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Nations:

LMCZ Union;
Children (Canthin)
Zionite Empire
Mananin Empire
llanay Republic

Coalition;
Ale-Turan Salespersons Alliance
The Alien Alliance, otherwise known as the Dacor
The Republican Confederacy of Mitrion and the Protectorates, otherwise known as the Ganites


1st Security Base 1
Grand admiral Ctartha Mannra looked at her plot as her Olimpus super heavy cruiser began to approach the planet Children’s Base. She cursed her government for not checking to see what the Children considered fleets. Sure they only had 2 of them here, just as the Ale-Turans did. But the Children had reinforced heavily with support elements. And to them support meant carriers.

She didn’t have any fighters left, and she had lost heavily getting this far, and she knew she was going to lose even more heavily before the battle was over. She had yet to enter the range of the pods around the planet or the ships which were still clustered around the planet.

Cthartha glared as she saw the 5 ships that were coming to meet her. They weren’t that big and were coming head on, and had no pods around them. They couldn’t be any danger, could they?

She winced as her fleet entered missile range from the planet, and every pod fired. She really ought not to have approached the planet at all, especially after OTL Crana’s beauty, but she had no choice. Those ships seemed content to just sit there and let the fighters do all the work. She would lose eventually if the fighters kept coming. So she needed to destroy the effectiveness of the CTN’s 9th and 10th before she was defeated.

“Sir, the three ships have just launched some sort of large craft!” one of her sensor techs shouted.
Cthartha stared at the things. What were they? They were bigger than fighters. What sort of things were they? Were they missiles? They seemed to be heading for the Olimpus and the Elesiums. They were coming in ahead of the missile storm that raged in behind it. She turned to give the order to launch her pitifully few lithium birds. When the nearest of those things exploded.

The Children didn’t have the tech to build lithium missiles, so had set up the Lithium Imitation research project. This project had spawned the LILS, or Lithium Imitation Launch Ship. The Lithium Imitation Missiles were too big to be fired from a regular missile launch bay, and too unstable to risk on any other ship anyway. So they had built the LILS, where there was a very real possibility of dieing from a malfunctioning missile as anything else.

It was a LIM that exploded close to Cthartha’s ship, and when it exploded it took out the Olimpus and 2 Elesiums, as well as a host of smaller ships. The LIM was actually an antimatter missile, packed with a car sized amount of antimatter, which created an enormous explosion.

When the missile storm arrived upon the heels of the LIMs, the command structure was in confusion. Most of the ships the Ale-Turans had at Security Base 1 were destroyed in the battle, the laser missiles of the Canthin cutting through the shields of the Grand fleets. Several ships fled the battle, and one of the LILS exploded when on of its missiles jammed in the launch bay, but it was too far away to damage anything else. That was the reason only LILS mounted LIMs after all, and why they kept there distance from every thing else.


The Supply Ship
The Zionite ambush came quickly.
"S***!" Camdorian de Ellir swore as Zionite missiles blew one of his escort fighters away, "Wheel away! Fighters, cover us!"
As the large supply ship tried ineffectually to turn away from the attack, it's escort of WASP II's tried just as ineffectually to deal with the HOST cruiser and it's escort of THANT fighters.
"Damn stinking b*******," murmured Aielan de Ellir as she swung her fighter around for another pass on the massive HOST ship. Suddenly, an enemy fighter swung up from below, it's plasma cannon smashing into de Ellir's shields. She quickly banked her turn, swerving to avoid a turreted laser that was swinging towards her, then arched up over the pursuing fighter, coming down behind him before he could react. She then let loose with her own plasma cannon, which quickly ate the Zionite shields away. Desperately the Zionite tried to pull out with a swinging upwards manoeuvre. But de Ellir was too quick. He fighter swung up too, and a plasma blast crashed into the Zionite's right engine. Unbalanced, the fighter continued it's swerve - right into the HOST ship. De Ellir gave a grunt of satisfaction, and checked her radar. Only 7 to go…

Camdorian knew he couldn't win. There was no way his weak freighter could beat a heavily armoured warship. His only hope was if his 5 remaining fighters could keep the HOST at bay until he reached the rendezvous site. The 4 Dacor warships he was supposed to be meeting would easily deal with his pursuer. Till then, he could only hope that his sister and her fellows could keep the enemies at bay.

Fared preformed a tight victory roll. After an agonising half hour chase, he had taken the Zionite fighter down.
"Nixed him!" He cried into his radio.
"Good one." Answered de Ellir. That was a welcome relief. Three of her five companions were already dead, and that was only the second kill on the Zionites. That left 3 (Fared, herself and an experienced flier named Kerrbos) on 6. Not great odds, but when you add the fact that the HOST ship was shooting too, things were looking very grim. Especially since she had a skilled flyer on her tail, and she couldn't shake him.

Kablon the Narrlosian was impatient. The supply ship should be here by now! He had to raid a small refuelling post Zion Binary Alpha One, but he needed more Plasma shot to destroy the station's small defence force. The Ganite's had promised a supply ship full of shot and he had agreed to rendezvous with it here. He had even brought all four of his ships to make sure. But it hadn't showed.
Suddenly, a beeping sound came out of one of ship's machines.
"Freighter coming up towards us, and it's got company!" Cried one of the sensor technicians.
"Let's roll." Ordered Kablon.

De Ellir saw her chance. She sent her fighter up straight towards the approaching fighter, her own Plasma blasts mainly cancelling out those of her Zionite opposite. A blast of fire on her engines reminded her about the fighter on her tail.
"Just a little longer." She growled.
At the last moment, she pulled up. The two Zionite fighters were too slow to shift their course effectively. One went careering into the HOST's hull. The other clipped the first, before going into an upwards spiral that was ended abruptly by Faren.
"Two more down, baby." Came the excited young pilots voice, "And Kerrbos got another port wise."
De Ellir grunted. Three on three. She liked these odds better.

Sorry about the Ganite Names. I don't know how they work.

An audacious raid
Keeowa Reeao smiled into her tactical plot aboard the CTNS Hammer. Her sharp, pointed, primary teeth being bared as she thought about what was about to happen to the Ale-Turans. She had read the report on the Skymass Corporation, and she felt that no large a military order should be trusted to civilians. She knew that that order was almost completely undefended, especially against a surprise attack. And that was exactly what was coming to it; coming in the form of the 9th fleet of the Children Temple Navy, 1270 ships from the lowest destroyer to the largest superdreadnought. And not only that, but 5 great big monitors and 1 supermonitor were coming in with them. This was the first offensive move against the coalition that she knew had been made by the LMCZ alliance forces, and it was being done by the smallest of those forces. Keeowa raised her hand, and the diamond composite claws slid out from their sheaths. It was time to fight.
* * *
Harwen Brooke sighed as he maintained the watch. He was in a picket battleship, the Kersor, which was maintaining sensor watch over the space above the ecliptic. He didn’t really understand why they posted pickets when the sensors elsewhere could pick them up sooner than the Kersor could relay the data back to those sensors. But still, it was in the book, so that was how things were done. He was the senior officer on the bridge, although he was 5th in the chain of command. Most of the crew was off duty, and Harwen had but a skeleton bridge crew. Nothing looked like it would be happening “tonight”, so Harwen sighed and leaned back.

He jerked up when an alarm bleeped its warning, and had barely seconds to register the FTL signal that was bearing down upon the system.
“Battle Stations!” he shouted across the bridge. And the bridge crew scrambled to comply. Harwen was worried, whatever was coming in it was big, and there was no scheduled traffic supposed to be coming in from that bearing, although there was a supply fleet supposed to be coming in it shouldn’t be this big, not unless there were a hell of a lot more damaged ships with it. All these thoughts happened in seconds, and then the enemy fleet was around them.

“Surprise attacks” aren’t, in the space going society, actually always all that surprising. The defending fleet can often see the attacker fleet coming on FTL sensor, but only has a few seconds to half a minute to prepare for the attackers, depending on how fast the attacking fleet is going. This means that they can begin to bring their weapons online. Likewise, the attacking fleet often cannot “see” out of FTL and so could be for all it knows jumping into a mine field. What’s more is that once a fleet has jumped out of FTL it requires a few seconds for its weapons to stabilize. Sometimes this gave the defenders an advantage, if of course they were at Battle Stations. However, it is impossible for most species to remain at Battle Stations permanently, and anyway the wear and tear on the machinery and equipment is more than if the ship were at normal status.

All this gave the Kerwen precious time to ready its weapons when the CTN 9th fleet jumped in around it. But it was not enough, and 15 main battle lasers ripped straight through the shields of the Kerwen and hit the hull, destroying the Kerwen.
* * *
Keeowa grinned as the plot came up. Apart from that one small picket ship there were no ships in range, and none would be able to maneuver into range before they would be out of here.
“Broadside ‘em, then get us the f*** out of here” she shouted to her officers.
“Yes skipper” came the reply from her Exec.
“Permission to fire coming from the flag and squadron commanders’ sir” called out her communications officer, a young lieutenant.
She nodded and watched as the ships swung round to bring their broadsides to bear upon the planet of Skylittle. Those missiles had very specific programming, so that none accidentally hit the planet, but there was always chance.
“1.8 lightminute mark, sir, we are within range of the birds” her tactical officer called over.
“Firing position optimal in 10 seconds” called the Helm.
“Ready the internal launchers and pods” Keeowa called to tactical.
“Firing on my mark. Mark!” cried Tactical.
Keeowa could almost feel the Hammer shudder as it fired, sending 170 Multiple Drive Missiles at the enemy. Those were from its internal launchers only; another 300 had fired from the pods.
“Get those pods back inside the drive field now” Keeowa called to the tactical.
“Jump T-minus 20” called Helm.
Keeowa watched the plot as her ship turned back the way it had emerged from. Around the Hammer other ships had been faster at turning and getting their birds launched and were already jumping. Some had jumped real quickly, especially the destroyers. And others had yet to get their birds off, especially the monitors and supermonitor. She grinned as she thought of the 124,200 missiles that 9th fleet had sent racing towards the enemy. And on top of that the 2080 missiles from the 5 monitors and supermonitor. Keeowa unsheathed her claws in salute to the warriors that had fired them.
* * *
Ensign Lorvin looked down at his tactical screen as an alarm rang. He was holding the tactical station while the rest of the tactical crew was in a conference. The Glory Of Carbane was an Elesium Heavy Cruiser Mk2, which may longer be the most advanced or biggest of the ships in the Ale-Turan Salespersons Alliance, but she was still a proud addition to the fleet. She was new, not having been handed over from the Skymass Corporation to the Navy until three days ago, and she had been working up to combat ready status ever since then. Now she was drifting over the planet Skylittle, between her unborn sisters.

The Ensign stared, and then, with speed that would have surprised many, flipped up the plastic cover by the primary tactical screen and pressed the red button underneath. Alarms whirled as point defense came on line almost immediately. That button was the surprise incoming missile button, which brought every point defense weapon on line as fast as possible.

The rest of the bridge crew scrambled into action as they realized what was happening. And the Glory began to swing around to interpose herself between the oncoming storm and her unborn sisters.
* * *
The MDMs were a solution to the Childrens maximum missile range. The Canthin laser missiles had a maximum range of about one lightminute, and so the Children scientists had come up with a solution; the Multi Drive Missile. The principle was simple; each missile cut down on armament to fit in another drive, thus doubling the range. The missile drive the Canthin used had a maximum speed of 0.25c. The missiles were launched from 1.8 lightminutes. The speed that light reached the planet was 67.5 seconds from that range. The missiles took 270 seconds to reach Skylittle. 4 and a-half-minutes flight time is long enough to get to full battle stations.

The problem was that the Ale-Turan Military didn’t have any other ship or defenses around the planet Skylittle. The planet was commercially owned and the navy was all in system, protecting the planets that were deemed important. If anyone wanted to take Skylittle they would have to take the entire system, was the general thought. And so the missiles raced in unopposed but by the Glory Of Carbane. 126,280 missiles were oncoming, and a Elesium Mk2 only mounted 1000 point defense laser turrets…
* * *
The missiles raced home, and thanks to Ensign Lorvin, the Glory had maneuvered around to defend her brethren. Her point defense lasers began to fire as soon as they were in range, and kept firing until the missiles were either out of range, destroyed or had detonated themselves. The Glory managed to destroy 2080 of them before she herself was destroyed. The MDMs had less space for armament, and the Canthin hadn’t wanted to break their own Laros treaty, and so the missiles used were standard fusion nukes. Not as destructive as laser missiles, but just as effective against unshielded, still, targets.

The shipyards and factories in orbit around the planet died as those missiles hit them, destroying commercial and military orders alike. A lot of the crew and people working upon those ships had been able to launch escape pods in the 4 minutes before the missiles hit, but many had not.

The Turi Shuttles ship the Back ‘n’ Forth was destroyed, most of its crew still on board after helping the majority of the passengers to escape.

The supply ships of a supply convoy were in orbit, loading up on ammunition from an orbiting weapons factory. The damage they sustained set off several Lithium missiles that were in the hold, taking out a massive amount of the surrounding orbital industry and causing a shockwave that flattened many buildings upon the surface of the planet.

Over a hundred Elesium cruisers died stillborn in their construction bays. With them went several Olimpus’s, 500 other Cruiser types, and over a thousand Battleships.

Ammunition factories were destroyed in the hundreds, and the other factories suffered more. They all fell defenseless to the missiles.

But it was not all one sided; several ships from the 9th fleet had hit each other as they tried to jump to FTL 9, destroying themselves and damaging some others. These ships included none of the monitors or dreadnoughts, super or otherwise. But the casualties were still there, and were painful because the 9th fleet knew they would be needed in the attack they knew would now definitely be coming at their base at Security Base 1.

The HOST Lists
The last Zionite fighter flew away from the HOST, fire streaming from it's engine. Fared pulled his WASP up, keeping and eye on the enemy fighter. After a short while the THANT's fire spread to the cockpit, and the fighter burned it's self away.
"Target down." He said into his radio, "We got 'em."
"Good." Replied Squadron leader de Ellir, "Fared - start on the port shielder. Kerrbos - starboard. I'm going for the top Extere Staber."
Upon receiving his order, Fared swung his fighter around, and began to follow the curve of the ship portwards, towards one of the HOST's four shield generators. The Zionite had been his tenth kill. Only 20 and already an ace. He had been only 16 when he had signed up for the Fighter Corps onboard the RFS ANNIVERSARY, just before the 44th Battle Group had begun it's push into Zionite space. He had lived his entire life on board various ships in the 44th. He had been born in the med-bay of the ancient GFS UNIVERSE. His parents… He sharply swerved away from a plasma burst.
"That's what you get for letting your mind wander," He muttered to himself, "Almost killed by a turret."

Kablon glared at the HOST ship in his viewing screen. It was nearly on the freighter, but was being hampered by a few WASP IIs. Kablon knew how deadly the WASP fighter was: he was an old veteran. He had seen WASP's at Pyrth.
He prepared to give the order to attack the HOST, but stopped. What was that?
"Zoom in on that planetoid." He ordered his viewing officer.
As the viewer enlarged the planetoid, it became possible to just make out the shape of a HOST carrier hiding on a crater on it's surface. And appreciative murmur went round the crew for their captains expert spot.
This left Kablon in a quandary. Any two of his ships could deal with the carrier any day, but it was more than likely to have an escort of tow normal HOSTs with it, which he would need all four of his ships, and stores full of shot, to deal with, even if the HOST tailing the freighter was one of them. He couldn't go after the Carrier first, because he would lose the shot, but if he went after the shot, he'd be walking straight into the trap that had obviously been laid.
"Orders sir?" asked his helmsman.
Kablon made his choice. "Three ships on the first HOST. The other get the shot fast!"

The top External Stabilizer disappeared in a ball of flame. It had been closely guarded by Plasma turrets, but they were no opposition to a pilot of de Ellir's skill and experience. She knew the type of Plasma turret. It had a weak point in it's armour a metre down from the barrel. A direct hit from one of her Plasma cannons had been sufficient to blast the each turret away. Then it had been a simple matter of a missile into the opening of the Stabilizer, causing a chain reaction that blew much of the HOST's stabilizing systems away. Now all the fighters needed to do was knock out the shield generators, and then they could run. The HOST was already listing towards that small planetoid.

Fared listened to the message. It was an order to withdraw. The Dacor had arrived. He completed one more straf of the port shield generator, and, satisfied that the HOST's port shields were at 50%, swung his ship towards the freighter. Then he noticed something. On his radar… No. It couldn't be. He angled his WASP, and his heart leaped to his mouth. They where fighters. Zionite fighters.

Two hundred Zionite fighters.

"What the hell are Canthin doing here?!"

"Run." Was the only word that came from Kablon's mouth. As it happened, it was also his last word, as at that point, the damaged HOST ship brought all it's guns to bear on the Dacor warship's bridge. The entire command staff of the ship was destroyed, and several vital systems severely damaged. The other three Dacor ships received the message, and quickly began to flee, leaving their damaged command ship drifting. The freighter, divested of it's precious Plasma shot, was also left, with half it's crew on board (the other half had been able to get on board the receiving Dacor ship before it began to run).

The three WASPs were momentarily lost, but then de Ellir gave an order,
"Run! We need to drift on a Dacor."
The three fighters began to speed towards the retreating Dacor. The WASP fighter had only a basic FTL engine, and could only do FTL 4, so the only real hope of escape without a carrier was to let the small craft get caught up in the hyper-fields of a larger ship, and get carried along by it. This was what the Ganites intended to do with the Dacor warships, but it was vital that they caught up with one of the three ship before they began FTL preparations, which was now looking unlikely.

Dazak the Polug Mec was surprisingly happy, given the circumstances. Kablon was dead. He was dead! Years of waiting, yearning, realised. And he hadn't even had to kill the Narrlosian himself. The Zionites had kindly done it for him. True, one of his future ships had been lost, but still… Three was enough to get him started. Glancing out of the viewing screen, he saw something out of the corner of his eye…
"Swerve!" He screamed, "Swerve you B******! Swerve left."
His ship swerved left, as did the ship to the left, if only to avoid Dazak's. Thus they were out of the way when the missiles came. The third ship was not so lucky, and exploded after being blasted by hundreds of lasers.
"Canthin!" cried a sensor officer, "What the hell are Canthin doing here?!"
It was a question that Dazak would like to know the answer to as well. But right now it was irrelevant.
"Range Cannon on the Canthin now! Tell the Bulzak too." He shouted, "Launch fighters!"

As Fared's fighter drew close to the Dacor ship Bulzak, he too noticed the Canthin.
"There are bloody Canthin out there" He said into his radio.
"I see them." Came the gravely tones of Kerrbos, "We takin' them?"
On board her WASP, de Ellir thought. The Dacor were launching fighters, so they wouldn't be alone. She had never fought Canthin fighter, She wondered what they were like.
"Yeah. We're taking them."

The Dacor Range Cannnon was a weapon specially designed to deal with missile ships. It had been pioneered during the 4th stage of the Core War, and seemed to be good against the Canthin too. The weapon main strength was it's range - it's power was not the best. Dazak's ship, the Ulmag, mounted 6 of the cannons; the Bulzak 4. All ten Cannons arched through space, and hit a Canthin Heavy Cruiser dead centre. About ten seconds later, the Canthin ships shields failed, and the Cruiser broke up. At a similar time, the 23 Dacor fighters (with the Ganite WASPs) arrived at the Canthin. A second later, the Canthin fired a second broadside.

There were 4 Canthin ships now that one of the Heavy Cruisers was destroyed. They were all lighter ships - one Battle Cruiser, one remaining Heavy Cruiser, and two Light Cruiers. However, they could still fire 410 missiles at the two Dacor Ships. Each of the missiles had 3 lasers, so that was 1230 lasers that could hit the Dacor. In actually fact, the Bulzak was hit with 4, the Ulmag with 6. The rest of the lasers missed the circling Dacor, or their missiles were shot down before they could fire missiles. So Dazak's ships were fine, which is more than you could say for one of the Light Cruisers, which had been shredded by fighters, who were now starting on the Heavy Cruiser.

Fared swung his fighter around, so he was heading straight towards the Canthin fighter, who pulled up in an attempt the avoid the WASP. This left the fighter's underside an easy target, which was easily hit by the Dacor fighter who was flying shotgun to Fared. Smiling, the young Ganite opened a communication with the fighter.
"Nice shot." He said, "Now we got to clear the port side around the forward shielder."
After receiving a grunted assent, Fared turned his fighter right and a began to speed towards the forward shield generator, the Dacor fighter flying along side.

De Ellir pulled up sharply, her last missile streaming towards the Cruisers bridge. As soon as the forward shields had gone down, Range Cannon blasts had destroyed the armour plating in this area. All de Ellir had to do now was to finish the job by killing the enemy ship's command crew. After registering a hit, she glanced towards her radar, and froze momentarly. A moment later she was shouting into her radio.
"Fall back! Fall back to the ships! The Zionites are upon us!"
Then she violently twisted her fighter towards the shapes of the two Dacor Warships. Behind her, 16 Dacor, and 2 Ganite fighter recognised the threat, and began to follow towards the Dacor.

Behind them, 167 Zionite fighters swarmed towards the Canthin ships. They had been delayed by the turrets on board the badly damaged Dacor Flagship, the crew still brave enough to fire their guns at the Zionites. But now the ship was a lifeless hulk. The Zionites were deter mend to catch the Dacor, for the people, and for their emperor.

Dazak looked at the readings in front of him. They were grim. They were still a fair way away from their FTL point. This close the planetoid's gravitational field would screw up the ships navigation system. They could be sent to god knows where. But those Zionite fighters were looking awfully close. Could he risk it. He would wait for his fighters first, then he would…
The explosion was felt on the bridge.
"What the f*** was that!" Dazak screamed.
A crewman answered: "A Zionite got lucky with a missile. Out rear shields are gone."
That was it. Another hit with a missile could blast the ship apart.
"Initiate FTL."
The Crew quickly obeyed. They knew it was their only hope.

The FTL engines ground into life. A field was created around each of the Zionite ships. This was the hyper-field. The fighter had to be inside this to get carried along with the Warships. 14 fighters were inside. 4, three Dacor, one Ganite, were not.

The FTL started, and the two Warships sped away.



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