The last torpedo was gone and and all the accumulators were dead. The admiral had ordered a general retreat. Captain Heltep came on the loud speakers “That’s it guys were working for our selves now. The admiral says sub-space will shatter soon and we are to run like hell up the short arm from here to someplace called ‘Alice’.” He stopped talking because the chief engineer had shoved the wind from his body. The chaotic information on the screens were reduced to a pinpoint of light as gravitational pressure stole his ability to see. Other ships jumped too hard and killed there crews or stressed there drives. Many ships had battle damage and had no chance to make the jump in the time left.
Twenty years of talking smack in bars was finally going to be put to the test. The fleet was in total chaos and the invading enemy ships were pouring from three wormholes down by the remains of the Gidi-Dine system. The cloning sphere had jumped and Harpo had disappeared in the crush of the hoard. The com’s officer pointedly shut off his board so as not to suffer the pleas for help from those left behind them.
It was time to find out who had lady luck on there side. To determine who’s ship was toughest. To asertane who’s mantaince was smartest. To find out who’s crew could function after seeing there homes destroyed. To prove which captains could derive sense from so much chaotic input. To find out who’s core could put it out. Who’s drive could take it. Who’s ship could handle it. And to finally settle once and for all who’s ship was fastest
When the cloning sphere had jumped it ment that was it, all was lost. The only rumour of escape led them three quarters of the way up the short arm to an almost forgotten remote outpost.
The admiral had thanked his soldiers and wished them godspeed and goodluck his ruff voice had cracked with emotion.
The unknown aliens from beyond the the edge of the galaxy finally took down the suicidally insane rogue juggernaugt class battlebrain ship the Admiral had somehow convinced to join his side purely because the cause was hopeless. The brain detonated containment on the five and a half tons of boiling hot compressed unstable degenerate antimatter.
Central Command Actual
(The last Slaver Race built battle-brain-ship)
Hesputangtap held the antimatter vapor away from normal matter for almost twenty nine thousand nanosecounds. Twice as long as he had projected. The nightmare of torments he had inflicted on his innocent crew so long ago stopped. Finally the looks of betrayal that had haunted him threw eternity stopped. The mothers eyes were closed. The ghosts of children stopped crying and waited watching. The fathers stopped pleading for there family’s mercy and stared at him coldly. Finally they stopped. They finally stopped dying over and over again. They stopped there onslaught of screams and howls and pleading.
Captain Heltep just held on as the engineer crushed him. She had full control the rest of them were just damage control. His orders would get in the way at this point. So he stayed quiet and left the crew to there jobs.
This was it the big show. Ten years of bragging was about to be tested.
He had bragged because in his mind, it was the truth, he had always believed this as fact. Only the capital ships could out run “The Kess”.
They were slowly leaving the slower ships behind. All the ships were running flatout fleeing the coming core explosions. The call sign that warning came with was very old and that was the reason why there atheist of an Chief Engineer was in the back on hands and knees begging to the gods and goddesses of warp core physics and faster than light space flight.
‘Alice.’ Alice was nearly a legend, almost a myth. A ship the size of a small planet. With enough room for trillions of beings. But to that master chief engineer it was no myth, she had worked on Alice’s construction as a journeyman and to keep her on board all crew gave up 15% of there pay. She was worth every mark and more because as they approached the frontier the last two capital ships in trail slowly resolved on the scope. They were gaining on the capital fleet.
The ship was running hot trailing drive plasma for cooling and there field coils were a brite glowing orange. The needles slowly crept up as the highly experienced Chief Engineer slowly gave it more and more throttle. She was flying from engineering following the faint plasma vapor trail of the lead ships. She was channeling the plasma vapors for extra cooling and squeezed a little more speed from it.
They came up abreast of the big capital ships. They were running barely a hundred meters apart, there shielding controls were shot. They were limping along sharing what little shielding they had left.
The com’s officer was suddenly a flury of action.
The ships shifted into formation aft of the kess and the com’s officer worked furiously to sync the shielding via static contact as “the kess” grabbed the noses of both ships with tractor beams. Suddenly the shielding synced and the dampners locked in and the capital ships started to take advantage by shoving “The Kess” far faster then she could go by herself. The com’s officer then got an offer to sync drive controls. This put even more power in the hands of his engineer.
Ninety percent of the “kess”‘s drive power shifted to shields and dampners as the capital ships drives slammed full throttle under her command.
The captain blacked out as the crushing gravitys pushed him under. Only five beings remained conscience. One ship appeared a ghost ship and the captain of the other capital ship was about to authorize the kess to dump it for safety.
The door in the bridge in the video feed was forced open. The being that stepped through was a medium size biped with two arms and pale skin. The captain of the capital ship and the chief engineer of “the kess” exchanged looks of stark disbelief.
It was wearing a crew insignia. The crews on many of these ships were volunteer milita crews from different planets. In order to minimize problems and speed response the crews were not changed, they climbed aboard and went to war in the empty ships that had flown to there location in response to a crew ready beacon.
The being reported all crew deceased and then requested instructions in good basic galactic. The chief engineer promptly sent it to the engine room. While it made the trip the Chief Engineer pulled the crew roster and realize that she had killed them, all but the bi-ped. There was a note absolving her of blame, signed by the fragile waterworlders who had answered the call to war. The note explained that the biped should survive there death and had the skills necessary to run the ship after they died.
The being thoroughly locked down the ship and transferred all controls to the engine room battle bridge. It then rotated the dampening fields toward the other two ships.
Captain haltep woke up slowly. The captain and the chief and something he didn’t recognize were passing instructions in high speed battle short hand. The numbers on the board were fantastically high. One slip and they were all sandwich spread.
They caught the main fleet and blew past drives howling up and down the scale. They had had one chance to latch on but they had missed it.
The three ships claimed article 28 clearance as they received demands for assistance. The captain of the capital ship shouted them all down and showed them video of the last occupant of the third ship.
Two military brainships jumped in on there tails and they came sliding up along side. The slipped into formation and the crews got a break as the brainships took over there higher function demands.
They fled the core as the enemies took stronghold after stronghold. The numbers they had were staggering. The flood was unstoppable.
Alice was the only refuge offered and all ships that were moving were moving toward that distant far away point.
A pale blue dot.