Read Star Force: Zealot (SF87) (Star Force Origin Series) Online

Authors: Aer-Ki Jyr

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Action & Adventure, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Science Fiction, #Colonization, #Galactic Empire, #Military, #Space Fleet, #Space Marine, #Space Opera, #Two Hours or More (65-100 Pages)

Star Force: Zealot (SF87) (Star Force Origin Series) (9 page)

BOOK: Star Force: Zealot (SF87) (Star Force Origin Series)
2.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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One Trinx ‘tick’ was sheered clear off by a Sety vessel that got within a few hundred meters of it and fired a beam directly through the nose, subsequently hitting and weakening the command ship’s shields on the other side, but ensuring that this Trinx vessel could deliver no more damage to the
Zeus
.

But more kept coming in and too many for the command ship to hold out against, for a lot of the incoming Trinx vessels were diverting slightly to intercept and peel off the support so more of the sporadic troop ships could make it to the target.

Eventually one did get through, burning into the hull and breaking through the armored plates just before it was destroyed. With that opening noted, a Dati ship flew in and sat over top of it until several more Trinx ships destroyed it and forced another troop ship into position, docking against the hull and sending a spurt of soldiers down through the breach.

They were all vassals, the robotic Trinx infantry, that began blasting and cutting apart the underside of the armor to make room for more to come in as that troop ship was pried off by a Jonstar ram. The few dozen vassals that were deep enough in the command ship to survive kept digging, tearing out components and shoving them off into space to make room for the next one to fight its way into position.

When it arrived it was able to deliver far more, all of which quickly continued to pry out components and make additional room up until they breached one of the maintenance areas. Atmosphere flew out, pushing several vassals into space while the other ones latched onto broken equipment and held tight until three of them welded themselves into place around the hole and together emitted a containment shield that stopped the atmospheric flow.

After that the others passed through the small opening and got their feet on deck plates, immediately transitioning into combat programming but finding no one nearby, nor would they for more than 20 minutes as they were the in the far exterior of the ship where the crew only went to make repairs or perform maintenance. That gave the vassals free run of the area and they quickly set up a perimeter to allow for more and more troops to enter, eventually with a few Trinx themselves accompanying the robotic troops.

They came in knowing that their minds could become compromised, but that wouldn’t affect the vassals. They were programmed not to take orders from the Trinx with them unless they fell within standard protocols, for there were concerns that the Archons could do more than just freeze their minds. No, they were here to supplement the vassals and do reconnaissance that they could feed to the rest of the fleet, adapting as needed to however the ship’s crew decided to put up a fight.

Destroying this ship was an option, and the backup plan, but their primary objective was to take it and the Chixzon intact…or if the Chixzon couldn’t be captured, at least secure the technology that it was using to control the Hamoriti. Even if it was encoded, given enough time the Trinx would figure it out, and they could keep the Hamoriti suppressed as they had been doing as long as needed up until the time came when they could end this threat and gain their power for themselves.

After so many years of dutiful service, the idea of the latter felt as just compensation for their loyalty to the Ancients’ legacy and the Trinx boarding the command ship and those dying in the ships making such a feat possible were fully committed to that end. Star Force could not be trusted with the Hamoriti, and they would take that control from them one way or another, no matter how many of them had to die in the process.

That was the oath their race had sworn long ago, and they were not about to abandon it now that their fealty had been rewarded with a possible solution to the inevitable doom that they had stubbornly resisted for millennia.

 

9

 

 

Veronica Rith stood in the equipment room along with the other 7 Knights onboard the
Zeus
. While they liked crewing onboard Star Force’s navy ships and handling the odd jobs required of them, sitting and doing nothing when the ship was in battle was annoying, making the current beating they were taking all but unbearable. They watched a holographic map of the battle taking place around the ship and saw all the damage the hull was taking in addition to the destruction of so many drones and allied ships trying to keep the Trinx off the command ship.

They also saw the breaching ships sucking on the hull like ticks. They didn’t know what they were doing for sure, fearing that they would be sending bombs inside the armor to shred the interior of the ship. The Knights would be safe within the armored core, but the bulk of the ship that allowed it to move and fight would not be. They might live, but they’d be dead in the water and little more than debris waiting for a rescue that might not be coming considering how many enemy ships were pouring in around them.

Then there was also the possibility that the Trinx were going to pound the
Zeus
until there was nothing left of it, and armored core or not, eventually they’d get through to the crew unless others intervened.

Suddenly each of their HUDs lit up with orders along with an automated message playing. Veronica didn’t have her helmet on, so instead another hologram materialized in front of her eyes with the neck of her armor sending out a tendril that connected up to her left ear.

“Intruder alert. Enemy troops have boarded the ship. Rendezvous at provided waypoints for combat,” the computerized voice said evenly as a position on the edge of the
Zeus
’ armored core was indicated.

The Knight next to Veronica punched his own hand in anticipation and anger, but none of them said a word as they filed out. All of them were eager to get into the fight, but the fact that the Trinx had boarded their flagship was equally pissing them off.

 

Commando Sans Brett ducked to a knee behind a chunk of machinery in one of the maintenance wings deep into the outer ring of the command ship as a zap of energy flashed over his head from one of the mechanized infantry that had invaded the ship. The ‘clankers,’ as they’d been labeled by Star Force a few months earlier, had decent armor plating that took a lot of hits to get through, but they were dumb as hell. When they had numbers, however, they were very dangerous and the few commandos with Sans were fighting on the withdrawal after making contact with this group as they pressed their way through the ship while stopping periodically to sabotage equipment.

Sans returned fire with a quick sniping shot from his plasma rifle, then pulled back behind a bulkhead as his shields got cooked. With his eye line momentarily off the attackers, he saw a mass of white armor coming up behind them and got a ping on his battlemap a split second later.

The huge white shield of the Knight was held up in front of him taking hits as the commandos dropped into file behind the blocker and Sans did the same as soon as they passed, grateful for the help. They ran up to the clankers and the Knight punched one with the shield itself as a burn mark became visible in it as the enemy weaponsfire began to eat through.

The tall machine staggered, then a shoulder added to the back side of the shield toppled them both over as the commandos unloaded into the clankers at point blank range.

The Knight released the shield and darted forward, tackling another clanker around the legs and driving it backwards into a side wall. It lowered a hand and shot into the Knight’s shielded back a moment before the oversized Human lifted the machine off its feet and spun it around slowly before a short toss sent it on its head and the Knight’s knee landed in its back. Sans saw the Knight pulled out a weapon and pump a repeated salvo of plasma hits into its back until it burnt through the armor and eventually killed the machine.

Meanwhile he was shooting others and getting quite a few dings in his own armor. A few more shots and he had to fall back, giving himself time to regenerate shields. As he did so a flash of green flew past and his battlemap tagged the blur as an Archon ranger. With him came orders, and Sans pulled back and circled around to the hallway one section over, running to get into position while also giving his shields enough time to snap back into position over his dirty white armor that seemed inconsequential compared to the gleaming Knight.

He had a lot of running to do, for the ship was split up into sections that had a lot of machinery in them and the access ways were limited. Halfway there he came across someone else, not a machine, but an armored individual with two headtails and a black visor over its face. As soon as it saw him it fired a ruby red bolt that hit him in the center of his chest, then it spun around and ran fast as he dodged to the left in anticipation of a second shot.

Sans tagged the intruder on the battlemap then headed back to the flanking maneuver the Archon had indicated.

 

Veronica sprinted for all she was worth, having dropped her shield long ago and had her weaponry on her back so her arms could swing free and hard. She rounded a corner nearly skidding into the far wall as her right foot lost traction, but an outstretched hand caught and redirected her momentum as she came back within sight of the swaying pair of headtails ahead of her. The Trinx, she assumed, had just gunned down an Archon and ran. She’d taken off after it and nearly lost it twice, for it had a camouflage unit that was damn near a cloaking device.

Ahead the Trinx started to waver like heat waves on a sunny day. Veronica pulled her pistol out and put another shot into him, cancelling the effect and returning him to full visibility. Apparently their stealth suits had a recharge delay and every shot she’d put into it had kept him visible.

The Knight put the pistol back into its slot on her lower back, knowing she wasn’t going to need it but wanted her hands free. The movement cost her a little bit of speed, but some twenty seconds later, running down the incredibly long hall, she caught up to and grabbed one of the headtails with her left hand and yanked…

The Trinx tripped, falling backwards and skidding across the ground as Veronica came down on top of him with her knee and pinned him to the floor, pounding on his armored face with her fists even before the pair had ground to halt. A few more heavy punches and his helmet cracked, with her reaching down to the neck and yanking it off his head. As she did so he got a shot off into her abdomen, but she knocked his gun out of his hand with a simple swat as she pulled out her pistol and put it up against the Trinx’s head.

Two quick shots and he was gone, with the Knight getting to her feet and kicking the corpse once out of frustration before running off to rejoin the others as more and more clankers poured into the ship from access points that the defenders couldn’t fight their way to in order to close off.

 

Nefron followed a tech as he lead him to the waypoint that the troops were using just outside the armored core where there were other techs and ships’ crew that weren’t needed in the naval battle that were forming a backup line of defense in case the Trinx got all the way to the interior. The Chixzon passed them by, following the faint telepathic signals ahead as he ran towards them. There was a lot of ship to move through that he was unfamiliar with, but it didn’t take long until he came up behind one position that had a handful of commandos and a Knight taking on what looked like a much larger group of the Trinx machines that were trying to push their way to the ship’s interior.

The Chixzon’s eyes glowed green as he growled and ran straight towards them, curiously noting that they didn’t fire on him as he pushed past one commando’s sniping position and went head first into the machines, digging both glowing spike mandibles into the chest of one, then throwing it backwards and knocking down another as he spun around and started punching and stabbing everything in view as a burst of energy hit him.

Most of it absorbed, but he could tell it wasn’t damaging, but rather a stun. Immediately he knew what that meant.

The Trinx didn’t just want this ship, they want him…and they wanted him alive.

With a snarl he pushed further into the machines, digging his glowing spikes through them and melting cuts across their limbs and torsos as more and more of the stuns hit him. He was starting to get wobbly, but they obviously didn’t know of his ability to absorb energy. When he felt like he’d gotten enough he tucked his spikes in against his back and pushed through the thick lines of machines, essentially delivering himself to them as he got some distance away from the Humans fighting behind them.

His right leg gave out as it suddenly got wobbly, then when he hit the deck with his knee he released his built up energy in a cascade of lightning strikes that arced from one machine to another for a few jumps. Half a dozen of them fell to the ground toasty, with a few more smoking with damage but still active. One tried to shoot at him but found its weapon wasn’t working, then Nefron put it out of its simulated misery with a pair of spikes to the chest that he dragged to the right, partially cutting through the dense plates but also pulling the machine to the side enough that it knocked another one down as he used a handhold to give himself the extra leverage needed to topple it.

He pried his spikes out with ease then leapt backwards, jumping over a fallen machine as he retreated before he could take too many stun hits. The machines all followed him and he led them back into a hastily constructed ambush that ended with him staggering and falling to the ground where he blacked out for the last few seconds.

A Knight’s helmet was the next thing he saw when he woke back up, then when his eyes locked on it a massive hand pushed beneath his back and sat him up.

“They have orders to go after you,” Veronica said.

“It appears so,” he said, looking into her helmet. “We can use that.”

“How many more hits can you take?”

“I’m purging the stun already.”

“Good, because we’ve got about 20 seconds. Run or fight?”

“Run. I need a couple minutes at best,” he said, getting to his feet. “Then we can go at them.”

“Watch where you point those things,” she said, gesturing to his spike mandibles as she pulled him up into a run with the commandos forming a protective screen around the Chixzon as the sound of the incoming machines was getting louder coming from around a corner 20 meters further down the hall.

 

Leaving the Admiral in charge of what weaponry still worked, Riley stepped into his armor that he’d had a crewmember fetch for him during the battle and ran off the bridge, sprinting through the hallways on his way out to the battle within the ship. More and more Trinx reinforcements were getting in, but they were paying a heavy price to do it. For every ship that offloaded ten more were destroyed before they could get into position. Paul had the situation about 8 minutes from turning as he drove several tendrils of ships into a wide grasp around the
Zeus
and the ships battling within it, and once he did he could cut off most of their reinforcements. Until then the battle raged on at a furious pace with the 7 allied races holding up to the promise and fighting just as savagely as the Trinx were to defend his command ship.

There wasn’t a lot he could do from the bridge now, but there was a lot he could do to keep the Trinx troops from getting to the transmitter and his crew. It wasn’t until he was almost to the fighting did he realize that Nefron was out there as well and he almost cussed the idiot out, but just as quickly canceled that thought. There wasn’t a full ground troops compliment on the ship, only a handful of security and naval Archons that were suiting up and leaving what ship to ship combat remained to the naval regulars.

Nefron could fight, so it was probably a good idea he was throwing in too…unless he got killed, in which case the Uriti was suddenly going to become a huge problem all over again.

Knowing that, he headed for where he was sensing his telepathic presence but ran into an unopposed column of Trinx vassals heading down a hallway towards him. The ViLord didn’t even hesitate as they opened fire, simply letting his shields take a few hits as he sprinted at full speed towards them. When he got within a few meters he summoned up a Jumat blast in his right arm, pooling it around the his armor and building up the charge before releasing it…and tossing half the column back and into the air as if they were toys.

Then he was in their midst, fighting hand to hand with the bigger machines and finding it easier to damage them with brute force than weaponsfire. After a few shots from his rifle he tossed it aside and exclusively went at them with his arms, legs, and psionics. After a few minutes of one sided combat he finished the last pair of vassals by telekinetically ripping their heads off and throwing a point blank Jumat blast down inside one of them and tossing the other into the side wall. When it slumped to the ground an armored elbow drove into a crack in the chest plate and punctured through, with his fist soon to follow and a piñata bloom of shrapnel soon after that.

Riley was expending his energy too fast, he knew, but there was no time to waste. Sucking some ambrosia from his helmet he ran on towards Nefron’s mental signature, hoping that there weren’t many more of these unopposed Trinx assault teams heading for the core of the ship.

BOOK: Star Force: Zealot (SF87) (Star Force Origin Series)
2.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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