Monday, February 17, 2014

Escalation at Xorn IV - Part 2



Admiral Tsiang watched helplessly as another Escort broke apart, doomed to orbit in cooling chunks for decades to come.  His command ship still listed hopelessly above the little, blue moon-world of Flayrah which dominated the viewer.  He ordered the ship's anti-fighter turrets to give aid where they could, but, in reality, they were useless without their engines or cannon.

He'd ordered the rest of the fleet to give chase and force the enemy to fight them at high speeds in the world's upper atmosphere where. The more sturdy Imperial ships should have the advantage there. Orange streaks burned across the surface of the planet, sometimes disturbed by perpendicular spurts of weapons fire.  Sadly, some of the Escort commanders had disobeyed his orders and, instead, stayed behind to defend the Admiral's ship.  Only two remained.

The Chaos cruiser which had stayed behind didn't make a move to engage the Escorts or Tisang's Battlecruiser, the Indomitable Loyalty.  Instead, hundreds of blue-colored Chaos Fighters, Bombers, and Heldrakes, had been left behind by their motherships and these little mites pecked away at the Escorts.  It was sad to watch these stately, old ships torn apart piece by piece.

Tsiang considered sabotaging the Indomitable Loyalty.  Overloading the Warp Engines would certainly destroy the other Chaos cruiser.  Unfortunately, the possibility also existed that doing so might defile the moon below and kill its billions of inhabitants.

Then again, what was the point of saving those who were doomed to serve the forces of Chaos?

He glowered with malice at the cruiser, its ancient, yet run-down hull yawned with edifices adorned with defiled Imperial markings.  He knew the vessel had been beautiful to behold once.  Where now was tarnished, blood-smeared metal was once a symbol of the Imperium's superiority in both might and culture.  The defilement disgusted him.  He took a breath which was to give the order to destroy his own vessel.

A lance arced across the vid screen and carved into the forward hull of the ancient enemy cruiser, destroying all of its torpedo launchers in a single volley.

"Tactical," was all he had to say.

"Came out of nowhere, Admiral.  Battle Barge."

"What?"

"No.  Two Battle Barges."

Thank the Emperor!  "Communicate to them our situation."

"Comms are still down, Admiral."

"Use the running lights, you damned fool. We still have those, don't we?"

"Y-yes, Admiral. Right away."

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