Roleplay - The Invaders Attack:
Written by various players.
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Chapter 17: Preparations


After the meeting Howard retired to his working quarters on Bloodred Death. He had a lot of work to do, and very little time to do it in. As he sat down at his desk and activated his console, he entered his personal database and opened a few files nobody ever had even considered to be in existence. And so the race against time began…

While Howard was trying out many different scenarios on how to accomplish the near impossible task he had given himself, the door to his quarters made a sound, signalling that there was a visitor waiting to be allowed to step into the inner sanctuary of the Federation's Flagship.

Distracted but firm, the Presidents voice sounded: "Enter". The door opened with swift motion and there stood StarRaider. One of the oldest Plexxans around, a much respected Councillor and a very good friend of the President.

"John," the old and familiar voice made the President look up from his work, "you do realize the Council wasn't informed about your decision to go on that mystery-mission of yours don't you?". Howard detected some agitation in the voice of his long-time friend and trustee. "Yes, I know that StarRaider. Are there questions Council wishes to be answered?" A nod confirmed his suspicions. "Alright, call for a meeting, I will be there shortly."

With that StarRaider turned around and walked through the door and Howard returned to his work. There had to be a way he could accomplish what he had to accomplish….

A short twenty minutes later Howard walked into the Imperial Hall, and saw the entire Council already present.

"Ladies, Gentlemen. I will be short in my words today for I have a lot of work to do. I know you are all concerned about what it is that my mission will be. I cannot share those details with you, for I am sure that there are spies in our midst." Howard's voice carried through the Hall, and some Councillors muttered and whispered some words to each other.

"I will tell you this. This mission is vital to the success that our Fleets will try to achieve. Without my mission, the chances of defeating the Union fast and swiftly are extremely small."

"What are you talking about Howard?", a young Councillor rose. "What I mean is…" and the old President turned his head around to look the young Plexxan in the face "the Union will not stand alone. She will be aided by the Egaran, and possibly even the Dagon. That is all not much of a problem, the Allied Fleets can win that battle."

"However," he continued "There is the distinct possibility that the Invaders will aid Machinehr. That we cannot win, then we are outnumbered. I will be doing everything I can to keep the Invaders busy, keep them occupied and make them ignore the fighting in the Galaxy."

"Old fool! That is impossible." Again the young Councillor spoke.

Calmly the President responded: "It is entirely possible. There is more to your President then meets the eye. The fact that you still doubt me after all these years is a sign of your incompetence to read files and your failure to comprehend the lessons learned from history." The young Councillor stood as struck by lightning.

"On the matter of the leadership of our Fleets…" Howard was addressing the entire Council again. "StarRaider is perfect for the job. He gets command of our Fleets and he will receive all the information he needs from me. Any further objections?"


StarRaider rose and spoke: "I think we all agree John."

"Good, then one last order for all. Gather the Fleets, recommission every ship that is out of order. Make sure our Fleets are mobilized and ready. May you all go and have your path lit by the Gods themselves!"

Howard was already on his way out, his walking cane echoed through the Hall. Behind him he heard StarRaiders voice: "John, go with Honour, find Glory and return with Victory! May Balkuth be with you!" And with that in his ears Howard limped out of the Hall, on his way to his flagship. He had just gotten a revelation. He had found the way to make his mission a success.

"Captain on deck!!!" sounded the voice of the young ensign when the President set foot in the Engineering Bay of the Bloodred Death.

All around the officers and crewmembers of the legendary Paladin class starship saluted their beloved President.

Kenai, the Chief Engineer walked up to his Captain. "Sir, we are ready for departure, all systems are fully operational again."

"Good. Report to my working quarters in ten minutes, together with the rest of the Senior Officers." was the response he got from his Captain.

Ten minutes later the Captain gave permission for his Senior Officers to enter his working quarters, and pointed them to a table in the middle of the room, which was surrounded by skilfully crafted chairs.

"Lady and gentlemen, the mission we are embarking upon right now is one like none before. Chances are that this ship and crew will not return to the safety of our homes. If you have any objections to this mission, I request that you voice your concerns right now, so I can note them in my logs. Otherwise, I will give you your orders right now." A short moment of silence followed in which the five officers glanced at each other, until that the young female officer that for the last twenty-eight months had graced the ship's communication station on the bridge stood and said with a soft but clear voice: "Sir, I am quite sure that I speak on behalf of all of us, and all the people that serve under our supervision when I declare that we will stand by you no matter what. You have lead us in the past, you have been willing to give your life for us in the past, now let us humbly offer ours for your cause." All officers nodded in agreement upon the woman's words.

Upon that, Howard handed electronic notepads to all the officers present, which contained detailed instructions and orders for all departments on the ship. As the Chief Engineer took a look at his electronic notepad, he saw it contained various diagrams and complicated schematics, showing the details for a certain device that was to be built. "Sir, there is no way I can.." the Chief started. "You have 1 hour Kenai, I know you technically need more time, but that just isn't available." was the interruption of his Captain.

"Yes Sir" answered a puzzled Kenai.

At the moment that his officers walked to the doorway, ready to leave, the President received a transmission from the Security Minister on his desk console. Pushing a few buttons resulted in the appearing of the Minister's face upon the screen of the console. "Forgive me for interrupting you Sir, but I thought this is something you should know." The President raised his eyebrows, waiting for the Minister to say what was on his mind. "Sir, Representative Greeny has been shot on level 4, section B, corridor Omega-3." Quickly the Minister told about the heroic acts of General Chad, and how Greeny ended up in one of the medical wards of the Plexxan homebase.

The expression on the face of the President hardened when he heard of what had happened to Greeny. His old voice was soft, but determined and commanding: "Minister, you will do whatever is needed to find the perpetrator. I don't care what it is that you have to do, this criminal has to be caught by the Plexxan authorities. His trail will be held in a Plexxan court, his case judged by a Plexxan judge and his sentence will be in accordance to Plexxan Criminal Law. You have allowed this security breach to be possible, you will find the flaw in your system, and you will fix it. I do not care what the Terran Empire may say, I do not care how much they threaten you, neither Greeny or the perpetrator will be released to them. Greeny will get the best possible medical care that we can provide. Get him the best doctors you can find in the Federation. Now quit sitting around and start solving this problem." The view screen of the desk console was slammed down rather violently after those words.

The President walked out of his quarters and entered the bridge of his flagship, walked to his Head of Security and whispered in his ear: "I need statements of all of our crewmen on their whereabouts during the last four hours. Send those statements to the Minister of Security the moment you have them." The officer walked off to gather the information, and another officer took his place in his absence, so that all consoles on the bridge were ready and manned at all times.

Howard turned to his Tactical Officer, a tall, strong built man with a battle worn face. "Those weapon upgrades?" "Almost done Sir. We are installing the last of the extra gun batteries." "Once they are installed, we move out, so keep me informed." And with that, the President and his walking cane left the bridge. Howard went to search for his First Officer, and decided to walk, since his limp was getting worse by the minute and he needed to exercise for what was without doubt to come. His First Officer was found checking up on the progress of the instalment of the last few gun batteries that Howard had ordered.

The President took his First Officer aside, and told him: "Listen Genya, if on this mission anything causes me to leave the ship, or if anything results in me being incapable of leading the ship and the ship is at danger of being boarded or destroyed, then abandon it. I will not tolerate any discussion over this. You abandon the ship in those cases. This crew cannot be asked to give its life for this, I am already asking too much of them." "Yes Sir" answered a worried and puzzled Genya.

About fifty minutes later, three reports poured into the console of the Captains working quarters. As he opened them and read them, he knew it was time. Kenai was done, the gun batteries were installed and operating, and the entire crew had given their statements to the team the First Officer had put together.

Again, for the second time within the hour the bridge saw the President entering. This time, he sat down in his chair, and gave the order: "Release docking clamps, and jump to hyperspace right away!"

The enormous warship set itself in motion, moving out of the docking bay of the starbase, which truly dwarfed any ship known in the galaxy. All that were at the side of the docking bay in Brunneran that afternoon saw Bloodred Death disappear into hyperspace moments later, wondering if she would return home in glory, if she would return at all…

"Set course for Aldebaran" the old Plexxans voice rolled over the bridge like a nearing fierce thunderstorm. The helmsman specified the coordinates of the system and plotted a course. He waited for the order. "What are you waiting for Ensign?" he heard his captain say, indicating that he should get the ship moving.

A few hours later the Bloodred Death left hyperspace and entered the gravity well of the Aldebaran system. After a few scans, everything in the system looked normal, and the President requested the helmsman to move to a specific set of coordinates. While the huge Paladin was moving, the scanners picked something up. There seemed to be a massive fleet of ships entering the system.

The moment the sensor readings were shown on the view screen and Howard took a look at them, he ordered his Communications officer to encrypt those data and send it to Void on a secure frequency right away.

The screen showed a huge fleet of Dagon ships, who seemed to be trailing a Terran-built Invincible, which was identified as the "Longsword". The strange thing was that none of the Dagon ships were locking on to the Longsword, yet they seemed to follow its lead. That meant one of two things to Howard.

Either his old friend was dead and his ship captured, or, and this he feared most, his friend was captured by the Dagon and forced to work for them. There had been rumours around the galaxy about that for ages, but nothing was ever substantially proven to be either wrong or true. What Howard knew for sure was that this was not good, and that his friend at Void was to be informed of this right away.

The Dagon fleet seemed not to be alarmed by the presence of the Plexxan flagship, and readied itself to enter hyperspace again.

After the fleet had disappeared off the system sensors, Howard came in action: "Every crewman will be armed from this moment on. Distribute the weapons." The First Officer sped away. "Arm all weaponry and raise the shields." the President ordered his Tactical Officer.

Then he opened a communication channel to the engineering bay. Kenai reported in over the speakers. "On my command you activate the device." "But Sir, I have no idea how it…" the young engineer was interrupted by his Captain: "I know, that is enough. Wait for my command." and the channel was closed.

Five minutes later, the Tactical Officer signalled that he was ready and the First Officer was reporting that he too was nearly finished. Then Howard gave the order to activate the strange device, of which he seemed to know the purpose and possibly even where it had come from.

As Kenai activated the device, the view screen in the bridge started to show something that had never been seen before by any of the officers on the bridge. Space seemed to distort and something appeared.

It was a bright tunnel-like anomaly. The ships scanners seemed unable to collect any data on it, the sensor sweeps seemed to disappear into the anomaly.

"Set course for that anomaly Ensign. Keep those weapons and shields active Lieutenant." Howard's voice seemed to twirl around in the bridge before anyone responded to it, the anomaly managed to capture all of their attention.

After a few seconds, the helmsman set a course to enter the anomaly. He was afraid, his mind racing: What if the Captain didn't know something that he should know? What if this anomaly tore up the ship like a piece of Terran paper? Was it his place to doubt the President? Was it his place to question his Captain openly here on the bridge?

By the time the Ensign came to make up his mind, the majestic ship he was piloting was entering the anomaly. Sensors failed instantly, they were flying blind. "Shields holding" the Tactical Officer reported. The young Ensign checked his console, and saw that the structural integrity of the ship was perfect, just like when they entered this anomaly. What kind of anomaly was this?

The science officer seemed to have read his mind, and reported that the "wormhole" seemed to be stable, but that without data to compare it to, that assumption could not be verified.

Howard gave the order to enter the wormhole. After the ship had entered the tunnel with the greatest of care, the President again left the bridge.

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