By Griffin Vengance

24th Oct 2005

Deep within the vast blackness of space, encased in beautiful stars and nebulae, two battered fleets stood poised to clash one, final time. On one side, defending Twilight Citadel were the Skylords, hard-bitten fighters who had banded together to combat their common enemy. On the other, sat the Imperial Fleet of the Holy Tuy-Rui Empire, a grand army of invaders determined to defeat and claim yet another empire as their own.

“Mr Steel, how is the formation coming on?”
“All done sir. All ships are awaiting your command.”
All the Skylords could do was watch the ever-increasing enemy fleet of seemingly relentless invaders draw closer, widening and lengthening into a kind of egg formation; if indeed they even had eggs in the Alien Empire.
“Sir…I’m reading lifesigns outside the ship, about 100m in front of us. There’s 10…with no breathing apparatus…what the hell…”
The Captain frowned.
“Zoom in.”
The viewscreen magnified, and all of them saw familiar sights…the signs of the Skylords on long, flowing cloaks, while the Skylords themselves had varying degrees of armour and weapons.
They were ready to fight, to die if necessary. The Skylords were mighty, powerful, strong…and now, it seemed the myths were true. They were brave as well.
“Open a channel.”
Lieutenant Ferris nodded.
“Skylords…with respect, what the hell are you all doing here?”
“Doing what we do best Admiral. Preparing to kick some serious butt.”
All of the bridge crew swelled with pride at this statement, and even the Captain found himself smiling.
“The help is appreciated, trust me. Thanks.”
The channel clicked to a close.
Then…something happened.
An eerie blue glow began to emanate from the Skylords. Each one in turn seemed to take aim directly at the enemy, who were a minute from weapon’s range…and then they all fired.

An enormous blast staggered the ship, sending the weak to the floor. Emergency lighting came on and small overloads and fires began to erupt around the astounded bridge.
“WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED!?”Ju’Mahmee screamed in rage. “We weren’t in weapons range yet! How could they have fired at us!?”
As if scared to give an answer, a moment of silence passed until the tactical officer screwed up the courage to answer.
“Sir, they seemed to employ a long-range energy beam of unknown properties…all originating from the Saviour. Also…we only caught the backwash of the energy.”
A pause passed as the crew realised.
“…How many?” Ju’Mahmee whispered.
“Over 21 squadrons destroyed…another 38 ships damaged.”
“Good Yeru…” Ju’Mahmee muttered.
“Prepare the counter-attack. NOW!” He added, spurring them on.
“Damn Skylords,” he muttered angrily.

“All exterior and interior spheres…FIRE!”
The collective force of the Fleet was realised in one gut punch, splintering into the enormous exposed belly of the enemy fleet. Scores were destroyed, even more disabled, and the enemy were slow in their counter-attack; the surprise attacks had crippled them.
Waves of fighters gathered within the as yet undamaged section of the enemy fleet, and a phalanx sped up fast towards the spheres.
“Get power from the torpedo systems to defence systems,” the Captain barked, knowing full well that that meant two times longer torpedo reloading.
The enemy fighter wave collided into a barrage of fire, diving at the cruisers and battleships. Turrets were picking them off well, but not enough.
“Too slow. I want Rogue Squadron, Reiver Squadron and the Falcons out there. Draw them into the Shark Bait manoeuvre.”
The dogfights continued, but the fighters began to bog down the enemy waves (of which there were now six) and slowly but surely drag them to the needed area.
Suddenly, an enemy fighter spewing smoke and being chased by a Falcon set a course directly AT the Saviour.
“Oh crap. Emergency thrusters!”
The Saviour responded quickly to Ensign Hathy’s deft touch, and she spun fast to starboard…allowing the two frigates stationed behind to completely obliterate the enemy fighter.
“I hate kamikadzes,” he muttered, and glanced to the rear science station where Sarah was, who was white as a ghost.
Their eyes met, and the Captain flashed her a grin.
She hurriedly got back to her senses.
“Sir! The enemy are bogged down into the assigned BZ, awaiting orders.”
“The captain smiled.
“Engage Shark Bait Manoeuvre.”
Suddenly the Beta Interior Sphere “swapped” places with the Gamma Exterior Sphere, and well trained sentry fire began to pick off the enemy fighters…just as the fighter squadrons opened their BZ slipstream jumps.
The entire enemy fighter fleet was consumed and transported over 7 hours away to the BZ, where BZ mercenaries awaited.

“Now they are REALLY pushing their luck.”
“Yes High One.”
Ju’Mahmee growled.
“Begin Operation Cloak and Hammer…and begin the assault.”

In the central core of the Skylords Defence Sphere, a fleet of some of the best warships in the Tuy-Rui Empire de-cloaked and swiftly began hammering awat at the ships that were being repaired in the protected central core.

“All power to aft weapons, auxiliary power to forward defences. Get the IAS Fleet to co-ordinate with the Interior Sphere to destroy the infiltrators. Increase Sphere volume by two times.”

Sarah looked astounded at his calmness, but it was one of the reasons he had become a captain; the worse the situation, the calmer he got. The Fleet quickly re-configured itself, and the infiltrators found themselves in a crossfire of angry battleships.

“Begin the Hammer operation.”
“Yes High One.”
The younger, greener members of the crew were astounded at Ju’Mahmee’s calmness, but it was one of the reasons he was a Ship Master; the worse the situation, the fiercer he got.

The full, suppressed might of the Tuy-Rui Holy Empire rained down on the Skylords, who found themselves fighting on two fronts. Ships were beginning to be destroyed, and despite his best efforts the enemy was getting them. They had done well though; reduced the odds from 10-1 to pretty much even, so the Skylords stood a good, solid chance.
“All ships, disperse and engage. Get into your squadrons and report to your Sector Commanders.”
The Sphere began to disperse, and dogfights began to erupt among the fleets. Lasers clashed, torpedoes ignited, hulls incinerated. It was truly one of the most bloody engagements in the history of both civilisations, but one of the most glorious.
“Commander, location of the Skylords?”
“Zooming in on their co-ordinates sir.”
The screen zoomed in…and showed 10 blurs moving, almost dancing in a circle.
“What the hell…Skylords don’t dance!”

Ju’Mahmee could smell it.
Victory was close.
And the Skylords would soon be no more.
His ship easily smashed it’s way through a cruiser, then focused on it’s target, the Saviour. The two ships began to dance evasive and assault, trading blows…until a lucky one hit the Saviour’s core.
“YES! Focus on their reactor! Destroy them!”
Shots began to hammer into the wounded Saviour, who was now draining her life in a blue trail behind her. Fires dotted around her, and Ju’Mahmee felt the flush of success.
“Prepare boarding parties. I want the head of their commander myself!”

Ju’Mahmee emerged from the boarding craft, and enjoyed the scent of battle. Energy scores littered the walls, and small fires were common. The strike team made their way up to the command center, and, with a flourish, entered to a scene of destruction. Bodies hung limp over their consoles, and he noticed an attractive human female lying dead on the floor. The sound of pure destruction energised him, the scent enticed him. He strode forward, took the captain’s chair and twirled, finally to meet and defeat his advesary…
Only to see his adversary wielding a phase pistol and an evil grin.
He gave the alien commander time to curse, then split his head in two.

The seemingly dead crew rose with a vengeance, quickly killing the strike team. The seemingly dead Saviour did likewise, and the holographic damage disappeared. The docked enemy cruiser was destroyed with little hesitation.

All over the Fleet, ships rose victorious. The dead hulks of the Tuy-Rui Invasion Fleet added testimony to the Skylord’s achievement. People were dead, yes…but the Skylords had won.
Victory was theirs.

The Captain gathered himself, and cheered with the rest of them. Handshakes were given, hugs were shared and celebrations began.
“What is it Commander?”
“Thousands of contacts sir.”
The screen focused to a terrible sight.
Thousands of Tuy-Rui cruisers surrounded the 100-strong Skylords Fleet, their weapons ports glaring menacingly.
“Good God.”

General Gerry of the Flying Fortress defence force stared dumbly at the wormhole that was slowly consuming his planet.
“Arm the guns.”

The Captain stared amazed at the wormhole that was forming behind the enemy lines.
And suddenly…he saw something.
Sarah seemed the only one able to voice it.
“Is that a planet?”
“Not just any planet…that’s Flying Fortress,” the Captain responded in an awed whisper.
Indeed it was. Flying Fortress emerged, and it’s fresh gun batteries smashed into the enemy. Every single weapon of the Skylords in the system was firing, and, caught in a crossfire, the alien reinforcements were completely incinerated.
The Skylords flew past the Saviour…and the Captain saluted them.

Celebrations reigned on the two planets. The Skylords had returned Flying Fortress to it’s system, but that didn’t mean the two planets weren’t celebrating. Fireworks dotted the two planets, and parties were regular. The day was later called “The Day of Heroes”, and it’s history would run far into the future. Nobody would ever forget this glorious battle.

Later on, the Admiral proclaimed his speech.
“We’ve pushed them back to their own lines, and now it is time to utterly annihilate the Tuy-Rui Empire! We will dig deep into it’s black heart and rip it out kicking and screaming. The Skylords have won this battle, and WILL win the war!”

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