Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72
The Blow of the Grand Imperium
Date: Jan 1, 900 A.C. (After Collision)
The Arie Outpost Command Center loomed up from the surface of planet Reotos. It was quiet in the outpost, and it had been about nine hundred years since the Collision. The Collision was the event where Earth and Mars had collided, making networks, as they were called, of rocky planets and moons. The entire solar system had collapsed; all the planets colliding into each other. Now all the pieces orbited around the sun in the orbit where Earth used to be. Each network was comprised of several planets and several moons grouped together. Every planet in a network had its own atmosphere and nearly always could support some sort of life.
The galaxy had lain at rest for the past nine centuries. Most of the networks contained harmless civilians. The real ruler, or governor, though their ‘empire’ only extended across three networks, was the Galactic Regime. This part of the new government extended across the networks Runerth, Rusineh and Carthoton. If a military force of any kind was to be found anywhere in the galaxy, these three networks was where it was to be found. Or so it was thought.
These three networks were headed by a man named Epsilon Widripper. He was sixty-three years old and was responsible for how the Galactic Regime had risen from a dream, to a reality. He had invented and designed the numerous blasters, weapons, bombs, fighters, vehicles and almost everything the Galactic Regime used or needed.
The headquarters of the Galactic Regime, known as the ACC, was built on the planet Gorthormer in the Carthoton network. That had been where it all started. Now the Galactic Regime was practically ruler of the galaxy and had held that place undisputed for many years.
“You know what, sir,” a tall man said. His hair waving around his visage and his carefree attitude betokened him a reckless man. “I wish this place wasn’t so quiet. I long for action. About the only time I’ve laid hands on a V 35 blaster is in target practice, and as you know, sir, those targets aren’t hard to hit.”
“Sometimes asking for action brings to much of it Captain Stone.” A weatherbeaten man said to the former speaker.
“Whatever you say Admiral,” Flint, for that was his name, said. “I won’t argue with you, sir. Still, sometimes a body does long for excitement.”
Just then, a quiet step was heard and upon seeing who it was, Flint jumped to his feet and standing in attention, saluted. The Admiral too stood up and saluted.
“How do you do, Senator Westerbridge, Senator Earntie,” Admiral Yive said in his customary grave voice, as two women, the silver circlets resting on their brows marking them as senators, entered.
“Very well, thank you,” the two senators said in unison as they curtsied gracefully.
More steps were heard and two men entered. One was not more than four feet tall and his stooped back gave one the impression that he was nigher three feet than four feet. He had a long white beard and was completely bald. He was Savantone Kay, leader of the sacred order of Defen. He walked with the assistance of a gnarled cane and wore the simple grey robe of his order.
The man who came in with Savantone was almost the exact opposite. He was in his prime and walked straight and upright probably topping the height of six feet. He carried with him a smile on his lips and a blaster pistol was prominently holstered on his hip.
“Well, this is a fine day for a meeting,” the tall man spoke.
“Very fine, I must say,” Savantone agreed as he agilely seated himself in a high chair. “So, Senator Shore,” the aged man said to his companion as they all seated themselves. “Would you like to speak first? I know you specially called this meeting for a purpose.”
“Well, what I would say is –”
He was cut off by a loud explosion and the sound of blaster bolts. A loud emergency siren went off and the clomping of composite soldiers, or coms, as they were more commonly known, sounded as they ran to their battle stations.
In an instant, all were on their feet, even the aged Advisor Kay. The Admiral turned to a screen and pressing a few buttons, talked into a speaker.
“What is going on?”
The com who answered immediately stepped into attention and saluted upon sight of the Admiral.
“We are being bombarded by a squad of E-Swoops sir. As far as I can tell, there must be at least a hundred of them.”
Then, as loud explosions were heard, and the outpost shook to the very foundations, the Admiral demanded again. “Damage report! What damage have we sustained?”
“Sir,” said the com. “The E-Swoops are conducting a suicidal operation and have been crashing themselves into the base. The energy screen won’t hold out much long –” The soldier broke off as two mechanoids entered the chamber. They immediately unslung their blasters and targeted the com as he unleashed his special training, ducking and dodging the blasts of high energy laser bolts. Finally, reaching his target, he secured a C 30 assault rifle and fired two shots. Each shot hit home and both mechanoids fell. Before the com could wave an all clear to the anxious admiral, the clanking of metal feet was heard and the com fell dead as some more mechanoids entered the chamber and shot him through the head.
“Unbelievable,” the Admiral muttered, then loudly, to the rest of the people who were watching him. “We have to evacuate the outpost. Enemy mechanoids have entered the base. C’mon, everybody, down the escape chute.”
“I will lead the way,” Savantone said, as he sprang into the emergency chute.
“Okay, Senators, you’re next,” the Admiral said as he helped the two women enter the chute. Senator Shore followed, loosening his blaster pistol in his holster as he slid into blackness.
Admiral Yive turned as he heard the sound of a laser cutter. The lock for the door was being cut. “Sabotage-mechanoids” the Admiral muttered.
“Sir, you go down first,” Flint said. I’ll hold them off.”
“No Captain Stone, you’re going down first; and that’s an order!” The Admiral said, as he removed a blaster pistol from his pocket. He silently revolved the selector till the pistol was set to kill. Then he repeated his command.
Flint went down the chute without another word. Just then, the mechanoids burst into the chamber. In an instant, the Admiral’s hand shot up, and a flash of light sped from his blaster. One of the mechanoids shook, but its armor protected it, and it remained standing. ‘I mustn’t let them sight with their targeting lasers,’ the Admiral thought grimly. Then he hit the ground as the mechanoids opened fire, each trying to find its own hiding spot. He recharged his pistol, shot another mechanoid, which remained standing, then backflipped into the emergency chute, closing the hatch after him.
The emergency chute led to the Arie Outpost Control Center’s docking bay, where all the spaceships were landed. Senator Shore had sounded an evacuation alarm and the Admiral silently applauded the decision as he felt the outpost tremble under his feet.
Civilians and soldiers were all hurrying to the large D-cruiser that stood in the middle of the hanger. Fighter pilots were rushing to the numerous SF 43 A-swoops while the engineers gave them final clearance.
The Admiral looked hastily around the small body of people surrounding him and not seeing Captain Stone, called out. Then the Admiral heard that dreaded clanking of mechanoids and he rushed to the hallway from which the sound came. Captain Stone stood there, dodging laser bolts as they flew past him, the complex digital display in his helmet assisting him in that task, and replying with his own V 35 Blaster. A mechanoid charged at the valiant captain, activating the cutting edge on the base of its weapon. Captain Stone sidestepped the mechanoid neatly, pushing his toe forwards as he did so. The mechanoid fell face forward onto the ground, tripping over the ever-ready-captain’s extended limb. Flint fired a few hurried shots into the limp form of the mechanoid before turning to face the oncoming enemies again.
The Admiral, realizing the dire predicament, rushed over to a control panel and opening it, punched in a few hurried commands, then, as the heavy fortisteel doors rolled shut, he tore out the wires that connected the doors to the control panel, thus stopping the mechanoids from hot-wiring the security lock; for a while, at least.
“Get into the cruiser!” The Admiral yelled. “It’s our only chance of getting out of here.” His remark was verified as the cavern roof began to collapse; a huge chunk of rock falling and crushing an unfortunate engineer who happened to be in the way.
As they hurried onto the cruiser’s gangway, Advisor Kay whirled around. The Admiral turned too, and both could hear metal scratching against metal as more mechanoids slid down the emergency chute. In an instant, Savantone closed his left hand. The emergency chute buckled.
The Admiral chuckled as he heard the mechanoids crashing into each other. “It never ceases to amaze me,” he said, still smiling. “C’mon, let’s get into the cruiser before it leaves without us.”
With that, the Admiral leaped onto the already rising gangway and Savantone followed him. The two headed to the bridge as they felt the cruiser lift off. A chunk of rock fell from the ceiling and was immediately pulverized against the energy screen, but not before it shook the large cruiser slightly.
Inside the bridge, the Admiral and Savantone stood on a raised platform. They were surrounded by dozens of pilots; all bent over his/her control screen. As the D-cruiser emerged from the hanger, Savantone turned to the Admiral and asked, “Do you hear anything?”
“No,” the Admiral replied. “I don’t hear anything at all.”
“My point exactly,” Savantone said, leaning more heavily on his cane. “There is a deeper meaning in this attack that we do not understand. I can feel it, a more sinister meaning.”
“The Arie Outpost held nothing of importance, did it?” Captain Stone asked as he walked in, his helmet tucked in the crook of his arm.
“Information,” Savantone said, shaking his head gravely. “Not only that, but Cain Cone. He was in the detainment-level.”
“Cain Cone!” Captain Stone exclaimed. “Not that ruthless guy who keeps escaping from prison?”
“The same,” the Admiral answered, clutching the metal railing till his knuckles grew white. “Some new power is rising. I have never seen so many E-Swoops all working for one leader. Neither have I seen mechanoids in such abundance.”
Just then, one of the pilots turned. “We have an incoming transmission sir.” He said to the Admiral.
“Let it through.”
“Let me in,” a voice said. “I’m being attacked by multiple E-Swoops and I can’t shake them off my tail.”
“That’s Caddie’s voice,” Flint said in excitement.
“Well, at least somebody recognizes her voice,” the Admiral said sarcastically, with a meaningful smile at Flint.
Flint reddened and said, “Sorry sir, for overreacting.”
“Don’t worry Captain Stone,” the Admiral said. “I’m as eager to get news from her as you are, though perhaps we’re looking for different news.”
“We’re opening hanger door 2B,” the Admiral said into the voice-pickup then turning to one of the pilots said. “Lower the screens on hanger door 2B and prepare to open the doors when I give the signal.”
The Admiral was watching the tracking computer as it singled out an SF 43 pursued by five– six– no eight E-Swoops.
“Prepare to open the doors,” the Admiral said, as the SF 43 temporarily shook the opposing fighters off its tail. “Now! Quick! Open the doors!” Then, as the A-swoop flew through the doors, the Admiral gave another burst of orders. “Power up the energy screen. Close the doors.”
The tracking screen showed the disappointed E-Swoops turning around before they hit the cruiser.
“Activate the counter-fire cannons,” the Admiral said, as Captain Stone rushed into a jumplift that took him down to the level of the hangers.
The cruiser was a bit like a mobile base. It was capable of supporting about one thousand life forms for six months. It also could carry a fairly large assortment of fighters and ground units in its spacious hangers. This particular D-cruiser was shaped like three elongated ‘D’s stacked on top of each other, with the middle ‘D’ being longer than the rest. This however, was not the Galactic Regime’s largest spaceship.
The largest was the Galacticia-class Spacecruiser. It was under the order of Spacecruisers. This spaceship was capable of supporting over one hundred thousand life forms for roughly a year and was four and half times the size of an ordinary cruiser. It could carry two ordinary cruisers and had an immense fire power. However, these were incredibly expensive to make and the Galactic Regime only possessed three of them.
In a few seconds, Flint was in the hangers and running out to meet Caddie.
“I never knew that a couple of E-Swoops could defeat a pilot like you Caddie.” Flint teased as he lifted Caddie our of the seat.
“Get your hands off me!” Caddie retorted sharply. She was proud to be one of the most renowned pilots, and to be teased by Flint, just after she had been forced to touchdown, was too much.
Flint gave an unconvincing grimace, then grinned and headed back to the jumplift. Caddie followed, freeing her hair as she removed her flight helmet.
“So, what’s the latest news from the skies?” Flint asked, as the jumplift shot up.
“Nothing you need to know.” Caddie said, tossing her head defiantly.
Flint was quiet for a moment, then he reached down and grabbed both of her hands in a motion she could not avoid, and looking into her eyes said:
“This is probably a lame apology, but I’m sorry. Do forgive me.”
Caddie answered with a tight hug.
Meanwhile, the battle had not ended. Commander Grennet, an ACC general, was on the other side of the Arie Outpost battling hostile MBMs (Main Battle Mechanoids). He watched grimly as the coms surrounding him were taken down one by one. They had done plenty of execution, but a squad of ten could not hold long against the hundreds of mechanoids that kept coming in. Finally, Grennet’s last com fell and he was surrounded by enemies.
“Surrender,” one of them said, pointing its blaster at Grennet’s chest.
Commander Grennet slowly raised his hands into the air.
“Okay, now put down your –” the mechanoid was cut off as it fell, a glowing orange hole in its weakly-armored torso.
More shots rang out and soon the mechanoids were so focused on defending themselves that they forgot entirely about their prisoner. Commander Grennet, taking advantage of the distraction, silently aimed the mounting wire that his blaster came with at a tree. Then, he slowly removed an IC (Incendiary charge) from his belt and activated it.
In an instant, the mechanoids had all turned and aimed their blasters at him. He simply fired his mounting wire and pressing the retract button, was dragged high above their heads. About three seconds later, the IC exploded and mechanoids were scattered far and wide.
As Commander Grennet lowered himself down from the tree, another com ran out from behind the bushes. The markings on his armor ranking him as a captain. He was followed by four other coms.
He saluted Commander Grennet who saluted back.
“I owe my life to you yet again, Pere.” Grennet said, smiling behind the impenetrable screen of his helmet.
“I see they knocked out all of your coms,” Captain Pere commented. “They knocked out most of my light wing as well.”
All six looked upwards as they heard the whir of an engine. It was an ATF 56 Transport. “All aboard,” the pilot said.
“David,” the group of six said in unison. David was a commander on one of the three Galacticia-class Spacecruisers owned by the Galactic Regime and a pilot himself. He had trained most of the Galactic Regime’s pilots and his history was filled with numerous close escapes. He was the most reckless, daring, and respected pilot in the Galactic Regime. Nobody could beat his flight skills. At least, nobody that was known.
As they all flew off, David joked. “If I had known that there was only going to be six of you, I would have just brought a LT 67 Guardship.” Then he became serious. “The cruiser is not far away, it’ll be about a ten minute flight; hopefully.”
But as they broke through a bank of dust, the blasts of laser told them of a battle. David jerked the spaceship aside as an SF 43 pursued by two AF 30 E-Swoops, commonly known as E-Swoops, flew past. He switched on the cannons and powered up the energy screens. The Transport-fighter shook as three E-Swoops locked on.
David suddenly dived downwards, and coming back up, found himself behind the E-Swoops. He pressed the fire button on his controls and one of the fighters burst into a ball of flame. He could see the D-cruiser ahead, laser bolts shooting in all directions and small fireballs spread across its surface as wounded E-Swoops crashed themselves into its energy screens. Hundreds of E-Swoops were attacking the cruiser like a swarm of angry bees. As the transport was preparing to land on one of the outside landing pads, six E-Swoops broke off from the horde and flew in for the kill.
While all this action was going on outside, something was happening in the Arie Outpost Control Center. Deep down at the detainment level, Cain Cone had made a hacksaw out of the rusted pieces of steel he found on his cell floor and was occupied in sawing through the bars.
He cursed as the saw slipped and cut his finger, then he continued sawing with renewed vigor. He knew that soon, if he could get out of the cell before the entire base fell to pieces, he would be back with Imperetor Malvolent; his new leader.
It felt good to be free as he stepped through the small, square hole he had made. Then he ran up the steps. He knew exactly where the weapons were kept, for when he had infiltrated the Outpost, he had been one of the personnel of the outpost. Once again, Cain Cone had outsmarted his enemies and come out on top. Snatching a blaster from its holder, he ran into another room.
His gun snapped to attention as he saw a shadow move. He snapped out three blaster bolts before the com even had time to react, and the armored corpse collapsed to the floor.
Plugging a data-receiver he had kept concealed with him into a dataport, Cain keyed in a few commands. He was a professional hacker and could break through almost all computer systems. Now as he watched the blue strings of lettered commands and information pouring across the screen, he smiled, and cracked his knuckles. Information. The Imperetor would be so pleased with him. Maybe Imperetor Malvolent, ruler of the Grand Imperium, might even promote him, or grant him honors.
As the computer showed that it had transferred its information into the data-receiver, Cain Cone pulled the data-receiver out, and, smashing a security camera that stood in a corner, ran out of the room and onto a back platform.
He noticed a lengthy crack running from each side of the platform and muttered a hurried command into the voice-pickup mounted on his wrist. He watched, his facial expression unchanging as the crack slowly lengthened. He knew that if the Eagle Fighter, or E-Swoop he had called for did not arrive in time, he would be plunged down the steep cliff to his death. But what of that? Everybody had to take risks, and this was one he was willing to take.
Not long afterwards, an Eagle Fighter came flying by, and as the platform detached itself from the base, Cain Cone calmly leaped off it onto the Eagle Fighter as it flew away.
******End of Chapter 1******
Hope you enjoyed! 🙂
Disce Ferenda Pati – Learn to endure what must be borne
Click Here for Chapter 2!