Shipmaster [Part 1]
Date: 17 June 2004, 11:13 PM
This indeed is a tie-in to my Fall of Fate series. However it takes place 4 years afterward, being that FoF occurred during the Year 2548. Since many of you haven't read the Fall of Fate, this story does not rely on any of it's plot points. Therefore, you will not have any trouble reading it. Enjoy and please post some comments.
Wkehu stared out of the ten by ten window of his dimly lit observation room into the void of space. Thousands of stars spread out as holes of light in the overwhelming darkness. They were so small. He raised a finger, which had previously been part of the arm folded across his chest, to the edge of the window. Rubbing pieces of encrusted mold off the edge between the large glass pane and the cold wall, he cursed the cleaning crew for their lack of attention towards detail. This was the only comfortable room in the destroyer-class battleship. Penance of the Prophets had served, and continued to serve as the Shipmaster's home for the past twenty-three years. The Elite was past his younger brother's rank of Fieldmaster, his armor was upgraded from gold with black sub-colors to white with pale blue sub-colors. Wkehu 'Krrana was in direct relation with the high Prophets, he demanded respect from all subordinates.
'Krrana's deck crew of eight consisted of only the best; he raised them from novices to the elite tactical group they were today. He knew he could trust them and their judgment; he respected each member as an individual, something unique for a Covenant military leader. Thus, it was no surprise that the Penance of the Prophets sported one of the greatest records a Covenant destroyer ever had. Never, in all of the twenty-three years of service, had Penance the need to turn for any major repairs, nor had it reached hull damage less than 83 percent. All of 'Krrana's officers were adorned with silver armor, distinct to highly efficient naval personnel.
"Sir," the youngest of Wkehu's crew, 'Laikosee, slid open the doors to the dim room and spoke coolly. "We are approximately ten hour units to our objective. I suggest you get some sleep before tomorrow's action."
"Tell me, 'Laikosee, how do we know when it's day and when it's night in space?" the Shipmaster said icily and he didn't shift his gaze from the window, he knew it was 'Laikosee just from his pace upon entering the room.
"Well, Sir, we have our unit measurers, they tell us the time," 'Laikosee answered frankly.
"What if we didn't, what if they didn't work? How could we know?" 'Krrana responded calmly.
"Well, sir," he stuttered. "Well, we could tell by our strength, I suppose. When we are tired we know we must sleep, therefore we know it is night.
"Yes, I suppose," 'Krrana turned from the window and shifted his gaze to the dark blue floor, taking a few steps forward toward 'Laikosee. When he was only a few steps from the young Elite he looked up into his eyes and said: "When technology fails you, always turn toward instinct. Do not rely solely on that one great talent your mind has developed. Leave some work for the Engineers." At that 'Krrana squeezed the Elite's shoulder paternally.
"I understand fully, sir."
"Then you get some rest. I know how long you've been working, go to sleep. That is an order," Wkehu said without the authority and sternness expected from a leader of his status.
"Yes, Sir. I also came to inform you that I've discovered how to boost our slipspace power for extra subspace time. I've converted some of our electrical power to the light-generators; I have the Engineers working on the changes now. The lights may seem lower than usual, though," 'Laioksee said. 'Krrana look up towards the ceiling where the room's dim light was originating.
"As you can tell I don't live in much light regularly anyway," 'Krrana said with humor.
"Yes, Sir," with that 'Laikosee slipped through the automatic doors with a small grin. 'Laikosee was the top technician of 'Krrana's deck crew. He didn't actually build anything, but he was brilliant. 'Krrana feared that 'Laikosee rode on his brilliance a little too much.
Drrana walked over to a holo-pad and looked over his course again. He reread his major and backup plans, checked the weapons' status, and finally looked at the amount of slipspace charge remaining. Penance just came out of subspace only an hour before, they could've stayed in it longer, but 'Krrana needed the generators to get to Earth after they rendezvoused with Shipmaster 'Pociviee's fleet. 'Pociviee was commander of the assault carrier Bane of Darkness, the sister ship of the ex-assault carrier, Judgment.
'Krrana yawned, yes it was time for sleep. He sent for an Engineer to come and reapair the problem with the communications signal, he'd been receiving garbled transmissions and static every time he tried to contact Covenant High Command. While the Engineer floated in and began to work, 'Krrana fell asleep to the click of sparks in a hover chair for three hours units. When he awoke, he knew that it was time to get ready for the day's events.
Shipmaster [Part II]
Date: 7 July 2004, 2:23 AM
Shipmaster: Part II, Rendezvous
An hour had passed since 'Krrana awoke, and 'Pociviee's fleet was in sight, the Elite began transmission between the ships.
"This is shipmaster Wkehu 'Krrana requesting speech with shipmaster Cada 'Pociviee onboard assault carrier Bane of Darkness." Upon hearing this, Cada immediately opened the channel, although he commanded a bigger ship, 'Krrana commanded a higher rank. Their armor's color difference demonstrated this quite clearly.
"Contact granted, this is shipmaster Cada 'Pociviee. Human perimeter defense forces have been sighted sixteen-thousand mile units from our position; one infidel destroyer and two frigates. We are awaiting your orders, Shipmaster," Cada replied.
"Acknowledged, 'Pociviee. We are currently taking point of the fleet. You will follow us until we are approximately one thousand miles from the human's. From there we will deal with the enemies, all you must do is deploy a squad of twenty Seraph fighters to accompany us. You're assistance will not be needed in this scrimmage, you must conserve energy for the attack at our final destination. That is all," 'Krrana responded.
"Understood," was Cada's reply. At that, the warships advanced on the three human ships.
'Krrana stepped out of the ship's control room and into the dropship bay, where thirty black armored Elites were waiting.
You know your orders, board the human ship and capture the captain and his crew. Leave any who stand in your way dead. Go to the boarding crafts," at that the troopers shouted a Hugh! and stormed into the boarding crafts. When they were two thousand miles from the enemy ships, 'Pociviee followed his orders diligently and twenty sleek Seraph fighters followed Providence as she separated from the bulk of the fleet. 'Krrana's command room was different from most, almost all other Covenant warships. Lining in a half circle around the back of the control room were seven chairs accompanying battle stations installed in the wall. Towards the front of the room was a single seat, from a birds-eye view the control room resembled a bizarre umbrella. In the center of the circular room was slightly raised platform where he stood 'Krrana, surrounded by a maze of holographic floating glyphs. Each battle station was set aside for his eight crew members, the best of the best mentioned earlier. From the outside of the umbrella working inward clockwise the crew members will be named.
The seat placed ends of the half circle on opposite sides of the room were reserved for the cousins Ebo 'Rasposee and Weo 'Jasposee, heavy weapons commanders. They wielded the ships most destructive weapons, Ebo controlling Providence's left heavy guns, while Weo held the right. The cousins were bound by loyalty to each other, as well as to 'Krrana. Standing as eight foot six and eight foot five, the cousin's were the largest and strongest of his crew. Usually the cousin's were placid, but when the other or the ship was in danger, they would fight with a fierceness and aggression that would make the bravest human or Elite cower.
To the right of Ebo sat Roij 'Indulee, commander of the smaller hull guns on the left side of the ship. He was the darkest and quietest of the crew, usually never found in good humor and only laughing when appropriate or necessary. His attitude, however, was backed by good reason. His past was filled with terrible memories that would lead most into insanity; it was quite hard for him to dance with a demon on his back.
To his right sat the brilliant mechanic and engineer Elite crew member mentioned previously, Soleb 'Laikosee. His station was filled the most complicated holographic glyphs, which gave him access and control over everything from atmosphere of the ship's interior to the ships central fusion core. He also had control of the ship's left side flank cannons. At the tip of the umbrella was Wern 'Nogaree, the ship's navigator. He was bound by a strong adherence to the Covenant religion and the Prophet's teachings, but he was more strongly truthful to his loyalty given to Penance and her cause. More exactly, he was loyal to 'Krrana.
The Elite to 'Nogaree's right was the director of communications, Ieben 'Wieloee. His main job, other than fire the right flank cannons, was simple, retain contact with High Charity throughout all battles, constantly sending updates. His other, more interesting and enjoyable job was broadcasting threat messages to human ships; letters contain sacred phrases "written by the hands of the War Prophets of old", to 'Wieloee it was all Covenant Religious garble. 'Wieolee himself was a skeptic, though he would never, ever dare even hint at infidelity in the slightest tenor of his voice. He knew how skeptics were dealt with, there were plenty of other fervent Elites available to take his place. The Prophets could care less about the life of a potential trouble-maker. The last Elite to be mentioned in the umbrella's main portion before retuning to the right side heavy weapon's commander, Weo 'Jasposee, was Posna 'Ebikee. Posna command the hull guns opposite of 'Indulee's. He did have a strong loyalty to the Prophet's, but less to 'Krrana, trait that took the Shipmaster only the first five minutes of a battle to sense, and later fully grasp.
At the "handle" of the umbrella sat Jaka 'Kikozie. In front of him was splayed a large screen containing a HUD. In the center of the screen was a targeting reticule, for his job was control of the nose guns. His nervous and twitchy personality created a perfect trigger happy Elite, which many would classify as a nutcase. He was now flicking a button on his ergonomic control sticks, panning through several different shaped reticules, each one pertaining to different weapons. Jaka was deciding which device was perfect for the battle's first shots, warning shots. At last the nervous alien stopped at an odd looking rectangle with two smaller circles in the left and right sides of the shape. He was calm now, as the atmosphere became heavy with pre-game anxiety. It passed like a disease from Elite to Elite.
The only steady one was 'Krrana, he knew they would not fail him, and he knew what had to be done. With his fore-left arm resting against the small of his back and his right hand diligently patting out commands to the Seraphs in the maze of glyphs which surrounded him, 'Krrana's face let no outward hint the thoughts which passed through his head. He turned to face Jaka's station.
"On my order, fire on the frigates. Shoot to intimidate, to kill, yet," 'Krrana said.
"Yes, Shipmaster," with a click of his mandibles Jaka acknowledged the commander's orders and he turned to grip the control sticks. The three human ships came into full view, Jaka's grip tightened. The infidel destroyer sat in the center of the three ships, the frigates on it's left and right.
"Now 'Krrana whispered. Jaka toggled the sticks so that the rectangle rested on the front of the left side destroyer and he fired. A thump echoed throughout Penance's hull. He quickly twisted the sticks and fired on the right frigate. In a only matter of seconds two thin green beams of plasma sliced through Space's lifeless black, screaming toward each human ship.