Author Topic: A Whisper of Dark Days to Come [Short Story]  (Read 1238 times)

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Offline Thanatos

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A Whisper of Dark Days to Come [Short Story]
« on: April 07, 2015, 05:07:00 AM »
This is a short story based on a campaign for which I no longer have image files, but have decided to upload anyway.     I hope the format will be a good replacement for a more factual retelling.   

"Sojourner, this is the Destroyer Escort 'Whisper' of the Midnight Legion.     Report your status?"

The Far Trench is a system so vast that it was impossible to map all of it.     Planets with low accessibility minerals, too many asteroids, and just the sheer size of the system has put efforts to map all of it on the bottom of the list of things to do for more than a decade.     The best we could hope to do was send the Sanguine Legion to deploy sensor beacons, but even so, options were limited.   

Professor Andrea Mie, a leading scientist in the field of sensors, has more than a decade ago warned us that the Far Trench will be a place so dark, a ship could just disappear inside it- a base could be invisible inside it.     Which was a shame, because.    .    .   

"Sojourner, this is the Destroyer Escort 'Whisper'.     What is your status?"

.    .    .     Because Mie's Dark Bridge, as it was otherwise known, was the connecting system between the far arms of the Terran Empire.     It connected to no less than at least 20 systems, within only two jumps from the system.     75% of which were completely unexplored.   

"The Transponder is active, Captain.     I do not understand.    " Ensign Dale replied to Captain Rayle's furious glare.     "It's like she's a ghost ship.     No thermals, no signals on any frequency.     It's there, and she's in one piece.     Just quiet.    "

Captain Rayle narrowed his eyes.     It was ironic- he has been on the Whisper for four years now, and there is a ship out there that was quieter than them.     Quieter than a Whisper.     It's only vocal chord still singing was the transponder.     Whispering Madness is what the Sojourner was.   

"Take us through the Gate.    " The Captain ordered, and almost immediately the 12000 ton ship turned, betraying it's elegant speed; It's savage agility.   

There was only one Gate the Captain could be referring to.     The Gate to the Seeker's Citadel, the homebase of the Midnight Legion, now a prospering sector after first being colonized for the purpose of military logistics- the Midnight Legion itself was originally a expedition force, while the other legions protected Terra and the core worlds.     Nowadays, all the Legions are expedition forces, but none of them had a system like the Seeker's Citadel.     Bases on every planet to produce and supply the deadly Seraph Anti Ship Missiles- building fighters and maintenance equipment- planetary defense centers, and now, 30 years later, a thriving commerce world, centered on the planet known as the Midnight Citadel, lovingly called 'The Citadel'.   

In orbit of the Citadel was a small token of the Midnight Legion, and what appeared to be a scouting ship passing through, from the Avenger Legion- possibly heading back home to Spirit's Chase, a mere 12 jumps away.     Yes, that's how large the Empire has become.     12 jumps was nothing.   

Though, a small token, it was nevertheless formidable.     One could see the shell of the Archangel being constructed in orbit of the Citadel- the ship that will replace the Battleship 'Midnight Sun', around which was formed the Task Force, led by the Flagship 'Executor'.     Along with several destroyers being retrofitted, and all but one retrofitted Destroyer Escort.     Even the Whisper was among the DEs that got retrofitted to the new Magnetic Confinement Fusion Drives.     And it was the Whisper that so far had the only supply of Shrike AMMs.     Rumor had it that the Flagship of the Sanguine Legion 'Subjugator' was loaded with state of the art AMMs known as the Aegis- but only they produced it.   

"Executor, this is the Whisper; Stand by to receive data.    " Called the Captain over the comms- following a quick confirmation, the data was sent via laser.     The Executor was only 900 million kilometers away, and there were relays in between; There would be only a small delay in communication; The other communication equipment was still misaligned due to the jump, but the crew was getting a handle on optimizing recovery processes for post-jump tactics.   

"Whisper, I have new orders for your vessel, from the Admiral.     You are to take Savior and Oppressor, and investigate the Sojourner.     Be on the lookout, Civilians have reported strange signals in the Trench, nearby the third planet.    " Came a reply, not long after the initial message.     It seems the Admiral was expecting something like this.   

"First Lieutenant Hawke, the planetary bodies of the Trench were all surveyed, yes?" The Captain asked his SIC.   

"Yes, Sir.    "

"We found nothing on the Third?"

"That's correct, Sir.    " Replied the Lieutenant as he looked at his holopad-- double checking.   

The Captain nodded his head slowly, considering the information he had.     If only the Beacons had lasted another year, they could perhaps try to figure out what was going on in the Trench all this time.   

"Sir, the Oppressor and Savior are approaching us.     Savior's Captain sends his deepest regrets for the loss of second lieutenant Dewey.    " Ensign Dale broke the silence.   

The Captain turned around and said, "Send them my regards and gratitude.     Inform them that we will depart at 1800 Galactic Standard Time.     Bridge is yours Lieutenant.    "

Lieutenant Dewey's loss was a bite to Rayle's soul, and career.     Not only was Dewey a close friend, but Dewey was a mastermind tactician and strategist.     The Citadel wouldn't be what it was if not for Dewey, but neither would Rayle be alive if it wasn't for Dewey.     It's been almost a year now, when Lieutenant Dewey saved the ship from being lost in space when a malfunction to the Internal Confinement Fusion Drives knocked Rayle unconscious, and resulted in a 19% crew loss.     Dewey not only maneuvered the ship through an asteroid field, using on the spot mathematics, to get us barely to the nearest outpost of Ryan's Beacon, but he also surrendered his life, when he went into the engine compartment to program the automated systems on quickly repairing the ship.   

Even in death, Dewey contributed to the military of the Empire, and his efforts not only revolutionized the trajectory projection systems software and machinery for missiles, turrets and general motion in space, but even damage control, and ship design.     As a result, ships like the Savior and Whisper now exist in service, Oppressor being of the same class as the Whisper- A Valkyrie class Destroyer Escort with 20 Size 1 Missile Launchers.     The Savior was a Intimidator Class Destroyer, with 20 Size 5 Missile Launchers, and a capacity for 400 missiles, as well as state of the art CIWS.   

The Legions of Terra were clockwork; To be part of the Legions was to receive the greatest honor in all of humanity.     To be a Legionnaire was to be an explorer, a researcher, a pioneer-- This is why colliers and even colony ships and freighters towing terraforming stations and fuel harvesting bases, followed the Legions into the darkness of space-- it also meant to be on time.   

At 1800 sharp, the jump back to Mie's Dark Bridge was completed in squad transit fashion- and as soon as the sensors realigned and the crew got their bearings, not even 30,000 kilometers away, via magnified image, they could see the Savior's CIWS working like a hellmane from the Forth's Dune, a planet known for it's bone-spitting critters.   

"3 Salvos, 45 missiles each, Captain! 10 Ms away!" Cried out one of the bridge operators, as an explosion engulfed the bow of the Savior.   

"Take them down!" Captain Rayle ordered in near momentary fashion, as both the Oppressor and Whisper near simultaneously fired their missiles at the incoming salvos.     The Oppressor still used the old 'Serpent' designs, and the staggering difference of 10,000 K/s became extremely apparent in no time.   

Captain Rayle knew deep down that the Savior was fine.     It had seven layers of armor, which pales in comparison to the massive Midnight Sun, but still, seven layers was nothing laugh at.     The Shrikes intercepted the first salvo, and killed 40% of the missiles- a result that was not expected.     But the difference in missile speeds between the Shrikes and Serpents, made a staggered field of missile defense, that allowed the Savior's CIWS to do short work of the remaining missiles.   

Until the fourth salvo at least.     12 missiles strike the Savior.   

The Captain did not need to ask; He knew very well that, even without an Oracle Class support sensor craft, they could detect missiles up to almost 100m kilometers away.     But they only picked these ones up at around 30m kilometers.   

Suddenly, an active ping returns at nearly 230m kilometers away; Yet, the Savior does not fire.     It just stood there; Majestic.     Silent.   

It takes 45 seconds for Savior to prove that it's alive, as the CIWS takes out another swarm of missiles, only one striking the hull.   

Captain Rayle took a breath, only then realizing he was holding his breath the entire time between the possibility of Savior being as dead as the Sojourner seemed to be, and seeing it come to life.     He pointed to the image of the Savior on the Bridge Main Monitor, and the crew understood the signal; A comm window opened up- audio only.   

"Savior, did your fire control get damaged?" Captain Rayle demanded.     Though the Whisper was only the escort the Savior, Rayle was still the senior officer in charge of the operation.     He could afford to add venom to his tone.   

"Possibly.     We cannot target the bogey.     They may be using advanced ECM- we need to get closer to confirm, over.    "

'Get closer.    ' Rayle repeated in his head.     It seemed like pure suicide.     Getting any closer now would be suicide-- probably.     He could not calculate, like Dewey could, to figure out if there was enough distance if they tried to go at full speed towards the bogey, for the AMMs and CIWS to shoot down the missiles.     But he could do enough on the spot math to know that it was highly unlikely for one ship to fire 45 missiles per salvo.   

"Savior, that ship may be a decoy.     Let's retreat towards the Asteroid Field at full speed, coordinates at Alpha Hotel Four-Niner-Tree, Lima Foxtrot Seven-Oh-One.   "

"Copy.     Let's stagger the retreat.    " The Savior replied.   

"Oppressor, you'll be the last to go.     Your missiles are slower, if we keep a distance of 60k, our missiles will converge at 230k distance.    "

"Affirmative.    " The Oppressor replied.   

Following the exchange, the Savior was the first to go, it took it 3 seconds to cross the distance to the Whisper, and then another 8 for the Savior to move.     3 seconds following that, the Oppressor moved.     The Legion was like clockwork- but these tactics would not be possible without the brilliant minds that created them.     This was Dewey's Feint.     Originally created due to the disparing of AMM and ASM speeds.     The retreating Destroyer only has to reverse it's vector and release it's missiles, and the AMMs will usually bombard the hostile point defense sufficiently enough, to allow the ASMs to deliver it's painful strike- while at the same time, giving more time and space from hostile missiles, to defend against them.     A relatively flawless tactic, when caught in an ambush.   

Mie's Dark Bridge was a vast place- and this cannot be understated.     The closest cluster of celestial objects was the asteroid field, and it still took them an hour and twenty minutes to get there- all the time under constant barrage of missiles.     The exchange lasted even after they got to the asteroid field, and it never let up.     About 45 missiles every minute.     There was a pause of about 15 minutes or so, but it seemed the enemy's supply of missiles was endless.     The Oppressor and Whisper were reduced to 15% of their entire missile capacity, which was considerable at 1400 missiles each.     Of course, not including the 15 minute break, 2800 missiles is not enough to stop a barrage of 45 missiles almost every minute.     They used the Savior's CIWS and armor for most of them.     The Savior's beautiful body was now charred and frayed all over; pieces flying around it, stuck to it, by it's magnetic attraction.   

For the whole duration of the bombardment, they could only catch a glimpse of one more ship, at 16000 tons, besides the original one, which weighed in at 13000.     They were designated Carrion and Raven, respectively.   

The gravity of the situation was slowly catching up to them.     Carrion and Raven seemed fast enough to not only keep up with the task force, but fast enough to momentarily come within ActGrav range.     And the missile barrage didn't seem to be letting up; They either had massive magazines, or a Collier was with them.     And with 15% ordinance left, it was time to make a difficult decision.     And they had only one.     They could not flee, these demons were potentially faster than even the Avenger Legion's Chaser class frigates.   

They could only hope to try to close the distance somehow, and the enemy would not easily let them accomplish this.     After all, they could try the same Feint that the Trinity of Whisper, Savior and Oppressor was attempting.     So, attacking head-on was also out of the picture.   

"Whisper, this is the Oppressor's Captain Morgan speaking.     We will be the decoy.     It was an honor serving with you.    "

Rayle stood there, frozen in place.     It was obvious, they all knew that they had to split up, to come out of this alive.     And they could not afford to lose the Savior, which meant either the Whisper or the Oppressor had to be the bait.   

"No! Morgan, wait, the Whisper has Shrikes, we stand a better chance at surviving.    " Rayle insisted-- he spoke without thinking, in a dishonorable manner.   

But Morgan understood where the words came from.     The Oppressor slowly broke off from the retreating trio, turning 150 degrees, as if to funnel the bogeys towards the galactic north.   

"You need those missiles to protect the Savior when you get in range.     Vae Victis, Captain Rayle.    "

There was a silence on the comms that felt the most unbearable.     Only the short farewell from the Savior dispelled the quiet.     "Vae Victis, Oppressor.    "

The Savior and Whisper turned towards the north, though the Savior was keeping a more western heading -- The Savior was to be the Anvil to the Hammers that were the Oppressor and Whisper.     The Oppressor will drive the bogeys north, and then move past them-- or try to, while the Whisper will funnel them south, and eventually west, towards the Savior.     A pincer move, but with the critical disadvantage that the Whisper had to remain close enough to intercept missiles for the Savior.     An impossible attempt, one would say, but it was done before.   

It takes nearly 5 minutes before the missiles start heading towards the Oppressor, and the bogeys start turning north, once the Savior is out of range.   

The explosions in space are reminiscent of the Dead's Farewell festival on Terra; With fireworks lighting up the sky- but space is far too cruel to be lit up by the aggression of the creatures.     Dewey had once said that he had a dream, where he spoke to an old man, who asked him what was wisdom.     He spoke of it as a spiritual awakening- afterwards he realized that war truly unmasked humanity for what it was.     And that he has lost faith- he said, if humans are intelligent beings, he lost faith in 'intelligence'.   

But the Oppressor stood his ground.     Missile after missile was intercepted- it took 3 salvos of AMMs to take out all the missiles, and with each enemy salvo, they gained a 130k distance of ground; the missiles were now exploding at a range of 4m from the Oppressor, and it looked good.     One more minute, or two, and Whisper will take over.   

The next 45 missile salvo passed the 4m mark, and with eager anticipation and lifted spirit, Rayle watched them, anticipating the next fireball.   

Then they passed the 3m mark, 2.  5m, 2m, 1.  3m--

"Farewell, brothers.    "

0.  8m, 0.  3m, contact.   

Silence filled the bridge as they helplessly watched the Oppressor get battered by a full sized salvo of missiles- and then a second time.     A third.     All the while, the Oppressor kept on it's vector, pushing the bogeys towards the Whisper.     It takes six salvos to put the vessel to rest, without even so much as a grand final explosion.     It's thermal signature disappears, and the hulk of metal floats through space, teeth broken and eyes closed.     Lips, forever sealed.   

The farewell from the Oppressor left a bitter taste in Rayle's mouth, as he watched helplessly; the seconds ticked away like nothing in the silence of the maddening vista before him.  How swiftly life was silenced.  What kind of brothers were they, when all they could do was watch helplessly like this? I am sorry.  The words in his mind resounded as fury welled up within him.  It was only a minor respite, knowing that the vengeance of the Midnight Legion would be swifter than their screams.

"Missiles heading our way, Captain.    "

Rayle nodded his head, "Intercept them, turn course to bearing 140.     This day shall be ours, no matter what.    " His voice reflected his grief at the loss of the Oppressor and it's crew.     And his fury.   

"Savior, prepare for contact in 5 minutes.    " Rayle transmitted to the Savior.     It's acknowledgement came in the form of it's vector turning towards bearing 60; They were going to catch the two bogeys between the Savior and the Whisper.     The computers projected, using the maximum observed speed + 20%, that the Savior would have a window of 3 minutes to fire on the bogeys before they got out of range again.     It would be 8, if the Whisper abandoned the Savior to fend for itself.   

But still, they had to survive 5 minutes- and then, defend the Savior on top of that.   

"Lieutenant, what's our ordinance status?"

"220 missiles, Sir.    "

Rayle calculated the expected missile volume that they will be subjected to in 5 minutes.     The machine replied in a disappointing manner: 225 missiles.     Not even enough to survive for 5 minutes, much less defend the Savior.     He wondered if this whole thing was a pointless pursuit in the first place.   

Rayle nodded his head, as if convincing himself to accept the fate he was given.     "We will have to use the Whisper's armor to defend against the last three salvos.     We have no other choice.    "

"Yes, Captain.    " The whole bridge resounded in unison.   

For three and a half minutes, the faint whine of the missile launchers was an undeniable roar of defiance-- yet, still just a whisper.     Even over the somber quiet of the bridge, the sound of the metal protesting was as quiet as the grave.     If there was something in space to carry the sound, the deafening battle would be obvious all the way to Terra; Salvos of 20 missiles each, fighting 45.     Like the legends of Old Terra, where the Spartans fought the Persians.   

Rayle chuckled a bit.     The Spartans fought a lot longer than three and a half minutes.   

"Cease fire.    " He ordered, as he grabbed the handrail next to his station.     "Brace for impact, and pray to the Emperor.    "

The first salvo strikes and digs into the four layer armor, carving the Whisper up in the middle of her belly without fail.     Bad luck, or destiny?

The second salvo strikes and the lights on the bridge go dim for a moment, flicker, and then burn again.   

"Damage to engines, one is knocked out.     Two launchers are down.     Magazine took a hit, but it didn't explode.    "

Assuming they will not fire against the Whisper again, this was to be the last salvo against them.     He could clearly see the bogeys now, at a mere 100m kilometers away.     There was only two of them; They still could not tell which one was firing the majority of the missiles, but it was clear as day that Carrion, at 16,000 tons was the bigger threat.     It's jagged, spiky appearance assured of that.   

If they were smart, they would not fire on the Whisper, but fire on the Savior instead.     Rayle could only hope that Dewey was right.     That intelligence was not something that intelligent after all.   

"Third salvo, impact in 5, 4, 3, 2.    .    .     1.    "

The screaming of metal peeling away from it's supporting structures is nothing compared to the shockwave that causes several of the monitors to explode in glorious fashion- knocking several of the crewmembers down.     An explosion in the rear of the ship sends a bluish glow streaming from the ship, electrical sparks firing from it, across the hull of the ship.   

"Another engine hit, we are down to 60% output.     Damage Control is hit, but the redundancy is still operable.     Main Access lift is destroyed.     Another hit and we'll be cut in half.    " Comes the damage report.     A brief pause, "The magazines were also hit.    .    .    "

"How many missiles do we have left?"

"80.    "

The digital timer was destroyed in the shockwave, but Rayle was already using his old fashion pocket watch- timing.     35 seconds.     A part of him wished that in 35 seconds, the sensors operator will report another salvo heading for them- to finish them off.     The majority, though, hoped that he will report a salvo heading for the Savior.   

12 seconds left before they can detect the next salvo- and Rayle can already feel the uneasy burden of death on his shoulders.     As if knowing that he will not be so lucky.     For every action there is a consequence- he knew that much.     But it also meant that for every action, there was a reasonable reply- 5 minutes ago, Rayle could have predicted, that in 10 seconds, his ship will most likely be destroyed, because his actions demanded such a consequence.   

5 seconds.   

If, back then, Rayle was not knocked unconscious, and it was him who died repairing the engine drives, Dewey would be in command now, and he would probably not have allowed the Oppressor to be lost.   

3 seconds.   

Dewey would have probably just figured out a way to jump back to the Citadel, instead of being chased like a rat like this.   

"Another missile salvo incoming, sir.    " The sensor operator said, in a defeated voice.   

Rayle nodded slowly, and watched in quiet fascination at the remaining monitors- the position of the missiles updated every 0.    3 seconds, and they slowly approached.     The fire control operator watched him in a questioning matter, but Rayle shook his head.     "Hold fire.     If they fire on the Savior, we need to protect it, no matter what.    "

"Another missile salvo incoming-- it's on us, Sir!"

Rayle blinked, and barked out the command.     "Fire remaining missiles on the first salvo, if it's us they want, we need to try to stay alive as long as possible!"

"Yes, sir!" Cried the FC operator, and the missile launchers come to life again-- probably the last time.   

"Savior, this is Captain Rayle of the Whisper.     It seems this is as far as we go.     May the Emperor protect you.    "

Barely a few seconds after the transmission, explosions light up the monitor screen.     It was not the missiles that exploded-- a series of explosions rocks the Carrion, sending it's jagged spikes flying into space, away from it- gas leaking from it's belly.   

"It's the Carrion! It's hit!"

"Whisper, don't go and join the Oppressor this soon.     They did not die in vain, and neither should you seek to do the same.    " Came the transmission from the Savior.   

"Sir, all hits on the first enemy salvo!" Comes the sensor operator voice, triumphant.   

Then another series of explosions batters the Carrion, splaying it's innards into space- pieces of metal flying everywhere.     A secondary explosion sends an arc of electricity across it's shape.   

"90% hit ratio on first salvo again.     At this rate we may defeat the incoming missiles!"

Rayle's grip on the handrail tightened to the point of agony, but he was largely unaware of the sensation as he watched like a hawk.   

A third series of explosions cuts the rear part of the Carrion off from the main body- the main body twists unnaturally, away from the missile impacts- the metal it was made of deforming like jelly.     Then it explodes, leaving four fragments that once made up the whole body, floating helplessly in space.   

"They had no point defense, and no armor- no wonder they had so many missiles.    " Rayle spoke, but it was to no one in particular.   

He looked at the AM Sensor again, looming over the operator's shoulder- no missiles heading towards them.     But the 40 seconds did not pass yet.   

The Savior fired 20 missiles every 15 seconds; it was quite possible that the Carrion waited to see if the previous two salvos would finish the Whisper off before firing more- seeing a third round of explosions before seeing more missiles on the sensor was a high possibility.     But still.    .   

Rayle waited, holding his breath.     An explosion shook the Raven- it had a much more rounded shape than the Carrion- and the first hits didn't register much of an effect.   

Still no missile salvos.     A smile already dawned on Rayle's face- it was possible they would survive this encounter.   

More explosions rattle across the Raven, peeling open it's rounded shell and displaying the inner skeleton.     A cheer echoes through the bridge.   

"Incoming missiles, Sir.    "

The cheer is silenced as if joy's throat was slit.   

"At us?"

"Affirmative.    "

Rayle gave no outward reaction, just remained quiet.     To the backdrop of another series of explosions, he opened a channel to the Savior.   

"It seems our time has really come.     We are out of missiles, and another salvo is heading for us.     You must warn Admiral Rein; if we lose the Trench, we'll--" He closed his eyes.     "You know what to do, Savior.     Vae Victis.    " He gritted his teeth, and added furiously, "Kill these bastards.    "

"I am sorry we coul--" Before the Savior's reply could finish, the salvo struck the Whisper sending it's own equipment into space; the missiles perforating all the way through from one side to the other.     But miraculously, they were still alive.   

"Damage report!" Rayle shouted out.   

"Comms are down.     High Resolution Sensor is down.     Fire Control is down.    " Rayle smirked at that one.     They didn't have missiles anyway.     "Magazine hit.    .    .    " Hawke actually laughed out loud at that.     "30% engine output.     Heating is down.     No lights in lower decks.    "

"Critical systems only.    " Rayle interjected.   

"That was all of them, Sir.    .    .    "

He blinked.     They have a huge hole in their ship, and that was it? Lady Luck truly is a fickle woman.   

A fourth salvo of explosions on the Raven turns it upside down and spinning, leaking gas and plasmatic fire inside the gas, streaming from the ship- the bubbly like flame was blue and green in appearance.     For a moment it looked like the Raven was gonna make it, but not even five seconds pass, before something inside the middle of the ship explodes, and sends it's whole port side flying into space, separated from it's body.   

They won.   

The massive cheer drowns out the Captain's question- and he allows them the jovial moment before he repeats himself.   

"We need to repair the comms and let the Savior know we are still alive.     We could use some help in repairs.    "

"We can have laser comm operational in 4 hours.     The -bands will take 16 hours at least.    "

"Engines?"

The Ensign shook his head.     "Not enough supplies.     We lost most of ours.    "

"The Savior should have a full sup--" Rayle began but--

"Incoming missiles.    "

The look of disbelief on Rayle's face was but a tiny fraction of the mix he truly felt.   

"It's on the Savior.    "

And he was not the only one- at the news, one of the bridge operators manning the power distribution got sick all over his console and uniform.   

Rayle also felt the sickness- the sinking pit in his stomach, threatening a similar fate to the crewmember that was a victim to it already.     The Savior could detect missiles up to a short range only.   

"We need to warn them.    " Rayle said.   

"We cannot.    "

"Second salvo on the Savior.    "

Rayle shook his head.     "No.    .    .     no.    .    .    .    "

He knew very well what the situation on Savior's bridge was right now.     No-- the entire ship.     The crew is cheering- a narrow victory.     They probably know the Whisper is still operational- after all, they should be able to detect the thermal output of the remaining engines, even at this distance.   

"Third salvo.    .    .    "

The CIWS doesn't even fire.     The first salvo strikes the Savior- Without the Oppressor or the Whisper close enough, their Anti Missile sensors probably cannot see the missiles until it's too late.     With Comms down, the Whisper cannot share it's sensor data with the Savior.    .    .   

The second salvo strikes the Savior, and the CIWS briefly comes to life against some of the missiles- but it doesn't have the necessary tracking information to reliably hit them.     One of the missiles strikes the bridge, deforming it into the metal hulk that makes the Intimidator class, and gives it it's elegant shape.   

The third salvo silences the ship.    .    .     permanently.     They never stood a chance.   

"Survivors?" Rayle asked.   

It was a pointless question.     It was quite clear that there would be no survivors.     And if there was, with their main sensor down, they cannot know.   

"We need to make sure.     Set course for the Savior.    "

"Sir.    .    .    " Hawke began, "we need to warn the Citadel.     If we repair an engine on the way, we can warn the citadel, and still make it back in time to pick up any survivors.    .    .    " He said, but his voice faltered near the conclusion of the statement.   

Rayle remained silent, considering the options.   

"Sir.    .    " Hawke said, once again, "They.    .    .     would want us to return to base first.    "

Motionless, Rayle closed his eyes- he was never good at hiding his fury, and now was no different.   

"Sir.    .    .    "

"Enough!" Rayle shouted.     "I get it! Set course to the Citadel jumpgate!" He screamed as he slammed a fist into his console.     He was already in the hallway, connecting to the bridge, and before the doors closed, he shouted out, "Bridge is yours.    "

As he walked towards his quarters, his thoughts strayed to the sacrifices made today.     The enemy.     The Sojourner.     He felt his sanity fraying at the edges.     His mind in tatters- jagged like the Carrion.     He could feel the tears welling up against the dam that was his pride.     Why didn't he die instead of Dewey? Why didn't he die instead of Morgan- or Savior's Captain? All of this-- all of this was madness.   

And though crawling through space.     His ship was a whisper to the roaring victory of the encounter, no matter how defeated he was.     Just a whisper, in all the madness.     Calling to it.     Daring it to come closer.     Whispering.   
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 05:24:52 AM by Thanatos »
 

Offline Thanatos

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Re: A Whisper of Dark Days to Come [Short Story]
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2015, 05:10:28 AM »
I have a few more places in the campaign for which I could write short stories, especially the follow up.   Please let me know if you'd like to see a follow up to this.   Though, I am considering just restarting the campaign and uploading image files and everything, but keep the theme. 
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 05:20:54 AM by Thanatos »
 

Offline xeryon

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Re: A Whisper of Dark Days to Come [Short Story]
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2015, 09:49:08 AM »
I really enjoyed that.  Much more emotional than the typical status report fiction. 
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: A Whisper of Dark Days to Come [Short Story]
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2015, 01:08:36 PM »
Excellent read.
" 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 SteelChicken

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Re: A Whisper of Dark Days to Come [Short Story]
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2015, 02:49:06 PM »
Good story, good character development.   Nice!
 

Offline Shinanygnz

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Re: A Whisper of Dark Days to Come [Short Story]
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2015, 04:35:44 PM »
Good stuff :)  For sure would like to read more.
 

Offline ExChairman

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Re: A Whisper of Dark Days to Come [Short Story]
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2015, 02:42:02 AM »
Yea more we want! Nicely written!
Veni, Vedi, Volvo
"Granström"

Wargame player and Roleplayer for 33 years...
 

 

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