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ELW [story add on thread]

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ELW [story add on thread]

Postby Megaraptor18 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:14 pm

This is for people he missed the deadline or wanted to add more to their story posts. So post it here if you want.
It's only funny until someone gets hurt...then it's hilarious!

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Re: ELW [story add on thread]

Postby Michael50210 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:27 pm

This will be edited to completion

Go-thal looked over his once-capital with sorrow in his eyes. No more did civilians stroll through the town with love in their eyes or children at their hooves; that was gone for now, replaced by soldiers who had fought to volunteer to stay behind and make sure the evac fleet put enough distance between New Asgard and themselves. Naturally, Go-thal and ‘politicians’ like him were leaving last, to boost a rearguard that didn’t really need one, but it was being done anyway because it allowed Go-thal to remember the faces and names of those dying so that the race would live on. To forget even one of these souls would be an affront to their sacrifice.
“Nice day to die, isn’t it?” a voice said, and Go-thal’s head snapped backwards to look upon Vol-tren, the Doomwalker in command of the four hundred and twenty million Lek-thu who would most likely never see their families again. Vol-tren was replacing Nek-Zul, as Go-thal had sent his cousin as an official ambassador and escort for the new Phyraani Queen, whoever that turned out to be.
“Yea…yea it is”, he said, turning his head back to the scenery, “I wish I could stay…”
“But you can’t”, Vol-tren stated, moving over to his leader’s side, “We can’t lose you, Go-thal. You’ve steered us through storm after storm, and the biggest one is yet to come. Especially now that we know what our ‘god’ thinks is acceptable to the cause.”
Go-thal grimaced; he’d revealed the full details of Mea’Ga-tori’s existence and recent activities to the general public several weeks ago. To his surprise his people had taken it extremely well, letting the logic run through their heads and accepting it as reality. No more did they worship the Norse gods; in fact, they didn’t worship any gods now. Mea’Gatori’s ultimate goal was the same as everyone else’s, but the method he had tried to enforce on Go-thal and his daughter and that he had done to the Freyjans by now was unacceptable and unbecoming of one who wanted to be seen as a deity. Yes there was that Creator fellow, but said Creator had given birth to the very creatures laying siege to New Asgard. The Lek-thu race was now focused on two things: survival and revenge. How nice that those two things coincided where the bugs were concerned!
“You’re right”, Go-thal said after a long pause, looking down at his watch, “Hrm, it’s pretty much time for me to go… say, you wouldn’t mind if I gave one last speech would you?”
“Not at all, sir.”
“Hey everyone, it’s me, Go-thal. According to our sensors, the enemy is almost upon us. Their numbers range in the billions, and they won’t stop till New Asgard is theirs. You guys beat the living shit out of each other to be here, so it’s probably safe to assume you all know your chances of living. You males and females are sacrificing yourselves so that the race can escape, and we can never thank you enough for this. What we can do, though, is remember you all. We will remember you as we set up shop in our home away from home and rebuild our strength. We will remember you as we arm ourselves against these monsters. For you, we will bring ruin to their hives and lay waste to their soldiers. For you, we will plunder the secrets of the universe and bring them to bear on your killers. For you, the universe will be purged of the Hoar-Qin wherever they may try to hide. Die well, my brothers and sisters, and know that for each of you that die this day, millions of Hoar-Qin will die to repay your deaths.
“Ok I am now being threatened with a rifle to the face if I don’t get my tail moving now, so it looks like I have to cut this lovely talk short. Do us proud, soldiers, or I’ll bring you all back to life and beat your asses over my knee.”
A few minutes later, the last of the escape ships pulled out of orbit, leaving an amused garrison behind it. Go-thal’s speech had made them all laugh, and now they could face their deaths with the playful promise of getting their asses kicked by an old guy.
Speaking of their impending dooms, the Hoar-Qin had finally come in range of P3.
Let them come. The Lek-thu troops were ready to die, and they were taking as many bugs as they could with them.

-

Time: 1250

As the Hoar-Qin fleet drew nearer to P3, the programmed defense systems on the station reacted with a haste only computers could reach. Linked charges of almost-sentient black Ark energy raced forth and dispersed it-self among the Hoar-Qin ships, leaving dead and crippled bio-ships wherever it touched. In retaliation the Hoar-Qin launched their flyers swarms in an attempt to swamp the sensors of P3 and maybe take out some of the lightening spires themselves. This too had been accounted for, and the system answered the flyers with deadly anti-aircraft, picking them off with lasers, flak, and smaller beams of the black energy that could take out dozens of flyers at a time. The Towers continued their barrage unphased, annihilating Hoar-Qin ships with ruthless efficiency as the enemy got closer. This ballet continued for over a half an hour, as the Hoar-Qin ships attempted to compensate for their inability to shoot back by swamping P3 with flyers. Ever so slowly, AA emplacements started to fall silent, and even a couple of those wretched Towers finally crumbled under the overwhelming attack. The attack dragged on, held up by this one puny station, and more and more of the emplacements were destroyed by both flyers and some actual ships that had managed to get close enough to use their own weaponry. With reinforcements approaching, it looked like P3 was done for.
But the defense system had one last card to play, in the forms of dozens to hundreds of large missiles. These streaked out of hidden launching pads towards the enemy fleet, their only guidance taking them straight. The attack appeared to have been a waste of time as the missiles were either intercepted or detonated far from the actual fleet...and then things started going wrong.
The flyers were affected first, screeching at some hidden force and losing their cohesion. They attempted to dive-bomb the remaining installations, getting cut down rather easily and not doing much.
Then the closest ships to P3 started to act wildly too, acting apparently on their own will. It didn't take long for the equivalent of the Hoar-Qin battleforce commander to realize what was happening. Somehow, the bio-equines had figured out a way to sever the connection of the Hive Mind to its ships!
As the Hoar-Qin fleet tried to multitask finishing off P3 and avoiding the spreading effects of the null field, it was found somewhat by trial and error that due to how the missiles had been, there were certain areas where either the field wasn't spreading or was spreading slowly. The bio-ships hurried through and around the field and its gaps, going around P3 and assaulting it from behind effectively. Finally, the last of the Spires spat its death energies no more, and the Hoar-Qin fleet continued on its way to the planet P3 had been guarding, with what could have been a flicker of hope that the bio-equines had no more of the null missiles.

-

Time: 1350

Many hundreds of kilometers away, Admiral Pol-ja grinned as the Hoar-Qin fleet finally flew past P3, albeit with over a couple hundred ships either wiped from existence or drifting uselessly.
“About friggen time”, Pol-ja said over Fleetcom, “I thought they were never getting past!”
This was answered with great amusement by the crews of the other ships. Apparently their line of thought had gone the same way. All the potential kills stolen by an automated defense system that they themselves had programmed? Hell no!
Thanks to the massive range of their weaponry, the Lek-thu didn’t have to wait too long for the Hoar-Qin to regroup and move forward. After only a few minutes, stage two was now in progress.
“All right boys and girls, say hi to the nice bug people”, Pol-ja ordered. In perfect unison, the fifty Ragnaroks that had stayed behind charged up their 6 main legs, raising them slightly into attack position. Instead of simply firing, the Ark energy shot forward to the legs of other Ragnaroks, collecting more energy as they went at light speed towards their final focus point. In only a second or two, Pol-ja’s own ship took in the combined energy of the other forty nine ships, and the Admiral smiled evilly as the Ark raced up toward the forward-most leg, and fired. What looked like a massive bolt of lightning, much bigger than what the towers on P3 had possessed, cut a path across the seventy thousand kilometer distance between Pol-ja’s ship and its Hoar-Qin target, one of the cruisers, in about a second and unleashed hell on impact. Two million, two hundred fifty thousand megatons of Ark energy was far too much for the Bio-ship, and with little trouble it seemed to just vaporize, consumed by the hunger of the Ark shot. Seemingly unsatisfied and in an almost predatory manner, the black energy spread from its morsel and sent tendrils racing forth towards the unlucky Hoar-Qin who had attracted it. The nature of the Hoar-Qin ships put them at a severe disadvantage when fighting Ark, both because they were all alive and because they contained hundreds to millions of individual life forms inside of them.
For an aggressive maybe-sentient energy that wreaked its greatest damage to living things, it was like a floating banquet.
The Ark shot darted among the Hoar-Qin fleet with impunity, light-fast and unstoppable. Naturally, it was trying to work its way to the biggest of the Hoar-Qin ships, their carrier-worm-things, and laid waste to everything in its path as the energy pushed on. Destroyers and flyers were much too small to truly reduce the amount of Ark in existence, and simply disappeared for the most part. Cruisers fared somewhat better, simply dying instead of being outright vaporized, and even protected some of the larger bio-ships as they absorbed a good portion of the damage. But as had to happen, the black tendrils reached the battleships and carriers, and while not all of the damage was final, it might as well have been. What ships weren’t killed outright were severely crippled, their weapons and ability to move destroyed for the most part, massive holes overlapping on their bodies, and the creatures within them were for the most part dead. This was especially the fate of the carriers, the dead ones unable to release any unlucky ships that had managed to survive, and the live ones only containing a few that could actually fight, including the carriers themselves.
When that one linked shot had finally dispersed, over three hundred Hoar-Qin larger ships and countless flyers and smaller ones had been killed, along with several carriers. Several dozen others were badly wounded, and would probably die on their own.
Facing the very real chance of more shots like that, and with a massive distance to cross before even having a chance to shoot back, the Lord in charge of the Hoar-Qin fleet gave the only real order that the Hoar-Qin could follow: fly as fast as physically possible.
Pol-ja gave a dark laugh as the Hoar-Qin did the only thing they could do, and the exact thing that the Lek-thu wanted them to do. The Ragnaroks were charging for another shot, which did slightly help the bug fleet, but the Capital-class lasers of the Lek-thu battlecruisers quickly took up the slack. The product of combined Lek-thu and Freyjan laser technology, the capital-class lasers used the best of both sides to give it enhanced range, relatively fast cooling speed, and a very powerful kick. The Hoar-Qin ships were now being hammered by hundreds of powerful lasers that burned through their skin and killed what was within, bringing temperatures up by hundreds of degrees and destroying them from the inside. These beams could fire twenty five times per minute, another frustrating obstacle for the attackers, and as dozens of ships were overpowered and destroyed, the Hoar-Qin fleet ignore these losses and tried to go even faster, fully aware that as bad as the laser barrage was, it was nothing compared to what a second shot of energy from the six-legged monsters would do.
They were partly right.
The Ragnaroks had actually been charged for a while when the Hoar-Qin eventually approached 60k kilometers, but for whatever reason had not fired. The Hoar-Qin didn’t know that detail, instead hoping that maybe the Ark weapons on the Ragnaroks had a much longer charge time than originally thought due to the sheer power in that one blast. As they closed, Large-class lasers, much more numerous than the Capital class but still very powerful and possessing the same upgrades, began to add their beams to the laser barrage.
Then the Lek-thu carriers and battlecruisers linked and fired THEIR Ark weapons, along with the Ragnaroks who opened fire with a linked charge from even more Ark guns, putting 4 linked charges into existence. The guns on these ships and underneath the main legs of the Ragnaroks were not as powerful as the Ragnarok main leg guns themselves, but they were certainly more numerous, and well over 2 million megatons of Ark (this from the Ragnarok secondary legs) per bolt raced off to disperse itself among the Hoar-Qin. This time, once the energy bolts were done, the casualty list ranged in the low thousands, just for the larger ships, and the Supreme Hive Lord only knew how many of the lesser ships wouldn’t be helping the invasion along.
With no other option on the table, the Hoar-Qin had to push forward, now more to stop the deadly linked shots than to start invading the planet. The Lek-thu fleet had picked up the firing pace, firing linked charges and laser blasts as soon as they were able instead of waiting, slowly chipping away the massive strength of the Hoar-Qin fleet. Once the distance closed to fifty thousand kilometers, even more ships opened fire with linked charges, and this time singular bolts of Ark raced upwards from the planet from land-based towers, carefully picking off ships not destroyed by the linked shots. The casualties ran yet higher now for the Hoar-Qin, while they themselves had yet to land fire a single shot. More time passed and the Hoar-Qin finally reached a distance where they could shoot at something. Unfortunately for them, former battles with the bio-equines had revealed the existence of a powerful planetary shield that only allowed the Lek-thu free movement and firing. Attacking races couldn’t get through at all until the shield was brought down, which allowed a Lek-thu defense fleet to rain hell on their enemies for even longer. And if anything ELSE about this so-far one-sided engagement and others like it had shown the Hoar-Qin, it was that the bio-equine had a nasty habit of constantly upgrading their weapons and shields.
And as was quickly demonstrated, the bio-equines had a nasty tendency to have surprises for their enemies.
Thousands of missiles flew out from behind the shield, sparking a bit of fear among the Hoar-Qin higher ups that they were more of the null missiles. After a certain range the missiles exploded, but no null fields emanated from them.
Nope, what was in the MV2 missiles were capital-class balls of condensed Ark energy.
Pol-ja watched in grim satisfaction as thousands upon thousands of large, black energy balls slammed into and through the Hoar-Qin ships at lightspeed, killing them and their cargoes from the inside. Not too surprisingly, a large number of the Ark balls flew towards the Carriers, probably attracted towards them by the amount of life onboard. Somewhat-cohesive return fire started to hit the planetary shield, and Pol-ja’s smile grew as he reviewed the remaining surprises the Lek-thu had in store for the Hoar-Qin.

-

Several thousand kilometers away, Pol-ja’s Hoar-Qin counterpart was the exact opposite of pleased. Pterygota Lord Aripă was in fact angry and scared; angry because of how long this invasion was taking just to get to the planet, and scared because of how quickly his losses were climbing and the punishment that could be waiting for him. He’d known that finishing off the inhabitants of the Eclipse System would be a daunting task, hence the massive military presence of his kind, and the pony-things, he’d been informed, would be particularly tricky to get rid of. Aripă knew everything that the Hoar-Qin had been able to learn about the equines space capabilities, so perhaps he’d get some leeway, but that was a hope being eroded as quickly as the strength of his fleet. Unfortunately for him, there wasn’t anything the Pterygota could do until the planetary shield went down and his ships could finally bring their numbers to bear. For now, the fleet would have to tough this out.
I knew this would be hard, but not at levels bordering insanity!

-
Time: 1550

After another hour or so into the attack, the planetary shield finally failed under the massive barrage courtesy of the Hoar-Qin fleet. Pol-ja was woken from the brief nap he had taken (it got tiring watching a one-sided engagement) and immediately reviewed his strategy for this part of the plan.
The Lek-thu fleet had set up in a five-line (ish) formation, each floating slightly higher than the one in front of it. This allowed ships in the back to fire without fear of hitting one of their and allowed them to attack the weaker portions of the enemy ships. One’s position in the line was determined by how tough your ship was and how far away it could shoot. Thus the Ragnaroks were in the front, followed by battlecruisers, then cruisers, then destroyers and carriers. Carriers got the back to protect both them and the ships within. A formation like this also made it relatively easy to break off into separate battlegroups, but that was later in the plan.
For now, the Ragnaroks switched from firing linked shots to firing charged shots, which only consisted of the energy of the weapons on a single ship instead of a group. What one got for the reduced power, however, was an improved rate of fire, and with the Hoar-Qin fleet so close a faster shooting speed became very helpful. This was the first change. The second change was possibly the second most destructive in the entire strategy.
“All ships, Stage Three! Fire at will!”
-
Aripă felt a burst of pleasure as he watched the shield go down. This battle could finally start to take its natural course and the equine fleet would be crushed!
So why did he get a nagging feeling of doom about this new missile salvo?
As his fleet rushed forward to get to grips with the defenders, the missiles started detonating, just like the ones before them. Unlike the missiles before them, no balls of black energy spat forth at the Hoar-Qin. Had this batch of missiles been duds?
It then started to dawn on Aripă that every single one of the newly-launched missiles was detonating the same exact same way, with no visible effects. There was no realistic way this many missiles could fail at the same time, was there?
The recent memory of P3 then came a bit forcefully to the Pterygota’s mind at the same time he lost control of his lead elements.
They have more Null missiles
This one thought, this one singular thought, killed all of his previous elation as more and more ships pressed on into the quickly-spreading null field. Suddenly cut off from his control, any hint of strategy disappeared from them, replaced by their basic instincts. There were no gaps this time, no convenient paths through the field, no way to circumvent it. Those all were no doubt an equine trick too, a ruse to convince their enemies early on that the null-missiles had been flawed designs, effective but able to be avoided if one was fast enough. The way the station had fired them as a last resort was a trick too, a show of desperation to convince attackers that the equines had been hoping to keep them there while reserves could be mustered to drive them away. And Aripă had fallen for it.
With the majority of his ships now in the null-field, they lost their cohesion and attacked singularly instead of in groups. An army like the Hoar-Qin needed coordination in order to swarm the enemy, and without it they were prone to slaughter, just as was unfolding before the Pterygota’s eyes. They still had the significant number advantage, and even as they were dashed against the armored wall of the equines they would still be able to erode that wall into nothingness. But it was every Hoar-Qin for itself now, exactly what the equines had wanted, and they were exploiting it with a cruel efficiency. Swarms of drones, small circular ones and a funnel-shaped design that was most certainly new, launched from the almost-round carriers and engaged Aripă’s flyers in well-coordinated teams, some of the large funnel-drones even starting to attack ships several times larger than them, firing beams of black energy that devastated their targets. The equine fleet itself was starting to break off into smaller groups too, still keeping their five-line formation but now gaining greater flexibility for dealing with their attackers. Several of his ships seemed to just stop, or have their projectiles detonated before they were even fired, showing that by some devilry the equine psionic masters were not affected at all by the null field.
And as if Aripă was especially cursed, he watched the transport ships for the ground battle fly off from their charges in sporadic waves, flying off in the general direction of the planet but heading towards different areas, sometimes completely on their own. These too were targeted by the drones, and even the target of fire from the larger ships. Not all of them would get brought down, but Aripă knew that a lot less Hoar-Qin would make it into the atmosphere, where they would no doubt be targeted by fire from equine ground forces.
With the situation falling apart in just about every way imaginable, Aripă ordered all of his remaining transports to disembark immediately and head towards their planned drop-off areas. He doubted that even half of them would even be able to do that, having to fly through the null field and all, but eventually they’d have enough claws on the ground to take the planet.
Yep, the Supreme Hive Lord was going to kill him.
-
Time: 1600
Vol-tren glanced up as the sharp shrilling noise of flight sensors filled the air.
“Well that took forever”, he muttered as he activated the command com.
“All AA, fire at will if you don’t mind. Blitz teams; watch those skies, and happy hunting. Vol-tren out.”
Upon those words, the somewhat-calm skies of New Asgard exploded with flak cannons, Sky Rod beams, lasers, and missiles. Both mobile and static AA fired high into the air, the Hruntings driving along to keep pace with the Blitz teams to give additional fire support. Even some of the Towers were taking a part as they blasted down cargo-class bio-ships with no difficulty. The thud-thud-thud of Apache rotors joined in the cacophony of sound as hundreds of P-2 gunships took to the skies, flying low to hound any dropships who survived both the orbital drones and the land-based AA and to suppress survivors. Ground wise, heavy tanks and Dropships laden with troops raced off, accompanied by fast-moving Harbingers and covered by mobile Artillery that started to pound landing area with Ark and regular HE shells. Still addled by the effects of the M field and taken aback by the ferocity of the suppressive counter-attack, the cargo-class ships and dropships scattered for the most part, somewhat helping themselves by making the Lek-thu split up and divert troops to follow larger groups as opposed to smaller groups, but also going far from the original landing points and making it much, much harder to regroup.
One of these ships, engines taken out by a Sky Rod beam and riddled with holes courtesy of the P-2 helos, was one of the initially unfollowed as it skidded across one of the larger seas on the particular continent it had flown down on and crashed deep into one of the jungles…

-

“Stupid…hell-spawned…ponies”, Battle-Lord Distruge grumbled as he extricated himself from the downed cargo-beast. He, a Battle-Lord, shot down by mere equines that just happened to have some genetic capabilities! Not a very good way to start a ground invasion, or get himself rewarded by the Supreme Swarm-Lord.
Though to be fair, I’m not the only one having problems, He thought as another cargo-beast, riddled with holes and on fire, slowly crashed down into the sea a few miles east of him, pursued by the pony-folks’ merciless gunships. The minute they were gone, he started to move away from the wreckage glancing behind to see if anything else had survived the crash.
No such luck. For now, he was on his own.
Undeterred, the Battle-Lord cast out his mind to locate and gain control of the nearest Hoar-Qin creatures within two square kilometers. He would have had all of that already, but for some fiendish trickery of the pony-folk. Somehow they had found a way to sever the Hoar-Qin Hive Mind, making control and communication all but impossible, which no doubt affected psionic powers or tasks that required a bit of psionic energy. A very clever trick indeed.
Not too surprisingly, while Distruge was able to feel a group of freshly-landed Hoar-Qin about a half-kilometer to his south, he couldn’t do more than get their general location. Whatever had affected the Cargo-beasts earlier still lingered over the Hoar-Qin, which meant that Distruge truly was on his own for now. With nothing better to do, he trudged off through the thick foliage, hoping to organize some resemblance of an attack force in this part of the world.

-

Time: 1620
As Distruge neared his destination, the very distinct sound of organic weapons being discharged met his earholes, followed by the much more distinct sound of heavy gunfire. The Battle Lord slowed his pace and cautiously stalked forward, coming upon a devastated clearing with a downed cargo-beast as a sort of centerpiece. Here Hoar-Qin creatures of various types attempted to use the dead beast as cover as a large kill-team of the equine super-super-soldiers pushed into them. The urge to go aid his fellow Hoar-Qin started to creep forward, but he had never personally seen these creatures in battle, and with the situation as fucked up as it was, playing it safe and watching would probably pay off in the long run. And keep him alive of course.
Scattered bio-weaponry lashed out at the towering equine warriors, splashing ineffectually at their personal shields. The return fire from their massive barreled weapons had no such obstacle, and massive explosive rounds tore into the Hoar-Qin with little difficulty, causing the creatures to duck down. Without warning, massive shapes fell to the ground from seemingly nowhere, crushing several Hoar-Qin creatures beneath them in the process. The bloody dust dispersed to reveal eighteen somewhat-smaller super-equines, each of them with large jet-like things mounted on their backs. Before Distruge’s eyes, these jumper-equines…vanished.
No, that wasn’t accurate, as flickers of black were visible before being obscured by sprays of Hoar-Qin blood. They weren’t invisible, not in the stealthy sense, but as Distruge watched the stranded Hoar-Qin creatures get torn apart, he tried not to believe what was going on. No living creature should move that fast!
Could they?
With the sudden appearance of the jumper-equines, the battle was all but done for as the super-ponies started executing those Hoar-Qin who had the misfortune to still be alive, either with a hoof or a bullet to the head. They left as quickly as they had come, disappearing back into the jungle, and Distruge breathed a quick sigh of relief.
Ok, so the ponies definitely weren’t as stupid or weak as he had originally thought. He was actually starting to feel afraid now, alone in an unfamiliar jungle with no creatures under command and ruthless kill-teams combing the wreckage of downed cargo-beasts. Distruge briefly wondered why they were doing that since there was no way the equines could possibly cover every single crash and landing spot but he didn’t care. Right now he needed to avoid meeting up with the kill-teams and try to find more Hoar-Qin before they got killed. With that in mind, the Battle Lord stalked back into the jungle.

-

Time: 1650
Vol-tren glanced over at a clock as he sipped lazily from a coffee cup. With the Hoar-Qin actually behind schedule, Vol-tren had pushed back the plan’s expected times back a few minutes to allow the Hoar-Qin to actually start standing up, metaphorically speaking. So far it had been nothing but news of quick slaughterfests as the Lek-thu tracked down and wiped out the landing points of the Hoar-Qin before they could try to regroup. There were remarkably few casualties, even for this part of the plan, but Vol-tren and every one of his soldiers knew that wouldn’t last too much longer.
But for now, no one really cared about that depressing bit. There were kills to keep track of!
“Beta team, 67!”
“Gold Team, 140!”
“Fuck you pansies, Blue Team, 250!”
“Good job Blue Team”, Vol-tren said, “Be alert all of you, time’s almost up. They’ll start banding together pretty soon so be ready to scram.”
As if on cue, a new transmission came in.
“Sir, Gamma reporting, we took some casualties. We had to pull out a little early.”
“That’s ok Gamma, all part of the plan. What’s your count?”
“300, sir.”
“That’s the spirit, Gamma! All right everyone, it’s time; start pulling back to your Alpha positions. Arty, keep the pressure on them; any choppers still around, keep supporting but scurry on home when they start organizing their flyers, we still need you; and remember everyone, die with a smile or I’ll haunt you for all eternity! And I have better things to do with my afterlife than hang around you lot!”
With a well-practiced precision, the Lek-thu went into the withdrawal/defensive stance, the blitz units finishing their targets before withdrawing to the initial defensive areas. Tanks rolled or walked forward to cover their retreat while the Lek-thu artillery shifted their fire to picking out special Hoar-Qin targets that were in range. Stage 4 was now in action, probably the longest stage in the plan, and the battle would not be so one-sided now.

-

Distruge was baffled but relieved when the demonic kill-team that had been attacking his new group of followers finally pulled away. About thirty minutes ago he had found these creatures, about three hundred of them at the time, and not only had he tracked them down but had been able to assert control over them. The effect of the null-weapons had finally worn off, allowing the Battle-Lord to slowly spread his influence over a much larger area, and even now he was rallying his scattered forces into a proper army. Quite thankfully, the equines seem to have noticed, and the Kommandos he had gathered reported that the kill teams were withdrawing, no doubt to prepared defenses. Normally the Battle Lord would have been filled with confidence at this turn of events, but after actually having defended himself (or having creatures do it for him) against them on the offensive, his confidence of fighting them on the defensive was not peaking. The kill team, 100 equine soldiers plus a large super-tank and gunships, had come out of nowhere, only detected when foreign war cries and bullets starting raining on the Hoar-Qin. Looking back, Distruge knew now that the equines had somehow taken out his scout-creatures before advancing, but in the heat of combat he’d actually thought the kill team had simply teleported.
Once the battle had been joined, Distruge had learned first-hand just how outclassed his creatures were against the equines. Granted several of them were weak compared to most of what they took on anyway, but there was ‘weak compared to’ and then there was ‘absolutely eclipsed by’, and this was the latter. The equines’ armor was incredibly tough, even as tough as or tougher than the Battle Lord’s own chitinous bio-armor! Upon closer inspection, their armor and even their very skin was a perfect melding of metal and bio-metal or bio-metal and already-thick flesh. Even their tank and gunships had forms of this (hence why they had gotten away), and Distruge didn’t need to be a Battle Lord to figure out where the equines could have possibly gotten that particular idea from. Their weapons had a lot more range and punch than the Battle-Lord was comfortable facing, especially the never-to-be-sufficiently-damned artillery that was raining high-explosive shells on Hoar-Qin positions the planet over, which Distruge suspected was going to be the pursuit and assault on the pony-folk’s entrenched positions a very bloody affair indeed. They also seemed to enjoy customizing, as weaponry varied from soldier to soldier, even going so far as to have weapons mounted on their arms and backs. Even in close combat the majority of the Hoar-Qin lost, as Distruge had observed more than once a jump-warrior or a similar creature literally ripped apart and tossed aside by one of the equines, or cut down by their strange blue weapons that parted bio-armor with little trouble.
And if that wasn’t enough, they had magic powers.
Ok, maybe it wasn’t ‘true’ magic powers, but it was unnerving to try to suppress an enemy squad that seemed to suddenly speed up and dodge every single shot fired at them. Or to suddenly start getting headshots or other one-shot kills on one of your essential creature units. Or even worse, to process counters to your tactics before you even started to utter them.
And they just. Would not. DIE!!!!
Distruge had watched soldiers go down with smoking holes in their chests is even their heads, and simply get back up and keep fighting, letting some sort of regeneration system repair their wounds. He’d watched an Equine lose its entire lower torso, and instead of screaming in agony, it had merely propped itself against a rock, laughing, and kept putting rounds in the air until a medic-type soldier injected it with something and carted the demon off.
Yet as the battle had progressed, one thing about the ponies stood out that truly unnerved the Battle Lord: they were complete psionic blanks.
Or at least the majority of them were, at any rate. He had felt presences among them, and had seen the ground open up to swallow more than a few of his warriors (suggesting psionic users), but they had avoided his attempts to corner them, letting him waste his strength while his creatures died. And none of his powers worked on the rest. Oh yes, he could crack the ground beneath their hooves and burn their cover into ashes, but the equines themselves? Nothing. His powers just fizzled out when it got near them, not allowing him so much as a glimpse into their minds, or even a mark on their armor.
So, with all of this information gathered, with the very real possibility that the equines had more in store for him and his creatures, Distruge was fairly certain that Aripă and the fleet had taken a wrong turn and entered the gates of Hell. That or the Atlantian who had destroyed the Planet Killer had had quite a bit of free time after making the rest of the races in Eclipse.
…Nope, this was Hell.
With a rumbling sigh, Distruge looked over the pitiful fifty-seven creatures that had survived the surprise attack and telepathically ordered them forward. The Battle-Lord doubled counted them, and then counted the equines that his creatures had managed to kill. All twenty-three of them.
23 for 243… Even with that ratio the Hoar-Qin would eventually take the planet, but Distruge wasn’t too certain he’d even have a company-sized group of creatures at the end of this.
This was definitely going to be remembered as one of the most downhill invasions ever.

-

Time: 1700
Back at the capital, Vol-tren watched his Tac-Map as friendlies and enemies moved and attacked one another. His com channels were constantly flooded with updates on the positions of his units, their statuses, and scout reports on where the Hoar-Qin were located and their strengths. Most of the Hoar-Qin positions had small red shape groups, but there were a growing number of larger ones, especially in the south of the fourth continent. That was where Gamma had reported seeing a creature that resembled a Battle-Lord, and the very large concentration of Hoar-Qin in the general location verified it. There was at least one such large group on each continent, minus this one, the third continent, as the big showdown would take place here. Couldn’t have any spoilsports.
Overall, the withdrawal to the Alpha positions, which were strategically ideal coastal cities that were quick to reinforce or withdraw from, was going incredibly well, which would have no doubt aroused some suspicion among the general of another race. Something about ‘Murphy’s law’.
Well, ultimately most of the Lek-thu were going to die anyways, so that probably evened-out their fortunes.
Vol-tren watched the straggling friendly shape groups finally enter their positions, and gave an evil smirk. The Hoar-Qin would reach these cities, no doubt about that, but the Lek-thu had months preparing their homeworld for its downfall, hence why the other cities had been neatly stripped clean and demolished to force the Hoar-Qin into heading towards what were essentially large kill zones. It was why their paths were going to be dogged with surprise assaults, and traps.
And thanks to the M missile technology, it was why the Hoar-Qin were going to be facing a very nasty cats-paws…
“Let the Hunger Games begin”, the Doomwalker quoted, fondly remembering a book series he had read several years ago.

-

Time: 1710
With the effects of the null weapons finally wearing off, Distruge had assembled very formidable forces on 7 of the 8 continents. His forces right here now included creatures such as Stahlheads, Juggernaut pairs, Cyberpunks, a few flyer swarms, and even some artillery. Not that his artillery would count for much once they found where the Lek-thu had run off too, but it made him feel better anyways.
That feeling quickly disappeared when about a hundred various creatures were killed by a flash of what looked like black energy.
Mines. Great. Nothing more relaxing than wandering through unfamiliar territory owned by a force that pretty much dominated you in almost every way while worrying about whether or not your next step would be your last. Especially if you were effectively the only form of leadership for your army.
Distruge had a suspicion that the Supreme Hive Lord had sent him here as punishment for some past transgression. The suspicion increased as not even a full minute later, a Centaur tripped a hidden sensor, resulting in some hellish concoction of flame raining from nearby trees and turning another fifty creatures into well-charred corpses. On the other continents, similar traps were activating all over the place, piling the casualties ever higher without the equines even having to lift a claw. The Hoar-Qin armies were all still far from fully organized, and had a long ways to go to even reach the true fortifications of the equines, so they were going to be tattered and tired when they finally reached their destinations.
And without warning, Chlorine Trifluoride bombs started falling from the sky.
Much later, Distruge would truly realize what had happened, and would both scream in rage and admire the cleverness of this tactic, especially considering his current mental state.
At the moment, such thoughts were beyond him. He was weary, mentally and physically, and something in him just snapped. The equines had already taken and improved the idea of bio-armor, what would stop them from copying the Hoar-Qin’s weaponry?!
With his sanity temporarily forgotten, and mental reports of similar attacks on their other fronts, Distruge ordered the Hoar-Qin forward to destroy the equines.

-

Time: 1750
A despairing sigh escaped from Distruge as he looked over the carnage. Too late in his enraged state had he realized what had been going on. With his own psionic influence scattered over the world and only just getting back up to speed, the equine psionic masters had taken command of the feral Hoar-Qin, especially artillery-creatures, Juggernauts, and even some fliers, and directed them against their own kind. With the much more informed guidance of the ponies, the shackled Hoar-Qin had devastated Distruge’s own creatures with precision bombardments and hit-and-run assaults that went as far as to lure the true Hoar-Qin into dead ends, more traps, and particularly damaging blasts of Chlorine Trifluoride. By the time Distruge had come to his sense and rather easily taken back control (the equines hadn’t bothered to fight for control of the Hoar-Qin creatures), the damage was horrendous. Almost all of the heavier creatures he had collected here were now dead, cut down by their own kind, and his own Hoar-Qin had done a number on the feral ones too, which was no doubt exactly what the equines had wanted. The Battle Lord could feel more creatures dying on both sides, not in such great numbers as the initial strike now that he had figured out what was going on, but it was still another thorn in his side.
Another thorn, with no doubt many more to go.
He hated this. He hated the endless surprises. He hated the lack of his most needed advantages. He hated losing so many creatures for small gains.
And he hated, oh how Distruge hated, being unable to do anything but exactly what his enemy wanted him to do.
It was both anger-inducing and eerie at how absolutely the Hoar-Qin’s own plans had been ripped up and tossed aside by the equines the millisecond Distruge had entered their part of the system. Maneuvers were being countered before they even started, heavier creatures and flyers were suppressed and/or killed before they could even begin to serve a purpose, and overall anything that could possibly make this situation even worse had already been emplaced, waiting for the chance to be used. There was no other way to say it, Distruge was a puppet, and the equines were pulling his strings even in the face of their eventual demise.
At that very moment, Distruge vowed that if he survived this colossal fuck-up of an invasion, he would devote his time to killing anything that even vaguely resembled these equines from Hell. Until then, he had an invasion to lead.

-

Time: 1820
Distruge flinched as another wave of energy balls rained from the sky, carving deep lines in the Hoar-Qin formations. Unsurprisingly, more than a few were aimed at the general direction of his artillery creatures, but others took it upon themselves to kill off some of his heavier or more useful creatures as well, including the last of his Cyberpunks in this continent and several Gas Bags, who of course exploded and took other Hoar-Qin down with them. If Distruge was having his way his Hoar-Qin would not be standing so close together, but the stronghold of the equines here was cleverly located on a narrow and marshy strip of land, with a quickly-descending ocean on all sides but one. So of course, the only way was forward, packing his creatures as close as possible and making them fodder for the equine artillery strikes.
And their mechanical monsters, of course, he thought as the ground trembled from a very large impact. The Battle Lord quickly looked around through the eyes of his followers to determine where the thing had landed, and groaned as he watched it step past the now-dead Juggernaut it had landed on, water cascading down from its bulk. Five-legged and larger than any of Distruge’s creatures, the equine walker was quite effectively a God amongst the Hoar-Qin. Bullets and missiles lashed out from turreted weaponry on the top and bottom of its huge frame, and a back-mounted artillery gun belched ball-launching rounds at farther-off targets. As the Hoar-Qin forces recoiled from the spider-tank, it reared up and stabbed two of its legs through the Juggernaut paired with the dead one, pushing the smaller giant down. With its opponent on the ground, the spider-tank almost casually stepped on its skull, crushing the Juggernaut’s head under its weight.
The most dangerous weapon, though, was the one mounted behind what was no doubt a sort of protective sheath on the front of the tank. This sheath slid back, revealing a massive ‘eye’ glowing with the unholy black energy. Uncaring of the pesky return fire the Hoar-Qin were pouring on it, said fire either swerving away from the thing or splashing harmlessly on its shield, it directed this eye upwards, a tightly-compressed beam of black energy scything across everything it came into contact with. After reaching a certain point the eye swiveled to the left and down a bit, catching more creatures in its attack. Eventually it swiveled once more to the right, before finally dying down.
This attack lasted ten seconds, and several hundred Hoar-Qin creatures were no more.
That was the weakness of the spider-tanks, their rate of fire. Distruge had painfully learned that the eye-beams could either fire a once for ten seconds, or twice for five seconds, every few minutes. Thus the spider-tanks had to pick their targets carefully, lest especially powerful enemies would take them out. A potentially dangerous weakness then, but one well covered by the shields, armor, and other weaponry of the tanks. Even their footsteps were deadly, crushing dozens of Hoar-Qin beneath their legs with every movement. And worse, the spider-tanks were incredibly mobile, leaping across large distances, ‘sprinting’ (if you could call it that when it already covered hundreds of meters every two steps), and generally moving faster than one would expect.
And then there was that obnoxiously clinging ability. How the equines had been able to make several-ton walkers climb up mountains, down valley walls, and even leap from said environmental features to another made no sense to the Battle Lord, but it was done, and thus his armies all across the planet had been subjected to surprise attacks not only by their own controlled kind but by the spider-tanks. Surprise attacks with what Distruge believed to be 100 meter tall walking tanks. With artillery mounted on their backs. How did something like that hide?! One would think it would be incredibly easy to see something like that!
But nope, that was not the case in his litle version of Hell. In Hell one of these could hide under large lake (or other large bodies of water), or camouflage in hilly terrain, or literally hang from the side of a mountain or on top of a plateau, waiting to leap down and strike. For the past half-hour seventeen of these tanks had struck like so, including the recent one now ravaging Distruge’s actual force, and the Hoar-Qin had only been able to wound the damn things, after pouring fire on them from uncountable weapons, eventually taking down their shields and pinging against their starship-like armor that was also a meld of metals and bio-armor. Once that happened the spider-tanks jumped away, no doubt to repair and reposition themselves. Distruge could have had them pursued, but as far as he could tell the equines made their retreats a death-trap for their enemies, and the thought of actually trying to hunt down the spider-tanks did not instill confidence.
Speaking of which, this one seemed like it was done toying with the Hoar-Qin, and jumped down into the ocean, no doubt to reinforce the equine stronghold. How it was going to get there wasn’t too clear, but the Battle-Lord figured that with its size, it would be easy to find ‘stepping stones’ that would allow it to get through the watery expanse without sinking to the absolute bottom.
That engagement had lasted ten minutes and over two thousand Hoar-Qin creatures, many of which would have been very nice to have, like burrowers and Stahlheads. Granted the closeness of the surrounding environment probably contributed to the numbers, but they still hurt a little too much. And now the Hoar-Qin had to take a fully-reinforced city from the equines, with high walls, many more enclosed areas, and no doubt a whole slew of traps to impede their conquerors. All of his armies would have to do this now.
Distruge was beginning to wonder if all of this trouble would actually gain the Hoar-Qin race something besides dead bodies.

-
Time: 2120

City 5, as it was called by the equines, had been quite a decent place a few hours ago. Good natural lighting, ocean view, the smell of sea spray, it was pretty nice.
Not so much now.
Now, after the Hoar-Qin horde had finally breached the city, it was in shambles. Imposing spires no longer reached for the sky, brought down by the fire of both sides. Corpses, mostly Hoar-Qin with some equines here and there, were piled high, mostly on the outside where the Hoar-Qin had been forced to assault the walls, but in the cramped streets and in the inside of buildings, bodies could be stacked as high as five deep. The night sky was restless, constantly lit up by the flashes of explosions and punctuated with the sound of heavy gunfire. The city itself seemed to be bleeding, with bodily fluids literally flowing through the streets from the sheer carnage.
It was almost over now, though, and for a certain Battle Lord, it was a relief.
Last edited by Michael50210 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ELW [story add on thread]

Postby Cananatra » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:22 pm

The alarm bells were screaming as Ormanus raced down the corridor as fast as his enhanced muscles would carry him. It seemed as though every possible alarm was being triggered by the city control systems and that could mean only one thing; an alien fleet was heading for Anlec itself. The command network was in uproar, data streaming through it in such volume that even his family override codes couldn’t make any meaningful sense of it. The civilian networks had been locked down and were being systematically purged by powerful military grade software as it spread through the network, squeezing every last byte of processing power out of the moons computer systems in order to more effectively defend it. Ormanus knew, even before he reached the command centre that the attack was serious. Taking the civilian network was only permitted when the moon itself faced almost certain doom.

As he raced for the doors of the command centre the push and bustle of rushing military personnel quickly dove out of the way of the moons overall leader. Everyone in the nerve centre of the planets defences knew he had to reach his position as fast as possible. The two guard’s standing outside the final doors roughly pushed two aids aside and opened the door as they saw him running down the corridor. In a moment he was past them and coming to a halt in the main command centre. The tactical overview of near-moon space was full of enemy contact signals seemingly surrounding Anlec on all sides. As he realised the sheer scale of the attack his nano-technological cells released a flood of powerful chemicals into his brain, speeding up his thoughts tenfold. Around him time seemed to slow as his eyes darted over the additional data. Each of the other moons was under attack, Anlec could not rely on help to defend itself, it was alone.

His implants interfaced with the defence systems just as they finished correlating the attacking force. As near as the sensors could determine the attacking force consisted of at least ten billion units going on known Hoar-Quin morphology. More than the entire population of Anlec. For a moment Ormanus could not breath. The numbers where staggering, to send so much against them their enemy must be unbelievably more powerful than they could ever have imagined. He was shaken out of his shock by an incoming message from the naval commander Juss Tha’l Her’k who stood on the opposite side of the room, his eyes locked on Ormanus.
We can’t hold these beasts off Ormanus. We have to initiate saviour.
Seeing in words the worst case scenario contingency plan being suggested sent a cold shiver down his spine but he knew well enough that if the commander of the navy felt he could suggest it the situation must be hopeless. The confirmation of his first impression was almost a physical blow. Nodding once to the commander he uploaded the one code he had hoped to never use into the planets military systems. The screen flickered and the word saviour flashed up. The control room went silent, horror reflected on face after face before everyone jumped to action.

Striding over to Commander Juss, Ormanus rested his hand on his shoulder.
“Come my friend, it is time we evacuated.” He was unsurprised to see a grim smile tug at the corners of the commanders mouth before he replied.
“No sir. My place is here coordinating the defence. Commander Opus feels the same way. It is our job to tie up as much of these alien filth as we can while our legacy escapes. There is no one more qualified for that than us. We will make them bleed, so when next they encounter our race they will fear us.”
Knowing there was no talking him out of it Ormanus nodded once before striding confidently to the transport readied for just such an occasion. Before he stepped aboard he transferred all his Family access codes to the commander. He would need access to every system on Anlec for his fight. His last sight of the commander was him stooped over some display or other shouting orders to the nearby consoles.

--

In the space above Anlec the fleets assembled. The ships clustered above the main cities alongside the orbital defence platforms. It was clear that the fleet was too heavily outnumbered to prevent all landing of the planet, but they could definitely bleed the enemy and keep them from landing directly on the cities. Twelve thousand ships had other plans though. They consisted of all the constructed Xerts’x cruisers. As one they turned their bows to the planet and accelerated straight down. To the unknowing citizens of the moon they looked like meteors burning up in the atmosphere and that was closer to the truth than many would have realised. The ships plummeted towards the ground with halos of tortured air blasting around them. Each ship fully locked down, its sensitive sensors protected behind armoured plates and its structure reinforced by some of the most powerful Brine’y’tepic systems ever developed. As they passed the one kilometre mark the ships spun into an emergency aero-brake manoeuvre and fired their engines on max to slow down. Super-sonic shockwaves blasted off them towards the ground slamming into the waiting landing sites and causing those below to cower in pain.

Almost as one they touched down, crunching glacial ice beneath them. It was a good landing, only fifteen of them failed to decelerate in time. Those fifteen dug their own graves in the ancient glaciers. As the ships touched down their armoured panels slid back revealing airlocks irising open and ramps running out while beneath them the ice melted from contact with the superheated hulls. Hangers around the landing pads slid open and a wave of people and machines poured across the ice towards the cruisers. The people where those lucky enough to have been picked to be evacuated while the machines contained every possible system and resource that might be needed to keep the ships flying as long as possible. Every square centimetre of free space was filled up with equipment and people before the air locks closed and the ships began to lift off. As they did their fusion drives blasted downwards, vaporising the landing pads and anyone who thought they could run to the ship while it was landed. Balancing on the flames of their engines they struggled up into orbit.

--

The door to the transport slid open and Ormanus got his first good look at saviour since it had been built. It looked like nothing so much as a giant Xerts’x cruiser, for that is what it was. It was the species primary life boat, designed with the same principles as the toughest cruisers they had ever constructed. Most of the airlocks where closed now, everyone who was entitled to get on had loaded when the alarms rung leaving only the council members who were arriving by the transports. Entering the ship Ormanus headed straight for the bridge. The rest of the ruling council was confined to their cabins for this, but his position allowed him some latitude and he was damned if he wouldn’t stand on the bridge and see what was coming for him. The captain nodded to him once before giving out dozens of orders.

The remaining airlocks closed and armoured plates covered them. Above their head the glacier split in half. Giant modified Brine’y’tepic generators which held the roof up now shoved it to the side, opening the hidden hanger to the sky. The ship shook violently as it rose from its cradle and out of the opening. Looking at the sensor feeds Ormanus could see that the Xerts’x cruisers were all making for the rendezvous coordinates in space, just behind the first fleet. The first fleet was to run interference, allowing the lifeboats to escape. The glyphs representing the Hoar-Quin invasion force were closing on the planet and Ormanus could see the first notes of the ships being engaged.

--

Above Anlec the Hoar-Quin fleet had reached the minefields which encircled the moon. Remnants of the inter-race tensions even before the Wakou the mines where nonetheless a formidable defence. Hundreds of thousands of nuclear mines detonated as the Hoar-Quin closed on the planet from all directions, vaporising millions of Hoar-Quin organisms before they even knew the battle had started. The radioactive pulses cooked millions more and fuzzed the sensors on Anlec. When the sensors cleared they showed the Hoar-Quin fleet undaunted and still closing. Though it had been a horrific slaughter in the field, compared to the total incoming fleet it was almost meaningless. In orbit the defence platforms and ship aligned their main laser cannons on the approaching swarm and opened fire. Cra’vess and Cra’vess’ka cannon discharged, lighting the dark side of the planet like it was dawn. The beams of solar fury lanced towards the Hoar-quin at the speed of light and impaled thousands of approaching organisms and playing back and forth across them, burning them to cinders. Still the Hoar-Quin came on.

On the planet below the defence installations came up to active status. Giant towers carved out of the ice cracked open to reveal Cra’vess’ka cannon which locked into position. Drawing on the moons power grid these defence cannon released tremendous bursts of power which made the ship based weapons seem like toys. The air split as the laser beams reached out to the Hoar-Quinn fleet. Thunder rolled around the planet as the tortured air protested and the beams rose like vengeful lightening to strike at the enemy. In space the beams vaporised all but the largest organisms they struck instantly and cut across hundreds of kilometres of space as the moon rotated. In the cities power was fed from dedicated reactors into the cities’ Brine’y’tepic generators. The glaciers crackled with blue lightening as hundreds of generators aligned their molecular structure and locked it into place making the ice stronger than any known material.

In orbit the Hoar-Quin had reached engagement range. Unable to retreat as would normally be the case the ships of the Fyld’r fought at close range. Destroyers’ locked onto the largest Hoar-Quin organisms and accelerated towards them. All around Anlec captains removed the safely restrictions on their reactors, fired all weapons and rammed the Hoar-Quin, destroying ships many times more powerful than their own with the fury of a technological star. Swarms of Cos’was’p were launched by the fleets and the silos on the moon’s surface. Set to area effect, most of these detonated into pulses of harsh x-rays, cooking chunks of the attacking fleet in their own juices. Others unleashed powerful laser blasts which could skewer more than one ship at a time. Still the Hoar-quin came on, launching their foul landing pods while engaging the fleet. Wings of Dis’ves’ka engaged Hoar-quin organisms directly in running dogfights warping space to pull off manoeuvres nothing else could match they flew through Hoar-quin clusters with wild abandon firing their weapons and disrupters at anything they could. Still the Hoar-quin pushed forwards.

The carriers launched their fighters to counter the Hoar-quin and intercept falling landing pods. Great swarms of old scout drones, mothballed for years, rose from the planet’s surface to intercept falling pods while the weapon systems on the defence platforms lanced through the sky taking out the thickest concentrations of landings. On the planet’s surface Death of the Sky installations thunder across the glaciers firing their anti-air weapons at the falling pods and aggressively engaging any landing site with its full weapons compliment.

--

On the Saviour Ormanus watched as the defences of Anlec bent dangerously, but now that the Hoar-Quin had committed themselves the next stage of the escape could commence. The first fleet was fighting off the Hoar-Quin reasonably well with the help of the Escape cruisers and the Saviour’s formidable firepower. Now was the time and Ormanus could see the captain knew that too as the fleet began to move. The first fleet formed up ahead and dove at full acceleration into the Hoar-quin fleet, cutting a path for the escape fleet. All around them first fleet destroyers intercepted large Hoar-quin organisms by ramming them and physically pushing them out of the way as the organism tore them to pieces. Dis’ves’ka warped space and flung Hoar-quin interceptors away from the fleet. All the while the potent Jacer Cannons mounted on the escape fleet tore ragged chunks out of the Hoar-quin fleet. Surprisingly quickly they cleared the hoar-quin fleet and were heading straight for Eclipse. Almost half of the Escape fleet had made it, though the first fleet was badly mauled with less than 15% remaining. One third of those turned back to engage and slow down pursuing Hoar-quin while the rest flew towards Eclipse.

--

Back on Anlec the full might of the Hoar-quin was coming to bear of the orbital defences. One after another the ships fell. In the command centre Commander Juss watched as ship icons blinked out with alarming speed. Hundreds destroyed every second. The orbital tracks showed millions of landing pods breaking through and reaching the surface. The orbital defences were in tatters and in most places the Hoar-quin could begin landing almost unopposed. Such was not the case over the cities. The Cos’was’p silo’s continued to spit out missiles as fast as they could be readied, though their reserves were only around 30% now. The Cra’vess’ka laser towers where firing constantly, swatting any Hoar-quin ship in geo-synchronic orbit out of the sky. In each city the air flight authority monitoring systems were being fed into the military grid to predict the landing trajectories of incoming attackers and several Brine’y’tepic generators were re-tasked to intercept. The defensive generators expanded fields infront of the plummeting attackers. Fields aligned the air into blades as thick as a single molecule, slicing the landing organisms to pieces as they fell.

Despite this the landings outside the cities had reached such a level that the Death of the Sky platforms could no longer contain them. The massive mobile fortresses were recalled to the edges of the cities. As they fell back the troops stationed on them could see cos’was’p missiles streaking over their heads and detonating in nuclear flashes behind them; thinning out the attacking Hoar-Quin swarms. Not one trooper avoided the terrible feeling associated with using nukes on their homeworld.

All across the moon the cities came under ground assault. Despite the nuclear strikes and Death of the Sky platforms the Hoar-quin had regrouped on the surface and the cities now had to hold them. In orbit the fleets where gone. Here and there a ship survived, captained by a military genius, or just one unusually lucky they remained trying to do as much damage as possible before being taken out. As they inevitably where. In the command centre primary command had switch to Commander Opus for the ground campaign. He was quickly and efficiently organising reinforcements for the areas under the most intense attack.

--

In the upper tunnels of Gher’k a young soldier knelt behind a quickly erected barricade. He’d heard that the city perimeter had been breached and the local network was informing him that Hoar’quin were swarming through the tunnel towards his squad. Resting his Fhal’p on the barricade he sighted down the tunnel. He could feel the vibrations in the air which signalled movement, and judging by the sensation there was one hell of a lot of it. Almost before he had finished the thought something turned the corner ahead of them and paused, as if surprised to see them. The soldier fired, along with almost everyone else and the monster was blown into several steaming pieces. As soon as the fire stopped a veritable flood of tooth and claw poured into the corridor. They were met with as much laser fire as they could pump out but hellish as that was they continued to gain ground, climbing over the bodies of their fellows. To his right a soldier died with a claw through his neck before the beast was destroyed while to this left his commander screamed once and fell from some strange strike. An instant later something cannoned into him sending him sprawling backwards. Somehow his armour had stopped the claw of some abomination, a minor miracle in itself. The young soldier was in no position to appreciate his good fortune through as the Hoar-quin leapt at him to finish the job.

The hoar-quin disappeared in a cloud of blood which splattered to the ground. Staring in shock the young soldier saw a squad of family guard pressing forward. The nano-technologically armed warriors were pushing the Hoar-quin back with a mixture of Fhal’p fire and disrupter pulses. Behind them hovered half a dozen Heeder’a firing disrupter pulses past them as they advanced. They were going to win, the youth could see that and he quickly pulled himself back to his feet eager to help them. Just as he got his feet under him though the wall beside him seemed to melt and a Hoar-quin stepped through. He had time for a startled cry before the beast beheaded him. He wouldn’t know it but his cry did mean the family guard noticed the breach and avenged his death. Unfortunately, surrounded it was only a matter of time before they fell. The Hoar-quin had breached the outer defences.

--

The Escape fleet had reached Eclipse and Ormanus was viewing the complex calculations needed for the next part of the plan. With the remnants of the first fleet screening them from scanners the escape fleet began to fall towards Eclipse. One after another the ships disappeared into the clouds. Eventually it was Saviours turn. Ormanus could feel the engines thrumming with additional power and his systems told him the ships reactors were coming back up to maximum draw to power the Brine’y’tepic systems. As the ship brushed the atmosphere the shuddering began, growing in intensity as the ship dipped lower into the clouds which wrapped the gas giant. The sensors had all retracted and there was no view as there was no windows. He could access the ships systems though and he could see that the ships they had left behind could no longer be detected. They were already one hundred kilometres into the gas giants atmosphere and plummeting. There was no way the Hoar-quin could detect them, or follow them if they could.

After almost two hours the shuddering died down to a faint vibration and the thrum of the engine quieted. One of the technicians blew out a breath before speaking.
“We’ve reached neutral, we won’t sink any further.”Accessing the telemetry Ormanus could see that the ship was now flying through a hydrogen layer compressed into a liquid. “Brine’y’tepic generators at 86% draw, plenty of margin left. The tech heads who designed this really knew what they were doing.”
The captain quickly silenced the technicians before continuing. “Open the hydrogen intakes, we burned 17% of our reserves in the fight to get here. I want to get back to 100% as soon as possible.”

Ormanus sighed in relief. The advisors had said this would work, would buy the scientists time to change the math into actual technology for them to escape, but he was always sceptical. The plan had been so unlikely. The future of the Fyld’r was secured, for now.

--

In the command centre the two council members, commanders both, gazed at one another over the top of the tactical display.
“Our armies have folded, the Hoar-quin are pouring into the cities.” Opus said sweeping a hand over the display. “I’ve bought us all the time I can. The civilians will slow them as they slaughter their way down here, but its time. We’ve given the escape fleet all the time we can. It’s time for Anlec to strike back. If we wait any longer the Hoar-quin will reach our generators.”
Juss nodded in confirmation before uploading the command order for the final programme into the military system. It asked for the passcode and pressing the voice activate button Commander Juss spoke one word. “Shine”

On the display before them the moons power grid came up. All across it the safety interlinks were being deactivated, it was the last thing any of them saw. The monitor programmes were deleted and an intentional fatal rupture of the entire power grid began. The destruction began with the newest reactors. The Anti-matter containment fields where switched off. All across the moon in thousands of locations the reactors exploded, vaporising the glaciers above them in cataclysmic explosions. A second later the containment on all anti-matter storage systems deactivated adding additional explosions to the storm. Glaciers tens of thousands of years old where vaporised in an instant and the superheated steam flash vaporised those few locations not touched by the initial reactor explosions. Nothing could live on the surface and all Hoar-quin which had landed where vaporised along with what few native life forms had lived this long. The display was not yet over though.

Behind their self powered Brine’y’tepic fields the power grids fusion reactors began an intentional run away meltdown pumping unimaginable amounts of power into the Brine’y’tepic generators connected to them. The Brine’y’tepic generators, modified to run this last programme, sent out a single powerful disrupter pulse aligned to water before burning out. The pulses rippled through the clouds which now blanketed the planet in an almost solid fog. As they passed they tore the water molecules into their constituent elements; Hydrogen and Oxygen.

Ten seconds later, at which point the scientists calculated the effect would have completed, ten fission reactors, specially shielded to last this long overloaded. This was the spark to the tinder. All across the moon the deadly mixture of hydrogen and oxygen ignited. Seen from space if was like the lighting of a star. All ships in orbit were vaporised by the intense heat radiating off it. For an hour Anlec blazed like a second sun in the Eclipse system. A fitting end to the moon, and a warning to the Hoar-quin. If they ever encounter the Fyld’r again, the conflict will be one they will regret.
Cananatra
Taste the Pain
 
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