Rising Titans – Chapter 49

+10 Minutes

The Singer

[Vann] stood in the center of the bridge the three-dimensional hologram showing the entirety of his fleet as well as the surrounding space. The cubic formation was going to be tested now, up to this point the only gauge of effectiveness was how [Charles] had reacted to it in simulations.

He had seen the first ship to use the antimatter drive in combat, and the C1764’s had used it in much the way that was expected, what he had built his formation to counter. Jump in front of, behind, and around your enemy while firing towards any weakness’s they might have.

It was a sound tactic [Vann] had to admit. Allowing you to pick an enemy ship apart with ease by avoiding any heavy weapons they might have, only taking minimal damage from lighter far more maneuverable weapons platforms.

Once again however, the class C’s were proving difficult to predict. Instead of attacking, the two class C ships had retreated.

It had taken [Sam] several moments to find them, the two C1764 ships had dropped down into a very dangerously low orbit around the planet, their engines at maximum acceleration as if they were trying to escape.

“Are they retreating?” asked [Vann] looking at the trajectory for several moment’s, it had the ships whipping around the planet at a truly unnecessary velocity and shooting back off into deep space.

“I would think they would use their FTL systems to do this.”

“Then what would be the purpose of this? All they’re doing is gaining…” [Vann] trailed off frowning.

The bridge was silent for several moments, [Vann] ignoring the two commandeered ships as they opened fire on the outer ships of the fleet. Without the shield disruption technology in effect the cruisers would be able to easily handle them.

[Vann] slowly spoke his question, “The class C FTL, it conserves momentum relative to gravitational reference frames, correct?”

[Sam] blinked, “From what we understand yes, it makes it inefficient in some cases, they have to accelerate or decelerate with their engines after a jump depending on the local orbital velocities.”

“Any velocity they gain closer to the planet, will however translate to velocity up here though. Being in the same gravitational reference frame?”

“Yes. Oh! Not good!”

[Vann] swore, “All ships prepare to fire a volley from the main guns on my order, [Sam] as soon as they disappear send the order for all ships to fire in every clear direction.”

“Without a target sir?” asked [Sam] even as she issued the orders.

“Without a target. Have every ship begin to fire off in every direction as often as possible, keeping heat under 50% capacity unless they have a targeting resolution.”

“yes sir!”

[Reece] stepped forwards, “You’re hoping to just randomly hit them? Firing wildly into the void is never wise.”

“It is something to avoid in populated systems, we have no such restrictions here.”

[Reece] tilted his head, “No, I suppose not. Still firing wildly is not an effective way to defeat an enemy.”

“[Charles] can’t anticipate them, you can’t, I can’t. We just have to adapt to whatever strategy they do implement. I just hope it won’t cost any more ships.”

“How many do you expect to lose?”

[Vann] didn’t respond.

“They’ve jumped!”

The Russia

The Russia exited directly in the heart of the enemy fleet, between two cruisers going at a diagonal angle downwards towards the planet, while the Canada did the opposite going diagonally up through the enemy fleet.

With the two ships encompassing the entire enemy formation with their ACE fields, the Vakurian ships opened fire from their lower orbital positions.

James smiled, even as the Russia’s emergency gas thrusters moved to quickly line up the main gun with one of the enemy cruisers. A disadvantage of the current strategy, they would only get a few shots off per jump as the hydrogen engines continued to add velocity, gimbaling in an attempt to add only velocity in the ships forward direction.

With each pass, and each jump velocity would be added in comparison to the enemy fleet. It was one of the more insane strategies that had been developed to use in conjunction with the engines.

“Megan, how we doing?” asked James.

“Heat’s becoming an issue, we really botched the predictions on that. I’m going to start venting atmosphere into outer hull compartments and then letting that out into space. Try and keep us cool. Worst case scenario I’m going to shut the engines down and we’ll have to keep the velocity we have.


“Fire!” squeaked Alpha from above James.

The Russia shook, and the tungsten-iron rod accelerated along almost the entire length of the ship hit the cruisier just in front of the Russia, even as the thing tried to move so that it’s main guns could line up for a shot on them.

With the ACE field active the round punched clean through the hull of the ship, entering the lower decks, and moving through each compartment barely slowed the projectile shot out into space, in a million years it would be a problem for someone else, the velocity still high enough for it to escape the solar system.

The Empire cruiser spluttered, and a rather weakened burst of energy shot out from it’s main gun glancing off the port side of the Russia as she shot past. Had it been a one on one fight James would have ordered an immediate second volley, the energy weapon’s now so neutered that one of the shuttles could possible survive an attack, perhaps with a boarding party. With the other ships attacking though, and the heat warnings across the hull a different strategy was to be used.

Humanity had nearly a decade to prepare, a decade to think, a decade to work. In that time a vengeful spirit had grown, Humanity had never in it’s history been so focused on a single enemy. Their were no divisions amongst race, religion, doctrine, or morality. Humanity was at the edge of the void, and so would fight like it.

That did not mean charging recklessly into every battle, or dying in a blaze of glory.

So for a decade plan’s tactics and maneuvers had been developed. The traditional battle strategies that had been employed during the Earth-Mars war were not forgotten, but modified. The enemy was an unknown, and so every eventuality was planned. Every advantage that could be employed carefully calculated, the counters, the counter-counters, and continuing down towards infinite for every strategy had been planned.

The Russia and Canada would continue accelerating, each ship jumping into the heart of the fleet of ships, drawing fire, confusing the enemy, and dealing damage. The simulations and the tactics employed afterwards would vary in the simulations. If the enemy was careless, or reckless and their ships were allowed to bunch in a formation the Human ships would do their best to heard them together, and then jump into their midst dropping the largest nuke’s at their disposal.

If the enemy remained steadfast, and did not break formation, remaining so far apart that a nuclear barrage was ineffective then the Human ships would continue accelerating, and jumping. Sometimes jumping to the outer edge of the formation, at just the right trajectory so that their rounds would punch through multiple enemies. It would be a death by a thousand cuts.

“We need to jump!” shouted Megan through the communication line.

“Understood, helm next attack run!”


The Russia plunged back into the void, in the engineering section of the ship Megan glanced up to once again see Ben.

“If you’re going to keep appearing can you at least be useful?”

Ben smiled, and put a hand up to the nearest console, his hand passed through it and he shrugged.

“You find a way to come back form the dead and your still useless. Typical,” scoffed Megan.

“I’m wounded.”

“You’ll live.”

Ben opened his mouth and then shut it, Megan groaned and the Russia passed back into normal space. Once again her main gun fired and the lead engineer turned back to her heat management systems to try and keep the ship from falling apart.

The Valiant


“You can say that again,” muttered Edie as she and Klyn watched the battle unfold inside of the old flickering holographic display.

“How fast do you think they can go?” asked Klyn.

Ranlin shook her head, listening to them, “It’s not a matter of how fast they can go, they can just keep jumping back into the battlefield retaining the velocity. It’s a matter of how accurate Human targeting is with vastly different relative velocities.”

The to Vakurian’s turned to Edie.

She thought for a second, “We’ve always used kinetics, and that’s always a hell of a lot faster than the energy weapons out here. I heard of two ships fighting when both were on emergency burns in opposite directions, after having launched from the magnetic rails. So 500 Km/s relative velocities. I can only think it’s improved.”

Klyn held up a small tablet, “Considering the amount of tactical data they’re streaming? Yeah. I keep getting updates on where they’re going to jump next and which ships to fire on. I’m afraid the Empire is going to figure out where they’re going to be next based on our attacks. Our weapons aren’t effective without the shields down, and given our current range we have to fire when the shields are still up, the Humans jump in, and fire off their own shots, making the shields drop letting theirs and our own shots count.”

Edie frowned, “Tactical, throw in some random shots that’ll hit their shields in another minute or so. Let’s see if we can’t get them to figure out our pattern, try to adapt and then we hit. You see any increased fire on the human ships just switch.”

“Yes Ma’am!”

Klyn nodded in approval.

“Still they’re going to be doing most of the damage.”

“Can we move in, at least keep fire off them you think?”

“Not without losing our own shields, we’d be gone in an instant if that happened,” said Klyn.

Edie growled in frustration, “what about the ground? Think we can hit any of those fighters from up here?”

“don’t think so, our energy weapons are as ineffective as the Empire’s there. We’d have to be in a low orbit boosting to maintain altitude, even then I doubt we could get any good shots in.”

“Then we remain here and continue firing. Provide support. Tell Jun the same thing.”

“The Captain has just communicated much the same frustration,” said Ranlin glancing down at her console showing a message from the other Vakurian ship.

“We’ll just have to hope we can do more next time.”

Klyn and Ranlin looked at one another for a moment a small smile spreading on both of their lips, “Next time Captain?” asked Ranlin.

She looked up from the display, “You’ve gotten to know Humans Ranlin, you don’t think we’re not going to have another situation like this in the future?”

“I’m sure we will.”

The Valiant shook and Edie frowned, “The fleet…”

She trailed off looking at the enemy formation for another moment. They had for the past several minutes while engaging the two human ships been steady in their approach towards a lower orbit around the planet, diverting only a small amount of their power towards engines.

During combat, according to traditional doctrine this was fairly standard. Engines were to help line up with the enemy to fire. If you truly wanted to escape combat then FTL was employed, regular maneuvering not being anywhere near fast enough.

“They’re moving towards us,” finished Klyn.


“Language Captain, and the Spite is calling” reprimanded Ranlin as she stepped aside putting the communication from the other Vakurian ship up on the main monitor.

“Your Human ships going to be able to destroy the fleet before they get here?” asked Jun without preamble. The single eared Vakurian was standing in front of a similar tactical display to the one on the bridge of the Valiant, although tinged more blue. The systems were old and one of the color elements had apparently failed at some point.

Edie shook her head, “I doubt it.”

“Makes sense, they can’t get in any good hits on your ships. So they’re going to at least get rid of us, and limit the directions the humans can attack from.”

“Makes sense. You got any ideas?”

“I was going to suggest we both accelerate, and hit them head on. See if we can’t thread through their formation like the Human ships are. Shoot through their fleet, turn around and continue fighting.”

Edie and Jun both knew that they were unlikely to exit out of the other side of the Empire formation in one piece, let alone be able to continue fighting if they did. At those ranges the Empire weapons would easily overpower the shields of the far older ships during a one on one encounter, against multiple opponents the odds were a death sentence.

“We’re a little bigger than the Human ships Jun,” said Edie her voice low.

“You asked for ideas. I’ve got nothing else, and if get’s dicey I figure we can jump to FTL.”

Edie rolled her eyes, the likelihood that either ship would be able to get a tachyon lock in the middle of a field of battle with energized plasma, wildly fluctuating magnetic fields and other anomalies was even less likely than the ships surviving.

“You want the lead?”

Jun smiled, “I thought humans espoused ladies first.”

“Helm, ahead full.”

“Yes Ma’am!”

“Try and keep up Jun! Ranlin, make sure you communicate with the human ships to try and stay out of their effective range for the ACE. I’d like to retain shielding for as long as possible.”


The Singer

[Vann] calmly sat down in his chair and looked at the main monitor.

[Syn] carefully sat down next to him, “Will this work?”

“I think so.”

“Why? They’re class C’s. More than anyone they know the price of battle. What makes you think that the C1764 will help them?”

[Vann] was silent for a moment, wincing as another cruiser was reported lost in the formation. A total of five now down, and very few emergency beacons were transmitting.

“C1764 tried to defend the planet below, and now I seriously doubt they will allow these commandeered ships to face us unaided. At the very least they will shut off their shield disruption technology to ensure their allies are not put at the same disadvantage.”

[Syn] thought for a moment, “Makes sense.”

The [Singer] shook and [Vann] winced as the lights on the bridge flickered.

“Impact on deck three, it punched right through two bulkheads.” Reported [Sam] only just barely glancing up.

“The shot didn’t go completely through?”

“It was a stray shot, or at least it had already punched through a cruiser. Our hull is thicker, if we were another cruiser I’m betting it would have gone through us as well. Damage control teams are moving in and it appears emergency fields can at least be maintained even with the shield dampening technology in place. We’re routing far more power than should be needed to it, but they’re working.”

“An advantage of the older ships then.”

[Vann] frowned, “[Syn] how many of the Artist class ships are still in service?”

The woman frowned, “Not many in the military. I think the [Singer] might be the last one, she’s the testbed and has been for the last [98 years]. The others were sold off to civilian’s I think. The class is difficult to repair in modern facilities given their odd dimensions and nonstandard forms.”

The [Singer] shook again and emergency lighting on the bridge flickered on. The console [Sam] was sitting at sparked and she flinched away from it diving towards the floor.

“We might have to reconsider that. Assuming we can’t find a way to defeat this jamming technology.”

“I agree.”

The bridge was relatively silent for a minute as the rest of the fleet continue to attack, the ships on the outskirts of the fleet continuing to fire in every direction. A strategy that had scored a few indirect hits on the C1764 ships as they continued to flash in and out of reality, their speed continuing to grow as they did so.

Which was only making it more difficult for ships inside the formation to get a lock and fire when they did appear inside. The algorithms and methods used to identify ships and fire had been built around the concept of a steady and predictable target, one that even once lost from scanners for a moment was generally within the same area.

[Vann] had a strategy that was in theory a valid counter, but he had no technology supporting him in the endeavour.

Shaking his head [Vann] stood.

“All lead vessels, switch from firing random flack and rotate to target the commandeered vessels.”

The lead ships in the formation a row in front of the [Singer] all quickly turned in space to face the them. What had been a slow steady barrage of fire quickly became a torrent of plasma and energy.

The Canada

Derrick let out a shout of alarm as he went flying away from the small emergency console he was at, and slammed into the opposite wall of the engineering section. Sticking to it for a moment as the acceleration continued Derrick tried to ignore the pain radiating from his back and the stars in his vision.

Groaning and peeling himself off of the wall Derrick pushed himself away slowly drifting back towards the console he had been working at.

“What was that?”

Derrick waited for a half beat before swearing under his breath. Arik wasn’t listening.

“Impact it felt like. Debris I think!” said one of the junior engineers as he drifted past his arms full of emergency patch kits.

“Thank you, I figured that out for myself!” spar Derrick, more venom in his voice then he had intended.

The engineer frowned inside his helmet and Derrick glared at him daring him to say something.

Another impact sent both men into the bulkhead of the reactor, Derrick braced himself again as the wall rushed to meet him but still had the air knocked out of his lungs.

Gasping he opened his eyes to stare at the small cube that was Arik. The medics had left it after pronouncing her dead, with no time to remove it and other patients to treat. Derrick couldn’t help but think that had she actually had a body she wouldn’t have been left. Still, disengaging her from the ship would be a chore, and something he would have to do.

“Derrick, respond!” shouted Stagg through the communication line from the bridge.


“Why are we feeling those impacts?”

“Arik could compensate and utilize the strange matter systems to anticipate accelerations. At the moment it’s more reactive than anticipating impacts! If we’re hit by something not on the flight plan we’re going to keep feeling jolts like that! The systems are still dampening most of it!”

“If we are planning to hit something?”

“If it’s on navigations readouts the systems will be prepared to compensate, are we planning on hitting something?”

“We might be testing how thin the hulls of these Empire ships are. You think we could ram right through one?”

Derrick didn’t even pause, “I’m fairly certain we can yes, but it’s not something I’m going to recommend!

“duly noted, we might be unable to avoid it if we keep accelerating.”

“The faster the better in my opinion! The ships designed for high speed impacts, although not with ships.”

“Understood! Another question, we going to be able to jump with one of those Vakurian ships?”

Derrick groaned, “Yes, again not recommended!”

On the bridge of the ship Stagg smiled slightly at the exasperated tone of the engineer.

“Well we’re going to be doing it so make sure we don’t blow up.”

“Yes ma’am. We’ll be ready to make a jump like that in three minutes, I can’t cut down on that time!”

Stagg nodded and turned to her secondary display, “Edie will you be able to last three minutes?”

“We’re going to have to!”

Edie’s transmission flickered slightly and she staggered on the bridge of her ship.

“Stagg, you get the Valiant. We’ll handle the Spite!” said James.


“We’re jumping!” shouted the man at the helm.

Stagg winced as once again the ship launched the small pellet of antimatter and strange matter into space, rending a hole in the universe.

The Canada dove into it and once more complete suffocating darkness fell over her senses. Trying to calm herself and ignore the murmuring of things behind her Stagg waited. Sometimes it felt like mere moments, and other times like an hour before the ships exited and returned to normal space.

Normal space and reality slammed back into her, and the Canada’s main gun fired quickly tearing through a cruiser off her bow.

“Will that work?” asked James the connection having been re-established. Both Captains had quickly adjusted to these brief breaks in conversation. Technically the transition was instant, but it took all of the communication equipment a moment to resync.

“That’ll work!”

The Canada was shooting directly through the middle of the imperial fleet now, having approached from the back. For a brief moment the ship was level with the command vessel of the Imperial fleet, and the one that had destroyed Earth.

Stagg briefly glanced to the side window, in reality it was nothing more than a screen embedded in the metal. Human ships had no windows, and should a ship be damaged to the point where the simple technology of closed loop camera’s and displays broke down they were in dire straights.

Glaring at the commanding ship she spotted the small section in the front that was the bridge, as juvenile as it was Stagg glared hoping the alien felt it in some manner.

The line from the Valiant broke up again for a moment, a shower of static and other artifacts filling the screen. Stagg frowned as the companion ship to the Valiant went dark for a brief moment half of the lights flickering. It fired off one last shot from it’s main gun and then went completely dark.

“God damn it, get the Spite out of here now! Shit!”

Stagg watched as the enemy fleet turned on the ship, lances of energy all directed towards the aft portion of the enormous vessel.

Within moments the rear section of the ship looked to be reduced to nothing more than slag. Multiple hulls breached in the midsection, secondary explosions and power fluctuations continued down it’s length.


“The Spite has lost life support, main power, shields, weapons, fuck! Something failed, and she’s”

A large explosion tore apart what remained of the rear section, an enormous piece of the hull flying sideways into the protective shields of the Valiant. Edie staggered on the bridge of her ships and began to swear in Russian, Chinese and another language that Stagg supposed was the Vakurian tongue.

“Derrick we need to do that jump now!”

“We can’t!” shouted the engineer.

The Russia jumped and the communication line with the vessel broke, reappearing above the wreckage that was the Spite the Russia hung for a moment, the battle in space seemed frozen for an instant. The friendly ships watched in horror, while the enemy ships seemed to be taking the destruction as a moment to regroup.

James reappeared on the communication display.

Stagg saw what she assumed were escape pods begin to launch,

“Jun has ordered an Evac, grab the life raft and jump! The rest of the weapons on the ship have been set to detonate in thirty seconds!” shouted Edie.

James visibly grimaced, “Understood!”

A large craft that appeared to have been embedded in the hull of the craft broke free and launched away from the wreckage. The Russia’s gas jets and engines visibly fought to turn the ship, with it’s inertia already having been built up in combat it just barely missed the edge of the doomed ship, flying past it towards the largest escape craft the Russia once again lurched into the void a flash of light accompanying it as it consumed the human and alien craft.

“Damn it Ranlin, the forward shields!” shouted Edie.

“Derrick we need to be ready for that jump now!”

“I’m working on it!”

“Jump us in front of the Valiant!” growled Stagg, watching as the vessel’s forwards shields failed and the first lances of energy began to dig into the bow of the ship.

“What are you doing?” asked Anil.

“The Human ships have actual armor! It doesn’t look like the alien ships have anything besides their shields. We’re going to be the shield?” asked Pankin.

Stagg nodded, “Yep!”

The Canada rattled Stagg briefly closed her eyes.

The creatures in the darkness were closer this time, and amongst them she could hear the sounds of people screaming. People who were dying in agony, unable to escape.

Space snapped back into reality, and the Canada was in-between the alien fleet and the Valiant. The Human ship looked like it was on a collision course with the much more massive Vakurian ship. For a moment Stagg was about to shout at the helmsman, but paused checking the trajectory. They had three meters of clearance, and would pass directly over the ship.

“Thirty seconds to optimal jump point!” reported the man at the helm.


“I’m working on it!”

“Work faster!”

“Whoa, a little close on that trajectory don’t you think!?” said Edie over the comm.

The Russia flashed back into reality above the Valiant, her trajectory pointing her towards the enemy fleet. Stagg saw several missiles fly from the tubes on the side of the vessel, and streak towards the enemy fleet. She didn’t see the kinetic, but the complete destruction of the cruiser in front of the [Singer] was evidence of that.

“Dropped off that escape vessel in LO, drop off the Valiant there and we’ll cover you!”

To emphasise his point, the missiles that had launched, which were apparently nuclear tipped detonated in front of the Empire formation, acting as a smokescreen blinding their targeting sensors and other data arrays for a moment.

“Derrick we need to jump the Valiant now!”

“Not ready!”

Stagg waited another half second, “Now!”

“God damn it!”

The Canada once more dove into the void, throwing a badly optimized pellet of antimatter and strange matter out in front of her. Expanding and locked in place between both ships, the Valiant and the Canada entered the spherical anomaly on opposite sides.

In the engineering section of the Canada the lead engineer grimaced as almost every alarm inherent to the system went off, and the protective fields of calculations he barely understood, which helped keep the ship from being absorbed in whatever exospace was began to fall apart.

Only one person completely understood the mathematics and physics behind it, and she wasn’t on the ship. In fact she had never even set foot on Bellona. Another casualty of war like a billion others.

Guessing, and only looking at the larger values of the mathematics as they flashed in front of him Derrick modified the program. Keeping both ships intact, but underestimating the energies involved, he errored on the calculations pertaining to gravity.

The Canada and Valiant, traveling in opposite directions to one another flashed back into normal space 120 kilometers above the surface of Chront.

The Crew of the Canada were all slammed forwards even as the strange matter based inertial systems kicked in preventing the worst effects. The outer hull of the ship began to violently ablate and heat.

Derrick swore, “Ejecting the antimatter FTL system!”

“What the hell happened!”

Derrick ignored the Captain for a moment as he hit the final release, taking only a brief moment to target the ejection. The small amount of antimatter left in the system, and the badly damaged components reacted. A literal chunk of the wall next to Derrick disappeared in a flash of annihilation. For the briefest moment he looked at the entrance to the anomaly. His brain refused to even understand what it was.

The last jump of the Canada’s antimatter FTL system was only just large enough for the containment and field systems of the drive. They flashed back to existence in the middle of the Empire fleet, and the magnetic field holding the most energy dense substance in the universe collapsed.

The antimatter reacted with the inner walls of the containment chamber, and in a pure flash of white light brighter than any of the nuclear explosions in space it went off.

Unfortunately, it was only an explosion massive enough to take out another two of the alien craft, overloading their shields and annihilating them. A further three vessels boar the brunt of the explosions and their shield generators overloaded.


Looking at the edge of the engineering compartment Derrick winced and keyed his comm.

“I told you we weren’t ready!”

“Can we jump away? What the hell just happened!”

“I ejected the antimatter drive and the antimatter. The calculations hadn’t resolved and I had to modify them in transit. The outer end of the FTL jump wasn’t completely plotted yet! We’re lucky we didn’t end up in the barycenter of the local gravity wells!”

The line was silent for a moment.

“Can we land the Canada?”

“Well we’ll stop flying, I can barely give you fifty percent thrust on the hydrogen engines, it’s going to be like landing a brick.”

“All hands, prepare for a crash landing!” Ordered the Captain.

The Valiant

Edie gasped as reality snapped back.


“Whoa!” shouted Ranlin, she staggered and fell to the deck as the Valiant shook.

“We came out a little low, I’m going to need emergency power to keep us in orbit!” reported the man at the helm.

“Do it!” growled Edie as she collected herself.

“Did everyone else see all that?” asked Ranlin as she shakily got to her feet.

“Later, its an effect of the FTL.” Snapped Edie.

“I don’t want to do that again,” muttered Klyn.

He shook himself and glanced at his tactical display, “What the heck just happened?”


“It looks like an antimatter detonation!”

“That’s from the Canada, they ejected their antimatter drive. We got some preliminary data before signal blackout.” Said James.

“Signal blackout…” Edie trailed off, “Damn it.”

James nodded, “they made the best of a bad situation. Can you get up into orbit?”

Edie glanced over at her helmsman, he nodded.

“We can, but I don’t think we’re going to be making it back to the battle any time soon.”

“I think we’ll survive. All of their ships have damage now and from what we can tell only two or three have enough fire power to be a threat. Not counting the [Singer] it looks like she’s got tougher armour.”

“You can handle them?”

“I think I can make them retreat, I doubt I’d be able to negotiate a surrender even if they were liable to follow through. Honestly, at this point I’m considering letting them jump away and then destroying the tachyon beacon. Can you disable your tachyon engines? Make sure they have nothing to jump back on?”

“You’re going to let them get away?” asked Klyn.

“I could keep detonating nukes to prevent them from getting a tachyon lock, but if one survivor is the future Emperor? I doubt we could capture him in any case.”

Edie frowned and nodded, “I see where you’re going. A few survivors will whisper and all that.”


Edie looked around her bridge at the damage and the different alarms that had been silenced. She sighed, “We’re not in any state to fight even if we could get out of low orbit. If you can’t finish them off, I’ll make sure our tachyon systems are disabled. Kill that beacon after they jump out.”

“Roger that.”

The communication dropped.

“The Russia has performed another jump. They’re bearing down on the [Singer].” reported Klyn.

Edie slowly nodded, “Right, let’s get to that escape craft.”

“They’re in a slightly higher orbit, intercept in thirty minutes,” said the helmsman.

Edie sighed, “Try and get into contact with the Canada,”

Ranlin sat at her console and worked, sending out a repeating hail.

“Can they land?”

“Human spacecraft are designed for space, a few landed during the war in emergency situations, of those only two were ever put back into space. The others were either scrapped, or didn’t actual manage to land.”

Ranlin frowned, and Edie shrugged. “They’ll make it.”

9 Years, 6 Months, 14 Days After Eridani Landing


Taking a breath Diana looked at the two corpses.

For a moment she felt a pang of regret, they had been trying to get their home world back. They had one another, and the romantic notion of it all. Kill the Emperor, take back home back from the aliens who forced you away.

It was something every human dreamed of, confined to a cold icy world in orbit of a strange blue planet and a foreign star. It was a home, the only one they had left. As developed as Bellona was though, it wasn’t home.

The entire solar system had grown to be humanities home; they had begun to look towards the stars with the same dreams they had once placed on Mars. It was supposed to be a grand venture, a struggle yes like anything else, but a noble venture once more into the frontier. Instead Humanity had been tossed from it’s cradle.

Reality was like that; human history was proof enough. Even the grandest dreams were nothing but fiction. War, it was a reality that humanity had always tried to avoid but had become the masters of.

With a sigh Diana began to rifle through the vests and pockets of both aliens. For another moment she felt some amount of sickness at the action. Stripping the dead of anything useful, it was barbaric.

She would need everything though, and they weren’t using it.

Taking the vest off of the alien woman and strapping it on, Diana collected the various electronics from both and strapping the disintegration weapons they had been using, one to her back and one to her chest Diana picked up their comm devices. Switching them on Diana winced as an alarm blared through the thing.

“Planetary evacuation under way, planetary contamination protocol is in effect, and attack is under attack from a class C species! All citizens please make your way to any available craft for evacuation!”

Diana frowned, and glanced up at the sky as another beam of energy lanced down. Whoever was attacking it wasn’t Human. For one thing, the attack would have been over already the city levelled by either an overpowered kinetic impact, or a nuke.

The energy beams from on high, although dramatic were not Humanities style. Fast, effective, lethal. those were the types of weapons humanity used.

Tightening the straps on the commandeered vest and avoiding looking at the bodies Diana took a deep breath, filling her lungs with the alien air. She had no doubt that Sek’s men were still in the woods. With his communicator though, she could see their rough locations, direction and distance.

None of them were near her. Letting out the breath Diana began to run.

Burdened by the gear, and the undergrowth she couldn’t reach her top speed of just over 50 km/h. But the brusque 38 km/h was nothing to dismiss.

Working her way through the underbrush Diana only looked up at the sky as another burst of energy fell from the sky. It slammed into another of the crumbling skyscrapers, Diana watched as it started to fall wincing as the sound from the impact hit several seconds later.

The city wasn’t going to be standing after this.

It took another twenty minutes for Diana to reach the crumbling walls of the city, the red glow was no longer just from space. The entire city was on fire.

People were streaming out of the walls of the city and into the wilderness, spilling out across the fields and into the trees. The section of the city nearest to where Diana had emerged looked to be the most heavily damaged, nothing left standing and the blazing fires reaching above the walls.


Diana blinked and looked up into the air, a small personal transport was hovering above the wall. [Orin] at the helm the craft began to drop towards the ground, people around the wall seeing the craft moving down began to run towards it.

“Damn it,” muttered Diana.

Running forwards, across the open plane of dirt and plants that surrounded the city Diana poured the speed on. Moving as quickly as an Olympic sprinter, while burdened by the pack and equipment Diana shot towards the transport far outpacing the other desperate individuals looking to escape the hellhole of the planet.

Reaching the transport Diana leapt into it and frowned, [Hal] was in the back seat unconscious.

“You get a doctor to look at him?”

“He was being treated when all of this started, I figured leaving him at the hospital would be a bad idea with everything going on.”

“What is going on?”

“You’re class C, is your species attacking?”

“No, we don’t have weapons like this. If they were attacking the city would be gone already.”

[Orin] frowned, “That’s a reassuring thought I guess.”

“Can you get us to the space port?”

“Yes.” At the controls of the transport she swung the small craft around just a burst of energy streaked through the sky and almost impacted the side of it.

Diana swore and [Orin] grimaced.

“We’re not going to be able to get on any of the public ships though! Those are for the class A’s!”

“We don’t need a public ship, I got us a ride!”

Diana held up Sek’s communicator.

[Orin] blinked and smiled, “Hang on!”

She floored the proverbial accelerator and the small transport shot towards the space port.

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

CopRit Empire, Halfil Sol 25 Of Race 4 Year 4958 Monty Publishing House, New Baltimore Slowly gathering myself I stepped into the hologram chamber, the projection flickered and the simulation automatically paused as I stepped in. I quickly looked around to get my bearings, I appeared to be on a starship bridge enduring greatly exaggerated

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Sweetness – Chapter 4 (NSFW)

CopRit Empire, Halfil Sol 78 Of Race 3 Year 4958 Suburbs, New Baltimore I looked back up at the shopkeeper, the small Human was trying to appear unconcerned. Not that I could really blame ‘him’- glancing over at the human I checked the chest. It was a male, the chest did not protrude and there

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Sweetness – Chapter 3 (NSFW)

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Sweetness – Chapter 2 (NSFW)

CopRit Empire, Halfil Sol 78 of Race 3 Year 4958 Athletic Complex, New Baltimore I jumped to the side, dodging the attack. I felt the breeze as the weapon passed my abdomen; it missed me by only a few millimeters. Twirling to the side, I brought my foot up. Reacting with amazing speed, my opponent

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Sweetness – Chapter 1 (NSFW)

CopRit Empire, Halfil Sol 78 Of Race 3 Year 4958 Divsion 3 Police Station, New Baltimore “What?” The officer frowned and pushed the circular data tablet across the table to me. On it was an image of the woman I had met at the bar last night. She had green skin, of a shade that

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Shades of White and Orange

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Mother Earth

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Adam, Artemis, Atlas, & Icarus Part 2

The data streams slammed into me. With practiced ease, I pushed them aside and forced myself to view the data from afar. To not see it as billions of lines of code, but rather as the small white room that any other human would see. Floating in the center of that white room was Artemis,

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Adam, Artemis, Atlas, & Icarus Part 1

0 days Adam “You’re insane.” “Your point is what?” She rolled her eyes and tightened the straps holding me to the chair. “The point is that someone who can’t move shouldn’t really be this snippy.” She gestured at the plethora of medical equipment around us. “I’m sure I can do some interesting things with all

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The Deathworlders – Chapter 51: Anticlimax Part 3

Date Point: 16y2w AV Air Force One, somewhere over Asia, Earth President Arthur Sartori “…You want to give us a Farthrow generator.” Daar’s image was janky and low-resolution thanks to the vagaries of current wormhole comms, but the audio was a lot clearer now. Technology marched onwards. “It’s loaded up on a train and ready

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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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