All That Glitters Ch 24
Oh! Shit! All hell breaks loose!
Who is saved, who is not?
© bigtddybr December 2020. This story "All That Glitters Ch 24', cannot be transferred to any other site besides Literotica.com without the prior authorizations in writing from the author and bigtddybr must be credited for this work.
Because of the number of abbreviations, ship listings, and list of characters, in this story, I include a glossary that is now in a stand-alone chapter called 'All That Glitters: Notes'. Any and all information that you want or need to know about the series is included in Notes. It will be updated frequently, when significant changes are made to it, simply by re-issuing 'Notes' to Literotica.
There is little attempt to explain the back story, so it is necessary to read previous chapters to fully understand where we are.
As before, I claim sole responsibility for the story line. This story is a fantasy, with no basis in reality. Any similarity that you may perceive to current events, people, or situations real or imaginary is completely unintended. Look no further than the story line for its intent and purpose.
A big shout out to SaddleRidder for all the help she has provided in editing. With her guidance, I'm making fewer and fewer errors, but she still finds them. If you find any errors still left in this chapter, they are mine.
Please rate and comment. But keep your comments respectful. If you rant and rave or are disrespectful in your commentary, it will be deleted.
The Valour, 109 Piscium System, 106 Light Years from Terra
"Control, Valour, we have a heavy missile coming straight at the platform a little over five minutes light," Capt. Moore sent to the platform through the tactical link.
"Just one?" asked Davis.
"Roger, just the one and it has an absorption coating," Moore replied.
"Shit, that means its likely a nuclear missile! Someone wants to take out the platform!" Moore heard Davis say.
"Not the platform," Fiona said, grimly. "Me! But they are willing to kill thousands in order to kill one!"
"Not if I can help it!" Moore said. "Tell me if I'm wrong, Helga, but if we shred a nuclear missile, it won't explode?"
"Damaging the warhead's casing will not allow the weapon to reach critical mass. That's the theory anyway," Cdr. Helga Hellebore replied. "However, I don't think it really matters, it's us or the people on the platform!"
"Maybe not," Moore stated. "Weapons live, target that fucking missile! Pilot, I want to jump one minute light as soon as we fire. I don't want to be in the immediate area if that thing blows!"
A chorus of Aye, Sirs, came back immediately as the bridge crew went to work.
"Weapons locked, ready to fire," Hellebore called out.
"Nav solution to you, ma'am," Nav shouted.
"Fuck that!" Moore yelled, sending the plot immediately back to Nav and to the Pilot. "Pilot, sing out when your ready!"
"Solution set, ready, sir," Nav sang out.
The pilot opened the vanes and fed power to them.
"Ready, sir," the Pilot called out as the power coursed through the vanes complex meshing.
"Fire!" Moore ordered.
Cdr. Hellebore had the reticle following the target, she fired a three second burst to ensure the total destruction of the missile, the rounds set to impact from the nose to the tail, the weapons comp making the necessary computations to ensure the rounds fell where they were intended.
"JUMP!" Moore ordered as soon as Hellebore finished firing.
The pilot flicked the switch, allowing the power to collapse space around them. The Valour winked out of existence.
The rounds followed their trajectory toward the target, meeting it just where they had been calculating to impact the missile. The first round hit the head of the missile, destroying the sensor array. At twelve rounds per second per gun, seventy-two rounds were oriented on the missile. Round after round followed the first one in, but the initial impacts had an adverse effect on the missiles movement, pushing it out of the way of follow on rounds. Six of seventy-two rounds had hit the missile, damaging it beyond repair, however, the brains of the missile were not in its head, but further down and closer to the warhead which was just above the engines.
The computer recognized that the missile had been severely damaged and would not be able to complete it's primary purpose, so it effectively went to Plan B. The secondary plan was quite simple, destroy the vessel that had attacked it. The computer sent a pulse to the warhead. Since the warhead was undamaged it exploded in a violent nuclear blast.
The Valour came back into existence eighteen million kilometers or one minute light from the point it had jumped from. As soon as they had reoriented themselves, they looked back toward where the missile had been, only to witness a blindingly bright and violent explosion a minute later as gamma waves swept over the ship. A strong Electromagnetic Wave Front impacted the ship just after the gamma energy. The ship was shielded for both and easily road through the hard radiation. Another minute after, the effect of the thermodynamic wave front caught up to them, followed by the blast effect, now severely reduced due to the range. The little ship was rocked hard but survived handily.
"Damn! Good choice to jump us out of there!" Hellebore exclaimed, getting nods from around the bridge.
"I'd send a message through the link, but that much energy means they won't see it for a couple of minutes," Moore told the crew as the energy spike disrupted the comms link. Eventually, the spike dissipated and the link returned.
"Control, this is The Valour, we are safe with no injuries," Moore sent through the link. "We will be able to jump again if you require us to."
Central Control, Liramor-23, Piscium System
Fiona saw the bright light flash and the plasteel windows go black as the level of illumination swiftly increased. A minute later, the shockwave of the explosion impacted the platform. At five minutes light, most of the force had already dissipated, but there was still enough power to make the large vessel shudder.
"Are there still miners outside?" Fiona asked.
"No, ma'am," Fayad Ouihya relayed from Ops. "All of them have been picked up by Rockhounds or Survey Vessels or returned to the platform. They should be safe from any hard radiation."
"Thank the Gods for small favors," Fiona murmured. "Right, I want to find that fucking ship. If we can capture it, fine, otherwise that thing is not leaving this system intact!"
Ten minutes later, they saw the wavefront.
"FTL burst in quadrant B-9, two minutes light," Science called out.
"Kologn jumping!" came the voice of Capt. Cèleste Dauphine through the link."
They saw the large FTL spike as the ship winked out of existence not far from the platform.
"Claridge jumping," came the voice of Richard Dent thirty seconds later, as the Claridge jumped in support.
Fiona watched the tactical display as the NS Kindalla and the NS Betelgeuse re-oriented to protect the station.
Two minutes later, the two vessels and a third vessel, designated in red, popped up on the tactical display.
"Unknown vessel, you are have entered the Piscium system in an illegally and clandestine manner. You will surrender and open your vessel for inspection immediately. You have ten seconds to comply," came the voice of Capt. Dauphine of the Kologn.
"I bet that won't go over very well with that ship," Fayad Ouihya quipped, just as the tactical display suddenly went active.
"Missile launched from the suspect vessel!" Science yelled. "They have fired another heavy missile in our direction!
NS Kologn, Piscium System
The Kologn arrived 100km from and with her bow oriented toward the suspect vessel which looked like a Fairling Class Frigate. They were uncertain if the vessel had seen them, as it was still orienting itself.
"Comms O, give me open communications on our Guard channel," Capt. Dauphine ordered.
"Comms to your station, ma'am," the Comms O replied moments later.
"Unknown vessel, you are have entered the Piscium system in an illegal and clandestine manner. You will surrender and open your vessel for inspection immediately. You have ten seconds to comply," Dauphine sent out.
"The Claridge has just arrived 50km closer to the station and 20km below us," Science called out.
"Transient, transient, the ship has just launched another heavy missile in the direction of the platform!" Science shouted. "I estimate less than four minutes to impact!"
NS Claridge, Piscium System
The Claridge jumped into its position 50km closer to the platform and 20km down from the plan that the Kologn and the suspect vessel were on. The bridge crew re-oriented the ship quickly and were ready when the Kologn sent out its message.
"Unknown vessel, you are have entered the Piscium system in an illegal and clandestine manner. You will surrender and open your vessel for inspection immediately. You have ten seconds to comply," came the voice of Capt. Dauphine of the Kologn.
Capt. Dent was about to consult with Capt. Dauphine over the link when things abruptly changed.
"Transient, transient, the ship has just launched another heavy missile in the direction of the platform! I estimate less than four minutes to impact!" came an unidentified voice over the link from the Kologn.
"Lock on to that missile and destroy it!" Dent ordered.
The Weapons O had not been idle. Anticipating the order, she had set the reticle at her station on the missile and oriented the 50mm turrets on it. She fired as soon as the Captain ordered.
The crew watched as the two seconds worth of rounds from two turrets flowed into the missile, this time with much better results than Valour had, as the missile disintegrated in flight. The missile's computer and warhead had both suffered a direct hit, rendering them useless. The second threat to the station disappeared in a burst of railgun fire.
"Sir! The Kologn is engaging the enemy vessel," the Tac O informed the Captain.
They watched as two 150cm torpedoes were launched at the vessel. At a little over 100km, the torpedoes flashed through the intervening space in just over twelve seconds barely getting up to speed before they impacted.
The enemy ship launched countermeasures, to no avail, as both torpedoes ran straight at the vessel and impacted 75m apart on the port side of the ship, one near the bridge. The ship rocked from the impacts and subsequent explosions. The ship attempted to move but her sub-light engines did not successfully engage, shock damage having temporarily taken them out.
The Kologn moved in on the stricken ship, once again ordering its surrender. They got it, less than a minute later, as the vessel began to flash S S S with its lights.
NS Kologn, Piscium System
"Marines, man the shuttles, I want the crew of that ship in manacles. Take no chances while you are on board. If the crew does not cooperate, shoot first! They have launched two heavy missiles at Liramor-23, at least one of them nuclear.
"I want to know by who and why this attack was made!" an angry Dauphine demanded.
Three combat shuttles, each manned by twenty Marines in full EVA suits, launched a minute later. They swiftly closed the distance to the stricken vessel ordering it to open for their entry.
Due to the buckling damage to the hull, the shuttles had to use the hatches on the starboard side of the vessel to board the ship. One shuttle remained outside of the vessel until the first two shuttles had disgorged their compliment into the enemy ship, it then slipped into the ship and did the same as a second shuttle slid back out to cover the two shuttles now inside.
Pirate Vessel Pegasus Guardian, Piscium System
Marine Lieutenant Charles Penton, commanding the boarding party went immediately to the bridge to secure it, but found it sealed due to an air leak. He moved from there into the ship's War Room, sometimes known as the Battle Bridge.
The men in the War Room did not look directly at the Marines. That was the first clue for the Lieutenant that the ship's Captain had an issue with the crew.
"Name!" Penton demanded of a man in Commander's pips.
"Commander Sinter, of the Pegasus Guardian," he replied, still looking down.
"Where is the Captain?" Penton asked.
"Likely dead, may the devils rot his soul," Replied Sinter in a snarl. "He was on the bridge when your first torpedo hit the forward part of the ship. We have had no comms with the bridge since then. It automatically sealed and nobody from that side has activated the release to open the hatch. The bridge crew is probably lost."
"We will need a copy of your ship's logs," Penton informed the man, who nodded and pointed to a man at the War Room's comms station. A few minutes later, the man provided Penton with a chip.
"Your ship will not be towed to the platform," Penton advised Sinter.
"A wise precaution," Sinter acknowledged. "I assure you that the crew did not support the launch of a nuclear missiles at Liramor-23 just to take out one person. The captain was attempting to claim the bounty on Fiona Marsh, who he believed was on the station."
"He was wrong," Penton told him, mainly to get into the man's head. "Director Marsh is at Liramor Prime for consultations with the Liramor Holdings Head Office. Your captain would have destroyed the platform, killing over 8,000, and not succeeded in claiming the bounty."
Penton could see the reaction of the men in that room as his message sunk in. They would have been mass murderers with no reward for their efforts.
"Can your ship maintain station keeping?" Penton asked a now very shaken Sinter.
"Yes, I believe so," Sinter told him. "Most of the thrusters are still active, but our port FTL vane is now misaligned and our sub-light engines have suffered shock damage, they will not activate at this time. We cannot move. As well, we lost much of the forward sensor array in the bow of the vessel, leaving us with only a limited forward view."
"Other damage to the ship?" Penton demanded.
"There is shock damage to several non-critical systems, but the ship is mostly intact. We have lost the bridge crew, that's twelve personnel including the Captain, and another nine personnel in the vicinity of the second impact. There are also twenty-two injured, some seriously," Sinter replied.
"We have Rockhounds that can push your vessel if need be," Penton told him. "We will bring people from our ships to take control of this ship. Your people are advised not to do anything stupid. Our people are not inclined to be merciful at this time, considering what this ship has already attempted to do."
"May I address my crew?" Sinter asked.
Penton nodded but pulled a stun pistol and placed it against the back of Sinter's head.
"Ship-wide to me, please, Comms," Sinter ordered.
"You have comms, sir," Comms replied momentarily.
"Attention all crew, this is Cdr. Sinter. The captain is likely dead, killed when the bridge was hit. Nobody from the bridge has reported since the impact. The ship has been boarded, and we are all under arrest. Nobody on this ship was with the captain's intention of destroying Liramor-23 when he launched nuclear weapons against the platform. His purpose was to claim the bounty on Fiona Marsh; however, Fiona Marsh is currently not on the platform.
"Had the captain succeeded in destroying Liramor-23, he would not have been able to claim the bounty, and we would have been branded mass-murderers with nothing to show for it. As it is, the local Defence Force managed to stop the attacks for which, I for one, am grateful.
"This ship has been severely damaged and cannot maneuver on her own. We are dead in space. We have surrendered.
"Cooperate fully with the boarding party. Do nothing that will endanger your lives any further. The criminal act here is the captain's. Though I am sure that we will not be let off scot free, we do not need to kill ourselves recklessly, especially the junior ratings.
"Senior ratings, watch out for your people, keep them under control. Good luck to all of you. That is all." Sinter nodded to comms who closed the link.
"Best I can do, young man," Sinter told Penton.
"I do appreciate that, sir. Your actions will be noted," Penton stated for the record.
"Are your weapons systems secured?" Penton asked.
"They are," Sinter informed him, pointing to the appropriate station for Penton's inspection.
More of the boarding party came to the War Room's hatch.
"I'm going to have to ask you to vacate this location. Be advised, I am leaving people in this room. Anyone who is not authorized to be here will be shot on sight without further warning," he informed all those in the room.
Penton watched the other group of Marines take the crew away.
"Penton to Kologn, did we do enough damage to the forward part of the ship to take out the bridge? The hatches are closed, indicating no atmosphere on the other side. The crew on the Battle Bridge indicate that the bridge crew has not responded since the impact," Penton sent.
"Kologn, there is sufficient damage to possibly indicate the destruction of the bridge, however, we want you to leave guards to ensure no one sneaks out later." The reply came back.
Penton left two men in each of the four primary entry points to the bridge and two men in the Battle Bridge. He would have to rotate the men until someone could get a camera into the bridge and confirm the damage...
Central Control, Liramor-23, Piscium System
"And Lt. Penton told them you were off the station for consultations at Liramor Prime. He wanted to rattle the people in the War Room. I think he succeeded as they acted to surrender instead of fighting against the boarding party," Capt. Dauphine informed Fiona via the link.
"Quick thinking on his part. Sounds like he did shake them up some. We'll have to keep an eye on that one as it looks like he could go far," Fiona mused.
"I agree," Dauphine replied. "Good thing he is not Navy, or I would have to be watching my ass, afraid he'd claim my chair."
"What makes you think he isn't watching it already?" Fiona quipped. "It is such a lovely ass!"
"Make sure you keep them away from the station for now," Fiona ordered. "Platform crew is pretty testy about their actions. I can't guarantee their safety here. We'll have to call for the Dewfall to take them and try them.
"Split them between your ship and the Claridge for now, you can break them up further amongst the other ships once they all get back. I'll send word to Sector Forty-Two HQ immediately. We should have the Dewfall in system within a day or so. Hope that won't inconvenience you and Richard too much, Cèleste," Fiona finished.
"Comm's, Give me an all platform hail, please," Fiona ordered.
"You have comms, ma'am," Comms came back momentarily.
"All personnel, this is Fiona Marsh. Liramor-23 has suffered another attack by pirates and survived. The danger has passed with one ship and crew in custody. I am giving the platform one full day of rest before we start operations again. Take a day to breathe and be with your friends and fellow workers. A round of drinks on me at the bars and messes. Well done everyone. Senior personnel in the Conference Room in twenty. Marsh, out."
Fiona walked into her office, leaving Gillaya outside, closed the door, blacked out the internal windows and promptly broke down. She spent fifteen minutes giving vent to her worst fears and worries, then got up, washed her face and walked back out and into the conference room. Her day was not over yet...