Battle of Aephus, Part TwoMature

            “It’ll take us about two hours to reach the shipyard, Captain.”

            “Acknowledged, helm.  Let me know when the turians come out to play,” said Captain White.

            “You really think they’ll stand and fight sir?” asked the gunnery officer.

            “Of course they will: they’re turians.  They wouldn’t know good strategy if it hit them in the face – which, coincidentally, it’s about to!” said White, receiving a round of laughter from his pirate crew.

            “Can I add some notches to my kill count, Captain, or do you want to let the fleet do the heavy lifting?” asked the gunnery officer.

            “Oh, I don’t think we should let the fleet have all the –”

            “What the hell?!  Contacts coming through the relay behind us, a lot of them!  I think it’s a turian battlegroup!” yelled the helmsman.

            “Damn it!  Bring the fleet around and prepare to fire.  If we’re lucky we can catch most of them with their barriers down.  Guns, get me a firing solution and feed it to the helm!” said Captain White.

            “Aye, aye, sir.  Targeting… Oh my god!  They have a dreadnought!” yelled the gunnery officer.

            “What?” asked White, shocked out of his element.

            “Captain, the dreadnought is turning!  I think he means to hit us with his broadside, but why?” said the helmsman.

            “I don’t know, but fighting a dreadnought is suicide.  Helm, get-”

            “Oh my god!  We just lost twelve – no, 17 cruisers!  What – There goes another squadron!  What the hell is –” the helmsman was cut off by a massive impact that rocked the ship, followed by a loss of power and gravity.

            As his crew panicked in the darkness that followed, Captain White hung his head and wept.



            A shocked silence hovered over the bridge of the Nelikus.  The crew had seen the gruesome reality of combat before, but this wasn’t a battle… This was a slaughter.  No sooner had the mercenary ships started to turn before the dreadnought Kwunu swung to port and opened fire with her broadside Thanix turrets.  The first volley destroyed 34 ships, all cruisers.  Five second later a second volley killed another 42; 29 cruisers and 13 frigates.  9 ships rabbited to FTL and escaped before she could fire a third time.

            “Spirits… how many men on those ships just…” said Melanis, trailing off into silence as she contemplated that thought.

            Ariston muttered under his breath, “Assuming 200 men on each cruiser and no survivors, that’s at least… twelve thousand lives gone in ten seconds.”

            Captain Medinius turned to his XO with a haunted look in his eyes and said, “Prepare the Marines for search and rescue operations.  There must be some survivors.”

            “Aye, aye, sir,” said Ariston, glad to have something to occupy his mind other than the massacre they had just witnessed.

The End

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