Sequel to 'The Fall of a Warlord'
So, here we are, the planned sequel to 'The Fall of a Warlord'. Yes, I am aware the Colosseum Bar thread is still moving along, but there are two reasons why I'm posting it here instead:
1. I feel the Chronicles section could use a revival, and I think writing stories here could help with that. It worked with the EV and EVO boards, right?
2. Since the HOTS Universe currently has nothing to do with the Colosseum Universe, I feel these stories would be out of place there. Here I can write about whatever and it'll fit right in.
You may also notice a new suffix for the year. This is what I am using in HOTS, it means 'After Flux', referring to the year the Fluxdrive (my variant of the hyperdrive) was invented. I've edited 'The Fall of a Warlord' to show this. As an added glimpse into the history of HOTS, the year 3251 AF is approximately 7379 AD.
Now, without further ado, I give you:
Warlords Never Die
Location: aboard the Wyvern , in transit
Day: July 14
Year: 3251 AF
Time: 1223 hours
Kronos sat in his quarters aboard the Wyvern , awaiting the fight to come. It took merely two hours to mass enough ships for the assault. He was now heading for the Shojen system along with around 5,000 other SD Mercs. Their mission: destroy all pirate ships in the system, and then capture the station. They had gone about halfway now, but the journey took four days to complete.
No one knew what to expect. Scouts had been sent ahead, but couldn't gather any data due to the small defense satellites the Shojen Samurai had placed in orbit. They put out too much fire for the small espionage craft to approach the station.
Kronos looked around his room, trying to keep his mind off of the task at hand, trying to calm his mind. It was a bleak room, not much inside it. A bed, a desk, a nightstand, and a window was all it contained. Kronos preferred to keep things professional, and thus shared very little of his personal life on the rare occasions he shared at all. The emptiness of his room reminded him of this, and why it was so.
The sound of the ship's intercom disrupted his thoughts. " Kronos, get up to the bridge, something's come up. " It was DarthKev. Kronos walked over to the intercom panel and hit the button labeled 'talk'.
"Roger, I'm on my way."
Location: bridge of the Wyvern , in transit
Day: July 14
Year: 3251 AF
Time: 1232 hours
Kronos entered the bridge of the Wyvern , deep in thought. What could have come up? The sound of urgency in DarthKev's voice was impossible to hide, and Kronos knew something was deeply worrying him.
He reached DarthKev at an OPS station at the rear of the bridge. "What is it?"
DarthKev turned to face Kronos and it was easy to see something was very wrong. "It seems the Shojen Samurai and the Mafia had more ships than we realized. Reports have come in from Jesse regarding Outlaw, pirates have made several attacks on the system and the Star Corps are having problems holding onto the area."
"Pirates? You mean independent pirates," asked Kronos.
"Yeah," replied DarthKev. "Remember, Outlaw is an independent holding, the Samurai are only welcome because they're pirates, too. No one expected them to take on the Star Corps over a measly rock, though. But that's not the worst part." A shadow crossed DarthKev's face. "It looks like the Samurai have placed their fifth, sixth, and tenth fleets around Shojen Station."
The fifth and sixth fleets of the Shojen Samurai were slightly above average when it came to pirates. They'd fought Sapphire Dragons before, and did well against them, too. Having to deal with both of them at the same time would not be easy. The tenth fleet was another matter entirely. They were renowned for being the top dogs among the Samurai ranks, the pirates every pirate wanted to be.
After a moment of thought, Kronos asked, "What about the Onli? Can't they lend some assistance?"
"Nope. They've detected pirate fleets massing in neighboring systems. While the Onli forces don't expect them to be much of a threat, they need to keep their numbers up in order to keep those pirates preoccupied while we assault Shojen Station."
"You said it, bro. But still, we can't turn back now, we gotta at least try this."
"I know. But we still have two days before we reach the Shojen system. I don't see–"
"Kronos," interrupted DarthKev, "you worry too much. It's gonna take them a few days, too, to get any more ships into the system than they have already. Besides, once we secure the area surrounding their Fluxgate, we can bring in our carrier groups. It'll be alright."
Kronos merely gave DarthKev a dark look, and stalked off the bridge. DarthKev was right, Kronos did worry too much, but that didn't mean he liked people pointing it out. At any rate, he needed to make sure the Phoenix was in tip-top shape for the fight.
Location: Shojen system
Day: July 16
Year: 3251 AF
Time: 0742 hours
The Shojen system, one of the two most heavily guarded pirate outposts in the Crimson Nebula. Large, silver ships floated around the sole station in the area, prepared for battle. Smaller, silver fighters flitted about the place on patrol. If there was air in space, it would be thick enough from tension to require a buzz saw to cut though.
" Shojen Station to Fleet Commander Ty, come in. "
" This is Ty. What do you need? "
" We've detected a large number of ships on approach, possibly an assault force. "
" I understand, we are ready for battle. All ships, power up weapons. Shojen Station, get those satellites online. "
" Roger. Over and out. "
A flash of light indicated an exit from fluxspace. A moment later, several dozen SD ships came out of the pale blue portal and immediately opened fire on anything criminal. A Shuriken squadron went down in flames somewhere. A Raptor took heavy fire and plowed into a Warlord after losing engine power. Explosion after explosion occurred, ship after ship died, the system was soon filled with wreckage and escape capsules.
Location: the bridge of the Wyvern , Shojen system
Day: July 16
Year: 3251 AF
Time: 1025 hours
"My god, how long will it take for these bastards to die?!" DarthKev was not happy about the situation. It had been just over two and a half hours since the fight began. Both sides had already suffered heavy losses, but the fight still dragged on. "Status report!"
"Shields functioning at 30%, weapons still fully operational," said the tactical officer. "Our fleet isn't doing so well. Our remaining Wolves have exhausted their Fusion Missile stocks and all ships are having trouble keeping regular rates of fire on their Plasma Missile launchers. They just can't regenerate enough energy to fire a full volley before they're forced to use what they have for maneuvers."
"And what about Kronos?"
"He's relatively fine. The Phoenix is just about out of energy, too, but its Plasma Cannons and Talon Guns are still functioning."
"Sir," exclaimed the sensor officer, "I've detected ships moving into the system!"
"Reinforcements," hoped DarthKev.
"Negative, sir. It's a small strike force of Mafia Buccaneers. Six ships in all."
Things were bad. The sixth fleet had lost most of its ships but, instead of retreating, they put their ships' reactors on overload, set autopilot on collision courses with as many SD ships as possible, and jettisoned from the hulks. The resulting damage to SD forces was minimal, but it spread them apart, allowing Samurai fighter squadrons to swarm the mercenaries with less difficulty. The fifth fleet was about half gone, but still fighting.
No one could have predicted how well the tenth fleet would do. They had lost barely a ship even after this much fighting. It was almost seeming like Kronos was right after all.
Then a glimmer of hope.
"What's that," asked DarthKev of his navigator. He noticed an object floating off in the distance on the view screen. He couldn't tell what it was, but it wasn't firing on anything.
"Not sure, sir. Should I magnify," asked the navigator.
The navigator magnified the image to 300 times its size. It couldn't be possible, but it was a piece of a defense satellite. DarthKev turned to his sensor officer. "What ships are in the system right now? Nothing we brought with us could have blown away one of those satellites."
The sensor officer looked at her panel for several moments before saying, "I can't tell for sure, sir. The nebula is interfering with sensors. But whatever it is, it's on our side."
"What makes you say that?"
"Those six Buccaneers just disappeared, and I'm reading major fluctuations in the shield outputs of the tenth fleet."
"I can confirm this, sir," added the tactical officer.
"What the hell is going on out there?!" DarthKev was about to give another order when something purple flashed across the screen. "Onli vessels? Here?!"
"Sir! An Onli vessel is hailing us!"
"Open a channel, patch it through to my chair." The comm officer hit a few buttons and a small screen on the armrest of the command chair lit up, filled with the frog-like face of an Onli captain.
"Wyvern, this is Captain Nolo of the battleship Effervescence. You must retreat immediately, we will cover your escape and then follow you through fluxspace to Orion. "
DarthKev couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Retreat? Why?"
" The Mafia hit us hard, we were forced to pull back. We underestimated the number of ships they would send. They received help from independent pirates, as well. Wyvern, the Samurai and NSS-5328 systems are lost. We must pull back. "
"We were on even ground just a moment ago. With you guys tagging along, we could win this fight!"
" Negative, Wyvern. A sizable force of Samurai, Mafia, and independent ships is on its way here, both through fluxspace and the Fluxgate system. We need to go! NOW! "
DarthKev couldn't believe this. He wouldn't believe it. He was about to argue more when his tactical officer interjected. "He's right, sir. I'm reading at least twenty ships heading our way through fluxspace. The Fluxgate is also powering up."
"I can confirm this, sir," said the sensor officer.
"Dammit! I guess we have no choice. Signal the fleet to pull back to the Orion system, and get Kronos back here. Effervescence , we'll help you cover my men."
" Acknowledged, Wyvern. Effervescence out. "
"That gate will give us hell if those ships get through. Tactical, how many EM charges do we have left?"
"Good. Helm, head for the Shojen Fluxgate. Tactical, take aim. Fire when in range. If that gate doesn't have power, nothing will come out of it."
The Wyvern flew at top speed for the Fluxgate, firing on any pirate in range along the way. Once the gate was in range, the Wyvern let loose her last two EM Rockets. Both made contact with the gate, sending it drifting off into deep space. Not a permanent solution, but it would do for the purpose of retreating. Soon after, the rest of the SD Fleet was back in fluxspace on its way home with the Wyvern and Onli forces close behind.
Location: Orion Station, Orion System
Day: July 20
Year: 3251 AF
Time: 1410 hours
The mood was despondent, the mission a failure, and the SD force sent on it a disaster. By the time they made it back, half the ships needed assistance moving into dry dock for repairs. The Wyvern wasn't much better. She had taken heavier fire than any other ship in the fleet and had just moved into her own repair bay when her engines failed and the main reactor had to be taken offline.
DarthKev couldn't believe it had happened. Upon making it home, he went to his office to try and forget what happened had indeed happened. He had sent Kronos off to collect reports and expected him to arrive shortly. In the meantime he went over every action he took during the battle in his mind, trying to find where or when he went wrong. It was something he took the habit of doing after every lost game of chess, and had been adapted to battles, as well. Try as he might, though, he could see no fault in his actions. There just wasn't any way it could have gone better.
Just then, Kronos walked in. "Bad news, Darth."
DarthKev almost wanted to send Kronos away, not wanting to hear about more unfortunate events, but did his duty as a leader and asked Kronos to sit down. "What's up?"
"The Star Corps were also forced to retreat. The pirates managed to cut off the Corps' supply lines and board the station. They were forced off. When you add in our loss, the Onli loss, and the fact the Samurai have placed more defense satellites around all their outposts, it appears the Shojen Samurai have reclaimed their borders."
"DAMMIT!" As he said this, DarthKev slammed his left open-palmed hand on his desk, putting a small dent in the surface. "Where the hell did they get the ships for that?! It's not possible!!"
At first, Kronos said nothing. After giving DarthKev a moment to calm down, however, he offered a different point of view. "There is a bright side to this. The media got ahold of information on what happened and have plastered it all over the holonets. The public is outraged that the pirates are powerful enough to do something like this and the Earth Empire has said the Navy will be taking an even bigger role in this so-called 'war against piracy'. Estee Luxury has even said it's considering entering the conflict in a small way."
"That is good news," mused DarthKev. "Thanks, Kronos."
"No problem." With that, Kronos got up and left.
It had been an interesting week, and DarthKev held no doubt it was about to get even more so.
To be continued...
This post has been edited by DarthKev : 15 January 2011 - 09:28 PM