... and now the continuation of the Battle of Portage III
The Enforcer scrapes by two Kodiaks as it charges through the lines. A small leak of plasma between two of its ventral plates causes its engines to billow. The wave beams fire from the prow of the vessel, striking the hull of another cruiser it narrowly avoids impacting. A hail of fire pursues the Vasari cruiser after it passes, piercing its hull and causing a great bloom of smoke to pour forth from the wound, trailing behind the vessel after. The vessel begins to waver side to side, coming within a few yards of several vessels, but always turning towards safety, even if only at the last moment. A missile, as if out of nowhere, plows into the side of the craft, tearing into the hull and causing it to fall into a spin, reeling in a spiral. The vessel then veers through a volley of fire intended for a different target, ripping large chunks from it, most of which fly off to litter the battlefield, but the larger portion of the prow continues forward towards the broadside of a Kol. The fragment passes through the weak shielding, the surface scorching as it enters, and impacts the hull with a violent crash.
The impact roars across the bridge and a panel sparks in response. The lights flicker, going out for a moment before recovering. Alexander looks to Frishman, "Did something hit us?"
Karlin raises his voice, "That wasn't a weapon's impact."
Frishman replies, "No, that was something else. We have hull breaches on deck seven across sections twenty-five through twenty-seven."
Alexander orders, "Evacuate those areas and have damage control contain the situation. Have we taken care of those Enforcers yet?"
"No, sir, we still have a few running around. Looks like the Subverters and Overseers are making another sweep," Frishman replies.
"Lieutenant, are those Marzas ready with another barrage?"
"No, sir, they need another minute to finish preparing the payloads," Gross says.
"Sir, the last Marauder is down," Frishman interrupts.
"Bring the ends in tighter. We need to press those Devastators into panic."
The flanking forces extend their formations, bringing their fire to bear on all sides of the Vasari capital vessels. One of the Devastators, suffering damage to its inner infrastructure, begins to roll without control, the weapons damage spreading across the surface. A wave of Subverters and Overseers pass by, some caught in the spread of ammunition, and begin to target TEC vessels with their disruption abilities. Within a moment the wave approaches its apex, the opposing wave in sight and lining up for the pass.
"Sir, the vessels are about to make a pass," Frishman calls out.
Alexander turns towards communications, "Do we have those missiles ready?"
"Barrages are ready, sir," Gross replies.
The three Marzas open their ports and release fiery blossoms, each spreading out amongst the enemy vessels and creating bright flashes of light upon impact. The Subverters and Overseers take the missiles on the nose, shredding into splinters as their numbers bear the brunt of the force. The critically damaged Devastator too takes several of the missiles and collapses under the pressure. The framework stretches and warps before the reactor breaches and envelops the vessel in light and then in darkness. With the point forces of the Vasari eliminated, the frontal assault moves forward, hugging tightly enough against the remaining Devastators to cause the Desolators to shift about, attempting to free themselves for a potential escape. The Orkulus on the rear of the Vasari forces decides against the panic of its comrades and shifts its cumbersome form towards the weaker Vasari front, homing in on a Kol and engaging it with the full force of it's tendrils.
"Sir, the Samuel is taking heavy damage," Frishman alerts. "Support vessels have been subdued, but the Orkulus is taking up formation."
"Where the hell is Red Fleet?"
As the last word leaves his lips, the projector lights up with green signals along the edge of the gravity well. The blue shards of light leave as Red Fleet moves forward, the Kols forming a circular wall and the Sovas trailing behind in formation around the Akkan. They make a straight path across space, heading directly for the center of the Vasari numbers. As they pass a couple of missile platforms, they fire their autocannons, quickly reducing the minimally armored emplacements to debris. At the sight of such an event, the Vasari Transporters turn away from the immediate battle, making a path towards the far edge of the gravity well. Although they attempt to make space, they pass within range of Red Fleet, receiving fire as they pass. Although the fleet can not produce enough fire to cover all of the targets, they do succeed in bringing down a great number of the alien vessels. Those that do pass do not make it unscathed as bombers leave the Sovas to intercept the escort carriers. As Red Fleet closes in on the rear, the Orkulus continues to press its attack on Green Fleet's flank.
"Sir, the Samuel is going down," Frishman calls out before a large disruption in sensors signals the demise of the vessel. "Sir, the Skirantras are coming in."
The Vasari carriers rush forward past their line and into the center of the TEC formation. As they do, the Desolators panic, breaking formation and heading straight towards Red Fleet's angle of approach. The five vessels do not anticipate the equal number of Kols using their rail guns, dropping the vessel's ability to flee. With them immobilized, the powerful prow weapons of the Kols dig into their enemies. By the time engines are restored, their shields are peeled away and the Vasari begin to shed fragments of armor. Red Fleet passes close, continuing to rip at the Desolators which flee with minimal resistance. Although they do pass the Red Fleet, only two of the vessels manage to make it out of weapons range, the others being cut down by the aft turrets. Red Fleet now sits snug against the rear of the Vasari formation, shifting their focus to the rear of the Orkulus.
The Skirantras arrive at their target positions, surrounding one of the -Ue_ Dunovs on two sides. With the antimatter reserves of its neighbors still under strain, the two are able to lay down a devastating hail of fire on the support battlecruiser. The surrounding Dunovs focus their fire in on the two, enveloping them in an aura of burning light. The transfer of fire pours inward, and the damage previously inflicted on the Dunov allows the Vasari to make a great deal of headway. The three vessels buckle at the same time, each attempting to release survivors despite the walls of ammunition bringing down the chance of survival to near nil. The flashes of light occur within fractions of a second of one another, causing a sensor blackout across both fleets. When sensors return, a flood of data overwhelms the tactical officers. One of the fleeing Desolators is adrift due to the efforts of the bomber squadrons, whereas the nearly dozen Transporters have fled the gravity well. One of the Devastators, panicked by the situation and blind from the explosions, has veered into a neighboring Devastator. Although neither one has yet to collapse despite the trauma, the newly aware TEC vessels on their front take full advantage of the scenario, feeding hot metal and rippling energy into the fray.
Captain Aronoff leads the Red Fleet towards the Orkulus and shuts it down with an ion bolt from the Eve. With the station left defenseless, the nearby Kols break formation to face their most powerful weapons on the structure and unleash a holy hell of blazing fire. The autocannons and beam weapons compile to make short work of the shielding before the order is given to fire railguns, each blast plowing past the armor and causing critical hits to the infrastructure. Two of the blasts each succeed in separating a part of the tendrils, reducing the total capability of the station.
Frishman watches as the cruisers and frigates of the -Ue_ flood forth and informs the admiral, "Sir, Halogen Braken is sending his cruisers in."
Alexander nods, "Let him. Have all of our men go weapons free."
The -Ue_ vessels swarm, creating a static of metal approaching the remaining Devastators. Their fire is brief as the realization strikes that any resistance will be made in vain. Instead, they begin to turn away from the wave, only two of the remaining making a full about face. The smaller vessels continue to sweep back and forth, making passes at the capital vessels while the larger TEC vessels encroach upon the wounded Orkulus. Alexander watches as the numbers close in on the screens and orders, "Have all ships focus their fire on this location." He generates an order on the panel of his chair.
Frishman receives it and replies, "Yes, sir."
Every ship complies, the weapons fire radiating from all directions, impacting the energy stream between the Orkulus' main body and lower section. It ebbs and flows in response before failing against the onslaught. The two ends of the stream explode, sending the lower portion into a drift momentarily before the large arrays embedded in the sphere blow out, the metal and glass soon followed by a brilliant light. The top portion spins out of control, carved into sections by enemy fire until satisfaction of their ruin has been had.
The crowd of cruisers manage to subdue another Devastator as it attempts to flee, but the last approaches the edge of the gravity without critical damage. To the benefit of the TEC, the damaged Desolator from a short time ago sits on the edge of the gravity well, it's attempt to make a phase jump having disabled its already unstable engines. Realizing the Devastator is bound to escape, the cruisers opt to focus on the Desolator, ripping it into pieces while the other jumps to the star.
"Sir, a Devastator and nearly a dozen Transporters have made it to the star," Frishman says.
"Forget them. I don't think they'll pose much of a concern. Have our men sweep up the last of the defensive structures that can fight back. I want the Kols to hit the primary military installations from orbit, but leave the targeting array and all adjacent buildings. J'rah can secure logistics and planetside at his expense. All other vessels are on rescue detail," Alexander answers.
"Yes, sir," Frishman replies.
Lieutenant Gross speaks up, "Sir, Captain Zuckermann requests to have you aboard the Hagar when you're available."
Alexander's eyebrows narrow before replying, "Alright, let him know I'll be there in an hour. In the meantime, we need to assess the damage and give Halogen Braken my thanks. I'll have to speak with him a little later."
The support capitals maintain their positions, whatever they might be, to best facilitate rescue operations with little fear of impacting survivors. The Kols move towards the planet, cutting down a hangar bay and several missile platforms on their way to decimate selected targets on the planet with their cluster warheads. The light of the blasts flash like celebrations of grand days gone by. Days equally bloody and equally glorious.
Fleets after post:
Blue Fleet --
DLS David - Fleet Admiral Alexander Draakjacht
Tactical Officer - Lieutenant Commander Frishman
Communications Officer - Lieutenant Gross
Bridge Officer - Lieutenant Sokolow
Senior Helmsman - Ensign Karlin
Senior Engineer - Lieutenant Batson
DLS Elijah - Captain Ermler
DLS Abraham - Senior Captain Borovsky
DLS Job - Captain Halevi
DLS Jacob - Captain Feldman
DLS Judah - Captain Oliver
DLS Solomon - Captain Perlman
DLS Moses - Captain Cohen
DLS Noah - Captain Dershowitz
DLS Rebecca - Senior Captain Levin
Second Officer - Commander Maxwell
DLS Samson - Captain Adler
Green Fleet --
DLS Aaron - Senior Captain Siegel
DLS Cyrus - Captain Strauss
DLS Josiah - Captain Flohr
DLS Elisha - Captain Bar-Lev
DLS Bathsheba - Captain Liebermann
DLS Jonah - Captain Kisling
DLS Joseph - Captain Jacobi
DLS Joshua - Captain Hyman
DLS Hagar - Captain Zuckermann
DLS Isaiah - Captain Eliad
DLS Ishmael - Captain Berkowitz
Red Fleet --
DLS Adam - Senior Captain Aronoff
DLS Abel - Captain Palatnik
DLS Daniel - Captain Ornstein
DLS Esau - Captain Mandel
DLS Jeremiah - Captain Leibowitz
DLS Esther - Captain Heine
DLS Sarah - Captain Greenberg
DLS Eve- Commander Finkelstein
247 Light Frigates
Caps are: 5 Akkans, 7 Dunovs, 2 Sovas