Authors: Saxon Andrew
Tags: #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Science Fiction, #Alien Invasion, #First Contact, #Galactic Empire, #Genetic Engineering, #High Tech, #Military, #Space Fleet, #Space Marine, #Space Opera, #Hard Science Fiction, #Teen & Young Adult
had sat in Fleet Operations and watched the huge wall monitor as the giant colony ship lifted from Barbados and moved quickly into Earth’s upper atmosphere. It was incredibly beautiful with the ten thrusters lighting up the night with their brilliant blasts. The entire Eastern Caribbean was lit up and the rising ship could be seen as far away as Florida. The construction ships had arrived on the new planet more than six months earlier and began clearing land for the structures needed to house the millions that were being chosen to leave. The building converters were ahead of schedule on manufacturing the buildings needed to house the initial colonists and thousands more were scheduled to arrive within a few weeks. The first human city was going up fast.
He sighed as he remembered all the chaos that ensued after the United Government had announced to the world that Earth was going to be attacked by an advanced alien civilization and there was a high probability the planet would be destroyed. It took months for the mobs to be brought under control. At that point, the process of selecting those that would leave got underway in earnest. The task of finding the best and brightest of Mankind began and they were moved to Barbados quickly to get them off the planet. Trying to move them on board in their various countries meant being attacked by the mobs. Barbados had a force field installed and was safe due to its isolated location.
Eventually, the planet came to terms with what was coming. The government vowed that the evacuations would continue as long as the defenders of the planet could hold off the invaders and that, hopefully, most of the population could be moved.
Once that announcement was made, the rush to leave slowed and the mobs disappeared. Many decided they weren’t ready to just up and go. Chad knew that they hoped to wait until the last moment to leave. He shook his head; that would probably be too late. If things went bad, it would happen faster than could be imagined. Chad wondered if Pat had anything to do with calming the mobs.
He looked at the rising ship on the wall monitor and was thankful that the Welken and their allies had built the fifty colony ships and gave them to Earth to start the migration. The Royal insisted that he was doing it to defend his subjects. He was of the opinion that humans would develop new defenses faster than any civilization in the Fellowship. Saving mankind was a form of insurance for him. He and the allies were also moving their populations to other planets outside the Milky Way as well.
The Sentinels in Andromeda had found a planet for humans to colonize. Pat convinced them that saving humans was the best thing they could do to continue their species. He simply told them that if the Invaders killed him, they were next and that humans showed the best aptitude of all the intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way for quick advancement. They were what would save them in the future.
Chad tried to relax but his spirit called out to be on the front lines holding back the Invaders. His fleet of battleships were taking a long needed break at home. Windy’s fleet had relieved him and, though he knew she was just as capable as he was…he missed the action.
The battle to destroy the second conduit had been bloody and costly. They lost John when he flew his battleship through murderous fire and missiles to release thousands of magnets along the orange walls. The new magnets were attracted to the orange energy of the conduit’s walls and they surged in and locked down on the massive conduit. This new conduit was more than fifty times larger than the previous one. Blake Clarke’s fleet found it first and managed to get a warning out before his fleet was destroyed by hundreds of thousands of Invader ships.
Chad shook his head; Blake was going to be missed. The fight for the conduit began with the arrival of tens of thousands of battleships and more than two hundred thousand Attack Pods. The Heavy Hitters arrived to find themselves in the middle of the largest dogfight ever seen and began firing solid Dark Matter rounds at the conduit from a light year out. The Invaders split their forces with a million gathered around the conduit, placing themselves between the incoming rounds and the passage being built behind them. They began exploding in massive blasts but Invader ships rushed in to fill the holes. More than a million more Invaders rushed out to destroy the Heavy Hitters firing the devastating rounds. Chad shook his head again. Who would have known that it would only take one round to collapse the conduit? Against all odds, that single round made it through a gap in the massive number of Invader Ships and hit directly above the giant vessel inside that was constructing it.
Chad could still see the hundreds of thousands of Attack Pods screaming in on the ships heading out to attack the Heavy Hitters inside his mind. All of them were being pursued by Invader Missiles and most of them were forced to dive into the middle of the enemy ships to scrub off the missiles on their tails. Sergy held them off long enough for that one round to get through. Sergy didn’t live to see it.
This conduit wasn’t as long as the first one; it was only three million light years out from M-87 when the battle began and the disruption it created when it went up wasn’t as massive as the first one; but it did take out every invader ship sent to defend it. The surviving battleships involved in the fighting used the
to stay ahead of the disruption and most of them survived. Most of the pods weren’t as fortunate. Twenty thousand pilots died in the battle and the ensuing disruption; but they had bought time for Earth to prepare.
When the civilizations in the Fellowship were given the recording of the battle, war and friction between them disappeared. Most of them were now building battleships for Earth to use in its defense. Chad had come back to have his fleet’s ships replaced by the newer model. With all the insides gutted, there was tremendous room to make the ship incredibly strong and far more powerful. Instead of twenty reactors, the new ships had fifty and the new reactors were thirty percent larger than the ones they had replaced. The trip to M-87 now only took eight days instead of more than two weeks. His ships were due to be completed within another ten days and he looked forward to seeing how they performed. He looked up and saw Julie walking across the huge room carrying their daughter. He smiled and went to greet them. The thoughts of war and death were replaced with his love for his wife and infant.
oree sat in her command chair and stared at M-87. The Invaders occupied the side of the giant galaxy closest to the Milky Way and their domain was still more than three times the size of the Milky Way. The magnitude of their numbers and what it would take to stop them was beyond belief. Even slowing them down was a task fraught with danger and the effort was currently beyond the capabilities of only Earth facing off against them. The Fellowship was helping with their battleships…but…it was like trying to slow down a whale with a school of minnows. She wondered why the Invaders just didn’t launch their fleets and have them travel through the void instead of depending on the conduits. It would take them a year to arrive but they would eventually get there.
“Admiral, the probes have been placed.”
Loree looked at her new Sensor Officer, “Lance, run a diagnostic on the probes.” Loree looked up at the five monitors below the main tactical display and saw multiple images of the giant galaxy start to flash across them. After twenty minutes, the monitors went dark.
“Sir, they all check out.”
“What about the probes being placed around M-86?”
“They are in position and have been activated.”
“Run them on the monitors.” Loree watched as hundreds of views of M-86 flashed across the five monitors. She saw the conduit running between M-87 and M-86 several times as the views flashed and knew that the Invader Civilization inhabited the two galaxies. A conduit had not been found running from M-87 to M-84. She wondered why. M-84 was closer than M-86.
“Sir, we’re getting a ping on probe number forty eight.”
Loree saw the probe’s scan appear on the main monitor and watched as an invader ship began moving out toward it. She looked at Lance, “How far out is the probe?”
“Two light years from the edge, Sir.”
She watched the Invader move at high acceleration toward the probe’s location. “Do you think they see it?”
Frank Malone said, “Oh I’m sure they saw the scan being made. But I don’t think they see the probe.”
Loree looked over her shoulder at her Weapon’s Officer and then looked back at the monitor. “Continue with the scan.”
“These probes were built so they wouldn’t be seen. I want to see if that aspect works. Continue the scan until that ship is within fifty miles.” Lance tilted his head and began pressing buttons on his panel.
Loree knew the actual probe was not in the void but was in normal space above it. An antenna extended out of the probe into the void that was used to collect information. That antenna was smaller than a human hair. Loree looked over her shoulder, “What do you think they’re going to do, Frank?”
“If I were in their position, I’d track it and if I didn’t find it, I’d fire a beam at the location of the signal it’s broadcasting.”
“Let’s see if you’re right.” The Invader moved in and actually accelerated past the probe’s antenna. The Orange ship stopped, turned around, and moved in slowly. Once again, it flew past the antenna. The Invader came to a stop, turned around, and fired a massive blue beam. The Image disappeared. Loree smiled and said, “Extend another antenna and don’t broadcast on it.”
The dark monitor suddenly lit up and Loree looked at the Orange Ship sitting less than two hundred yards away. The ship’s force field began rippling and Loree said, “Retract the antenna!” The monitor went dark again and she shook her head. “It appears if they get close enough they can detect the antenna.”
“Sir, from that range they could walk up and pull it.”
Loree looked at Emily and nodded. She turned back to Lance, “Set the probes to pull their antennas out of the void if an Invader ship comes closer than two hundred miles.”
Emily looked up from her controls, “Perhaps you might want to activate another probe that’s close by and then another and another and another…”
Loree smiled, “Sort of the ole runaround treatment.”
Emily smiled, “Exactly that and if we ever come up with a bomb that works in the void we can march them right in to it.”
Loree stared at Emily and started nodding, “Lance, put me in touch with Fleet.”
“Good day, Admiral. What can I do for you?”
“Is it possible to attach a rotary gun to our probes?”
Loree waited and after a moment, Trevor appeared on the panel, “Admiral, why would you want to attach a rotary cannon on our probes?”
“We just had the antenna shot off a probe.”
“Did you make the mistake of leaving it broadcasting?”
“No, I deliberately left it broadcasting to see if they could detect the antenna even if they were right on top of it. It appears they can.”
“Well just shut them off if they get too close.”
Loree shook her head, “Trevor, is that being creative? Think about this. The antenna has its own miniature drive field surrounding it. If the probe can do that, shouldn’t it be able to put a field around a rotary cannon’s barrel and use the data from the probe to sight on the sneaky Invader and teach it a lesson or two. It would make them think twice about attempting to find them.”
Trevor stared at Loree and started shaking his head, “What kind of mind would come up with such a devious idea?”
“Actually, my pilot came up with the idea of running them around from probe to probe until they arrived at a bomb.”
“We don’t have a bomb that works in the void.”
“No, but you have a rotary cannon that does.”
Trevor tilted his head, “I’ll see what I can do.”
• • •
A week later Lance said, “Admiral, we’ve been ordered back to Earth to pick up some new probes.”
“What? I thought we delivered enough to cover the galaxy?”
Lance stared at his panel and shook his head. He looked up and smiled, “This new probe is called a void mine. It has a rotary cannon on it and will attack any enemy vessel that strays close to it.” Lance looked back down at his panel, “It appears the new probe is going to be delivered close to the edge of the galaxy to encourage the Orange Ships to not venture out quite as often.”