Author Topic: The Bloody Half Hundred (fiction)  (Read 408 times)

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Offline Arwyn

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The Bloody Half Hundred (fiction)
« on: January 24, 2017, 09:56:17 PM »
So, I got bit my the writing bug again, and thought I would share what I have so far. Comments welcome! :)


The Bloody Half Hundred

“The Ascendancy War was a devastating shock to the Terran Union. The War was the final nail in the coffin of willfully ignorant political naivety espoused by the Universal Peace Party, and their persistent and criminal underfunding of the Navy. The diminutive and technologically inferior Navy proved no match for the might of the naval forces of the Ascendancy and millions of colonists and sailors paid the ultimate price.

The Terrans had encountered the Ascendancy, and within two months of that contact, their ships had crossed into Terran space, announcing their presence with the eerie music broadcast by their capital ships, and obliterated every ship and colony they had encountered. Six full colonies had died in radioactive fire along with hundreds of smaller stations and installations. The Navy had tried to stop them, and died trying.
The Ascendancy smashed through system after system, and their advanced seemed destined to  crush the critical warp line transport nexus at the Junction, which would place them only two transits from Terra herself. And then the might of the Ascendancy was halted, by the most unlikely of naval forces…”

      --Terrance Kelso, An Analysis of the Ascendancy War and the Politics of the Union.


Commander Jim Gadson closed his eyes, wishing the pounding in his head would ease just a bit, and cursing the close confines of his helmet. He had sipped far too much of his dwindling stocks of bourbon, and his hangover was worse than usual. He willed himself to relax, slouching in his acceleration couch. Breathe in, hold it, breath out. Wait. Repeat. Just like his wife had taught him.

He could feel the pounding in his head receding a bit, and he took a long pull of the electrolyte enhanced water from his suit supply. He could feel the muscles in his neck and shoulders start to unclench from the pain and after some minutes, he could feel himself teetering on the brink of sleep.

He could feel the notes of a song slipping past as he could see her, the sunlight highlighting her dark hair. She was just in front of him, laughing as she dashed up the steps to their home…

A panicked shout “Contact!” from the half deck below him snapped him back to reality. He could see the glaring red dots appearing on the threat repeater scope on his console.  Ascendancy ships flashed into existence, here in the Junction system.  Here, right in front of him. The Warrant on Sensors was turning in his seat to stare up at him, his eyes wide in fear. Jim slammed his hand down on the General Quarters alert out of reflex, his mind desperately trying to deny what his eyes saw in front of him.

He could see his crew reacting. Straps cinched faceplates slamming down and the ready board lights going from red to green on his fighter and the other nineteen ships of the squadron. The aliens  weren’t supposed to be here for months at best, but clearly the aliens had figured out how to find the hidden jump point from the Montana system. Either they had captured intel from a defeated Terran ship, or from a captured Terran. Either way, as of right now, it ceased to matter. Junction was going to die, along with every Terran in it.

But they were here, in Junction, and the only force facing them were the twenty obsolete F-3 Fury fighters belonging to the 50th Fighter Squadron (Reserve). Originally, they were known as Hespera’s Hussars. But Hespera was dead, and they were that was left of their dead world. The rest of the system defenses, the militia, the patrols squadron, the Union Army division stationed there, gone. And the cities,  the quaint charming cities, and all the civilians that called the world home, all gone. The soldiers and sailors died to the last fighting to by time for civilians, who had nowhere to run. 

The 50th had been on a Navy carrier, running training ops when their world died. They had left the system on the Navy ship, never having a chance to fire a shot in the defense of their world. They were orphans from a dead world, and no one knew quite what to do with them. So the Navy had stuck the squadron here, on CAP duty over a warp point they didn’t expect to see any activity on for months. And now they were the only unit outside of the minefields over the point within reaction distance of the point itself.

Jim stayed frozen for a moment. His fighters were too far from any sort of assistance, he couldn’t run before the Ascendancy ships would recover from their transit shock and destroyed them. There were no options, and like bolt out of the blue, Jim knew. This was the day. The 50th was done.
They were done running; they had nowhere left to run to. He and his command were dead as soon as the Ascendancy had transited into Junction. It was strange, he knew he was going to die, and it was almost… relief.

The comm channels were already starting to pop and hiss and strands of the Ascendancy’s damnable music. Jim slammed his hands down on the display controls quickly sorting through the alien ships in the repeater. There! One of their large anti-missile cruisers swam into the console display. He bracketed the alien ship and toggled his com channel to Squadron Push. “All craft! Target designated Shield One! Squadron will Close Attack. All units, attack!”

Jim could feel the pressure behind his eyes, as his emotions welled up for a second. He felt his throad squeeze tight with pride. The twenty doomed fighters didn’t hesitate, they swung about smartly, like this was merely another drill. They turned and charged the Ascendancy fleet, like minnows charging a school of sharks.

Commander of Many, Lord Bright Sky watched as his retainers went about their duties. He could see the screens in front of the menials flicker as the ship recovered from the transit. He smiled, and leaned back in his command throne, sipping the tea his attendant handed him. Soon another alien world would be cleansed and their menials would be added to his holdings. He considered himself lucky, being in the right place at the right time, and being requested to join the fleet of the Great Lord of Worlds Rainbow Heavens. All was right in his world, as he contemplated the conquest in the next few days. He could hear the subsonic rumble and the beginnings of the Great Song of Conquest start to swell from his ships audio system, and smiled again looking forward to the coming victory.

Jim saw the range drop rapidly in his repeater unit. They were almost in range of the targeted ship, and the Ascendancy had no idea they were even here. “All units! We got them cold, so let’s give these sons of bitches a nice warm Hespera welcome!” There was a chorus of cursing and snarled assent coming back in the coms. Jim’s smile was predatory as the alien ship filled his view. More strands of the damnable alien music began to swell in the other comms channel and Jim snarled. Like hell he and his people would go out listening to that alien crap! He glanced at his heads up display and quickly scrolled through his audio collection.

That one! He thought, fits this perfectly…. Jim tapped the console controls, setting the suits audio to broadcast in the clear, and flipping the music to repeat.

Commander of Many, Lord Bright Sky jerked in surprise as a new sound erupted from the audio units in the bridge. Instead of the soothing strains of the Great Song of Conquest, a brutal cacophony roared forth, a thundering rhythm accompanied by a being howling and wailing. He could see the menials on the bridge flinch.

Then they were in range. He felt the 10cm railgun mounted in the belly of the fighter firing, thump, thump, thump, thump. The rounds streaked from the squadron in seconds, moving at thousands of kilometers per second, and intercepted the alien ship.

Bright Sky was leaning over in his throne to snarl at one of his menials when another at a console blurted out “CONTACT! Multiple small craft!” Barely a second later, the ship bucked like a live thing, and Bright Sky could hear dozens of impacts smashing into the armor of his command. “Weapons! Report!” he commanded, clutching at the arms of his throne. His attendant scrambled to secure his safety harness. The lesser lord commanding the weapons section immediately responded, “Weapons still down my lord, targeting sensors are up, but main sensors are still not online”.

Bright Sky gritted his teeth in irritation, his ship was the flagship of his lineage, it would NOT do to bring her back damaged without commensurate retribution being delivered the upstart alien vermin.

Jim saw the first rounds impact, and his chest swelled with pride again, as almost all of the eighty rounds this squadron fired slammed home in the alien cruiser. Huge chunks of armor shattered and spalled away from the ship. “Concentrate fire on the designated target!” Another volley of eighty railgun rounds streaked from the squadron….

Bright Sky pointed at the lesser lord commanding the Sensor section. “Get your sensors up or join the menials!” he hissed at the lordling, “I want them up NOW you incompetent or by the Wings of….

Jim saw the second volley slam home, almost exactly where the first rounds had landed, and once again, alien armor shattered and fragmented under the assault.. and then there was a blinding white flash as the alien ship simply erupted. The spinning remnants of the ship were flying away from the center of a massive detonation. There were howls of triumph echoing from the inside his fighter, and from the squadron coms. They had killed an Ascendancy capital ship. They had killed the first Ascendancy capital ship the Terran Navy had every defeated. Them!

Jim’s heart was hammering as he swung his view around again. “All units, Target! Target designated Shield Two, all units, ATTACK!”
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 03:00:43 PM by Arwyn »
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: The Bloody Half Hundred (fiction)
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2017, 11:40:15 PM »
Excellent writing, I would call it a page turner but there's only one page so far :p
" Why is this godforsaken hellhole worth dying for? "
". . .  We know nothing about them, their language, their history or what they look like.  But we can assume this.  They stand for everything we don't stand for.  Also they told me you guys look like dorks. "
"Stop exploding, you cowards.  "
 

Offline El Pip

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Re: The Bloody Half Hundred (fiction)
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2017, 04:22:25 PM »
Excellent writing, I would call it a page turner but there's only one page so far :p
I can't improve on that comment, so I'm just going to agree with it.  8)
 

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: The Bloody Half Hundred (fiction)
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2017, 12:02:43 AM »
Nice indeed!
 

 

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