Rising Titans – Chapter 45

-7 Hours



“More contacts!” said Arik as she flashed every monitor on the bridge a bright red.

Stagg glanced up at the monitor, “How many more?”

“I’m counting!”

“You’re counting!?”

A grainy image of the approaching Empire patrol vessel was quickly displayed, a small box around it. Additional boxes quickly filled the screen as Arik identified and catalogued vessels. Dishearteningly the ship’s half human half AI had to draw the level of magnification back several times to keep all of the vessels in frame and visible. The patrol vessel which had been dominating the display for the past several hours quickly shrinking down to only just being visible.

Small flashes of blue light accompanied each additional box, and in a final bright halo the signaling of absorbed and accelerated light died down as Arik added another three identifiers to the screen.

“I count a total of 52 ships,” said Arik after a moment, “Twenty-five cruiser escorts, twenty battleships, four carriers, and one dreadnaught. The patrol ship makes fifty-one, and the last vessel is unknown.”

Stagg stared at the massive array of ships, the dreadnaught prominent in the middle of the fleet was the most imposing. It appeared looked like it shared the frame of the Imperial ship that they had fought over Jikse, but at the same time was plainly different.

This dreadnaught had scratches, pieces of her hull were mottled and ugly like it had been retrofitted and repaired a dozen times over. Where the first Imperial vessel had been pristine and immaculate, the scratches and scuffs on the approaching ship only made her look like an experienced predator.

The carriers nearest to it had hundreds of smaller vessels docked to their outer hulls and even as she watched the small ships began to break away from their parent vessel to drift in space for only a moment before engines flared to life and they deftly turned to point in the direction of the planet.

“They’re utilizing fighters?” asked Stagg somewhat dumbfounded.

“Small fighter craft were observed and utilized during the Earth attack. It was assumed they were only present in a support capacity. However, this deployment pattern does suggest they will be used in an attack.”

Stagg shook her head, small single craft fighters had been used during the Earth-Mars war but those vessels had only traveled through space via the magnetic rail launch systems, and had been used to perform atmospheric attacks where traditional fighter tactics were viable.

In space Humanities ability to track and attack targets via point defense weapons, and the amount of armor that would be needed to keep such a small craft protected made them impractical beyond covert missions where the ships had no armor and a single hit would destroy them. Ship to ship combat during the Earth-Mars war had consisted of larger vessels simply firing at one another from thousands of kilometers away while trying to predict the movements of the other.

“I have identified the final craft,” said Arik her voice low.

The image on the main screen moved away from the massive dreadnaught towards a ship that seemed to be trailing behind the rest of the enemy fleet, only the small patrol vessel further back from it.

It was a ship that every human knew, a ship that was infamous for its atrocities.

“The [Singer],” breathed Stagg her fists clenching as she looked at it.

“The [Singer]?” asked Anil as she looked around at the humans.

Stagg slowly turned away from the screen, her face a mask of barely controlled fury.

“It’s the ship that decimated Earth by launching a biological weapon, and then single handedly decimated what was up until that point the entirety of Humanities space born military assets.”

Anil’s eyes widened, “There are 50 ships out their now though, how do we even stand a chance if they do want to attack?”

Anil was taken aback as the human woman’s face twisted into a feral grin. Up until this point she and all of the humans Anil had interacted with had been cordial, accepting, and perhaps overly polite. It was common in politics she knew, when two groups were interacting for the first time. No comfortable repertoire to fall back on manners were upheld to the highest degree and then slowly removed, each side slowly testing to see what was accepted by the other.

Now though the Human woman who had calmly handled one of her own crew members nearly being killed, and had only used it as an opportunity to test the resolve of her own people, Anil watched as a predator took that woman’s place.

“We have the upper hand now. Those might be big ships, but without their shields?” Stagg laughed, “Well I’m confident we’ll be able to take a few of them out with us.”

Anil slowly nodded and turned back to her communication console. The connection to her leaders on the ground had been relegated back to this small console as the Humans all watched the other aliens.

“When do you think we should try to initiate contact?” asked Anil, addressing both her superiors on the ground and the Captain of the human ship.

Stagg sighed, “Wait until the light speed lag is tolerable. When they’re an hour or two out with a negligible lag in terms of radio waves, which will be when Arik?”

“The fleet has accelerated; I believe the alien patrol vessel was traveling slowly diverting most of it’s power to it’s own Tachyon drive to allow the incoming fleet to jump to it’s position. They will arrive in seven hours. Communication lag times will be under twenty seconds in 5 hours if the acceleration and deceleration rates are similar to what we have observed their ships of being able to perform.”

“You get that?” asked Stagg.

Anil glanced at the smaller screen showing her world leaders,

“We have it Anil,” Said Bitus from the screen.

Pankin who was near the tactical readout glanced up at Stagg, “What about attack distance?”

“The maximum attack distance is theoretically now, although space born debris and attenuation of energy weapons would limit effectiveness at this range. The closer they get however the less time we will have to counter any type of missile, which might carry a similar biological agent like what was used on Earth.” Answered Arik appearing on the screen in front of the man.

“So the longer we wait the more dangerous is becomes,” said Pankin.


He sighed and turned back to the weapons readout and tactical display. “I can tell you that thought does not fill me with hope. If they were friendly you would think they would have said something by now.”

Anil shook her head, “Perhaps. Trying to judge aliens…” She trailed off looking around the bridge.

“Continue, you’re not offending anyone,” said Stagg her eyes still on the approaching armada.

“Aliens might not hold the same social conventions. We can’t hold them to our own standards, although it is odd. Given that another group of aliens is claiming that they are aggressive.”

Stagg smiled slightly.

“Nice to know we’re getting some input here. To be honest if you can broker a peace I would call it a miracle if I didn’t think they would betray you once they get whatever they want.”

“We have no way to hold them to any deal in any case. Even if they meant what they say now, it would take us decades even with your technological knowledge to advanced to a state where we could responsibly defend ourselves. In that time, they could simply change their minds.”

Stagg nodded in agreement.


-9 Hours


“Jun you know you’re a crazy bastard right?”

The middle aged Vakurian cocked his one remaining ear to the side, “You’re the Helkek here. Wanting to go gallivanting in playing hero? That seems to be your response to everything now that I think about it.”

Edie smiled and shrugged, “I like the glory?”

Jun snorted, “Yeah that’s why you do it. It’s not because you and every other human is insane. This new ship only confirms it.”

“When have I ever denied it?”

“That’s what makes it scarier.”

Edie sat back down in her chair and across the communication channel Jun did the same, the mirth slowly draining from both of their faces.

“You didn’t have to volunteer,”

Jun reached up and lightly put his hand to the side of his head missing the ear, “No, but my crew would have killed me if I didn’t. Seems fair.”

“It’s not the same thing Jun.”

“Your own crew knows exactly what they’re getting into and so does mine. You’re not doing this alone.”

“Alright, I’m not going to say I don’t want you coming with me. As for actually doing this? I’m proposing we drop in on the beacon, and ask the Canada to light up a trail for us to get in closer without a blind jump. It’ll cut down on transit and it’ll let us get in closer before the Empire does.”

Jun frowned, “How are you going to communicate that without the Empire picking up the signal and listening in?”

“Their drives take, what five minutes to power up?”

“Ours take twenty, so yeah I’d guess so.”

“I communicate in a way only Humans know telling them when to power the beacon up, and we charge then jump at the right time.”

Jun nodded, “Alright, then?”

“We stand by them and fight.”

“That’s it?” said Jun his ear drooping.

“Well I’m really hoping the ship has antimatter. Short of that some sort of other plan, we might be insane but I can’t imagine they’re standing their ground without a plan.”

“Your plans don’t tend to work out as they are intended. Can I imagine this is a trait common to all humans besides the raving insanity?”

“Yes, but when my plans fall apart they still work don’t they?”

Jun frowned and raised his ear, “That’s not the point.”

“We’re going to be ready in twenty over here to make the jump, you’ll be ready then?”

“I’m just waiting for the last shuttle to return. The Steadfast can’t be happy with both of us offloading the younger ones on them.”

Edie raised a hand, “I’ve gotten fifteen complaints already.”

“That’s all? He must like you better than me. Once the shuttle is in the bay we’ll be ready on your signal.”

“We’ll do that. Jun?”



The man let a small smile tug at the corners of his lip, before leaning forwards he quickly cut the visual.

“You know I keep half expecting the two of you to sequester yourselves away for a week, and either kill one another or run each other ragged,” said Klyn.

Edie turned to glare at her second in command, “He’s nice on the eye’s sure. I’m sure the scars help him out with the ladies sure, but no. Hell no.”

“I’ll tell him you said that. He’ll be heartbroken.”

“Are we all buttoned up?” asked Edie.

Klyn motioned at his console, looking like he was pulling a length of wire from it before he tossed his invisible wire at the main hologram display. An image of the ship appeared, different areas highlighted in varying shades of green to red.

All sections of the massive ship that was the Valiant were green save for three small sections on the spine of the ship two-thirds of the way back.

“Sensor’s on the fritz again?” asked Edie looking at the red sections.

“Yeah, visual inspection and confirmation says we’re good to go. I’ve omitted those sections from alert status. We’re just going to have to assume that if any neighboring sections breach those are gone as well.”

Edie nodded in agreement, “The bulkheads?”

“All closed.”


“Everyone on the outer hull has them. We still don’t have enough for everyone inside the hull. The Clever hasn’t been able to make new ones in a while, they’re on resource rationing. The extra suits were not prioritized.”

Edie ground her teeth together, “Fine. The shields will have to do.”

“All weapons report ready status.”

Edie nodded looking at the display. The main elevator opened and Ranlin strode onto the bridge, a small data pad held high in her hand.

“I haven’t had to do this much reconstruction since the lover’s shuttle. The Empire is adamant about not letting this signal continue I can tell you that. Usually the beacons have a little bit more data stuck in their buffers, but someone ordered a complete scrub still it’s going to take a few hours for that to diseminate.”

“You get anything” asked Edie.

Ranlin sitting down at her own console nodded, her ears going up and down.

“A little, some of this is extrapolated so details might be vague but the general idea should match up.”

“Alright, go ahead.”

“Humanity has been busy; the ship calling for help is called the Kanyada.”

A badly distorted cross image of the vessel appeared on the screen, “Canada, it was a nation on Earth. Matches the Terran naming convention too.”

Ranlin nodded, “The Canada must be the ship we’ve been hearing about in the back channels. The one that punched straight through the Imperial.”

Edie’s eyes widened, “Really? How?”

Ranlin shook her head, “No idea. I don’t think they would be including tactical data in this burst so I’m fairly certain I didn’t miss it. There is a cryptic message embedded in the raw data though.”

Ranlin put the short message up on the screen, “We’ve managed to extend how far our ace in the hole works.”

“That was embedded in the data pertaining to the species they’re protecting. C1803 is the designation from the Empire and they’re a few decades below what was on the Lovers shuttle in terms of computers and the like.”

Klyn held up a hand, “Ranlin.”

She paused and glanced up from her console absorbed in the data.


“Want to explain ace in the hole?” asked Klyn looking at his Human Captain, who’s normally stoic features had been replaced by a mask of feral glee at the phrase.

“I was right. They do have a plan, ace in the hole implies they have one they know will work. One they already know the Empire is going to fall for.”

Klyn was silent for a moment, “So why call for help?”

“To make sure they’re still around when the dust clears. They’re planning to at least going to take a few ships with them.”

“Any idea what this advantage might be?” asked Ranlin.

“Nope. The Empire came after us for our engine tech, maybe this ship’s got the ability to transport nukes into the Empire vessels or something?”

Klyn’s ears went back and then straight up, “That would be a trick.”

“Well we wont have to guess, Ranlin let’s get that message ready. Klyn, jump us to that Beacon as soon was we’re set.”

Standing up Edie went over to the workstation that Ranlin was at and quickly began to construct the vaguely coded message.

Klyn looked around at the other members of the bridge.

They had all seen their new Captain do things that were insane before, and at this point they hardly doubted her. Going up against an entire Empire fleet on blind faith was pushing that trust to it’s limits. The glee in her voice though and the absolute certainty that her fellow humans had a plan was an infectious type of confidence.

-2 Hours


“I’m not stopping you,” said Stagg looking at the leaders of the world and the man they had insisted would speak for their entire planet. Stagg had seen the images of him lying in the hospital bed from Derrick’s link. Like the images of the first humans who had received the nano-machine treatments the man was not only healed but appeared to be slightly younger.

It was minimal given that skin took months to rejuvenate and heal in most cases, but for a human who was at least using the machines on a regular basis the life span was increased slightly but the time during which they could operate was increased by at least another ten years.

“I’d like to think any disagreement can be resolved peacefully,” said Gerinal addressing Stagg for the first time.

“I would as well, but when your enemy doesn’t even see you as sentient it’s difficult.”

Gerinal frowned slightly, “I suppose it would be. However we have only your word to go on, I would like to at least try before consigning my entire planet to a war.”

“A wise policy,” said Stagg.

The man nodded and turned towards the three world leaders.

“Let us greet them.”

Gerinal straightened the slightly more elaborate robes like what Bitus was wearing and turned back to the camera.

“We are now monitoring,” said Arik her voice low.

Stagg let out a breath and despite the lack of gravity slowly sank into her chair.

Anil looked at her, “this isn’t going to work is it?”


“The last shuttle run has been completed, Derrick is returning,” said Arik sounding slightly happier.

“They have the care packages?” asked Stagg.

“Yes, and due to that I would not recommend docking they might be somewhat unstable given their current configuration.”

“I can do a leap of faith.” Said Derrick over the radio channel.

“As soon as you’re onboard, engineering. I want everything you have, if we drop out of orbit after somehow miraculously surviving I don’t care.”

“Yes Ma’am.”

Stagg glanced at the small display showing the shuttle approaching, moving more slowly than usual she watched as the vessel spun around in space the glow of her engines dying. They were a few minutes away still, but the relative velocities were low enough that Derrick could comfortably jump out of the back of the vessel and latch onto the hull of the Canada. Such maneuvers were uncommon, but not unheard of.

During the Earth-Mars war far more insane leaps of faith where the relative speed differences had been higher had taken place. To very much mixed results. When time was limited though it was preferred, a human impacting the side of a vessel like the Canada at even moderate velocities would after all cause only superficial damage unlike the damage something as massive as the shuttle could inflict even at low velocities.

“As a member of the Seninon species I greet you in the spirit of peace and cooperation,”

Stagg turned back to the transmission watching as Gerinal standing stock still addressed the aliens. The signal was crystal clear, and distortions that had been present in most of their communications absent. No doubt every single transmitter on the side of the planet facing the alien armada had been commandeered to send the signal.

Anil groaned, “Seninon?”

Pankin glanced over at her, “That’s from Telin right?”

Anil nodded, “I guess they decided to go back to our name in dead language so no one could disagree.”

“Makes sense,” said Stagg smiling slightly at the look of pain on Anil’s face.

“Still weird.”

“We have been warned by the other aliens in orbit of our world, we have been told we should fear you, that you are here to destroy our world and civilization. I speak for my entire species when I hope this is not the case. We have no wish to fight you, no want to wage war. We have never had peace on our own planet, but it is something we have always strived for. It is my hope that you have the same dream, and a wish for peace.”

Gerinal stepped forward slightly, “If forced to however we will defend our planet as any other sentient species would.”

“We at least have this much in common. I’m fairly certain this exact speech has been given a few hundred times in human history,” said Stagg.

“How often has it been effective?” asked Pankin.

“As often as it has been in your own history.”

Pankin scowled, “Inspiring.”

The attention of everyone on the ship, and on the planet below already focused on the transmission intensified as the second portion of the screen flickered, and a small image appeared distorted slightly as video transmission methods were adapted to and replicated.

A man standing on the bridge of a massive ship, dressed in an immaculate uniform stared at Gerinal. His skin was red and his eyes intense, without hair it was more difficult to guess his age but Stagg put him at a solidly past middle age.

The man continued to glare for a moment saying nothing. The angle of his camera made it look as if he were on a higher pedestal looking down.

“I greet you.” Said Gerinal his voice level and calm.

The Dorvakian frowned.

“Convince the other degenerates in orbit of your world to hand their ship over to me, and I will spare your planet from the more painful methods of cleansing I have at my disposal.”

The words were said in the language of the Empire, and the Links on the bridge of the Canada all quickly translated it for those Humans and Seinon who were not as fluent in the language.

Pankin let out a breath, “Well that’s the best way to introduce yourself to another species. Make demands.”

“More than what we got. We never even knew what hit us,” muttered Stagg as she glanced at the radar display, the shuttle carrying Derrick had just drifted past.

“Derrick you on ship?”

“Just hit the hull, I’m going in through the rear hatch. We’re already at combat decompression right?”

“Yes, we’re as ready as we’re ever going to be for this fight.”

“So I need to shore up the reactor and the heat dispersion systems. Got it!”


[Vann] winced as the Admiral made his demand.

“That’s not going to go over well.”

The man at the weapons console glanced up, “Sir?”

“The last thing you want to do with a hostile class C is demand something. They’re going to refuse you out of spite if nothing else. He might have been able to convince the class C’s to turn on one another, promise not to cleanse the planet in exchange for the ship.”

“Not cleanse the planet sir?” asked the weapons officer.

[Vann] turned and walking back to his seat sat down, “A lie obviously.”

“You think it would be that simple, to turn them on one another?” asked [Syn].

“Depends,” said [Sam] swinging around at her own analysis console.


“On the planet [Charles] was caught on; the tactic sometimes worked during ground combat. Promise to spare one class C if they give up another.”

“Sometimes? What was the deciding factor?” asked [Vann].

“Their wasn’t one. Not as far as I could tell. Class C’s have heroes and cowards like any other species. Still, they’re less likely to protect someone they don’t see as a friend. Given how violent most class C’s are I’m honestly surprised the two species here haven’t destroyed one another yet.”

[Vann] turned back to the primitive data transmission, watching as the class C’s reacted.

“What does the cleansing involve?” asked the class C dressed in the robes.

[Meral] frowned, “It means we’re going to remove you from that planet, expunge the genetic variant that your species is from the universe.”

“We have done nothing to you, or your species. You would simply kill my entire people because we do not conform to whatever standard you hold?” asked the class C as he spread his arms wide in a placating gesture.

“I am being more than kind even speaking to you. Give us the vermin in orbit of your world and I’ll not slowly burn you away like the plague you are.”

The older class C looked away from it’s camera for a moment seemingly to collect itself. [Vann] watched the alien, studying him like he would any other political opponent. It was difficult to see past the odd hair on it’s head. That trait was one of the more benign genetic aberrations and most common in class C and B variants. The ocular differences were more extreme but nothing incredibly unknown.

Still, looking past those differences [Vann] felt a cold chill run down his spine as the man turned back to the camera.

His face which had been pleading, and peaceable only a moment before was now a cold mask.

“There is nothing we might do to convince you otherwise? That we are not something to be exterminated?”

[Meral] seemed amused by this, and [Vann] looking at the Admiral now frowned. He was confident in his own victory; it was already a forgone conclusion. One of the first things [Reece] had taught him from a young age when he began sparring was to never assume you had the upper hand, [Charles] had driven the same point forwards with the different simulations, all of them designed to force [Vann] to win from a vastly disadvantaged position.

Looking at an enemy and seeing them as a threat, no matter what was always infinitely more tactically sound then smug superiority.

“You are an aberration, a plague on life. You have no right to try and beg for any more of it.”

The class C slowly tilted his head, “Very well.”

He motioned with his hand and the video feed cut out for a moment, when it returned the image was cleared and more well defined. Something closer to the usual transmission standards used by the Empire.

A small compartment that was apparently without gravity now dominated the projection, in the center of the compartment stood a C1764 woman. She had a vicious grin on her face, and looked supremely confident. It was a different confidence that radiated from her, not smug superiority, rather something born of resignation.

She and ever other face in the transmission had accepted they might die, and were still determined to continue.

“Turn around now. I won’t let you destroy another civilization. Turn away now and I won’t be forced to destroy you.”

[Meral] let out a small laugh, “You destroy me?”


[Vann] blinked, and before he could recover the transmission was cut once more. This time it remained black.

“Well that answers that,” said [Sam].

“Meaning?” asked [Vann].

“During the recovery of [Charles], and the eradication of the remains of C1764 on their colony planet we were contacted several times like that. Whenever they were that confident, they had a plan. Plans where they might not survive, but for every one of them we eliminated they killed three of our own. The C1764’s have a plan.”

“Do you think it’ll work whatever it is?”

[Sam] leaned back in her seat, “Maybe. We have the advantage of numbers and no matter the military strategy overwhelming numbers are always victorious, but I would not put it past C1764 to eliminate several ships.”

She paused, “I do have to point out that the C1764’s if given the opportunity will target us rather aggressively.”

“We’re in the ship that cleansed their own solar system.”

[Sam] nodded.

“Get me a line to the Admiral,” said [Vann] as he stood back up.

“Yes sir,” [Sam] quickly spun back around and the image of the Admiral, with the Camera back in it’s correct position flashed onto the screen. The man was already back in his seat taking a drink of something from his mug.

“What is it Emperor?” asked [Meral].

“The class C’s have a plan; one they think will work. They know what our capabilities are, what we’re capable of doing. They have reverse engineered our technology before and managed to mitigate advantages like our shields. We must go into this battle assuming that.”

[Meral] took another sip of his tea.


[Meral] set his mug down, “I understand you might be afraid. It is not a flaw, but it is something everyone in the military must overcome. Allowing yours to influence you is unbecoming Emperor. This is not a battle, a battle entails danger. This is a cleansing, pay attention and you’ll see that there is nothing to fear here.”

[Meral] waved his hand and the screen went black.

“Why did you do that?” asked [Syn], “You know knew he wouldn’t listen.”

“I want that backed up and sent to all of the redundant data storage sites before the next backup cycle. Do it now.”

[Syn] frowned but quickly did so as it dawned on her, “Smart. You’re playing politician though, I thought you hated doing that.”

“I do. Doesn’t mean I’m going to do it badly.”


“Here it is.”

Megan held up the cylinder and James winced.

“Should you be waving that around?” asked Alpha sounding apprehensive as well.

“This thing is designed to hold antimatter for a week, we’re fine! It was fun figuring out how to interface with the alien containment unit I can tell you that much.”

“Let’s put it in the redundant storage, just to be safe?” asked James pointing at the small section of the ship which was designed to hold, and in the event of catastrophic power failure try to eject the volatile antimatter. The entire thing was independent from every other system and had enough power to operate for a month without additional power.

Megan slotted the container in and the system hummed coming online for the first time.

“Their happy?”

“How much antimatter exactly is that?”

“Two point eight kilograms.”

“How many jumps can we make with that much?”

“Somewhere close to a hundred. Still not exactly sure, Ben and I improved the physical aspects of the devices and we went off the improved calculations that Lincoln did. Still she’s the only one who understands that math and it’s where the improvements are made. From what I understand there are more efficient ways to combine the antimatter and strange matter, but she never finished or at least never recorded what those configurations were. So we’re just going to play it safe and smash them together.”

James grimaced, “It’s scary saying antimatter and safe in the same sentence. When can we make a jump?”

“Three hours or so. I wasn’t expecting us to have the capability this soon and we really need to run some tests on the antimatter and strange matter systems. Technically though it’s all working,”

“No rush, I’d rather not see what happens if those jumps mess up.”

“Neither do I.”

James looked down at the bag she had brought into the engineering section as well, “What’s all of that?”


Reaching into the bag Megan drew out several devices and let them float through the air. One or two looked like the Links humanity used and others looked like hand tools.

“That transport was full of stuff,”

“Know what any of this stuff does?”

“Nope, I don’t think it’s all that valuable either. Useful but not bleeding edge.”

James frowned picking one of the devices out of the air.

Alpha drifting off of his shoulder landed on the bag and began to dig around in it.

“You found alien food!” his squeaks muffled by the bag.

Megan smiled, “Like I said it was full of things, food, some luxuries, tech, but the big thing was the antimatter. That containment system could have kept it in check for years.”

Megan carefully pushed one device through the air letting it hit the far wall of engineering.

“As for it not bleeding edge? Call it engineering intuition, this stuff and everything on that transport felt old and well used. None of it has the brand new vibe on it, all feels like it was mass produced on the cheap.”

“Still, alien is alien. You and Ben reverse engineered the ACE device by looking at alien tech.”

Megan nodded, “Yep, don’t have time for that know though. We’re going to have to leave the thing drifting here for now. There is no way we’re going to fit everything on this ship. I’d recommend ripping out it’s tachyon drive and jumping home with it ASAP, we’ve got the facilities for the fighter already tooled to investigate alien stuff.”

“You don’t want to look at the tachyon drive?”

“Not worth it, any of those things can be used as a beacon. This one is deactivated, but I’d rather be safe then sorry in case it’s booby trapped.”

“You were confident this entire thing was from Diana, why would it be booby trapped?”

“I am. Still noting taking it back, from what I can tell the fighter had a better engine anyway and that’s what we based ours off of.”

Megan tapped the wall where the systems were housed.


Drifting out of the bag something small in his claws Alpha returned to James’s shoulder. Latching back down onto him Alpha carefully ate what looked like a small blue cookie.

“Already sick of ship food?”

“Ship rations all have the same taste.”

“I think it’s tradition at this point,” muttered James as he watched his XO gleefully consume the cracker. The Tanuin all seemed to enjoy food, but Alpha in particular liked to try new things.

“Captain! You’re needed on the bridge!” said Tom’s voice over the intercom and James’s Link.

James kicked off of the nearest wall and began to drift through the central corridor of the ship towards the bridge.

“Yes Tom?”

“Yern has managed to get into the alien communication networks, a data packet that was tagged important but in the process of being deleted was one of the first things we pulled. It’s the Canada!”

James floated into the bridge, “The Canada?”

“Yes sir!”

“Play it!”

“The Empire is about to destroy another class C species. Humanity was the last species they tried to destroy, we survived. We survived but only just barely. This species though, is going to survive…”

“That’s all that was in the message in terms of audio that I could retrieve,” said Yern.

James slowly turned away from the main screen, “What else was there?”

“Location data. We know precisely where this planet is that the Canada is defending.”

“Megan, how quickly can you do those tests?” asked James as he punched his Link.

“I just told you two, three hours.”

“How quickly can you do it when I tell you we’re going to be running into the middle of a firefight to save the Canada?”

The line was silent for a moment.

“God damn it, this ship is going to fly apart at the seams. Give me an hour!”

“An hour?”

“You want me to rush the process by which we break all of the laws of physics and somehow live through it? Give me an hour!”

“You have an hour. Yern, get to engineering and help her. Tom, start bringing all of the weapons systems online, Alpha, we’re going into a fight here and our usual procedure is to vent atmosphere.”

“I am aware; I will inform the Tanuin that we need to seal ourselves away.”

“No, we’re going to leave the atmosphere in place.”

Alpha froze on his shoulder, “you are?”

“We’re going to vent the compartments on the outer hull, and any compartments without Tanuin like main weapons. The core and the Bridge will remain pressurized.”

Alpha cocked his head to the side, “why?’

“Can’t really ask you to let us do all of the fighting, you’ve got just as much reason as we do to hurt the Empire.”

Alpha let out a low warble, “On that we can agree.”

-1 Hour


“How much longer?” asked Edie as she paced.

“Ten minutes before they light the beacon.”

“You know we could just jump in onto the Empire ship’s tachyon signatures. That dreadnaught’s idle is strong enough to lock onto.”

Jun was for once the calmer of the two, sitting on the bridge of the Spite.

Edie looked back up at the image, the Empire fleet had from their perspective only jumped into the system several minutes ago. The tachyon signature they had been detecting since dropping into the system had however warned them to it’s presence before the light from the ship reached them.

“As much as I want to, us jumping into them middle of that fleet won’t help anyone.”

“It’ll surprise the hell out of them.”

Edie chuckled, “I’m sure it would. Still not a very good idea.”

“No I guess not.”

The two Captains fell into a familiar silence as their respective crews continued to prepare.

“It’s crazy. We’ve been running from the Empire for generations. We’ve had plans, thousands probably to try and fight back, steal their technology, use it against them. In the end though we’ve never done it, never wanted to risk out ships. By luck we find an old relic drifting in space, and two people who had more courage than the rest of us. They told us where to find you, and here we are. Doing what we’ve dreamed of. Fighting back.”

Edie looked at him and then down at her own hands.

“You guys might be the smarter ones. You knew you had no chance, you might have been able to hurt them, destroy a lot of stuff. You wouldn’t have won though.” Edie smiled slightly, “Humans though? We’re not that smart. Someone hurts us? We hit them back screw the consequences. We’re either going to win, or we’re going to all die. When the Empire attacked, those were the only two options left.”

“Sounds smart if you ask me. Then again, I’m one of the dumber Captains.”

Edie let out a small laugh, Jun did the same.

After a moment both captains could barely contain their laughter.

The two bridge crews paused both looking at their respective captains and then thorough the open communication at one another.

“I think we broke out human,” said Klyn.

Ranlin looked at him and then at Edie as she continued to laugh, “When wasn’t she broken?”

“Good point.”

Previous Chapter

Sweetness – Love and Kiing (NSFW)

CopRit Empire, Halfil Sol 14 Of Race 4 Year 4958 Frostal Secondary, New Baltimore Sitting down in the chair across from the Principal’s desk I nervously swallowed and tried to calm my heart. The Principal could probably hear it, and smell my perspiration. Which was only making me more nervous. “Thoomaas,” squeaked the principal from

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Next Chapter

Sweetness – Love and Kiing (NSFW)

CopRit Empire, Halfil Sol 14 Of Race 4 Year 4958 Frostal Secondary, New Baltimore Sitting down in the chair across from the Principal’s desk I nervously swallowed and tried to calm my heart. The Principal could probably hear it, and smell my perspiration. Which was only making me more nervous. “Thoomaas,” squeaked the principal from

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Sweetness – Implications

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Sweetness – Chapter 4 (NSFW)

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Sweetness – Chapter 3 (NSFW)

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Sweetness – Chapter 2 (NSFW)

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Sweetness – Chapter 1 (NSFW)

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Shades of White and Orange

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Mother Earth

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Adam, Artemis, Atlas, & Icarus Part 1

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Good Training – Pecking Order

13y, 8m AV Operator’s Barracks, HMS Sharman, Folctha, Cimbrean Officer Regaari (Dexter) of Clan Whitecrest “I got an idea, Regaari.” Regaari flicked his ears forward in annoyance. “This again?” “Well, yeah. I gotta win that bet, Cousin!” Regaari duck-nodded wearily. Not long after Daar had received the SACRED STRANGER briefing, he’d sulked off to think

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Good Training – The Champions – Tidying Up

Messier 24 Mission day: 3 Sergeant Daar (Tigger) The third day was always when things settled into routine. Daar didn’t really know why, ‘cuz that was prol’ly some complicated psychology stuff (maybe he should read up?) but he did know how it worked, practically speaking. Daar always pondered morning thoughts like that when he was

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 2

Date Point: 16y2w AV Weaver dropship, Gaoian space Sergeant Ian “Hillfoot” Wilde “So in all the excitement, we clean forgot about these things. That’s what you’re telling me.” Champion Meereo made a sound that was half a sigh and half a chitter. “…That’s more-or-less exactly right, yes. We had… well, bigger priorities.” Wilde had to

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Rising Titans – Chapter 43

9 Years, 6 Months, 28 Days After Eridani Landing Bellona “Ready?” asked Alpha from where he sat on top of the Captain’s chair. “I’m good!” said Red from where he sat at the controls for the ship. It hadn’t taken much to convince him to pilot the vessel. James glanced down at his own console

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 1

Date Point: 16y AV Yukon–Koyukuk, Alaska, USA, Earth Zane Reid The cold didn’t hurt anymore. At first, it had been like forcing his way through a wall made of knives that cut through his clothes. Zane’s every breath had blinded him as it billowed and steamed in the air, and when he’d experimentally licked his

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Trigger Part 5

Date Point: 16y AV Camp Tebbutt Biodrone Internment Facility, Yukon–Koyukuk, Alaska, USA, Earth Hugh Johnson Snow. Of course, snow in January in Alaska was hardly surprising, and this one threatened to be heavy. At first, Hugh had thought it was probably just an seasonable dusting that’d add a couple of inches to the foot or

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I had made my way through the tournament, but most of my matches had been won by the skin of my teeth, and I had only the advantage of being evolved from a pursuit predator to thank for it. Our great endurance had been the one boon that had kept me going, and I was

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Trigger Part 4

Date Point: 15y 10m 1w AV HMS Violent, Rvzrk System, Domain Space The ground battle churned on for days. That was the problem with Hunters. There was no surrender involved, it was a kill-or-be-killed fight where smashing their will to engage in war simply didn’t achieve enough. Any Hunter left alive would just keep murdering

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Good Training – The Champions – Doom and Gloom Part 4

He awoke to a pleasant smell. “…Eggs?” Hoeff detangled himself from Natalie and the sheets and stumbled towards the kitchen. Daar was busy in front of the comparatively little stove and fridge, humming some terrible Gaoian tune to himself. Seriously, their music was like Chinese opera with extra pain. Some Humans liked it, though…but “atonal”

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Rising Titans – Chapter 42

9 Years, 6 Months, 15 Days After Eridani Landing The [Singer] The explosion hit and [Vann] watched at the lights on the main hologram and different panels flashed a blinding white light, before dying and plunging the entire bridge of the [Singer] into darkness. “What were we supposed to do?” asked someone near the weapons

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Day 1. I’ve made it on board the human trading vessel! They didn’t detect my presence, and I’ve managed to smuggle myself into their engineering bay, and disguised myself within a cluster of cables! My small, serpentine body makes me indistinguishable from a thin, grayish cable, and the Humans won’t notice my existence until it

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Trigger Part 1

Date Point: 15y 10m AV Camp Tebbutt Biodrone Internment Facility, Yukon–Koyukuk, Alaska, USA, Earth Hugh Johnson Camp Tebbutt wasn’t actually a bad place to live, if you didn’t count the fact that it was essentially a prison for innocent victims. Hugh understood why he was there, and why he couldn’t leave… but after eleven years,

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Good Training – The Champions – Doom and Gloom Part 3

Firth Regaari chittered, “It is difficult to imagine you ‘humbled,’ Righteous.” “Heh,” Firth chuckled. “You do know most of my attitude is straight fuckin’ bullshit, right? Adam and John know why.” Regaari looked over at John, who shrugged massively. “He’s a scary dude. Being ridiculous kinda takes the edge off, y’know?” Regaari duck-nodded. He was

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Rising Titans – Chapter 41

9 Years, 6 Months, 13 Days After Eridani Landing Jikse Moving down the hallway Diana paused at the double doors, carefully she moved forwards into it’s threshold and they slid open. A woman in an orange smock looked up from her Comm for a moment, and then going back to look at it did a

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The Good Samaritan

I felt a white-hot pain in my back as I was stabbed. Once, twice and then three times. I fell to the ground clutching my new openings, and for a moment I couldn’t grasp what had just happened. I had walked through an alley as a shortcut back home, and then suddenly someone had grabbed

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Homefront Part 6

Date Point: 15y9m3w AV Mrwrki Station, Erebor System, Unexplored Space Darcy “Does it seem… different to you lately?” “What?” “The Entity. It’s actin’ different, dude, I swear it is.” Darcy sighed and set aside her work as Lewis sat down. She was sitting drinking a Moroccan Mint tea in the station’s rec lounge, with its

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Rising Titans – Chapter 40

9 Years, 6 Months, 13 Days After Eridani Landing Jikse Popping the restraints off of her legs Diana swung herself off of the table, the two class A’s still in their isolation suits were pounding at the door of the room the three of them were in. “It’s out! Open the door!” shouted the man

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Good Training – The Champions – Doom and Gloom Part 2

Master Sergeant Christian (Righteous) Firth The end of the movie came and the ladies were fast asleep and prolly too tired to head home with any comfort. The other bros were asleep, too, and Firth was tangled up with them pretty good. Oh well, both ‘Base and ‘Horse were heavy-ass sleepers and only danger or

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Hell. It’s a completely Human concept. The concept of a realm of eternal torture, to which you are sent depending on the whims of one deity or another, is something only found in Human fiction. And it’s not an isolated occurrence. Almost every human culture since the dawn of humanity itself has had it in

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 50: Counterattack – Homefront Part 4

Date Point: 15y9m2w AV HMS Sharman (HMNB Folctha), Cimbrean, The Far Reaches Senior Master Sergeant Christian (“Righteous”) Firth “Hey, fuckers! Guess what hit the newsstand today!” Adam looked up from his needlework for a second and raised an eyebrow. “Imma guess Coombes’ centerfold spread with Ava?” Firth deflated, somewhat flummoxed that ‘Horse had stolen his

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