I don't own Ranma or Macross mores the pity. They could both seriously do with an upgrade.

The result of the Poll will be posted on my profile later today, so if you're interested wait until four then go and see.

I would normally comment on those reviews that grabbed my attention or that helped me make this story better, but when you look at this story as a whole, there are just too many names to consider. I will just say thank you, and I hope you like the ending as much as you did the entire story.

In this chapter you all might notice I changed my combat style, this was on purpose as in one of my other fics there might be large scale space combat in the future and I want to see which style is best, so tell me what you think. OH and whoever notices the homage in the name of this chapter gets a gold star!


Chapter 30 In Death Ground

"Yes it's fold capable sir, but it's slow as molasses to put it bluntly. It's drive is large, but the mass of this factory actually ways almost the same as Dolza's Dyson sphere station, and one drive for that much mass means it will move incredibly slowly in fold, far slower than even the Zentraedi on their old fuel. Even if we had enough of the SF class's fuel it would still be slow. I would estimate it would take the factory satellite at least two weeks to get to Sol from here."

Admiral Prescott nodded at the image of Dr. Lang on one of the communication screens situated on his right, then turned his gaze back out of the window on the Argo's bridge, staring at the interior of the massive factory satellite visible from their present position. While not anywhere near as monstrously large as the interior of Dolza's space station in area, the interior of the factory satellites was a much busier and full place, with hanging gantries, ship docks, and massive factories and conveyor belts as well as silos for material everywhere you looked. Those silos weren't full at the moment, but they had enough to meet the fleet's needs.

While the space fortresses had gone to work immediately repairing themselves and sending repair crews out to the rest of the human ships (all of which had some onboard repair capability), Garaccus had taken 200 of his least damaged ships and attacked the factory satellite. These 200 were actually the only ones that were actually still battle-worthy. The Zentraedi commodore had actually needed to move his command to another ship, his old flagship having been too damaged to face more combat. As Prescott had recommended he loaded them up with as many barrier shields as he could (only about ten per, most of them had been destroyed during the fighting), as well as every Queadluun Rau and Valkyrie he could fit that weren't already busy with other duties.

This included Wildfire, which had been pulled off the scientist protection detail after they had discovered that the computers of the space station had been utterly wiped of any information they could use. While Knight squadron and some combat engineers rigged the generators of the thing to blow up the next time someone entered it of sufficient mass, Garaccus led his now much reduced fleet against the factory station.

He folded as close as he could to the massive factory satellite then launched all his fighters and the sound attack on maximum level. The battle forces aboard the factory satellite, already demoralized by Dolza's death, fell relatively easily without many further casualties. While the exterior of the satellite actually had weapons they weren't nearly as numerous as its size suggested, and they fell easily to the barrier shields protected battleships.

While this was going on the sound attack had utterly broken what little organization the defenders had, and barely trained Regulds, no matter how numerous, stood no chance against veteran Queadluun Rau and Valkyries.

Taking the interior had taken longer than the exterior fight, but even that had not been anywhere near as bloody as it should've been. While none of the Zentraedi surrendered they didn't fight smart, instead simply charging whenever an attacking force entered their sight, and went done down pretty easily. Only 40 more Meltraedi had died in taking the station, and not a single human had died, though a few had lost their planes under them.

Wildfire had led the charge, and hadn't taken any more losses. They had lost four fighters dead in the assault on the command spire, all four of them Amazons. Kotatsu had shown up while the Meltraedi had been clearing the spire after Dolza's death had broken the defenders, his Valkyrie mangled almost beyond repair, but upbeat for all of that. He and Ben had been given other Valkyries during the following day, and Kotatsu had even joined the assault on the factory ship.

After the interior had been completely cleared, a process that took an entire day, equaling the amount of time it'd taken to clear the interior of the command spire in the Dyson sphere, the battered and incredibly damaged fleet had entered it in its entirety, disappearing into the giant edifice.

Dr. Lang had already taken several teams aboard, and this last report was the only one that had contained bad news for the humans and their allies. He and the engineers felt that repurposing the interior to repair ships rather than to create them would be a simple enough task, though modifying their command protocol to be able to work with the human ships would be much tougher, being a pure programming job. But since the two SDF fortresses had enough online repair capability and resources to repair themselves and the battered human battleships that wasn't an issue.

"That's fine Doctor" Scott said waving one hand. "It's not like we're in any shape to go anywhere anyway."

"With respect sir," said Admiral Gloval looking at him through another communication screen. "With what Dr. Lang's group discovered during the battle against Dolza's fleet we should be cutting free from here and heading home as fast as possible! Let the Zentraedi and Meltraedi stay here and secure this station and then follow up after us."

Dr. Lang and his science team had found that the amount of turbulence they had suffered coming out of warp initially had been caused by a massive number of ships folding out moments earlier. That meant that the fleet they had attacked, no matter how monstrous it's numbers had been, had only been at best half the force Dolza had wanted to hurl at the humans.

"You're still not used to thinking in terms of strategy rather than tactics rear admiral," said Prescott shaking his head. "You've earned that battlefield commission of yours but you need to start thinking big picture. For one thing, none of our capital ships are prepared for another fight. I've seen the estimates Henri, and even the Macross is only at 52% combat capability and most of that 52% is because your siege cannon still works."

Scott grimaced. The Argo's siege cannon had burned out, its human made parts not quiet up to the strain of the constant firing. Luckily it had waited until after the enemy fleet broke to cut out, but the damage was severe.

He went on, "While we both may have a few barrier shields left and are able to make more, our armor is to shot pieces and both space fortress's secondary and tertiary weapons are shot to hell as well." That was actually an understatement, both space fortresses had taken one hell of a pounding in the battle, and even getting them fold worthy would take a week at best.

The rest of the human fleet was in the same boat. The parasite forces of the Argo, both Veritech and destroid, had been almost wiped out during the battle. The destroids had taken severe losses keeping the space fortresses surfaces free of enemy spacefighters. The Argo had barely two companies of mixed Destroids left. The Macross was better off, its Spartan companies were at about two-thirds strength, but their Defenders had taken heavy losses, leaving only a single over-strength company left. The Tomahawks had fared better, losing 'only' a single company worth of troops. Mannstein had done what he could, but in a battle as large as that one, such losses were inevitable.

The Regulds of the allied Zentraedi had been utterly wiped out, and the Queadluun Rau had been battered beyond belief. Roy and his defense force had been mauled, with only Skull still at fighting strength, but most of their losses would be made good eventually.

Lisa had worked herself to the point of exhaustion organizing the SAR after the battle, and the adulation this gained in both the Valkyrie pilots and Meltraedi was something to see. They had found nearly every beacon out there, though some of the time that only meant they found the pilots body, his air giving out or his suit punctured when he/she ejected. They had even found hundreds of battered Queadluun Rau with their pilots still alive, and even more survivors from destroyed capital ships.

In point of fact, the force that assaulted the command spire had lost more pilots killed per squad than the ones outside. Most of the ones that went down in the command spire went down dead or soon after. Wildfire and Knight were the only squadrons to come through that ordeal at more than half-strength. Phoenix and Seraphim were both down to barely a flight each.

On the capital ship side of things, the only ships that had sustained little to no damage had been the remaining nine carriers, but they had paid in Sabers. Not one of them had more than 50 left. Scott had already begun to write a proposal to enlarge the carriers to near space fortress size and give them some interior factories to build Sabers as they needed. It would certainly add to their ability as a strategic weapon.

Of the sixteen battleships the humans had started with, four had been destroyed with all hands lost. The Agincourt, the Potomac, the Han Yang and the Harpoon had all gone down swinging, their deaths saving their fellows or their allies and Scott had vowed that their acts of heroism would never be forgotten. Of the remaining fourteen only four were remotely battle-worthy. The others were so badly battered it was a miracle that it was a miracle they hadn't broken apart when they folded of the battle.

Losses among the Zentraedi and Meltraedi had been worse, despite the fact that their forces vastly outnumbered the humans. They had entered the fight with 12,000 mixed battleships. They now had less than five thousand, and most of them were so badly battered it would months if ever before they were battle worthy. Garaccus's own flagship was the worse off, with only two gun turrets still working, its surface shredded and more open to space than not and his real-space drive damaged. Yet the man refused to abandon it, even if he had transferred his flag momentarily to another Thurvel-Salan.

Even now he was in the process of consolidating his crews, and leaving behind the ships he could no longer crew seeing it as is rather pointless except as material for the repair of the others. A few of them had already been fed into the massive furnace of the satellite, to be taken apart for their constituent parts.

"The amount of combat ability we can add to the defense of Earth is minimal." Prescott continued, "Especially given the kind of running fight Breetai indicated he would fight if he had to. Especially when you consider the value of this place, it literally cannot be overstated how valuable this place is. This factory satellite alone dwarfs all of the manufactory ability of the human race!"

Henry glared a little but he couldn't argue. "It just sticks in my craw that we're going to be stuck out here for a few weeks while Earth could use the help Sir."

"We've done our part Admiral," said Scott sighing sadly as he remembered going over the list of the dead. While the various commanders and captains would be writing their own letters to the families of those that had fallen, he had always felt that as an admiral he needed to know the human element of any victory or loss. "I'm afraid that Earth is on its own for now."

OOOOOOO

Deep in the bowels of the ship Ranma looked up from where he was helping Motoko and Lucretia move into the quarters down the hall from his families place, smiling as he saw Miriya, once more shrunk to human size, helping Lisa down the corridor. His oh so commanding lady had been exhausted after the battle, and then had ignored everyone's orders and kept going, working herself until she collapsed on the bridge to find and rescue all the pilots that had been shot down and in escape pods or trapped in allied ships.

Henri had ordered her to take a day off but she had still wanted to go out and grab something form the city, refusing to let Ranma go and get it for her, though she had been fine when Miriya and Kasumi offered to go with her.

Now he waved at the trio. "Hey gals, you all do whatever it is you wanted to do?"

All three girls smiled at him, though Kasumi's seemed more pensive than anything and Miriya's was looking a little quizzical. "We're done koi, are you nearly finished moving Motoko and Lucretia's stuff in?"

Ranma nodded. "Yep, all that's left is a second bed."

"Which," Motoko interjected, "we won't need. You can have onii-chan back now girls." Standing next to the Hawaiian Native Lucretia blushed hotly at the implications of that statement, but didn't argue with it. The feelings she had just being around Motoko were addictive in the extreme, and as for making love, that was just beyond anything she had ever felt before, even chocolate!

Ranma grinned at her, ruffling his surrogate sister's hair for a moment then walked over to join his ladies, putting gentle arms around Lisa. "I think after yesterday you deserve some pampering love." Lisa had missed out on their night together after the battle because she had stayed on the bridge to direct the SAR. Ranma had actually been tempted to go up and carry her bodily off the bridge but had realized she would respond poorly to that, the work she was doing was far too important for her to do that to her.

Lisa shuddered, eyeing the package Kasumi held, and nodded firmly at the other brunette, who smiled happily back. Lisa looked back at Ranma and nodded, leaning in to whisper in his ear. "As long as the pampering ends up with us in bed, that's fine by me."

Ranma blushed a little at her tone, but nodded all the same. That night, Ranma was surprised when Lisa urged him to cum inside her. She was normally assiduous about making him cum outside, but he didn't have any time to question it because Kasumi jumped on him the moment Lisa collapsed backward onto the bed.

Lisa smiled faintly, utterly exhausted despite not having actually done any of the work tonight. Miriya kissed her forehead while the two of them watched Kasumi and Ranma go at it next to them, their lips locked together, as Kasumi gently rode Ranma, never breaking eye contact. One of Lisa's hands gently began to rub her stomach, wondering if this was the best idea, but looking forward to it come what may. She knew somehow that this was the right time for it, and only hoped that Ranma took the news as well as she hoped.

OOOOOOO

"No, Mr. President, my fleet will not be doing that," said Breetai coldly looking at the screen where several world leaders were trying to once more convince him to follow ideas that were flat out suicidal for his fleet. "I will not tie more of my fleet by moving it into a close defensive position over Earth. We've been over this several hundred times, and your arguments are specious and without any logic to back them up. We have already done as much as I am prepared to do to defend as large and as vulnerable a target as the Earth."

He scowled angrily, lamenting again the fact that they sent off all the humans he had previously met and had begun to work with. Indeed the only one from that first council that had stayed was the Italian intelligence analyst who was knee-deep with Exedore and a biology team putting together a long-term analysis of the Zentraedi and Meltraedi. His problem was of course compounded by the humans having reversed engineered fold space communications, letting them talk at him as often as they wanted in real-time.

Even if Prescott succeeded in his attack on Dolza's space station Breetai anticipated they would still be attacked here in Sol. He assumed that other fleets would be pulled from defense of satellite factories elsewhere to be sent after the humans well, and Prescott wouldn't have been able to intercept those. In light of this he had stationed the majority of his fleet in position between Earth and the point where his own fleet had come into the system, knowing that was a straight line from the warfront, which gave them a rough estimate of where any fleet would appear.

He had put all of his and Azonia's scout ships around Pluto's orbit, each of them fueled by a bit of the fuel that had been run through the Flower of Life filter. They would be sent against the oncoming fleet en masse to give them an idea of numbers, shit types and command structure. At this range his own scanners wouldn't be good enough to tell them exact numbers only the size of the foldout phenomenon and a bit about their energy sources, which would give them a roundabout number but no specifics. He knew that those ships to die, and had asked the ships to volunteer. All of them had done so, which had filled both him and Azonia with pride.

He had stripped over 4000 of his carriers of their Regulds putting them on the human's lunar fortress as well as augmenting the ships already in orbit that had been stripped of their fuel. Some of those ships had then been towed over the South Pole by some of Azonia's ships, but what they were doing there he didn't know.

He had then assigned those 4000 ships to the humans, loading up with as many humans as they could. Millions of humans, mostly from India, The UK, and several European countries, had come forward to be evacuated, along with thousands of scientists and children. Russia, America and China hadn't participated as much, mainly because of lingering distrust in the Zentraedi and belief that their Grand Cannons would help defend them from the worst Dolza could hurl at him and trust in their own bunkers to see them through.

Food, seeds, trees or all kinds, animals of all kinds and materials had also been loaded on these ships, which then joined the colonies and farming ships in Jupiter's orbit. There were plans underway to make it and the rubble of Pluto into the hubs of a massive space going industry. Despite his anger at their leaders, the hard work and energy of the humans was amazing to see, and raised his spirits whenever dealing with their foolish leaders got him down.

Delmera, who he had placed in charge of this operation, had informed him of several 'museums', places devoted to art and items of historical significance, that had been emptied entirely. Breetai really didn't see the point of that when their race was in danger of being decimated, but didn't really care to argue about it.

She had truly been a godsend since the Macross and the others left. Her affable nature and open friendly face completely disarmed the humans, who had come to call her the gentle giantess, which helped her get different groups to agree to be evacuated.

It had been Delmera who had come up with the initial compromise between Breetai and the human leaders. Twenty-thousand ships, mostly Thurvel-Salan with 5,000 mixed gunboats and carriers had been assigned to mobile defense of the planet in conjunction with the stationary ships and the lunar defense base.

That didn't matter to the human leaders however, angered at the fact that he refused to pin the rest of his forces against the planet. They listened, but they didn't understand or at least did not care about the points he had raised, that it played to the attacker's strength rather than his fleets abilities and that the Grand Cannons, two of which had been completed in America and the Arctic, would not be enough to turn the tide. Nothing on the ground could offset the disadvantage of having a fleet in orbit. Thankfully the humans knew that too, and the UNSF had agreed to follow his orders as outlined in the initial peace talks.

It had also not escaped Breetai's attention that if they were in so close with the enemy his own fleet would take monstrous damage from the Grand Cannon's when they fired but again the humans didn't seem to care or at least these humans didn't. The rest of their species seemed to be much more behind the idea that they needed to work together or be hung separately, (a phrase Azonia had passed on).

Delmera had also tried to get the humans to concentrate on refitting the Zentraedi's ships for their own habitation, and had surprisingly successful. The humans had created tremendous numbers of barrier shields as well as a massive numbers of several new kinds of missiles that the human missile ships would use and their own defense bases scattered around different countries. The human had also built up a massive number of Sabers, upwards of a million, though they weren't the new kind that had dorsal weapons to defend themselves in a dogfight.

Only eighteen hours ago Breetai had stripped 120 of his fleet's carriers of their battlepods and added them to Earth's close defense force. After that the humans had gone to work stripping them out and preparing them to be used as long-range carriers. Several thousand of his own most experienced (though even in his fleet that wasn't saying much alas) Reguld pilots were already working up on their controls, and while the ships didn't have the human engines that would allow them to fold in and out so quickly the long-range punch the Sabers gave would be helpful.

"If that is all gentle beings, then I have better things to do then listen to your insipid untrusting stupidity." The American president, who had become the leader of the thorns in Breetai's side, scowled angrily, but Breetai cut the connection before he could say anything.

He chuckled, a little amused despite himself at the idea of the Americans, the French and the Spanish agreeing about something. He had read just enough of human history to know that was a highly unusual state of affairs.

Breetai turned back to his tactical screen, running several combat sims at once, trying to figure out the best way to maximize his own strengths and make the enemy's numbers work against him. He had a glimmering of a plan, but it would be dictated by how the enemy reacted, and the composition of the enemy's fleet. He had asked Azonia to do the same, since he knew they should expect an attack in the next few days.

OOOOOOO

Unfortunately Azonia had more important things to work on, well it was important to her at least. Believing that she could leave her fleets disposition in Breetai and Delmera's capable hands (and was it just her, or did Delmera seem to be spending a lot of time around Breetai) she had set her sights on a personal goal.

At the same time that Breetai cut his talks with the politicians short, Azonia and Sonya were in her room, sharing the bed again, and this time Azonia was very deliberately naked. Sonya wore one of the first new bras, actually developed by Anya before she went back to live on the Macross, with a thin black t-back panty to go with it.

The Sight started a tingling sensation that went from Azonia's suddenly hard nipples straight down to the area between her legs that the humans for some odd reason called the 'pussy'. There were so many odd words in the main human language it was a source of constant amusement, but this one seemed to make even less sense than usual. Whatever the case, her 'pussy' was tingling at the sight of her lifetime friend getting in beside her, and she deliberately flashed her naked chest at Sonya when she pulled back the covers.

Sonya stopped for a moment, the nakedness of her friend affecting her for some reason now that hadn't been there before, but she swiftly shook it off and got into bed next to her.

Azonia gently took her friends, hand, and turned on her computer, which she had moved to where the screen could be seen from the bed. "I have something I would like you to see my friend. I, I hope it gives you the same ideas that it gave me, but if it does not, I hope that it does not change our friendship."

Sonya looked at her head cocked to one side, but she nodded readily. Azonia returned her nod and turned on the TV, showing a certain film she had taken from the human's internet.

It turned out that Sonya had seen similar things before, and had indeed had ideas about them. The two of them would spend the rest of the day in bed together. Their time together would be interrupted by the news of the enemy fleet arriving.

OOOOOOO

Breetai was woken up the next morning after his last discussion with the human politicians by his sensor officer calling him from the bridge. "Sir, our long-range radar reports that we have incoming fold phenomenon on the outer edge of the system."

Breetai nodded calmly, his mind already slipping into combat mode. "Sound general quarters, bring the fleet up to combat readiness, then send the commands to the scout ships. Forward all their information to the tactical computer. Relay that information to Commodore Oromov and admiral Azonia then forward it back to Earth. I'll be there in a moment."

OOOOOOO

Dolza didn't know why Breetai's fleet was so much more dangerous than its numbers suggested, or how Breetai was able to keep his fleet from taking the heavy losses that others fleets routinely did, but he knew enough not to underestimate him. So, rather than sending a million ships, he had decided to send over 2 million ships against him in two waves, the first marginally stronger (only about 500,000 more) than the second. The second wave would not be arriving thanks to the allies attack on Dolza's fortress, but the first 1,400,000 arrived without any trouble.

Unfortunately for Breetai and the humans, the Masters had decided to stack the deck even further in their favor. Rather than have a normal Admiral who would simply follow the original orders from Dolza regardless of any new tactical information they had taken the Admiral assigned to it and had… changed him.

Lord Admiral Domock had been a normal Admiral once, and had spent centuries as Dolza's second-in-command, commanding the largest detached defense fleet overlooking a solar system that held three factory satellites. His fleet had been pulled off that duty and joined several other defense fleets in lord Dolza's command satellite. He himself had been called in, and had stood before his Lord for the first time in centuries alone and then… been changed.

Now while the body may look the same, the mind was anything but. It was the mind of a tactical computer, and while he/it didn't have as much information as a similar computer that had been created by the humans would about warfare, it would be able to adapt to changing circumstances and respond accordingly.

Domock's problem however was twofold. First was the fact that it didn't have any knowledge about the human's weapons, tactics or capability, and was unable to analyze Breetai's tactics as there had been no written or computerized notes about his campaigns for him/it to analyze. The second problem was that while it could react quickly, it remained to be seen if the fleet it was leading could follow its orders that fast.

The campaign for the cyborg got off to a bad start, as not even minutes after the fleet began to fold out Breetai's scout ships began to close, racing through the fleet at maximum speed. The computer wondered at this odd tactic, but immediately ordered their destruction, realizing that Breetai wanted information for some reason.

Most of them died doing it, but the few scout ships that survived raced out the other end of the fleet, sending Breetai the specific information he needed to fine tune his plan.

OOOOOOO

Breetai stood on his flag bridge staring into the tactical screen as it was updated from the information his scout vessels had died to procure. 7,000 scout ships had been sent, and almost all of them died but they had succeeded in giving him the information he desperately needed. The fleet had come out in one giant bunch, showing him that the fleet had none of the organization or discipline that he had drilled into his own fleet. It was a force of pure terror, a blunt object and that told him all he needed to know.

It didn't have nearly as many Nupetiet-Vergnitzs flagships as it should for that size either, and the scout ships had gotten a read on nearly all of them. They hadn't pinpointed the flagship just yet, but it had to be one of them, so taking it out wasn't outside the realm of impossibility.

The majority of the fleet was comprised of Thurvel-Salan battleships though there were more Quiltra-Quelamitz gunboats than in his own fleet percentagewise, and only a bare 60,000 Quiltra Queleual carriers. Again this showed that it had been put together as more of a blunt object force than a real fleet, and he smiled a little evilly seeing the enemy underestimate him like this. After all just because it had numbers and enough gunboats to wipe his force out didn't mean it was possible. All around him his flag officers noticed that smile and took confidence from it, something that spread throughout the fleet and to the Meltraedi. They knew despite the numbers facing them that their Admiral was actually looking forward to this, he wasn't frightened but eager, and he wouldn't feel like that if he felt the fight was beyond them, and suddenly they all believed the same thing. Morale is to the physical as ten is to one.

The scout ships stayed right outside the edge of the enemy fleet's radar shadowing them for now. Moments later the attacking fleet began to follow the standard Zentraedi tactic of taking short jumps in-system towards the target and Breetai nodded again, a plan already in mind.

"Commodore Oromov," he said turning to one of the communication screens next to him. "Fold out to the remains of Pluto, from there I believe he you may start the party whenever you wish. Initial targets are the Nupetiet-Vergnitzs command ships, then the Quiltra Queleual carriers.

Commodore Oromov nodded, and the fourteen long-range missile battleships of the human fleet vanished from space.

The human ships folded into position slightly to the side of the advancing fleet out of its radar range, their better radar gear able to pick out individual targets from well beyond the range of the Zentraedi's radar, though they could tell that something had folded in ahead of them. The missiles ships fired their first salvo, then moved through space swiftly away from the area where they had folded in, putting even more distance between them and the Zentraedi fleet.

The missiles of the missiles ships were very stealthy little creatures, painted to match the sky of space, small and with a lot of ECM on them that countered any chance to find them. Added to this was the fact the Zentraedi, the Masters and the Invid had never used missile ships. Their ships were armed with rockets for short-range defense against other capital ships and against space fighters, but long-range missiles? These were things that they had never encountered before.

Each missile ship fired 18 missiles, which might not seem much but their payload was very, very deadly. This was proven when the first of them impacted their targets, coming out of nowhere to the invading Zentraedi.

Dr. Lang had theorized about what would happen if a fold-space engine didn't have enough power to take an entire ship into fold. After all he had seen what happened to three of the four original fold-space engines when they performed a jump in Earth's gravity well. After that it had been a relatively easy operation to weaponize the concept.

Now this first flight of missiles impacted and activated a small fold space engine inside them taking large portions of their targeted ships and suddenly transporting that portion elsewhere. The result of course was rather catastrophic. Ships lost about a third of their length suddenly, and of course the ships exploded afterwards. Even one of the command class couldn't take more than two of those missiles hitting it. Within seconds of the first salvo, the attacking fleet had lost 12 of its seventeen Nupetiet-Vergnitzs command ships taking out a large majority of its senior commanders, leaving the communications of the fleet in tatters.

And, since each missile was targeted at one initial target with many more secondary targets, the rest of the missiles sped on to their secondary targets, taking out 200 carrier ships in that opening salvo. It's a pity Dr Lang didn't work out how to make those blasts bigger. Well, needs must, thought Oromov.

He turned to his communication officer, who had a laser line com set up to the next ship in formation, which had laser line communication with the next and so one. "Order to all ships fold to point 2, coordinates are as follows…" He rattled off the numbers then continued. "All ships switch to firing plan delta." Delta called for a mix of three different missile types, nuclear, fold, and another little thing that a team of American scientists had come up with, hardly worth mentioning really.

The trio had been on a team designing another way of faster than light travel, based around the idea of creating stable wormhole. This had stopped when they realizes they could not figure out a way to aim the resultant wormhole, though they had been able to create one of the first place. However it was how they created wormholes that had allowed their research to find a niche as a weapon.

They did so be creating miniature black holes. Small gravitonic anomalies exploded among the carrier mobs of the oncoming fleet. The resultant black holes were small, but when they suddenly bloomed against their target ship they took three or even five ships out at a time. Unfortunately they didn't have as many of these missiles as they could want.

Oromov frowned when his sensor techs noticed a fold-space energy reading. "All ships immediate execute fold out straight back to the edge of our radar envelope."

The Zentraedi fleet responded far quicker than the humans and Breetai had thought they would. 1000 ships folded out trying to figure out where the humans were by folding out randomly along the edge of the radar range then another thousand to the side and so on in a pattern designed to find the humans and flush them out of hiding.

Oromov scowled. "All ships, targets of opportunity, remember to prioritize carriers." The missiles ships were as stealthy as their missiles, and got off ten more volleys ripping into these smaller forces before retreating entirely out of range.

All told they had taken out about 2,600 enemy ships for no loss of their own, most of which were carriers. They disappeared, reappearing near Saturn's orbit where a fleet collier had been stationed to rearm with a fourth type of missile. They were not even close to being out of missiles, but the enemy fleet's speedy response had forced them to fall back.

OOOOOOO

Breetai frowned internally, not liking how quickly the enemy commander had figured out a way to fight the human missile ships. Still, the plan could go forward, and the fleet was letting out the small thousand ship teams out of range of any of the other groups aid. "Commodore Locas, take your ships and meet up with the missile ships around Saturn. Commodore's Fulkin, Dormas, and Rebak break off your units and fold in to take those outlying groups out before they rejoin the rest of the attacking fleet. Wipe them out swiftly, then fold back out." Those commanders were in charge of three of his divisions that were built entirely on Thurvel-Salan, and would be best for this kind of fast attack. "Don't roll out your mobile barrier shields yet, remember we want to keep those as a surprise." His three commodores nodded grimly and the connection cut off as their ships immediately folded out to execute his orders.

Of the thousand strong units the enemy fleet had sent out, only two were able to fold back home with the rest of the fleet, and when the fleet tried en masse to get close with their new attackers, Breetai's commodores had already broken off the engagement, leaving the shattered remains of more than four thousand enemy ships behind for barely fifty of their own.

OOOOOOO

The computer known as Domock analyzed, the computer thought, the computer saw where in the system Breetai and his forces were, the most dangerous force in the system, and decided that it could crush that fleet with little difficulty once they got to grips with it. However before that it calculated that the Nupetiet-Vergnitzs ships had been the main target of the first assault of those strange new weapons, which it ascertained to be missiles. Thus keeping his flag on one of them was contraindicated. He then immediately transferred himself to a Thurvel-Salan, but kept passing his orders through the remaining five Nupetiet-Vergnitzs to confuse any further chance to take him/it out.

An hour later the fleet folded in-system en-masse and appeared about a normal Jovian body's diameter out of range of Breetai's fleet, which was arrayed in a three dimensional rectangle facing them, one of the rectangles short ends facing the attacking fleet. Domocks fleet began to move toward its enemies, which backed away slowly, keeping its formation.

OOOOOOO

Breetai frowned internally, not letting the expression out for anyone else to see. He was happy with the way that the enemy fleet was coming on as it played into one of his scenarios well, but there was something about the fast reaction he had seen to the missiles ships that bothered him. The attacking fleet didn't have any of the panache or discipline of his of course, but was staying together in a far tighter formation than he had expected given the losses it had sustained so far, especially after the show the gravitonic warheads had put on.

This clumped together brute assault wave showed a much greater understanding of his opponent's strengths than he had expected. He also noticed that the enemy's carriers had been moved to the outer edge of the formation. The enemy had actually noticed what the missiles were up to and had moved their targets out, spreading them around so that the gravitonic warheads couldn't take out more than one or two at a time. It was callous, but the enemy commander evidently was prepared to sacrifice his carriers to soak up Breetai's missiles if it could.

However Breetai didn't really have a problem with that. After all there was a reason he had been going after the carriers with his missile ships anyway. He turned to his lonr range communication officer. "Inform Commodore Oromov that he is to continue fire plan beta, hold fire plan Delta until I give the word."

Breetai's Nupetiet-Vergnitzs flagship, newly christened the Iron Will (naming ships had been a Meltraedi affectation before they had broken from the rest of the Zentraedi people) was at the front of his fleets formation, a massive rectangle that resembled nothing so much like the head of a hammer in space. He had to be there, to show his troops that he wasn't afraid of their enemy, and to keep control of the slow retreat he had planned, making certain it didn't become a rout.

The oncoming horde and he used the word with feeling as the enemy fleet looked like a mindless stampede in comparison to his own ordered, layered fleet, pressed in. But it was a stampede that was even more densely packed than his own fleet and he nodded grimly, putting his unease out of his mind for now.

This was what he wanted, and he ordered his fleet to spread out even more slightly along the front, pushing the shape of the fleet so now it was one of the large sides of the rectangle that faced their enemy. Even as they did so they fell back, making it look as if the reason they were was the fact they were reorganizing.

The missile ship attacks kept coming in, taking out more and more the enemy's carriers. He hoped that the enemy commander, despite his apparent ability to keep control of his fleet, didn't realize the real purpose for this attack, or at least not the extent of that purpose.

After all, there was nowhere around here for Breetai to hide, no way he could be hiding forces to spring a trap or anything like that. He had chosen this point in the solar system precisely because there were no nearby planetary bodies, the fourth and fifth planets elsewhere on their journeys around the sun. But the enemy had only seen a brief glimpse of what human technology could really do so far, nor did they have any idea what Breetai's fleet was really capable of.

OOOOOOO

The cyborg brain that had replaced the Zentraedi admiral known for decades as Domock analyzed, and it understood or at least thought it did. The analysis was complete, and the enemies taking out the carriers seem made sense if the Meltraedi had allied with Breetai as had been supposed.

The lack of Nousjadeul-Ger and the number of Regulds the carriers could no longer add to the rest of his fleet's forces might prove to be detrimental later on, but it would not matter in the face of the power of the fleet he controlled. Yet at the same time, it felt a shiver of worry as its sensors had yet to detect any sign of the space fortress. It had bunched up the fleet in order to draw the space fortress out by giving it a target it couldn't resist, but it had failed. Given that the cyborg calculated a 79.987 percent chance that the space fortress was no longer in system.

That matched the data that there might be something wrong going on inside it. The Masters had analyzed the footage transferred by the traitor Azonia (target priority beta 1) and found that portion had been genuine, so it made sense.

With that knowledge the cyborg ordered the fleets remaining carriers to the front of the formation, and for them to launch all fighters. While the capital ships of Breetai's force were too far away for them to get there with much more energy to spare for dogfights, he estimated that there was a 66% chance that Breetai would jump on the chance to wipe out such a large percentage of its parasite force in detail, and thus could be trapped himself in turn

Moments later this seemed to prove correct when Breetai's fleet also launched fighters, and the computer that had been Domock dispassionately noted the number of Queadluun Rau among them. It seemed that the Meltraedi had indeed joined with Breetai.

Unfortunately for Domock he was still underestimating the number of tricks in the human's basket.

OOOOOOO

Breetai had indeed launched his fighters in response to the enemies launching theirs, but his main fleet was still backing away, almost as if they were afraid of the enemy. They weren't of course, and his smirk and position of the Iron Will told his fleet that, a vastly important point that no computer would've thought of.

But his own parasite forces brought along a little gift for the enemy with them. The kinetic shotgun mines that Admiral Prescott had used against the parasite forces of Dolza were not the only ones the humans had made after all. Indeed where he had only had a hundred of the things, Breetai had seven-hundred. While his battle pods and powersuits formed up a few of them hauled these forward, setting them up right behind their wall of battle. They couldn't cover as much space as that wall of course, but they covered enough.

Next he ordered his Regulds in to bring the enemy Nousjadeul-Ger to battle. Their losses would be severe, which would heighten the enemies feeling of superiority despite its losses so far, which was what Breetai wanted.

As the rest of the fleet moved backwards further, included the launched Queadluun Rau wings, the Regulds and the elite powersuits of Dolza's fleet met, with predictable results.

He let the dogfight continue for half a local hour, then nodded at the officer he had assigned as liaison to the parasite forces. "Order the Regulds to fall back. The Queadluun Rau are clear to move forward to join the dogfight but don't let them pass point K-1." K-1 was actually not a specific point in space, but it was a designation of the distance between the kinetic mines and the safe point behind them.

The Regulds fell back upon his order, and he shook his head sadly at their losses, which were going to get even worse in a moment. Those fighter pilots of his knew what was going to happen momentarily, and they had agreed to play bait for his first little trap. The fact that all of them were latest generation clones and were suffering from all the maladies of repeated cloning was well known to all of them, and they knew that their race needed them more as bait then as living people. It was harsh, but it was true. He wished it wasn't, and their courage made his heart warm with pride, but he had his own part to play in this, and vowed on their graves that he would win this battle in their memory and all those that had ever died under his command.

A moment later he estimated enough of the enemy Nousjadeul-Ger had entered his trap and looked down at one of the human officers on the bridge, set up in their own little area beside the tactical screen. "Activate them. Commodore Zorsha, commodore Getheare, go."

Roberto looked up from his work on analyzing the enemy's reaction time, something he had been looking at with a worried look on his face, and saw the massive swarm of red icons on the tactical screen suddenly become two very different and smaller swarms as the center of their formation was simply wiped out by the kinetic mines. At the same time two groups of 12000 of the Thurvel-Salan battleships of Breetai's fleet folded in into range of the two remaining swarms and began to hammer them with anti-air fire. The force that had previously been retreating turned, crushing first one section of the wing and then the other quickly. Of course they came under fire from the main fleet which hadn't bothered wasting shots on the swarms of Regulds. Over a thousand of his ships died before they finished wiping out the power suits of the enemy, but after that the power suits and few remaining battle pods retreated to his main fleet and the group he sent out folded out again, appearing in the back of his fleets formation.

Breetai knew at this point that his enemy would respond in one or two ways. One would be to fall back until the rest of your fleet could launch more fighters to defend your forces, or you could instead charge full speed ahead trying to get to grips with your fleeing opponent and then launch fighters close range. Your parasite forces would be more disorganized with the second option, but with the numbers advantage the enemy had it might seem the better course.

Moments later he was proven correct as the entire enemy fleet folded coming straight into range of his own. "All ships fire!" he said barking the order. "Pack commanders are to choose your own targets, relay them to your Commodores as per usual! All ships begin audio attack!"

The front of Breetai's fleet lit up space as he began to hammer fire at his enemy, and the largest battle in Sol system's history began. Return shots ran into the mobile barrier shields all of his ships had in varying numbers, giving them the endurance for him to plan this whole trap. The human Equistore had called it a 'space-born battle of Cannae', and Breetai had taken a few hours to look up the reference. He idly wondered for just a moment what it would have been like to meet the human Hannibal, but shook it off quickly. He had work to do.

"Continue to fall back," he said looking at the commodores who controlled the front line of his forces. "Hold the line and pound them, but continue to fall back. Watch out for any change in their positions, but otherwise keep falling back for now."

They all nodded, having realized what he had. The enemy commander wasn't utilizing the full strength of his forces. Rather than coming on as a single unit he should've broken up and tried to engulf Breetai's forces from all sides. Instead it came on like an arrow, the ships built up behind the front line, adding some weight to the fire straight ahead, but unable to really get to grips with the majority of Breetai's forces because of the friendly ships in front of them in the 'formation'.

Breetai noticed on the other hand that the audio attack wasn't doing anything, the enemy capital ships seemed to be able to ignore it, and he wondered why. Later after the battle Equistore told him that his team found out that the systems of the enemy had actually been programmed to block any and all communications from sources not on an approved list. This let them block out any signals from his own fleet, but did nothing for the Regulds and the elite powersuits. But the enemy starfighters were so badly overmatched that their confusion at the audio attack was just icing on the cake really.

He turned to another screen where more than half of his division commanders were shown, each controlling over fifty thousand ships. He felt a shiver of pleasure yet again at the changes the humans had made to his communications systems, a single screen now able to show them all at once. You are to wait for it three hours and then fold in on either side of that fleet out there." He said sketching the gestures into the tactical screen in front of him, making certain they could all see what he wanted.

They all nodded and he turned to his long range communication officer there. "Commodore Oromov you are to launch fire plan Delta, Commodore Locas, wait until fire plan Delta has been launched then launch Sabers."

The bridge shuddered under him as his flagship took a bit, and he looked over at the damage screen noticing that it was probably from one of the enemy gunboats but he shook it off. His fleet's ships were moving in formation dodging as much fire as they could yet keeping station in a way that showed the iron discipline he had instilled in his people. Added to that the barrier shields on all of his ships numbered in the hundreds. On his ship it numbered in over a thousand. Once more he thanked Delmera for convincing the humans that the mobile barrier shields were a much higher priority than building up their own ships or fighters.

Next to him Exedore coughed a little, motioning around him silently but Breetai understood. He opened a line to all of his ships and spoke, his voice firm, angry yet utterly controlled and focused. "We stand on a precipice, not only for us, but for our entire race. Will our race continue to be slaves, or will we win our freedom in the only way we can? Will we survive as a new race, or will our legacy be that of the mindless tools of those who call themselves our masters? I tell you now we will prevail! Not because of tactics, not because strategy, but because of will! You are my fleet, you are the best our race has ever produced regardless of the machinations of our former masters! Today we turn their slaves back, today we stand united and turn back their slaves, shouting with one voice we will not be used again! And so we declare this day, the first day, and our day of reckoning!"

His fleet answered with a roar coming from a billion throats, and even the Meltraedi, hidden away as a reserve screamed their defiance along with Breetai's fleet and the battle continued with a will.

OOOOOOO

In Saturn's orbit Commodore Oromov nodded. He looked over to where his own communication screen showed the Zentraedi Locas who was in charge of the refitted carrier ships filled with Sabers. "Let's go shut the back door," he said and the Zentraedi nodded getting the reference and smiling a little grimly. Moments later the 16 missile ships in the 120 refurbished carriers folded out, appearing just out of range of the enemy sensors behind them.

The enemy knew something had folded in behind him but not what, and again the ships moved rapidly away from where they had folded in. At the same time they were doing this the missiles ships fired their payload, and this time they weren't firing their various deadly payloads. These missiles were the electronic equivalent of chaff. They were intended to blind and deafen and in as many ways as possible discombobulate the enemy's ability to use radar or any kind of sensors. These missiles were not fired one at a time with specific targets in mind, they were rapid fired and soon over 450 missiles of that type were speeding through space heading towards the enemy.

At the same time thousands of Sabers that had been placed aboard the carriers launched, a massive field of them waiting for the chaff to do its job before heading in to do their own.

OOOOOOO

Domock scowled angrily, the battle was going according to its pre-clash computations, but Breetai's fleet was proving strangely durable. The odd mobile shields his ships all used blocked most of his fleet's fire, and only his gunboats were able to blast through them to do any kind of damage. So far his own losses were within acceptable parameters, but the majority of Breetai's fleet was still hidden behind his frontline, and the computer was wondering why Breetai was not using his full force. His front's wall's losses were becoming severe, but he had yet to commit the rest of his force for some reason.

In his own case he knew that his fleet's charge had backfired, the bulk of his fleet being behind the front line and unable to engage effectively. He could have ordered them to fire anyway but that would have brought his losses up from friendly fire to an unacceptable level.

Domock was just about to order his fleet to spread out when the tactical screen the cyborg was staring at shivered and popped, the screen suddenly going gray in grainy. The computer looked up sudden surmise in his eyes, but none of the other bridge officers around him were able to do anything to help the system, and his communications computer was down as well.

Everywhere in his fleet ships faltered as they lost all their radar and communication gear, and were suddenly unable to tell friend from foe, and unable to see what was coming up rapidly from behind them.

OOOOOOO

Out in space Breetai's first division had taken a pounding, with over thirty thousand ships dead for about seventy two thousand of the enemy, but that was acceptable for bringing the enemy fleet into this trap. At the same time as the Sabers when and after the chase did its work best for second, third, and fifth divisions of his fleet folded out, taking up new positions around the enemy's fleet. This allowed them to bring their fire power to bare on the enemy, which had bunched up even further in confusion and concern when they lost their radar and communications.

The alien commander had made the classic mistake of keeping his fleet centralized, which allowed him to control it more easily, but made his fleet far too dense to actually use the massive firepower it contained effectively. The ships at the center couldn't fire towards the front or the sides, forcing them to do nothing, but float there in space until the ships in front of them died. This was what Breetai was taking advantage of now.

Now in a move somewhat reminiscent of the battle of Cannae Breetai's fleet folded in on either side of the enemy fleet as well as above and below. While this enabled more of the enemy to fire on his ships the chaff had taken out their ability to actually see his ships for a moment, and that allowed him to get in a first devastating salvo. The chaff would swiftly clear of course, but by then his fleet was in position to completely envelope the enemy forcing them into an even smaller space, forcing even more of their ships to be unable to fire on the enemy.

"Forget the role of maneuverability in space warfare at your peril," he muttered chuckle and letting the sound strengthen the morale of his flag officers. "Move the second division in to bolster the first Doran," he said looking at another communication screen. Commodore Doran was his most senior division leader,, and if anything happened to Breetai he would take command of the fleet until Azonia could formally take command.

Azonia's Meltraedi were being kept out of this fight for the moment, used as a reserve hidden behind the mass of the Sun, the only place in the solar system where the enemy sensors could not detect even a hint of their presence. He would be bringing them in shortly if everything went according to plan, but he was not about to jump the gun on that. After all he well knew that things very rarely went according to plan.

In fact he felt it likely that his enemy, who had already proved a capable sort (and where had a Zentraedi commander that competent been hiding up to now) would fold out of his trap, or try to box him in by attempting the same thing. If that happened he would gladly take up the gauntlet of a war of maneuver. While his ships didn't have full tanks, they were closer than normal, and much of the fuel was human fuel, more potent than the normal kind and longer lasting. He could run circles around his larger more dangerous enemy, then rip him apart piece by piece.

He chuckled again as the Sabers hit the enemy fleet from behind, shutting the door behind the enemy fleet and nodded at Commodore Testus, who he had placed in charge of his fleet's reserves, a force of sixty thousand ships. "Fold in directly behind the enemy fleet, help the Sabers cut off their retreat."

Testus nodded and Breetai smacked his hands down on the computer in front of him, the noise like a death knell rolling out from him. "The enemy is trapped gentlemen, let's put it out of our misery."

His bridge officers answered his call with the roar, and his ship led the line now redoubled the numbers and density against the enemy firing as fast as their weapons could bear on the enemy and closing in.

OOOOOOO

Sabers roared in from behind the enemy fleet, the chaff of the missiles ships having done its deadly work. Not a single ship among the 'loyal' Zentraedi fleet could tell they were even there until they began to fire. Five Sabers worked together as a pack much like the pack template followed by Breetai's capital ships, and they were coming from behind the enemy fleet, which meant most of those fleet's ships were facing the wrong way to combat them, and they hadn't yet launched another wave of their own parasite forces, the battle up to this point being capital ship to capital ship.

As the chaff cleared those ships began to turn in sections, but the damage had already been done, and the Sabers were in amongst them. Moments later they were joined by Breetai's parasite forces from all around the enemy fleet, charging in before the chaff could fully dissipate. The enemy began to desperately launch their own Regulds and powersuits, and the battle became even more violent and chaotic.

Before that happened however the Sabers killed over 1,200 capital ships, most of them carriers and the others gunboats. In the face of the enemy's own parasite force they switched to targets of opportunity destroying more ships as time went on.

Behind them, now hidden behind the wall of one of Breetai's divisions, Commodore Oromov nodded. "Order all ships to go to rapid fire, but order all captains to make damn certain that our IFF is up to date."

His communications officer nodded and passed on the order, and the 15 battleships of Earth spread out and began to rapid fire missiles into the enemy formation. It wouldn't be long, only about an hour or so, for the before they ran out of ammo at that rate, capital class missiles were after all pretty large and they could only carry so many of them but that was what the fleet colliers back in fashion were for.

Oromov whimsically sighed, wondering what they could have done with the new magazine enlarging technique had been placed on their ships, but Dr. Lang had accidentally taken everyone who understood the technique with him, and the papers he had published about it had been derided and ignored by the scientific community without him and his fellows to ram it down their throats. Still, the fleet colliers have enough missiles to fill us all up a dozen times over, that's the best we can do for now.

They also launched as many EW missiles as they could with the rest of their payloads, but unfortunately they didn't have enough of those missiles to completely wipe out the enemy fleet's radar again. It had been simply a question of demand versus supply, and everyone from Breetai on down had thought that having more destructive missiles was more important. The number they had had done enough damage already, and the battle was beginning to definitely tilt the way of the defender's despite their enemies still appalling numbers advantage.

It remained to be seen if Breetai's envelopment was able to really do enough damage to the enemy fleet to offset the numbers advantage, but the use of the barrier shields and his own tactics to utilize all of his firepower against only a portion of his enemies seems to be working so far.

OOOOOOO

it was a full half-hour before the systems were cleared of chaff, and the tactical situation had changed so much that even a cyborg like Domock had to blink in shock for a moment. Where before the battle had been going their way, even if slowly, now his entire fleet was in jeopardy of being wiped out.

It probably didn't look quite that way to the Zentraedi around him, after all they didn't really think ahead like that, all they saw was their fleet immense power and numbers, the fact they still outnumbered their opponents but none of them would realize they needed to be worried about the loss ratio.

The computer cyborg however didn't know. Breetai had completely mouse trapped them here, and losses were mounted. Already they have lost over 125,000 ships, and even as he watched another 800 died under the combined fire of the tiny new fighters and the firepower of Breetai's forces at the back of his fleet. The computer estimated that Breetai had only lost about 70,000 all told so far, most of which had been lost before he sprang this trap. Even with the chaff clearing his ships were unable to truly bring their numbers to bear due to his/its fleet's dense formation, and continuing to pay that rate of attrition was not acceptable.

It was tempting to simply reverse the assault on his enemy, but Breetai had proven a wily commander, and the tools of the humans could well allow him to get away cleanly, dragging the battle out further. While an initial analysis of fuel consumption pointed to the fact his fleet might outlast Breetai's in a war of maneuver, an analysis of what had happened in this system made the chances of that falling below 29.456%.

While pondering what to do the computer analyzed its programmed objectives in the system, and came up with a solution that had an 80% chance of winning and achieving all of its objectives. He/it swiftly turned to the communication officer who patched the admiral through to a little under half of his captains, as all of its division leaders had already been lost.

Minutes later a little more than 600,000 ships folded out from the center of the attacking Zentraedi's formation, leaving it looking like a hollow sphere. While the exterior comprised of the remaining 600,000 continued to trade shots and blasts of firepower with the enveloping force of Breetai the rest had another destination in mind entirely.

The odds of winning a running war with someone like Breetai had proven to be, with the humans technology added to the equation, was below 50%. So Instead, the computer was going for a target that Breetai would have to defend, if he truly was allied with the humans. The computer was going for Earth, and it had more than enough ships to turn the entire world into it dead wasteland

OOOOOOO

Breetai watched the center of the enemy formation fold out. At this range his own sensors were easily up to telling him the number of ships that had just disappeared and his eyes narrowed, wondering where they would appear. One of his hands hovered on the button that would communicate his words to all of his division commanders at once so he could order them to fall back.

He was surprised yet again at the ability of his opponent. Rather than folding out the entire fleet he had left enough in place to attempt to pin his fleet where it was, and had taken the ships that couldn't fight in their current formation effectively.

He had plans to whittle down the enemy force even further, but cursed suddenly as he realized that the enemy was doing what he had feared they would all along, go straight for a target that couldn't retreat, a target that was too big to hide, Earth. He looked down at the humans to the side, all of whom had stiffened and stilled, fear for their home gripping them all.

He scowled inside. He knew what tactics dictated. His enemy had given him a golden opportunity to wipe out half his fleet here in detail before contending with the half it sent to Earth, and in a tactical sense that was what he should do. But he also knew what honor (and long term strategy) dictated, and Breetai sighed internally then pressed looked over at his long range communication officer. "Admiral Azonia, the enemy fleet has broken into two segments, leaving one here to pin me in place and the other heading for Earth. While I destroy this segment, I wish for you to take your fleet in and defend Earth. I trust you to do it with all your regular brilliance and panache, but nor do I expect miracles. Do all you can, but do not let your fleet be wiped out, Breetai out."

With a shake of his head he looked down at Roberto. "I'm sorry, but that's the best I can do. Whoever is in charge over there is sharper than I expected, he left enough of his force here to keep my fleet in place destroying him, the position we're in is too good to give up. We've got the room to maneuver, they don't, and we have the barrier shields. I doubt he realizes how complete that destruction will be, or how few losses I will sustain doing it but I must stay here and retain command here as we do so."

He looked back suddenly, something in the tactical screen catching his attention and he turned swiftly to his communication screen, barking out to one of his first division's commodores, whose flotilla had been hammered badly, not losing many ships, but most of them were battered to varying degrees. "Treathif, take your force immediately to Jupiter, and wipe out the force that just folded there."

Minutes after the larger force a smaller group of four thousand had folded out from the remaining fleet and it was that fold phenomenon he had noticed out of the corner of his eyes. And if they hadn't folded out of first group been there was only one real target, and he had been worried for a while that the growing weight of metal in Jupiter's orbit was visible.

It had been, but his quick thinking had given the defenders there, two wings of Valkyries, and two armed colony ships with a large compel,ent of sabers, enough firepower to defend themselves against the 4000 strong force that Domock sent there.

That clash was a bit of a side note really, and Breetai knew it. He wondered briefly which battle would prove to be the most important, the one he was still fighting or the one about starting or Earth's orbit, but for now he pushed that idea to the back of his mind. Even as he worried for the mass of humanity still on Earth he began to bark out orders, moving his flotillas and divisions around to cut the enemy fleet into pieces, then to wipe the pieces out one by one.

OOOOOOO

Azonia's force was hidden on the other side of the sun, forming a bit of a triangle between the sun, the Earth and their fleet. She hadn't been happy about it, but she had recognized on several levels why Breetai wanted her fleet to form his reserve. For one thing her power suits represented a major resource, even with over a third of them split off to his own fleet and to the fleet sent against Dolza she still had millions of them and if used correctly they could turn the tide of battle. They were far better at destroying capital ships than Regulds were after all.

She and her command team also represented an entirely different group that could act independently of Breetai without supervision. While his division and flotilla commanders were damn good an very experienced, they still looked to him for leadership and would not be able to react as quickly as she could.

On another level entirely her fleet numbered less than 100,000 ships far less his 460,000 plus, and her Meltraedi were more important in the long run then his Zentraedi to the future of the race. The humans had found that most Meltraedi did not suffer from the barrenness of the males. Indeed it was only the very latest generation of Meltraedi that had that issue. That generation barely made up 26% of their fleet's numbers, almost entirely concentrated in the Meltraedi wings. Other generations did have mental problems, but they were still far less than in the male forces.

This was because despite their shock troop status the Meltraedi had very rarely taken the habitually horrendous losses the Zentraedi regularly did even in comparison to Breetai's fleet. And Azonia had not been the first of their admirals to elevate people due to seniority.

What this meant for the future was that the majority of Meltraedi would still be able to give birth the old-fashioned way, and their children would not have any issues genetic issues (that couldn't be solved anyway). It astonished Azonia that many thousands of her females were actually looking forward to seeing if they could, and had taken to looking at baby videos and pictures from the human Internet over the past few days since that news had circulated. Though to her amusement many of them hadn't yet realized the other portion of that equation...

So in cold-blooded terms her fleet represented a long-term resource that their race desperately needed, making them too valuable to waste except in direst need. Breetai haven't pointed that out to her explicitly of course, but she realized it nonetheless.

Now however she concentrated on her job frowning angrily. The alien commander had reacted to practically everything that had happened so far much more swiftly than she or Breetai had assumed he would, and she hoped he didn't have any further brilliant ideas.

Still even if he did she had a job to do, and their ally's home planet was in danger. While nearly 2.2 billion people had been evacuated off the planet that still left the vast majority of humanity on earth, and made it a place they had to stand and defend.

She looked over at Sonya, who had taken over command of her flagship from Aria, who had transferred to command the stationary forces over Earth. "Let's go," she said simply, and Sonya nodded, barking orders to the helmswoman and the communications officer. Seconds later her fleet folded out from their position behind the sun in relation to her enemies.

OOOOOOO

The moment the fleet appeared it came under fire, both from the stationary ships in orbit and the Grand Cannons on the surface. One Grand Cannon in the Arctic was out of position for a direct shot and had to use the mirrors to redirect its beam to hit the attacking fleet.

That one shot took out over 40,000 ships of Domock's, but it also gave away the cannon's position and it died before it could get off another shot. And unfortunately that blast also killed off half the defending mobile ships that Breetai had left in orbit. the others died as Domack's fleet encircled them, but their parasites joined the massive dogfight spreading across the globe.

70,000 gunboats fired as one, turning the Arctic installation into a wasteland, burning off the ice around it, kicking up dust and ice into the air. The Grand Cannon in America got off two shots, destroying over 90,000 ships, before it too fell silent, along with the country around it.

Domock's orders to his captains had been brutal but simple; the gunboats were to ignore any enemy in space, and concentrate on decimating the planet, the rest of his fleet would work on decimating any space borne defenders which they began to do immediately. With his numbers he couldn't do it quickly, and those numbers took another beating the moment he appeared over the planet, but he still had more than enough ships to sterilize the entire planet.

America became the second target of those gunships, and the strongest nation on the planet died under the withering power of the gunboats beams. Gone was Washington, capital of the United States. Gone was the Grand Cannon. Gone was the rust belt, New Orleans, California and Hollywood and Florida. It all burned.

Yet because of the amount of time it had taken for Earth to be under attack since the enemy had first folded in to the solar system, and because Hayes and his ilk had were no longer in charge, millions of people were in shelters deep, deep under the earth, safe from this assault. America was one of only three countries that had been able to devote resources to the Grand Cannon, manufacturing mobile barrier shields, Valkyries, capital ships, and bunkers, and it was the only one that could perform at all those tasks at a high level. Nearly every city in the country had a shelter nearby, and while over half of them failed and the people inside them died many of them didn't.

South America fell next, as the gunboats worked their way down from their previous firing positions, then moved across the ocean, boiling off untold amounts of water before starting to assault Africa. Canada was surprisingly spared for now.

While this was going on the rest of his fleet was dealing with the space-borne defenders. The Regulds had launched hours before Domock had folded out back with his own fleet and had spread out, then simply waited just in case. It hadn't been pleasant, but it had worked. Many of them died when he folded in, interpolating with them, but their deaths actually destroyed those ships, which they would never have been able to do alone.

The rest protected the five dozen Valkyrie wings that were also waiting for the fleet, and many of these Valkyries didn't have their normal missile complement, instead being armed with ship-killing nukes. The Regulds and Valkyries from the lunar base had also risen, and the base there as well as bases down on earth began to fire off missiles at the attacking fleet. Thousands of the attacking ships died before he launched his own parasite force, but once he did the Nousjadeul-Ger proved their superiority over the Reguld, yet found themselves almost matched by the Valkyries. Despite having nowhere near the experience or durability of the pilots trained by Ranma and Roy, these pilots were desperately fighting for their homes, which spurred them to feats far higher than anything they had ever done before.

Despite this however the numbers were against the defenders and Domock estimated a 98.256879% probability that he would easily be able to cleanse the planet within the next six hours unless Breetai followed him. The equation changed however when Azonia and her fleet folded in outside lunar orbit, and immediately assault the portion of his fleet in combat with the lunar base and its defenders. The computer whose form was that of the Zentraedi admiral Domock recalculated.

OOOOOOO

Azonia's fleet had gone into it attack mode as soon as they folded out, moving swiftly split into ten groups of ten thousand under her senior commodores, trusting in their own organization and discipline to help offset the enemies numbers.

Azonia personally led four such flotillas, moving them in on separate angles and moving along either side, above and below of the tendril of the enemy fleet that had moved to attack the lunar base. The base was still there, still sending out signals and the odd missile or two, and their intervention saved what was left and over the next hour destroyed 34,000 enemy ships losing only 800 of their own before peeling away to either side, forcing the enemy fleet to leave position over the planet to come after it.

One other group had performed a mini-fold to the other side of the gravity well then zoomed in to assault a force of 6,000 gunboats, some of the ones that had destroyed the Arctic base that had been accidentally left out of formation. It was with fury, rage and grief they came, their front spewing out Queadluun Rau as they did.

The wings of the Meltraedi were everywhere slicing into the enemy's parasite forces like a hot knife through butter. The difference of a pampered so-called elite and the real thing becoming apparent almost instantly to everyone involved, much to the dismay of the Nousjadeul-Ger pilots, and the gunboats began to die under their furious fire.

A force of 16,000 Thurvel-Salan moved to intercept, but was assaulted by the remaining five groups commanded by Delmera who had waited just out of the gravity well before zooming in and cutting them off from the rest of the fleet. They fought well, and with the gunboats support cost Delmera a little over 2,000 of her own ships but none of those ships were able to return to the rest of the fleet.

The Queadluun Rau of all six of these groups finished their work there and turned to assault the main fleet while their capital ships regrouped and retreated.

OOOOOOO

The cyborg frowned, noting its losses so far as barely acceptable and the fact that it had lost over two thirds of its parasite forces already. While it did not have enough data to compute whether or not the Meltraedi powersuits could do enough damage to his capital ships to offset his numbers advantage, it was an unacceptable loss ratio.

By this point the stationary defenses, the few stationary ships that retained their weapons, the lunar defense forces, and ships left in orbit over Earth itself had all been destroyed, but their parasite forces were still fighting hard, and they were taking out his Quiltra-Quelamitz gunboats rather than his Thurvel-Salan battleships. He still had more than enough, but he had lost a little under half of his fleet since appearing over this planet.

They were still winning of course, his numbers advantage was still too large for that, but he calculated the chances of them still having enough numbers to go back and take out Breetai's forces from behind as dropping rapidly with every gunboat pack lost.

With a barked command he ordered half of his gunboats to cease-fire on the planet and turned their guns to their own attackers, which saved Canada from destruction. It would still suffer the effects of the orbital bombardment, but because of his unilateral order it wouldn't come under fire itself.

After Africa Europe began to die but there millions again were saved because the governments there had devoted most of their efforts to building shelters, not having enough industrial capacity really add to the war effort as much as the more powerful nations. They sent people, and those people performed admirably in all their duties, but it was simple fact of numbers at places like Greece, Spain, Italy and other even smaller countries didn't have the resources available to do everything.

Unfortunately it would later be found that many of the smaller countries' bunkers were not deep enough to defend their people, and the loss of life in them was horrible.

Germany did have the resources to concentrate on several areas at once, but the Germans had also seen the merit of evacuation and had evacuated the vast majority of their people to the Zentraedi ships Delmera had organized for that purpose. India and the UK had also grasped that offer most wholeheartedly. What was left was their military installations, who fired back in vain taking out some of their attackers with long-range missiles shooting out of the gravity well before Germany fell silent.

Before that South America and Africa had come under fire. The countries there had devoted as much as they could to defense as well, but in their case their bunkers were even worse than in the smaller European countries. All of them had believed that as weaker powers they would simply be overlooked by an invading enemy. They have not been able to grasp that the Zentraedi would not be coming to invade, but to annihilate. They died, as did France for much the same reasons. There, several groups had constructed their own bunkers but they haven't had the resources to construct most of them deeply enough, and the French government had thought their neutrality would allow them to talk the enemy out of attacking them. Thus they had built only a few real government sanctioned bunkers and the loss or life in riots among those who tried to get in and were turned away was horrible, up until the bombardment began and the word took on a whole new meaning.

Their military had ignored this idea of neutrality (with the tacit approval of the UNSF) and they fought valiantly. Missiles silos the countryside over fired up against the Zentraedi in orbit, but it didn't save their nation, and the stupidity of their politicians doomed their people to death.

Africa of simply didn't have the resources nor the representation to really join the efforts to leave the planet, and their own bunkers were again not as deep as they needed to be. Surprisingly some survivors would be found among the mountains of Africa, as well as the Himalayas and the Appalachian Mountains, the concrete and stone sturdiness of the mountains having saved them, but the majority of Africa was no more. Its death and the death of South America and the rainforests they both contained as well as the amount of air burned off from the beams of the gunboats would cause problems later on, but right now no one left alive had enough time on their hands to think about that.

OOOOOOO

Azonia scowled angrily. Despite her fleet carving off bits of the enemy fleet here and there, the assault continued on the planet. Watching the once pristine and beautiful planet slowly being turned into a wasteland hurt her heart. Worse, since the enemy commander had switched half his Quiltra-Quelamitz gunboats to defense she had been taking heavier losses, and that was not good considering her enemy's numbers advantage. She was still outnumbered here 4 to 1, and while she would bet money on anyone of her ships against three or four, five was a bit much. "All slashing attacks cease, all flotillas reform on the flag, Queadluun Rau wings continue your assault."

Moments later her fleet reformed, and she nodded at her flotilla commanders. "Pull back along the avenue here," she said pointing at the tactical screen and moving her fingers through it, putting her fleet behind six derelict ships that hadn't been part of the defense forces parked over the South Pole in a wide arc.

They had been refitted to be something else and she smirked a little viciously as she saw Sonya smile evilly. Those had been Sonya's little baby. The other woman, her lover now and hopefully forever if Azonia had anything to say about it, had been fascinated by the kinetic weapons of the humans, from the rail-guns down to the kinetic shotgun, and had wondered if they could somehow figure out a way to do the same thing on a much grander scale. Those ships were the product of that line of thought, and she and hundreds of human weapons designers had used them to create something deadly.

As the Meltraedi fleet swung wide as if it was going to sweep around and come back en masse, the enemy fleet split in two. Domock left a third of his remaining gunboats behind along with the remaining carriers and a 1000 Thurvel-Salan, then took the rest of his fleet out after the Meltraedi. The cyborg had noticed Azonia's Queadluun Rau had split, half staying behind and half still attacking the rest of his fleet. His battered and reduced carriers didn't have enough Regulds left to fight them off, but the computer computed that the odds of that number of Queadluun Rau taking out enough of his Quiltra-Quelamitz gunboats to stop the cleansing of Earth was below 20%.

He cut across the Meltraedi's course, going straight across the avenue she wanted them to follow putting the six derelict battleships right in their path. They were attempting to cut her fleet in half and destroy it in detail that way, but it wouldn't work.

Rather than destroy the derelicts the enemy fleet simply ignored them, and she waited until they were in amongst the enemy then nodded at Sonja who looked at the groups of humans near the communication console. "Activate."

Aboard those derelict ships computers came online suddenly, and if they had been human they might have given a little squeal of joy at the sheer amount of targets around them.

The entire exterior of those ships had been stripped away, made almost paper-thin, from behind which thousands of large-scale kinetic guns were ready and waiting. Their payload was much larger than the payload used in the regular mines that the enemy's Regulds had run into several hours before. Those guns didn't actually have as much ammo as they should, but they had enough. After all it was very easy to make a twenty feet long piece of iron in comparison to a lot of the other technological innovations and needs of the fleets. And when those iron bars, sped up to something just below Mach 5, hit, they smashed, destroying them utterly. Within that first few firings those ships are destroyed 40,000 of the enemy, and the carnage continued even as the derelict ships came under fire from everywhere around them.

Azonia smirked. "Forward all ships, hammer them!" At her order the fleet suddenly changed course, closing from both sides and hammering their numerically superior enemy from both sides, spreading out below and above.

The fight continued, and Domock lost another 80,000 ships before he fought his way away from the ambush around the derelict ships, forcing Azonia to pull back. She had lost about 22,000 ships, which against any other animal would have been a fantastic loss ratio, but in this one it might not be enough.

Behind Domock's advancing fleet, despite the best efforts of the Queadluun Rau wings that had remained in orbit, Asia burned. Azonia stared at what had once been a life giving green blue and white planet, now almost entirely brown gray and dark, despair filling her.

Suddenly the equation changed again, as over the Arctic the missile ships of humanity appeared joined with the Zentraedi carriers contain the Sabers. In fact they actually had folded into the planet's gravity well, yet had somehow, through luck or skill, kept on target.

They were joined by over 17,000 ships of Breetai's fleet, most of them badly battered, but still game. These ships immediately attacked the 150,000 gunboats that had stayed behind Domock's fleet as he came out to meet Azonia, and without a parasite force to defend them they swiftly began to die under the fire of the vengeful Sabers, their numbers once more topped off by the fleet colliers in Saturn's orbit.

Domock responded swiftly, turning his fleet around and ordering those ships to cease-fire on the planet and concentrate on their own defense, which saved Australia and Japan and several other island nations from being targeted. All of them would have to deal with tsunamis, earthquakes and hurricanes caused by the orbital bombardment, but they would still have survivors to add to the number saved by the bunkers elsewhere.

As Domock's ships turned back to help their beleaguered fellows Azonia pressed in behind him, catching his out of position. 15,000 more ships died under her fire, forcing Domock to turn away to face her even as she retreated, letting the Sabers, the missiles ships and the heavily damaged ships of Breetai's force do their work on the gunboats behind him.

Gunboats were built around a single heavy beam that could combine into one and was then shot out at enemies, delivering a beam more powerful than any other in the Zentraedi fleet. It did not have nearly as many defense installations against parasite forces as other ships, and in fact it lost in any kind of fleet action because despite their relative small size their guns made them slow, and by the time a gunboat's gun was able to train on a fast-moving enemy battleship that battleship was probably not going to be in the position it had been.

The captains they were facing were experienced and knew this all too well and used this advantage ruthlessly, closing the distance and hammering them, utterly ignoring their fellows and the carriers, leaving them to the missile ships. With the Sabers and the missiles ships covering them the battered ships Breetai had sent to rip the heart out of the remaining 150,000 gunboats, and before they died they took over half of their enemies with them. Several, broken, dying and slowing down to the point where the full power of their enemies beams could hit them, actually rammed their enemies, taking more of them down to hell.

Behind them the missile ships continued to hammer out missiles and the sabers were everywhere, flaying the remaining gunboats and the bare hundred carriers remaining.

Domock was busy dealing with Azonia's lightning strafing run along the front and bottom of his formation, trying to envelop the Meltraedi. But Azonia stayed one step ahead of him, moving almost randomly around, keeping his/its attention straight on her while behind him the gunboats assigned to destroy the earth slowly died.

It still would not have been enough to save the rest of the planet if not for the fact that when Russia was bombarded right before the human ships arrived, and their arrival had saved Siberia. It was here where Russia had constructed it's Grand Cannon, and even though wasn't finished, even though the entire installation hadn't been fitted with dampeners or any kind of defense against blowback, the defenders of that installation, seeing the death of their nation and of the world around them had decided to go out with a bang.

They waited until the last of the Allied Zentraedi forces went down then fired. Every person in the base died from the backlash of the cannon firing, and even if they hadn't the remaining 4000 gunboats smashed their position to rubble in response, but Domock suddenly lost nearly all the remaining gunboats he had assigned to the destruction of Earth. Swiftly the next round of Sabers soared in accompanied by even more missiles taking out the shell shocked remnants before they could do anything more.

Azonia suddenly looked around as her communication officer raised a hand to get her attention. "Lady Admiral, Breetai wants to know if we can…"

OOOOOOO

The entity known as Domock was becoming increasingly concerned, it had achieved one of its primary objectives, it was 98.25% certain that the human race was gone now. But the force sent to Jupiter had failed miserably, and his forces attacking Breetai seems to be losing even faster than it had estimated by a wide margin. Is it now estimated that it barely had a 1.5 advantage in numbers, and that number was decreasing as the fleet it had left to force Breetai to remain in place destroying it died. The Meltraedi fleet had taken severe losses at this point, and was down to 56,000 ships and his own fleet was now pushing them away from the third planet. Indeed it noted that both their fleets were now entirely out of the gravity well of the planet, and began to compute the best way to begin using folds to trap the Meltraedi. But his own fleet was bound to barely 300,000 while the fleet that Breetai was battling had been reduced even more.

The computer paused giving orders, its brain trying to figure out the best scenario for it to win this battle and coming up with only a few that would allow it to do so. All of them had in common the reforming of the fleet and falling back for now, trying to use Breetai's own tactics against him, however even as it thought through the probabilities of that course of action the equation changed yet again.

OOOOOOO

Up to this point Breetai had been content with leaving the battle it long-range, conserving his own numbers in return for decimating his opponents with long-range firepower and using the advantage of the barrier shields ruthlessly. The trapped enemy fleet had been cut to ribbons, and while it might still have around 200,000 ships left, they were a broken force.

However his shields had been entirely reduced and he had also been following the battle around Earth. That fight was slowly turning against Azonia, and he was determined to end this campaign now.

When Azonia responded with the data he needed he smiled grimly. Breetai knew now where the intelligence (Breetai was almost certain that it wasn't a Zentraedi over there) controlling the enemy fleet was, and knew that if he took that out the fleet here would be of little concern. They might break entirely without the central intelligence leading them.

So his guns suddenly went silent, as every division of his fleet folded out their target a very, very different location.

Using the telemetry given to them by Azonia's forces most of those divisions would appear on the outer edge of Domock's fleet and would immediately began to take his fleet under fire from every direction. At this point they were nearly even in numbers, and Breetai would trust to his fleet's experience to see them through it.

His own division had a very different target in mind. Even Kyron would've been amazed at the daring Breetai showed folding his division of around 80,000 ships (after folding in his second division) directly in among the enemy fleet and began to fire, a move that was so unheard of and unusual that it took even Azonia aback.

Breetai lost over 1000 ships to interpollation, taking with them an equal number of the enemy ships and a few of their own ships as well, but it put him right within knife range of the enemy's capital flagship, which died almost instantly under the fire of the Iron Will. His division took a hammering, their few remaining barrier shields falling swiftly under fire from all over, but by the time a few of them had died to that fired the enemy flagship had died, and Breetai nodded to his captain who was holding on grimly as the entire ship shook under the pounding fire all around them. "Get us out of here."

Breetai's division folded out again, and several hundred ships died under their own sides fire before the captains realized that their targets had disappeared.

Breetai opened communications with Azonia and nodded her. "I'm leaving you the third and the fourth divisions, that'll bring your numbers up to 260,000 plus. I'll take the fifth the second and the sixth against the other fleet."

Azonia nodded, her eyes sorrowful at the destruction already accomplished on Earth, but this battle was no longer in doubt. Already the enemy fleet was beginning to break off, single ships and packs folding out and running for it while others simply turned and tried to flee in real space. Where they were going she didn't know, but what had been a numerical superiority was now barely equal numbers, and their fleets were still moving with purpose and firm control.

Breetai nodded over at one of his communication screens. "Commodore I'm calling in the ships sent to Jupiter and as much aid from there as I can, I'm leaving you and Testus here to defend and coordinate your rescue effort. I, I'm sorry commodore, but there was nothing we could have done that would have prevented this."

Commodore Oromov stared at the ruin of Earth, where the brown and black swirls utterly dominated the few remaining green and living bits, shaking his head. "I understand that admiral, and I know this will go down in history as a tremendous victory against the odds, but if this is victory, god save us from defeat."

The two admirals proceeded to dominate the two theaters of battle, utterly destroying the beleaguered remainder of what had once been one of the greatest fleets to have ever be assembled anywhere in space. By the end of two days of on and off combat, no more than a thousand ships made it out of the star system, and none of them had the fuel necessary to get back to Zentraedi controlled space. The Master would be left with nothing to tell them what had happened, adding to their growing fear of the monster they had woken.

Epilogue:

When the factory satellite came out of warp its inhabitants found a system that was less and yet more damaged than they had feared. The Zentraedi fleet had taken a pounding, but still had a little less than half of its numbers, and the Meltraedi had retained just over two-thirds of their own. The losses among the Queadluun Rau and the Regulds had been high, with the Regulds of Breetai's fleet nearly wiped out, and the Queadluun Rau having taken heavy losses.

The human's ships, even the ships in orbit around Jupiter and not in its atmosphere, had come through the battle almost unscathed, but Earth had been almost annihilated, it was easier to list the places that were still in one piece rather than the ones that had been hammered. Canada was still relatively intact, but was dealing with the fallout of a nuclear winter from all the detritus in the air, as was Australia, though in it's case it had also lost a lot of its costal cites to the tsunamis that had resulted from the orbital bombardment.

The UK and Japan were in even worse shape dealing with the after math, though thankfully much like Germany, Russia and India the UK had evacuated a lot of its citizens off planet. Japan hadn't, and was paying for it now. Even with its bunkers it had lost upwards of seventy percent of its people to the carnage caused by the initial bombardment. It was only because of the missile ships and Breetai's refitted carriers had survived.

Food was heavily rationed at first for the survivors, but that ended soon after the assault fleet returned. Elder Cologne and Nodoka had been experimenting with the effect the Flower of Life had on plant matter following some notes left by Zor, and had found they were was able to enlarge crops tremendously somehow, though they still weren't certain how, by growing them in the same plot as a Flower of Life. Tests were ongoing, but the crops seemed to suffer no ill effects for their gain in size, and nor did the Amazon Dowel, who had offered to try it out. It was still uncertain what the long term effects would be, but in the short term that didn't matter to those with hungry mouths to feed.

Despite this hardship the human race had survived in a far stronger position then it could have been in. Its art had survived, many of its cultures had survived, and though it would take millennia Earth would eventually heal itself. With the factory ship added to the resources already in place around Jupiter, its industry was back online within days of their arrival, and would soon reach heights heretofore undreamed of. Earth had fallen, but the human race would survive, with rage in its heart for the ones behind this.

Every human in the system knew it was because of Breetai and his fleet that they had survived. Even if all of the Grand cannons had worked, even if the mirror system had been good for more than one shot, humanity could not have survived against the fleet that was sent to end their race. Now the human hand was outstretched in friendship to their allies, the slaves that had thrown off the yoke of their masters. The Zentraedi, who had renamed themselves the Breezonians to further distance themselves from those still enslaved elsewhere, were now fully allied to the humans, filled with even more rage and sorrow at the Masters thanks to their long enslavement.

The Tirolians formerly known as the Master had sent their best shot against the humans and their allies, and soon would reap the consequences. The leaders of humanity and the Breezonians would rebuild and rearm for one year, but then, then they would go in search of the masters, and the Macross would be leading the way. No longer would the ship that had made such a difference for both their races carry the sole proto-culture generator. Plans were already in the works for more to be made, and nearly half the Flower's had been moved to other ships already. More would soon be removed, though the original giant Flower and the generator it was attached to would stay. The ship would be the flagship of this new armada, and when they left it would be to bring war upon Masters wherever they were, however they hid.

OOOOOOO

Ranma and his ladies cared not at all for that, they were far more concerned with personal losses at this point, as were many aboard the fleet. Kasumi mourned the loss of her father and Akane. Neither had been willing to evacuate, and were presumed dead among the thousands lost in Japan. Nabiki had lived, having moved to China and somehow gotten herself evacuated. She had in fact signed up for the UNSF, and was being fast tracked to their internal intelligence division. She mourned them and what might have been, crying herself to sleep in Ranma's arms.

Motoko was mourning her family. Even if they were estranged she hadn't wanted them dead, but they had died when the Hawaiian Islands had sunk under the rising ocean and its tsunamis. Hawaii hadn't built any bunkers, and the Aoyama clan had refused to be evacuated and had died there because of their damn pride. A few cousins had lived thanks to their jobs as bodyguards, but not many. She was being comforted by Lucretia.

Only Ranma wasn't mourning someone, the fact that no one knew what had happened to Genma was fine with her (that time of the month had sturck yet again), the less she heard of the fat fool the better. But she was busy comforting all three of his girls. Miriya might not have ever had a family, but she had friends throughout the Meltraedi fleet, and many of them had died in the battles here, and she was grief stricken that she hadn't been there. She knew intellectually their mission had been as important or even more than the defense here, but that didn't help her heart get past the guilt.

Lisa too was dealing with the knowledge her father had died in the bombardment. She wasn't as torn up by it as Kasumi, but was still sad and grieving. Well, that was what Ranma thought the mood swings Lisa had been dealing with lately was about. Though he wondered what that thermometer thing was, and why she and Kasumi had looked so happy about what it told them about Lisa, but he/she wasn't going to ask any questions about what girls did when they went to the bathroom alone. Some things were not meant for men to know, even a aquatranssexual like him.

Ranma shook off that thought and looked around her at his/her lovers, who were at last sleeping after another fitful night, then quietly got up out of their bed (which had been replaced by a king size, the old queen being a little too small for the four of them) and then left the apartment.

Soon she stood out on the hull of the space fortress, looking out and down at Earth. She stared at the brown, black and blue marble for a moment, his power rippling through him and around him, her eyes glowing with blue/gold flame, then she turned and looked out into the vast sea of stars, one glowing fist raised before his face, glowing so brightly every ship nearby could see it and wondered what it was. Ranma didn't care however, his mind was on the distant masters, the ones who had caused this and untold trillions of other deaths in their quest for power. "Soon, you're going to get yours. I'm going to deliver it, personally!"

End chapter

End book one of Chaotic Space


And there we have it. It's been a long journey, longer for me than for all of you seeing as I worked on this story for over a year before posting, but there you have it. I honestly have no idea when I'll start posting the next book of this story, it needs a lot of research and thought, since I'm going to be changing a lot of the humans weapons and the tactics too, but it will deal with both the Invid (both groups) and the Tirolian Masters. What did everyone think of my changing the name of the new Zentraedi/Meltraedi coalition?

Specific Questions I need to think up answers for: The gender of the little surprise Lisa has on the way. Will Lisa be the only one?

I wont be covering the two years buildup, so should I go for a straight summary, a series of flashbacks, or both

Should I have the Regent show up in Sol like in the original, or not? Would she fight the Regent if she thought she had to?

Who should stay and who should go in terms of characters? How do I keep the numbers of the fleet sent down enough for every ship to matter yet powerful enough to make a difference?

Technology – specifically changes of doctrine, weaponry, parasite forces. With humanity so much stronger even with the damage Earth took, where will the science and tech go? - I can think of dozens of ways for them to go, but we'll see.

Form of governments for both humans and Breezonians. I can see the Breezonians becoming a meritocracy easily, but what kind of government will the humans build? At the moment the UNSF is keeping everyone together, but how long will that last?

Who should I make the main enemies, the Regent or the Masters? Should I introduce other races and if so how?

Lots of questions, but they should be run to try and answer.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it.