The Alexanderov Federation
Book 1 The Grendarl War
Part Nine - The Battle for Tamarian
The mayday from Tamarian III reached Stockert
quite quickly. Fortunately, the corporal in charge of the
planetary ground troops recognized the maneuver for the feint
that it was, and reported on a private channel. He calmly
reported the problem and told Stockert the civilians were
being killed, but that since so many were members of the reserves
they were not going down without a fight. Stockert responded
that he agreed it was a feint and decided not to tell anybody
just yet, to avoid distracting his troops.
But some of the civilian news agencies weren't so restrained.
The news updates reached the fleets about a minute after
the Sharktooth had fired her fourth missile volley. The Grendarl
were down to about 500 fighters, of which about half were
still engaging the surviving human fighters, the rest engaging
the PD screen, but the humans had suffered severe losses as
well. Of the original 218 PD frigates in the main fleet, of
which 150 had been system ships hurriedly created for the
battle, only 19 system ships and 48 interstellar ships remained.
And now they were out of missiles.
Lewis was a competent professional, and though her heart
was pounding and her ire was quite severely aroused, she managed
to say in a level voice, "Sir, I've just received an
unconfirmed report that the Grendarl are attacking the civilian
population of T-III."
Goodman scowled and then quickly forced his face back to
a neutral mein. "Those graktoz bastards. Well we have
our orders. We can't afford to be distracted. We'll deal with
that problem as soon as we are ordered to, but until then
we focus on the real threat, the surviving Grendarl fighters.
Continue fire, Morse. Destroy all of the bastards you can."
And Stockert, as expected, did indeed respond to the changing
conditions quickly. "Attention all ships. The Grendarl
have made an extremely dishonorable attempt to distract us
from this fight. We must not be divided. All ships currently
engaged with the Grendarl, continue the fight. Reserve group
and Trillarian ships, please head for T-III at maximum speed
to support the defense effort there."
The Grendarl ships had also taken a pounding. The enemy missile
cruisers were now all gone, and most of their PD screen had
sacrificed itself to intercept the third planetary missile
volley. Their carriers had also been ravaged severely. tR'c'N'S
still commanded, however, since he had been in a small fighter-sized
craft that could easily dodge any ponderous capital-ship missile
fired at it. His orders were to win at any cost, so he had
to keep fighting and hope his distraction would yield fruit
soon. Retreating was not an option. He decided it was time
to reveal the hidden capability of his carrier craft, because
if he didn't he would soon not have it to use at all. He had
hoped not to have to use it at all, of course, but those doznab
humans and their miniature missile craft had almost completely
negated his numerical superiority in fighters.
Turley blanched upon reading the information on his scanners.
"Sir! We've got trouble!"
"What is it?"
"Those carrier frigates are also missile ships, sir!
They've just launched about 1000 missiles at us!"
"Redirect all fire to those missiles! Full power, maximum
fire rate Morse!"
A few seconds went by as the PD screen redirected fire at
the missiles. The long-range beam cruisers, of which most
were still intact, fired on the fighters to keep them occupied
while the PD screen was distracted, and together with the
efforts of the 100 or so surviving human fighters, managed
to finish off all but a few stragglers. But 1000 missiles
aren't destroyed by 67 ships very easily. The missiles began
to detonate perilously close to the PD screen, and though
in the end only three more screen ships died, most of the
remainder lost weapons function. And there was still a slower
group of 20 missiles left.
"Sir, we've lost all weapons. And there are still 20
missiles left. They seem to be larger caliber, sir, perhaps
nuclear bombs to irradiate the planetary surface, or perhaps
just aiming to bypass us and seek out targets of opportunity
in the main fleet."
"Are you sure?"
"Well, not 100%, but I'm pretty sure sir."
"Set a collision course! We cannot allow those missiles
to get past us."
Stockert gulped slightly, but quickly responded, "Aye,
As the Sharktooth somewhat sluggishly began to move towards
the approaching missiles, 15 of her sister ships began to
follow her. The others had all lost engine power... or at
least claimed to have.
Doznab is another human bastardization of a Grendarl
word. Originally T'S'n'Ob, it literally meant 'mammal', and
by connotation meant 'one who is not a part of us'. The humans
stole it and redefined it to be an adjective which meant 'mutated
freak of mad scientific experimentation'. Both sides feel
the new definition is an appropriate label for the other.