The Noise Of Thunder

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WillDexter
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The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

“And, I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder.
One of the four beasts sang 'come, and see,' and I saw.
And, behold, a white horse.”

--Johnny Cash, “The Man Comes Around”

“Great war. Terrible war. Much killings. It is the end of everything.But,great hope for peace! For victory!”
--Zathras, in another time and place
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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WillDexter
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

Prologue: Til'za'veni

16 SEPTEMBER, Y169
20:32:11

“Come about!” Captain Mikayla Sheridan said to her helmsman, Lieutenant Aja Singh, as still another particle beam, attenuated by the interceptors, connected with USS pi[Kentaurus[/i],”125 mark 15, weapons, target the ship at those coordinates.”

The multi-megaton wedge-forward, tentacled black ship with a clear shot at the station orbiting the rocky, barren world on the outskirts of the Bajoran system, the 190-kiloton Andor-class cruiser bringing it six, quad-mounted eighteen-inch relatvistic-velocity accelerators(r-guns) and two heavy plasmatic pulse projectors to bear on what sensors now tagged as an Earthforce Black Omrga[/o]-class advanced destroyer, Commander Noah Bright, with a though transmitted from his brain to his weapons console, via the Brain-Computer Interface(BCI) chip at the base of his skull, letting fly with his entire arsenal, the Black Omega, and two of the green seashells, tagged as Minbari Sharlin-class warcruisrs, also in the tens of megatons, all going up simoultaneously, attenuated plasma bolts and fragmented four-ton relativistic projectiles tearing through another six Black Omegas, running thrm through stem to stern, and leaving them drifting and derelict.

The bridge shuddered, went dark again, a Sharlin gitting them with its two heaviest directed-energy projectors, their effect greatly reduced by the sheer volume of relatvistic shot released by Kentaurus' 1,900 2.5mm rotary-barrel r-guns(interceptors), otherwise the ship would be joining the constellation of wreckage and dissipating plasma in the immediate battle space.

“Something big,” Lieutenant Commander Eleesadi Joraya reported from the science station, as Bright's return fire crippled the Minbari, two more Sharlins diverting from their vector toward the station, bringing their guns to bear on Kentaurus from either side,”113 mark 25, ten megatons, looks Cardassian in design, though no--Gods damn!

That last was a predictable reaction to a big fish-like hull filling up the main holoviewer, ruthlessly dispatching both flanking Minbari cruisers, and a dozen Earthforce machines with six volleyes of beam-riding plasma from its six forward-facing, wing-mounted PPPs, lesser PPP mounts on its flanks burning into other warships while dealing with fighters and beams.

From its nose launched a stream of fifty-ton Gladiator IV fighters, each packing a smaller-scale version of the PPP first developed by the Roms and their Tholian allies.

“Somehow,” Bright commented,”I don't think the Roms approved that thing.”

“Agreed, Mister Bright,” Mikayla replied, her ship cycling in and out of a one-kiloklick long quantum tunnel in subspace 283 billion times a second, for a quantum factor of 13, as it fell on a half dozen Earthforce destroyers, pounding all of them out of the sky with a salvo from the old cruiser's entire arsenal—upgraded after linking up with Admiral Sheridan's forces(no relation) near the Rom-Klingon border over a year ago—catching, then crippling a mixed group of two dozen Black Omegas and Sharlins.

“Right now, though,” she finished her statement, as more enemy warships filled the sky all round her, and this alleged Cardassian,”I'll take anyone willing to fight these sons of bitches, even the Devl himse--”

“Reinforcements,” Joraya announced from the science station,”course 179 mark zero, one hundred thousand kilometers downrange, closing Q13.”

On her tectical holoviewer, on the left arm of her chair, Mikayala saw the new arrivals, 130 Federation starships, led by the 380,000-ton stellar domination platform USS Aganemmnon, all of them entering the battlespace, guns blazing, fighters launching from their bays or detaching from their bellies, vectoring in a swarm towards the hostile alien machines.
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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WillDexter
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

01) To Meet the Extremist

304-69M2
16:53:01

”--demand,” Navarch Leland Adama said to the assembled members of the Commisariat, as they convened in the conference room of Rangar Anchorage;s Station #1,”again, this case be dismissed! You have failed to prove jurisdiction, failed to prove harm to the community was done, failed to being forth a single victim to testify against me, as is my sovereign right under common law!”

“Again,” Comissar Victoria Foster, presiding over the tribunal by virtue of seniority, told Bill Adama's treacherous, worthless, unrepentant son,”your 'demand' is flatly dismissed. The prosecution will call forth its nex--”

”Objection!” Adama, arguing pro se, thundered.”These proceedings cannot go forward, until jurisdiction has been proven, until the Humanity of you so-called comissars has been confirmed by the presentment of your real birth certificates, complete with genetic sample, and until actual victims have been named, their Humanity confirmed, personal information provided for each of them, and they have been brought forward so I can face them, as common law and divine right both grant me, a free, natural, and living Human man!”

“Call your next witness,” Foster, who'd been dealing with this crap for over a month now, told the prosecutor, Rear Admiral William Adama, who replied,”call Jaden Rice.”

One of the comissarial clerks at the bench stood up, and, to the gallery, said,”call Jaden Rice.”

A little blonde heade girl, six or seven, one of many orphans made by the bombing of Athens a month ago, timidly rose from her seat in the gallery, and started walking toward the witness stand.

Lee Adama rising from his chair, shouting ”pbjection! This witness cannot be sworn nin, as she has not provided adequate proof of Human birth, via a legal, lawful birth certificate with the raised seal and an attached genetic sample, nor has provided her personal information to the trustee of the Leland Adama estate, in the interests of transparency--”

”She's a child
, for frak's sake, Lee!”[/i] his father snapped.

It's no child,” replied Lee Adama.”]i]It's[/i] a frakking Servitor, same as you, the members of this so-called tribunal--”

“The defendant has already been cautioned by this tribunal,” Foster warned him,”about making accusations with no basis in fact.”

“--and, since none of you are real people,” Lee Adama ranted on, ignoring Foster's caution,”but fictions of a corporation owned and operated by Xenos, I, as a real man, do not consent to these proceedings!”

Then, he did something even Foster, in all her years as a Fleet comissar, didn't expect from even a dyed in the wool Monothiest traitor.

“Case dismissed!” said Lee Adama haughtily, as he turned, walked toward the double doors at the opposite end of the conference hall, and cheerily said,”have a good day, Servitors. Better luck next time.”

One of the two Fleet armsmen at the doors, a stocky, muscular female bearing all the racial markers of a Maiden Worlder, grabbed the younger Adama by the collar of the uniform he'd desecrated, and over his screaming “I do not consent!” over and over at the top of his voice, she dragged him back to his place at the defendant's docket, and sat him down, less than gently with an “ask me if I give a frak, you Monothiest sack of shit!”

”Kidnapping!” Lee Adama screamed, as he started to rise from his chair again, only for the Maiden Worlder to sit him back down again, this time holding him there.

“These proceedings will continue without you, Navaarch Adama--” Foster decided, Lee Adama screaming ”You will release me, now, or I will get word back to mt fellow patriots to go after your fam--”

“Ten days confinement,” Foster said,”for contempt, to be served in the station's brig.”

“--neighbors, co-workers, anyone you or they ever ev en frakking said 'hi' to in the market!” Lee Adama continued ranting, red-faced, as atmsmen dragged him from the conferebce room.”You will all pay, I swear to the Emperor!”

“Swear in the witness,” Foster then said to another comissarial clerk.

304-69M2
17:02:01

They came crashing through the bone fire in their pickups, just as everyone in the village had been about to take some of the fire back to their houses, as had been the tradition amongst her people at the end of every harvest, the start of every winter, fpr thousands of years.

Mariah Walton ran through the cobblestoned streets, the village burning all around her, pickup full of whooping men, loud, pulsing, booming music chasing her, cutting off her retreat, forcing her down another blind alley of burning buildings, the fifteen-year old girl, struggling to breathe, her chest on fire, her bare feet hurting, sending needles of hot pain up her legs.

She had to find her...in all this, she had to find her; they'd been holding hands, despite the prohibition handed down from the planetary eccelesiarchy in Acropolis, but the taoiseach had said nothing, and sets of parents approved...they'd made plans, curl up in front of the fire at her house, as they drank cups of cocoa, and watched the falmes dancing in her family's hearth, til the suns rose three hours from now.

They'd become seperated, Anna and Mariah, almost immediately after th men and boys, none of whom were villagers, had come, scattering the burning carnosaur bones everywh--

Frak!

She struggled, the barbs of the wire entangling her digging bloody furrows into her ankled, her dress torn to ribbons, as ahe was dragged toward one of the trucks, toward a fat, pale, pale-ered, boy about her age, chuckling, as he pulled hard on the wire with leather-gloved hands, the motion against the rough cobblestones further shredding Mariah's dress, her best dress,Mother had spent hours sewing it just for Samhain, just for Anna, cause she made her feel pretty, and she wanted to be pretty for her.

Her skin bled from thousands of scrapes, her bra abrading away, then her panties, as the boy, and several of his friends laughed and laughed, and Mariah just closed her eyes, refused to cry, even though she could feel the tears running down her face...she wanted to give herself to Anna, who loved her, and who she loved, not to these brutes, these outsiders, these boys and men who had nothing in eyes reflected in the firelight, but malice towards her.

Her ankles were raw and bleeding when the boy, still chuckling, unwrapped the wire from around them, his pants pulled down, scattergun slung over his left shoulder, as, still chuckling, he got on top of her.

And, called her a liyyle bitch at the top of his lungs, as she kicked out with both legs at once, grabbing at the scattergun, discharging it with a thought from hr commun(also prohibited, also overlooked), struggling to her feet, continuing to fire wildly, rummaging for reloads on the cobblestones, grabbing up a couple of five-kilogram single-gauge shells, loading one into the breach.

Finding herself standing alone amidst shot-riddled burning pickups, and parts and pieces of bodies, with more motors, more pounding music, more whooping, hollering boys in the distance, getting closer.

She picked a random direction, and fled.

Anna was somewhere amidst all this.

She had to find her.

31 OCTOBER, 2056
17:05:30


“--violence typical of the radical Left,” a man named Balthasar Crais said on the Alliance's version of the Interweb back home, as Rear Admiral Boone Ridley sat back in the wardroom sofa, and watched patriots—trgardless of time or place—delivering judgement to backwards heathens on the world known as Necromunda, occupying the fourth orbit around the red giant star Crone, at the edge of this reality's Sagiittarius Dwarf Galaxy.

In company with the Royal United States Navy battle group headed by this ship, the four and a half megaton Columbia-class first rate Essex, were a Terran Dominion battle group, and a battle group of this Alliance's battlestars, ten of which were the wide tumblehome, eagle-prowed, multiple nacelle, four and a half million ton Leviathan-class battlestars, almost as impressive as Essex and her sisters.

“--child torture and rape,” Craiscontinued ranting,”in obscene, pagan, witchcraft rituals to open portal into the Warp, allowing demons to roam free, and cause untold havoc, at the same those child sacrifices are drained of adrenachrome, vaxxed, mutilated, programmed to think they are Xenos, girls instead of boys, Servitors instead of living Human beings, even as cats and dogs, become the willing pets to truly perverted masters, willing hosts for succubi and other demo--”

A shuuder, a crash, and Ridley found himself on his hands and knees on the hard deck, head bleeding from contact with the wardroom table.

Woozily, Ridley struggled to his feet, as the room shuddered, turned blood-red, and begn drumming and trumpeting, as Ridley staggered to the hatch connecting the wardroom with Essex;s Combat Information Center, stepping through it, and demanding Master Commandant Maurice Littlejohn ”report, God damn you!”

“We're ynder attack,” Littlejohn stated, as Ridley gauned his seat at the cebter of the space, and buckled himself in, just, asCIC shuddered, went dark, burst into flame, and shrieked like all the damned in Hell.

“--least five thousand hulls, various types,” Littlejohn continued, as Essex's quartermaster struggled to boost hisss ship toward planetary escape velocity, and allow him the use of his quantum tunnel generators,”on a direct vector from Ragnar, jumped us while most of us were downcycled to norm, or in orbit round Necromunda; we're taking a hell of a beating.”

“Launch gun sloops,” Ridley ordered; the ship's detachment of 5,000-ton Mississippi-class gun sloops could burn harder, and upcyclr quicker than the wallowing first-rate, allowing Essex some sort of reply to all those enemy machines darting in and out of norm at an analogous velocity of 183 trillion miles per seconds, and driving ordiance into the ship's 45,000 interceptors to be fragmented, and rip through the spoon and multiple-nacelle spaceframe to cause damage.

“Upcycle, damn you,” he ordered the quartermaster.”Upcycle now!

“Sir,” the quartermaster started to object,”we haven't--”

”Are you questioning the orders of one of His Majesty's Admiral?!” Ridley demanded, a pair of Royal United States Marines moving toward the quartermaster, who, with a though, set everyone's teeth to chattering, as the quantum tunnel generators screamed, and upcycled Essex, max a--
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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WillDexter
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Joined: 2024-05-22 12:56am
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

31 OCTOBER, Y169
17:09:00

Kentaurus' thick, armored hide, the positioning of her bridge, at the center of Deck Five, deep within her saucer, all these were holdovers from the Republic-class from which the Andors had been derivived, and the era—the First Rom War, and Non-Tactical Warp—in whivh they'd initally seen service.

Like its opposite number, the Romulan Warbird, the spaceframe had been sturdy enough, future proof enough, to take an ever-increasing series of upgrades over the years.

Her father could have the shiny new ships, such as the Aresp/i] class.

Lieutenant Commander Alandra LaForge's heart had been stolen by this so-called relic, when she'd first been posted to it five years ago, and, if anything, she only loved the old girl more, in spite of her quirks.

“No sign of our guests, yet, Skipper,” Alandra reported, as Captain Sheridan entered the bridge, and Kentaurus' chief enginer took a seat at the bridge engineering atation, displacing the senior chief tecnician there.

“Keep scanning,” Captain Sheridan said to Joraya, as she sat down, and buckled herself into the center seat.”Helm, steady on course, max Q factor; Mister B right, stand by...I have a feeling--”

She never got to complete that statemeny, the Deiian science officer calmly reporting,”am detecting a Federation-class dreadnaught, 323 mark 82, 400 kiloklicks downrange, closing, max Q factor...and being closely pursued ny six Vicennes-class battlecruisrs.”

”Red Alrt!” Mister Bright called out from the weapons station, Yeoman 1C Mercedes Sifuentes' voice calling all Kentaurus' 274 crew and 600 Marines to their stations, as red lights flashed, and klaxons whooped.

“Intercept,” Captain Sheridan ordered,”323 mark 82, max Q factor! Weps, fire when in range!”

With a thought, Alandra transmitted the instructions through the ship's AI to her engineering tem, the quantum warp motor occupying virtually the whole og th vylindrical secondary hull vonnected to the total-conversion matter-antimatter reactors in the twin booms, whining, as it slowly, surely, reached a maximum analogous velocity of 293 trillion klicks per second, equal to factor 13 on the newly-developed Quantum Warp scale.

“Engineering section at red alert,” she reported, after a quick study of her board,”reactors one and two online, full power available; ship at max Q factor.”

“Solutiom ready,” Bright crisply reported,”weapons ready, and firing!

31 OCTOBER, Y169
17:09:36

Captain Nicholas Saint John didn't take the museum piece closing his six, state of the art Vicennes-class battlecruisers seriously.

Then, the relic destroyed two of the 225-kiloton hulls with salvos of eight-ton, beam-riding, molten metallic plasma bolts travelling just below conventional warp speeds, while the Long March and the he Sanh were put out of action by fragments of four-ton near-lightspeed ordinance broken up by the two ships' point defenses, only for said fragments to destroy nacelles, and tear holes through pyimary and secondaty hulls which glowed bluish-white, and vented plasma—what remained of internal spaces between entry and exit wounds—to space.

Terran Starship Midway's helmsman violently wrenched his ship up, and hard to starboard, while TSS Lepanto btoke doen and hard to port, their intended target, Starfleet One, eliding the kill yet again, as aconsequence, though, it wouldn't be much longer, one of her three nacelles streaming plasma, coolant, and annhilating matter and antimatter like a vlood trail, while glassy, glowing holes pockmarked her saucer and cylindrical secondary hull.

“Have Guadalcanal flank that trlic from stsrboard,” Saint John ordered.”We'll--”

An eighteen-inch r-gun round lit up Guadalcanal, his fiery desath flooding the main holoviewer with a brilliant flare of hot, white lightMidway's[/i hrlmsman deftly evading the flurry of r-gun rounds and beam-riding plasma, while the skip's two remaining three-kilotob Thunderbolt-clsass attack shipa ran down Starfleet One, and vectored eight-inch, 200-kilogram r-gun rounds toward the crippled dreadnaught.

31 OCTOBER, Y169
17:10:59

Kentaurus'['i] aft interceptors accountd for both Bolts, fragmenting the projectiles meant for Starfleet One

Who couldn't evade, the storm of relativistic buckshot shearing away all three nacelles, and the battlecruiser was closing for the kill

“Helm, close with Starfleet One!” Mikayla orderd.”Bridge to all transporter and gate rooms, begin evacuation od her--”

Starfleet One flooded the main holobiewer with a blaze of ehite light, the result of a direct hit from the battle cruiser.

“Transporter room on to bridge,” the holo of Chief Petty Officer T'liss reported.”Chairman-elect Baranov is safely aboard.”

“Mister Bright,” Mikayla ordered, as Bright bracketed the wildly evadinf Terran warship with his aessenal, until he scored a direct hit with the dorsal forwatf r-guns to end him.

“Now,”Mikayla said,”we can go home; Helm, set a course back to Vabylon Peime, max Q factor.”
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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WillDexter
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Posts: 156
Joined: 2024-05-22 12:56am
Location: Under my GF''s desk, buried in work. :)

Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

304-69M2
18:15:24

Obviously, this stuck-up, pointy-eared bitch was a bull-dyke who hated her own feminity.

Neither the blue tunic, nor the black slacks did her any favors, whilw her red hair was done up in a single ponytail.

Leland Adama captured this so-called counselor's image via commun, and began editing it to something more suitable, right in front of her.

“Is there a reason,” the counselor asked, as she sat in the chair across from his rack in the station's brig,”you've refused all meals brought to you?”

“Oh. come on!” said Adama, noy believing the pointy-eared slut could be that stupid.

“You know as well as I do, he added, sneering, as he used image manipulation software to let the “counselor's” hair down, remove her clothing, enhance her breasts, because they were never big enough, then put her on her knees,”that all the slop they feed me is laced with soy, vax, and GMOs, all designed to re-write my DNA, and turn me into ine of you!

“I know nothing of the sort,” the Xenos bitch coldly replied, while Adama put a metal obedience collar round her image's neck.

“I was asked by the tribunal,” she added, her image now sporting bleeding welts on tits, ass and shame, sas well as tears running down its face,”to evaluate your mental state, given both your refusal to eat, and your recent behavior before the tribunal.”

Adama added wrist and ankle cuffs to the demon-eared abhuman's image, before adding an image of the black bitch, Galactica's fake comissar, that image wearing a more suitable black leather bodysuit and black knee boots over fishneet stockings, with a long, barbed wire whip in her gloved hands.

“My reasons are a matter of public record,” he insisted,”and I refuse to eat genetically-modified, nanovirus-tainted, soy-lace garbage; you want me to eat, feed me real food that's been organically grown and harvested on a family farm by real men.”


He added animation and voice, so that the Foster made in his image brutally whipped her kneeling demonette subslut, who sobbed, screamed, moaned, and begged “Mistress'” forgiveness.

“You're dismissed,” he added,adding a few finishing touches, before using his Kara6969 account to upload the completed vid to the Net.”You Xenos mind tricks are no match for the strong will and superior intellect of a real, sovereign Human man, so your puppetmasters will simply have to find some other way to make me behave.”

“I said,” he repeated, in the irm, commanding tone je knew all her abhuman kind liked in a man,”you may go.”

”Fascinating,” the red-headed demon breathily observed, before rising to her feet, and walking out of his cell.

16 SEPTEMBER, 2056
18:21:47

HMS Heart Of Oak shot past a drifting Russie first-rate, her eight quad-mount 18” t-guns hammering a Leviathan and a pair of 850,000-ton Hermes-class battlestars out of existence, fragments from intercpted ordinance sleeting througha galf dozen more Flight III[o]Hermes-class, as well as nine 760-kiloton Flight II [o]Hermes[/i]-class and five 400,000-ton Flight I Hermes, all of them now as dead in space, as the Russie first-rate that had attempted an upcycle before it had reached Necrominda's escape velocity of 15.1 kips.

Lieutenant Commander Petra Moss hunted for more tsrgets for her guns, while Sub-Lieutenan Kylien Jones' AuxCon team held off fighters, bombers, gun sloops, and inbound ordinance with the 225,000-ton Vanguard-class dreadnaught cruiser's 2,250 interceptor batteries, Commander Electra Gant violentlu wrenching the ship in every direction at once in an attempt to evade.

At the center of it all, Vice Admiral Pgyllicia Wallace sucked down cold saline solution, and hung on for the ride, as her CIC team fought her ship.

Russie gun sloops, each armed with a single 18” r-gun in a spinal mount, swarmed Oak, Petra vectoring some of the ship's 192, fifty-ton Shield Maiden combat drones, free the Augur.E3 battlespace control platform to vector Oak's 144, 150-ton Lightning heavy fighter in against more enemy capitals attempting to boost and upcycle.

“Six reports heavy fighting all through Acropolis, Skipper,” Petty Officer Jeanette Marchon reported from comms, at the same time Lieutenant Commander Margaret Baker reported from Engineering,”Combat, Engineering, radiators re-installed, internal temp stead at 87 degrees. Priimary electrics 62% restored, all other damage being made good.”

“Copy,” Phyll said in replu to both of them, Executive Warrant Officer Janis Fielding reporting from the radar station.,”quantum tunnels, won-niner-five-zera, firect vec Palestinia, now entering battlespace.”

“Terran Dominion warships, one fleet,” Lieutenant Commander Swathi Singnamala reported from intel.”Two battlestar groups, two-six-zera additional quantum tunnel signatures, direct vec Palestinia, entering battlespace, max av.”

“Fourth Fleet and BSG 12 will alter vec to intercept new inbounds,” Phyll ordered.”Comms, send to Admiral Mantell, aboard Upper Michigan, our radar telemetry.”

“Comm sent,” Jeanette replied, the Royal Celestial Navy's 4th Fleet leaving off the wallowing enemy hulls struggling to reach escape velocity, 1,439 other vessels following their flagship--Heart Of Oak--as it closed with the newly arrived enemy force, thd 130 machines of Battlestar Group 12—formerly the 12th Battle Group of the National Fleet, til their merger with loyal Alliance forces last month—following suit, the combined forces fighters, bombers, and combsat drones being quicckly turned round on those ships' flight decks, then launched into space, surging ahead of the allied capital warships and into a formation of fighters, bombers, and gun sloops screening the newly-arrived enemy capships.


[/i]”...I must caution you,” Comissar Foster informed Fisk,”that you are being charged with treason and the comission of high crimes in contravention of rhe Articles Of War, to witL The bombing of Athens and the suvequent murder of ten and one-half billion noncombatants, then ordering your atmsmen to the surface to buthcer three billion additional noncombatants and enslaving untold billions more, as well as actively interfering with evacuation efforts by Battlestar Groups 42 and 75, resilting in your ship firing on your brothers and sisters in the Fleet.

The Articles specify death for any of the above offenses; pleading guilty will not mitigate that sentence.

Bearing this tribunal's caution in mind, Captain Fisk, how plead you...”]/i]

304-69M2
18:23:41

“...in starboard flight pod, decks one and two,” Captain Jack Fisk reported, as he stod alongside Navarch Fenris Jurgen amidst the burning, exploding, screamin chaos of the Battlestar Hecate's CIC, as the four and one half-megaton Leviathan-class battlestar followed the rest of BSG12 and the RCN 4th Fleet into the heart of the storm.

The goiliath battlestar's ninety quad-mounted 18” macrocannon tore through Terran Dominion warships on either side of her, while th four 36” prow guns lobbed a stable octet of eight-toon projectiles into the center of Battlestar Group 80 at 99.9999% actual lightspeed, utterly destroying a trio of Leviathans, and ten Flight IIIHermes-class screening the, a fourth Leviathan and thirteen lesser battlestars falling out of formation, riddled with holes, engines smashed, adrift and...

”...is this your genuine and honest plea?” Comissar Tolen of the Battlestar Flame of Purity asked Fisk,”made of your own accord, and not soliviyed by means of coercion, financial inducement, or promises, express or implied, of clemency?”

“I know what I did, sir,” said Fisk, as he stood in the defendant's dock,”and take full reposibility for my actions, even if it means execution...”


...those poor frakkers on Athens hadn't been given a choice; Zarek hadn't liked the decision of the High Arbitrators, and sentenced an entire libing world to death.

And, Fisk had pulled the trigger.

He'd simply been following orders, Zarek's and young Navarch Adama's, but he'd sworn an Oath before all the Gods to uphold the Articles of Alliance, and defend the people of the Twelve Tribes against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that oath came first, superseding even the orders of superiors.

That it hadn't made him a traitor, a mass murderer, and a war criminal.

And, Fisk...

”...the Articles of War specify death for your crimes, Captain,” Comissar Foster reminded him.”Do you understand that?”

“Yes, sir,” Fisk said.

“But,” Foster thwn said,”the Articles do not specify
immediate death...”

...Hecate shigted violently, as her helmsman wrenched the ship hard along several vectors at once, to avoid relativistic shrapnel and intact projectiles the flak batteries had not been able to stop.

Prow and main battery guns spoke again, Fisk's eyes on the DRADIS repeater slate, now showing the icon for his ship closing with the icon for the Leviathan battlestar Goliath...

”...the sentence of this tribunal,” Foster announced,”that you will answer for crimes on the battlefield; you are assigned to thr batllestar Hecate as its executive offiver, under Navarch Jurgen; it is the hope of this tribunal, that, there, you will find an opportunity to redeem yourself through an honorable death in combat.”

“Thank you,” was all Fisk could think to say in reply...


...ny no means a reprieve.

He was under sentence of death, and that was how he'd live his life, until death found him on the battlefield.

The icon for Goliath blinked furiously, before going dark on the Detection Ranging And DIStance repeater, as Hecate moved away at 293 terakloms per second, the helmsman standing the massive battlestar on her jets, heeling her hard over, as she re-entered the battlespace.
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

31 OCTOBER, 2569
18:23:41


“So,” En'til'za Jeffrey Sinclair, once a Captain in the Earth Alliance Forces, asked, without preamble,”how long have you people known?!”

Floating above Sinclair's desk was a holo of the current Terran First Minister and head of Section 31 and the director of the PsiCorps in another time and place.

Both the same man.

“Five seconds after you told us,” Rear Admiral John Sheridan, commanding the ragtag remnants of Starfleet in this part of space, replied honestly, the Asian woman seated at his right, Vice Admiral Miyazaki Yukari, commanding the North Americsn Mobile Strike Fleet from still another reality, adding,”I'm only finding out about it now.”

Sinclair turned to his right, Sa'Tai DeLenn, until recently of the Minbari Grey Council, standing beside him, along with most of his impromptu staff, gathered over th course of what had seemed a long war against the darkness.

“Bester,” she said,”disappeared, during the attack on Babylon 5 last year--”

A stab of pain, when Sinclair thought about the one person he'd come to lean on in the last five years.

Micheal had stayed behind, when the Bester's Bloodhounds and Shai Alif Shakiri's warriors had poured into the station, giving Sinclair and the others time to escape.

When they'd made it through the jumpgate, he'd blown the station's reactors, taking as many of the Earthforce and Minbari warrior caste ships and troops with him as he could.

“--rose to the head of Psi Corps,” Stephen Franklin, Sinclair's head medico, was saying,”did things that would've made the Nazis of ancient Earth history pause and consider. One of his agents, a psicop named Morgan Clarke, was elected Vice President in 2258, our 2258, and less than a year later, he'd destroued Earthforce One with all hands, and became President.”

“From there,” Captain Elizabeth Lochley took up the narrative,”things...got worse. Bloodhounds gradually took over Earthforce, Maes and Proxima III wiped out, when they tried declaring independence...Earthforce regulars, the few who hadn't been purged and replaced outright, didn't stand a chance, when they finally realized it was the role f the military to make policy, even if that role had been forced upon them.”

“Shadow tech,” explained Professor River Song, late of IPX, and one of the few survivors of both the Zha'ha'dum and Syria Planum expeditions.”What IPX and Earthforce Bureau 13 had found in the Martian desert was integrated into the next generation of Star Fury and Omega-class destroyers...not even the surviving Vorlons, their nymbers already reduced by the Shadows during the war, could withstand the Psi Corps' new Earthforce, especially when they allied themselves with the Minbari warrior caste and the Centauri...Kosh, Ulkesh, all the others...fell at Corianis III.”

“While the fleet we'd amassed,” Ambassador G'kar of the Narn Regime spoke up,”were slaughtered over Centauri Prime.”

“Bester personally led the forces that chased the survivors of B5,” Sinclair said,”all the way to Sector 14, and nineteen years into the past, to Babylon 4—Babylon Prime now—and, then, the white light that sent us here--”

“--and this Bester,” Miyazaki surmised,”even further back into the past of this reality, to assume the identity of Mitchell Slidell--”

“--who then helped us,” Sheridan remarked,”turn the Federation into the Terran Dominion.”

“Bester's a war criminal,” Sinclair said, Navarch Elim Garrak, Prefect of Bajor, seated at Sheridan's left remarking,”a criminal, period, and, in both realities.”

“A monster,” Natalya Winters, who been silent up to now, tautly, succinctly, put it.”A monster we made, to protect us from the hatred and fear of the mundanes, only...he and the other psicops, what they turned the Corps into, did worse things to our people than any mundane ever couls conceive...eugenics, rorture calling itself expirimentation, rapr and telepathically-compelled sexual slavery in the name of breeding the next, better, generation of true humanity...”

“Humans are Humans,” Leanna Kimmer, Sinclair's chief of security, commented,”push comes to shove. 'Beware, the Beast, Man...'”

”'For he is the Devil's pawn,'” Miyazaki then said. ”'Alone, amongst God's primates, he—' yes, Kim, what--”

A blond woman's holo, at the center of a red-lit command and control deck, appeared six inches in front of Miyazaki's right eye, came straight to the pount:

“They're here, these Romulans, 130 hulls, won-five gigaklicks downrange of the Bajoran system, running under cloak, max av; we're closing, on intercept.”

31 OCTOBER, 2569
18:28:19

”General Quarters, general quarters, all hands, man your battle stations,” Commander Draco Kirk said over North American Starship Enterprise's 1-MC, as the donging klaxon reverberated throughout the red-lit CIC, and he streered his ship, and the 119 other 225-kiloton Lexington-class armored cruisers and 190-kiloton Manhattan-class light cruisers of Fleet Scouting Group 44 toward intercept with 130 artificial singularities lit up like Christmas trees by the heat and radiation the ships inside them were unable to radiate to space.

“Drone and fighter screen,” Lieutenant Andrea McKinstra reported from the weapons station,”closing opfor; no reaction from opfor.”

”--Zulu throughout the platform,” Draco continued speaking.”Up and forward to the starboard, down and aft to the port! The reason for general quarters is imminent contact with opfor!”

“They're big,” Lieutenant Commander Yasmin Spock reportd from the science station.”Electromagnetic spectrum information indicates inbounds range between four and a half and ten million metric tons in mass.”

“Negative active counter detection,” Command Master Chief Ava Earhart reported from radar.

“They have to know we're here,” a unbelieving Rear Admiral Kimball Kinnison Aldrin remarked from the center of CIC, as on the master holoprojector, the 130 artificial singularities drew closer.

“Not neccesarily, Skipper,” Yasmin offered.”Projecting an artificial singularity to encompass a ship, especially ship that big, requires a great deal of power, more than I daresay even our total-conversion matter-antimatter reactors can provide; it's entirely possible they don't have the power to spare even for active sensors.”

“Combat,” Lieutenant Commander Sylvia Tilly's holo said from six inches in front of Kim's right eye,”Engineering; confirmed, Skipper, the cloaking device is a huge drain on power, they can't use weapons or active sensors while cloaked, and the heat and other electromagnetic energy trapped by the artificial singularity interferes with passive sensors beyond 25,000 kilometers.”

“And,” Kim remarked,”they light up like hristmas trees. Not very stealthy.”

“It took Starfleet two wars and a stolen cloaking device,” Sylvia replied,”to realize the shortcomings of the cloaking devices and develop ways of detecting cloaked sh--”
”They're showing themselves!” Ava reported, 130 gunmetal-grey raptors, wings mounted astern, shimmering into being on the master holoproj, the hull plating on both sides of each wing crafted to resemblr brightly-colored feather, brighter still for the amounts of heat and other electromagnetic energy they were radiating into space, as, from the undersides of each wing, five-thousand ton mini-raptors deployed, closing the drone and fighter screen at an analogous velocity of 439.5 terakips, while swarms of fifty-ton raptors took wing from the undersides of each of the capships' beak-like prows.

“We're being commed,” Chief Radioman Rhonda Klein reported.
“Pipe it through,” Kim replied.

Arrogance in full braid now occupied the master holoproj, the man even looking somewhat like a bird of prey, his iorn-grey hair closely cropped, exposing prominent pointed ears, long, fingered hands smoothing a gunmetal-grey, red-faced uniform, as the Romulan spoke with a voice just dripping with disdain:

“I am Legate Admiral Lucius Crassus Tomolok, commanding the 4th Star Legion of the Romulan Imperial Star Navy. I neither know, nor care who you are; the fact is you are in Romulan space, and you are not wel...”

”...and I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder.
One of the four beasts sang, 'come and see,' and I saw.
And, behold...”
“...nothing, but the rain,” Kim(?!) replied, as she sat in the cockpit of an alien fighter, jinking and burning hard in a sky full of...
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

02) Out Of Asgard

31 OCTOBER, 2569
18:29:37

“...sodding fuck,” Starship Captain Sonia Pendergast whispered, as the white light and the whistling gave way to the 190,000-ton Constellation-class super-heavy cruiser Commonwealth Fleet Starship Eagle, hurtling, headlong, and at max av toward a sky full of giant metal birds, and smaller metal birds, all converging on her ship.

“Won-tree-zera hulls, four and one-half to ten megatons mass,” Executive Warrant Officer Shar Rosenberg reported from radar, as if her hadn't just been over Ector, Texas, on Earth, trying to hold off a monster Theo 750-megaton QMOB and over seven thousand Gnat and Theo warships,”and several thoudand fifty- and five-thousand ton hulls, all unknown class.”

Shimmering streams of what seemed to be molten metal came at Eagle at near-light speeds, Commander Angel DeWinter driving them past a swarm of fighters closing with, and furiously engaging the smaller raptors, while Lieutenant Commander Mercedes Vaughn released 240 four-ton turanium penetrators from the ship's six prow-mounted, quad turreted, eighteen-inch relativistic velocity railguns, many of those penetrators caught, and fragmented by lesser plasma streams from the big birds' flanks and beak.

Eight of them slamming into seven of the four and one-half megaton hulls, and one of the teb-million yon hulls at 99.9999% real lightspeed, obliterating them instantly in roars of white-hot light on the master holoproj.

“Skipper,” Lieutenant Commander Lavinia Myers reported from intel,”ermmm...we're not where we were...”

“That much,” Sonia said archly, as CIC went dark, and her starship engineering officer, Lieutenant Commander Desiree Mack, reported damage and status in her head,”is bloody obvious.”

“--nor when,” Lavinia finished

“Comparison of star charts and projected star positions in shipnet,” she continued, as a lead weight sank to the bottom of Sonia's stomach,”put us some 70.5 petaklicks downrange of the Solar System, and 496 years in the future.”

Fuck.

Nakomis.

Sonia would likely never see her again.

Tears ran down her face, but she couldn't cry.

Three more of the 4.5-million ton birds died under Eagle's guns, two of the ten million ton machines drifting deadstick and derelict, as Sonia stared straight ahead into the master holoptoj.
Here and now was where she needed to be, fighting her ship.

Even, if Eagle and her crew were no longer in Kansas and had no way of getting back there.

31 OCTOBER, 2569
18:29:37

The words “he's here,” shocked PsiCorps Meta-Sensory Enforcement Agent Benjamin Allen as much as finding the 55.6 million-ton Black Omrga-class advanced destroyer Simon Magus swarmed by dozens of alien warships, attack craft and fighters upon emerging from the whistling white light which had washed over everything.

”Who's here?!” he demanded of his best Bloodhound, Alyta Alexander, as she stood on the bridge of the Magus, her eyes solid black, as she stared straight ahead.

A thought came to him, one he did not welcome, one featuring the grinning, arrogant face of the man who'd groomed him.

Someone he'd grown to hate, and desired greatly to murder, as slowly as humanly possible.

He'd friends in the Centauri royal court who could make that happen.

“Bester?!” Allen asked, still dubious, even if his was the onlu mind even Alexander's greatly-enhanced abilities could detect regardless of distance or line of sight.

“Bester,” replied Alexander, as thr bridge exploded, burst into flame, went dark, screamed, and buzzed all round the two of them.

“Some 1,500 lightyears downrange of us,” she continued.”The navigator has the location.”
“Disengaging enemy,” Simon Magus' navigator then reported, Allen feeling the destroyer turning, its quantum engine whining low, setting his hair and teeth on end,”now on vector for Outer Reach, max av.”

31 OCTOBER, 2569
18:31:06

“Enemy still in pursuit,” the ship's sensor operator reportedCaptain Trevor Hall ordering his first officer to”keep our Harpies between us and them; aft batteries, fire at will.”

“IFF data coming through now,” YASMIN reported, as CIC went dark again, Sylvia's sweaty, disapproving holo remarking,”Combat, Engineering, you're breaking my ship again; radiators five, seven, nine shot away, internal temp 102 degrees, rising; primary powergrid's gone, secondary's 90$ disrupted, teritary's 56% disrupted. All damage under repair.”

“Can't be helped, Sylvia,” Kim replied, Andi's guns killing still another ROC stellar domination platform, crippling two dozen Kingfisher-class super-heavy dreadnaughts.

“One 'ell of a snake,” Draco commented, even as he violently wrenched his ship in every direction at once, evading streams of heavy bolts of molten metal streaming from Romulan beaks and Romulan wings at near-light speeds, Midshipman Miyazaki Akane's AuxCon team working overtime to attenuate the bolts the ship's executive officer couldn't evade with streams of blue-hot fire from Enterprise's 2,250 interceptor guns.

The “snake,” the grey on steel blue light cruiser which had appeared out of nowhere, was just ahead of the coalescing Fleet Scouting Group 55, leading the rest of the Mobile strike fleet, Cardassian ships, including the four and a hal million ton Hutet,White Star attack cruisers, G'Quon-class heavy cruisers, a couple Omega-class destroyers, and a hundred saucer, cylinder, and nacelle Starfleet ships in against the new inbounds, flying past dead, drifting, broken Romulan birds, through the vessels of the inital Rom battlegroup still fighting, toward the enemy coming in without their cloaks, launching fighters and attack craft, as they closed to gun range.

“We know how that battle ended, Mister Kirk,” Kim remarked, after a swallow of cold saline, as the heat of the red-lit CIC pressed down on her.”I don't plan on ending the same way.”

Fighters and drones were already in contact with their Rom opposite numbers, when the two opposing forces closed to a hair less than 300 kiloklicks from one another, and let fly, a pair of ROCs and eight Kingfishers blazing brilliantly in the dark, before becoming wisps of cold plasma and faintly-glowing bits of metal, twelve more Kingfishers and another ROC run through by shards of intercepted ordinance, still retaining their near-light velocity, as they tore through hull metal, gutted internal spaces, ripped apart wings, shattered nacelles clustered like tailfeathers on the big birds' strens, and left them drifting, deadstick, gushing plasama which used to be living beings and internal spaces from thousands of glassy, glowing wounds.
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

304-69M2
18:33:18

”On my lead!” Primus Sharon Valerii, as her twelve rearmed, refuelled, refitted, fifty-ton Viper Mark VIIIs escorted an equal number of 200-ton Starhawk attack bombers off the Battlestar Flame Of Purity's number-one port flight deck back into the battlespace, vectoring directly toward a quintet of enemy Leviathsns closing Flame.

Images of Zak, of him being blown out of the sky kept tormenting her, as Shaaron supposed was only fair, as she'd gotten him killed, and done a frak lot of good for him when he'd been alive.

The Gods meant for this, same as they meant for her to live.

So, she lived, jinking, burning, her four 26mm autocannon tearing through opposing Vipers, Tomcats, and gun sloops, as she closed one of the Leviathans, and with a thought transmitted via commun, triggered the eight-inch macrocannon mounted in her newly-rebuilt Viper's nose, as she skimmed over the top of the goliath battlestar.

Most of those 200-kilogram rounds were broken up by the opposing battlestar's flak guns, Sharon juking, burning, dodging those same flak guns, as well as a six pack of Vipers that had fastened onto her tail, Sharon whipping her Viper around, firing a quick burst from all four autocannon, just as the last macrocannon round she'd released struck, intact, one of the [Leviathan's[/i] enfine nacelles.

She wrenched her bird back around, her cockpit polarizing, as the brillance outside threatened to blind her, Sharon glancing at holoprojected readouts, then at her DRADIS display, her head on a swivel, as she flew straight and true through another swarm of enemy Vipers, firing blindly, jinking, burning, releasing the last of her macrocannon rounds toward a 950-kiloton Flight III Hermes, which she skimmed over, her wingman(her new wingman)Optio Larice Asche, a transfer from the Pegasus joining her, as still more enemy Vipers jumped them, Centurion Oscar Viltry's voice remarking over wireless,”I really need you Viper jockeys to keep my sky clear of these frakkers,” Larice and Sharon now at the head of a four-ship formation, a pair of Starhawks, their autocannon turrets firing on enemy planes in all directions, joining them, while the remainder of Sharon's squadron and Viltry's other Starhawks scattered to the Warp and gone.

Nothing to be done for that now; her job was to deliver the two Starhawks in her charge to where their dorsal and ventral turreted macrocannon could bring down the wrath of the Gods down on appropriately-deserving targets.

Like the four and a half megaton Terran Lex Galactica-class stellar domination platform moving behind a scree of three-thousand ton attack ships and fifty-ton fighters—the frakkers Sharon and her wingman had to keep out of Viltry's way.

And, that was what they did, the two Vipers going into the swarm of Terran fighters and attack craft guns blazing, opening a hole for Viltry and his wingman to fire sixty- and 200-kilogram macrocannon rounds at the saucer, cylinder and nacelle hullform.

Now perforrated like a colander from multiple fragments, the Terran vessel slowing noticeably, as two of its nacelles were penetrated and destroyed, the SDP continued vectoring a storm of flak at the two wildly twisting, turning bombers, until a direct hit from an eight-inch macrocannon round killed it in a roar of whir-hot light.

304-69M2
18:41:22

Her chest hurt, her heart threatening to pound and pound, til it was free of her body, sweat cooling in the frigid air of the incipient Necromundan winter causing her to shiver violently, as her knees buckled.

They were still whooping and hollering, as they came at her from all directions, Mariah firing the scattergun again and again at blinding headlights and spotlights, pounding music promising to rape her repeatedly with “mah big phat dick, bitch!” and screaming male voices promising much the same thing.

Again and again, she fired, the stock of shells she'd acquired running lower and lower with each discharge, each blue flash sending a thousand five-gram penetrators downrange, each momentary quenching of hatsh lights, each booming explosion momentarily stopping the pounding threats of brutal rape, each fleeting second of cursing, screaming, moaning, and abuse preceding renewed threats of violence and death.

She wasn't going to win, too many of them, too little ammo to keep them at bay.
She'd never see Anna again.

If she even survived this night, all Mariah could hope for was--

Explosions, brilliant flashes of white light, thunderclaps which rattled the walls of burning buildings, while pressing Mariah flat on her belly, blossomed into being all round her.

Along with a song she'd never heard before:

“--since I did the stroll. Oooh, let me get back, let me get back. Let me get back, baby, where I come from, whoa, whoa, whoaaaa. Been a long time, been a long time, neen a lone lonely, lonely time--”

Struggling to her feet, Mariah blinked her eyes several times, marvelling at the ring of fire round her and the house burning beside her, patriots, torn to bloody rags, throwing themselves a shimmering silver armored figures, their helmets vaguely-resembling the head of the sacred aquila, avatar of the Gods, their mercy, their justice, and their wrath, man-portable autocannon, and heavy-caliber storm bolters cutting down those who would do the Gos' own children harm in defiance of Their express warning ”better for a man to go screaming into the Warp than for him to harm a hair on the head of any of Our little ones. So say we all.”

So say the Gods, as, sobbing, exhausted, Mariah sang thanks and praise to them and their angels.

At the same time she ferverently begged them to keep Anna safe from harm.

31 OCTOBER, 2569
18:35:42

”Medic!” was the first word our of Gunnery Sergeant Leila Haffke's mouth, as, reflexively, she gather the naked, shivering, sobbing teenage girl to her, and held her close.
“Thank the Gods, for their mercy and their justice, for sending Their angels to protect a little one like me,” the girl blubbered over and over, even as the veteran North American Marine gunnery sergeant kept telling her it was okay, sweetie, everything was okay.

“--please, I beg you, keep Anna safe from harm this night,” the girl continued blibbering.”Keep Anna from harm this night, please, Gods, I beg you, I'll give anything, even my own life, she's that precious to me.”

That couldn't help but pull on Leila's heartstrings, no matter how many times, how many places, she'd seen similar scenes playing out.

Not all of them had happy endings.

Most of them didn't have happy endings.

Leila hoped against hope this child's story wouldn't be one of those.

Chief Hospital Corpsmen Dottie Gruber, one of the Fleet medicos attached to the 51st Fleet Marine Amphibious Assault Division, looked at Lelia cradling the girl in her arms, heard a snippet of her desperate prayer, and quipped,”well, you are a gunny, so I suppose that's close enough to a god.”

Leila gave Dottie the finger in reply, the corpsman smirking, as, gently, she pried the girl from Leila's arms, wrapped her up in a thermal blanket, and headed off toward one of the division's two 3,000-ton M17 support vehicles, Leila rising to her feet, checking her M12 50mm storm gun, slung over her left shoulder, then rejoined her squad, as thwy finished their search of the burning, single-story, sungle-bedroom house beside them.

Her assistant squad leader, Lance Corporal Lian “Jinxie” Penlan, telling her,”Christ, Gunny, there were five people, two adults, three kids...”

She trailed off, her voice angry, when she spoke again:

“They didn't even fuckin' spare the kids, not even the fucking baby, Gunny, they...”

Leila put a comforting hand on Jinxie's shoulder, when her voice finally failed her...likely, the fire had been the kindest thing done to those poor souls within that house.

Another unhappy ending.

Another prayer that went unanswered, because there weren't any gods who answered prayers.

Just men and women standing between the innocent, and those who did them harm.

In any reality.
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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WillDexter
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Joined: 2024-05-22 12:56am
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

31 OCTOBER, Y169
18:38:00

Fleet Admiral Solomon Tarsos couldn't help but be impressed with the sheer power of the Black Omega, as it entered the Dramune system, contemptiously bringing down Orion battle cruisers with its array of flank-mounted r-gun batteries and its twin, forward-mounted particle cannon of awesome destructive power.

The yield from a single one of those beams could lay waste a North America-sized continent.

“Intercrpt,” ordered the Terran First Minister, Alfred Bester, or, as he was known to those of this time and place, Mitchell Slidell, as he stood beside Tarsos on an equally impressive, 44.6 megaton, Black Omrga, the one he'd brought with him to this reality some forty-five years ago.

The destroyer Shiva's helmsman responded to his master's orders, firing banks of RCS thrusters to whip it out of Outer Reach's orbit, where, once boosted to the planet's escape velocity of 20.9 kips, it upcycled, max av, and closed with its ebony opposite number, both ships launching fighters and attack craft simoultaneously.

The attack craft, according to one of the bridge holodisplays, being Olympus-class corvettes from the inbound and Thunderbolts from the Shiva.
Imperiously, Bester sat down at the center seat, Tarsos standing at his right hand, as the two ships closed to gun range.

“Signal from the other ship,” said the watchstander at the comms console.

“Put it through,” said Bester, the holoprojection of a balding man with a goatee, dressed much as Bester was, appeared, seated at the center of his own bridege, a fetching redhead, long blaack dress and knee boots, standing off to his left.

“You look...old, Al,” the man remarked.

“I've been around a while Benjamin,” Bester replied,”and, I plan on continuing that state of affairs. Hello, Lyta; I have to say you're much prettier nakeed, collared, chained, and on your hands and knees, feasting on my magnificent--”

He flinched, Lyta's green eyes brieflly turning solid black, as Bester's often did, when accessing even a minimum of his true power.

Then, she screamed, briefly clutching her head, as Bester remarked,”bad girl.”

“You've been lax in her training, Ben,” he then said.”When I left, she knew how to behave in the presence of her masters.

Naturally, you will administer sleepers, then have her report to me, in person, for...behavior modifi---oh, you bitch, you venpmous, little bi--”

Then, it was his turn to scream, falling out of his chair, onto his knees, Lyta snidely commenting,”don't lie, little boy. You liked that, every moment of that, and, with Talya gone rogue, you miss her loving more and more each day, each night, don't you?!”

”DON'T YOU?!” she thundered over the bridge speakers.

“Yesss,” Bester whimpered.

“Yes, what, bitch?” Lyta demanded.

“Yes, Mistress,” replied Bester, in a very small voice, as this Ben chuckled, and Tarsos himself suppressed a laugh.

Very interesting, he thought,A braincording of her thoughts might just be another effective weapon against him.

“Now, slut,” Lyta said,”shall I make you crawl all the way to my boots, in front of your crew, and your lackey, or would you rather we discuss business like adults?”

Regaining a semblance of control, Bester stood up, and said, firmly,”you've made your point, but I never forget acts of insolence, and you know how I reward insolence.”

“We understand each other then,” Ben said.”Our shuttle will arrive shortly to bring you to us.

We've much to discuss.”

31 OCTOBER, Y169
18:39:40

“Transporters are being jammed, sir!” Centurion Marcus Volantis' holo inform Commander General Flavius Circentus-ta, as he sat at the center of the coldlamp-lit bridge of Imperial Romulan Warbird Marcus Magnus, the grizzled veteran Imperial Romulan Star Navy officer, refusing to be defeated, seeing his opportunity for flory slipping away, simply replied,”then we shall use the Tholian device to board that alien vessel, and return to Romulus at its helm.”

The slaves, Circentus-ta thought happily, on board that vessel, exotic, as they are, will only be an added bonus.

“The Tholian garw is online,” another holo, that of Centurion Primus Archimedes Tal, reported.”Solution calvulated, quantum tunnel forming, Reman shock troops stepping throu--”

The sound of accelerator fire cause Circentus-ta to bolt from his seat.

“Primus?!” he demanded over comms.”Primus?!

“Centurion Volantis, report, damn you!” Circentus-ta then demanded of the commander of his cohort of Reman shock troops.

A shudder running through Marcus Magnus' cold, dead bridge was Circentus-ta's only answer.

“We have intruders on board,” Circentu-ta said to the commander of Marcus Magnus' Praetorians, Primus Octavius Shinzon.”Proceed to main transporter bay, and bring them to me directly.”

31 OCTOBER, 2569
18:38:40

Between Lavinia, Shar and Leading Hand Margritte Thorsen at comms, the inital attempt using the aliens' matter-transmission tech to board her ship had been unsuccessful.

Which was why that attemp was immediately followed by a quantum tunnel forming in the center of Eagle's dweltering, red-lit CIC.

In spite of heat exhaustion, Sonia, drawing the L2047 5.56mm assault railgun in its sleeve on the right arm of her chair, scrambled to her feet, said,”we'll see about that,” and, motioning for several watchstanders to draw assault weapons from the arms locker and join her, stepped through to the other side.
Normally a job for the Marines, except the ship's six hundred-strong Fleet Marine Landing Force were all in another time and place, same with her air group.

Meaning Sonia had to do what she could with what she had.

Waiting for her on the other side...she'd be damned, if those were not Romulans and Remans, straight out of the Star Tek franchise put to the torch by those miserable, bum-shagging Theo wankspanners, following the Storm, and their declaring the Earth flat, the Sun, Moon and stars revolved round it in a giant fishbowl, and space, and space travel, was a lie concoccted by dey Jooz for...well, reasons.

That shock was overidden by the need to live another day, unfortunately for the antagonists, Sonia and five ratings from the starship engineering department lining up on the telegate stage like the 24th Foot facing off against Zulu, and opened fire simoultaneously, before either the Remans or the Romulans holding their leads had a chance to react, vivid green blood and bits of alien quickly decorating the room, staining the aquila ensign on the far bulkhead behind a control console.

“Right,” she said to her impromptu boarding party,”we haven't much time, before Eagle pulls out of range, so, we need to wreck this bloody gate, and do it quivkly.”

“I have just the thing, Skipper,” Chief Petty Officer Maris Praeger said, limpeting dozens of sub-kiloton, antimatter thermonuclear(skat)charges to the control station, while Petty Officer Rayna Cohen, climbed inside the guts of the gate, and attacjed still more skat charges to its worky bits.

Sonia and the three remaining ratings covered the room's only entry with their assault railguns in the meantime, ready, with a thought, to unleash a hail of blue fire on the first Romulan or Reman fool enough to make entry.

Over comms, an urgent voice babbled in what Sonia figured to be Romulan, apparentally someone in authority calling out to the room's former occupants, wanting to know what the hell was going on, and why people were shooting off railguns inside his ship.

Which, of course, meant she and her people could expect company at any moment.

“Job's done, Skipper,” Maris told her, as a heat shimmering appeared directly in front of them.”Charges are set to detonate via BCI, the moment we leave.”

“Let's leave, then, Chief,” Sonia said.”I'll cover your out. Go!

The four other ratings ran through the telegate focus, Maris covering their exit, before walking backward through the focus, weapon still at the ready, as Sonia, by virtue of her rank, covered her crew, and was the last one out, walking backward, her assault railgun covering the room, til the very last second.

The heat of Eagle's command deck hitting her like a fist, bot trundling up to her, handing her a bottle of cold saline, as she staggered back to her seat, and belted herself back in.

“Gate's been blown,” Shar reported, as Mercedes killed a dozen more Romulan warships with the main battery, crippling dozens more, as Angel stood Eagle on her jets, heeling her hard over to keep her in the immediate battlespace.

Again, approaching the drifting, deadstick ten-megaton machine, tagged by shipnet as a ROC, that had tried boarding her ship, Lavinia reporting,”have gained access to that ship's network, downloading all databases.”

“Engineering,” Sonia said over comms,”Combat. I realize you're busy right now, luv, but we need to discourage these Romulan cockguzzlers from trying that stunt again.

Blow the ship out; Comms, if you're able, livestream that to the rest of those wankspanners.”

“Aye, Skipper,” Desiree and Gritte said as one, as Eagle once again passed the doomed ROC by.
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

31 OCTOBER, 2569
18:40:09

“Fuck me running,” An'la'shok Marcus Cole observed, as he stood beside ger on the bridge of Interstellar Alliance Starship Prometheus.

“I think they wanted to make a point,” the commander of the first of Earthforce's Omega-class destroyers, Captain Sondra Leavitt, replied, as shecsat at the center of her bridge, watching the livestream of over a thousand Romulans and Remans suffer the effects of explosive decompression in the two minutes it took for them to all die.

“They made it, all right,” a visibly shocked Marcus replied, as Lieutenant Rhys Jones, at the helm, stood the 44.6 megaton destroyer on its jets, Gunnery Sergeant David MacBride vectorinf fire from the destroyer's nine twin-mount 18” r-guns—replacing the Centauri matter cannon installed during the war with the Minbari—and her four, prow-mounted, heavily-modified Centauri battle lasers—their “beams” really streams of near-lightspped molten matter—at Romulan dreadnaughts and stellar domination platforms all around them.

The Ranger had the right to judge.

Unlike Sondra, his hands were still clean, even after a lifetime of war against the darkness.

Sondra, on the other hand,,,

Two starliners, ten thousand souls, exploding in Proxima II's Karman line, tormented her vision,

She'd ordered their destruction by Heracles' weapons crews, just last year.

The fact that had been another time, another place, that she'd only followed Captain Hall's lawful order...irrelevant.

She was guilty of war crimes, following illegal orders signed off by a traitor in Earthdome, executed by hi hatchet man in the field, and, there was no mitigation of her accountibility,

MacBride's guns killed a pair of ROCs and four Kingfishers, crippling another eight of the latter.

Marcus was the only innocent one on board Prometheus.

This was, after all, the ship, the crew, who'd started the piral into darkness, when eighteen years ago, they'd fired on, and nearly destroyed, the Minbari war cruiser carrying the Grey Council, killing their revered leader, Dukhat of Mir, and bringing about the near-genocide of humanity.

They had much to answer for, and they'd spent the fifteen years following the Battle of the Line doing precisely that.

The bridge rocked, momentarily going dark, Lieutenant Alyssa Ferrel reporting from the bridge engineering station,”Burn through in habitat section, decks 10 to sixteen, frames 1 throough eighty; all spaces blown out; 411 dead, 670 wounded, emergency bulkheads in place. Direct hit to flight deck, all forard interceptors offlines, all remaing small craft destroyed, medical and damage control teams en route.”

MacBrid repaid the the cluster of Romulan sttack ships who'd dealy those blows by removing them from his sky with the r-gun batteries, the battle lasers burning through the ROC that launched them, leaving nothing behind, as the beams tore a wing from a Kingfisher[//i] in their path, the greatly attenuated beams dissipating harmlessly by the crippled Romulan's point defenses.

Ptometheus then evaded still more heavy plasma bolts from a charging pair of Kingfishers, the r-guns shattering one of them in passing, the battle lasers acquiring a pair of ROCs, and firing, as the ship contnued onward in search of redeemption.

304-69M2
18:44:12


The prow guns shattered a 950-kiloton Terran Dominion Napoleon-class SDP and a dozen screening Terran battle cruisers, at the same crippling a pair of 760-kiloton United States-class SDPs.

The main-battery guns, meanwhile, bombed targets on Necromunda itself in support of ground forces advancing on the planetary capital of Acropolis.

Those guns re-set to deliver their payloads at one percent lightspeed, as opposed to the 99.9999% lightspeed they'd been set to, when Hecate had inflicted Tom Zarek's retribution on Athens.

That planet would remain glassy, barren lifeless rock, bleeding its molten core over what surface remained, forever.

After two thousand years of the Athenians taking great pains to preserve its lush, green forests, rolling plains, and clear, blue waters, all teeming with life.

Fisk nodded, as CIC continued shuddering, exploding, going dark, Hecate's exec relaying new damage and casualty reports to Jurgen, while the flak batteries ripped apart the combined flotilla of gun sloops and attack ships that had inflicted this latest damage on the Leviathan battlestar, as Vipers and Starhawks, turned round by through the deck crews' tireless efforts, launched from mass accelerator launch tubes in the broadsides of the ship's six remaining operable flight decks.

“Red, Indigo, and Gold Squadrons,” said Fisk over the wireless, eyes on the DRADIS repeater slate, a dataslaye relaying live video from armsmen and Republican Guard troopers on the Necomundian surface, and medicae orderlies helping badly-wounded crew from CIC, their place taken over by crew diverted from other parts of the battlestar,”Starhawk squadron Seven, Twelve, and Twenty, your targets are three divisions of Republican Guard and Planetary Defense Force proceeding toward current battlespace on Military Route 15 Bravo.”

“Exec, Gold Leader,” came the reply,”I copy; en route.”

Other fighters and bombers fought through their opposite numbers to attack enemy capital ships, Jurgen ordering some of the forward flak batteries diverting from covering Hecate to supporting her strike craft, while Fisk, his eye on the DRADIS slate, ordered,”all batteries, switch to anti-starship fire, targets are twelve, won-two, 760,000-ton Flight II Hermes battlestars, 331 karom won-niner, 200K downrange.”

Those twelve battlestars were converging on an Ordo Galactica-class first-rate starliner, BSG12's flagship, the Mea Culps as it came to the aid of a badly damaged Flight II Hermes, Joelle Swanson's Taoiseach.

So singleminded had that squadron of Flight Iis had been in destroying the crippled Taoiseach and the Mea Culpa, none of their flak batteries had paid any attention to the salvo of 760 rounds from Hecate's working 18” macrocannon batteries, until twelve direct hits caused them to blink furiously in the DRADIS slate, before going dark.

“Bravo Zulu, Hecate,” came Admiral Benedict's voice over wireless,”and my thanks.”

“Copy,” Fisk said in reply, as he continued fighting his ship, and answering for his crimes.

31 OCTOBER, 2569
18:46:07


“All of Taoiseach's gated aboard, Admiral,” reported Master Commandant James Haggerty, as, on the Detection Ranging, Imaging, and Distance(DRIAD)repeater holodisplay at the center of Mea Culpa's sweltering, red-lit CIC show the Alliance battlestar blinking furiously, then going dark, same as nearly three dozen enemy capitals rendered derelict by Hecate's salvo, all those hulls likely plummeting to the surface of Necomunda to smash open the planet's surface wherever they should impact, as the battle was now close to the planetary Karman line.

Close enough, in fact, for accelerators on the surface to target and fire on the flagship of the newly-formed Battlestar Group 12, consisting in equal parts of former National Fleet starships of the line and Alliance battlestars brought back from the dead.

All their crewsseeking atinement for past crimes.

That had been Comissar Foster's comprimise, presenyed to Admiral Avery Benedict over a month sgo at Ragnar Anchorage, as an alternative to her simply executing much needed spacers who'd were under sentence for following orders, and taking responsibility for their obedience.

Unlike the true believers, even now bragging of their crimes before the tribunal of Fleet commisars, taking pride in what they'd done, having the arrant unmitigated gall to assert their sovereignty, deny their judges and prosecutors had any jurisdiction over them, swearing under oath there weren't even victims of their rank atrocity, therefore no crimes had been committed.

Benedict knew those men well, as, in another time and place, he had been them, until he wasn't, couldn't, anymore.

Still...

CIC shuddered, went dark, burst into flame, screamed, begged for their mothers in their final moments in this world, Haggerty reporting,”penetration in starboard flight deck; space gutted, no survivors, all craft lost; radiators ten through ninetten destroyed, internal heat 118 degrees, rising, life support unable to compensate. Primary and secondary ficons offline, switching to teritary.”

All Mea Culpa's eighteen, quad-turreted 18” accelerators along the dorsal spine and the forward alligator head all returned fired against enemy warships all round them, the twin 40” Shiva in the prow blasting a gaping hole though Terran battlecruisers and SDPs in the starliner's flight path, interceptors laying down a thick blue cloud of fire between Mea Culpa and ordiance, fighters, attack craft, and gun sloops closing the ship from every vector at once, while the quartermaster jinked and burned hard to evade.

From her two remaining flight decks, fifty-ton Sagittsrai fighters vomited forth in a steady stream into space, followed by volley after vollry of self-ptopelled quantum projectiles from the torpedo tubes in the prow, the remains of the starboard flight deck trailing plasma and fragments of hull metal, joining the trail left by three destroyed engine nacelles out of eight, more fragments of relativistic ordinance ripping through the ship's flanks forcing the quartermaster to demand more and more from the remaining RCS thrusters just to be able to maintain vector, let alone evade, main-battery turrets and Shivas stabbing out at enemy hulls menacing Mea Culpa along all vectors, as she continued driving deeper into the storm in search of atonement for all those who rode aboard her.
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

304-69M2
18:50:27

“Have you dragged me back here to hear my m--” a man Admiral William Adama had failed sneered, as he faced the comissarial tribunal.


“No,” Foster coldly cut Lee off.”Your so-called motions merely cover ground this tribunal has already--”

“That's because,” Lee sneered in reply,”this fake tribunal, you corporate Servitors operating under admiralty law, instead of the common law set down in stone by His Divine Majesty, the Emperor of Mankind, has failed to prove you're real peolple, failed to prove jurisdiction, failed to prove a crime was even committed, because you jave failed to provide a single, solitary victim for me to face in open court!

Angrily, Adama projected scenes of people being vaporized, burned alive, crushed under the remains of buildings, raped, murdered, bound, hooded, and teleported to Hecate, and, from there “deliverance centers” throughout Alliance space.

There were other images, taken directly from Hecate's Hybrid, of that battlestar's armsmen fighting their opposite numbers from BSGs 42 and 75, as threy fought to get as many people offworld as humanly possible, and of Hecate's battlestar group, along with a battlegroup of Royal US Navy vessels, attacking Galactica, Flame Of Purity and their consorts.

“What the frak do you call them?!,” was Adama's growled demand to his son.

“Guilty,” was Lee's remorseless response.”As charged, by the Emperor and His anointed sovereigns, the Human race.”

“By definition,” he added,”the guilty cannot be victims.”

He smiled, as the room grew so quiet, that an armsman's whispered “frak you,” ptactically echoed off the walls.

“Not to mention,” Lee added, Adama wanting ro bash his frakking cocksucker in,”this so-called tribunal is conflicted, biased, and has been given a mission by the elites to crucify me in a witch hunt.”

He even qioted that murdering frakker Tom Zarek, who he—to his father horror—had idolized since joining the Monothiestic Students For Liberty in university.

Leaving Adama to wonder, again, where he'd gone wrong.

With his mother killed during the war, Adama had been left to rear him best he could, but, truth be told, he knew more about battlestars, about being a leader of men and women, than he had about being a parent to two children(he'd adopted Kara Thrace shortly afyer the war), thought he tried, Gods know how he'd tried, he'd given that boy all of him, everything he'd wanted, even paying for university, when Lee had been expelled from the Academy for cheating on his sims.

Maybe, if he'd faced a comissarial tribunal them, instead of Adama intervening on his behalf, securing non-judicial punishment, leaving the way for him to srill be comissioned into the Fleet...maybe, if he'd the flexibility to realize Lee was not his father, same as his own father had realized Adsma was not his father's mirror image, if Adama had realized Lee was not ment to serve in the Fleet, and let him go his own way...

“This,” Foster said, projecting...Gods damn, back in his day, such vulgar, utter disrespect disrespect for the comissarial office would've meant a bullet to the head, then and there.

“What?” Lee innocently asked.”It is what you are, after all, no matter how you cover up your inner demonic nature with a black uniform and greatcoat.”

“Six months confinement in the station brig,” Foster decided, and you can thank the Emperor the Comissariat no longer punishes willful conyrmpt of the comissarial office with summary execution.”

“And,” Lee had the gall to reply,”that's why this nation is in a fallen state.”

“There's also the issue of you refusing to eat the meals provided,” Foster continued.

“Dog food,” Lee commented.”Breaded soy, fake noodles in a greasy brown glop containing bits of fake meat, gentically-modified vegetables, and my requests for probiotics repeatedly turned down, the more to render me mentally weak and physically vynerable to your vaccines and nanovi--”

“You will eat or you will be force fed intravenously,” Foster informed him.

“I do not consent,” was Lee's bratty reply.

“I do not care,” was Foster's resonse.”Armsmen, remove Navarch Adama from the room, and take him back to his cell.”

31 OCTOBER, 2569
19:00:00

“I wondered,” Allen remarked, as Bester and his overdressed mundane pet entered the conference room in Simon Magus' first habitat deck,”how much longer you were going to keep me waiting.”

Looking down his patrician nose at the mundane, while another of its kind refilled Allen's waterglass with Jack Daniels, then poured a glass for Bester, while Alexander stood dutifully behind her superior.

“As you can see,” he told Bester,”I've already brought aslave to serve us drinks, and...”

He smiled.

“I'm no slave, dick breath,” Bester pet mundane insolently addressed Allen.”I am--”

“I don't care who you think you are, mundane,” Allen replied.”As far as I'm con--”

Reflexively, his gloved hand went to his neck, as something thudded and bit hard into the carotid artery on the left side.

Then, everything was in slow motion, the mundane, smiling, removing the spent pneumatic hypo dart from the caroyid, before locking a metallic collar into place around his neck.

“Get on your knees,” the mundane ordered.

“Fu--” Allen started to say, before something cut him off, then forced his body to act contrary to his will.

He fell to his knees before the mundane's green leather knee boots.

“Do you like my boots?” the mundane asked.

“My best work,” he added.”Cured the leather personally, from the hides of two of the prettiest little Orion slave girls I ever spent a bar of gold-pressed latinum on; how I got the hides...”

He chuckled.

“The fun part, always is,” he added.

“My boots are dirty, Benjamin,” he then remarked.”Be a good boy, and clean them for me.”

Allen tried reaching out with his mind to choke this mundane son of a bitch like a Sith Lord choked his admirals, but...nothing.

Nothing!

“Yes, Master,” came from his lips against his will, as he bent down, and began licking the mundane's boots.

“Once the sleepers wear off in another ten minutes,” the mundane informed him, as Allen found himself seized with an overwhelmong, single-minded desire to do the nest job possible in licking those boots shiny and clean,”you'll find the obedience collar only permits the you of your telepathy, when I desire it.”

Allen tried to formulate a reply, but all he could think about, in spite of his best efforts, was getting those boots nice and shiny, so Master could reward him with the privilege and honor of sucking his--

Master chuckled.

“Not right now,” he told him, and that inexplicably filled Allen with such disappointment.”Gather your crew yogether in a public space, and, maybe then, if I havn't grown bored with you.”

“Yes,” he added, even though Allen had not been curious,”the collar's link to my BCI allows me to read your mind as easily as you arrofant little mutant freaks read the minds of so-called mundanes for shits and giggles.

Honestly, I can't, for the life of me, fathom why the Vorlons and the Shadows would waste their time giving the most useless wastes of Human jizz telepathic ability.”

“Oh,” he added, looking down his nose at a P12 turned slobbering slave in an instaant,”i can fathom why. Even they knew the best of you weren't stupid enough to be used as cannon fodder in some war that doesn't even concern them.”

31 OCTOBER, 2569
19:08:16

Tarsos then noticed Alexander's green eyes looking intently at the teep licking his best pair of boots.

“Would you like to play with him?” he asked her, and that caused Allen to look up at him in horror.

“Bad boy!” Tarsos barked, making Allen slam his head into the deck.

Then, he flinched, over and over, as Alexander looked more intently at him.

Definitely keep her happy, Tarsos thought,same as Bester, and for the same reasons.

“Crawl on your hands and knees behind her,” Tarsos commanded Allen,”all the way to your bed; I'm sure Lyta has more than a few things in mind to recompense you for making her the way she is.”

Her grin froze Tarsos' heart.

Definitely keep her happy, Tarsos repeated inwardly,until I can develop countermeasures against her and Bester.

Alexander led the way out of the conference room, Allen crawlling vehind her, panting, in spite of himself...the Orions had first tested the obedience collars purchased from the Alliance on Vulcans, but not on humans souped up by a couple of ancient races to be the best telepathic weapons their genetic tinkering could produce.

He was genuinely glad—and lucky—the collar worked on at least one of their kind.

Bester waited til the door had closed, to say, slowly,”always one step ahead, aren't you, Saul?”

“No shit,” Tarsos replied, sitting down, putting his feet up, and knocking back Allen's untouched drink, before banfing his glass on the table to have the slave girl, the letter psi burned into her right buttock, refill his glass.

“Have to be,” he added,”when working with motherfuckers like me.”

Bester sat down across from him, knocking back his glass of whisky, the slave refilling both men's glasses.

“So,” Bester said,”what now?”

“This ship would be nice,” Tarsos replied,”as would waiting for Alexander to have her fun, so we can discuss business with her.”

“She doesn't have sny personality we didn't implant in her,” Bester replied.

“And, she resents you and Allen for that, Al,” Tarsos told him.”I couldn't read her mind, but I can read faces, and hers is the face of someone wairing for her moment to let all the snakes loose.

So, you're best served by treating her as a partner, rather than a tool, and keep her happy.”

Bester, likely remembering her little demonstration prior to their arrival aboard the Simon Magus, nodded his head in agreement.

“We keep her happy,” he said aloud.

“For now.”
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
User avatar
WillDexter
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Posts: 156
Joined: 2024-05-22 12:56am
Location: Under my GF''s desk, buried in work. :)

Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

03) Ignited By Bloodshed

31 OCTOBER, 2569
19:11:12

“Combat,”Desiree's holo reported, as fifty Romulan ships at various points throughout the battlespace sucessfully disengaged, cloakws, and vectored toward a yellow sun, a verdant world, and a decided Cardassian-stylr space station orbitong it,”Engineering. Replicators have fully re-stocked both Kamizuma magazines, and are working on the magazines for the main-battery weapons.”

“Quantum lance tubes charged and loaded,” Mercedes reported,”solutions ready.”

“Lances, full salvo,” Sonia ordered, forty four-ton, quantum-yunnel capable, torch-driven quantum lances firing out of the four flank-mounted launch tubes streaking toward the fifty or so artificial singularities lighting up all Eagle's sensors like a bonfire at an av of 439.5 terakips.

“Reloading tubes,” Mercedes reported,”firing second salvo.”

The first salvo found targets, downcycled to norm at point-blank range of them, then slammed into forty artificial singulaarities at 99.9999% actual lightspeed, one of the Romulan machines, a ROC briefly becoming visible when it hit, before becoming a strobing afterimage and a roar of white fire.

A Kingfisher dropped its cloak, came hard about, and used iys smaller plasma projectors on beak, flanks and wings to turn five Kamizumas into glowing, hurtling fragment, a sixth lance slamming into its nose, killing it instantly, the fragments of intercepted ordinance smashing into another cloaked Romulan machine, forcibly dropping its cloak, shearing away the Kingfisher's port wing, and sending him cartwheeling through space, desperately firing torches and RCS thruster to try and right itself.

Still another Kamizuma killed it, the remaing cloaked Romulans soon following their comrade into oblivion, while [o]Eagle[/i] closed to main-battery range of more Romulan warships, and let fly.

31 OCTOBER, Y169
19:13:20

The entire 4th Star Legion.

From 1,950 of the Imperator's finest and most advanced warships to less than three hundred fighting now to euther disengage and tun, or disengage and punish Bajor for its defiance of Imperial will.

Legate Admiral Lucius Crassus Tomolok, now on the bridge of the ROC Imperator Dderidex III, watched the tactical display on his chair's left arm a welter of conflicting, angry emotions raging within him, when he saw how, almost contemptiously, the finest star legion in the Romulan Imperial Star Navy had been broken and defeated, mostly by the black on white wedges and the one grey on blue wedge from other times and places.

Tomolok had heard of these Notyh Americans, part of an alliance come from another universe to fight the Earth men and their new allies, but he hadn't expected to see them here along the Klingon border, in the 500x500x500 parsec volume of Romulan space of the Star Empire's Cardassian subjects.

Who'd defied their divinely-appointed Imperator by building a dradnaught, and by harboring aliens from still another reality.

Those aliens, according to his Tal'Shiar operatives in the Bajoran system, currently orbiting a powerful artifact of the Old Kings, similar to the one the Klingons and those cursed Orions had discovered at the core of the fourth planet of Delta Sigma 957, 400 parsecs on the other side of the Romulan-Klingon border.

The bridge trembled, went dark, new fires breaking out all throughout the space, Tomolok ignoring Subcommander Seneca Thal's damage report, also displaued, via BCI , in front of the veteran Romulan commander's right eye.

On the flickering main holoviewer, one of the alien craft, a sleek, mottled brown, twin-nose design, bruned away like paper in fire, as Dderidex III's]/o\ eight wing- and four prow-mounted heact plasmatic pulse projectors sents streams of beam-riding heavy, molten-metal plasma bolts through it, destroying a Fed Ares-class stellar domination platform and a violet, plucked gamebird of a ship in the process.

Through their wreckage, came the Cardassians' unauthorized dreadnaughy, ugly and graceless like all things Cardassian, ten super heavy PPPa in its wings lashing out, Dderidex III's helmsman evading, but fifteen Kingfishers and another ROC were destroyed instantlu.

“Lock on to that ship,” Tomolok instructed the weapons officer,”and kill it!”

Tomolok smiled grimly.

He woulf at least deprive the treacherous Cardassians and Bajorans of their shiny new toy, if nothing else.

Dderidex III let fly, three succesive heavy PPP salvos striking the Cardassian dreadnaught, two of which were wasted, sailing through the dissipating plasma and rain of tiny, glowing metal fragments that remained.

Nodding, Tomolok turned to the ship's comms operator.

“Order all surviving ships to disengage, scatter, and regroup at Justinia, max Q-factor,” he said.

31 OCTOBER, Y169
19:15:59


“--of the matter is,” Simon Buckner said, to a crowd of tenss of thousands in Raleigh, North Carolina, on the Earth of this time and place,”we don'r live in a democracy!”

“PUTEARTHFIRST PUTEARTHFIRSTPUTEARTHFIRST!” chanted the crowd, as they stomped their feet, and waved the Terrab Dominion's, Sword, Eagle. Terra And Stripes in the air.

“--a constituional republic!” the Imperator of the Terran Dominion shouted above the chanting, syomping crowd.”Because the Founding Fathers knew mankind was in a fallen state, that they would vote for free food, free healthcare, free housing, free sex and drugs, and not have to do the work needed to maintain society and the rule of law! That they would vote to let the lesser races have a say in how society was run, and, thus, they would vote themselves into Hell, and for the Enemy's boot on their throats, calling that freedom!”

“Where I come from,” Sinclair said to the two other men in his office,”anyone claiming we live in a constitutional republic instead of a democracy was outing himself as a fascist.

Sheridan snorted, while Sinclair's exact double, in t-shirt, jeans and brown leather worboots instead of the silver and black uniform adopted by the Human members of the An'la'shok, remarked,”here as well, En'til'za, even if too many love the feel of jackboots on the neck too much to care.”

On the holoprojection between the three men, the crowd kept chanting, stonping, and waving flags, while Buckner continued ranting:

“--needed men, real, by God, red-blooded, white Christian men, to provide adult supervision, to rule, with the wisdom God gave King Solomon, over a fallen people, over the lesser races which caused them to stumble and fall--”

Clarke and his followers haf used similar rhetoric.

Many of those followers, as William Edgars had pointed out to him on Mars, were just mundanes, no one special, whose time had come and gone, on whose backs the dictators always rode to power.

All that was needed was for them to be told they were right all along, they'd always been the masters, bearing the image and authority of God, only cabals and aliens and woke race traitors had stolen that from them.

Told what they wanted to believe enough times, they gladly crawled on their bellies through broken glass for those who looked down on them, spat on them, laughed at them.

“They think they're the silent majority,” Mikhail Baranov, Chairman-elect of the Federation Council, remarked.”The real silent majority's out there, afraid to speak, to even look the wrong way, for fear of the mob come to lybch them.”

“Or worse,” Sheridan remarked.

“The rot's been setting in, ever since we lost the war with the Roms,” Baranov said,”and we allowed the Federation to rot from within, pretending to ourselves everything was fine, that we'd finally left the Second Dark Ages behind us for a bright future, when, all along, we were sowing the seeds for another fall, and another long night.”

“Which brings us to here and now,” he then said.”What's left of Starfleet, Admiral?”

“Not much,” Sheridan replied, the holoprojection of Buckner's rally replaced by a galactic map, with icons of Starfleet's survibing vessels in blue.”Aside from six Ares-class SDPs and eighteen battlecruisers I brought back with me from the other realty, we've managed to gather 220 survibors of the Fifth, Sixrg, and 11th Fleets that found themselvesbehind enemy lines, after Buckner sent them out to be slaughtered. Star Base 11 itself is in Romulan hands, and the Roms themselves managed to makee it to 500 parsecs of the Primary Member Zone, before the new construction was able to drive them back to the Gorns' former territory.

Fleet Admiral Georgiou's managed to collect survivors of the Fourth, Seventh, and Bibth Fleets, currently some 600 ships, along with survivors of the Klingon Northern and Red Fleets and the Hydrans' Expiditionary Force, forming them into the First Composite Fleet under the joint command of Vice Admiral Ardak Kumerian and Fleet Admiral Georgiou,”

Baranov made a face.

“Sounds unworkable,” he remarked, Sheridan remarking,”Klingon pragmatism seems to be outweighing Klingon ambition, and Kumerian is more pragmatic than most Klingons.

Like us, she's been gathering whatever Staarfleet vessels had been trapped and isolated behind enemy lines by the Klingon advance and the ambush near the WYN Cluster by several fleets of the new-model starships, now under the command of Fleet Admiral Solomon Tarsos on Wynhome, abd has, with the aid of the Rimward Trade Association, and now, the loyalist forces of the Alliance of the Twelve Tribes, been refitting them with Rim and Allince tech, same as we've been refitting the Starfleet vessels that make their way here with Romulan, Royal US, Minbari, Narn/Centauri, and Vorlon tech.”
Baranov nodded, taking notes via his BCI, asking Sinclaair,”and, what of you, En'til'za?.”

“Less than Admiral Sheridan, I'm afraid,” Sinclair conceded.”Most of what we've managed to build in three years was lost when B5 fell. I have four heavily-modified Omega-class destroyers, twelve Hyperion-class cruisers, eleven White Stars. fifteen Narn G'Quon-class heavy cruisers, a dozen Ka'Tocs, and a Bin'Tak dreadnaught, plus along with the fleet our North American allies brought with us, and the forces the Cardassians have in the Bajoran system.”

“A Cardassian order,” Sheridan said,”similar in strength to a Rom star legion, except the Roms only aloow them Sartan-class frigates, about 75,000-tons, and Galor-class light cruisers of 95,000 tons, though Bajor's Prefect, Elim Garrak, has been building dreadnaughts of four and a half megatons, armed with the best weapons Rom and Tholian tech can build. One of them, the Hutet's, out there fighting the Roms, while the other's being built in the old Romulan shipyard in the Bajoran moon of Derna, which the Bajoran Militia's three squadrons of War Eagles and King Eagles are based.”

“Those are just old Romulan Warbirds refurbished with modern tech, correct?” asked Baranov.

“Like the Andors and the Republics,” Sheridan remarked,”the Roms found those old hulls could withstand being refitted with modern engines, weapons, electronics, and defenses, and the Imperial Star Navy uses them as reserve warships, system patrollers, and to arm the fleets of their subject races.”

“Ah,” Baranov replied, Sheridan adding:

“The War Eagles and King Eagles can also lay web, like Tholian ships.”

“I've heard of Tholian web technology,” Baranov said.”Wild stories, mainly, from Orion pirates and miners with a drink or two under their belts. What is it, exactly?”

“Tholians use solid objects, such as asteroids,” Sheridan said,” or the hulls of derelict enemy ships, as anchors to which their ships lay down strands of monofilament wire; given enough anchors and enough wire, Tholians can, in actual practice, encompass planets, stars, and entire star systems in web that will shred any ship passing through it faster than a man can walk to ribbons.”

Baranov reflexively shivered, Sheridan remarking,”I hear it gives Klingons assigned to Red Fleet the willies, and Star Fleet Intelligence have several well-documented incidents of ships in the Red Fleet mutinying, when ordered to charge through space covered in webbing.”

“I don't blame them,” Baranov said.”Countermeasures?”

“Only one,” Sheridan replied.”Attacking the web anchors directly, usually with fighters or starship artillery at range, but the Tholians tend to station fighters and ortillery to cover those anchors, so the trick is to disrupt the web while it's being deployed, before the Tholians have a chance to set up defenses for the anchors.”

“I see,” Baranov remarked, adding,”leaves me little to do, except ry to win over as many as possible to aiding us in taking back our Federation, and,” he sighed,”I'm afraid we've spent the past 169 years pissing off everyone else in the galaxy for them to want to lend us a hand.”

“Definitely,” he added,”we have to establish formal relations with the Rimmers and the Alliance loyalists, as well as with the Cardassians and Bajorans.”

“The Bajorans' religious leader,” Sinclair said,”their Kai, Kyra Nerhys, has a seat on the Cardaasians' ruling body.”

“Yes,” Sheridan said,”their Detapa Council, though, in practice, their authority is limited by a military junta known as the Central Command, and by their intelligence/black ops organization, the Obsidian Order, which, in turn, is infested with Tal'Shiar operatives.”

Baranov nodded.

“Then, we'll need to arrange a meeting with the leaders of all three, or, four, factions, as soon as possible,” he decided.

“We'll see what can be done,” Sinclair said.
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

31 OCTOBER, 2569
19:17:32

Petra cut down a pair of 760-kiloton Russie Sovereigbs with a salvo from the main battery, crippling ten more Sovereigns dooming them to terminal contacts with the Necromundan surface, while Shield Maiden combat drones engaged enemy gun sloops ve toring toward Heart Of Oak.

“Quntum tunnels,” Janis sang out,”won-won-seven-zera, direct vec Pelestinia, now entering battlespace.”

“As expected,” Swathi reported, Electra turning Oak to face the nre inbounds,”the remainder of the Alliance' solar fleet, per Navarch Jurgen and Rear Admiral Adama's intel.”

Very well,” Phyll said, as Oak dodged and intercepted incoming fighters, bombers and ordinance, while Lightnings, rearmed, refuelled, and refitted, shot forth from the prow-mounted launch tubes, in company with the Augur, to punch through the enemy fighter screen to engage the incoming battlestars directly, at the same time the main battery found targets, and opened fire.

“Comms,” Phyll said to Jeanette,”send to Kumerian:'Action!'”

31 OCTOBER, Y169
19:19:00

”Acting!” Vice Admiral said in gleeful reply to this stranger Earther admiral's order, as Starfleet light dreadnaughts decloaked inside the orbit of Palestinia and began laying waste to the ornital shipyards and bases within a 1,000 kellikam radius of the planet.

A squadron of Kzinti drone cruisers, part of the influx of stragglers and refugees to join the 1st Composite Fleet in the past month and two weeks since the battle in the Ragnar system, took up station precisely 439.5 trillion kellikams downrange, their refurbished launchers vectoring MAHEM and quantum torpedos toward their targets at Q16, while Lyran war cruisers covered them by launching nova drones, each carrying a 729 terajoule antimatter-catalyzed fusion reactor for a warhead, which, when detonated, scoured their immediate volume of space clean of incoming fighters and ordinance, two strengths of their hitherto Kzinti enemies.

Imperial Klingon Vessel Void Stalker also fired quantum torpedos and nova drones from the 225,000-ton C11 battlecruiser's previously unused drone racks, as it led the charge at Q13, the enemy launching swarms of Viper fighters and Starhawk bombers toward the charging warships, those small gobflies being vaporized by thermonuclear explosions blossoming in their midst, while, in the dockyards themselves, Alliance and Earther warships started launching.

Kumerian nodded, as he studied the tactical holotank set into the right arm of his chair.

As expected, only the Earthers being any real threat, with another fleet of Royal United States ships in dock, while the Alliance battlestarsbeing mobilized to meet them had been undergoing repairs and overhauls.

“In gun range, my lord,” Commander Kartin-sutai Hatar announced, the first officer standing behind the weaponerr's station.

“Launch fighters, release attack ships,” Kumerian ordered,”open fire on all targets of opportunity; we can't have these Starfleet take all the glory. Action!

”Acting,” the bridge crew shouted, as the familiar rush came over Kumerian, the desire to pound his chair and sing, as his ship now laaunched its fifty-ton ZR fighters, released its flotilla of six, 5,000-ton G2 attack ships from its belly, and opened fire with its thirty-two eighteen-inch r-guns, eight at the front of each of its four engine nacelles, the hidgepodge of Kzinti, Lyran, Hydran, WYN, Klingon, Starfleet and Alliance ships with him following suit.

Kumerian was most impressed with the twelve 380,000-ton Minotaur-class gunstars that had been sitting idle in Ragnar Anchorage's reserve yards for two decades, before Rear Admiral Adama had ordered their reactivation.

These vessels carried no fighters or bombers, instead being armed with ten quad-turreted 18” r-guns on its prow, dorsal and ventral spines, as well as a 40” r-gun in the prow, and running along the spine, which fired rwelve-ton projectiles at near-light speeds.

Their firepower made for a most satisfying display against enemy orbital structures, enemy ortillery, and enemy warships alike, their point defenses shattering fighters and ordinance directed against them, swarms of 1,050-ton Falchion-class gunboats, with the characteristic tumblehome, eagle-headed prows, dorsal spines and nacelles of their larger cousins, streaking ahead of the Minotaurs dealing with any fighters and ordinance the larger Alliance vessels' own defenses and evasives maneuvering could not.

These, too, had been in reserve, used primarily as internal security and local defense craft, Adama having ordered their reactivation as well, to give the Minotaurs a defensive screen, as well as, perhaps, doing some damage with their dorsal and ventral eight-inch r-gun turrets.

More Falchions appeared on the tactical holotank, these launching in defensive squadrons from the orbitals, Kumerian directing, via his comms officer, the G2 flotilla and the fighters to intercept, the attack ships and fighters quickly joined by three-thousand ton Fed Thunderbolts, three-kiloton Kzinti Needle-class attack ships, five-kiloton Lyran Bobcat-class attack ships, and Hydran five-kiloton Hellion-class attack ships, all rearmed with MAHEM beam cannon and torpedos, the Lyran boats also possessing nova drones.

As did the Alliance gunstars and gunboats, both types having been retrofitted with Klingon and Kzinti-style launch racks holding a mix of novas, quantum and MAHEM torpedos, the Alliance craft filling the sky with all three types of missile.

“Drone racks reloaded, my lord,” Lieutenant Kothke sutai-Kentok reported from weapons, as Void Stalker was through the line of orbitals, his guns destroying an Emperor-class battlestar, as he closed the interface between planetary atmosphere and space.

“Reset guns and torpedos for orbital bombardment of pre-arranged targets! Helmsman, take us in!” Kumerian instructed.”Action!

”Acting!” noth Kothke and the helmsman, Ensign Kutra zantai-Valkspar, both replied, as the blood pounded in Kumerian's ears.

304-69M2
19:22:13

“Frak,” Solar Admiral Phineas Ravensburgh swore, as, on the viewslate spanning the upper hemisphere of Crone Solar Fleet Headquarters Combat Information Center, two and a half kloms underneat the Headquarters arcolofy in New Delphi, on Palestinia, the Battlestar Columbia took an 18 r-gun round to its flank, and died, before it could deliver a reply.

That had been Ravensburgh's flagship, and he would've been aboard her, had the previous night's entertainment involving a very young, very tender temple whore not left the ninety-year old Alliance fleet senior admiral, called out of ignominious retirement by Zarek himself, too exhausted and hung over to move rrom his bed,

Now he stood in the center of Solar Fleet's CIC, eyes bloodshot and somewhat blurry, his hastily donned Fleet uniform tunic mostly unbuttoned, his wisps of white hair all askew, watching as an alien ship, a twin nosed gead connected by a boom to a larger, twin nose tail section integrating four wedge-shaped engines spitting fire from both ends, sailed, unchallenged, into orbit round the cradle of the Alliance, the seat of its ecclesiarchy.


“All ground-based macrocannon batteries,” Ravensburgh instructed,”will open fire, at once, on the enemy vessel! Comms, has there been any response to our calls for assistance?”

“Negative, Solar admiral,” replied the petty officer at comms, another watchstander reporting,”ground batteries have target, and fi--”

The red lighting went out, and the floor went out from under Ravensburgh's feet, his head making hard contact with the plot table, as he fell, then, with the marble floor, as he impacted, fac e first.

He felt something raining down on top of him, as he tried standing up, having to hold on to the plot table for the support his left leg was no longer giving him, as the now coldlamp-lit chamber continued trembling, bursting into flame, exploding, screaming, and falling down all round him.

The viewslate was dark, a large crack like a river running slong its diagonal length, giving rise to rivulets of smaller cracks.

The slates on almost all the workstations round him were in a similar state, the duty officer, a lieutenant, reporting,”contact lost with Headquarters surface installations, and with surface Batteries Alfa through Foxtrot; DRADIS, both surface and orbital installations, offline, wirless links, offline, main reactor, offline, CIC on local emergency power, life support, failing.”

Frak.

Ravensburgh was already finding it stuffy, haard to breathe, the heat stifling, pain like hot needles shooting up from his left leg, blood, tasting of copper on his tongue, running down his face from his scalp, also throbbing with pain, his knuckles turning white, as he had to grip the edge of the plot table to hold on to consciousness, as CIC continued trembling and falling down all round him, cracks forming along all the bulkheads and the domed ceiling.

“The teleportarium?” he asked.

The watchstander simply shook his head in answer.

“Frak,” Ravenburgh said again...the teleportaria were the only way in or out of CIC; with the system unavailable, this space was going to be his to--
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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WillDexter
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

31 OCTOBER, 2569
19:23:25


Coloniel Adele Lazenby found herself chargung up marble steps already running with blood, the nine hundred Royal Velestial Marines of Oak's landing force at her trail.

At the top of the steps leading into alabaster spires fronted by a golden statue of a Viking in full plate and raised bastard sword, a sun like crown on his head, were entrenched Alliance Guardsmen and ecclesiastical militia, also in full plate, raining down blue-hot fire from accelerator rifles, storm guns, and tripod-mounted heavy accelerators.

Del swept 180 degrees of arc with her 25mm L24 heavy accelerator, as, step by blood soaked step, she made forward progress, sixty-kilogram rounds from the force's ninety remotely-controlled five-inch accelerators tearing gaping holes through the enemy's ranks, only for more enemy troops in unpowered full plate armor, ornately decorated with golden double-headed eagles, skulls and the like, to take their place in as great a number as were blown apart by the Marines' artillery.

And, the Thunderer macrocannon of their loyalist Alliance comrades, these stubby little guns lobbing 200-kilogram solid penetrators in high, whistling arcs, while, on the flanks of the charging, powered-armored Marines, loyalist Alliance Guardsmen, almost all of them female, drove onward, and upward, their regimental standard, a Valkyrie on a white charger, runes underneath the hooves, snapping like a whip in the chill wind out the corner of Del's right eye, as the one thousand or so Shield Maidens from the planet Valhalla, in the Osiris system, surged forward, screaming, singing, as they fired their 12.7mm heavy accelerator rifles into the enemy holding the high ground, other Valhallans staying put, providing support for their sisters with tripod-mounted 80mm storm guns, and 120mm acceleration mortars.

Del drove on, putting her focus back where it needed to be, straight ahead of her, her L24 chopping into thirty or so ecclesiastical militia(they wore white and red robes over their full plate) who'd broken ranks to charge down the steps toward her, Del then sweeping the defensively line immediately ahead of those doomed individuals, as she came closer to gaining the top of the steps.

”Forward the guns!” she ordered over tacnet, the ground-effect carriages bearing the five-inch accelerators rising up the steps, propelling themselves forward on their jets, the targeting suite in Del's L24 painting hersection of the enemy defensive line, before, via BCI, she sent the command for the guns to commence firing, Del then running, hell for jets toward the top of the steps even as the rounds from the five-inchers were slamming into their targets.

And, she was at the top of the steps, netween a pair of white colimns with angels and winged skulls carved into them, a marble portico ending in a pair of tall, solid-looking pair of gold-chased oaken door immediately in front of her, those doors starting to open, Del aiming her weapon at them, then told the artillery to let fly once again.

The doors disappeared in a blue flash showering with chips of wood, fragments of metal and bone, droplets of blood, grease, and burning petrol, Del continuing to move forward, her Marines and the Alliance troopers following her in, colliding with a mass of enemy troopers coming the other way in a flag-draped, tree-lined, effigy-flanked atrium, several civs manning carts and trailers in the atrium's center fucking straight off, as gunfire destroyed the carts, trailers, likely their entire livelihoods, as two opposing forces shot, slashed, kicked, punched, head- and rifle-butted one another, even as the Marines' artillery and the loyalists' support weapons brought down several of the levels above, along with the troopers sniping at them from above.

Another set of tall, golden, oaken doors at the end of the cottidor facing Del, similaar doors and similar corridors radiating outward from the atrium like on the face of an old-style clock.

“Damn,” she said to herself, never liking it, whennever she had to split hervforces, tactically necessary as it was at times.

“Right,” she decided,”one battalion on each of the three corridors to our front; First Battaluon, on me!

31 OCTOBER, Y169
19:23:25

“Drone racks reloaded with nanite-warhead drones, my lord,” Kothke reported, as Void Stalker's sensors detected several hundred enemy vessels turning from Necromunda back to Palestinia, and Kumerian gave the orders fro all but the Klingon, Kzinti, WYN, and Orion ships in his force to leavw rge battlespace.

“All ships report drone racks reloaded with nanite torpedos, my lord,” the specialist communicator reported from her staation.

“Continous salvo,” Kumerian prdered.”Shoot the racks dry, then plot a course out of here, max Q factor! Action! Quickly!”

”Acting!” came the reply from both helm and weapons, as from the remaining ships of Kumerian's force, four-ton projectiles by the thousands launched into the junkyard that was noe near-Palestinia space, exploded into trillions of nanites, and each of those nanites begsn extrudinng monofilament wire, and connecting to one snother, replicating themselves millions, billions of times per eyeblink, spinning still more web, slowly forming a series of interconncted spheres around the planet and near-irnital space a thousand kellikams in every direction.

The Klingon Galactic Research Unit's gift to the wider galaxy, compliments of those cursed Tholians and their web technology, though Kumerian would not see how effectively the GRU's Cromarg researchers and technicians had been in replicating the Tholian tech and making it more useful to their Klingon masters, as the remaing ships under his command had alredy left the battlespace, well before the first inbound enemy vessels were in gun range, and headed back to Ragnar Anchorage at max Q factor.

304-69M2
19:27:15

Amidst a hail of storm bolter fire, Primus pilus Mari Magot led her one hundred Alliance Guardsmen through the falling splinters that had been doors and into the chapel itself.

Gods have mercy.

Down the long nave of empty pews, an empty balcony overlooking it, vestibules barred by solid metal doors on either side at ground level, on a brazen altar with angels and other holy symbols, underneath a massive golden-throne effigy of the Emperor was a girl, eleven, perhaps twelve, her skin and hair jet black, laid across the top of the altar, chained to it by her wrists and ankles, screaming, sobbing, begging for the men violating her to syop, begging their forgiveness, a white, red, and gold robed ecclesiarch, his hood shrouding his features, screaming from the pilpit:

“--savages, apes, monkeys, demons, spawned from the bowels of the Warp, abomonations created in sin, who exist only to ain, sentenced by our Divine Majesty, the God-Emperor of Mankind, to take your si--”

Head and hood disappeared in a bluish-reddish flash, Opyio Magda Greifen's shot decapitating the ecclesiarch, as Magot, regaining presence of mind, motioned for her century, by squads, to clear the vestibules on either side, leaving her command squad to advance down the nave, cutting down the other men and boys clustered round the girl, the older man who momentarily replaced her pleas, her sobbing with choking sounds, and the boy, barely as old as the girl, brutalizing her from the rear.

Magot took the man's head off with a shot from her 12.7mm boltgun, as she led the ten Vahallans of her squad toward the altar, the boy turning, regarding the Alliance Guardsmen with wide, innocent, saucer eyes, before Lance-Sergant Alannah Hadrian sent him to the Warp from whence came, the headless corpse withdrawing from the girl, and falling onto the marble floor.

“M-my G-gods,” stammered Magda's pale holo as it floated in front of Nagot's right eye,”my Gods, those...frakking...animals... that poor little girl, they were...”

“I know,” Magot whispered, reports from her other squad leaders telling her much the same story, the same frakking story everyone thought had ended with the first war and the Senate's prohibition on temple prostitution.

“Prisoners?” she found herself asking, Magda replying,”y-yeah, the three rrakkers taking turns...they're all on their knees, begging the Emperor for mercy.”

”'Let it be known, to all the Tribes of Man,'” quoted Magot coldly from the Sacrd Database,”'those who harm any of Our little ones, are forever alienated from Our mercy, and the tender feelings of any man or woman, and given over to death and eternal damnation in the bowels of the Warp.

So say we all.'”

“So say,” Magda repeated, all emotion gone, as the space behind her flashing electric blue,”we all.”

“So say we all,” the other squad leaders repeated just as remorselessly, the sounds of summary excution echoed and flashed in nine different holoprojections.
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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WillDexter
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

304-69M2
19:27:15

”What the frak's go--”

”Merciful Emperor, it's cut right through C--”

”Oh, Holy Throne, Holy frakking Throne, we're being carv--”

The rest coming over wireless were just brief, bloodcurdling screams, them silence, as High Admiral Lukas Haldane could only stand helplessly in the center of the Leviathan-class battlestar welve Tribes' CIC, as the DRADIS icons of Vipers, Starhawks, and 650 battlestars blinked futiously, then--

The DRADIS repeater slate split in two, sparks parting the two halve, cut crosswise, the bottom portion crashing against the red-lit deck, screams echoing off the bulkheads, watchstanders cut to bloody chunks by...wires, wires no thicker than the hairs on Haldane's head, yet forrming a barely-perceptible web from which blood drops hung like ru--

304-69M2
19:28:06

Laura Roslin's whispered “my Gods,” summed up the reactions of those standing in the Fleet Operations Xenter, and watched live, streaming vid of the carnage being wrought in near-Palestinia space.

“It is said,” Fleet Admiral Phillipa Georgiou onserved,”the Klingons killed their gods.”

Adama said nothing, his own commun informing him of the fighting on and around Necromunda.

Especially the ground fighting, what the soldiers on the front lines were slowly finding out.

”'Coldly, they went about to raise to life, and make more dread--'” he softly said, quoting a poet from another time, another place, who made it clear man's inhumanity to man was, indeed, a universal constant.

”'Abominations of old days,'” Georgiou finished,”'which men believed were dead.'”

“Kipling,” she said.”At the beginning of another, terrible war.”

“We could've put an end to this,” Saul tautly remarked,”twenty-eight frakking years ago.”

“Precisely, how, Captain?” Gaius Baltar, Vice President-elect of the Twelve Tribes, asked.

”Sure as frak by not letting those who hate our society be a part of it!”Saul snapped back.

“We needed to heal, be one people,” Baltar, the first Cylon President of the Tribes, who'd presided for twelve of the last twentty-eight years, cdefended,”have frakking peace! Was that so wrong!”

That last sounded like he had his doubts about the answer.

Saul didn't.

”Frak that, and frak you for being so Gods-damned naive!

The peace of the grave's the
only peace you can ever have with people who want us murdered in our sleep!”

“Murdered, period.” Adama found himself saying.

”Bill?! an unbelieving Baltar said.”I can'y believe--”

Angrily, Adama turned from the telemetry being transmitted by a stealth recon Viper, looked Balyar in the eye, his whisper as loud as a scream in the abrupt quiet of the room:

”How many broken bodies of healers did you see that day, Gaius?! How many children, how many frakking little babies?! How many times do we have to sit on our Gods-damned hands and listen while some treasonous, sick frak brag, take pride im making war on children in order to save children?!

We've already lost our nation, Gaius.

How much more do we have to lose, before we frakking
wake up?!”

“Bill--” Laura started to say.

”No,” Adama replied, tears running down his face, as he thought of the road not taken, and the path to perdition or salvation he and his were now irrevocably committed to.

”By the Gods, just no!” he said.” Don't tell me we all did whar we could, because that wasn't good enough.

Gods damn it al, it just
wasn't...”

He trailed off.

“I'm sorry,” Baltar said, his voice small, choked.

He, too, was crying.

“Not just you, Gaius,” Adama replied.”We are all going to have to stand before the Throne, and answer for what we've allowed others to do to the children of the Gods.”

Turning back toward the cloud of metallic debris and body parts now orbiting the cradle of the Tribes for a thousand klom in all directions.

“Maybe,” he added, his voice almost inaudiable,”They will see we're trying to put it right, and have mercy on us.”

31 OCTOBER, 2569
19:33:31

“Mercy?!” Del angeily demanded of the cowering, pathetic excuse for a man, who's just fucking raped a child, and now had the brass to grovrl before her and his sodding God-Emperor, and beg for mercy.

”Really?!” she added, yutning to her sebior warrant, Executive Warrant Officer Melani Cable.

“There are trees in the atrium, correct?” she said.

“Sir,” was Mel's phlegmatic reply.
“Enough for all of them?” Del asked, looking at the miserable collection of sinners and perverts who'd hung their sin on the backs of those too small and frail to question why they were being “punished” for the perversions of their abusers.

“We'll make it so, sir,” Mel answered.

“And rope?” Del, her voice distant, her soul and body weary from, weary of, says such as this.”Each Marine has their standard issue?”

“I'm sute these bastards have enough, if we don't, sir,” said her Buffer, without emotion.

“By their balls, Buffer,” Del said.”Cut their fucking throats, after you string 'em up. Am I clear?”

“Sir,” Mel replied, before turning to relay her colonel's orders to the rest of the battalion.
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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WillDexter
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

04) Deed And Guilt

31 OCTOBER, 2569
20:03:18

“--extreme accountibility,” some wankspanner ranted and raved above the workstation terminal in her quarters, as Sonia let the sonic shower scour away the sweat stink and encrusted salt from her body.

“--done to our children,” the wankspanner continued, as the soft clank of airlocks mating reverberated throughout the sjip.”As Jitler and the heroic Nazi patriots did to the perverts of Jewish Weimar Germany, as American patriots and Donald J. Trump did to the groomers and woke pedopjiles who had stolen America from them, as we were forced to do to the niggers, dykes, and alien-loving freaks who made us ashamed snd embarassed to be Human, so we, the People, will do to anyone[.i] who preaches Scientism, Wokeism, LGBTQism--”

All Sonia wanted to do was curl up in her rack, and bawl her eys out, body wrapped round her favorite piloow, cos Nakomis, and everything she called home wasn't there, and likely would never be.

She couldn't do that, though.

Always things to do, the short definition of being a Commonwealth Fleet starship captain.

One of those things being to call on whoever was in charge here, as they'd made it clear, once the Romulans had been seen off, they had questions for her, first and foremost which being where and when had her crew and she come from.

“--child pornography.” the knobguzzling moron in the other room continued spewing,”extreme homosexuality, sadomasochistic images, books on evilution, critical race theory, radical gender theory. Heliocentricism, the fake NASA space program, Moon landing propganda, globe earth lies--”

And, she wearily observed, she was from a time and place almost as fucked up as the one her crew and she presently found themselves in, if the gutter rantings Lavinia was intercepting from this reality's Internet equivalent was sny indicator.

There had been a Federation, like the one out of Star Trek, except more expansionistic, and, they'd been subverted and supplanted by rhis Terran Dominion, because patriots(how humanity and she had come to loathe that word over the years)had determined the Federation to have been too woke(whatever that meant), too weak, and far too dismissive of white male power and privilege(she wasn't so thick she couldn't read between the lines)to live.

With the stench and salt of nearly three and a half hours of constant enemy contact, by her watch, debrided from her body, Sonia stepped out of the shower, tokk the sonic probe on the washbasin to the inside of her mouth and her teeth, then slipped on a fresh white camisole and pair of white cotton knickers.

She swallowed hard...Nakomis would jokingly whistle at her from the other room, after Sonia cautioned her not to peek.

And, there was the bloody dog of hers, always wanting to jump up on her and lick her to death.

Staring at her reflection in the mittor, Sonia nodded her head, as she began dressing in her No. 1 black ceremonial dress uniform.

Their absence would continue to be felt, in a thousand small ways Sonia had never needed to notice before, but would make themselves known now and forever.

“--other, disgusting lies and perversions,” the ranting cockwomble continued talking the same utter crap she'd heard from YouTubers in her time and place,”was gathered up into a huge pile in the Capitol Mall, and, as they sang 'God Bless America,' and 'America the Beautiful,' and 'God Bless the USA,' patriots from all walks of life put the filth, the pedophilic, homosexual, woke garbage they'd taken from the radical Left, Jewish National Archives and Library of Congress, to the torch, the resulting bonfire burning brightly in the night sky, a blazing beacon to freedom, over which those truly heroic champions of Mankind roasted weiners, marshallows, and whole steers.”

Sonia emerged from the WC, combing her long, raven hair straight with another sonic probe(stiil another reminder of her...), as the arsehole online continued his spiel as to why four hyndred years of ifnorance and barbarsim had been the good old days.

Her hair combed, all the mmedals and other frippery accumulated in a lifetime on service removed rrom their case and pinned on her left breast, Sonia then took the sliver scrunchie rom the workstation, and bound her hair into a single ponytail running to the small of her back(Nakomis loved her hair being so long, even if it got in the way at times), before wiping her eyes with a wetwipe, buckling on her silver belt with its holstered personal-defense railgun and officer's saber in the scabbard on the opposite side.

“--call it the Second Dark Ages or the Long Night,” the useless waste of jizz said,”are ignorant, stupid, and thinking emotionally, rather than logically. Those who have the courage to think critcally--”

31 OCTOBER, Y169
20:03:21

“--understand it was a Second Renaissance,” Peter Stewart said in the background, as Kai Kyra Nerys syated out into space at the Celestial Temple on the rocky surface of the planet below, and, beyon it, rising into view of the station's observation dome, the shining, greenish-blue orb of Bajor,”a new Age of Enlightenment, where true Humanity ruled over the lesser races, as their God commanded, bringing to them prosperity, knowledge—real scientific knowledge, ancient wisdom of Ptolemy, Aristotle, Saint Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and all the others who knew, for a fact the Earth was a flat, level, motionless, infinite domed plane, with waters and Heaven above, and that Sun, Moon and all the other lesser lights were created to revolve around the Earth, to keep time, and that God did not evolve true Humans from apes and monkeys, but--”

Sat'tai DeLenn,” Kyra said, turning to face the Minbari-Human woman in a flowin white and purple gown who just seemed to glide into any room she entered.”I'm glad ywe could take this moment, before meeting our guest, to talk.”

“Thank you,” DeLenn simply said,”though I would've thought my mate--”

“He is Their Emissary,” Kyra replied,”but we, you and I, are children of the Prophets Themselves, the ones the Romulans and the Klingons call the Old Kings.”

“We--” DeLenn started to say, before stating.”The Minbari and the Bajorans are, somehow, the same race?!”

“We have a common ancestor, you Minbari, the Cardassians, and us,” Kyra replied, guiding DeLenn around the Zen rock garden to a wooden bench on the far bulkhead, on which a tome, metal-covered, metal-bound, with metal-foil pages, sat, guarded by a pair of saffron-robed vedics with plasma-pulse rifles.

“Our doctors and scientists, using the genetic samples you and the other Minbari gave us a month ago,” Kyra added,'determined all three races to be descended from one of the Prophet races, the Galfreyun; all three races have similar phyisiologies, right down to having a pair of two-chambered hearts, and similar DNA, with slight variations accounted for by evolution in separate enviroments.”

She sat on the bench, motioning for DeLenn, a religious leader amongst her own people, same as Kyra, to join her, as she picked up the Kosta Mojin, opened it to a particular page, and added:

“The Prophets, 598,000 Human years before they fell, sang of this, sang of our guest as well.”

One of the vedic guards, at a nod, handed her Kai the philosopher's stone, possibly the most sacred artifact in the Bajoran religion, next to the Kosta Mojin itself, as it allowed for the syllabry of the most ancient of the Prophets, etched onto the metallic pages, to be heard in plain language.

“'—children of qagindarogolfroyoshall come to qagindarobajoro and qagindaroqardasso, from another time and place,'” sang the Kosta Mojin in both Bajoran and Minbari,”to stand and sing, in the fullness of
qaamugindargedeeum[/i] against the darkness and silence of [/i]qasargino, when the stars themselves sing.”

“The whistling, white light,”DeLenn whispered,”encompassing everything, sfter Ivanova triggered the jump gate to Sector 14, and activated the Heracles' jump engine at the same instant, that...”

“It brought you and yours here,” Kyra replied,”yes, that could be interpreted as the stars singing.”

She carefully turned a few pages, found the passage she wanted, ran the stone over the syllabary, to hear the Kosta Mojin sing:

”'—bound eternally by love to the Daughter off the Moon, she will come, riding an eagle, to the children of qagindarogolfryo, and she and hers will stand and sing with the children of Va-loon, called also Ra-zyl-lan in the ancient tongue, as one gindaro against the darkness and silence of qaamudargingeedeeum,and the pure ones, falsely so-called, who hate all light, all life.”

“'Va-loon?!'” DeLenn said, upon hearing the song.”Valen! Valen, a Minbari not born of Minbari, who, a thousand years ago, my time, united the warring clans against the Shadows, established the caste system, the Grey Council, the An'la'shok,, everything the Minbari have been for a millenia...he propheisied that we would reunite with the other half of our souls in a final war against the darkness; I thought he meant the Humans, my mate...”

She trailed off.

“He may still have meant that,” Kyra offered,”may have meant our guest as well; all life is linked, we all come from the long night and eternal fire of space, regardless of species, that is also sung of by the Kosta Mojin.

She smiled.

“That's the thing with prophecy,” she added.”It tends to make itself plain, after it comes to pass, never before.”

“Of course,” DeLenn remarked, as Kyra consulted her BCI.

“It's almost time to greet our guest,” she said, closing the tome, and rising to her feet.”Shall we?”

31 OCTOBER, Y169
20:15:00


The back of the collar always chafed, regardless the amount of talcum powder between it and the nape of his neck.

Trying not to squirm too much in his Starfleet dress blues, Rear Admiral John Sheridan stood at the foot of Babylon Prime's recently-installed telegate stage beside Sinclai, Baranov, and Miyazaki, DeLenn and Kyra soon joining them, as a heatshimmering began taking form in the dysprosium arch set into the far bulkhead, and, as “I Vow To Thee, My Country,” boomed through the station speakers, and thr honor guard of black-uniformed An'la'shok with their Minbari force lances fully extended, dress blue uniformed Starfleet and Noth American Marine with their accelerator rifles and Mameluk sabers all snapped to attention around Sheridan, a raven-haied, dark-eyed woman in her late thirties emerged from the quantum tum tunnel, and snapped to attention, saluting the two admirals at the foot of the stage, four horizontal gold bars separeated by a gold star in the middle glinting on her high, black uniform collar, as the light caught them.

“Starship Captain Sonia Pendergast, commanding Commonwealth Fleet Starship Eagle, at your ser--” she said.

This was immediately followed by an intake of breath, as this Sonia Pendergast regarded Vice Admiral Miyazaki Yukari, and looked her up and down, a holprojection of Miyazaki, in a blue jumpsuit, now floating six inches in front of her right.

“Apologies, Vice Admiral,” she slowly said, after a few moments' stunned silence,”but, yes, I have just seen a ghost.”

“Your daughter's not Akane, ny any chance?” she then asked, giving Miyazaki a start.

“She's a middie,” Miyazaki said, not believing her ears,”assigned to Enterprise's air group as a pilot.”

Sonia nodded, as she stepped down from the stage, telling Miyazaki,”Akane and I were mates, in another reality; her mother was one of the ISS Seven.”

“The International Space Station?!” Sheridan and Sinclair simoultaneously blurted out, Miyazaki looking at the two of them as if they'd quoted something from the Anabasis.

“Earth's first step into space as a united race,” Sinclair explained.”It was finally decomissioned, when the Centauri jump gate came on line in the late 2100s, long after it had been superseded by other colonies in near-Earth orbit.”

“It was destroyed by nukes,” Sheridan said,”sometime between the Eugenics Wars and World War III,” Sheridan remarked.”The records we recovered from that time weren't exactly clear.”

“During the Storm,” Sonia then offered,”a nuke aboard an unmanned Progess spacecraft wrecked the ISS, and pushed it into a higher orbit; the seven astronauts on board, including our Miyazaki Yukari, a captain the Imperial Japanse Aerospace Self-Defense Dorce, were left to die rrom rad poisoning, carbon-dioxide poisoning, or suicide, with eberyone else spending the forty-eight years after thst insisting the station never existed, no one died on board it, and all seven astronauts were crisis actors.”

Silence, as everuone let the three fates of the International Space Station sink in.

Then, Baranov extended his hand to Sonia, and introduced himself:

“Mikhail Baranov, Chairman-elect of the Federation Council, which, at present, consists only of myself.

It seem we've much in common, Starship Captain.”

Firmly clasping Batanov's hand, Sonia replied,”seems we do, Mister Chairman.”
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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WillDexter
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

31 OCTOBER, Y169
20:15:00


“Via,” a visibly-impressed Colonel Tyl Koopman whispered, as through the periscope of his command panzer, he watched these North American Marines sweep through the streets and buildings of Acropolis to the tune of an ancient Led Zepplein song.

The eight-inch powergun in the M10 merkava's remote main turret then cut a blinding white line through an arcology spire, setting it alight, burning panes of glass, masonry, and bodies falling to the ground, as the blower panzer led the rest of Alfa Company, 1st Frieslander Foreign Mechanized down the wide boulevard leading from the downport, its main powergun and co-axial tribarrels chopping into buildings on either side, as the infantry of the White Mice stormed those buildings, one- and two-centimeter powerguns blazing cyan streams of molten copper into the enemy troops charging from cover to cover to greet them.

A shimmering of heat in front of him, Koopman directing his driver, Hussar 3C Karl vander Horst to,”poir it on!” Horst driving the hover armored fighting vehicle straight into the Alliance anti-armor team gating in with single-shot 90mm r-guns, while the tribarrels on the front glacis opened up, burning birs of overarmored Alliance Guardsmen flying over the slope and skirts, as Horst just laid on the coal, the jets and hoverfans both screaming, as they propelled the panzer into the path of a specialist tank ddestroyer struggling to slew itself around to bring the eight-inch r-gun in its forward slope to bear.

Hussar 2C Brini Kohl not giving them the chance, eviscerating the tank destroyer, and two more like it with a burning silvery-white beam of molten turanium from the main powergun, while, overhead, MAHEM torpedos from the 16” multilaunchers on Artillery Section's hogs whistled past, firing their charges of molten meltal, created by fourth-generation matter-antimatter reactions, into distant targets, Kohl, for her part, shifting fire to more acology spires, more enemy troops with heavy weapons sited in balconies overlooking the street, burning slashes instantlu appeariing in those structures, hundreds of stories tall, to further light up the night sky.

Something went CRUMP![/u] underneath Koopman's panzer, the powerguns in the turret and the front slope all sending cyan bolts downrange into a motley assortment of civilian motorcars, Koopman seeing afterimages of their occupants and the heavy firepower they openly carried, something alien to the Frieslander's mind, those heavily-armed civilians bursting into cyan flame, as the main powergun found still another target further ahead, and fired.

R-gun rounds spatterd against the hull like raindrops, the aft tribarrels joining their companions in firing on still more civilians scrambling from cover to cover in the street in front of and to the rear of the panzers bearing down on them, these civilians supported by 90mm storm guns mounted on tripods, operated by crews of civs behind wrecked motorcars, random bits of burning rubble or whatever other cover provided by the current battlespace.

The main powergun fired still again, slicing apart Alliance Fenris tracked main-battle tanks deploying infantry in the ornate, unpowered, and basically useless full plate preferred by these Alliance Guardsmen, all along the boulevard's ten lanes and (formerly) tree-lined median, a squad of Guaardsmen in an archon's traffic control tower taking the command panzer under fire, pelting its dorsal armore, before the main turret slewed, the eight-inch powergun fired once, and the panzer moved on.

31 OCTOBER, 2569
20:20:12

”Open your arms, open your arms, open your arms,” sang the M6B Puller main-battle chariot, as, the silver and black Ursa Minor, red and gold of the North American Marine Corps, and the red, white and green of the North American Common Assembly fluing large and proud rrom its whip areials, the 150-ton ground-effect armored fighting vehicle rammed through the enemy dug in along the steps, vectors jets incinerating those not crushed underneath the overpressure from the hurtling chariot, as it smashed through the arcology spire's rank of glass and brass doors, Major General Enos Cantrell, skipper of the Hard n' Fast Fifty First, let loose with the coax 50mm storm guns and the main eight-inch r-gun in the Puller's remote turret, Lance Corporal Jada Adair, an Indy car driver in civilian life, drove her gev straight down the corridor ahead, leaving destruction and lots of dead Alliance troopers in her wake.

The storm guns in the forward corner turrets and in the front sloped vectored a hail of blue-hot lead downrange at a heat shimmering forming directly in their fire arc, chopping an Alliance Guard anti-armor team coming through the gate, before having a chance to bring their one-shot 90mm r-guns to bear, nine other Pullers of Cantrell's lead company in echelon, as, from their bellies, Marine powered-armor infantry dropped to the deck, and fanned out amongst the ruins, enaging both Alliance Guard infantry and civilians carrying various and diverse expressions of their Second Amendment rights, the gevs continuing to blast a path of devastation ahead of them, as they sped past their deployed infantry, and through a back wall to the fire-shot night outside, straight into a rank of Alliance Baneblade gev chariots, the main guns on all ten Pullers firing with a single, defeaning roar of hard, blue light.

Then fired twice more after that, the Baneblades and their deploying squads of infantry rains of metallic fragments and wisps of dissipating plasma through which the command company's chariots drove, coming under fire from emplaced five-inch r-guns in other arcology spires, Cantrell slewin the turret in 180 degrees of arc, vectoring 60 mike mike and eight-inch rounds downrange with a thought from his BCI to the Puller's gunnery station.

Above flew the F4U Corsair heavy fighters of the division's air wing, supported by the AV-72 Sioux tilt-rotor gunships closer to the deck, as the air wing's regiment of Paramarines hit concentrations of enemy troops and enemy artillery along the chariots' line of advance, while Cantrell blasted short-barreled Thunderer eight-inch r-guns and their crews into sprays of blood, bone, grease and metal with the main turret's entire arsenal.

”Been a long time , been a long time, been a lone, lonely, lone-lay time,”the charioys sang, as they engaged, then overran, a line of tracked self-propelled guns, as they scrambled into firing position along the debris- and body-choked street and median.

304-69M2
20:24:17

The prow guns of the Battlestar Flame of Purity opened up still again, taking one of its opposite numbers, as well as a half dozen Flight III Hermes-class battlestars, twice that many Flight Iis scrambling to support them now riddled, dead hulks beginning to spiral down Necromunda's gravity well.

Navarch Kara Thrace sipped on a cold bottle of saline offered by a passing medicae orderly, as she studied both DRADIS and the slate indicating the status of Vipers and Starhawks being turned around on the loyalist battlestar's four flight decks, while the remainder of Flame's air group, supported by its 4,500 flak guns, weathered the storm of incoming ordinance and inbound fighters and bombers.

Reatmed, re-fuelled, and reapired, a squadron of twelve Falchions--a recent addition—dropped from Flame's belly, vectoring toward other enemy capitals still in the fight, salvoing a mix of MAHEM, quantum, and nova torpedos ahead of them, the latter breaking up formations of fighters, nombers, gun sloops, and attack craft, as well as incoming ordinance with blooms of thermonuclear fire, the latter scattering fragments in the path of their intended targets, released streams of molten metal toward them at point-blank range, or slammed headlong into them at near-light speeds.

Flame's[/i[ main-battery guns stabbed out at warships all round it, as, again she plunged through the heart of the storm at max av, her CIC sweltering, the sweat matting Kara's hair and saoking through her uniform evaporating, leaving salt behind, as she found it a struggle to remain conscious.

Gratefully, she accepted still another bottle of cold saline, the icy, salty water momentarily revitaizing her, as it provded her body with much-needed hydration, as a cool breeze began blowing through the ventilation ducts.

“Engineering reports work parties on the hull,” her XO, Captain Karl “Helo” Agathon, reported,”have re-installed five of the radiators shot away, and are working on five more; all fires, including the ones in CIC under control, all hull breaches sealed, primary and secondary ficons back on line.

“My compliments to the Engineering team, Helo,” Kara replied, eyes still on DRADIS and the number of friendly and enemy icons furiously blinking, then going dark, fewer of the latter still remaining, as the helmsman executed a hard burn to rurn the Leviathan battlestar around, and bring her back into the fight, prow guns accounting for five Terran Lex Galacticas, and ten United States-class SDPs caught in mid-pivot, a couple dozen Ares-class and battlecruisers left dead and adrift, as the main battery slewed round in all directions to take still more Terran and Royal US capital warships under fire, while the Falchion squadron, supported by Starhawks and Vipers from the air wing, arrowed in front of the Flame of Purity, vectoring themselves into the midst of attack craft and gun sloops swarming the battlestar from dead ahead.
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
User avatar
WillDexter
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Posts: 156
Joined: 2024-05-22 12:56am
Location: Under my GF''s desk, buried in work. :)

Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

31 OCTOBER, 2569
20:28:30

Were it not for the grey on electric blue paint job, the 18” r-guns where twice as many 16-inchers should be, and the Compass Rose inside a wireframe glove, where the Eagle and Star should be, she would be a spitting image of her great-grandfather's NAS Eagle, now on static display as a gate guard at Naval Air Station Tinker's North American Air and Space Museum in Midwest City, Sequoyah, on the Earth of her time and place.

Engineering teams and Babylon Prime's own techs swarmed all over the spaceframe of this Eagle, one of the first human starships to explore her Alpha Centauri Bravo II—also known as Canaan—according to Yasmin, this ship taking her name from the Eagle that had landed another Edwin Aldrin and another Armstrong—Neil, instead of Nell—on their Moon, in their equivalent of Project Nakomis of the late 1940s.

“We flew her from Hiorshi-jima Stardock, all the way to Tinker,” commented Captain Daniela Beckett, as she stood beside her paramout behind thick glass separating them from B-Prime's cavernous docking bay in the two and one-half megaton O'Neill cylinder's Blue Sector.

“Yeah,” Kim whispered,”me, the trips, Yukari and you, Draco, Rex, Amy Bettincourt and Hayley Prentiss, with Hayley bitching the whole we spent restoring the old girl to her 1969 condition, before we set out for Earth.”

Kim sighed.

“Simpler times,” she remarked...Amy and Hayley had commands of their own now, while Draco's twin brother...

“Simpler times,” Kim repeated, with a sigh.

“Draco doesn't blame you, babe,” Beck said, sidling up close to Kim, and putting her arm around her.”Rex shit his own bed, when he tried to cheat the sims in War College, and refused to get the point of said sims through his thick skull.”

“Besides,” she added,”even if you hadn't been the one to turn him in, or prosecute him at court martial, he likely still would've defected to the Rebs; he was too much like 'em to ever be trusted amongst the Fleet.”

Kim sighed again.

“Draco said much the same thing, time and again,” she commented,”but, looking at that ship, I can't help vut think about what might have been.”

An engineering crewman painstakingly repainted the ship's crest alongside her pennant number near the bow.

A Lunar lander, two spacesuited figures, the flag of the former United States—fifty stars in its union, instead of 48—on the surface of the Moon, Earth rising in the background, the words “FOR ALL MANKIND” scrolled along the bottom.

NAS Eagle's own crest was a rearing centaur, Alpha Centauri's three suns, in proper perspecyive, in the background, as seen from a Canaanite sky at midday, though the words scrolled along its borrom were the same, taken from her great-grandfather's livestreamed broadcast back to Earth, in which he'd said,”we come in peace, for all Mankind.”

“I wonder if folks back in that Eagle's time and place,” Beck mused, leaning closer to Kim,”deny her first mission, its namesake's landing on their Moon, ever even happened.”

“Need you ask, sweetie?” was Kim's answer.

“From what Yasmin told the command staff, when she briefed us,” she added,”the answer's a definite yes.

In their time and place, space is fake, space travel a psyop, Earth is flat, the Sun and Moon revolve round it like Mickey Mouse's hands, and no one ever had, or ever could have, landed on the Moon, cause it's a lesser light, like a book of fairy tales said it was all along, and, oh yes, there's a dome on top keeping out the waters above.”

“Just as the League demands everyone believe, on pain of a lynch mob showing up on your doorstep,” Beck remarked.

“Willful ignorance,” Kim said.”Without it, man's inhumanity to man could never be the one constant between realities, cause willful ignorance and willful cruelty fit hand in glove.”

“Yeah,” Beck replied.

“Yeah,” Kim said back, as the two women held one another closed, and looked upon this Eagle from another reality, reminding both of them of simpler days gone by, and roads not taken.

31 OCTOBER, Y169
20:33:45

“Awww,” Tarsos said mockingly, picking the itty bitty pistol off the deck, while keeping his own accelerator pistol trained on the broken-nosed old geezer sitting in the command chair,”how cute!”

He examined the phased plasma pistol he'd shot out of Hall's hand...a black plastic handle, curved and attempting to be ergonomic, manual trigger, no guard, above a chamber where matter and antimatter from the cylindrical “energy cap” at the rear of the weapon met a steel slug fed from the pisstol grip's internal magazine, and the resulting jet of molten metal rode a low-powered laser beam at the center of the stubby little, two-centimeter diameter barrel lined with electromagnetic coils all the way to its intended target.

Frieslander powerguns--from a group of worlds in Cardassian space, whose primary export was its mercenary regiments--operated on similar principles, except for using copper slugs, and being far more substansial in mass and appearance.

He sniffed contemptiously, before stuffing the so-called PPG in his dress uniform belt, and turning his full attention to Hall, staring him directly in his rheumy eyes, feeling the bastard slithering round in his mind, til Tarsos made him flinch and recoil from images of the fun Tarsos could have with a transporter, Victoria Online's latest in lingerie, and Hall,

Just before he...well, she, at that point...became a new pair of shoes and a pair of bedroom slippers for Tarsos to wear at night.

The very best leather, Father had taught him, came from those animals that were skinned alive.

Ashen faced, Hall withdrew from his mind, Tarsos asking,”is mind fucking us so-called mundanes something you allegedly superior being do for shits and giggles?”

Another contemptious snort.

“Consider me underwhelmed,” he added,”by the next stage in human evolution.”

“And, get your wrinkly old ass the fuck out of my chair,” he then addressed Hall directly, Hall, regaining some color to his face, defiantly replying,”like Hell!”

“Oh,” Tarsos said, as he held out his white leather-gloved right hand,”you like Hell, don't you?”

Quite against the other man's will, quite by surprise, Tarsos then shook hands with Hall.

Whose screams echoed across the bridge of the Simon Magus, Hall himself out of his chair, on his knees, writhing and convulsing uncontrollably, compliments of the Klingon agonizer inside Tarsos' right glove.

Tarsos waited, til the man sweated blood, pissed and shit himself, before telling Hall,”I can make it stop, Trevor, but there's something you have to do for me in return.”

With a thought, he turned the agonizer all the way to its highest setting, adding,”unless, of course, you really so like Hell.”

“P-p-p-p-ple-e-ease s-s-sto-o-op-p-p,” Hall whimpered and stammered, in spite of his nervous system burning itself up,”M-m-mas-st-ter.”

“That's what I like to hear, Trevor,” Tarsos said, as he unzipped his uniform slacks.

31 OCTOBER, 2569
20:40:02

“You keep exceptionally dangerous company, Al,” Alyta Alexander said, blowing smoke in the face of the psicop who'd made her, at the same time she watched a broken, humiliated Trevor Hall suck Tarsos' cock in front of his(former) bridge crew.

“He's useful,” Al, after a few minutes coughing his lungs out, tried to affect an air of sangfroide and reply,”and quite clever, for one of them.”

“So was the bastard Lyta mindfucked into insanity on Beta Colony,” Alexander reminded him.”Both clever, and useful, as he hunted down blips who could turn neither to the mundane authorities or the Corps for help.

Makes me wonder why Massey sent us to neutralize him.”

“One of the blips Lassiter tortured and murdered,” Al replied,”happened to have occasionally warm the colony director's bed, and the colony director had friends in Earthdome.

Including a certain Senator from North America and Psi Corps sleeper agent named Morgan Clarke.

Massey decided it was in the Corps' best interest to keep him happy, since we were grooming him for the Presidency, so, you and I got to spend a lpvely couple of weeks on the shithole that is Bets Colony.”

Alexander smirked.

“The greater good, then,” she remarked.

“Just as Ben and I...instilled...in you,” Al remarked, his eyes drawn to Tarsos pulling out, cleaning himself using Hall's wrinkly, sobbing face, then ordering two of the other Bloodhounds on the bridge to”get him the fuck out of my sight,” before taking his place in the command chair.

“Right now,” Al added, as Alexander took a long drag on her cigarette, then more choking smoke in his face,”Saul serves the greater good.”

“Then, perhaps,” Alexander coldly observed,”I should discuss business with him, and cut you out completely.”

She blew still more smoke in Al's face, so he was unable to do anything but cough. “He's already promised me the use of this reality's matter-transmission technology to shape Benjamin into something more to my liking.

And, his, of course.

Something I'm willing to take him up on.”

She smiled, as Al finally had the sense to order the room's ventilation fans turned up high, dissipating the cloud of cigarette smoke, and allowing him to breathe more normally.

“You're still an equal partner to us,” she told him, imsgining the tabletop was Al's bare ass, as she stubbed her cigarette on its surface.

“You've built up too much in this place for you not to be,” she added,”and, so has he; therefore, we all are equals.

For the greater good.

For the future.”

“A future which has all three of us playing the other two against each other,” Al correctly onserved.

“Is that not how nature chooses which is superior,” Alexander reminded him,”whose genes get passed on to the next generation?”

“Of course,” Al conceded, summoning the slave girl to pour himself and Alexander a glass of whisky each.

'To the winner, go the spoils'” he said, saluting Alexander with his glass.
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

”...it's all right,” said Susan, amifst the burning, buzzing wreckage of Heracles; bridge, her destroyer standing in the apeture of the jump gate.”It's all right.

I finally know who I am, after all this time.”

“'I am
An'la'shok. I stand between the darkness and the light, between the candle and the star.

]/i]Til'za'veni, in Valen's name.'”

She turned, calmly ordered,”activate jump gate sequence,” this order immediately followed by,”bring the jump engine online.”

Then, came thevwhistling of pure, white light, a man's voice echoing in Sondra's head:

“And, I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder.
One of the four beasts sang 'come, and see,' and, I saw.
And, behold...'”


31 OCTOBER, 2569
21:00:04

...Sondra found herself buried in Talya's breasts, sobbing, tears wettung her long, brown hair, as one of two who loved Susan Ivanova, even though she was no longer with them, running long, slender finger through Sondra's hair, whispering,”I'm sorry, baby, I shouldn't have--”

“I should've been aboard Heracles,” Sondra sobbed.”I should've answered for what I've done; she didn't have to dies, she shouldn'u have had to die.”

“I know, baby,” Talya tearfully whispered, trying to soothe her lover's tortured mind.

“She was better than both of us, made us both more whole than she'd been before, forgave us for the ugliness inside each of us, loved us in spite of it.”

“She gave me life,” she added, her voice small, nearly inaudiable,”helped me be a person, instead of a tool for Bester and the fucking Corps, after...”

After Alfred Bester had killed Talia Winters, Sondra thought,and implanted a personaly made to order in the empty husk that remained.

“Yeah,” said Talya out loud, Sondra looking up into her tear-streaked face, lightly, softly kissing some of those tears away.

The things the Corps had compelled Talua to do, the pain and suffering she'd caused.

“I forgive you,” she found herself whispering, all she could do for all the guilt in Talya's heart and soul, even if Sondra could not forgive herself, the ten thousand murdered men, women, children on her conscience.

“Thank you, baby,” whispered Talya.

“And,” she added,”I forgive you, for what little that's worth.”

Silence, the two women holding on to one another for dear life.

“Yeah,” Sondra finally said.

“Yeah,” Talya whispered.
31 OCTOBER, 2569
21:05:18

“--in the midst of that address before the joint session of Congress,” Sonia said to those gathered round her in Sinclair's office,”a Congresswoman named Marjorie Taylor-Green draw a large-caliber handgun, and shot Biden three times through the heart, after which patriots, led by Trump, stormed the House chamber, raped and/or murdered most of those assembled, including Taylor-Green, and seized power, forming a Christofascist dictatorship called the American Theocracy, which Trump ruled for four years as the Messiah.”

“That was the beginning of the Long Night,” Sheridan replied,”except Hillary Clinton was in her final term as President, and Biden was her Vice President.

Other than that, Trump, who failed to win the last two Presidential elections, and, on the verge of losing his third, cried 'foul!' and led an insurrection, following Clinton's assassination on the floor of the former House of Represenatives by a Senator named Brian Kemp, that insurrection timed to take place concurrently with right-wing, white supremacist factions in the rest of the world, followed, in its turn, by a brief,but fatal nuvlear exchangw which sealed the fate, and led to four centuries of barbarism, broken only the Alpha Centaurians re-contacting Earth, and bring them the secret of faster than light travel.”

“For which,” Sonia remarked,”Terrans take full and complete credit for.”

“Of course,” Baranov remarked.

“There were right-wing insurrections in other parts of the world, and unrestricted nuclear warfare by the Theocracy, on the heels of the Storm,” Sonia said,”happened in my reality, along with the last stand of the Bandidos in the Falkland Islands, which enabled the 144,000 to escape to, and ultimately terraform Venus, as well doing what little they could toward eventual liberation of much of Earth from the Theos and the formation of the Terran Commonwealth in 2043.”

Sinclair remarked:

“Maybe, if we'd undergone something similar in our time, we might have been better off.

We almost did...on 2021, Canadian and American 'patriots' nuked San Diego, blaming the Pride Parade in that city for the bombing, as they attempt an insurrection against the North American government, under President Justin Trudeau, who'd succeded Barack Obama, after he'd suvveded Hillary Clinton, who'd succeeded her former husband.”

“They divorced?” Sonia asked.”In your reality?”

“When the Lewinsky scandal broke in 1999,” Sinclair replied, Vice Admiral, who'd hitherto been silent, remarked,”they never met or married in my reality, though they were deadly rivals; she, as President of the North American Common Assembly from 1992-2000, and he, as Preident of the New Confederate Order during that same time.”

Sonia nodded.

“Clinton denounced his wife,” she said,”shortly after the Storm, in hopes of gaining a position as one of the twenty-four Elders on the National Religious Liberty Committee; didn't work out as he'd hoped, he got himself nailed up to a cross right next to her on what was now Golgatha Hill.

The homeless, I'm told, pitch their tents amongst the crucified corpses, and patriots would be allowed to hunt them for sport.”

“Sounds familiar,” Admiral Miyazaki remarked, Baranov remarking,”officially, no one on Earth is either homeless or unemployed; those who are are too shiftless and lazy to pick themselves up by their bootstraps.”

“No one in the Theocracy either,” Sonia remarked,”save for lazy leftists used to years of free everything from the Rothschild corporate government and the Deep State.”

“Imagine that,” Sinclair remarked.

“Indeed,” said Admiral Miyazaki, nodding her head in agreement.

31 OCTOBER, 2569
21:16:40

“--denied COVID was real,” said Eagle's exec, as thry sat round a secluded table in a bring your own bottle kind of dive in Down Below, fans slowly blowing the miaasma of drug-laden smoke to all parts of the room,”or, at best, anything other than a plot by the elites, George Soros--”

“Soros, the financer?” Commander Draco Kirk remarked.”He died dead broke, in the 2020s, after he bet and lost on the New Confederate dollar.”

“Yeah,” Angel deWinter, nursing her glass of the dark rum Draco had brought with him, leaving the liquid diarrhea the well-dressed Romulan who ran the establishment called kanar untouched.

“Same Soros as my reality, save he died broke when all the world's currencies went to shit, along with the rest of civilization in the 2020s.”

She paused, taking a sip.

“Vaccines, hospitals, clinics,” she then said,”anyone who knew how to apply a sodding plaster, all got put to the torch and the rope by patriots, and practicing medicine became just another act of resistance.”

“Saw that happening,” Marcus Cole, who wasn't drinking, but had say at their table anyway,”after the Shadow nanovirus spread from Human telepaths to the rest of the Human population inside the Alliance, after Bester used Edgars' possession of the Shadow virus, and using it to target teeps as the pretext to the Corps openly taking over Earthdome.”

He paused.

“In the last year, Earth went from ten billion people to seven and a half, and the death toll's escalating; to hear tell of it on the Net, it's efforts by 'the radical Left,' and aliens to develop vaccines which are actually to blame.”

“Vaccines, 'expirimental' vaccines,” Angel remarked,”are seen as the real disease by those on YouTube. When COVID first hit in 2019, Earth's population was almost eight billion; almost fifty years of plagues, purges and patriotism later, scarcely three-quarters of a billion souls live there now.

Winter of '71, '72 saw a quarter of a billion frozen or starved to death, and, it was still going on, when we ended up here. Naturally, man-made climate change is as fake as space, according to those same cockwombles infesting YouTube; anyone insisting otherwise, Goddess forbid, anyone who deals in facts on the Internet, it's fair game, and extreme accountibility from every patriot who finds out where they live, who their fanily, friends, neighbors, co-workers are.”

Draco nodded, as he sipped his glass, the well-dressed, slightlu chunky Romulan, after grabbing the ass of the scantily-clad Bajoran girl running one of the establishment's rigged games of chance, coming over to their table, remarking,”you haven't touched the kanar. I assure you, there is no finer vintage than the 2509.”

“Feces have a vintage?” Draco quipped.”Yay, ya learn somt'in' new every day.”

Marcus laughed, and the Romulan smiled, leaning closer to the three of them, and whispered conspiratorially:

“The gentleman is correct, of course. Kanar really does taste like liqufied shit, but...a Cardassian merchant sold my older brother 200 cases of the stuff, and my brother msde it my responsibility to get rid of them, while making some sort of profit.”

He then helped himself to a seat and a glass of rum, Marcus introducing him:

“Maximus Circentus-ta, younger brother to the Patriarch of House Circentus-ta, also, coincidentally, kapel of the Orion cartel of the same name.”

“An in the flesh Orion pirate,” Draco said, Maximus bristling.

“We sell various exotic, and often illicit merchandise,” he said,”engage in free trade throughout Cardassian space, sell protection from Romulan, Klingon and Cardassian warships to other merchants, and, recently, our House has become the sole bonding authority for mercenaries operating in this sector.”

“Bonding?” Angel asked, Marcus explaining,”the mercs put up a certain amount in gold-pressed latinum, what we call mercury, the party that wants to contract with them puts up the same amount, and Maximus' House acts as an impartial broker, arranging and enforcing these contracts.”

“The Frieslanders,” Maximus,”near the Klingon border, are quite happy with our House being the business agent for their primary export, knowing we have at our disposal the might necessary to ensure any contract they enter into will be enforced.”

The Romulan looked furitively round his own noisy, smoky, establishment, Draco noticing another scantily-clad girl, this one a Klingon, leading a Cardassian in business attire away from the main bar, toward several rooms in back.

Maximus then leaned closer to Marcus, whispering,”one of those contracts was a forty-year one for Frieslander regiments to train the military forces of a minor nation in the WYN Cluster; that contract's been in default for the last six years, but...it's only now my brother plans to demand the...rebel faction...honor the Alliance government's financial obligstions under that contract, and, he knows they aren't able to.”

“Sodding fuck,” Angel remarked, as the coin dropped.

“Our House,” Maximus told them, after another furitive look around,”as I might have mentioned, has the means to enforce contract compliance...or punish contract noncompliance.”

“The enforcement fleet is being gathered at our family stronghold in the Justinia system,” he then said, downing the glass of rum in one go.”It will be nearly 1,500 ships strong, all battle cruisers and dreadnaughts, and it will leave Justinia on vector for Ragnar Anchorage, as soon, as they're all gathered together.”

He then quickly got up, walking toward another table, where still another scantily-clas girl was parting fools from their money in another rigged game of chance.
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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WillDexter
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Joined: 2024-05-22 12:56am
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

31 OCTOBER, Y169
21:16:40

“--Hls real, itue Human race,” a blond Human in white robes with almost Romulan name of Nivodemus Wellon thundered down upon millions sitting in tapt attention,”mase white and pure as the driven snow, because we, and we alone, were cast in His stainless image, carry within us a piece of His immortal essence, made by Him to rule over all lesser beings, including over all other Humans, falsely so-called, for all other Humans are in a fallen state. They willingly lie with apes and monkey, thus they freely choose to remain bestial. They freely choose to lie with Servitors, and, thus are themselves Servitors!”

“All is according too plan, thus far,” Armenius Cicentus-ta informed the holos of the two Humans floating in front of his right eye, as the Patriarch of a Noble House predating the Sundering and the Exile 5,000 Earth years ago, the head of the most powerful of the Orion cartels, and a C enturion-Geberal in the Tal'Shiar, member of its Continuing Committee, communed with them, at the same time he listened to the almost-Romulan sounding words from one of Tom Zarek's Hman clerics:

“--look like us, sound like us, even avt like us, but, they do not think like us! The Emperor commands us to love and protect His little ones, but the least of Humanit, and all their perverted ape, monkey, and Servitor lovers, look upon the innocence of children, and all they can think of is how to groom, twist and pervert them into sexual deviants, the lowest of the low, base, degenerate, irretrievably lost to Imperial love and Imperial Mercy!”

“My mentally-defective brother,” Circentus-ta said to a man with another Romulan-soundin name,”has informed his contact within the Humans who've taken up residence above Bajor CI and the so-called Celestial Temple, and they will doubtlessly warn the Triators at Ragnar Anchorage and their allies.”

Solomon Tarsos smiled, nodding his head, before asking:

“And, how do you intend to exploit the opportunities this will create, gentlemen?”

“After we draw their forces away from Necromunda and the Bajoran system,” Circentus-ta,”the 7th Star Legion, which the Imperator has seen fit to divert from the easternreaches of Romulan space, and the Second Star Legion, withdrawn from fighting in our newly-acquired Gorn slave territories, will be waiting for them, in deep space, under cloak, to leave the Bajoran system to assault the enforcement fleet, as it gathers at Justinia; they wiil then be destroyed, and the Bajotn system, as well as the artifact of the Old Kings, will be ours.”

“Warmaster Nagal,” Zarek then said,”will lead the entirity of First and Second Solar Fleets from Apollo and the Mother Worlds to Necromunda, once those forces have been withdrawn to defend Ragnar Anchorage.”

“And,” Circentus-ta said,”the Imperator has sent the 3rd Star Legion, under cloak, to a staging area just outside the space of your Alliance. The instant the forces invading Necromunda are with drawn, they will de-cloak and pounce upon them like bloodwings attacking a herd of capriks, while the enforcement fleet continues on toward Ragnar Anchorage.”

“What's to prevent them from launching a pre-emptive strike on Justinia?” Zarek then asked.

“The plan hinges on that,” Tarsos replied.”Why two entire star legions will be waiting, in the void, under cloak, along the most likely vector from Bajor to Justinia.”

“Also,” Circentus-ta reminded this Alliance President,”you'vee seen, for yourselves, the effective of the Tholians' web technology, on your ships.”

“We can't even frakking send friegthers through to Palestinia,” Zarek bitterly remarked.”Whatever was dones there, theweb just keeps growing, wrapping itelf tighter round near-Palestinia space, like a cancer.”

Only the Klingons could be so....inventive with the Tholians' gift to this galaxy, Circentus-ta thought, the Romulan patriarch saying our loud:

“Justinia is protected by a dozen concentric layers of web, much of which has been in place since we broke the Federation to the yoke over fifty of your years ago; only Imperial vessels with the correct access codes can slip through the web, and those access codes change daily, and only provided by the starbase over Justinia, to a Romulan provding them with the correct genetic information.”

He took a sip of smoky, blue ale, from his House's own brewies elsewhere in Romulan space.

“Still,” he assured Zarek,”if they are that foolhardy, they deserve to be cut to ribbons.”

“Yes,” Tarsos agreed.”Yes, they do.”

“--but those commandments,” said Wellon on his pulpit,”'loce thy neighbor as thyself.' and 'thou dshalt not murder--' not 'thou shalt not kill,' as that was one of the many distortions of His Word forced on us by experts--these most sacred of His commandments apply pnly to His children, created by Him in His image, bearing within them part of His heart and soul, and are thus white in skin, white in deed.

It was never meant to apply to lesser races, lesser Human, children of the world, children of the Lie, who choose sexual immorality with apes, monkeys, Servitors, who pose a clear and present danger to our children by simply being allowed to exist!”

31 OCTOBER, Y169
21:16:40


To say the war had not gone as they would've like was an understatement.

Kharn kitum-Komerex Klin, master of known space, Sacred Overlord of the Empire of Steel, viewed the holotank before him again, hoping a second look would change what he saw before him.

It didn't, of course.

A Rom star legion, 1,950 ships, proceeded unmolested and under cloak, through Klingon space, unmindful of the few Klingon fleets Kharn had left in Klingon soil, or the many Earther fleets who, by the hour, closed round the Klinzhai system and the throneworld of Klinzhai itself.

An outcome he, as the Sacred Ruler, the blood and klin of Kahless flowing through his veins, should have forseen, one his uncle has warned the eighteen-year old boy of, time and again, but he'd listened only to what he'd wanted to hear, and his uncle was now somewhere in WYN space, with whatever tattered remains of his own Red Fleet and the Northen Fleet he'd managed to gather to him, afyer the Earthers, from both this reality, and one where they'd dispensed with all pretensions of democracy and fully embraced the idea of a komerex that must either expand, even to other realities, or become kuve and perish.

Those Earthers, the ones his father before him, and Khatn's former Regent, Prince Kowron epetai-Mrel, had so gladly embraced, after the war with the Kzinti and the Hydran had proven somewhat less than glorious four years ago, now howled in the dungeons below Kharn's feet, the pain technicians making sure these treacherous Earthers, Kowron and his entire house, even children, would never be permitted the release of death.

“My kitumba,” Thought Admiral Prince Karthok epitai-Thrahnurek said, bowing low, as he stood facing his Sacred Overlord, said,”we must act. A Rom legion crosses our space under cloak, two more gather strength just over our border at Justinia. We must act!

“With what, my Prince?” asked Kharn, pointing to the strategic holotank in the War Room, a dozen kellikams deep underneath the Imperial Palace in the First Cty of Klinzhai.

“The few fleets we've able to save from Earther treachery,” he reminded Karthok,”are needed to face the Earthers who've invaded us and keep their teeth from our throats, while the fleets we are building will not be ready for another six to eight months. We have the Western fleet, plus what Internal Security Force ships we've been able to bring into Deep Space Fleet service, guarding our border with the Roms, and they don't seem to be adequate even for that task, much an offensive against Justinia and its accursed Tholian webs.”

“The blades of my warriors are yours to command, my kitumba,]/i]” Karthok offered, and a bit late in the day for him to finally release his household forces for service to their Sacred Ruler.

However...

“The time for recrimination is long past, my Prince,” Khatn said aloud.”I gratefully accept your offer.”

Karthok nodded, adding,”may I remind the kitumba he also has the forces of Houses Mrel and Kumerian at his disposal.”

“Will you lead them into battle, my Prince?” Kharn said.

“It will be my honor, my kitumba, Marthok replied.

Pointing to a system of three stars nearest WYN space, Karthok said,”we will stop the Roms here, or we shall soon see service in the Black Fleet for our efforts.”

“As I would expect of a Klingon, my Prince,” Kharn told him, as he stabbed out at Justunia, and decided,”the Western Fleet will gather at Walkutia, and, from there, procced against Justinia.”

“My [ikitumba--
” Karthok started to object, Kharn, Kahless' klin burning hot through his blood, cutting off his greatest Thought Admiral, and stated:

“I shall lead them.”

“My kitumba--” Karthok again started to object, and Kharn, of the Komerex Klin, cut him off, repeating,”I shall lead them. I know what will be asked of them, therefore, I must.

Karthok nodded, and acqurisced:

“Of course, my kitumba.”

31 OCTOBER, 2569
21:16:40

“I believe,” the North American officer told the others asembled on, and offline, in Sinclair's office,”Marcus' Romulan friend was told to let us know of his House's plans.”

William Adama's holoimage nodded his head slightly.

“They want to force us,” the ranking Allied officer in this reality, Admiral Ichabod Mantell said, from the command and control deck of his flagship, the NAS Upper Michigan,”onto rash action, such as pulling our ships out of Necromunda.”

“Or,” Sheridan said,”making a suicidal attack on the Roms at Justinia with everything we have here.”

“That would be like the Roms,” offered Ardak Kumerian, from the bridge of his own ship.

“Like Tarsos as well,” Admiral Avery Benedixt remarked, as he stood in the red-lit command and control center of his ship, the Mea Culpa.

Unfortunately,” he added,”there's nothing we can do about it.”

“No,” Sheridan's superior, Fleet Admiral Phillipa Georgiou, agreed.

“Nothing,” conceded Adama.

“Nothing at all,” Sinclair lied.”Therefore, I fail to see the point of continuing this conference.”

With that, he terminated comminications.

“Get back to the ship,” Sonia Pendergast ordered her exec,”recall the crew from liberty, and stand by.”

“Mister Kirk,” Miyazaki said,”on your way back to Enterprise, if you be so good as to ask Kim and the other group commanders to report to me aboard Rio Geande at their earliest possible convenience.

“Aye, sir,” Kirk replied with a nod, before SeWinter and he left the office.

“Marcus,” Sinclair said,”pass the word to tnhe War Council and all An'la'shok that I wish to see them.”

“Of course,” Marcus said, leaving the room immediately after, Kyra saying,”I will be leaving for Terok Nor, and a private audience with Garak.”

Sinclair nodded, the Bajoran religious leader rising, straightening her robes, and with her guards, left the office.

Koremesu,” said Miyazaki, as she rose, then bowed,”but there is the conference with my admirals, and the need to check on the status of my fleet.”

Then she left the office, DeLenn telling her husband,”I will yalk to G'kar, Jeff.”

“Of course,” Sinclair replied, as DeLenn left the room, Baranov and Pendergast excusing themselves shortly thereafter, leaving only himself and the Starfleet admiral Sheridan.

“We haven't a hop in hell's chance,” Sheridan remarked.

“No,” Sinclair afreed,”we haven't.”

“But,” he added,”nowhere is it written the battle against the darkness would be easy.

Only, that the battle must be fought.”

“No matter the cost,” Sheridan said.

“No matter the cost,” Sinclair agreed.
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
User avatar
WillDexter
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Posts: 156
Joined: 2024-05-22 12:56am
Location: Under my GF''s desk, buried in work. :)

Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

304-69M2
21:20:00


“Bill,”Saul remined the newly-created Warmaster of the Fleet,”even if we could reactivate everything in the reserve yards, we don't have the manpower to crew all of them.”

“Then,” Kumerian said,”give me everything you can have manned and ready. With the forces I already have, that should suffice.”

Georgiou nodded, the four of them, and the Fleetmaster of the Rimmer ships recently arrived in the Ragnar system standing in FleetOps, working on their response to the imminent threat.

“BSGs 65 and 75 are now completely intergrsted,” Saul continued.”Also, we have the forces Admiral Georgiou is keeping with her, as well as Fleetmaster Reinhardt's fleet, which also cannot be spared from any potential defense of Ragnar.”

“What forces do you think Admiral Mantell will be able to divert from holding Necromundan space?” Fleetmaster Biata Reinhardt asked.

“Realitically,” Georgious answered,”only BSG12; he'll need his Seventh Fleet, the RCN Fourth Fleet, Strikefleet Nova and BSG42 to remain where they're at to counter any potential response by forces loyal to Zarek.”

“He may not commit anything,” Reinhardt observed,”if he thinks those forces are still there.”

“He will not think that,” asserted Kumerian.”At least, he wouldn't if I commanded there.”

“Unfortunately,” Georgiou observed,”since operational security precludes the possibility of communication, we will only know how Mantell plans to deal with that possibility, when he actually deals with it.”

The other admirals nodded as one.

“Extend the fighter sweeps past the system heliosphere,” Adama decided,” a hundred gigakloms in all directions; that'll put a strain on remass, and leave them with their asses hanging in the wind, when the enemy comes, but, we'll have advance warning of their arrival.”

To Kumerian, he asked,”how soon van your ships be ready to deploy?”

“They are ready now, Warmaster,” Kumerian replied.”Though I would appreciate whatever can be activated and crewed from reserves, I'm prepared, as you Ear--Humans say, to go to war with the army I have rsather than thev army I desire.”

“I'll give you what I can,” Adama said.”Once you leave dock, you will travel under radio silence and your squawkers silenced.”

“Of course,” Kumerian replied with a slight nod of his head.

“With your permission,” he then said to the others, Georgiou dismissing him with a nod, the Klingon then turning on his heel, and leaving the room.

Reinhardt was the next to rise.

“If there's nothing else,” she said, before turning, and leaving the Fleet Operations Center.

“Make Galactica ready for space, Saul,” Adama then ordered.”If this is going to be a last stand, I will make it from the deck of my own battlestar.”

Wordlessly, Saul left the room, leaving him with Georgiou.

“What do you think our chances are?” he asked.

“Same as they've been over the last year,” Georgiou answered.”Between slim and none.”

“Yeah,” Adama said.

“I thought as much,” he added.”I knew as much, the moment we decided to take the offensive.”

“Just as little frakking choice in the matter,” he added, after a silence.

“No,” Georgiou agreed, having fought her own struggle against the odds and her people's treachery in the last seventeen months.

“Because,” she elaborated,”it is better to perish than live as slaves.”

“Yeah,” Adama said.

“That.”

31 OCTOBER, 2569
21:20:00


Facing him on the wardroom's far bulkhead was the famous painting of the Second Battle of Toledo on 14 June, 1836.

The Ohioans had surrendered following their defeat in the final battle of the Michigan-Ohio War, and the Federal government, who'd negoiated the Treaty of Mansfield, had formed the State of Upper Mivhigan from the Upper Pennisula, Toledo, and former Ohioan territory along the Great Lakes.

And, had given its name to this 380,000-ton Alaska[/o]-class starsgip of the line, in whose wardroom Admiral Ichabod Mantell, commander of the Allied Expiditionary Force now paced, as he briefed Admiral Avery Benedict, seated in the sofa just behind him.


“The moment BSG12 leaves the system, the rest of out forces will black down,” he said,”while you release decoys to make it look as if we're deserting Necromunda in favor of defending Ragnar Anchorage.

That's bound to bring the enemy to us.”

“Once we leave the system,” Benedict asked,”where do we go?”

“You'll link up with Kumerian's ships,” Mantell answered, acting as if finding a thousand or so starships in the interstellar void and maintaining comm silence was cake,”and, from there, proceed, max av to Justinia. You will be in command of the combined force; your objective will be to catch our Romulan friends in dock, and fuck 'em where it hurts the most.”

“What kind of help can I expect from our allies in the Bajotan system?” Benedict asked.

“Fuck if I know,” was Mantell's honest answer.”We can't coordinate anything with them, or even Ragnar, over comms, on the good chance the enemy will be listening in. All we do know, for sure, is they will be planning something.

“I see,” Benedict replied, as Mantell turned back to face him.

“I wish I could send more ships out with you, but--”

“Thet're needed here,” Benedict replied.”I understand.”

“Will there be anything else?” he asked, as rose to his feet, Mantell offering him his hand, answering,”only my best wishes.”

“In that case,” Benedict said, firmly shaking Mantell's hand,”I should be getting back to the Mea Culpa, and getting underway.”

“Right,” Mantell said, unable to think of anything more to say to a man he was sending to certain death,”yawp, you...take care.”

31 OCTOBER, 2569
21:20:00

“Captain Pendergast?” Baranov called after her, as she headed back to Eagle.

“Mister Chairman?” Sonia said, stopping, then turning to face him.

“A favor,” Baranov said, coming straight to the poinr.”I would appreciate it if your ship took me to Friesland.”

“Really?” asked Sonia skeptically.”Why?”

“Before I was forced to flee Deneva,” Baranov explained,”I had most of my personal wealth and my company's assets converted to gold-pressed latinum and shipped to a bank in Haarlem, the Frieslander capital...I was planning on negoiatung a mercenary contractwith the Frieslander States-General and the Circentus-ta; Citventus-ta van't be trusted, obviously, nut, perhaps, a way can be found to negoiate without them.”

“And, my ship?” Sonia prodded.

“Your ship and crew are the only ones who can be spared from the defense of B-Prime, and, you'll need to make ypur way somehow, as long as you're trapped in this reality.”

“You want me and mine to help you fight your war,” Sonia said.

“Two hundred bars of gold-pressed latinum, divided amogst you and your crew, is a king's ransom in this time and place,” Baranov offered, unsling a duffel bag from his shoulders, placing it on the deck between the two, and unzipping it.

Those certainly looked like gold bars, Sonnia taking one of them out of the bag, hefted it, found it to be somewhat heavy.

“The latinum, what we call mercury, is in the center,” Baranov explained.”It's said this form of currency dates from the Old Kings.”

Sonia nodded, looked back at the gold bar with the mercury-filled center, then gingerly replaced it inside the bag.

“Get your gear,” she decided.”Eagle will leave dock the moment you gate aboard.”
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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WillDexter
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

05) A Mighty Battle Coming

31 OCTOBER, 2569
23:00:02

These Romulans knew how to use their cloaks.

NAS Muskogee drifted at 11.2 kips, her systems completely blacked down, well within gun range of a line of 1,950 cloaked Romulan hulls running on minimum power, minimum life support, passive sensors only, those passive sensors having an effective range of 100 kiloklicks with all other EM emissions minimized.

Even a blacked down starship generated hest and other electromagnetic spectrum information, not enoigh to light it up like a Christmas tree, nut more than enough to show up on the 190,000-ton Manhattan-class light cruiser's own passive sensors, especially when linked to the passive sensors of her 72 Picadors and 48 Corsairs, as well as to the passive sensors, frones and fighters of the Mobile Strike Fleet's 1,449 other capitial platforms.

“Report from Sentinel, via HAARP,” Radioman 1C Carole Vaughn reported in the coldlamp-lit gloom of CIC.”Romulans have formed two skirmish lines, 100 kiloklicks apart, and continue to hold station, under cloak.”


“Counter detectiom?” Beck asked, for only the third or tenth time, since the fleet, plus everything the Feds, the Cardassians, the Bajorans and B-Prime had ready to go, had taken up position aft of both Romulan lines.

“Negative, Skipper,” Senior Chief Radarman Miles McGrath reported.”No active sweeps, no small craft launches, and we're still out of their passive range.

Beck nodded.

“They're hoping we overrun the first line,” Commander Talina Allred offered,”before they drop their cloaks, and catch us between two fires. The Starfleeters I've talked to say it's a classic Romulan tactic.”

“They still outnumber us 2 to 1, XO,” Beck replied; with comm silence, it could only be assumed the commanders on the Alliance side of space would send a sufficent force to reverse thisclassic Romulan tactic on the Romulans, but, assuming made an ass of you and me, as the saying went, and, regardless, the fleet and its allies would bum rush the Romiulans at the appointed time.

She glanced at the clock in the window of the tactical holoproj, counting down(painfully, slowly from her point of view)the minutes, before the fleet opened fire at max range, the fighters and drones came to life, and launched their attacks, and everyon powered up, and charged, max av, through what enemy were left, and straight through to the Justinia system.

She shivered inwardly; Beck had seen the telemtery from Palestinia, huge warships and their crew sliced deli-thin by ever-propagating strands of monowire, the web around the planet preventing any ship from getting through.

There were at least three concentric rings of the stuff round the system, its starbase and orbital docks, and the planet itself, and the only way the allied forces had for sure of getting through all three webs was brute force, which meant prohibitive casualties, as not only were the anchor points defended, as the Fed rear admiral, Sheridan, had pointed out, when Yukari had briefed her group commanders, Kim had briefed her squadron skippers, and Commodore Perry had briefed her capatains, but, the enemy could simply gather his ships at each of those anchor points.

The only bright note was what remained of Sheridan's Starfleet Intel assets had detected the Klingon Western Fleet massing at Walkuria, the nearest Klingon world to Cardassian space, which, if there were gods who answered prayers, meant they would launch a direct assault on the Justinia system.

But,the Klingons weren't forthcoming with their battle plans, and the Starfleeters had rumors of a possible alliance between the two normally antagonistic powers.

So...the Mobile Strike Fleet and its allies had only one sure plan, and, frankly, it sucked hairy, green Buddha balls, same as every other time this fleet had charged headlong into enemy guns in the year Fleet Scouting Group 55 had been assinged to it.

On the other hand, no one joined the Fleet in hopes of dying in bed.

Great.

Now, Beck would think about how she missed Kim and Yukari's cuddles, even though Kim and she had spent some quality alone time together ever since the first engagement against the Romulans.

About a couple, three hours ago, not a lot of time, but, you took what you got, and ran with it, when it came to initimate relationships, especially polyamotous ones, and service in the Fleet.

They'd more time at Annapolis, though the three of them had actually met in Baltimore, in a bar room brawl, them versus a dimwitted bunch of Unionist scumbags, and Kim had been a menace with a broken bottle.

Beck smiled...three years wasn't really that long either, it was over, and they were comissioned as middies, and posted to seperate ships for their fourth-year cruises, before any of them knew it.

Seemed that way with most Beck's thirty-eight years in this mortal coil, all gone by her in a flash and a roar of light.

All she could do was hope Muskogee wouldn't go the same way in the battle to come.

31 OCTOBER, Y169
23:00:15

“Frankly, Kyra,” Legate Admiral Elim Garrak, Prefect of Bajor, told the Kai, as she sat across from him in Terok Nor's office, and drank mugs of a Human beverage known as root beer,”my hands are tied.”

“The local head of the Obsidian Order--” Kyra started to say, Garrak replying,”Shot through and through with agents working for the Tal'Shiar, Circentus-ta, or both.

They're watching us right now, hoping we'd give them something worth watching.”

Kyra made a face.

“Yes,” Garrak remarked, smiling.”We may have friends in common, but...no.”

“So...” Kyra said.

“I couldn't, even if I wanted to,” was Garrak's reply.”They can only be deactivated from inside the starbase's operations center, and I haven't any friends in the Justinia system, none with that kind of access.”

“I see,” Kyra sadly replied.

“Speaking of friends in common,” Garrak thrn pretended to change the subject,”Ziyal is still very fond of you.”

“How is she?” Kyra asked, face brightening at the mention of their mutual lover's name.

“She says she can't find decent haasparat anywhere on Friesland,” Garrak replied,”which, according to her, is a shame, as the beer on Friesland would've complimented it perfectly.”

“I might have to send her a care package,” Kyra observed, Garrack addinf,”she says the best part of her new assignment for House Circentus-ta is meeting new people.

She seems especially fascinated by our most recent arrival from another reality, and is considering offering the captain and crew of that ship steady, gainful employment.”

31 OCTOBER, 2569
23:01:50

It had been a busy flight to Friesland.

The crash course in economivs of this reality was enough to give her a spliyying headache, as the Terran Commonwealth used a digital currency exclusively, same as the Gnats, while each patriot in the Theoctacy could print hard currency to his heart's content, within ever-shifting limits imposed by BuTRADOCC.

Here, only the late Federation had utilized a digital currency, the Terran Dominion, convinced such a thing was the Mark of the Beast, immediately adopted the gold-presed latium standard used by most of the rest of this reality's known space, the moment they'd consolidated power over a year ago.

Nevertheless, it had taken Sonia a bit of research and time to figure out how to divvy up 250 bars GPL amongst the ship's 399 remaining crew, and still have enough left over to provision the ship and keep her running for the nexxt month.

The harder part had been first finding, then, preparing, a Bajoran herbed meat pir known as haasparat.

She was now hoping that hasn't been a bloody waste of time.

As Eagle herself orbited Friesland, her guest, and Baranov's, smoothed her brown skirt, in a very Human like gesture, as she ate some of Sonia's cooking, washing it down with a bottle of pale ale from her family's farm on Venus.

In another time and place.

Nakomis had been addicted to coffee, and it had been like pulling teeth to get her to drink a bit of wine with her carnosaur steak, new potatoes, asparagus, and chocolate cobbler for her birthday last month, Nakomis jokingly telling Sonia she was trying to get her drunk, so she could have her wicked way with her.

She smiled.

Til she'd found in a dumpster in some shithole town on Earth, at the age of eight, her wife's young life had been...hell didn't even begin to describe what she'd been put through,..

For her to joke like that...not only of how much she'd grown in the intervening 27 years, but how deeply she trusted Sonia, and Sonia appreciated that, made damn sure her first, truest love was always safe and loved in her arms.

“Captain?” Ziyal Tora, House Circentus-ta's represenative on the Frieslander Mercenary Bonding Authority, asked, concerned.

“Nothing,” Sonia said, using a wetwipe from the kitchenette to wipe her face.”It's really nothing.

How's the haasparat?,” she the asked, changing the subject.”It's my first time making it, and--”

“It's excellent,” Ziyal replied, washing down still another bite of food with a swallow of ale,”as is the ale; I haven't had decent haasparat, since I left Bajor. Thank you.”

Sonia grinned, as she leaned up against the wardroom sink...least that part of the quick psych profile Lavinia had worked on the flight here had been spot on.

“Unfortunately, Mister Chairman,” Ziyal then said, confirming more of said profile,”I must decline your request to hire Frieslander forces into Federation service.”

“Oh?” Baranov said.

“The Big Four,” Friesland's four largest banks,”have been hired by my House to form part of the enforcement fleet headed to Alliance space, and, under the terms of the contract forming the Bonding Authority, Circentus-ta's requests have ultimate priority.”

“Of course,” Sonia remarked, Ziyal adding:

“Even if that weren't the case, Cirentus-ta, as part of its price for being part of the Authority, has forbidden any mercenary contracts between the Frieslander government, and the Federation government, and, to be honest, the continued existence of our business, as well as of Friesland itself lies in not alienating our overlords on Romulus.”

“I should've expected as much,” Baranov conceded, sipping his bottle of ale.

“However,” Ziyal thrn saod,”Captain, the performance of your ship and crew against Tomolok's ships in the recent battle has not gone unnoticed by us, and I've been authorized to make you an offer.”

“Okay?” said Sonia, trying to sound as dubious about the intended prposal.

“You and your crew will be given equivalent ranks, pay and status in the Royal Frieslander Navy,” Ziyal went on,”and a starting bonus of five hundred bars GPL.”

“I'll need fighter craft, crews, and marines,” Sonia replied.

“As a warship in our Navy, you will have your authorized complements of both,” Ziyal assured her.

“Ermmm...” Sonia said, finally taking a swig from her bottle of ale, making a show of cinidering the hal-Bajoran woman's offer.

Finally telling Baranov:

“Sorry, mate, but it is steady work, which the crew and I could use, being stuck here and all, ans, for hiring for other people's wars, welll, shit, it isn't as if we're cut out to b free traders, pirates, or even farmers, y'know?”

Bidding, Baranov got up, shook Sonia's free hand, and remarked,”no hard feelings, Captain. Your crew's your first priority.”

“I'll refund your money, of course,” Soia offered, Baranov replying,”no need. I really only hired you to bring me to Friesland, and you've done that. I'll just stop by my quarters, get my things, and gate down to the surface of the planet.”

“Fair winds and following seas,” he added, before Ziyal uploaded a contract to Sonia's BCI.
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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WillDexter
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

31 OCTOBER, 2569
23:03:11


“They were warned,” Tom Zarek's holo said to some rando on the Alliance's Net, as, in the background, patriots, beat, burned, raped, murdered and multilated their way through a protest on the bloofy steps of the Alliance Forum Builfing on Atlantis.

“We made it clear our revolution would be bloodless only if the Right allowed it, only if they submitted peacefully to the rule of true, sovereign, living men, made white and pure by the Emperor's Light.”

“Admiral,” Haggerty's holo said via BCI,”we're five minutes from the Romulan border. We continue to remain unchallenged.”

“Acknowledged,” Benedict replied, rising from the wardroom sofa,”Continue scanning for cloaked vessels, bring all Vipers and Sagittarai to five-minute alert. I'm on my way to CIC.”

With that, he walked to the hatchway communicating with Mes Culpa's command center, and stepped through to the red-lit space, eyes on the DRIAD repeater now showing the line denoting the boundary between Klingon and Romulan space, that line being approximately 9.5 petamiles wide.

The combat air patrol were already crossing that line, the CAP fighters continuing to maintain comm silence, same as the rest of the ships under Benedict's command.

“Crossing Romulan-Klingon border now, Admiral, the quartermaster announced, as Mea Culpa led the formation's capital platforms over the line, on vector for Romulan space.

“Artificial singularities,” thhe DRIAD operator reported,”tree-niner-zera-zera, zera by five, two-five petamiles beyond the Romulan border; hostile are in two lines, six-two kilomiles apart.”

Benedict nodded, seeing this for himself on the DRIAD repeater, two lines of cloaked enemy vessels.

And several thousand capital platforms, attacj craft, and fighters, blacked down, and holding position nearly 186,000 miles downrange of the two Romulan lines.

“Quartermaster,” Benedict ordered,”alter vec zera by tree, maintain max av; Master Commandant, launch all fighters, Signals, relay my orders to the rest of our ships.”

31 OCTOBER, Y169
23:05:12


Thought Admiral Prince Krenn epetai-Rustazh held his position as Security Minister through acombination of competence and sheer force of will, rather than political acumen and toadying loyalty to Kowron at the Empire's expense.

Which was fortunate for him, as those incompetents installed by Kowron, those who'd put themselves above the Komerex Klin, to the near-ruination of the latter, now shared their political master's fatw of slow seath by slow torture.

As Minister of Security, Prince Krenn oversaw all the mutally-competing police and intelligence services within the Empire, and somehow, contrived to have them working together for the good of the Empire, and Kharn himself.

He approached his kitumba, seated at the center of the yelloe-lit of the A12 dreadnaught IKV Death Angel, and bowed low.

“My Prince?” Kharn prompted.

Krenn faced his Sacred Lord, looking him in the eye, as a Klingon should, and reported,”our operative is leading the Frieslander fleet to Justinia. She assures us the way will be laid bare for our forces.”

Kharn nodded, studying Death Angel's tactical holotank...two thousand Klingon warships, plus tebs of thousands of fighters and attack ships, crossed the border into Rom space, max Q-factor, fully prepared to unleash devastation on Justinia's starbase, orbital facilities, ships and the planet itself.

For that endeavor, Kharn had at his disposal the 1,000 or surviving warsgips of the Western Fleet, the six hundred surviving warships of Home Fleet, the as yet unblooded household forces of the families Mogh and Walkuria—2,880 warships in total—plus another seven hundred Internal Security Force vessels pressed into service with the Deep Space Fleet, everything from G1Is,, E3Is, F5, F6, and F7Is to modernized D7Is, along with five hundred tugs and light tactical transports carrying a mix of battle pods, carrier and attack ship pods, and troop transport pods.

In other words, everything Khatn could muster that was not needed to hold the Earthers at bay, or sent to intercept the Rom star legion that had violatted Klingon Imperial space.

“In Rom space, my kitumba,” the helm reported.”Closing Justinia system, max Q-factor.”

“Have we been detected?” Krenn asked, the sensor operation replying, at once,”no, my Prince,” as the yellow giant star round which Justinia orbited loomer larger in the center of the main holotank.

It was said the Roms colonized Justinia first, in their long flight across the galaxy 4,500 years ago.

If so, taking that world would be a symbolic, as well as a practical victory for Kharn's Empire.

“My lords,” the senspr operator reported,”a force of 2,880 starships entering the Justania system, nine-zero mark zero, fifteen trillion kellikams downrange.”

“That,” Krenn remarked,”would be our friends.

Everything, according to plan, so far, my kitumba.

304-69M2
23:05:41

“Everything, according to plan,” said Warmaster of the Fleet Hermes Nagala to himself, as the Leviathan-battlestar Tian Lung led the First and Second Solar Fleets toward Necromunda, now held only by a single, badly-battered fleet of Xenos scum and an equally-battered battlestar group of foaming at the mouth radical Right Polythiestic traitors and heretics, to whom Nagala's 2,880 battlestars would bring fire, death, and eternal damnation in the bowels of the Warp, where they would be raped, repeatedly and forever, with big, firey demon dicks.

That thought, of Servitors and lesser Humans stripped naked of all self-deception, chained strappado, and raped forever and ever with the blazing instruments of the Emperor's Divine Mery, like in the mural by Hieronymous Angelos decorating the ceiling of the Temple's main chapel in New Delphi, warmed the Warmaster of the Fleet as much, as the hundred-year old ambrosia he sipped, while watching the Net in his quarters.

“--gave them a choice,” Zarek assured Henry Greene, a prominent Redeemptionist chaplin with a massive congregation, both on- and offline,”between submission to those the Emperor Himself had set in authority over all Servitors and lesser Humans, at the beginning of Creation, or heresy and rebellion against Him.”

In the background, several vigilance committees converged on the violent protesters staging an insurrection on the steps of the Forum, and adminitered extreme accountibility and righteous indignation to all of the apes, monkeys, Servitors and demons pretending to be Human and demanding they'd be given rights.

“And,” remarked Green,”they freely chose heresy, rebellion, sexual uimmorality, and wrong thinking, and, they are paying the sin price,” the patriots hog-tied and black bagged many of these violent radical Right psychopaths, organizing them in a pile for teleportation to deliverance centers, after administering extreme accountibility,”reaping exactly what the harvest they've sown for themselves, both in this kife, and in the life to come, when the Emperor condemns them all to howling and wailing in the Warp, as they are raped, repeatedly, dor ever and ever, by big, firey, demon dicks.”

Nagala's mind flashed to the mural, to Bill Adama's blonde slut receiving righteous judgement from her lords and masters, and it made the Warmaster of the Fleet almost hard enough to burst then and there.

He focussed on the viewslate in front of him, showing the DRADIS display in CIC, the icons of the badly-mishandled BSG42, and the half-strength fleet of Rimmer Xenos scum, the latter being of no consequence to true Human males, made white and pure as snow by the Emperor's Light radiating through ever pore, ever fiber of their being.

Soon.

Any moment now, the call would come from Captain Tolen in CIC, and judgement, at Nagala's hands, would begin.

And, once he'd redeemed Necromunda for his race and his Emperor, Nagala would move onto Ragnar Anchorage itself, to cleane his Alliance of heretics, Servitors and Xenos scum once and for all, before crossing the Red Line in force, Humanity united and standing strong behind him, as he redeemed all the worlds of his Emperor's Creation, and took back Holy Terra itself.

Just as Scripture, written in the hearts of every true Human, said would come to pass.

“Warmaster,” Tolen's voice said over the wireless,”we are approaching Crone's heliosphere.

“Very good, Captain,” Nagala said, as he rose from his seat, straightened a uniform proudly bearing the many medals he'd earned in service to his race, his Emperor.

“I'm on my way.”
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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WillDexter
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Posts: 156
Joined: 2024-05-22 12:56am
Location: Under my GF''s desk, buried in work. :)

Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

304-69M2
23:06:00

Half of BSG42, eight hundred of the Rimmer ships, and both allied fleets from another reality were blacked down, along with all their predeployed fighters and small attack ships, drifting near Crone's outer Kuiper belt, awaiting the approach of Nagals's forces.

The remainder, six hundred Rimmer ships, a handful of their lancers, the other half of BSG 42, including Flame of Purity, and a handful of itds Vipers, were lit up like Yule trees, apparentally limping toward intercept, in every way acting as good baitfish for the approaching megalodons.

Navarch Kara Thrace didn't care much for being bait.

As she stood in CIC, watching the DRADIS repeater slate, she recalled what the Old Man himself had told her, when she'd become the youngest Navarch in the Fleet, after being promoted to command of the most-decorated and coveted battlestar next to Galactica herself.

]i\”'Because of who you are, the threat you present, there's always going to be men seeking your downfall. So, you [/i]have to be better than the rest of the Fleet, just to survive.”

Those words echoed in her head, as Flame of Purity dlowly approached the valley of decision; she'd only joined the Fleet, because she couldn't protect her sister from the Monothiest cocksuckers.

And, she couldn't protect the frakking Alliance, when the occasion demanded she do so.

“Enemy,” Helo reported,”now 900K CBDR, max av, maintaining intercpt directly for us.”

“Hostiles launching Vipers and Starhawks,” Hoshi added, as Kara wayched this unfold on DRADIS.

“This is the Navarch,” she said over shipwide.”Armsmen to stations; all hands, prepare to repel boarders.”

“Master at arms,” Helo ordered,”issue volt rifles to all watchstanders.”

Nagala would try to board, because of her.

That realization sank to the pit of her stomach like lead, as she accepted the 7.62mm bolt rifle from an armsman, and slung it over her left shoulder.

“Lock down CIC,” she ordered.”No one in or out.”

“Range dropping to 350K,” Helo reported.”Gun range in five seconds; all guns have targets.”

Kara nodded, now irreversibly committed to the path, wherever it led.

“And,” she said aloud,”may the Gods have mercy.”

31 OCTOBER, 2569
23:07:02

The complex strands of monomolecular wire parted for Eagle and the 2,880 Frieslander cruisers, light dreadnaughts, and dreadnaughts at Ziyal's word of command to the Romulan centurion on the other end of the master holoproj, with his nose in the air.

Sonia studied the picture unfolding on the tatical holoproj...Lord, this base was huge, dockyards, ortillery, mining and manufacturing facilities spread throughout the system, along with docked Romulan birds, fih-like ships of varying sizes, and bullet-shaped machines with squared-off nacelles and flat wings, intel helpfully tagging them as Orion and WYN craft, mainly battlecruisers, dreadnaughts, and a couple of dedicated carriers, Ziyal, standing behind Sonia with a phalanxy of solidly-built men and women of clearly Dutch descent, remarking,”Cirentus-ta is reliant on us for the bulk of their enforcement actions; though, part of the Orion cartel system, the Cirentus-tas are Romulans, first and foremost, with an understandable distrust of Orions and their lackeys.”

“I see,” Sonia replied, the starbase itself, a pair of dinner plates bound by a string of pearls along their rim, became visible in the tactical holoproj.

She'd spent much of the flight from Friesland to here studying the history of this time and place, particularly how the Earth and Orion governments, fifty years priot, had instigated a war with the Romulans which had gone as well for them, as the War of 1812 had gone for the former United States of her reality, only here, the Federation had bot managed to score a postwar victory for them to sing of, and the peace treaty imposed by the Romulans had been far more humiliating to Earth, far more damaging to its prestige, than the Treaty of Ghent had been to the Americans.

Maybe, she idly thought, as the starbase, orbiting the system's only terrestrial planet inside another layer of web, grew steadily closet, maybe, if Wellington and his victorious allied forces had been sent into the field against Jackson, with the full might of the British Army and Royal Navy at their backs....

She shook her head.

Humiliation only served to make mad dogs that much more vicious, as the Allies should've realized, when the let the French have their way with the defeated Second Reich, post World War I.

She flinched, as a hand touched her shoulder, Sonia cursing herself for being so easily distracted at a time like this.

“It's time we parted company, Captain,” Ziyal said, as the web between the starbase and the apptoaching fleets parted.

“Quantum tunnels,” Shar then reported,”two-eight-eight-zera, zera by twenty-one, two-five teraklicks downrange, closing us, max av.”

“That's just the Klingons,” Ziyal said cheerfully enough, as her escort and she began their descent along the lasser leading to the flight deck.

“No need to worry about them,” she added, as she was the last one to climb down the ladder.

'No need to worry,' she says,” Sonia remarked, turning back to face the master holoproj, adding,”well, she's not the sodding Skipper, is she?!”

“No,” she added, though it was far too late for her to worry over what the hell she'd gotten her crew into,”she isn't.”
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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WillDexter
Padawan Learner
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Re: The Noise Of Thunder

Post by WillDexter »

06) Woe, Ruin, Destruction, And Decay

31 OCTOBER, Y169
23:08:00

“Only Rom--” the centurion started to sneer, before a two-centimeter cyan bolt wiped that sneer, the face on which it rested, and the head bearing such a face from existence.

Ziyal Tora, with a nod to her White Mice, then decapitated the other Romulan watchstanders in the starbase's operations center, before accessing the base's computer network via BCI, using a variety of software made by the Obsidian Order, House Circentus-ta, and the Klingon Galactic Buerau's Alfa Group for brute-force hacking to force the starbase computer network to completely deactivate the concentric rings of Tholian web which was the system's first line of defense.

The room filled with smoke, and the stench of burnt flesh, as the last cyan bolt caught an unfortunate Romulan decurion about to flee the operations center.

“Lock down this room,” Ziyal ordered the Frieslander in charge of her personal security detail, before accessing the starbase's comm system, and sending out a single klingonaase word, in the clear:

”Bakcha!”

31 OCTOBER, 2569
23:08:00


“Fighters and drones powering up, launching attacks,” Ava reported.

“All guns, FIRE!” Kim shouted over comms.”Engineering, Combat, fire it up, overcycle Rittermar generator, all ships, you will ram yourselves right down their goddamn throats! SEMPER VICTORIA!

CIC came to life, the quantum tunnel generator howling, as it drove an awakened and aggressively-attacking Enterprise forward st an analogous velocity of 439.5 terakips, the master holoproj awash in white fire and afterimages of Romulan birds who dropped their cloaks, only to die under a storm of relativistic penetrators, plasma bolts, and MAHEM beams, Enterprise and the other allied warships biddogging their fighters, drones, and attack ships, as they charged through the storm, passing Klingon, Alliance, and ex-National Fleet capital platforms, fighter, bombers, and attack ships passing them on reciprocal vectors, en route to the Justinia system, stopping for nothing.

“Signs of pursuit?” Kim asked.

“Negative,” Ava replied, as Sylvia called from Engineering,”Combat, Engineering. Generator safeties have kicked in, downcycling to max av.”

“Copy,” Kim replied, as she heard and felt the Rittermark generator's change in pitch, while Andi stabbed out with the main battery, slamming into a squadron of older Romulan warships relegated to system patrol duties, as the Mobile Strike Fleet and its allies crossed the Justinia system's heliosphere, inopposed by any strands of monofilament wire promising to carve them up like turkeys.

304-69M2
23:08:00

”Kill the frakkers! Kara ordered, though her battlestar's gunners were already doing that, Flame of Purity, no longer the limping, wounded warrior, leaping forward, max av, toward the two inbound solar fleets, the rest of group's battlestars, and every other allied capital platform in system, following closely behind their massed fighters, bombers, and attack ships, guns blazing, as thry blasted gaping holes through Nagala's formation.

CIC shuddered, went dark, burst into flame, a strong indication the allies weren't having it all their own way, as many friendly ships as hostiles blinking furiously and disappearing on DRADIS, including Apollo, Ares, and Habbahuh from her own battlestar group.

Still, Flame of Purity charged forward, pressing the attack, guns blazing, stabbing out in all directions, Vipers and Starhawks landing and launching themselves back into space, once deck crews hastily turned them around, Falchion escorts and Minotaur gunstars forming a flying wedge in front of BSG42's flagship, as it plunged deeper into the storm, Hoshi standing her on her jets, heeling the Flame hard about, when she was about to exit the battlespace.

“DRADIS contacts!” the DRSDIS operator shouted, Kara seeing the thousands of icons for herself on the repeater slate,”five-triple-oh, 330 karom won-five, two-zera megakloms downrange, CBDR, closing us, max av!”

“IFF tags coming through now!” Helo reported.

“We're being commed!” Hoshi announced.”General broadcast, from the nre onbounds!”

A gruff male voice came over the speakers, as damage control teams extinguished the fires in CIC, and medicae orderlies tended to the wounded:

“I am Thought Admiral Prince Karthok epetai-Trawnrudo; by mt Imperial Master's orders, the blades of myself and my warriors are at your service.”

“This is Navarch Kara Thrace, of the battlestar Flame of Purity. In the name of the Twelve Tribes, I accept your offer of alliance, Prince Karthok,” Kara replied, as, on DRADIS, the Kling warships cut across the bows of Nagala's surviving battlestars, and poured volleys of self-propelled ordinance into their flanks, adding their guns to the mix, the instant the distance between them allowed it.

”Tian Lung's falling back!” Helo reported, as still more Klingon ships, slower than the others, bypassed the scene of combat altogether, and vectored directly toward Necromiunda.

“Close with the Tian Lung!” Kara ordered.”Comms, put me on with Warmaster Nagala; Weapons, stand by.”
"For Holy People, however it runs
Endeth always Wholly Slave."
--Rudyard Kipling, "McDonough's Song"

"The enemy is fear. The enemy is ignorance. The enemy is the one who says you must hate that which is different.
For, in the end,that hate will turn on you. And, that same hate will destroy you."
--Reverend Will Dexter, Babylon 5, "And, the Rock Cried Out 'No Hiding Place.'"
Because, in the end, Nex Benedict was one of us.
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