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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:10 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:00 am
Posts: 17
hello everyone it's imogen. mimi has been working on this to try and get her thoughts refocused and i think it's really good. i've decided to post this for her so that you've all got something different to read while you're locked up like me and ava. the two of us are in isolation but mimi's not so it's a bit difficult right now. mimi after everything that she's been through has been asked to work with a private military contractor to assist the fores during these bad times so she's being the ruddy WARRIOR she is and doing her best. i hope you all like this but if not at least you've all got something new to read. i don't know if this is put up right so i'll take a deep breath and shout 'kurt!!!! heeeeelp!' lol. loads of love and cuddles from imogen, mimi and commander ava X X

Commonwealth Clarity - Part I (1/?)

Aboard the Robin’s Revolution. Tuvix System, CY 9786.

Commander Kylie Vance sprinted onto the small command deck of her ship. Immediately turning to her first officer she asked “Iskander, what’s going on?”

“More damn Nietzschean’s. Three battlecruisers have entered the system, they’re being escorted by a dozen Garuda-class fighters” answered the first officer as he turned to look at her.

“Great, just what we need” Vance muttered.

Iskander nodded before he looked down at his weapons console. “You know, it’s times like this that make me wish we were back aboard the Andromeda” the first officer spoke quietly.

“Amen to that” Vance answered. “I’m just glad that so many of us got away, and that so many of the senior staff agreed to serve with us here.”

“The admiralty had to give you your own ship. You organised all of us after the evacuation and got us to safety. Let’s not forget that you managed to route control of the combat drones to your escape pod so we had constant covering fire” Iskander stated.

“I’d rather not remember those times” the commander said. “I just wish that the Andromeda wasn’t still trapped in that black hole’s pull. I could sure use Captain Hunt’s advice right about now.” Her musing was interrupted by the sudden arrival of the ships chief engineer.

Yukio Cooper ran up to her and said “Commander, our home built slipstream drive is still running perfectly. The four custom fitted slipstream runners are working fine but the last two runners have been constructed, I just need the ship stationary long enough for us to go EVA and fit them.”

Vance smiled at the young female engineer. Their small Heavy Patrol Craft had never been designed to use a slipstream drive but her crews dedication and resourcefulness always stunned her. She could see why the still frozen Dylan Hunt had handpicked these people as his crew five long years ago.

Throughout the small ship every single member of the thirty crew were at their stations ready to fight the Nietzschean’s. Kylie waited a few heartbeats before she ordered “Load DM-5’s into both missile tubes. Arm the anti-proton turret, both mini PDL turrets and deploy battle blades. All hands, battle stations!”

The lights throughout the ship darkened as the red battle alert lights came online.

Vance looked at her small command console for a long moment before she ordered “Lieutenant Thai, bring us into the asteroid belt between the fourth and fifth planet.”

The woman at the helm didn’t answer, instead she pivoted with her newly installed slipstream control chair as she banked the ship. The small craft surged forwards trying to quickly hide from the much superior enemy forces. Even one of the Nietzschean’s fighters would be a handful for them, against the enemy fleet they had no chance of winning.

Seconds after they entered the asteroid field the woman at the helm announced “Commander, the asteroids aren’t in the stable orbits they used to be in. The battle here nine months ago really shifted them. I’m going to need more power to the thrusters.”

“Consider it done” the engineer interrupted as she entered commands to her station.

“We’ve been detected!” Iskander Hassan snapped. “Prepare for probable incoming!”

“Thai, get us deeper in. Iskander, rig the ship for stealth running. Let’s try to disappear” Vance ordered.

“We could go to slipstream” Hassan offered. “They don’t know we’ve got a slipdrive, it could catch them off guard.”

“They’d catch us in slipstream” Vance answered with a shake of her head. “We need to hide.”

“Six months since the Commonwealth and High Guard fell” Hassan spoke to Vance. “I miss the backup.”

“Let’s just consider ourselves lucky to be alive” Vance replied. “Last word I got was that there are less than a dozen ships still alive hiding somewhere in the three galaxies.”

There was silence in command for a few long minutes until Iskander stepped over to Vance and said “I’ve had an idea.”

“Let’s hear it” Vance answered as she turned to him.

Keeping his voice low, Iskander said “I reviewed the logs of the ships that fought here, specifically of the two that managed to get out. It’s possible that as many as three of the dead ships are in this asteroid field, they drifted in here after their crews abandoned ship. If we can find one there, it may have ordnance we can use.”

“We can’t fit any more missiles aboard us” Vance answered.

Iskander shook his head and replied “Not what I was thinking. If we could find one of the wrecks then dock with it we could try to repair a shuttle. Assuming all that goes to plan we could use that shuttle to tow mines from the wreck into the field. If the Nietzschean’s come in, the mines blowing would give us some warning so we can shift position.”

“That’s a lot of maybe’s” Vance said.

Iskander shrugged his shoulders before he looked her in the eye and retorted “It’s a matter of lack of choices. We’re out of them.”

“Agreed” Vance answered. She sighed before she tapped commands into her console, almost instantly a nine inch tall hologram appeared and asked “Yes, commander?”

The small representation of the ships AI looked at Vance as she said “Robin, I need you to review Iskander’s data. Using passive sensors only I want you to factor in the movements of the asteroids and extrapolate the most likely positions of any possible wrecks.”
The AI was silent for a moment before she said “I’ve got the positive coordinates of a ship. The high power telescope has got a positive visual lock on the Righteous Fist of Heaven-class Commonwealth Clarity.”

“She was the first of her class, I thought she was retired long ago” Vance answered.

“She was” the AI replied. “Clarity was brought out of mothballs in the last few months of the war. Minimal retrofitting was done to the ship whilst she was underway, her firepower was needed.”

“Thai, get us over to the Clarity as quickly but quietly as you can. I was visual checks of her damage so we know what areas look breached before we get to her. Iskander, I want you to get a small team together and get ready to board her” Vance ordered.

“Would you like me to launch one of our sensor drones?” the AI asked as she turned back to Vance. “We do have two sensor drones aboard.”

“Launch one and get it close to the Clarity” Vance agreed. A moment later she added “Also see if you can use the sensor drone as a relay to asses if any systems are operational. If you can get computer access that would be perfect.” The AI nodded to her and seconds later Vance heard the tell-tale whoosh of a drone launching.

“Commander, I’ve got something” Robin spoke as her hologram reappeared. “The Clarity is in a semi-stable position and we are rapidly closing, three minutes until we intercept. Emergency systems are still operational aboard the ship. The secondary computer core is accessible and I can tell you that life support can be brought operational along with the manoeuvring thrusters.”

“Activate life support aboard and fire the thrusters to arrest her slow spin” Kylie ordered as she looked at her console. “Get that ship stable and stationary please.”

“Done” Robin answered seconds later.

“Commander, we’re ready down here to board the Clarity” Iskander’s voice came over the comm system.

“Excellent, I want a report as soon as you can” answered Vance.

“I’ve already ordered three engineers with two lancers as escort to get to the hanger bay and find me a shuttle that we can use. The other lancers are going to head up to the command deck with me, that’ll be the best place to see what her remaining armaments are” Iskander stated.

“Robin has accessed the secondary computer core and activated life support as well as fired the thrusters to stabilise the ship. We’ll be docking soon. Please be careful” Vance said.

“I always am” the man answered with a laugh. “Talk soon, Iskander out.”

“There was definitely a ship out there” Reynama Sentenza spoke into her viewscreen.

Major Adrean Hreda scowled at her before he answered “The advanced sensor array we stole from the former High Guard depots detected nothing, but you’re telling me your geriatric fighter did? You expect me to believe that?”

“Maybe the technology was designed to only work properly with High Guard vessels” Reynama offered “or maybe your idiot engineers hit it a little too hard with hammers whilst trying to fit it to your systems.”

Hreda’s scowl deepened before he gave an evil little smile to the monitor. “Okay, I’ll tell you what. You’re going into that asteroid field alone. If you find anything then you’re to kill it. Assuming you do manage to kill something and bring back proof of your kill … I’ll reinstate the standing you used to have in your own pride. You’ll be free to choose a husband and your ship will truly be yours, not my property.”

“It is my ship” Reynama snapped.

Hreda spoke over her quickly and retorted with equal ferocity “No! That ship is my property, just like you are along with everyone and everything from your miserable, annihilated pride!”

Reynama hissed through her teeth at him before she cut the connection. “There is something in there, they’re just too incompetent to see it” she snarled to herself as she pounded commands into the small console to her right. From her position strapped in the pilot’s seat she twisted around to look at the two empty seats behind her. The stations usually manned by two other crew members were bare, their occupants long since killed. “There is something there and when I kill it, I’m going to regain my status … then I’m going to slit Hreda’s throat.”

Two lancers rushed onto the command deck, their force lances extended to their full length ready to fire. “Clear!” announced the one man, so immediately Iskander walked in and looked around the room.

As Iskander holstered his forcelance he saw that the room was damaged, consoles were blown out and pipes hung from the ceiling. The remains of exploded conduits were across the deck plates.

Straight away Iskander walked towards the captain’s console and saw it was one of the stations that was mercifully intact. He pulled the wiring cover from the underneath of the station and started working on some bypasses as the two lancers took up covering positions to protect him from any unexpected dangers. After three minutes he replaced the cover and stood up to see that there was some power to the station. He smiled broadly before he entered commands into the board.

Finally Iskander saw the undamaged stations around the room come to life. “I’ve restored secondary power” he said to the two lancers. “Evans, take the weapons station and get me a report on what mines we’ve got. Howard, get on the operations station. I need to know what’s going on with the repairs to a shuttle and if the hatches are operational to release the mines.” The two lancers nodded their understanding as they rushed to their duties.

“My god, look at these puppies” Andy Thun exclaimed as he looked at the lined up shuttles. He was the senior engineer of the three that had boarded the ship and as he looked at the six shuttles he let out a low whistle. “These babies are antiques. They’ve got to be fifty years old.”

“Why didn’t the crew take them?” asked one of the lancers as he pointed his weapon around the hanger.

“Records show that less than a hundred of the crew made it off the ship alive, there would have been plenty of ships left behind. Most of the survivors took slipfighters so they could defend themselves as they ran” Andy answered. He waved his small group towards the nearest shuttle and they hurried to it. Two minutes was all it took to check that the shuttles hull was sound before they poured into it and powered up her systems.

“Thrusters and slipstream drive are all operational. Weapons, navigation, life support … this thing’s ready to fly” Andy muttered.

“I’ll go check another shuttle” offered one of the other engineers.

“I’ll check a third” answered the final engineer as the pair rushed from the craft.

“Go with them” the engineer ordered to the two lancers. “I’ll let the first officer know we’re good to fly.”

“That’s excellent news” Iskander spoke into his comm unit. “All three are ready to go?”

“All six are ready to fly. My personnel had a quick look around them and they’re already powered up and ready to rock” Andy answered.

“We’re looking good up here for releasing the mines. Can we remote pilot the shuttles to deploy them?” Iskander asked.

“Affirmative, sir…” started the engineer, but he was cut off by Vance’s voice frantically coming through his comm unit.

Aboard the Robin’s Revolution

“Commander, a Nietzschean fighter is heading towards us” Robin announced as her hologram appeared.

“Get us out of here” Vance ordered as she jumped up to her station. “Where exactly is that ship? I want a weapons lock.”

“I can’t” the man that had taken the weapons station answered. “That ship is moving too fast. I can kill it in here, but it’ll take more than the amount of missiles we’ve got…” The sentence was never finished.

The crew were thrown to the deck as a massive impact slammed through the small ship. Seconds later Vance was back on her feet and shouted “Report!”

“Damn Nietzschean’s destroyed the asteroid we were using as cover!” Thai replied from the helm. “Fragments have impacted along our starboard side, I’m struggling to control her here!”

“Starboard engine offline!” someone else in the room shouted.

Vance looked at her display for a moment before she ordered “Lay down covering-fire with the mini PDL, all axis. Thai, get us back to the Clarity!” she punched commands into her board and practically shouted into the comm line.

“Say again Revolution, you’re breaking up” Iskander said into the comm unit.

“Iskander, we’re heading towards you. We’ve got severe damage and a Nietzschean fighter on our tail. Please tell me you can launch mines” Vance answered.

The two lancers continued to studiously work their boards as Iskander answered “Revolution, hanger bay two is ready for your arrival. Don’t worry about a pretty landing, just get in. You can fit in there, we’ll worry about everything else. Clarity, out. Evans, I need good news!”

“Auxiliary power has been routed to the weapons. We’ve got some PDL turrets and half our missile tubes operational” the soldier answered.

“Target that fighter and fire. Don’t let that fucker escape!”

It was at that moment all other systems came back online and Howard said “I’ve got most systems back up. Slipstream is still down but we’re good to fight.”

“How?” Iskander asked, amazed.

“I was a combat engineer before I became a lancer” the young soldier replied.

Hassan smiled at him and vaulted himself into the pilots seat. As he grabbed the control columns he ordered “Maximum fire, we’re coming around to scoop up the Revolution. Howard, as soon as they’re aboard I want you to seal up their hanger and pressurise.”

The two lancers worked in silence as Iskander powered up his station. Seconds later a hum resonated through the ship as the gravity field generator came online. As the GFG reduced the effective mass of the ship to one kilogram Hassan activated the propulsion systems. Hydrogen was super accelerated into the MagnetoplasmaDynamic Drive and thrust was propelled from the exhausts. The Commonwealth Clarity lived once more and she pushed forwards through space, her number two hanger bay doors wide open.
Robin’s Revolution struggled through space, her engines damaged with breached hull plates leaking precious oxygen to space. “Come on, come on…” Hassan muttered as they bore down on the much smaller ship.
Finally he heard a cry of “They’re aboard, hanger sealed and pressurised!”

“I’m taking us deeper into the asteroid field” Iskander stated. “Howard, signal Robin and have her get everyone repairing our ship. Ask Commander Vance to come on up here, we’re going to have to make do until our home is repaired.”

“I’ve got a positive lock on that fighter, it’s coming right at us” Evans called out.

“Fire!” Iskander ordered as he put the Clarity through a twisting turn between asteroids.

Every scrap of his concentration was on piloting the ship so a few minutes later when he finally heard the young lancer announce “Missiles have impact on target. It’s destroyed!” he could only smile. When his manoeuvre was complete he ordered “Deploy mines as we hide, it’ll give us some more protection.”

“I recommend the denser concentration of asteroids deep in the belt for protection” offered Vance as she walked onto the command deck a few minutes later.

Hassan turned to her as she said “Nice ship, thanks for saving our asses”

“No thanks necessary, ma’am” her faithful first officer answered.

Vance glanced around the damaged command deck and asked “How operational is the ship?”

“All secondary systems are working. The primaries are down as is the slipstream drive. We’ve got all PDL turrets up and half the missile tubes” Iskander replied.

“So this ship is salvageable?” Vance asked.

Iskander glanced at her for a brief second before turning his attention back to the viewscreen before he answered “I suppose so. I’ve already sent word to have everyone start repairs of the Robin so we can get out of here.”

“I’ve already countermanded that, everyone’s now working on getting this ship operational.”

Hassan let out a sigh so Vance placed her hands on her hips and looked at him before she said “Iskander, I know that you love our home, I do too but you have to look at this logically as well as tactically. Since the Commonwealth fell six months ago we’ve been running from every enemy we see. What we need is to strike back at the enemy and this ship will let us do just that.”

Iskander nodded his agreement as Lieutenant Thai walked into the room. Immediately he surrendered his pilot’s seat to the much more experienced woman and moved to stand at Vance’s side.

“We’ll repair this ship and take the fight to the enemy. Any idea where we should go to make repairs? It’s a little crowded in here with that Nietzschean fighter we destroyed. You can guarantee that it was part of a battle fleet, those fighters aren’t slipstream capable” Iskander said.

“We’ll hide here until the slipstream drive is working. As soon as it is I think we should head for High Guard Station GS-93596” Vance answered.

“Reports did suggest that it was still operational but I thought that was out of range?” Iskander asked.

“For the Robin, yes. This ship was designed to be out at space for years at a time, the Clarity can get there. Assuming she’s in one piece and manned GS-93596 should be able to help us with repairs to the ship, maybe even some weapons and crew” Vance explained.

“What I wouldn’t give for a full loadout of Nova bombs. Thai could drop us out of slipstream right on top of Enga’s Redoubt and turn the Drago-Kazov’s home planet into chunks of rock” Iskander spoke bitterly.

“There are millions of slaves down on that planet” Vance answered. “No matter what the Nietzschean’s have done to us we will not lower ourselves to their level of tactics. If we do then we lose the ideals we hold as High Guard officers. No, we’ll head to GS-93596.”

“Understood” Iskander answered as the pair noticed Yukio Cooper walking up to them.

“Lieutenant” Vance greeted her “what do you think of the ship?”

“It’s good to be aboard her again” the engineer answered.

Iskander and Kylie exchanged confused glances. Yukio smiled at their confusion and added “Before I was training at the academy I did some volunteer work aboard this ship for extra credit. The idea at the time was to use her as a training ship but that never happened. Yeah, I spent a lot of time aboard this old beast.”

“Then you’re the best person to get her up and running again” Vance stared. “I need slipstream working as a matter of priority. The rest of the weapons are your next priority.”

“Understood” the engineer answered with a nod as she raced from the room.

Aboard the Nietzschean Battlecruiser Dominant Pride. Twenty hours later.

Major Adrean Hreda leaned forwards in his small throne to scowl at the computer screen dedicated to his personal use. “What’s the latest report from Reynama Sentenza?” he asked.

The man at the communications station answered immediately “No reports. She should have contacted us ten hours ago.”

“You don’t bother to tell me when one of our patrols is ten hours overdue?!” Hreda exploded.

The man shrugged nonchalantly “She’s an outcast from a dead pride, what’s she to me?”

“She’s a valuable asset…” Hreda started, but was interrupted by a voice shouting out “Major, there is a sensor contact! Escape pod, the identification beacon identifies it as being from the Aquila.”

“Sentenza’s ship” Hreda snarled to the comm officer. Turning to the operations officer he ordered “Bring that pod in now. If she’s conscious then have her brought up to my quarters” before he stood and stalked out of the room.

“I see the “best pilot in three galaxies” has found herself in an escape pod…” started Hreda, but Sentenza slammed a data module down on his desk.

“I pulled it from my ship as I ran for the escape pod. It is a High Guard ship in there” she snapped back.

Hreda motioned for her to sit and poured her a drink. “Continue” ordered the Major.

Sentenza looked him in the eye and said “I found a High Guard Heavy Patrol Craft and ID’d her as the Robin’s Revolution.”

“The ship given to some of Dylan Hunt’s old crew” Hreda said.

Sentenza nodded to him as she accepted the offered drink and took a sip. “Sensors showed me that they’ve made some modifications to their ship, they’ve built and fitted a small slipstream drive and core along with some custom made runners.”

“Ingenious” admired Hreda. “I’ll regret having to kill them.”

“That’s going to be more difficult than you think” she answered. She ignored his stare and continued “They’ve been able to salvage an old High Guard cruiser. I saw them land the Heavy Patrol Craft I damaged inside it before their missiles destroyed my ship.”

“That ship could decimate my fleet if they have time to repair it” Hreda muttered with a shake of his head. He was silent for a few minutes as he looked through all the data on the module she had put on the deck. Finally he turned to her and said “Take one of the brand new fighters from hanger two, you can pick two of your old pride members to crew it with you. You are going to lead a fighter assault into the asteroid field and flush that ship out. Make them exit the field on the far side from here. Once they come out my battlecruisers will be waiting to destroy them.”

Sentenza nodded her understanding and stood up. “Have all fighters regroup and wait for me off this ship’s bow, I’ll get them into position as soon as I’ve launched, I saw a few good places to sneak into that asteroid field without being detected” she said just before she walked from the room.

“This is her chance to prove herself” Hreda to himself muttered. “She’s got the best genes I’ve ever found in a woman, shame she’s from a disgraced pride.”

Minutes later Hreda’s senior engineer walked into his room and said without preamble “I’ve gone over the sensor records taken during the battle here months ago. The ship is the Commonwealth Clarity, an old ship. Prototype for the Righteous Fist of Heaven-class, she has underslung bussard collectors that were omitted from other ships in her class. She’s got less weaponry and they weren’t really upgraded to modern standards before the battle. I’ve studied these logs and it’ll take them about three days to get the ship operational.”

“They’ve had less than a day so we’ve still got the upper hand. Yes, we’ll kill a Commonwealth ship and when I do, my fleet will be made much bigger” Hreda answered.

“Far more prestige” the engineer agreed.

Hreda gave him a smile before he answered “Along with a ship for you to command if this goes well.” The engineer nodded before he rushed from the room to check that all his weapons were working properly.

Aboard the Commonwealth Clarity.

“Want the good news or the good news?” Iskander asked as he stepped over to Vance.

“I thought it’s supposed to be bad news and good news” the officer answered with a smile.

“I live to serve you, my queen” Iskander quipped with mock pompery. He held out a flexi for her and said “The summary is that the slipstream drive is repaired somewhat. We can slip four or five times before we have to shut it down for heavy repairs but that’ll only take a few days. All weapons are operational with missiles preloaded into all tubes. We’ve got a half complement of drones but all sensor and combat drones are fully operational. As you can see the command deck is repaired and we’re ready for battle if we need to be. The rest of the ship’s still in a bit of a state but we can clean up later.”

“What about the maintenance androids?” Vance asked as she read the report on the flexi.

“They’re all now operational and assisting with repairs. I’ve got to tell you, we stand a much better chance for survival on this ship … but I still think we should repair the Robin” Iskander said.

“Totally agreed” Vance answered as she put the flexi down. “In fact, I hereby announce you as commanding officer of the Robin’s Revolution. Once we’re safe you can upgrade her as much as you want.”

Iskander saluted her because he simply didn’t know what to say. Vance returned the salute before he went back to his console.
“Helm” Kylie ordered “plot us a course out of the asteroid field…” but she didn’t finish her sentence. A massive explosion lit up the viewscreen, immediately Iskander shouted “Garuda-class fighters approaching. Two of them hit the mines but ten are still approaching, they’ve got us flanked!”

“Battle stations!” Vance snapped. “Activate PDL’s and all missile batteries. Target and destroy those fighters at will. Thai, get us to clear space. The opposite side to where we entered the field should be safe!”

The young pilot thrust the ship forward in her bid to escape. Missiles spat from their tubes and slammed into the approaching fighters, her PDL’s destroying five fighters in quick succession.

Minutes stretched by as the ship ran as fast as she could through the asteroid field. Vance clung to her console as another series of missile impacts rattled the ship. “Three fighters remaining. They’re only coming in close enough to fire before backing off, we can’t hit them!” Iskander stated from her left.

Vance turned to face him and shouted back “Just keep them at bay. Slipstream status?”

“Online and ready to slip as soon as we get to a point” Hassan said.

“We’re almost out” Thai added from the helm.

Every set of eyes on the command deck turned to look at the three massive viewscreen that dominated the front of the room. The wall of rocks parted only to reveal three Nietzschean battlecruisers, missiles already launching from their tubes. “Holy shit!” Thai shouted.
Vance shouted over her pilot loudly “Drop us down under them! Corkscrew manoeuvres and get us past them to the slip point. Iskander, target all weapons and fire at will. Kill as many as you can.”

Hassan didn’t bother to answer, instead he continued to punch commands into his console. Weapons fire spewed forth from the Clarity towards the Nietzschean ships, seconds later they found their marks. Iskander focused his fire on the starboard ship, trying to destroy it. The missile tubes were empty in twenty seconds but the auto-loaders were already rearming them.

“The targeted ship has lost its navigational sensors!” out a young ensign at the science console called out, his sensors trained on the hostile ships.

“We’ve got an opening” Vance answered. Her eyes never left her board as she ordered “Thai, bring us about and make a run straight at that ship. Do not veer off until the last possible second. Iskander, I want you to hammer that ship until she’s a cloud of vapour. When we get close I want you to even fire the PDL’s at it.”

Hassan nodded his understanding as Thai pushed on her twin control columns. The ship stood on her port wingpod as she was thrown into a tight turn. A second later she had pulled herself around and her nose snapped up in a sharp climb towards the enemy ship.

“Missiles away” Iskander announced as more fire was directed towards the Nietzschean battlecruiser.

The Nietzschean ship tried desperately to use its thrusters to turn to safety, but it was far too late for the doomed ship. Her entire underside was annihilated under the constant barrage. Her guts were torn open until a pair of missiles slammed into her vital anti-proton tanks. The fuel storage was vaporised in a colossal explosion that consumed the whole ship. After a few seconds there was nothing but small chunks of debris floating in space where the ship had been.

“I need to reload!” Iskander loudly announced.

“Bring us hard about” Vance ordered, “give us time to reload. Any aft tubes that are still armed target the port side ship and fire.”
Once again the Clarity pirouetted through space as Thai skilfully adjusted her controls, the battle scarred ship dodging the Nietzschean weapons fire. “Twenty missile impacts on second target” Iskander stated. His voice rose in excitement as he added “Their port PDL’s are down, their flank is exposed!”

“Get us to her now” Vance ordered. “The reloading will have to go quicker. Target any tubes that are loaded and fire at will. Thai, once we’re at point-blank range, spin us over her and present our stern to her bow. I want mines thrown at that ship as we manoeuvre away from it.” Her tactics were risky but she knew that they were the kind of hard decisions that her mentor Dylan Hunt would have made.

“The remaining Nietzschean fighters are approaching from astern” called out a voice behind Vance.

“PDL’s” was the captain’s only response as she stared at the viewscreens. The battlecruiser grew larger and larger on the screen as they approached it.

Vance opened her mouth to ask Iskander why he wasn’t firing but before she could utter a single word Iskander announced “Tubes one through fifteen firing at target. PDL’s and defensive missiles are augmenting barrage.”

Vance nodded her approval, Iskander had waited that little bit longer to fire so he could throw more weapons at their enemy.
The old Commonwealth ship swooped over the top of the Nietzschean warship, her PDL’s still battering her. Hatches at the aft of the ship opened and mines scattered out. Many hit the battlecruiser and exploded instantly, the others were detonated as the now crippled Nietzschean vessel rammed into them, her inertia too much to slow. Vance smiled broadly as she watched the second warship explode on the viewscreen but what really made her cheer was a single mine drifted away and exploded against the hull of Major Hreda’s flagship.

“Only one Nietzschean fighter is left” out a young man at the secondary weapons console announced, he had been aiming the PDL’s manually. “It’s turning tail and running!”

“It’s linking up with the last battlecruiser” Iskander added as he looked up from his board.

Vance nodded to them before turning back to look at the viewscreens. She saw the sole remaining fighter race into a hanger only seconds before the larger ship entered slipstream. She let out a sigh as Iskander activated the internal comm system and said “All hands, this is the first officer. The Nietzschean attack force has been neutralised, stand down from battle stations.” The small group of people scattered throughout the ship cheered immediately. For the first time since the fall off the Commonwealth they had fought a significant battle and emerged the winners.

Vance allowed the celebrating to go on for a few more seconds before she ordered “Lieutenant Thai, plot a course for GS-93596 and prepare to take us to slipstream.”

It only took a few seconds for the young woman to answer “We’re ready”

“Take us to slipstream. Let’s go get some” Vance ordered.

“You need a better catchphrase” Iskander muttered with a smile as the ship entered the slip portal.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:35 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:00 am
Posts: 17
hello everyone it's imogen. part two for everyone. byeeeeeeee!

Commonwealth Clarity - Part II (2/?)
Aboard the Commonwealth Clarity. Tuvix System, CY 9786.

The old Commonwealth ship swooped over the top of the Nietzschean warship, her PDL’s still battering her. Hatches at the aft of the ship opened and mines scattered out. Many hit the battlecruiser and exploded instantly, the others were detonated as the now crippled Nietzschean vessel rammed into them, her inertia too much to slow. Vance smiled broadly as she watched the second warship explode on the viewscreen but what really made her cheer was a single mine drifted away and exploded against the hull of Major Hreda’s flagship.

“Only one Nietzschean fighter is left” out a young man at the secondary weapons console announced, he had been aiming the PDL’s manually. “It’s turning tail and running!”

“It’s linking up with the last battlecruiser” Iskander added as he looked up from his board.

Vance nodded to them before turning back to look at the viewscreens. She saw the sole remaining fighter race into a hanger only seconds before the larger ship entered slipstream. She let out a sigh as Iskander activated the internal comm system and said “All hands, this is the first officer. The Nietzschean attack force has been neutralised, stand down from battle stations.” The small group of people scattered throughout the ship cheered immediately. For the first time since the fall off the Commonwealth they had fought a significant battle and emerged the winners.

Vance allowed the celebrating to go on for a few more seconds before she ordered “Lieutenant Thai, plot a course for GS-93596 and prepare to take us to slipstream.”

It only took a few seconds for the young woman to answer “We’re ready”

“Take us to slipstream. Let’s go get some” Vance ordered.

“You need a better catchphrase” Iskander muttered with a smile as the ship entered the slip portal.

Aboard the Commonwealth Clarity. Approaching Guard Station-93596.

“Commander, we’re approaching GS-93596” Elizabeth Thai announced from the helm. “Ident beacon from the station is still broadcasting strong and we’re locked onto the docking beacon. Apart from the fact that there are no comm signals coming from the station, everything looks good.”

“Something’s not right” Iskander said as he stepped over to Vance. “They should have answered our hails.”

“Yes, they should” Vance answered. She looked down at her board for a moment and said “Their PDL’s and missile tubes are all online. I agree, something’s not right here. How do you feel about taking the Robin over there and getting me a report?”

“It’s only been a day since we fought the Nietzschean’s, she’s not repaired yet. I suggest one of the shuttles to go over there.” Vance nodded her approval so on his way out of command Iskander ordered “Cooper, come with me. Evans and Howard, you’re with me as well.”

As the first officer rushed from the room the three other officers were jogging to catch him. Vance turned her attention back to the viewscreen and crossed her arms. Something was definitely not right. “Clara, I want you to scan that station and find out if there’s anything wrong with their comm array.”

“Can I help you, commander?” Robin asked as her image appeared on the main screen.

Vance blinked at her a few times and asked “Robin, what are you doing on these systems?”

“You have been teaching me to do things you may need without orders, as such I have made a copy of myself and uploaded it to the main core. There was an infrastructure there for an AI but one wasn’t installed. I am now integrated into the Commonwealth Clarity’s systems.”

Vance smiled at the image of the AI for a long moment before she said “So you’re completely separate from the AI running the Robin?”

“Yes” answered the woman onscreen.

“In that case I would like you to do something for me if you’re willing” Vance said.

“You’re my commanding officer, of course I will comply with your instructions” the AI retorted.

“I would like you to change your appearance slightly so there is no confusion about which AI you are. Could you please change your hair to a nice deep red and alter the name of this version of yourself to Commonwealth Clarity. We’ll probably call you Clarity for short.”

“Of course” the AI said. Instantly her hair colour changed to a deep red in a shorted style “modifications complete. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Yes, I would like you to see if there is an AI over there that you can find a way to communicate. If there isn’t an AI then try to find me a way of contacting anyone that’s over there.”

The woman’s image nodded as she started her work but before Vance’s mind could move onto other tasks Ensign Richards called out from the science console “Commander, sensors show exactly eleven thousand, forty three life signs aboard.”

“So there are plenty of people breathing over there, the real question is what species are they?” Vance muttered.

“Mostly human” Richards answered “with a few hundred Perseids, Inari and Nietzschean’s.”

“Nietzschean’s?” Vance exploded. Everyone on the command deck looked at her so she took a moment to calm herself before she asked “Why the hell is the enemy on that station?”

“I know that not all Nietzschean’s are with the rest of their race when it comes to overthrowing the Commonwealth. There are those that believe that the only way to thrive is to be loyal to their Commonwealth and High Guard oath’s” Thai offered from her place at the helm.

“Name one” snapped Vance, her temper shortening “just one.”

“Ismael Khalid. He served with Captain Hunt for ages, he was promoted to Captain not long before the fall of the Commonwealth. Rumour has it he loaded up most of the other survivors from the Andromeda along with Sara Riley and made a break from known space looking for a new home” Thai retorted. “I know Ismael, I served with him for two years as pilot of the Starry Wisdom and he’s a damn fine man. I know that Nietzschean’s across the Commonwealth have turned on us but not all of them are ass-holes.”

Vance nodded for a few seconds before she said “Keep the shuttle on the main screen and let me know if there’s any trouble. Clarity, I want you to interface yourself with the shuttle and keep an eye on things for us.”

“I already have done, commander” the AI answered.

Aboard Guard Station-93596. Five minutes later.

“Right, we’re landed” Iskander stated as he turned his pilot’s seat around to face the small group that had accompanied him. “We don’t know what to expect over here so forcelances out. Stick close together and let’s get some answers…”

“Movement” Howard said as he pointed out of the cockpit. Iskander’s eyes immediately turned in that direction and saw twenty men wearing High Guard lancer armour rush into the hanger. Their force lances were extended and were pointing at the shuttle.

“Showtime” Iskander muttered as he rose from his seat and made his way to the airlock. Minutes later he and his group walked up to the lancers who were still in a defensive stance. He looked at the crowd before noticing a woman in High Guard uniform. The Fleet-Admiral insignia on her collar immediately caught his eye so he snapped to attention, saluted and said “Admiral, I am Lieutenant-Commander Iskander Hassan of the Commonwealth starship Robin’s Revolution.”

The admiral nodded for her guards to relax so as soon as they did she returned the salute and answered “I know who you are Mister Hassan, we’ve been keeping tabs on all Commonwealth forces that have survived. The Starry Wisdom passed through here months ago on their way out of charted space.”

“Ma’am, we have salvaged an old starship from a battle zone, the Commonwealth Clarity. We were successful in engaging and destroying a small Nietzschean attack force but one ship managed to get away.”

“I’ll brief you on that later” the Admiral answered. She shook Iskander’s hand and said “I’m Fleet Admiral Constanza Stark, welcome to the last Commonwealth outpost.”

“Admiral Stark!” Hassan exclaimed. Immediately he composed himself before he added “I’m sorry ma’am, I’ve never actually met you so I didn’t recognise you. I apologise.”

“No apologies are necessary Mister Hassan. So, you managed to recover the Clarity. She’s a tough old ship. First of her class, I had her pulled from mothballs towards the end of the war. Wasn’t she lost in the Tuvix system?” Stark asked.

“Yes, ma’am” Hassan answered. Stark started to walk away so he fell into step alongside her with everyone else following. “Commander Vance was instructed by yourself to take command of the Robin’s Revolution. She’s a Heavy Support Craft.”

“Then how did you get to the Clarity?” Stark asked, suspicion clear in her voice.

“All of the small crew is made up of survivors from the Andromeda, and they’re quite ingenious. We custom made a small slipstream drive and fitted it to the ship along with custom designed slipstream runners” Iskander explained.

“Your crew is good” Stark answered with a smile and an approving nod. “We never did get time to replace those antique shuttles on the Clarity.”

“They’re fantastic shuttles” Iskander politely countered. “Weapons upgrades along with a few other things and they’d be front-line worthy again.”

“We’ll see what we can do. I’m sorry we couldn’t answer your messages when you approached, Nietzschean’s attacked a few weeks ago and destroyed the comms arrays. They suckered us in by flying up in a captured High Guard ship” Stark explained.

“Bastards” Hassan snorted.

Stark nodded to him and added simply “we’re heading to command so I can grab a few things, then I want you to take me aboard the Clarity … I want to talk to Commander Vance.”

“Of course, ma’am” Iskander answered. He waited a few seconds before he asked “would you like a report on the Clarity?”

“You read my mind” the admiral answered.

“We have some hull damage that we could do with docking to repair. Main systems are still down but the secondary’s are working. We’re critically low on ordnance and drones. No Nova bombs were on the ship when we boarded her … that and there are only a total of thirty of us to man the ship” Iskander explained.

“You’ve salvaged a High Guard warship, gotten her operational and fought off the Nietzschean’s with only thirty people?” Stark asked. Iskander nodded to her as she added “I’d forgotten the Heavy Patrol Craft only had a crew of thirty.”

They walked into the massive command deck and made their way directly down to the large dais that was the command console. Stark took a few things from a locker near there before she downloaded data from her console to her personal computer pad. Finally she just turned and walked away so once again Iskander fell into step with her.

“We have thirty Heavy Patrol Craft aboard the station” Stark finally said. “They’re good little fighters but they could do with a boost. I’d like all the schematics and blueprints you’ve got on the upgrades done to the Robin’s Revolution, I want my ships brought up to the same spec.”

“I’ll make sure they’re sent over. We can use the shuttle as a relay link to send the data stream directly to a computer over here…” Iskander started.

“We’re already setting up a comm relay using the HPC’s as a go between. What I want right now is to get aboard the Clarity” Stark stated.

“Understood” Iskander answered as they reached the hanger where their shuttle was waiting “let’s get you aboard.”

“Commander, the shuttle has just returned from the station. It is in hanger two. Sensors show that there are four additional life signs returned with the team” Clarity’s AI said as she appeared on the screen.

“Have them come up to the command deck” Vance answered. She was squatted on the deck at her station, the access panel pulled away and the circuitry inside exposed. “Clarity, I think I’ve nearly got the pathways repaired for my station to reconnect to primary systems” Vance said as she worked.

She was so engrossed in her work that when someone shouted out “Admiral on deck!” she nearly had a heart attack. Vance smashed her head off her station as she rushed to stand up and nearly ended up on her ass. Finally she was on her feet and face-to-face with Admiral Stark. She saluted the Admiral as Stark suppressed a grin. “Admiral, it’s an honour to see you again” Vance said as she looked Stark in the eyes.

“Commander Vance” Constanza answered. “I see that when I pulled you from the ranks of Lancers and changed your rank from Major to a High Guard Commander it wasn’t a mistake.”

“No, ma’am” Vance answered. “I loved my job commanding the Lancers aboard Andromeda, but there’s nothing quite like commanding your own ship.”

“Couldn’t agree more” Stark replied. She looked around the command deck before she said “Mister Hassan has told me that you’ve gotten this ship up and running. An impressive feat with only thirty people.”

“We work hard, Admiral” Vance answered.

The admiral smiled at her before she answered “You certainly do, and I think we should recognise that fact.” She pulled a new set of insignia from her pocked before she said formally “Commander Vance, you are hereby promoted to the rank of Captain and assigned command of the Commonwealth Clarity. A dry-dock berth will be made available for you immediately, anything you need to repair this ship is yours. In addition, we have High Guard survivors from scores of destroyed ships so you’ll also get a full crew.”

“Permission to interrupt?” Yukio Cooper asked as she stepped over and saluted.

Vance nodded to her so the engineer said “With a dry-dock and help we can get this ship fully operational in six days. I’ve taken a look over the sensor data we got in the asteroid field and compared it to long range reports of missing ships. In short, I think I’ve located a Glorious Heritage-class ship we could salvage.”

“What ship?” Stark and Vance asked together.

Cooper looked at the two women before she answered “The Libris Concordant.”

“The Concordant was still under construction at the end of the war, she disappeared out of her dry-dock during a battle, we thought she’d been captured by the Nietzschean’s” Stark said.

“Maybe not” Cooper offered. She looked back down at her flexi before she added “I can have the Robin repaired and fully space worthy in four hours if I can pull in as many people as I need to do the job.”

“Do it” Vance ordered as Stark was still opening her mouth to speak. “Get the Robin ready to go. Make sure she’s fully armed as well.” She turned to Stark and added “I had already assigned Lieutenant Commander Hassan as commanding officer of the Robin when I took command over here.”

“It’s a good job I’m promoting you then” the admiral answered as she turned to Hassan. She removed his insignia and replaced them with Commander insignia before she said to him “The Robin’s Revolution’s home base is this ship and when you’re not out with the Robin you’re the first officer of this ship, understood?”

“Perfectly, ma’am” Hassan answered.

“A Glorious Heritage-class ship” Vance muttered. “I can’t wait to get over to her and see if she’s operational.”

“Easy, captain” Stark said. “Commander Hassan is going to go and see if her can get that ship back.”

“If he can retrieve it, I can most certainly help with repairs once it returns. I served on the Andromeda for years” Vance offered eagerly.
“Concentrate on getting your ship operational for now, we’ll deal with the Concordant if we can get her back here. Commander, you have your orders” Stark instructed.

“I’ll get down there and see to the Robin” Hassan answered.

“One more thing” Stark added. “I want you to put your own crew together for the Robin. Promote who you see fit, she’s your ship now”

“Thank you, ma’am” Iskander answered. He turned to look at two men in the room and spoke “Ensign Evans, you’re my new weapons officer. Ensign Thun, you’re my new chief engineer. Let’s go get our ship ready.”

“Good luck and good hunting” Vance said as the men left the room.

“Comms are up with the station, they’re directing us to a dry-dock” Thai announced from the helm.

“Take us in and get hard dock, time to repair the ship” Stark ordered as she stepped around Vance and stood at the command station. She turned to look at Kylie and said “It might interest you to know that I used to command this ship years ago.”

“I didn’t know that” Vance answered as she looked at Stark. The two women stood in silence as the Clarity slid gently towards her berth.

Aboard the Dominant Pride. At the same time.

“So why are we still running away?” Hreda asked as he staggered into the command deck of his ship. Sentenza was sitting in his command chair and as she turned to face him he exploded “What are you doing commanding my ship?”

“Since your command staff are all dead and you were in the medical deck I took command” the pilot answered simply.

“Get out of my seat!” Hreda shouted.

“No” Sentenza answered simply. “Once I’m done with my mission I will hand this ship back over to you, not a moment before.”
Hreda took a step towards her but instantly the guards in the room raised their weapons at him. He looked at them, still groggy from the medication but finally he realised what he was seeing. “The guards, the staff here … they’re from your decimated pride” he muttered.

“That’s right” Sentenza answered. “People loyal to me are running this ship, and we’re going to the Palpatoon System.”

“You can’t go there!” Hreda shouted. “The slipstream in and out of there collapsed when that spatial anomaly opened five years ago!”

“That anomaly lasted for less than twelve hours, and it’s not impossible to get there. The slipstream isn’t collapsed, just damaged and I can fly there” Sentenza stated.

“You’re killing us all!” Hreda retorted.

Sentenza jumped to her feet and back handed him across the face. As he staggered back against a bulkhead she said “A Commonwealth ship managed to enter the system and look at the anomaly before returning home. They said it was damn difficult to fly but not impossible. They sent back a classified report to the High Guard command about what they found and I’ve got that report.”

“What did they find out there Sentenza?” Hreda demanded.

Sentenza scowled at him before she answered smugly “A human ship that originated from another universe. A massive ship, and I’m going to salvage her.”

“How massive?” Hreda asked, his eyes lighting up.

“Scans showed her to be nearly fifteen hundred metres long, two hundred seventy metres tall by nearly eight hundred fifty metres wide. She’s a truly massive warship, far superior to these pathetic battlecruisers our species obsess over using. With that ship I’m going to restore my pride and make it the most powerful pride in the three galaxies” Sentenza stated as her chest swelled with pride.
Sentenza walked over to the slipstream control seat and sat herself in it. She took a moment to get herself comfortable before she turned to her guards and said “Make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid.” The guards pointed their weapons at him again as she turned to him and said “Time to make you obsolete”, then she engaged the slipstream drive.

One hour later.

“There she is” Sentenza breathed from her seat. She positioned the ship into a low orbit of the small, barren moon they were over. Her crew looked at the viewscreen in front of them but Hreda’s eyes were transfixed on the massive ship crashed on the surface.

“Scan that ship and get me a report on its structural integrity” Sentenza ordered. “I want to know about any breaches, buckled hull plating and if there’s any breathable air down there.” The man at the science console nodded to her and busied himself with work as she turned her attention to Hreda.

Hreda gave her an evil little smile and said “Just wait until my people get control of the ship back…”

“Ah yes, your people” Sentenza replied with a little laugh. She entered a few commands into her console and nodded towards the viewscreen. Cameras mounted on the outside of the hull showed all the hatches for the ships airlocks. She entered another command and watched the screen. Hreda let out a growl as the outer hatches opened and he saw bodies tumbling out. Those people were alive when the doors opened, he could see their limbs flailing as they were exposed to the sudden vacuum of space, but none of them were wearing EVA gear. In seconds he watched his entire crew vented to space, their bodies tumbling down towards the moon below them.

“I haven’t seen architecture like this since we saw those old images of the launch of the Bellerophon” Sentenza spoke as she walked down a corridor. Speaking into the radio of her EVA suit she added “It’s definitely human design.” She stopped to look at a completely dead computer screen and added “This is definitely an old design.”

“Some good that does us” one of her personal guards muttered.

Sentenza looked at him with one eyebrow raised before she answered “The gravity plating we still use is as old as this technology, the energy weapons are exactly the same principle as they always have been only more refined. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s no good.”

The guard nodded his understanding and followed her as she resumed walking down the corridor. For twenty minutes they weaved through the ship until they stepped onto the bridge. Sentenza looked around and said “If the crew were humans, they certainly thought like Nietzschean’s when designing their bridge, and the rest of the ship for that matter.”

A young engineer made his way past her and said “Commander, there’s a console over here with a flashing icon. It’s as good a place as any to try to restore power to the ship.”

“Do it” Sentenza ordered, still smiling at being called commander. As the engineer set to work at the console she motioned for her people to fan out around the room. Her guards took up defensive positions at all the entrance points and her other people went to look at the consoles.

Sentenza walked to the one seat in the middle of the room and immediately recognised as the captain’s chair. It was located between two other chairs with large forward facing consoles. She ran her hand across the back of the commanders chair, lost in her own thoughts until she heard her engineer call out excitedly “Yes! I did it!”

Instantly the lights in the room flickered to life and the consoles started to activate. Even through her bulky helmet she could hear air being pumped into the room. “Excellent work” Sentenza said as she turned to face the engineer.

Sentenza was already removing her helmet and as soon as she had the others followed. Placing her helmet on the command seat she said “I want to know the status of the ships systems. We already know there aren’t any hull breaches so get life support operational through the entire ship, it’s a lot easier to work when you’re not trapped in EVA gear.” Her crew started work immediately so she decided to busy herself with sitting at a console and reading the ships database.

“So … we’ve got no FTL propulsion?” Sentenza asked as she glared at her engineer.

The young man nodded and took a few steps back. “Apparently these people didn’t use slipstream at all to go FTL, they used something called a Hyperdrive. Put simply, it creates a tunnel through space allowing for FTL travel. It was originally powered by something called Naquadah, very powerful. All of that has been drained and we’ve never come across anything like that in the three galaxies, but they were using a second power source.” He opened the case he had carried in and pulled out a large crystal that was glowing yellow-orange. “They call it a ZPM, Zero Point Module. Essentially, it’s a pocket of subspace-time known as the quantum foam, subatomic wormholes that are constantly opening, closing and fading in and out of subspace. The crystal extracts zero point energy from the pocket until it reaches its maximum entropy. When it does it becomes inert. It’s not an unending source of power but it’ll last us several lifetimes at constant maximum output.”

“Excellent” Sentenza answered “but why are you telling us this?”

“When the crew evacuated the ship after they crashed they removed the hyperdrives from all the ships aboard, they had to eject this ships drive because it was going to blow. Before they left they completely deleted the specs for it, there’s no was for me to make one” the engineer explained.

“Then that crystal is useless” Sentenza growled.

“No” the engineer said. He could see that Sentenza was about to choke the life out of his body so he added quickly “We can’t use or reverse-engineer any of their FTL tech but the sheer amount of power in this crystal is more than enough to power a GFG and a slipstream drive. If we can install a slipstream drive in this ship…”

“We won’t need an exotic-matter pulsar, making getting this ship operational a lot easier” Sentenza finished. The engineer nodded his agreement so she simply said to him “strip whatever you need from the battlecruiser and do it. If it’s not enough then we’ll have to get the parts from somewhere else. Now, weapons status?”

“That’s good news and bad news” a tall, powerfully built man answered as he looked her in the eye. “This ship has two weapons systems, missiles and gun emplacements. There are one hundred and sixty eight vertically launched missile tubes on the spine, they’re large heavy missiles with high explosive warheads and they’re all still in place. There are also sixteen gun turrets, each housing two railguns. I don’t know if you all remember old Earth weapons but basically the barrels contain a series of magnets that when used in sequence fire a large metal shell towards the target. The shells don’t have explosives in them, they use sheer kinetic force to damage enemy vessels. Now, the weapons are online but we’re having to repair the computer code to use them although there is another option available to us.”

“Spit it out” Sentenza said irritably.

Her weapons specialist smiled at her before he continued “We can seal the ammo loaders up to the turrets and eject them. The PDL turrets on the battlecruiser will be able to fit on their mountings. There are already power lines up there to power the weapons so all we need to do is fit our own turrets and connect them to the power. That means we’ve got some technology we trust for defence.”

“Not only that” the engineer added. “In the event that we get attacked before we can repair the code, we’ll still be able to defend ourselves because the turrets have their own targeting systems to act as a reserve in case the main ship sensors go down.”

“How long to replace the turrets?” Sentenza asked, suddenly feeling hopeful.

“If we stay on the planet’s surface we can replace them in ten days, but in orbit without the hindrance of gravity we could replace them all in a day” the engineer explained.

“That decides it, we’re launching the ship. Engineer, get everything online now. Have the battlecruiser prepare to fire bucky cables at us in case we need help” Sentenza answered.

“I’ve saved the best for last” the weapons officer said with a smile. “I’m not sure how this system works so we don’t know if we can reverse engineer it, but this ship has energy shields.”

Sentenza’s eyebrows raised in surprise so the weapons master added “The more hits they take the more they’re drained until they’re offline, but it’s a form of protection the High Guard do not have.”

Everyone smiled broadly for a moment until Sentenza stood up and said to them “Take your stations, we’re launching now.”

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