SeerK here with another "Fluff Friday" We continue with the tale of Fleet Marshal Alexander Cross. In the wake of a hollow Victory Alex finds himself propelled into the spotlight, but not in the way he had anticipated.
“Sir I have multiple fold signatures with vessels inbound to our position”
“Are they Friend or Foe Mr. Carlson?”
“I.F.F. Signals verified sir....Its Task Fleet Corvus”
Alex slumped in his command chair. Task Fleet Corvus. That was Fleet Marshal Groniers' Task fleet. It was a bulk of the RSN ships in this sector of space. It was part of the 101st Combined fleet. Judging by the signals lighting up his screens it was a big chunk of the combined fleet. A thought occurred to Alex. Why did she bring so many ships? Wasn't the 101st currently engaged with the Liberation of Omicron Theta?
“Mr. Carlson are there any troop ships with the fleet?”
“Just a sec Sir.......negative no troop transports or bulk landers Sir.”
That didn't bode well. The 101st was designated as a Planetfall Division as it contained Legions and ships from the Caros League of systems. Fleet Marshal Groniers' Task Fleet Corvus supplied the intelligence and major offensive punch to the already impressive fire power of the 75th Caros Assault fleet.
“Sir incoming message from the Agamemnon”.
“Put it through Mr. Ross”
The Agamemnon was the Groniers flagship. It was one of the few Banshee class Dreadnoughts in the RSN fleet.
“Message is text only sir....it reads “briefing on your vessel in one hour”. Its gold level encoded”
A gold level encoded message just telling me to expect company? Something is not right. Alex pondered the information at hand. A feeling of dread suddenly filled him.
“Mr. Carlson do we have a visual of the Task Fleet vessels yet?” His voice was steady despite the fear that was very quickly overtaking him.
“Yes sir, leading vessels coming into visual range now”
“On my screens if you please Mr. Carlson....zoom in on the lead ship and enhance.”
The cruiser on Alexs' screen looked like it had been to hell and back. It looked like it was lucky to be still moving under its own power. How the hell did it make the fold jump to here? Why did they make the jump?
“Mr. Carlson signal the Agamemnon affirmative and tell sick bay to get ready to receive injured.”
Alex sat in his command chair, silent, for a good two minutes. It was clear the Armada that had been sent to Omicron Theta had been hit hard and this was likely a retreating section of the fleet. Given Fleet Marshal Gronier was in over all command of the action, she would not be here to discipline a junior officer with a full scale planetary liberation in process. Alex chastised himself for thinking the Fleet Marshal was here just to dress him down. It was ego and pure vanity on his part.
“ I just have to get over myself.....” Alex trailed off in thought as he muttered out loud.
“What was that sir?”
Alex snapped out of his reverie, “ I will be in the briefing room awaiting our guests Mr. Carlson, you have the Bridge”
Alex stood and put on his uniform coat. He buttoned it up as he walked out of the bridge and down the hall. He arrived in the Briefing room a few minutes later. He sat down at the long table in the chair at the head of the table. He summoned the steward to bring refreshments to the room and added a bottle of 30 year old single malt scotch from his own private stock to the order.
The steward arrived a few minutes later as Alex was going over the com traffic from the new arrivals.
“Would you like a glass sir?”
Alex looked up and saw the steward had quickly set up the refreshments and was holding the bottle of scotch.
“Yes, make it a double if you would please.”
Alex nursed his drink while listening to the com traffic from the incoming fleet. He became lost in the damage reports, casualty reports and the off hand remarks of the comm officers relaying the traffic. It was very clear the battle to liberate Omicron Theta did not go as planned. In fact it sounded as if it had been a disaster. A coded message from an unknown source to the Agamemnon did catch Alex's attention though. The coding was utterly alien, but very familiar. It was from a Relthoza Barb Fleet. The message was simply a time. Two standard hours. The signature that followed the time brought a smile to Alex's face.
“Panzer you crafty old spider, looks like we will be hunting somebody together again” Alex muttered .
Shvar'ss'kovar'shen, or “Panzer” as Alex Nicknamed him. Relth names were very difficult for non-Relthoza to pronounce, so nicknames abounded. Panzers actually name meant “Implacable hunter with a will of Iron”, or something to that effect. Alex had nicknamed him “Panzer” after the Ancient Terran German legend of Der Panzer Mensch or “Tank Man”. It was a very apt comparison. In his powered exo Armor the Relthoza Warrior was almost literally a tank, both in size, firepower and resiliency.
Time passed quickly as Alex thought about his old hunting companion. A chime awoke him from his reverie. It was the bridge signaling the Fleet Marshals Shuttle was inbound. This was going to be interesting. The “Silver Fox” herself was going to be on board his ship. Honor and fear in equal measure gripped Alex's being. He stood and Straightened his uniform. Gave himself a re assuring smile and girded himself to meet a legend.