Vybiraem kondicioner pra.., p.1

Resolute Glory (The War for Terra Book 8), страница 1

 

Resolute Glory (The War for Terra Book 8)
 


Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font   Night Mode Off   Night Mode

Resolute Glory (The War for Terra Book 8)


  Resolute Glory

  By

  James R. Prosser, Jr.

  Resolute Glory

  Copyright: James R. Prosser, Jr.

  First Published: July 2015

  Cover Illustration by: James R. Prosser, Jr.

  Publisher: James Prosser

  This book is entirely a work of fiction created by the author. Any resemblance to any person or character, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

  The right of James R. Prosser, Jr. to be identified as author of this Work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, copied in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise transmitted without written permission from the publisher. You must not circulate this book in any form.

  The War for Terra Series

  You may want to read these first. Just a suggestion … No pressure

  Resolute Stand

  Resolute Uprising

  Resolute Victory

  The Adventures of Connor Jakes

  Resolute Alliance

  Resolute Strike

  Resolute Glory

  Table of Contents

  1

  Battleship Resolute

  2

  Utility Shuttle

  3

  Assault Frigate Kongo

  4

  5

  Somewhere Else

  6

  Assault Frigate Kongo

  7

  Venus Atmospheric Research Colony

  8

  Alliance Plaza - Vadne

  9

  Octopod Station

  10

  Somewhere Else

  11

  Venus Atmospheric Research Colony

  12

  13

  Alliance Courier Ship Kissinger

  14

  Battleship Resolute

  15

  Walapacku – Octopod Home World

  16

  Vadne

  17

  Luna – Night Side

  18

  Carrier Zeus

  19

  Walapacku

  20

  Somewhere Else

  21

  Alliance Carrier Trinity

  Courier Ship Kissinger

  23

  Alliance Carrier Zeus

  24

  Battleship Resolute

  25

  26

  Courier Ship Kissinger

  27

  Vadne

  28

  Battleship Resolute

  29

  30

  Alliance Carrier Trinity

  31

  32

  Battleship Resolute

  33

  Alliance Carrier Zeus

  34

  Earth

  Alliance Courier Ship Kissinger

  Sweet Liberty 2

  35

  Battleship Resolute

  Sweet Liberty 2

  Epilogue

  Author’s Notes

  The War for Terra Series

  1

  There was light but no sound, and then there was neither.

  Battleship Resolute

  “Hard to port!” ordered the admiral. “Course heading two-two-zero mark fifty-two. Target that destroyer and fire.”

  Cal slapped his controls, sending plasma fire from the starboard gun array into the Gizzeen destroyer analog coming in fast. The blue particulate matter surrounding the battleship was awash in red and blue light as the battle raged around them. Resolute had moved beyond the initial engagement theater to evade into the energy zone. Modifications to the ship had made maneuvering easier in the thick matter, but the Gizzeen were still faster. Goldstein turned the nose of the ship hard, avoiding the hulk of a destroyed frigate Resolute had taken care of earlier in the battle.

  “I’ve lost telemetry from the Demons,” Kama Yu called from the comms station. Zeus is taking heavy damage to their flight deck and requesting cover.”

  “We can’t help them right now,” Chang called back. “Divert power from crew areas and strengthen shields. I want everything we’ve got angled to cover the starboard batteries.”

  “Sir,” Cal called from tactical, “the Gizzeen ship is breaking up but fighters are incoming. Port cannons are still at half power. Computer control is lagging after the last hit.”

  “Booth,” Chang called down to engineering. “I need more power to weapons and shields.”

  “I’d pull it outta my ass if I had it,” the cantankerous Scotsman called back. “I’ve got coolant leaks all over the gunnery areas. Yer meltin’ the damn things down as it is.”

  “Don’t give me excuses, Mister Booth, give me a miracle!” Chang slammed the channel closed. “Kama, any change in the bridge?”

  “Negative, sir. The vortex is…” Kama trailed off as the ship began to shudder. “Sir, I’ve got the Demons incoming. I read Jackal, Aztec, and Merlin engaging the fighters.”

  “What about Princess and Flyboy?”

  “No contact with the others,” Kama replied, her voice remaining calm. “I don’t even know which way we’re pointing right now or—”

  There was a flash of light on the screen. Chang looked back as the holographic projection darkened automatically. The screen showed static for a long moment before clearing. Instead of the blue energy particles, there was a bright glow to the galaxy outside. Even through the screen, Chang recognized the familiar glow of sunlight bathing the region in glorious white. The battle between the upgraded Eagle class fighters and the Gizzeen ships swirled out there against the black, and then the alien vessels broke off and sped back towards the main engagement zone. The Demon squadron, their silver hulls gleaming in the new sunlight, powered around and moved to cover the battleship’s damaged port side. The desire to cheer was strong, but Chang saw only the mission.

  “He did it. Goddammit he did it,” Chang whispered to himself before turning to Kama Yu.” Kama, find Princess. I need to know what happened out there. Josh, get us back into eh battle and quick before the Gizzeen know what’s happened.”

  The projection changed as the ship maneuvered. Chang heard a gasp from behind as the battle came into view … the enormous carrier Zeus, dead in space, her flank blasted with scars and minor hull breaches. What struck the admiral, though, was the damage to her bow launching bays. Designed along a similar style to an Earth catamaran, the double-hulled carrier was long and dotted with defensive cannons and missile launchers. Her twin bow launch bays should have been lit with energy as ships came and went during the battle. Instead, she seemed crumpled, entry bays darkened masses of metal and slag. The lights which festooned her side were flickering with sporadic power failures, and Chang could see fighters crawling along her sides launching small blue energy bolts into her unshielded hull.

  “Kama?” Admiral Chang said, his voice quieter than he intended. “Can you reach Dalton?”

  “Communications relays are shot,” the Asian woman replied. “I think he’s still there but I can’t get much more than bits and pieces.”

  “Get me more,” Chang said. “Helm, where’s my speed?”

  “Engineering reports a thirty-percent falloff from plasma relays in deck twelve,” Goldstein replied. “They’re having to turn off life support to power shields and weapons.”

  “Fine. Just get us over there,” Chang said. “They can’t last much longer under that barrage. Kama, order the Demons out there to relieve some of the pressure.”

  Chang watched as the silver fight
ers flew past the display, straight at the crippled carrier. His holographic display was showing battles raging all over the zone. Mars was going toe-to-toe with a set of Ch’Tauk cruisers bent on her destruction. The red-orange bolts from the assault platforms and mines were visible on the display even though they were thousands of kilometers away.

  Everywhere he scanned, Alliance vessels were holding their own against the Gizzeen and Ch’Tauk fleets. His makeshift fleet of Barathist and Ixloab vessels was running interference even though more than half of them were destroyed. Even the small squadron of Octopod ships was up to their tentacles in Gizzeen ships. The only saving grace of the fleet this time was the Gizzeen’s weakened state. Most of the vessels nearest the dimensional bridge were newcomers to this side of space, and still vulnerable. The later arrivals were more powerful and firing their blue cascade weapons to great advantage. It was a battle of attrition now and Chang couldn’t predict which side would win.

  “Kama, wideband to all Alliance and otherwise allied ships … defend Zeus. The carrier is the rally point. We need to gather and push the bastards back.”

  “Sending,” Kama replied. “Sir, the static is clearing as the particulates evaporate. I’m receiving signals from Alliance space. We’ve got a fleet on the way to help.”

  “ETA?”

  “At least two hours,” Kama replied. “Can we last that long?”

  Chang surveyed the battlefield. Although Zeus was the biggest casualty, she was by no means the only one. Debris and energy fires dotted space in all directions. To starboard, the burning hulk of a Ch’Tauk dreadnought collided with an Alliance frigate. The explosion of atmosphere and plasma sent shockwaves pushing even more debris around. Chang felt the ship rumble under his feet as Goldstein tried to coax as much power from the old battleship as he could. The scavenged fleet of Barathists and Ixloab were forming up around the damaged Zeus, swatting at the Gizzeen fighters making attack runs against the damaged carrier.

  “I don’t know,” Chang replied. “I think we can hold out as long as the Gizzeen can’t get any more ships here. Josh, can you get the ship turned back to the plane of battle?”

  “Port attitude control isn’t responding,” the pilot said, tapping a control without much success. “Engineering reports at least twenty minutes if don’t get shot at again.”

  “Well, that’s not likely,” Chang replied. “Put us parallel if you can. We may not be much good as a picket ship but we can replace Zeus’ shields with a field of fire.”

  The battleship lumbered into the battle zone again, taking hits on her starboard shields as she maneuvered into position. Cal worked the firing controls like a master, but the ship was running out of energy to continue the fight. Chang believed in the old battleship, but the warning lights flashing around him told him she was dying. It was going to be his last failure if he couldn’t save the ship and return her crew to Earth.

  “Keep up the fire,” Chang ordered. “Order the assault cruisers to drop platforms on this position and keep this area clear.”

  “Kongo is incoming,” Goldstein called from the helm. “She’s beat to hell but she’s still coming in fast.”

  Chang saw the image of the assault frigate on the screen. He had personally ordered the refit of the ship which added new armor and weapons to her already impressive complement. As he watched, the frigate launched a series of rods from her bow. They travelled like darts across the black, slamming into a Ch’Tauk ship and tearing her hull apart. The Vadne weapons were a late addition to the Alliance vessel, but Chang was glad he had thought of it. The simple EM launchers were easy to install and highly effective against the armored insectoid ships. Gizzeen ships seemed less vulnerable, but in this battle it didn’t matter. So much energy was flying around it was inevitable something would get through.

  “Sir…” said the Octopod officer Cal from the tactical station. “Gizzeen ships are withdrawing from battle. Analysis pending … they could be regrouping for a push.”

  “Send analysis direct to the fleet. I want everyone ready for this. Angle forward shields if we still have them and give me an overlay of the particulate matter as it withdraws.” Chang’s mind was racing. “I want to see if we’ve got a clear shot at Earth from here.”

  The display showed the retreating Gizzeen fleet gathering. The dots on the screen representing the Alliance fleet seemed so small compared to the vast numbers of fighters and ships the other side had. Only their weakness in this area of space had managed to even the odds, but if they regrouped for a massive push that slim advantage would be gone.

  The overlay map of local space showed the blue energy mass disappearing at its furthest reaches, vanishing even faster as sunlight burned off the particulates. The Gizzeen fleet was moving towards the largest remaining pocket of blue.

  “They’re trying to hide,” the admiral said. “They’re looking for safe haven. I bet they need to use that area to recharge their energy on this side.”

  “I’m reading M-space vortices opening near the blue field,” Goldstein called. “They’re leaving! We’ve run them off.”

  “I don’t think so,” Chang called. “I think they’re moving somewhere they can regroup and gather forces. Earth was only one spot where the Gizzeen made an incursion.”

  “The fleet is requesting orders,” Kama said, her voice showing only the merest hint of strain. “Should they pursue?”

  “Negative,” Chang called. “Recall fighters and spread out the fleet. I need status reports of every ship and what we need to get them moving.”

  “Aye,” Kama replied. “Demons report minor damage, but Aztec is having trouble with his comms.”

  “Get them back inside,” Chang ordered. “I want those—”

  “Sir!” Cal called. “Someone is pursuing the Gizzeen.”

  “Identify that ship and send the recall,” Chang said, leaning forward to identify the green dot. “Who the hell is that?”

  “Transponder reads Demon Two,” Kama replied. “It’s Alice! She made it!”

  “Not for long,” Josh called. “She’s heading for the translation vortex.”

  “Alice!” Chang called over the open comm line. “Stand down. You’ll never survive in M-space.”

  “Neither will they.”

  The clipped response alerted Chang to the screen again. One of the fleeing Ch’Tauk ships disappeared from view just ahead of her signal. A second ship was destroyed as it was entering the vortex. At the last moment, Alice’s Eagle veered off pursuit, avoiding the open maw of an M-space portal by meters. Chang released a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding and sat back in his chair.

  “Princess,” Chang said, “stand down and return to Resolute.”

  “Why?” came the reply. “What’s there?”

  “Come on home, Alice. It’s over.”

  “I watched him fly into that thing, Ron,” Alice said. “I watched it and you watched it and you didn’t do anything to stop him.”

  “It wasn’t my decision to make,” Chang replied, feeling the pain in her voice echoed in his own. “He made the decision and he flew the mission.”

  “It should have been you,” Alice accused. “I thought it was you out here, or I never would have—”

  “What?” Chang said, his voice surging in anger. “You wouldn’t have flown the mission? You’re a pilot and you knew what you were doing out there. You wouldn’t have done anything any different, just like I wouldn’t have. Now stand down and come home.”

  “I’m coming back, Ronald,” Alice replied, her voice as cold as space. “But it’s not home anymore.”

  “I understand,” Chang replied. “We’ll have the doors open for you.”

  “And, Ronald…” Alice said. “Don’t ever speak to me again.”

  2

  The only sound in the galaxy was a gasp.

  Utility Shuttle

  The shuttle bucked under Henry’s inexpert hands. Despite the armored hull, the ship had taken damage from passing Gizzeen ships. T
he lack of shielding meant Henry had to fly the utility vessel like a fighter, and he had no idea how to do that. On top of that, the blue energy space had thickened the further he moved away from Resolute and the Gizzeen ships fighting over the mouth of the bridge. It slowed the already ponderous shuttle and made it like swimming through a thick mud. His instruments refused to give him even the most rudimentary guidance, so he aimed it towards where Earth should be and fired his thrusters to full.

  Henry was not a coward, though the thought kept nagging at him as he moved further away from battle. He had fought in the war and on missions long before, and each time he had taken pride in leading a charge or capturing an enemy position. This time, however, his actions were motivated by what he had convinced himself was the highest form of bravery. He had turned his back on his friends, but his bow pointed towards the woman he loved and the hope that she was still alive. He had promised her he would come back and he was keeping that promise, even at the cost of his own self-respect.

  He put the thought out of his mind as he navigated through a thick layer of particulates and energy. The shuttle’s interior glowed with an eerie blue light as the shuttle sliced through a globule and out the other side. He still didn’t know if he believed the story about the Gizzeen being from the other side of the universe or another dimension or whatever, but the sight of the maw of the dimensional bridge had begun to convince him. Leaving Lee and the others to fight that battle, he told himself, had been the bravest thing he had done in a long time. His knowledge of Alliance codes and the operation of Resolute had given him the edge in defeating the security lockouts.

  Familiarity with the crew had gotten him inside. After that, he had released the device from the mag-lock on the underside and waited while the android woman stepped on board. Disabling the robot had been easier than he had expected too. A quick perusal of specs left by Connor Jakes after their last mission had shown him where to find the disable switch.

  With the android inert and the implosion device unhooked, it had just been a matter of launching. Lee’s voice on the comm had almost convinced him to turn back. He couldn’t though. A small picture of Emma he kept on a chain around his neck propelled him onwards. He was going home and nothing could stop him.

 
Turn Navi Off
Turn Navi On
Scroll Up
Scroll