In the depths of space, twenty Earth vessels lumbered past in formation. Without warning, the massive turrets on the ships rotated, and the tips of their barrels ignited, pulsing with energy.
"Fire the weapons in ten seconds…nine…eight…seven…."The tactical officer ordered, counting down. The Captain, an old bearded man, sat silently, wondering to himself whether they would be successful.
"Four seconds, Captain…three…two…"
After five years of attacks by an alien race known as Gamilus, the Earth Defense Force launches a counter-offensive near Pluto. Earth had been reduced to a barren wasteland, its lush forests obliterated by radioactive meteor bombs from outside the solar system. The planet's contaminated surface could no longer support life, and is now red and dry, forcing humanity to escape underground. But even there, it has become hell. Radiation has begun to creep downward towards them.
In one final struggle, the EDF will attempt to force the Gamilus forces back. Having new experimental weapons, they hope they will finally be able to blow an enemy alien vessel away.
The powerful turrets on the Earth Defense Fleet flagship swung around and lined up with their target. In one second, a wave of pure energy erupted from the barrels and impacted on the hulls of the enemy warship. However, the shields held, and the blinding plasma beam simply glanced off.
"Negative impact, sir." reported the weapons operator gravely. "All the shots hit, but none of the ships have taken damage."
Apparently, they weren't powerful enough. The alien vessel shields seemed to hum eerily, mocking their failure. As if waiting for their turn, the lead Gamilus ship lazily targeted one of the EDF support vessels and fired, its photon cannons easily sliced though the EDF Hyperion . It imploded with violent force, and emitted a bright flash before shattering. Shrapnel was flung across the cold, empty vacuum of space, one shard ramming itself into the bridge window of the EDF flagship and cracking it.
"All ships. This is the EDF Flagship. I am ordering a full retreat." spoke Captain Juzo Okita, his voice trembling with pain. " We have been defeated, as our experimental weapons have failed to penetrate the enemy vessels."
"Decks four through seven are breached. Port engine has taken damage and been disabled. There is also damage to the bow!" reported a crewmember.
"Starboard damage to Isokaze, navigation lost!" Shouted another voice. Sounds from other ships began flooding the communications channel. "Hatsuyuki, engines have exploded!"
"Hiei, fuel tank rupture in the engine room, toxic fumes filling the ship!"
"Isokaze's power reactor is heavily damaged, going down!"
"Auto-contact from the warship Hiei, all crewmen are dead!"
Down in the Flagship's decks, the hull breached and a crewmember was blown out into space, his voice screaming with pain and desperation as it faded away. Others tried to put out the fires that were starting to creep across the walkways.
"I repeat. Full retreat."
"Damn it." Captain Okita bowed his head as salty tears leaked from his eyes. This was it. Months of testing to develop this new weapon, only to see its power deflected easily by their enemy.
"Captain Okita, I cannot follow your order!" said a defiant voice on the communication channel. Okita looked up, and saw another Captain on the viewscreen of his bridge. The Captain's image flickered as the Flagship took another hit.
"This is Captain Mamoru Kodai of the destroyer Yukihaze," stated the Captain. He shuddered as his ship took damage and shook violently. "I cannot obey your order. If I do, I will never be able to show my face to the friends that I've lost."
"Kodai… hear my order and withdraw!" shouted Okita.
Silence. The other Captain hesitated. The microphone picked up his heavy breathing as Okita stared into the eyes of his comrade.
"I'm proud to have fought with you." Kodai said finally. He raised his hand in a salute. Behind both ships, the Gamilus vessels began closing in. All the other Earth ships had been obliterated, and the Yukihaze and Okita's ship were the only ones remaining.
"No!" roared Okita. "Don't do such a stupid thing!"
Too late. The Yukihaze, with her remaining energy, fired her thrusters and roared towards the Gamilus ship. Accelerating with all the thrust that her weakened engines could provide, it rammed into one of the Gamilus vessels. As it did, it surprised the Gamilus forces, and they diverted their weapons to destroy it.
However, the ship impacted, and detonated, shattering the Gamilus vessel. The exploding shrapnel flung outwards, and destroyed many of the others. Confused, the enemy ships tried to navigate through the chaos, knocking into each other.
Okita's vessel crawled away, unnoticed. As it did, it protected humanity's last hope.
On Earth, there was one last battleship left.