Unity: The Long Struggle

Jake Ferdon was an ordinary man, a man who had no particular physical quality. He was average, standing at a respectable 5'8 and with a fairly scrawny look about him, his green eyes and short brown hair adding to the 'average' look. He wasn't by any means an empowering or intimidating man. Ferdon was a Rear Admiral, a very tidy rank for a man of 32, he possessed quick reflexes, and the ability to maintain a cool head in battle, while not succumbing to panic. He was without a doubt, a very successful TEC fleet commander. His skill set was one which should be prized for its versatility in battle, but it wasn't. In fact, the only reason the man had reached such a rank was the Vasari. So many of the Coalition's finest Admirals had fallen to the new, merciless enemy working into TEC space like a destructive virus, leaving nought but death in its wake.

Given the emergency of such a virus, one would think Ferdon's duty was to help contain it. Well you would be right in thinking that, However it was not the case. He had been sent to the old TEC trade world of Galeus XI, a lush forest planet laden with mineral resources, and the latest of hundreds of worlds to suffer the same, bitter fate at the hands of the TEC's new enemy; the Advent. But that's just the History.

Ferdon walked down the brightly illuminated halls of his ship; the TDN Merchant Wrath. A state-of-the-art Marza class Dreadnaught. A powerful ship, capable of destroying entire fleets with its missile barrages, even the Vasari have learned to respect the ship's devastating firepower. The ship itself was part of a fleet composing of two Kol Battleships, the TDN Saving Grace and the TDN Leviathan, and a Sova Carrier, the TDN Olympus, as well as an escort compliment of ten Kodiak heavy cruisers, twenty LRM frigates, and around fifty cobalt light frigates.Ferdon continued walking, casually greeting members of the crew as he walked past, until he reached an elevator. He stepped in and pressed a button labelled 'Br'. The elevator began its climb, cruising up the vast ship's decks at a good speed, reaching its destination after a short while, opening its doors and revealing a well lit room, the walls covered with holographic displays, manned and cared for by personnel, and in the centre, a large chair pointing out of the giant front window, showing nothing but the blue whirs and twists of faster-than-light travel.

A man of similar height and a stocky build with longer, black hair came up to the captain, a smile spread across his face. "Jake! How ya doin?" Ferdon's professional demeanour gave way to a warm grin.

"I'm fine Bill, yourself?"

"naw you know I'm fine! Ready as always, Capitan!"

"Good. Good. How far away are we exactly?"

"Galeus? Should be there shortly, I'd say less than five minutes." Ferdon gave him a sly, expecting look. "Er... Sir!" he corrected himself.

"Good work, are we prepped?"

"Of course, all systems are green and-"

"Why must you talk like it's some sort of sci-fi movie?" Ferdon questioned.

"Makes it more fun! Just another day at the office!" Bill joked.

"Right... tell the fleet to space out as soon as we exit FTL"

"On it" Bill replied, moving over to a blue display, he proceeded to touch various symbols, the display revealing responses. "Yeah the fleet's just fine..." The second in command fell silent, before raising his head in thought. "Admiral... do you think the Advent are as strong as they say? There are horror stories coming from these systems"

"Think about it, if we can fight the Vasari, we can fight these zealots" Ferdon stated.

"I sure hope you're right sir" Bill replied as the blue blurs faded before collapsing backwards and revealing a planet, Sure enough it was Galeus XI. The planet looked absolutely devastated; Forests burned to the ground, and all TEC settlements replaced with large, black craters. The planet's sun, Galeus, was a Blue Supergiant, nearing the end of its cycle, its light revealing various chunks of debris, styled as parts of TEC evac ships.

"Dear god..." Ferdon said, astounded by the scene of utter destruction before him.

"Life signs are... non-existent, no wait... I'm picking up some ships and life signatures on the other side of the system, near the edge of the gravity well. The Olympus and the Grace confirm"

"Spread the fleet out. Are any of the ships identified?"

"Yes sir, we have two Radiance Battleships, escorted by 63 disciple vessels, 24 Illuminator vessels and seven Destra crusaders"

"And unidentified?"

"Yes sir... There's a Capital Ship leading the formation, it appears to have respectable armament, and displays carrier characteristics"

"Hm... Spread out, have the Grace and Leviathan take point, and have the Olympus ready its strike craft" Bill nodded and manipulated the console in front of him, as the two Kols took the lead. The fleet turned around the planet, revealing the familiar Radiance battleships, along with its escorts, and a very sleek looking ship with what seemed to be hangars on top.

"What now sir?"

"The ball is in their court... we'll see what move they ma-" Ferdon was cut short by Bill's console flashing red and revealing a message.

"Embrace the Unity... in death?" Bill read. "Like hell!"

"Simmer down" Ferdon scolded.

"Yes sir" Bill complied.

"The enemy fleet is moving sir" another crew member noted, and indeed it was. Every ship in the Advent mass was approaching at quite a pace.

"Sir! We're picking up strike craft signatures! Lots of 'em!" Bill said with a hint of panic in his voice. As soon as he finished his sentence, a swarm of craft flew out of the top of the large carrier vessel. The amount of strike craft was staggering, and it looked terrifying.

"Battle status, sound the alarm, have the Olympus and the other shipslaunch their fighters," Ferdon ordered. The crew immediately got to work, interacting with their consoles and displays to manage the ship. Outside the Wrath, Ferdon's orders also had a significant impact as sorties of fighters from the Olympus flew ahead of the Marza and towards the Advent strike craft.

"General Quarters General Quarters! All hands man your battle stations!" The alarm sounded throughout the fleet, signalling the brave men onboard to fight for the sake of all the TEC. As the Advent craft barrelled towards the Merchant Wrath, the two TEC battleships released a powerful burst of flak, decimating a large number of the Advent craft. The sleeker, faster craft banked right, followed by some of the TEC fighters.

"That's odd... Sir I'm picking up a large energy signature from the bows of the Radiances" A crew member said. Ferdon seemed not to care.

"Increase power to shields and have the others do the same, it sounds like a weapon charge up. When will we be in range?" He replied.

"Two minutes if they maintain their current course" Bill said almost simultaneously as a bright beam of energy from the bombers hit the shield in front of them, followed by several more.

"Shields down five percent"

"Have the other ships launch their fighters, those bombers could cause problems" Ferdon ordered. Bill nodded and out of each Capital ship's (with the exception of the Olympus) bays flew a squadron of fighters, which pursued the advent craft. The seconds ticked by, turning slowly into a minute as the dogfighting around them continued. The TEC had superiority here. "Launch Bombers" Ferdon commanded. Suddenly a bright screen came up above him. It was Captain Kurst, the commander of the two Kol Battleships.

"Admiral, we're having difficulty powering up our shields, there's a problem with the generator" The captain was cut off by two bright white beams ripping through the shields of the Saving Grace into the side of the ship, punching very large holes into the bow section.

"Sir! The Grace is venting atmosphere! She's taken heavy hull damage and her antimatter generators and communications are down!" a crew member remarked in a panicked tone. Sure enough the Saving Grace was venting atmosphere, her decks rippled by a series of small pressurized explosions. Her engine faded and cut out and she started listing, ceasing all movement.

"Can they bring engines back online?" Ferdon asked.

"They should be able to sir, their teams are focused on hull repairs though, their shield however is now online" Bill replied.

"Oh, Fantastic..." Ferdon said sarcastically. Bill smiled; Jake's demeanour was sometimes what got you through battles like these. The captain went back to a serious mood. "Hm... Have the Leviathan put up their forcefield, and gauss the left Radiance. All bombers focus on the right. Keep me updated on the Grace, and have us approach the Radiances, along with the Olympus. Have the frigates and cruisers engage the enemy light ships" He ordered. The Cobalts, LRMs and Kodiaks went ahead and engaged the Advent's smaller ships. It was quite clear the Capital Ships would be focusing on each other. The Leviathan fired its gauss cannon; the shield of the left Radiance faded and became more translucent, but remained strong. The TEC bombers launched their missiles, fading the shield of the rightmost battleship, but to a lesser degree.

"Sir, the Radiances have entered attack range" Bill said as the two Advent titans proceeded to unleash their firepower upon the Leviathan, whose adaptive forcefield succeeded in mitigating most of the energies.

"Engage them then!" Ferdon ordered as if he didn't have to. The Leviathan replied with its various weapons systems, the experimental beams and the large side-mounted gauss guns booming ferociously, embodying the industrial might of humanity. The Wrath moved alongside the vengeful Kol and proceeded to attack with equal fervour, its large missile banks unloading explosives in vast quantities against the rightmost Radiance, whose shield faltered before dying, allowing the TEC missiles to impact the hull, causing pressurised explosions along the bow. An important note which TEC captains had learned to exploit was the relative fragility of Advent Capitals; they tended to have very weak hulls, and although a relatively high shield strength somewhat negated this, they were much easier to take down than say, their Vasari or TEC counterparts. The trick was not to get cocky: Advent engineers accounted for this and armed the capitals with formidable weaponry, formidable enough to give any commander second thoughts.

This fragility showed through quickly; after only half a minute of the TEC attacks, the Radiance became overwhelmed by the explosions tearing through its decks, exploding violently and spreading a large blue shockwave through space. This shockwave impacted the shields of the other Radiance, causing it too, to fade and die. The Advent knew they had already lost, and the fleet started a hard turn, swinging away from the battle and heading for the edge of the gravity well. Ferdon's face turned to one of extreme frustration;

"Damnit! We almost had them! What i wouldn't give for an Akkan! Fucks sake..." he said. Bill smiled.

"We'll get em soon, man don't worry. Won't we, eh guys?" Bill asked the crew, they all replied with positive responses.

"Yeah, we took out a Radiance i guess... when can we expect Hoshikos to repair the Grace?"

"Three hours Admiral, they're just being launched" A crew member replied.

"Good. We're sitting tight for today gentlemen; they may well be back. Have the planet searched, we need anything useful we can find, just in case. Other than that, i need you to remain battle ready for the next two hours-"Ferdon was cut off by groans of disappointment.

"It's that or risk being attacked off-guard – and you know how good the Advent are at that" Ferdon said darkly, his words chilling everybody present, causing them to address their stations. Ferdon walked back over to the elevator, followed by Bill. He turned to his crew.

"After two hours, you're all back to normal, go to the mess if needed" He said in a kinder, more maternal tone. He had reason to – TEC ships had nothing if not respectable service standards! With the exception of the somewhat cramped quarters, that is. Ferdon entered the elevator and selected his floor, the high-speed lift soon transporting him and Bill to a place of fewer nerves. Ferdon sighed in both relief and exhaustion.

"Where we off to now Jake?" Bill asked.

"No clue, i just need a book and something to eat" the Admiral replied.

There you go. There aren't many stories about Sins so I'm glad i can contribute – I play Advent in the Game, but i love the TEC almost as much! Plus the TEC is a better plot device :D. See you next update in my maiden Sins Fic. Bye for now.

=Red=