Prelude: Union at war
The alien machine paused for a moment as it appeared on top of a mountain of rubble that once had been a housing complex. The dark gray metal giant moved its eight tons of molecule compacted Ultronit armor with purposeful agility. All four of its weapon arms were raised.
Section leader Ohnic of the seventh Palace Elite keyed a fire resolution into his command giver. Then he adjusted the tele-optics of his helmet to compensate for the wafting smoke and dust that obscured much of the battlefield.
A Ruthiyk missile battery was dug in behind heavily reinforced concrete and the strongest battle shield projectors the Galactic Council forces had available, they now received the firing solution and four missiles hissed at many times the speed of sound across the sky.
The missiles bridged the five Lika distance across the ruins that once were the capital of the Hilibar Empire, but only one reached its target. The battle robot had destroyed three of them with energy beams.
The fourth however hit with a tremendous explosion. Two Grams of antimatter reacted with the matter. Tons of debris were instantly vaporized as sun-like temperatures melted rock, concrete, and steel into a lake of molten magma and the shock wave flattened still standing walls and buildings.
Yet, as the brilliant white glow of the atomic fires subsided, the dust and debris finally settled enough to see; he watched in horror as the alien machine was still there, totally engulfed in a purple shimmering force field, wading through the molten rock unfazed.
One of his assistants was crouching behind the remnants of a shattered temple column. The Section leader said with panic vibrating in his voice. “What are we facing, what is this?”
Ohnic was clenching his fist and responded. “This is a Union Cerberus Robot and it isn’t alone. There must be Union Marines that are nearby as well.”
Whatever the Assistant said was swallowed by an explosion that shook the very ground so violently that both Hilibar fighters were lifted off their feet.
A sun-bright sphere expanded where the missile battery was. Nothing remained of the twenty Hilibar fighters or the missile battery. Everything else was instantly vaporized. This was the result of the latest Translocator bomb technology of the United Stars.
Thousands of supersonic booms in rapid succession from up high, like thunder following lightning. This crescendo hailed the approach of Union Marines as they dropped with supersonic speed from the sky.
The Marines were like a hail storm from hell. Spawned demons without mercy for as they descended, they fired on anything that moved or dared to be alive.
The last Hilibar resistance melted away like snow in a smelter furnace.
They watched helplessly as Union Marines and Cerberus robots swarmed over everything, brutally, relentlessly killing and destroying anything in their path. No fighter, no civilian, no priest, not even egg-carrying females were spared.
There was no place they could retreat, regroup or rearm. This was the last bastion, the last planet of the Hilibar.
Once they had been a mighty and proud member of the Galactic Council, serving the Kermac freely and without being forced into service by Kermac Psionics or other means.
For almost 2000 years they had believed the Kermac propaganda and dismissed the rumors of Union supremacy.
Their ruler, the supreme leader of the Hilibar had rejected the Union Offer of surrender not so long ago. He and the nine who gave the law no longer existed. The palace and even the bunkers below had been hit by the first orbital barrage before the Marine assault.
“Section Leader we must leave!”
“No my fellow Hilibar warrior, there is no place left.” The Section Leader raised his Command Giver and activated it to send on all channels. “Those who still hear me, surrender. You have fought well. The Hilibar...”
He could not complete his transmission as a swarm of transmission homing micro-missiles shredded his body and a Union Marine jumping over the collapsed wall, bringing down his chain sword cutting the Section commanders aide in half.
Almost 750 light years from the Hilibar homeworld, the USS Hammerfaust dropped out of Quasi-Space into the Agerath System, the stronghold of the Itkkme. Like the Hilibar, the Itkkme were a member civilization of the Galactic Council and one of the most industrious providers of war materials and ships to the Kermac. They weren’t fighters like the Hilibar; they were workers and engineers who took great pride in their work ethic and the quality of their products. Their production lines churned out the finest T Bar cruisers and Yiee Battleships used by the other Galactic Council members to expand the Kermac influence and supremacy across the Universe.
The Kermac had promised the Hilibar protection, vowing that no Union Warship would ever come this far.
But the Hilibar fleets protecting them had disappeared weeks ago. The Unifrim, who were insectoids sent by the Kermac to take their place had simply fled.
What defenses remained were crewed by hastily trained Itkkme. These troops were pulverized in mere moments by relentless Translocator Cannon fire poured out by sixteen Union Battle Ships. The Battleships swooped in at tremendous speeds and behind seemingly impenetrable Para Dim Shields across the planet orbits of this star system.
The orbital shipyards were once the pride of Itkkme technology and now reduced to glowing scrap. The remaining pieces caused a terribly beautiful meteor shower of debris in the skies of the Itkkme homeworld.
The USS Hammerfaust was a planet bomber; one of the Unions most controversial weapon systems.
Captain Stella Summers, stood before her command chair. Her black uniform immaculate as she watched the planet centered on the main screen getting bigger.
“Mr. T’Thakk inform command that we are here and have them confirm the termination order.”
The ant-like Klack at the Communication station confirmed the order and opened a channel to Central Command. “This is the USS Hammerfaust, approaching mission target. Requesting confirmation of the termination order.”
“This is Central Command; verification codes are confirmed. All occupied planets and moons of the system are confirmed targets, commence termination. Crustbusters and P-Bombs authorized.”
“Captain, Command is giving us the green light. Admiral Stahl’s commence code has been verified.”
“Open bomb drawers one to five”, Came the next command from Captain Summers.
The weapon system officer of the planet bomber touched the necessary controls on his station.
On each side of the almost boxy hull of huge drawers were pushed out, almost like the drawers of an ancient filing cabinet. Two on each side and each of the racks held two thousand warheads; forty-ton self-propelled crust buster bombs. Each of these Deep Penetrators held enough energy to pulverize a small moon.
At the belly of the ship, drop shafts opened and a conveyor system moved the first P-Bombs into position.
Captain Summers was well aware of the gravity of her next order. She had given this order seven times in the last six months of this war.
She still had a dry throat and nodded. “Helm steady as she goes; Mr. Blueroom, commence drop.”
The Takkian at the ships helm corrected the ships course slightly to remain on the best attack vector. The Quadi-Ped Lieutenant named Blueroom began by opening the protective cover of the rack release. Blueroom passed one of his hands with an elegant motion across the cluster lights before him. This action turned the clustered instruments from green to red.
Mechanical claws opened and fusion pulse motors ignited, each propelling the bombs to 80 percent of light speed.
“Helm, turn her to Helio center and increase speed to 20 percent light.” Summers commanded.
The silicone being that looked very much like a petrified walking pine cone at the helm station confirmed the order and the huge ship majestically turned its bow towards the systems GIII type star.
The blue and green world spun below was the birth planet of a space traveling civilization. It now wandered off the main screen to be suddenly lit up with thousands of little bright lights sprouting on its surface. The P-Bombs had ignited nuclear fires all over the beautiful world.
Billions of tons of ocean water turned to superheated steam in seconds obscured the continents and the surface in a matter of moments. Then the Penetrators reached the liquid core after tunneling through miles of planetary crust. In an almost surreal image, the continental plates were outlined in bright white. It was then as if creation itself paused to sigh; the entire planet seemed to contract ever so slightly, only to expand a few moments later and the entire planet exploded in a cloud of elemental fire.
A spherical cloud of fire and burning matter replaced what once was a cradle of life.
True, the USS Hammerfaust had a crew of over 500 beings from all over the Union, but everyone knew this was the kind of war only Terrans fought, utterly brutal, relentless and total.
The USS Hammerfaust obliterated two more planets in the system known to hold Itkkme industry, mines and settlements, before accelerating to threshold speed and disappearing into Quasi Space.
Seventy Itkkme miners on the systems smallest planet were the only survivors. They stared in absolute horror into the night sky as 5 hours later the light of the destruction of their home world reached their little outpost.