Roleplay - The Invaders Attack:
Written by various players.
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Chapter 28: Imperial Wrath


"Agreed Dennis. My forces are ready at your command. Let's give these fools something to remember!" The huge infectious grin on the face of his friend Armageddon slowly faded as the connection was terminated.

The fleet knew what to do. The 45th Fighter Squadron was in place, and the main fighting force, consisting out of fifty Invincible-class cruisers and a few more then thirty Dominators was preparing itself. In between of those massive ships one could find several smaller Type-42 and Type-74-class Destroyers, as battle ready as they could be. And Dennis had a small surprise for his enemies, deviously hidden on the artificially created surface of Peresh, the nearby gas giant.

Obviously, the troop movement of the Terrans did not go unnoticed by the Egarans, and in return they started assembling their fleets too. Most of their forces were concentrated over Holios, for the time being, where as the Terrans had gathered their main striking force in the direct vicinity of the starbase, which was in synchronic orbit around Peresh. The Egaran forces were outnumbering the Terrans at a rate of five to one, but had a disadvantage: Terrans were angry and wanted their system back.

The Terran forces created a huge wall of ships, not wide but high. Three lines of vessels, with the Dominators located at the back rows was the formation. The old and proven "stacking"-tactic was applied: another layer of ships was positioned on top of the existing one. In total three layers of ships were created. If used effectively, it was extremely hard to break a defence line like that, especially considering the relative lack of space between the ships.

The massive Terran Battle Cruisers were impressive, their sheer firepower was renowned and even feared throughout the galaxy. It took either great numbers or great strategic skills to break such a defence line. Both Armageddon and Dennis positioned their ships, the USS Beware and the Destruction X among the first line of ships, as any good commander would. Besides it was customary in the Imperial Fleet: you lead a fleet, then you lead it from the front lines, and no place else.

The Base Commander gave the order to ready the guns on the Base. "Phase Cannons ready Sir!" was the response he had anticipated.

"Captain Dennis" he said on the secured channel to the fleet "we are ready to give you all the assistance you need." "Acknowledged!"

Then Dennis sent a message to the planet surface: "Engage the enemy as planned."

Off course it was standard procedure for the Egarans in case of occupying a system to make sure no defiant enemy forces were there to disrupt any planned operations. However, this invasion of Boötes was not an ordinary one. Terran forces were still very active, the starbase was still operational and worst of all, no actual attempt on bombing the planets had been made yet, preparations for that were all still underway. All that the Egaran Commander assigned to the task of conquering this system had accomplished so far was domination of the system by sheer numbers.

Continuous scans were run to ensure that the position of every Terran unit was known at all times. Unfortunately, there seemed to be an ongoing disruption of the sensor sweeps around Peresh, one that could not be identified at this time. Egaran scientists were attempting to break through the disruption, which had been identified as an artificial jamming-frequency, but very little progress had been made so far.

The Head Scientist sat in his chair, monitoring the readings of the jamming station, noticed that the Egarans still couldn't get past the ingenious calibration of his jamming equipment, which was programmed to make ships look like planetary shield-emitters, and altered the frequency-rotation once more, just to avoid the Egarans actually succeeding. Then he heard the noise of engines firing up. Not just any kind of engines, but a specific type: the Dual Ion Drives that were used to power the - as the Imperial Naval Information Service had introduced them at the time - greatest, most advanced and most manoeuvrable fighter in the entire galaxy: the 'G-66' Eliminator.

He got up from his shabby old chair and looked outside the window to see forty of these marvels of cutting edge technology and engineering prepare for battle.

Within moments the crafts lifted themselves slowly from the ground using their thrusters, and they took off, lifting themselves higher into the sky as they went, reaching amazing speeds.

Before the fighters could pass though the planetary shielding, which was more then well represented on Peresh, they had to power up their weapons. This needed to be done because the shielding had to be deactivated for the two seconds it took for the Squadron to clear the area where the shields were emitted by their emitters on the ground. The required deactivation of the shields left the ground below vulnerable for those two seconds, which gave their enemies a window of opportunity to sneak a couple of ships past the shielding. This could only be prevented if the outgoing forces could defend the perimeter until the planetary defensive weapons were activated, aimed and ultimately fired.

The fighters cleared the shielding quickly enough to make sure the Egarans had no chance to do such a thing, and the defensive shielding was restored in place, causing it to briefly light up the sky on that particular part of the planets artificially created surface, as it had done when the de-activation procedure had occurred just seconds before. In doing so, the sky was, just for a moment, filled with beautiful sparkling light, and the surface below bathed in an orange light, as quickly fading as it had appeared.

Having cleared the planet, the Squadron pushed their engines to their maximum, racing through the vacuum of space, quickly meeting up with their targets. Their goal however was not destruction but distraction.

"Ok people, just like we practiced!" crackled the voice of the Squadron Leader over the closed communications circuit. As a result the various fighters broke formation and headed into different directions.

Flying directly into the firing range of two Egaran Cruisers, the pilot of Fighter 45-081A had to be very careful. His mission was not one that involved suicidal attempts at capturing glory. Instead he was to lure as many ships as possible closer to the main fleet.

Closer and closer he approached his target-range, and he noticed that the Cruisers started moving in his direction. He had clearly been noticed. He grabbed his controls just a little firmer, and exhaled while he started to count down in his mind: five, four, three, two, one… The gravitational forces would have been enough to make his ears bleed if the fighter hadn't been equipped with automated inertial dampeners. Slamming the controls fully to his right, the fighter had made a hairpin turn, banked and not lost the slightest fraction if its speed, while the uninvited company on his tail had serious trouble following his lead, which was however no reason for them not to attempt, and succeed for that matter.

The Cruisers were now in pursuit, brutally abusing their engines in a futile attempt to keep up with the Eliminator. Across their sensors other Eliminators darted around in space, tempting and taunting the rest of the fleet quite successfully.

Slowly but surely the 'G-66' gathered a larger following, even the Desta Kann was called in to assist. By now more then ten ships were firing at the tiny fighter, whose manoeuvring thrusters were being tested in a way the facilities on Luna would never be able to successfully recreate. In between all the banking, evading, running, hiding and misleading slowly but surely the fighter, as many of its kin, managed to get the Egaran fleet to commit large amounts of their ships to this largely futile attempt to get rid of these abnormal annoying puny ships.

However, the Eliminators would not be able to hold on for long, and one by one they were shot down, thereby causing their colleagues to have to deal with even more attention for their own tail.

During all this display of piloting spectacle, the main fleet had quietly and almost completely unnoticed managed to sneak in closer to the relative positions of their targets. By slowly swarming out his forces, Dennis had created a blockade stretching as far possible without weakening the lines.

As the first of the fighters approached his position, Dennis gave his fleet the order to engage, upon which every last one of the Terran ships under the Captains command "put the pedal to the medal" as Captain Armageddon, who had an unexplainable affinity for Terran twentieth century popular culture, would have put it.

From the Egaran point of view this must have been a seriously nasty surprise. They had been so focussed upon the Eliminators and so hell-bent on their destruction, nobody seemed to have bothered to check the sensors for any other fleet movements. The Commander screamed his orders into his communicator, furious and somewhat embarrassed: "Engage them, destroy them at all cost! In the name of Keng, Warlord and Eternal Ruler of Egaria!!"

As the first Eliminators came into the firing range of the fleet, their pilots employed a popular and extremely effective trick to engage the enemies chasing them. In one movement, they pulled up the nose of their ship, at the same time rolling the turning one hundred eighty degrees along their horizontal axis, and did all of this at full speed so that they "pulled a hard one-eighty" as the popular term described it.

Surprised by the sudden change of direction of their targets, the Egaran were not quick to react, giving the first of the Invincibles, which came storming towards their prey, just enough time for a first salvo.

It is needless to say the first wave of Egaran ships were completely obliterated by the overwhelming firepower unleashed upon them by the Terrans. Fusion torpedoes dug themselves into the hull of their target left and right, as Distortion Cannons ploughed through entire decks as if they were scissors cutting through paper.

Captain Armageddon stood on the bridge of the USS Beware, and grinned at the view screen, which showed a portion of space filled with Egaran ships all closing on his location quickly. "Fire at will." He said with a smirk while he turned his head to his Tactical Officer. Backed up by his brothers and sisters, the USS Beware forced itself a way though the many hostiles. The Dominators stayed back in order to utilize their long range, and provide cover fire.

Dennis had broken formation and was on an intercept course with two Cruisers, both of them firing at him, and thereby having their energy beams collide with the superior shield of the Battle Cruiser. Dennis answered their fire with a full spread of fusion torpedoes, which were programmed to localise their target, lock on to it and not let go. As the torpedoes quickly came crashing though the shielding of both Cruisers, the Distortion Cannon and the SuperHeavy Laser were fired at the first of Dennis' two opponents, causing massive damage to the hull of the ship as the Invincible came flying past, its lower decks just mere metres away from the Cruiser as Dennis ordered a port side banking manoeuvre. Both ships kept firing at their attacker, finally managing to obliterate the last of its Ceramite Plating, which had been absorbing and dispersing the previous weapons fire.

As Dennis was coming about, crossing the path of an Eliminator pursuing a damaged Seeker, new weapons fire cut through the outer hull of the stern, making the engines vulnerable to being damaged. The captain of the Desta Kann had decided that his glory would lie in defeating Dennis. At least, that was the setup of this attack.

On the other side of the battlefield, a Type-42 was being pounded by an Eragan Startrap, quickly loosing its hull integrity and most of the vital systems. The Terran captain was just about to abandon ship when out of nowhere a Dominator-class Light Support Cruiser came to his rescue, blasting its Torpedo Arrays at the Startrap, drawing away its fire, and in the process ramming the already heavily damaged Frigate. The impact of the vastly larger Dominator, in combination with the already extensive damage literally obliterated the small ship, yet it did not leave the Dominator without serious damage to the outer hull, where the collision had caused some hull breaches along the impact zone. The crew of the Type-42 were quickly transported to safety upon the Dominator while the Startrap continued to suffer its wrath. In return, the Egaran ship fired its Obliterator Cannon time and time again, further crippling the condition of its opponent.

It was only because of two Eliminators redirecting their fire at the Startrap that the Dominator did not suffer even more damage, as the Distortion Cannons on one of those two fighters hit by a stroke of luck the reactor of the ship, causing it to overload and destroy the ship from within.

The battle raged on, and many Egaran vessels were transformed into floating pieces of useless debris, often covered with radiation from the reactor core that had exploded. Still, the Imperial fleet suffered casualties as well; ever so now and then one of the many ships bearing the proud Imperial Eagle was overcome with hostile fire as many of its opponents were, and crumbled under the force of the attack launched upon her.

Throughout the entire battle, the starbase aided in the defence of the Emperors fleets by utilising its Phase Cannons.

As two Type-47s were overcome by the sheer firepower of the Preda Kann, the automated defences of the base locked upon the attacking vessel, and fired their Phase Cannons. A bright blue-white beam of photons and assorted forms of energy pierced through the empty space, on its way to its target. Just as the Preda Kann fired another volley at one of the Terran vessels in its vicinity, actively destroying it in the process, the phase-beam hit the outer hull of the Egaran warship, slicing through the metal composites as if they were merely butter, driving its own destructive force from deck to deck and eventually exiting the vessel on the exact opposite side. The Preda Kann, a vessel roughly the size of an Invincible drifted though space for just a few seconds, as if the ship was an organic life form, temporarily incapacitated by the devastating force that had just struck its very being.

"The engines are dead sir, and one of the Cruisers is coming about! They are going to ram us!!" "Damnit!! Do we still have our tractor beam?" "Tractor beam is still operational sir!" The bridge was a mess, several people lay on the various consoles, on the floor or somewhere in between, hurt, unconscious or worse.

"Good!" said Dennis with a somewhat raised voice to make sure his crew heard him over the sizzling sounds of gas escaping from the now perforated conduits that were supposed to lay just above the ceiling of the bridge. The Desta Kann had done extensive damage, and while they had managed to turn one of the Cruisers into a derelict heap of scrap metal, floating in the direct vicinity of Dennis' ship, the other vessels had been able to concentrate their fire on just one opponent, instead of three.

"Lock onto the derelict Cruiser and reroute controls to my console!" Dennis shouted, his voice just slightly higher pitched then normal, as he leaped across the bridge, back to his chair.

The Egarans must possess not only an incredible sense of timing, but also cannot be without a serious love of melodramatic actions, since just a fraction of a second before Dennis was to land on his chair, their weapons fire again impacted on the ships hull. Because of that Dennis did not land in the middle of his seat, as he had planned, but was thrown slightly off course and landed on the left arm support, which proved to be quite painful, since he bruised a couple of his ribs in the process of falling down.

Quickly he got up again, and sat down in his chair, shaken en somewhat stirred.

Controlling the tractor beam from his arm rest console, he was able to move the derelict Egaran Cruiser, which was now trapped in the force field generated by the tractor beam, into the path of the second Cruiser, which was steadily moving towards Dennis.

As the Cruiser approached closer and closer, hurling though the nothingness of space, its path was suddenly being blocked by a derelict sister ship. The Commander of the Egaran warship screamed his last ever orders: "Evasive manoeuvres!!!" just moments before his ship smashed itself, bridge first, into the unexpected obstruction, causing its hull to be ripped to shreds, but not before the last of the energy field emitted by the shield emitters imploded on impact, sending all the energy of the field through the circuits of the emitters, into the ships systems. Within the blink of an eye, nearly every system on the ship overloaded, causing circuits and conduits to explode, triggering chain reactions, some of which led to the implosion of the fully charged energy batteries of the ships weapons. This in turn had as result that the weapons themselves exploded, adding to the general wave of destruction sweeping though the ship. At the same time the reactor core was blown up, causing not only the ship itself, but also its sister to be ripped to shreds, which were immediately catapulted into every possible direction, away from the brilliant flash of light that marked the outer perception of the entire chain of events.

With both the Cruisers finally destroyed, the Destruction X turned its attention to the Desta Kann, which now faced the full wrath of Dennis for inflicting damage upon his beloved ship. IN the mean time several other vessels had come to the Captains aid, and together the Terran warships unleashed a figurative hell upon the Egaran warship, quickly deciding its faith, which proved to be quite similar to that of the two Cruisers.

Eventually, after two harsh days of fighting, Boötes was again under Terran control. Dennis and Armageddon enjoyed a well-earned drink in the officers' mess on the USS Beware while the base technicians and engineers were busy repairing the damage to its various systems, not to mention the outer hull. The entire base was filled with damaged ships, among which also the Destruction X.

As Armageddon and Dennis were swapping stories about their victories of the last few days and having a good laugh at the expense of their defeated enemies, a Councillor walked in the spacious room, and sat down at the bar.

"Captains…" the rugged tall man had a low boom in his voice, and spoke slowly, as if he was choosing his words carefully. "You have performed well these few days, and you have served your Emperor well. You will be rewarded generously for your glorious victory." He said as he slowly turned towards the two friends whose full attention he was now enjoying.

"Thank y-" said the two Captains in unison, paused both for a moment and silently decided Dennis would speak first: "Thank you Councillor, but we merely did our duty to the Empire and the Emperor. It is an honour and a pleasure to defeat those that defy the power of the Empire!" Dennis smiled while he looked into the grey eyes of the Councillor. The man now sitting in front of him - Dennis had turned towards the visitor at the moment he was spoken to - had a handsome face and a strong chin. The first few wrinkles had started to appear on his forehead, and his temples were turning from dark brown to grey, which gave him an appropriate distinguished look.

"The Emperor wishes to inform you that you have been granted the honour of owning an estate of your choosing, anywhere in the Empire, both of you, as well as a commendation and the Golden Eagle."

Dennis was too shocked to respond, so instead Armageddon spoke: "Thank you again Councillor. We humbly accept the offer of the Emperor. Hail the Empire! Long live the Emperor!" he said in a loud voice as he got on his feet, holding his glass high, toasting with an imaginary second one.

As the Councillor left the mess hall, Dennis could still not believe the honour that had befallen him: an estate, completely his own. He could not wait to tell his wife and children of this news. What a surprise that was going to be for them! With that in mind, he and Armageddon once again toasted to the victory over the Eragans.

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