|More from Sep0815||Adventure||PG-13||None yet|
|A Race to Earth, Pt. 1|
3: Turned Tides
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 end the worlds involved.
Now, more than ever, ending the war is urgent, for that for both sides it is either victory or death, for that this war could be the end of all of mankind.
Previously in Avatar: The War of the Worlds
While on Earth Operation Phoenix fails horribly, and on Avatara, Arzowa manages to defeat the Reich's forces, and Rong's as well, Operation Aurora is executed in space.
For the sake of copper
The two men overlooked the map table, which currently depicted the Solar Sector, which was everything around the sun in a radius of fifteen lightyears.
"The almost effortless Allied advance through our territory mustn't be tolerated. I know that the war on Earth has priority, but as of now, the Allies have captured almost three quarters of our inhabited space, many of the captured planets now have declared themselves independent and decided to turn against us. Many of those are important mining worlds, like Tau Ceti f, the most recent capture, and also closest to the Sun. I am aware that it might seem trivial, but Tau Ceti f is the greatest producer of copper in the whole galaxy, and we need copper to make up recent losses. We've got enough of every other material, but we need copper. Therefore, I suggest a full-scale attack on the allied forces there, which consist of only a single space fleet, the European.", one of the two spoke, whose uniform designated him as the Reich's supreme military commander, Leonard T. Stuart.
"It seems like a good idea, but we mustn't underestimate their commanders. They have proven themselves very able despite their young age. They have gathered experience in their legendary victory in the Fyell' Shan War, and now also have the command over the Red October, a sister ship of the Nemesis. Thus, I would make use of the Germania, if necessary. Or rather do we need to capture the Red October, and copy their technology for our Germania. Then, we could- ", the other, his brownish uniform marking him as the Führer, Lloyd F. Johnston/Tanook, spoke until his right-hand man cut him off.
"Certainly not. I don't like the idea of a mission ending like your planned 'exhibit of firepower', when the Germania encountered the Red October in hyperspace. The Germania will stay back, it's too valuable for us to endanger. When victory over the Allied forces is achieved, it break their resistance by destroying their last strongholds, but before that, it will stay in the Solar System. Mein Führer, I fear my time is running short, and I must go now. Sieg Heil!", the former minister decided sharply, before leaving the bunker where just only a week prior the European Grand Admiral and his companions had attempted to capture the Führer. But he called his second-in-command, urging him to stop, "Explain why none of the ICBMs arrived in Europe."
Stuart turned around briefly to explain, "Because of the Intercontinental Missile Defence System which was set up when the Federative Republic of European Nations was founded. It makes a missile strike against any part of Europe impossible, as long as the missiles are fewer than a thousand. I really have no time, Sieg heil!"
The Führer turned around as well and became furious, "WHY WAS I NOT EDUCATED ABOUT THIS? THIS WOULD HAVE ASSURED TOTAL VICTORY!"
Total victory will come. It will come., was all he thought afterwards, After the Great Battle of Tau Ceti f.
Anna paced around on the Nemesis' bridge, murmurring frantically. "The League was far too passive recently. They surely plot something. We're the closest to Earth, we surely are the target. We must prepare for defence immediately. We- "
"Anna, we're out of fuel for both our propulsions and our reactors. We can't do anything until the transport comes back from the Gliese 876 system, then we'll have at least enough to fly to Earth, but no further. As of now, we only have enough hydrogen to battle for about one and a half hour, and that if it's not too intense. We're just defending a mining world.", Olaf, who had been sitting on the rotable captain's chair in the bridge's centre cut her off mid-sentence. She shot him an angry glare, and returned to murmurring, only that this time, she did it silently. Olaf had brought an old map of the Solar Sector, and laid it over the map table, taking out three pencils of the colours red, black and blue, and marked their own position with red, as well as numbers and similar data, before he marked the Reich's current position in black, and then began thinking of any possible defensive deployment, as Anna joined him. "So you too believe we're gonna be attacked?", she asked in an innocent voice, receiving a smile as an answer, followed by a nod, "Yes. But I know that you know the perfect strategy, or so I hope... "
"Of course I do!", Anna grinned, and turned to face him and embraced him briefly, before the two walked to the bridge's back, where three big levers were situated on the wall, which they pulled all at once. With the ship's electric circuit closed, the electronics started working, and the whole ship came to life. "Now all we need is the crew... "
"Sir, the planet appears to bear rings. It might be hard to reach it from the outside."
"No, if you'd studied astronomy, then you'd know that rings are flat. Or even if not, this is basic knowledge nowadays! The planet won't be a problem once the European Space Fleet is destroyed." Stuart's voice remained calm as their fleet approached the planet via hyperspace. It wasn't a long way, but still it had taken them several hours already, but the planet would fall, the League would capture facilities capable of constructing spaceships, and forge a new force, and defeat the Allies' while divided, Stuart assured himself. But still, the fact that the same commanders he would encounter that day were the same as in the Kepler 22 system worried him greatly.
All capital ships of their Space Fleet stood erect, alike the space shuttles of old, on huge concrete surfaces, explosives planted beneath each of them. The crews were all present, and on board, which was made possible by the turned-on gravity, and ready for take-off.
"In order to save electricity for the battle, we need to save anti-matter fuel, and only turn the most necessary stuff on, such as life-support systems, gravity, and shields. We will take off with a combined blast of mining explosives and our main propulsion, the space propulsion that is. The ships will then overcome the planet's gravity field by flying upwards - and rotating with the planet of course - with our main engine. Once we're out of the atmosphere, we turn the engines - except the supportive ones, and make use of the fact that there is nearly no friction in space. Then, to even accelerate further, we will make a so-called swing-by, which is to make use of a planet's gravity by flying past it in a hyperbola-formed trajectory, to, as said accelerate. Then, when the swing-by is completed, we'll likely run into the League's forces if our calculations are correct.", Anna explained to the ships' crews, before retreating from the microphone on the Nemesis' bridge, and taking a walkie-talkie, ordering, "Blast it!"
The explosives detonated in a blast of light and dust, at the same time as the ships' engines fired up, and the dozens of ships rose into the sky, slowly at first, but gaining speed as they gained distance. Soon, the spacecraft had left the mining planet's troposphere, beyond which they encountered far less resistance, and therefore could restrain their propulsions' without their velocity decreasing. After a fight of half an hour against the planet's gravitational pull, the ships left its atmosphere and, after ceasing their engines, began their swing-by manoeuvre. They entered the planet's rings, and that gave Anna an idea. "Olaf, I think I just got the battle plan. You see those chunks of ice, rock and whatnot? I think it could give us some cover when Stuart arrives, and, if we are very lucky, might even destroy some of his older ships. What do you think?"
"Sounds like a plan to me.", commented Olaf, suggesting, "Also should we probably make a strike to open the battle, in a..."
"Nuclear way, I guess?", Anna's remark was met with a nod, as the ships continued their manoeuvre. Suddenly, a flash of light in great distance signalled the enemy's arrival.
"Time to test your plan's practicability!", Olaf commented as their ships swiftly approached in several columns, forming a great target.
"Alright then, prepare nuclear strike. I repeat, all ships, fire all nuclear missiles! Target individual ships, if possible everywhere in their formation, to wreak the greatest possible havoc.", Anna commanded the other ships' crews, and only seconds afterwards, the many doors concealing the missiles slid open, and revealed different kinds of missiles, each and every one of them able to make an area of the size of Iceland uninhabitable for a century. These were primed, the ships carrying them gliding through space with little to no resistance, just before their engines fired up, starting with a spark at first, propelling dozens of warheads towards their target, their source staying almost unnoticed.
"Sir, we've got incoming! It's about- ", the officer at the radar started, but was cut off by a detonation in their fleet's centre. Soon, another at their left wing followed, only to be drowned in the next one's fireball, which resulted from a battleship's destruction in the back of the right wing. The soundless explosions increased in quantity, and only few of the missiles could be registered before they hit their respective targets.
"Find out where they come from! It's one of those stratagems our enemy tends to make use of, find out where they are!", Stuart shouted angered, "We need to know their whereabouts if we want to annihilate them!"
A close detonation, seemingly the last, rocked their flagship - the Bavaria, yet another of the Germania's sister ships - heavily, just as one of the officers by the radars seemed to have found something, "Sir! The instruments pick up a slight disturbance from a section of the rings at the planet's other side, moving forward at a moderate pace, slowly picking up speed. I think this might be them."
"Very well then, I believe we shall strike back. We need to part into two for that. One division of our force hunts them, and the rest encounters them on their trail.", Stuart announced, turning to the radios to address the respective fleets' commanders, "The Fleets of the Solar, the 55 Cancri and CoRoT-7 Sectors will form a task force, localise and hunt the Europeans down. The Fleets of both Americas, Oceania and Africa will be given the exact coordinates of the enemy force, and will encounter them. Now assemble into said task forces, and find the enemy!"
"Uh, ma'am, the enemy seems to have localised us. Several dozen capital ships are on the way towards us. Also does it seems that the rest of Stuart's forces try to intercept us, as they are assembled in a broad formation.", an officer stated, addressing Anna, who stood in the bridge's front to observe the happenings. She narrowed her eyes at the news, and spoke, angry but calm, "Annihilate those following us. They made a mistake to part their force."
The Wait for Fuel
Shells emerged the hundreds of coil guns' barrels, all aimed at the ships following. The European volley came quite surprising, though not as surprising as the nuclear bombardment before. The three Space Fleets approached the European in two lines of battle, and fired a broadside, but the ships they were aimed for dove under the strikes, in most cases only a few metres. The European ships then aimed their guns upwards at the ships' less protected bellies, and fired, at first with little effect, but the second volley was a success, as of the oldest ships the armour and the inner hull gave in to the explosions, and, as in some cases, were deemed useless. The fleets then returned the fire, heavier than before, and was met, little surprisingly after the preceding actions, with the respective other line formation. Both halves of the task force were decimated heavily by friendly and simultaneous enemy fire, and retreated to chasing after the European Space Fleet. The beauty with which the enemy ships exploded made Anna smile, but also reminded her of the task at hand, to defend Tau Ceti f against the League's forces, whose majority was awaiting the order to surround them. Their manoeuvre, a swing-by, was, however, far from finished, and they still were accelerating. This gave Olaf an idea, which he immediately told Anna, a little too cheerful, "How about we just break through their lines, leave the planet to them and strike back once we've got our fuel?"
Anna seemed skeptical of his plan, "Stuart is no fool, unfortunately. He'd likely anticipate this, and hit us with full force while we try to break through. So, I guess... no."
"You've got a better plan?", Olaf countered as the enemy units closed in, already aiming. His response was met with Anna shaking her head in denial. She walked to the radios and commanded each of their ships, "Comrades, brace yourselves for breaking through the enemy formation. We'll need to activate our propulsions again, and to fire into all directions! But please consider- "
Her order was cut off by a shell hitting the Nemesis' antenna, destroying all means of communication outside the ship. The whole battleship shook as its engines fired up again and shook again as all calibres fired at the now surrounding enemy forces, which returned the favour. The ships shot through, a shell hitting its strong armour then and now, but not managing to damage any crucial part of the ship. The first of the Allied ships escaped the closing siege-like lines, followed by many others, in fact every of them. The ships continued to glide through the vacuum after the engines had ceased their action, and the League's forces descended upon the planet. Anna couldn't help but to jump in the air and then briefly embrace Olaf for the plan's success, at the very least to that point. After releasing the fellow Admiral, she stated, a hint of sadness in her voice, "Now we only have to wait for our transport to arrive... "
"Sir, if I may ask, what are you doing?", a high-ranked officer approached Stuart. His response was, as always, calm and direct, "Finishing our mission. It's just another of their stratagems, and I know it. They will come back, and when they do, their praised Space Fleet is going to be drowned in our fire. They'll come, and we'll be waiting."
Anna groaned as none of the communication officers could establish any kind of connection with any of the other ships, while Olaf held a watch for a flash of light signalling the arrival of their transport vessels.
"Then go outside and repair it! We need to inform them that we are not on the planet anymore!" Anna had lost her temper and shouted at the officers fiercely, before walking away, joining Olaf in his watch, the officer she had shouted at in particular stating, "Well, we cannot do that with the current level of... Well, anything!"
Anna ignored it, and gazed outside, into the black dotted with light, bitterly commenting, "And somewhere out there is Earth... And maybe peace, too."
Olaf nodded in agreement, just as a flash of light appearing just at the Nemesis' larboard side. All turned around to see what it was, and only could cheer at the fact it were their transport vessels that had embarked to retain fuel for both their propulsion and their reactors, and apparently they had popped out of hyperspace just under their nose.
"Now the party starts for real!", Olaf shouted, cheerfully, only to be reminded by Anna, "Ahem, we still need to fix our antenna, then the party, as you call this battle, will start."
Notes and Trivia
- The reason for the Battle of Tau Ceti f is similar to the one of Gettysburg, which broke out because the Confederate soldiers lacked proper footwear.
For the collective works of the author, go here.