Faira to CNX (Corvette -> Cruiser, Frigate -> Corvette, Cruiser -> Frigate).
2182 / I - Narix fleets redesignated (First - Defender, Second - Lancer, Third - Inventor, Fourth - Worker, Fifth - Scout)
2182 / IV - All capital ships of the Strike fleet as well as replacement for the CFFG Curious complete.
2182 / IV - All of Scout Fleet’s Guardians retired and replaced by six Privateer-class corvettes.
2186 / I - Transfer’Juno and Exodus’Erea complete. Construction of Exodus’Dea harbor ship started. Faira resource stocks nearing depletion. Safety stocks defined, putting the completion of the harbor ship as far as 2189 / VII.
2186 / II - Transfer’Juno operational. Lancer Fleet relocated to Transfer.Transfer outbound node
The years dragged on. Far someone with infinite lifespan, Cygnus was a Faira of little patience. The lack of will to move forward without a proper base in their backs was a nightmare, and Vanguard fleet was left with a patrol duty in Transfer and Garden. Well no more Sola!
she thought bitterly at the thought of her main opponent. Before, there were three proponents in herself, Astra and Libra, with the opposition to progress being the civilian admirals with a single vote and Sola. Now that each civilian ship had its own vote, Libra cleverly using the Confederation talks to push her own agenda, they were six to four against. Only Merkur wanted to go forth.
Finally, the time came to go through, to see what was hiding beyond Transfer. With the ‘Juno station behind them that could take out a fleet coming through the node to the Unknown on its own, the conservatives’ main argument was removed, and Vanguard and Scout were lining up to make the trek. This time, they were going through as one, with Strike and Lancer ready to come and break everything in their path that would want to do them harm, be it Relics or Ancients. Astra was eager to see how the XD-5 compared to a Meteor, and while in their cores they knew no war was better than the other option, they were going into the unknown without fear, possibly for the first time.
“CFD Explorer to CNFG Latanos, all Vanguard ships are ready at your call.” The two exploration fleets have made it an unwritten law to trade command of the expeditions every now and then, and right now it was Captain Ascari’s turn at the helm, despite their ranking.
“Explorer, Latanos. Engaging drives in twenty seconds.” The rank, ship and fleet reforms have initially made quite a mess of things, but the new designation suited the ship. “Stay close together upon completing the jump should we run into rocks again.”Unknown system
The fleet emerged on the outer edge of the system, alone in the void of empty space. In the distance and below them was a lone, bluish-white star.
“Decent call on the defensive formation. Massive debris disk between us and the star. No planets as far as astrogation can see.”
“That’s not the worst of it, Latanos.” Linsis called from the Crossbow, “Thermal signatures near the inner edge of the debris disc, about seventy degrees shifted. Captain Farsa, if you would?”
“Confirmed, it’s quite a bloom. Astrogation can’t get a decent look, the debris is blocking their view. Oracles are our only option here.”
The captain wasted no time getting to work. But unlike previously, she seemed to remain in her trance for long agonizing minutes. “I believe there are ships in the system other than our own. It is hard to even distinguish the gravitational anomaly among the rubble, but the rubble is on orbit. Some of the contacts change their trajectory far too often to be doing that under the power of gravity of the other objects alone.” She remained silent for a while then, before emerging from the trance. “I can not distinguish it as any known class. Potential first contact.” she reported.
“Another?! Faira, Ancients, Relics, now this, all under ten years, how?” Though there was nothing else that could explain the heat sources, Linsis in part still refused to believe it. “Latanos, shall we investigate? We can jump to an orbit with a smaller radius to keep our distance, give us time to act if they end up hostile.”
“I think we should wait, see if they noticed us. We may be in a system they consider their own. If they come to hail us, we’ll proceed to standard procedure. If they are oblivious of us and they vacate that area, we should go have a look. Other than that, send a message to the Admiral, notify her of the possibility, and tell her to send in the first logistics package for node defense. Whether the unknowns turn out to be friendly or hostile, we will want to fortify the node. Speaking of which…” Captain Ascari decided.
“There are three nodes other than which we came through leading from this system. Our understanding of Mindspace goes out the window with this. Honestly, other than calming the dimension down, gravity might as well not be related at all to the jump node formation.” Farsa grunted.
“Captain Zana, send the message please. Latanos, when you first jumped to Opportunity, the first thing you did upon noticing what was later revealed to be the Curious group was jump to a position that would give you a clear view of them. What’s different today? If we jump outside of the debris field in plain sight, I don’t think anyone would take it as hostile action, and even if, we’d be able to hold long enough to scram. And if there is a hostile species on this system, the sooner we know, the better.”
“It was more of both the Rear admiral and us noticing the other and inching closer to each other. These people, assuming that’s what they are, do not seem to know or be interested in us, that’s what is different. But, very well. Do you have a Muon on board? A bomber sensor suite will give us detailed enough readings of whatever is out there, and the Muon is fast enough to escape should it be fired upon.” Ascari retorted.
Linsis thought about the roster for a second before responding. “Yes, we do. We could sortie a pair flown by AI to get a short look with passive sensors and get back quickly. No contact yet, but no hiding either, does that sound right to you?”
“Authorized. If they notice and track them back to us, at least we will have the contact.” Ascari noted.
Just as the Muons were leaving, Farsa reported a jump distortion and vectored the unknown ships to one of the jump nodes. What the Muons found was a debris field, some of it still hot according to the sensors. “So… folks are either doing a military exercise, or they are not friendly at all. Sensors, can you investigate further?” Ascari inquired.
“Not without a closer look. The visual feed from the Muons shows debris that might belong to two species, but without detailed scan…”
“Very well, let us go have a look. Crossbow, follow us through. We’ll recover the debris faster if we have two hangars on site.”
“Right behind you, Latanos. Captain Tausi, you know our destination. All hands brace for jump.” The horn sounded and the ship left the node where the second wave was due to arrive soon and set up a resupply depot.Unknown system, Investigation site
“Whatever happened here?” The hologram showed the general shape and positions of the debris, both natural and artificial. “Keep an eye on the shield. Squadron leader Endera, start getting ships out to secure the wreckage. If anyone’s willing to help and jump some smaller bits on board, they’re welcome.” He turned to his XO. “Can’t wait to see rear admiral Astra’s reaction when she hears of this.”
“Bodies.” Ascari radioed over, “Vented into space, bad way to go. Look at them though, so… disproportionate. I mean, we shouldn’t be surprised at slightly differing biped after meeting the Ancients, but still.”
“There is the other species, or what is left of the specimen…” Euris noted, pinging a frozen corpse missing some appendages on the screen. “Should we… recover them? And for study, or for burial?” She proposed an ethical question.
“Take only debris that doesn’t contain any large masses of organic material, and put them under quarantine. We do not know what kind of-”
“Captain! Destroyer-size signature just came through one of the nodes!” the Oracle shouted out of a sudden, “Oh stars! Smaller jump signatures, vectoring them ot the Transfer node and here!”
“Get a message to the Admiral, tell her she might have incoming! Recover all craft and head back to the node! Warm up the guns!” the Captain ordered.
"It's only painful for ten, twenty seconds, then it knocks you out. That's why you wear vac suits." Too soon perhaps, but true nonetheless. Then the destroyer appeared and it occurred to Linsis maybe it was a good thing his crew had them. Very few craft had made it out of the hangars and most were already back. “Helm, jump in forty seconds.”Back at the node...
The commander was at a loss for words. He could clearly see debris of several cargo pods, at least two Plunderers and what appeared to be the gutted remains of a Nebula. An almost undamaged Swarmer turret could be seen, but the ship it belonged to was nowhere in sight.
“Get on the line with the Admiral.” he finally hissed through his teeth. “Now they’ve done it. Start picking up the debris, maybe there’s something to be learned from it. Captain Farsa, any survivors at all? Anyone?”
“I… Negative. No mindspace signals other than our own. That… that was the CFCR Ascension… Engineering reports that the damage is consistent with nuclear blasts. Somebody bombed our ships, probably before they could raise the shields. They must have jumped right on top of them.” The Oracle said, her face twisted in a mixture of sadness and anger.
Moments later, the Explorer came through the node. “Captain Ascari, I want the jump navigation to the unknown Destroyer. Please oversee the recovery efforts. Strike fleet has been notified and the Warrior is on the way. We will hold the fort and gather intelligence while they hunt down whoever did this.” Cygnus said, her tone dark.
“Warpick 2 here,” one of the Plunderers called, “We’ve found debris of a Guardian, nameplate says CNCR Acria, several charred bodies in space, commencing retrieval.”
“Sensors, oracle, do we know anything about the enemy other than their subspace paths?” Ascari asked, sending the requested data to the Explorer. “We’re clearing refrigerated storage to recover the bodies. What of Lancer Fleet, are they holding the Transfer side of the corridor?”
“Admiral, I assume the Crossbow is to rejoin the Strike Fleet once they arrive?” Linsis inquired, thankful he didn’t know anyone aboard the unfortunate ships. “Is it better or worse these are not the Ancients? At least with them you expect it. Are we the only damn races in this galaxy that don’t want to be the only race in the galaxy, period?” he vented to no one in particular.
They were fighting someone. Perhaps that someone could be a friendly. Until then, stay sharp. They might be just as bad.” The admiral noted, “Lancer is done refueling and is undocking as we speak. They will come through as soon as we vacate the area. Crossbow, I have orders for you from the Rear admiral. You are to jump to the site of the battle and conduct a firing test against the larger chunks of debris. We could use knowing how effective our weapons would be before we pick a fight.”
The Crossbow started to move away from the node to give Vanguard a bit of space. “Squadron leader, prepare a few strike craft to take part in the firing tests, assign rookie pilots and relay the orders for them. Understood, admiral. How much time do we have until the Warrior arrives?”
“They are traveling from Garden, so about half an hour before they get here, forty five minutes before they are ready to engage. Admiral Zorea will likely be ready to engage sooner. I do not know if they intend to wait for Strike. In the meantime - Captain Ascari, we need the bodies of the unknowns studied. I want to know if there is a chemical or biological method of attack. All oracles, stay sharp, watch out for that destroyer - Especially you, Crossbow. They might not take kindly to their graveyard being picked and prodded. Studious group is available for you as reinforcements.”
“We’ll keep that in mind, thank you, we’re heading out now. Shall we pick up more of their dead while we are there?”
“Chief medical officer is about to start autopsy on one of the more intact bodies, the deformed freak one. We will let you know as soon as she is done.” the Latanos reported. “Suffice to say the suit is quite tough to crack, marines will examine and perform penetration tests on it when they get the whole thing off.”
“Burn them all for what I care, Commander. We already have enough, and if not, there will be plenty more. The admiralty has called for war, and I can’t imagine the councilors not agreeing, not after such unprovoked aggression.” Cygnus called over, her anger getting the better of her.Meanwhile on the Vasudan ship, PVD Typhon
“Battlemaster, the flight has returned. The depot have been neutralized, however, the acolytes report that the defending ships did not look like any Terran or Vasudan ship seen before. They executed standing orders, to clear the system of unauthorized forces.” The flight leader reported to the Ship’s commander.
“Perhaps the Terrans have deployed new classes of ships, or perhaps used an aging design due to shipping shortage. No matter, we shall investigate the wreckage after we secure-”
“Battlemaster!” A technician ran into the debriefing room, “There is much activity around the depot site! An antire fleet has just jumped in, reading one large and several smaller destroyer level signatures! We have pointed subspace sensors in the area for a deep scan, there is an uncharted jump node!”
The battlemaster suddenly looked disturbed. “Launch Capricorn wing, flying Horus interceptors. We need an IFF on the vessels. If the Terrans found a new route into Vega and brought another fleet, we will need to call for reinforcements.” He had a gut feeling though that it would not be the case. And if not, then praise be all the Saints, he hoped they have not just murdered new species.asudan debris fieldUnknown debris field
“Jump flash, consistent with Narix drive! Four strikecraft, heading on a parallel course. They are attempting to scan us, should we raise shields?” The Crossbow’s sector controller announced. “Visual on TacMap.”
“Yeah, about ten seconds ago, those aren’t ours. Shield up, abort weapons testing, hold fire, interceptors standby. What can you tell me about those ships?” Their appearance was consistent with some of the debris. Three engines, sleek profile, four guns. And a canopy? First weak spot identified, assuming one could land a hit. Their drives seemed to work in a similar manner to their own, which meant both sides likely wouldn’t have any trouble tracking each others jumps. The Faira drives might be an advantage here. No visual cues that would betray a shielding system either. “Do not fire.” he reminded the crew, “I know their crimes, but perhaps no more blood needs to be spilled.”
“The admiral did say ‘burn them’. Although I tend to agree with not aiming at them until they fire at us, I feel I must stress the importance of that weapon test. We will not get another opportunity like this before we actually engage them in battl-” Farsa fell silent, “Nevermind, they just turned tail. I doubt they could get through the shield, although now they might know we have them.” The XO said.
“Cowards. Wipe out a nearly defenseless depot and then hide. Captain Farsa, stay alert. Let’s continue with the weapons tests.” he switched channels. “Explorer, Crossbow, quick update: We’ve just encountered four unknown fighters visually consistent with some of this debris. The unknowns attempted to scan us and ran as soon as we put up our shield. We’re about to begin the weapons tests, out.”
“Same here, four apiece. We’ve mindjumped one into our hangar and shot it full of plasma bolts before it could blast away. The pilot is alive, we’re waiting for rear admiral Astra to conduct the interrogation. One way or the other, they’ll listen to what we have to say. There are plenty of wrathful sorrows that need to be conveyed onto their government. Continue with your test, and stand your ground if that destroyer moves against you. We are but a few seconds away, and ours will not run!” Cygnus shared the developments next to the Node.
If he wasn’t so furious at that moment, he would have applauded the admiral’s tactics. “If it doesn’t talk, I suggest half a bottle of Fersom. And if you decide to get physical, give him a good punch for me. What’s the status of the fighter, anything worth something left of it?”
“Will do, Commander. And no, I don’t think there is anything worth looking at. Lasers and missiles with chemical explosive warheads for weapons, no shield, armor… well, structural really, the Explorer’s crew brought it down with suit mounted weaponry and anti-intruder countermeasures. The foam seems to just be the end-all in these situations, in this case it disabled the engines. We’ll keep you posted if we make a breakthrough. Admiral Zorea will be through any second now.”
As if on cue, Lancer fleet arrived, complete with both of its carriers and several salvage ships. “What do we know, any new developments?” The whole fleet was tense, adopting a loose formation and heading away from the node to let them use their jump drives. Strike craft were fueled and loaded in their launch bays, their pilots sitting around them in full kit. “Strike fleet isn’t far behind. The assembly demands vengeance and as far as I heard, the people agree.”
“We have one of them captured waiting for questioning. Their strikecraft is as weak as our old drones, the Crossbow is about to tell us more about their ships. The destroyer seems to be guarding their node just like we are. Are you waiting for Strike, or do you want to go have a personal word with them immediately?” Cygnus shared and asked.
“Shall send an intelligence officer to help? I’m tempted to go right away, but I’d rather wait for the rear admiral. If they see they’ve pissed off not one, but two species united, they’ll think twice before doing anything stupid. More stupid than they already have, anyway. What do we know about their numbers in this system, aside from the destroyer?”
“Then the officer is unnecessary. We are having trouble deciphering anything from their language on our own, let’s see if the master of gizmos has a better luck with her association probe.” Cygnus admitted. The guttural, grunting sounds the prisoner made were indistinguishable from an angered growling to them, and while they had structure beyond doubt, they couldn’t be sure the sounds were the only component to the alien language.
“Regarding the enemy, there are four cruiser sized vessels accompanying it and judging by the number and speed of several smaller masses around, they have strikecraft escorts deployed. We believe they are still waiting on their logistics, likely until they secured the area.”
“Thank you, admiral, we’ll prepare accordingly.” The first two battlegroups started to reorganize, the first’s carrier joining a different battlegroup, first instead forming around the Ira. Second battlegroup was meant as reinforcements that would stay a bit further away should shots be fired. Such a shame Scout Fleet got priority for new Pivateers because re-equipping it was the cheapest. “Drives - check. Synchronisers - check. Weapons - check. Crew motivation - beyond measure.” Now just wait for Strike fleet and then for some answers.]Fifteen minutes later
A massive mindspace vortex opened at the node and spewed out the Strike fleet minus Crossbow. “Strike fleet on station. Commander Linsis, I believe you have something for me?” Astra said as soon as the vortex closed behind them. The fleet unfolded from travel formation, the battlegroups splitting up and forming into their attack wedges, with corvettes flanking capital ships and cruisers covering the rears, improving strikecraft protection around the engines.
“Aye, rear admiral, we’ll be but a moment.” a few seconds later, the Crossbow arrived to rejoin her fleet. “We’ve done some homework while waiting for you. I’ll have my master engineer’s report circulated once she’s done picking the debris apart. Unfortunately, the armor of both of these species is tougher than their Ancient counterparts, especially when it comes to strike craft. That being said, they posses no shielding system, leveling the playing field. As for the capital ships, it’s hard determining the sizes of the ships from the debris. The armor itself seems more resilient, but we won’t know for sure unless we get a mostly intact ship for thorough tests. If you’d like we can prepare some intact examples for transport and ship them to you. The Explorer captured one of their fighters mostly intact, but don’t seem too impressed. Their jump signatures match Narix drives, so their FTL mobility might be high.”
“Well done.” Astra said as she reviewed the data that arrived already. “Seems like they use thick, dense plating. Depleted uranium in some areas. Expensive, but effective, the twins and P-5s would have tough time getting through to the subsystems, and even the P-15 beam might not pierce a destroyer armor in one shot. That said, that plating will accumulate heat quickly and spread it all around the ship. The quads might be enough to punch through, depending on the ammo and thickness variation on each ship class. I say our best bet is to go in with a disarm/disable tactic, since they appear to have no shield.” she summarized the findings. “Admiral Zorea, what are the orders? Any word from the council?”
“Rear admiral, how quickly do you think you could decypher enough of their language to let us make contact, assuming you had one live specimen? Because one such is currently located on the Explorer. I suggest we transfer it to the Warrior, letting you see what’s what and than take it with us. Having a living hostage could be useful. Maybe they’ll see we haven’t killed it yet and try to talk.”
“Very well, jump it over, I’ll see what I can do. We have ten minutes to cool down our drives anyway.” Astra noted, instructing her Master of Arms to set up a proper place for holding the VIP hostage. She hoped her probe would work as well as it did with Captain Ascari, but that probe worked on the assumption that there was an electrical nervous system in the organism. And after meeting the Ancients, Astra wasn’t sure that assumption held.
“As far as the assembly is concerned, it’s 11:9 for talking it out. But to quote Councilor Nyx: ‘They better be sorry, or our fleets will make them so.’ The general consensus is first start talking, then figure out what they have of use, then ask for it as reparations. But that all hinges on being able to communicate with them. At the risk of sounding like a tool: rear admiral, peace might be in your hands.”Many, many hours later…
“I. Give. Up.” Astra growled as she entered the conference room, where Cygnus, Zorea and Ascari were waiting impatiently. “I swear, the prisoner keeps changing dialects every hour or so, and I have no idea what is governing their uses. Long story short, I’d need a year and multiple specimen to comprehend that abysmal unmitigated mess those things use as a language. If their reasoning is as convoluted as the language, they might actually have found a logical explanation for naked aggression against an unknown species.” Astra yelled exasperatedly as she stormed to her seat.
“I’d actually like to hear that thought process common tongue, that is. In Think the alien is doing it on purpose to make your job impossible?” Zoea wondered.
“At least we’re not the only ones who wasted a day.” Ascari sighed, “The aliens haven’t moved either, although we did pick up several signatures coming and going. We suspect they’re supply ships.”
“We could send a really big bomb into the jump node and just cut them from our space. There is another jump node leading out of here after all.” Cygnus spoke up. “We will in time copy the Ring, so we will be able to re-open the node on our terms.”
“I do not believe it is purposeful, would you give your fighter pilots such extensive counterintelligence training to cover fooling alien telepaths?” Astra said doubtfully. “Anyay, the unknowns are fortifying their position at the node, likely as a reaction to our massive traffic. Considering that they were engaged with another species in this system, it is likely that this system is contested, or being invaded by them, and not controlled by them. That lands some credibility to what Admiral Cygnus proposed. Despite our traffic though, they brought no other destroyer, suggesting that they might not have any readily available. We may not wish to close off such a path, and we have no guarantee that we will not encounter them in the future - after all, had the Relics not collapsed the Transfer - Terminus node, there would be looping routes even in our territory.”
“I can’t say, but I wouldn’t have my pilots talk like frequency scrambler radios either.” Zorea shook his head. “For better or worse, the other species doesn’t seem to be present in this system. And with a hostile destroyer around, I don’t like the idea of sending corvettes to look around.”
“Crossbow to Warrior. Captain Farsa seems to think she picked up a faint trace of a ship at the boneyard about two minutes ago, but it’s disappeared before we could confirm it. Oracle from the Longbow confirms this.”
Invidia here, it gets better. Unknown jump window, signature consistent with our drives, but significantly weaker, off our stern, heading towards us at a slow pace, we’re launching two Halberds to take a slow, close look.”
Indeed, a small ship was approaching. The fighters approached slowly, their noses pointed perpendicular to the tiny craft. Upon approaching, the lead fighter turned to face it, illuminating it with his landing lights.
“What’s that? I can see windows and doors on it. The top and bottom seem to have docking rings on them.”
Watching the pilot’s gun camera feed, Zorea got an idea. “We could launch a support Plunderer to dock with it. That will let us keep it away from the fleet in case somebody took notes from rear admiral Astra’s book of breaking node blockades.”
“I’d send an SAR Plunderer instead. If they are battle survivors, they might need help. Also, it is sterile environment and can likely match the atmosphere they require, if any.” Astra noted.
“Maybe the Warrior can launch one of your transports, since we’d be bringing them here anyway? Besides, your holographic interface has already proven itself once when trying to communicate without knowing each other’s language.”
Meanwhile outside the ship, one of the fighters managed to convince the alien craft to come to a halt by parking in front of them.
“I think it might be better to just have them board a cruiser. I can keep myself intact even if that thing is packed with nukes, and also control a cruiser on my own. I’ll make sure they are not a threat and then jump them to a location on the Warrior or Ira, depending on what their needs are. Is that acceptable?”
“Very well. We’ll recall the fighters upon your approach and keep an eye on the destroyer and its group. We will let you know if they do anything shifty. Don’t push your luck out there.”On the Terran escape pod
Following the destruction of their cruiser, the eight survivors of the GTC Cydonia have been hiding among the debris of the battle under minimal power, hoping they could hold out long enough for the GTD Eisenhower to catch up to their vanguard and retrieve them. That plan took a big hit when a stray piece of rock hit their hull, creating a small leak. Venting atmosphere, they were just weighing their options when the unknown ship arrived. Black as the night and armed with weapons out of sci-fi, the crew watched them shooting random pieces of Terran and Vasudan debris for no apparent reason. It was then the survivors noticed a wing of Horus-class interceptors gunning for the ship. The unknown reacted by forming some sort of barrier around the ship, routing the Vasudans. Facing rapid loss of cabin pressure, the crew decided to try their luck with the aliens, using the Hermes’ limited processing power to vector their jump and follow.
Now, they were among a massive fleet made up of at least six ships that matched the Orion-class in size, flanked by two unknown fighters and being approached by a Fenris-sized ship. “You sure this was the right thing to do?” one of the survivors asked uncertainly. Before anyone could respond, the unknown cruiser stopped and one of the alien fighters shone its floodlights into the open bay. WIth the single-use drive burned out, there was nothing else left to do and when they hesitated, one of the fighters gave them a gentle nudge in that direction.
Once inside, the survivors donned their pressure suits and composed themselves to get out. Opening the straboard door, the highest-ranking among them, an NCO responsible for the Fusion mortar crew, got out slowly.
“Warrior, Nebula. The unknowns are coming out. They are equipped with a pressure suit of their own, although I can see no armoring or shield. The craft they used appears to be a shuttle type craft stripped down of everything unnecessary, my guess is an escape pod. It would match them coming from the debris field. Their craft is shot to hell and actually smoking.” Astra reported over. TIme to make more friends - it couldn’t go worse than it gone with Ascari, could it?
She slowly showing them her hands and turned them over, indicating she held no weapon, while her suit mounted weaponry, plentiful as it was, remained powered down and locked in the suit’s compartments, invisible to the almost naked eye the survivors had.
They were met with a lone alien standing in what could only be described as ‘emergency lighting’. The assumed cargo bay they were in had no air or gravity. Though they still weren’t out of the water yet, at least it was better than being found by the Vasudans. Or was it? After all, the War only started after initial peaceful contact.
The alien than raised its hands, as if surrendering. Or, given the circumstances, indicating it was unarmed. Given the appearance of the alien’s suit, there was no doubt the alien wouldn’t need weapons to kill them all. Which would indicate it didn’t want to kill them, since it hasn’t happened yet. The Chief Petty Officer mimicked the alien’s gesture, followed by the rest of his men.
To drive home the point of diminishing air supply, the CPO resorted to human hand signals - pointing at the pack on his back, the hose connecting it to his helmet, and showed three fingers and a closed fist - thirty minutes. Then pointed at himself and his crew and ran his index finger along his throat. He didn’t even hope the alien would understand, but he simply had no idea what else to do.
The hose was a giveaway, or at least Astra hoped. But how to get an atmosphere composition without actually cutting into those hoses and letting one of the poor saps die? Well, their craft was shown to leak atmosphere before, perhaps some was still in. summoning a control screen and closing the docking port, she waited a few minutes until the hull breaches leaked enough of the atmosphere through into the room to get an analysis. She had her screen display the atmosphere composition in a number of given gas molecules in a ration matching the sample for the aliens to see. Hopefully their chemistry and matter composition theories were the same, otherwise they would just have to take a leap of faith. Astra approached slowly, and then tapped the hose before pointing back to the screen, asking for confirmation.
Holographic screens, fancy. Much to the officer’s disbelief, the alien seemed to have figured it out. The only question was what the multicolored balls the hologram was showing were meant to represent. Before he could figure it out, one of his subordinates understood, pointing at the holographic display with one hand and tapping his air hose with the other at a rapid rate, hopefully conveying the urgency of the matter at hand.
Hoping that was a yes, Astra activated the life support system in the cargo hold with the altered parameters. Once more she could not help but to praise the universe the Faira did not actually need to breathe like these other species had to. Now that she had a look at the aliens, and taking into account the Unknown form the hostile species, either evolution tended to prefer the biped shape, or greater forces were at play. Once again the shadow of the Relics hung over her mind. Were they all scraps of that species the Ancients missed in their crusade against the genocidal species, left to evolve on their own, but with the same base?
Whatever the case, they would figure it out later. Right now, Astra was more concerned with the aliens on her hold living more than a few more minutes. She couldn’T replicate the atmosphere perfectly, and much like the Narix, they would probably find it a bit dry, but hopefully that wouldn’T be too much of a problem. At least the Nebula was a ship with pure Faira crew, so hopefully no contagion form Naris or Garden IV came aboard.
Not perfect, but close enough. With one volunteer taking off his helmet and not displaying any immediate problems, the rest of the crew also ditched their headgear, immediately confronted with the humidity, or lackthereof.
“Sorry, forgot to warn you about that.” the Volunteer apologised.
“You’re shit as canary in the coal mine, you know that?”
Turning their attention back to the alien, a question presented itself: what now? Perhaps an expression of gratitude at having their lives saved was in order? One of the Terrans slowly backed into the escape pod and reemerged shortly after, holding a yellow plastic package covered in black symbols and offered it to Astra.Meal Ready to Eat
Whatever that was, Astra had it ran through her scanner. Wouldn’t want to put a bomb in her suit’s pocket, would she? The scanner spat out ‘Uncatalogued Narix food item’ on her. Could it be that these people could even eat similar stuff? The universe was getting suspiciously small. Regardless, she had little use for it either as food or anything else, but she took it slowly as a gesture of gratitude, hopefully… maybe?
In any event, she seemed no harm in revealing her face as well, and set her helmet to retract and fold to showing herself to the newcomers. Wanting to hear her speak to show she could communicate with spoken language, she used the time to call over to the Warrior: “Good news, these guys seem to breathe and even eat the same things the Narix do. They also didn’t try to put a plasma bolt in my head yet, or even gouge my eyes out like our other prisoner, so I suppose they are a more reasonable bunch. I am going to attempt using the probe.”
Figuring out exchanging gifts was as an opportunity as any, she took the language probe out of one of her suit compartments and slowly approached the Alien, wrapping the soft material around what would pass for an ear on a Narix. Remembering Ascari’s reaction, she took a few steps back before turning on the screen displaying the images, slowly this time with increasing pace, shield emitters primed just to be sure.
The alien seemed to be wary of the gift presented. Although they realized why, some of them still couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought that the bad reputation of the MREs was galaxy-wide. All chuckles subsided when the alien removed its helmet and, after talking to someone in a bizzare, almost childlike tone, produced a gift of its own.
A series of images appeared in front of the group, showing seemingly random images at an increasing rate, leaving the Terran crew mildly confused as to what just happened. Lacking Ascari’s intelligence background, knowledge critical to the defense of their species and perhaps most importantly his lack of trust, the officer’s reaction was merely a confused glance at the alien, no doubt this would be something Ascari’s detractors across both Confederate species would share a few hearty laughs over.
“Survival - check, gifts - sorted, confusing alien device - check, what now sir?” one of the crew asked. “Think they’d let us call the Eisenhower? Wishful thinking for even compatible communications, eh?”
“Actually, that has been solved.” Astra said, speaking somewhat broken english, a language all of the new aliens seemed to share, although she got another one supposedly called Russian. First multiple dialects, and now multiple languages altogether? What madhouse was this galaxy? “Can you understand me?” She hoped the improved image set for quicker translation was paying out.
The terrans were stunned. “H...How? It took us years to sort out basic Vasudan language. Even learning german took years, I don’t...” the confused Terran officer trailed off. It would appear the confusion was now complete. Somewhat recovering, the officer pointed to the translation device. “Who re you, and what is this?”
“A device that lets me associate impulses of your nervous system to the images you see. It allows me to learn your language on a fast rate. I am rear admiral Astra of the Narix-Faira Confederation. You are aboard the Faira cruiser Nebula. Do you require medical attention?” she asked first, before she went on intelligence gathering spree. After Ascari, Libra had taken it upon herself to drill into her the first contact protocols. Hard.
“No, but a dozen more minutes without air and it would’ve been a different story. I’m Chief Petty Officer Artyom Novikov, Galactic Terran Alliance. Once again, you have our thanks. Where did you come from all of a sudden? We had no idea there even was a node here.”
“There is, but before I say anymore - What is your situation? We are a peaceful people, but we will not hesitate to wipe out anyone who threatens us. The other species in this system has already made that mistake and the hammer will fall on them hard. Can you contact your people and tell them not to engage any ship on these coordinates? We want no… incidents.” the Faira hissed.
“We’ve been at war with those damn freaks for fourteen years.” one of the Terrans said dryly, as if tired. “At this point, we only welcome any semblance of peace. But if you intend to tussle with them, beware. They’ve fielded a new type of ship, one we haven’t seen before. About two thousand meters across, it swept through us and our escorts like we weren’t even there. But with this fleet, I doubt you will have any problems.” He withheld the fact the Eisenhower was coming. Just because the seemingly friendly alien said something didn’t make it true. “Just be careful around them. They attacked us over a botched welcoming ceremony, there’s no reasoning with these people.”
“While I hope you understand our wanting of the story from the second side, it is in my power to grant you asylum for the time being. Would you object to moving to my flagship? My engineers can work on contacting your nation form there. I imagine you and I both have burning questions that we want answered as well. First thing though - you obviously deciphered their strange language. It would be greatly appreciated if you could provide us with a translation matrix.”
“What we know has gone to hell along with the Cydonia and the rest of our group. But if you get us home and make a good impression, I’m certain the assembly will gladly let you sort through that mess. Since they’ve been quite keen on killing us on sight, we haven’t bothered to mount translators on escape pods. They usually don’t last long.”
“Very well.” Astra said and the scene around them shifted, confusing the brain out of the Terrans, as Astra jumped them to the Warrior’s briefing room, homing in on Cygnus. “Gentlemen, Admiral Zorea of the Narix Lancer fleet, Captain Ascari of the Narix Scout fleet, and Admiral Cygnus of the Faira Vanguard fleet. Admirals, Captain, Chief Petty Officer Novikov and his crew, Galactic Terran Alliance. I have uploaded their translation matrix into the FleetNet. They require a transport home to facilitate contact with their government. Can the Explorer arrange that?”
“I will take your people to the node, Chief. Do you have any way to ensure we are not shot on sight after we emerge from the node? Short of attempting to repair your ship, we have nothing that would survive much punishment and is unarmed. I will not send my people in in those odds, I hope you understand.”
Recovering from the shock took a while. The unexpected, albeit weak, pull of gravity caused a few to lose their footing.
“The sole problem with the Hermes is the hull breach. We don’t know where it is, bud judging by the loss of air, it shouldn’t be hard to repair. But that’s not necessary anyway, we can contact our ships from your hangar. I suggest we make haste, the longer you harbor us, the more likely it is the Zods will assume you are allied to us and come after you.”
“Let them. They only need to change two out of twenty votes to have a war declared on them. You have been granted asylum for the duration of your stay. If these brutes are not civilized enough to recognize that, or idiotic enough to fire on an overwhelming force, they deserve what they have coming. This way, gentlemen. Your ship has already been transferred to the Explorer.” Cygnus said, motioning to the door.
“Idiotic, you have no idea. Twelve years ago, they fragged one of our capital ships with suicide pilots
.” one of the Terrans grunted as the group followed through the door, causing the two present Narix to share puzzled looks. One more reason to bring the hammer down.Vega - Beta Aquilae jump node
“Whenever you are ready, gentlemen. The Explorer is no pushover, but no need to scare the wits out of your garrison.” Casei said, scanning over the pod.
“As soon as we make the jump, we’ll start broadcasting a message to avoid any problems. Just let us know a few seconds ahead.”
“Get to it then, jump in under a minute. Hold onto something, the ship might rattle a bit.” Casei said, magnetizing her suit’s peds.Other side of the jump node
“What is wrong with their drives?”
“Any GTA forces, this is Chief Petty Officer Novikov, service number 04012304-125342, do NOT fire upon the unknown vessel. The Vasudans have destroyed the GTC Cydonia and GTC Midas, we are the only alive because of these aliens.”
Within thirty seconds, a ship of destroyer proportions jumped in. “Chief Officer Novikov, this is the GTD Eisenhower. It’s good to hear from you. Come on home for debriefing and a hot meal. Can the aliens hear us? I assume you’ve figured out a way to communicate.”
As far as Cygnus thought, the Terran ship was nothing impressive. It crawled so slowly it could be taken for a halt, and the heat readings it ventilated were far below anything the NFC had. Still, if the armor matched the Vasudan ships, it might last a while, and scarily enough, be ungodly easy and fast to make. The most heat came of from the massive engine required to accelerate that hunk of mass though, suggesting the weapons systems were either powered down, or severely underwhelming. Certainly nothing compared to Ancient equivalent.
“GTD Eisenhower, CFD Explorer. Your crew’s shuttle is preparing to leave the starboard hangar, feel free to send fighter escorts. I would however like to meet in person to discuss important matters.” Cygnus connected to the Terran destroyer, sending an audiovisual signal, using the codecs copied form the escape pod.
A human male with wrinkly skin was on the other side of the line. “CFD Explorer, this is Admiral Errinwright speaking. First of, thank you for taking care of my people. Their knowledge may save many lives. I welcome you aboard the Eisenhower. Our hangar is located on the starboard side.”
“Your crew was given a radio beacon, please set it into a cleared location and tell your security I will arrive at it’s location via FTL. I am taking two guards with me. If you are able, we would appreciate if you could lower your gravity by twenty percent.” Cygnus said, giving the ship to the XO and leaving to prepare for the visit.GTD Eisenhower, Hangar bay
The hangar was, in a way, similar to the Faira ones. Strike craft, each of them even less impressive than the destroyer, were stowed away on racks along the walls with a retractable ladder leading to each craft. The lights shone bright white with some red ones here and there. The admiral stood some twenty meters from the beacon with armed guards to each side, waiting for the guests.
In a flash of red and white, two Faira Marines arrived and gauged the situation. Detecting no immediate danger, they spoke briefly into the commsuite and the Admiral arrived as well. The three slammed their fists on their chests in a salute. Despite them being of equal ranking, it was polite to do when visiting the others’ ship. “Admiral Errinwright. I am sorry to drop onto you thus suddenly, but time is of the essence. While we would have been happy to return your crew in any case, I want to call the favor in immediately. We are aware you have deciphered the Vasudan language. We would very much appreciate if you shared with us a translating software or hardware.” Cygnus went straight to business.
“Greetings, admiral. While both I and the survivors of the Cydonia ar grateful for your assistance, I am afraid sharing information regarding the Vasudan language is beyond my authority. I doubt it would do you much good anyway, as our attempts at peaceful relations ended in this. Perhaps there is something else we can do for you?”
“Admiral, let’s be clear on one thing. We are this close to a war with the Vasudans. ‘Ended in this’ could be over in a few months if our two nations join yours. Whether we are fighting as your allies, or resent you for eternity for not sparing us the chance to avoid that war or even one battle, is up to you. Make whatever calls you need to, or tell me to stop wasting my time and I’ll be on my way!” Cygnus said sternly, hoping to end any hopes of involving politics in this.”If we make friends with these people, we’ll request this one to lead penal units.”
the admiral thought. “And what is stopping you from talking your way out of this or even joining forces with them, especially after you’ve picked up the sole survivors of our unit eradicate by them? Aside from not knowing their language, not much, I imagine. But desperate times call for desperate measures.” he turned to one of his guards. “Corporal Harrison, get to a shipcom terminal and tell the communications officer to send the Vasudan language package to the Explorer. But bear in mind, admiral,” he said turning back to Cygnus, “that we are resilient people, who do not forgive betrayal. The language data will be delivered shortly. As for any potential future dealings between our peoples, I suggest we leave them to more qualified people.”
“Their cold blooded murder of two of our cruiser crews, Admiral. We need this to ask for an explanation and demand severe reparations. As I said, THIS close to war.” Cygnus answered, her voice most mild compared to before. “Thank you, we won’t forget this. Here is a drive with silhouettes of our ships and a neutral communication frequency and encryption codes to contact us.” she said, handing it over. “I know you will not likely confirm, but if you intend to move into Vega, there is one Vasudan destroyer and several cruisers holed out around their node. They are however weary of attacking us, given we jumped four fleets into the system. If you would like, we'll send ships to recover the bodies of Cydonia’s crew.” she offered sympathetically.
“Thank you, admiral. Your report more or less matches what the Cydonia’s survivors told us. Recovering the bodies won’t be necessary, we’ll take care of our own. Until we meet again, farewell.”Confederate ultimatum to the PVE”This is admiral Adrihen Zorea of the Narix-Faira Confederation. Yesterday at 09:26, Confederation System Time, a number of ships belonging to the Parliamentary Vasudan Navy attacked a Confederate depot without provocation, leading to loss of the CFCR Ascencion, CNCR Acria, two dropships and a large number of supplies. Worse, this attack cost over 400 lives of two species.
As reparations for this despicable act, we demand:
The individuals executing the attack, the officers in charge and the official issuing the order be handed over to us.
Resources detailed in attachments
Failure to respond within one hour and to comply within one week will lead to the declaration of war. Any jump of a warship anywhere but out of this system or to the Confederate-held node will likewise result in military action being taken.”PVD Typhon, some time before
The Vasudan CnC was alive with pilot chatter.
“Capricorn one one, we have the small destroyer in visual range.”
“Capricorn two one here, the fleet at the uncharted node is massive, reading six destroyers, close to a dozen of the smaller capital ships and large number of lineships, about a third above cruiser specification.”
“The small capital ship just vanished from sensors for a moment… Command! The ship appears to have raised a protective barrier around itself!”
The Battlemaster’s worries came through then. By the gods, what have we woken up? Capricorn wing, both flights return to base! Do not provoke them!”
“Capricorn two two! Command the flight leader just disappeared in a flash of light, we are withdrawing!”
The XO of the Typhon approached the Battlemaster: “Could they be the Destroyers the scrolls speak about? ‘Jet black engines of tireless war, glowing red into the night, infinite in number and silent mystery…’?”
The old Vasudan shuddered at the thought: “I pray they are not, but even if the gods hear my plea, their fleet is massive. If they attack, we can not hold.”Present time…
The command staff has been gazing haplessly at the note that was sent from the Alien fleet. No doubt the treacherous Terrans gave them a language file.
Perhaps some good could come from this though. The misunderstanding that was the attack could be smoothed out if they could communicate. “Notify the Parliament immediately. And hope they heed our warning to pay the price. I will give myself to them if it saves us from a war.”30 minutes later
The peace and quiet of the Vega - Beta Aquilae jump node was disturbed by the arrival of the Eisenhower, flanked by six cruisers and numerous fighter escorts. It would appear the Terran admiral decided to heed the warnings and take a larger force through. No doubt the fleet was noticed by everyone in the system, but it would take up to ten minutes for all their drives to recover, leaving them vulnerable to attack.
The Vasudan battlemaster was on his wit’s end. To stay put was to invite an attack from the Terrans, that could lead to them establishing a beachhead in Deneb. Worse, going on the offensive or calling in reinforcements could provoke the new aliens into attacking. Thus far it seemed like the best option was to fall back through the node and blockade the other end.
Desperate times called for desperate measures though. “XO, contact the Confederate admiral, and prepare to take over command.”
It wasn’t surprising the Vasudans took long to respond. After all, the choice between sending your men to uncertain fate or sending your nation to a war on two fronts was not an easy one. And yet minutes went by, the Vasudan’s time dwindling.
“Incoming transmission.” The Ira’s communications officers perked up at the sound of the alert, having previously used the ultimatum time to rest. “What do you know, it’s the Vasudans! Decoding their mess, standby a moment.”
“Admiral Zorea, this is Battlemaster HaDo of the PVD Typhon. I have not yet received an official response to your ultimatum form my government, however I am prepared to surrender the pilots responsible and myself as a commanding officer to your custody regardless of their decision. I would ask you however to allow my fleet to defend our home in accordance to your stated requirements on equal measures from the Terran fleet that has entered the system, and summon two cruisers to reinforce the node to match the Terran numbers. I and my pilots have made a grave error in judgement, and we will face the consequences. I plead that my countrymen do not have to pay for our mistakes as well.” the Battlemaster messaged over, ignoring the disapproving looks from his XO.
“So it was an accident, or so they claim. I say we have no reason to get involved in their war. Forward the message to admiral Cygnus. She’s had contact with the Terrans, let’s hear her opinion.”
“The Terrans claim the Vasudans attacked over a botched protocol. From what we seen of them, I’m inclined to believe it, even if it was just a means to start a war of conquest. However, I see no point to get involved if they do not fail to meet our demands. Let them have their cruisers, and us a few of them to recondition at Cape Exile. I say we grant the request.” Cygnus said pragmatically.
“Communications, send message: PVD Typhon, CND Ira. Request granted. We expect you and your pilots to arrive at the node by means of a transport vessel with no escort within the remaining time of the ultimatum. I’m sure I don’t have to explain what failing to appear would entail. Further damage to the Confederation at any point in time will be dealt with much more severely.“
“Thank you, Admiral. We are sending a silhouette of a ship you should expect.” HaDo ended, signing off the command of the fleet to Shipmaster BagNir and leaving to join the pilots in the hangar.
Zorea pulled the ships back away from the point the Vasudans were to jump to, still not trusting of the race. Four Flails were sent out to guide the incoming transport and the Warrior was notified, as it would be the ship to receive them since they already housed the captured pilot.
The transport the Terrans designated Isis class arrived into the Explorer’s hangar without incident. Inside, a numerous guard of Faira and Narix marines were waiting to take them into holding. The pilot they captured before that was supposedly not taking part in the massacre was then marshalled into the ship and the pilot told to head back to his fleet.
“What do you intend to do with us?” The Battlemaster asked, once they were seated under guard in the briefing room with admiral Cygnus getting a look at them.
“If you ask me, we should just toss you out into space. You can thank the Narix for their legal system, you are likely facing labor camps on a developing colony. They are not luxurious, but to my knowledge they do not work prisoners to death there.” Cygnus said without a speck of sympathy.
“Thank the gods, then.” one of the pilots noted as Cygnus left.
“Did you hear what he said at the end?” She asked into the radio, having patched Zorea in on the conversation.
“I did. Thank the gods
,” Zorea spat out the word with disdain, “thank Ramses Verrikan for coming up with the three-tier system in the first place, you ungrateful bastard. I agree with labor camps for the pilots, following drastic reeducation that is, they’re just grunts, but the flight leader and the commander had authority in that attack and went through with it regardless. I recommend a public trial followed by the execution of these two. The public is livid as it is. And after what he just said? You get the picture. Maybe we should call Inventor fleet if they need to test some neurotoxins, see what they’re made of?”
“Those vectors of attack should be developed even against the Terrans, until we have a treaty signed.” the Faira admiral said darkly. “You should share the recent discovery about their faith with the council, see if any votes are swayed. My XO will continue gathering intel, especially about their war with the Terrans. I will give you the data as it comes in.
“We don’t have Terran specimen. We had some, but I think buying some goodwill with them and getting the Vasudan language files was the better choice. Special Activities Division might at least stop complaining about having nothing to do. I’ll leave the Ira to my XO and update the intelligence report. If you or rear admiral Astra have anything you’d like to add, send it over. Has any of the fleets moved yet?”Vega - Deneb node
Indeed they have. Admiral Errinwright, expecting the transport to be a negotiator, launched his attack, using the cruisers as forward fighter defense, assisted by his Apollos. The Eisenhower jumped behind them, keeping the Vasudan destroyer on its 10 o’clock high to shield their fighterbay from fire. The Vasudans responded by scrambling their fighters, revealing one of the Typohn’s strengths as over 100 craft, including Osiris bombers, streamed out of its hangars. Still, the Terrans had the upper hand so far as the Vsudans only had a dozen fighters on patrol while the Terrans had launched all of their fighters prior to the jump. The GTC Fenris was at an advantage over the PVC Aten, even without their numerical superiority. But the Vasudans were not as disorganized as the Terrans thought, despite the battlemaster’s absence, and the battle soon turned into a bloody skirmish. The Typhon and its cruisers started to move, circling the Eisenhower from the right, with the Terran destroyer turning to keep it at its 10. As the destroyer turned, followed by its screening cruisers, the two reinforcement Atens arrived, targeting the Eisenhower’s engines opposed by a pair of straggling Apollos that couldn’t do much to stop them.
The NFC forces held their word and didn’t join the fight for now. The one hour limit was closing in though. Good for the Eisenhower, that was now standing alone, alongside with the only Leviathan class cruiser they brought. The Typhon had fared little better, it’s Atens wiped out, but all strikecraft remaining in the area, including two wings of bombers, belonged to the Vasudan battlegroup.
“CFD Warrior to PVD Typhon, your time is up. What is your answer?” Astra asked, waiting a few seconds. The answer was not coming from the destroyer, but rather from outside the system via a comm buoy:
“High speaker DirAk of the Vasudan Imperial Parliament to the Confederate fleet: Your demands are out of order with the damages caused by an unsanctioned attack by the thirteenth battlegroup. You have the personnel responsible in your custody and you will be reimbursed for the cost of the ships destroyed. No more. Furthermore, you will cease your unwarranted invasion of the Vega system and withdraw any and all armed f-”
Astra has had enough, cutting the transmission. She was sublimating with anger. A mindstorm enveloped her and the Ascendant let out a horrifying shriek, that could be heard in the mind of every being with the system. This feeling would have been alien, and yet everyone would understand the reason and aim of the anger it conveyed. “Admiral Zorea, permission tu blockade the Deneb jump node and assist the Eisenhower!”
Throughout the Narix fleet, the Vasudan message was routed throughout the PA system for everyone to hear. In the aft mess hall where admiral Zorea was finishing his lunch, the message created a loud cacophony of disapproving voices, curses from several cultural backgrounds and more. Standing up and heading to the CIC, Zorea sent a suit message to the XO on duty to relay to the rest of the fleet: “All ships, admiral Adrihen Zorea speaking. Seconds ago, the Vasudan parliament decided to trample the memory of our fallen comrades in arms. This insult will not be tolerated, certainly not from a nation that claims to be guided by deities. Rear admiral Astra, alert your battlegroup, the Warrior, the Ira and their respective battlegroups are going to explain to the Vasudans that our terms are not negotiable. Admiral Cygnus has command of the system until our return. Invidia, her battlegroup and both carriers are on twenty second alert should we need reinforcements.”
“Oracle, plot a jump exit on danger close parallel course to the Eisenhower. Prepare to expand the shield over both ships. Protect the Terran destroyer. Fighters prioritize Vasudan bombs and bombers. Frigates, engage the Typhon, keep the P-15s in pulse mode, no need to reveal our hand any further. Corvettes, engage the remaining cruisers, sending target lists now. Jump in thirty seconds.” Astra sent out the orders. “Admiral Errinwright, help in on the way. Hold on a minute longer!”
The Eisenhower was in a bad spot prior to the Confederate intervention. The ship was crippled, albeit reparable, and many of her turrets were history. With the Warrior now shielding it, the crew could breathe freely again. The species that referred to themselves as “Faira” were engaging the Vasudans up close while another ship, its design philosophy much closer to that of his own, jumped to the other side of the Typhon, keeping it at its 10 and slightly below. Errinwright could see at least 15 turrets biting into the Typhon, not to mention the Faira energy weaponry the Cydonia survivors described. The Vasudan fighters, now faced with an overwhelming fighter force and anti fighter screens from two sides, collapsed as an effective fighting force.
Pretty soon the Typhon crumpled under the barrage of fire from the Sword, Spear, Longbow and Crossbow. The larger corvettes had no trouble dispatching the cruisers, and the fighters fell in droves to the many ASBs and Swarmers.
“Admiral, as of a few moments ago, what Admiral Cygnus told you came to pass. NFC has declared war on PVE. As such, we are very interested in talking to your nation. Before that though, what assistance can we give you?” Astra radioed over.
“You’ve already done quite enough, but our engines have had it and the GTC Lonewolf will spend a few months in a berth. But if you’ve declared war, we’d appreciate a node blockade to deter those pesky Zods from coming back. I will notify my government as soon as we resolve the most pressing issues on board. They will no doubt be glad to hear this. On behalf of the crew of the GTD Eisenhower, you have our sincerest thanks.”
“That goes without saying, admiral. Strike fleet will guard the Vega - Deneb node-”
“Incoming node traffic! Massive node Traffic!” her oracle shouted suddenly.
“Damn it! Alright, gloves are off. Warrior engaging siege mode, all ships stand clear of the node! Helm, put us between the node and the Eisenhower! Corvettes, withdraw back to Transfer node! Sword, Spear, Longbow, Independence, flanking positions. Crossbow, shield the Lonewolf!” Astra ordered a change in tactics. The Warrior maneuvered in front of the Terran destroyer, and they could see it’s engines powering down, and shield fading everywhere but the front, where it seemed to glow ever brighter and bleed into the void. At the same time, the heat emissions from the main and secondary heavy cannons increased dramatically.
Half a minute later, three Vasudan destroyers of older design emerged from the node. “We are the Argent Flotilla. All hostile forces, this system is under PVE jurisdiction. Vacate the system or power down and surrender.” The Vasudan said arrogantly.
“Argent Flotilla, this is Rear Admiral Astra of the Strike fleet. Here is a message to your parliament.” the Faira said, and the sieged Warrior let loose with beam-mode P-5s and P-15s against two of the destroyers, while the frigates on the flak targeted the third one. Within two minutes, the three capital ships were turned into an expanding debris field and molten metal. The cruisers gathered their wits and crash jumped further into the system. “Admiral Zorea, about twenty cruisers have slipped the blockade. I am sending their jump vectors. I wish you good hunting. Eisenhower, call for your command chain to send you the necessary spare parts.”