"Alliance is too strong a word.
Some called the Sector 73 group an alliance, but then what else would
we call the non-aggression agreement between sectors 72, 73 and 74?
Some called it an alliance others called it a pact not that it
mattered despite there being little direct communications between the
sectors we were all agreed and tired of the Draconian attacks and all
agreed not to attack each other. For the first time in decades we
had peace between the Forsaken but that wasn't enough."
- Captain, Michaels Island
Far from home in Sector 72 the fleets
of Michaels Island, and Captains Mark Red and Bill Hawke were
approaching the area controlled by the pirate lord Repossession.
With him the Captain had taken a mixed bag fleet two Leviathans, a
Sea Wolf and a pair of Battle Barges above the water while below five
Predator Submarines shadowed the surface ships. The ships were not
optimized for base or fleet attacks but that was the point, it was to
show that any ship could fight against the Draconians. Both Red and
Hawke had surface fleets Mark Red had four Leviathans and a Floating
Fortress supported by five Marauder type craft while Hawke had ten
Battle Barges split into two fleets, although none of the fleets
there were the strongest their islands could field but they were a
good representative fleet. So far Repossession's neighbours had
stayed away from them but only time would tell.
"Captain, we're approaching
Repossession's island turret perimeter, incoming voice message from
island." The communications officer said moments later the
control room's speakers crackled to life.
"Island Control to Incoming fleets
Repossession is not here however we are ready to fight in his name.
Any hostile movement and we will be forced to open fire with extreme
prejudice." The voice warned it sounded devoid of any sort of
gender or accent.
"Island Control, we are heeding an
invitation to this area of the sea by Repossession. We are looking
for support against the Draconians. We have no intention of attack."
There was a pause for nearly five minutes for a start the Captain
was sure that they would need to fight against the pirate lord that
had invited them here, perhaps the other fleets would have the same
problem, had he made a mistake?
"Understood, we have communication
protocols for you. We will broadcast them shortly, please maintain
your distance." The voice replied this time more neutral.
"Sir, communication protocols
received, should we distribute them to the other fleets?"
"Confirmed, pass out the
information." The Captain said now with the Sector's
communications they could "plug" into both sector 72 and 73
a tactical advantage to be sure, the Captain was sure that some would
use these after dealing with the Draconians for other operations
however that was the future for now it was useful "instruct
Captains Red and Hawke of our intentions and begin to broadcast this
message onto 72s communications network." Within hours of the
first communication there were fleets beginning to arrive around the
Captains fleets and those of his allies most were supportive if wary
about the idea but others were more than happy to support. So far
no-one had fired on his forces. The Captain wondered if his allies
were having the same trouble.
Meanwhile many kilometres away Captain
Rick was having a slightly different experience. "So dinner with
a Snake" Simon Hell said looking at his executive officer. They
had just made contact with Lord Viper, one of Repossession's contacts
in another sector. Lord Viper was a very jolly person and very happy
to join in talks to join them for dinner as well. "Have chef
prepare our best welcome for them."
"Of course sir, I'll have the
gunners look the other way when they approach, Commodore." His
executive officer replied Simon looked at her and smiled, just weeks
ago he'd said the opposite his gunners should be on target against
opponents vessels, now they were preparing to welcome them aboard
with honours. "I'll send messages to Captain Rick as well,
Commodore." She said repeating his new rank.
"Thank you." Hell replied
after a moment's hesitation he was still uncomfortable by the rank
and had been tempted to reduce it back to Captain however like
Captain Rick he'd taken on the new Commodore rank as he now commanded
several fleets, from different islands "make sure to invite
Captain Rick and the others as well, keep everyone in the loop, this
snake should see everyone he is dealing with."
"Why do I get the impression you'd
rather deal with him with your thud cannons?" She said quietly,
Hell just smiled and walked away from the map taking a seat on his
command chair. There were many ways to deal with other pirates,
today it seemed he'd be learning a new way, sitting on the bridge he
quietly wondered how the others were managing with their own quests
it was easier than thinking of dinner.
On less quiet seas Carl Grim was
screaming from one side of his Leviathan's ruined bridge
"Communications send to Angie, have her subs cover Glyn's
fortresses retreat, we're too slow to get there in time!" He
shouted approaching Lord Daemonicus' Island had gone from bad to
worse. From the onset Daemonicus' defence turrets had out-ranged and
out-hit those of any other Forsaken defence weapons. Two of the
ships attached to their force had been cut down quickly, while one of
Captain Glyn's Fortresses had lost two weapons turrets. Under the
water Angelique's submarine force had found themselves engaged by
Draconian submarines causing them to scatter. Once Angie's
submarines were scattered Draconian Battle-cruisers and Battleships
sailed from Daemonicus's Island engaging the force.
"Sir! Angie reports three of the
enemy submarines are destroyed however she's out of position. She
can't clear the two Battle-cruisers" the communications officer
shouted back as Grim's Leviathan shuddered under further impacts.
"Understood come to port fifteen
degrees, full ahead helm." Grim ordered "tell Glyn to
continue his retreat" he said.
"Sir, that puts us in direct line
of fire for the incoming Draconian vessels." The helm officer
warned looking at the Captain worried the Leviathan was already
"I know." He said, grabbing
a microphone "all hands this is the Captain prepare for heavy
incoming fire close all pressure doors below decks." He said
quietly he knew what was coming his Leviathan began to turn the fire
directed at Glyn's crippled fortress was now directed at Grim's
Leviathan the vessel rocking under several hits.
"Aft thud cannon damaged out of
commission." the Damage control officer reported.
"Incoming further ships!"
The sensor operator reported Grim darted across the bridge avoiding
his crushed command chair and the roof beam which had crushed it "Sea
Wolves" the operator continued "approaching from directly
ahead of Glyn's vessels." Grim looked over the man's shoulder
and could see the five rapidly approaching vessels.
"Pump out our message see if these
guys are friendly." Grim said as the Leviathan rocked heavily
under two further hits. The incoming Sea Wolves however split up
three down one side and two down the other holding fire until they
cleared the rear-quarter of Grim's Leviathan almost as soon as they
were clear three of the wolves opened fire with a heavy missile
barrage. The missiles striking at longer range than most missiles
were capable of, the missiles struck down three of the incoming
Battle-cruisers in a single salvo, as they closed the remaining two
Sea Wolf Destroyers opened fire with massed Thud cannons which
destroyed the next two Battle-cruisers The Sea Wolves continued on
assaulting the Battleships as well driving to retreat back inside the
island. Two of the Sea Wolves received some fire as the Battleships
turned back inside the guns of Daemonicus' Island's turrets however
all five quickly looped around and began to follow Grim's vessels.
"Hail them see if we have allies."
Grim ordered if anything they had discovered that some Forsaken
pirates were allied with or had been taken over by the Draconians, if
Daemonicus was any kind of example.
"Captain Grim, we know who you
are, we have spared from time to time, we are the pirates of
Hell-spawned and I have been asked to inform you that we will help
you and carry your words. It is time the Draconians, and their lacky
pirates, felt the Forsaken's full wrath." The pirate answered,
to Grim it was a win even if it had been a costly one. Hopefully
with all the Forsaken forces working together they could begin to
make an impact against the Draconians however only time would tell.
"They used to say actions spoke
larger than words, we'll see."
Although he knew that other Forsaken
commanders had been trying to contact other sectors to rally support
Artan knew the only real way of uniting them was action and this
operation was a long shot, but if it worked he would be spending the
next few days in his stateroom laughing his **** off. The Battleship
the Iroquois had captured had been brought to Paragumo Island and was
repaired to the best of the shipyards capabilities. He had stopped
thanking the Lord the Paragumo Island’s manufacturing plants were
now turning out more Draconian weapon than they were Forsaken weapons
and had begun thinking about how he could boost their production. The
ship's battered armour had been repaired with some of the Draconian
armour that was recovered from other wrecks, and to top it off the
Bismarck and Tripitz, Duinhir's two Battle-cruisers were outfitted to
appear as Draconian vessels while their armour had been repainted in
the darker colours favoured by the Draconians Imperial forces. Now
all three ships were on course to a small Draconian base on the
border with the neighbouring sector, smaller than the previously
targeted facility it was perfect for his test.
While the others were only making
contact with Repossession Artan had been in communication for a
while, they had shared some intelligence on a few things, but Duinhir
remembered a very simple phrase from the old world "keep your
friends close and your enemies closer." There was something else
to it the reason behind this communication and understanding with
Repossession, both had served the Old Republic's navy in the
crumbling times both scrambling to take resources and forces before
their alliance crumbled around them. Artan was sure that was that was
where Repo had gained his impressive Hammerhead type craft, an
experiment of the Republic's that the Admiral had not been aware of,
but there was no proof of it.
During these secret discussions Duinhir
had agreed a non-aggression pact with Repossession and that Duinhir
would send information on his Enterprise-class Strike Carrier to
Repo, giving away this ship's schematics had been hard but it had won
him bargaining room and Repo would still need to develop aircraft of
his own and train pilots so his advantage remained for the time
being. He knew he'd have to continue to develop the technology to
stay ahead of the other pirates. He needed to prove the Draconians
were defeat-able and that his ships were not capable of doing it
alone he needed other pirates willing to take risks to get the job
done and Repossession was just the man. He knew that his neighbours
would not understand or agree with his reasoning but it was simple to
Duinhir “If they can’t take a joke, then **** them all.” His
forces were strong enough to stand alone and he knew the sector's
growing alliance could stand without him, if they needed to part ways
he could live with it, but if they understood... and if this attack
succeeded... then they could make a difference. Ever since his heart
attack Artan’s attitude had changed, he knew it, his son had
cautioned him on it and his wife refused to see it. He was more dark
and deceptive in his actions in their opinion he had become more
dangerous, so much so that even his crew walked a thinner line around
him, even Commodore Joshua Holloway, one of his tried and tested
confidants was careful in his words. “Sir, message.” One crewmen
interrupted snapping him out of his thoughts.
The Admiral reached over and accepted
the folded piece of paper. Sitting back in his chair he unfolded and
read its contents. Repo was returning the message that Artan had sent
him that notified him of the identity of the three Draconian warships
that he was using on this attack. Repo’s message had been a return
that showed that the previous message was understood and that his
fleet would be near the agreed position. Their choice was made their
attack was planned. The plan was simple the Ajax, their captured and
rebuilt Draconian Battleship, was outfitted with Draconian Siege and
assault weapons. It's two escorting Battle-cruisers were carried
support weapons including a torpedo launcher each, the largest ship
Artan had encountered capable of carrying one. The three warships
would approach the Draconian base and transmit the standard coded
transmission that was identified by Holloway's spies and analysts.
Just then the phone rang and Artan
picked up the receiver. “Sir the Draconian base singles the clear
to approach the channel entrance.” It was Jaclyn one the other end.
She was assigned as the Ajax’s communications officer. During the
repairs of the Draconian vessels they had captured they had picked up
much information on the Draconians, their customs and their origin.
“Signal them our affirmation.”
Artan responded and hung the phone back up.
“Comm from Ajax Actual.” Artan
called over to the bridge, “Set course for the channel.” The Ajax
altered its course and started for the channel with the Bismarck
taking up lead position and the Tripitz following the Ajax. As the
three vessels crossed the outer points of the channel entrance
everything remained calm the Draconians accepting their own ships to
base. All hands on the ships were waiting for the crap to hit the
fan, but everything remained quit. All three vessels passed under a
bridge that spanned the entrance channel connecting the two smaller
islands together as a single solid mass. Artan looked at his watch
and thought back to the briefing that took place in a deserted
islands cove. He knew that behind him all three of his strike
carriers would already be within the striking range of their
air-wings and that the aircraft themselves should be about closing on
the facility. He also knew that according to the plan Repossession's
Hammerheads would be coming into range from the north and that very
soon the base would go nuts as it was threatened from beyond.
Right on queue “sir, Draconian
harbour master wants us to reverse course to intercept a fleet of
Hammerhead warships that is approaching the base.” Lieutenant
Kirkland announced Duinhir couldn't help but feel smug.
He looked at the communications officer
and smiled. “Tell the harbour master…BALLS!” Artan exclaimed as
he picked up the fleet phone. “What is our aircraft's ETA?"
"Tripitz Actual from Ajax Actual.”
Artan said stopping briefly as out the window several aircraft flew
overhead. "The word is given, unleash hell." He ordered
“All guns fire!” Captain Rascal,
ship commander of the Ajax, said as he grabbed the arm rests of his
command chair. Duinhir was an observer now this was Rascal's battle
he wouldn't interrupt. The main siege and assault weapons from the
Ajax and Tirpitz opened up on the surrounding structures of the
Draconian base. The Ajax’s D55-E Siege missile launcher and D51-L
Strike Missile launcher opened up, missiles firing off landing on
buildings that were several hundred meters from the warships. The
D71-L Shockwave Mortars from the Ajax and the two D71-N Shockwave
Mortars from the Tripitz sent their rounds slamming in to the same
structures that were within their range. The Ajax’s D35-S siege
cannon and D33-X Assault cannon started tearing into the structures
that lined the channel. The Tripitz’s Havoc Torpedoes slammed into
several oil derricks that were behind them keeping the channel clear
for their retreat while the Bismarck screened them ahead intercepting
incoming mortar rounds with its Hailstorm Anti-Mortar guns.
The incoming missile and ballistic
weapons were causing minor damage, however, due to the nature of the
three vessel’s construction which gave a slight amount of
protection from missile, ballistic and explosive munitions. With both
internal fire from Duinhir's vessels and external attack from Repo’s
Hammerheads their fire-power was finally beginning to have an effect
on the Draconian base, In the centre of this hurricane of weapons
fire Artan knew that his small force couldn’t stay long his ships
were resistant to weapons fire but were still taking damage after ten
minutes Artan turned to the Ajax’s captain and knew he had to give
“Captain, commence an organized
retreat of all forces.” He said as he looked out the bridge’s
window surveying the carnage that the attack surprise attack had
already caused and the disarray the Draconians were in. He knew that
the attack had caused more damage than any previous attack against a
Draconian base. He also knew that anyone looking at the base could
tell the vast majority of the base was damage and that a unified
attack between two powerful forsaken forces had a positive effect on
the attack. But now was not time to analyse the attack it was time to
get out of here before the base imploded into a burning inferno.
The Bismarck and Tripitz responded to
the orders and started their turn to follow the reciprocal to the
course that they were on, but as the Ajax started her turn the
Captain slammed in to Artan and knocked him clear through the metal
door of the bridge, just as a mortar round slammed in to the bridge,
twisting the compartment and causing a fireball to sail over the
fallen Admiral's head. Slowly regaining his feet Artan looked in to
the wreckage that had once been the bridge of the Ajax only to find
absolute carnage, the twelve men and women who had occupied the
compartment, and controlled the vessel, all dead and burnt beyond
recognition. “That son of a **** saved my life!” Artan thought,
thanking the stars that the Ajax's commander had though of him he
turned and staggered towards the Command and Information Centre below
the bridge deeper within the ship's armoured hull.
Inside CIC it was total chaos, as Artan
stepped through the door even Duinhir could see the mortar that had
hit the bridge ha penetrated enough into the hull to damage the CIC.
“Situation, Commander Martov?” Artan asked as he made his way
towards the map table in the centre of the dimly light room unlike
the bridge this room gave no views of the outside the world nor did
it give a command chair instead the room was all business, even an
Admiral had to be ready to work and move with the flow of the room.
“All communications with the bridge
has ceased, and we are adrift.” Commander Martov reported as he
crossed the compartment to check further readouts "that fire
must have severed our communications. What is going on up there?"
He asked confused adding a belated "sir"
“Commander, You won’t be able to
restore communications with the Bridge.” Duinhir said grimly as he
looked at Martov he saw the realization cross the commander's face.
“Their all dead Sam.” He added picking up the mic that connected
the CIC with the ship’s intercom system. “ Auxiliary steering
this is Flag Admiral Duinhir from CIC, the bridge has been...
disabled take all further communications from CIC" he said "yes
I am in command, out.” He ordered he had to gain control over a
ship that had lost its commander, a ship could easily fall to pieces
without its leader. He around the compartment at the many faces that
was showing the horror and realization of what he had seen.
"Communications contact Bismark and Tirpitz inform both of our
situation and that we may need further cover fire, Helm continue to
reverse our course and give us best speed to retreat." There was
a variety of ayes followed by an announcement from the Communications
"Admiral, our aircraft are
"Cover our retreat and support
Repossession." Duinhir said smiling grimly outside wave after
wave of single propeller driven aircraft began to bomb the draconian
outpost, behind them the slightly slower larger twin propeller
bombers flew overhead carpet bombing the Draconian targets, causing
further distraction for the still under-fire Draconians. This
distraction would hopefully allow the Bismark, Ajax and Tripitz to
retreat unmolested, Duinhir's wish was not to be however as the Ajax
was torn into by further fire from the Draconians.
As the damaged Ajax retreated the
vessel rocked heavily as it was impacted by several more heavy enemy
rounds, her own heavy D35-S Siege cannon was ripped from its turret
assembly and tossed off into the sea by the impacts the mighty
battleship was taking hit after hit as it retreated. The Bismarck
slowed down to try and provide anti-mortar coverage for the Ajax
however that exposed the ship to even more fire causing the
Battle-cruiser more damage "a costly task indeed" Duinhir
thought. All three ships cleared the last section of the Draconians
channel and made their way into the blue water of the open ocean
however even clear of the Draconian outpost they were under continued
fire, over the dark sea black smoke bellowed from the Ajax in several
locations as the crippled ship struggled to maintain speed. When the
bridge had been hit one of its hailstorm anti-mortar weapons had been
hit which had exposed the siege cannon, the gaping holes in the
armoured hull had been exposed to the enemy and now fire raged
throughout the ship's hull damage control teams throughout the vessel
were busy dealing with the fire but it was far from under control.
Within the CIC Duinhir was confident
they were secure there however he also knew that the only reason that
the entire ship remained afloat from the destruction of the D35-S
turret was that the ammo magazine for that weapon was equipped with
some of the best fire suppression equipment that could be put in to
that bulk compartment. As he counted his lucky stars he also counted
the repair bills it would take months for the Ajax to be repaired and
pit back to sea, but first the crippled ship had to back it back to
Paragumo Island in his possession and intact.
Hours clicked away before the crippled
Ajax, and its escorting Bismarck and Tripitz were able to meet up
with the Enterprise, Yorktown and Hornet. On rendezvous Duinhir had
called on status reports from the carriers three carriers reported
that only seventy-four percent of their air-wing had returned from
the assault. The Hornet had lost two of its new twin engine medium
bombers that were being carried for this operation designed to fly
for longer carrying more fuel and munitions there were originally
eight of them now only six twenty-five percent losses more deaths on
Artan's thoughts. Overall the Admiral considered the operation a
success soon after he had received reports from Repossession which
informed him that the other pirate's Hammerheads had swung around to
the channel and had entered the base and followed up on the original
strike. They had struck the base like an avenging fury and although
Repo had lost one of his Hammerheads in the engagement the smoke from
the Draconian base could be seen for several thousand kilometres.
In his report Repo also said that he
had used a specialized EMP rocket that was designed to short out the
electrical equipment of any object that was within its blast radius
allowing for his retreat. The attack had been a success Duinhir knew
that around now the Achilles would be meeting with Repo's fleet far
from prying eyes and transferring the agreed price for their
continued non-aggression pact. Artan knew the rest of the sector
would likely have to pay a price as well but his duty was to take the
war to the Draconians and he had done exactly that. He knew the
information would give Repossession a tactical advantage and a new
weapon to terrorise other pirates however he also knew that it would
take a year or more to field aircraft and carriers capable of
attacking someone which gave them time and a continued advantage. He
also knew that with the still under construction Intrepid and
Saratoga he could keep his lead on the others. Soon more of the
Forsaken Islands would be required to gain this technology to keep
everyone on the same level soon they would all have an advantage over
The task forces from Paragumo Island
made best speed heading home the seas of the Forsaken Sea picking
back up as another storm blew in to the sector, the weather was
getting steadily worse. Lives were lost on both sides this day, but
finally a loss was handed to the Draconians. As soon as the storm
cleared they could hold funeral ceremonies. Burial at sea was what
most of his sailors had to look forward to until they were able to
bring some sort of peace to the sea, unfortunately that was a distant
dream too many Pirates happy with the current status quo. Duinhir
began to think about the next step of his campaign against the
Draconians when his officer phone buzzed "Duinhir" he
answered. On the other side Joshua Holloway spoke slowly and
carefully "What! That can't be true!" Duinhir shouted
raising to his feet "**** them all to hell, we have been
betrayed!!" He screamed his anger overflowing the news he'd been
given almost completely wiped out his victory, sometimes it seemed
the entire sea was against them, a stream of challenges and problems.
"The few expected it, the many
paid for it, an alliance created out of necessity one created in
It was midnight the seas were calm
except for two ships attached nose to nose maintaining position. One
ship was unmistakably a Forsaken Floating Fortress the mighty silver
and gold arrow shaped hull with the long rearward fin glistening in
the moon light. The other ship was far different almost a perfect
rectangle in shape it had a lower profile than the Fortress and had
an almost black hull.
On the gantry connecting the two ships
crew members of both ships stood opposite one another staring. "It's
done as you requested" the Forsaken commander said subdued her
navy uniform was perfect her brown hair tied back, her regulation hat
tucked under her arm. She wasn't happy to be here but she would look
"Of course, we expected little
else, Jessica. The Famous Phase One, we were surprised you waited so
long, information runs like fire." the tall Draconian said using
her name it came out almost as a snarl his voice amplified by his
environmental suit. Jessica knew the man underneath, they were the
same age forty-eight years old, she had served with him, and she knew
the suit was a show. He could cope with the temperatures here unlike
many of the Draconians the suit gave power and presence and that
above all else was what the Draconians craved, power and domination.
"if only you had chosen to give us the power of flight as well
as our other gifts we could have done it ourselves." He taunted
"We gave you nothing Malcolm."
Jessica protested only for the Draconian to laugh. She did not know
what had become of him under that suit, but she did know that he
considered himself to be Draconian first human a distant second. She
had little in the way of Intelligence on the subject, it had been
dealt with by... others, however she did know that almost all the
First Generation Draconians as her people called them now considered
themselves to be superior to all others, humans included. In many
ways this was correct, when the Draconians had created the Second
Generation they began to consider themselves gods above all other
beings and rulers of the ocean. The Second were less capable and
quickly found themselves relegated to support rolls guards, crewmen,
scientists following their “leadership caste” the First
Generation had spread out over the years controlling all five hundred
Draconian dominated Sectors of the world. She didn't know if the
seconds flaws were intentional or a mistake however Jessica tended to
believe it was intentional, they kept the First Generation beyond the
others and gave the First exactly what they desired power and
dominance; even over their own people.
"You gave us life!" he
suddenly shouted snapping her back to reality "and now you
squabble to keep others from realizing the truth." he said
continuing "the one faction to survive the Great War wasn't a
nation but instead a Company, a legacy of the corrupt capitalist
world. The deepest downfall of humanity the quest for money,
influence and power." He said retelling history, something
Jessica knew very well, mistakes were made it was a fact, it was
history it was past it did not need to be the future. She had read
everything Malcolm had, they'd studied together once many years
before if only she could reach that part of him. "Then with the
world teetering on the brink they unleashed their scourge on the
survivors to bring everyone to there knees, looking for more power."
He continued to ramble, although Jessica couldn't find fault in his
words, it was all true, endless mistakes as the world plunged from
one dark to another. "Unfortunately their creation"
Malcolm said raising his arms, as if basking in glorious victory
despite there being no real audiance, "their Creation turned on
them forged their own path. Ascended to the same if not higher
heights created the order and strength that the creators could only
dream of delivering to the world." He said slowing quickly "How
does it feel Jessica? You are now the wanderers, we are the rulers,
you are the ones forced to deal with the Scourge, a deal with the
devil to cover your mistakes."
"You bend the truth well Malcolm."
Jessica said quietly trying to maintain her calm, "Remember
carefully we released nothing, your people broke away, what happened
to you was a mistake it was never meant to happen as it did. But you
all could have stayed, you all could have had a life..." her
voice breaking, they had been friends once now time had passed and
they couldn't talk nicely to each other. When she had first heard of
the Draconians she hadn't known the true story, however like others
she would have been willing to accept them even for all their
differences, unfortunately there was no reason with them.
"I am very happy with my life, I
have a home, we all have homes unlike you, you who now wander the
seas" he said reminding her of her people's place, almost none
of the Forsaken realized the position of her people, they were
gypsies travelling in fleets rarely stopping, their life was on the
sea. Jessica realized one thing however the Draconians, or Malcolm
at least, still did not know her people's last true secret far in
Sector One. "You continue to try to rally support for a cause
against an enemy that you created, trying to put Jack back into his
box." Malcolm finished "and now our time has come to an
end just uphold your end or our agreement and we will not have
troubles. Remember this is my Sector." He said without another
word he headed into his ship the door closing with a thud.
"I'm sorry Malcolm" Jessica
whispered "We did what we did for the best of all, you were
never supposed to be hurt.". She said staring at the closed
Draconian door. Closing her own ships pressure door she raised a
small communication device to her ear, the signal instantly connected
her half a world away using the world's long forgotten communications
satellite network. "Admiral, they are not being forth coming,
their demands are still to be met." the muffled voice replied
and Jessica nodded "I agree, he has become unreasonable and a
threat, Phase Two must be implemented." She said gravely
realizing what she had said. with five words she had signed their
fates. At least when this comes out we can try to repair the
Corporation's reputation." she said almost trying to rationalize
her choice, The voice replied again "I will do my duty, sir."
She replied angrily "yes, Admiral, we all have to live with our
choices." She said lowering the device for a moment looking at
it now without life. She dialled another number "Bridge,
Commander McIntyre, orders from Admiral Dredge as soon as Draconians
are clear fire at will." She said feeling the rumble as the
ships undocked "yes Phase Two has been initiated." She
She hung up on the bridge almost
immediately almost running to an observation post on the port side of
her vessel, she arrived moments before the ship's Siege Cannons
opened fire tearing into the Draconian Dreadnought, the first salvo
tore into the ship's superstructure taking the Draconians by complete
surprise, smoke and fire began to leap from the vessel, the Fortress'
gunners were not finished salvo after salvo tore into the ships hull,
destroying weapons, radar domes, escape pods and communications
systems at least one salvo struck the vessel below the waterline.
Quickly the large vessel began taking water, it was surprising how
quickly such a thing happened, even for someone who had lived her
whole life on the sea she watched in awe as the massive ship's boxy
low profile quickly capsizing and disappeared beneath the waves.
Standing watching the sight a tear ran down Jessica's face "I'm
sorry for everything Malcolm. I'll see you on the other side."
She said wiping away her tears she returned to duty time, as they
said, was short.
"Sometimes it takes a shocking
event for a decision to make. The attack on Paragumo Island was
enough to unite nearly every forsaken island of Sector 73 and its
neighbours. Everyone now had common enemies and decisions to make."
"Incoming vessels Captain"
the radar officer called out, over the last three weeks various
fleets had come to Repossession's territory and confronted the fleets
of Michael's Island, Captain Hawke and Captain Red, none had attacked
them however Repossession had not been seen either. "Hammerheads
Captain." The officer reported a quiet murmur crossed the
"Battle-stations" the Captain
ordered "just in case" he said quietly "helm bring us
on course with them." He said as the fleets turned to face the
incoming vessels "external cameras, let me see what they have"
he said moments later the forward cameras came online looking at the
incoming vessels what he saw surprised. The lead Hammerhead was
covered in yellow tiger stripes however it was also scarred by battle
damage, alongside it another ship was almost completely black its
yellow stripes burned from its hull the other three ships in the
formation all bore the same pain scheme however all were damaged to
varying degrees. "Someone's been in a fight." He
whispered again. "Hail them" he said clearly for all to
"Communications seem to be down on
ene.... Hammerhead vessels." the communications officer said
stumbling over the designation for the incoming Hammerheads "they
are on a direct course for the island."
"Observation six to bridge, five
Hammerhead designed vessels leaving Repossession's island, turning
towards incoming vessels." The radio barked its warning as
crewmen around the Captain's Leviathan saw more of Repossession's
"Comms, pass to all our captains,
give Repossession a wide berth if he's smarting from a defeat we
don't want to get in the way." The Captain ordered even a group
of damaged Hammerheads were likely a match for his forces. The five
new Hammerheads closed on the damaged vessels slowing as they
approached a small boat left the damaged Hammerhead and docked with
the flagship of the new group. Soon after the five damaged ships
moved slowly past them heading into the Island's channel docking, the
five new ships began to slowly turn towards the Captain's ships.
Repossession's new flagship, it's on a broad spectrum band going to
every ship in this area." The comms officer said moments later
as the speakers around the bridge crackled to life.
"Pirates that have gathered here,
this is Hayden Repossession, you all know that I do not support
alliances, I am a pirate I fight alone" the voice said over the
comm. the Captain's heart sank his hopes that Repossession would
support their plans. "However I have just completed a joint
operation with Flag Admiral Artan Duinhir, and we have crushed a
Draconian outpost. Working together we can put these Draconians in
their place...." Repo continued to talk about joint operations
against the Draconians however the Communications officer broke in.
"Captain, message from Duinhir!"
He said urgently.
"Confirming Repo's story?"
The Captain asked the officer shook his head.
"Negative Captain, Duinhir is
reporting Paragumo Island has been assaulted by a Forsaken fleet."
"Get me into Repo's
communications" he ordered looking at the officer. "Helm
set a course for home flank speed." He said glancing back at
the comm. officer who nodded "Repo, sorry to break in it seems
Duinhir's island has just been attacked by one of the Forsaken. I
invite anyone willing to join us fighting the Draconians should also
join us in supporting a fallen enemy." There was a noticeable
pause before a loud and clear reply came over.
"I will not act as the Forsaken's
police force however I have known Duinhir for a very long time, I'll
come along if anything just to see who was brave enough to assault
his island." Repo replied again, using the broad communications
system his Hammerheads possessed, with Repo's words dozens of
captains from Sector 72 agreed to join them in support of someone who
had fallen in battle ready to help pick them up or put down this new
Approaching Paragumo island....
Duinhir's fleets sped back towards
Paragumo Island as fast as they could with their crippled battleship
under tow. The return to the island Duinhir could see that his son
Admiral Alalcamenos was on station with several fleets of Leviathans,
Sea Wolves and Floating Fortresses providing assistance. "Take
us into the island, Sam" he said looking over the CIC at the
ship's acting commander since the destruction of the bridge. The
subdued commander nodded. Duinhir left the CIC someone barked
"Admiral off the deck" sharply but he barely noticed
stepping out onto the external walkway he could see his island. He
knew the Governor wouldn't be happy, and likely losses would be high,
The Battleship half under its own power, half towed by the Tripitz
moved slowly into the harbour Duinhir could see the absolute
destruction. Akin to his own surprise strike against the Draconians
he now faced his own "Pear Harbour" a great history fan
himself Duinhir knew the ancient World War II story of an attack on a
far forgotten island, owned by a long gone country, against a base
known as Pearl Harbour. That attack had crippled the battleship
fleet of that country and now looking over his vessels Duinhir could
see row after row of destroyed or crippled Leviathans, three Floating
Fortresses were ablaze while another three were listing heavily to
one side all sitting in a line, several support vessels were just as
badly damaged the combined light from their fires would keep the sky
bright for days.
Raising a hand-held radio to his mouth
Duinhir spoke "Have our Sea Wolves maintain a perimeter and keep
everyone at a distance we need to discover who..." his voice
trailed off as he saw the Graf Zeppelin his newest strike carrier.
The ship almost half completed before the attack was split nearly
into two halves, its deck pot marked by bomb impacts and its control
tower a burning hole. Beyond it to make things worse the airfield
which laid beyond the wrecked carrier was also burning, looking over
the airfield he saw a wrecked aircraft for a moment he thought it was
one of his new twin engined aircraft however after a closer look he
realized what it was. "Kixeye Corporation" Duinhir
whispered knowing it was one of their tilt-rotor aircraft ruined by
missile fire from his defences but completely identifiable "so
finally those who think they are better, try to show it."
As his damaged ships docked at the
damaged harbour dock Duinhir headed straight for the Operations
Command Centre deep within his Island's main facilities. Entering
the reinforced command room Duinhir could see control panels hanging
from the roof even through several layers of reinforced concrete the
base had taken a pounding. Standing at the central command table was
Colonel Sean Fleming his defence commander. "Report"
Duinhir ordered moving to join his command staff at the table.
"Sir, they struck at 02:32 hrs at
the south ten Floating Fortresses supported by five Stalker
Submarines." Fleming started "the Stalkers infiltrated our
defences took down our docking facilities and harbour control locking
in our defence fleets. Our turrets took down three of the Stalkers
before they retreated. Soon after the first Fortresses struck at the
south wall, striking at our turrets and research labs, they knew
exactly where to hit our base cutting power to half the base before
falling back. Then approximately ten of their tilt-rotor craft flew
over the base bombing our airfield and dock yard cutting down our
ships and planes still in their docks." Fleming said reporting
the attack as it played out Duinhir was showed radar images of the
attack. "At 03:21hrs the second phase began with a second set
of Fortresses they struck deep striking here at the outpost almost
completely avoiding our turrets, on their ships they appear to have
Hailstorm Mortar Defence systems on their Fortresses our Victory
Mortars were completely ineffective."
"We have been testing the
Hailstorm, it appears to be a worthwhile system." Duinhir
"Aye sir, my guns had little
chance, our Missiles almost bounced off them, fortunately our
Howitzers still dig deep." Fleming said happily "estimated
casualties are almost three thousand sir two or three times as many
injured." Duinhir rocked on his heels three thousand more lives
on his back, the pack was becoming heavier he thought quietly 'how
long until losses would break him.'
"What about Alan why is he here?"
Duinhir asked using Alalcamenos' given name.
"At 04:20 hrs two of Alalcamenos'
mining fleets were hit by a group of Leviathans and Draconian
Battle-cruisers They lost six ships in total another three had to be
towed home. Fortunately he was able to cripple one of the Leviathans
and intercept it's radioed orders for task forces to be sent here and
to Captain Rowen Duinhir's island as well as others including Hayden
Repossession's." Duinhir's mind raced first his base, Alan's
and also his wife's home. Almost as if they were being picked on.
Scanning through the list he noticed one common answer. "We've
heard nothing from the Captain, she could be laying low or..."
his voice trailed off Duinhir nodded looking at the information
provided he didn't need anyone to spell out his wife could be dead.
"They are targeting Republic
remnants. We all fled that alliance when it fell in the last days of
the great war. These people want it gone completely every remnant
wiped away. Get Alan on the radio" Duinhir ordered picking up
the tables phone. His communications officer nodded "Duinhir to
Athens are you receiving? over."
"Athens Actual receives,
"Still standing." Duinhir
said as an engineering crew entered and begun to work on the loose
roof screens "Listen very carefully" Duinhir said tuning
out the activity "I need you to send a force in strength to
43311,188." He said letting the coordinates sink in "yes,
those are correct. Your force needs to ascertain the condition of
those coordinates and report back to us."
"Understood, I will send the
Sparta under Rear Admiral Williams, my Wolves as escort." He
said calmly, I'll stay on station provide you with cover here until
the Electra returns." Alan said mentioning Duinhir's flagship,
the Admiral suddenly realized that his flagship was not part of the
victims of the sneak attack, although he had no idea where Holloway
was he was certain that the Commodore had his reasons for not
returning and was likely causing some havoc with the fire-power he
"Good, very good" Duinhir
said picking up another communication the base had just received
"Alan, standby." He said turning to the Operations Centre
Command "Communications send to the skipper from Michaels
Island, we will come to you, area around this island not completely
secure." He said picking back up the phone "Alan, make
ready for sea operations Athens and your subs with me, Leviathans
remain on station." He said turning back to Fleming "Major,
looks like I'm leaving again I will leave four Carriers, our Wolves
and Alan's support for your defence. Continue clean-up operations
and continue to try and raise Holloway. I am taking Enterprise to
Michaels Island, it's time for the rest of the sectors to find out
what has happened."
"The Governor expressed is wish
that you would see him as soon as you returned...." Fleming said
his voice trailing off
"Of course, I shouldn't be gone
long, have Enterprise be ready for my arrival." Duinhir said
turning he headed out of the operations room towards the dock and
from there he'd head to the Enterprise.
Entering Sector 73....
Leading an armada of nearly eighteen
fleets ranging from Marauders to Repo's Hammerheads the Captain
walked onto the bridge and picked up the communication reply from
Admiral Duinhir. "Seems Duinhir wants to go it alone in his
repairs, we're headibg for home, pass the word to all other ships in
the group and pass the word throughout the Sector everyone invited."
He said moving towards his chair "the more people from 73 we
have on hand the better to keep an eye on everything.” He added
after a moment “also pass to Senator Michaels to expect some
visitors, seems like we are the hosts."
"He'll love that." the
communications officer said handing him a second communication this
one from Rachel McManus, the Captain looked at it reading each of the
words twice before looking up.
"Engineering, bridge, increase
engines to maximum speed, helm see if you can shave a little of your
course no sightseeing." The Captain said issuing his revised
orders he handed the piece of paper to his XO on it it stated
Rachel's waters had broke and the Captain's child was on its way.
The ship quickly began to answer to the Captain's resized orders with
everything going wrong in the world it seemed there was at least one
"Scream definition - Give a long,
loud, piercing cry or cries expressing extreme emotion or pain.
There are many forms of scream, the scream of pain, the scream of
frustration, a scream of anger. There is one scream however that
few of us remember, and one that is so important, the first scream of
life. That tiny scream marks the beginning of something great,
- Dr Rachel McManus, Michaels Island
Despite the quickly gathering forces
around Michaels Island and the massive force behind him, the Captain
only had one thought on his mind. As soon as his vessels had docked
he headed directly for his home's primary medical facility. It
seemed he could hear Rachel's scream half way across the island from
the information he had been given she'd been in labour for more than
twelve hours however his child was yet to arrive. Walking across his
island the Captain's walk quickly became a jog and finally a run as
he searched for his wife. Finally the screams and the medical
technicians directed him to Rachel's room, he arrived slowing as he
reached the door calming himself he pushed the door open, in all his
rush he hadn't noticed the screams had stopped, entering the room he
found his wife sitting up in bed cradling his newborn child. "You're
late" she greeted as he entered, the Captain tried to speak but
he was speechless "now get over here and meet your daughter"
she commanded her face blossoming into a smile. In all the recent
troubles there was one bright spot he moved forward and saw a tiny
face surrounded in the blankets and quickly sunk onto the bed beside
"Jaylen" he whispered as he
perched on the edge of the bed he and Rachel had already chosen the
names for both a male and a female child 'James' was the choice for a
boy, named after the Captain's grandfather, while 'Jaylen' was the
choice for a girl. Although the Captain had wanted a son he was more
than happy to see his daughter in his wife's arms "Beautiful"
he whispered "I'm sorry" he said looking down at the baby.
"Why?" Rachel whispered
confused by his words knowing they were not directed at her and also
knowing she couldn't do anything about it.
"I'm sorry she comes to a world so
fractured, to an island so threatened." He explained quietly
whispering leaning over he kissed his wife's forehead.
"She has our love, and is under
our care, what happens elsewhere is of no concern." Rachel said
trying to ease his internal turmoil
"I may have to go elsewhere, and
soon." He said quietly, because of his position within the
growing alliance and his gatherings of the Captains it was now his
duty to continue his path, wherever the path led he'd started
something and as his father always used to say 'a man who starts
something finishes it' corny but he couldn't disagree he needed to
see this to the end.
"Just return to us." She
said knowing he had commitments, she worried every time his ships
left dock however she knew anything less than her full support would
cause more trouble than worth.
"I plan to." He whispered
knowing that it may be far less simple than three little words, but
for now his thoughts and attention were on something else little and
just as complicated. Bringing new life to the world had added
another full new level of complication to his world.
The Captains and leaders of the various
islands were in various forms of arguments by the time the Captain
had reached the main conference hall most were actively hostile
towards the newly arrived Repossession and Lord Viper both had
answered the call from the Captain to join this meeting. Never in
living memory had individuals from Sectors 72,72 and 74 all been in
the same place without a thud cannon or missile tube pointed at the
other. Entering the room the Captain saw Senator Michaels at the
centre table attempting to gain attention and the ears of his fellow
leaders, the man was not a warrior nothing like his ancestors who had
led those to the island surviving the great war and rescuing all they
could from the floods that followed, however today he was in a fight
that he knew how to win with words and ideas. Unfortunately he was
also fighting a losing battle as the others had no interest in ideas
they wanted action and believed in seeing instead of believing.
Pushing through the gathered individuals the Captain leaped up onto
one of the tables, acting and feeling like an ancient pirate captain
gaining attention from everyone around him he knew it could take his
weight, how he knew this was not for anyone else other than his wife
to know but how he learned facts did not matter, and knew it would
gain everyone's instant attention.
Standing on the table towering over all
the others brought their focus onto him and away from the beleaguered
Senator Michaels "Listen to me!" He called out loudly
quickly gathering the attention from other leaders "we need to
stand together, we cannot continue to bicker about minor things our
battles are not with each other." He said quickly the room was
calming down others who were shouting had also calmed down "we
called the leaders, the Captains, the Pirates of our neighbouring
sectors here together to figure a plan to combat our common enemies."
He said looking at the leaders from each sector who were looking at
each other as if expecting a fight.
"I have fought and destroyed our
common enemies however now another front opens and we do not even
know who they are. Where is Duinhir?" Repossession called out
around him a gathering of pirates from Sector 72 had formed a
perimeter to hold all others back members of Sectors 73 and 74 who
were staring back at them gathered in their own groups, all of them
had fought battles against each other, they all had experienced
having their island struck down by an enemy who now stood in the same
room as them. The Captain understood where they were coming from had
Blackheart been in this room his attitude may have been different but
he wasn't and today was not a day to fight with another pirate today
was one to focus.
"He is on his way, he had issues
of his own to deal with before coming to join us." The Captain
said still standing on the table he'd noticed that like Repossession
he'd gathered allies around him Captains Alex War, Buk, Simon Hell
and Phill had all moved in around him and were now flanking him from
different directions looking for a threat. Beyond them Captains Bill
Hawke and Rick were covering the exits with Security Officers and
marines, if trouble broke out now the Captain could foresee absolute
carnage following, something he needed to avoid. "We need to
work together, we all know this, deep within your darkest thoughts
you know what the Draconians have become, they are a threat to our
"They have also enlisted support
from Forsaken forces, Duinhir wasn't the only one who has been
attacked by a forsaken force working with the Draconians. When
myself, Glyn and Angie were searching for allies" Captain Grim
said nodding to Lord Viper, "we encountered Forsaken units using
Draconian technology operating from Lord Daemonicus' Island, it
appears he is working with them also."
"Daemonicus' lust for power has
gotten himself into plenty of trouble, we all know this." Lord
Viper said speaking up in support of Grim it seemed the divide
between Sectors had been crossed between these two men and now there
was some form of mutual respect. "He has always wanted power,
prominence and glory it appears he has taken this one step further by
selling to the devil."
"Are we certain he was not just
hostile to you?" Repossession asked bluntly, the Captain had
been tempted to ask the same thing but couldn't find the words, "he
wouldn't be the first to capture a Draconian vessel and use it in
combat Duinhir already has three such craft which he has used in
combat against the Draconians." Repo continued it was common
knowledge that Duinhir had captured such craft but few actually knew
he had used these in combat.
"I have used them in combat and I
have used aircraft in combat against the Draconians." Duinhir
said entering the room from the western edge flanked by his son
Admiral Alalcamenos "however that is not the reason I was
targeted by a Forsaken force. I was targeted because of the
information I hold" he said quietly moving through the Captains
stopping short of the Captain's group of Captains, as he approached
the Captain jumped off the table and approached the Admiral. The
Captain noted that Duinhir was wearing his dress uniform from his
Republic days a green uniform with a golden star-burst covering his
left shoulder, Alalcamenos also wore the same uniform both not afraid
to hid the origins of their people. "I didn't realize exactly
what I held until after the attack against my own home, Alalcamenos
and my wife's Rowan's home." He said Repo had also moved
through his group of pirates to join them and now pirates from all
three sectors were in the same area mingling but the hostility was
gone "we were all members of the Republic, Alalcamenos perhaps
only a child at the time but we all had copies of their information
database similar to those held by yourself Hayden. He said looking
at Repossession, the other Captain realized what Duinhir meant, they
knew each other and it wasn't a secret.
"Captain, I need to contact my
warships" Repo said looking at the Captain, who nodded Senator
Michaels appeared at Repossession's side and led him through the
crowd to an auxiliary communications station.
"During my Republic days, I could
see the days of the Republic were numbered and like Hayden, myself
and Rowan made moves to secure as much material and information as we
could to keep our chances of survival alive and well." Duinhir
explained to the Captain "behind closed doors I know there were
others within the Republic doing exactly the same one was a shadow
government group known as Section 13 that did the dirty operations
that the Republic wasn't willing to. I didn't know who exactly these
people were, as far as I know I spoke with none of them, but I know
they were in for their own game at the expense of anyone and
"What has this got to do with the
Draconians and the Forsaken fleet that attacked you? Duinhir you may
have strength but you are living in the past." Simon Hell
challenged beside him Nine-won-three, PBO and Seaking all stood
nodding their agreement the Captain didn't need his closest allies
breaking now but remained silent.
"I was getting to that Captain
Hell, you see this shadow group survives under another name trying to
hold onto the information that they are behind the Draconians and
much of the troubles that brought about the final days of the last
great conflict that caused the Republic's fall." Duinhir
explained from his pocket he produced a picture which he handed to
the Captain. It was a picture of the destroyed tilt-rotor aircraft
that had crashed into his base. "The Shadow Government, Section
13, Kixeye Corporation, names all blend into one when you look at
them in some ways." Duinhir said the room was almost completely
silent "when I dug into my records and then looked through those
on the captured Draconian vessels I now possess I found
similarities." He said looking around the room at the other
Captains "Section 13 created the Draconians, they created the
scourge that has caused us so much trouble, they created them as
shock troops for the Republic in its falling days just after myself,
Rowan and Repossession left." Duinhir said "unfortunately
these shock troops arrived too late to help save the Republic and
eventually caused its very destruction when they turned on their
creators." He explained "the next we saw of these shock
troops was when the Draconian Imperial Empire tried to assert itself
on us all, then in Section 13 returned in its new guise as Kixeye
Corporation. If you look further back in history as far back as 2011
when they created a series of games, their power slowly gathered
until they became one of the few companies to be in a position to
survive the last great war. Now they are almost nothing like their
origin, carrying the name only." Duinhir continued as
Repossession entered and moved to join the group.
"My island was attacked six hours
ago by a joint Kixeye and Draconian attack. My people drove them off
however our my people are badly hurt." He said glancing at one
of his allies a blonde haired woman “Tatiana your people are
helping mine without your command I appreciate it.”
“We are in this together” the woman
said simply if the Captain was not now a father and happily married
he could have kissed the woman she had said the exact words that he
was trying to get them all to hear.
"We will understand if you must
leave." Captain Mark Red said quietly, the Captain knew Red and
Repo had been rivals for a while each throwing fleets at the other
but he also knew that they both respected each other as well.
"My people are well trained and
they know their duty. I am more interested in what we are going to
do now that we have two fronts to take care of?" Repossession
challenged, around the room there was a murmur from the others as
well, they looked for action and the Captain knew that jumping on a
table wasn't going to cut it this time.
"Inside my records I found
references to a Draconian Central Command, and Kixeye's Command
Headquarters." Duinhir said again his words bringing silence to
the room "Sector One." The two words that would define a
generation a goal, a target, a destination, an end game.
"Sector One is over six months
from here." One of the pirates objected "how can we travel
that far, we will never be able to lock onto our home islands beyond
all the recall beacons. Going that far could take us away from our
homes and our people forever even if we survived the battle we'd
never find our way home." He continued the Captain stood there
thinking his daughter only just born could be without her father
because of one choice. Around the room he could see they were
wavering some calling for a purely defensive stance against the
Draconians and Kixeye, others wanted to go back to their own islands
and become isolationist, the precious alliance they had formed was
beginning to fracture already. It was a tough decision for them all
to make but not an insurmountable one.
"Ladies and Gentlemen"
Senator Michaels said trying to keep his voice equal "my island
will fully support such a journey and mission if others will support
"You cannot speak for your
military Michaels, no offence but we need to hear it from one of the
Captains" Alalcamenos challenged immediately showing the respect
and power the pirate captains wielded Senator Michaels had gained the
support of all the people of Michaels Island to gain his position and
yet on the seas he had nothing, no power and no respect among the
gathered pirates. With this again the room was becoming rowdy, the
Captain brought himself to attention standing to his full 5ft 8inchs
tall he'd never been the tallest but now he needed show his strength.
"I will support this." The
Captain said, he had no idea how he would tell Rachel this or say
goodbye to Jaylen. Rachel's words 'just come back to us' she'd said
he knew that it was something that needed to be done. "Return
home, talk to your people, assemble those that are willing to take
the fight to our enemy and return. Then together we will sail to
Sector One and bring an end to this conflict. Pirates, prepare for
battle." He said boldly preparing the road to hell.
"Orders are made to be followed
even if it means turning your back on glory to become the saviour of
another" - Admiral Patrick Williams
December 2, 2067, 16:40 hours, Outside
Paragumo Island, Bridge of the Sparta
On the bridge of the Sparta, a massive
Floating Fortress vessel currently off the shore of Flag Admiral
Duinhir’s island, a figure not really known in the politics of
pirates was observing the smoking ruins of one of the greatest
commanders on the Forsaken Seas. Rear Admiral Patrick Williams was a
recently promoted officer, once the commander of a fleet of Sea
Wolves that were now acting as escorts for Admiral Alalcomenous’
massive armada. Originally this magnificent vessel was under the
command of Alalcomenous’ second in command, Vice Admiral
Themistocles. But as he was left in charge of Alalcomenous’
Outpost, codenamed Delphi, he took over command of the Sparta. With
fiery red hair that was left long, but wrapped in a ponytail and
piercing green eyes, his looks and personality were in stark contrast
to the calm and collected Admiral Alalcomenous or the brooding and
always plotting Themistocles.
“Rear Admiral, the Athens is hailing
us,” said his communications officer Lieutenant Alexis Hastings,
looking straight at the Rear Admiral as he sat in his command chair.
“Put it on speakers Lieutenant
Commander,” Williams answered with a smile. He knew that the only
reason Alalcomenous would hail him is if he decides to give him an
assignment. And usually, Alalcomenous gives Williams the assignments
that would most likely require heavy combat, something Williams
“Alalcomenous to Sparta, are you
Reaching up for the radio, Williams
answered, “This is Sparta Actual, and we are receiving.”
“Proceed to coordinates 43311,188 and
ascertain the condition of the island at those coordinates. There
will most likely be some heavy fighting, so you are to bring your
escorts. I want a full report as soon as you get information,”
Alalcomenous answered, his voice collected and calm, yet seething
with a fury Patrick never heard from the Admiral.
“Understood Admiral. Proceeding as
ordered. Sparta out,” Williams said as Alexis disconnected the
comms, “Alexis, patch me through to the Atropos and the Clotho.”
“Patching through to both ships,”
Alexis answered. The Atropos and Clotho were the flagships of both
Sea Wolf Fleets Alalcomenous brought with him on his crusade, named
after two of the Greek Goddesses of Fate. Which was appropriate as
they have been through multiple battles and have determined the fate
of many a Draconian and Forsaken, “You are patched in sir.”
“Williams to Clotho and Atropos,
“Clotho Actual reporting sir.”
“Atropos Actual receives you sir.”
“Both of your fleets are with me.
Head to coordinates 43311,188 with Sparta and the rest of Beta
Fleet,” Williams said, “Alexis, forward the coordinates to the
rest of the fleet.”
The Sparta slowly moved forward,
turning its massive bulk towards the general direction of the
coordinates he received. The rest of the Sparta’s task force
followed, cutting through the waves to their destination.
“Approximate travel time is thirty
minutes sir,” reported the helmsman, Ensign Marcus Pace as Williams
reclined back in his command chair with a smirk on his face. As
mentioned before, this officer delighted in intense combat and the
thought of destroying Draconian ships and advancing the glory of his
people always brought a smile to his face. Thirty minutes till
battle. Thirty minutes till more Draconians fall to the Sparta’s
Meanwhile, a great menace was about to
terrorize an unprepared island…
From across the seas, beyond the
horizon, as some of the Forsaken people went about their business of
survival in this world, two massive ships sailed towards an unknown
destination. With hulls the colour of darkest black and bristling
with some of the largest and most technologically advanced weapons to
ever make it to the high seas, these Dreadnoughts as the old world
would classify such terrifying vessels were built to destroy almost
anything in their path. And their path was taking them towards an
island inhabited by what the Draconians call either an ‘old ally’
or ‘a gnat that hasn’t been killed in far too long’.
“Admiral Serka, we are coming up to
our destination,” said the Draconian helmsman with obvious glee in
his voice, even if it was distorted by the mask on his face.
A sinister chuckle responded to the
helmsman from the Admiral himself. As Serka looked out the bridges
bulletproof glass window atop his command chair, a feral glare was
directed straight at the island, “Good helmsman, we’ll see to it
that these Forsaken people get taught a lesson that will be etched
into the survivor’s brains for all time. Signal red alert. It is
time we go into battle in the name of the Empire,” said Serka with
what would be a sinister smile on his face as the klaxons started
going all across his ship.
December 2, 2067, 16:41 hours, Captain
Rowan Duinhir’s Outpost, Lookout Tower
“By God, what has come to us now?”
said the lookout man as he saw through his telescope the two
Dreadnoughts coming straight for the island Outpost of Flag Admiral
Duinhir’s wife, Rowan. Unlike her husband, Rowan just wanted to be
left in peace, though she knew maintaining a sizeable fleet was
necessary to survive in these harsh times. It was because of these
differences that the two went their separate ways after Alalcomenous,
their son was born. She didn’t want to play in Artan’s “war
The lookout man hastily rang the bell
behind him that signalled an impending attack and the inhabitants of
the island knew what was coming and immediately dropped everything
they were doing and ran for the bunkers nestled underground in case
of an attack. The lookout man motioned for an Ensign to come near him
as he hastily told the young boy, “Alert the Captain and do
whatever she tells you to do. We got Draconian Dreadnoughts on the
horizon” The Ensign looked absolutely frightened by that
statement. Even boys as young as him knew about the dreaded ship, the
biggest one in the Draconians arsenal. Only time they ever sent these
behemoths out was when a Forsaken person needed to be completely
eradicated. “Go kid! We have no time to lose!” shouted the
lookout man due to the fact the Ensign was scared stiff.
As the Ensign ran towards the Captain’s
HQ, the lookout man came down from his high perch and followed the
civilians to the bunkers. In Rowan’s Headquarters, as she was
finishing up a few things of paperwork, she heard the bell ring
outside and looked up from her papers. Immediately standing up and
heading out of her office door, she knew something terrible was about
to happen. As she stepped out of her Headquarters front door, the
Ensign came screeching to a halt in front of her. "What’s the
problem Ensign?” She asked Calmly.
“D-D-Draconians mam. Draconian
Dreadnoughts are coming,” he stammered, his knees shaking horribly
due to fright.
Rowan’s eyes lowered to the young boy
as she knelled to his height, “We will be okay Ensign, just go
alert the Gun crews to the approaching threat and then get to the
shelters. We’ll ride this out just like any other threat,” she
answered, in an attempt to lift the boy’s spirits in this time of
crisis. As the Ensign gulped and nodded his head before running in
another direction, Rowan looked up towards the sky, as if expecting
an answer to be written in the wispy cirrus clouds over her base.
We’ll ride this out like every other threat. I hope those words
don’t come back to haunt me.
She thought as she made her way to the
bunkers as well, but to a different part of the complex. Her
underground CIC was built so in case of an invading fleet coming into
her base, she can direct the bases defences here and not be killed by
any weapons fire. It also housed some of the technology she has left
over from her days in the Republican guard, similar to the assets her
husband and her son possessed. Several of her top officers were
already crowing a large table with a representation of her base, in
three dimensions. This was another relic from her days in the
Republican Guard, amazingly it still worked as well as it did in
those days, thanks to her technicians miracle work. With this piece
of technology, they can actually see how the attack is going as it
happens, “Status of the Draconian ships gentleman?”
“They will be entering the bases
channels in two minutes mam,” answered a tall, lean young man with
sandy blond hair and thin rimmed glasses, “What I’m wondering mam
is, why did the Draconians send only two ships?”
“Those ships are Dreadnoughts,
Commander Todd. Two is more than enough fire-power to bring against a
well defended base. First, we need to send out a sector wide signal,
giving our location coordinates. Alert them that another island is
about to be attacked by the Draconians and request any assistance.
Are our gun crew’s ready for the attack?" She asked Todd
nodded his answer “Good, we’ll fight this threat until we can’t
fight no more,” Rowan answered as she watched the three dimensional
interpretation of what was about to take place beyond her bunkers
walls. As the anticipation builds, she watched the three dimensional
Dreadnoughts come closer and closer to the mouth of her bases channel
and just when they were in range of her bases missiles and mortar
defenses she uttered only one word, “Fire.”
December 2, 2067, 16:47 hours,
somewhere on the ocean, Bridge of the Sparta
“Rear Admiral, I am receiving a
distress call. It’s playing on all channels,” said Hastings as
Williams turned his command chair around to look at her.
“Play the message on speaker so I can
hear it,” answered Patrick as he turned back around to look out at
the seas ahead.
After pressing a couple of buttons, the
entire bridge heard the relayed message from the distress call, “This
is Rowan Duinhir’s base to all Forsaken people in the sector. We
are under heavy Draconian attack. Our coordinates are 43311,188,
please send help immediately. I repeat, we are under Draconian
attack, our coordinates are 43311,118, please help us.”
As the message ended, the Rear Admiral
said to the helmsman, “Pace, I want to coax as much speed as you
can out of these engines. Go to emergency speed immediately.
Hastings, patch a message to the rest of the fleet. Order them to
speed up to the Sparta’s maximum speed immediately.
“With our new speed, we’ll be at
Rowan’s base in ten minutes sir,” answered Ensign Pace as the
Fortress experienced a sudden burst of speed along with the rest of
the fleet. As the Sparta now made its way towards Rowan’s base with
all haste, “Hastings, transmit this message to Rowan’s base,”
Williams said as he added, “This is Task Force Sparta. Heading
towards your coordinates as we speak. Approximate arrival time is ten
must be writing a novel
December 2, 2067, 16:48 hours, Captain
Rowan Duinhir’s Outpost, Bunker CIC
The CIC rumbled, forcing Rowan and her
staff to grip the table hard so they didn’t fall over as the
Dreadnoughts pounded away at her island defences. In the first minute
of the battle, already a couple of her turrets were destroyed and
many lives were lost due to the sheer fire-power of the Draconian
ships. But in that same minute, she and her staff learned what kind
of fire-power they were facing. “Mam, both Dreadnoughts have
packed Siege Weaponry onto their hulls,” said one of her officers.
Specifically, both Dreadnoughts carried a mixture of Siege Missiles,
Mortars, Cannons, and one Dreadnought even has Siege Rockets. What
was most worrying was both Dreadnoughts had back mounted Hailstorm
Anti Mortar Turrets that made her Victory Mortar Turrets practically
useless. Every time she saw those large base mortar shells rise up in
the air along with the entire CIC’s hopes of salvation, their hopes
were immediately dashed when the Hailstorms clawed them out of the
skies. Meanwhile, her Sentinel Missiles were effectively reduced to
mere spit-balls and the only things even doing real damage where the
shorter ranged Howitzers that were now shooting at the massive ships,
the massive cannons making sizeable holes in the incoming vessel's
“It’s like our people’s worst
nightmare coming true,” said Timothy Tiggs, another one of Rowan’s
commanders. And to most of the people, whether they were in the CIC,
in the attached bunkers, or fighting the Dreadnoughts, that comment
was beginning to become fact. As more turrets exploded because their
armour couldn’t take any more of the abuse the vessels were dishing
out, their hopes of winning this battle were just as easily
destroyed. Even the mighty Howitzer cannons barely slowed down the
advancing juggernauts as they finally navigated the gauntlet that
sank so many other vessels before them and reached the inside of the
“Both Dreadnoughts have made it
through the defensive batteries Captain. Both have taken moderate
damage, but are still mostly combat effective,” said Commander
Todd, “Now they have free reign to trash our entire base.”
Rowan nodded she could see it playing
out like a game in front of her. “They’re starting with our
docks,” Rowan pointed out as multiple Siege Missiles exploded
inside the piers, taking a majority of the vessels moored within,
effectively decimating Rowan’s fleet. The ground shook while Siege
Mortars levelled important buildings, such as Rowan’s headquarters,
her advanced technology building, and even the main hub of her
intelligence network. The Draconians left nothing but smoking craters
and burning rubble in the wake of their onslaught. But beneath the
gloom of the situation, a silver lining began to appear.
“Rowan, we got fifteen incoming
contacts. 5 of them about the size of our Floating Fortress, the rest
much smaller,” said the sensor operator, the report pulling Rowan
away from the Draconians trashing her beloved home and towards the
“Are they friend or foe?” she asked
hastily as she observed the multiple blips moving quickly towards her
As soon as she said that, the comms
operator answered, “They’re hailing us, better put them on
“Captain Rowan this is Rear Admiral
Patrick Williams of the Task Force Sparta. I see I haven’t arrived
too late to save what’s left of your base and your people. My fleet
will take things from here.”
“It seems our distress signal has
reached somebody after all,” said the comms operator the relief in
his voice clear for everyone in the room to hear, a feeling that
quickly spread they had been harmed but they would survive.
December 2, 2067, 16:58 hours,
Draconian Dreadnought Alpha, Bridge
“Admiral Serka, incoming contacts.
Fifteen in all. Several of them big,” said the radar operator on
the lead Draconian Dreadnought. After the exhilarating feel of
crushing a Forsaken base under his iron soled boots, the Draconian
Admiral got a rude awakening in the form of unknown contacts coming
straight for his ships. Clenching his hands into tight fists, he
banged them against the armrests of his command chair.
“How dare these Forsaken scum try to
ruin my moment of glory. Order our sister ship to turn around and
head out of the base. We’ll have to crush these fools too before we
can consider our mission complete.”
December 2, 2067, 16:58 hours, Captain
Rowan Duinhir’s Outpost, Bunker CIC
“Both Draconian Dreadnoughts are
turning around and moving out of the base Captain. It seems we will
be safe,” said Commander Tiggs as they observed the large ships
turn as gracefully as their massive hulls would allow them to. But
it was far too late, the damage has already been done, the lives had
been lost. Rowan knew her base would be crippled for weeks, her
people's morale hurt, her fleets in pieces. As far as the
Draconian’s mission was concerned, it was a success. But if things
go well for Task Force Sparta, they won’t get any further than the
waters around her base. The Rear Admiral better sink those
Draconian bastards before I get my hands on them Rowan thought to
herself watching the contacts move away. Although she was not a
vengeful woman most days, today was especially different, the
Draconians came to her island and trashed it and unless the Rear
Admiral eliminated these Draconians first she wanted revenge.
December 2, 2067, 16:58 hours, outside
Rowan’s Outpost, Bridge of the Sparta
“General Quarters, General Quarters.
Man your battle stations boys. This is not a **** drill!” Shouted
the voice of the Rear Admiral across the entire ship as crew members
got out of bunks, climbed up and down ladders and stairs, and manned
their stations as ordered. Meanwhile, at the Bridge, the Rear Admiral
was grinning devilishly at the thought of the upcoming battle. As
reports flooded in that all of the ships in his fleet were ready for
combat, he then proceeded with his battle plans to take these two
“Hastings, patch this to all fleet
Captains,” Williams said before he spoke, “Clotho, take your
fleet east and form a pincer around these behemoths. Atropos, do the
same but go west. As for the Sparta and her escorts, we are charging
straight in. All ships go to maximum combat speed.” Williams
counted on his ships armour to save him from the worse of the damage,
but the Sea Wolves that were with him did not have such protection,
so they would have to gun their engines to the max in order to
survive this fight hitting the flanks of the slower less nimble
Dreadnoughts. The smaller ships accelerated away from the Sparta and
her sister ships brought their weapons in line with the enemy
including a single siege mortar, what would follow would be a
spectacular clash that both sides would remember.
“We are approaching maximum mortar
range sir,” said the Sparta’s Tactical Officer, Manfred
“Fire all!!!” All five Floating
Fortress let loose with a mighty thunderous boom as a hailstorm of
mortars arced into the air and started coming down on the enemy
ships. As the five ships fired, so did the Draconians, with both
their Siege Mortars and the Missiles they also carried. Three out of
four missiles spent themselves on the Sparta and her sister ship, the
Argos, but the damage wasn’t as severe due to the special Reactive
Plating Admiral Alalcomenous commissioned all his best warships with.
Hailstorms on both sides turned their muzzles up into the air and
shot at the incoming mortars coming down to destroy their respective
ships. While the Sparta and her escorts were able to shoot down all
of the Dreadnought’s mortars, the Draconian’s weren’t so lucky
as most of the mortars either exploded on their hulls or in close
proximity to them. The Dreadnoughts already damaged were continuing
to take a pounding.
“Sir! The Argos reports minor damage
to her hull, but no hull breaches yet. The Sparta received similar
damage. Both Dreadnoughts took moderate damage, but both are still
seaworthy and continuing to close.”
“Order the fleet to perform the Death
Fan manoeuvre immediately,” said Williams. The Death Fan was a
manoeuvre that Admiral Alalcomenous made sure to teach every single
one of his officers to perform. The praise was coined by his father
and it was a favourite among both of their fleets. Not only did it
minimize the damage done by mortars, but it forced the enemy to split
his fire among two different ships while the other three can fire on
him unmolested. As the orders were passed the five Fortresses began
to open gaps in their ranks forcing the Draconian gunners to pick
"Both Wolf Fleets are at the
zenith of their Pincers, Rear Admiral. They are proceeding to
commence their attack runs," said Hastings. Williams simply
grinned with eagerness as he watch the Draconian Dreadnoughts fire
another salvo of missiles at his ships.
"Both Wolf fleets have full
permission to fire at will, but stay at maximum Cutlass range, they
are the distraction our gunners are the ones that will kill the
Draconians, Alalcomenous will never forgive me if I lose his Wolves,"
answered Rear Admiral Williams as the bridge shook from another salvo
of Siege Missiles. Inside, he was thankful for the Fortresses well
armoured hull. As Lieutenant Hastings relayed his orders, Williams
watched as both fleets turned towards the two Dreadnoughts with a
grace that belied their size. The compact hull carried the fire-power
of a Leviathan, but the specially made engines made it much faster,
at the cost of significant armour protection. This made Sea Wolves
one of the most deadly, if fragile, ships afloat. As a previous
Captain of a Sea Wolf class vessel, he knew it's strengths and
weaknesses and how to best use the ships in a combat situation, in
many ways Williams missed his Wolf, the ship had long been retired to
Alalcomenous' reserve forces now defending their homes no longer
considered a front-line combat ship it still held a place in Williams
As he reminisced about the things he
had lost in the passed he was snapped back onto the future as the Sea
Wolves entered weapons range all converging on the Dreadnoughts,
within moments no less then fifty large Cutlass Missiles flew from
their launchers and begun to seek their targets. Even at maximum
firing range both of the Draconian Dreadnoughts received no less than
twenty missile hits on their armoured hulls. Both of the dark
vessels were coated in fire and for a member Williams thought they
had been destroyed however as the flames cleared the massive vessels
continued forward "Both Dreadnoughts are still afloat sir, but
they have received heavy damage from that barrage."
"By God, that barrage would of
sunken all other ships. What kind of armour are they built with?"
asked Rear Admiral Williams to nobody in particular. He knew that the
Sea Wolf captains would use their speed to avoid return mortar fire
and to come back around for another strike, but due to the Cutlass
Missiles slower reload time they were momentarily unable to engage
their enemy. The enemy commander didn't allow this time to go to
December 2, 2067, 17:03hours, outside
Rowan’s Outpost, Bridge of Dreadnought Alpha
Serka smiled deviously after his ship
took an entire barrage of mortars and Cutlass Missiles and survived
through it. Another trick the Draconians had up their sleeves and the
secret to their amazing endurance was within their armour Compound
Armour was the result of taking some of the defensive properties of
Reactive, Ablative, and Layered armour and melding them together. It
didn't provide as much protection as any of the original defensive
armour, but it still makes a ship very hard to kill, especially when
utilized with Draconian Zynthonite Armour. There was a reason the
Draconians held an Imperial Empire and the Forsaken Captains were
considered pirates, the Draconians superior intellect and skills had
been put to good use since their independence from their creators.
"Your turn is up Forsaken scum,
now it's our move." He said treating the engagement like a game
of chess trying to keep one move ahead of their opponent "Tactical,
target the Sea Wolves coming across our bow with our Siege Missiles,"
said Admiral Serka with malicious intent.
"Aye Admiral," answered
Serka's tactical officer as two large missiles sprung from their
launchers and streaked towards their prey. Their sister ship added
their own missiles aiming towards another Sea Wolf and shot their
Siege Mortars as well. The fire-power was massive enough to shake a
bases defences to pieces against the little armoured Wolves they
would be even more deadly.
"Your move," Serka said to
himself. Though both he and Patrick were on different ships, in
reality, they might as well be standing on the opposite sides of the
same room, looking over the same map moving the same pieces like two
men playing a game at their park's chess table, before the Great War.
Serka had not seen that time nor had any other but he had read about
those fleeting peaceful days, sometimes he wondered if Kixeye had not
come along, if the world had survived what would his life have been?
He struggled to imagine living a peaceful life.
Long John Squirter said:
I hope the story will continue soon. Really enjoyed reading it!! Keep it up and I hope Kixeye pays you royalties on the revenue from the movie!
December 2, 2067, 17:04 hours, outside
Rowan’s Outpost, Bridge of the Sparta
As both Dreadnoughts fired on the
speedy wolves, Rear Admiral Williams watched two Sea Wolves take the
hard hitting Siege Missiles straight to their starboard flanks. For
an FF it wouldn't be a bad hit but for the smaller Sea Wolf, that was
a like a critical hit, a crippling blow against their light armour.
Flames erupted from the two vessels as the missiles tore through them
taking massive chunks out of them even as the Wolves own missiles
returned fire causing minimal damage against the massive ships a
second salvo of missiles slammed into them causing further damage
forcing them into retreat or face total destruction.
Williams was angry. In the space of
seconds, two of his Sea Wolves were already critically damaged and
couldn't continue to fight, one fifth of his flanking force
effectively eliminated. It was fortunate the Wolves' own ammunition
didn't ignite under the siege missile hits, if the fire had reached
them his vessels would have been torn to pieces and their crews most
likely dead. But the damage done still made Patrick furious,
slamming his fist on his command chair's armrest he finally found the
words and shouted to his helmsman.
"Ensign!!! Ram that bastard!!!
Target the Dreadnoughts and fire everything we've got!!!" He
growled. Marcus Pace didn't even question the Rear Admiral's suddenly
foul temper as he revved up the Sparta's engines and she slowly
picked up speed. Quickly the Sparta pulled a lead on his other
"Sir, the Argos is hailing us,
asking if the fleet should follow your lead?" said Hastings
hesitantly. Williams quickly spun his chair around to face her before
"Yes. I want those Dreadnoughts
blown straight out of the water we close and we kill them. We have
lost some of our best men to those Draconian monsters and so help me,
as the commanding officer of this task force, I can not continue to
accept these losses they need to know that if they attack us then we
will make them pay for everything they take from us." Answered
Williams as he turned his chair back around and stared intently at
the Dreadnoughts taking and dealing punishment. A loud boom erupted
overhead as mortars shot from the tubes on the Floating Fortress and
arced straight towards the Draconian vessels.
December 2, 2067, 17:06 hours, outside
Rowan’s Outpost, Bridge of Dreadnought Alpha
"Sir, the Floating Fortresses have
picked up speed. They seem to be on a collision course with our
ships," said the Tactical officer before their weapons spewed
fire into the sky, "mortars also incoming."
"Shoot down as many as possible
and get ready for some heavy combat. make sure the rockets are
fuelled and ready to fire and our cannons are loaded," said
Serka as both Dreadnoughts opened fire on the mortars with their Anti
Mortar guns, clawing a few out of the sky, it wasn't enough the
shells broke through his defences and began to explode either with
direct hits or close proximity strikes. Without their defence guns
and compound armour, the ships would of been completely destroyed by
the splash damage from multiple mortar hits. Even with the Compound
Armour they didn't get away completely unscathed, as several of the
massive ship's turrets were smashed into broken heaps of metal by the
"Both of our Siege Missiles
turrets, and our Siege Mortars have been destroyed sir. Our sister
ship reports a similar loss in fire-power," said Admiral Serka's
Tactical officer. As the titans crept closer and closer the mighty
vessels were bombarded by missile and mortar fire. Serka ordered all
his remaining weapons to continue to fire, three more of the Forsaken
Wolves took strikes from Siege Missile fire crippling the vessels.
Now the Dreadnought's closer weapons were in range of the Fortresses
closing on them. "All personnel, brace for immediate impact!!!"
Serka shouted realizing the suicidal charge his enemy was on.
December 2, 2067, 17:10 hours, outside
Rowan’s Outpost, Bridge of the Sparta
The Sparta and her escorts all took
heavy hits and the three more Sea Wolves limping away made Rear
Admiral Williams rage boil over, "order the remaining Wolves to
retreat immediately we need to eliminate those Siege weapons."
He growled as the bridge rocked from several powerful rockets
smashing into the Sparta's hull tearing into the ship's depleted
"Hull breached Rear Admiral. Decks
One through Five are reporting major fires burning, Damage control
teams have been mobilized, Primary Weapons Control report Hailstorm
Turret A is destroyed, Shockwave Mortars 1 and 3 are offline damaged
but not destroyed. Siege Mortar Turret severely damaged, probably non
fictional. Communications disrupted however our sister ships look
almost as badly damaged," said Sergio “we're lucky our damage
was above the waterline sir.”
"Impact with the Dreadnoughts in
ten second sir," said Marcus as the Sparta was now so close to
his enemy that he could see all of the damage he has inflicted on the
Draconian vessel. It was a miracle either fleet was still able to
move, much less continue fighting. The Fortress' Arrowhead shaped
hull ploughed into the port side of the Dreadnought, metal screeched
and tore as the vessels impacted, the Sparta's entire hull twisting
under the impact, the heavily damaged Dreadnought was opened to the
sea by the impact and had begun to take on water. Alongside her
sister the Argos had smashed into the other Dreadnought tearing into
the other vessel, both Fortress and Dreadnoughts were locked together
their metal twisted together completely immobile.
Somehow Williams hair brained idea had
worked crippling their enemy "order the rest of the fleet to
fire on the Dreadnoughts now danger close." He ordered knowing
that the Sparta and Argos would take damage from the fire as well,
there was little chance that his Fortresses could avoid damage from
the incoming splash damage. Such tactics were par for the course with
this officer in command most of the citizens of the Delphi Outpost
believed Patrick was downright crazy for utilizing such brutal
tactics to win fights. But in his mind, anything goes in war, even if
it meant being in the middle of a bombardment under fire from their
December 2, 2067, 17:14 hours, outside
Rowan’s Outpost, Bridge of Dreadnought Alpha
"Hull breaches on decks 6-10 sir,
we're taking on water Bravo reports they are also taking on water the
Forsaken has crippled us" said Admiral Serka's Tactical officer.
The Dreadnought was still alive, but the Fortress that just rammed
into them making the Dreadnought a sitting duck now water was rushing
aboard the vessels, and worse news was coming.
"Sir, we are being surrounded by
the enemy fleet. Incoming ordinance!" the Radar operator
shouted her suit amplifying her warning throughout the command deck
her fear obvious to everyone it sickened Serka that his people had
fallen so far to allow fear to overtake them. Stalking across the
command deck in purposeful strides he pulled the officer from her
station throwing her to the deck, Serka had a fearful physical
presence it was one of the reasons he'd been given command of the
"Is there no end to the Forsaken
people's madness? Does my opponent know he's putting his own life and
his people's lives in danger?" Serka screamed anger erupting as
he hurriedly turned around back to his chair, he saw the unmistakable
flashes of weapons fire and knew this was the end. He walked calmly
back to his chair sitting down "everyone, abandon ship!!! Let
our brother and sisters know of this battle and of its outcome,"
said Admiral Serka. As his bridge slowly emptied he sat looking
straight ahead at the incoming missiles and mortars coming to tear
apart his ship. "Looks like the better commander won this
fight. Now let's you win this war," he said as his world went up
December 2, 2067, 17:20 hours, outside
Rowan’s Outpost, Bridge of the Sparta
The bridge crew of the Sparta watched
as the Dreadnought they had rammed into began to burn and tear itself
to pieces under multiple impacts as the vessel's armour was
overwhelmed and crushed under the weapons fire. Unfortunately their
view of the destruction was not completely safe the massive splash
damage from the mortar fire and the explosion of the dreadnought tore
into the Sparta's hull the massive Fortress was rocked heavily with
more systems destroyed or disabled. Unlike the first Dreadnought the
second vessel which was locked with the Argos began to take on
massive amounts of water, slowly the ship slid off the Fortress and
begun to slip under the waves. The battle was over now they had to
survive. "No other enemy contacts sir, the seas are safe for
now," reported Hastings as the Rear Admiral calmed down a little
and looked around at his battered bridge and his crew how many had he
lost? How many more of the injured would perish? Mission
accomplished but at a frightful cost.
"Communications, Patch a message
to Rowan. We need to help with the searching of survivors and discuss
rebuilding and assess damage on both her base and our fleet. Send a
salvage crew to comb through the wreckage. We need samples of their
armour for research purposes, have our operational Wolves recover our
crippled ships and rendezvous here, we're not moving for a while."
He said glancing around his ships would need weeks of repairs.
December 2, 2067, 22:53 hours, Rowan's
Hours went by as the search for
survivors among the wreckage of what was once a proud Forsaken
Outpost continued well into the night. The entire island had been
turned into an impromptu hospital treating anything from minor wounds
to near death injuries. Hundreds had been lost and the damage that
was done would take months to fully rebuild. As Rowan and Patrick
eventually found out, the vast majority of Rowan's her fleet could be
salvaged from the shallow depths of her island waters, for now
however she only had five surviving vessels that were mostly
unscratched. Two of them were her own Fortresses, Patrick informed
Rowan of a similar disaster happening to her husbands island and what
was going on within the Forsaken Seas as Rowan preferred to keep to
"Sorry I couldn't help out any
more Captain, but my own ships took a heavy beating and need repairs.
I also have to file a casualty report to Admiral Alalcomenous and
perform burial ceremonies for the fallen," said Rear Admiral
Patrick as he and Rowan oversaw the continued rebuilding of her
"It's quite alight. My people have
faced similar catastrophes before and survived, we are used to our
world being torn down. It will happen again, at least the crates you
did give us will help us with our reconstruction efforts,"
answered Rowan. Though her base was in shambles, homes can be
rebuilt, ships rebuilt, it was the lives that were lost that couldn't
be replaced easily. Good thing her people didn't suffer complete
"The world is changing Captain, we
have to adapt or we will all perish. If there was a time when
Darwinism would be most accepted, it would be in times like this,"
Williams commented, "I have done preliminary research on a
sample of armour that my salvage teams recovered and found out some
interesting things about it."
"Really?" asked Rowan
"Indeed, it seems the Draconians
have found a way to combine the effects of layered, reactive and
ablative armour to create a kind of compound armour that provides
defence against all kinds of surface weapons. Combining it with their
Zynthonite armour and they are able to walk through nearly any base
with their best ships. If we can reverse engineer this technology, we
can gain a significant edge against them in this war," answered
Williams just as he noticed an Ensign stop right beside them.
Apparently he had something urgent to report, "Ensign, can I
"Yes, a message was just patched
through. it came from Senator Michaels island. You need to hear it
sir," answered the Ensign as he hurried back to the ship.
"Can I use your CIC for this
Captain?" asked Williams to Rowan. He knew something was going
on and it was going to be big. Bigger than this entire sector.
"Come with me Rear Admiral,"
Rowan answered as she led him towards her bunker Headquarters, which
now serves as her office until reconstruction efforts are complete.
December 2, 2067, 22:58 hours, Rowan's
Island Outpost Command
Recovery efforts had all but finished
as people gathered to listen to the message from Michaels Island from
the highest ranked member of Rowan's staff to the youngest survivor
everyone was gathered around the room listening. "Ladies and
Gentlemen of Sector 73, for years the Draconians have been a menace
to cause us problems and cause us pain.” The voice said Williams
recognized it as the Captain of Michaels Island “we have survived
as Pirates of the High Seas, the Forsaken, preying on each other and
any Draconian sorry to stray into our weapons fire." He had a
charismatic way with words that easily matched his Island's military
might making him and his island a force in the sector and possibly
beyond. “Today I call for everyone to raise their arms and join us
in saying NO LONGER!” He said Williams could see people in the
ruined operations centre were being moved by the words “we are all
citizens of this world, we all deserve the chance to live our lives
in peace and to be free of the tyrannical Draconian Imperial Empire
and their allies. Today our forces gather at Bob Epps island on the
border with Sector 72, any forces that wish to join us are welcome.
Together we will sail to Sector 1, as a United Expeditionary Fleet,
one force dedicated to the freedom of all of the Forsaken peoples."
The Captain said "standing together as one people with one
voice we can survive the Draconians and bring a new age for the
people of this world.” Even Williams felt moved by the words it
had been a long war with too many risks “we will wait three weeks
for your forces to join us then we sail, soon our enemies will hear
our voice and answer to us or face our weapons!" Without
another word the communication silenced and slowly a murmur spread
throughout the room, Rowan and Williams just looked at each other
realizing that throughout the sector people would likely be thinking
and doing the same thing wondering what this new plan and change
would bring them.
"I think the road has been laid
Admiral." Rowan said quietly as if a path had been drawn out
across the sea, she quietly wondered if it led to peace or to
oblivion. Around to room both of them were well aware of people
looking at them.
"But not for us Captain"
Williams said trying to show the people present that they would not
face further conflict "neither your people nor mine are in any
shape to continue, now our friends and our family must continue this
fight." He said he knew that the Sparta nor her sisters would
be able to make any long journeys or engage in more battle for many
weeks all of them needed extensive repairs. "My people will
follow Admiral Alalcomenous order's and remain on station and help
your people recover, if the UEF fails perhaps we will need to become
a core for a new resistance."
"I thank you for the offer
Admiral, your people are very welcome to stay as long as they feel
they are needed." Rowan said quietly she knew her son and
husband would be involved in the fighting, she silently prayed for
their safety before returning to her own people's needs, it would be
a busy few weeks for everyone.
"Being a Captain, you have
responsibility to your crew, your ship and to the sea. Being Lord of
the land you live on adds the responsibility of an entire people. I
never asked for the honour of leading our people however at the same
time there are few others I would trust with this charge. It was my
choice to relocate our people, a choice that I will have to live
The Captain, Michaels Island
Far out at sea, 00:00 hours
The sea was silent and calm as the
clock struck midnight there was no moon in the sky no natural light
at all. The ten Forsaken Fortresses sailed the still seas with no
lights on their left hand side there was a mass of ships moving
slowly all brightly lit up like a Christmas trees. Captain Todd
Dredge stood on the observation deck of his lead ship, his father the
great Admiral Dredge had trusted him with ten vessels to monitor the
growing formation of Forsaken Warships on the Sector 72/73 border,
now Todd thought he'd struck the jackpot fifty ships sailing towards
Sector 73 obvious reinforcements for this resistance movement. "Mr
Gerald, prepare to give them a broadside all cannons, destroy them."
He ordered looking at his XO each of his six Fortresses were armed
with the most powerful weapons Kixeye had access to his own flagship
had six Seige Cannons and was intended for direct combat, tonight
would be a great night.
Sitting at his office desk Lord Archer
Leviathan was relaxed it has been his choice to move their people
from Sector 65 where civil war had torn the Forsaken peoples apart
initially it had been a short sail to Sector 71 where Leviathan had a
friend however as they had closed on 71 a war between an Alliance
known as Catalyst and another unidentified group had erupted and
Leviathan's friend had been caught up in the middle of the fight. No
longer did that Sector seem to be a good or safe place to move to, as
they moved again Leviathan had received a message from the Captain of
Michaels Island, calling for all Forsaken forces to join his alliance
against Kixeye and the Draconian Imperial Empire. Archer Leviathan
did not like the idea of a great war however an entire Sector or
perhaps more working together against a common enemy would perhaps be
a good place to settle and rebuild their home. Setting course for
this new destination his people had accepted it although Leviathan
was sure that there would be trouble for him after they arrived.
Leaning over the paper map he drew in the distance his ships had
covered today even though his ships were low in the water heavy with
their precious cargo. Soon they would be there, very soon they would
arrive at their new home their long Relocation over. His musing was
thrown back into reality as his Leviathan was struck by two massive
explosions "All senior staff to the bridge, battle stations
battle stations" the call went throughout the ship as the ship
was rocked by another impact, Lord Leviathan ran from his stateroom
heading for the bridge.
"What the hell is going on?"
Leviathan shouted entering the bridge, his ship the same class as his
namesake was under attack and on fire but he knew nothing else.
"We're under attack sir, no radar
contact with them visuals based on muzzle flashes from their turrets,
we count ten ships." His XO replied
"No" Leviathan whispered
looking at his own formation, namely at the centre of it, he had
fifty Leviathans under his command, fifty mighty Battleships all of
the same class however the middle twenty ships were the most
important refitted with extended cargo holds, inside those holds his
people had fashioned accommodation, schools and hydroponic gardens
for his people's trip across the seas. "Concentrate on the
muzzle flashes with all our fire-power, protect our transports."
He ordered looking at his his crew "we can rebuild our ships
but not our lifeblood we must protect our people." He stressed
pointing at the formation at the centre of his ships "Communications
see if we can gather any support from this area, I've heard that
ships from many sectors are heading for Sector 73 to support the
movement there, perhaps we'll find someone sympathetic to our cause."
On the 72/73 border...
The Captain dragged himself onto the
bridge of his newest flagship a Floating Fortress, his Island's first
such craft around them were four Leviathans and five Wolves from
Michaels Island and nearly seventy fleets from other islands that had
rallied to their cause. "What is it? More ships?" He
asked entering the bridge. Ships had been arriving for days the
armada was growing with only a few days remained before they left for
Sector 1, the newly named United Expeditionary Fleet would soon face
Kixeye and the Draconians in direct combat in their own backyards.
"A distress call, nearly two hours
distant some guy called Lord Leviathan, his ships are moving towards
Sector 73 they've been engaged by an unknown force." Captain
Rose Lang reported showing the general position of the distress
signal on the seas not far from the growing armada. "Repossession
is closest to the combat, he says he is going to engage this force
and attempt to help these people." She said it was
uncharacteristic of Repossession to help another pirate perhaps their
growing alliance was of more worth than just slowing Kixeye and the
"Inform Repo it will take us time
to reorientate our forces, we will support when we can." The
Captain ordered as he began to bring his Fortress to combat ready it
would be the first combat his ship would see and he wouldn't even see
Now deep within his Fortresses Citadel
Captain Todd Dredge watched as the Leviathans he had ambushed had now
split their ranks protecting something behind them now they broke
like a splitting egg revealing a new enemy "Sir!" One
crewmen shouted "Tiger coloured Hammerheads!" He warned
Dredge looked at the incoming vessels and smiled ten new targets this
time perhaps more of a challenge than the Leviathans he had been
"Target these new ships with
everything we have left" Dredge ordered the Siege weapons that
dominated Fortresses fire-power turned towards the incoming
Hammerheads the Hammerhead B as Kixeye had dubbed it when
Repossession had begun to field it was actually a superior craft
however the Kixeye crew had long mastered fighting the Hammerhead.
Instead of following standard procedure concentrating their
fire-power on a single target at a time the Kixeye fortresses split
their fire engaging all ten enemies at the same time using their
superior weapons and crews to systematically destroy all targets at
Weapons discharged on both sides Repo
had Siege weapons on his own vessels but not as numerous as those
carried on the Kixeye vessels every punch Repossession's ships threw
three more returned smashing into the incoming Hammerheads, first the
flanking ships of the Hammerhead formation caved. Their concentrated
fire-power had taken down two of Kixeye's Fortresses however all the
remaining Hammerheads were badly damaged and now under the fire-power
of six Floating Fortresses. "Target our weapons here"
Dredge said pointing to an area just behind one of the Hammerhead's
weapons array but before the ship's radar dome "all fire-power"
Dredge ordered his XO looked at him then nodded passing the ordered,
the next salvo from all six Fortresses targeted a single Hammerhead,
Kixeye had watched and studied Repossession and knew how to end his
threat once and for all. The six remaining vessels carried
thirty-six weapons turrets between them, thirty-six weapons firing as
one tore into the Hammerhead on the far left of the formation its
armour, weapons and hull torn to pieces by the awesome sight set
before them flame, smoke and debris flew from the craft as it erupted
under the onslaught. The Hammerhead had no chance and quickly the
six pieces of the craft sank beneath the waves and was gone. The
remaining Hammers seemed disorientated by the loss proving Dredge's
orders had been correct in his assessment Repo had become complacent
choosing the same tactics time and again and now he was dead, the
remaining Hammers were quickly dispatched by mass Siege weapons fire.
"Sir more vessels approaching
various classes" Gerald reported as the last Hammer began to
sink under the waves.
"Understood Commander, recover any
of our personnel from the water and retreat, if any of our ships are
salvageable make sure it is not recoverable by anyone else."
Dredge said his ships carried data and information he was sure any
Forsaken, or even Draconian, commander would find interesting he
planned on making sure no-one would be able to make use of it. As
they retreated the six remaining ships fired salvo after salvo into
the former sister ships gutting the remains of these hulls before the
sank beneath the waves. Dredge knew that he'd failed in his mission
but won a great victory tonight, one more thorn was gone from his
Forsaken Alliance Fleet, 72/73
Turning one fleet was easy, turning
dozens that were in close formation was not trying to coordinate
several dozen different shames and sizes of craft was proving more
tricky than the Captain could have ever imagined so far only half of
his ships were turned and less than half of them were moving to
support Repossession. "Captain, message Admiral Duinhir Alpha
encryption." Lang reported crossing the bridge the Captain
keyed in the password and raised the phone to his ear.
"We are turning the fleet as
quickly as possible Admiral, we'll soon be in a position to assist.
Do we know if these people are Forsaken or Draconian?" The
Captain asked intelligence was power on the sea. "What?"
He asked startled by the Admiral's words "I understand, an
honourable man, now we need to ensure his allies do not abandon us."
The Captain said working around the news would not be easy but were
definitely necessary "Yes Admiral, I agree the time is now."
He said placing down the phone he stood up from his chair Captain
Lang prepare the vessel for flank speed manoeuvring, pass the word to
all ships, we leave for sector one now."
"We are not supporting
Repossession?" She asked confused, she was already in the
midsts of changing their course to match Repo's fight.
"He's dead killed in combat with
Kixeye, now we make them pay for his life and every other that has
been killed because of their actions." He said picking up the
phone again this time punching in another code "this is the
Captain to all ships that plan to travel with us prepare for flank
speed we journey to Sector One. Lord Leviathan, welcome to Sector
73, you and your people are welcome to stay here you will not be
attacked by those in this sector. If you choose to you will find
peace however I charge you with helping those we leave behind keep
the peace and keep our homes safe, we all earn our keep." The
Captain said addressing every ship gathered time time to leave was
now. Lord Leviathan's remaining forty-three vessels slowly sailed
into Sector 73 as the Armada sailed past, if this newcomer meant ill
to the Sector the Captain had ordered enough forces to remain behind
and police the region, hopefully they would have another ally when
they returned. All around the Captain's Fortress ships of all size
from Gunboats to Fortresses to Stalker Submarines began to sail in
the same direction focused on their goal, it was an awesome sight
which the sea had rarely seen before, soon Kixeye Corporation and the
Draconian Imperial Empire would see it also and feel the Forsaken's
"No-one expected the Forsaken
fleets to ever stop acting like pirates and work together against us.
We were silly to expect them to always be a disorganized rabble, and
now we must face them together."
- Unknown, Kixeye Corporation
The Ocean was a massive ship compared
to the ships the Forsaken and Draconian forces used. It was a relic
of the old times, before the massive floods, and had belonged to one
of the old national alliances navies that had long since fallen from
use or memory. The vessel displaced over 21,000 tons originally and
over the years Kixeye had further modified it adding Cutlass Missile
Turrets, Ripper Machine Gun defence emplacements, Draconian Bombard
Mortars and Flak cannons enhancing its capabilities. The ship was
almost completely incapable of moving on its own, its engines long
burnt out, however to keep the vessel mobile Kixeye had attached four
Battle Barges permanently to the ship each had been refitted with
massive engines, thrusters and additional armour plating to enhance
their roll. The ship was perfect for Kixeye's needs with its massive
hanger and landing deck, deep within its hull there were dozens of
planning and tracking rooms allowing Kixeye to watch all five hundred
of the Draconians Sectors and the various Kixeye assets in each area.
Today however one of the main meeting
rooms was not being used as a planning or as a tracking room instead
it was part of discipline and of looking to the future. Discipline
was one thing and being called in front of your superior was one
thing but when it was your father it was often one hundred times
worse. For Todd Dredge it was one of those one hundred times worse
cases, standing in front of his father and commander, he was standing
in the main meeting hall of Kixeye's command beside him two forsaken
commanders and a Lieutenant Intelligence Officer. "Things have
not gone so well." Admiral Dredge said quietly "we have
successfully alienated the forsaken forces, all to hide a little
mistake." He continued "now we find that we are in a more
"Father, we eliminated the
remnants of the Old Republic, Repossession's death fighting my forces
was the final nail the Pirate Dread is dead, and Duinhir's forces are
crippled. Together with our remaining allies we can crush the
forsaken alliance." Todd protested even though in the last six
sectors the growing Forsaken Alliance had gained a further six fleets
and crushed three Draconian Outposts.
"Really" Dredge said quietly,
"the so called United Expeditionary Fleet has crushed three
Draconian Outposts in the last six sectors every hostile unit that
approaches them disappears beneath the waves. Our scouts have so far
failed to penetrate their defences and they continue to come closer
"Even if they arrive here we'll
crush them." Todd said quietly
"I am willing to give you your
chance my son." Dredge said looking at the younger man a mirror
to himself when he was younger but had so far failed to come to
fulfilment. "These two commanders have come forward and have
said they will stand by us until the end Lord Daemonicus, one who
lost his home to the Draconians after a betrayal that was unanswered
by his Pirate neighbours, and Commandant Shadow..." Dredge said
introducing the younger of the two men Todd heard the younger
Forsaken Commander whisper the word "Final" as his father
spoke. "these two men have stood with us and will be our
rallying call. You will lead these men against the Draconians and we
will raise support from the local pirate forces."
"You believe we can sway this
sector into support for us?"
"There are some Captain, the three
CM brothers for a start may be swayed to our support if we can prove
our worth. And Lieutenant Jessica McGregor here has a list of other
people that may be willing to work with us and some targets that will
make the biggest bang is we hit them hard enough." Dredge said
smiling taking in the young woman standing to Todd's side, at least
she was part of Kixeye someone he could trust implicitly. "I
wish you well Captain, myself and the others of the Board will
coordinate the defence of Ocean." He said speaking of the
massive ship fortress that was Kixeye's headquarters.
"If they reach here we will be
ready for them." Commandant Shadow said confidently
"Of course" Todd Dredge said
saluting his father, Jessica McGregor followed his salute perfectly
although both of the Forsaken commanders struggled to replicate.
Todd appreciated their efforts but now he had some planning to do and
he needed to know what they all brought to the table.
In an auxiliary meeting room aboard
Ocean Todd and his three new "partners" stood around a
topographical map of Sector One "This Sector has long sustained
Kixeye even though it has presented us with a lot of challenges."
Todd began, "however I believe the only way to completely win
over all the peoples of this is if we crush these two Draconian
Outposts." Todd said pointing at one on the east of the Sector
and one on the far south. "Under construction when completed
they will control distribution of supplies and equipment to the other
facilities, if we destroy them we will disrupt all local Draconian
operations." He explained "I also think it will help us
win over some moderate support from the sector."
"Are there any others we could
gain support from anyone else during these operations?" Shadow
"Perhaps the three CM Brothers,
Swag, Rich and Æon immediately" Jessica said "others will
follow soon enough Commandant Shadow."
"It's Final Shadow." He
corrected Jessica nodded "are these three capable of the combat
that will be required of them?"
"They are for the most part. We
will need to support their operations they prefer to set up
operations and make examples of their targets instead of open
combat." Jessica said detailing the three brothers all had
strong fleets however operating with others may be more difficult."
"Simply put we will work together
and crush these construction sites. Myself, Daemonicus and Shadow...
I mean Final Shadow” he said correcting himself “will assault the
southern construction site. Together out three fleets will wield
enough power to destroy the facility." He said manipulating the
computer screen to display the still under construction Draconian
site five islands in total one on each corner covered in weapons and
one central facility with acted as the foundations of what would be
the facility. "We are expecting heavy resistance from both the
Outpost defences and from local defensive ships so have your best
ships and gunners available." Todd said he himself had five
Forsaken Floating Fortresses armed with Draconian weapons technology,
he also knew that Daemonicus' fleets were outfitted purely with
Draconian Warships which he had acquired when the Draconians
destroyed his people, Shadow was the odd one out he had not a single
piece of Draconian technology instead they were outfitted with the
most advanced Forsaken weapons and technology and had been built at
an advanced Shipyard facility which was able to lighten and
strengthen the weapons produced there which allowed them to close the
gap on their Draconian counterparts."
"And what of the lovely
Lieutenant?" Daemonicus said winking at Jessica
"The Lieutenant’s single
Fortress will not be much of a factor on its own" Todd said
quietly her Fortress was an advanced vessel specifically built for
her operations it had an advanced hull streamlining which allowed it
to move quickly through the sea, Draconian Bombard defence mortars
and Siege Cannons for attack as well as an advanced armour compound
that reflected most types of damage however it was only one ship and
not designed to operate with other ships, it was more like a Scout
Battleship than an actual ship of the line. "Instead she will
rally the sector to our cause hopefully in time for them to see the
destruction of the first outpost and join us for the second attack."
"You guys get all the fun"
Jessica said quietly although she was happy with her ship and crew
sometimes she wished for a more direct combat role.
"Don't worry there will be plenty
to come." Todd said, they broke up the meeting and headed off
their plan was set now they had to begin operations leaving Ocean's
massive bulk behind they headed out.
A week later, Sector One
Arrayed together fifteen vessels
charged towards the construction facility from within the area three
Draconian Battleships moved into view adding their fire-power to the
Outpost's already active weapons facilities the plan was for Todd's
forces to engage the northern defence structures while Shadow
assaulted the south defence emplacements. At the same time the two
Battle-cruisers and three Battleships that made up Daemonicus' forces
would engage the defensive ships and assist against the turrets.
Charging in the ships were immediately
engaged by the Draconian weapons which hit from further than normal
Draconian weapons immediately Todd's ships were taking heavy weapons
fire glancing at the other ships with him he noticed that Daemonicus
and Shadow's ships were under similar fire, whatever the Draconians
had on these bases it made their weapons fire further and hit harder,
no doubt making sure things were even more difficult than Todd had
"Come to port fifteen degrees all
weapons target those defence turrets!" Todd shouted over the
deafening roar as several missiles slammed into the Fortress'
"Sir Daemonicus' ships have
destroyed two of the Battleships" one of his officers said as
the ship turned "they are engaging the third, Daemonicus asks if
we need assistance?"
"Confirmed have his available
forces engage our second turret battery." Todd confirmed he
knew when his forces were outmatched as suddenly the turret
emplacement he had been attacking exploded in a huge explosion, the
shock-wave rocking the Fortress. "**** when they go they really
do..." He said for a moment before his Fortress was hit again
this time by the next turret.
"Captain, Commandant Shadow
confirms his forces are having the same problem, unexpected
resistance from the turreted defences."
"Have Daemonicus remaining vessels
assist Shadow after he has cleared his final battleship." Todd
ordered as his ship was brought in line with the final turret
battery, his other ships taking a similar amount of damage also
turned in line while ships from Daemonicus' Battleship a single
Battle-cruiser also came into view, now with seven ships charging
towards the turrets they wouldn't last long. "Com'on face us
all" Todd whispered as if trying to taunt his opponent suddenly
the outposts closer in weapons opened fire it appeared to be Impact
Cannons also with extended range, these tore into Daemonicus'
Battle-cruiser as it closed "**** you!" Todd shouted losing
his temper looking out his Fortress windows as he watched Daemonicus'
vessels take more and more fire before Todd's own ships were even in
range it was times like this he was reminded why he hated the
As Todd's ships came into range and
similarly as Shadow's guns came into range at the south turret the
finally two defensive emplacements quickly exploded under the
combined fire, adding in Daemonicus' fire-power they had little
chance twin fireballs erupted as the two islands lit up the sky for
miles around. If Jessica had been unsuccessful in rallying support
then those fires would likely pulled quite a bit of attention. "Only
the Outpost remains." One of his officers said.
"All remaining vessels fire all
guns at the foundations, sink this monstrosity into the sea."
He ordered as all ships turned around they all began to fire, even
from this distance Todd could see Draconian construction workers
running for their lives under the bombardment as mortar, missile and
cannon fire landed all around them smashing their hard built
facility. After a few moments of bombardment parts of the facility
began to fall back into the sea from which they had been raised.
After almost ten minutes of bombardment the entire artificial island
was gone crushed under the combined strength of Kixeye and their
allies. "Deck defence crews pick off all survivors, Helm bring
us through the Outpost's field slowly, three passes." Todd
ordered along the sides of the ship marines armed with heavy machine
guns began to spray the waters with further weapons fire gunning down
anything that moved killing any survivors from the facility, no-one
from this base would be helping the Draconian cause in the future.
The next day....
Despite her efforts Jessica had only
recruited the three CM Brothers to her cause before the destruction
of the Outpost, with the massive fireball lighting up the day and
night's sky for hundreds of miles suddenly everyone had been
interested in what was going on. Jessica's messages had begun to be
answered suddenly she'd heard back from someone naming themselves The
M, another named Flyhamster and several others all heading for her
position which she already had all three CM brothers ready for a
Not waiting for the CM Brothers to
become bored Jessica had ordered the attack Rich had a group of
Fortresses, Æon had only Sea Wolves however he was very confident he
could get in under the Outposts guns and run circles around the ships
if needed while Swag had five Hammerhead designed ships although they
were similar to those used by Repossession they were more bulky and
appeared slower to turn than the Republic design, an inferior but
still impressive copy.
Supporting them with her own Fortress
Jessica had chosen to stick close to the Sea Wolves of Æon her ship
was equipped to move fast through the waters and only carried a
little more fire-power than the Wolves however it had the armour to
survive hits that the Wolves would not be able to take. Leaving the
Fortress and Hammerhead forces of the other two they entered combat.
As the slower heavily armoured Fortress and Hammerhead craft of Rich
and Swag smashed the Outpost defence guns Jessica's Fortress and
Æon's nimble Wolves darted in and out of all the ships first
destroying the five Draconian Battle-cruisers that supplemented the
turreted defence guns then assisting the larger vessels in their
actions against the turreted defence.
Quickly this strategy of fast and slow
vessels proved too much for the Draconian gunners and a second fire
lit up the nights sky of Sector One, Kixeye had proven its worth to
the inhabitants of the area and they had gained some support. Which
was just as well as the UEF was reported to now be within Sector
Fifty and still closing on their target. Kixeye had to act quickly
and be prepared for the next part of this ever expanding war.
"The journey was long, the various
leaders of the fleet quarrelled about their course, types of target,
their end target and even their speed but fortunately they agreed to
- Captain Simon Hell, Sector 73
The Captain entered the command bridge
of his flagship fortress, as an organizer of this mission his ship
was near the centre of the formation surrounded by the others
protected on all sides. "Good morning Commodore sleep well"
Commander Mike Harsell greeted using the Captain's new temporary
rank. It had been decided that a Captain was not a high enough rank
for one of the main leaders of the United Expeditionary Fleet,
despite the Captain's objections, so they'd promoted him.
"Well as I could, anything to
"Captain Hell's out-runners
encountered a little problem last night with a group of local
Predator submarines the Panem, a Leviathan-class Battleship, under
his command received a series of hits." Mike explained "by
some sort of heroic effort they have kept her afloat and she will
return to Sector 73 with the next supply convoy." The Captain
nodded supply convoys normally consisted of Battle Barges outfitted
with extended cargo holds and specially constructed streamlined hulls
allowing them to cross the distance quickly sending a damaged ship
with them wouldn't slow them down too much.
"Sixteen, sir, burials will take
place at 1700hrs Zulu. Captain Hell has agreed to stand at over
"Make sure we're in position to
pay respects at that time. Pass to all crew to Man the Rails,
Commander, those who fall deserve our respect and our remembrance."
"Aye, sir" Mike replied
Manning the Rails as it was formally known was a well known old war
tradition one honoured among all the pirates, everyone understood
eventually they would all return to the sea, during a burial crewmen
would line the side of the ship facing the burial ceremony. "One
other thing sir it appears that Duinhir's advanced scout aircraft
spotted a series of small ships shadowing the fleet, just beyond
weapons range ignoring our radio calls."
"More locals? Of all the places
we've been so far Sector 47 appears the most broken." the
Captain said quietly.
"Yes Commodore" Mike said
using the new rank again the Captain was sure he was using it just to
annoy the Captain everyone knew he had resisted promotion over the
years because he believed in no differences between him and his
fellow leaders on Michael's Island. "Fortunately we haven't
encountered any hostile alliances in the area."
"Neither have we encountered many
willing to join our cause in the last few sectors. Most of our
support originates in and beyond Sector 73 these “inner” sectors
don't seem to want to fight a common cause." The Captain
observed, he'd noticed the trend was increasing less and less willing
to stand up to the Draconians and Kixeye, he'd also noted that less
and less of the local pirates had even had any contact with Kixeye
Corporation or been attacked by the Draconians. It appeared that the
two hostile groups strategy varied Sector to Sector.
"We have more than two hundred
fleets within our main fleet sir, that is more than one THOUSAND
ships and their crews.” He said emphasising his point “Not
since the first years of sail have the seas seen a fleet of this
magnitude or this vast." Commander Hardsell said "Sir, it
is an accomplishment that will be remembered by many and one that
even our enemies cannot ignore."
"But is it enough..." the
Captain wondered they'd all heard the rumours that Kixeye Corporation
were calling in their support. Originally the UEF had struck at
everything renegade pirates, Draconians anything that did not support
them now they tried to conserve fire-power and personnel by striking
at necessary targets.
"Sir!" one of the crewmen
shouted a warning as the Captain mused over the decisions the faced.
"Forward Elements inform us of a ship standing in our way, a
Leviathan blocking our path."
"Hardly a blockade" Mike said
almost waving them off.
"Sir, they maintain distance
beyond our weapons. Their commander wants to speak to someone in
charge" the officer reported again.
"Commander, pass to fleet bring us
to dead slow for Captain Hell's burial detail, have helm alter our
position accordingly." Mike nodded and began coordinating the
ships movements. "Communications, pass to blockade ships our
intent to pay respects for the fallen and express invitation for
their commander to meet with me aboard this vessel. Copy all to
Admirals Duinhir and Alacamenous and to Captains, Hell, Red, Hawke
and Ninewon-three." There were a variety of 'ayes' in response
as the Captain felt his Fortress begin to change position in the
fleet their escort of Leviathans and Sea Wolves from Michaels Island
matching speed and course.
"Response from blockade, they
"Good" the Captain said
raising from his chair heading for the exit he too would join his
"Aye, Commodore" he heard
Hardsell reply as the door marines opened the pressure doors snapping
Some time later...
Tradition was something well honoured
at sea especially for the loss of crew. There was no burial on what
little land remained instead the departed returned to the seas of
which they came. Manning every level of the Floating Fortresses
superstructure crewmen from every part of the ship lined the edge of
the vessel's starboard hull dressed in their best uniforms silently
observing the burial detail aboard Captain Hell's flagship. Because
they were at sea and in a potentially hostile region crew members
continued to man their stations while others were on the port side
securing docking to a Leviathan-class Battleship of unknown origin.
Standing on the Observation deck dressed in his best uniform the
Captain listened to Captain Simon Hell speak aboard his own vessel as
the bodies of the dead were returned to the deep. He completely
ignored the new arrival on the bridge along with her fully armed
The visitor stood there silently
waiting until the ceremony was over across the seas even with the
dozens of ships present everyone heard the five Sea Wolf Destroyers
alongside Hell's vessel fire their five thud cannons in the air in
succession. The fifteen shots rang true across the sea like a
raising thunder and then it was followed by complete silence after a
few moments the ceremony was completed with Hell's flagship's ship
bell sounding three times across the fleet each ship followed suite
ringing their bells in succession. The Captain turned to face his
visitor "Welcome aboard this Fortress, I am the commander of
this vessel, now please inform me why was you vessel standing in our
"Allow me first to extend my
condolences for your losses Sector Forty-seven is a lawless part of
sea.” She said she sounded genuine “secondly allow me to warn you
Sector Forty-six which you will enter soon is little better."
The young woman said the Captain thought she couldn't be any more
than 26 years old her dark hair tied back, her hazel eyes sparkling
in the light.
"Thank you for the warning..."
The Captain said allowing his voice to trail off the fleet had come
too far to stop.
"Vice Admiral Lucy Campbell"
she said "Now for my reason for being here, my home island is on
a direct course from your Island. I would like to know your
intentions." She said despite her youth the Captain credited
her with little fear in the face of the massive fleet present.
"Our intentions is to attack
Sector One. Kixeye Corporation and the Draconian Empire have become
uncontrollable, their attack our fleets, our miner and more recently
our civilian homes this has to stop." The Captain said the
young woman looked at him quizzically and was about to speak before
her communicator activated.
"Excuse me" she said raising
the communicator to her mouth "Mystery this is Magic" she
"Mam, one of our miners reports
Blackheart is attacking them." Opposite her Lucy could see the
Captain's face go white in shock then red with anger.
"Understood what happened to our
"Unknown" the reply came,
there were ten ships assigned to the defence of the miners how could
they have all gone missing?
"Admiral, if I may?" The
Captain said quietly Lucy nodded "we can help, I've dealt with
Blackheart before." Lucy nodded raising her communicator again.
"Mystery this is Magic, link with
this Fortress' communications and radar pass the coords of our mining
field." Lucy ordered her ship at the same time the Captain
raised the telephone fitted to the hull to his mouth.
"CIC this is Actual, pass
throughout fleet to head to coordinates received from the Leviathan.
It appears we've found Blackheart and he's causing a nuisance of
himself." The Captain said clearly seeing the surprise at the
old name "yes I said Blackheart, pass to the fleet anyone who
wishes to assist are more than welcome, these people are not UEF but
they are having as much problems as the rest of us." He
explained before replacing the handset "we'll do all we can."
"Why?" Lucy asked baffled
not understanding why pirates would help others instead of taking all
they could, her own Sector rarely assisted each other when miners
were attacked or if one attacked another, they stood alone or they
paid for it only ever working together if the neighbouring sector
made a major push attacking many of them.
"Why not?" The Captain
countered "we have the fire-power and hitting miners is a low
blow by anyone and especially by Blackheart, we have plenty history
with him." The Captain explained "our fleet could also do
with provisions and if you are willing support in our journey?"
"And if we don't your offer of aid
goes away?" Lucy asked accusingly she'd seen false promises
before in her short career.
"Not quiet" The Captain said
with a smile as behind him aircraft began to raise off the
Enterprises' flight deck and vessels of the fleet began to alter
course. Lucy Campbell watched the aircraft and the warships in
surprise she'd promised nothing yet they moved in support.
Mining fields nearby....some time later
It wasn't just Lucy's people who were
under attack from Blackheart the entire mining field was ablaze with
weapons fire and ships under attack from multiple fleets of the
pirate Blackheart carrying his gold pennant and black skull and
crossbones insignia. High above the UEF's Sea Wolves and Leviathans
escorting Fighters and Torpedo bombers from the Enterprise circled
"Sea Wolf Fleet to port is our target gentlemen, tally ho"
the flight leader called out as the fighters spiralled down into an
attack. The six fighters dived quickly through the clouds quickly
reaching the surface skimming the surface of the waters they quickly
engaged Blackheart's ships, closing on the destroyers they opened
fire with their ripper cannon and hydra rockets spraying the enemy
destroyers with fire, pulling up quickly dodging the defensive fire
they cleared the way for the six torpedo bombers behind them, from
each aircraft a havoc torpedoes dropped into the sea and shot towards
one of Blackheart's Sea Wolf Destroyers, four impacts slammed into
the ship causing multiple explosions and it quickly began to take
"Leader we are RTB." The
torpedo bomber said as the six aircraft turned away back towards the
Enterprise suddenly missiles slammed into three of the torpedo
bombers causing brief flares as the aircraft exploded under the
impacts. "Leader we are engaged, targets to the south-east, we
are evasive." The torpedo leader reported pulling the remaining
three craft away as four V-22 aircraft flew in each firing missiles
at the fighters. The aircraft from the Enterprise broke away from
each other trying to make themselves difficult targets but the twin
propeller aircraft began to manoeuvre trying to keep up with them.
"Enterprise this is Viper One, we
have been engaged by Kixeye aircraft." The fighter leader
radioed his base as he turned his fighter away from the incoming
V-22s the other aircraft flew straight through their formation moving
at high speed gaining distance from the fighters before turning
around for another pass "All fighters try to keep close to these
clowns they don't appear to be built for dog-fighters." The
fighter leader said turning his fighter into a tight turn, the
raising G-force pushed him into the side of his cockpit as the craft
turned. The Kixeye aircraft passed through his squadron again at
frightening speed cutting down one of his fighters with a missile,
the leader turned his aircraft again brining his fighter in behind
one of the fast moving V-22s "enjoy this" he said opening
fire with his forward facing ripper cannons, the wings of his
aircraft lit up briefly as his cannons fired tearing into one of the
other aircraft's two engine nacelles. Pulling away to the right
Viper One turned again to see fire and smoke briefly come from the
aircraft before it was extinguished and the aircraft began to fly
normally again, although now it appeared slower. "What does it
take to kill these things?" he wondered to himself diving again
towards the strange Kixeye craft this time concentrating on the
fuselage of the aircraft Viper One sprayed the other craft with
ripper machine gun fire, for a moment his bullets seemed to bounce
off the aircraft however moments later the right side of its twin
tail sheered off and the Kixeye craft now without critical parts
began to spin away out of control dropping from the sky it hit the
water at nearly 100kph and exploded into thousands of pieces. "Viper
One to all aircraft target the main hull and rear fins that's where
they are vulnerable, avoid the engines they seem well armoured"
he called out, hoping the others would have similar luck, moments
later a missile impacted just under Viper One's cockpit killing its
pilot and obliterating the craft, unable to match the fire-power
carried by the Kixeye craft the remaining two fighters of the
Enterprises squadron began to retreat. With the UEF aircraft trying
to disengage, one of their number destroyed and fuel running low the
Kixeye aircraft retreated leaving the ships to fight out their
On the ocean surface ships from both
side were engaged in a meat grinder, the ships of Blackheart carrying
enough weapons and advanced armour to last in combat with the more
numerous UEF ships. Soon however attrition caused Blackheart's
people into retreat even they couldn't take on all the ships arrayed
against them. Following Blackheart's retreat faster ships of the UEF
shadowed them back to their home port, similar to the set up he had
before in Sector 72 this time Blackheart had four separate support
bases surrounding his main fortress all brandishing the same flags,
it was very clear that Kixeye Corporation and the Draconians were not
the only threats on the Forsaken Seas, and that a good way to prove
the UEF's mission was to make an example of an old enemy.
"Encountering an old enemy this
close to the beginning of an operation was perhaps a warning of worse
to come. Perhaps we should have turned around there, maybe we would
have if we had known what was still to come."
- Unknown Captain
Finding a room big enough for a Council
of Captains was difficult even in a flotilla as large as the one
assembled by the UEF. Most rooms large enough for the assembly were
turned over to cargo or ammunition storage. Eventually a solution
was found turning two pilot ready rooms on the Enterprise into a much
larger conference room, it was a bare bones room but it was something
they could use. Admiral Duinhir made more than one complaint about
the mess converting the room had made and the potential security
threats posed by the unexpected guests aboard the ship. Eventually
the inclusion of marines and security teams from several other ships
had calmed the Admiral's concerns.
Even with the extended rooms it was
still cramped when the Captain took his place at the table. "Ladies
and Gentlemen thank you for coming to the impromptu meeting, I know
we are taking a risk all visiting in the same place at the same time,
however, I am not willing to take this choice alone." He said
beginning he noticed to one side Admiral Duinhir hovered while at his
other side newcomer Admiral Lucy Campbell had also joined them.
"Three days ago we discovered that Blackheart has been attacking
local bases and mining operations in this region" there was a
quiet murmur that went through the room at his words but no-one else
spoke "before anyone wonders about it yes it does appear that
this Blackheart is the very same we have previously had problems with
in sector 72. It also appears that Kixeye are supportive of this
pirates actions given the air support we have already witnessed."
He continued "I believe that Blackheart is a vessel of Kixeye
in this sector and a definite threat to our operations, and I am
asking for support in ordering a strike against them." There
was a far larger murmur at these words than there had been
previously, this time the Captain realized that he had struck a
As the room quietened Captain Simon
Hell rose from his chair "Commodore, you know that you have my
absolute support and the support of the vast majority of the
Commanders around this table." He began the Captain winced at
the use of his new rank but allowed Hell to continue "Respectfully
Commodore, it is the belief of many of us that if we cut off the head
the rest of the snake will die." Beside Hell the Captain could
see JJ Strong, Carl Grim and Rick all nodding their agreement at
Hell's words. "We should support the locals as much as
possible, but that we should push onto our ultimate goal, Sector
"I understand your concerns
however, our support convoys must travel through this region, and
each of them could be targeted by Blackheart. This region has
already proved to be the most dangerous we have encountered so far,
we want to minimise the hostility against us. A secure supply chain
is vital to our continued successes." The Captain said raising
his arms brining Admiral Campbell into the discussion "I have
also spoken with Vice-Admiral Campbell, who's island has been struck
by Blackheart's forces, she has confirmed that if we can help her
people eliminate the threat posed by Blackheart then we can resupply
on their island and our supply convoys will have an escort through
"But no strike ships?"
Admiral Alacamenos asked accusingly looking at Lucy.
"This sector isn't exactly the
friendliest of sectors. They will be providing us with Mercenary
support, supplies and an escort in this sector. Also as Blackheart
is now her people's problem, it is they who will be assaulting
Blackheart's stronghold directly, the UEF will be only in a support
role." The Captain explained smoothing much of the ruffled
feathers within the fleet commanders and putting Lucy in a slightly
"Commodore, one further concern my
fighters are less almost a full squadron due to Kixeye's aircraft.
The support we can give will be lesser than normal, I have
replacements en route but they are more than a week away."
Duinhir warned the encounter with Kixeye's aircraft had not gone as
well as they had hoped.
"I am aware Admiral, we will be
taking precautions against further involvement from Kixeye in this
region, in fact I believe the operation should be going off right at
this moment." The Captain said smiling, only a select few knew
about his plan, utter secrecy had been most important to the Captain.
Near Blackheart's territory....
"Sub-Master, we are in position"
the Leftenant at helm control said looking up at his commander
Sub-Master Angelique, it had taken them sixteen hours but the
Commodore had given her a job because he knew she had the crews and
the ships for the job and she wasn't about to mess it up. Right now
she had five Stalker-class Submarines in position ready to act, all
had been specifically built to remain underwater as long as they
needed to with a special snorkel system Angelique's engineers, while
others had mighty Fortresses and fleets of Leviathans, her submarines
"Very good, status on Blackheart's
Dock facility?" She asked standing beside the periscope in the
centre of the room.
"All quiet still recovering from
the mining field I would guess." Her first officer said
"turrets all quiet also."
"Very good, all ships surface,
raise our Assault Missiles to the deck, fire torpedoes and missiles
as we surface. Take us up" Angelique ordered, under her feet
she felt the deck begin to move as air rushed into the ship's ballast
tanks. Her executive officer covering the command operations room
watching every action as they raised from the deep.
"We are in position" he
confirmed smiling "weapons firing."
The Stalker rocked heavily as missiles
roared from their launchers on the deck, moments later the ship
rocked again as torpedoes exited the submarines nose. On the surface
the Stalkers order was clear the targets chosen from Duinhir's aerial
recon pictures, from each of the ships Assault Missiles flew from the
forward deck destroying the Island's Communications tower while Havoc
Torpedoes left the front of the submarines nose striking deep within
Blackheart's docking facility. Assault missile struck home on the
Communications tower and the radar facility of the Operations Outpost
crippling Blackheart's eyes and ears to the outside world, and
torpedoes from the Stalker's forward hull tore into the docking
facility destroying Blackheart's offensive weapons, he'd still have
defence turrets but his striking arm against his neighbours was at
least temporarily gone.
"Dive, Dive, Dive!" The
Executive Officer shouted out as their two targets had been
destroyed, he looked over at Angelique who hadn't moved since her
order to surface. Moments later the ship was rocked slightly was
mortar and missile fire exploded on the waters above the submerged
"Engines all ahead full get us out
of here before they decide to try depth charges against us. Helm take
us back to the fleet." Angelique said quietly, the engines and
thrusters of the Stalker and her sister ships began to move, above
them the seas continued to be rocked by explosions as Blackheart's
defence gunners continued to vainly try and engage them. Soon they
were clear of Blackheart's channel and heading out back into the
ocean and finally everyone could breath easy again "well done
people" Angelique said finally moving from her spot to the map
table "helm, set course back to the fleet, communications send
encrypted message to the Commodore keep it short - It's done."
Angelique said catching her XO's eye she smiled they'd done a good
Back aboard the Enterprise....
The Captain continued to outline his
battle plan as a young officer made his way through the commanders
and whispered in his ear "ladies and gentlemen, I have just
received word that phase one is now complete, with no casualties."
He said proudly, it wasn't the easiest assignment but he was very
happy with the results. "We have preparations to make so lets
make this work." Around the room the various commanders and
advisor that had been squeezed into the room began to make their way
out into the corridors leaving the Captain, Admirals Duinhir and his
son Alacamenos, “David the Corrupted” and Captains Troy Terrible,
JJ Strong, Mark Red, Ninewon-three and Captain Rick from the UEF with
Vice-Admiral Lucy Campbell hovering at the edge of the group.
"Captain Red you think your missiles will be enough for base
Alpha and Delta?" The Captain asked referring to one of
Blackheart's support bases.
"Yes, Commodore, between my own
weapons and those of Captain Rick we should have the fire-power to
flatten both support bases opening the eastern side of Blackheart's
base to our fire. Rick assures me his missiles are ready for combat
testing" Mark said Captain Rick opposite him nodded "between
us we'll drop some Orions on them and it should be game over for
Blackheart, it works on Draconians it'll work on Blackheart."
He said confidently
"That opens the door for you guys"
he said looking at Troy Terrible, JJ Strong and David the Corrupted.
Of the three David was the least the Captain had experience with but
he'd heard a lot of good things about him. "All three of you
are tasked with smashing whatever Captains Red and Rick leave and
sinking any of the deployed defences.
"Our forces are ready, we will
move into position tonight between the two bases under the cover of
darkness we'll hit their fleets as they come out for salvage
operations, it should immediately put them on edge." Troy said
happily "between the three of us we should be able to bring
plenty of fire-power to the table."
"And with all that going off
Blackheart's Minions won't notice my two little ships."
Ninewon-three said with a smirk
"Are two ships enough?" Rick
asked looking at him sceptically
"Trust me these Dreadnoughts will
tear into whatever in their way" he said confidently, he'd
captured and repaired two Draconian Dreadnoughts together they were
pretty much an unstoppable force covered in weapons they carried as
many guns as three or four normal Forsaken ships used by the various
"Leaving the final base for us
Commodore." Alacamenos said the Captain nodded between him and
the younger Duinhir they would take the Blackheart base designated
Delta by the UEF. The rest of the forces arrayed by the UEF would
form a blockade around Blackheart and his multiple bases stopping
anyone trying to enter the area and assist the pirate lord, this
would include Forsaken fleets, Draconians and Kixeye forces if they
showed their face. Over the entire area Admiral Artan Barcius
Duinhir would provide them with cover with his Carrier's Aircraft,
the torpedo and bomber craft would be available for assistance with
strike missions while the fighters provided a Combat Air Patrol (or
"Indeed then the game plan is in
your court Vice-Admiral." The Captain said looking to Lucy
Campbell who had remained quiet so far remaining separate from the
decisions despite being an integral part of it.
"We'll be ready to play ball when
time comes, Commodore, I've spoken with the Admirals they are
preparing a force in strength to assault Blackheart's main
stronghold. Once we are finished here, I'll personally take the
Mystery back within range of the island and make direct contact with
the Council to confirm matters, then I'll return here before things
"Quick ships" David said
quietly "almost think that was a wolf." He said impressed
referring to her Leviathan.
"She makes do Captain, we've made
some special modifications to the hull which helps us get around, in
my line of work it helps to be swift." She said as head of her
home's Intelligence officially the Mystery did not exist, all the
funding for it had been hidden behind hundreds of encrypted reports
and its construction had been made behind closed doors but coming to
this fleet she'd needed to put her best foot forward and the best
thing for that was the Mystery, now it would be tested to its limit.
Several Days Later, Blackheart's
The initial attacks had occurred a
little after 0400hrs with with Troy Terrible, JJ Strong and David the
Corrupted assaulting multiple fleets deployed by Blackheart's
secondary bases, the attacks widespread in their nature and their
destructiveness brought further ships from the other two support
bases. Soon after missiles launched from Mark Red and Rick's base
slammed into the bases designated as Alpha and Delta, the huge Orions
destroyed multiple turrets and support buildings of the base almost
as soon as the missiles had hit Mark and Rick's assault fleets had
engaged the bases defences directly. On the far side of Blackheart's
base Ninewon-three, Alacamenos and the Captain's fleets assaulted the
remaining two bases. Ninewon-three's pair of dreadnoughts grinding
through the enemies base structure after structure while Alacamenos'
Missile fleet destroyed structure after structure with pin-point
accuracy. The Captain's Sea Wolf Destroyer fleet ran interference
for both other pirates assaulting targets of opportunity picking off
the defending fleets and causing general havoc for the defenders.
Leaving it up to Lucy Campbell's island
to assault Blackheart's main stronghold with five heavily armoured
and armoured Floating Fortresses. The five vessels deployed against
Blackheart's base were under the command of Rear Admiral Bradley
White one of the senior fleet commanders from their island, the ships
deployed were the best they had with the best crews. Beside Admiral
White stood Lucy Campbell "they've opened the door for us
Admiral, are we ready?"
"It seems so Miss Campbell"
White said despite her rank she was still by far his junior in age
and experience and sometimes he acted a little fatherly towards her,
which more often than not got on Lucy's nerves but had also saved her
from getting herself into further trouble. "Helm, signal the
other ships, take us in 3/4 maximum speed for the first turn then
full throttle there on in."
"Aye, sir" the chief helmsmen
reported moments later "sir, engines answering 3/4 speed,"
"Weapons defence turrets are a
priority then anything else that comes." White ordered as the
Fortress accelerated through the waves, along side it another
Fortress matched its speed while two others slotted in directly
behind them finally a fifth Fortress followed, the slower of the five
vessels it also carried a different weapons suite. While the forward
four ships were equipped with Reactive Armour and enhanced engines
coupled with Peacemaker Mortars and Draconian designed D33-A Assault
Cannons the aft ship was the designated missile ship and escort, six
Cutlass Missile Launcher with enhanced warheads and guiding lasers
the ship was designed to defend the mortar ships as they left an
enemies base and mop up after the mortar fire.
Moving forward the Fortresses engaged
turrets on either side of the channel reaching the first turn
Blackheart's defences were no match for their massed fire, Admiral
White's ship took several hits as it moved towards the turn "Weapons
control make sure your mortar fire is concentrated on the port side
turrets, they seem to be most armoured and damaging. Communications,
have the Aegis use her missiles to pick off Blackheart's Bombard
Defence Turrets and Howitzers, even with their communications down
they seem to have been picked off." White ordered as the ships
made their turn and began to move deeper into Blackheart's main
"Oh no." Lucy whispered
looking over one of the radar images. "Communications, Channel
One communication line to Admiral Duinhir, we have aircraft raising
from Blackheart's Island." She warned the communications
officer instinctively looked at Admiral White for clearance, White
nodded his agreement crossing the bridge to look at Lucy's monitor.
"Four contacts, not the same as before but definitely hostile."
"Agreed, just remember this is my
vessel, I'm the one giving the orders." White whispered so none
of the junior officers could hear, at the same time he flashed her a
smile Lucy knew he wasn't completely serious, she also knew it was
In the skies above four helicopters now
sat just outside Fortress weapons range firing missiles into the
ships with missile and rocket fire from their stubby weapon wings.
The same aircraft had previously been seen escorting Kixeye
Corporation's other craft now in Blackheart's possession. However
these craft unlike the V-22s seen before had only a single rotor
above their tandem cockpit and another rotor at the back, now out of
range of the Fortresses weapons they were impervious to attack and
very effective against the slow moving Fortresses. If allowed to
continue their weapons fire they would end up destroying all five of
White's Fortresses, but there was a plan already in place to stop
that happening. From above the clouds eight single propeller
aircraft dived through the sunlight, from their nose and wings
rockets and ripper fire tore into the first two of Blackheart's
aircraft sending them to the ground in balls of flame, after the
first pass the aircraft flew past the fighters ignoring the flak fire
put up by Blackheart's base they turned around for a second strike
against the aircraft destroying the final two aircraft the
helicopters no match for the swifter aircraft from the Enterprise.
With Blackheart's aircraft eliminated dive bombers from the
Enterprise assaulted the final two of Blackhearts turrets, a series
of explosions followed the pass and both turrets fell silent clearing
the way for the Fortresses.
"Thank you very much." White
said watching the bombers follow up their strike with a second round
of bombs ruining what was left of their defence turrets. "Weapons
as soon as we are in range of Blackheart's main base of operations
open fire all weapons." He said crossing the room standing
beside Lucy "so you think these people are worth our support."
"Yes Brad, they may be from far
beyond our seas they are worth our support, their cause is just and
their fire-power is vast. It would have taken us months to get to
this stage" Lucy said, White couldn't disagree with him as his
Fortresses continued into the heart of Blackheart's stronghold. "All
they need is supplies and an escort through this region, I think we
can pay that price."
"Indeed, I think the council has
much to discuss about what is going on." Lucy Campbell said as
the mortars and missiles of White's fleet flattened Blackheart's base
building by building, marines from the ships could soon go onto
Blackheart's island and loot the resources that had survived the
assault. Not only had the UEF assisted in removing an enemy of her
people they had also provided them with the resources to take their
research to the next level, suddenly the risk of confronting this
force had proven its worth, now how much further they assisted the
UEF was up to the council.
"In every war there are actions
that step of a line that make the warriors involved in it question
their actions. How people react to these actions is what defines
them and the conflict's resolution."
- Captain Buk, Sector 73
Slamming his fist against the table
Todd Dredge gained concerned looks from all around the Command
Centre, in the last seventy-two hours the so called United
Expeditionary Fleet of the Forsaken had travelled almost completely
unmolested through seven Draconian Sectors pushing aside their
opposition and securing supply routes, Todd stared at the screen as
he massaged blood back into his hand. They had used friendly
Forsaken bases and mining fields to continue to supply their fleets
and so far nothing that the Draconians or Kixeye had thrown at them
had slowed them. So far Kixeye had recruited several allies but they
were still heavily outnumbered by the UEF, Todd's recruitment efforts
continued by he needed to make more time and he had an idea looking
up he saw both Lord Daemonicus and Commandant Shadow standing at
attention beside the table "gentlemen, your efforts have been
valiant and we have proven that the UEF is not the only alliance that
can be formed and survive. We do however need to take further
actions to slow and funnel the UEF into a more manageable course."
"What do you mean?" Shadow
asked looking from Todd to the map table.
"Each of you have been assigned
other commanders from this region" Todd said handing them both
lists of who would support them in operations "you will both
take your fleets into flanking positions of the UEF." He said
drawing his hands over the battle the region the fleet was travelling
through. There you will initiate OPERATION SCORCHED SEA." Todd
said smiling as he looked up at the two men.
"SCORCHED SEA?" Daemonicus
asked unfamiliar with the plan or the term "could you
"Yes" Todd said continuing to
smile "it's my personal plan. I want to herd the UEF into this
channel of islands." He said drawing his finger through
multiple Draconian outposts and Forsaken Islands.
"Why make these Forsaken bases the
target of the UEF? At least at the moment they only hit bases that
oppose them, setting them on this course will force them to covet
support from these islands or destroy them." Daemonicus pointed
"Indeed Lord Daemonicus, however
the Forsaken Islands on that path are all dead rocks, their people
have left or been destroyed in the endless combat the pirates partake
in. While the Draconian bases are some of the toughest in the area,
which the UEF will either have to fight and sustain losses against or
take time to go around either way it works to our advantage."
Todd explained the two commanders nodded their agreement he didn't
care if they agreed he just wanted this to work. "To that end
when your fleets are in position they will target and destroy every
mining fleet in their region, clear any ship that could be taken by
the UEF or Draconian salvage fleet that could keep the UEF supplied."
"Shouldn't be too difficult, with
our allies from Sector One supporting us we should be able to clear
all the ships quite easily and keep the regions clear." Shadow
"Yes Final" Todd said smiling
again at the Commandant "however after that you will begin
PROJECT SCORCH." He said continuing "once Phase One of
clearing all fleets from the region is complete you will begin Phase
Two targeting the Oil Rigs, Power Windmills and mines in the area."
He said drawing his hands down over the two areas flanking the
course Todd wanted the UEF to take. The two other commanders looked
shocked and confused by the plan, the mining fields were hold overs
from the Earth before the great war, they were impossible to replace.
"If we destroy those places no-one
will be able to use them?" Daemonicus said his voice hollow as
he realized what Todd Dredge was suggesting "they will never
come back, and the ocean around them will be ruined for decades."
He pointed out a single Oil Rig exploding in the ocean would spread
oil for hundreds of miles causing an environmental disaster, no-one
had the resources to contain it.
"But it will rob our enemies of
these resources which will make our lives far easier." Final
Shadow said quietly "the destruction will be vast but our cause
will be forwarded."
"You support this madness?"
Daemonicus asked looking at his cohort surprised by the other
Forsaken commander's attitude.
"I neither support or disagree
with this plan I follow orders." Shadow said quietly staying
focused on Todd, the last thing he needed to do was anger their
"I am glad to hear of it."
Todd said "Daemonicus, Kixeye have specialist equipment from the
world-that-was before the disasters and the destructive war that had
followed, once things have been returned to how we believe they
should be, we will clean up the mess." He promised trying to
alley any concerns they may have, this strategy was a gamble Todd
knew it, and he knew his father would not necessarily agree however
it was what Todd had left to him. As the two other men left the room
Todd drew his finger down the route that the UEF would be forced to
follow right to the border of Sector Ten, there Jessica McGregor and
Kixeye's main fleet would be waiting ready to crush what remained of
the UEF which would with luck be low on supplies and struggling to
repair battle damage after being herded from Draconian base to the
next. It would be a death blow for the UEF, anyone that made it
through would have no chance against Todd's reserve forces
Returning to his personal Draconian
Battle-cruiser Lord Daemonicus was troubled by Todd Dredges orders,
he'd chosen this path a very long time ago exchanging his life as a
regular Forsaken Captain for one of the Draconians Allies. His
pirate fleets had grown with the move and he'd gained more Draconian
Technology everyday giving him the edge he'd needed to keep his
people safe against the other pirates. Unfortunately he hadn't
noticed the Draconians moving behind him as time moved forward, he'd
almost been struck down by their dagger if it hadn't been for Kixeye
Corporation. While the Draconians directly invaded and occupied his
home island murdering those who refused to support their move,
including his wife and daughter, he had been able to retreat with the
majority of his war vessels intact. Supported by Kixeye Corporation
Daemonicus had gone on the attack hitting Draconian targets every
single day making them pay for their treachery he now had no home
only the war.
Now Dredge wanted to turn his people
into more than Pirates, he wanted to turn them into War Criminals, he
wanted them to destroy all that was left of the old world and then
for Kixeye Corporation to come in and act like the saviour. For a
moment Daemonicus sat thinking over Todd Dredge's words "you and
our other allies will conduct OPERATION SCORCHED SEA." He'd
said "Kixeye has the technology to repair the damage done."
Daemonicus sat thinking over these words and suddenly realized what
Kixeye's plan was... Forsaken Captains would do the dirty work of
this operation burning other Forsaken Captains finishing the UEF's
fight by the most destructive path possible then Kixeye ride in like
the legendary King Arthur of children's stories, Kixeye having no
part in these acts of destruction would wield their arms like the
mighty Excalibur and crush not only the UEF but also the forces
commanded by Daemonicus and Shadow shattering all forms of organized
To Daemonicus, once burned by one
supposed ally it was so clear, he was being used again. Sitting on
the command bridge of his dark Battle-cruiser he was tempted to
contact Final Shadow regarding his beliefs unfortunately Shadow
seemed to believe that the light shined out of Todd Dredge's and
Kixeye's rear end, Daemonicus' arguments would fall on deaf ears.
"Milord?" One of his crew asked again suddenly Daemonicus
was aware of his entire bridge crew looking at him startled he had no
idea how long he'd been lost in thought.
"Turn us away from the Ocean, head
out to sea, it would appear we have our orders." he said "I
will hold a senior staff briefing in six hours have all our other
ships rendezvous with us by then." He ordered raising from his
chair "XO, make my orders happen you have the bridge." he
said turning walking out of one of the bridge's hatches he heard a
marine shout "Lord Daemonicus off the bridge" as he headed
away from the command centre.
Deeper within his ship's hull
Daemonicus entered his quarters and walked over to the map table
which dominated the centre of the room, the map was identical to the
one on the command bridge and it's interactive top was constantly
updated by the ship's radar, sonar and by commands in-putted from the
bridge. It was a marvellous piece of technology, one of the many his
people had gained from their service with the Draconian Imperial
Empire just another part of Daemonicus' "blood money"
reward for helping the Draconians. Connecting his portable data pad
to the table he downloaded his messages and moved across the room,
the very first was from Captain Todd Dredge, still annoyed at what he
believed Todd planned he turned and flung the padd across the room it
smashed into pieces as it impacted.
"Milord, are you unhappy?" A
small voice came from behind him, Daemonicus turned and saw her,
Heather, now fifteen years old. He did not know her last name he
never had, he'd rescued her from a sunken Forsaken ship three years
before, the Draconians had little interest in a child as a prisoner
and had ordered Daemonicus to deal with her as he saw fit. Instead
of execution as other Forsaken prisoners had faced Daemonicus had
made her his personal assistant, officially a slave to his fleet, in
truth Daemonicus treated her more like an adopted daughter, after his
own family's murder this became ever more of a fact.
"Troubled is a better word."
He said turning to face her she wore the uniform of a member of his
fleet but with no insignia, no name badge. Her red jacket and navy
trousers completely devoid of the awards commonly seen on one of his
"How so?" She pushed further
with her question as she propped herself up against her desk.
"I think" he paused looking
at her "I believe, that those we are allied with mean to do us
harm, despite our support for them."
"And what do you plan to do about
this?" She asked cautiously, if it had been anyone else
Daemonicus may have given a cryptic answer or refused to answer but
not with Heather he smiled at her question.
"Well, perhaps it is time for us
to stand on our own feet again and no rely on allies." He said
quietly pondering the thought his people, those loyal to him and no
other were now crammed aboard thirty Draconian ships of varying class
Battle cruisers, Battleships and Hammerheads with two recently
acquired Dreadnoughts completing the numbers.
"Alone with nothing to start
again, milord you are not the most popular of people with the
Forsaken or the Draconians, you have wronged and been wronged by both
in your time as a pirate." she said pausing as Daemonicus
turned away from her to the map he could see his ship's course had
changed and a flag had appeared marking a rally point for his forces.
"Perhaps there is another option." She said quietly
joining him at the table drawing her finger over the table she
quickly caught his attention, stopping at the UEF fleet currently
moving through Sector Twenty-eight far beyond their current position,
they were still more than a couple of weeks away even at the maximum
speed of their fastest craft.
"I throw myself at their mercy?
Heather, perhaps you forget the reason you are in my employ is
because I hunted Forsaken captains to their graves." He said it
was ludicrous for an idea like that.
"Perhaps if you offer them
something." she said quietly "I read Captain Dredge's
proposal, it is too aggressive to be truly successful, eventually the
plan will unravel out and if you are not dead you and Shadow will
fall with Kixeye Corporation." She said "but there is an
alternative." She continued inputting information into the
computers the image changed Daemonicus noticed the date had advanced
by a month showing the complete devastation on Final Shadow's side of
the UEF while on Daemonicus' only select regions had been cleared "I
call it the North West Passage." She said Daemonicus had heard
the term once before from a history book regarding the seas before
the land was covered by water. "We destroy everything to either
side of it but leave this region free to conduct operations as they
see fit, you then give this information to the UEF and in return they
give you amnesty."
"Another betrayal" Daemonicus
said shaking his head. Heather moved to his side.
"Another betrayal" she
repeated "to safeguard our people." She said acknowledging
that she was one of them now laying her hand on his shoulder
Daemonicus nodded he knew what needed to be done.
Later that day Daemonicus had met with
his other ship commanders, the six fleet commanders of his much
depleted fleet Lord Daemonicus had outlined Todd Dredge's plan and
his belief that they would be made scapegoats by Kixeye Corporation.
His commanders were not surprisingly shocked, Daemonicus then
explained the plan that Heather had outlined to him just hours before
and the Northwest Passage "we must make sure it is our ships
that ply these waters, we can make it look destructive without it
actually being terminal for the region."
"Milord, how can we be certain
that our allies will stick to their assigned routes, Kixeye has
assigned these people they must at least trust them, how can we be
sure they will not turn us over to them?" Asked Lord Marcus
Melville, a commander of some of Daemonicus' Battleships.
"We can't which is why we'll
eliminate them if they cause trouble" Daemonicus said "if
they stray into our Operational areas we will direct them out, if
they refuse we will eliminate with prejudice." the other
captains nodded, their rules of engagement were clear, no one argued
with him they all understood what Daemonicus' plan was and they knew
that the UEF may not listen to them and then they would have no-where
Over the next three weeks Daemonicus'
forces made a good show of clearing their area of resistance wiping
all signs of life from their zone. Daemoicus agents made a good show
of exaggerating each report sent to Kixeye Corporation while making
sure those sent to support them kept within their operational zones.
The reports Daemonicus was being fed from Commandant Shadow were
brutal with high casualties and massive amounts of damage, with
Shadow's forces systematically moving from island to island leaving
massive damage in their wake. So far no-one had questioned his
tactics and no-one had discovered the Northwest Passage, hopefully it
could continue until the UEF were in range for contact.
"Milord, we have detected a
massive amount of ships on radar approaching Sector Fifteen's
border." One of his bridge officers reported moments later
confirming "it's the UEF." He said confirming the Radar
readings no-one else could make that signal.
"Understood, Communication pass to
all our ships to 'activate order package Daemonicus One'" He
said crossing the bridge to the main map table, his thirty ships were
spread out across the region, it would take several days to gather
everyone at the pre-arranged coordinates buried within the order
package. The package itself everyone was very clear on, they had
followed the commands once before in evacuating their home island,
Daemonicus had recently updated it to match the current situation.
Within the orders everyone would abandon current combat operations
and move to regroup then together they would meet the UEF. Looking
at the map Daemonicus just hoped that the UEF did not get too far
into the gauntlet Kixeye had created.
"There is a phrase never shoot a
gift horse in the mouth. What about a potential ally? A bad first
impressions are not always your best start."
- Unknown, Sector 73
For six days the fleet had travelled
from destroyed forsaken island to forsaken destroyed island they had
been unable to collect any resources or provisions not had they
gained any new allies. The Captain had ordered the fleet slowed to
three quarters speed to allow their supply ships from Sector 73 and
beyond to catch up, however even their most promising projections had
the fleet running out of fuel, food and materials for repairs in
thirty-two days without another closer form of supply. Privately the
Captain had wondered about the viability of the fleet's continued
progress if they did not find resources. Entering his command
Floating Fortress' bridge he walked straight to the table and looked
at the fleet's progress even slowing they were now entering sector
fifteen, his eyes flicked to sector seventy-three at the other side
of the map it seemed almost half a world away. He wondered what
Rachel and his daughter Jaylen were doing, how they filled their days
how much of his daughter's first years he would miss, he'd refused to
consider that he wouldn't return to them that wasn't an option, he
reminded himself that he was doing this for them.
"Commodore" one of his crew
said the Captain continued to cringe hearing the archaic rank he was
a single Captain thrust into a situation he couldn't control, now
trying to find a resolution.
"Yes, Lieutenant" he said
taking his eyes off the map.
"Sir, nothing to report from last
night however in the last six hours we have detected a large
formation of Draconian Warships all Battle-cruiser class or better,
they remain just within maximum sensor range." He reported
connecting his data pad to the map it was transformed showing the
fleet's position and the position of the Draconian vessels. "Strange
as it is Commodore, there does not seem to be any cargo vessels with
the Draconians, this isn't a supply convoy."
"Flanking force perhaps ready to
hit our sides when we finally encounter something alive" he said
remembering the dead islands they had passed, something wasn't right
they were being set up or this was a really nasty sector to live in.
"Bring the fleet to alert readiness six" he said raising
the ships combat readiness would put more strain on the crew but a
prudent choice given the Draconian presence. Around him the bridge
lights darkened slightly, the fleet wouldn't be running with no
lights but it would hopefully stick out less on the seas and more
crew would be on duty at all times.
"Commodore, we also have a group
of ships approaching from aft of the fleet, it appears to be a group
of Battle Barges escorted by Sea Wolves. Some of the ships are from
Michael's Island." Another officer reported the Captain frowned
ships from his island were not supposed to supply the fleet, they
were needed to defend the island while their primary fleets were with
the UEF. Only if something drastic had happened should they be here
the Captain wasn't happy either way the commanders of the ships
approaching were in trouble.
"Understood" the Captain
replied remaining neutral keeping his anger in check "have the
commander of the lead vessel dock with us when they arrive. Which
ship is it?"
"Identifies as the Michaels'
Pride, one of our new Missile Wolves." The sensor operator said
checking the codes broadcast by the incoming ship. The Captain stood
there 'son-of-a-****' he thought the Michael's Pride was the name
Senator Michaels wanted to name his own courier/diplomatic ship he'd
planned on having for years but it had never been built originally it
had been planned as a Marauder, then a Battle-Barge finally with the
Captain away the Senator had chosen a Sea Wolf. And now he paraded
it in front of the entire UEF, instead of doing his duty and
protecting their homes and the Captain's family.
"Have the other ships supply our
Leviathans." The Captain said leaving the bridge he headed for
the docking port, perhaps today’s lesson was to not think of home
for it bore bad omens.
It did not take long for the fast
moving Sea Wolf and supply ships to overtake the slower moving UEF
fleet, the Michaels' Pride was soon docked alongside and the docking
ramps extended while the other ships were offloading much needed
supplies. Awaiting aboard the Fortress the Captain paced, it did not
take long for Senator Michaels to board the vessel, there was a quiet
whistle as he boarded then stepped up to the Captain "Permission
to Come Aboard."
"Permission granted with an
explanation." The Captain said tearing down the Senator
grabbing him by the lapels of his navy suit "the deal was you
protect our home while I complete this campaign." The Captain
said turning the Senator he pinned the other man to the bulkhead "we
had a deal." He snapped angrily to think he has trusted this
"We did however I was over-ruled."
The Senator said calmly glancing past the Captain to the entrance
hatch, the Captain followed his gaze to see Rachel and his daughter
Jaylen cradled in her arms. Words escaped him as he released the
Senator without out apology and embraced his family, he did not know
why they had come but he was so glad to have them even for a short
"Why..." the Captain began to
ask just as alarm bells rang throughout the ship indicating an attack
"oh, no" he whispered turning to the Senator "I trust
that this time you will follow my words and stay out of the way"
he ordered kissing his wife once more he headed down the corridor
back towards the bridge. Behind him he could see Senator Michaels
try to lead Rachel and Jaylen back onto the still docked Sea Wolf.
Re-entering the bridge the Captain
strode up to the bridge on a mission whoever these people were not
only had they threatened his fleet but now they separated him from
the most important people in his world. "Report" he
ordered walking up to the map table the Draconian vessels he'd seen
before were now almost within range thirty ships in total all
Battle-cruisers, Battleships and mighty Dreadnoughts together the UEF
outnumbered and out gunned them but the damage they would cause a lot
of damage. He looked at the Sea Wolf following in their wake of all
the ships it was the most important "have we had any
communications from the Draconian vessels?" He asked knowing
the answer, it was the same old question he always asked on contact
with an enemy but with the Draconians it was always the same answer.
"Yes, Commodore they made contact
as soon as they turned towards us."
"They what?" He asked
astonished spinning around to look at the officer. "What did
"To speak with the commanders of
this fleet." The officer said, the Captain wondered if anyone
had stepped forward and identified themselves as a leader yet. "So
far no-one has communicated with them other than to lock weapons
fortunately no-one has taken the lead and fired." The officer
said as if reading his mind.
"Communication, to all UEF ships
all stop." He said "Helm, bring us one hundred metres
clear of the main fleet."
"Sir, that will leave us quite
exposed and within the Draconian weapon range" Commander Harsell
warned however under the deck plates the Captain could feel the
ship's engines answer his commands as it moved forwards. Alongside
them several other Forsaken ships accelerated with them looking down
at the map the Captain identified Alacamenous flagship along with the
command ships of Captain's Grim, Rick and Simon Hell. Five Floating
Fortresses to represent a fleet, all from the same sector all
dedicated to the same cause it was a nice clear message. Behind them
the Enterprise and a group of Sea Wolves were arrayed, fighters from
the carrier launching while the wolves positioned themselves to
defend the carrier.
"Send to the Draconian commander,
this is a representation of the United Expeditionary Fleet, you are
welcome aboard this Floating Fortress to negotiate your surrender.
Failure to board this Fortress will result in your forces being
considered a threat to be eliminated." The Captain said
ignoring Harsell's warning he was heartened by the other commanders
willingness to stand with him exposed between the fleets now well
within the range of the Draconians. "Also send to Admirals
Alacamenous and Duinhir and the three other Captains to join us on
this ship, each of them will have a say in this discussion.
Commander have the Conference room prepared for visitors."
There was a variety of acknowledgements of his orders then the
Captain turned towards the door to see Rachel standing in the doorway
Jaylen still cradled in her arms, he'd seen the Michaels' Pride move
away he was sure that the Senator could have done one thing for him.
Crossing to her his mouth wouldn't move the words refused to come
"Don't blame Michaels we belong
with you." Rachel whispered as they hugged any hopes he had of
their safety were gone but the fears of losing them seemed far
further away now.
A couple of hours later the five other
Forsaken commanders were arrayed around the table with the Captain
while they waited for the Draconians to arrive some like Alacamenous
had seen the Draconians up close during a rescue mission he knew what
to expect, while the others had seen detailed reports on them however
this would be their first meeting. Marines opened the door and in
entered a man wearing a full black uniform with a red cape and a
Draconian red shield he wasn't old but he wasn't young his jet black
hair and green eyes making him stand out. "You are not
Draconian" Alacamenous said speaking before any of the others
could speak the Draconians he'd seen were badly mutated relying on
cybernetics and environmental suits to survive in normal
"Very perceptive Admiral, no I am
as human as you are, as are the Draconians in the own way. We all
find our ways to survive." He said addressing Alacamenous
directly before turning to the Captain "I am Lord Daemonicus"
he said identifying himself, the name the Captain knew one of
"The traitor" Grim said
raising from his chair "this man betrayed his people, all the
Forsaken, for his little trinkets and weapons. Anything he says we
cannot trust." He said raising his arms Grim had lost people
fighting off Draconian forces at Daemonicus' Island he remembered
every face that had served under his command and every funeral he had
"I did" Daemonicus admitted
"I betrayed everyone to gain prominence and power, it was my
mistake of youth, however my choices hit me back hard when the
Draconians turned on me. Killed my family, seized my home, my ships
that are ahead of this fleet are all I have left."
"Then perhaps we should remove the
burden of responsibility that you have left." Grim said still
standing his anger not released, no-one else objected.
"Doing so would be a mistake."
Daemonicus said "I know of the plan to trap you and this fleet,
a plan that you cannot escape without my help..."
"We have you here already,
interrogation is a great thing when used correctly." Duinhir
said grimly not even looking at the man.
"Not under my command this man
came to us in good faith." The Captain said quietly the fleet
so far had followed his lead when he had offered a solution, his
senior leaders that were with the fleet who had chosen to stand with
him ahead of Daemonicus' forces would not hopefully fall into line
"Daemonicus, you betrayed the Forsaken forces and for that you
will always pay the price of betrayal." He said looking at the
man he could see pain etched on his face "now Kixeye have made
open moves against this fleet by initiating a new strategy known as
Scorched Sea." He said looking around all the commanders of the
UEF "they plan to destroy every Forsaken Island in the region
funnelling you into a corridor, at the end of which you will face all
of Kixeye's might, something this fleet cannot survive." He
said describing a no-win scenario, already the fleet was having
supply shortages from lack or raiding they were able to do with
almost no available targets they would be in more trouble.
"And what do you offer as a
solution?" Simon Hell asked following the Captain's lead "if
we have no targets this is the end of the road."
"Not quite..." Daemonicus
said quietly "I think Kixeye's strategy is barbaric, I have done
bad things in this war, it is testament to a war crime."
Daemonicus admitted around the table the others nodded, except for
Duinhir who remained stone faced "I have refused to follow
Kixeye's orders going as far as to join you here." He said
pausing "I have also left a passage open in my territory that
should allow this fleet to progress unmolested to Sector 10. There
will be targets you can try to enlist or that you can raid for
supplies if they refuse. Kixeye will likely realize what I have done
but by then their forces will be out of place."
"Why?" Duinhir asked quietly
finally looking at Daemonicus
"I want to be allowed to disappear
after the war is over, I will help you until Kixeye has been
silenced, I want to be allowed to take my remaining people find a
small corner of the world and be allowed to live away from all of
this without judgement for my past or present actions."
"After the damage you have done
over your time..." Duinhir began raising his voice.
"Admiral" the Captain said
sternly raising his own voice drowning out Duinhir "Lord
Daemonicus can you give us a minute please."
"Of course." he said
spinning on his foot he retreated from the room.
"What's the story Admiral?"
The Captain asked sitting down at the head of the table he knew
Duinhir well enough to know that something was eating at him "let
us know all story."
"Some of you may know, some maybe
not but I've known the Pirate Dread from 74 for a long time, as far
back as the Old Republic days. He wasn't always as bad as he is
now." Duinhir explained “many years ago myself, Dread and
Repossession were charged by the Republic with tracking down a pirate
who used Draconian technology almost exclusively, someone that had
been merciless in his dealings with the defeated going as far as to
burning the oceans around victims of sunken ships. He'd remain in
the area just long enough to hear people's screams then disappear
leaving others to clean up, one such clean up I met Rowan, my wife,
she was one of this pirate's first victims. I vowed to track him to
the ends of the Earth, we chased him back to his island but by the
time we arrived the Draconians had fully asserted themselves there
and they protected him even with our combined power we couldn't break
him. Dread broke away soon after betraying his oath to the Republic
leaving us with no-way near enough to counter Daemonicus, he's
drifted in and out of our lives over the years a constant thorn in
our sides but never really raising to his pre-Draconian heights."
Duinhir looked up at the Captain "if you now deal with him, you
deal with a devil and after we're through with Kixeye you and I have
words to share." He threatened looking at the Michael's Island
Captain, Duinhir's fleets were all but destroyed but with his carrier
force still intact he'd be a threat to contend with.
"Dad, we need this and we need to
remain united." Alacamenous cautioned
"I know son but this monster will
be our undoing." The elder Admiral said now sounding more
worried "there is still Omega."
"Omega will not be used."
The Captain said immediately both Hell and Grim looked confused while
Alacamenous looked more worried he respected both men but he knew
that if a conflict began between his father and the Captain he'd have
to choose one or the other. "We will follow Daemonicus plan”
the Captain said finally refusing to discuss Duinhir's final solution
“guards bring him in." The Captain called after a moment Lord
Daemonicus was led back in "Lord Daemonicus we will follow your
plan and you will support this fleet in all operations against
Kixeye. Afterwards you will be free to do as you wish." The
Captain said raising from his chair "but listen very carefully,
you step over the line in your future conflicts and I will make it my
personal mission to end the threat posed by your people. You're
being given a second chance, do not waste it."
"I won't sir, I'll make the most
of the future." He promised laying a data pad down on the table
pushing it towards the Captain, "this course will allow will
bring you into the North-west Passage and from there to Sector 10 and
Kixeye Corporation's nest." He said "my people will flank
this fleet any of Kixeye's hired guns will think twice before
engaging my forces and that will buy this fleet time to eliminate
them." The Captain nodded picking up the pad, he didn't know if
this was the best plan or if he had permanently damaged his Alliance
with Duinhir and made a future enemy.
It appeared nothing was ever simple on
the Forsaken Sea.
Bloody Bill said:
liking this very much
"Best laid plans never survive
contact with the enemy."
- Sub-master Angelique, Sector 73
It was midnight when Todd Dredge
entered the command suite on board the Ocean, Kixeye's massive
floating headquarters, analysts had predicted it would be now that
the UEF would arrive at the border of Sector Ten and make contact
with Jessica's force of Kixeye vessels. So far by all accounts Lord
Daemonicus and Commandant Shadow had done a good job in "rail
roading" the UEF down a single course and although Todd's people
had not made contact with the UEF for almost a week he knew they
could be nowhere else but where they expected. None of his Forsaken
Allies or Draconian agents had reported contact with the UEF they had
to be where he intended them to be.
"Any word?" He asked
reaching the table which dominated the room, like the Draconian's
planning tables it constantly updated with information from the front
lines in real time however glancing at it he could see there was
"Nothing at all. We had a
draconian force stray too close to Ocean however our defences here
took care of them." The officer reported Todd almost laughed,
Kixeye's reserve force all he had left if Jessica's fleet failed was
comprised of several fleets of Battle Barges and Leviathan
Battleships supported by a single fleet of Floating Fortresses and
Todd's own command of specially constructed vessels. They would have
little chance turning away a major force such as the UEF.
"Anything from Daemonicus or
"Shadow reports Operation Scorched
Sea continues unmolested with Forsaken forces falling back and mining
operations being almost non-existent for several sectors. Daemonicus
reports he is moving through this area" the officer said drawing
a pointer over the map showing an area from the UEF's approach course
to Sector Ten "he reports he is putting down resistance in that
area and his sub commanders are eliminating other resistance in
accordance to Scorched Sea."
"Why take your fleet through this
entire region when you could delegate forces under your command to do
"Unknown." The officer said,
suddenly raising his hand to his ear he touch a communicator
"understood I will pass this on." He said turning back to
Todd "sir, within the last five minutes a force comprised of
Battle Barges, Marauders and Leviathans smashed into Jessica's
forces, she has engaged." He said on the map Todd could see
Jessica's green counters spreading out to contain the attack while
red counters appeared marking the UEF forces, immediately Todd was
hit by how few there was.
"Get me Jessica McGregor now"
Todd ordered beginning to realize what was going on.
Far out at sea in Sector Ten Jessica
McGregor sat on her Floating Fortress' command bridge watching the
battle unfold ahead of her ships were fighting and dying on both
sides but more so on the UEF's this pitiful attack had no chance of
succeeding, and without support of major capital ships it was a waste
of ships and lives. "Mam, priority call from Captain Dredge."
"Put it though here." She
ordered moments later the communications panel of her command chair
lit up, unlocking the channel she spoke to her superior. "Sir,
we are containing the probe attack, no major losses on our side as of
yet we are comfortably holding."
"Are there any major ships?
Fortresses, Wolves, Battleships?" Todd asked rapidly Jessica
scanned the screens in front of her searching the information she saw
"Negative, it is strange, I have
dispatched a Predator squadron to scout the area and find the main
fleet." She said making a mental note to do so as soon as
"Negative, leave forces to contain
the forces attacking you there and proceed with your main force
directly to these coordinates." Todd replied sending her
coordinates half a sector away. "I believe the UEF main force
will arrive somewhere along that line." He said it was over a
week's travel from Jessica's position.
"We will be ineffective striking
there, spread out a force the size of the UEF will crush us
piecemeal." She protested working the coordinates in her head
then transmitting a series of values to Todd Dredge "if we
intercept them here instead we can hit them in force in Sector Six."
"Can you be ready when they
arrive?" Todd asked sceptically it would be a hard journey.
"Probably with more force then we
could in ten."
"Do it." Todd ordered
"Commander, do not communicate this with either Daemonicus or
Shadow, we cannot be sure of anyone but Kixeye's loyalties."
"They continue to stream updates."
Jessica began to protest, despite not knowing the men she did not
want to pass judgement on them so quickly.
"Possibly falsified. Do not
communicate with them, I will deal with them once I have discovered
if they have truly been helping or hindering us." Todd said
quietly before cutting the link Jessica was quickly on her feet
calling out orders breaking up her fleet they had a lot of work to do
and a lot of travelling ahead of them.
Back aboard Ocean Dredge assembled his
remaining few reserve force commanders all were veterans and Kixeye
Corporation did not scrap ships or commanders. "Ladies and
gentlemen, it appears what forsaken allies we had have now turned
away from us and abandoned their oath. Instead we will revert to
plan B." He said looking at the other commanders, with Ocean's
position they were closer to Sector Ten and the UEF's new arrival
point, they were able to reach the UEF before Jessica's force. "Our
plan will be to slow them as much as possible buying Jessica
McGregor's force enough time to get into position, we will also
specifically pick out Lord Daemonicus' forces and eliminate them the
UEF have made their way through our territory through his operational
area. Daemonicus himself is to be considered an enemy of the state
and eliminated with prejudice." Todd ordered the others nodded
none questioning him, the coordinates were right at the end of the
course being followed by Daemonicus' "clear-up squadron" if
Todd was wrong he'd have wasted a fleet that could do nothing, if he
was right he'd have unmasked a traitor.
Almost a week passed and still no UEF
at Jessica's original position in Sector Ten, now her force was
scattered between Sectors Ten and Six as they tried to regroup. Todd
Dredge and his own reserve force were now the main force that would
face off against the incoming UEF. Two hours ago scouts had reported
contact with vessels belonging to Lord Daemonicus behind them
multiple Floating Fortresses, Sea Wolf Destroyers and one
unidentified vessel with a flat deck were visible, Todd had already
called for air support from the Ocean and from Jessica's forces if it
was available. Sitting on the bridge of his command Sea Scorpion
Todd was quiet, his ship and its four sisters were unique constructed
in secret by Kixeye Corporation they were like their bigger sister
class to the Sea Wolf capable of carrying more weapons and armour,
Todd had ordered them painted as if they were on fire, a fire that
would consume an enemy who face them.
With contact imminent Todd triggered
the communications grid "all forces initiate order SILENT FIRE."
He said "Report the Order is given for SILENT FIRE." Todd
said quietly, SILENT FIRE was his final option, it was desperate but
bold something that would give Kixeye a chance of surviving the UEF
and perhaps eliminating the traitor Daemonicus. The sun had begun to
set, it was the perfect time.
All around Todd's Sea Scorpions Battle
Barges began to move forward, to each of the Barges two Marauders
were assigned as an escort turning each of Todd's fleets into fleets
of three ships instead of five. The massive wall of ships that was
the UEF began to come into view just on the horizon to an unknowing
observer would almost think each ship was connected allowing one to
walk ship to ship, Todd knew more however he knew that there were
individual ships out there and individual ships sunk under enough
The UEF under the guidance of Lord
Daemonicus had fought their way to the border of Sector Ten as
promised the North-west Passage had provided them with the resources
required to survive the journey and had kept the UEF together and
ready for battle. The sun was setting on the horizon when the
initial call came in a sighting on the ocean surface too small to be
a major ship it had initially been expected to be a mining fleet,
unfortunately they could not have been more wrong.
As the sun disappeared the UEF ships
were silhouetted against the moon made for little more than targets
on such a peaceful night. Anyone could have been forgiven for
missing their enemy running with no targeting sensors, no running
lights or even active engines the UEF rode straight up to them until
lookouts with bare eyes saw their enemy and the fire.
At point blank range the first Battle
Barge exploded into flame the ship stripped of their weapons, with
reinforced armour and cargo holds full of scrap metal the ship had
been turned into little more than a sailing bomb. Within twenty
metres of a UEF Floating Fortress the Battle Barge exploded engulfing
the UEF vessel in flame while showering others in shrapnel causing
yet more casualties. At almost the same time the Marauders assigned
to escort the Battle Barges erupted with cannon, rocket and missile
fire tearing into yet more of the UEF's ships sowing further
Half running onto the bridge of his
Floating Fortress the Captain saw a scene of pure mayhem in front of
him as the third Battle Barge exploded within the fleet consuming a
Sea Wolf destroyer, the light combat vessel designed for swift
strikes and were not designed to sustain a heavy hit and continue to
fight, hit by the massive explosion and shrapnel from the Battle
Barge the UEF Wolf had no chance. "Transmit to all ships
activate all floodlights and sensors all hostile Battle Barges and
Marauders are to be sunk without a second thought. Pass it quickly
light up the sea!" The Captain ordered moving to his chair,
throughout the fleet lights lit up the massive fleet revealing
further Barges still moving into their positions. The Captain had
ordered all the UEF's Marauders and Barges, supported by anti-ship
Leviathans, to assault the Kixeye forces assembled at the border of
Sector Ten as a distraction to keep their enemies attention away from
the main fleet, now it appeared as if Kixeye's commander had seen
through this ruse. It did however make countering this latest
assault far easier with no known friendly ships close the UEF were
free to fire at will.
The massed firepower of over seventy
ships bore down on the few Barges and Marauders Kixeye had deployed
against them, two more Barges exploded before they could be targeted
however as the UEF ships were aware of them and had pulled back they
did little more than shower their targets with shrapnel. The cannon,
rocket and missile fire from the Marauders caused little damage as
they too were cut to pieces under the UEF's fire.
"Commodore, further contacts at
maximum range, missile fire incoming." Someone reported on the
bridge the Captain looked at the screens seeing the red and gold
coloured Sea Wolf-like vessels supported by Floating Fortresses they
were continuing to fire missiles at the fleet however they were also
moving away from the UEF.
"They are done." The Captain
whispered low enough so no-one could hear, he looked at his screens
three Floating Fortresses crippled two Sea Wolves destroyed several
other ships damaged too much to continue not to mention the hundreds
of sailors injured by shrapnel. "Now Kixeye shows its colours"
the Captain said.
"Sir, message from Daemonicus
flagship they are pursuing the retreating enemy vessels with or
"Tell him to enjoy himself, we're
in no condition for a pursuit. Contact Enterprise have the Admiral
set up some air cover for us. All ships to maintain full lighting
throughout the night, we are not being caught out again. Have
Sub-master Angelique watch the depths, I don't trust Kixeye not to
arrive with further surprises." The Captain warned.
"Lord Deamonicus, some did not
know if he was to be trusted others thought he was miss guided, the
truth may never be known"
On the bridge of his command Floating
Fortress the Captain watched as the events unfolded. The final
"fire-ships" sent by Kxeye had been destroyed by the
remaining UEF units and their surviving escorts had begun to retreat
towards a larger assembled force deeper in Kixeyes waters. The
Captain watched silently as Lord Daemonicus' thirty ships accelerated
beyond the UEF, the Draconian designed hulls faster than the majority
of the UEF's forsaken hulls.
"Sir they are ignoring
communications." One of his officers reported the Captain nodded
watching the chase unfold. He must have watched for an hour then a
second before as they reached the third hour contact was made.
Extended range missiles and mortars from kixeyes massed fleets cut
into Daemonicus fleets forcing the together as they continued to
The Captain could imagine chaos on
Daemonicus' ships as Kixeyes fire-power seemed to increase as the two
opposing forces met. The Battleships flanking Daemonicus formation
were first to fold cut down by the incoming fire, ship after ship
seemed to crack, split and sink reducing Daemonicus numbers and
reducing the Draconian's number of targets.
As more and more of Daemonicus ships
disappeared from view the two opposing almost appeared to merge into
one, the Draconian ships turning in on Daemonicus' surrounded ships.
One of the large Dreadnoughts and a
pair of the nimble battle-cruisers appeared like they may make it all
the way through the Kixeye formation however before they hit open
water they disappeared like the rest near the rear edge of the kixeye
fleet. The Captain wasn't sure if it was because they had moved
beyond radar range or if it meant they were destroyed either way it
didn't matter. "What a waste" muttered all Daemonicus had
done was mess up the Kixeye formation, so much for the pirates wish
to live a peaceful life. "All ships, prepare for imminent
contact with the enemy." The Captain ordered "How many do
we count..." He whispered looking at the numbers of enemy ships
on the table it must have numbered about twelve hundred ships a
little under twice as many as the UEF's forces. The Captain quietly
questioned his earlier decision to send the Barges and Leviathans
away when they met Daemonicus and changed course, the decoy attack
had caused no real damage to the Kixeye formation there and most of
his people had been forced to retreat and were now hopelessly out of
position. "There's an old saying" he said louder so the
bridge could hear "fortune favour the bold."
"Sir, incoming Forsaken contacts
bearing 270 mark 3 speed 25 knots." The Radar operator shouted
out the Captain looked at the map as it updated with the new
information a significant force was moving into position off our
"Incoming hail!" The
Communications officer reported moments later the bridge speakers
came alive with a man's voice.
"UEF, this is Rear Admiral Alfred
Johnson, we are the Legionaries. I bring you greetings from Admiral
Lucy Campbell." The Captain also smiled she'd disappeared
shortly after contact with Daemonicus he'd wondered when she'd appear
again. "We want to assist you in fighting Kixeye Corporation,
our forces have travelled from sectors eight to one hundred, we are
ready to make our journey worth it and our voices heard."
"Comms, send in response, this is
the UEF to Legionaries force, your assistance is most welcome remain
on our east flank, hit the Kixeye forces there." The Captain
said in response he watched as the fleets of the Legionaries moved
into position, their numbers almost matched the numbers the Captain
had sent as a decoy although their size and fire-power far outreached
what had been lost. Instead of Barges and Leviathans the unit had
numerous Fortresses and several Draconian hulls including several
"Sir, Duinhir is sending up his
fighters and bombers, ten minutes until contact with the enemy.
Sealing all pressure doors, encrypting communications." One of
his crewmen said. Now it was a waiting game... the clock counted
down above the bridge door.
The first to engage Kixeye were
Duinhir's fighters, high above the fleet Kixeye's advanced tilt-rotor
aircraft against Duinhir's propeller driven aircraft it was the high
technology of Kixeye against Duinhir's numbers. Missiles passed
between the forces then machine gun fire as the two closed and
aircraft began to fall from the sky. On the surface combat was just
beginning with missiles and mortar fire traded between the two forces
as they closed. With Kixeye's massed Fortress, Leviathan and
Hammerhead type craft against all the forces of the UEF and the
The Captain's Fortress had taken a
series of hits but it was still operational he stood on the command
bridge watching the battle unfold his XO Commander Harsell directed
most of the bridge commands while he had stood back and looked at
things from a broader view. An hour ago Admiral Duinhir had reported
his Enterprise had taken damage from torpedo fire, it was either a
Kixeye vessel or sub that had been missed or friendly fire but the
carrier was damaged and couldn't stay with the fleet, it was now
slowly slipping back in the formation. Duinhir had promised his
fighters would cover the fleet for as long as possible as they
continued to fight off Kixeye's tilt-rotor aircraft however the big
flat-top would be a major miss for the fleet.
Off on the eastern flank a group of
Legionaries Longboats supported by Battle Barges carrying long range
missiles were running off a fleet of Kixeye Fortresses. The smaller
Longboats equipped with torpedoes and upgraded engines allowing them
to dart into and out of range of the Fortress' mortars and cannons
while the group of Battle Barges provided covering missile fire, the
Captain had to admit the inclusion of the Legionaries forces had
evened the battle slightly. The Fortress rocked from another hit but
the Captain ignored it his eyes instead caught something on the map
table. "Magnify Section 62 by 14" he ordered the map took
moments to change, the Captain still marvelled at the technology,
captured from a destroyed Draconian vessels he sometimes forgot he
used to stand over a table with paper maps.
Looking at the map in front of him he
saw a group of five Kixeye Fortresses turn away from battle heading
across Sector 6 at great speed, so far they had remained out of the
fighting and now they appeared to abandon the battle "I wonder
where you are headed?"