The Alexanderov Federation
Book 1 The Grendarl War
Part Eleven - Charelton IV, and the
aftermath at Tamarian I
The Tamarian system had been defended by only
a few hundred ships for a reason. That had been every ship
the Federation could spare, because the majority of their
fleet had been traveling off-road to attack Charelton IV,
another new colony of the Grendarl, one very close in spatial
terms to the Federation capital world of Kitjef II. Charelton
IV was a pretty worthless world to the Grendarl, so its colonization
could only have meant one thing -- a jump-off point for a
strike at the heart of the Federation. Fortunately, for the
Federation that is, the crisis in the Tamarian system caused
the Grendarl to be forced to move before they were ready,
and now the Federation would eliminate the back-door threat.
They had timed their arrival to be only a few days after the
Grendarl attack in Tamarian, so they would again have the
moral high ground of retaliating for an unprovoked assault.
Or at least they could claim such in the Senate.
The Grendarl scanner technology once again proved to be their
Achilles heel. With only a month's warning of the approaching
fleet, they were only able to build a few extra missile bases
and another 15 carrier frigates, not yet knowing that they
were merely building cannon fodder instead of useful weapons.
This side of the Federation's fleet, which included a full
500 PD frigates, over 200 missile destroyers, 125 long-range-beam
light cruisers, and 50 carrier cruisers, quickly overwhelmed
the pitiful defense fleet commanded by k'D'S, and then reduced
the surface to nothing but smoking, lifeless ruins.
In the Wasilkoff system, the Psilons were definitely not
interested in attempting to invade even a fledgling Grendarl
colony, so after destroying the defensive emplacements that
had delayed their arrival in the Tamarian system they simply
continued on their way.
The Raas, who had actually passed through Wasilkoff as well,
had managed to avoid fighting any defensive emplacements because
they simply had not been detected. The wormhole they had taken
to get to that system let them out a short 15 minute trip
from the jump point to Tamarian, which at the time had been
on the exact opposite side of the system from the Grendarl
colony. Then, realizing they were running late, their commanders
had attempted a dangerous stunt to arrive at the battle on
time. Their engineers had simply not turned off their jump
engines until they were literally right on top of the fight.
Since they had been using a jump lane, they essentially dragged
part of the jump lane with them until they no longer needed
it. The dangerous part came when they finally turned off the
jump engines and the jump lane segments violently dissipated.
The experiment had destroyed 15 of their ships, and heavily
damaged 25 more, but the remaining 60 had been fully operational
and had been more than enough to detonate the missiles and
assist the Federation in wiping up the damaged remnants of
the Grendarl fleet.
Meanwhile, on the Sharktooth -- or rather, what was left
of her -- the chief medical officer, one Lieutenant Jason
Jones, noticed the problem first. The bomb detonated by the
Grendarl at the tail end of the battle had initially appeared
to be nothing more than a suicide device designed to create
a mess for the humans to clean up and prevent any surviving
command personnel from being captured and interrogated. While
those were, in fact, goals fulfilled by the detonation of
the device, it had one other effect nobody thought of at first.
Many of the Human fleet's vessels were unshielded in the waning
moments of the battle, and their crews took a lethal burst
of radiation. Doctor Jones noticed the radiation contamination
through the initially inexplicable destruction of one of his
running experiments. After a few minutes of pondering the
problem, he pulled out his medical scanners and discovered
the problem. Ahah! he thought. Perhaps now that fool of a
Captain will see my value to the crew and give me the respect
Goodman, frustrated at this point by the continued failure
to restore power to his ship, and not particularly looking
forward to a trip in a cramped evacuation pod, no matter how
brief, didn't exactly take the news too well, especially considering
the barely respectful tone it was delivered in. "You
mean we've got to inoculate every member of the crew before
we let them evacuate?"
"If we don't sir, they may not make it to the planet
surface alive. We've managed to get off without a casualty,
I'd hate for us to start having them now when it could be
This was, of course, a direct slap in the face to Goodman.
Goodman hadn't particularly cared for the egotistical doctor
from the beginning, but this was definitely beyond the call
of duty, to have to put up with insults like that. He resolved
then and there to make sure that Jones got a nice discommendation
in his file, and to start looking for a new CMO. This one
was getting fired at the first available opportunity. "Very
well, doctor, begin dispensing the treatments, beginning with
bridge crew and engineering personnel. They need to be in
top shape to continue the effort to restore power until the
last possible minute."
Jones didn't think too much of the upstart Captain either.
15 years Goodman's senior, and bitter to be taking orders
from a 'baby', he snapped back, "I don't need you to
tell me how to do my job."
Goodman smiled, and it wasn't a sign of humor. "That's
right, you don't. But the beauty of the fact that I'm the
Captain and you're the Lieutenant is that you get it, whether
you want it or not. So do as I have instructed you or I will
fire you out the nearest missile tube and you can have the
honor of being the first crewmember killed in the line of
duty on a vessel under my command."
Jones colored briefly, then snapped out a very insincere,
By the time the soon-to-be-ex CMO left the bridge, Goodman
had cooled off. This was important news. "Lewis, get
me Admiral Stockert."
"Aye, sir." She began working her panel. "Sir,
the Alexander reports that the Admiral is in a conference
and left instructions not to be disturbed."
"Ask for bridge duty officer, then."
A second or two later, Commander Charlie Oren's face appeared
on the screen. "Goodman, I'm quite busy, make it quick."
Technically, Goodman outranked Oren, but due to the Commander's
position as duty officer in temporary command of the fleet,
it was not a breach of protocol.
"As you wish. The Sharktooth appears unsalvageable.
We will probably need to evacuate soon. But before we do,
we felt you should know that a significant portion of our
crew was exposed to high levels of radiation. It appears that
bomb the Grendarl detonated at the end of the fight had an
additional purpose, to kill the crew of any nearby unshielded
Oren looked surprised for a second, then covered it with
a few blinks. "We've received notifications of other
ships taking decontamination precautions, but nobody has yet
put two and two together. Good thinking, Captain. We'll get
the word out ASAP. Oren, out."
Meanwhile, back on Rrk'g'kreg III, the unnamed Grendarl emperor
was discussing the news with Y'th'S'kaz. "So, our fleet
has failed, and now Charelton IV has fallen."
"Yes sire. It is not the fault of tR'c'N'S or k'D'S,
however. They both did an excellent job causing as much damage
as they did, all things considered. The Humans have simply
come up with a counter for our fighter superiority that worked
"So, now what?"
"Next they will come here. We probably have a year or
two to build defenses, but no more than that. They will move
to consolidate their gains as quickly as possible and then
come to finish us off."
"And again our fighter superiority will be useless."
"Probably. But we have learned something that perhaps
we can use to our advantage. The Humans have built their fleet
around defeating us."
"So, let us rebuild our defenses around defeating them!"
The Grendarl face was not built for smiling, so the emperor
did not smile. But Y'th'S'kaz knew that he liked his suggestion