Invasion By Betrayal
By Ron Lugge
Invasion By Betrayal Index
Part ThirteenEven as the first leviathan twisted and burned, and eventually died, a second battle was going on. It wasn't a battle against the Harvesters, but against a far more implacable enemy, an enemy whom all doctors are sworn to fight. Death came for many, but the doctors held it at bay. Medical frigates, consisting of engines, shields, armor, and medical bays swooped through the wreckage, using specially designed tractor beams in an effort to grab any still-living survivors. At first, they were looking for any survivor, human or harvester, as the modern Doctor's Oath requires of them. However, the Harvesters had had other ideas. Now, they were searching only for humans.
"Twelve CCs benocyadzine!" An anxious voice called out. The patient was so tired he couldn't open his eyes. He wondered what they were talking about.
"Here doctor." Another voice replied.
"Damn it all, we're losing him!" A third voice butted in. "We need to close him up before he bleeds to death! We're running short on blood-sub!"
"I know that, I know that! But if I don't get this flak fragment out of his body before it hits his heart, it'll kill him!" Flak guns were antipersonnel weapons that through out a cloud of razor sharp fragments, designed specifically to cut into and through a body. But the harvester version was very nasty, using a light polymer based alloy that didn't cut through the body, just cut into it and then floated in the bloodstream, following the blood flow and shredding the person from the inside. A very painful death to experience.
"Those edges have already cut him up but good, you have to close him up. He's hopeless!" A fourth voice interjected.
"NO! 'When death comes' sir!"
The reply was in a cold voice. "Yielding to save another." It was a cold voice that said that, emotionless not because it was uncaring, but because its owner couldn't afford to care, yet.
The first voice paused, and a soft sob issued from the general area it came from. A sad voice then said, "All right, computer! Death certificate, auto-fill out, cause of death: massive internal injuries from harvester flack gun. Bring in the next patient. Send the doctor to reclamation, have them see if they can pull some of the blood-sup out or recycle some of the organs we're running out of replacements for from his body."
I'm dead the former doctor thought. Oh well, wasn't that great a life anyway. Just hope they get those thrice damned harv- He never finished the thought.
The doctors moved onto the next patient.
Meanwhile the two remaining leviathans begin to reconsider. They com'd each other again and again, each captain trying to decide who was in command now that the Admiral was dead. Each had watched as the humans had made, and then exploited, a gap in the command ship's shields. They knew they had to act, but how? Then, the humans began to come for the second leviathan. Its captain, Desprez, became even more desperate, and agreed to accept Cyzada's command. Cyzada then ordered Desprez to hold course and acceleration, while he fell back and to the side in an effort to bring maximum firepower to bear on the volume in which the humans were attacking. In theory, he could then fill that volume with so much firepower that the humans would be vastly weakened, and lost many ship. Desprez agreed, so desperate that he didn't even realize the potential for a trick.
The third leviathan turned on its heels, bringing its nose up, and up, and up, until it was accelerating straight back to the starlane. The human's let it retreat, as JP-16-1 felt that the still advancing leviathan was the greater threat. This time they englobed the leviathan, firing weapons at extreme angles. By sheer luck, one of the ships found the right combination, and blasted through the shields. Unfortunately, they didn't hit a shield emitter, or any other component designed to feed back into the power grid in case of overload. As the details began to flood in, soon a bright young ensign put two and two together, and realized that not only did you have to fire at an extreme angle to the shields; you also had to fire a certain combination of weapons. She passed this on to her counterpart on the command ship, a fraction of a second before her ship was destroyed, with all hands lost.
The third leviathan was already a large distance away, and unless it started its flip soon would be unable to help the other. Desprez com'd Cyzada, demanding to know what was going on. Cyzada said that he had come to the conclusion that Desprez's command was beyond aid, and that they only way any of the ships could survive was for him to take his leviathan out of the action. Infuriated by this reply, Desprez started his own flipping maneuver, and ordered his crew to target Cyzada's engines and fire, immediately. If he was going to die, so was Cyzada! The Need which had propelled them to make war against all other species was barely contained within their own, and Cyzada's behavior had broken the bounds that normally held it in place. The Need to rend and destroy took over Desprez and his crew's minds completely, and they howled in blood rage. Many, many more gave themselves over to the power chambers to aid in the destruction of the one who had betrayed them. The weapons fire flickered between the two craft, but Cyzada's command had to large a speed advantage, and soon pulled out of range, but not before it suffered partial drive damage that cut it to half acceleration.
The humans know knew both parts of how to penetrate the Leviathan's shields, and began shredding the armor plating of the second leviathan. However, they still hadn't managed to bring down a shield facing, let alone bring one down in such a manner as to disable such a large section of it. However, they were wearing away at the armor, and hopefully would soon bring down a shield. Then, luck struck again. Rather than hitting a shield, a lucky phasor-blast managed to strike one of the engine outlets. Normally the power feedback wouldn't have been noticeable, but this time wasn't normal. The engines had been running at extra capacity as the ship tried to stop and reverse course, and they were being forced to vent overheated drive-plasma as they did so. The phasor blast managed to send a power surge just strong enough to drop the magnetic containment bottle on the plasma, at the same time as a second phasor blast, which had missed the hull completely, ignited the drive-plasma. The explosion was so great it disabled the leviathan's engines and sent a feedback surge into the power cores, disabling them permanently. The leviathan lost all shields, all power, all weapons, and floated dead in space as a few last blasts ate at the now unprotected hull. Devoid of the structural integrity fields that normally reinforced it, the armor buckled in many places. Soon, there would be an accounting. But for now, JP-16-1 ordered all ships to go to maximum engines and intercept the third leviathan.
Soon they were worrying away at the third leviathan, which had just left the planet's missile range. The third leviathan was heading straight for the medical ships, and the medical ships were refusing to give way. They intended to remain were they were until the very last minute in an effort to save as many as possible. All aboard the fleet watched in dread, expecting their fire to be ineffective at the beginning, leaving the medical ships in the path of the leviathan, a massacre waiting to happen. Then blind luck managed to give them yet another break, and they hit a series of shield emitters in a matter of seconds, and brought down the systems on over half of the hull. They used tractor-shifted force beams to pull away the armor, and then stood off while capitol ships poured missile fire into the brand new hole. With so much of hull integrity fields down, the armor held only long enough for the missile borne hell-fire to destroy the interior, and then split all along the edges, sending fragments out like deadly shards of glass. Luckily, the beam ships had already backed off to a safe distance and weren't affected. Only one of the medical ships was hit by the debris, and that was a glancing blow that did no real damage.
For a moment, all was quite on board all of the ships. Then, inside the sickbay of the Enterprise, a patient groaned and sat up. He immediately snapped out a question, "What the hell happened to me? How's the battle going?" As though that was a trigger, despite the fact that he wasn't on the com, every single ship in the fleet broke out into cheering.
Concept art, screen shots, game graphics, information and other assets are provided courtesy of the games' respective developers. No company has reviewed or approved any content on this site except where noted.