Master of Violence – Part 17

Master of Violence

by AJ Marks

Part 17

“Scanner contact!”

Mark heard the cry as he walked onto the bridge looking over to see the scanner operator looking over at the others who seemed almost relieved to see him walk onto the bridge.

“Situation,” Mark said making his way over to the center area.  “And display on the combat scanner.”

He only had to wait a few seconds before it displayed and he looked on.  He noticed three ships this time.

“Red alert,” Mark said.  “Inform all commands, military and civilian.  Any conformation on what ships they are?”

“Computer is working on it now.”

The Enterprise went onto red alert even as the computers worked and Hans walked onto the bridge.

“Reading O’krad ships,” the reply came back.

“Disengage all scanner enhancers, inform the rest of the fleet to do the same, launch all fighters,” Mark said as Hans walked up beside him.

“Rest of the fleet has responded, all ships have dropped scanner enhancers,” Joaquin replied back to him.

“Opening moves,” Mark said to Hans.  “Now we’ll see how good they are, or how much they outclass us.”

“HQ on the line,” Joaquin said.

Mark looked down to see Richard on the screen.

“What’s going on?”

“Incoming O’Krad ships, three of them,” Mark replied.  “They all appear to be of the bombardment type.”

“Good luck, we’ll alert all ground commands, keep us informed,” Richard said.

“No problem,” Mark replied turning back to the bridge crew.  “Helm, course three one five point six, move us out.  Have the rest of the fleet move up in battle formation alpha.”

He watched as the orders went out and the engines of the battlestar roared to life.

“Armor down and in place,” someone else shouted out.

“Fighters launched.”

“Have VF-4 head to engage the far right ship, the fleet will follow.  VF-11 will hang back and wait for any enemy fighters to appear and engage those,” Mark ordered looking at the screen as the ships all moved towards the enemy ships.  He could see civilian ships starting to run away from the battle area even as the captain of the Delta base came on.

“Captain Sara, how is the station?” he asked.

“Operating at about eighty percent,” she replied back to him.

“It’ll have to do,” Mark replied knowing he would have preferred it to be higher but they were out of time now.  He would know how their weapons and military would do in seconds now as the fighters of VF-4 approached to engage.

*****

Joe felt the conflict of emotions from fear to excitement all rolled up in his stomach.  This was it, the battle everyone expected was coming.  He turned his thoughts away from the idea their weapons might not be effective to what he was trained to do in this situation.

The distance closed as the enemy ships had yet to open fire, or do much of anything except continue to close in on Earth.  Did they even see them? Or did they considered the fighters to not be a threat?

The distanced continued to close as finally they were in firing range.

“All fighters, fire,” the captain said.

Joe pushed down the trigger and heard the weapons fire, or imagined it, he never was sure.  All twenty-four fighters opened up as they quickly approached and then flew past finishing their strafing run on the enemy ship.  It appeared they didn’t do any damage at all as they turned around for another attack run.

Still no return fire from the enemy ships which only served to confuse Joe as they opened fire again.  His shots struck the hull again and he wondered if he was even doing anything when the O’krad ships opened up, but they were not targeted at the fighters.

Not bothering to listen he flew back in this time targeting the weapon systems and hoping to do some damage.

He and Carl concentrated on the weapon system until he was almost out of ammo when the weapon stopped firing and the O’krad ship showed a slight burst of flame coming from inside the ship.

“Aim for the weapons, we can hurt them,” Joe said to everyone even as he turned around for another attack run which would probably be his last considering he was almost out of ammo.

The rest of the fighter group flew in to attack targeting the weapon systems as well.  It concerned Joe that there were still no fighters at all in this attack.  Were they waiting for something?  He decided to keep an eye out on the scanners for anything unusual.

*****

“Captain, VF-4 is asking to rearm.”

“Go ahead, tell the hangars to be quick,” Hans replied even as Mark watched the battle scanner.

The Earth defense fleet continued to press their attack and close the distance.  At first there had been no return fire at all, and when they finally did open fire they targeted the close by civilian ships instead of the warships.

It left him with questions he didn’t have any answers to.  Were they purposefully attacking civilian ships?  Why were they not attacking his ships?

“Main guns charged and ready.”

“Fire,” Hans said.

Even though Mark couldn’t hear the weapons fire, he almost imagined a sound.  The one problem with fighting in space, there really wasn’t any sound aside from the rumble of the engines unlike the movies.

“Direct hit.”

“Enemy ship status?” Mark asked wondering if they could determine such damage.

“Scanners indicate one of the enemy ships is showing power fluctuations, unknown what it might actually mean.  The other two seemed to be operating normally.”

Before Mark could ask anything else the Enterprise shuddered slightly.

“Hit on deck six, no damage.”

Even as the report came in the ship shuddered again taking another hit.  The Enterprise returned fire against the O’krad ships as the engagement continued on.

“In range of Station Delta, its opening fire as well.”

Mark knew they needed all the firepower they could get.  Early reports from the fighter squadrons seemed encouraging to him, considering they were able to damage the ships with their firepower.  Now as the larger weapons opened fire the battle was just starting to heat up.  He wanted to eliminate this group quickly in case there were more ships on the way.

“Intercepting high powered transmissions,” Joaquin said.

“Probably reporting back to their commanders of what is going on here,” Mark said to them.  It was actually expected.  “Can we jam those transmissions?”

“We can try, not sure it will work,” Joaquin replied.

“Do it,” Mark said.

He watched the man work even as the Enterprise rocked again with another hit.  So far the armor of the ship held up to the attack.  The main guns fired again even as reports of the fighter squadron rearming floated across to where he sat, strapped into a chair.

The command position in a battle, at the battle scanner, and unlike the movies they were belted into the seats to prevent them from flying across the deck when the ship was hit.  A lot of information was flying around the bridge and he listened in on some of it.  Some were damage reporting coming in, which were minor at best.  A few systems were damaged by the shock of the hit, but no hit had yet to penetrate the armor and cause real damage.

“Report coming in from Delta station, its under fire.”

Mark looked on to see the station’s systems.  So far everything appeared to be holding there.  He wondered about its armor, as it had lighter armor than the Enterprise.  The battlecruiser had been built with heavy armor, the designer had gone for the maximum thickness they could develop as weight didn’t matter at all.  As a result the three feet of armor was more than any other Earth ship ever built.

He could see some damage starting to accumulate on the station.  Even as he looked on he noticed one of the enemy ships had fallen back and its power levels were fluctuating wildly at the moment.  Then the other two started to move further away from the enemy ship.

“All ships, back away from that one ship, it looks like it could explode at any second,” Mark ordered.  He watched as the ships of the fleet slowly moved away from the damaged ship.

Suddenly the engine levels peaked and the signal disappeared.

“One enemy warship destroyed.”

“Concentrate all firepower on this one,” Mark said.

Once more the order went out and the fleet moved in for another attack.  Mark had a hope they might actually win this battle.

“Delta station is heavily damaged.”

He looked back over at the screen seeing the damage indicators coming in.  He knew it was about to explode and hoped the people on board were getting to the escape pods.

The fleet continued to attack, he could not spend much time on the station as the battle was still going on, one he could not afford to lose.

*****

Jeff watched the screen, it had been linked into the scanners of the ship in orbit and the station.  Even as he watched the station was going critical.  The order had come across to abandon the station and he hoped most got to the escape pods.  Surprisingly Alpha station had yet to be targeted by anything.

The Enterprise had reported no major damage either.  He looked over to see Toncor and Yissffer standing there.  The Volor had not been able to get back to his ship as the attack started while they were still in the meeting.  Jeff had been slightly surprised to see the Volor return back into the room as the attack continued.

A cheer went up when one of the enemy ships had been destroyed meaning they could fight them.

“It appears the ships are turning around,” someone said causing Jeff to look for himself.

Sure enough the O’krad ships were turning around and appeared to be moving away, retreating from the planet.  The military wasn’t allowing them time to back off and continued to press the attack.

“Why continue?” Yissffer asked.  “They’ve been beaten back.”

Jeff paused to consider the question.  True, they could let them leave peacefully.  In some circumstances it might actually be the better course of action, but he also understood the reason here.

“Simple, if we let them go, they can come back with more ships, including those we let go,” Jeff replied back to him.  “We have no idea how large their fleet is.  This was only the first of many battles we’ll be having with them.”

Yissffer remained quiet with that reply even as Jeff understood what he had said.  This was only the second real battle between humanity and the O’krads.  For humanity to survive they had to adapt to new technology rapidly, and gain a larger defense force quickly.  So many things they had to do and Jeff still felt they had no time upon which to do it in.

“O’krad ships have retreated.”

There were some cheers of celebration, but Jeff merely felt exhausted.  It was one battle.  There was still a lot more they had to do.  The war had just started.

“I want all sectors to report in and damage reports of all ships at once,” Natile said standing up.  “Order any repairs at once, highest priority.  We need the rest of the stations operational as soon as possible.”

“We also need to know what happened to station Delta, see if we can improve the stations and their survivability,” Jeff said to her.

“Do it,” she ordered looking at some other people.

Several people got up and started walking around leaving Jeff, Toncor and Yissffer still in the room and a few other military officers working the stations getting reports and such from the fleet.

“Not what I expected,” Toncor finally said as they stood and began walking out as well.

“Yes, I am surprised, I doubted anyone could have stood up to the Dark Race,” Yissffer said.

“I think you’ll find humans are full of surprises,” Jeff said.

End part 17

Continued in part 18

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