Searching for power [320 AG]

Corinthia wasn’t in the best situation. They ware stuck in two systems and only connected to two more on each side. They couldn’t expand into gaia, as they couldn’t defeat Orion. But what about the other side? All they knew is that it was held by a state called Sera. How powerful could they be? They’d have to find out.

Five ships enter Irredon. Their mission is simple: probe Sera. See how strong they are. And if they’re weak, they’d have their avenue of expansion.


The Serasi were on high alert after their Three Month Skirmish with them a few years back. The system of Irredan was already contentious due to the human refugees that had come to the habitats around the system. Due to this, there was presence from both the Ministry of Destruction’s 10th Fleet and the Department of Defense’s 5th Squadron, totaling around 15 ships in the system. The 10 ships of the Squadron were smaller, and therefore less well armed than the military ships but they were more maneuverable.

The MoD’s ships, however, were the first to notice the entrance into the system. Without warning, they started pursuing the five ships that had started entering their territory.


After two hours tracking concluded that commodore Silas Tassakis himself in a heavily unfavorable situation, outnumbered 3 to 1. He had more than enough time to retreat and any sane commander would do so, but he feared high command. He had orders to fight.

"Send a lanerunner to Olympus. Tell them that we’re outnumbered 3 to one and ask for either backup or permission to retreat. Untill we get a anwser position us defensively around the nearest asteroid and deploy mines and sleeper torpedos. You have clearance to use nuclear weapons.

A small craft, no longer than 4 meters, is detached from the command ship and ignites it’s engine, burning like hellfire towards the hyperlane. Lanerunners ware by far the fastest way to send messages. Small and capable of very high g acceleration they could cross trough a lane faster than any ship, and then broadcast the message at light speed to be picked up by the closest receiver in the system. Their only drawback was a relatively low fuel capacity, meaning that on longer distances they’d be slow. But with the strike group only a hour from the hyperlane that wasn’t a issue.


The Admiral of the 10th sighed. They outnumbered the enemy, but working with the Department of Defense was always annoying. The enemy was huddled around an asteroid.

The 5 capital ships of the fleet- One cruiser, two destroyers and two frigates- sat in an arrow formation for a second. Simply rushing the enemy would prove catastrophic, but just releasing aircraft and corvettes would be as well; they would likely get destroyed without large firepower backing them up.

He eventually simply ordered guided missiles to lock onto the targets and be fired repeatedly around the asteroid. There were only 10 launchers between the ships, but they should at least buy them some time to prepare for an assault without giving the enemy time to rest.


The Corinthian ships held the missiles at bay with their point defense and using the asteroid as a shield.

“What kind of honorless tactics are these? Comodore, should we fire back?”

“Negative, we would just be waisting missiles. We will hold like this untill we receive a lanerunner back”

And the lanerunner came. It carried a simple order:

“Hold. Two more ships comming in 4 hours. Do some damage, then retreat”


He selects one certain ship on the map

"Let’s give them something to play with. Fire torpedos at this ship, concentrate fire from the whole fleet. Don’t go nuclear yet, just flechette and plasma

And 10 torpedos are launched, targeting one single ship


The ship was a destroyer. Its point defense kicked in quickly, along with last minute maneuvers preventing that much damage from being sustained.

The Admiral of the 10th sighed. “Looks like we can’t mess around here. We’re going to need to flush them out eventually.”

As if on command, he finally got communications from the Department of Defense’s “squadron.”


Well, that wasn’t very informative.

He formulated a plan, a rather simple one; engage them, and when the “squadron” came, have them reinforce from behind the front lines. The ships would be trapped by the weight of two forces.

“Intensify fire. Release aircraft and corvettes. Once the screening is out, we’re pushing past this damn rock.”


Comodore Silas was looking at the situation. If they wanted anything done they’d need to do it fast, before the 10 reinforcing ships entered combat range. His fleet was outmatched even by the 5 Serasi ships. His flagship was the cruiser GRF Oedipus, and the rest of the squadron was made up of the destroyer GRF Xerxes, the frigates GRF Creon and GRF Haimon and the Corvette GRF Silk. Only the Oedipus and Xerxes ware up to modern standards, the rest ware older ships. Silas had to think.

“Deploy our Alarian swarmers to hold the fighters back. Continue torpedo fire and aquire coilgun lock in case they get close enough. Place nuclear sleeper torpedos on the asteroid. I want them to go after the ships when we pull back from the asteroid and their ships get into close range. Keep them in the asteroid’s radar shadow, we want them to be a surprise. Hold them at range untill this is completed. It will still take hours for our reinforcements to arrive. We need to hold.”


The Serasi ships did not give them a break. They had powerful long range and short range capability, and with the screening they were extremely powerful. The Serasi ships moved almost erratically, with bursts of speed, targeting two ships at a time, seemingly randomly yet with near perfect coordination between them. They would move in between them, then move out, then stay at far range, then without warning burst in again. The cycle repeated chaotically, with small variations in their movements not letting the Corinthians discern any meaningful pattern in their movements. It was clear the Serasi, tactically, were no inexperienced slouches.

At great speeds, the 10 smaller ships of the DoD’s Squadron started to arrive.

And then, the sleeper nukes activated.

The blast outright destroyed 3 of the 10 ships, but the rest luckily sustained little damage. The MoD’s ships were less affected, a only frigate and some screening sustaining major damage and just the former barely avoiding knocking into a Conrithian ship.

“Damn it! Status!” the Fleet Admiral shouted.

He was relayed the information.

“This could have been much worse. Regain organization and set up an active line with the Squadron Leader, if that moron is still alive. That explosion mitigated the effects of fresh reinforcements, but we still outnumber them in both quality and quantity.”

“Is it time to go nuclear, sir?” one of his fellow officers asked.

“Not yet. If we’re using nukes in return we need to ensure our fellow Serasi are not in the blast range, which means we need to make 100% sure that we can contact the DoD’s squadron.”

The screening started working over time as the fleet had to regain its structure- and the Squadron’s Cruiser-carrier released its own screening which integrated into the battle.


The small Corinthian fleet thanks to good command was punching far above it’s weight class, but that couldn’t last. Their ships ware getting damaged and their missile stocks low. But thankfully their savior finally came

Trough the hyperlane came two ships. Seeing what his reinforcements ware Silas looked in shock. 2 Corinthia-class battleship, the GRF Athena, known for her EWAR capabilities, and the GRF Ares, which had advanced missiles and a large fighter squadron. They ware not going to let him die after all.

As soon as they entered combat range the Athena activated it’s jammers, blocking the Serasi radars. The Ares opened by deploying fighters and launching a missile barrage, taking advantage of the jamming to make them hard to shoot down. The. Battle had just escalated.

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If there was one thing the Serasi loved, it was redundancy. Redundancy and redundancy and redundancy. The Radars may have been down, but other target-acquisition systems largely held. The point defense activated and crews worked overtime to limit the effectiveness of the assault. Thick armor held on the MoD’s ships, while the 7 remaining ships from the DoD, even the “Cruiser-carrier” found themselves weaving and dodging like oversized fighters, sometimes nearly directing Conrithian missiles back at their own ships.

The Admiral of the 10th Still didn’t like the odds with the reinforcements to the enemy. Would Sera win? Probably. Probably wasn’t good enough. The odds should be 100-0 in Sera’s favor. Even 99-1 was unacceptable.

The Admiral of the 10th made a decision.

“What is the closest Fleet to us?” He asked one of his subordinates. “Sir. That would be the… Second Fleet in Mara. The Fleet of the Spear of Heaven, Amrisa. 15 ships, including the Spear itself and two battleships.”

“Prepare emergency FTL communications. Tell the central System Government on station Nalha to send for the Second.”

“Sir… Isn’t this a little overkill?”

He chuckled. “Exactly.”

He sighed. “Relay the following to the DoD’s Squadron. ‘We are going to send a nuclear barrage at the enemy. Do not be within range.’ When that barrage is going on, send the relay ship. It should arrive at the station in 20 seconds.”

Every Serasi fleet had exactly 1 emergency FTL communication relay. It used an incredibly advanced form of FTL which utilized negative mass to create a warp bubble that allowed it to essentially circumvent the speed of light. Getting intercepted would be catastrophic with how expensive they were. It was said that the Emergency FTL for a fleet could be in production after the entire fleet was built and its crews trained to perfection. By sending it during nuclear hellfire, they ensured that interception wasn’t an option and as a bonus made it hard for the enemy to know what they were doing.

And soon, it happened. Serasi screening had been subtly moving away, as if they were losing their luster. The MoD’s ships had just “happened” to be in far range again. The DoD’s ships led the enemy screening on a wild goose chase.

And then, all at once, 15 nukes headed straight for the Conrithian ships.


Point defense screamed and thrusters burned on their maximum capacity as the nukes flew towards the fleet. Thanks to jamming and point defense missiles most of the nukes ware shot down, but not all. Some exploded in space before getting to the ships, causing nothing but minor damage and EMP, but one hit precisely. Due to sustained damage and old engines the Silk and Haimon ware lacking behind the retreating initial fleet. The nuke struck the Silk, completely obliterating it and killing it’s crew of 23. The nearby Haimon was hit by the explosion, doing heavy damage to it, but because of a unimaginable stroke of luck it’s engines waren’t fully dead, it was still accelerating forward, though weakly

“Order a full retreat, we have nothing to win here. Launch nukes behind us to cover the retreat. If high command is angry with us I’ll take full blame, but I won’t let any more soldiers die for nothing. The crew of the Silk was enough.”

Commodore Silas said with a broken voice. He knew people who ware on the Silk, was even friends with many. It was the first ship he had been assigned to all those years ago. And now it was scrap, if even that, in xeno territory. The bodies of his friends never to be buried, or even have the ability to be. While the ships burned and nukes ware launched behind him he questioned if it was all worth it. This wasn’t the first time he lost a ship, but was the first time he lost friends, that deaths waren’t just a number, and it clearly won’t be the last, and he isn’t the only. How many people have lost those who they cared about because of ruthless Corinthian militarism and expansionism? How many has he killed in just this one battle?! He used to look at commanders who disobeyed orders of high command as cowards and fools, but they ware only protecting the people they cared for, like he’s doing now, same as the enemy does. The only thing he could hope for is that this day wouldn’t bring any more blood, of friends or enemies.


The Serasi pulled back in the wave of nuclear attacks, unable to pursue the retreating humans.

The Admiral of the Fifth took stock of the damage. 3 of his ships had sustained minor damage. 3 ships from the DoD had been destroyed and several others had been damaged. It’s looking like we’d have the upper hand in a civil war scenario, he thought. He hated that thought. He was one of the few Fleet Admirals that hadn’t been radicalized by the Gaian Controversy- A controversy that had lead to the creation of the Department of Defense’s “Special Force Unit” that he had just fought alongside. He just wanted to protect Sera. He couldn’t say the same for many of his peers.

He sat back. contemplating the battle and what it would entail.

“Sir,” his Lower Admiral said, a female Alosian. “The 2nd Fleet has made contact with us. They are going to police the system from here. They want us to head to a spacedock for repairs.”

He accepted the order and the ships started making their way to the nearest military spacedock.

“Sir…” She started again. “Do you think those combatants were Gaians?” He sighed. “Considering their ship design and our proximity, yes. Most likely.”

She was seemingly just as disillusioned as him. “The Parliament will be in uproar about this. There will be calls for war. Troubles for the Gaians that live in this system, too.”

He shrugged. “Luckily, war is the Empress’ jurisdiction.”

She shook her head. “Some have stated that the DoD should be able to wage defensive wars without the consent of the MoD. They’ve even called for revisions of the Mandates of Destruction and Defense.”

He looked down. He knew this, but he had never considered the calls to have any merit. The insanity it would bring, effectively having two separate and politically opposed militaries in Sera, would bring civil war almost immediately.

There was a long pause in the conversation, before she asked another question:

“If i can ask you, sir, in the case of a civil war, which side would we be on?”

He looked her in the eyes. “I can’t say anything for certain. I don’t want to even consider such a scenario. But if it comes down to it: Neither the Parliament or the Empress. That of the Serasi people.”


It has been 3 days since Silas returned from the attack. Now he was standing on Corinthia II, summoned before the admiralty.

“Commodore Silas reporting in sir! Why did you summon me?”

“Sit down, commodore, we have much to discuss.”

Admiral Alexas was a old man. A fat disabled old man at that. During a skirmish with pirates he received a spinal injury that left his legs pearlized, but he did not take his leave. His job was to shout orders from a chair anyways, so not much would change. How corrupt he is is public knowledge, but no one dares to call him out

“So tell me Tassakis, why did you retreat from Irredon?”

"There was no chance of winning. We ware outnumbered and their fleet was made up of stronger ships. We did hold a advantage on longer range and while capable of surprise tactics, but we ware simply outgunned. "

“And why did you order retreat exactly when you did? Why not earlier when they still didn’t have a chance to take the upper hand?”

“I was ordered to hold untill reinforcements came”

“Yes, yes, reinforcements. Two battleships. Couldn’t you have used them to preform a nother crippling attack on the enemy? You had in your hands the second best E-war suite in corinthia and the best missile platform.”

“It was not worth it, strategically nor economically. It was more than obvious that we couldn’t have achieved something notable. Maby we could have destroyed a few more ships but we’d get nothing from that. We’d be throwing away our way more limited resources for pride. Retreat was the best option.”

“That is why i like you Tassakis, you act with your brain, not out of passion. You seem so cold on the surface, like the perfect commander. But you aren’t. I’m more than aware that the Silk was your first ship. And i know how you reacted when it got destroyed. Don’t forget we have recording devices on ships. But the rest of admiralty doesn’t know that, I burned the recording. Consider that me paying you back for my son.”

Corinthian officers ware supposed to be emotionless in front of their crew, something like this would have gotten him scolded publicly. But he was lucky that he disobeyed orders to aid the admiral’s son in a training exercise. That move got him Alexas’ favor.

“Thank you sir.”

“You’re welcome. Anyways, Oedipus squadron is being restructured. The Oedipus and Xerxes will be the only old ships not replaced, but they’ll be repaired and better equipped. Most likely 7 ships will make up the new squadron, with you of course in charge. You’ll be deployed under admiral Irene Mitrouli at the hyperlane to Gaia. Our intel tells us that Orion is planning something big, but we don’t know exactly what. Untill deployment in around 1 month you’ll be free. Got that?”

“Yes sir.”

“Good, dismissed.”

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