|Wing Commander AU Timeline
Author: Bob Regent PM
An alternate universe for Wing Commander at the Battle of EarthRated: Fiction K - English - Sci-Fi - Words: 9,057 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 3 - Published: 08-20-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6254867
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Wing Commander AU Timeline
Author: Ash's Boomstick
Summary: A possible history of the Wing Commander Universe set after the Battle of Earth.
Spoilers: End Run, Fleet Action, Wing Commander 3 Heart of the Tiger, Wing Commander Prophecy
Dedications: The Unusual Suspects as usual and TheKiat
NOTICE: THIS STORY MAY BE DISTRIBUTED FREE OF CHARGE BUT MUST NOT BE SOLD OR EXCHANGED FOR FINANCIAL RETURN IN ANY FORM.
The full disclaimer will be located at the end of this story. However, be it known that I own nothing and expect to get nothing because the rights are owned by others. Only certain characters and technologies are mine and these are the creation of the author who is solely responsible for them as such. Neither Studio is responsible for the content of this story.
THIS STATEMENT MUST ACCOMPANY THE STORY 'Wing Commander AU Timeline' IF DISTRIBUTED. THIS STORY IS FREE OF CHARGE AND MAY NOT BE SOLD OR EXCHANGED FOR FINANCIAL RETURN IN ANY FORM. THIS DEDICATION MUST ACCOMPANY ANY DISTRUBUTION OF THIS STORY.
After almost a year of attacks the devestation caused by the hit and run attacks against the Kilrathi auxiliaries and shipyards was being felt, against the ropes and forced to pull entire fleets back from the front the Kilrathi realise that they are in dire need of a breath to bring their forces back to full strength. On the advice of one of this closest confidants Jukaga nar Kira, the Kilrathi Emperor send a request and a proposal to the confederation... for Peace Talks.
This is an unprecedented call by the Kilrathi, in their entire known history they have never sued for peace against any enemy and have indeed come close to annihilation more than once due to this. Once the proposal is made public Congress demands for it to be ratified and the war to be ended immediately, however the military and intelligence services as well as a number of senators from the sectors closest to the front lines.
Several kilrathi intelligence officers seconded from the captured and/or defected worlds point blank tell the council reps that it is likely a trap as their people never surrender and in fact are using a human word as they have none. However congress ignores the warnings from the military and the Kilrathi and accept the proposal, demands are sounded by the sectors to hold the line still as there will still be problems several systems going as far as to pay for overhauls and repair of many of the carriers online.
At this time a number of the more an accident involving the deaths of a few of the more pro military senators creates outrage, it is believed that this is a set-up to scale down the forces and to silence those who dont trust the Kilrathi. Note: This is believed to be the first overt hostile act of the Black Lance, an act that managed to bring several of those sitting on the fence over to the more militant side.
With the cessation of hostilities against the Kilrathi there is a massive demand to reduce the military forces throughout the Confederation, as a surprise to many Admiral Banbridge agreed and began rotated almost half of the carriers into the shipyards beyond the core systems for refit and repair several of which of the oldest will then be sold on to the Landreich and other allied powers along with very large numbers of older fighters. In addition the ships under construction are also continued under peacetime construction to replace the older ships which will be decommissioned en masse as the others come online and go through their trials.
To replace a number of carriers and garrisons lost during the war another batch of Wake class under construction are also to be completed to patrol the systems furthest out from the core of the Confederation as raiders are becoming a problem once again both rogue Kilrathi and human.
Banbridge is accused by the anti-military doves as deliberately continuing using funds that should be repealed from the military and many want him removed, however he shows slightly reworked numbers that show that the new ships will simply be more efficient and more capable than the older ships which will be removed and scrapped within the next year and once the new ones are active they will be designated escorts for stellar exploration as well as defence.
In addition to this he points out a gradual step down over two or more years will allow a slow but methodical move from a war to a peacetime economy and the movement of millions of troops to civilian life can be accepted into the Confederation as a whole. This is accepted by the majority of Congress but they demand that the Wake Class construction be terminated and the new generation of fighters be scaled back as they wont be needed against the Pirates out there.
However members of the joint chiefs as well as those of the senate and allies within the landreich and border worlds all had their doubts about the peace treaty and began their own preperations. The Landreich would accept the incoming ships with the proviso that they would be ready for use by confed if the worse came to the worse, they would later be gifted Wake Class ships and the older carriers still left available post war if they were all still around to see it. As if by providence the conspiracy were given their needs on a silver platter.
The final battle of the war technically began and ended several hours after the armistice was signed, during a battle in the Munro system the TCS Concordia was pushing the defences of Munro Three to the brink leading two carriers and their groups to an invasion of the world. It is unknown what happened next as there was no log left in the remains of the Kilrathi battle group but what is known is that fighters and bombers of the Concordia group attacked and destroyed the entire Kilrathi battle group in short order with no losses to their own. It was at this point the log of the Concordia says that the communication was finally logged as having been received.
Upon their return to their home base at Sirius Prime Tolwyn was ordered to return to Earth and was brought before a court marshal, these charges included wilful destruction of a non-combatant, unauthorised use of military hardwear and disobeying orders. He was removed from command of the Concordia and put on indefinite leave until he was recalled. However those members of the conspiracy tapped him for a new position and with what seemed to be a heavy heart Tolwyn resigned his commission and left for the frontier world of Haven Gardens. However he was diverted from his destination to one of the worlds of the Landreich and ordered into command of a group of ships one dedicated to finding out just what the cats were up to and to stop them.
Hakaga and the Battle of the Hari System
The fleet of ships assigned to Admiral Tolwyn consisted purely of a half dozen escort carriers, Tarawa, Enigma, Normandy, Repleetah, Dieppe and Torch. Launching from a jump point close to the border with the Confederation all six ships are lost in a jump point accident of such horrific proportions the point itself implodes damaging both ends of the jump channel. Horrified by the loss of both the ships and the jump point the Confederation promise replacement ships as soon as they can get the production line operational, a side effect that immensely pleased the conspiracy.
Unknown to all but a very few this accident is set up to allow for the confederation to send a small group of ships to the far edge of the Kilrathi Empire. For several months they traverse the far frontier of the Empire under ENCOM taking quick scans and making notes of the infrastructure that they find, at this point they find a pattern in the supply transports and head into into range of the Hari System. The system once belonged to a small and relatively advanced race which had been destroyed years before the war with the Confederation, a few modified fighters were sent into the system and the surrounding sector to find anything that could explain the mass of equipment heading into deep space.
Communications tapped from the Kilrathi ships were intercepted and easily decoded by new equipment and a number of allied Kilrathi on the Tarawa, what was discovered horrified the entire task force. A force of new Hakaga-class carriers were under construction, the information gathered allowed the Landreich force to find out a great detail about the ships. The ships were massive and heavily armoured, a match for the entire Confederation carrier fleet if they were completed. This was the reason for the false peace, Banbridge and his people had been right to be worried, in addition information about a new dreadnaught was uncovered with little more than the knowledge it could wipe out an Earth style planet in a single shot.
With this gathered information, the Intel Fleet sent the Tawara with Admiral Tolwyn back to the Confederation through the quickest safe route, this would take them through both known and unknown systems leaving the escort ship dangerously exposed. One week after the Tawara began her return to Confed lines the remaining five ships launched a strike attack on the shipyards with a full fighter launch, the fighters were followed in by the ships themselves. Knowing this was a one way trip one way or another every ship and weapon that could be thrown at the shipyards was, the equivalent of a heavy carrier launched as one into the closest side of the shipyard unleashing everything they had.
The surprise was total as seven of the Hakagas under construction are destroyed by the missiles and torpedoes entering their unfinished hulls and exploding bursting the Kilrathi carriers like bubbles taking much of the construction yards with them. A few other ships docked nearby are lost as they take hits including a truly massive amount of transport capacity on a par with the entirety of the last few months of the war. During this attack fighters and warships on patrol finally make it to the devastated shipyards and target the decreasing Confed forces. Within the hour every Confed ship is lost, every human is killed in action.
Cease Fire Broken
In October of 2668, the Kilrathi ambassador to the Confederation requested a meeting with members of the council and the Joint Chiefs, however Banbridge who as the head of the JCS is in the midst of the next round of draw downs in the Confederation forces is not present. Unfortunately the ambassador was a judas goat and in one fell swoop the detonation of a few milligrams of anti-matter stored in his chest destroyed much of the senate building killing most of those attending and wounding a few others outside the meeting room. Of the senior officers assembled only General Grecko of the Confed marines survived, the loss of most of the leadership both political and military left Confed crippled and flailing.
As soon as the attack was confirmed Crown Prince Thrakhath made his move.
An armada of Kilrathi ships had been formed within days of the attack on the Hari shipyards and dozens of ships including the last five intact ships of the Hakaga fleetand more than three thousand fighters held position out of range of the Confederation border sensors. The entire force set off heading straight towards Earth via the Vega Sector, the moment the force was detected alarms were sent out Confederation wide. The truce was over.
Confed could not mount a decent defense within their own space until the Kilrathi hit the Sirius System, deep inside Sol Sector. Due to his actions both pre and post war Tolwyn was reinstated and reassigned to Concordia, as well as three other fleet carriers and a handful of the Wake Class ships. A number of artillery ships had also been rapidly refit from those put into mothballs, their shields and armour were still the same basic systems but their weapons were modified to those used by the newer ships.
The battle was a foregone conclusion, every fighter and bomber in the force plus those of Sirius station were flown against the incoming Kilrathi horde, barely two hundred fighters intercepted over a thousand with almost total destruction. Two of Tolwyns own carriers were destroyed in short order, Waterloo and Austerlitz exploded into shrapnel from multiple torpedo hits. Tolwyns force also lost at least one of the smaller carriers and three quarters of the escorts. One old Snakier and twenty other ships were knocked off the Kilrathi fleet, along with the rest of the Artillery ships barely even being noticed by the Cats. With no choice Tolwyn retreated back to the planet of Sirius Prime the fleet had to make a stand or Sirius Prime was wide open.
A partially terraformed planet, Sirius Prime was larger than Earth and home to twice as many Terrans. Sirius militia began a fierce battle alongside the Confed naval warships as they were reinforced with a number of smaller vessels already assigned to the Militia. As the battle intensified yet more ships including smugglers and privateers massed their numbers and hit . Most were lost for almost no gain while others managed to down a few of the Kilrathi fighters and escorts, with some pilots choosing to ram the Kilrathi ships rather than be shot down. The combined attack did little damage, but the main orbital station detected a confirmed weaknesses in the Kilrathi shielding within the flight decks. The information was transmitted back to Sol, just a few seconds before the Station itself was destroyed.
Impatience gnawed at Prince Thrakhath as he watched the ongoing battle on his flag bridge, he knew that every hour spent at Sirius allowed Confed time to rearm and pull other ships together to fight his own force. Frustrated with this unexpected resistance the prince ordered his fleet to detach six of their own smaller carriers to harass the remaining defences and to keep them occupied. As the Hakaga fleet pulled out a mass of torpedoes and warheads were unleashed at the planet forcing the defenders to break off combat to intercept the deadly weapons.
Battle of Earth
The Kilrathi fleet jumped into the Sol System in December of 2668, already warned several weeks beforehand by the arrival of the battered and depleted Tawara Sol now had a formidable defensive capability throughout the entire system. Ignoring the shipyards and construction facilities of Jupiter and Mars the entire fleet headed straight for Earth. Every ship that could be repaired or literally pushed out of the shipyards to pool at the Lunar Defence Line. Every active carrier that could be recalled as well as a number of unfinished hulls were pulled from the shipyards, anything that could carry a fighter was launched.
Of those seventeen fleet carriers scattered throughout the Confederation or under refit, seven are available at the Sol System at this point with others on work up at Caenervon Station which are on their way but will not make it before the Kilrathi start their attack. Fortunately for Confed their continuing construction and slow build up of ships and equipment during the False Peace has allowed for the twelve carriers in the yards to come close to completion. Of those six are available for almost immediate use with the defensive fleet.
The Kilrathi fleet broke through into the sol system from the Sirius system with a massive force of ten carriers and more than fifty remaining support ships and over three thousand fighters. Facing them were the 1100 fighters of the carrier groups plus more than a thousand fighters off of the numerous smaller ships scattered around as pickets, the remaining operational escort carriers, escorts and planetary defence. In addition thousands of fighters were launched by the planetary defence groups, orbiting stations and even a huge number of private collectors drafted into the battle.
Although outnumbered by almost two to one odds in carriers alone and outnumbered by far more in cruiser escort tonnage, the Kilrathi commanders press the attack in the belief that their forces are far superior. Fighters are also likewise outnumbered but are much closer in firepower due to the antiquated state of the majority of the fighters assembled against them, the Hakaga fleet take point as the last of their fighters launch including the personal fighter of Prince Thrakhath.
On the Confed side hundreds of torpedo and missile carrying fighters launch their full spreads at the Kilrathi fleet almost as one, missiles, torpedoes and mines pepper the entire Kilrathi group with high explosives. The three thousand fighters of the fleet threw themselves into the melee ablating most of the weapons, some entire flight groups exploding as the missiles detonated in their midst. Others weapons hit the closest ships crippling or damaging several and destroying five ships with one carrier crippled and being evacuated.
The Hakaga carriers are hit with the first wave and while each take several hit they are little more than damaged but not enough as they continue on their one weapons and defences making a mockery of the assembled Confed ships. As they came on more torpedoes and missiles hit both fleet killing carriers and escorts, cruisers and destroyer mix it up as the full power of the two fleets close entire flotilla simply ceasing to exist. One cruiser its back ablaze and trailing debris turns onto over onto its flank and slipping through a damaged shield rams a Hakaga before detonating itself and its stock of antimatter missiles blasting the monster in half.
At the go order masses of Marine and Army landing ships and dedicated squadrons of fighters headed for the biggest ships, all emerge from the fleet and escort carriers. Fighters are massacred on both sides as a few larger ships cover the incoming marines several taking multiple hits from the Hakagas an entire flotilla of destroyers breaking apart into small pieces as the groups closed. Grecko and his Marines find their way aboard passing through the now heavily damaged force fields and land inside the monster carriers. Three of the four remaining ships are boarded (one carrier fought off the attempt, and the fifth was already dead), it was already known to Grecko that the mission was one way, but Marines on all three ships fought deep into the carriers before setting of their heavy explosive, Grecko and his marines saved thousands as those three Hakagas shattered, their hulls annihilated by the ship killing fusion warheads detonated by the marines.
With four of the Hakagas gone along with three of the other carriers the remaining ships pulled together charting a suicide charge at the Earth, forming up every ship and fighter left to them the fleet blast through the clustered Confed ships, killing two carriers and crippling a third adding to the total of four damaged or destroyed unfinished hulls already down. The cruisers and destroyers of the Kilrathi fleet are smashed by defensive fire from orbit and close by ships but their sacrifice meant that the remaining heavy cruisers and the Hakaga were able to make into orbit of the Earth in spite of the counterfire blasting away at them.
Each of the ships launch a few missiles before they finally each go down in flames under the incredible amount of fire from the Confederation defences, the three remaining carriers and their escorts scoop up what fighters and ships that they still can and retreat from the battlefield. They head for the jump point to rendezvous with the remaining carriers of the fleet left behind to hunt the Concordia, the survivors arrived to find most of the Confed ships destroyed and the planet under bombardment. The surviving Prince Thrakhath recalled the remaining fleet the entire group now numbering only seven carriers (two damaged beyond repair) and fifteen other ships return to Kilrah.
A follow up attack by a concentration of six fleet carriers and escorts followed the Kilrathi through, almost the entire remaining active carrier fleet available in the Sol Sector returned to Sirius to help the surviving ships of Tolwyns group as well as to attack the Kilrathi if they were still there. They found the first line Confed defenders almost eradiacted with a very few ships all crippled and battered, a debris cloud surrounded the planet and out into space as the remains of the fleets, planetary defenders and a massive number of private craft settled into orbit of Sirius
The carrier group was all but destroyed by the Kilrathi, a single carrier was still operation al but with no remaining air wing and most of her engines shot off. The other carriers were destroyed with a single ship salvageable, a quick scan found that carrier to be the Concordia herself. She had taken more than twice the torpedo hits that should have been necessary to destroy her and survived almost intact, the hull was breached in parts, her weapons were destroyed and the engines were down but she was still mostly spaceworthy but with one notable and sad exception. The crew was dead to a man including Admiral Tolwyn himself.
Back on Earth it was discovered that one high ranking member of the cabinet had been an unwilling agent for the Kilrathi Empire, Foreign secretary Rhonda Jamison was forced into betraying the Confederation in return for the wellbeing of her only son. An in depth investigation found her to have not only pushed through the treaty but also bribed and threatened several senators into dispursing the carrier fleet and fighter development across the Confederation. This had already led to the failure to recall the remaining ships and the loss of thousands of fighters from the home defence to the far borders facing away from the Kilrathi, Jamison was sentenced to death by firing squad within a day of sentencing.
For the Kilrathi the situation was dire, their fleet had been all but massacred by the Confederation forces, even the annihilation of ten Confed carriers and damage to a host of other ships was by far outweighed by the loss of the entire Hakaga fleet in combat and more than half of the fleet carriers sent against Earth. Dozens of smaller vessels had been destroyed and would take time to replace, the loss of the Hari system and its construction facilities were also a terrible loss and could not be replaced in any fashion
For the Terrans the battle had been a complete and total success but at a cost, the attack had crippled or destroyed ten carriers, three of which were total losses with three more likely to be little more than salvage material including the Concordia. Fortunately four of the crippled or damaged carriers were under repair and completion and would be back in active service within eighteen months. For the moment a maximum of Nineteen fleet carriers are now available with fourteen new ships under construction, according to intel the losses suffered by the Kilrathi has brought the Confed navy to within spitting distance of equalling the Kilrathi in pure carrier numbers. The numbers of Wake Class active or under construction has also allowed for a serious increase in border raids renewing the hit and run campaigns that brought the empire to their knees.
With Banbridge as the sole surviving senior officer he is forced to hold most of the remaining fleet in Confed space by the senate while they deliberate targets for the fleet to take on, unwilling to let this chance go by four of the ships are sent on large scale raids against the Kilrathi borders, Wake Class and corvette flotillas modified with heavy missile and torpedo launchers escort the main carriers behind the lines. The rest of the fleet is reassembled and sent to the front lines, several more damaged carriers are blown apart by the Confederation fleet, mostly survivors of the Battle of Earth and a few that were on their way to the sectors now in Confed hands before they could be stopped. The Kilrathi fleet carrier numbers are now well below those of the Confederation excepting those new Bhantkara ships under construction.
With the war turning against them so completely due to Confeds constant hit and run attacks and the undeniable losses during the most recent fleet actions the Kilrathi are against the wall and decide to finish the war with their last ace in the hole. A trio of 22 km dreadnaughts known as the H'varkann Class wasalready known to Confed Intelligence to be under construction, the orders from the Emperor were to complete the massive warship as soon as possible, once complete it was to be escorted by the new generation of Bhantkara Carriers and Fralthi-II class heavy cruisers.
To the Kilrathi if the human homeworld was destroyed then the rest of their Confederation would unravel, but the entire Sol system would need to be wiped out using the three Dreadnaughts. Desperate for carriers as another group of half dozen are picked off in hit and run raids, mainly those critically damaged or too old to run away from the encroaching Confed ships. The clans are ordered to assemble a grand fleet to take on the Confederation and to destroy every ship and planet on the way, almost a dozen carriers are pulled together including the newest group of Bhantkara class and those few mainstay fleet carriers that could be spared from the front lines.
A combination of cruisers and battleships were armed with annihilation warheads and dirty nukes, these ships would bombard those planets that were deemed worthless and not a suitable use of the dreadnaught. As a consequence of the build up all along the borders the Kilrathi began to pull ships back leaving just enough to keep the pretence that they are going to hold the Confederation back tooth and claw, with the completion of the new carriers and the repairs of the last few of the most damaged carriers the entire navy is now back on form and assembled against the Confederation.
The Kilrathi Armada
With the completion of the Hvarkann, and the Emperors impending death, Thrakhath ordered that the Council of Eight (now seven following purges that greatly weakened the Kira Pride) send their own fleets to assemble in order of Kilrah. Centered around the lone dreadnaught were ten Kilrathi carriers, and a mass of cruisers. Heading them were two of the new class Havrakan class their first target was the planet of Firekka. The losses taken there by the Kilrathi and the disruption of the Ceremony of Sivar could not be allowed to go by without vengeance.
The first the Confederation knew of the active dreadnaught was a distress call from the planets defence forces, three light carriers of the ranger class had been dispatched to the local area at the end of the war to defend the planet against marauding groups. One Concordia was also tagged to replace two of them as part of the draw down of the Confed navy, the rangers had launched their fighters as had the planets defence force but they had been overwhelmed in quick succession by ten times their numbers in fighters. The carriers and escorts followed them into death but in the process destroying two of the three cruisers modified to bombard the earth as well as crippling one of the older carriers.
Those damaged ships were left behind as the fleet approached Firekka and destroyed it, the planet poisoned to the point that it would be millennia before anyone could live there. Only a few thousand on ships that escaped to the Jump point survived the annihilation.
By this point in the war Confed has its entire carrier fleet recalled and deployed to the front lines, with such a large number of heavy ships now available the entire fleet have been distributed in five fleets throughout the borders with Wake Class and Eagle light carrier attack squadrons jumping behind the lines crippling defences and supply depots throughout the closest sectors and allowing follow up attacks to capture the systems that were cleared of Kilrathi ships. However one full fleet was found destroyed with the carriers and their escorts blown into so much shrapnel, news of this loss coming on the heels of the attack on Firekka terrified the Confederation into overdrive. Banbridge is forced to recall one of the four remaining fleets back to the inner colonies and deploy others that were recovered and under repair after the Battle of Earth.. Even a group of light and assault carriers that were left in mothballs are brought back into service to increase the firepower available to the inner sector forces.
Soon after it became known that the Kilrathi Dreadnaughts were close to completion Banbridge authorised the transfer of a powerful weapon currently under construction at the far side of the confederation to the shipyards at Lunar for completion, to do so the Concordia Class ships under construction are dropped to the lowest level of necessity allowing for he transfer of eighty percent of the work staff and equipment to the Behemoth project. Heavy armour plating and CIWS systems enclose the entire vessel to the point that it is more difficult to kill than a Hakaga.
Over the past decade or so Confed Intel and R&D began developing a project based on the Phase Transit Cannon originally installed on the original Confederation Class Carrier/Dreadnaughts. the Behemoth project. Behemoth was a dreadnaught only a third the size of the 22km sized Kilrathi version but more capable of destroying a planet than the other warship. As rumours of the larger ship circulated throughout their space Confed was forced to rush it into service as fast as possible. For the moment much of the ship was unfinished as the engines, shields, and the main weapon were seen as the most necessary to begin operations. However even after the terror of thirty-five years of conflict the Confederation were reluctant to release such a weapon upon the galaxy. In the worlds of Banbridge himself, "The war is drawing to a close. In six months, either Earth or Kilrah will be in ruins." With that, Project Behemoth was transferred to the Lunar Shipyards and made mission ready.
Once knowledge of this construct became common in the higher ranks of the Confederation Armed forces it became apparent that the creation of this superweapon was not a popular idea. The fact that more that 100 fleet carriers could have been built in those ten years as well as the construction yard to build them infuriated the Navy many believing that the normal armed forces had been left to die just for this monstrosity to finish construction when so many more ships and fighters could have been constructed in the same time frame.
However reports come in from the Vega Sector that another planet had been destroyed and three more light carriers had been lost, this spate of losses has horrified the Council badly to the point that they demanded that the Behemoth be sent out immediately to take on the Kilrathi forces. Still incomplete but capable of interstellar ranged travel the Superweapon is immediately launched to the Sirius sector in an attempt to take down the Dreadnaught, as she is launched the majority of the recalled fleet carriers congregate at Lunar to take escort positions over the complaints of the council.
Mostly made up of fleet carriers and heavy cruisers the fleet launch for the last known position of the Hvarrkanns, to increase the escort firepower a trio of older battleships were rescued from mothballs at the same time as the light carriers were and are likewise upgraded as much as possible. The entire group headed for the Charybdis Quasar from the Sol system side passing by the fortress defences and the expanded defence force, the majority of the confederation forward fleet had already been recalled by now leading to a very few ships on the front lines.
Passing through the Quasar the Confed fleet met head on with the Kilrathi fleet in the Gemini Sector just a days travel from the jump point, ships on both sides began to go down in flames as fighters and missiles blew through armour plating and shields. Dozens of escorts and cruisers blew apart on both sides the superior technology of the Confederation outdistancing the equal numbers of the Kilrathi Fleet. In amongst this the superweapons began a slow dance as the began their own attacks. The main dreadnaught locked onto the behemoth and fired the beam only lightly tapped the Behemoth and destroying its shields and tearing into the armour plating to the port side. Several weapons banks and a pair of corvettes on point defence are obliterated.
The Behemoth while damaged is still under control and fires back its own cannon blasting into the Kilrathi monster blowing apart its engine block and power systems sending shrapnal flying into the two closest heavy carriers crippling one and disabling the other. The Dreadnaught faltered and drifted its power gone and its crew all but dead. This battle of titans continues on as the single survivor of the two kilrathi monsters tries to get a bead on the faster moving Behemoth, neither vessel can get into place for a kill shot without risking destruction leading to each closing on the other as they struggled for supremacy
All around them carriers and escorts fall to the guns of the other side whitting down the forces on either side, the Kilrathi ships fall in numbers faster than the Confederation. Unable to escape from the battle the crews realise that this is the endgame for their fleet. As the battle escalates another group of ships arrives from behind the Kilrathi, Admiral Banbridge sends a signal to all ships, the Earth Defence fleet was there to assist the Dreadnaught escort fleet. The four days the fleet had held the Kilrathi in the stand up fight so close to the Quasar had allowed for the defence forces to organise a second fleet group using what they could scrape together. Commanded from the TCS Victory this accumulation of older ships and half finished carriers blew through the unprepared enemy fleet.
This is to be the final true battle for the Kilrathi war machine as the dozens of Terran carriers and huge numbers of cruisers simply destroyed the Kilrathi fleet to a ship, unwilling or unable to surrender Prince Thrakhath fires his main weapon at the closest carriers blasting two of the unfinished Concordias out of space and damaging a few other ships. His defiant end came moments later as the Behemoth now defended by the rest of the fleet turns in space and blows the Dreadnaught out of space its main cannon vapourising the majority of the ship as it passes through end to end.
This last gasp attack was literally that, the loss of ten carriers to the Confederation as they headed through Confederation space and the death of the twin Dreadnaught with the Prince aboard takes the wind out of the sails of the Kilrathi, unable to hold against the renewed onslaught their forces are in retreat on all sides. Even with another four carriers lost and several crippled and two partially built ships obliterated by the Empire in the final battle the Terrans can build up more ships faster and their main fleet still counted more than a twenty fleet and light carriers while all that remained of the Kilrathi forces were their few precious carriers and the ships of the ruling prides personal guard and they were at all times concentrated at Kilrah.
To keep up the pressure the RIF groups continued to assault the Kilrathi supply lines with groups of three Wake Class ships commander by at least one Eagle Class Light Carrier, the fleet carriers deemed to expensive and necessary to escort the attacks.
Twelve fleet carriers were now available after the battle most returning to their home sectors for repair and refit with others now undergoing repair with very few salvaged from the Kilrathi juggernaut rush through the outer systems of the sector. Over the months preceding the end of the year they were condensed into a smaller number of assault fleets, four groups of three carriers were formed to attack across the entire front rolling up the Kilrathi forces and throwing them back. Even damaged and exhausted as the Terrans were after a year of almost insane combat they were still pushing the Kilrathi on all sides, RIF and Fleet Carrier groups raided system after system destroying infrastructure and transport capacity both, The Hari system was hit once again as another Wake Class force jumped in using the Tawaras course information and commanded this time by the TCS Victory.
A small group of Kilrathi ships including one partially completed Hakaga class ship apparently salvaged from the original attack were found in system, the entire group had been destroyed with no sign of what had attacked them. Huge chunks of the hulls were missing including the entire rear end of the once thought impenetrable Hakaga, with no targets the group sent a message back to the Confederation and continued their penetration of Kilrathi space. (Note: Like the destruction of the seventh fleet that year this has been attributed to the actions of the Black Lance, reasons are unknown at this time.)
Much like the Confederation the Kilrathi had been forced to bring older ships back online to fill their depleted roster, fleet carriers and dreadnaughts were dusted off and rebuilt as much as possible with the resources available within the remaining empire. Most were sent to the forward systems opposite the Confederation where most were massacred as the Confed carrier assault forces smashed through them. Others mixed it up with RIF groups these battles usually ending in stalemates with one or the other group losing more firepower than they could comfortably go on without.
However every system and every sector lost by the Terran Confederation in the thirty five years of war were being retaken and reinforced as Confed continued on through systems already wiped clean of support and defences. Only stopping once a month to bring up spares, supplies, replacement fighters and escorts and to make sure the entire line was moving up together
Only eight months after the Battle of Earth the Confederation has the upper hand once again and this time they were squeezing the Kilrathi dry, the rest of the year would be spent rebuilding the forces and bringing up supplies and equipment on both sides. The RIF groups would continue with other light carriers supporting the escort carriers, the most famous of these being the attack on the Kilrathis last supercarrier shipyard by the TCS Victory.
Confed Naval Commander pulled back most of their ships from the front lines and retaken systems to repair and redress the balance of their forces, for them the need to rebuild the fleet after losing half of their active Carriers in a single year was crushing. Only the knowledge that far more carriers and the dreadnaughts had been destroyed on the Kilrathis side meant anything. The timeline for any new Kilrathi carriers or larger ships was at least a year of not more due to their losses in material and personnel, in that time another dozen Fleet Carriers would be close to completion while damaged and crippled ships from the Battle of Charybdis were repaired.
The first the Kilrathi knew of the new attacks were the massacre of lighter rearward units by the assault on their lines by the full weight of the RIF forces available. Thirty Wake Class Ships and a dozen mixed Yorktown, Eagle and the sole surviving Bengal Class light carriers attacked from the rearward systems of the Kilrathi empire, most of said systems were deserted as the prides were forced to contract their defence perimeter as far back as possible to strengthen their lines. Something that up until recently had been anathema to their kind, only orders from the Emperor and his most recent successor had allowed for such a change.
Attacks began in August of that year, ten months after the Confederation had ceased its steamrolling into the Kilrathi Empire and that time had been used well. Since the close call of the Battle of Earth the entire Confederation had opened their eyes to the truth behind the Kilrathi and almost overnight all complaints and demands about the war effort disappeared. While some of those more die-hard peace types continued to cry out for peace with the Kilrathi they were seen as more than delusional and in some places were found beaten or dead.
With the lack of problems that had plagued the Confederations war effort for thirty years the fleet reconstruction went into overdrive, every one of the remaining damaged or crippled carriers had been rebuilt and were in service by September 2670 bringing the serviceable fleet back up to seventeen fleet carriers. In addition the repairs to the Behemoth were now complete and its defences further reinforced with heavier shields and weapons, since the completion of the last group of carrier nineteen months earlier another fifteen carriers have been under accelerated construction throughout the Confederation as a new combined fleet to replace the damaged and old ships of the fleet that need replacement.
The entire lot consist of the newest available ships, the Lexington and Jutland Classes will replace the older stalwart ships of the Concordia class and join their sisters already in service with the fleet. Most were already close to completion with only months of work left before deployment, it is decided that instead of the piecemeal release of the carriers ten would be sent out as a group will be deployed as the First Grand Fleet of the Confederation. The first time that title has been used since the end of the Pilgrim war, escorted by new cruisers and destroyers also under construction the fleet would be equal to the entire force that fought at the Battle of Earth.
For the Kilrathi things are much more of a problem, the shipyards in the Kilrah system and the production lines in the sector have also been running full tilt but the lack of supplies and equipment needed to replace the destroyed shipyards already crippled or wrecked by the RIF attacks was reducing the ability of the Cats to rebuild their forces and unlike the Confederation were also finding it difficult to rebuild their fighter corps. 2670 would end like it began for the Kilrathi, under siege by carrier groups and losing more and more transports and merchantmen by the score.
The beginning of the thirty eighth year of the war had the Confederation poised for the complete invasion of Kilrathi space, the ships of the fleet began a slow encroach into the closest systems of the remaining Empire. With the reinforcement of the fleets mover the last year the carriers have found their air wings reinforced and upgraded with the newest ships and pilots to come from the Confederation construction lines. The biggest change in the fleet however is the addition aboard several carriers of the new Excalibur class fighter a new and massively superior heavy fighter capable of outrunning, outfighting and outgunning any known fighter in space. In addition to its myriad of upgrades compared to the earlier fighter the Excalibur was equipped with Confeds first Cloaking Device.
The flagship of the fleet the TCS Ark Royal was equipped with a full fighter load of four squadrons replacing their fighter firepower and another dozen squadrons throughout the combined fleet, With contact established with the RIF the main fleet attacked the Kilrathi breaking through the thin lines shattering the forward defences in short order. Jumping into the Vukar Tag system the jump capable Excalibur and Thundrebolt squadrons hit the defences quickly, two carriers went down through the overwhelming attack clearing the area around the jump point before making a run on the rest of the system. The Confed fighters were reinforced as six fleet carriers and escorts make their way through the jump point escorting the Behemoth. In very short order the fighter forces backed by heavy cruisers wipe out the systems mobile defences leaving the main starbase and defences alone.
Knowing that taking down a station of that size and its local defences would be dangerous even to a force of carriers their current size the fleet admiral ordered the Behemoth to take point. The result was more than obvious as the superweapon fire on the station vaporising it, its fighters, defensive platforms and impacting the planet behind them turning the area that once housed the Empress home into a crater more than a mile deep.
It was becoming evident that the Kilrathi forces left available to the prides were too far stretched for them to take on the Confederation juggernaut and had instead pulled back all but a pittance of their ships to the home system. In all only handfuls of cruisers and ancient carriers even older than the Yorktowns were thrown against the incoming fleet. The RIF and light carrier groups had already cleared dozens of systems losing a small number of fighters and escort ships including a few destroyers and an older heavy cruiser for many times their number, the fleet and the RIF find more and more empty systems abandoned or a few with population consisting of innocent and helpless non combatants.
Securing the area behind them the fleet halts as they are joined by ten of the fifteen new carriers that have recently left the shipyard, this brings the attack fleet to twenty fleet carriers and a dozen Eagle Class ships, older light carriers and damaged Wake Class ships are sent back to the shipyards as are dozens of older and exhausted escorts. From that moment on it takes three months of slow and methodical fighting and careful planning to penetrate the Kilrathi lines and slice off entire sectors of the Kilrathi Empire. Two fleet carriers and three cruisers were lost in ambushes as they probed inward forcing the fleet to slow their forward movement.
However by November the incredible amount of firepower has simply been too much for the Kilrathi forcing dozens of warships to run and assist in the fortification of the homeworld, before the end of the year the fleet has surrounded the remaining jump points to the Kilrah system. More than one hundred ships including Twelve fleet carriers, Twelve light carriers and Thirty Wake Class are assembled around the six jump points to the system. Surrounding them are dozens of escorts from heavy cruisers to corvettes, at the rear covered by two more entire carrier groups sits the Behemoth. Over the last year only Six Wake Class and an number of older Concordia class Carriers have been lost in combat, with fifteen lesser ships lost mainly by suicide rams or lucky shots.
Arriving on another carrier Admiral Banbridge takes command of the fleet, as the last survivor of that first day where the Kilrathi fleet was discovered he was determined to be there for the last day of the war. On his order Excalibur squadrons are sent through the smaller jump points to recon the system, hundreds of fighter spread out taking out picket ships as the burst through clearing several jump points completely with no losses to themselves. At one however carriers and anti fighter ships sit awaiting the attack wiping out every fighter as they pour through.
The information gathered however made the Admiral and his staff more than worried as they looked through the accumulated data, every remaining heavy and light carrier the Kilrathi had were patrolling the system, thousands of fighters and bombers surround the planet on all sides launching from battlestations and ships. It seemed that every ship from the last thirty years have been pulled from mothballs, manned and rearmed, the last year has allowed the consolidation and reconstruction of their entire mothball fleet. Much like at the Battle for Earth their forces are less powerful than the assembled Confed fleets but have far more firepower due to the planetary defences and the numerous heavy cruisers and battleships that were more or less found to be useless in the fast moving carrier heavy warfare of this conflict. At the very center of the fleet the last of the Hvarrkan Dreadnaughts have been not only finished but heavily modified with heavier armour and weapons, something that would cause havoc against the Confederation fleet.
Banbridge made the decision and as soon as the data was analysed the Humans launched the final act, their entire fleet burst through the remaining jump points throughout the Kilrah system forcing the Kilrathi to split their forces to bear on each concentration. However unlike the end run on the system not to mention the Battle for Earth the fleet action was simply a sideshow, before the fleets can meet the Behemoth, locks onto Kilrah and fires. The beam slices through the incoming fleets causing hundreds of ships to burn as it passes through them and impacts the surface. Like the test planets beforehand Kilrah simply explodes, its entire surface annihilated causing the pressure of the tectonically unstable core to erupt blasting outwards wiping out much of the surviving defence fleet and the battlestations. The construction yards, equipment and everything within the radius of the explosion is lost to the fireball, hundreds more ships that hadnt made it far enough are engulfed.
Those ships and fighters closest to the human lines are spared as is the majority of the outer system constructs, the Naval forces of the Kilrathi empire and now less than a single battle fleet with almost no home to speak of. The survivors of the grand armada almost collapse as the Confed ships simply eradicate them, several even going as far as to plunge their ships and fighters into the fireball that had once been their home committing Zukara to be with their ancestors. A few dozen ships surrender to the Confed fleet having no reason to continue the fight.
However a final act of defiance is the newly crowned Emperors attempt on the life of Admiral Banbridge by attacking the Ark Royal with a squadron of advanced heavy fighters, four fighters on CAP attack the entire squadron with the quick loss of two of their pilots. The entire elite squadron however are wiped out to a man, a two hour dogfight with the Emperor himself ends with the fighter downed by the unorthodox methods of Major Todd Maniac Marshall. His commander and wingman Colonel Christopher Maverick Blair stops a final suicide charge on the Ark Royal by one of the fighters by throwing his own ship in the way and ejecting after finding his guns were damaged in combat.
After thirty eight years and trillions of lives The Terran-Kilrathi War was over
The Treaty of Torgo
Kilrathi survivors of the war were now scattered across the entire galaxy, their numbers still larger that most powers but the vast majority were non combatants left behind as the Kilrathi navy pulled back. Several months after the final attack the highest remaining military officers met with the Confed Supreme Commanders and Joint Chiefs in the Torgo System for the signing of the surrender and peace treaty. For the first time in almost fifty years, humanity was at peace, Kilrathi space now had to be policed and secured against pirates and raiders meaning the Confed forces would have to stay at their current levels for the foreseeable future while until the Empire as it was now had been reoccupied by the surviving Kilrathi on the few safe and habitable plants that their remaining forces could defend. A bare handful of twenty year old carriers and less than fifty other ships both military and auxiliary had survived the end of the war, the largest ship was a partially complete Bhantkara class carrier which survived due to its abandonment as the Kilrathi pulled back to their home system.
Other ships such as civilian merchants etc were much more plentiful and would become the backbone of the reconstruction of the Kilrathi as a minor power, in time they would allow for the entire race to rejoin the galaxy but at a size comparable to the landreich or border worlds and about as well armed.
The end of the war brought about the expected crash on the economy as massive numbers of troops and ships were decommissioned, anything older than fifteen years or on its last legs were dropped from the roster. Many were mothballed or held in reserve while others were sold to the other powers. Wake Class and Yorktown Class ships were sold to the border worlds, the Landreich and amusingly to the Kilrathi Defence force, other vessels were also sold off or converted back to merchants and likewise sold off to the other minor powers. The Landreich would receive their Concordia Class carriers as well as the Wake Class ships, but would also manage to wangle several heavy cruisers into the bargain.
However more ships were kept online as Confederation space was now more than twice the size it had been only two years beforehand and more than four times the size it had been before the beginning of the war. As new ships came into commission crews and pilots were recalled and deployed, sixteen fleet carriers dropped to twelve then back to almost thirty within the year while hundreds of new ships were brought online to defend the rest of the borders and as escorts for the exploration fleets that Banbridge had promised five years previously. The Behemoth was returned to the Lunar shipyards and permanently docked and shut down, it would spend most of its life unused and derelict until the arrival of the Nephilim and its use at the Battle of the Towers fighting to its death alongside the Trafalgar class megacarrier TCS Trafalgar.