The Kavakian Empire
A Space Opera by Dawn Ross
Part Two – The Emperor
(The Kavakian Empire is a sci-fi space opera written by Dawn Ross. Each part is a novella sized story and the story is a continuing saga. If you haven’t read Part One – First Encounter, you can read it by going through the archives beginning August 2014, by clicking through to the oldest post under The Kavakian Empire category, or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
A swarm of black-garbed warriors spilled over the canyon wall like an angry nest of fire ants. They repelled downward like greedy spiders descending to their prey, and in numbers far greater than J.T. had expected. The Alliance troops opened fire. The air around the enemy flashed and waved as laser fire fell upon their energy shields, reminding J.T. of a hail storm beating the surface of a lake. Emperor Kavak and his Tredon Dragon warriors had finally come.
J.T. tried to aim at individual soldiers and fire in succession. Three blasts would disable their body energy shields and a fourth would wound or kill them.
“They’re on the ground!” J.T. yelled as several warriors landed on the canyon floor. “Bracht, lay down the ground fire! Mendosa, fire the plat bombs!”
J.T. flinched as a laser blast hit is own body shield. That’s one, he thought to himself as he took aim at one of the dragon warriors that had just landed on the ground. J.T. managed to hit him with two blasts before the warrior ducked behind a boulder. Rather than continue to focus on that one man, who was still a distance away, J.T. took aim at another.
Suddenly the ground ahead erupted in rubble and smoke as the plat bombs exploded. The tremor nearly took J.T. off his feet and he and Lieutenant Hanna Sharkey grabbed one another’s arm to keep their balance. Debris pelted them but they were far enough from the blasts that the bits were small.
The explosives did little to stop the hoard of dragon warriors. If J.T.’s heart raced, he didn’t perceive it. The sounds of battle were loud, but J.T. hardly heard. He fired his weapon automatically, and systematically shot down warrior after warrior. He wasn’t so preoccupied with fighting, though, that he didn’t notice what was going on around him. As commander of the ground force, he gave orders where needed and directed more firepower to any troublesome areas where the enemy threatened them most.
Although J.T.’s superiors had plenty of time to prepare for the attack, the emperor seemed to come out of nowhere. Just this morning, J.T. had been told by Captain Arden that there had been no activity observed along the Tredon border or in the solar system of planet Thendi. There were several Alliance ships patrolling the Tredon border and three ships protecting Thendi. Although this planet was on the outskirts of Alliance territory, it was still some distance from the areas of Tredon control. So how did Emperor Kavak get here unseen? J.T. wondered.
Earlier today, J.T. had been reprimanding one of his ground troops for not paying attention while on duty. The man was no doubt utterly bored from all the days of inactivity. Two cycles of the moon by this planet’s time measurement had passed. That was nearly ninety day cycles by Alliance time conformity. The only incident in all that time was a minor one with a Grapne smuggling ship.
Shortly after checking up on his troops, J.T. got a report from Captain Arden. The captain, reporting from the Odyssey space ship above, announced the arrival of two giant Tredon warships. These warships were apparently no match for the Alliance ships. Alliance ships were faster, but the Tredon ships had a lot more firepower. It wasn’t long before Anacondas left the Tredon warship docks and descended into the planet’s atmosphere. The Anacondas then released their Rattler fighting jets and landed their Dragon ground warriors. Things happened quickly from there. J.T. had barely had his ground force in place when the black-garbed men descended into the Shovai Canyons. Now, J.T.’s troops were being overwhelmed.
A dozen Dragon warriors carrying large metal blast shields rushed forth.
“Aim for their legs!” J.T. shouted to his companions knowing their phasers would not be able to penetrate these physical shields. J.T. thought he had been fighting desperately before, but being able to see these warriors up close spurred him into a more furious determination. The enemy wore black reptilian armor spiked with metal barbs. They were large men, powerfully built. They moved with deadly purpose, no doubt trained for battle since birth and supplemented with plenty of experience.
“There’s too m. . .,” Malroy, one of J.T.’s men began to say. His head snapped back and his body fell like a sack of rocks to the ground. J.T. felt a touch of worry, but he had no time to check to see if Malroy was dead.
Another blast distorted J.T.’s energy shield. That’s two. For the first time since the battle had begun, J.T. realized he was feeling afraid. He aimed at the legs of the coming soldiers with single-minded determination. Some enemy warriors fell. Others slowed, but they weren’t stopping. J.T.’s heart thumped in his ears so loudly that he couldn’t hear the battle cries of the approaching warriors. He saw their mouths move as they charged. Their dark narrow eyes were filled with both hatred and lust. For J.T., everything seemed to slow, but the moments happened too quickly all at the same time.
J.T. was an excellent strategist, but even he couldn’t have prepared for the onslaught that the emperor hade unleashed. This planet had little in the way of technology. So they had no shields in place around the planet and their land-based firepower was technologically inferior. The only military might these Thendians had were ground troops and jet fighters. Unfortunately, the Thendian jets were no match for the Tredon Rattlers. If J.T. hadn’t been so focused on the ground fighting here in the Shovai Canyons, he would have noticed the numerous aerial explosions as the Thendi jets were shot out of the sky.
J.T. discarded his spent phaser and exchanged it for one that was fully charged. Lieutenant Hanna Sharkey did the same shortly after. Her face was full of determination. Her brow furrowed over her striking blue eyes. Her eyes were her only striking features. She wasn’t ugly, though. But nor was she pretty. She was, however, the best fighter among them, and destined for a lead position someday. Her hair was the sandy-colored, the same as J.T.’s. It had been in a tight bun earlier, but now several strands had come loose.
As a cluster of approaching warriors protected by several blast shields got closer, they needed to see where they were going. J.T. aimed for their heads when they peeked over. His hand was cramping from the constant firing of his weapon, but he kept shooting. Two of his blasts took down two warriors. Hanna and the men fighting around him took down three more. Others had already fallen so the two Dragon warriors left ducked behind their blast shields and waited for reinforcements. They didn’t wait long. Several other groups of warriors with shields advanced.
A quick glance down either side of the canyon passed told J.T. that their situation was hopeless. He had hoped to catch the enemy in a pincher on either side of the canyon. But the enemy had bombed both sides so that it was just J.T.s two hundred men or so against what seemed like a thousand Tredon warriors.
“Retreat!” he yelled. Hanna repeated the command back. Her sharp voice carried better. Another man further back repeated the message. J.T. didn’t need to see behind him to know his troops were withdrawing into the recesses of the canyon wall.
A large facility had been built into this canyon. Caves had been there previously so much of the facility was nature-made. The hundreds of scientists working within were likely already being evacuated. The rear of the cave facility had elevators to take them up close to the surface where they could be transported to safety.
J.T. and his troops protected their escape as best they could. But even when all the scientists were evacuated, J.T. still needed to keep the Tredon warriors from taking the dendium laser.
Thanks to an unprecedented amount of movement from the planet lithosphere, Thendi was being plagued by earthquakes and volcanoes. It was hoped that this powerful laser would be able to penetrate into the planet’s mantle and create a chemical reaction that would calm the plate tectonics down. J.T. didn’t understand it all too well, but he did understand the power of the laser well enough to know that it could be turned into a deadly weapon. It was believed that the laser, once fully developed, would be powerful enough to penetrate any energy field with just one shot, whether it was a shield that protected a spaceship or one that protected a planetary city. God forbid the most brutal warrior race in the galaxy got a hold of this thing, J.T. thought.
(This sci-fi novella is protected by copyright) Copyright May, 2015 by Dawn Ross
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