[OC] Anchors of War – Chapter 13
As always, critique is appreciated.
5/14/2904 – Hell’s Gate System
Hackett watched his holotank as thousands of ships poured from the gravlane that went to Confederation space. That would be 4th Fleet. It had hundreds more ships than his own fleet, including several supertitans. Soon, a garrison fleet would arrive and Hackett would be able to hit more targets. Not long after the garrison’s arrival, 2nd Fleet would appear. 2nd Fleet was even larger than 4th Fleet. Within a week of 2nd Fleet’s arrival, the United Systems 6th Fleet would arrive. Another week or two later, the Commonwealth 4th Fleet would enter the system. The Republic and Coalition were both supposed to contribute fleets as well, but their territories were farther away from the Confederation and they were reluctant to commit a large part of their forces. Humanity was preparing for a major offensive. They wanted to show the Deseqri that you don’t mess with them. The rest of the galaxy would get the warning too. Hopefully, they would heed it.
The Confederate Fleet Command already knew what target to send 3rd Fleet at next. They were trying to blitz to the Deseqri core, so they were going to the closest major industrial world, Hekfer. It had major shipyards as well, and losing it would be a general blow to Deseqri operations nearby. They had to cement their “beachhead” in Hell’s Gate, and this was the way to do that. Another objective was to get a seat on the local branch of the Galactic Council. There, they could tell everyone of the misdeeds of the Deseqri.
Year 509,684 Month 8 Day 19 Galactic Standard Time – Unidentified Deseqri System
The Humans had attacked with unprecedented speed. Barely [two months] after the Battle of Hannah’s Star, they had taken Hel’gat. They had even renamed it to “Hell’s Gate”, which it bore a phonetic resemblance to in their language. Deseqri High Command had been scrambling the whole time, trying to plan things out. They had failed at that, and a few of the more competent people there had ordered several major fleets to move to major systems near Hel’gat, to defend and also strike back.
They had obtained a full starmap of Human space when a small ship, barely large enough to mount an Anchored Drive, came to them and attempted to sell them goods of dubious quality. The Deseqri patrols had captured the vessel and dealt with its crew, giving the Dominion valuable intelligence on the Humans. The people at High Command who had decided it was time to act had already picked a target for the offensive fleets. It was a fairly large industrial world on the outskirts of the space of the “Commonwealth of Independent Systems” called “New Melbourne”. It would take some time to reach, but they would send a fast fleet.
The Deseqri were sending the 5th Fast Battle Fleet, which had no supertitans but several titans. It should be more than enough to easily overwhelm the meager defense fleet that would be there. The Fleet Leader in charge had been given orders to seize the planetary capital and force the planet to surrender, and he was being given a significant number of soldiers to do it with.
Secfen sighed. One of the fleeing ships of the Hel’gat Defense Fleet had stopped by to pick him up before retreating. They had made it back to Deseqri space, but only just. High Command hadn’t given him another fleet yet, but they hadn’t demoted or executed him either. Maybe they realized that the situation had been hopeless from the start. Maybe they wanted time to think of an exotic punishment. Either way, he probably wasn’t going to get a new fleet any time soon. At least they let him watch.
5/14/2904 – Unity City, Earth, Sol System
Fleet Admiral Frederick Lee looked out of the now-forcefield that had once been the press room’s window. They could have easily replaced the window by now, but it was deemed unnecessary after the hasty introduction of Energy Shields that covered the area the windows had. The Department of War building had gone on high alert following the terror attack on the building and on the Presidential Manor. They had stepped it up even further when Tremaine had taken residence in one of the upper floors, now somewhat paranoid about his security.
Neither of them had been surprised that such a group had come into being. The surprise was that they had been able to act so early and so effectively. It made Lee worry. They were likely well-funded, and they likely had had accomplices in the DoW building to help them plant the explosives. There was no other way for them to have penetrated the security so well. Their actions had forced him to implement an even more rigorous screening of anyone entering the building and their activities. At least the “United Peace Front” hadn’t hit anything else in the month since the attack. Nobody could afford to have their attention diverted from the Deseqri to the UPF, least of all Lee and Tremaine.
On top of the threat of the UPF, the war was about to begin in earnest. Half a dozen Human fleets were moving in on Hell’s Gate to prepare for a major offensive, and Hackett’s 3rd Fleet was chomping at the bit to hit the Deseqri again. Of course, they had no idea of the number of Deseqri ships moving in on the same location. Lee knew that they had the capacity to build far more ships than the Confederation ever could. Even with the help of all of Humanity, they still had the numbers. Sure, they would be inferior and more expensive ship-for-ship, but the Deseqri could still build more. If the Confederation didn’t want to get drowned under a tide of alien ships, they would have to strike hard and fast into the Deseqri core and force their surrender. The Confederation could not let this war last.
Year 509,684 Month 8 Day 19 Galactic Standard Time – Janzek Station
Hanala was angry. Almost angry enough to attack the Illyri Intelligence Services officer standing in front of her. They were taking her prisoner and her conviction away from her. Nevermind that it was “temporary” and “only for a day or two”! She had caught him, hadn’t she? What questions would they ask this guy that she couldn’t? It was humiliating! She just knew he was a murderer! Still, she gritted her teeth and let the man see Franklin. It wasn’t like she had really had a choice.
He hadn’t told her why he was doing this. He hadn’t told her his name either. That was probably for the best, she guessed. He was an intelligence officer after all, not really the kind of person you wanted to know. He had taken all of Franklin’s items into the interview room to meet with him. She didn’t know why, any attempt to get him to talk about them was met with an implausible story about a random charitable Deseqri. She shook her head and went to the observation monitors. If she couldn’t interrogate him, she could at least watch.
5/14/2904 – Janzek Station
Matthew sat up straight when the new guy came in. He was wearing plain-looking clothes, but there was something…strange…about him. He wasn’t a cop, that much was certain. Maybe he was a CIA type or something. Even as Matthew analyzed the man, the man analyzed him. Apparently, he was what the man had expected. He sat.
“Hi there.” said Matthew, deciding to speak first. The man smiled.
“Hello, Matthew. I have a few questions for you.” the man said.
“I’ve answered every question I’ve been given truthfully so far. Why do you need to ask more, and why are you the one asking?” Matthew said, suspicious. The man’s demeanor suddenly was less friendly.
“I want to know where you got these. Where you really got them.” the man said, pushing the instant clothing, credit card, and small backpack at him. Matthew looked at them on the table.
“Well, I was a prisoner on a Deseqri ship- I have no idea what it was called. This was after the Sector Fleet fought the Deseqri and mauled them. A few days before we docked at Hel’gat station, I got a note in my food tray from someone saying that I was going to be tried as a terrorist and that I had been an honorable opponent. The person who wrote it said that what they were doing to me was dishonorable, and that that person had decided to break me out. It sounded like it was just an excuse to fight the Deseqri, but I didn’t complain at the time.” Matthew said, shrugging. He gestured at a door guard for a bottle of water, and he took a swig from the bottle as he got it.
“So, anyways, when we dock this guy comes up covered in holes, one arm almost falling off. This was after I hear particle gun fire and saw all of my guards running off. He single-handedly killed a dozen guards and didn’t set off a single alarm doing it. He gave me that little backpack as he died. I looked over all of the stuff and figured out what the cube was. I put it on and it defaulted to some sort of Deseqri uniform. I don’t know what kind. Then I booked passage on a freighter to a nearby system. After that, I found another ship to bring me here.” Matthew finished, gulping down more water. The intelligence man frowned at Matthew.
“You expect me to believe that an Illyri Intelligence Officer gave his life to free you?” he said, skepticism plain in his voice. Matthew gaped, surprised.
“I didn’t know he was Illyri up until now, but yeah. There might be something about it on that weird encrypted datastick he gave me. You didn’t bring it in here, I think that cop might have it if you don’t.” Matthew said, shrugging.
The man turned to look at the camera and then stood, his face angry. Matthew supposed that the cop lady must not have told mister Intelligence Officer that there was a datastick. The man walked out. He certainly didn’t envy the cops right now.
Year 509,684 Month 8 Day 19 Galactic Standard Time – Janzek Station
Having finally wrestled the datastick from the insubordinate detective, the Intel Officer plugged it into his datapad, making sure to activate his privacy field before doing so. The beginning of the data was mostly regular stuff about how the agent had infiltrated the Deseqri military. Eventually, it reached the Deseqri conquests. It had been suspected by a small number of intelligence officers that the Deseqri had been doing something like that. It wasn’t a popular view, and there were only maybe three to four dozen Illyri intel officers who believed it. He happened to fall into that category, although that was unlikely to be chance.
He skimmed up until the end of the data. There was information on Humanity. And on the Battle of Hannah’s Star. Eyes widening, the Intelligence Officer realized he needed to talk to Nabra Jir. Immediately.
Illyriana News Network Broadcast
A new Major Power has been discovered! This power calls itself the “Sol Confederation”, and they call themselves Humans. We know that they can field multiple titans and dozens of dreadnoughts and superdreadnoughts! How do we know this, you may ask? The first indication of their existence was a holo shared by the Deseqri Dominion that showed a massive “Sol Confederation” fleet utterly destroying the Hel’gat Defense Fleet. Hal’gat is a well-populated system on the back end of the Dominion, adjacent to where Human space is suspected to be. According to the Deseqri, these Humans attacked them without warning or reason. They also claim to have never heard about them before. The Humans have no way to reply, so we don’t truly know their side of the story.
Do you believe the Deseqri? What do you think of this new power? Tell us in the comment below!