An excerpt from my second book 'Twin suns of Carrola'! Don't forget to check the first one here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079K62S78 For the taz'aran flight leader, this was his very first combat operation. He couldn't believe his luck when the assignment orders came – not only he, and the best pilots from the academy were in one squadron but his Lord Captain was the Glorious Omasa himself! The younger taz'aran officers basically idolized him, and he very well knew why. The guy was a brilliant leader, and all who could, wanted to share even a little bit of his successes and future glory. Then more good news came; they were given brand new TA's! Not only that, but Omasa scrounged for them more and better weapons. After his first tour around the flight deck inspecting their equipment, the flight leader was adamant of their overall mission success. Now in outer space, and with his wing perfectly laying in ambush among the debris, he was just starting his second passive sensor sweep of the area, when something flashed in the distance. The sensors of his brand new, thirty feet long mecha model “Juno”, suddenly blipped and rang the audio alarm for incoming long-range fire. It all happened so fast that he was unable to do anything but watch helplessly how that beam melted the debris chunk next to him. Then slagged the cockpit of the mecha hiding behind it, instantly killing the pilot, creating a superheated, expanding ball of plasma after the target's reactor assembly exploded. He screamed, breaking the comm silence – “Activate your engines now! Cover is useless against this laser – Move!” – his pilots tried to follow his orders but... taz'aran mecha main systems required more time to spool before reaching full operational status. The second laser beam; yes, because it just had to be an armor-piercing effin' laser, sliced another of his machines in two. On holo-file and during training their ambush tactics always looked good, that is, until you meet with the thrice-accursed Terrans on the field of battle! With fully spooled systems, his now four remaining TA's instantly engaged in evasive maneuvers, and assumed without him giving them any orders to do so a wide inverted crescent formation. He grinned from behind the faceplate. His people were getting better – just you wait Terran filth. In a couple of years, you and all of your defective clients will be merchandise sold on the slave markets! The officer moved his own TA controls aiming the missile launcher at the Terran's starfighter – all of his other weapons required him to move closer – and screamed another command: “Swarm missile attack the Terran NOW! I want this fighter destroyed!” – he'd set his own sensors to active mode and ordered the onboard virtual intelligence to project a jamming field. Not strong enough to block target acquisition but his enemies comms were more than enough. The VI dutifully tried to follow his orders. As he pressed the trigger after achieving surprisingly easy successful target lock, his VI reported in with a dreary voice – “Jamming attempt unsuccessful; Target sent one highly compressed data-stream; Destination unknown; Encoding highly sophisticated and efficient; Recommend no further electronic warfare actions; Probability of AI presence on enemy craft 99.7%” He watched as the missiles all streaked towards the seemingly motionless target... and then turned course while still tracking the enemy fighter. Their target suddenly activated its engine and began moving towards their formation with twice the speed he expected from a ship of this class. The ionized plasma trail that monstrous main engine left behind was as long as his own TA! Missiles were caught in the plasma wake and all exploded harmlessly, too far behind the Terran to even phase the trajectory of his craft. The flight leader could only whisper to himself with disbelief “Throne steps!” before shouting over the comms: “This is a forward attack scout! Switch to rifles!” – and himself dropped the now useless RPG, grabbing his prototype laser rifle legs rapidly controlling the main engine in a desperate attempt to reach flanking position – he commanded – “Cover each other and try cornering him amongst the debris!” – “Fire at will!” Easier said than done. That filthy Terran was a damn good pilot, even too good to be exact, and if they weren't hidden in ambush all of his wing would've been wiped out. He suddenly realized that the whole exchange of fire, all of those rapid maneuvers – all had happened in the short span of a minute. Give or take a couple of seconds. Aiming ever so nervously, the taz'aran flight leader glanced quickly at his sensor data-stream. He had to be perfectly sure before pressing that trigger because nobody wanted to hit his own craft – yes, perhaps some low skilled morons would. Not him though, and neither would his pilots. A bright yellow laser beam streaked from the muzzle of his TA's rifle, and together with his wingmen's created an almost inescapable crossfire aimed at their Terran quarry. The fighter changed its course in a split second, gracefully evading all but one of those laser beams; charging at the furthest TA with a dozen dumb-fire rockets swarming. The pilot, one of his best, pushed his mecha's engines over their maximum accepted tolerance levels evading the rockets, but then the Terran used his grappler and swung him back around, directly on the rocket's swarm path! He heard the garbled dying scream of his pilot over the comms, and as the TA blew up in a violent whitish explosion, he realized that the enemy had actually anticipated this using the blast to boost his next attack. With piloting skill he'd never watched before on holo-record, nor witnessed in real life, the Terran had increased his starfighter's mobility even beyond what his overpowered main engine provided. He screamed again over the comms – “Quick! Close the formation!” – but it was all too late. The Terran pilot closed up instead, and virtually from point-blank range shredded the next mecha with a barrage of devastating auto-railgun fire. “Four, set your engines on full boost! I want you on my flank! We are retreating!” – his last wingman engaged in erratic maneuvers using his afterburner, while he himself aimed and with all the hate he could muster – fired. He'd switched the rifle setting to overcharge and a beam, twice as thick as before streaked continuously towards his target. For a short while, the flight leader thought that his hated Terran enemy was hit. Alas, his wing was only grazed by the beam, and with shields blinking and buckling continued charging forward attacking both him and his wingmen's mecha. The swarm of incoming rockets he somehow survived by hiding behind the melee shield he'd grabbed from behind his mecha's back. His pilot was hit by another laser beam that melted both of his legs and left the machine flying only on reserve power and its torso engines. Discarding away the now bent and melted shield, the flight leader grappled his wounded wingmen's machine and engaged his own afterburner, feverishly reloading his overheating laser rifle with a fresh power pack. Inertial stabilizer failing, his sight red from all the G's he had to endure while both his and his wingman's mecha were twisting and turning. Those were his best erratic maneuver patterns he'd developed during the last year in the Academy. Screaming, he aimed the now reloaded laser rifle and fired single shots aiming not to hit but create a little bit of cover for himself and his wingman. He was almost there! No longer caring about lost equipment, the taz'aran pilot left his precious prototype rifle dangling on a single metal wire that snapped shortly after and reached with his mecha's hand pulling one small debris. It triggered the trap he'd set with his wingmen an hour earlier. Multiple other wires were connected with portable automatic turrets and their sensor signatures popped up on his holo-display. They immediately locked onto his pursuer engine signature and opened fire. The flight leader both cried and laughed maniacally while the devastating barrage of dozens of particle beams finally hit his target's hull...

168Upvotes
20Reminds

More from The Starshatters

A passing by couple, holding their two kids hands sat on a bench outside the restaurant, unpacked wrapped sandwiches and fruits from their stasis food box. One bounty hunter threw an intimidating look at them, but himself was taken aback when all of the humans showed him the handles of their pistols – including both of their children. The bounty hunter gulped nervously and walked after his buddies inside the restaurant – he was not laughing happily any longer. The door was kicked down, as per longstanding and honorable bounty hunter's tradition, and since this was a fine establishment it collapsed together with its case on the floor, ruining the expensive carpet. Through the dust cloud, the fearsome group stepped forward, and the fellow they called Flyffloff pointed at Captain Anit'za shouting: “Oi!; You, with the fancy uniform!”

1.05k views ·

More from The Starshatters

A passing by couple, holding their two kids hands sat on a bench outside the restaurant, unpacked wrapped sandwiches and fruits from their stasis food box. One bounty hunter threw an intimidating look at them, but himself was taken aback when all of the humans showed him the handles of their pistols – including both of their children. The bounty hunter gulped nervously and walked after his buddies inside the restaurant – he was not laughing happily any longer. The door was kicked down, as per longstanding and honorable bounty hunter's tradition, and since this was a fine establishment it collapsed together with its case on the floor, ruining the expensive carpet. Through the dust cloud, the fearsome group stepped forward, and the fellow they called Flyffloff pointed at Captain Anit'za shouting: “Oi!; You, with the fancy uniform!”

1.05k views ·