Free Fleet #03 No Rest for the Wicked

BOOK: Free Fleet #03 No Rest for the Wicked
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Table of Contents

 

Chapter - Siege of Parnmal

Chapter - Holding Back Is Harder Than Rushing in Sometimes

Chapter Final Preparations

Chapter - It Always Starts with a Bang

Chapter - Best Laid Plans
          

Chapter - Halls of Darkness

Chapter
-
By Any Means
Chapter - Patience
Chapter - This Ends
Chapter - Pushing On
Chapter - Reunited
Chapter - Moving out
Chapter - New Frontiers
Chapter - Part of the Job
Chapter - Freedom
Chapter - Too Smooth
Chapter - New Resident
 

 

          

           

           

           

                    

 

Prologue

 

 

Lady Fairgate sat in her command chair, her face serene as she looked upon the Galeesh Captain who grovelled at her feet.

            Her robes were spun of the finest material, which seemed to flutter with a nonexistent breeze. She was a statue of power in what was called her throne room by many. It overlooked Worshun, the planet of many, and now Lady Fairgate's seat of power in the Quarst system. When it had been the home world for the Union, this system had hosted ambassadors from every inhabited system in the known galaxy. Its rich purples, greens, and blues had been turned to grey and black as pirates transformed the city-planet into a trading centre for the entire Syndicate.

            Fairgate looked upon it, silent fury building behind her calm facade.

            
Who the hell would challenge my authority? My Captains wouldn't. I've assured their loyalty, or at the very least they're too scared to do anything. The middling systems know that they only exist because I find them useful. Maybe I should take their vessels anyway. Yet still, no one would do this. Jorsht is a smart man. He might be able to get Welick on his side, but then to get a force that fights that well together. It's almost like... No.

            She looked back to the Galeesh Captain, who seemed to be trying to become part of the floor. There was no way that the Union existed, but then there were also strange goings on throughout her syndicate empire.

            
Plus there's that activity. Something's happening.

            “Foshunti, take the forces you deem necessary, and get me back my station,” she said as the Dovark moved forward, his slick smile terrifying to all but Fairgate.

            He was one of her three carrier captains, and one of the most twisted.

            “With pleasure my lady,” he said as he gave a sweeping bow.

            
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
 Fairgate thought, looking at what she considered her plaything. Seeing him do as she said without question sent a thrill through her. If the rumours were true he might even rival her love for pain. Foshunti rose and turned, stroking his fingers over the still prostrate captain. Fairgate didn't miss the dark delight Foshunti took in the act, the Corvette captain shuddered.

            “Come toy, we shall have a lot of fun,” Foshunti said, looking to Fairgate as the Galeesh reluctantly stood.

            
I've done things you can't believe, Foshunti. A little power trip won't sway me.
 Fairgate thought as her bored eyes turned back to Worshun.

            “See that you do not fail,” Her tone was light, but she saw Foshunti's eyes became darker. He clearly didn't like being told what to do. 
But you still fear me don't you,
 Fairgate thought with wicked pleasure.

            
What is love and trust when you can make them fear you.

She stopped, her eyes to turning to where Captain Lifendi usually sat. 
Sometimes fear is essential to survival.

 

          

Chapter - Siege of Parnmal

 

 

Captain Kelu looked at the enemy fleet as it exited Parnmal system. While it made tactical sense, no one in the syndicate would choose to fight without the opportunity to flee if the battle turned against them. It only served to further Kelu's suspicions of the people on Parnmal, as well as the people piloting the ships which were supposed to be reinforcing him from an inhabited system.

            
It has to be something recent. If it was planned by syndicate personnel there would be some monetary gain, which would not be possible outside of the Syndicate, we have control over everything. It has to be an outside force, though they’re using our ships and some modified technology as I saw with the PDS. Not Syndicate; they have a lower technology base than us,
he surmised. 

He rose and walked out of the bridge into the bowels of the ship and to a cluttered room of hooked up information terminals and input systems. A spirited young Ershue lay there. The race was notorious for pranks, yet after Kelu had laid down the law the kid had never been involved with one of them again.

            “Gog I need to know what's been happening recently in this area,”

            “Humans got used as replacement crew,”

Kelu nodded. He didn't agree with having entire races lied to and having such people as unknowing slaves. One slip up would all it would need for them to cause chaos, plus the cost to replace them after using their kill switches. Just annoying.

            “Cutting off trade in the area, cultivating systems in the know of the Union, a planet called Chaleel was dominated,”

            “What were their forces?” Kelu felt a flash of hope that he'd found the cause.

            “Ground based. Their space abilities were limited to outdated Corvettes without parts,” Gogs said as he whirled a stylus in his fingers and began spinning his chair. Ershue had an inability to stay still. Unless Gogs was focused on his console, he was moving in some erratic manner.

            “Orvunut was also guarding something,” Gogs said in a way that let Kelu know he knew, but was willing to see how long it would take to sufficiently annoy his superior.

            “What?” Kelu hoped his tone would get it across that he was not in a mood for games.

            “Well, it was large,” Gogs said slowly, clearly enjoying Kelu's annoyance.

            “Dreadnought?” An exasperated Kelu said, his tone hard as he looked at Gogs. Gog's features fell into an almost sulk. Kelu wasn't playing along.

            “You know that was his ship and not what he was taking,” Gogs said, now his turn to be annoyed.

            “Gogs,” Kelu's tone warning.

            “It had factory ships attached to it,” Gogs said in an attempt to keep the guessing game going.

            “Station?” Kelu said, damning himself for the slip up as Gogs grinned. Kelu usually liked these little back and forths, it allowed him to use his mind, but right now his baser instincts were getting ahead of him, and his finger was itching for his rail pistol.

            “Close, bigger,” Kelu's thoughts of blasting the little annoying bugger away, faded as he looked away in wonder.

            “A shipyard?” He half whispered, that was the only thing bigger than a station that the Syndicate had moved.

            “Nancy,” Gogs confirmed, tapping a command on his console. A three dimensional wire frame of the shipyard unfurled on all of the screens.

            “What's that doing here? I thought it was destroyed, it was missing for so long,” Kelu said, leaning closer to Gog's view screen to get a better look at the ship yard.

            “Nope. Lady Fairgate kept the movement quiet as she changed the ships around so they were seen before they went back out. She only used ships with slave crew, so there was less people to talk about it,” Gogs said, Kelu knew it was better than to ask where Gogs had got that information from.

            “Why all the way out here? There's nothing,” Kelu returned to standing, still looking at the view screen thoughtfully.

            “Exactly,” Gogs said as if Kelu had pointed out his own question's answer. With another tap of controls, a star map appeared. “There's no one here from the old Union, and it just seems to be on the opposite side of there,” Gogs voice took on a dark edge as Kelu felt his fight hormones spike. He pointed to the region of space which had been long ago referred to as simply 'the line'. The worst battles of the Union-Kalu war were fought there.

            “That means…” Kelu was lost in thought and shock.

            “That we're fighting for much more than just a station. We're fighting for somewhere to retreat to,” Gogs said as Kelu sat on the Ershue's bed.

            “Nothing was confirmed,” he said, looking at Gogs who lifted his limbs.

            “Nothing was denied either,”

            “Shit,”

            “Indeed. It also makes sense why it was suggested that we don't use missiles,” Gogs trailed off as Kelu looked at him with silent fury. He turned his face away slightly, knowing it wasn't Gogs fault that he'd been stuck in this mess.

            “Unfortunately... There's nothing saying we shouldn't use missiles against those remote weapon emplacements.” Kelu's face became strained as if his next words were hard to say. “We're going to need to take the station with our mecha troopers.”

            “It's going to take time,”

            Kelu made a throwing away gesture, as if he had already moved past that point.“Very well, but we're on a schedule here. I don't want to have nothing when our reinforcements arrive,” Kelu said, pulling himself up. “I want to know who they are as soon as possible,” he said, caring a little less for that in light of what he'd found out. 
The Kalu might not all be gone. What will they think when they find out you changed your name to be similar to them.

            That thought plagued him as he walked to his cabin to find a stiff drink.

           

***

 

Since James Salchar had returned to Parnmal he'd been a man possessed. Mad Monk hadn't seen his commander this focused even when he and Mecha Tail had been preparing for their return to Mecha Assault Two.

            Mad Monk doubted if the man had slept in the three weeks that he'd been at Parnmal. He'd had everyone training in hand to hand combat. Shrift and Felix had finished creating a mecha factory,
Powered armor factory.
Monk reminded himself, Lady Fairgate had changed the name of the armor for some unknown reason. True Mechas were towering machines, usually with damned massive weaponry. Though there was other things to trouble his mind.

The powered armor, or mecha factories, were pumping out mechas for every creature on Parnmal at an alarming rate. Salchar wanted everyone to not only have a mecha, no matter their department, but to also know how to use them before the Syndicate forces attacked.

The mechas increased a person's strength by magnitudes, allowed them to operate in any environment, had armor and could handle the recoil of the largest portable weapons in the Free Fleet arsenal. They were the workhorses of the Free Fleet, they were as likely to be patrolling as they were to be moving heavy materials or working out on the surface of Parnmal.

The Commandos were the biggest users of the mechas, their proficiency and the deadly capabilities they displayed in that armor were unmatched. Which was one of the reasons that even previous syndicate personnel knew to not mess with a Commando.

            The syndicate personnel were used as a labor force getting Parnmal's interior ready. Salchar had made the station a death trap. Henry and his commanders each gave a plan of how they would take Parnmal, and for each of those Salchar had set up tens of bottlenecks, super-reflective walls which would take hours for plasmid weaponry to get through, blast out panels filled with shrapnel, and the new weapons systems taken from Earth. The gatling gun and fifty calibre variants of weaponry were intermixed with bead and rail repeaters.

            It was those weapons that Felix was talking about right now.

            “With Min Hae's research with the solid projectile weaponry such as the weaponry from Earth as well as the railguns we've been able to create smart rounds,”

A hologram filled the room as Felix kept up the appearance of calm, Monk knowing the gun nut was jumping for joy in his head. He'd seen the 'tests' which had been a spectacular show of Felix looking at the weapons as if they were something from the god's before, grinning his head off and letting a few more hundred rounds fly, all in the name of research of course.

            “The first will have a timed delay, and effectively your rounds become shotgun rounds,” Felix played a clip of a target as a round exploded in slow motion, ripping the target apart.

            “The second is a round that will explode once inside a target,”

Again a video played as ballistics jelly was held in mid-air, exploding across the bay as Felix's voice could be clearly heard.

            “Fuck me, we need to get some cleaner bots,”

Monk looked to Felix who grinned, clearly unrepentant, Salchar raised an eyebrow and Henry was grinning. Min Hae, the last inhabitant of the conference room shook his head, clearly used to these kinds of actions.

            “The third one explodes behind cover,” Felix continued as jelly behind a bulkhead exploded. A slow video showed as the round went through the bulkhead and split apart as it had with the first round.

            “Seems quite effective. How long till you can have reloads for every solid state weapon?” Salchar asked.

            “I could have a hundred thousand rounds in two days’ time,” Felix said without missing a beat.

            “What if I wanted Planetary Rail Cannons priority?” Salcahr asked, leaning forward.

Felix looked at the ceiling as if finding the information there.

BOOK: Free Fleet #03 No Rest for the Wicked
7.46Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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