A short story I wrote, based off of a certain historical event, and tied to a short historical fiction piece i wrote!
..As Joseph Pavlik led his squadron of Damocles class missileboats towards the fusionpulse gate, he looked over his shoulder at the hundreds of other Damocles and Excalibur class vessels forming up for their own gatejumps, their sleek, almost shark-like hulls glistening in the light of X26-G13, the nearest star. The emblem of the Langrith empire shone out on some of their delta wings, its crossed swords brandished over a single golden shield. He prepped his missileboat’s pulsedrive, before nodding at his wingman, and entering the gate, heading for the Asopus system, and war.
The planet Fortuna wasn’t a planet persay. It was far too small to be a planet. Nestled in the rings of the gas giant Asopus, Fortuna was a small moon, mostly covered in blue-green seas. Its gravitational forces had made a small clear space in the rings, large enough for a fleet of warships to dock in. This gap had been taken advantage of by the Elysian Republic, who had colonised the little world that hid in the shadow of its leviathan neighbor. The gap had been quickly filled with large dry docks, storage tanks, and stations. Fortuna itself had become somewhat of a vacation world for the Elysian crewman when they were on shore leave. Several small towns had popped up on the planet, mostly along the shoreline. On the first sunday of the last month of the Elysian calendar, the 72nd Battle Fleet, under command of Admiral Patrick Mcdonough, was in port for refit and repair at Fortuna.
Patrick Mcdonough stood on the bridge of his flagship, the ERS Athena. He was a fitting presence there, one with authority. He could trace his lineage all the way back to Old Earth, where his ancestors fought in the United States Army Air Corp. The military was in his blood, and his crew knew it. On this particular day, He stood looking over his combat information display, at the twenty four ships scattered throughout Fortuna’s facilities, all under his command. There were three hundred small blue dots as well, sprinkled throughout the asteroids in small spindly lines. These dots represented Fortuna command’s defense force of Ceres Class fighters, all docked in their high capacity parking limbs. He glanced away from the console as he sat down, and looked out a nearby viewport at the Athena’s seven sister ships, sitting in a set of two straight lines across the gap from the Athena, their splendor and strength clearly evident against the backdrop of Fortuna’s topaz seas. He gazed at the ships for a few more moments before looking away and picking up a stack of E-Pads, and prepared to spend another uneventful sunday reading reports.
The computer in Joseph Pavlik’s Damocles came to life as they neared the Asopus System. He looked at the computer for a moment, before letting out a sigh, and opening up a channel to the rest of the Missleboats and Fighters, ordering them to warm up their weapons and prepare for re-entry into normal space. As he prepared his own weapons, he let out a heavy sigh, the weight of what he and his comrades were about to do, and about to start, finally hitting him. He rubbed his face, then ordered the attack force to cut engines as the the pulsedrive tunnel collapsed.
Asopus’ light blue clouds disguised a large molten iron core. This iron core, five times the size of the planet Earth, projected a massive magnetic field. This magnetic field disguised the pulsedrive tunnel collapsing on the far side of the planet from Fortuna. Asopus also hid the 420 tiny flecks coming out of that pulsedrive tunnel, as they approached the azure jewel nestled inside the ring of icy rocks that orbited the giant ball of gas.
Eveline Hersman guided her mining barge through the rocky maze of Asopus’ rings, navigating towards a particularly ore-rich clump of asteroids. As she neared the cluster, she saw several dozen bright flecks of light approaching her, not showing up on sensors. She shrugged the flecks off, assuming the navy was simply running exercises. As the flecks approached, and became small ships, she quirked an eyebrow. “Those ships don’t look right.” she thought. “Their shapes are all wrong.” As the ships grew close enough for detailed inspection, her eyes locked on the crossed swords and shield painted onto their hulls. “Those are Langrith ships!” Panic flew across her face, and she powered down the barge, save for the comm, which she used to try and contact Fortuna Command with a warning.
As the strike force approached Asopus’ orbit, Pavlik spotted a mining barge drifting in the gas giant’s retinue of asteroids. He let out a sigh, and motioned a couple times to his nearest wingman with his hand. The pilot gave a nod, and veered his craft towards the barge. The small strike craft descended upon the barge like a hawk, weapons hot, but instead destroying the lumbering defenseless giant, simply shot out its comm array. After making its pass, the strikecraft gently turned, and headed back towards the FusionPulse gate, its engines on lowest power levels to avoid detection.
Despite his best efforts, Admiral Mcdonough had dozed off in his command chair. He dreamed of his home on the planet surface, right on the coast of Fortuna’s pristine oceans. He and his small family were on the beach, his young son playing with the sand as he and his wife watched. The hours passed, and day turned to dusk as he and his family watched the massive blue orb of Asopus settle down under the horizon as Fortuna’s night cycle began. Suddenly, his dream world was shattered to bits as a klaxon blared out on the bridge. His eyes flew open and darted around, trying to figure out what was going on. The bridge was in chaos, alarms flashing and wailing, people scurrying about to their battle stations. He jumped up as a small blast shook the ship, and wobbled his way over to the C.I.D. As he leaned against it and studied the display, his eyes widened and he paled. For every blue icon on his screen, he saw at least four or five blood red icons racing around, attacking any and every ship in Fortuna’s Orbit. The Athena’s bridge shok again as another blast, at least twice the size of the first, shook the mighty giant to the core. Mcdonough’s eyes flew to the viewscreen, and his jaw dropped as the massive destruction being delivered upon Fortuna’s infrastructure became obvious. Flashes were going off all around from the sheer amount of laser fire pouring down on the defenders like a torrential downpour of angry red rain. Several smaller ships were listing uncontrollably towards Fortuna’s atmosphere, their lights and power conduits flickering, and most of the larger ships had clearly visible impact burns on their hulls, some of which were bleeding atmosphere. Then another Impact shook the Athena, and the viewscreen went dark.
The engines of Pavlik’s Damocles’ screamed as he dove towards an already battered fighter parking limb. He lined up his crosshairs on the rapidly approaching structure, and pulled the trigger. His missileboat shook a bit as he pulled up, verifying to him that he had hit the parking limb’s fuel storage, and most likely destroyed the structure. He then pulled up, and headed towards the center berth in the harbor, where eight lumbering Zeus Class Battleships lie in dock. He lined up his missileboat for an attack run on one of the battleships, with the name Ares painted onto the hull. He gave his missiles a few seconds to lock, before sucking in a breath, and pulling the trigger.
The Athena’s Viewscreen flicked to life, just long enough to give Admiral Mcdonough a view of the Ares being struck by two missiles. The mighty ship listed for a moment, before igniting into a massive fireball and ripping in half. The massive shockwave hit the Athena, and the ship shook, the screen flickering back out along with the lights, casting Admiral Mcdonough and his crew into darkness.
The news reports the next day were grim. Within two hours, 24,030 men had been killed by the Langrith attack. The most devastating blow was the loss of the Ares, along with 11,170 of her crew. The next morning, The Elysian Republic, under urging of their president, Fairfax Radburn, declared war on the Langrith Empire. Analysts were spouting off about how there hasn’t been a surprise attack against a naval base like this since Old Earth’s second world war, when the Japanese Empire attacked the naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, with results much like what occurred here at Fortuna.