Fractal Softworks Forum

Starsector => Fan Media & Fiction => Topic started by: Lucian Greymark on January 23, 2013, 07:16:44 AM

Title: The Inflictor. A Starsector short story
Post by: Lucian Greymark on January 23, 2013, 07:16:44 AM
Bright in the darkness
Obscured by the light
Blazing infernos
Only found in the night

Walking giants
Sleeping dwarfs
A fantasy universe
Hidden in night's dusky maw

Energy untapped
Energy unbound
Fires in the darkness
Waiting to be found

Warriors of beauty
Knights of the blessed
Burning eternal
Never laid down to rest

March 25, Tuesday, 0900 hours

"Stars are strange things, they wink at you like mysterious sprites, when only the darkness lights your way. But the moment you shine a light on them to find their true form, they disappear like a black cat shrouded in darkness."
A cold ethereal voice floated through the frozen darkness of the cryo bays. Dozens of marines lay there, four to a pod. Curled into fetal positions, their armour frozen around them. In the middle of the massive circular chamber stood a young man. Bionic augmentations flowing over his chest like a tapestry. His lone blue eye, the other a robotic imitation, shines mystically in the half light of the table he stands next to. A single light shines on it's surface, illuminating a tiny pool around it. And throwing the young man into half shadow. This young man gave a start when he heard the voice. It crept up his spine like so many spiders, all eager to find purchase in his skin. The strange, emotionless voice wafted into the air again.
"I'm apologize, the view through the window's here always makes me thoughtful."
From the shadows near the starboard porthole the owner of the odd voice stepped into the light of the table. His emotionless voice came from a speech synthesizer grafted into his neck. A single gnarled hand was clutched near his chest, the other, his right. Was a mechanical replacement. The long thin fingers of the bionic hand came to rest on the young man's shoulder. Who consequently felt the need to speak up.
"Tidus,you have known me for far too long for you to become startled at my voice. There is something troubling you my friend."

The young man, who's name apparently is Tidus, responded for the first time. His thick strong voice, although somewhat cultured, is clear and uncompromising.
"Only the upcoming engagement Mystoph. We are not ready for this."
A synthesized sigh rattled out from Mystoph's lungs.
"If we are not meant to be alive in the sector then fate will claim us how she pleases. It is of no use to anyone to claim otherwise, Do not be nervous. revel in your chance to  do the Corporation some good."
Tidus nodded resignedly, and pointed at the table, upon which was a holo map of the surrounding space.
"We need to come from Echo 2. It's clear of debris and we can spread out and get cover among the asteroids further in. It gives us a position of strength to communicate from"
"Agreed, but do not allow this to stifle the larger picture. We are here to destroy. Not to negotiate."
Tidus shook his head angrily.
"The Inflictor has never before shown signs of aggression, why do we attack it now?"
"Because of the influence it holds. Don't question the higher ups. Just follow."
"That sounds like a poor excuse for genocide."
Mystoph sighed again, his synthesizer rattling from the air current.
"We have to Tidus. You know we do."
Tidus' shoulders slumped and he leaned heavily on the table. Both were silent.

March 26 1800 hours

Tidus looked out from the bow view port of the TTS Assailer. His helmsman's glove was on and intuitive reflex commands were steering the ship with accuracy born of years of practice. The Assailer was an Oddessy class Capital ship. Her log and illustrious life unbroken by defeat or failure, Tidus was simply the latest in a line of Captains a dozen pages long. From his vantage point Tidus could see the bow burst laser primed and humming with untapped potential. To the left of his view was the sink where the wasp wings would disgorge into the darkness. His hand's were sweaty and he refrained from wiping his left on his trouser leg, the movement would cause the Assailer to spin wildly out of control as the glove tried to react to his commands. Some three hundred meters away hidden in the asteroid belt was the TTS Aviator. An eagle class Cruiser bedecked with Long ranged beam weapons and mass drivers. Tidus felt a moment of safety as his massive ship coasted cleanly through the belt. And then into the open space beyond. What he saw awed him to his bones.

A titanic conquest class battleship was floating serenely in the void. It's engines powered down and it's view ports dark. The ship was colored a deep Rosetta red for the most part. Veins of white covering it's surface in places. It's hull was adorned with weapons. Massive Hephaestus assault guns sat idle in their mounts and smaller, but no less deadly to the wasp wings were a plethora of point defense weapons and mass drivers. The ship was completely still. Tidus called up a holo comms with the Aviator and spoke to Mystoph, the ship's captain and his own good friend.
"The Inflictor is silent... Should we attack?"
Mystoph thought for a second, before saying one word in his low cold voice, then shut down the holo comms.

March 26 1820 hours

When the auto pulse lasers on the port side of the Assailer opened up with an initial volley it was like a pair of suns had burst into life. The twin streams of lethal high caliber energy bolts powered silently through the void. Red lights flashing through the deck's of the Assailer as the ship's weapons began to glow. The shot's never landed, the Inflictor's shield powered rapidly into action and caught both salvos, and then with a brief moment of rest, advanced flux vents shedding the hard flux generated by the attack. The Hephaestus assault guns opened fire.

Shots slammed into the Assailer's shield and Tidus struggled to remain steady as the entire ship rocked from the impacts. Seconds later five wings of wasp fighters poured into the darkness their lasers already firing shots at the Inflictor. Most of them never made it half way across the void. Powerful vulcan cannons and mass drivers  disgorged a withering hail of shots at the fighters. Many detonating in bright flashes of light. as their fuel caught and the white hot rounds of the vulcan cannons ignited batteries and engines. Spectacular explosions rippled incessantly across the surface of the shield as large caliber rounds flickered on it's surface and larger ripples from stray fighter husks impacting it's surface. Klaxons were blaring throughout the Assailer. The vessel was maneuvering around as quickly as it could, trying to get the Inflictor's rear. Or at least give the Aviator a shot as it came of hiding. The auto pulse lasers flickered into life again as the Inflictor vented flux early. Shots detonated across the  surface of the Inflictor's hull. Weapon mounts engorged with heat and view ports smashed inwards. Marines already seeing to repairing the breaks. Tidus smiled grimly, but that faded when his HUD flickered a Flux warning. He scrambled to shut down weapons systems but it was no use. The withering hail of shots from the Inflictor and the flux generated by the auto pulse cannons overloaded the ship's capacitors. Explosions ripped through the ship as the Hephaestus guns tore through the ship's scant armour and began ripping the hull apart. Tidus fell to the floor and the ship pitched in response to the Helms glove's new orientation. Tidus gasped in shock as his back slammed against the ground, struggling to right himself and fix the ship's wild listing.

Fortunately help was at hand. Light flared in the darkness and the Inflictor's hull lit up spectacularly as three beams speared into vital points on the hull. Mass accelerator rounds followed. Immobilizing weapon mounts and decimating the Inflictor's flagging shields. But the respite was not long. The Inflictor turned and bore down on the Aviator, which had bravely come to the Assailer's rescue. And within a few heartbeats it was no more. The view port's of the Assailer auto tinted in response to the fusion drive on the Aviator going critical, and slapping the Assailer and the remaining wasps with a concussive shock wave that sent the already listing ship into a roll and the stricken fighters straight into the Inflictor's shield. Tidus scrambled to his feet righting the ship with his glove and turning starboard on to the Inflictor, a savage thought of revenge for his friend's death racing through his mind. The starboard plasma cannon began charging in the wake of a hasty flux vent. The shields were back up and holding, just. And it was now or never. Tidus waited until the best possible moment and fired a pulse from the Starboard plasma cannon.  

The Inflictor's Captain had seen the maneuver and prepared for it, venting flux as the almost disabled Assailer turned. And as the gargantuan weapon system spewed white hot plasma into the darkness the Inflictor powered it's maneuvering thrusters and turned front on to the shots. Catching them on it's so far undamaged front armour. And accelerating forwards. Bringing the Assailer in range of a broadside. Tidus screamed in shock as every weapon on the Inflictor's port side began to fire. Quickly overwhelming the Assailer's shields and cracking a hole in the ship's hull. Seconds later a catastrophic blast ripped through the ship. Detonating dozens of times throughout the vessel and then hitting the hyper drive.

The Assailer's demise was mercifully short. And spectacularly brilliant. A great white light shone from the Assailer's midships and then the majestic ship split in two along it's horizontal axis. Then detonated. The resulting blast overwhelmed the Inflictor's shields and disabled many of the ship's systems, but it was otherwise unharmed. From the bridge of the behemoth Conquest class ship a tall dark haired man smiled grimly. The Tri Tachyon Confederate would not again be able to trouble him in this system.      

Title: Re: The Inflictor. A Starsector short story
Post by: Lucian Greymark on January 23, 2013, 07:28:58 AM
Comments and criticisms welcome.
Title: Re: The Inflictor. A Starsector short story
Post by: LaughingSmirk on January 23, 2013, 07:35:32 AM
Ver descriptive, but would put off most people as the writing is a bit dense. Very enthralling when you get past the amount of writing.
Title: Re: The Inflictor. A Starsector short story
Post by: Lucian Greymark on January 23, 2013, 07:38:22 AM
My writing style comes from forum based role play on Darkstorm gaming where long descriptive posts are encouraged. This is a cinematic style battle report from the actual game. My conquest class hammered these two when the tri tach tried to stop me dealing to their supply lines. the rest of their fleet was being butchered elsewhere.
Title: Re: The Inflictor. A Starsector short story
Post by: LaughingSmirk on January 23, 2013, 07:45:51 AM
Ok I understand this i read books like this many times, and I know what you mean it is just some people don't understand why books are like this sometimes, also there is a typo in the first section "teh long thin fingers", otherwise you have a good style and understanding of how to write a good sci-fi short story, maybe you could go more into this 'dark haired man' in other stories or instalments?
Title: Re: The Inflictor. A Starsector short story
Post by: Lucian Greymark on January 23, 2013, 07:47:01 AM
That was the plan. I'll do more cinematic battle reports at times methinks. And yeah i spotted a couple of those. Fixing now.
Title: Re: The Inflictor. A Starsector short story
Post by: blamatron on January 23, 2013, 12:18:55 PM
That was awesome! I liked how you described the battle, both cinematicly, and from the enemy's point of view. Most stories i have seen about battles on these forums (granted, not many) tell the story from the victorious side. Also, being a fan of the Conquest, i am thrilled by the outcome. :)
Title: Re: The Inflictor. A Starsector short story
Post by: Lucian Greymark on January 23, 2013, 12:28:27 PM
Glad you enjoyed it :) You can count on seeing the conquest kick butt a lot more :)
Title: Re: The Inflictor. A Starsector short story
Post by: Lucian Greymark on January 25, 2013, 01:20:21 PM
I'm thinking I ma move away from strict game canon and move into more adventureous waters
Title: Re: The Inflictor. A Starsector short story
Post by: Lucian Greymark on January 28, 2013, 08:26:30 PM
April 3 1200 Hours

A vast tableau of ships spread out before the station. The Hegemony system defense fleet was stationary in dock, resupplying for their next route. Onslaught battleships lay cold and dormant, their lines of lights dim and their engines silent. The only ships still prowling are the banks of fighters that scan constantly for engagements. Fleet admiral Zcion (Zih'sion: Pron) stood at the observation window, looking out over his fleet. An orderly brought a tray of medication for the aging admiral. He batted them away and with a rising voice exclaimed,
"It's not enough!"
The orderly was taken aback and tried to reply
"Sir the fleet is..."
The Admiral cut him off
"No, the fleet is not enough. The renegade has taken more than a dozen fleets in the last year alone. We are pinned, cut off from support and retreat and he is bearing down on the station."
His face sagged and he stepped backwards sinking into a high backed chair placed there for his convenience.
"All is lost James, the Hegemony cannot hold the sector. Do you know what happened three years ago?"
The orderly shrugged. Everyone had heard about the battle of Corvus three, but he had not been there personally.
"No sir, I heard of course, but never the details."
The admiral sighed heavily, his chin dipping to his chest, the close cut beard smoothing against his coat.
"I suppose you had better learn then. Because the events of that battle are what will happen here should we not be ready. Even if we are the result could very much be the same."
The orderly leaned against the wall, carefully setting the tray of medications down on the metallic floor. The admiral was not prone to storytelling often, and this was a rare event.
"The Tri Tachyon fleet around Corvus V Had been decimated months earlier. A huge pirate armada obliterating their defenses. It swept through them like a solar storm. They were crippled. But one admiral. A man named Tidus swept the Pirates from the planet in a series of brutal attacks. His fleet was unstoppable. When he launched an attack again it was against the Pirate hidden base. He got right to the asteroid ring. Then the Renegade arrived. Helming the Inflictor and at the head of a fleet ten cruisers strong he decimated Tidus embattled fleet. And forever wiped out the Tri Tachyon confederate from the system. Their defenseless station fell soon after."

Zcion stood up slowly and looked out the window, his face emotionless. His fleet, not half an hour previously the most gigantic and impressive thing visible. Now it was dwarfed. A titanic fleet had just dropped out of hyperspace. Easily more capitol ships in one place then he had ever seen in his life. And more cruisers destroyers, frigates and fighters then he had ever seen cumulatively. He ignored the pills and ran. The orderly looked out the window still too shocked to move. At the head of the fleet hovered a titanic Conquest class Capital ship. It's hull painted a dull red with bright veins of white across some areas. The Inflictor sat there, menacing the entire fleet with it's mere presence. James stood their unable to move. Until the ship's forward guns powered up and the entire fleet was bathed in light.