The Fall of a Warlord

HOTS Universe Story

QUOTE (Note)

This is something I came up with to contribute to the CTC Bar Thread a while back. That thread seems to have not gotten a lot of attention after my post, so I'm posting it again here. Feel free to comment on it as any future stories of mine, even if related to this one, will be in a new thread. You may also notice a few editorial differences between this version and the version in the CTC Bar. Yes, this version is slightly revised according to advice from Pace. Thanks, Pace!

Shlimazel, I'm actually doing this thanks to you. Sorry about that gravedig, I always forget to look at the time stamps. 😊

Now, without further ado, I again present the first glimpse into the universe of HOTS.

The Fall of a Warlord

Location: Orion's Sword bar, Orion Station, Orion system
Day: July 12
Year: 3251 AF
Time: 1502 hours

Kronos sat quietly in the bar, nursing a full glass of root beer. Things hadn't been the same lately since the Shojen Samurai began mass producing their Hwatcha Class light missile cruisers. It was bad enough when a squadron of Sapphire Dragon fighters stumbled upon a small scouting fleet of Crossbow Classes, but the Hwatcha?

Kronos downed his entire drink. It wasn't alcohol, but it still seemed to calm his worrisome mind. Besides that, he never drank beer anyway; he preferred to keep his mind sharp as did most SD Mercenaries, the vast unit that Kronos was partly in charge of. The other commander of the elite Sapphire Dragons Mercenary unit was DarthKev. Together, DarthKev and Kronos directed the movements and tactics of SD war fleets and starfighter squadrons, respectively. Things had been getting worse, though, in the war against piracy.

At that moment a warning klaxon sounded and a voice over the intercom stated that a combined Samurai and Mafia fleet was on its way into the system. All SD Mercs were to report to their ships to defend Orion Station, the headquarters of the Sapphire Dragons. Kronos got up and almost lazily headed toward the docking hangar. This was the sixth pirate raid in the past week! Where did they get the ships and manpower? It was beginning to feel like defending Orion Station was an everyday routine.

When Kronos arrived in the ship hangar it was mostly empty, only a pair of Raptor Class gunships and a large, deadly-looking vessel remaining. Standing at the boarding ramp of the the heavier vessel was a tall man, just over six feet tall by the looks of it, wearing combat armour on his chest with elbow and knee pads. Underneath the chest armour he wore a light brown tunic which meshed well with the figure's desert camo cargo pants. He had a laser pistol under each arm with another laser pistol facing backwards on his left hip. On his right, however, was a blaster pistol, also facing back. In his hands was a large rifle-type weapon, a custom job made by the man himself. The trigger end was in his left hand.

"Must you always carry those things around, DarthKev," asked Kronos of the man.

At this, DarthKev retorted, "Says the guy who refuses to drop his own weapons."

Kronos faked a shocked and hurt look. "Whatdayamean? Do you see any weapons on me?" It was true, Kronos appeared to be completely unarmed, not a single gun or knife in sight. All Kronos had on him was his trademark midnight blue button down shirt, trademark black slacks, trademark black boots, trademark black cloak with the hood up, and trademark blue shades, all of which shimmered as if made of some sort of flexible metal.

"I do," said DarthKev. "For one, that black cloak you always wear. Another might be your boots or shades."

After a pause, Kronos spoke. "Let's just get this over with. I'm tired of these raids." The two commanders turned to face the large ship beside them.

"I'm starting to wonder how much more of this she can take," commented Kronos on the state of the vessel before them.

"Ah, you worry too much, Kronos. I built her, remember? She can take anything those pirates can throw at her. You just worry about your Phoenix."

"You mean the starfighter sitting inside your ship? I am, that's why I'm worried about the Wyvern. If your ship goes, the Phoenix goes with it as she doesn't have a Fluxdrive powerful enough to get home."

"You see, I said you should've put a Fluxdrive on that thing."

"Yeah, yeah." Kronos then turned to the Raptor fighters. "Go ahead and launch, we'll be right behind you!" The Raptors lifted off from their landing pads and exited the hangar as DarthKev and Kronos headed up the boarding ramp to the Wyvern. Soon, the Wyvern also took off and headed toward the chaos to come.


Location: Islanda Resort, Islanda, Nesre system
Day: July 12
Year: 3251 AF
Time: 1508 hours

Jesse Kovacich was relaxing by the pool at the galaxy's premier resort enjoying the company of a tall glass of ice cold egg nog. Ever since he became CEO of Askan Shipyards, he had ordered the construction of an egg nog factory in the offices so that he could drink the stuff year round instead of just during the holidays. Everyone thought he'd just get sick of the stuff after that, but this was the tenth year he had been drinking egg nog regularly and he still loved it.

beep beep

Jesse looked around to see his wrist comp ringing. Now what, thought the annoyed executive. He was finally away from the office and yet he still seemed to have business to do. Would it never end? He decided to leave it alone.

beep beep beep beep beep beep

It just wouldn't stop. Eventually Jesse got fed up and answered the damn thing.

"What?!"

" Is that any way to talk to your brother? " It was Kronos.

"Sorry, I didn't know it was you. Look, you got me at a bad time, I'm on Islanda right now. Can it wait?"

" Sorry, no can do. We've got some serious firepower facing Orion Station. "

"And?"

" And we think the Shojen Samurai may have left openings in their front lines at Outlaw, Samurai, and NSS-5328. " Jesse had been supplying ships, weapons, and manpower for SD Mercs to use ever since he gained control of the company. It was a good thing, too, since Estee Luxury preferred to stay neutral and the Earth Empire was still miffed at the Orion Government for having left the empire.

A sudden explosion on Kronos' side of the transmission caused Jesse to jump. "What the hell was that?!"

" Whoo! Take that, you sonuvab*tch! Sorry about that, decimating Shurikens just never gets old. " Kronos was referring to the Samurai fighter of choice, a class that seemed to be everywhere in Samurai space at the time.

"Alright, so what do you want?"


Location: cockpit of the Phoenix , around Orion Station, Orion System
Day: July 12
Year: 3251 AF
Time: 1509 hours

"I want you to send a Claymore Class and two Scimitar Classes from Roid over to the Horse Head Lookout Post. Have them give the Onli there the signal to start their attack on Outpost Samurai and the NSS-5328 system. Your ships will act as a replacement guard for the time being. I also want you to send three Longsword Classes over to Betelgeuse. The Star Corps fleets there need to make a push against Outlaw."

" Why can't you give them the signal? "

"Because the Star Corps works for the empire and the empire won't listen to us, you know that."

" Well, why can't you give the signal to the Onli yourself then? You're only three systems away. "

Another explosion. "Because I'm busy, dammit! Just send the ships!"

" Alright, alright, no need to yell. " Actually, getting Kronos to yell was exactly what Jesse was trying to do. Ever since they were little, Jesse loved tormenting his older brothers Kronos and DarthKev, even in dire situations like this. Jesse knew Kronos would be fine, his piloting skills were too good for him to be killed in space. " You need anything else? "

"That'll be all for now. I'll get back to you with further instructions. Kronos out."

" Later bro. Over and out. "

Kronos then closed the channel and opened another with the Wyvern. "Jesse's spreading the word, pretty soon we'll be able to move on Shojen."

" Alright, good. How are you and the Phoenix doing? "

To answer the question, Kronos pulled his fighter into a barrel roll headed straight for a Mafia Missile Barge, his Plasma Lance drilling a hole through the bridge. At the same time, Kronos locked a pair of radar-seeking missiles onto the engines of the same ship and fired, incinerating the vessel from both ends.

"How do you think I'm doing?"


Location: bridge of the Wyvern , around Orion Station, Orion system
Day: July 12
Year: 3251 AF
Time: 1510 hours

"Not bad, not bad, but I can do better." DarthKev then turned to his tactical officer. "Do we have an opening at the lead Samurai ship?" In this case, the lead Samurai vessel was a Shogun Class heavy battleship.

"Yes sir, we do."

"Excellent. Fire a volley of Jericho missiles at the sucker."

Tubes on both sides of the Wyvern lit up as the deadly missiles left their housing and screamed for their target. Not even asteroids could phase these monsters as they bobbed and weaved through the wreckage around the system. Just before entering the range of the Shogun's PD turrets, the four Jericho missiles switched off their engines and opened up panels along their sides. From these panels came smaller missiles, five from each Jericho, all twenty of the little things charging toward the unsuspecting Samurai vessel. Kronos and DarthKev watched as the hail of ordnance pummeled what little shields the ship had left, reducing them to zero and striking vulnerable armour.

DarthKev turned to his communications officer. "Contact Squadron Four, order them to do a strafing run along the lead Samurai vessel's port side."

"Aye sir!"

Squadron Four was made up of two Sabertooth Class bombers and four Panther Class light fighters, all six of which mounted Talon Guns, a variant of the empire's Chainguns. There was an eerie glow as the six starfighters began their run, firing off a hail of pink dots at the hull which buckled under the pressure. Soon the Shogun Class was engulfed in flames and down for the count. Cheers erupted on the bridge of the Wyvern as well as most of the other warships in the SD fleet. The battle was won.

It was not, however, over. DarthKev next turned to his helmsman. "You feel up to doing some starfighting?"

"Aye, sir," was the response.

"Then get to it!"

"Aye!"

The Wyvern suddenly leaped forward, PD Talon Turrets automatically incinerating a pair of Harquebus Class bombers as they flew past. The Wyvern's helmsman selected a target, a Daimyo Class escort carrier attempting to turn tail. A Warlord Class frigate noticed the Wyvern bearing down on the Daimyo and attempted to intercept. That was a fatal decision, for the Wyvern took it out with its Heavy Plasma Cannons, punching holes in the bridge of the opposing frigate. The unique destroyer then opened fire with its Plasma Lances and cut a hole through the middle of the escort carrier big enough for the two-hundred-meter-wide Wyvern to fly through. The Wyvern's turrets next took advantage of the hole to strike the Daimyo's exposed interior, transforming the stricken vessel into an expanding ball of fire.


Location: hangar bay, Orion Station, Orion system
Day: July 12
Year: 3251 AF
Time: 1514 hours

Within minutes, the battle was over. Wreckage from both sides—pirate and mercenary—littered the system as the remaining SD ships made it back to Orion Station.

"Well, that was fun," remarked one merc.

"Yeah, too bad the wusses couldn't stay and play longer," added another. Both walked off, laughing, toward the bar for drinks. Kronos, however, headed for the communication terminals. Business-like as usual, he wanted to know how the fight was going elsewhere. Upon reaching a terminal, he sent out a signal to the Samurai system, hoping all was well.

"This is Kronos, Squadron Commander of the Sapphire Dragons Mercenary unit. Come in, please."

After a moment of silence a voice responded. " This is the Onli battleship, OCS Stargazer . How can we be of service? "

" Stargazer , I assume you got the message from the Alliance vessels to make your attack?"

" Yes, Commander Kronos, we did. I must say, we all feared something may have happened to you when it was someone else giving us the signal instead of yourself. "

"Yes, the Shojen Samurai and the Mafia both sent fleets after us just before I could send the signal. We couldn't spare any of our ships to replace yours as guards at your LP. I had to notify Alliance Shipyards of our need for ships. Have you secured your target systems?"

" Yes, Commander, we have. The EM Rockets you gave us worked—how do you say—like a charm. " Being aliens, the Onli people weren't fluent with Human sayings.

"Wonderful! Absolutely marvelous! Hold your positions, we will be taking Outpost Shojen soon." Kronos then closed the channel and opened another to Jesse. "Jesse, you there?"

" Yeah, I'm here. Everything alright over there? "

"Yeah, we're fine. I need you to contact Star Corps and see if they made it through for me. You know they won't tell me anything."

" I already did. You were right, they threw so many ships at you guys that the Star Corps fleets were able to easily take Outlaw. Minimal casualties, too. The Shojen Samurai weren't expecting the Star Corps to seemingly abandon one of their outposts in order to send that many ships. I guess they didn't count on me getting you guys extra ships. "

"Excellent. Thanks, Jesse, I owe you one."

" You mean another one. Glad to be of help. Later. "

Jesse terminated the signal and Kronos turned off the terminal. Now it was SD's turn to make an offensive. But how? If the Shojen Samurai were smart, they'd pull the rest of their forces back to Renegade, but with Mafia help, they could just as easily send all their forces to hold Shojen. This was going to be one his toughest battles yet.

To be continued...

This post has been edited by DarthKev : 07 July 2010 - 05:35 AM

QUOTE

Shlimazel, I'm actually doing this thanks to you. Sorry about that gravedig, I always forget to look at the time stamps.

No worries, DK, everyone makes a mistake sometimes. I applaud you on your story, very nicely written! My only note is this, you make a bit of a perspective shift here;

QUOTE

Standing at the boarding ramp of the the heavier vessel was a tall man, about 6'3", wearing combat armour on his chest with elbow and knee pads.

Okay, that's past tense, but the next sentence

QUOTE

Underneath the chest armour is a light brown tunic which meshes well with the figure's desert camo cargo pants.

is in present tense, and it continues from there. It would be a bit better if you write in just one tense, mixing tenses causes confusion. Otherwise, very good story, and I hope you post some more!

{edit} I see you fixed that in your edit, nevermind me.

This post has been edited by Shlimazel : 23 February 2010 - 03:27 PM

Yes, I made quite a few 'tense' mistakes in this story that needed to be corrected. If you look at the version in the CTC Bar, you will also notice that it says "Kronos" instead of "DarthKev" when on the bridge on the Wyvern. That has also been corrected here.

Thanks for your feedback!

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