Legacy of the Guardians – Part 25

Legacy of the Guardians

by AJ Marks

Part 25

The crew of the Moscow tensed as they closed in on the Skartian fleet which had arrived and starting their attack on the planet. Ahmed looked at the situation giving instructions to aim for the weapons systems and move on to the next target. They would fight fast and smart, using extreme range and hopefully they could draw some ships away from the planet. He hoped to stay out of the Skartians range for as long as possible.

The arrival of the human fleet did not go unnoticed by the Skartians. They turned to destroy the human fleet quickly to prevent the plan from falling apart. At extreme range the human fleet opened fire, engaging the Skartians before they could return fire.

“Captain, several heavies are heading this way on different courses we won’t be able to maintain this range for long,’ the scanner operator said.

“Direct all firepower on those ships, disable their weapons, then engines,” Ahmed said, hoping to buy some more time. Fleet R was on its way but he had to survive.

The Main weapons of the Moscow opened fire again. The lead ship was hit, and if anyone had been able to see it they would have seen the Skartian shields glow red under the impact of the shots.

Shouts of inbound fighters caught his attention, as the destroyers of the fleet positioned themselves in defensive positions. They would attack the fighters. The Moscow did not have fighters, and Ahmed knew he was in for a fight.

“Captain, incoming Ilderian fleet, numbering ten ships,’ the scanner operator said, seconds before the communications officer said they had an incoming message.

“Human, why are you here, we can defend ourselves,” the Ilderian said.

“How long till your fleet gets here?” Ahmed asked instead. “Because according to our scanners they will not be here in another five of our hours, that’s enough time for them to destroy every major city on your planet’s surface.”

“You are still in our space with warships,” the Ilderian replied, not backing down. “Such actions are an act of aggression.”

“We can leave or help you defend your home, but make up your mind quickly,” Ahmed said, even as the Moscow continued to fire. He watched the Ilderian for a few seconds trying to make up his mind.

“You can’t prevent this, why are you here?” he finally said.

“We have reinforcements that will arrive soon, we only have to delay them long enough,” Ahmed said, watching as the Ilderian commander appeared to be warming up to having allies in this battle.

“Captain, getting a power surge from one of the Skartian heavies,” which focused his attention back to the battle from the Ilderian.

“Where?” Ahmed asked, hoping that the operator made a mistake and read a number wrong.

He saw a Skartian heavy ship’s weapon charging up. He watched in horror as it fired towards a large city on the planet’s surface. The effect of the weapon’s destructive power was greater than a nuclear weapon, destroying the city in a few seconds.

He heard the Ilderian scream, or curse, not sure as the translator did not provide a translation. He quickly calculated the time it would take for the reinforcements, realizing it would be too late at their current speed.

“Get me Admiral Dinen now,” Ahmed said.

“What’s wrong?” the admiral asked, appearing on the screen.

“The Skartians have started a full-scale bombardment fo the planet, I don’t’ think you’ll arrive in time,” Ahmed said honestly.

“Understood captain, we will win this day at all costs,” the admiral said signing off.

George, on the Seydlitz turned to the captain before making his order. “Tell all ships to go to one hundred and twenty percent on the engines, all marines prepare for ground combat.”

“Sir, if we do that there is a possibility of an explosion,” the captain said.

“I know, but we no longer have time captain,” George replied. “Billions of lives are now at stake, we can’t fail.”

“Very well, one hundred and twenty percent, relay the order to all ships,” the captain said. They all heard the Seydlitz’s engines whine increase causing everyone to listen in, hoping it held together.

Back on the Moscow Ahmed heard the conversation before turning to the rest of the crew. He saw the look of determination on their faces, each understanding what they needed to do.

“Target the bombardment ships and engage,” Ahmed ordered, even as another report came in of another city destroyed. They all understood it meant going into the heart of the battlefleet. The main guns of the Moscow opened fire again with deadly accuracy, ignoring the incoming heavy warships and going after the bombardment ships. “Take power from life support if needed to power the shields and engines, but don’t’ let the weapons fall below eighty percent, and tell the rest of the fleet to follow us in.”

The battlecruiser opened fire again as it headed straight into the heart of the Skartian fleet, temporarily shocking them with the latest tactic. The weapons fired again and again hitting the Skartian heavy ships in the weapon systems.

Ahmed lurched about in his chair, strapped in even as alarms went off all over the ship. The battlecruiser continued to take hits, and the shield generators were still operating, without which the ship would have been blown apart already. Several weapons had been disabled, but the main guns were still firing, that was the only thing Ahmed cared about at all.

The rest of the patrol group did not fare any better, despite the Moscow taking the brunt of the attacks. The other ships were being his enough to cause considerable damage.

The Ilderian fleet arrived in time to watch the human fleet begin what they thought to be a suicide attack on the Skartian fleet. Bolstered by the courage of the humans the Ilderian threw his small fleet into the battle with equal abandon. This had the effect of drawing some fire away from the Human fleet as the Skartians realized they were there. The Ilderian commander abandoning his order to wait for reinforcements before engaging the Skartians. Of course, he abandoned that the moment the Skartians began bombarding the surface of the planet.

Ahmed knew his fleet was no longer alone by looking at the scanners. The Ilderians had also engaged, but they were still vastly outnumbered in the battle. Finally the Skartian bombardment ships came into range.

“Target weapons on the nearest ship and fire, tell the others to target these ships, ignore everything else.” Ahmed ordered. It left his fleet venerable to attack, but putting even one ship out might save millions of lives.

The weapon fire impacted the shielding of the Skartian ship, and while not enough to penetrate the shields it caused the ship to turn its attention from the planet to the human ship. Its planetary weapons were useless in space, and it took precious seconds to switch the power from planetary bombardment to space warfare. Enough time for the Moscow to damage the weapon systems, taking the planetary weapons out of action.

“Target the next ship’s weapons,” Ahmed said, seeing the scanner reports, even as damage reports streamed in. Fires had started on one of the decks, and damage control teams were not sure they could contain it.

The main weapons were now down to fifty percent, and dropping, shields were becoming ineffective, and Ahmed thought carefully about his next course of action. He studied the scanner before making his decision.

“All hands, this is the captain speaking, abandon ship, repeat, abandon ship,” he said into the communications before turning to the helm. “Helm, lay in a course to the next target, full power to engines then get to an escape pod,” Ahmed said, rocking with another hit. Ahmed waited until the last person left the bridge before following behind himself.

The battlecruiser Moscow turned slightly before accelerating towards the next undamaged Skartian heavy. Too late the Skartians realized what the human battlecruiser was about to do.

Ahmed watched from the escape pod as his ship slowly impacted the Skartian ship. For a moment it appeared they were trying to combine before explosions started going off everywhere. Small ones at first as both ships were ripped apart. The Moscow’s bow was destroyed as the Skartian ship was ripped in two.

The large pieces of the ship drifted apart for what seemed like a long time. In reality it was only a few seconds before the engines of both ships went critical, exploding in a blinding white light.

Ahmed shielded his eyes from the light of the explosion. The others on board did the same until the explosion died down, leaving them drifting in a battle zone full of hostile craft.

“We’re heading towards the planet, should be caught in the gravity in the next couple of minutes,” one of the crew members said. They knew once they entered the atmosphere they probably would survive.


The Ilderian commander watched what happened to the human warship, knowing what they had done and why. He spared a quick second to honor what the sacrifice before turning his attention back to the battle. He knew things were not going well, and been informed by the government the losses were horrific. Landing craft were already descending towards the surface, and all efforts to repel the invaders was going on. Their ground forces were light, and any real reinforcements were still hours away.

On board the Skartian flagship the commander realized with the destruction of the human battlecruiser the fight was in their favor once more. Though his fleet had been damaged by this small human fleet, they still were able to undertake a full scale invasion. The damage to several bombardment ships would only delay the inevitable.

His confidence returned that the plan would work. He heard that so far the other two targets had only given feeble resistance, and been captured. There was only one thing that disturbed him, information about the human homeworld, Earth. With no reports, and the fact human warships appeared here caused him concern. He mentioned it to his superiors, who dismissed it.

He continued on his attack as ordered, knowing he had the advantage here. Even if the rest of the Ilderian defense force arrived, they would be able to handle them.


Captain Threse took over the command of the human fleet after the destruction of the Moscow. He kept the ships attacking, trying to coordinate with the Ilderians to maximize their firepower. However, he knew there was still too much time before the reinforcements arrived. They would not be here for another twenty minutes, and he would not last five.

He warred with retreating and saving his life, or continuing the struggle to keep the Skartians’ attention on anything but the planet. Reports of landing craft coming in, but could spare no thought to that. He looked down at the Ilderian commander, as they planned their next move.

“Looks like you could use a hand captain,” he heard, and turned to see Vice Admiral Dinen on the main screen.

“Admiral, we could, the situation has gotten worse, the Skartians have started to land troops on the surface, and we’ve lost the Moscow,” Threse said, explain the situation even as the ship took another hit, reports of shields holding for now came to him as helm executed another hard maneuver. “When can you get here?”

“How about now,” the admiral replied, causing Threse to look at the scanner, and saw Fleet R entering the battle, much to his great relief. He quickly ordered all remaining ships to retreat towards the fleet.

George Dinen watched the scanners from on board the Seydlitz. The fleet had arrived, and he had pushed his ships beyond the safety margins to get here faster, and they paid for it, two ships lost to explosions with another five dropping out of FTL with engine failure. But he would do it again to arrive in time.

“All ships engage, marines prepare for planetary assault,” he ordered.

The carriers Ark Royal and Zuikaku launched their fighters, even as the battlecruiser opened fire. The Skartian fleet had not been expecting another human fleet to arrive, and were caught n full planetary assault mode.

The Seydlitz blazed the way into the battle, weapons systems firing on the Skartian fleet. The advanced weapon and power systems showed off, the most powerful ship in the battle. The other battlecruisers formed up behind it adding their firepower a moment later as they closed the distance.

Human fighters engaged their counterparts with the advantage of being fresh. The humans went on the offensive.

The ilderian commander watched though his scanners never so glad that he would see a human fleet above his homeworld. Earlier in the day he would have been angry, now, he felt overjoyed. He watched as they jumped right into the battle devastating the Skartians fleet. He knew now he was not sure his military would have won a battle against the Skartians, despite being an older race. When it came to war, his race was the learner, he was watching two masters go at it.

Dinen kept an eyes on the battle, noticing that the Ilderian fleet pulled back to a reserve. position. They probably had damaged ships and wounded to take care of. He also knew he did not need to take care of that area, and concentrated on the other areas of the battle.

“Captain, we have a clear path to the planet’s surface, along with the locations of the Skartian’s landings,” the report came in.

“Path is clear admiral,” the captain said.

“Launch ground troops, have several fighters escort them,” George said, knowing that even if the path might be clear, they needed protection in this battle zone.

He turned back to the scanner, seeing that the battle had come down to a slugging match. This is where the Seydlitz now excelled with her advanced shielding and weapons. The Skartian weapons had remained the same since the end of the war, the Seydlitz had been improved, along with many other warships in the human fleet, retrofitted with the latest technologies.

Anyone watching the battle could see the power of the Seydlitz. Dinen watched the battle slowly turn in his favor, and he pressed the advantage.

End part 25

Continued in part 26

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