Read Star Force: Bahamut (SF86) (Star Force Origin Series) Online

Authors: Aer-Ki Jyr

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

Star Force: Bahamut (SF86) (Star Force Origin Series)

BOOK: Star Force: Bahamut (SF86) (Star Force Origin Series)
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1

 
 

February 1, 3254

Unnamed System
(unclaimed)

Inner Zone

 

“Whoa,” the sensor officer onboard the Ma’kri scout
ship said after the ship finished its deceleration against the giant red star
and its sensors straightened themselves out.

“What is it?” the Captain asked quickly, looking to
the battlemap as it updated, seeing nothing around the star as of yet.

“Activity around one of the planets. We haven’t had
time for sensor echo, but there are so many ships in orbit we can pick them up
from stellar radiation alone.”

“Show me.”

A separate display manifested itself in front of Captain
Brayden in holo showing a lot of fuzzy signatures, but once the external
cameras got the precise location and began filtering in the light and
magnifying it he saw a huge fleet of ships in orbit of the planet stretching
around it as if they were a massive ring in the making.

But while there were a great deal of lizard ships
present, a lot of them were of an entirely different design.

“Engage cloak and get us out of this orbit before they
notice us. I want a closer look.”

“Captain, some of those ship profiles match as…”

“…as Sety, I know. What the hell is The Nexus doing
all the way out here? This is far beyond their borders.”

“Are the rest of those ships Nexus races?” his
comm
officer asked.

“Not that I’m aware of. I don’t recognize any of them
except the lizards…and last I heard, they were enemies. Something is very wrong
here.”

“Captives?”

“Only in one circumstance have the lizards ever
surrendered, and those ships are just part of the formation. It doesn’t look
like they’ve taken any damage either. Are we getting anything from the planet?”

“Cloud cover over most regions. We’ll have to get
close to pull a tight scan or wait for it to blow over.”

“I want a high orbit…very high. Sety sensors might be
able to pick us up, and if they’re not in a friendly mood I want plenty of room
to run.”

“How can they pick us up if we’re absorbing all
signals?” the sensor officer asked.

“Most signals,” he corrected, “and we still make a
black silhouette. If they have theirs programmed to pick out such things they
could spot us.”

“Have we done that?” the helmsman asked.

“Of course,” the sensor officer replied, a bit
offended. “Luckily it doesn’t seem like the lizards have figured that out yet.”

“Course plotted. Confirm?”

The Captain glanced at it, then nodded. “Confirmed.
Get us moving.”

 

Their presence didn’t go unnoticed. Within a few
minutes of their appearance at the star there was a detachment of ships that
broke off from the group and headed for their last position, but they didn’t
seem to be tracking their current trajectory. The Ma’kri made it to the planet
and settled into a high orbit where it began observing what was occurring with
passive sensors only, and for the moment they appeared to be either ignored or
undetected.

“Captain, we’ve got a possible ID on another of those
ship types.”

“Possible?”

“We don’t have a sensor profile from any Star Force
source, but we do have some data passed onto us from others that suggest some
of those vessels might be Trinx.”

“Trinx? I’m not familiar with that race.”

“Files say they’re one of several races within lizard
territory that held out. This one apparently far more advanced
technologically.”

“Held out or allied with,” the Captain floated, not
asking for a response.

“Captain,” another bridge
crewer
said from an auxiliary station that had also been purposed for sensors.
“There’s some sort of construction occurring on the surface.”

“Show me and highlight the location on the battlemap.”

A tiny dot sprung to life on the display, then another
virtual window opened in front of his command chair showing the zoomed in
visuals through the clouds. They were sketchy, but enough to make out the fine
lines of infrastructure in progress…including a massive landing zone with what
looked like cargo crates stacked up into small mountains.

“I’m not seeing any grounded ships.”

“None found as yet. Probably convoy drops if they’re
coming from The Nexus. It’s a pretty long trip.”

“That it is.”

“Uh oh,” the
comm
officer
said warily.

“I don’t like ‘uh
ohs
.’ Be
specific of how we’re screwed, please.”

“We’ve got an incoming
comm
message, one what looks like a tight beam.”

The Captain frowned. That meant their location, or at
least approximate location, had been discovered.

“What does it say?”

“They’re asking us to open communications and to drop
our sensor stealth. They’ve identified us as Star Force.”

“Do we have incoming ships?”

The sensor officer shook his head. “No. But they have
parked quite a few in near the star. They may not want us leaving.”

“Keep our cloak up, but send a return signal. Ask the
Sety ships specifically what their business is with the lizards.”

Brayden sat back in his seat studying the planet far
beneath them and the ships guarding it as he waited for a reply. This was not
what he’d expected to find here. He’d been sent to scout this area looking for
new lizard activity in the star systems that they’d failed to claim previously,
especially with an eye to digging operations, but nothing in his orders had
mentioned the possibility of outside interference. This was still technically
lizard territory, within their shrinking borders anyway, even if they’d never
previously had any interest in the dead system.

This planet’s atmosphere read as negligible, and the
other six had none at all. Lizards typically didn’t take airless worlds without
a very good reason, and they couldn’t survive on this one without breathing
gear so it was no wonder why they’d passed it over, but something really
important was happening here, especially given the tech levels of the ships
along with them that he was being updated on as the crew got to work on a fine
analysis of the passive scans and began making guesses to their equipment.

The Sety ships were easy to identify. They were The
Nexus’s biggest and best warships, and a lot of them were here too, which was
even more odd because he’d been led to believe that The Nexus was overstretched
militarily…so what was so damn important for them to send a nice chunk of their
badly needed fleet outside their territory and into the lizards’ back yard?

“Captain, they say they’ve claimed this system and
that Star Force and its allies are to remain outside of it. The lizards here
are under their protection.”

“Are they now? Ask them if this protection applies to
other nearby systems, and ask them if they are still at war with the lizards on
the H’kar border.”

Another long wait ensued, and it wasn’t due to
comm
lag.

“They say this system alone is their concern. The rest
are not. They didn’t answer about the H’kar.”

“Drop the cloak and begin doing full sensors scans of
everything. Helm, be ready to get us on the best available jumpline out of the
system the moment I give the word.
Comm
, ask them
what message they’d like us to give our leaders when we return, and make it
clear that they’re not going to take any alliance with the lizards well.”

Suddenly the sensor feeds intensified in detail…and
just as suddenly a grouping of 27 ships detached from the ring around the
planet and began lazily heading towards them. They got about a tenth of the way
to them when the reply finally came in.

“They say a representative has already been dispatched
to our capitol system and that any questions regarding this system be taken up
with him. We are to leave now or be escorted out of the system. Our presence
here will not be tolerated.”

“What do the files say about the speed of those Sety
ships?”

“Um…pretty good. Maybe a touch faster than us. Hard to
say.”

“Helm, feel like living dangerously?”

The blonde man smiled ironically. “Where would you
like me to dive?”

“I want a close in scan on our way out, but it’ll have
to be at really high speed to stay away from them. They’ll probably break like
a swarm of wasps when we head in, so give me a good route.”

“Working on it.”


Comm
, when we begin moving
inform them that we’re heading out of the system, but that we’re doing a flyby
to give our leaders enough information to know what questions to ask their
representative.”

“Right after?”

“Give us a head start, but transmit well before we get
close to those approaching ships…and by ‘close’ I mean far, far away, right
helm?”

“You want me to skim far, far away?”

“Exactly. What’s the problem?” the Captain said
deadpan.

“None at all,” the helmsman replied in a matching
tone. “Give me a couple minutes to finesse the course and we should be ready to
go.”

“Good. Then when we’re past the planet we run like
hell. Make sure we get some damn good scans of the surface and those
unidentified ships.”

“I can’t get the entire planet on one pass without
them intercepting us.”

“Then just get us over those coordinates where they’re
building and the surrounding area. Poke in, poke out.”

A moment of silence followed, then the helmsman
signaled he was ready. “How’s this?”

The Captain looked over his high speed course projections
carefully, seeing that this could get dicey if those ships were a lot faster
than them, but once they got past their scanning point they could reengage the
cloak and that would make it damn hard for them to follow if they began evasive
maneuvering…and the Ma’kri had plenty of fuel to work with.

“Looks good. Let’s go.”

 

2 days later…

 

The Sety envoy fleet came out of its jump in near to
the yellow star at the heart of the Solar System with some 12 other vessels in
its wake. None were Sety, but all were members of the
The
Nexus and heavily armed, for they’d learned long ago that undertaking
diplomatic missions never meant one was safe, and with ships being in such
short supply you were more likely to lose a few if you only sent a few, thus it
was more practical to send groups in order to avoid losses.

When the Sety vessel emerged out of its deceleration
haze the commander crackled as his tree-like body twisted with shock. He had
expected a decent amount of traffic and defenses for a civilization the size of
Star Force, and while the traffic was actually lower than he would have
guessed, the defenses were anything but.

There were huge defense stations everywhere around the
star, spread out so there would be at least one or two within weapons range of
every
incoming jumpline. Further in next
to the star was a construct far larger and barely visible within the radiative
haze, making its weapons capability indeterminate, but it was the sheer number
of ships present around the star alone that shocked the Sety. They’d been
getting war updates from the H’kar, so they knew what type of numbers that Star
Force fielded in their invasions of the Li’vorkrachnika systems and what they’d
mounted to take down their capitol, but there were far more than that here.

He’d expected most of their fleet to be deployed into
enemy-held areas pushing their campaign, but it seemed they were not nearly as
overextended as the Sety had suspected. Not at all it seemed, for additional
fleets began popping up on sensors in groups staggered out from the star, in
addition to even more defense stations…and their sensors hadn’t yet reached one
of their visible planets.

And those ships didn’t sit still, for as soon as The
Nexus envoy arrived they began redeploying closer, not on an intercept course
but what looked like bracketing moves that would diminish the their navigating
options.

Perhaps they should have announced they were coming
prior to arrival.


Transmit this
message immediately on their diplomatic frequencies
,”
Hirtor
said as he walked up behind the ship’s commander. “
We are here on a diplomatic mission from The Nexus regarding the
opening of formal relations and the establishment of a proper embassy. We await
navigation coordinates
.”

 

Davis walked into one of Atlantis’s larger conference
rooms along with a Duke and an Archon mage, finding it already filled with some
32 individuals from the Nexus, only one of which was Sety. The others were
representatives from their larger members with the H’kar not included. He
didn’t know if that was a snub or simply an indication of how low they ranked
within their civilization, but given Star Force’s long history and continued
wartime cooperation with them it seemed highly irregular to leave them out of
whatever business The Nexus had here.

They hadn’t announced they were coming, but Davis had
suspected a move like this for some time and the warning systems within his
empire had sent word ahead through the relay network tracking their small fleet
so he’d had some notification that they were coming. Still, they were trying to
throw their weight around, but he could feel a lot of anxiety amongst them
right now despite his still infantile psionic skills.

They didn’t
expect such a powerful system defense
, the mage told him as they walked
towards the large ovoid table.
They’re
worrying that their estimates of our strength were underreported and they might
not have as much leverage as they were expecting
.

Thank you
,
he said, glad to have a much keener reading of them to work off of, as well as
the ability to talk telepathically. Sure as hell beat glances and facial
twitches, and he was pretty sure that neither the Dsevmat nor the other two
telepathic races present could sense when they were using their private mental communications
channel.

BOOK: Star Force: Bahamut (SF86) (Star Force Origin Series)
9.81Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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