Grave of the Stars (Original)

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Grave of the Stars (Original)

Post by Steelinghades »

So, I've been writing recently in a sci fi series of my design and I felt like posting what I'm writing for critique, thus, Let's begin.

Chapter One

2,367th year by Imperial Reckoning,
8,211th year by Time keeping of the Eternal Watchers,
4th year of the Blood handed Reign,

Terroday Quadrent, Azimuth Sector, Rintipek System

Admiral Gerald Remphilsin, standing upon the flag bridge of his command ship, the Grand Empire Superdreadnought Duke Ferdinar, watched the holographic symbols appearing in the Tac-tank before him. Behind him, the buzz of Duke Ferdinar's CIC—command Information center—washed over him, but he allowed nothing to distract him.

Three years and thousands of ships, millions of lives. That was the price of this war, which even now the Grand Empire's news networks was calling Vistok uprising. And this fleet action the end of the uprising.

Remphilsin had his doubts, though It was not appropriate for an Admiral of his rank to gossip to the News about any doubts he did have. And he did have doubts, the Vistok—an Insectoid species—were not the sort to take any humiliation in stride. There was no mistaking that their defeat would be a humiliating blow, the only reason their 'Uprising' had lasted as long s It had was because, for one, not all Vistok had rebelled and they were using their loyal kin as shields and the second reason was that they were still Imperial citizens and thus The Emperor couldn't simply order them blown into shreds and their worlds shattered.

The world before his fleet no was the rebels last stronghold and naval base. It, unlike Remphilsin's previous targets, was sparsely populated by civilian life.

The Vistok had seemed to realize this as well, as around a half dozen transports, bearing those civilians that had been living in the Rintipek system's sole inhabitable planet, were openly broadcasting their location to Remphilsin's fleet. Those the civilians, because of his warship's Void Frames—a phased dimensional stealth system on all warships—making It impossible for a civilian transport to see a warship.

You needed a sensor system, Hypervoid sensors, Void pulses and Void echo listeners, to even have a chance of finding a void framed starship. And even then, rarely was the HV sensors the first to find starship, scout vessels and probes—along with various types of smallcraft like fighters or gunships—along with the void echo listeners were the most likely to first find ship. Though they were the first to find a ship, they couldn't give targeting coordinates or information to greater warships. That was were the HV sensors and Void pulses came in, the VE listeners and smallcraft to find a ship's general area, the HV sensors and void pulses to find them.

Frowning at the tac-tank—what he would give for the tac-screens common in the CIC and bridge—Remphilsin stared at approximately the northern pole of the symbol representing Zermikil—Rintipek's only inhabitable planet.

The Vistok rebel's naval base was last seen above that pole, how far It had moved between that last sighting and the two and a half days It had taken his fleet to arrive was anyone's guess.

Frowning again, he activated his Neural implant and activated a comm channel with the captain of Duke Ferdinar.

“Captain,” he said, “send a spread of recon drones out to Zermikil's northern and southern poles, we'll see If the base remains.”

“Understood admiral, recon drones will be sent.” Captain Felicia Terrinar said.

A half dozen seconds later, six drones shot out of the drone tubes of Duke Ferdinar and raced along at sixty two thousand kilometers a second with their antirepulsor drives. With the distance between his fleet and Zermikil being four hundred and thirty three million kilometers, It would take his drones around two hours. In that time his fleet, travelling at the speed of their slowest member—the zero rate vessels like the Duke Ferdinar—would displace a hundred and eighty million kilometers.

Shortening the distance between the planet and his fleet to only two hundred and fifty three million kilometers.

And that, was may beyond his engagement range. Some Imperial strategic missiles and torpedoes had enough endurance to reach such distances, as did ftl weapons. The problem with such long range missiles and torpedoes was their lack of killing power, such weapons tended to sacrifice quite a lot of explosive capacity to fit enough nether-plasm to power their trip out to such distances and strictly kinetic impacts along were out because of a ships Void field. The problem with ftl weapons—strictly the beams, not weapons like phase missiles—was their incredible power costs and large bulk.
Standard extreme range combat—anything beyond one light-second—ranges was about nine million kilometers, or about thirty light-seconds. Of course, with how fast certain ships were, mainly lighter combatants, although even zero rates could go quite fast when boosting their antirepulsors—I.E unlocking safeties and pushing the drives harder.

Shaking his head to clear out worthless thoughts, Admiral Remphilsin turned to observe CIC behind him, fifteen officers—one of which was the Duke's XO—guiding the efforts of about three score crew manning various consoles.

His personal aides—fourteen of them—were also manning consoles that allowed them to observe the various streams of data and information that went into commanding a fleet, so that they could better relay it to him to command with as much Info as possible.

Though, with two hours before the first of his drones arrived, there wasn't much for him to do, other then wait.

Chapter two

2,367th year by Imperial Reckoning,
8,211th year by Time keeping of the Eternal Watchers,
4th year of the Blood handed Reign,

Terroday Quadrent, Azimuth Sector, Rintipek System


That was the time that was appearing in Remphilsin's gaze to the upper right, projected by tiny imagers onto his retinas.
Four minutes until the first of his tac-data would be available.

The time seemed to crawl by for the admiral, he could have sworn hours passed in those few minutes. It was curious how time slowed in situations of high stress and someone had to either react or allow the enemy to react first.

Remphilsin would have laughed If a sudden ping on the tac-tank before him heralded a localized Void echo. Localized void echoes were caused when a ship's aura Void pulse landed near an enemy vessel under Void Frame and could allow one to track the echo back to a ship. These were fairly rare since so called 'aura' void pulses were generated by ships—and drones—with an effected distance of about a thousand kilometers.

Far more common were standard void echoes, which you received If a vessel under Void Frame was caught within the cone of a ship's longer range void pulse, though they didn't allow precision tracking to their position.

“Anter,” Remphilsin said, “Confirm enemy contact.”

Lieutenant Commander Anter Fisiren, his chief aide and manning the primary terminal in the flag bridge, replied with. “Sir, unknown enemy contact is massing around fifteen billion tonnes, standard size for Naval bases. Additional information yet to come In.”

He nodded, “Thank you commander.” So they hadn't moved the naval base, why. It was hard for him to imagine why they hadn't moved the base, they had to have known the information of Its location wasn't secure. Not when this system used to, no, Is an Imperial system.

Even at a measly five hundred kilometers a second, which a base should have been capable of for brief periods of time. Or even just two hundred kilometers a second, which was the more standard speed for such a mass intensive station, they would have displaced seventeen million kilometers in just a day, double that for the second day and half that for the next. Yet It sat there.


To set up a trap, he thought, It was the only logical explanation he'd accept. Some of the rebels had been ex-military, they wouldn't have been stupid enough to simply leave the base were It was.

But what to do about the Vistok's attempted trap.

Considering the distances involved, Remphilsin eyed the tac-tank. His fleet could close the last two hundred and fifty three million kilometers in a little over four and a half hours. But should I close that distance, he thought, at least right now.

There was still the matter of—at last counting—forty three rebel ships, of which three were zero rates, a pair of superbattleships and a supercarrier.
Standard naval procedure would be to hold back and locate the rebel fleet. But standard procedure doesn't take into account the presence of six three hundred and fifty meter civilian transports, he scowled, and around ninety-five thousand Imperial citizens on-board.

Even if they were Vistok. He killed that thought before It could grow.

His duty would be to secure those civilian ships and bring them out of the system before the firing started. To keep them out of any possible sphere of conflict within which they would inevitably be killed.

Considering however, that they were a mere ninety million kilometers from the sighted naval base, he couldn't help but wonder if they were part of the trap.

Most likely yes, his fingers drummed along the edges of the tac-tank, It's what I would have done.

But would the Vistok in charge do the same.

That was the million crown question. That and was Remphilsin willing to risk ninety five thousand imperial lives calling the rebel CO's bluff.
Keying his comms, Remphilsin opened a channel to his entire fleet, all fifty-three of them.

“Commodore Derrinsen, take your Task group toward bearing zero-dash-sixty-dash-zero for fifteen million kilometers. Commodore Talianna, take your task group toward bearing three hundred-dash-zero-dash-zero for fifteen million kilometers. My task group, proceed at bearing zero-dash-forty-dash-zero for fifteen million kilometers. All task groups proceed along target bearing and halt movement at your arrival point of fifteen million kilometers and await further orders.”

Fifteen million kilometers, a brisk sixteen—nearly seventeen—minute run, despite the immense distances involved. A missile could run It even faster, hells, a corvette could run It in five minutes. But, that corvette would be without support of the heavy elements of a fleet If it did and no ship would ever outrun a weapon system, whether that be munition, kinetic or energy, dodge perhaps with extreme luck, but never outrun.

On the tac-tank, his fleet began to break up into even task groups of seventeen ships. Splitting his firepower up was a risky move, but one he felt was justified in the circumstance.

He didn't know were the enemy ships were and with the civilian transports seemingly put right into the line of fire, he wanted accidental civvie casualties at a minimum. Thus, splitting his fleet and going around the transports.

He was about to draw out the route to go all the way around the transports on his datapad when the lights suddenly flashed red and a light klaxon screeched nearby.

“Situation change,” Anter said as a flurry of activity and noise from CIC nearly drowned him out. “Enemy warships contact, current count, one third rate and fourteen seventh rates, one point nine five million tonnes total mass.”

“Sir,” Lieutenant Vedilia, his officer handling communications, “Commodores Derrinsen and Talianna requesting updated orders.”

“Inform them to continue moving on current bearing. But to prepare to launch all smallcraft,” Remphilsin said. He didn't outline how he wanted the craft deployed, senior flight commanders could handle that better then he could. He'd never been a smallcraft operations officer, nor was he qualified to command such operations.

A few moments of silence passed then Vedilia spoke again, “Sir, SC-Ops officers are requesting which target is to your preference, the base or task group.”

Checking the distance to the targets, Remphilsin nodded. Two hundred and fifty million kilometers, a distance a tac-fighter—more commonly just called a star fighter, or just fighter—could cross in a little over an hour, though the strikecraft and battlecraft would lag behind, leaving the fightercraft outside of their protective envelope.

Unlike fightercraft, whose defence was generally limited to their void matrix, void field and armour—and maybe some manner of short ranged last ditch ADS. Whereas strikecraft and battlecraft mounted more defensive measures, meaning It was within a SC-Op officers best interests—and in the pilots' best interests—to keep the craft together to better support one another.

That meant however having to travel at the battlecraft's speed, which would take them one-point-three hours instead of the one-point-one It would take the fighters on their own.

“I have no preferred target, Lieutenant, Though I'd say the ships are a bit more dangerous then the base at the moment. I would prefer however that they not accidentally blow up the civilian transports however, lieutenant.”

“Aye, aye sir; I'll let the SC-Ops officers know that the Vac-jocks are not to blow up the civilian transports, however enticing a target they may be.”
Remphilsin's mouth twitched upward one hundred of a milimeter before dropping, an admiral wasn't to laugh at a subordinates joke, at least not in the middle of combat anyway.

Laughing outside of combat is perfectly acceptable however, gods know we need all the humour and distractions we can get with recent events in mind, he thought.

On the Tac-tank, dozens of new symbols sprang into being as the smallcraft launched by the dozens and scores.
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Re: Grave of the Stars (Original)

Post by Tandrax218 »

Nice stuff , this looks interesting :)

Looking forward to seeing more soon :D
Posts: 50
Joined: 2017-10-09 08:47pm

Re: Grave of the Stars (Original)

Post by Steelinghades »

Tandrax218 wrote: 2018-05-28 08:56pm Nice stuff , this looks interesting :)

Looking forward to seeing more soon :D
Glad to hear that, and after a far too long hiatus here's the next chapters.

Chapter Three

2,367th year by Imperial Reckoning,

8,211th year by Time keeping of the Eternal Watchers,

4th year of the Blood handed Reign,

Terroday Quadrent, Azimuth Sector, Rintipek System

With a whoop that echoed in her cockpit and nowhere else, Lieutenant Sandura Fendrus's tac-fighter shot out of the electromagnetic launch tube along the port side third hanger bay's lower edge on the heavy carrier Righteous.

Around her Helldiver-class tac-fighter, the eleven other fighters of Hell's Butchers were launched from tubes as well.

"The FC is calling for the butchers to assemble along his wing tips, In point formation." Her gunner and also communications operator, the Tiraltin male, lieutenant Fisselkith said.

"Roger that," she said and activated the neural connector in her flight helmet, a few quick thoughts slapped a beacon onto the commander's Helldiver, about four thousand kilometers to her one o'clock.

Taking her position to his immediate right, Sandura watched the other fighters of her squadron assemble even as behind them, the Jagged Thunders were launched out of Righteous' tubes.

The Righteous, as befitted a heavy carrier at one hundred and ninety meters long, had three tac-fighter squadrons"the Butchers, Thunders and Electric Assimilators"and a half squadron of strikecraft. Specifically Sorrow-class Gunships.

"Open a line to the Commander, Fis." She said and waited until a green symbol representing connection appeared in the upper left corner of her HUD before saying. "What's the attack plan, boss?"

"Simultaneous strike against a bunch of rebel targets at around two fifty mil." Commander Jarrud Iokil said, she frowned, he sounded distracted.

"What, the whole fleet's smallcraft complement?"

"Last I heard."

"So, why am I loaded for anti-ship work then?"

Jarrud sighed, she could almost imagine him rubbing at his eyes, though his helmet visor would be in the way. "You're not loaded for anti-ship work, lieutenant. You've got a, I stress the 'a', rack of anti-ship bombs and there's only six of them."

"Not true," she said. "I've got the forward anti-ship rocket pod along with my anti-craft rocket pods."

"Helldivers have always had that, even when outfit completely for Anti-craft/space superiority missions, they always have those. It comes with being a fighter-bomber."

"Well, If I have those, I don't need the bombs now do I?" She asked, "I'm just saying, If we're rolling with some mids and heavies, us lights should go hard into AC and let them handle the AS."

"You need those bombs because someone with a paygrade way beyond yours decided you should have It, this conversation ends now lieutenant. Are we clear?"

"Yes sir," she grudgingly said. "If I may ask however, what Is our objective?"

"Blow the ever living hell out of a couple rebel ships and a base. Not that big of a difference to literally anything we've been doing up to this point."

"True, I suppose, but we're at two fifty mil, usually we're further away then that."

"That we are, this time..." She frowned as he trailed off and the line grew queit.
"Did we lose him, Fis?"

The reptilian Tiraltin shook his head"just barely visible to her with the small reflector set into the cockpit's upper right corner"head frills shaking. "No, we're still connected, he's switched over to a different channel, an encrypted one."

"So he's talking to someone with a higher paygrade?"

"Most likely yes."

"Where's the transmission coming from?"

"The Supercarrier Grizwell."

She nodded, that made sense. When ships deployed together, generally speaking, the larger the ship, the better It's fleet support and coordination capabilities were. Supercarriers generally had the staff and crew to direct the voidcraft operations of up to a baker's dozen other carriers, for more direct combat ships, the number was generally lower. Battleships"and other first rate brawlers, like dreadships and dreadnoughts"generally could direct and coordinate the fire from around a half dozen lesser ships.

It was the whole reason the Empire had recently begun production of around fifty of their new Serenity-class Destroyer leaders, to better lead not just destroyer squadrons, but also frigate and corvette ones.

The commander's voice suddenly speaking broke her concentration, "Get yourself and your gunner ready, lieutenant. All smallcraft are deployed and we're just waiting for the admiral's go ahead."

"Roger that sir, I eagerly await."

Chapter four

2,367th year by Imperial Reckoning,

8,211th year by Time keeping of the Eternal Watchers,

4th year of the Blood handed Reign,

Terroday Quadrent, Azimuth Sector, Rintipek System

The wait was not long.

Within moments of cutting the comm connection with commander Jarrud, they received a ping from the Duke Ferdinar. With the connection established, the admiral's voice echoed in her helmet.

"All smallcraft begin combat operations."

Sandura's fist closed around the Helldiver's acceleration lever and thrust It forward into the lime green coloured section"standard, non-boosted, non-accelerated speed"and within seconds she was rocketing forward at sixty thousand kilometers a second. Around her, the rest of the Butcher's shot forward as well, she waited until her fighter was a good hundred thousand kilometers ahead of the larger voidcraft before slowing her speed down to fifty-four thousand kilometers a second. Something even the heaviest battlerider could keep up with.

With her fellow Butchers around her, Sandura grinned a feral, animalistic grin.

The last rebel force, this war Is going to be over soon, she thought, It's too bad, I've been racking up a more then respectable kill count.

It was highly likely that by the time they made to back to Eternity"the ring world that served as the Grand Empire's capital"she'd be made an Ace. Thirty kills In smallcraft-to-smallcraft combat, that was the bar to pass. She'd gotten thirty eight, along with two full sized starship kills.

That may have been merely frigates, but It was still a highly respectable feat of arms. She was almost guaranteed to make lieutenant commander when they arrived back.

So why am I dreading the end of this rebellion?

Strange were the thoughts that went through a person's mind as they were rushing toward an enemy and battle at fifty four thousand kilometers a second.

"Fis," to distract herself, even though the flight technicians had already checked before launch, she said. "Weapons check."

"Aye, aye." He said, "We have a single rack of anti-ship Nexus plasma bombs along with your armaments for anti-ship work. We have two racks per wing, for a max of eight racks with ten anti-craft Maverick missiles, we have a rack per wing, for a max of four racks, of anti-missile Cougar missiles. I've got full command of our rear defence turret, 2.5cm with six hundred rounds of flak and four hundred rounds of plasma. In addition to our Nexus bombs, we have three other racks of hybrid anti-missile/anti-craft AVM/ACAM-2s with six missiles per rack. Alright, up to you, weapon check."

Sandura checked her instruments, "I've got a single M20 anti-ship rocket pod with thirty shots, a pair of thirty shot M22 anti-craft rocket pods, the spinal 30cm pulse cannon and our two, twin barreled 7cm rail autocannons."

"Looks like we're all good then."

"That we are, now we wait."

An hour went by surprisingly quickly, Sandura could have sworn she'd just leaned back to relax and let the autopilot take over when a klaxon blared through her helmet and she was sitting up and engaging manual control.

She checked her dataslate, slaved to a holoterminal to her left, distance to the target was listed as twenty five million kilometers. A distance closeable within a mere, or near enough anyway, seven minutes.

Of course, she didn't want to close to the point where she could see the enemy with her own, eyes unaided by machines. She could volley off her bombs at half a million kilometers along with her rockets"they were unguided and fat, to maximize explosive potential. If she had anti-ship missile she could fire at one to two million kilometers.

It wasn't her job to kill the targets, that was the strike and battlecraft's jobs. Even if she had anti-ship munitions, she wasn't supposed to get near the targets, certainly not close enough to hit them with ASMs. Her job, along with the other fightercraft was to guard the strikecraft and battlecraft from enemy smallcraft.

Speaking of which, "Commander." She asked, keying her comms, "Have we spotted any hostile smallcraft yet?"

"That's a negative," Commander Iokil said, "Squadrons Black Sword and Righteous Laughter spotted a possible Void return, but it's been confirmed a negative."

"Understood, sir," she replied. Squinting at the tactical displays all around her.

Where the hell are they? She thought, the rebels were, at last count, equipped with at least seven Intrepid Discovery-class fleet carriers, each capable of carrying three squadrons, like a heavy carrier like Righteous. The difference being that something like the Righteous had another thirty, forty meters of length, forty meters of height and thirty three meters of width over an ID-Fleet Carrier and used the space for extra pilots, machine shops and greater munitions and fuel stores. Imperial Pilots were some of the best in the galaxy, and they never needed extreme numbers to carry through their mission.

"Boss," Fis' panicked shout rang through her neural implant. "I think we're being targeted by something!"

"What do you mean you think?" She barked back, hand tightening over the emergy klaxxon of her fighter-bomber, which if pulled would sound an alarm to all members of her squadron.

"I've never seen anything like it," he replied, "But we're definitely being hit with multiple HV and Hyperspect waves, if not a targeting system I don't know what."

Cursing, she checked her tac-screens and when nothing appeared ran diagnostic on them, then ran a diagnostic of that diagnostic. Still nothing

The hell.

"Fuck It," She growled, keying her comms into the commander's. "Sir, we're being hit with a possible targeting system, please advise."

"did you say targeting system," Iokil growled, "It's only been two minutes and we've got--"
His comms cut off as the Commander's Helldiver exploded in a brilliant ball of erupting nether-plasm seven hundred kilometers wide.

Instantly, a target appeared on her tac-screens.

"The bastard's in range, Fis, wreck his day." She ordered, Activating all targeting systems and zeroing them in on the sudden enemy target even as more Helldivers began to die and more enemies began to appear.

Within moments, twelve enemy squadrons had appeared seven hundred and thirty thousand kilometers ahead of them, streaking forward at their max speed.

Seconds later, missiles spat from the Righteous' fighters, quickly followed by other squadrons . They'd reached the hallway point when the enemies' next follow screamed out.

She wasn't able to enjoy the sight of enemy raft dying as five missiles locked onto her signature and Lieutenant Sandura Fendrus was suddenly fighting for her life as the missiles closed.
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