I do not own Freespace 2 or Babylon 5. The rights to use their characters, concepts, plots etc. belongs to Volition, Interplay, Parallax Online, and Warner Bros. Studios. This story has not been authorized by any of them. If any, or all, request that it is removed from the Internet, I shall do so.
A little background info:
In the Freespace universe this happens 12 years after the end of the second shivan invasion. The subspace portal in Delta Serpentis has been constructed and Earth rejoined the Alliance. In The Babylon 5 universe this takes place in the Earth/Minbari war, about 6 months before the battle of the Line.
Galactic Terran Installation Troy
The room was large and dark, the only source of light coming from a large Holo projector in the centre of the room, surrounding this was a large table with several people sitting around, the table itself had little on it besides a few refreshments which had yet to be touched and a small computer which was installed directly on the table and allowed anyone that attended these meetings to access relevant information.
Present in this meeting was Admiral Steve Mallory an average man with black hair and piercing blue eyes and commander of the GTVA 15th Terran Fleet, the captains of various ships were also present, they were staring intently at the battle being played on the hologram, it showed two fleets fighting against each other, one was almost entirely composed of large blue fish shaped ships firing an constant barrage of green beams, the other a mixture of dark and Grey ships of utilitarian design that even if outnumbered and outgunned kept firing wildly in an attempt to hit their enemies but either their targeting was bad or there was something else disrupting it, as it was most of the shots missed and the blue ships pushed trough destroying anyone that attempted to stop them, even escape pods were target and annihilated, a few of the Gray ships lucky enough to reach point blank range turned and attempted to ram the nearest enemy ship destroying both in the process but still it wasn't enough to turn the tide of the battle.
The image moved from the slaughter to show one small station, part of it spinning and a number of small craft exiting its hangar to dock with the nearby ships.
Admiral Steve chose this time to make a small comment.
"This is as far as we can gather a civilian station; those ships are presumably carrying civilians."
None responded, but they all understood what it meant, they watched the station, a few looked down at the small screen in front of them and took notes on their respective data pads for future reference.
Suddenly a single green beam slashed past the station barely missing one of the shuttles, the two warships guarding the station responded by firing their weapons and moving to intercept something off screen, at that moment one of the ships was hit by a beam, it struck the ship and a split second later came out the other side, the ship began to drift has it was hit again and again until it exploded. Seconds later its sister ship suffered the same fate.
What happened next horrified all in the room, coming into view, the blue ship responsible for the destruction of the two defending ships now fired on the defenceless ships and station, ignoring all attempts by their victims to establish contact and probably their pleas of mercy, still they didn't stop until all were destroyed.
The view now zoomed out showing the area of the engagement, now all that existed were the Blue ships which were now dispersing, and a large field of ship debris, the only remnants of the battle.
A few seconds later most of the remaining ships opened some type of portal and left.
The Hologram faded away and the lights came backup to normal levels.
Everyone stayed quiet without saying a word, most were simply shocked at the sheer ruthlessness of the aliens, leaving none alive, even civilians were killed. Not even during height of the fourteen years of war against the Vasudans, massacres like this came to be, although it could be said that in both wars against the Shivans, worse has happened, but that was both an entirely different matter and an entirely different species.
Admiral Steve spoke again
"This was recorded by the GTE Galleon, while exploring a newly discovered system, its captain decided to keep out of the fight. As we saw there is a full scale war between two alien races just one jump away from Rigel and two jumps from Haven. Now this is known to the GTVA council for some time and after several meetings it was decided that the 15th Terran Fleet and a Vasudan Task Force will enter this system and try to establish contact with both races. Our main priority is to secure the safety of our people, only when this is assured will we try to intervene. We are to depart in 18 standard hours, all available data has been transmitted to your ships. Dismissed."
Two Weeks later
Galactic Terran Corvette Justice
Rigel Star System
Captain Matthew Hecker looked out the view screen of his ship the GTCv Justice, a newly built and upgraded Deimos class Corvette, and into space. There he saw the busy station that serves as a customs point for this sector of the system and the nearby planet. Numerous freighters, transports and various other ships dotted this area going about their business; groups of fighters could also be seen patrolling around the station.
In addition to the fighters, two cruisers were also present, this and the fighters were more than enough to thwart any pirate attack so he asked himself why did Command order him to patrol this area, in fact why did they send the entire fleet, it isn't as if the this system had any major problems with pirates and it isn't terribly important since it was explored and colonised only three years ago. A single lightly populated world and a few mining industries was all there was in this system.
Suddenly one of officers on the bridge brought him out his thoughts
"Sir, subspace sensors detect ships approaching our location!"
"Size and composition?" He asked calmly.
The officer spared a moment to look at his station before responding
"Currently there are four ships, one Hecate class destroyer, the GTD Monolith, and three Cruiser sized ships. They should arrive in approximately three minutes."
"Thank you lieutenant."
Matthew continued to look at the stars, patiently waiting for the ships to arrive and, exactly three minutes later, four subspace portals opened 300 kilometres from the station.
Instead of relying on the flat view screen, Captain Matthew turned to the tactical Holo projector where he could see with better detail the arriving ships. As expected, four ships came through, two Leviathan cruisers, one Faustus science cruiser and one Hecate destroyer the largest ship in the newly arrived group, it easily dwarfed the escorting cruisers. The computer immediately identified the ships and in the Holo projection, were one could see their designations and other useful information.
He opened his mouth but, before he could say anything, he was interrupted by an officer, the one in charge of the communications
"Sir, we are receiving a transmission from the Monolith."
He straitened his uniform "Alright put it on the view screen."
The view screen changed from the image of the newly arrived ships to that of Jennifer Garnier, the captain of the Monolith. She proceeded to waste no time and spoke
"Captain Matthew, we have new orders for you. Your ship is to proceed to the coordinates we are sending you and, additionally, data regarding the fleet's next missions are also being sent to your personal computer, you are ordered to do not divulge this information until further orders. Monolith out."
With that the image of the destroyer commander was replaced with the star field.
'Well, now that was friendly.' Matthew thought.
Turning to the officer in charge of navigation he asked "Have you received the designated coordinates?"
"Yes sir. Course is already plotted, just awaiting your order."
"Do it, I will be in my quarters, notify me when we are about to arrive." With that he left the bridge.
Earth Alliance Ship Athena
Delphi Star System
Captain Alicia Ralston sat on her command chair, thinking about this newest mission, which she knew it was suicide and serving as bait for a Minbari task force these days was the fastest way to be killed, but if the rest of the fleet could evacuate the remaining civilians for Delphi Prime and nearby stations, then their sacrifice would not be in vain.
She couldn't help but chuckle at the word sacrifice, already too many sacrifices were made and the gains too few, thousands upon thousands of man and women have thrown themselves into the guns of the Minbari fleet trying to delay their advance, trying and failing.
But the Minbari do not stop there, they will not be satisfied with the total destruction of the Earth Force. No, they would not stop until the entire Human Race was annihilated of the face of the Galaxy.
Memories of worlds already bombarded by the Minbari fleet came to her mind, especially her own world, Wolf 128 one of the most recent systems to be taken by the Minbari and bombed into a lifeless rock as a revenge for the loss of several war cruisers. Thoughts of her family and those of her lifelong friends betrayed her, all because those damn boneheads. Without knowing she punched one of the arms of the chair gaining the attention of several crewmembers, but none of then said anything, limiting themselves to shake their heads and concentrating in doing their part on this mission.
Alicia also shook her head 'Damn it, get a grip and focus at the job at hand.'
"Have the Minbari appeared yet?" she suddenly asked
The object of her question, the sensors operator was startled at her sudden question and took a few moments before answering
"No sir, no trace of enemies ships in our sensor range, the other ships are also reporting zero con...wait detecting a jump point 7000 kilometres from the fleets portside, identification is uncertain." A small tinge of fear creeping into the operator's voice, uncertain usually meant Minbari.
"Alright, everybody stay calm it is just a scout, it has no chance against our fleet." She said calmly
"Coordinate our weapons fire with other ships for maximum effectiveness." Her reassuring tone and authoritive voice kept the crew from panicking, although to tell the truth herself was scared of the impeding battle and its already forgone conclusion but that part of her was surpassed by her anger towards the enemy, she was certain the she would die, if not today then tomorrow, if not the tomorrow then the day after, it didn't matter to her, the only thing she wanted now was to take with her as many Minbari as she could, and this battle could very well provide her with just that. Her lips curled up into a wicked smile.
'Let them come, we still have a few surprises of our own.'
As the Human fleet prepared for the upcoming battle, a single space fighter was observing the preparations with interest. This fighter was called the Pegasus stealth fighter by its makers and was different from the ones present in this war, its hull was dark and shaped like a tip of an arrow and almost as thin as one, it also had symmetrical blue lines across it which pulsated with a faint glow, currently the engines were dark, meaning that the pilot wanted to go unnoticed and in the meantime the fighter sensors were recording every thing that happened. They recorded even when a few minutes after the single blue ship, which was now identified as a Minbari Sharlin war cruiser, entered the area several of the unknown portals opened in the mist of the assembled fleet and out from each came several of the Sharlin war cruisers and, as expected, opened fire, with their multitude of deadly beams gutting the nearest ships, however, as soon as the initial shock passed, the defending ships laid down a murderous hail of fire that even if with the targeting sensors disrupted, were close enough to use visual scanners and hit their targets. The result showed when first one, then a second blue ship, exploded and a third one began to retreat, its hull breached in several places.
Gary Mercer look down at his sensor screen and after a brief count shook his head. The battle was going badly for the defending ships, in all the battles he's seen the Minbari only lost a half a dozen ships at worst, while the other race lost far more ships, up to several dozen in each engagement and no to mention that the fighter losses were horrendous.
His musings were interrupted by a large newly arrived group of Minbari ships that exited from several portals close to his position; they were angling for the fleet working for a flaking attack. However this was not of any concern for him at this moment, his orders were only to observe and record everything and avoid any encounters, then, working the controls, he activated his engines and manoeuvred the Pegasus fighter to a more safe location while keeping an eye out for any approaching ships, the stealth fighters sensor jammer could evade almost all GTVA sensors and until now it was being effective against Minbari sensors but Gary was known for working on the safe side, better not take risks. While the fighter moved to its new position and could not be detected in any of the sensors, there was one thing that the pilot didn't counted on or never thought is was possible, it was the power of the mind.
The bridge aboard the War Cruiser Dark Fury was calm, crewmembers moved and worked with the professionalism and confidence the their victory was inevitable, Vadronn Neris the commander of the Dark Fury looked at the projection where the earther fleet was already deep in battle with first elements of the war group, an explosion occurred small in the projection and his face turned to one of anger, the ship that exploded was a Minbari one.
He didn't believed when the first group requested reinforcements so soon but now, seeing how the battle was progressing, he understood why. The Humans were fighting much harder than in the previous battles, he saw one Sharlin listing to port, its hull breached in several places, he felt a brief feeling of respect but it was quickly dispersed when he remembered that these were the ones that killed Dukat, the most loved and respected Minbari, and destroyed the Drala'fi, the flagship of the warrior caste, in both times using deception, they deserve no respect, only death, the universe needs to be cleansed of this abomination, and the Minbari will be the instrument of that cleasing.
"Alyt Vadronn?" A voice called to him
Looking in the direction were the voice came he found Telen, a religious caste telepath with a very serious face, Vadroon became annoyed, he had no time for the likes of him, this was a warrior caste ship, not a ship run be the priest and acolytes of the religious caste were everyone had their own opinion on the matter, in here the captain's will, his will, is supreme and it must be obeyed. However, Telen was appointed to this ship by the Gray Council as an advisor and so he must endure his so called advices.
With a sigh he turned to the still awaiting telepath and spoke.
"Yes, Telen what is it? Can't you see that we are about to enter a battle!" The distaste in the warrior's voice was almost palpable.
"I know Alyt, but this is important..."
"Then what is it?" Vadronn snapped, he was beginning to lose his patience
Telen's response was not in words; instead he walked to one available computer console and started to work on it. Vadronn said nothing was he waited for the advisor to finish.
When he was done, an area of the tactical projector was highlighted.
"I've sensed a mind in that area," Telen said while pointing a finger at the display "it was human and yet," He paused for a moment "it felt different somehow. Nevertheless I checked before coming here, our sensors failed to locate it and given that fact that it is a single mind it must be some type of star fighter. I advise that we scout this area so that this human and his ship could be located."
"Are you sure about this? The humans have nothing that can elude our sensors; in fact no younger race has the technology to do it!"
Telen nodded "That's exactly why we must capture him and his ship. And you will follow these commands as it was ordered by the Gray council itself." Telen said as a matter of fact.
Vadronn fumed, his face turning red with anger. But the will of the Gray council must be obeyed. With is anger barely in check he responded
"Alright, I will agree to check the area but only with a single flight of fighters, the remaining ships will proceed to the earther fleet."
Telen was about to speak but Vadronn held out a hand "If it is a single fighter like you propose then it won't go anywhere, nothing that small can open a jump point and, when the human fleet is destroyed, we can capture him at our leisure." Vadronn concluded not knowing that he was only half right.
Telen said nothing against this, it was all he needed to make sure if what he'd been told was true, and if it was then, the survival of the Minbari race was at risk.
Captain Alicia shouted at one of her officer at bridge that by now had started to fill with smoke. "Damage report?"
The lieutenant didn't respond. Alicia tried to see why and, after the smoke cleared for a moment, she saw he was dead, a support beam had became lose and struck in the back crushing him against his computer. After saying a silent and brief prayer she turned to another officer.
"What is our status?"
The officer touched a few buttons but didn't looked up from his screen "That last hit damaged the number five engine and plasma cannons three and four are offline, the fleet lost 38 cruisers and 6 dreadnaughts, 27 ships have various degrees of damage, starfury squadrons have suffered 60% casualties."
"And the Minbari?" She asked, but was sure she wouldn't like the answer
"They Lost 11 cruisers, 3 frigates, and an unknown number of fighters."
She slumped in her chair 'Only 14 warships...And another fleet is approaching our right flank...'
"Captain" The officer that gave her the report called "We are receiving a transmission from the Admiral, a full retreat as been issued and drones are to be deployed, we have now 12 minutes to escape the immediate area."
At this, Alicia seemed to smile a little 'Now's the time to make the Minbari pay, for all the lives lost today and in this damned war.'
"Helm, turn the ship around and head for waypoint Alpha, as soon as we reach it, wait for the order to activate the jump engines."
The helmsman sighed ever so imperceptibly, as he brought the large Hyperion Heavy cruiser around with as much speed he could muster from its damaged frame, happy for leaving this horrible place in one piece.
Feeling the acceleration of the ship he spoke to the man in charge of the weapons systems "Have all of our drones deployed safely?"
"Yes sir, two were destroyed in the cross fire but the remainder reached their targets and are waiting activation. The other ships also report that most drones have deployed safely."
"And the Minbari?"
"As predicted they are chasing us. They are also ignoring the damaged and disabled ships that are unable to fire back, most likely they intend to come back and finish them as soon has they deal with us."
"Let them go after those ships, they will find the surprise of their lives." A evil smile found its way into her face "Too bad they won't live long enough to enjoy it."
Onboard the Pegasus fighter, Gary was beginning to be worried, not with the battle that in a few minutes would be over anyway, but with a small group of Minbari fighters that have left their main group, and were now on a direct approach towards him. Looking at his screen yet again, he saw no sign of being detected, but he couldn't shake the feeling that he was being watched. Still, he had a mission to do and won't leave until his superior, which is the commanding officer at the GTD Chimera, gives him orders to do so, what's left is to try and avoid the fighters.
He made several manoeuvres and changed course several times. Still, the fighters came to him, coming ever closer. This time he decided to call the Chimera. Activating his communications system, he set up an encoded subspace channel, even though none of the alien races seem to have subspace technology, it was standard procedure for Pegasus pilots.
"GTD Chimera, this is Beta 1. I have possible detection by a wing of Minbari fighters, I repeat possible detection by Minbari fighters. What are your orders?"
"Beta 1, this is the Chimera, Central Command has been appraised of the situation, and new orders have come through." The pilot could hear the person on the other side take a deep breath. He became even more nervous than before "Your current orders are to engage the Minbari fighters, but disengage if the battle becomes too hard." The pilot stared at the image of the captain of the Chimera, mouth agape.
'What?! He's gotta be joking! This isn't a dogfighter.'
"With all due respect, sir, this is a Pegasus stealth fighter. It isn't made for front line combat. I don't have the firepower to engage standard fighters. I don't even have decent secondary weapons, only EMP missiles. And besides we still don't know the full capabilities of those fighters. We are basically declaring war on a new species with unknown resources."
"I know that pilot, and I fully agree with you, but orders are orders and, as a pilot of the GTVA, you are to follow these orders to the best of your ability. Good luck. Chimera out."
Gary nearly punched the controls in frustration but decided not to. It wasn't worth it. Besides, it was his fault he was doing this in the first place. After all, he volunteered to do this.
The now enemy fighters were almost on top of him. With a sigh, he brought the reactor to full power and activated his single bank of Subachs. Accelerating the ship, he angled at the group of 3 Minbari fighters, noting with satisfaction that they didn't seem to have shields and, most importantly, haven't detected him yet.
Seen from the out side, the fighter seemed to come to life as it went into full combat mode. The blue lines glowed brightly at the same time its engines pushed the fighter closer to its targets; they were already inside weapons range, but the pilot wanted to take a decisive first strike, pushing to the limits its stealth advantage, striking hard and fast, not allowing them to realise what was happening. As the targeting computers locked on the lead fighter, Gary Mercer never realised that his next action would change the GTVA in a way he could have never imagined.
He pressed the trigger...