Episode 9: Hidden Eclipse
The transport with the experimental shield finally arrived. They positioned themselves between me and the Starlance Legacy, which was about to fire. The other two cruisers were too busy with the assault happening around them to care much for what was going on in my area. Finally, the Legacy fired its hyper cannon. The beam of energy hit the transport. All the energy was successfully diverted, but at the cost of overloading every system. The transport didn’t have the necessary safeguards to protect itself and the overflow destroyed it. If the Legacy fired again, and it would, there was nothing to stop the beam.
I thought I would be ready for this. It felt like the end of a grand adventure. I thought of Dana and everyone else. Then I looked down. Systems were still offline, auto repair was engaged, but would most likely not finish in time. Suddenly communications went back up.
“Ivanov, this is Adrian. I’m dead in space. I can’t move and I need a pick up. Maybe I can fix the Star Shadow before the next group arrives, or else this will continue to be a slaughter”
“Hang on tight, we will do everything we can to help. I shouldn’t have to remind you that you owe me again, hah!”
The King’s Crown was positioned between me and the Legacy. I was rather shocked by such a selfless move from Ivanov.
“I know you can hear me, Adrian. I promised high command I would hunt you down personally and here I am. You will witness the slow painful death of the movement you defended back then. Afterwards I will see you annihilated by the Legacy’s main cannon”
They fired again. The King’s Crown was hit. Its shields were depleted and its engines failed. Some of my systems were back online. Scans indicated that another blast would come soon. They must have greatly improved the charging systems. Most likely a lesson from previous engagements. This time there would be no ships to interfere. No one was close enough to block. Yet, through some sort of miracle the shadow of a ship did indeed block me once again. This ship had just jumped into the system. When the Legacy fired its weapon, the energy was dispersed by the shield on this ship. After a thorough scan I was able to identify it. It was the Proxima Eclipse. Somehow Patricia was able to slowly repair its systems right under Starlance’s nose. They even added numerous upgrades. The Eclipse could now go toe to toe against the Supremacy class cruisers, and boy did it do a damn good job.
My ship’s systems came back online in the nick of time. I flew off toward one of the cruisers while riding the Proxima Eclipse’s shadow. Its shield protected me and others from more attacks by the Legacy. This was the turning point of the battle. A report arrived from the cruiser that was boarded. Mara and James were successful in capturing it and quickly turned its main weapon against the other. Starlance didn’t anticipate this and the other ship didn’t stand a chance. Now only the Legacy was left. I knew father wouldn’t give up, so I told everyone to muster their courage and converge on the Starlance Legacy.
Hours went by maneuvering around the enemy ship’s defenses. Its hyper cannon was no longer a threat, it was either blocked or could not get a proper lock on any targets. There were too many of us. Already some of their own fighters were abandoning the battlefield. Shortly after that an intercepted message arrived, Starlance High Command gave the order to retreat. It was now the Legacy against the Liberation Front’s fleet. The sheer number of ships was overwhelming and in a short time the Legacy was disabled.
After the battle Starlance High Command assigned negotiators to deliver the terms of their surrender. According to some new intel that we received, General Greer, my father, had basically taken control of Starlance by carefully picking the information that was reported to High Command. Of course, High Command had a lot of blame for the war. It was their own arrogance and aggressive methods that led to the colonies not wanting their service anymore. The security group had become more of a paramilitary arm that ran unopposed for decades.
I visited the brig on the Legacy, where my father was being held. He had resisted his arrest when his own soldiers tried to turn him over, despite the pleas from High Command. To me, he had simply gone over the edge. He became obsessed with power and this military life. This blinded pride eventually became his downfall.
“General Dalton Greer”, I stood right outside his cell.
“Why are you here? I don’t want to see you. Look at what you’ve done! Have you no shame?”
“This was your doing. I followed the path to justice. The one you showed me at some point many years ago. You were a hero of Starlance and the system when the colonies needed it. Now look at yourself”
“I did what I had to do. These rogues twisted the truth!”
“Stop lying! You pulled your family into this and now some are locked up too. You cared about nothing else but your career in Starlance. In the end mom knew what you were becoming”
“Don’t mention her! She is the reason you’re so weak!”
“You’re delusional. She is the reason I am strong. Stronger than you. I leave you, father. Grim days await you, and I won’t be here to see it. I hope I never see you again. You almost got me killed”
“Adrian… wait! Please, don’t leave! I… I’m sorry! Adrian!”
He knew that he would be spending a lot of time on his own. My sisters and my brother were mostly following orders, or at least that will be their defense. I’m sure they were also driven by pride and ambition. I feel like there are still some rough days ahead.