Fortune Among The Stars (Trial Chapter 19 and 20)

(Hw Lover) #1

A novel written by Simuxiao
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(Hw Lover) #2

Chapter 19 Hiigara Defense Battle

From some later information, Kong Xiu’s judgment is basically accurate.

The Taiidani launched their fourth onslaught of the battle on the entire front line of 0.4 light year since 15th (Hiigara Time). Our front line headquarters realized that this would be the enemy’s last crazy act. This kind of cost-free full-line advancement can only have one purpose - to cover the assault troops for key breakthroughs. However, the enemy’s attacks were all over the line, there was no focus, and the pressures were similar everywhere. Our army could not predict where were the breakthrough point they’ve chose, so the 13th column of the Ninth Fleet, the last battle reserve team which had not been put into combat, remained stationary. After an endless stream of attacks that lasted for 10 days, the enemy assault troops began to act. The commander-in-chief has seen through the enemy’s conspiracy - this is also a cover force! 13th column moved to the other side of the vertical line, and it actually encountered another assault force. After the intelligence department’s check, one true and one fake assault troops plus the enemy on the frontal battlefield, the number of ships is exactly the same as our military’s intelligence. The front-line commander-in-chief decided to launch a full-line counterattack to end this self-defense war once and for all!

It was until all the ships responsible for the second and third lines of defense were thrown into the first-line counter-offensive, that the real assault squad of the Taiidani was dispatched!

This can’t be blamed for the intelligence department checking wrong the number of enemies. According to the information collected from the Taiidan Republic afterwards, the reason why the Imperial parties is more than we expected is because a royalist force temporarily secretly joined in the middle of the campaign. However, the command mistakes of the commanding department should still take the blame. They were too eager to end the battle and immediately removed the defense force in depth, giving the enemy a chance.

Fortunately, the first-line position quickly filled the gap after broken by the enemy’s assault troops, did not cause the whole line to collapse. However, the anxious state of the frontal battles prevented the commanding department from dividing its forces to pursue the enemy’s assault forces that had penetrated the territory. But we have another good fortune, the enemy’s assault forces broke through the defense line of the Second Fleet, the Soban Fleet. Although the Sobani did not completely block them, they consumed three-quarters of their power. The remaining quarter also carries varying degrees of damage. Otherwise the subsequent Hiigara defense battle might have another result.

This enemy assault column, neither big nor small, did not encounter any defensive power through 5 light years of space. It took only five days to reach the edge of the Hiigara solar system. When Hiigara’s detection network discovered the enemy close at hand, the global mobilization was carried out. The ships of Naabel 32nd column and Manaan 84th column overhauling in the mothership were rushing to take off. A reserve interceptor team from Kaalel also joined in and formed a temporary mixed column.

The defensive system of the Angel Moon was razed by the Imperial parties in the self-defense war in 11 AHL, and has not been established since then due to the differences in the defensive strategy of the Daiamid Military Commission, so there is no other defence position in Hiigara system. Therefore, knowing that they won’t match, the mixed column still decided to meet up and attack rather than stay and defend.

Our mixed column planned to defend rely on the asteroid belt, but the Taiidani crossed the belt first, making the plan to go bankrupt. Finally, they caught fire near Argash. In any case, the enemy has a certain advantage: in terms of quantity, the enemy has a heavy cruiser, a destroyer, a missile destroyer, two carriers and five ion cannon frigates, as well as interceptors, attack bombers and defenders, one squadron each. While our mixed column has only three destroyers, one carrier and 12 ion cannon frigates, as well as a squadron of interceptors, four multi-gun corvettes and two heavy corvettes. Many of the pilots are only reserve, Kaalel’s reserve; in quality, although the enemy ship was injured in the strike, but they were still much better than those of us who were going to be overhauled. So even though soldiers of the three Kiithid struggled to resist, the enemy’s powerful offensive pushed the battlefield to Hiigara step by step.

The tragic level of the battle at that time could be felt from the memoirs of the retired military officer, Little Sun Manaan:

"The army has been transferred to the front line. All ships at Hiigara are preparing for overhaul. However, the sudden arrival of the Taiidani has forced us to launch these vessels that are difficult to fly. Seeing the image sent back by probes, we found that the Taiidani were no better than us. Obviously they also suffered a lot of damage when they made deep breakthroughs. And after all, they were only raiding troops, deep into our defense line, they could not bring a lot of ships - though still much more than we can organize…

"…Two Taiidan interceptors suddenly flew out of the asteroids and rushed to the Naabal ion cannon frigate Veer-Jane, which was preparing to exit the battlefield. Veer-Jane had most breakdowns among our ships, but in order to increase even one point of strength, she fought at risks. In the long-distance battle between the two sides, she was wounded again, almost uncontrollable, and the ship was clearly off the battle plane. The rotte of Taiidan interceptors carried out a dive, then broke off the attack route; followed by a three-craft formation, launched a second attack on Veer-Jane. Serious damage finally turned her into a fireball. But the three-craft formation of the Taiidan interceptor did not get any good. They didn’t pull out the attack route in time, rushed into our formation and were instantly bombarded with intensive anti-aircraft artillery.

"The long-range ion cannon match came to an end, and the battle is at the stage of formation charge. The formation of our frontage is composed of three Manaan destroyers on bottom, three Naabal ion cannon frigates (the Veer-Jane has been smashed, so the number actual fighting is two) on top, the Naabal’s carrier Veer-Rek sitting in the middle rear, four multi-gun corvettes and more than a dozen interceptors from Naabal, Manaan and Kaalel playing guerrillas.

"Almost at the same time as the three Taiidan interceptors exploded, five Manaan interceptors and two Kaalel heavy corvettes rushed out of our formation and headed straight for the enemy ships. Unfortunately, their routes were so uncovered that one of the interceptors was destroyed by three Taiidan interceptors dived from above.

"The remaining four still adhered to the established route, but when they found a Taiidan missile destroyer in front of them, they adjusted their course in time, made a “pendulum” and rounded under its belly. However, when they corrected their course and were ready to re-enter the attack route, they unfortunately hit the muzzle of an ion cannon frigate, one of them were smashed by a hot ion beam. At this time, two heavy corvettes behind the interceptor formation made great contributions. Four turrets volleyed, sinking the seriously injured Taiidan ion cannon frigate. Meanwhile, the remaining three Manaan interceptors left a fragmented wreckage as they blocked by layers of artillery fire when flew over the Taiidan carrier.

"Five interceptors and two attack bombers flew out of the bay of Taiidan carrier in three waves. Four Taiidan interceptors immediately launched a ‘U turn attack’ on Manaan destroyer Bushan-Liiray, which was in a fierce battle with the Taiidan missile destroyer that had rushed in front of her. Two turrets trembled while two ion beams roared out. The Taiidan missile destroyer was unwilling to show weakness, hit the Bushan-Liiray’s armour with missiles one after another. After all, Bushan-Liiray had been injured for a long time, and soon exploded under frontal and rear attacks of the enemy.

"… The ion beam from Naabal ion cannon frigate Veer-Gaan, pierced a Taiidan ion cannon frigate. Five Kaalel interceptors passed through the exploded fireball and scattered a bunch of bullets to the Taiidan Missile Destroyer underneath, creating another flower of death…

"… Everyone was red-eyed. After all, Hiigara was behind us, there was no turning back. This compensated for the disadvantage of our equipment to a certain extent. But the enemy’s strength can not be defeated by subjective initiative. They have advantages in the confrontation of all sectors in the battlefield. Especially in the left-wing battlefield, the 25th column, composed of six Naabal ion cannon frigates, has encountered a strong attack from the enemy aircraft cluster, and the situation is critical. We will not stand long, we have to wait for reinforcements. However, the response from the front line has been delayed, and I am afraid the front line is too tense to draw back its strength.

“We have no time to waste, it’s good to get the slightest amount of assistance, even from civilian vessels.” Lieutenant General Veer-Rek, commander-in-chief of the temporary mixed fleet, decided. Carrier Veer-Rek then sent out a global omnidirectional distress signal, asking for help to all Hiigaran vessels that could receive the signal. But no one expected how far a signal of such weak power could travel through the enemy’s interference network, nor expected any civilian ship to take their lives as a joke. Compared with counting on unarmed passenger and merchant ships, it has more certainty praying that the main forces in the front line will come back.

"Praying has worked. It wasn’t long before the rescue arrived. It’s not the frontline troops, nor the passenger and merchant ships piloted by reservists. It’s a force that can’t even be counted as reserve service. It’s a force that is unexpected to everyone, a force that has entered people’s vision since that day, and a force that has created history of the next three years.

It’s the 21st hour of the battle, and the fires burned to the edge of the Hiigara system. Hiigaran was in an unprecedented crisis.

It was at this time, that we arrived.

(Hw Lover) #3

Chapter 20 Unexpected Assistance

We jumped out at Sector 312-12. After recovering from the jumping shock, we began to deploy the fleet, the Fire Tong group and Recon squadrons were in first-class combat readiness at the launch bay inside Kuun-lan.

Kong Xiu “standed” [1] upright by the command table at the bridge, directing the deployment of the battle plan just formulated, with a posture of Chief of Staff and tactical intelligence officer. At that moment, my heart was cold to the bottom. I suddenly found myself so far away from her…

It was when Kong Xiu called “Commander” for the second time, that I realized she was calling me. Years of dreams of returning to combat had come true (albeit temporarily), making she devoted herself to the role.

“Commander, I think we should contact Veer-Rek as soon as possible in order to establish a data link to coordinate battlefield deployment.” Kong Xiu said.

This suggestion of her felt more like an order to me, made me uncomfortable, but I still followed it: “Attention carrier Veer-Rek, this is Kiith Somtaaw mining vessel, Kuun-lan. We have received your distress call for reinforcement. We’ve arrived sector 312-12 and request targeting data.” Although the image is unstable due to enemy interference, I can clearly see the face of Captain Veer-Rek. (The Naabals used to name their ships by their captain’s names, so sometimes changing of Captain candidates can make a ship be renamed several times. Under their influence, many Kiithid adopted this naming habit.) It was a slightly thin middle-aged man with a beautiful beard under his nose and a lieutenant general’s sign on his shoulders. He looked surprised. “Good to have you, Kuun-lan!” Discourse reveals unforeseen surprises. No wonder he’s surprised, the distress signal was sent in the name of Naabal, and the ship responded is from Somtaaw. Every Hiigaran would be surprised.

“We will send everything we’ve got.” I said, “But be advised we’re a mining vessel. It would be best if we do not have to move directly into the main battle.”

But he didn’t seem to think much about it. As soon as we set up a data link with them and got the battlefield coordinates from them, he gave us the mission: rescue the ion cannon frigates on the flanking battlefield.

If I had realised the spiritual shock brought by the appearance of Kuun-lan to every one on the battlefield at that time, I might have understood his impatience. In fact, the reality of this shock is very funny: the huge quantum fluctuations generated by the jump-out of the super-large hull of Kuun-lan made both sides think that a large fleet had arrived. This was particularly damaging to the morale of the Taiidani, who were deeply alone. Lieutenant General Veer-Rek wanted to use this kind of shock to turn the battlefield around.

On the flanking battlefield, Naabal had a column with six ion cannon frigates, and their enemies were a carrier and her 11 attack bombers and three interceptors. Ion cannon frigates are fortification killers, but their air defense power is almost zero. If they are entangled by fighters, there is only one dead end. Now the Taiidani are using exactly the “fly swarm” tactics, the carrier sitting far behind, using attack bombers known as “capital ships’ enemies” to fight an easy battle which has only benefits. The Naabals suffered a great loss because of military restraint. Two ion cannon frigates were in flames and wanted to withdraw from the battle, but they were entangled by Taiidan aircrafts. The Taiidani were determined to annihilate all of them.

“If the frontal battlefield is supported by these ion cannon frigates, the situation will be greatly improved. So we have to get rid of those Taiidan aircrafts.” Kong Xiu said at the battle plan meeting.

“Can we handle that heavy cruiser?” I asked.

“I think it should be all right. Images sent back from the front showed that the heavy cruiser was the most injured among the enemy ships, and only one out of four ion cannons seemed to be able to fire. - But that doesn’t seem to be the question we should consider now.” Kong Xiu gave me a sidelong look for the stupid question. I know I’m a little silly, but what can I do about it? I’m a complete miner. I’m always in awe of those monoliths with huge cannons. Kong Xiu returned to the main topic: “I think we can use standard carrier tactics. The mission to support the flanking battlefield will be carried out by Fire Tongs, and Kuun-lan stays here as a backup force. The advantage of this is that Kuun-lan doesn’t need to be in danger, and the enemy will not be able to know our details.”

“But then there will be no protection for Kuun-lan. In case the enemy comes…” Some people said.

“The enemy will not have that extra force.” Kong Xiu asserted, “Even if they have, it will only be sporadic fighters, which will not be more difficult to deal with than ‘reef rats’. Kuun-lan’s defense guns will be enough.” The so-called “reef rat” refers to Turanic Raider’s bandit-class fighter. They often hide in the asteroid belt, sneaking around and wait for the opportunity to attack. That’s why we gave it this nickname.

In terms of combat, I’m afraid we miners don’t have much words to plug in. So we just followed what Kong Xiu had said. A more detailed plan was worked out under her auspices, and Fire Tongs began to make final preparations for action. Since this will be the first time that they deal with the Taiidan regular army, they will only use the acolyte-class that have dealt with pirates several times, instead of linking them to ACVs, in order to ensure their combat effectiveness.

At this moment, five Taiidan interceptors flew over to Kuun-lan, for reconnaissance likely.

Everyone looked at Kong Xiu and waited for her instructions. Yet Kong Xiu looked at me as if she’s waiting for my instructions, but her “commands” to me were clearly written in her eyes. In a complicated mood, I commanded as a “commander”: “Fire Tongs should not be disturbed, continue to prepare for departure. Attention, defense gun positions, when enemy aircrafts enter the effective range, fire at will.”

Kong Xiu showed her admiring through her eyes, but I did not appreciate it. I just felt that I was nothing but a puppet. I began to laugh at myself: I was a miner, a bumpkin all the time.

As Kong Xiu predicted, the Taiidani were no better than Turani Raiders, and they soon vanished under the crossfire of six electromagnetic kinetic guns. No wonder we are real bumpkins, the victory of this “battle” has made almost all of us breathe a sigh of relief. It turned out that the Taiidani were just the same, “fighters” have no more arms than “miners”. The tension and insecurity that has been hanging over everyone since the decision to rush in to reinforce began to loosen a little.

Kong Xiu smiled tolerantly.

After two hours of preparation, the Fire Tongs finally began to take action. Eighteen crafts (the other two are backups) ejected from the docking bay one after another, sped off to the flanking battlefield.

Eighteen engine trails soon disappeared within the scope of vision.

Attack bombers is a kind of strike craft that capable of undertaking the task alone, a total nightmare for large ships lacking maneuverability and escort fleet. The extraordinary impact of the plasma bomb makes it more competent than light and heavy corvettes for the title of “ion cannon frigate terminator”. It makes it possible for a carrier to defeat an entire colomn of ion cannon frigates alone. - But the volume occupied to install the plasma bomb launcher sacrifices its maneuverability, making it a real slow target in front of other fighter-class aircrafts; 18 Acolytes of the Fire Tong proved this by actual combat examples after one and a half hours of full speed navigation.

If I knew that behind me there was a large army of enemies looking at me, who were using weapons I had never seen before, I think it would be impossible for me to remain calm. It seems that the arrogant Taiidani were no better than me. When the Acolytes came out from the void, the Taiidan bombers’ formation was in disorder. They’ve never seen these Acolytes before, despite the ugly appearance and blunt curves which made them have no momentum of power, every characteristic else that a real main fighter should have can be found: dexterous maneuverability and lethally kinetic artillery to strike the armor of a fighter-class aircraft . The Kaark-class attack bomber, which had just opened its teeth and claws against the Naabals, immediately became a prey with little resistant under the Fire Tongs. In just 32 minutes, the ion cannon frigates were saved, and our mothership reserve pilots won this late air battle with no casualties!

“Bang! Now who the ■■■■ dares call your daddy ‘egg’!”, Vice-captain Fumen Shenglu shouted in the radio. Several other mothership reserve pilots echoed in succession.

“Of course you are eagles.” Kong Xiu said to them in the bridge.

“Tak-rada [2] --!” The pilots cheered in chorus.

At that moment, I was a little jealous of Kong, but also a little admire her. When can I be such a competent commander that makes my subordinates cheer so much? Maybe hopeless in this life, I thought at that time.

That Taiidan carrier is now isolated, and the ion cannon frigates pounce fiercely at it, as if to vent their anger of being bullied just now. A carrier without its aircrafts is like a tiger without its claws. It can no longer pose a threat. When those Naabal ion cannon frigates solve that carrier, they will join the main battlefield, and then the power balance there will develop in our favor. The Fire Tongs, however, had no time to blame the Naabals for their rudeness in not even saying thanks, because there was a new task waiting for them to complete.

[1] Because the astronauts were floating in the spacecraft in a gravity-free state, Marshal Simu put quotation marks on the word “standed”. Maybe at that time, General Kong Xiu held the railing of the command table in a vertical position, just like standing on the ground.

[2] A congratulatory speech on the sacrificial ceremony of the ancient Somtaaw, has evolved into a slogan of celebration among Somtaaw people after the Time of Reason, which has the meaning of “bright” and “glorious”.

Fortune Among The Stars (Proofreader needed!)