PHASE II : THE TYR ARC ( 1 of 28 )
“ Ribbon of Honour
enemy as you destroy him with bullets, for he will remember
you in the afterlife, and his weapon much worse..."
- Unknown German WWII pilot
Union of Border Worlds, January 29, 2681
Arkrunner Squadron worked their way back to the Yorktown in a group. Being the last in line to land because he was the squadron commander, Major Adam Brancer maneuvered his fighter into an escort pattern. Several Gray dots appeared on his HUD that designated new unidentified ships have entered the long range area. The Yorktown Battle Group obviously noticing this went to Yellow Alert. Guns all trained on the projected area expecting a conflict.
At such a long range, the fleet could not tell weather or not if the incoming flight of fighters were hostile or not. Perhaps it was the renegade Cats coming back for revenge, or even the aliens themselves... Brancer decided to investigate.
"Yorktown command, breaking formation and intercepting," stated Foxxman as he took his Tigershark in a turn and accelerated towards the fighters.
"Roger that, Arkrunner Lead. Sending some extra guns with you," replied the Yorktown as several fighters formed on Brancer's Tigershark. Those were the extra guns that the Yorktown mentioned. A secret surprise if those were the invaders.
As Brancer and his newly formed flight afterburned towards the unknowns, he noticed that they were in comm range. They promptly identified themselves as UBW fighters. Brancer quickly asked the UBW fighters to identify themselves and they did. They were from the BWS Valeria... They have come to provide escort. The fighters offered an escort to their fleet and to proceed together to Nephele. Yorktown quickly accepted the offer...
TCS Yorktown; Briefing
Union of Border Worlds, January 30 2681
"Okay, listen up, people," exclaimed Colonel Victoria Alvarez, Wing Commander (WC) of the Yorktown.
"Our new friends from the BWS Valeria will be escorting us to Nephele where the 3rd Confed Fleet is massing. As for the Kilrathi terrorists, a small group of UBW ships have been dispatched to the area to handle it."
Words were traded in whispers and small chit chat among the pilots in the briefing room. It was apparent by the look on some of the people, that they already knew. Confed was going to fight a war, and once again, we are not ready. Not only was Confed going to fight a war, they were going to fight it beside old enemies. A backward society of colonial hicks that knew absolutely nothing about the "laws of war."
"Ma'am, does this have to relate to the aliens that attacked New Warsaw?" asked Lieutenant McDaniels from the "Fearless Felines" Panther Squadron.
"That information is on a need-to-know basis, but you'll find that out soon enough. Any other questions? Fine, get some rest, we will be jumping into the Nephele System in 30 minutes," and with that, the pilots quickly got up and dispersed out of the cramped room.
TCS Yorktown; Flight
Wing Rec Room, Pilot Country
Loki - Nephele Jump point,
Union of Border Worlds, A Short While Later
Foxxman stared out into the swirling vortex as the two newly-commissioned Murphy-class destroyers, TCS Perez and TCS Maribel were engulfed. The Border Worlds ships had already gone through. Soon afterwards, the monstrous Plunkett-class Artillery Cruiser, the TCS Agincourt, went though.
We'll be next...
The Murphy-class destroyer was a small, but agile weapons platform that was capable of providing light support to a battle group. Bristling with new Twin Laser turrets, these ships would pose a great threat to any fighter who chose to engage. However, due to their light armament and size, they would not survive long in a ship-to-ship engagement.
That's what the Agincourt was for. Plunkett-class Artillery Cruisers were built for one thing, swift, silent death. With several heavy laser cannons, the Cruiser still posed a threat to fighters, but the real firepower comes from the triple particle cannon turrets, and the triple plasma cannon on the lower of the two "Pylons" on the ship. Easily giving the cruiser the ability to punch large holes in any ship who thought to become overly aggressive. Along with the several powerful guns comes a small squadron of Tigersharks.
"Attention, this is the bridge," blared the loudspeaker, "Jump sequence in T-minus 20 seconds... 15... 10... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... Jumping." The large carrier dove into the spinning vortex as Foxxman felt a lurching sickness that he always felt when he journeyed into jumpspace. As quickly as the Yorktown entered, they were ejected from the vortex and it quickly closed.
The sight that was in front of Foxxman was spectacular. As the WC promised, most of the Confed 3rd Fleet was gathering. The 1st PT Boat squadron of Los Angeles-class Torpedo boats, the UBW 6th Corvette squadron escorted by an older Tarawa-class escort carrier, the BWS Defiance, the Confed 15th Destroyer squadron of 8 Murphy-class destroyers, and the 18th Defiance Destroyer squadron.
Also, in addition to this, several other groups would be joining them over the next two days. The 8th Confed Cruiser squadron of 4 Plunkett-class cruisers and 4 Murphy-class destroyers. Even in addition to this, was the standard escorts provided to the other carriers in the fleet. The UBW fleet carriers, BWS Valeria and the BWS Littenia with escorts. The Confed Fleet carriers, TCS Yorktown, TCS Bunker Hill, and the TCS Valley Forge. The UBW also had the the Valeria's escort carrier, the BWS Freedom, an older Ranger-class light carrier, same class as the famous TCS Victory. These ships would form one of the biggest fleets ever massed barring the Battle of Terra, a comparison that was being made frequently.
"Beautiful ship, isn't it, Adam?" exclaimed Captain Selena "Minnie" Martinez as she was looking at the Valeria while they flew side by side. Foxxman glanced down at the beautiful 5'4" pilot standing next to him.
"Yeah. Sure beats our older Concordia class, but I still think the Midway is way better," replied Foxxman.
"Perhaps, but it's made to be better. It's our flagship, remember. I still say Concordias are wiser to build than one big massive ship," answered Selena.
Brancer laughed at the thought. He never thought he would say this, but Concordia-class ships will have to be the key to victory here. With Confed having so few active carrier in this region, the Midway, the Yorktown, Valley Forge, Bunker Hill, Eisen, and a few others will have to fight this new threat.
Selena nudged her self closer to Brancer and he smiled putting her arm around her. He has always been close friends with Selena, but he never really considered having a relationship, until now. She had shoulder-length brown hair, beautiful brown eyes and a nice figure. As she put her head on his shoulder, Brancer smiled even more.
Union of Border Worlds, January 30, 2681
A Few Hours Hours Later
Gazing out towards the massive flotilla, Colonel Victoria Alvarez wondered about what really was going on. She pondered over what was to come. The single most biggest group of human ships in the galaxy was forming before her... Corvettes, PT Boats. Several destroyers, most of them the new Murphy and Defiance classes. Powerful warships that were designed to attack in wolfpacks to ravage fleets that chose to attack. At the center of the two fleets were noticeable and extremely large cruisers. Several Plunkett-class ships were present along with older UBW Tallahassee-class models aging as far back to the end of the First Kilrathi War.
Clarke remembered back during the First Kilrathi War, a fleet like this would have been the answer to their prayers. She served as a pilot aboard the TCS Liberty during the war. Unlike the Yorktown, the Liberty was a Confederation-class dreadnought. It was quickly decommissioned after the war. The Liberty was one of the few carriers left in the Confederation after the Battle of Terra.
Clarke's memories drifted back in time to the battle...
TCS Liberty, CV-17; Flight
Terran Confederation Homeworld, September 14, 2668
"SON OF A BITCH! CAN'T EJECT! AAA!!!" screamed Red 5.
Red Five's Sabre sparked as the enemy Gothri blasted the rear engines off and let loose a missile. The missile streaked into the rear of the ship and melded into the rear armor and detonated with such force that the ship blew apart instantly drowning out the scream of horror from inside the cockpit.
"Red Five's down. Rapier Wing, target the Dralthi group, then worry about those Drakhri. Sabre Flight, form on me - we're going after those Gothris!" ordered the Liberty wing commander.
Several Rapiers dove from the wing formation and dove onto the group of Dralthi that were giving the Concordia's flight wing trouble as the Sabres after burned and attacked the Gothri group in a frenzy of missiles and cannon fire.
"You are mine, ape!" screamed a Kilrathi pilot as he launched a missile at 2nd Lt. Victoria "Latin Girl" Alvarez.
Alvarez, hearing the loud shrill, set the afterburners, pulled the stick up as hard as she could spitting out decoys. She then took her fighter in a loop to the rear of the Gothri stunning the pilot. She opened up with a long sustained blast of her cannons and blasted the rear shields and armor off. Obviously out of energy, Alvarez slammed the forward part of her fighter's shields into the rear of the ship quickly imploding it then exploding. The resulting cataclysm overloaded the shields of the fighter and sent a wave of shrapnel into the armor of the Sabre, 1 such piece shattering the cockpit window. A gush of oxygen then expelled out into vacuum and the Emergency Life Support system activated keeping Alvarez alive in her suit.
"This is Red 3... cockpit ruptured. Scratch a Gothri, though," exclaimed Alvarez.
Explosions forming all round space, the lone Sabre flipped around avoiding fire from both friend and foe alike. She turned her fighter around and opened up with her guns on a passing Gothri. She quickly overloaded the Gothri's shields as she fired a Dumbfire missile that impacted directly on the fuselage. The resulting explosion vaporized the entire port side of the fighter and sending the rest into an expanding ball of fiery gas. Some of the shrapnel blasted into the side of the ship bouncing off the illuminated shield in a blue flicker...
TCS Yorktown; Observation
Union of Border Worlds, January 31, 2681
Alverez put her small hand to her head as she stared out upon the fleet. Such dark memories, such dark ones that are to come. She walked to the computer and read her orders.
To : Colonel Victoria Alvarez
From : Rear Admiral Erin Hanton
Subject : Operations in Vega Sector
Colonel. As you know, all information here is on a secret need-to-know basis, and in order to effectively command your wing, you need to be aware of the situation. As you may have heard on TCN or on the grapevine, New Warsaw in the Dakota System, Hellespont, and Tartarus have been completely vaporized. The major civilian cities in the areas have been systematically destroyed in a genocidal pattern. A cleansing.
This cleansing that the enemy has decided to give us stops with us. Since the Confederation Senate won't get off their asses and send one of the inner world fleets to help us, 5 fleet carriers and several support ships are all that stands between what we count, as 2 dreadnoughts, 6 super carriers, well over a dozen cruisers, plus scores upon scores of destroyers and corvettes. This is the enemy fleet that we must repel. This is basically gives us 750 fighter ships against their 3,000. Not good odds.
Our basic strategy is not an offensive at all. It is a delaying action to, in a sense, defang the beast. Rather then to fight a war of attrition, we are to do hit and run missions on a grand scale. We are to take minimal losses here. There is no need to take heavy losses for anything.
The only thing that is important in this system is to make sure the civilians get out quickly. Battle Group Valkyrie will be evacuating Tyr, so we will be flying a lot of missions to ambush any fighters en route to attack them. Again, I emphasize on the importance of making hit and run attacks instead of long battles. We can't afford for the aliens to strike Valkyrie with large battle groups. We will come out of this ahead, but remember, this is just the beginning. Our counter push will be elsewhere, not here. That is all.
Alvarez switched off the computer and walked into the briefing room. It was time to get to work.
TCS Yorktown; Observation
Union of Border Worlds, February 2nd, 2681
Foxxman stood looking out at the large force of ships gathered at Nephele as the Briefing room Call was announced. Foxxman then walked into the room and went to the front where his seat was. All of the pilots sat down as the Colonel was reviewing her notes. She looked very pale, like she had just seen a ghost.
"Please, let's begin," stated the WC. The Yorktown being an older Concordia-class carrier was never installed with an ICIS system. Just the old overview map screen was in place. A system map was brought up of Tyr and the surrounding planets. Also with the planets lit the jump points leading into Nephele, G'riss, Hellespont, and Hawking. The enemy fleets, showed by a mass of orange dots, were based around the Hellespont jump point.
"In the last two days, the Confed Third Fleet has completed their resupply procedures. This entire force of ships will now jump into the Tyr System where, what we named the Alien First Fleet, is at. Our mission is to coordinate with the Confed Third Fleet forces and provide an, umbrella in a sense, against the enemy.
"As we branch out in separate carrier groups, the Yorktown battle group will coordinate a secondary line with the Bunker Hill and Valley Forge carrier groups. The destroyer, cruiser, and corvette squadrons will surge ahead and launch hit and run strikes against the enemy. They will be attacking not in 1 large group, but instead attacking smaller targets that close either on the Valkyries position or that are in the area. Corvettes, destroyers and fighters will most likely be the targets of choice." She pointed at several clusters of ships as the Blue triangles engaged and "blipped" out the enemy. It also showed several red triangles advance past the force to the rear of the line. More blue triangles lanced out in all directions cornering off these "enemy" triangles and "blipping" them out.
Again, Clarke started to speak. "Here, the enemy will attempt to slip past our attacks and engage with hit and run tactics on any fighters in the zone. Again, we will not be launching large strike groups. No fighters shall be allowed to pass to the Valkyries. We shall engage with Cavalier Squadron and the Agincourt against any singled out capital ships in the area. The Perez and Maribel will remain back with our wasps to provide support for the Yorktown along with our wasps."
"The Tigershark squadron will be the point strike squadron patrolling Alpha zone, A relatively active alien patrol route. Be assured of enemy attacks. You will also be providing support should Grendel Squadron, our Vampires, get hosed in."
"Since I did mention the Valkyries, we will be working with them in this operation. They will be controlling the main evacuation from all major starbases and the main planet of Tyr VII. Albeit they will provide escort for their transports, we are not to allow those escorts to come under attack. We are to keep the enemy at bay and if we fail, only then will the Valkyries engage the enemy. They are the last line of defense for those civilians. Also, we may engage some pirates in the area should they decide to be foolish, otherwise, lets show them how Confed does it! Dismissed." Concluding the briefing, Alvarez gave a smile.
TCS Yorktown; Observation
Nephele - Tyr Jump Point,
Contested Zone, February 2nd, 2681
The transit into Tyr will be a moment in time that will be remembered forever. Over a hundred ships and fighters decided to test the durability of the fabric of space that day. The direct pathway between the Confed held system of Nephele and Tyr lit up into a vortex as ships ranging from small Adm. Halsey-class corvettes to the large Plunkett cruisers streamed through the jump point. Ships were entering one by one massing on the other side. Confed quickly established an area of superiority with the Cruiser groups and carriers being at the heart.
A message was sent out to the entire fleet from the BWS Valeria, the Fleet's flagship.
"Pilots and officers of the Confederation and Border worlds. Today we will embark on a mission that will be written in the history books. Another first meeting with an Alien race. Unfortunately, the alien is once again hostile. However, it appears we have the ships, the weapons, and the guile, to survive. Let us show them that we do not tolerate aggression. Let us rally up and fight back! In other words, let's kick their sweet alien asses! That is all. Command out."
Hellespont-Tyr Jump Point, Nephilim
Contested Zone, February 2nd, 2681
A Short While Later
A burst of light, a purple swirling flicker of energy. An Antigraviton Tropic Anomaly node, otherwise known as a jump point, flared open, ejecting death into the Tyr System. Several hundreds of fighters went through first, then a pair of corvettes, the Nephilim vessels quickly branching out. The point remained open.
Several waves of destroyers and corvettes then poured out of the point in a big jumbled swarm, and the point remained open. Cruisers and destroyers, corvettes and more fighters were then ejected from the anomaly quickly cluttering the area, and the point remained open. 2 heavy carriers, a Tiamat dreadnought, cruisers, another carrier, and some destroyers, and the point still remained open.
The last of the carriers and cruisers jumped into the system, and just as the point was to close, another gigantic dreadnought jumped in, nearly dwarfing several corvettes and fighters in the area.
With that, the jump point... closed.
TCS Yorktown; Observation
Contested Zone, February 2nd, 2681
Colonel Victoria Alvarez looked out the viewports at the massive force and the large groups of fighters launching. Vampires, Intruders, Arrows, and Excaliburs, Tigersharks, and Panthers. She nearly jumped a foot as a flight of Piranhas flew past the room. Then a Plunkett cruiser past by the Yorktown that showed CRS-71 TCS San Diego on the side.
Alvarez prayed that the day would prove to be a success, not a failure.