Admiral Karen Grwarga Thennis, Commander, Task Force Tiamat, had been in the Terran Confederate Space Force Navy for over two hundred years. She had dozens of fleet actions under her belt, having risen from a humble assistant fire control officer all the way to her current high rank. Her last command, before the command of the Task Force, has been the Leviathan Class warship Inglorious
, a monster bigger than even LARPer Superstar Destroyers.
Now her flagship was a battle-cruiser, mainly built around a command and control center, but it was still in the fight after nearly two weeks of solid combat.
She glanced at her status board. Armor was reaching critical levels, the Steamboat Willy
had taken a few hits to open bays that had driven deep into the ship's core, but she'd held and the engineers had the damage either repaired or mitigated. Her nano-forges were running hot, to the point she had to run them in shifts, but her magazines never dropped below 38% the entire fight. Her Task Force had largely consisted of vessels being lent to the Telkan as they integrated with Space Force, but she still had all of her ships, even if only a third of them were still above 50% combat capable. The Betty Boop
had come the closest, taking multiple hits to the drop cradle bays, but the captain had managed to fight his way through the initial ambush and the successive waves of enemies.
"Gravitational anomaly is widening and showing traces of psionic energy," her scanner tech reported.
"Alert all ships to hold fire, let them get clear of the distortion, I want a look at them," Admiral Thennis said. "Let's see if The Bosko
's Guns is right."
"Three, six, nine, twelve, many many drive sources," Commodore Grvarsh said. "Coming in by threes, looks like Commodore MacIntosh was right. Getting in details now..."
There was a hushed moment of silence on the bridge.
"Drive matches across the board. These are the same ships, it's confirmed," Grvarsh said. "Reading negative damage, minor adjustments to weaponry, no new classes, nothing new to throw off the estimates."
"Compliments to Bosko
's Gunnery Mate," Thennis said. She leaned back slightly, as well as one could in a crash couch. "Execute Be Kind Rewind."
She watched as the ships slipped out of the gravitational anomaly in between Hesstla and its moon, the same one that the flight of strikers had used to 'squirt' themselves down to the planet two weeks ago. Has it been that long?
Thennis wondered, checking the shipboard clock. Like most of the ship's crew, her personal chronometer was off.
"There goes Sneaky-Snake," Commodore Grvarsh said, highlighting the ship on the tactical display that was running hard to break orbit. "He still thinks we can't see him."
"Wormhole transit successful! Probe is reporting back. Current running stellar cartography to determine position!" Lieutenant JG K'Tamk called out.
"Now we've got you bastards," Thennis murmured, leaning forward, her crash couch whining as it shifted.
"Type-IV's are losing command and control, they're reverting to local control, attempting planetary landings," another of her Task Force Command called out.
"ID positive! Probe's going to silent running, waiting for next wormhole opening," K'Tamk said.
"Sneaky-Snake is rolling, trying to get out from under the guns of the Boop
, looks like he didn't expect her to be combat capable."
Thennis smiled, a cold predatory smile.
"Enemy forces are attempting to break contact, Adder-III ships are reporting ready for combat," another voice. And Lo, I hath lifted up this rock and here I doth propel it through the air with mine strength, thy evolutionary arms race hath come to naught. The planet be mine to rule and all shall be mine to devour now,
she thought to herself.
The snow whispered as it fell from the sky, piling up on the ground. Her breath steamed in front of her as she tromped from the lakeside toward the hidden cabin. She was bundled up for the cold, having followed the advice in books and her companion.
Mister Mewmew jumped through the snow with her, his tail flicking back and forth as he would vanish into the snow then explode out in a spray of white, then vanish again.
Dambree went around the corner of the rocks, sighing with pleasure as she saw the cabin. The windows were dark, but that was to be expected with the heavy curtains over the glass. Smoke came from the chimney, but that was to be expected. She had a tiny fusion reactor, but preferred not to turn it on in case any of the slorpies were around.
She stopped outside the door, brushing off her clothing, then hurried inside, letting Mister Mewmew slide in before shutting the door and putting the blanket back over it.
It was warm in the cabin and Dambree felt a sudden fatigue come over her.
Nee crawled across the clean wooden floor, kicking with her little feet, her hocks and knees flexing like they should, getting stronger every day, until she reached Dambree. Dambree looked down at her baby sister as the infant grabbed tightly onto Dambree's heavy pants and slowly, tremblingly, pulled herself to her feet, hocks and knees shaking. She reached up and smacked Dambree's knee, obviously trying to reach up.
"Not quite big enough, are you?" Dambree chuckled, resting her hand on the heavy Terran soldier's pistol that rode in a holster on hip. "Good girl to stand. Good girl, Punee."
Punee glared with her beautiful amber eyes and dropped back down to her hands and knees, crawling back over to the couch.
"Any problems?" Dambree asked, kneeling down and undoing the laces on her heavy boots.
"Nee at a bug," Dambree's little sister Tru said as Dambree got off the boots.
"Tough shit for the bug, I guess," Dambree said. She flexed her toes and her mid-foot joint and sighed.
"Tru called me a stupid-head," Elu, her little brother, said accusingly as Dambree walked through the cabin's main room.
"Don't call your brother stupid," Dambree said, leaning over and smacking her sister across the back of the head.
"Ew, those fish are stinky," Tru said.
"You won't say that after I cook them," Dambree said. She set the fish on the counter and reached out and got a little rod that Mister Mewmew had given her. She tapped the end, then slid the rod into the gills of each fish.
After a second or two a little LED turned green and she'd go to the next fish.
None of them had atom smasher sickness.
She smiled to herself as she got out the heavy pan and put it on the stove. She checked the bottom door and saw that the coals were still burning.
"Thank you for making sure the stove didn't go out today, Elu," Dambree said, opening the cold box and pulling a bottle of fizzybrew out.
"I don't want to eat cold food from a can again," Elu said as Dambree took a deep drink off the bottle.
Punee managed to pull herself up and look at the low table next to the couch, smacking it with her little hand. When she saw that what she was after was missing she glared at Dambree.
"Sorry, Nee, it's not for babies," Dambree chuckled, putting her hand on the pistol. "Good girl to stand up, though."
Nee just glared and sat down.
Dambree smiled as she started following the instructions on how to clean and prepare fish for eating.
It was warm in the cabin.
And the echoing boom of the war was just a reminder to stay where they were.
Dambree wasn't even aware she was humming a song as she made her little brother and sisters a dinner of fried fish, vegetables, and a self-heat pack of starches.
Her day had gone so good that she just laughed when Punee tried to bite her when she was feeding her starchy goop.
"I love you," she said to the baby. She looked at her little brother and sister. "I love you."
The new Battle Pass "Dark Night is Coming" will be released on November 11! Premium New epic characters and epic blueprint weapons, stay tuned! Premium (BP Plus) "Claw Knife-Night Action". "Headshot-Operation Destruction". "Portrait Frame-Penetrating Luminous". "Strap-Q version of Van Liken". Free rewards Free New prototype SMG: "AGR 556"-a fully automatic SMG with a high rate of fire and suitable for mid-range combat. Unlock 5.56 ammo and experience its true power. New ultimate skill: "Bulletproof Shield"-a long-lasting defensive shield with a changeable form and a built-in fully automatic pistol. Season mission rewards Brand-new prototype pistol: ". 50 GS"-a pistol with high destructiveness and low stability. New Survival Chip: "Modified Chip"-Gives the team armor packs, which can increase the bulletproof ability after being picked up by the teammates, and can improve and repair the durability of their body armor and vehicles. Multiplayer update New Random Annihilation-Night Battle Mode Put on night vision goggles, annihilate the enemy in the dark, and try to survive in the dark world! Applicable maps: "Crash Landing", "Above the Peak", "Hackney Warehouse". New Attack of the Dead-Night Battle Mode Midnight is the time for the dead. How can the living survive till dawn when the sun sets behind? Applicable maps: "Crash Landing", "Above the Peak", "Hackney Warehouse". New multiplayer map: Hackney Warehouse A classic map from "The Final Moment: Modern Warfare". A filthy, dirty, abandoned industrial park. Please be prepared for fierce confrontation with the enemy between warehouses, containers and buildings. Applicable modes: "Random Annihilation", "Classic Demolition", "Multipoint Occupation", "Struggle for Stronghold", "Random Annihilation-Night Battle Mode", "Dead Attack-Night Battle Mode", etc. Added weapon accessories DR-H's "Hollow Ammunition Accessories": Increase magazine capacity and reduce mobility. Kilo Bolt-Action's "Thermal Bomb": Continuously burns the target and causes extra damage to the combo skills. Optimization adjustment Multiplayer mode Improve the accuracy of bullet scattering when Cordite opens the lens. Improve Razorback's recoil stability, reduce horizontal recoil, and increase damage range at mid-range.