Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category
Saturday, March 5th, 2011
Just now I found myself going back to a short story I wrote about three years ago. After making a couple changes, I figured I might as well put it up here and diversify the blog a little bit. Flash games aren’t the only thing I do after all, though they do come pretty close sometimes. So ladies and gents, here it is for your enjoyment:
Status Report – Arethusa Battle Group, 17th Fleet
Flagship LSS Arethusa
Fleet Captain Leo Men-Cathe
Battle Group Arethusa entered orbital braking vector around Tycho-117 (G2-type star) on 14-01-3246 Standard Time, following admiralty orders from Serenity North dated 09-11-3096 and received on 07-05-3142. Last confirmation received on 02-04-3227. Expected arrival date of this message is 23-01-3329.
The group has moved into orbit around Tycho-117-5, a gaseous supergiant. Sufficient refueling for interplanetary operations is complete with the exception of Destroyer LSS Cestis, which has developed a feedback malfunction in reactives processing. I may have to leave her behind in the outer system.
Initial recon seems to indicate only Tycho-117-3 is heavily populated. Extensive defenses are present around this planet, and on its single moon, but the civilization appears to be technologically primitive. Their astronomers are to be commended, however, as spikes in radio traffic imply we have already been detected. Unfortunately, we have not managed to capture any other useful information from planetary transmissions.
With the exception of the Cestis, I have moved the entire group out of orbit around Tycho-117-5, and into a slow falling vector around the plane of the ecliptic. At this rate it will take us nearly a month to reach Tycho-117-3, but it will also allow us to move into a tighter braking orbit around the planet once we get there.
We have recently received several broadcasts aimed directly at us, both in radio and optical frequencies. They appear to include simple images and basic mathematical principles. One broadcast included a primer on their language, which we quickly analyzed. No useful information was discovered. We are continuing with the mission as planned.
We have entered high orbit around Tycho-117-3, and are receiving an increasing number of transmissions. The broadcasts have by now used nearly every frequency in the electromagnetic spectrum. A few have even used phased ions or minor gravity fluctuations, but no useful information has been discovered. We have encountered two manned vessels in orbit so far, as well as a host of satellites and drones. Both vessels maneuvered close and transmitted a variety of broadcasts. They also displayed several images and words on the hulls of their ships.
We commenced nanokete and hyper-kinetic drops on Tycho-117-3 yesterday, as per mission instructions. The majority of the planet’s population centers were eliminated in the initial volley, and the nanoketes began spreading quickly through the biological mass. Shortly afterwards several thousand missiles were launched from the planetary surface. I was mildly concerned at first, but as the first few detonated I realized they were only low-yield thermonuclear warheads. Even the biggest of them had no more than a fifty megaton yield, with no blast compression or focus. I was tempted to simply ignore them, but followed procedure anyway. At first we shot them down with our perimeter-defense lasers, but then one of the techs tried sweeping them with a magnetic resonance beam, which worked wonders. After the sweep, all the missiles either detonated prematurely or lost all guidance. However, three of them got close by pure dumb luck, one of them hitting the LSS Eclipse dead on. The cruiser’s particle field failed for a microsecond and a patch of its outer scint-skin hull burned away. Only the neutron matter shell and internal containment fields prevented a breach. It took nearly fifteen seconds for the scint-skin to grow back, leaving the Eclipse highly vulnerable for that time. Fortunately, no further attacks came. We will have to run a full diagnostic on the Eclipse’s particle fields; they should not have failed under such low stress.
We are in stable orbit around Tycho-117-3, and all counterattacks from the surface have ceased. We have successfully eliminated all manned vessels in orbit, as well as the several sent from the planet’s moon. Only isolated population pockets still remain on the surface, which appear to have avoided nanokete infection so far. I am deploying hunter seekers to remove them.
Hunter seekers report complete success with under one-percent casualties. All biomass on the planetary surface has been terminated, with the exception of a few pockets of microbial life. Minor population centers on the planet’s moon have all been eliminated with impactor drones. No signs of advanced life remain anywhere in the system. Full sterilization success will be declared within the hour.
Seeding of Tycho-117-3 has begun. We have deployed with an incubation period of five years, and are expecting the founder generation to reach maturity three years after that. We see no potential for complications. Minor repairs have been completed and reactives reserves are at 99%. Furthermore, LSS Cestis has managed to resolve its technical malfunction and will be rejoining the fleet at full capacity. I have plotted an exit vector out of the system. Our acceleration sequence will commence in six hours.
Colonization successful. Next target is System Brachys-43. Awaiting confirmation.
End of transmission.
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