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|More from Sep0815||Adventure||PG-13||None yet|
|The Art of Stealth|
Air. Water. Earth. Fire.
After a long, fulfilled and yet exhausting life, Avatar Korra passed, being succeeded by Sari of the Earth Kingdom, who died early and didn't play a role in history.
The current Avatar is Asura of the Fire Nation, who mastered the elements quickly.
Although she thought she would never play an important role in history, she was proven wrong when the black ships arrived. The first one came in peace, but all the following carried a deadly load: WAR.
A war even the Avatar and her allies can barely end, one that threatens to consume the worlds involved.
And the question everyone asks is: Will there still be a world, a mankind to save?
Previously in Avatar: The War of the Worlds
As the war rages on on Avatara, the vast space between the colonies which lie between Avatara and Earth are all but silent. A battle for Kepler 22b can be determined for the Allies, and thus the Aryan League is expelled from the system.
Death of a Grand Admiral
The Great Ming, sister ship of the Tenno, engaged the Latin American Bolívar in the outer Kepler 22b system, a battle between two battleships, save for the three destroyers that accompanied the Bolívar. Though being more modern and under the command of Grand Admiral Yamamoto himself, the Great Ming suffered great damage from all the Bolívar's batteries being fired at her, alongside the torpedoes. Still, Taro managed to keep the small League convoy in check, until a single fighter could not be shot down in time. The damaged spacecraft collided with one of the Great Ming's front main turrets and caused the ammunition stored beneath to explode. The whole spaceship shook as the League convoy kept firing. More and more turrets were hit, though not as bad as the one before.
"Prepare nuclear strike! They'll only celebrate a pyrrhic victory!", he had ordered before. The four nuclear interplanetary missiles stored in the frontal parts of the ship were being readied for their use. One could speak of luck that these had not been hit, but everyone on the ship knew that heavy armour had prevented the explosion to reach the missiles. Behind the Great Ming laid the Kepler 22-system, and from there, a small spacecraft manoeuvred through the silent battle right into the Great Ming's hangar, and two high officers, Admirals in fact, emerged, armed with obsolete firearms, and rushed up to the bridge, as the missiles were fired. At the sight of the Bolívar being shattered into a million pieces, the destroyers fled in formation, as the second missile was fired, aiming for them. As their flagship before, they were shattered into pieces, but this exactly was the problem, save for the growing fireballs about to consume the ship. The debris of destroyed ships crashed into the Great Ming and caused, like the kamikaze attack before, turrets to detonate. The crew was already abandoning the ship with all possibilities while the two Admirals of Europe hurried to save the Grand one of East Asia. The latter was trying to hold himself upright in the bridge, but the high radiation and the shaking and failing ship were taking their toll. He was suffocating, freezing and bleeding to death at once as the couple entered to rescue him. What they rescued was merely a dying body, as they piloted their shuttle back to Kepler 22b.
Taro's body rested in a coffin as it neared the oven in which it was about to be burned. Present were the military and political elite of the Allies, friends and colleagues of Taro's, who never had married. Nobody spoke a word until after the following ceremony, where Grand Admiral Saûd and a man named Vladimir Nikolayevich, Prime Minister and commander-in-chief of Kepler 22b, came to the two European Admirals and spoke, the Grand Admiral first, "The kind of convoy, of patrol Taro had encountered yesterday are becoming less common, and that means Johnston and Stuart are up to something, something that possibly concerns our allies in the Gliese 581 and 370 sectors."
The Prime Minister continued, "Thus, we have decided to send our only completed secret weapon under our most capable unemployed commanders to the very important Gliese 667 system, the system of three suns, to investigate the situation there. As you know, there are the most powerful radio and radar stations off Earth, which could determine the outcome of the war."
"And what would our secret weapon be? The Nemesis is undergoing changes, the Red October isn't completely ready yet, and everything else is planet-based.", asked Olaf as he looked out of the window at the space port.
"Nope, the Red October is ready. Ten nuclear interplanetar missiles, invisible on all wavelengths and - though the utility of this capability is doubtable in space - inaudible! Completely stealth until any of the weapon systems is used.", Ahmad Saûd declared, gesturing them to walk out to a car to bring them to the space port, where the Nemesis' sister ship, the Russian Red October anchored. After they had reached their destination, Ahmad handed them a folder, explaining, "These are your main objectives. Be careful, but the good ol' vodka bomber here needs a trial run... And don't touch the nukes!"
Anna and Olaf entered the via the hangar when the latter asked, "What's a vodka bomber?"
Anna looked as if he were retarded and answered, "You don't know that? A vodka bomber's a Russian spacecraft. How did you even make it into the Space Navy without knowing that?"
"Anyway, we should focus on the mission...", Olaf spoke, taking the folder they had gotten, reading aloud, "Primary objective: Review the status of the Gliese 667Cb and Cc radar and radio stations and the planets themselves. As well, review the status of SNRARSS-04 and SNRARSS-42. Sounds like work to do... "
The single battleship sore through the vast system of Kepler 22 as the two commanding officers entered the bridge, Anna declaring, "Lads, we're going to Gliese 667! But fly to the outer system first, please."
The navigation officers typed the coordinates into the ship's navigation computer, and prepared for entering hyperspace. The ship seemingly stopped as a maelstrom of all colours opened before them, into which they were sucked. As it happened, the stars around the infinitely big and, at once, small vortex became short lines that fast gained length before they vanished as the ship had entered the vortex known as hyperspace. On the inside, the vortex could be seen to have a similar structure like DNA, a foggy double-helix that always surrounded them, while from the somewhat cloudy edge of the hose-like maelstrom shot lightings, some missing the Red October only by millimetres. The flight continued until the clouds dissolved themselves and the stars, visible as lines at first, and later as dots, around them were in a completely different constellation as only minutes before. Before them laid a different solar system, the one of three stars, the one of Gliese 667. Two huge space stations sore through the vast space between the two worlds of the systems, and among them were hundreds of spaceships, many descending either to the two planets or to the two space stations, most of which were bearing an ancient symbol: the swastika. The Red October's crew reacted immediately and the ship became invisible.
"Alright, let's see. We are alone in a League-controlled system, what does this tell us? Everyone to battle stations! Move it! Full speed ahead, I need to know what is going on in the Space Navy Radio And Radar Space Station number four!", Anna ordered.
"Uh, of course ma'am, but what is... that space station?", an officer asked.
"T'was SNRARSS-04, stupid! Now move this goddamn ship!"
"But wouldn't it be noticed when two Admirals of the European Space Fleet will be on board either of the space stations?"
"That's why we'll be wearing Fourth Reich unifo- Oh, nevermind, we'll just try to sneak through."
Olaf, who had seemed to sleep, shook and asked, looking tired, "What? We? That means I'll have to take my rifle, eh?"
Anna slapped him on the back of his head and answered sarcastically, "No, you will fight the Kriegsmarine with your spoon!"
"Ma'am, I highly advise against encountering them in field, I mean look at what they're doing! They are swiftly occupying the entire system and the space stations are not designed to fend someone off, only to ask for help when it necessary. it would be- ", the ship's captain, a man named Ivan, spoke.
"Suicide? Exactly. But we need to at least cripple the radar and radio. So, Olaf, how about we manoeuvre this vodka bomber through that fleet to the space stations?", Anna talked casually.
"Alright, if I have to... ", Olaf, still tired, replied.
The stealth ship flew through between two cruisers, turning not to hit the two smaller ships. Following this almost incident, three destroyers in arrow-formation seemed to come right for them, but the Russian ship could elude them in time by flying below. Afterwards, they encountered a spherical blockade around the first of the space stations. Cruisers, destroyers, frigates, corvettes and even battleships circled the structure, fighter based in the capital ships' hangars scanned the surroundings everywhere while shuttles and landing ships landed in the station's hangars for the soldiers inside to disembark and subdue the very important space station. At Olaf's order, the ship flew full speed ahead to get through a small breach in the blockade, which they reached, but a single, small fighter was headed for lower parts of the blockade, but the Red October was in its way. The last thing they could do was to raise the shields to maximum, but the light spacecraft crashed into the stealth ship's hull. Though it had caused little damage, the League's forces were now aware of something's presence, something into which the fighter had crashed. Many of the ships now were scanning the system, which proved itself ineffective. Anna and Olaf were flying a small fighter to the radar and radio antennae and fired their torpedoes. In a ray of light, the projectiles detonated, but by the time the patrolling forces around had noticed, the Red October had snuck through to the other space station. There, the same procedure as before could be deployed, and the two space stations were disposed of their original function, at least temporarily. Back on the bridge, when the captain asked Olaf what they were about to do, the red haired Admiral replied, "The stations were the easy part. Now come the planets."
The main objective...
On the planet below, battles raged for bunker complexes, cities, a battle for this entire world as the single stealth ship descended. After searing over woods, deserts and seas, the structures they were looking for were finally found, and the ship uncloaked. The ship, painted in black and white, bore the ordinary gold-blue-white-red insignia of the European Space Fleet, and red stars of the Russian squadron. Its three main turrets, each of them armed with three five-hundred seventy millimetre coil guns, aimed at the huge concrete building before them, at the most powerful antenna off Earth. Several smaller ones were positioned around the huge one, and at these, the secondary armament of the battleship, which consisted of fully-automatic missile launchers, aimed. Immediately after the huge complex of bunkers below was scanned, Anna gave the order to fire. The missiles' fireballs consumed and melted the metal antennas as the shells pulverised the concrete one. As alarms in the bunker complex were rang and AA-guns and missile launchers were fired, molten and glowing pieces of metal emerged the fireballs, and the shells' shockwaves pulverised even the flung debris that was left of the huge antenna which until seconds before had been powerful enough to send messages all across the Galaxy. The Red October cloaked itself again and powered up its propulsion as it sore to the second complex of this kind at the surface of this planet. The complex's garrison, which completely consisted of the Fourth Reich's Marines, anticipated this and sent message to the other, much more hidden complex they already had occupied a week ago, shortly after the League moved to occupy the Gliese 581 sector, which the trinary system of Gliese 667 was part of. Of the stealth ship, however, could only air currents be sensed as it flew past every battle and every landing ship at a speed of Mach twenty, twenty times of sonic velocity. As they passed over a giant forest of red-leafed trees, curiosity arose among the crew, and caused Olaf to ask, "So which of the two planets are we over now?"
"'667 Cb of course! '667 Cc is much more arid and volcanically active than this!", Anna answered as-a-matter-of-factly as below them a small settlement was occupied.
"So... the second planet will be even more fun!", Olaf stated sarcastically, "Falling lava, volcanic ash and boulders! Oh, and arid you say? Just great, sandstorms as well! And some military bases to eradicate, just- "
"Shut your mouth, stupid! Focus on what's ahead of us!", Anna shouted as a similar structure as before became visible at the horizon. As they were flying over a bay, the water below them swirled and thus, the garrison of the complex before them could localise the stealth ship. Soon, the Red October uncloaked and missiles were aimed for it. Soon, thousands of small missiles shot towards them like a swarm, but none of the crew reacted fast enough. The front was, as they could anticipate in the split second they had to think until the missiles struck, hit hard and a hole gaped where the bow had once been, and caused the ship to whirl around until its navigation officers together with a few engineers had temporarily fixed the problem by powering up less used engines. Instantly after they had done so, the ship's AA-guns fired at the like on the ground while the missile launchers, which were built like Second World War Katyushas, were fired at the rotatable, metal antennas around the main, concrete one. With the AA-guns put out of action and the secondary antennas destroyed, the main guns at the upper side were aimed at the huge parabolic structure after the ship had a greater distance to it. Three volleys later, the second of four radio and radar planetary stations in this system was rendered useless. Soon afterwards, Anna sent fighters to scan the perimeter for the blown-off bow of the Red October. After the sun, a so-called red dwarf in this case, had set, the three fighter she had sent returned, having the remnants located. Without the bow, no one aboard the ship would have survived a flight into space, not to talk about a hyperspace flight. After the ship had flown to the parts' location, the ship's engineers set up provisional cranes to recover the parts. After several hours in which the engineers somewhat repaired the ship non-stop, the bow and the rest of the ship were one again, and the mighty battleship's damaged bow aimed at the planet they were about to fly to as the engines were fired up and it shot up into the sky like a comet.
Thick clouds of volcanic ash and sand covered much of Gliese 667 Cb's surface, or rather hid it. Around the poles, the clouds consisted of ice crystals, and where the hot, equatorial ones met the cold polar ones, the weather was similar to Earth's, and these two zones were the only habitable ones. Only two manmade structures which weren't mines could be found outside these, and these were military bases with their only function to detect enemy forces of all kinds, and to ease communication of the own. These two were crucial for space warfare in a radius of a thousand lightyears, and about to be destroyed, or at least if everything went in favour of the heavily damaged battleship that entered the planet's atmosphere near its South Pole. Turbulences whirled every ship which tried to enter this planet's atmosphere, and so it also did with the Red October. The outer hull soon covered itself with ice, which grew the longer they stayed in this zone. After an hour descending, its thickness was about a metre, and not even at the bridge the windows could be kept free of it for long. Not that it mattered, since nothing could be seen through the storm of ice, but still it was better than to fly almost blind. Without warning, the newly repaired bow rammed into ice, and alarms could be heard afterwards. When the windows' heating finally had cleared the glass of ice, the storm had cleared a little, so that before them, a structure whose type they had seen twice during their mission could be seen, deeply covered in ice. In all of the ship's turrets the heating was turned on, and the missile launchers were loaded with napalm ones. The Red October uncloaked and fired the napalm missiles to melt the ice before anything was destroyed, since otherwise, it would've had little to no effect. After one and a half minutes of continuous fire, all the antennae were free of ice, but in the eyes of the Red October's commanders free to be destroyed. All batteries fired volley after volley only to blast the antennae into pieces. A minute later, a minute in which the ship's batteries had reduced the antennae, and also a near swastika flag, to rubble, the AA-batteries of the frozen base below were ready, but then, the ship cloaked again and vanished to the north, leaving the base's garrison in confusion. The invisible ship sore through the icy clouds, until, an hour of flying later, the clouds had changed their colour, from white to grey, and caused heavy rain. Below, a city called "New Venice" rested upon pillars in a shallow lagoon, at whose northern shore the foot of a volcano was, one behind which the almost planet-wide desert began. The volcano seemed to be active at any time, as a thick clouds of ash emerged, through which the ship flew. The only reason was that they had had too little time and space to evade it, and so, they had no choice than to fly through it and get sand-blasted in a natural way. The heating was deprived of energy, which was directed into the shield generators in order to preserve most of the ship in the best-preserved possible state. After the sandblasting came a sandstorm, which had little to no difference concerning the effects, but soon, a military complex came into sight at the base of a volcano, high walls and mighty shield generators protecting it from sand and volcanic ash. The shields were turned off as they flew in, and the base was fought for. Without encountering any resistance, the heavily damaged ship uncloaked and laid waste to the antennae in a matter of seconds. Shortly thereafter, the base's shields were raised again and a sandstorm neared from behind. In order to protect their ship from it, the commanders of this mission decided not to cloak the spacecraft until it was out of the troposphere, in which all the clouds of this world were. After they were out of it, a dozen of ships, obsolete cruisers that were around thirty years old, came their way and were proven not to be friendly when they fired all batteries at the Red October. The latter could escape the bombardment in time, but now, it was spotted. The commander of this mission, who apparently was Anna, commented this only with a swear, as did most of the ship's crew. The hunt for Red October had begun.
Notes and Trivia
- Obviously, the Red October's name was taken from its namesake in the book and film The Hunt For Red October, in which it is a submarine which can move silently, and therefore, cannot be spotted when submerged.
- In case you are confused by the planets' and stars systems' names, I only take ones that proven to exist.
- The jump into hyperspace is inspired to braking the light barrier in Star Wars, and the Time Vortex in Doctor Who.
For the collective works of the author, go here.