Red Dawn, Redux

It must be a few years ago now that I started a story called Red Dawn, it might still even be in the archives. I think the story had potential, but I never got around to finishing it. In any case, I pulled out my copy of EV:N and started playing again, and decided that I could finish this story with all the free time I have before heading to college this fall. Enjoy. Comments are appreciated {Edit-Edited}

Red Dawn, Part One

The scene outside was hectic, chaotic, hellish. Half of Dominance station was tearing away, flames jetting out as emergency bulkheads were slamming shut stationwide to stem the damage. The half the remained continued pouring an endless torrent of weapons fire into the Federation fleet. The Federation battle fleet, in turn, was engaging several dozen Auroran warships, and multitudes of fighters and gunships scrambled for an advantage in the space between the imposing capital ships. Several clicks away, a Federation Carrier watched over the battle.
Aboard the bridge, watching this confrontation of wills, James was reminded of a battle he learned of log ago, long before man left Earth. At Thermopylae in the ancient Mediterranean, a massive force of Persians were ataccking a very small group of Spartans. The Persians demanded surrender, threatening to "Block out the sun with our arrows." "Good", responded the captain of the Spartans, "For then we will fight in the shade"
Perhaps history repeats itself, James, thought, right here many millenia later. The unimaginable amount of weaponry visible from the bridge effectively blocked any attempt at discerning who had the upper hand. Even the tactical display at the center of the bridge was a mess of red and blue dots representing fighters and smaller ships. Behind Dominance, a handful of Auroran carriers were desperately launching every available ship as the several dozen destoryers guarding them poured every bit of energy through their rail guns, sneding shells to rip through gunships and fighters in the fray.
On cue, a flight of Federation Destroyers warped in to the side of the Auroran battle fleet. The HMV's immediately unleashed a flood of missles, impacting the shielding and pulverizing hulls before the Cruisers could react. The remaining destroyers began meneuvering in to disable the carriers. Just a few more moments, now.
James' legs were thrown from beneath him as a tremor ran the length of his flagship. As the lights cut out and the emergency klaxon began to sound. He got to his feet, and demanded a status report. Strangley, the man who would have given him the report was impaled on a twisted handrail halfway across the bridge. The rest were gone, ostensibly through the gaping hole in the bridge, through which the full chaos of war was visible.
I shot up from bed in a heavy sweat with a sick, twisted feeling in my gut. "The dream was intense", I thought, and for a moment I pondered the possibility that I was still dreaming, as I could still hear the klaxon. My door burst open, and Yuri's imposing figure stood in the light.
"James what the s### are you doing? We've got runners at the spaceport, Cap, get ready, let's go!" Without another word, Yuri rushed in the direction of the landing pads. I rolled out of bed and scrambled into my jumpsuit. In the dark, I slammed my head against the dresser while searching for my blaster. In a minute, I was rushing down the hallways as well, curious heads popping out of doorways to watch me pass.
The doors to the pad were open in anticipation as I rushed out into the darkest portion of the night. The patrol boat was warming up, lit from the inside. I fairly leapt into the ship as the stairway lifted shut beneath me. I half-sprinted to cockpit, wary of the cramped conditions. I quickly went through the checklist. Everyone was on board and checked in. Engines good, blasters warming, shields up. I switched on the intercom.
"Sorry for being tardy to the party, folks, I suggest you strap yourselves in"
I took an apprehensive glance at Yuri before firing up the engines and blasting outwards and upwards. The Customs spaceport passed from beneath me as I raised the ship to cruising level. It was only when she began to groan under the pressure of this speed and my adrenaline that I began to slow down. I looked to console between Yuri and I, and brought up the mission data. The blueish display of New Babylon flickered into life. The tab representing Nesre City was flashing, and the metropolis flashed into view,now switching to the expansive Spaceport, and finally resting on pad 39. The mission report scrolled in next.
Fr:New Babylon Customs
To:HAV Patrol Boat 102 "Firehand"
Good morning, Gentlemen. We've got reports coming from security in Nesre Spaceport that a shipment of Twenty Eight tons of contraband are being loaded onto an IDA and being readied for an immediate run off-planet. Ground-based operators are en route, your job is to make sure the frigate never leaves the ground. Sorry for the short notice on this one.

Nesre City was on the other side of the planet, at least fifteen minutes away. I turned to Yuri, his face stoic and focused on the lights on the far horizon.
"Lord", I said," I hope those runners havn't been tipped. The last thing I want is to go toe to toe with an IDA"
Yuri, breaking his trance, nodded in agreement.
"There's no way that a bunch of frenzied runners could take us, even at the helm of a frigate, James, but I agree. I was having the most amazing dream that I want to get back to."
"Speaking of...", I thought to myself. "Better stay focused on what's ahead", I said to Yuri.
Again, I turned on the intercom. "Good Morning, This is your captain speaking. We are cruising at a height of 4 miles, and are en route to the lovely metropolis of Nesre City. If you wait a moment, your meals will be delievered by our lovely assistant Janine, lets have a round of applause for Janine, people!"
A burst of applause echoed through the ship from the other members of the crew. My speaker opened up
"I've got a nice Hellhound missle drenched in a delicious Berne sauce I could send up to the bridge, Cap. Interested?"
Laughing, I responded "Touche, Jani, point well taken. In all seriousness, I assume you all read the brief? If not, we've got an IDA full of runners and twenty eight tons of contra to keep on the ground. Suprise will be our factor tonight, so we're running dark untill we get to the pad. Be ready to respond at a moments notice. ETA, Ten minutes.
I took the Firehand down to just a mile above the surface and shut off the running lights. Both Yuri and I grabbed our low-light equipment, and I slowed the ship down from her cruising speed. Just a little more now.
The outskirts of the city rushed beneath the vessel, burning bright in this dark night. Both Georgia and the star were on the far side of New Babylon. Only the spacedock above was visible among the myriad stars. Focusing back on the job at hand, my stomach turned a little. For me, anticipation is the worst part of any bust. Once the action gets going, my training and instinct kick in untill I've brought the Firehand-and everyone aboard-back safely.
I slowed down even more, and brought the boat down to half a mile as the spaceport came into view. The only traffic were a few shuttles coming in, no major distraction.
"James, we've got trouble. Over there." Yuri pointed off to our right, where a line of blue and red lights were flashing, moving in the direction of the spaceport
"Son of a bitch locals, didn't they get the message? Christ, maybe the runners havn't seen them. 39 is on the far side, anyway, we'll get there first.
The massive control tower of the spaceport reared above everything else, pads wrapping down the side in a helix arrangement At this hour, even an interstellar trade center was darkened ,with the exception of a few lit pads awaiting those shuttles. The targeting computer picked out the ninth pad on the third level, and suggested an approach. Slowing the ship down even more, I moved her into position right in front of the darkened pad. I could now see the specks of low light equipment moving back and forth. I scanned the IDA. Name of "Red Dawn". Shields were still down, but the engines were warming. I switched on the intercom
"Game time, people. Get ready."
"This is the best part", I thought. All at once I light up the pad with our floodlights, turned on our blues, and opened up with the intercom.
"Attention. You are in violation of Federation Trade regulation AE-4967. Drop what you are doing, and lower yourself to the ground. I repeat, You are all in violation of Interstellar Federation law. STOP what you are doing, and lay on the ground with your hands behind your head."
Many of the workers were nearly struck blind by the sudden appearence of the floodlight, and were on their knees, anyway. Not much use worrying about them. However, it looks like a lot of the contra has been loaded, which might be trouble. I switched into the intercom of the frigate.
"Attention IDA Frigate Red Dawn: This is New Babylon Customs Patrol Boat 102. Our weapons are trained on you. Shut down your engines and exit the vessel, starting with your captain. Again, Shut down your engines and exit onto the platform."
Yuri turned to me
"James, they're not responding. This might get busy in a second"
I nodded towards Yuri, and he sent the crew into full alert. I shuddered as the klaxon sounded twice. Again, I began to hail the frigate
"IDA Frigate Red Dawn: This is your last chance for mercy. We have scans that show you are holding a massive amount of contraband. Shut your engines down NOW, or we will open with disabling fire"
I began to move the boat around in order to fire on the engines. The intercom crackled to life
"Sir, they've locked on!"
The ship lurched as I ignited the afterburners
"Evasive, aft shields full power!"
"Sir," Yuri said", They're launching, shields are up"
I swung the boat around, speeding up all the while, as the first rounds of light blaster fire rocked my ship. Completing the move, I saw the Red Dawn was flying off at a nearly fourty-five degree angle.
"Son of a bitch. Everyone buckle up, we've got a chase on our hands"
Disabling them will have to wait untill we're spacebound, so the bastards don't ruin someone's night as they plummet to the ground. Doesn't mean some damage can't be dealt now
"Jani, we've got a clear shot at their side. Launch all Ravens"
"I'm on it, James"
Twenty in all, the ravens impacted neatly into the shield of the IDA, the detonations spread along the exterior, outlining the spine o the ship in fire for half an instant. Still taking fire from medium and light turrets, I pulled along into the rear of the frigate.
"Bring all turrets to bear and fire at will, crew. Keep the QLB open for countermeasure. Yuri, status, us and them"
"We're at 90% shielding, They're at 80%"
The shields struggled to maintain a barrier between the next few blasters and us. , as Jani opened up with the light cannons. Swerving and bobbing to avoid the fire from the IDA, the heavier frigate, it seems, could only hope to make it to warp distance. The atmosphere was quickly dissipating as we left the hold of New Babylon's gravity. Yuri was on the intercom, requesting assistance from spacedock. I checked the scanners. They're down to 70% shields, and we've got to hurry up to keep them from warping
"Spacedock is sending a flight of Anacondas. ETA, 5 minutes" Yuri stated.
"We havn't got the time", I thought. I got on the intercom. "Jani, launch the hellhounds"
The turrets dotting the frigate were still firing furiously, wildly spitting out bolts. I could feel the Firehand shudder as ten hellhounds were launched succesively, five from each side. They arched around the IDA, turning to slam headlong into the shields. 65%. 58%. 47% 30% 18%. I hit the thrusters, shouting furiously for Jani to open up with everything. The boat began taking direct hits as I got into range of their heavy guns. Blasting away the last of their shields, I broke off to get out of range of their guns, just in range of our light cannons. The intercom opened up
"Sir, gLimmers!"
s###, I hate dealing with smugglers. There's always something. I completed my maneuver, and our guns began to rip into their engine compartment.
"Get the QLB ready, Jani"
The first of the gLimmers launched from one, now two, now three launchers. Launch. Launch. Launch. They shot ahead, locked on, and curved around to hurtle towards us.
"I suggest you grab something, now!"
As flames began to spurt from their engines, I broke off and barelled to the left, as the Quad Light Blaster took control and started taking down the incomings. "Good god, they're still launching", I thought to myself. The QLB was able to destroy a majority, but then one broke through the countermeasure, and rocked the ship as it impacted the shields. 45%
I took the boat up into a loop, and got slammed halfway through by another gLimmer. 25%. I came out of the misshapen loop and opened fire on the wounded engine block. Under a withering hail, the drive finally let loose in one final explosion, burning what oxygen was left in that section. Before I could gloat, we got slammed by another glimmer, and our shields were down. I turned the ship as quick as possible, and tried the empty afterburners in an attempt towards Spacedock.
Another rocket slammed into the side of the hull, svibrating every being down to the bones. The lights flickered, and I realized I might not make it out, as the klaxons began to sound. The computers went down, and the ship was rocked by another impact. On the last impact that I remember, my head got thrown against the console and the ship was tossed about. I saw the engine compartment of the IDA tearing away from the rest of the ship, jets of flame shooting out as emergency bulkheads slammed shut to contain the fires. I can't tell if it was the Firehand or my head that began to list as acrid smoke filled my lungs.

To be continued

This post has been edited by Dr Funk : 08 June 2005 - 07:50 PM

Wow. Just wow. Funk, you got some funk, all right. 🙂

Fab story. Oustanding, and I want more. 🙂

Few suggestions: maybe work in the meanings for the acronyms or tech words.



"Sir, gLimmers!"
s###, I hate dealing with smugglers. There's always something. I completed my maneuver, and our guns began to rip into their engine compartment.
"Get the QLB ready, Jani"
The first of the gLimmer missiles launched from one, now two, now three launchers. Launch. Launch. Launch. They shot ahead, locked on, and curved around to hurtle towards us. The quad laser blaster turret turned to face the threat.

Something like that, anyway. Same with the HMV Destroyers. I know it's Heavy Missile Variant, but it helps to clue the audience in.