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The Alexanderov Federation
Book 1 The Grendarl War

Part Fifteen - The Battle for Rrk'g'kreg III (III)

As the planetary defenses of Rrk'g'kreg III began targeting the second missile wave, P'daR'T'S began to pace slightly in his command center. The Humans were again not behaving as expected. In previous battles in which they had been on the offensive, if they did not think they could win they would retreat to preserve their forces to fight again another day. He had been sure that, faced with an inability to harm his defenses, the Humans would retreat, giving him more time to build up his planetary defenses to the point nothing short of an Antaran armada could take them down. But again those doznab Humans had come up with something unexpected. He ordered his fighter pilots to again attempt to ram the capital ship missiles and his PD gun crews to use maximum firepower.

On the bridge of the Sharktooth II, Goodman watched the missiles detonate by the thousands. The Grendarl fighters were again attempting to ram the capital ship missiles, but this time many of them were getting picked off by fighter missiles before they could get close enough to damage the bigger capital ship missiles. Ten seconds after the Grendarl began firing on the missile wave, as the last of the missiles detonated and the Grendarl PD guns fell silent, Goodman snapped out, "Report! How badly did we hurt them?"

Turley took a second to double check his sensors. "It appears we got almost a third their fighter escort. Only about 20 capital ship missiles got through, but that was enough to destroy five carrier frigates, three IF defense platforms, and two PD heavy defense platforms. Two other PD platforms were damaged. But sir, did you note when they started firing on our missiles? They gave away the fact that they have those Silicoid sensor platforms quite badly sir, they didn't open fire that quickly the first time."

"Probably they panicked. Can't say I blame them either."

"Incoming, sir!"

"Goodman to 57.1 and 77.1, take out those missiles. Stick to middle for maximum kills per shot. Attached fighter groups, stay back for 15 seconds and keep out of range of their PD as best you can."

With the extra fighter groups and the extra excitement of the battle beginning to look like it might be winnable after all, the acknowledgements this time were a literal cacophony. Goodman turned back to Turley. "As many missiles as last time?"

"No sir, only about 5,000 this time. The frigates didn't fire sir."

"So either those frigates have only one shot or they are slower to reload than the planetary missile bases."

"It appears so, sir. With all the clutter on the screen and background radiation now I can't be sure, but I don't read their tubes as armed."

"Goodman to Stockert. Sir, can I have 77.2 as well?"

"What do you have in mind?" came the reply.

"I want to use their missiles in the next wave, then send them in firing to distract the Grendarl further. While they are charging you can use the distraction to try to move 71 and 51 into position and try to take out some more platforms, especially those sensor platforms. Without them, the Grendarl will be blind and we can kick their tails much easier."

"Approved, proceed."

While this conversation was going on, Morse and the weapons officers of the other ships were quite busy. With the smaller number of missiles, they were able to take almost all of them down at a safe range, but it was still difficult work that required excellent concentration. In the end about 50 missiles got close enough to cause some collateral damage, but only three ships were destroyed, although another 15 lost weapons function.

Lewis had dried her face during this time and continued to do her job, embarrassed by her display of emotion earlier. She was a professional, however, and managed to not let it show. "Sir? 77.2 is in position and I have the link to the on board AIs ready and awaiting your orders. The status broadcasts from 55 and 75 have them ready to fire again in 2 minutes and 30 seconds. All ships in 77.1 and 57.1 that retain weapons function will be ready in plenty of time."

"Thank you Lieutenant."


In his command center, P'daR'T'S had a difficult decision to make. If he sent the fighters out they might take out some more human ships, but then he would take greater damage from their next missile wave. If he didn't, though, was there still any way to win? He didn't know. Two years from now even a war of attrition he could have won, despite the admittedly brilliant strategic maneuvers of the humans. But he had to fight this war today. Now what?


Meanwhile, on the planet surface, thousands of Grendarl workers scrambled to reload the planetary missile launchers as quickly as possible. They didn't know if it was doing any good or not, but it wasn't really their job to care. Their job was to load the missiles as fast as they could. And so they did.

Also on the surface, though naturally not in the same areas, millions of Grendarl lined up in lines stretching for miles to claim hand weaponry from the reserve stocks. They didn't know yet if the humans would land, but if they managed to get troops on the surface the Grendarl were not going to be caught unprepared. If the humans were turned back, well and good, but if not, their ground troops were going to be made to wish they had never heard of the Grendarl, much less considered invading them. Or at least, that was what those in the lines who spoke were saying to any body who would listen to them.


A few minutes later, as soon as 55 and 75 finished reloading, all ships heard Admiral Stockert on broadcast again. "Stockert to all 55 and 75, prepare to fire on my mark, 57.1, 77.1 and 77.2, fire at T-minus 5 seconds, and FIRE!"

Over the next five seconds over 16,000 missiles began streaking towards the remaining Rrk'g'kreg forces, and 77.2 began its suicidal charge. Now it remained to be seen if it would work.




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