CHAPTER 11 - ZANTAYA
John emerged into the Zantayan system a week later. He docked at an orbiting spacestation and spoke to General Nireen as requested. The Avenger was placed in dry dock above Zantaya.
News of the invasion had reached everyones homes and Johns story of survival got wide spread attention and he was seen as a hero.
John Smith gave up his political ambitions and he reenlisted as a naval officer and was given the rank of Captain and given command of the Nosan the newest of the Alliances warships it was crescent shape and painted in black. It was over five hundred metres in height with weaponry capable of leveling a planet.
Captain John Smith took command of the vessel after war had been declared against the Iquan.
The Nosan crew were a mixture of humans, cat like Meons, aggressive Zantanyans and triangular headed Donayans.
The crew consisted of over two thousand a mixture of young and experienced crew. This was also Johns first command of a warship and whilst he had some experience commanding during a night shift during his previous military career this was still new.
He was still nervous gripping tightly his captains chair next to him Kotan Pulev daughter of the famous Andrea Pulev who had died during the opening days of the first Iquan conflict. Andrea was a trader in her time but learned of the Iquan attack that was to consume the known galaxy in blood and broken dreams.
Kotan Pulev was human, medium height, athletic build but quiet focused and smart with black hair and carried the respect of her crew.
Captain John Smith ordered for the ship to get on its way and it was to meet the second fleet a large mixture of ships that were going to try to retake Edenia.
The Nosan entered hyperspace gracefully its sleek black hull reflecting bathed in the starlight of the Zantayan system.
Soon she joined the fleet consisting of three hundred ships a mixture of fighters, cruisers and destroyers.
He saw half a dozen Klevet class ships, the largest of the Alliances ships and they were similar in design to the Nosan but were over eight times the size with a crew of twenty thousand and weaponry capable of destroying fleets of ships.
They were black hulled and menacing dwarfing the fleet and they led in front. One of them was commanded by Admiral Inen a large Quinon known for being brash and loud but someone you would not want to be up against in a fight.
The fleet of three hundred met on the edge of Edenia the star system and they came out of hyperspace. The large fleet emerged silently into the Edenia system but the Iquan were ready.
A large contingent of Iquan warships approached their large saucer ships numbering hundreds alongside a large mother ship John thought. The mothership had a curved front and back and two triangular points jutting at towards the rear half of the ship. It was dark green and the ships skin shimmered.
John wondered what the shimmering was about before he looked to the fleet and hope welled within him to avenge Edenia and to take it back.
Commander Kotan looked to the Captain "We have the numbers."
John nodded "Maybe so I've never seen there ships before. I've only seen them on the ground. But we should not get to overconfident we have greater numbers but we do not know what their ships can do."
The two large fleets merged closer. The Iquan opened fired their large circular ships firing a rapid pulse of red plasma fire towards the ships in front of them.
The Alliance ships responded in kind firing blue bolts of energy in a ferocious volley all landing squarely on the enemy. Yet despite the volley the Iquan continued firing only a few ships destroyed by the Alliance assault.
Two large Klevet ships broke off to destroy the mothership and soon were engaging firing missiles and unleashing a barrage of plasma fire.
The mothership returned firing simultaneously at the two ships. Soon the Klevet ships and mothership where engaged in a dance of blue and red light.
As they where fighting smaller fighters of the Iquan broke to attack the large destroyers and smaller cruisers.
Then out of nowhere from a distant sun a large fleet of Iquan ships emerged from hyperspace numbering several hundred ships and the Alliance fleet was surrounded.
The two large Klevet ships where destroyed. The Iquan mothership was spitting flames into space but it was still functional.
Captain John Smith looked on in disbelief as the Iquan emerged with their new fleet "We're not going to win this. Signal the fleet to retreat."
The Commander looked to him "You don't have the authority."
The Nosan shook as an Iquan fighter rammed into it taking out one of the fighter bays.
Captain John Smith looked to her "If we don't we will be dead."
A distant crewmen dressed in an Alliance uniform shouted "We've just been hit fighter bay one is down. We've got fires on decks thirty three through forty four."
The Commander realised they had to leave and signaled a retreat back to Zantaya.
Around him Alliance ships continued to be destroyed only a few Iquan ships where destroyed. The Iquan ships bombarded the doomed fleet with weapons fire.
Soon the Nosan was away with twenty ships into hyperspace.
Captain John Smith looked to the screen "Is that all?"
The Commander nodded "That’s all of it."
The Captain shook his head "We've just lost over a hundred thousand people. Over two hundred and seventy ships. Are they pursuing us?"
The Commander shook her head "No I think they're to busy with the fleet."
Soon the fleet emerged into the Zantayan homeworld.
Captain John Smith looked around and walked to the space station that he had emerged into only weeks earlier hailed as a hero now a casualty of the war.
He left the Nosan to meet with senior military people for a debrief and explained to them with his commander what had happened.
The senior military personnel looked to him. Admiral Gothan a large human looked to him "We've taken a serious loss."
In a corner of the plainly coloured room a general from the Alliances army looked to John "Is there no word from what happened to the remainder of the fleet?"
John shook his head "I don't know."
The meeting broke up. As he returned to his quarters on the Nosan he radioed a video message to Lisa "Lisa I'm okay I've just lost a major battle that you will hear of soon. I can't say more for now but the enemy is ruthless and tough. We threw everything we had and we were badly beaten.
Anyway I hope your okay and I will try to catch up with you soon."
The message was broadcast to Lisas home on Sirenson and he had hoped that she would receive it if she had survived.