Preludes to War --
The infinity that is space, a world filled with serene light, uncountable stars in the deep darkness and with dying and forming stars abounds with many life forms. Yes, space is alive. The entire universe, our galaxy, and even the many solar systems are filled with many such life forms. They are filled with many that love, aspire and fight in war, and there are others that are peace loving. Many forms of life are in the universe, and they live scattered throughout its cold vastness.
It is far out in the depths of space, out past the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy and in the first cluster of the Andromeda region that this story begins. It is on the second planet, an earth-like planet that orbits a large red giant star and in a tight oval shape to come close to the star itself. The planet itself is earth-like in conditions, being that of a L Class planetoid from which it is made up of the same elements found on Earth, with the exception the surface is covered mostly by land, almost 75% and only 25% seas. The huge landmasses cover the globe, and the seas are a tinted green from the excessive algae found in the seas because of the excessive temperatures, tropical to searing, because of its orbit.
The planet is populated by the Pollex people a humanoid race that like humans, are terrain in appearance with an upright stance, two legs and arms, a cranial brain and two forward set eyes. They are lean and muscular, and excessively dark, due to the searing temperatures, and live in the high mountains in the northern or southern hemispheres outside of the tropical zone. They are war-like, industrious people, advanced on the level B+ on the space rating by the Federation. The Pollex are ruled by a ruler, a cruel pagan king named Nepharius, who in his own right is a lich-like appearance, with showing skeleton, a yellowish tinge and black colored eyes.
He has ruled for more than three centuries, the life cycle of the people very long in comparison to a human, and today was the anniversary of his long rule.
King Nepharius could have given a damn about that too. He glared at his generals, white froth dribbling from his lips as he screamed at them for their failure to defend their system against the invaders from Earth, who established a colony world known as system 232 that is in the secondary cluster of the K Class Galaxy of Andromeda.
“You all have failed me for the last time, to repel the invaders to our home.” He rasped, “This plan needs to work or I shall have you executed with slow torture, proceeding before it.”
“My Lord, we are not much of a match for the Earth Ships, and they come in peace, bringing trade and commerce to our outer colony worlds in our section of the Andromeda Galaxy and the planets we conquered.” A general said.
“Silence! They are the enemy and must be eliminated!” The King spat, “You fail, and I’ll have your head!”
“But sire, if we cause a war with our nearest neighbor who is stronger, we might lose this war.”
“Enough, you are both dismissed.” The King rasped and pointed a crooked finger at the men.
“Let’s go Serves.” The other General said, “The king is right, we need to get to the space fleet and attack at once.”
“Right behind you, Maximus.” Serves replied and both men bowed formally to the king before turning with a swish of their cloaks and walked toward the exit of the room.
As they walked toward the door, both were deep in thought, headed to a strategy brief with the space fleet Admirals who would be attacking Earth Fleet and his landing against the Earth Forces on Andromeda Colonies belonging to Earth.
This was their region and they had to do something before the Federation moved in and overtook their space they called free space.
Serves grimaced at such thoughts, and yet he had his orders. He walked with Maximus toward the briefing room in the castle and as they entered the door, they had a combat group waiting for them in which they would be sending to take the planet station on the surface of System 232, in Andromeda’s secondary nucleus cluster. They humans even had the audacity to establish an alliance with the local planets located in the region as well, their neighboring planets and solar systems nearest to their bases.
“We start this briefing now, to plan to counter assault the human’s station that has been established in our space.” Maximus said solemnly, “I have the king’s authority to authorize attack at once.”
“At what range?” A voice asked snidely, and the General just glared at him.
“Point blank, range Commander.” A voice said and they turned to the voice, standing quickly as the Lich King entered the room.
“Majesty, we are playing with fire, taking on the Earth ships.” A commander said, “We are not powerful enough to take them on unless in mass force.”
“I will be going with you; we have control of a traitor of the Earth ships that knows a weakness.” The King spat, “With his help we will be able to defeat them.
“When shall we depart majesty?” Another voice asked, “Who is this traitor?”
“Me!” A soft voice said, and turning they saw a prisoner, clad in chains and dirty rags being forced to enter with two guards, “I know the Federation codes, and will lead you to victory!”
“Silence slave!” A soldier grumbled and backhanded him, making him yelp.
”Be silent.” The soldier grumbled, seeing the King’s disapproval of their harshness, “Be respectful of his majesty.”
“Majesty, the Federation will come in force to protect their colony world here. They will enter through Cigna Minor on approach to Andromeda Galaxy and System 232 through the asteroid ring.” He pointed at the map display on that made up the table.
“We should attack here when they emerge from the asteroids.” Admiral Taro boomed, “We will have them trapped in the asteroids if we attack on both sides, they won’t have a clear way to shoot their Wave Cannon at us.”
“Pass that onto the fleet, and we attack the colony and lure the Earth fleet to their doom!” The King spat, and pointed his bony finger, “Failure will not be tolerated. Any soldier who fails will lose their head!”
“Yes Majesty, with this strategy, we cannot fail!” General Maximus boomed, kicking the traitor, “Now that we have an inside source to our enemies.”
At the space port, the fleet sat on the tarmac, large ships on their massive landing legs. Carriers, Destroyers, Battle-Cruisers, Star Cruisers, right down to a few ships readied for takeoff. In orbit a great fleet massed near the moon of Nevus that orbited their planet. Slowly the ships rose up from the surface, higher and higher until they reached orbit. On the Battleship Fakir, King Nepharius sat in his golden throne as he watched the crew scurry about the bridge, the Commander of the ship shouting orders and outside, the ships turning in formation to head toward the moon and the awaiting task force there.
“Make ten space knots, and turn to course zero five one mark three.” The Commander said, “Signal all ships to follow us.”
“Yes sir.” The Communications officer said, and hit a button or two on the massive console before him.
“Attention all ships, form up on Battleship Fakir and make five knots toward taskforce two.” The Communications officer said sharply, “Acknowledge.”
There was chatter and a beep on his console.
“All stations acknowledge, Sire.” The Communications officer reported.
“Let’s get on with this.” King Nepharius rasped, with a hissing voice.
Out in space, the fleet moved toward the other ships that surrounded the moon, and when they formed up they began their trek toward an unsuspecting planet 232 belonging to the Earth Federation, established in the new century as war was about to start to fight over a new era in Pollax history. All Hail and destroy the Earthlings! Came the cry and the fight was about to begin.
Meanwhile, a fleet massed at New Paris, the first colony located between Earth and Andromeda. It was established in the year 2124 A.D which is the first planet seen by the Hubble telescope during the twenty-first century. It is a planet classified as a super Earth, in which it is much larger than SOL’s Earth. It is mostly land masses, with seven major land masses, making up seventy percent of the planet with great seas making up thirty percent of the planet. It has a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, with a few elements of Argon, Helium and Hydrogen.
On the surface of New Paris, there is a variety of environments, ranging from tropical to searing in temperatures with massive forests, jungles, and large mountains that make up the land masses of the planet. At the poles, the planet has ice caps that are like SOL’s Earth, which are uninhabitable and hostile. The planet itself has a range of life forms, of mammal type creatures, large reptiles, and various insect life forms not unlike Earth.
Many cities have been established on this world, mostly in the Tropical to Temperate zones of the planet, the sub tropical zones uninhabitable in the winter months. The zone has extreme temperature changes that make the climates hostile to human-kind without pressure domes and environmental control units that depend on the region of the planet.
The planet itself also has three moons that orbit it, rocky planets that have several unremarkable ores that are utilized by the Earth Colonies located on the planet. The third planet is mostly ice, called Thor, the other two are rocky mountainous worlds that resemble the planet mercury, the innermost planet of SOL System in the Milky Way. They are known as Hermes, and Apollo after the Greek Gods of Earth. Hermes and Apollo have the established mining bases and lunar bases like on the Moon at Earth in Sol.
It is near the moon Hermes, out in Space, where a massive fleet of Earth orbits the planet.
Sitting on the Aircraft Carrier Class Starship, Captain Don McDonald of the U.S.S. Essex, a large massive ship that resembles the ancient Aircraft Carriers of Earth’s seas, sits in the middle of multiple ships around it. This taskforce, known as Taskforce twelve, is one of two assigned fleets to protect this world. The other assigned to this Earth station that orbits the planet and his ship ordered to investigate the reported attacks of the Andromeda Colonies in system 232, known by a number by the Earth military.
“Captain McDonald to all ships, form up on the flag ship and await orders to leave New Paris to Andromeda Colony 232.” He ordered, “All stations acknowledge.”
Here he glanced at the Communications officer, a young woman named Barb Campbell, a newcomer to the fleet and on her fifth assignment in the fleet of deep space. There was a beep on her console and he watched as she hit the buttons on her console, then turned to nod.
“All stations acknowledged, Captain.” She replied, “Ready to depart.”
Captain McDonald glanced at Admiral Fox, a wiry middle-aged man with white hair and steel gray eyes, clad in the familiar white uniform of the EDC Admiralty.
“At your Command, Admiral.”
“Proceed at Warp two.” The Admiral ordered, “Course, three one, five Mark four.”
“Yes Admiral.” Captain McDonald replied turning to the helmsman, Lieutenant Felps sitting at his console on the sprawling bridge.
“You heard the man.”
“Aye sir, making warp two at three one five, mark four.” The helmsman repeated.
“Navigator, ETA to Andromeda?” The Captain asked.
“Sixteen hours, twenty-one minutes.” The feline Navigator replied, nodding to the Captain.
“Very Good, Captain you have a good crew.” The Admiral complimented politely and there were smiles about the bridge.
Out in space, the fleet slowly moved away from the planet. Their course is heading to System 232, where New Thalos is located, neighboring their allies, the Kalosian people who live in on the third planet of the system, while the fourth planet is the Earth colony.
War is about to start and the fleet travels unsuspectingly into a trap that is set by the massive fleet of the Pollax people.
“Any orders the contrary, Admiral?” Captain McDonald asked, and the Admiral nodded.
“I am assigning U.S.S. Floyd and Hawkins, a couple of Space Destroyers to stay on station and escort the Freighters to the edge of the solar system.”
“Hmmm the Hawkins is Bert Mancoda’s ship.” Captain McDonald said, “He’s not going to like this assignment.”
“He’s the most experienced Destroyer Captain we have. I’d rather have him minding things here.” Admiral Fox ordered, and the Captain nodded to the Communications officer who hit the button on her console.
“Flag ship to Hawkins, Stand by to take operational orders and stand down.” Captain McDonald said, “Take station to Hermes and ensure the freighters gets to Earth.”
“Hawkins acknowledges.” A voice said.
“Floyd, acknowledged.” Another voice said.
The ships turned away from the fleet and circled back toward the moon Hermes and Apollo as a slow freighter rose up from the surface of the planet.
Meanwhile, a Stealth Class Starship sat cloaked nearby as it observed the fleet leaving Earth. On the compacted bridge that Captain Fervius sneered as he watched the ships slowly make their way to the edge of the solar system of New Paris.
“Fools.” He thought, and turned to the robotic Communicator.
“Inform the fleet by code of the departure of the Earth Fleet from observation craft seventeen.” Fervius ordered, and the robot touched the console.
“Stay put, keep the shields and cloaking at maximum.”
“Aye.” The helmsman and navigator replied, both touching the consoles quickly. The ship held its position, hiding behind the icy moon of Thor the third moon in orbit around the New Thalos Colony.
Little did the Earth fleet know they were being shadowed and examined by the observation ship, the numbers counted and relayed picture to the fleet where the Admirals and King himself watched in greedy haste as their fleet neared the asteroids of System 232, readying themselves for the attack that would surprise the Earth fleet.
A battle brews as the two fleets head on their way, one to take the system, the other to defend it. It is where no-one knew the outcome of this conflict, and where the winner would be won by the sheer force of will between two forces. It would decide the outcome to the allied planets to the Federation, if the Earth fleet lost this battle and here they would be conquered by the Pollax fleet.
A dark times lays ahead as the war machine encroached on the peaceful systems in the secondary nucleus of the K Class star of Andromeda and the only fleet to stop them is the Earth Fleet. Victory or Death? The Earth fleet’s stance is clear, they must win, but they are outmatched and outgunned and unsuspecting to the danger ahead.
To Be Continued ---