Master of Violence
by AJ Marks
Mark rushed to the bridge of the Enterprise as the alarm sounded. Reaching the bridge he noticed the usual activity going on and caught conversations going on.
“Contact, four incoming O’krad warships.”
“Enhancing emitters are turned off.”
“Situation?” Mark ordered reaching the center of the bridge even as the battle scanner came to life showing him the position of all ships and the incoming warships.
“We have four O’krad warships incoming. They appear to be coming in as they did last time.”
“All right, have the fleet move out, inform all commands of the ships, and get me the Pak,” Mark said having to wait only a few moments before the Leceaubia alien, Korr, appeared on the screen. It had taken Mark a few times to get over the pink hair the alien had which seemed to clash with the red skin and orange eyes.
“Admiral Mark,” Korr said.
“I take it you know about the incoming O’krad ships?” Mark said.
“Yes, they appeared on our scanners a few seconds ago,” Korr replied.
“I need the Pak to defend the civilian ships for now, we’re headed to engage their warships, Mark said, he had some reservations about how well the ‘rebellion’ ships operated after hearing they didn’t kill.
“Very well,” Korr said.
Mark watched, and used what he had learned from the rebellion to close the distance on the O’krad ships and held back launching the fighters. To his surprise it appeared the O’krad warships seemed to be ignoring, or couldn’t see, the Enterprise and her escorts. They had gone through several tests with the rebellion’s scanners to get an idea of how close they might be able to get before they were detected.
“Almost in weapons range.”
Mark turned to Hans who stood nearby waiting for the orders, while giving out maneuvering instructions.
“Try and keep us outside detection range,” Mark said.
“No problem,” Hans said, giving another order to turn slightly.
Mark looked on at the scanners seeing that the enemy warships had moved slightly to head towards the rebellion’s warship as if they never noticed the Enterprise. Well, that would change shortly in his mind.
“Open fire!” he ordered. “Launch fighters.”
The orders were relayed to the right stations as everyone went to work now. He listened in as reports came in on damage to the enemy ships.
Once more watching the scanners he noticed the O’krad ships appeared confused as there was no coordinated effort to strike back. He realized he needed to strike hard, and fast, as it was something they were probably not used to dealing with. He had spent some time going over reports of battles between the rebellion and the O’krad and it almost seemed childish in nature.
The rebellion not doing anything special to attack, and took efforts to not really harm the enemy ships. Mark understood Earth’s defense force would not take the same actions, they were out to destroy the enemy.
He watched as the Enterprise and the fleet maneuvered to maintain their stealth advantage. Even as he looked on the fighters rushed to engage quickly engaging the enemy as well, making strafing runs on the enemy ships. He thought about the upcoming bombers which were in production and hoped they might help in battles.
So far the battle lined up as he had planned and with the intel from the rebellion they used that bit of information about the stealth technology to hopefully improve their attack. From what Mark noticed he thought the O’krad ships had yet to detect the Enterprise of the destroyers. It gave them a tremendous advantage, and explained the previous battle and why they attacked the station and not the Enterprise right away.
“We have four Fres cruisers incoming.”
That was something else they had learned from the rebellion, the type of ships the enemy had along with a few names. The O’krad had attacked once more with cruisers, they did have a battlecruiser type of ship like the Enterprise but it was rarely seen. Mark had a feeling they didn’t have many, as intel agreed.
The battle lined up as he hoped as every ship went for the kill. He noticed damage to one of the ships, and the fact they were again slow to adapt to the tactics making him wonder if the O’krad were unused to such resistance from their targets. He knew they would learn that humanity wasn’t a race that would roll over and allow them to conquer them without bloodshed.
Toncor walked along with Belru catching up with things. He learned that the resistance had lost several ships in defense of his homeworld, to the point where the resistance was in danger of ceasing to exist at all. They had about a dozen warships now, but the humans had even less.
“So, this human race, what do you think of them?” Belru asked. “They have been hungry for knowledge about the Dark Race.”
Toncor gave it some thought and what he had learned about the humans before responding.
“I recall something one said to me not long ago, and have seen it with one of their ancient philosophers,” Toncor said. “Something about knowing the enemy to know yourself.”
He watched Belru think about that before replying as well.
“Doesn’t make much sense to me,” he finally said. “Why would anyone want to know about the Dark Race?”
“I think its to know how they will act to certain actions,” Toncor said.
“They are a race who conqueror others,” Belru said. “What else is there to know?”
“The O’krad are like that, but why? It’s something I’ve always asked and wondered even more lately after being with the humans. Why are they conquering everyone?” Toncor asked
“That I don’t have the answer to. The humans have asked me that question as well.”
“They are very different than any other race I’ve come across yet,” Toncor said. “Not that I’ve come across many, but they are different in their attitudes. They are willing to fight, and it made me wonder why we are not?”
“Why? Killing is something which is against the very nature of the universe,” Belru said.
“Yes, according to what we know,” Toncor said knowing he was wading into strange and untested arguments. “But look at their planet, death is at the very fabric of their being. Everything is revolved around it to an extent.”
“Death is natural, we all will experience it,” Belru said. “I‘m not sure where you’re going with this Tonor. You go down a dangerous path.”
“Perhaps,” Toncor said. “But the humans have an honor about them, also very much a part of who they are, and something they all take seriously.”
Toncor would have said more but a lot of activity got his attention as they stopped to look around. He noticed Jeff making his way toward them.
“Is there a problem Senator?” Toncor asked.
“We’re under attack again, four O’krad ships were spotted,” Jeff said to him.
Toncor looked over at Belru who seemed to think about this.
“Four, it’s a bigger force,” Belru replied.
“Yeah, but not much, we should win this battle as well,” Jeff said.
“Why are you so confident?” Belru asked confusion in his voice that Toncor heard.
“We’ve determined a lot more about their capabilities and really, if it had been us we would have sent a force twice the size of the first fleet,” Jeff replied back. “It’s almost as if they didn’t learn from the first attack.”
“They are a dangerous group,” Belru said. “They won’t hesitate to kill you.”
“Oh, we know,” Jeff replied. “We won’t give them that opportunity if possible.”
Toncor looked on at the two pondering the words Jeff spoke about not giving them an opportunity. It was exactly what the rebellion had done, given them opportunity after opportunity to kill them without fighting back at all.
He became to wonder if the rebellions philosophies actually limited how much they would actually fight the O’krad. They were really fighting without doing anything with the thought the passive resistance would win the O’krad over. But if the O’krad had any history like the humans those ideals were doomed to failure.
“How does the defense go?” Toncor asked Jeff.
“So far, from reports the O’krad ships are being beaten, the last report indicated one enemy ship destroyed,” Jeff replied. “I was on my way to see what other news I could learn.”
Toncor looked at the two and then followed Jeff to see what was going on as well. They arrived at one of the briefing room and he noticed a lot of people moving around and a scanner in the middle of the room. He made sure to remain out of everyone’s way and merely observed what was going on along with Belru standing next to him.
“Very interesting,” Belru finally said after a few moments of observing. “They are most efficient.”
Toncor had to agree. They moved around giving out information without crowding each other allowing anyone watching to gain the information needed. Tonor realized it was a room for the senators, or other political officials to keep up with what was going on as no actual orders were being given.
He turned his attention to the scanners, seeing the movement of the enemy fleet. There appeared to be little coordination with the ships, as one appeared to be turning around, while the other two were moving away from each other.
“Looks like they are splitting up,” Jeff said.
“Splitting up?” Belru asked.
“Trying to gain more information about what is going on,” Jeff replied. “Or they are just confused, sometimes it hard to tell.”
“Everything we’ve learned is the Dark Race does things with a purpose,” Belru replied back.
“But what happens when they are confused by something?” Jeff replied back. “How do they handle confusion in battle?”
“Confusion in battle?” Belru asked.
“Yeah, there is an old saying, no battle plan survives the first engagement,” Jeff stated as Toncor watched the exchange while watching the O’krad ships and the human ship closing in for the kill. It seemed strange but once the ships split the humans became more aggressive.
“You’re ships seem more aggressive?” Toncor finally asked.
“Ah, they were stronger together, apart they are easier targets,” Jeff replied.
Another human approached and spoke to Jeff.
“How are things going?” he asked.
“Good Greg, looks like we’ll beat this attack off as well,” Jeff replied.
They continued to watch the battle for a bit longer until another O’krad ship was destroyed and the remaining two, one which was already retreating, ran for escape the battle.
“Looks like we’ve bloodied their nose twice,” Greg said.
“Yeah, but we can expect a larger attack force next time,” Jeff said.
“I’m beginning to wonder about that, if their empire is so big, do they really have a large military, or is it stretched across the cosmos,” Greg said.
The question caught Toncor off guard as well as he considered that question. Surely the O’krad had a huge empire, and if they really did, they should have a military which was very large.
“But having a large military means its stretched across the universe and they are unable to bring the full weight of it to bear against us,” Jeff replied back. “Intelligence is already working to see if they can figure out how large their military is.”
“We’ve calculated their fleet to number at least a hundred warships,” Belru stated speaking up. Greg seemed to not understand and Toncor realized he didn’t have a translator on.
“At least a hundred, that’s not good news,” Jeff said. “They could easily overwhelm our defenses.”
Toncor watched as Jeff seemed to think about that for several seconds. “But if they are spread out across the galaxy, and unable to concentrate their forces, it’s an advantage for us.”
“Will we have time to gather our forces?” Greg said.
Toncor considered it all wondering what might happen next.
End part 23
Continued in part 24