The Ganuan Empire had been one of the most powerful civilizations on the Western side of the galaxy. They were well equipped to handle many situations but mainly practiced in peacekeeping methods. The Empire's beloved King Ganua was a well kept man who had many high quality assets. The Ganaun fleet was very powerful and had the best and most well trained captain to lead it. Captain Carter was the highly respected commander of the main battleship fleet for Ganua. Captain Carter had recently returned from a mission in the Jahovian Tri-Astros and was looking for a peaceful R & R.....
"Hello sun shine"
Curiously asking "How was your day at the academy?"
"It was really cool daddy!" said Eemeah, "We got to learn about all the ships and their names."
"Do you happen to recall what ship I am stationed on?" her father questioned.
Captain Roderick Carter always expected highly of his children. His eldest son had graduated high school last fall from the very same academy that his seven year old daughter now attended. Captain Carter's son was now attending the most prestigest military college around. And he was top of his class. Now hoping his daughter would follow in his footsteps he looked for an answer.
"Yes daddy," she paused "ummmm you are stationed on a first class battleship named U.G.S. Royal Ganua. Ganua of course symbolizing, the beloved King Ganua and the Ganuan Empire. U.G.S. standing for United Ganuan Ship."
A smile appeared across his face, as he knew his daughter would be on the right path to set many firsts for women in warfare.
"Very good Eemeah, I am proud of you."
Just then his phone rang and he answered, "Hello?...Yes it is...and who am I speaking with...what do you mean they are in revolt, that can't be...well we are going to have to send troops over...you know what, I will call you back it’s not a good time...bye." he appeared to question himself, as if something had gone wrong and he needed a solution fast. Immediately he called his loving wife downstairs to tell her that he has to go to work and may not be back for awhile. So much for time off he thought.
He turned toward Eemeah, "Listen baby girl, daddy has to go away for awhile and he may not return for a month or so," Eemeah started to tear up, "you have to be strong and keep doing well at the academy. Hopefully we will see each other soon. I love you sweetheart, goodbye" he gave her a big hug as he turned to his wife Lula to do the same.
He walked straight out the front door, got in his hover-car, which was already packed from his previous endeavor, and flew off.
When he arrived at the military airfield, he was quickly filled in on the issue at hand.
The Jen-Chow system on the eastern side of the galaxy was under attack and the people of Jen-Chow were in desperate need of assistance. They had been invaded during a solar flare, which had knocked out all the scanning systems. The invaders of the Honaluan Empire had caught a fast break in taking the well defended, research base. The people were being massacred for two weeks already and this was the first notice they were able to get out to the Ganuans.
"Captain, Sir we have reports that our allies from the Prestonian tribes are already en-route to Jen-Chow and will arrive in three days. The Emperor has asked you to lead us into combat and take back Jen-Chow." the soldier looked eager for battle. He did not seem to know what it was waiting for them.
"What is your name son?" asked Captain Carter.
"Corporal Kensen Harrington, sir." he saluted the captain, "I will be piloting the Royal Ganua, sir."
"Have you any combat experience, Corporal?"
"Yes sir, I have had action piloting the heavy cruiser Old Hinge' in the battle for the planet Ross. Even though we lost the battle I managed to save the ship and out run 20 frigates before we..." the captain interrupted.
"A yes would've done, Harrington." the captain seemed anxious to leave.
They boarded the ship and within an hour they were prepared for takeoff. Cpt. Carter got on the intercom, "Men today we are leaving for battle, the Jen-Chow system is in need of our help, their women...their children...and all other life forms inhabiting that planet are being slaughtered. Let's go end the suffering with a show of our brutal force and bring the fight to the enemy." the ship came alive with roars.
Carter turned to Harrington and gave the signal; off they went.
Ten minutes into the flight, "Sir we picked up movement on our scanners." said the comms personal.
"15 million, roughly in size. I believe it's all cruisers and heavy bombers sir."
"There is no reason for us to get involved in another conflict, land at the nearest planet and change course from there." the captain ordered.
"Right away sir. Proceeding to land at the Sandeskin inner rim system" Harrington was already changing course.
Sandeskin was the major trading port for the Sandeskin system. The moon did not consist of many cities, only two bigger ones on opposite ends of the astro.
It wasn’t a highly populated moon either nor was unexpected activity welcome to the system. But the moon seemed like the only place to avoid confrontation...
One day later they were on approach to the Sandeskin inner rim. "Captain we are preparing to land" said Harrington.
"Good all 300 battleships can refuel and get supplies for their fighters." said the captain.
The scanner operator came into the picture "uhh, sir it seems as though there is a strange reading. About 2 million in fleet on Sandeskin."
The flight specialist, private Jericho, was quick to respond "it's just the trade ships, nothing to worry about, continue on."
"Private Jericho, what/s our E.T.A. for Sandeskin?" asked Carter.
"Its 1 hour and 45 minutes, captain." he said firmly.
"We will land second in following the U.G.S. Desperado, because they are going to secure our LZ." the captain responded.
"Aye aye captain, second to land, understood. Harrington do you copy?" Jericho passed on the order.
"Affirmative Private Jericho."
The captain spoke "When we are on final approach send another battleship down with the Desperado" he paused, "for insurance purposes."
The captain then proceeded to walk out and off the flight deck heading down to his quarters, followed by the ships security personal. They got on one of the elevators and as soon as the doors closed an alarm went off on the flight deck.
"What's the problem, corporal Weinstein?" asked pilot Harrington.
Weinstein responded, "There is a ton of activity on this planet, it is overwhelmed with movement right now. It seems as though it has picked up in the last hour or two. Many of the ships are leaving the area."
Jericho jumped in, "Their scanners are probably picking up our fleet right now and they are getting prepared to move off the planet in case we are hostile. This is good Weinstein, stop worrying so much." he gave a little chuckle.
Weinstein came back more worried than before” Sir you didn't allow me to finish. Not only are those ships leaving, there is a massive incoming fleet about 20 million." Turning to look at Jericho "Sir, they are all cruisers and our roughly one million fleet will be completely obliterated if we land for more than 15 min."
Jericho, now understanding the severity in the corporal’s voice, quickly turned to the comms specialist. "Alert the captain and get him up here immediately. We only have one hour and 30 minutes before we land. This may be the battle of our lives and we haven't even reached our objective yet."
"Sir I've alerted the captain he is on his way up to the flight deck." said the comms specialist.
The crew on deck now looked pale, worried, and cautious about anything they did. It was definite that the activity that had accompanied the crew over the past few days was not a coincidence. They were obviously being tracked and set up for a trap.
"Captain on deck!!!" roared Jericho
All stood up in a quick salute.
"As you were" said the captain. "Jericho what in the hell is going on here? I leave for fifteen damn minutes and all hell breaks loose..., Well Private???" the captain searched for a response, but Jericho was too lost to make any remark.
Then Harrington spoke his mind, "Sir this was somewhat like what happened to us on Planet Ross. We were landing and the enemy was waiting for us." the corporal looked for a sign to continue. The captain nodded. "Sir the enemy came from every direction. They were already on Ross by the time we got there and sent another wave from the neighboring system. There was no way out."
"Where are you going with this Harrington?" the captain shouted.
"Sir if we have the advantage of landing first we can use the disruptor turrets on Sandeskin as a way out. If they can hold off this enemy for awhile, we may have a window of opportunity to escape." Harrington assured the captain that it would work.
Jericho now a little jealous he didn't think of this idea "What if they don't welcome us and open fire as we land. Then we are shit out of luck Corporal!!!"
"Take it easy Jericho" said Captain Carter "the Sandeskin population might not like outsiders, but we have helped them in the past and gave them many trade routes to better their empire. Trust me they will comply. The only thing I'm worried about is the fact that we are using them to aid our escape." The captain looked up as though a brilliant idea popped into his head..."Send a message to Sandeskin and alert them of the situation, tell them that we need their help and will send extra fleet as soon as we can. Notify their population control center and make them aware that they have to evacuate the women and children immediately. We will land and escort the supreme chancellor to the nearest allied astro."
The comms specialist nodded "Roger Captain."
Carter turned to the other comms personal, "Notify the rest of the fleet about our plan and let them know our next stop will be the Henchin Border en-route to Jen-Chow." Turning to Harrington, "Pilot, land us near the capital, we are going to pick up the Chancellor for transport. And once we do that, get our asses off of that moon."
"At once Captain." replied Harrington.
They came to the moon and the plan came together like clockwork. Trust was a part of the Sandeskin people, so they believed help would be coming soon. The 15 minute window was perfect to pick up the chancellor; sadly the same cannot be said for the rest of the evacuation. Only ten transport ships were able to make it off and head for safety before the enemy fleet landed. The rest of Sandeskin was on its own...
This whole turmoil had set them back quite a bit now. Two days on board and they had yet to drop the chancellor off. This was now turning into a survival mission, more so than a rescue mission. They now knew that the Honaluan Empire had planned a trap for them, somehow figuring out that they would land on Sandeskin. These Honaluans were either very smart or somebody had warned them of the Ganuan's plan. Captain Carter became very cautious about notifying the rest of the fleet their headed course.
After about two more days of flying, the fleet reached the Henchin Border. The chancellor was escorted up to the flight deck by security.
"Welcome aboard the U.G.S. Royal Ganua, Chancellor Floyd." the captain was pleased to see the chancellor for the first time since they left Sandeskin.
"I have found your ship to be most pleasing, Roderick. It could use some upgrades, but it should do." snarled the chancellor.
Sandeskins were very strange in that they always seemed rude. They were shorter humanoids, about four feet tall and very thin skin. You could see their veins clearly and they also had a larger head but somewhat proportional. This chancellor was a perfect stereotype for the species as well. His personality fit the Sandeskin definition to the fine print.
"Would you happen to be fond of your flyboys, Captain?" the chancellor was speaking of the fighter squadrons. "I am worried for my protection, now that I am in your custody. I do hope you take good care of me."
"My troops whether they are ground or air, are the best Ganua has to offer. They will not be taken lightly and are very particular about their reputation. Be careful where you tread old friend." The captain knew he had to be frank with the chancellor, after all it was the only way he would get through to him.
"I would never doubt your word Roderick, just don't let me down, I do happen to have family I would like to return too one day soon." the chancellor stared into the Captain's eyes.
"Chancellor Floyd, I am going to ask you to go with your escort down to the hangar bay. We are approaching the
"Chancellor Floyd, I am going to ask you to go with your escort down to the hangar bay. We are approaching the
Henchin Border and you must get off the ship in order for us to finish what we have started." The captain waved his wrist and down to the hangar went the chancellor. The Henchin Border was an asteroid field and there were many asteroids to land on that were populated. So the Royal Ganua picked one of the secure asteroids and dropped off the chancellor. No need for goodbyes, they had a mission to finish.
Now with only two days of flight left the captain had started to draw out a new attack plan. The allies of the Prestonian tribes had been fighting in waves the past couple days or so. They had been continuously bombarding the Honaluans, but had been driven back to the nearest astro every time. After all the Prestonians were more primitive and only had frigates as their best fighter ship. They were limited in production as well. Captain Carter knew that the Ganuan battleship squadron had to enter the fight soon.
"Comms specialist Roberto, call up General Howl from the hangar bay. I have orders for him."
"At once Captain." said Roberto in a scramble, "General Howl to the flight deck ASAP, I repeat General Howl to the flight deck ASAP."
Five minutes later the General appeared on deck.
Carter signaled for Howl to come over to him. "Ahh, Howl, I have terms for you."
"Yes Captain" Howl replied
"I would like you to prepare all the fighters in the hangar bay for combat. We enter the Jen-Chow system 24hours time and I would like everyone to be ready. Radio the other generals and alert them that battle is upon us. Do not, I repeat, do not take the Honaluans lightly Howl. They will not back down so easily. This was a big victory for them and they will not give it back quietly." the captain was mono-logging and the general interrupted.
"Sir are you asking me to clear a path for you to come and finish off the rest of the Honaluan fleet?"
"Why, that is exactly what I am asking General. Now go on and prepare for battle. You are done here." said Carter.
"Thank you, sir." replied Howl. And he walked off the flight deck.
The next day the crew was ordered to sleep and prepare for battle. The Prestonians were ready to send in their final wave along with the Ganuan fighter drop. As the Captain was preparing for the fight, he received a virtual message from his wife Lula. It read:
After your battle group left, the remaining Ganuan fleet headed for Sandeskin a day or two later. There was no military force here when the Honaluans came. They destroyed our capital and murdered King Ganua. His head now sits atop a poll in front of the castle. They have already left our world but managed to take something with them. They took our daughter Eemeah. They took her and I do not know where she is. Please, come home. Forget about the Jen-Chow system. I beg you too return home."
The computer could not process anymore of the voice message, Lula was crying too much.
Carter recorded a returning message "Lula I love you and our daughter, but there are always risks involved in warfare. I will be home after the conflict. This is our mission now. But it just got brought to a personal level. I will notify you when the conflict here is over. I love you, and I live for you, my love."
There was silence on the flight deck as no one would even look at Captain Carter. He fell back in his chair.
"Harrington, set course for our final approach." the Captain said faintly. "Jericho prepare our ship for battle, Roberto notify the other ships we are on final approach. This is what we came for. I would like the remaining communications staff to alert the Prestonians and General Howl that we are ready to attack." he turned towards Jericho, "What's our ETA Private?"
"Five minutes Captain. I've alerted the ship to prepare and we are now on full watch. Every battle station is fully charged to fire on command. The ship is at your mercy Captain." Jericho tried to rally the captain up after the sad message from his wife.
There was only minimal time till the fleet entered the battle. Little did they know that this plan was all set in motion by the Honaluan protectors, the Lozzels and the United Missions Coalition (UMC). These two guilds were considered the most powerful on the Northern front of the galaxy. They watched over their protectorate, the Honoluan Empire, while also using them to do their dirty work.
The Lozzels and the UMC were always in conflict with the Galactic Futarchy. The Futarchy consisted of the Ganuan Empire, the Prestonian Tribes, the Jen-Chow Republic, and the most powerful of the 4, the Utopian Congressional Force (UCF). But even with the constant conflict, this current attack seemed way out of the ordinary. The Futarchy must have taken their eyes off the enemy while they were in the process of restoring many rebel systems. The UCF hadn't even been notified about the attack yet and Captain Carter wondered if the UMC was going to attack them next. Immediately Captain Carter came alive and yelled to Roberto,
"Send a message to the Utopian Congressional Force and inform them that they should be on high alert. We must prepare them for the worst. If we lose the UCF, our reign will be over." and Captain Carter thought about that remark.
He pondered the saying, our reign will be over. He asked himself if it already was over. Had their empire been taken out by one of the most ridiculous plans that the Northern Coalition had drawn up. After all their King was executed, his own daughter kidnapped, and the capital city of Ganua burned to the ground.
"PREPARE ALL STATIONS TO ENTER BATTLE. WE ARE COMING OUT OF WARP SPEED." the intercom kept repeating the saying. Only 30 seconds away from battle. The fighter drop had worked in clearing most of the Honoluan attack force off the planet. There was a rush of adrenaline through the whole ship. They now came out of warp speed and into a frenzy of fire.
Explosion upon explosion was all around them. Carter thought to himself 'where did all these ships come from?'
"Evasive maneuvers pilot! Evasive maneuvers!!" Carter shouted. "We must maintain course and head for the main attack vessel. Engage the enemy heavy cruiser. Radio the Desperado and tell them to set up position behind us."
"Sir, the Desperado has been hit hard. It is completely immobile." replied Roberto. Then out of nowhere, there was a brutal hit to the back of the ship.
"Captain, two engines have been disabled. We have limited power. I advise not to engage any enem..."
"Continue on course Harrington!!! Head for that vessel!!!" Carter shouted.
Just as he was finished yelling the U.G.S. Royal Ganua was blown into oblivion by enemy support ships.
The whole crew was lost. Not a sole survivor would come off that ship. From the flight deck of the U.G.S. SilverSword the remaining fleet was ordered to retreat. There was no need to press forward. Another wave of heavy cruisers was brought into the battle and these were from the well trained United Missions Coalition. Now with the battered fleet of only 22 battleships fled, the Ganuan's had to find a safe haven to head back too. Their home planet had been pretty much destroyed and all the fleet that had been sent to the Sandeskin system had also been taken out. The Ganuan Empire was reduced to a piece of rubble and rebuilding would be a long term process, but what other choice was there...?
Story sent by David Knight for the AE Stories event.
Story sent by David Knight for the AE Stories event.