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The Alexanderov Federation
Book 1 The Grendarl War

Part Twelve - The Sharktooth II

A year after the battle for Tamarian, the Federation colony was a thriving outpost of civilization. Though not an impregnable fortress just yet, it was well defended enough for now, and all traces of the recent pitched battle had been cleaned up and recycled. Admiral Stockert formally stepped down as military governor on the anniversary of the attack, and participated in the inauguration for his replacement, Kelly Wood, who had been elected only four weeks previously in the first elections ever held in system. Now freed of the burden of planetary administration, it was time to turn his attention to prepping his fleet for launch.

On the bridge of the Sharktooth II, Commodore Goodman was also prepping for launch. His ship was the prototype of a new class of PD destroyer, similar in design to the old Sharktooth that was now scrapped and turned into raw materials for the ever growing Tamarian industrial base. Its major differences were that it carried half again as many missiles and 10 times the firepower in PD beam weaponry. As there were only 15 of these in existence so far, it was indeed a plum assignment. In addition to the new ship, he was also now in command of the entire PD screen force, and would be responsible for directing the captains of the other PD vessels to best cover the fleet from the Grendarl fighter forces. Referred to as Task Force 77.1, in addition to the 15 Sharktooth-class destroyers, there were another 30 of the older Nelson-class PD frigates, all of which were newly built for this assault.

The 5th fleet, the fleet that had destroyed Charelton IV, had been underway for six months. It was now time for this fleet, the 7th fleet, to get underway as well, so that they would both reach their target system, Rrk'g'kreg, at the same time. The Grendarl would soon find that behaving like graktoz scum carried a high price.

As the prepared to leave the Tamarian system behind, Task Force 77.1 led the way, followed closely by Task Force 75, the long-range beam destroyers. Here, too, one could find a few new ships, though not as many, and none were of any special design. A few minutes later, Task Force 71, the light cruiser missile ships, entered the jump lane, followed by Task Force 77, the cruiser carriers and Admiral Stockert's new flagship, the Hyperion, a battle cruiser class carrier with more fighters and a significant cluster of PD weaponry. Finally, Task Force 77.2, composed entirely of the salvageable PD frigates that survived the Battle of Tamarian, served as rear guard. These ships, though initially intended for PD work, would now serve as a decoys and scouts. Most of them were barely functional, and all were run entirely by AI or remote control, so they could safely be used as cannon fodder if needed. It was cheaper to use them up and then salvage them than to try to repair the extensive damage, though most of them did carry at least partially functional weapons and one full load of missiles. With no crew on board they could not reload after firing, however, so one shot was all that was loaded. The donated warships of the Trillarians, the Psilons, and the Raas were split among Task Forces 77.1, 75, and 71, depending on their function. This was not a time for finesse, this was a time for a massive assault to overwhelm the Grendarl forces.


During the 6 month journey to the last known bastion of Grendarl territory, Commodore Goodman ran more drills, including fleet maneuvers and strategy games. Despite the hyperlight velocities, the ships could still maneuver and play war games just fine. One did have to worry about going past the edge of the jumplane and dropping into a lower 'quality' of hyper-space-time, one less amicable to hyperlight travel, but this particular jumplane was plenty wide enough for their purposes.

He also had time to reflect on the past. One particular scene he enjoyed replaying a few times was the look on Doctor Jones' face when he delivered the message from Admiral Stockert. Shortly after his promotion to Commodore, Goodman had spoken to Stockert and explained the problem he was having with the arrogant and surly Doctor. Stockert did not seem surprised to hear this, and Goodman asked why.

"Well, I must apologize for putting him on your crew, but he was, in some ways, a test of your abilities. I knew he was a problem crewman, and despite his somewhat above-average skills as a physician, he simply does not belong in the military. He's received a discommendation from all nine of his previous COs, so while I wanted you to have a decent crew, I did want to see if perhaps you could turn him around, and if not how you would handle the problem."

"Hmm. Well, I found most of the rest of the crew to be people I could work with without difficulty. But him I just cannot get to behave as befits a proper officer."

"I'm not surprised. Well, you have the right to demand his transfer, and I'll gladly grant it. But if you file his tenth discommendation it forces a dishonorable discharge."

Goodman smiled. "I'm aware of that. I don't particularly have any hard feelings against him, but I would not care to give him to any other CO either. Perhaps I could write up the discommendation, postdate it one day, sign and file it, and then show him a copy and tell him he has 24 hours to resign before that takes effect and he gets kicked out."

This Stockert did react to. Not at first, of course. It took a second for the sheer audacity of Goodman's plan to sink in. But then he began to laugh, loudly and freely. "I love it! By all means, do it, and make sure to have a security camera operating when you inform him. I want to see the look on his face after all the hassle he's caused over the past 12 years."

Goodman did exactly as he described to Stockert, and savored the moment for weeks afterwards. Sometimes getting even is worth the trouble.


Also during the journey, Goodman proposed to Commander de Campos. They were married a few days before the ships arrived at the exit to the jumplane in a ceremony attended by all the crew from their days on the Bumblebee, all members of their graduating classes who were with the fleet, and a smattering of delegates from the other races as well. Due to the numbers invited, the ceremony had to be held on the Hyperion, and Admiral Stockert officiated.


At almost the exact same minute the 7th fleet emerged from the jumplane into Grendarl territory, the 5th fleet arrived out of its jumplane and headed over to merge with the 7th fleet. The task forces remained separated but would work together, all under the guidance of Admiral Stockert.

The day had arrived. The day to finally teach the Grendarl true herpatra, the day to show the honorless exiles how to behave in the new galactic order, the day for research to triumph over brute strength, and the day of revenge for the countless innocent dead and wounded who suffered at the claws of the Grendarl. Or at least that was the plan.




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