“I miss him, Lennier.” Delenn stood there in the dimly lighted room. Lennier silently by her side. He said nothing, as nothing was to be said. They were ready. The final elements of the plan had been set up.
Although, ever at her side, Lennier had been worried about her. Delenn had been taking the death of Sheridan too well. She had been grieved yes, but it didn’t effect her to the extent he had expected. On their first encounter with the Drakh, he had witnessed first-hand the spirit of vengeance within her. Perhaps it was the revenge that she was waiting for, that was keeping her alive. But it was making her different, colder and somehow more distanced. He no longer saw within her the innocence of a child that had been present before. He walked over to the window and looked out. The alliance fleet was getting ready to jump into hyperspace. With a great blinding light and then crackles of the lightning from the hyperspace storm, a great red vortex opened between the four pylons. The new jump-gate was huge. Each pylon was over four miles long, and the resultant jump-point looked like a giant red cyclone, almost as if it was alive. Yet, the ships smoothly entered. The fleet had ships all the way from Centauri Prime and even Earth. Minbari cruisers constituted a fourth of the fleet. The larger ships were escorted by the last of the white-stars and some Vorlon vessels. As soon as the last ship went through the gate, the jump-point disappeared as well. Lennier didn’t like the red color of the new jump-gates, but Zathras had said that they were more efficient. They could now jump in and out accurately within a centimeter. Not a big advantage considering the fact that most of the ships were over a kilometer, but they would take every advantage they could get.
He nodded to Delenn and left. Lennier walked over to the new C&C. It had been a long walk. This station was even bigger than Babylon 5. On the C&C deck they were all new faces except Lieutenant-Commander Corwin. He had been off Babylon 5 when it was destroyed. He had been lucky, like Lennier and Delenn. Sheridan wasn’t. Green, large, bird-like alien ships that had helped the new enemy in the past had attacked and destroyed the station while the white-stars were on a mission. And it was no ordinary mission. Every white-star that was near-by was scrambled and sent to eliminate an enemy stronghold in a decisive strike. None of them returned.
On C&C, Lennier saw tension on the new faces, but they were all eager to see this mission succeed. They were going to take Babylon 6 into the heart of the enemy, and they would win. They had to. Suddenly a chime sounded and Corwin motioned to Lennier. Lennier hurried back to Delenn’s quarters.
In Delenn’s room she was looking out the window. There was nothing else to look at. The room was pretty much empty. She had moved in a week ago. She didn’t care what her room looked like. She didn’t even see it when she looked around. The door chime went off, and she heard Lennier call out to her.
“Enter.” The door opened, activated by her voice.
He walked in, a bit out of breath.
“They are here.”
Delenn was in the ‘command and control’ room now. Lennier was there and everyone was ready.
“They’re in visual range …. now”
One of the larger holographic displays lit up with a three-dimensional over-view of a large fleet approaching the station. It was definitely them. The configuration of these shipped matched that of the ships that had attacked Babylon 5 before. Only this time, there were even more of them.
“Should I …” Corwin was asking.
“No. Not yet. Just charge up the engines and wait for my signal” Delenn ordered.
The new ‘red’ jump-engine technology for the fleet wasn’t the only gift from Draal. He had sent Zathras with plans for something else as well.
The enemy fleet in the projection got closer and closer to the station.
“Enemy is in firing range…. we better”
“I said wait for my signal” Delenn replied calmly.
That shut Corwin up.
The fleet closed in. They had found out about the new station and were going to shut it down. Delenn had made sure that they found out. The enemy ships inched close and stopped.
“Now.” Delenn ordered.
From outside, the station’s surface began to wave. First slowly and then it sped up. It then started to fade away. And before any of the ships could open fire, it was gone - Draal’s new jump technology. On the other side of the planet that was formerly next to Babylon 6, a rather large ‘red’ jump-point opened, and ships came pouring out. Centauri and Minbari ships were in the lead, followed by Earth Destroyers and White-stars. The rear of the fleet constituted of Vorlon vessels. Since Babylon 5 was an Earth-Force station, it seemed logical to let them command this assault. Captain Lockley from Earth was Fleet Commander.
“This is Fleet Command. We have to keep the enemy busy till Babylon 6 has completed the mission. If they figure out where B6 has gone, they’ll try to distract us with some of the smaller faster ships, while the big guns rush back to their headquarters. So I want all capital ships to stay on course. Don’t be distracted and let the white-stars handle the smaller ships. Head straight for center of their fleet.”
Lockley was in the command chair of her Omega Class Destroyer, the “Nemesis”. It was one of the last one’s off the construction docks. They said they had a newer class of Destroyers in the works that would replace the Omega’s. ‘Too late’ she thought, the alliance sure could have used them now. No time to think about that though. There were more immediate concerns. According to the reports received, these ‘federation’ ships that they were up against were more advanced than anything Earth had.
The first wave of federation ships came in and the fireworks began. Centauri Battleships were the first to open fire. Hot plasma filled the previously empty space. Federation ships navigated through the Centauri fire and unleashed some sort of guided warheads that ripped apart the Centauri ships. The Minbari ships moved in to cover them. Green slicer beams lashed out and attacked the federation ships.
Lockley noticed a new configuration of ships. A large part of the enemy fleet consisted of smaller green ships, the size of white-stars. They too, looked somewhat like birds. Birds of prey. By now the earth destroyers had moved into the fray. The Forward guns of her destroyer were one of the most powerful weapons Earth Force had. But they couldn’t do any damage as the enemy ships had some sort of force fields protecting them. The Minbari had no problems penetrating these shields, however other ships were having trouble. And there weren’t as many Minbari ships as Lockley would have liked.
A destroyer had been cut of from the rest of the fleet and was being attacked by three smaller ships. They were making sure that they stayed in the blind spots of the destroyer’s guns. They’re attack seemed to be directed at the engines. Using some sort of powerful phased lasers, they were raking through the armor.
“This is the Tahmoor! Our engines are going critical! If you don’t get these guys off our back soon…..” and then Lockley lost the signal. She thought for a bit, then turned to her commander.
“Take us directly towards the that diamond shaped ship attacking the Tahmoor. Full Speed.”
The Nemesis’ engines came alive and accelerated the heavy destroyer towards their target.
“Now re-route all power from engines to weapons and target that ship”
“Its breaking away form the group!”
A Minbari cruiser close by fired at the Diamond looking ship, knocking off its shields.
The Nemesis’ main guns let loose two powerful particle beams that went right through the enemy ship destroying it completely.
“So all we need to do is knock off their shields somehow…” Lockley started thinking. She started creating an attack pattern on her console. The Nemesis received a direct hit and shook violently.
“Thank God for seat-belts…” she murmured as she continued with her plan.
“Patch this attack plan through to the rest of the fleet. The Minbari and Vorlons can hold their own, but the rest of us are getting killed out here. Tell them to move from ship to ship, knocking off their shields, and then we’ll follow up.”
One of the larger federation ships came in fast, flying right through the alliance fleet. It fired multiple war-heads that destroyed a Centauri battleship. Before any of the ships could react, the nearest Minbari cruiser was also hit. Two white-stars broke off the attack and went after this federation ship, driving it away from the slower Centauri ships. The Centauri were doing worse than Earth Force. Their weapons were deadly, but could not cope against fast moving targets, and they themselves were incredibly slow.
Unaware of the Centauri situation, Lockley was monitoring the new green bird-like ships. She was afraid they might pose a greater threat. Another federation ship dodged Centauri fire and came in for the kill when a Vorlon ship appeared behind it out of no where. The Squid-like green ship fired a beam from the center of its four ‘legs’ and the shields on the federation ship began to fade. As soon as the shields buckled, the Vorlon ship simply rammed right through the federation ship, unharmed. Amazed at what had happened, Lockley noticed that this particular Vorlon ship had a reddish tinge to it. Maybe they were going to make it after all.
“The jump was a success, Delenn” said Lennier after checking with Corwin.
“Apparently Draal’s new stationary jump system works.”
They moved to the window of the C&C and the blast doors were opened. Outside, the space was pitch black only with stars flickering. It was somehow different than the space back home. Suddenly a giant jump-gate type vortex ripped open in space. It was cloudy and blu-ish and bigger than any jumpgate any of them had ever seen.
“Is this some sort of result of our jump…” Lennier started, worried.
“No sir. sensors indicate that this is a natural phenomena. It is similar to a jump-gate but it opens to a fixed destination. I think I found what we were looking for.” Lieutenant Cassandra informed. Another new face thought Lennier.
As soon as this great gate closed, a gray, circular space station became visible. It was a about a mile in diameter and had three pylons on top and bottom, rounding with its spherical shape.
“That must be it,” Delenn said “The face of the enemy. Sounds like a strategic place to build a stronghold. Lets proceed. Are there any other ships in the vicinity?”
“Sensors aren’t picking up anything. The station is all alone. Looks like they sent all their ships out to attack us.”
Lennier saw a smirk came over Cassandra’s face. Only humans…only humans can be joking at a time like…
“Sir! Station is powering up weapons!” Corwin reported
“Do the same. Are they launching any fighters?”
“No sir. I seem to be also detecting some sort of field around the station.”
Suddenly red beams lashed out from the circular station.
“Fire on deck!” someone yelled as a crew member ran across the bridge with a small red fire-extinguisher. There was smoke everywhere. Lockley had some blood dripping down her temple.
“Keep on it!” she yelled.
“But sir! we’ve lost rear guns! Our entire aft section is completely vulnerable!”
“But if we try to pull out now, our flank will be towards the enemy! We’ve already lost half our ships! We need every ship we can muster!”
Another hit shook the bridge. But it wasn’t as violent as everyone had expected. Lockley began to feel light-headed. She had lost too much blood. She dropped her palm-console and it seemed to take forever to fall. She looked at it and it was floating.
She wasn’t light headed! The ships middle section that rotated to simulate gravity had lost its rotation with that last hit. An unconscious crewman floated in front of her.
“Status!” she yelled.
“We’ve lost gravitational rotation…. We’ve still got communication, but weapons and navigation are down….. ah hell.”
“What is it?”
“We didn’t just stop rotating… we’ve broken apart from the rest of the ship… we’re dead in space! The ship is in three freakin’ pieces!”
It was worse than she had thought.
“Ok, at least we have communication. Contact the nearest two white-stars and tell them to escort us… escort?… What am I saying… tell them to give us a little nudge... push us out of the battle!”
“Message away. They’re having some trouble with that new class of ships. They appear to be as fast and maneuverable as the white-stars.”
“Am I still in communication with the fleet?”
“Uh….. yep” checking some instrumentation.
“Good… white-star 27 and 32! You won’t be able to
out-maneuver them in time! I want you to take cover from the Circe.
Once you get close enough, their defense grid will take those ships off your
back. We need you for escort here!”
Rangers followed orders. The white-stars raced toward the Omega Class Destroyer,
Circe. It was the only Earth Force ship that hadn’t been disabled… yet. The
white-stars looped around the Circe’s aft section near its large defense-grid
turrets and knowing that the pursuer’s would follow the exact course through,
they raced out at full-burn. But the green birds came out of the loop un-harmed.
Then suddenly one of the Circe’s large turrets turned fast and in a few shots
destroyed one of the small ships. The one that got away headed after the two
white-stars. The white-stars did a one-eighty degree turn, keeping their
momentum, and with their guns pointed at the enemy let loose a barrage of pulsed
plasma and fusion beams.
captain… how can we help?” the voice of white-star 27’s commander came
“Ready the main port-side guns!” Corwin yelled across the command deck.
“Aye sir…the defense grid can shoot down most of the war-heads but the beams are cutting us up pretty bad!” said Cassandra.
Outside Babylon 6, large gun ports emerged. The crew felt the station shudder as each gun come out, even all the way in C&C.
“Main guns ready”
“Fire” said Delenn.
The three turrets each fired a shot. They recoiled with great intensity and the crew felt it. The first two shots slammed against a force-field that flashed when hit. The third went through.
“Again. Keep it coming.” Corwin said.
Another barrage of the new Babylon 6 weapons slammed against the smaller station’s pylons ripping them off. Yet the station kept firing. Babylon 6 was slowly being decimated. Delenn knew it. Lennier knew it. The whole crew knew it. No matter what the price, they would get what they came for. One of the last waves of warheads from the gray station hit Babylon 6 and the whole deck shook.
“Again!” yelled Corwin to Cassandra through the confusion.
The main guns fired a final barrage of hot white plasma, which on impact caused the devastation of the station. As the explosion ate its way towards the lower, red-glowing part of the dieing station, a huge explosion rose and expanded outwards. Debris flew in every direction at very high speeds. Babylon 6 shook again from the explosion.
“Look!” shouted Corwin pointing towards the window as a giant piece of the other station was hurtling towards them.
“Interceptors can't stop that!” yelled Cassandra
“The jump engines….. the jump…” Corwin was mumbling clumsily.
“They won’t charge-up in time.” Lennier said placing his hand on Corwin’s shoulder. Corwin looked up to him with a look that showed that he understood but didn’t want to believe the truth.
“It is what the station was made for… we all knew that” Lennier said, and looked from Corwin to Delenn, who now had a different look upon her face. Her coldness was gone. She was now accepting the full pain of Sheridan’s death, and another pain.
Lennier knew that she felt guilty of putting other people through pain just because of her personal vengeance.
“We didn’t do it just for him… we did it for all of us…”
The large piece of the gray station's hull slammed against Babylon 6.
“Twenty percent of the fleet is functional. Although the enemy is in no better position… still no word from B6… enemy fleet is attempting a withdrawal again”
“Damn. Divide the ships into battle groups with one ship of each class in each group… each group will hunt down a ship and then go after another.”
“Aye sir” The first officer relayed the message to the fighting ships and they began to separate into formations.
The enemy was trying to retreat. The faster large federation ship that had destroyed fourteen other ships already, swooped in trying to cover the escaping ships. The Centauri had adjusted to their slow speed by rapid firing. They were getting nowhere with heavy, but slow weapons, so they switched to lighter but faster ones. It took many shots but at least they got some shots in. The large ship came up, its shields battered by now. A Centauri ship flying past under it opened fire with multiple rounds of its light pulse cannons. The federation ship tried to evade but there was no place to go. First the remaining shields went and then the front part of it was torn off. It swung off-course and then floated dead in space having saved three other ships who escaped successfully.
“Its over …” said Lockley’s first.
“Yeah… we won” she said as she looked outside at the debris that stretched for a thousand kilometers in every direction.
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