Darkest before Dawn

by Warringer

Chapter Three

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Katai Imura looked out of a view port and down onto the red orb that was his homeworld. Mars had been the first planet to be colonized by the Sounansha, as mankind now called themselves.

It had been ten years ago, since Pathfinder had discovered sentient alien beings. And a threat to the survival of the Sounansha as a whole.

Pathfinder had continued to explore after the battle of Kotok and a while she had expored the Jump Gate network, been the target of several Dilgar raids, much like her sisterships that had been send out after Kotok to make contact with the races of the League of Nonalligned Worlds and the Centauri.

The Centauri had turned out to be a rather arrogant race of human like sentients and very degenerated. Even if they had expansionistic tendencies, the Council didn't see a threat in them. They were degenerated and they wouldn't survive the next three centuries, at least in the projections of the Council.

The other races also weren't a threat. The Narn and several of the League races had grown very close to the Sounansha that had been send to their worlds. These races had made similar experiences. They had been faces with extinction and they still survived. The Narn by the hands of the Centauri, the other races by the hands of the Dilgar. Races like the Gaim or the Vree.

But the times hadn't only been times in which the Sounansha had made friends with the Narn and the League, they had also been times of preparation.

Preparation towards the destruction of a threat to the Sounansha as a whole, the Dilgar. Small scoutships were the first that had been build. Protected by Stealth technology and using sensors coming from the obelisks, they had been send towards the worlds and systems in Dilgar occupied space.

Imura was still a bit puzzled just why only one out of five systems in a given area of space had a Jump Gate. There were so many worlds in between some of them having spawned sentient life. Imura knew of one race of beings that were on the same stage as the Sounansha had been before the Cataclysm.

Far Point Station was orbiting a lush world full of life that was in the middle of Dilgar occupied space, but lacked a Jump Gate for Dilgar and the other races to reach.

Far Point, the worlds beneath the station was like Earth had been before the Cataclysm and settlers had already spread across the world.

But Far Point wasn't only a colony, Far Point Station was the host of the First and Second Defense Fleets, consisting of fifty massive vessels that had been build during the last ten years, only for the purpose of destroying the threat the Dilgar presented to the Sounansha.

It was only a matter of a few weeks until the Council their okay for the first mission of the First Survival War, as some people in the fleet had called it even before it had started.

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Fifty specks of light slowly lightened up in the system of Alaca. The light coming from these specks increased until they reached a brightness that overpowered the glare of the systems sun. As the lights disappeared the left fifty massive spherical shapes in their wake.

Six of these massive spheres had a diameter of more than eight kilometers. Smaller spheres accompanied the large spheres, through smaller the smallest still measured one kilometer. They were the Destroyers.

There were thirty of these one kilometer spheres, covered by half spherical blisters of high speed tracking high energy weaponry. These were the Defenders.

The fourteen spheres between the smallest and the largest spheres were two and a half kilometer in diameter and they also were covered by half spherical turrets of energy weapons. But unlike on their smaller brethren, they were larger and not as fast while tracking. Those were the Attackers.

The six spheres lacked any of these massive turrets, the only feature that made them standing out was a hundred meter wide golden shimmering ring around the equator, with thirty massive fifty meter diameter holes in them. And this ring slowly rotated, while the rest of the sphere stood still.

The spheres didn't move an inch for the next ten minutes, more than enough time for the Dilgar in the system to notice the massive vessels and mounting an attack onto the unknown force.

As the first of a thousand Dilgar ships of all sized started to move to intercept, the spheres also started to move. Massive reaction drives, called Impulse Drives, flared to life, pushing the fleet of spheres towards the sole planet of this system.

Thirty minutes after the sudden appearance of the spheres, they met with the first Dilgar vessels. While the largest spheres didn't falter from their single minded course towards the planet, the smaller spheres fanned out to engage the Dilgar.

Massive torrents of energy beams stuck out from the Attackers, their massive weapons arrays scoring on the Dilgar vessels, each salvo destroying one of the feared Dilgar Heavy Cruisers or three of the smaller sized Dilgar vessels. The Defenders on the other hand concentrated their fire on the massive amounts of Dilgar fighters and the next larger ships, taking down scores of them.

Doing this, they created a save transit tunnel for the massive Destroyers, the golden colored rings speeding up in their rotations as they moved closer towards Alaca. They weren't concerned as several Heavy Cruisers managed to get through to them, hammering into the thick armor of the spherical ships and creating deep trenches into it before they were taken out by Attackers and Defenders.

The battle still was on as they slowed down and settled themselves in different orbits around the planet. The rings again picked up in rotation speed as defense fire punched into orbit, coming from the few ground defenses of the planet.

Than the first Destroyer started to fire. Fifty meter diameter balls completely made of different kinds of highly toxic transuranium alloys flew from the rings towards the surface of the planet at high speeds, each of these massive balls massing into the ten thousands of tons.

Where a ball impacted into the ground it completely destroyed everything in an area of several square ten thousand kilometers.

While the battle slowly died down around them, one third of the Defenders and a quater of the Attackers destroyed and the remaining Dilgar vessels fled from the system, the Destroyers continued to fling the massive balls upon the surface of the world beneath them.

The last of the massive balls impacted ten hours after the first ball had been flung at the surface.

It was but a small glimpse of the things to come.