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Transcendance- The Battle of Soldaria

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Transcendance- The Battle of Soldaria

Post by Heraclius on Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:18 pm

[I apologize for the "wall of text." I wrote this up on Microsoft Word, and for some reason it doesn't like to transfer line breaks, nor indents, onto forums. I don't feel like going through and putting all the line breaks in at the moment, though depending on popular demand I may go through and do it later]


Transcendence
The Battle of Soldaria

The hallways onboard the Bellerophon suddenly changed, illuminated by red light accented by a thunderous droning of alarms. The Bellerophon was one of the few remaining Transcendii battleships, a testimate to the olden days when conflict was an inevitable part of life in the universe. It had been the better part of three hundred years since one of these mighty ships saw action, not since the days of the Solar Empire.
It was this commotion that awoke Flight Lieutenant Gregory. After a few moments of shaking off the sleepiness that still was prominent, clouding his mind, he threw himself out of bed to his feet. Grabbing his sidearm off the desk beside his bed, he spun around and dashed, throwing open the door as he went.
Gregory was a bridge technician on the Bellerophon, a communications officer to be exact. As he burst into the crowded passageways he realized that he probably wouldn’t make it to the bridge in time. Shrugging off the thought, he pushed onward through the crowd.
Unfortunately, he was on the far side of the ship when the attack began, and had a very long way to go. His footsteps thudded against the iridium floors of the ship, echoing through the narrow hallways. Time almost seemed to slow down for him as he ran, people pushing around heading every direction attempting to reach their posts.
He stopped when he thought he heard screaming coming from one of the hatches. Turning he put his ear to the pale silver door and could hear thudding as someone bashed their hands against it. He faintly heard a man’s voice,” Help, I can’t breathe in here!” turning towards the white elevated panel at the side of the door, he waved his hand over it in an attempt to open it. The door mechanisms were motion sensitive, so the action was all that was normally required, but the door didn’t open. Taking a closer look, he noticed that it was not glowing faintly, as it should be,” the power must be out…” he thought going back to the door. The pounding had stopped, and he could faintly hear coughing and gasping.
Realizing there wasn’t anything he could do, as the doors were designed to resist forcing and were several centimetres thick of iridium; he turned away and began to dash down the hallway towards his destination.
Suddenly, the entire ship shuddered powerfully, throwing him and the other people in the hall against the walls and floor. Gregory felt a sharp pain in his arm, looking at it, he immediately noticed a rather large shard of iridium stuck in it. He reached over, nearly shrieking with pain as he pulled the shard out of his arm, the silvery metal tainted dark red with blood. Throwing it aside, he pulled himself up and continued to dash through the crowd. The ship shuddered again, in concert with a massive boom. Gregory smiled at this; it wasn't enemy fire this time. The Bellerophon was returning fire with its antimatter cannons.
Turning a corner, he continued, slowing down slightly with fatigue. Then he heard it, a loud creaking noise, followed by a screech as the metal making up the ship sheered apart. He felt a breeze pushing back down the hallway as the air began to move towards the hole. Suddenly the screeching stopped and he ran into a wall of air as it blasted down the hall at high speeds, knocking the air out of his lungs. He flailed wildly, attempting to grab hold of something, but to no avail He tried to cry out as the vacuum of space consumed him, the blood vessels in his eyes and lungs bursting from the sudden lack of pressure. He felt the cold, the blood running down his face and then… nothing.
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Space… the final frontier, or so they used to say. The year is 2745, over seven centuries since the Transcendii first arrived on their current homeworld, Oriens. Led from Earth in 2036 by their first Grandmaster, Jonathan Black, the Transcendii were a society driven almost completely by the expansion of pure knowledge and they have made a great many discoveries since the time of their departure, known to their history as "The Great Exodus."
The were peaceful and reclusive, and it was a combination of these traits that allowed them to sit idly by as the “Empire Builders”, as they are now known, tied together the entire galaxy by force of arms, to form the First Solar Empire.
For 200 years, the Transcendii lived in the shadow of this empire, until the Battle of the Expanse, when several of the Empire’s patrol ships discovered a Transcendii mining operation on an asteroid in the Expanse, a vast area of space devoid of any stars.
For the next forty years the Transcendii and the Empire clashed in open battle, resulting in the creation of dozens of Transcendii warships. While the war was won, it left its scars on the Transcendii. The vast amounts of funds diverted from research to military set them back almost a decade in their research. However, it crippled the Empire, and helped to lead to its eventual downfall and the disappearance of the “Empire Builders.” It also created a shift in the psyche of the Transcendii. No longer were they reclusive, using their newly constructed fleet they set out into the universe, retooling many of their warships in ships of exploration, ships of peace.
It seemed as though every passing day brought in news of a discovery of a new planet that was habitable, or a new star system that appeared unclaimed. With the galaxy now in anarchy with the collapse of the Solar Empire, the Transcendii were there to pick up the pieces, creating a small empire of their own by stringing together star systems long forgotten.
The Transcendii were peaceful, but for the first time since the wars of old their fleet was called into action. The small group of old, outdated craft were refitted with new weaponry, sensors, engines, communications arrays, and were sent out to respond to an attack, an unprovoked attack on a small Transcendii outpost on a planet orbiting the star Soldaria. For a brief moment, all eyes were pointed towards this small pinpoint of light in the sky.
"Admiral, the fleet is prepared to enter warp… you need but give the order!" Richards, the communications officer onboard the Chimera, the Transcendii flagship, announced. Richards was a young man in his mid twenties, a very interesting choice for a communications officer. All the same, he was fluent in over 30 human dialects, and several alien ones. Capable of picking up new languages extremely quickly, he was a natural choice for a communications officer, and quickly fell into that position after joining the space authority.
Talents aside, he looked like any other TSA officer in his black uniform. The black pants and shirt were decorated with gold ornaments and strings. On his shoulders were clearly visible the sign of the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. On his breast pocket on his shirt, there was a symbol sewn in gold colored thread in the shape of a radio, a clear indicator of his profession.
Transcendii spacecraft were capable of FTL travel, courtesy of their Alcubierre Warp Engines. These engines have remained much the same as the original ones that carried the Transcendii away from Earth all those years ago. Functioning by creating a warp "bubble" in which the space ahead of the ship contracts and the space behind expands, these contractions and expansions cause the space around the ship to move, and because the ship is in the space it moves along with it. There are no restrictions on how quickly this bubble can move, and because the ship itself is not moving very quickly relative to objects also inside the bubble, it is not exposed to relativistic effects such as time dilation. Once the destination is reached, the bubble is simply collapsed, and the ship can be on its way. However, the bubble cannot be steered, so the proper course must be laid in prior to activating the engines.
"Very well," Admiral George Bryant, the supreme commander of the newly formed Transcendii Space Authority, replied. A tall man, he was in his 40s and it was evident. Already, age was beginning to scar his face and his hair was slowly fading to grey. All the same, he held the same strong resolve he had held all those years ago at the academy, where he had graduated with top marks. Despite all the years between his basic training and the present, he still visited the range regularly, and it showed. Through a combination of experience and practice, Admiral Bryant was among the best shots in the Transcendii Armed Forces.
Bryant turned towards the helmsman, Herman Wil. "Captain, how long will it take us to arrive once we enter the metric?" he asked, leaning back in his comfortable synthetic fabric chair mounted dead center in the bridge.
"Three days sir," Wil replied," though the differences in the capabilities of the Alcubierre Metrics produced by the fleet will require us to travel at the same speed as the slowest one." Wil was an interesting individual, born into wealth as the son of a High Councilor, he was practically given a life of luxury, but his heart had always belonged to ships. First entering the Transcendii Atmospheric Authority, he logged dozens of flight hours in a Wasp, and other auxiliary aircraft, before being promoted to the rank of Captain, and gaining the position as helmsman.
While many of the general terms on a Transcendii spaceship, such as Captain and Helmsman, are old naval terms, in the Transcendii Armed Forces, the Space Authority only recently became a separate entity from the Atmospheric Authority. As such, it still uses Air Force ranks. For example, the rank of Captain is actually rather low in the chain of command, but it is also used to define the acting commander of a ship, regardless of rank.
"Well it is better to be late than to arrive in small factions and be annihilated one at a time…" Bryant replied. He nodded towards Richards," give the order… let's get this over with."
"Yessir," Richards replied pressing a myriad of buttons on his interface. Pressing down a small square button next to a microphone built into the interface itself he said," This is the flagship Chimera calling all callsigns. We are go for launch, I repeat we are go for launch…"
Bryant sighed and took one last look at his rocky homeworld as the Chimera activated its maneuvering thrusters, turning the ship away from the planet and towards empty space. In the distance a small pale dot was visible, the star of Soldaria, the fleet's final destination.

Three days later
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Three days later, the ships were nearing their destination. Not wanting to be caught off guard, Bryant had ordered the fleet to drop out of the warp metric 40 astronomical units away from the star itself and to immediately assume standard battle formation. From an outside observer, the ships suddenly came to a complete halt, leaving an afterimage burned into the space behind them.
"Sir, we are nearing the rendezvous coordinates," Rachael, the Sensors technician on the bridge called out. One of the few females taking an active role in the Transcendii Space Authority, she was still only a Flight Lieutenant. All the same, she was very good at reading the often garbled and unintelligible information reported back by the various radar and laser arrays onboard Chimera.
Most would call her attractive, and it was true. Though it could just be the fact she was one of the only females in the entire TSA. Her hair was long and black, well dark enough brown to be considered so by anyone's accord, slim of figure and tall of stature, she definitely had a far different air about her than the average TSA officer.
At about the same time, Richards began to broadcast a message to the crew. Unfortunately, due to complications with the warp metric, Transcendii ships were not capable of communicating with each other while in warp, nor use radar or any other forms of sensors on anything outside the bubble. This was because the speed at which the spacetime within the bubble was moving, any signals that left the bubble would be left far behind, though theoretically it was possible to communicate with a vessel the metric was passing, so long as the receiving vessel was not in a metric itself.
The viewport at the front of the bridge was suddenly filled with a bright burst of energy as the metric was collapsed, and the light soon faded revealing a star in close proximity. Bryant stood up from his seat and walked towards the viewport," it is amazing, that even in the depths of space, intelligent life is still so intent on wiping itself out…" he muttered to himself before turning back to the bridge crew, who were all looking intently at him for orders," Richards get me a fleetwide broadcast."
"Of course sir," Richards replied. Turning to his interface, he wove his hands gracefully over the keys on his interface. The Transcendii alphabet was a derivative of Greek, with several changes. Most prominently was the inclusion of several new numbers. Due to advances in science, the Transcendii abandoned base ten arithmetic a long time ago, and now use a base seven system. This change resulted in a restructuring of the numerical system, both recycling and adding new numbers from the original Greek.
Richards turned back to Bryant after a few seconds of typing," right sir, just start talking whenever you are ready."
"Attention members of the Transcendii Expeditionary Force," Bryant began, after faltering for a brief moment he continued," you represent the best our fine planet has to offer in terms of resourcefulness, tactical thinking, and combat effectiveness. Each and every one of you has a responsibility to be fulfilled in this mission, and something to prove, be it to yourself or others. Don't let me down today, the fate of our lives… and those of every other human, rely on your… no our, efforts on this day. Despite what others may have told you, this will not be a walk in the park, unless your definition of a park is radically different than mine. So then, let’s get to it and I'll see you on the other side when all is said and done." Bryant stopped and turned towards Richards, nodding to indicate his speech was complete. Turning back towards Rachael he asked," has any information come in yet?"
Light has a finite speed, and radar waves are a form of light. As such, even though it travels quickly, it still takes several minutes for the waves to reach across the vast distances of space between the fleet and the star, but also several minutes for the return trip.
"Yes sir, we actually do. The ships that are visible to us at the moment number about a dozen, scattered in small groups about the system. There will likely be more, however they are blocked by planets, the sun, moons, etcetera," she replied looking down at the screen that took up the majority of her interface.
"Very well, we will split up and mop the stragglers up prior to engaging the main body," Bryant replied," Richards, relay my orders break up into small groups and advance on isolated enemy vessels."
"Already done sir," Richards replied.
Throughout the fleet, the ships fired up their engines as several hundred grams of antihydrogen collided with hydrogen to create pure energy, ejected as a white blast of light out of the ships' rear thrusters, propelling them to several million kilometers per hour in seconds.
The Chimera and its escort, an Ares Class Battleship, the Daidalos, began to set off in the direction of a pair of enemy vessels.
The Transcendii ships were in range within a few minutes. The enemy vessels were very strange looking when compared with the Transcendii designs. Obviously made for intimidation rather than combat effectiveness, they had a great many arches and narrow "necks" as part of their design. The Transcendii tended to steer away from using "necks" as part of their ship designs. They became weak points; an enemy shot to it could easily split the ship apart because of the nature of it.
As soon as they entered range, both ships let lose with a barrage from their antimatter cannons, targeting the necks on the enemy ships. Similar in construction to a nuclear weapon, the shells fired a 1 kilogram slug of matter into a 1 kilogram mass of antimatter, suspended in a powerful electromagnet and vacuum sealed to prevent it from making contact with any ordinary matter. The collision of these two masses liberate massive amounts of energy, as stated by E=MC2 . As matter is really only a highly compressed form of energy.
While most of the massive amount of energy released is lost into space or as neutrinos, a large quantity remains. Enough to make a large hole in any ship in the way The small shells flew through space towards the target vessels at several thousand kilometers per second, colliding with the force shields within mere moments. Each shell exploded upon contact, releasing 50 megatons, a yield close to that of the largest nuclear weapon detonated on Earth. Several square miles of space were instantly illuminated with a brilliant white light originating at the point of impact.
"Reports coming in…" Rachael began flicking her hair away from her face, something she did quite often,"… the enemy ships are still standing and intact, it seems as though the blasts were deflected somehow."
Bryant slammed his fists down on his chair's armrest," What do you mean no damage!" he nearly screamed to nobody in particular. His outburst was immediately followed by a tremendous shiver as the Chimera came under fire from the enemy.
Several red masses of high energy plasma slammed into the iridium plating that made up the ship's outer hull plating, causing the outermost layers to vaporize almost immediately.
"Damage report?" Bryant asked, regaining his composure.
“Hull integrity is down slightly, but minimal damage thus far,” Rachael replied biting her lip," but if we take another hit in that same location, they'll break through the hull in no time at all! Whatever they are using, it is potent."
“Return fire, all missile pods," Bryant ordered, turning towards his tactical officer, Aaron Tetra,” how much ammunition do we have onboard?”
“Sir, we currently possess 300 missiles of class I and II, as well as 10 antimatter rounds and several million chaingun projectiles,” Tetra replied, turning to face the Admiral, concern and doubt clearly visible on his face,” but if a pair of 50 megaton explosions can’t penetrate these force shields… what will?”
Tetra himself was an unimpressive old man by all standards, at least from the outside. Currently aged at 60, his hair had long since grayed and his strength had long since been sapped. All the same, his forty years of experience serving onboard a spaceship served him well as a tactical officer. While this was, as it were, his first actual battle, he had run a great many simulations and exercises. He knew what they were facing, and it wasn't good at all.
“I might have suggestion sir,” Dimitri Pekalov, the science officer onboard the Chimera added. Science officer was a relative term for the Transcendii, and Dimitri was more of an engineer that a true scientist. At about thirty years of age, he was a almost a genius, even by Transcendii standards. However, he held onto his Russian heritage, something most of the Russians among the Transcendii did,” but it is long shot. Enemy force shield most likely uses energy buffer to hold power, which is used to block projectiles. However, shield that powerful would require great amounts of power, far more than any source I know of can produce. Therefore, one would assume that if buffer is depleted, shield will lose power or effectiveness. It may take large amounts of damage to deplete buffer though.”
“Thank you Dimitri… you heard him fire again let’s put this theory to the test. All weapon positions, chainguns, antimatter cannons, missiles… everything!” Bryant shouted out,” we can’t get caught up here for long; we have limited time to regroup.”
Clicking noises could be heard from Richards’s station as he worked hurriedly to send the orders, both to the crew of the Chimera, and also to its escort vessel. The sides of the Chimera were suddenly illuminated with bright white and blue lights as dozens of missiles, cannons, lasers, and chainguns simultaneous fired, sending a wall of fire towards an enemy vessel. The sheer volume of weapons fire pushed the Chimera backwards, away from the target.
Such were the colors of battle to the Transcendii; white was the color of energy created by antimatter, which was used not only for destructive purposes, but for propulsion of ships, fighters, and missiles. Blue came from the lasers used, by using blue spectrum light they created a potent beam when compared with red spectrum or any other spectrum of visible electromagnetic radiation.
As the colors illuminated space, the enemy vessels added shades of red to the mix, as their powerful plasma weapons joined in the concert of battle, but soon there came a time when the victor was to be decided, and in a massive explosion the enemy vessel was torn asunder.
The second enemy vessel met a fate not dissimilar to the first at the hands of the Daidalos. Its remains scattered across the expanse of space by the force of the secondary explosions created in the wake of the assault as its ammunition and fuel reserves ignited.
Plowing through the debris left in the wake of the vessels, the Chimera and Daidalos pushed onward towards the Soldaria, and ultimately the small planet of Olympia that lay in its orbit…
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“My lord, the puny humans are making an assault,” a servant said, walking slowly in the dimly lit commander’s quarters.
“Ha, do they really think they can defeat us! No one can… Have all vessels regroup at this location,” the commander said holding up a small disk. Projected from it was a holographic representation of the star system, with vessels marked as blue and red dots. He pointed to a pulsing green dot, Olympia. They would make their stand with the planet at their backs. “Soon it will all be over,” he continued,” but first, there is a small matter that requires my attention. Order the helmsman to take this vessel to the second planet in the system, there we will find what we are looking for.”
“It will be done my lord,” the servant replied, bowing. He quickly turned and walked out of the dark room…
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Cheers were coming in via the radio from ships all over the system. Using similar tactics as the Chimera the Transcendii Fleet was laying waste to enemy vessel after enemy vessel. Soon the system was filled with remains from destroyed ships, both Transcendii and alien.
Despite haven taken minor hull damage in its previous engagement, the Chimera was still combat ready and effective, and it proceeded to lay waste to another pair of enemy vessels," well now, you aren't so tough with your shields down, now are you!" Dimitri shouted out as another enemy vessel exploded
“Admiral, sir, I’m noticing some strange movements among the enemy vessels. They would appear to be falling back to Olympia, but slowly enough that they can remain engaged the entire time,” Rachael announced. The Transcendii fleet had been making great progress over the past few hours, taking losses, but inflecting a great many more upon this unknown enemy. Despite what the situation appeared to be, however, it was still just as grim as when the fleet first entered the system. All the ground they had gain was merely empty space, and they were running low on ammunition. Despite all of this, there was a massive boost in morale as a result of the recent developments.
“What could they be planning,” Bryant muttered,” we still have enough ordinance to win in a pitched battle, and they are practically handing us one. They can’t really be that naïve to think that they can beat us in that situation.”
“Well sir,” Tetra interrupted,” there is one possibility. It would appear as though one of the enemy vessels has broken away and is heading towards Tartarius, the second planet. Surely the rest of the fleet can manage the enemy at Olympia, to be honest I’m curious about what they are doing there.”
“As am I Colonel… very well, Wil lay in a course. How long will it take for us to arrive?” Bryant asked standing up from his seat.
“About 3 hours sir, though we could get there in seconds using a low energy warp metric instead,” the Wil replied.
“Do it,” Bryant ordered sitting down again. He wasn’t a huge fan of the warp drives, but they needed to reach that planet soon. The sensor data they were seeing was over an hour old due to the constraint that relativity places on information transfer, and the enemy vessel wouldn’t remain in orbit forever.
The warp reactor hummed loudly as it powered up, preparing to release a small amount of the energy stored in its buffer into space. The idea behind the warp reactor was to store power, like a massive energy buffer, and then release it into space. The massive amount of energy being released simultaneously into spacetime would warp it, creating a warp metric. The more energy, the faster the metric, and the direction the energy was inserted out would be the same direction the metric moves. While this removed the need for any special calculations other than direction, it was also very crude. Small errors in trajectory could result in the ship missing the target by several lightyears over long distances. Of course, this was not a long distance, but they did need to take the planet’s orbit into account, and object moving as fast as a planet would be a difficult thing to track.
The creation of the warp metric didn’t affect the view of the outside immediately, other than the fact that, to an outside observer, the Chimera appeared to shoot off, leaving a signature afterimage that was always present where a Transcendii ship entered or left a warp metric, and there were some wild energy fluctuations which were the result of the space moving.
To the observer on the Chimera it appeared as though objects in space were racing by at extremely high speed, an effect generated by the fact that the Chimera itself was not moving. However, the metric was only required for a few seconds, so there wasn’t much time to observe this phenomena. Once the destination was within reach, the warp metric was collapsed and the vessel returned to normal spacetime. Entering into a high orbit around the planet, the Chimera began to scan the surface and surrounding space using its various radar arrays, in an attempt to locate the vessel.
This is a result of the same fact that prevented proper targeting of enemy ships in the system immediately after collapsing the warp metric when the fleet first arrived. Metallic thudding noises could be heard all over the ship, as the antimatter cannons and missiles were loaded into the proper tubes and cannons. However, there was only a small handful of ammunition for these weapons remaining onboard the ship, and after they were expended it would rely solely on its optical weaponry.
“Sir, we have a contact… I think it is our ship. Location, about 20,000 kilometers to port, it looks like it is making an attempt to land on the surface,” Rachael announced after a few minutes of scanning.
“Try and glean its trajectory, where is it going to land. Then scan that area as well with radar. Try and figure out what they want down there,” Bryant ordered in reply.
A few more moments of silence passed as several bridge technicians made the required calculations. Suddenly, one of them broke the silence,” I have it, sending the coordinates to the forward radar arrays… alright its done.”
“Well then, what is down there exactly?” Bryant asked leaning forward in his chair.
“I can’t tell sir, there is some sort of interference. I don’t think its natural, and its definitely localized. Possibly a dampening field?” Rachael replied turning around,” if anyone would take the time to put one of those up, it would be to protect something of value. They aren’t exactly the easiest things to create after all!”
“Alright… take us down Wil, about 4 miles away from the location. Perhaps we can hit the ship while it is on the ground, or even better, commandeer it. Prepare the First Company for deployment, and ready the Wasps, we’re going in.” Bryant ordered.
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“My lord, we’ve been followed. The human attack vessel has followed us to the surface and even now they are likely mustering their forces for an attack.”
“Ha do those fools really believe they stand even one single chance. The probability of such a battle finishing in their favor is nonexistent, ready all the warriors and prepare to defend this position. We must claim what is ours before we can crush them.”
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“Ready and waiting sir,” Captain William Folk stated. He was dressed in full battle gear, with a gleaming Ares Corp insignia emblazed onto his shoulders. The Ares Corp were the elite of the elite, only the very best made it in. Folk was indeed one of the best, as far as the Transcendii military training system was concerned. While it could not be said that anyone in this expeditionary force had any military experience at all beyond exercises, the exercises could be quite convincing.
Even more convincing than the training was the weapon. The Type 60, designed by Renault Weapons Corporation, was the cutting edge of Transcendii weapons technology. Made out of fiberglass, the weapon was lightweight, and a black color that matched that of the uniform. The weapon was about 4 feet in length, had an attached scope that was capable of viewing the world in a wide variety of EM spectrums, and fired the power .50 caliber round at a cyclic rate of 500 rounds per minute.
“Good, you and your men’s objective is as follows. Take and hold the enemy vessel, and find out what is causing the disturbance in our radar,” Bryant ordered. He was briefing the company of elite soldiers in the ship’s primary hangar. It was a daring raid to be sure, 100 Ares Corp infantry, supported by 3 Wasp fighters, would attack the ship. They would be carried there in a shuttle, of course, but it was unarmed and poorly armored. To make matters worse, the soldiers were not equipped for open battle; they were equipped to repel boarding parties on the ship. Of course, this wouldn’t be a problem once inside the enemy vessel, but the hard part would be reaching it in the first place!
A great humming could be heard as the shuttle’s engines fired up, lifting it up and out of the upper door to the hangar. Within a few moments, the Wasps launched as well, using their vertical takeoff thrusters to leave the hangar, then blasting away at Mach 20 towards the enemy vessel. The Wasp was a small craft, equipped with several T-3 Missiles and some railguns. Each one used a fusion reactor to power to both power the systems, and produce thrust, but the real advantage in them was their design. They were small, difficult targets to hit. Not to mention they were well armed for their size, and capable of fighting in both space and atmosphere.
As the Wasps approached, the enemy vessel grew larger on the horizon. It was truly massive, almost a mile in length, and shaped in a triangle, with what looked to be a bridge jutting out of the center.
They broke off from their perceived attack run, strafing the hundreds of alien infantry that were swarming the area around the vessel, their small railguns doing massive damage to the surrounding area and anything in it. The railguns were very interesting pieces of technology to be sure, deriving their fundamental design from linear electromagnetic motors. An armature, a bar of a conductive material would slide across two parallel conductive rails which are positioned in a powerful magnetic field. This field, and electricity conducting through the rails, accelerates the armature across the bars at extremely high velocities, launching a projectile placed in front of the armature.
These weapons have extremely high rates of fire, and are also extremely powerful. Because of the speeds at which the projectile, in this case a one kilogram weight, leaves the railgun, it has massive amounts of kinetic energy. In fact, this energy is so great it is stronger than a comparatively sized explosive, creating mass devastation on impact as the energy is transferred into the surrounding matter.
The railguns mounted on Wasps were capable of firing 100,000 rounds per minute, each round traveling at Mach 6.
On the ground, the men from First Company were waiting, hiding behind a ridge created from cooled lava. Tartarius was known for its seismic and volcanic activity, the whole planet was a lava field. The area in which they were in now, Elysia, was an area of relatively low activity, with few seismic quakes and only a handful of eruptions per year. All the same, it was hardly hospitable. While breathable, the atmosphere on Tartarius was mostly carbon dioxide, and traces of sulfur dioxide made extended exposure dangerous. As such, the men all had breathing apparatuses to prevent them from succumbing, the odds of which were increased significantly by the amount of activity they would soon need to do.
Folk carefully raised his head over the edge of the low ridge, taking in the events. He couldn’t make out in any detail the aliens they were fighting against, but he could see that they were scurrying about like ants trying to take cover from the rain of iridium slugs falling from the sky. Signaling an advance, the company slowly climbed the ridge before dashing to the next one. So far they appeared to be unnoticed by the aliens.
Being about 100 meters closer now, Folk could make them out somewhat more clearly. They were strange looking to be sure; they almost looked like bugs of some sort. They had six legs, and a pair of arms with which they held a very imposing weapon. He couldn’t make out their heads or faces, if they even had any, but they appeared to be very strong for their size.
Their weapons were the most interesting feature. Shaped like a massive tube, they tapered out at one end, presumably the front. The back appeared to have a large opening, though he couldn’t be sure.
After several more advances, the First Company had reached the last ridge before the flats that the ship itself was on. The Wasps flew away, back towards Chimera shortly before they had reached it, to refit and refuel. All the same, the flats ahead was covered with craters and bodies from the bombardment. There didn’t appear to be any living aliens left in the area, so the First Company vaulted the ridge and advanced at a brisk pace, taking cover in craters as they went. Suddenly a bright green flash hit the ground in front of one of the soldiers, exploding. The green flash left nothing but a charred body of a man in its wake, and the rest of the company quickly dived for cover in whatever craters they could find.
"Where did that come from!" one of the soldiers shouted to nobody in particular.
"I don't know, though it is pretty damn obvious who shot it. Advance, don't let yourselves get pinned down… forward!" Folk order jumping out of the crater he was in. Almost as soon as his feet crunched into the soft volcanic ash that was the surface, he was dashing forward towards the large vessel. Two hundred meters, one hundred fifty, one hundred, the distances flew by as he, followed by a large contingent of soldiers, charged straight towards the ship.
Within minutes they had reached the outer hull. One of the men dashed over to an outer hatch and positioned a breaching charge on it. Essentially a shaped charge that would shatter the metal making up the door, Transcendii breaching charges were designed to be able to breach the metal barriers onboard spaceships and inside compounds and redoubts.
Flipping back against the wall, he pressed the detonate and the bomb exploded almost instantly, sending shards of metal into the room on the other side, an added effect of the weapon. This shrapnel cleared the way for the men to advance into the room unopposed. The men charged into the breach, stepping over the mutilated bodies of several aliens, their transparent blood smeared across the room.
Blowing down another door, they entered a hallway. The ship was made of a very strange brownish metal, almost like rusted iron, but was perfectly smooth. Branching off of this main hallway were a myriad of others. Each time the company passed one, several men broke off down it.
Folk was about to turn a corner in the hallway when he heard a scream, dashing around it he found himself holding the charred body of a soldier. Throwing the body aside, he brought up his rifle and fired a four round burst, cutting down the alien responsible.
Throwing himself back around the corner just in time, he heard several explosions as the location he had just occupied was bombarded by alien weapons fire. He pulled a Type III fragmentation grenade out of a pocket on his shirt and tossed it around the corner. As soon as he heard the explosion and the screeching of shrapnel against metal, he turn the corner and let loose with a continuous stream of fire from his T-60.
He quickly pressed the release lever as he dashed down the hall’s length, dropping the magazine in his gun to the ground. Pausing at the corner to load a new magazine into his rifle, he tossed a flashbang down the next corridor and quickly cleared the corner.
Several aliens were on the flow, writhing in pain from the flashbang’s effects. Making a mental note of their vulnerability to the grenades, Folk put a bullet in each one of them before continuing down the hall.
He paused for a moment at a doorway to throw a flashbang through before entering. This door was different from the others, being a textured green rather than the smooth rusty color of the rest of the ship. As soon as the grenade went off, he slid into the room, only to find it empty.
"Well this is strange," Folk muttered to himself. This room was different from the others on the ship; it had a very high ceiling and lacked lighting for the most part, a small single source of light in the center of the room's ceiling provided about all there was to be had. The strangest thing of all was that the room was empty, aside from a single chair, if it could be called that, standing on a pedestal in the middle of the room. As Folk approached it, he felt a very strange tingling sensation, as if there were millions of little pins gently sticking him.
He climbed up the steps to the chair and noticed a green panel illuminated on the side. Bending over, he placed his hand on it. Suddenly the entire room lit up with bright lights. Jumping back to his feet he pulled out his T-1 handgun and looked around. Once he realized there was no threat in the area, he holstered the weapon and turned back to the chair.
To his amazement, it was gone. Instead there was what looked to be a computer screen in its place. Walking up to it he noticed that, written out in perfect Greek, there was a list of instructions. After reading over it briefly, he realized it was instructions on how to run the ship.
Suddenly he heard a rustling noise coming from behind him. Spinning around, Folk came face to face with one of the aliens… but this one was different… somehow. It was wearing some sort of cloak, the same rust color of the rest of the ship.
“Greetings human,” it said, holding up its weapon towards Folk. Folk quickly reached for his sidearm, but registering the move, the alien said,” I wouldn’t reach for that human, I have no problem with shooting you down where you stand… but I still need you for something.”
“And what would that be?” Folk asked,” and furthermore, how do you speak Greek?”
“No questions human, just listen. This planet has something I want, but I need you to get it. My kind is not a meek one, and we will find a way in either way, but having you would make it much easier on all of us. The sooner we find this, the sooner we can crush you and get this war over with,” the alien cut Folk off,” however, if you don’t want to help that is understandable... I have a plan for that as well.”
“I think you’ve severely underestimated the tenacity of us humans,” Folk replied walking towards the alien,” we tend to need a bit of… convincing.”
“Well then…” the alien began before cutting himself off. He suddenly realized what was going on. Folk was, by now, nearly beside it. Shaking his sleeve a concealed combat knife fell down into his hand. The alien tried to back away, but moved too late as the sharpened iridium of the knife slashed up his abdomen, easily slicing through this exoskeleton. His transparent blood smattered over Folk as the alien fell to the ground, defeated.
“This is not over…” the alien began to say as Folk drew his handgun.
Holding it over the alien he replied,” yes… it is,” before firing five .45 caliber rounds into the creature’s head.
"Um, Bryant…" Folk said into his communications link with the Chimera its all clear over here… and you might want to come and see this." Taking a few steps back, he turned and left the room, heading towards what the men had identified as the main hatch… "None of this feels right," he thought to himself," why would they leave us instructions on how to run the ship… and furthermore how do they know Greek?”

"Well this seems pretty straightforward," Bryant said after reading over the information on the consol," hell I could even fly this thing."
"I agree, I agree… but we may as well take this opportunity while we still have it… do you know where the bridge is?"
"I think so… follow me sir."
Folk lead Bryant through the winding passages of the ship leading him to a room that they thought was the bridge. Its layout was foreign to the men, but the purpose was obvious. At the center, there was a slightly raised platform that had access to the rear, and the rest was covered with control panels of various sorts. There were similar such consoles throughout the large room, but none of them had any chairs. All the same, they were rather easy to access. And even more strangely everything was in Greek, just like the "Computer Room" as it was now known.
The ships logs however were all in a very strange language that was completely foreign to anyone onboard, so there was no way of knowing what they had come to the planet for.
Looking briefly over the geographical survey of the planet that the Chimera had just completed on his digital clipboard, Bryant noticed something strange. Leaning back against the wall he read over it. The planet seemed to have a large, hollow, pocket several miles underneath the surface. Putting the thought aside for now, he turned back to the ship at hand.
After a few more hours, the Transcendii on the planet managed to control the ship. Cheers erupted as the ship lifted off the planet's surface, powered by what appeared to be fusion engines, creating power by fusing Hydrogen together to form helium. The Transcendii had managed to seal off the section of the ship where they had breached, by closing a small series of bulkheads throughout that section of the ship. While those areas would be exposed to open space, there wasn't anything in those sections of interest, so it was left go.
The Chimera with its shrunken crew, fell into position beside the massive vessel, cutting its engine power by half to keep pace with the slow ship. After a few back and forth messages between the two ships, arrangements were made to stow the Chimera in the ship's massive hangar bay, alongside an impressive array of fighters and shuttles. As the crew from the Chimera filtered out into the massive ship they had just captured, exploring more and more of its nooks and crannies, the ship continued to near Olympia, where a battle still raged. It sent out a message identifying itself to the now shrunken Transcendii Fleet, before opening fire, ripping through an enemy vessel. The enemy fleet, taken by surprise by the sudden attack by what they thought was their own flagship, milled about in confusion for a short time, before regrouping.
Just when things were starting to really look up in the battle, another massive ship rounded the planet from its hiding place on the far side. It was 4 kilometres in length, dwarfing even the ship that the Transcendii had just capture. In fact, the entire ship looked to be built around a weapon of some kind.
This ship fired its weapon, sending a massive red beam towards a Transcendii warship, all but destroying it in one shot. Prompting the flagship the Transcendii had captured to open fire in turn. Unfortunately, its weapons were ineffective against the shields around the massive cannon ship.
Turning itself to face the flagship, the cannon ship fired again. While the damage was absorbed by the flagship's shields, they were on the breaking point.
"Wil, lay in a ramming course, I have an idea," Bryant ordered turning to face Richards,” give the evacuation order. Tell everyone to grab what they can and retreat to the Chimera."
Within minutes, everybody from the ship had loaded back onto their original ship. Powering up its engines, the Chimera took off from the hangar and left, heading at full speed back to the shattered remnants of the Transcendii Fleet.
Meanwhile, the flagship was accelerating, heading straight for the cannon ship. There was little it could do as the flagship smashed into it at full speed, igniting the supplies of hydrogen stored on both ships to power their fusion reactors.
The Transcendii Fleet flew away from Olympia as explosion from the two ships engulfed the entire enemy fleet.
It was a battle that would be remembered for all time by the Transcendii. And yet, a great many mysteries remain. Who were these aliens that attacked, and where did they come from? What were they looking for, and why? Such questions permeate the tales of this battle, and there still is a great amount of idle speculation.
Even with all the questions that can be asked, one thing is certain. The men who fought, and died, to protect the Transcendii are remembered, and will be for all time. They fought against insurmountable odds and they won, there is no higher honor any soldier of the Transcendii could ever have.
Admiral Bryant died soon after the battle of heart failure, but not before having a single son, Jeremiah Bryant… who then had a son of his own, Percy Bryant. Over the years this family has maintained control over the Transcendii Armed Forces, going from Admiral to Supreme Commander.
Most of the other members of the crew of the Chimera vanished from history soon after the battle, having families of their own outside the public eye….

The End



I wrote this story for an assignment in my English class not too long ago. Tell me what you think!
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Heraclius
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Join date : 2010-02-22
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