By The Lone Wanderer 4 Comments
This short story will tell of how the electrial protectorate first came into the galaxy in force after studying it for a good few centuries. Warning, this is not going to be something that I will write all up in one post. In fact, it's probably going to have several chapters. Please do R&R.
Rjarvik, a wisened Jagged Alliance technician, was staring at the scanner screen. The readings didn't make any sense...There simply could not be anything that massive approaching the planet, not anything metallic at least. "The scanners must be broken..." He growled out as he tapped the screen with a finger. "Why do you say that? he was asked by a more junior technician. "They're reporting a mass of metallic objects approaching the system the size of a large nebula. Even the Symaarians and Skrulls at their peak couldn't muster up that much ships. And there isn't a necron tombworld, a major ork waaagh, or a joining fleet for kiloparsecs around." He responded, narrowing his blue eyes onto the screen.
"Could be Tyranids." the junior officer said with a shrug before receiving a strong glare from Rjarvik. "I just said that they were made of metal! And it's definitely not Dathroni...no pompous speeches...Can't be the Keresh or Kree either...this doesn't fit their modus operandi...and anyway they don't have enough ships. Even if they tossed their entire navy..." He responded as he tried to analyze the data coming through the viewscreen. "The only thing that comes to mind would be the Cybermen..." The junior officer reported, finally, he was speaking sense. "Could be...It would be kind of odd since the nearest Cyber Legion was last reported thirty parsecs away." He said, curling his lips downward into a frown...this just wasn't making any sense...
"We're getting a transmission..." One communications officer, a woman in her mid twenties, said, turning to the commander of the Pirate base's scanner and communication's center. "Alright, put it on..." He responded, only for a single message to be played. "EX-TER-MIN-ATE! EX-TER-MIN-ATE! EX-TER-MIN-ATE!" The message blared in a metallic, droning voice that sounded as if it was actively trying to choke back it's hatred for all things. "Wha..." He said as the message continued to loop again and again before giving way to an unearthly series of robotic hexadecimal code. "What in the name of the Milky Way..." The near human tried to ask before the hexadecimal code's volume and pitch started to fluctuate and alter. "Get out of he-" Rjarvik managed to say before the code transmission became a basilisk signal, an unearthly warble adjusted to be fatal to his kind's physiology. For a single moment, every bit of his body flared with unimaginable pain, as the sound tore him apart at the cellular level before his internal organs and eyes ruptured and exploded, sending torrents of blood and guts flinging out of his mouth, eyes, nostrils, and every other possible orfice.
"All men to battlestations, we are under attack!" The alarm blared, and soon the considerable military of the Jagged Alliance's pirate base in the Tertius system was beginning to be mobilized. A large fleet of pirate vessels, ranging from full blown capital ships to smaller escort vessels such as corvettes and all of their accompanying fighters and bombers, began to be prepared to meet this oncoming menace. This was a drill they had practiced, one that had allowed them to see off assaults from the Keresh, the Kree, the Symaarians, the Sontarans, Orks, and even a Tyranid Splinter fleet.
War vehicles were brought into their defensive positions while ground soldiers quickly manned their stations, bringing up a huge array of all sorts of static and mobile defenses while plans were being drawn up for a counterattack. A series of commanders poured over their holographic battle map of the system, showing the incoming fleet of unknown aggressors as a large purple mass that looked like a vast, oncoming sandstorm about to engulf the eighteen worlds of the system. A general with a long scar across his left cheek and scaly green skin flicked out it's long forked tongue as it reared up on digitrade legs. "What's the fleet disposition?" He growled out with a long hiss at the end. "There must be millions of them at the least...I don't think I've ever seen a fleet this big, Lord Ssvarik." An eight limbed arthropodic creature with clacking mandibles and a motley green exoskeleton responded.
"Hrmm..must be mostly small ships...any signs of large amounts of communication coming from any vessels in particular?" The reptillian commander asked with a long flick of his tongue, his long, tyrannosaurus like snout snorting a bit. "Yes...primarily from the bigger ships, though they're nestled deep within the escorts for defense." The arthropodic admiral answered, relishing at the prospect of battle and plunder. "Then we'll target them...disrupt the web of communications, just like with the Tyranids." Ssvarik said with a snort of smoke from his flared nostrils, a grin showing serrated, steak knife like teeth.
"Have the hyperspace guns fire on the large ships, then tell the groundpounders to shoot the big ones. It's going to be just like dealing with that Hive Fleet Kraken splinter fleet eheeheeh...Can we get a communication out to our Ork Freeboota, Ssi'Ruvi freelancer, Keresh renegade, Zebesian pirate, Kroot warband, and Eldar Corsair mercenaries? I want them in the fight as soon as possible." The High General Ssvarik snarled out. "They are ready and waiting for your orders, Lord High General." The Admiral reported, clacking his mandibles together and bending his antennae slightly in a gesture of happiness. "This is going to be a trakki shoot...heh...and with all that metal...we could make a fortune...have the largest fleet! We'll rule the galaxy!" Ssvarik chortled, already dreaming himself as being Emperor of the Galaxy, with a grin he laughed out loud, blood flecked teeth wet with salivae as he reared his head back and basked in imagined future glory.
Huge, long ranged orbital guns slowly swung around with the aid of a series of microthrusters and launched forth hyperspace shells. Lobbing forth shells the size of small starships that soon entered hyperspace, these guns were the key to many a victory to this important center of the Jagged Alliances' galaxy wide holding, as these guns alone could keep enemy fleets at bay until other Jagged Alliance held systems could send forth their own fleets of raiders to crush anyone who dared to retaliate against them for their repeated attacks on commerce and sometimes even all out invasions of worlds to create yet more pirate bases.
The shells sped into hyperspace and exited shortly after, the turrets on them quickly firing at the incoming swarm of robotic craft that detected the potential threats to the larger central command ships, sending lance, turbolaser, and autocannon rounds flinging into the swarms of shrieking gremlins that attempted to block the path to the larger capital ships that sailed the void. A flock of suicidal gremlins latched themselves onto one of the shells, heedless of the spitting death that was hurled at them that obliterated them in vast numbers, many of them simply flash fried themselves on the shields, vaporizing away in an instant, but there were so many that the shields energies were drained until the screeching gremlins could cling onto the torso, which they latched themselves onto before detonating themselves, each one being small and insignifcant to the shells, but in their thousands, was enough to prematurely detonate the closest shell.
The shell detonated into a furious, iridescent cascade of colours that bloomed outwards into the void of space. Using their vast targeting computers, the other shells made sure to prioritize the flocks of gremlins who would seek to deny their path. The sheer weight of gremlins meant that even this didn't always work, and two more shells prematurely detonated as the gremlins flung themselves at the corvette sized explosives and took them down with them. One was just within range of one of the larger battleships that seemed to command the enormous metallic swarm of vessels, but a vaguely natuloid shaped interdictor destroyer quickly brought itself between the larger battleship and the shell, sacrificing itself in a blazing inferno to defend the larger ship.
Having confronted this tactic before with the tyranids and cybermen, who used similar meatshielding tactics to defend their vital command ships, the other shells launched a series of torpedoes and focused what fire they could onto any vessels that tried to block the way to the colossal, anamalocarid like battleships and the mind boggilignly enormous sea scorpion shaped dreadnoughts that guided the unknowable infinite army.
Three shells hurled themselves at one of the antedeluvian battleships, a massive outpouring of clearing fire destroying many of the destroyers that tried to wedge themselves between the battleship and the incoming shells and clearing a path just long enough to ram right into the battleship, which erupted into a blazing fireball into the black void of space, the ships slaved to it seeming to come to an abrubt halt as they were rerouted to another commanding vessel, giving the shells the opportunity to destroy fifty six more battleships in such a matter, ripping their hulls open after pummeling their shielding away and detonating their ammunition and engines in a catastrophic manner.
But though the initial barrage must have wiped out hundreds of escorts and dozens capital ships, the robotic fleet continued to advance forward implacably. When the second wave of hyperspace shells flung themselves at the incoming fleet, the capital ships, having had time to analyze this tactic and calculate a billion possible counters for it, had the big ships ready their heavy weaponry and once the enormous projectiles exited hyperspace, they were met with a storm of firepower that stripped away their shielding and peeled open their hulls before prematurely exploding their warheads. This time, only twelve trilobite shaped cruisers and three battleships were impacted, hulls peeling open in an impressive petal bloom.
Finally, the fleet was in the range of the outermost automated comet fortresses, whose lance, torpedo, laser, plasma, gun, and turbolaser batteries immediately struck out with incadescent fury that lit up the black void of space in a impressive light show. Heedless of their own existences, the gremlins quickly flung themselves into the paths of the projectiles to detonate them in an early fashion, while larger ships sacrificed themselves to protect the all important capitol ships which continued to stream through space.
Two comet fortesses waited for a trilobite shaped cruiser to pass in between them, and immediately revealed their guns and opened up with a double broadside into the capital ship, which lasted all of five seconds before it's shields and then it's hull failed and the vessel reduced to nothing more than a hulk in space. But one of the anomalocaris shaped battleships lazily glided towards one of the comet fortresses, pentagonal destroyers acting as another set of shields as they soaked up incoming fire while striking out with their own not inconsiderable arsenals.
The two enormous tendril like mandibles of the battle ship flexed outwards and quickly jabbed into the comet fortress after it had calculated a good angle to approach without being targeted by the deadly broadsides. With a rapid series of number crunches, the battleship flexed upwards and tossed the entire comet fortress, all two kilometers and countless millions of tons of it, right into it's sibling fortress, smashing apart the two of them into fragments of ice and metallic components before the battleship continued on.
Having submitted it's course of action to it's fellow commanding A.Is, the rest of the fleet began to use their manipulating appendages or tractor beams to begin smashing the comet forts into one another to disable them quickly, and often simply borrowed them to make use of them as physical shields to replace the need for sacrifical escorts and smallcraft. The fleet was already breaking through the comet fields of the system and had it's sights deadset on the valuable matter within the rest of the system to build up it's numbers.
Already, nanoswarms were being released onto the comets and wrecked spaceships, breaking down and reassembling the matter into materials needed for new ships, which were rapidly being constructed out of the globs of freedrifting grey goop, quickly adding back to the numbers of the ships and in fact, making them larger as they broke down the comets into materials for yet more ships and machines.
Finally, on the final layer of the comet field, the belt, the comet forts were joined by the garrisons of the dwarf planets, three of them locked in a ternary orbit around one another, major comets, and a large minefield and the outermost defense fleet. The jagged alliance's ships fired off their longest ranged weapons, sending out a massive streak of death throughout the cold of space, impacting countless ships while the comet forts and orbital and terran weaponry of the dwarf planets also joined in the assault.
But the metallic swarm was uncaring and heedless of losses. For every vessel that was struck down and crippled, countless more came to fill the gaps in the line, with reserves that stretched out for light years. Strange bolts of reality rending energies were vomited forth from many of the larger ships, these orbs of power glowing with colours most beings had no name for or any ability to imagine. These orbs exploded amongst many of the comet forts and the picket lines of ships, and for a terrible moment, the barriers that kept the dimensions apart in a neat and seperable manner, what kept two, three, four and so on dimensional creatures from interacting with one another meaningfully, were ripped away.
The twelve dimensions in these areas crashed into one another in a reality shatteringly, physics defying symphony of utter disorder. The areas affected looked like bubbles of complete impossibility, with the going ons of all twelve dimensions occuring simultaneously in the same space. Even the most abstract or surrealistic of artworks did not come close to the impossibility of the sight. And as such a thing should not have been, those caught in it were incapable of surviving, and they were rent apart, twisted, melted.
"Get into broadside range you fools!" The admiral commanding the outermost ring of defenses snarled out, the Zeta reticulan's almond shaped eyes looking out of his bridge and noticing that the weaponry of the attackers was capable of shifting position effortlessly so that they could bring their full firepower to bear on any point of the ship. The dagger like vessel he commanded fired off it's prow gun, shooting an enormous nova cannon shell into space that slammed into one of the cruisers, which erupted into a titanic green fireball that consumed many of it's escorts, this leed being followed by many of his other ships as they prepared to move into broadside positions so that the enemy would be forced to cross the T.
Enormous anti-orbital ground based guns took aim and spewed forth molten death into the ships approaching the three dwarf planets, enormous chunks being ripped out of vast vessels which lurched, hurtled, and spiraled off course from the impact of these enormous guns, but still they kept on going, losses were meaningless to a fleet his large that could so easily replenish it's numbers. They kept on going, simply bringing up ships from their enormous trail of reserves to replenish the lost.
A large volley of the dimension crashing guns went out and struck several more comet forts as their automated systems continued to pour fire into the advancing robotic fleet, tearing yet more of them apart and leaving them as unrecognisable wrecks. Calculating that the best method of distracting the planetary batteries that were firing into them with well planned fury would be to launch a ground assault early on to attack the crews of these planetary garrisons, a vanguard assault of drop pods was vomited forth from the transport ships while smaller shuttles left the behemoth carriers, which with their immense bulk, would have been easily targeted by the defensive turrets, the ever pragmatic collective consciousness of the Core Mind A.Is deducing that wasting the behemoths would be a less than efficient course of action.
The fleet began to split into two prongs, one would take the fight to the planetary garrisons, while the other would attack the picket fleet and the comet forts. "Admiral Jok-kal they're splitting up." An ensign reported as the ship rocked with the firing of it's broadside batteries, several of the metallic ships erupting into fireballs as they were struck, only for more to take their place. "Try to stop them!" the short grey shouted out. "We need to be able to concentrate our fire!" He pointed out as the novacannon on the prow rotated on it's enormous turret before firing, lobbing another shell that struck a mass of destroyers that were blown apart in the ensuing cascade of green fury.
On the planet, Major General Ferekavitz, a eight-limbed Rak-gol that combined many of the worst features of a reptile and a insect in one, with thick scales and a ruddy carapace, his four arms equipped with crackling, master crafted power claws and wrist mounted stormbolters.. Encased in thick ceramite and adamantine armour, equipped with special power generators, he was physically formadible in the extreme, to say nothing of his physically imposing twelve foot height and thick cables of muscle; stood in his command bunker, looking over the hololith plans as a massive series of drop pods and shuttles began to fly towards the three dwarf planets, which were only livable due to extensive terraforming. And then most of his soldiers complained about it being cold enough to freeze their balls off. Whiners, the lot of them. He relished the chance to fight, no matter the conditions.
End chapter 1
So was it good? :3