Chapter 21: Clash of Light and Dark
Amann stood on the bridge of the Angelan as all of the might of the Empire was gathered over the homeworld. He had many doubts about the outcome of the battle or their ability to win it, but that was a concern to be brushed aside, for what mattered was doing with what he had. He opened a channel to General Ayen on the AES Galadriel.
"General, I am concerned about our lines. They are spread rather thin in the center."
"Yes Councilor. The idea is that the center is reinforced by all of the defense platforms and weapons from the surface. The fleets on our flanks will see to it that we are not flanked and to open up possibilities of flanking them ourselves."
"I see. That is a sound strategy and it will give us a chance to seize the initiative. Plus we can also do a pincer move to trap the enemy fleets in the crossfire. But we face a much more numerically superior force. We will need to be careful."
"Yes Councilor. Is there anything else?"
"No. Good luck. For Alesia."
Amann smiled as the transmission was cut. He turned as an alert was broadcast.
"Sir, the Goa'uld fleet has exited hyperspace. They are within weapons range."
"Put me on a channel with the rest of the fleet."
Amann sat down on his command chair as a broadcast was sent.
"This is High Councilor Amann, the enemy is on our doorstep. For Alesia. Engage! Fire at will! Launch all fighters and target the upgraded ships. The ordinary ha'taks cannot harm our ships. Task the defense grid with taking those ships out, have the fleet attack the upgraded ships."
The defense satellites, with its cylindrical shape, turned and began to fire bright blue beams of energy at the Goa'uld Ha'taks.. Cannon fire from the surface rained upward and joined in with the drone swarms and beam weapons in an awesome display of firepower. Hundreds of normal Ha'taks died within a few minutes as the Alesian fleet moved on the attack, crushing the Goa'uld fleet in a pincer movement. The Ha'taks and the long Alesian battleships clashed and intermingled. Fighters roared between the massive warships firing at each other with their many weapons.
Commander Aylen led her wing of fighters into the enemy fleet, attacking Al'kesh bombers and Death Gliders. She smiled in triumph as she walked her pulse cannons and destroyed the bridge of an Al'kesh.
"Commander! 4 Death gliders behind you! 5 o'clock low!"
Alyen swung her fighter up and then did a corkscrew maneuver that left her fighter facing the gliders directly. The gliders fired their orange plasma bolts, which streaked and hit her shield in a blaze of blue light. She triggered off 6 drones. The drones glowed yellow as they activated and they homed in on their targets. The gliders flipped up to avoid the drones, but it was too late. 4 bright flashes indicated her drones have struck home. Her cockpit flashed frequently as more ships died. She watched as a Ha'tak got hit by 2 Alesian beam weapons. The orange shield held a moment before failing, causing the ship to explode as debris flew everywhere. An alert flashed on her console before she realized she was being targeted by an Al'kesh. She turned her fighter to meet the bomber head on. The lower turret of the Al'kesh locked on and fired at her shield. She grinned suddenly as she screamed into her headset.
"Come on you Jaffa bastards! Take your best shot!"
The Al'kesh's engines screamed as the distance to the Alesian fighter closed rapidly. Aylen held her fire until the Al'kesh in point blank range, then fired right into the cockpit of the bomber. The Al'kesh narrowly missed her fighter, passing within no more than a few meters overhead.
"Commander, that Ha'tak ahead has lost its shields. We can take it out."
"I see it, form up on me. 3rd and 4th squadrons, attack the engines. The rest of the wing attack the bridge. We don't stop until that ship is destroyed."
The wing of 30 fighters formed up in a delta wedge formation. The Ha'tak fired its smaller cannons at the fighters, hoping to score hits into the formation. The formation split into half and started to attack the ship with blue, prolonged bursts from pulse cannons. The Ha'tak sat dead in space unable to move with its engines destroyed. Fire raged on the lower decks of the pyramid ship. Alyen's fighter raced across the outer infrastructure as she spotted the bridge. A fighter on her right dropped out of formation as an orange plasma bolt hit the engines. It fell and hit the hull of the mighty Goa'uld ship, exploding on top of the turret that took it down. She gritted her teeth as 4 drones were locked onto the bridge.
"See you in death!"
She triggered her drones and the bridge was instantly destroyed, a gaping hole in the top of the pyramid. The Jaffa that survived the explosion were instantly sucked out into space, most of the ship itself being left to vacuum.
"Commander, we have another wing of Al'kesh closing on the Starfire. They request fighter cover."
"Understood. We are on the way."
The surviving Alesian fighters swung around and went to help out one of their ships.
On board his Ha'tak, Chiyou was swearing in Goa'uld as several dozen Ha'taks targeted him. He hit a red glowing panel in the darkness of the bridge. His Protoss cannons were activated and they began to fire off massive bursts of blue bolts. His weapons were far more powerful and refined than anything Anubis had managed to do. His handsome Korean features twisted in a grim smile as several of the Ha'taks fell.
"Take that, scum! Die for your false gods. Your gods are perverted and evil. Those who serve them are evil and so you shall die!"
His Ha'tak weaved among the enemy ship, destroying many more Ha'taks as many Alesian ships trailed behind, exploiting the gap his Ha'tak made in the lines of the enemy.
On board the Ha'nutak, Anubis watched the battle under his black cloak. Even his face was entirely covered since no one has seen his face due to his ascension. Hre'rac walked in and bowed.
"My Lord, the Alesians are resisting greatly. Already they have destroyed three thousand Ha'taks with only a few dozen of their ships destroyed. The ordinary Ha'taks are no match for the enemy."
"It is not their fleet I was wanting to destroy. Prepare the planet killer."
"It will take several minutes to charge, my Lord. The combination of using all of the Eye's together will result in a delay as it is fed into the weapon. It was ingenious to use a combination of the main protoss and Alesian beam weapons as your weapon, my lord."
"Indeed, this is my most powerful weapon yet. Charge it now."
Hre'rac left with a bow. Anubis laughed as he knew this world was going to die soon.
Amann was on the Angelan as it was beset by several Ha'taks. The 5 mile long ship was downing dozens of Ha'taks with its formidable array of weapons. The ion cannons, once useless against the shields of a Ha'tak, were modifid to fire at different frequencies. They did more damage as blue bolts of ionized energy impacted, killing another 5 Ha'taks. Amann frowned as a Legionnaire looked up.
"Sir we have several dozen Death gliders attacking."
"All laser batteries commence fire."
The Legionnaire hit several crystals on his control panel and reported.
"All laser turrets manned and operational."
The laser turrets fired rapid bursts of blue energy similar to the pulse cannons on the fighters, but with even deadlier results. The attacking death gliders were incinerated from the attack. Several lost control of their craft trying to evade the fire and ended up crashing into the shield, which flared blue as the death gliders hit it. Amann turned and sat back in his control chair. He frowned.
"What is the enemy flagship doing? It is just sitting behind the lines."
The Legionnaire directed sensors and looked up in horror.
"Sir, there is a massive buildup of energy on that ship. Its preparing to fire its massive weapon."
"What sort of weapon is it?"
"It is a combination of Alesian and Protoss technology. The weapon is trained on the planet. The energy building up, it could wipe out half of the planet below."
"We have to stop it then. Helm, set course for the mothership of Anubis. We will have to break past their lines."
The Angelan lurched forward as its 4 sublight engines roared at full power. The weapons continued to fire as the ZPM's were put into their proper slots. The added energy boosted power to fire the beam weapons. Lances of blue light streaked out. The upgraded Ha'taks were able to absorb several shots from the weapon, but they fell one by one. Their shots hit the shield of the Angelan as they died, firing until the last. The console behind Amann exploded and the Legionnaire manning it fell.
"Sheilds are down! Weapons fire impacting on all sides!"
"Continue firing. Advance to the enemy flagship!"
"I don't know how much more she can take!"
Amann stood up and advanced toward the commander. He roared in anger.
The Commander nodded and turned back to his station, raising his hand from the glare of the fire raging from the console near him.
The Angelan advanced forward alone, firing all of its weapons. The once shiny hull raged with fire as the plasma shots of the ordinary Ha'taks rained down on the armor. Fires were rampant throughout the ship, but they were contained. Amann felt the ship shuddering underneath the pounding she was receiving. NABIS appeared next to him.
"Armor integrity down to 60%. We cannot hold out for long."
"We only need to get within range of Anubis's mothership. We have to destroy that weapon or die in the attempt! Have a few dozen ships follow our breach in their lines."
"Orders are sent."
The Angelan broke through the main Ha'tak line, Anubis's ship turned toward the Angelan and fired multiple beam weapons. Amann winced as more consoles exploded as the ship was severely damaged. Debris rained down from parts of the ceiling as the ship was shaken by internal explosions. A legionnaire looked at one of the remaining consoles.
"Weapons are down, we can't fire."
He looked back at the console.
"Their planet killing weapon is coming online. Ready to fire."
"The main capital city. It will wipe out a third of our population based on my estimate. Councilor, we can't stop it."
Amann sat down shaken. He thought for a moment then looked at the Legionnaire. Their eyes met for a moment as the legionnaire realized what he was thinking. Amann nodded.
"All power to sublight engines. Give me full ramming speed. Set antimatter reactors to overload. If we go, we are taking that ship with us and save Alesia in the process."
Amann stared out at the enemy ship as it grew bigger and bigger in the window. He took out the small holocube of his wife and whispered.
"Soon we will be joined again, dear Lucia."
The Alesian destroyer bore down on the flagship, racing at near light speed. The Legionnaires were screaming out in defiance. One of the soldiers noticed a blinking light on his panel and turned toward Amann.
"Sir, multiple hyperspace windows opening! Right on top of us!"
Amann looked at the soldier.
"They are our ships. But sir, they are the rebels!"
"They are hailing us!"
The screen flashed as Commander Cestus appeared on the screen.
"Councilor Amann, abort your suicide run. We have monitored the situation and have come to defend our home."
"Understood! Abort overload. Get us clear of Anubis's flagship!"
The Angelan roared past the flagship, coming within 2 kilometers of the ship. The 800 rebel ships fired every weapon they had into the ship. The Asgard shielding failed in a blue flash, causing the ship to explode with massive destructive energy. Before it did, a small ship exited the hold of the planet killer. Anubis sat silent next to Ba'al and Hre'rac as they entered hyperspace back to the Goa'uld Empire. He turned toward the two and finally spoke.
"We have failed here, but we have hurt the Alesians badly enough. They will not be able to launch an offensive for some time. I suggest you prepare defenses just in case."
"Your advice is sound, Lord Anubis."
"We will be able to attack the Tauri without interference. The Asgard are not able to enforce the Protected Planets treaty now and the Alesians are too damaged to help. Sunaj has assumed us of that. He also said that the Tauri will mistrust the Alesians if they do not come to help. This will fracture their alliance."
"A smart plan. I trust this is what we will do now"
Amann sat exhausted in his chair, watching the battle as his flagship limped back to Alesia for repairs. Most of the fleet was still fighting, but the Ha'taks were beginning to retreat. The victory was not without cost though. A few moments later, e raised one of the rebel Generals.
"What is the news from the battle?"
"The last of the surviving Ha'taks are starting to jump out. The system is clear."
Amann smiled in relief.
"That is good."
"Sorry for the delay in getting here, but we were on the fringes of the Empire. Kelus was giving us trouble. We had him executed for treason. "
"I see. Well, you have my gratitude. You saved Alesia."
"No need to thank us, High Councilor. We are just doing our jobs."
"Though you will have to face a disciplinary board to determine if any punishment should be given, I think you will be let off. Still, despite that, welcome home."
The General smiled as Amann sighed finally in exhaustion. He looked up at the wrecked ceiling and breathed out. It was a long battle, but despite the Alesians having suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties and several hundred of their ships lost or damaged, it was an undeniable victory. Already repairs were underway in the orbital and surface dockyards for the damaged ships. Pods were being picked up from the various damaged fighters and warships that were destroyed. The cities on the planet narrowly escaped harm, having been protected by powerful city shields. The wounded were in the hospitals being healed. Amann beamed down to the council chamber and looked at his fellow council members.
"Our losses were heavy, but we repelled the assault."
"Indeed, we have read the report. About 1/3rd of our fleet is either destroyed or damaged, but most of the Ha'tak fleet did not escape. The Goa'uld are severely weakened by their failed attack. It will be some time before they can ever launch an assault of this magnitude again."
"Yes, Councilor Janilius. We must repair and rebuild our forces. The rebels have surrendered to our forces and wish to rejoin. I am going to allow them to do that without much in the way of discipline. It is enough that they have recognized the error of their ways. Their generals have stated they wanted to hear what I had to say. They brought the body of Kelus as proof of their loyalty. I will see it and then welcome them back. In the meantime, I will be in my quarters resting. Contact me if anything new develops."
Amann nodded and left the room. The other councilors filed out. Taelira looked toward Amann's retreating back. She was concerned about him. He could use the company right about now, in the wake of his wife's death and in the exhaustion that came with the civil war and the recent battle.
Janilius walked away from the meeting stately, but as soon as everyone was out of sight, his pace became much faster. He entered the dark room where the essence of Janus awaited him. Janilius smirked.
"The plan is going well. Kelus was executed as his usefulness was outlasted."
"Yes, the doubts are festering within the alliance. ChiYou and Amann already share a mutual distrust, though none of them has stated it aloud. That will soon change as conflicts become more apparent between their interests. Anubis will attack Earth, but it will fail. The Tauri will notice the Alesians did not come to their aid when the Tauri came to their aid. This will also do much to sever that alliance as well. The alliance between Alesia, Chiyou, and the Tauri will fall. Amann will suffer greatly before he dies."
Janilius smiled in anticipation.
"Oh yes, yes he will. He should be the last survivor of his race, just to see all the ones he cares about suffer and die. He should witness his world and his race perish before we give him mercy from all of his anguish."
Janilius left the room as the darkness of Janus fed upon the malice. Janus delighted in the torture of his enemies before they were killed. It was more satisfying this way. All was going according to his plan.