Jason woke to the sound of people running hurriedly across the metal floors of the station. He could guess why they were running, and he wasn’t too worried. For time immemorial, his particular company had been the target of unsavoury individuals, which he had no doubt were funded by his less ambitious competitors.
Jason’s company “Dale Enterprises” could essentially be considered the beginning of an empire. The entity operated far beyond the secured lawful space of the powerful empires and aimed to bring a semblance of civility, not to mention profit, to the outer star systems. His competitors see this expansion as an affront to their power, as unrestricted company growth could make them completely obsolete, thus they fund pirates and mercenaries to attack his interests in an attempt to slow or completely halt his expansion progress.
Initially, these efforts had been successful, damaging his assets and creating constant money sinks. However, over time and continued attacks, Dale Enterprises or DE as it is generally referred to as, was able to build up a substantial defense force and indeed train veteran crews for its forces due to the regularity of these attacks.
Generally, losses from these attacks would be minimal, with one or two freighters taking structural damage as well as some losses or damages within the defence fleet, however the attacks have lowered in intensity over the recent months and the damages are near to none, making some wonder why they continue their effort and why they have weakened their attacks. Indeed some have speculated that they only continue the attacks to gain competitor funding and attack minimally to save money for their other likely more profitable endeavors.
Despite his lack of concern, Jason stood and made his way to the central command for the station. Jason shuffled into the command room tiredly, rubbing his eyes and moving towards the command chair. The command room was a large half cylinder theatre room filled with numerous displays and terminals for its designated crew. The door to the hallway sat in the back left wall of the room, allowing the dark room to remain relatively unlit even while the door was open. A large chair inhabited the back center of the room, clearly meant for a person of command to watch the various monitors from. Past the command chair the room descends in a stair like pattern, with each new step holding more terminals and their staff finally resulting in a curved ending to the room which inhabited three large monitors for both the General’s viewing as well as the rest of the staff’s. Jason spoke to the General, inquiring about the commotion.
“What is happening out there, General?” He inquired, showing little actual interest
“We’re engaged with pirates, sir. Their attack strength is still substantially less than previous incidents, however they managed to catch a freighter and its fighter escorts out in the open.”
Jason looked at the far wall, focusing on the large primary screen. The screen displayed a tactical map of the station’s moon, the station itself and all traffic and emplacements in the space nearby. It showed a freighter and three fighters preparing for a fight with approaching pirates. The pirates’ small attack fleet was comprised of four fighters and a destroyer gun boat, more than enough to annihilate the freighter and its powerful but outmatched escorts.
Jason shifted his focus to a secondary screen, which displayed a real time assessment of the situation. As the pirate ships moved into range, the station’s computer systems worked to translate the raw image and sensor data into an extremely informative overlay.
The first shots were fired; beams of light shining through the rock based debris, connecting the front of the freighter to one of the destroyer’s turret barrels. Where the beam connected with the freighter, there was a bright blue wall of energy signifying the freighters shields blocking the laser fire. Jason understood that freighters weren’t built to sustain damage and that the shields would fail soon, leaving only the meagre armour and the weak structure between the internals of the ship and the harshness of space. As the beam continued its relentless onslaught, the freighter’s escort fighters moved to intercept the pirate fighters, outnumbered but not outgunned, for the technology Jason had access to was beyond what the pirates had. One of the friendly fighters opened fire, its ballistic turret flinging small metal fragments at high velocity and frequency towards the enemy fighters. Although ballistic weapons were harder to aim and hit fast moving targets with, they were significantly effective at shredding the armour and structure of opposing ships. The projectiles slammed into one of the enemy fighters, the shields absorbing the impacts for a short moment before failing and leaving an accumulating quantity of small holes in the fighter. A projectile found its mark and the pirate fighter exploded in a small fiery ball, flinging debris away from its former location.
The remaining pirate fighters maneuvered away as their enemy fired upon them, the micro fragments flying harmlessly past their vessels and responded in turn, firing their small laser beams towards their attackers. One of the beams missed completely, flying wide of the targeted fighter; the second beam skimmed one of the fighters, disabling its shield and glazing its cockpit. The third beam found its mark, connecting directly with the nose of the already damaged fighter, melting away at the forward metal plating, leaving a clean hole surrounded by deformed metal. The fighter’s acceleration ceased immediately, floating harmlessly away from the battle, disabled completely but not destroyed. As the destroyer’s lasers continued to eat away at the freighter’s shields, the escorts fired back, hitting one fighter directly in the cockpit, instantly ripping the pilot’s body to shreds and another in its turret, leaving its weapon damaged to an unknown degree.
The damaged pirate fighter took the risk, firing its beam towards one of the two remaining escorts. The beam exited the barrel, having to melt some of the metal in its path, somewhat weakening the weapons power. The beam, however, found its mark and burnt through the fighter’s shields and hit its cockpit. The beam entered the glass, travelling through the material and illuminating the pilot’s cockpit, slowly heating and cooking him alive. In the lower power state, it was likely that the pilot was not dead but suffered severe burning and loss of consciousness.
The second pirate fighter closed in on the remaining fighter, weaving and dodging its fire, only being hit by a few pellets with no ill side effects. The fighter was nearly at point blank range now, orbiting the other fighter, attempting to stay outside of its firing angles. As it closed in, it fired, its beam ripping through the dust clouds and illuminating the small rocks and leftover debris of the other escorts. The beam caught the fighter in the rear, bleeding its shields dry before ionising the fighter’s engines. The fighter prepared another shot, charging its beam, but the previous shot had clipped something important, causing a secondary explosion within the fighter and slitting the vessel into pieces.
The destroyer’s numerous beam weapons continued their onslaught of the freighter, with the remaining fighters soon joining the bombardment. The shields flickered under one last beam before collapsing and exposing the weakly armour ship to the powerful enemy guns. As time passed, each shot drilled another hole into the armour of the freighter, leaving melted and twisted metal around each entry point. Small secondary explosions rocked the freighter, slowly tearing it apart from the inside. The destroyer fired its weapons one last time, sending 7 beams of light straight into the freighter. The freighter shook, its exterior conveying its now lack of power and a few seconds later the front of the ship violently exploded, leaving behind shards of twisted and distorted metal and the bodies of those unfortunate enough to be caught in the blast.
Jason watched as the destroyer move towards the back of the freighter husk, tearing the cargo hatch open with well placed shots. Small cargo drones dispersed from the destroyer, quickly ferrying the freighter’s cargo into the destroyer. Before it was done, it turned and aligned away from the station, preparing a jump back to relative safety. It could see that the defence force was almost upon it, charging up their weapons even as the destroyer attempted its escape.
The responders consisted of 3 heavily armed cruisers, top of the line models with powerful shields and many devastating guns, and they began firing on the destroyer. At the range they were firing from, their projectile weapons did little, however, their powerful missiles flew through space at unmatched speeds, catching the destroyer in one of its engines. The engine exploded, visibly knocking the destroyer off its course and vaporizing the armour around the now empty space. The destroyer corrected itself, narrowly dodging another of the cruisers’ missiles but taking the full brunt of another. The missile hit only dealt a flesh wound to the destroyer, ripping it’s central armour to shreds but barely damaging any internals.
The final missile in range slammed into the already destroyed engine, shooting fragments at high speeds through the unarmoured bulkheads and internal modules. The destroyer shook with several massive explosions and then disappeared in a flash of pure energy. Not knowing the fate of the enemy destroyer, the cruisers moved to secure the freighter wreckage and search for survivors.