Chapter... (Figure this out later cause you forgot. I've got to stop doing so many things at once. When is the last time I even turned off my PC. WTF is this, 165 updates available?)
Nexus saw the Carriers mass driver fire and he closed his eyes preparing his 1 second death speech, but the impact he felt did not feel like a ship destroying projectile. It wasn't until Mirage gasped that he opened his eyes. What he saw was something he would have never expected, or ever wanted to see.
Viper's ships turned end over end gutted from stem to stern with no power, no engines, and no sign of life. The only thing of them ship that was still active was the shield emitters, or the ones that were still functional, using backup power trying to reestablish a protective field around the tumbling wreck. A few lights blinked here and there, and Nexus watched as the ship took its final breath and everything stopped.
"No life signs detected" Mirage offered in an emotionless tone.
Nexus would have sunk in his seat with sorrow if it wasn't for the barrage of projectile scoring direct his on his ship shields. He blinked away his tears and brought the navigation panel to the forefront of his vision. "I want control of the ship" he gave in a serious tone. Mirage looked as if for a seconds to begin protesting, but simply offered that she would still control the guns and the drones.
The Engine Stabilization drones had no trouble being able to keep up with the ship as Nexus punched the throttle and headed towards the Human Carrier which was still oriented in his direction. Full speed on the ship was enough to outmaneuver the mammoth in a transverse direction but the interceptors were still keeping tabs with them.
The Carrier decided to fire it's secondary 22 2000mm projectile turrets at them, and all of them missed. The big ship could not move its guns fast enough to track the sleek battleship while moving at full speed. Mirage was kind enough to calculate how far the projectile were from hitting them, which was roughly about 10KM off target. Nexus grinned because now he knew that he would have to be going about ¼ his current speed for the Carrier to hit him.
Continuing on his transversal intercept course he was not within 25 kilometers of the Carrier, and it seemed now that the fasted of the human cruisers were after him. The interceptors began to lose range due to insufficient power and Mirage recalled the drones back into the ship. Nexus was expecting more to come in their place but Mirage said that there were no more in their immediate vicinity.
The Carrier fired again and missed by an even greater distance that Mirage decided was not worth calculating, and that she doubted that the ship could hit anything within its 10 KM radius moving or not.
The Harbinger vibrated slightly as the cruisers opened fire from the extreme 30 kilometer distance they were at. Most of them missed by a wide margin but the few shots that did hit them bounced off their shields.
"They are firing solid projectile now so they can better their range. They have a lot of mass but not so much speed. However since it's not a plasma it is causing more solid hits but not more damage." Mirage announced after seeing the confused look on Nexus's face.
At that nexus angled the rear camera to zoom in on Viper's ship which was now be towed by a five ship fleet of Force Shield ships. They were solid silver in color and about 1.2 kilometers long. They had small pinpoint defense lasers that were able to hit anything as close as 500 meters from the ships, but the impressive part was their shields. They quite literally had layers of shields that operated on different harmonic frequencies and distances from the actual armor of the ship. The shields were literally like a small stack of papers on top of each other with a gap no bigger than the maximum flex point of the shield layer above it. It was very similar to an old Earth plastic called polycarbonate that had been layered together to form a bullet proof material.
The Force Shield ships also had a few unique abilities to them which were developed specifically for their power plant. One was Shield Extenders, which would force the shields of the protector ship to connect with the emitters of the target ship. While this would offer a limited area of coverage, it could with enough ships be targeted to other Force Shield ships to create a giant protective bubble, which was in this case what they were doing. The second was Shield Transferring, which they could literally send their own shield to another shieldless ship if they were in range of the target ships emitter range. This was achieved by depolarizing the host's shield bubble by tuning it to the frequency of the target's ship, and then literally slips into the emitters' range where they would than pull it off the host before it collapsed and place it on itself. This would leave the host without shields temporally but the power plant was more than able to compensate after the initial drain. The bonus effect was that the target ship would have all the power and strength of the layered shields, but in a single overpowered layer. The negative effect was once it lost those shields the emitters would be fried from the overload.
Nexus watched as the fleet of enemies around the station focused fire on the recovery vessels, failing with their ignorant understand of the vessels. They weren't invincible but focusing fire in one spot did about as much could as not shooting them at all. Whichever ship the shield field extension belonged to, the ships not taking hits would transfer power to the one receiving them damage and boost its shield recharge rate.
Having no idea whether Viper was dead or alive, he could help but focus in the back of his mind about the thought. What was brought to his forefront was Mirage announcing it would optimal to put their ship in a fast 5000 meter orbit around the Carrier and look for a weak spot, which was something Human ships with their limited tech were famous for.
Mirage began her scan while nexus help an orbit of roughly 5000 meters going about 487 M/sec, a speed which was truly unbelievable in a ship this size in such a tight orbit. The ship was actually having less of a problem keeping the orbit than Nexus was trying to keep down his breakfast from 2 days ago.
The cruisers that had been following them fired again and Nexus watched as all the projectiles missed, some even hit the Carrier. However they would not be missing much longer since they were closing in at 15 kilometers.
"We need to move away now" Mirage announced right before a bright light reflected off of the Carrier and blinded him from seeing anything.
"Sir, shields are gone" Axel screamed over the alarms and internal explosions. "Armor is holding for now but their projectiles are slowly melting it away"
"The Harbinger has entered a 5000 meter orbit around the carrier" Moxxie called right after. "Main Lasers are overheated and exhausting. Point defense s lasers are reaching critical"
"Give me more details on this Harbinger" GP yelled over a loud thump a level below them
"Power coupling station 36-A destroyed. Harbinger is orbiting at 487 M/sec taking light fire from perusing cruisers firing solid compounds ." Moxxie replied back
"Sir, The Carrier is reorienting back towards us and charging its mass driver. Time until it fires..."
Axel didn't get to finish as all the lights in the station went dark and all the consoles went into a power loss standby mode. The station suddenly vibrated in a low rumble and all they could hear was a loud low roar of what sounded like a thousand battleships entering a planets orbit.
GP called for the backup systems to be switched on but Axel simply replied back that everything in the station was powered down.
Nexus felt the ship jerk out of orbit and accelerate away from the blinding light and turn about. When the light was no longer being seen through his closed eyes Nexus opened them seeing stars.
"What the hell was that light Mirage" he asked completely disoriented.
Mirage did not reply, and Nexus saw in front of him not just one A.I. but two. This second one, also a female, donned all white armor that appeared to be an artificial cloth that included a helmet with a dark red visor. Along the seams of the outfit strobed blue light that pulsed with a calm normalness. On the back of the female shaped A.I. she carried an S-72XT 60mm Long Range Concussion Rifle, which was almost as long as she was tall.
The new A.I. had her paw against Mirage forehead and both had their eyes closed. Mirage seemed frozen in place with no sign of movement at all while the other A.I. had her paw in place. They stayed like that for 10 seconds than the mysterious figure vanished.
"An Arbiter" Mirage replied. "That A.I. was providing me with instructions"
"That A.I. was called an Arbiter?" Nexus cocked his head
"No, what caused that bright light. Here look out the viewport"
As he did Mirage moved the ship to face what one could only imagine as impossibly sized. Nexus was looking at a ship that was at least 5 times the size of the station. It had the body design of a perfect wood splinter, curved and edged at the same time. It was well over 20 kilometers long and at least 2 or 3 kilometers high which gave it a slim-line appeal at a distance.
All around the vessel Nexus could make out larger human ships that had literally been ripped apart by what he wasn't sure. Nexus wasn't even sure how such a giant ship even entered the system. Before he had time to contemplate further he felt the engines of his ship rumble to full thrust and was pushed against his seat.
"Why are we heading directly into the path of the Arbiter" he managed to squeak out from his compressed lungs.
"Just hold on to your tail and try not make too much noise" was her response. If he didn't know better he would have said the A.I. might have been programmed with limited humor capabilities. However he found out shortly thereafter that Mirage was not being at all funny.
As his ship maxed out at full speed, he saw the Arbiter reveal large laser turrets from the inner part of the ship. He watch as the ports opened up and the turrets unfold themselves as they were pushed out from the inside of ship. They were larger and slower than any other weapon he had ever seen.
However that was not the only surprise the Arbiter held in store. Nexus watched as the ship literally separated into two halves to reveal a dual barreled monstrosity. It was far larger than the Carriers Mass Driver and no doubt exponentially more powerful.
Nexus watched as it glowed bright neon purple, and fired. Dual beams of colossal laser fire passed over their ship and hit the Carrier, going right through like a spit through a wild animal getting ready to be roasted. For a full 10 seconds Nexus watched the beam cut its way through, and the Carrier explode before the end of the laser's cycle.
After the massive dual laser cannon fired, Mirage put the Harbinger into a direct intercept course with the Arbiter. The cruisers that had been following them will still in pursuit and fired. 31 rounds of projectile ammo hit their shields and dropped them to 64%. They had 150 kilometers to go until they reached the Arbiter and nexus calculated the odds of them making it. It was 27 cruisers versus 1 superpower battleship.
With a sudden jerk Mirage send their ship into a series of barrel rolls and laser fired passed over them in all directions. The shield system blurted an alarm from the extreme heat produced by the pulsing purple lasers. He watched the aft camera as all the cruisers were effective blown out of existence. He switched back to the front camera and saw that only some of the massive laser turrets were firing in his direction. Most were focusing fire on the attack group at the station literally blowing everything save for the small interceptors to molten metal and scraps.
As Mirage weaved in and out of calculated laser fire, Nexus watch as the Humans tried attacking the Arbiter on a direct assault. They failed of course but what caught Nexus's attention more was the shield system of the ship. Rather than being covered by an invisible field, gunfire and other objected that hit the ship appeared to actually hit the armor, or so it seemed from the distance of over 75 kilometers. When objects hit the Arbiter, it seemed to cause a faint blue flash of light across the armor that rippled ever so slightly. Nexus pondered the possibility that the Arbiter was far the big for conventional shield systems, and they had to develop a special one for its case.
Nexus zoomed in on the station which appeared to be completely drained of any power. The Humans were no longer firing on it which left it in mild safety and he doubted that the Arbiter would let anything destroy the station.
"Mirage, are you able to give me some details on the Arbiter?" Nexus asked with genuine curiosity,
"Length is 22.3 Kilometers, height is 3.7 Kilometers, and width is 7.7 Kilometers. Weight is incalculable. Weaponry: 44 classified T-8457PT-1 Quad Beam Laser Turrets, totaling 176 beams; one classified T-9467PT-1 Dual High Density Light Accelerating Projection Cannon. Maximum burn speed of 92.6 M/sec. That's all I can tell you" Mirage replied as if reading a spreadsheet.
Mirage leveled out the ship in relation to the Arbiter and finished the 27 kilometer burn in silence. Nexus watched as the Human tried to flee the system in their damaged ships and fail. No more than 20 of the 346 ships were able to warp out before being captured or destroyed.
Mirage faded and the Arbiter's docking computer put a tractor on the Harbinger and docked it inside of one of the ancillary hangers were no other ships were currently docked. A team of technicians wearing red metallic armor entered the ship after Nexus stepped out. Turning around Nexus saw that the ship appeared like it had before he got in it, and he could not see any physical damage on the outside. No doubt however and he knew for a fact that the internal systems had taken quite a beating.
The thought of Viper sudden resurfaced in his mind but before he had time to panic and "fly off the handle" a young looking female malamute approached him and put her paw on his shoulder.