Slipspace Sector Z-1282, East Corridor to Command Bridge, ULSS Infinity Edge, 1010 hours
Low, brutal growling layered over the heavy thud of footfalls of something not human filled the busy hallway. Despite the stream of officers and pilots commuting through the corridor, Captain Rengar Uhor had no trouble cutting his way through the crowd. The humans would glance up once to see what was headed their way, glance back up again once they realized what Rengar was, and then would hurriedly dodge to the side or scrape back in an attempt to avoid colliding with the massive Rengar.
Because Rengar was a Yautja. A race of people who were once so in touch with their animal side that they possessed the ability to shift between human and beast forms by thought. Rengar was a particularly massive specimen of his species; tall, bulky, with a thick braided mane and a lion's skull for a face. His armor and his breadth put him a good two or three times larger than the average human. But far more intimidating than his size was his choice to remain in beast form continuously. Most Yautja in the ULN chose to remain human by default, and switch to their beast forms when needed. For them, it was a matter of convenience. But Rengar was different. He was always different, and always will be so long as he prefered his savage beast side to present himself to the world. The Yautja ground his fanged teeth as the door's keypad denied him access to the Bridge. His growl grew lower and even more guttural.
The Yautja's eyes narrowed. He was getting angry.
"Captain," 2nd lieutenant Nidalee Loulee interjected, "Let's not get hasty here. Locking the door's only natural. The Infinity Edge is about to prepare for a grand-scale naval battle, and they can't risk hijackers or saboteurs. Let's just try some other time--"
The captain flicked open a hand-mounted blade.
Command Bridge, ULSS Infinity Edge, Same Time
Three ribbed claws punched through the thick neo-steel of the double doors that led into the bridge, nearly impaling a communications officer on the other side. The claws ground their way down to the door lock, cutting through the mechanisms with ease. The people closest to the door scrambled back. Several people screamed. Admiral Lito looked up from her holographic battle plan. Her hat was tipped down.
The claws twisted about, carving a basketball sized hole in the bridge. A final flick upwards, and a hunk of metal came off with the retracting claws. The sound of metal being tossed away could be heard in the bridge. Then an enormous lion's pam thrust itself through the hole, and started pulling.
With a single massive paw, Rengar clawed open the door to the bridge of the Infinity Edge, as his assistant Nidalee rolled her eyes at his tactlessness. Everything stopped. Over a hundred pairs of wide eyes turned to gaze at the newest visitors to the bridge. The soft clacks of claws on metal managed to quiet the even the famously industrious bridge crew of the Infinity Edge.
"Mu'ta enk'ouya," Admiral Lito greeted, striding over to the intruding Yautja. "If it isn't Captain Rengar of our very own team of Headhunters. Interrupting our work. To what do I owe the pleasure?"
"Fum'gah!" Rengar leveled his hand-mounted claws at Lito's face. The Headhunter captain's next words tumbled out in his native language. "<How dare you disgrace our sacred words with your filthy human tongue!>"
The admiral sighed. She set down a virtual astrolabe onto the holographic display deck to walk up closer to the Yautja.
"What." Irelia cut in, this time in the ULN Common language, pulling herself up, and crossing her arms, "Do you want, Captain Rengar?" Her eyes were narrowing, and her left hand flexed, loosening up the telekinesis blades hidden in her sleeve. Rengar sensed this, and he started floating his own paws towards the hand axe mounted on his hip.
Lieutenant Nidalee stepped in.
"Admiral, Captain Rengar is here to protest a breach of our contract." NIdalee pulled up a holopad and handed it to Admiral Lito. The Admiral, however, was still staring daggers at the Headhunter Captain.
"We were contracted under the agreement that we, Team Dark of the Rothilian guild, would be the sole proprietors of this hit and it's compensation afterwards. But recently it has come to our attention that another team, Lance Corporal Jayce and his Team Royal of the Pilta guild, has also engaged in the same contract we are." Admiral stared at the holopad, but it was clear she wasn't even bothering to read it.
Nidalee took the holopad from Admiral Lito. Something twitched in the admiral's eye.
"We are supposed to be the ones to kill the Lord of Admirals, are we not? The only ones."
Admiral Lito rotated her head to stare at the Lieutenant. The officer took an involuntary step back once she saw the admiral's eyes, and felt their edge cutting into her. Lito's face twisted itself into a grimace.
"And I hired more anyways. What are you going to do about it?"
Nidalee was taken back at this. She wasn't expecting such a frank admission of guilt. The lieutenant turned back down to consult her holopad.
"Well, there are penalties and possible lawsuits--"
"We are at war!" Admiral Lito hissed, cutting the Lieutenant off. "Sue me after you get me Du Couteau's head! Is that ALL you wanted," Irelia turned to the intruder Yautja, "Captain?!"
"Gulam," Rengar started, using the Yautja word for 'admiral'. "What this is an insult. Do you doubt our strength, Gulam?" Rengar's paw fell down and placed itself on his massive hand-axe. "Do you want us to prove it to you that we are the best?"
"Prove you're the best...?
The motion was not lost on Irelia, and she flexed her own hand. Her blades stuggled free of their sheathes now, hovering free inside of her sleeve. The admiral and the captain each stood apart from each other, a hair away from killing the other. Their muscles tensed in anticipation. The tension was thick enough to be cut with a knife.
Then a ghost of a smirk crossed her face.
"...Hm." Admiral Lito relaxed her hand. The dozens of blades in her sleeve slipped back into their sheaths. "No thanks. I'd rather not kill my own employees."
Rengar growled in anger.
"... bold words for a female human."
"Very. And if you're half as confident as I am--" The admiral tipped her hat up, and fixed Rengar with a grim smile. "Then bring me my nemesis' head. If you're so much better than Jayce and his Team Royal-- then prove it."
The Yautja fell silent. He didn't want to admit it-- but the Gulam made sense.
"I'll offer the contract money of the other team, then, for whomever brings me Du Couteau's head. All or nothing. Sound good? I'm sure Lance Corporal Jayce wouldn't mind."
Rengar ground his teeth at the challenge. His hand was still hovering around the holster of his axe... but then he dropped it. A flicker of life glinted in his eyes as he understood what Jayce and the rival Team Royal meant to him now, and without another word, the hulking Yautja turned to lumber out of the Bridge. Captain Rengar stalked out, parting the crowd of onlookers with ease, dragging his thick grey tail over the corrugated metal floor. Lieutenant Nidalee fell behind her captain in step.
"...and there'll be a paycut for the door!" Lito shouted to the two Headhunters disappearing into the hallways. She sighed in exasperation. Headhunters were always trouble... she stared up to the ceiling, her hands on her hips, as her officers about her cautiously resumed their work. Her eyes narrowed... but it would be well worth if it meant the Lord of Admiral's death.
Nidalee was lecturing her captain as they walked down an empty corridor. The Yautja captain strode in silence as his assistant jabbered on behind him, while calculating the cost of the door repair on her holopad.
"... and honestly, captain! Why do you go to such lengths to utterly destroy everything you see?!" Lieutenant Nidalee jabbed furiously as she tried every system loophole in the book to try and coax downwards the astronomical amount of their bill that AI Kayle had just sent to them.
“It's like you think our money falls off of trees! Maybe next time at least TRY knocking! Maybe we wouldn't have to pay a 500,000 credit bill just because you see doors like a can of soup! Maybe the next time we go to visit the Admiral Lito you shouldn't point at her with your stupid X-man claws and threaten to kill her! Maybe next time--"
Captain Rengar clubbed Nidalee over the temple with a single massive paw.
It seemed like the world flipped upside down for 2nd Lieutenant Nidalee. Lights flashed across her eyes where there were none. She might have flipped once, twice, she couldn't tell. And then she hit the floor hard. Her head knocked into the sharp metal underneath, and she bit on something hard. Her vision was blurred, thanks to her brain bouncing about in her skull.
She coughed, and tasted blood.
She felt the captain's claws wrap around her collar, and then she felt those dagger-like nails lift her up with a single hand. The Lieutenant kicked, trying to find a foothold, but Captain Rengar had her at least a foot off of the ground.
When the captain spoke to her through her fuzzy, ringing ears, it was whispers in their native Yautja language. His words tumbled out of his lion's mouth like thunder.
"<How dare you speak to me in that tone as a pathetic human. How dare you disgrace your beautiful beastial form with this limp, fragile human body? What a fukkin' sight! You who could pass for a human-- how dare you call yourself a Yautja!>"
"<Our... race is not who we are.. we are...>" Nidalee struggled, as she clawed at the paw around her neck so she could breathe. Her hands were starting to change into paws with her effort. "<Who we choose to be!>"
"<Wrong.>" Rengar punctuated her ignorance with an even tighter grip. His thick furred fingers closed in tighter and Nidalee started to legitimately choke. "<We are who we NEED to be. Strong. Survival of the fittest. To choose anything but strength is to choose death. And death is no choice, it is fate.>"
His vice-like grip grew tighter and tighter. The captain could start to feel her bones in the midst of Nidalee's neck meat. His maw twisted itself into a vicious grin.
"<Well, Luolee? There's no way you can break free as a weak, pitiful human. Will you choose Strength? Or will you choose Death?>"
A calm, steady voice cut in between them.
"She'll choose neither." A swordpoint appeared at Rengar's neck. Even in the low light, the razor-sharp edge of the blade shone."I wonder, Captain. Will your thick hide protect your jugular from my blade?"
Rengar turned his head to stare down the length of the sword, and then to its owner. A tall, thin man. Wearing a faded ULN naval officer's uniform, gripping an enormously long sword, and wrapped about his crown were curious mask-like ocular implants. The Yautja bared his fangs at the new arrival.
"Lieutenant Commander Yi." Rengar growled out, still not dropping Nidalee. " Threatening your superior officer?"
"I'll do anything to protect my subordinates." Yi thrust a few millimeters forwards, pushing the point of his blade deeper into the thick mane of hair that covered Rengar's neck. The lenses of his ocular implants glinted. "Unlike you. Drop the 2nd Lieutenant, Captain."
Rengar released his paw, dropping Nidalee onto the floor below. She choked and gasped on all fours from the air rushing back into her lungs. Rengar glanced once at Nidalee sprawled on the ground, then back to Yi. He bared his teeth and gave a soft growl, before heading back in the direction of the their Headhunter's quarters.
Yi lowered his blade at the captain's departure, and then threw it into the floor in disgust. The Ionian-styled blade quivered in its place.
The danger passed, Nidalee slowly got up, rubbing her bruised windpipe. She thanked Yi and in return, he told her to be careful. Neither of the two headed back in the direction of Team Dark's quarters. It would not do to catch Captain Rengar's attention now.
Team Dark Temporary Quarters, ULS Infinity Edge, 1100 hours
A finger poked her.
"Oi. Wake up."
"Oi! Newbie!" An ammo clip spun at the sleeping beauty, bounced off of the young girl's head, dented the steel wall behind it, and fell in between the crack of the bed and the wall, clattering noisily along the way... but still she slept undisturbed.
"Oi, newbie Noxian ugly scum!" The owner of voice rammed a foot onto the sleeping girl's head, and started grinding.
Riven slowly opened her eyes, and stared up the underside of a muscular woman's leg, wrapped in an extremely tight black skinsuit, and attached to an even more uptight woman standing in front of her.
Riven pulled the foot off of her, and pushed herself up, rubbing her eye.
The woman in front of her was also a Headhunter. Her hard face was punctuated by her small glasses, and her hair, drawn back and wrapped into a simple, elegant bun in the back. She wore a skin-tight suit bordering on immodest, and a simple corporal's jacket over it. Slung over her back at all times was her trusted crossbow.
She was Corporal Luce Vayne, long-range weapons specialist of Team Dark.
"Don't get so familiar! I'm Vayne to you, Rookie! Corporal Vayne to your skinny Private ass! And you'll address me as Ma'am!"
Luce was always a hard-ass, Riven thought groggily as she sat up to pull on some pants. Being the entitled daughter of some high-ranking ULN Navy hot-shot must do that to a person, she mused. When Riven had first going their little team, she tried to be friendly. She guessed that she would be working with Luce a lot.
"Don't touch me," Luce had said when the two had first met, to Riven's lonely offered handshake. "I don't touch Noxians with anything but my crossbow bolts."
"Ah..." Riven stopped speaking for a moment to yawn. "...Come on, Luce." The private sat up, stretching. "What's going on?"
"You stupid Noxian." Vayne fell back on a chair, a disgustingly smug look on her face. "You really don't remember?"
A knife thudded into the wall adjacent to her. Not the first nor the last. A low voice cut in, rumbling from the lower bed of a bunk in the corner of their quarters.
"Battle's starting soon." The man who spoke was sitting up on top of his bed, his long black hair falling messily to his shoulders, and laid all around him was a assortment of cruel-looking knives and blades. His eyes had a dull, dark look to him; the only light in there was the reflection of his blades as he twirled them about his scarred fingers.
He was Sergeant Crow Talon, an exile from Noxia, just like Riven. But unlike her, Crow had no intentions to change himself. He would always be the same cold, hard man as he was when he was a special operations soldier, exiled from Noxia for failing a vital mission.
The wounds of his humiliation run deep, Riven realized when she first met the man, but not deeper than the ones he'll put in you if you cross him.
Stay away from him, Riven noted to herself then. Talon continued on his diatribe, pausing only to take a drink from his flask while spinning another dagger in his fingers.
"And our daddy's little girl thinks..." Talon shook the last few drops of scotch in his flask into his open mouth. "...Being awake will change a damn thing about a naval battle in SPACE."
The man flipped his dagger up, and caught it by it's blade. He then flung the knife accross the room. The knife glinted through the air, spinning once before burying itself in a steel wall on the opposite side of the room. There were so many knives thrown into that particular patch of neo-steel that it was beginning to look like a small forest.
"Dumb Demacian broad...." Talon muttered just loud enough for Vayne to hear.
"Crow..." Riven knew where this was going. She was hoping she could avoid it...
"Oi!" Vayne stood up, her chair falling over, clattering to the floor. She balled her fists. "What'd you call me, Crow?"
"I'll kill you!"
"Try it with a knife in your face." Talon stood up, too, grabbing a handful of knives between his fingers. Vayne started to unholster her crossbow. The cruel bow started to winch itself back automatically. The two started to move towards each other.
An animal's roar cut between the two assassins. One that was speaking ULN Common.
"ENOOOOUGH!" Captain Rengar took a single step, the length of his stride crossing the entire room, to club Vayne over the head with his right paw. The Headhunter gave a tiny gasp, before falling back and collapsing without a sound. With a vicious backhand, Rengar caught Talon over the shoulder, causing the man to yell out in pain. His shoulder nearly popped out of it's socket and his knives fell clattering to the floor.
"If you want to fight so badly," The Captain spoke, "then save your energy for Jayce and his damned Team Royal. We will prove once and for all that we alone deserve the honor of the greatest." Rengar reached down, and picked up Crow by his collar. "Fail me, and I will kill you where you stand."
Talon struggled to speak.
Rengar dropped the headhunter, then turned to lurch back to his own private Captain's quarters. Talon sat up on the ground, rubbing his throat, while Vayne slowly regained consciousness.The two glanced at each other, then looked away in disgust. Vayne got up to use the washroom, while Talon limped his way to the door outside, no doubt to find the nearest bar.
Riven was left alone in the quarters. It took a moment for her to realize that she was shivering with fear.
Can I really handle this, Riven thought miserably while crouched in the corner of her bunk. She had her pistol gripped between two hands in case Captain Renger had decided to actually pay attention to her this time, but even she knew with her level of marksmanship, it was no real protection.
She sighed, and pulled her gun up, laying it's cool metal on her forehead.
More importantly, can I survive?
Eul System, Command Bridge, ULSS Infinity Edge, 1100 hours
Empress Irelia Lito sat in her throne, watching her kingdom sprawl in front of her. Unlike the royalty of old, she ruled no land, lived in no castle and had no crown. Instead of land, she commanded the zone of control that her ships exerted with the range of their plethora of weapons.
Instead of a castle, Admiral Lito ruled from her captain's chair, and her ship and every ship under her control was a floating fortress. A two-meter thick neo-titanium IV steel alloy made up the wall of her castle, the four Magnetic Acceleration Cannons mounted on the hull that could accelerate a six-hundred ton slug of ferric Tungsten up to 4% the speed up light made up her trebuchets, and her thousands of missile pods embedded throughout the ship made up her company of archers.
Instead of a crown of gold and jewels, the only gold on her head was a synthetic thread of embroidery upon her Admiral's cap.
Yet like any royalty of old, her domain was her strength.
And now she took her strength to war.
One of her senior communications officers turned in his chair to speak.
"Captain, we'll be coming out of FTL travel in thirty seconds."
"Good." Admiral Lito tapped in some additional commands into her captain's chair. "The moment we hit the outside of the Eul system, I want all ships to sound off. Queue up the order to be broadcast, full spectrum."
"Aye aye, captain." The senior officer started speaking into a mic, recording her order to be transmitted to the entire rest of the ULN fleet as soon as the Infinity Edge left faster-than-light travel. Admiral Lito watched the comms officer carry out her order with apprehension. Ten seconds now, Lito counted off in her head.
And then everything can be finished...
"Seven!" One of the pilot announced, "Six! Five!" The rest of the bridge shot the pilot sideways glances. It was nearly time. "Four! Three! Two! One! Coming out of FTL speed travel now!"
The pilot keyed in several controls, and pulled a lever. The lurch of the faster-than-light travel drives echoed down the length of the ship, and they supposedly arrived at their destination.
"Confirming arrival location now. Captain, I'm opening the shutters, watch your eyes!"
Admiral Lito nodded in confirmation as the pilot keyed in the controls to raise the shutters blocking the view of the outside from the rest of the world. As soon as the metal shutters made a crack, pure light streamed in unfettered. Most of the bridge crew raised their arms to cover their eyes.
Admiral Lito tipped her cap down, staring straight into the light ahead.
The shutters fully opened, and the bridge crew was treated to a magnificent view of the entire Eul system, with it's lone blazing sun at the center of it. Despite the fact that it was barely the size of a washer from this distance, it's light shone brightly through the vacuum of space.
Below them, the round, smooth surface of the Noxian fortress-planet Entropy shone a brilliant pale-blue beneath them. Over Entropy is where they would have their final battle.
Admiral Lito stood up for a closer look. This was the Eul system. And also there was...
"Kayle! Bring up friend-foe indicators. I want to see them."
A swarm of red dots blossomed, populating the lower right hand side of the window. The enemy Noxian ships were clustered about the south pole of the fortress-planet Entropy, the one planet they could not afford to lose. Here they would be forced to fight. A small cloud of enemies. Waiting for them, yet cornered like rats.
Here is where the Lord of Admirals will die, vowed Irelia.
"Kayle! What's our forces look like?"
AI Kayle appeared on the holodeck set up to the side of the Captain's seat.
"Bringing up the broadcast logs right now, Admiral." Kayle accessed the broadcast files to see who reported in. Apparently staring off into space, Kayle read off of the virtual list she compiled. "Our forces number eleven capital ships, destroyers Manamune, Seraph, Phantom, Archangel, and Zephyr have all sounded off to your call. Our carrier The Hurricane has sounded off. Our cruisers Shard of True Ice and Mercurial have sounded off. Shield ship Aegis of the Legion has also signed in. Finally, we have our own two supercruisers, Trinity Force and Infinity Edge Actual, ma'am, as well as twenty wings of fighter squadrons docked in The Hurricane standing by."
"And the enemy?" Admiral Lito folded her hands in front of her, staring at the swarm of red dots displayed on the window in front of them.
"Only six capital ships, ma'am." Kayle brought up a diagram of the swarm of red dots that was displayed on the window right then, only magnified by about a hundred million times. "Judging by their silhouettes and their energy signatures, I would say we caught ourselves the shield ship, Randuin's Omen, the carrier Warmog's Horde, a destroyer named The Sanguine Blade, and three enemy supercruisers, ma'am."
Kayle took a closer look at the supercruiser's shapes against the light of the Eul sun.
"They would be, Last Whisper, The Bloodthirster..." Kayle closed the diagram. "And the Noxian flagship, The Ravenous Hydra, has been confirmed, admiral."
Admiral Lito gripped the edges of her seat at the mention of the Lord of Admirals' personal ship. The razor's edge in her eyes was coming to life again.
"Proceed at double time. Tell the captain of Aegis of the Legion to warm up their global shields, but wait on my signal."
Kayle nodded in confirmation.
"Aye aye, Admiral."
Admiral Lito keyed in the controls to broadcast to all allied ships.
"All ships, warm up engines at 50%, maintain Infinity Edge’s speed and prepare to engage!"
A collection of voices of the captains under her command came streaming in to confirm. All of them, old and trusted friends. She felt her strength grow with them. Admiral Lito tipped her hat lower. Her eyes were slits now, brimming with fury.
"Let's end this, Du Couteau!"
Captain's Bridge, HLS The Ravenous Hydra, 1100 hours
Alarms started blaring at a Noxian whisper officer's deck. The man frantically tried to organize the multitude of alerts that the deck was sending him. Once he managed to read what the sensors were telling the ship, he turned to the man sitting at the center of their dim-lit bridge.
"Milord! Enemy ships warped in at our north top flank! They're thirty-thousand kilometers outside of Mass Acceleration Coilgun range! Closing in, ETA five minutes!"
The Lord of Admirals nodded in confirmation. He almost lazily brought up the holographic display that showed him the horde of ULN Allied ships that came to destroy him. He almost laughed at the thought that the ULN-- no, that Admiral Lito would be so zealous as to call down the might of an entire battle group onto him.
"So..." The Lord of Admirals Du Couteau muttered, sitting on his throne. "You've finally come, Lito!"
"Thresh!" Du Couteau called to his ship AI, "Is our surprise for the Admiral ready?"
A holographic figure, only four inches tall, shimmered into existence onto a miniature display on the armrest of the Lord of Admiral's throne. This AI chose the appearance of some horrid monster, shaped like a man but covered in one long chain, one end ending in a vicious hook, and the other end ending in a wailing spectral lantern.
"Aye, my Lord." The AI bowed deeply. "All three of our presents for the good Admiral Lito are ready."
"Good." The Lord of Admirals folded his hands in front of him. He slouched forwards, his hands over his mouth, studying the diagram of the fast approaching ships.
"Let her come to us, then."
Command Bridge, ULSS Infinity Edge
"Admiral!" Kayle called out as she nervously eyed a rapidly descending number displayed in front of her, "We're beginning our final approach! Thirty seconds before we reach enemy MAC range!"
"Get the Aegis of the Legion on comms. Tell her captain that I want shields at full with a two-thousand kilometer radius, make sure we cover every one of our ships!"
"Aye aye, Admiral." Kayle sent the order, and the Aegis of the Legion responded.
Shield ships sat at the absolute core of any fleet. This was because the existence of the MAC. The primary ship-to ship weapon of the age, the Magnetic Accelerator Cannon, used magnetism to accelerate a slug of dense metal, usually ferric iron or depleted uranium, through a solenoid coil. What was essentially a lump of metal was sped up to a fraction of lightspeed. Such a terrifying weapon could destroy an entire ship with a single shot from extreme range. In space, there was no air to slow a bullet accelerated to 4% the speed of light.
Thus, the shield ship was developed solely to protect an entire fleet of ships from the MACs of their enemies. How long a shield ship held on was crucial to deciding a fight, for the fleet without a shield was a fleet of sitting ducks.
From the Aegis of the Legion, an enormous shield of blue light erupted, enveloping the entire Allied ULN fleet in it's protective gaze. On the other side, the Noxian's Randuin's Omen followed suit. Soon, both fleets were wrapped their respective shields, safe, for the moment being, from the enemy MACs.
Kayle received a notification from their carrier ship, The Hurricane.
"Fighter squadrons have been deployed from The Hurricane, Admiral. Eighty-five percent of her children, or seventeen fresh squads of fighters, are out in space right now."
"Good. Patch me through to the Flight Commander."
"Aye, Admiral," Kayle fiddled with some more controls. "Connecting now to Flight Commander Dwyane Hicks of Runic Delta squad."
A crackle shot through Admiral Lito's communicator as the radio relay of the Infinity Edge raced to catch up to the fighters out in the field that were already travelling at hundreds of thousands of miles per hour.
"Morning, Admiral! Runic Delta Actual here, we're maintaining a steady course; ETA on enemy shields, forty-five seconds!"
"Excellent, Commander." Admiral Lito turned to the diagram of the enemy fleet's formation, which was growing more and more clear as the information gathered from Runic Delta's advancing position was updated on her holodeck.
"Your objective is the enemy's shield ship, Randuin's Omen. Marking a waypoint for you now."
A whooping sensor warning alerted Kayle. The holographic figure opened it, read it for a few seconds and closed it with a grim look. The AI turned to Irelia.
"Admiral, they're responding to our movements. Destroyer Zephyr has just notified us that Warmog's Horde has just released it's full payload of fighter squads. They're on their way now to intercept Runic."
"How many wings?"
"I can't tell... looks to be about ten wings of fighters, twelve at most."
Admiral Lito turned to switch on her comm once more.
"Runic Delta, do you read?"
"Aye, loud and clear."
"Runic Delta, this is Infinity Edge Actual. Be advised, enemy fighter wings headed your way. You outnumber them, so I don't want any dead heroes on my watch, Commander."
"Understood, Ma'am! You hear that boys?!" The Flight Commander yelled into his all-comm, to the responding whoops and yells of his fighter wing. "Our sweet, precious Admiral's worried about us! Alright, thanks for the heads up, Infinity, we'll move to engage the enemy fighter forces first. Runic Actual out."
Irelia sat back, and typed in some more controls.
"Kayle, are our capital ships in range?"
Kayle drew up a diagram with the ranges of every ship in their fleet mapped onto a holographic display of the unfolding battle.
"We've got ninety-three by ninety-three percent coverage, Admiral. What are your orders?"
Admiral Lito gripped her seat.
"We'll hit them from all sides at once!" Admiral Lito drew a circle around their north flank of ships. "Order these ships to move in on the supercruiser Last Whisper. Missiles only. I don't want a MAC round wasted on Randuin's Omen's shields while it's still alive." She tapped the blue dot that represented the only other supercruiser in their Allied fleet, the Trinity Force.
"Have Trinity Force plot a vector to the enemy destroyer, and wipe it out! I want it gone!"
Admiral Lito's eyes were blazing now beneath the rim of her cap. She was nearly spitting with energy. "And advance our remaining ships two thousands kilo centered to Warmog's Horde! I want that carrier BURNING the moment their global shields go down!"
"Aye aye!" Kayle nearly shouted, the admiral's heated fury infectious. The AI carried out the Admiral's orders at a frantic pace, "Admiral!"
Captain's Bridge, HLS The Ravenous Hydra
"Milord!" The whisper officer shouted; alarms polluting his desk as he scrambled to close them all, "Enemy fighters plotting a course to the Randuin's Omen! Our full capacity of fighters from the Warmog's Horde have engaged the enemy, milord, but they're being overrun! They can only hold on for another minute at most!"
Another officer's shouting confirmed that their supercruiser Last Whisper was being targeted by the missiles of five enemy destroyers, and not shouted alerted the bridge that their only destroyer left, The Sanguine Blade, had already taken critical damage from enemy cannons, being hopelessly outclassed and outgunned by the supercruiser Trinity Force bearing down on it.
What's worse, Admiral Lito was positioning the rest of her fleet to go for the jugular the moment his own fighters were destroyed, and the Randuin's Omen in flames.
"Thresh," The Lord of Admirals called, "Slave controls of the Last Whisper to my command. Let's show our good friend Lito our first surprise."
"Aye," Thresh bowed, "My Lord."
In an instant, the Lord of Admiral's throne shone with the holographic proxy controls of the Last Whisper. The Lord of Admirals stretched a bit, enjoying sensation of controlling something so huge and massive, and yet from so far away. It was like playing with the most awesome RC car ever.
But this RC car had a something special, the Lord of Admirals mused. He powered down the weapons systems of the Last Whisper, and maneuvered it in position, despite weathering a torrent of missiles, until it was nearly in the center of it's assailants.
"Surprise," the Lord of Admirals muttered, "Lito..."
He finalized the confirmation code with a few swift taps, and a keyhole with a key already in it popped out of his throne's armrest. The Lord of Admirals reached out, and hesitated for only a moment, savouring the feeling of power concentrated in that tiny, little key. Then with a smile, he turned it.
The Last Whisper was dying. It had tried to fend off the assault of the destroyers around it, but the comparatively tiny ships were too nimble to ever be hit by any of the Last Whisper's larger cannons, and the Last Whisper stocked barely twice as many missiles as a single of the ULSS destroyers zipping around it, eating it alive. The Last Whisper put up a valiant effort, firing everything she had at the destroyers swarming around it, but it was too much. The supercruiser was beginning to crumble. Multiple hull breaches down to the innermost sections of the ships forced seal-offs of massive sections of the ship, suffocating the luckless crew that were caught in them, and more importantly, disabled any more functions in those areas. Row by row, the Last Whisper's basic weapons functions ceased, her shields weakened, and she was left vulnerable.
But just as the five ULSS destroyers were about to move in for the kill, the Last Whisper suddenly rocketed forwards, placing itself in the center of the destroyers about her, and detonated the Havoc-grade fusion bomb that the Lord of Admirals had snuck aboard.
The intial shock cracked the supercruiser in half, and at first it seemed that the bulk of the massive ship might have absorbed the shock, but then the second wave came, and the Zephyr and the Manamune were atomized by the explosion. The Seraph and the Archangel were both caught by massive chunks of supercruiser-shrapnel, many of them only slightly smaller than their own ships, and soon, they too, torn apart in many pieces, eaten away by flotsam rocketing into her with tremendous force. Finally, only the Phantom was left. Though she was missed by the shrapnel, she was still hit by the shockwave and flung back thousands of miles per hours. She was intact, but the change in inertia was too great. The crew inside was almost certainly dead.
All about, wherever ULN forces were engaged with Noxian forces, hidden charges detonated nukes hidden on their ships. Fighters, both ULN and Noxian, careened out of orbit, falling down to the planet Entropy to burn up in it's atmosphere. The Trinity Force reeled back from the explosion that took place on The Sanguine Blade; a nuke was hidden on there too. The Noxian destroyer was vaporized, and the Trinity Force suffered crippling damage.
Admiral Lito stared in horror as she watched four out of five of the signals of her destroyers disappear, and the fifth fly back almost comically quickly from the explosion. Those were the worst of her losses, but they were not the last. Many of her fighter's signals vanished from her holodeck as mini-nukes exploded from the bellies of the Noxian fighters. To her side, Kayle was shouting frantically into her virtual comm. She was standing up at the rim of her holodeck, her eyes tracked the dot that was Phantom, as it blinked slowly out of the battlefield boundaries. Apparently no one was left alive to pilot the ship.
"Zephyr? Manamune? Phantom?" Kayle was almost crying as she called out the names of the lost destroyers. "Anyone, answer me, please!"
Only static and night answered the AI's pleas. Kayle hung her head.
"Enemy supercruiser neutralized, Admiral. But we lost our destroyers."
Admiral Lito, to the shock of her observing crew, slammed the holodeck with both hands, cracking the plate glass at the edges. Her breathing was heavy and labored, and her eyes were lidded with frustration and hate.
"GOD DAMN IT!" Admiral Lito slammed the deck again. A panel on the holodeck blacked out, and the diagram flickered and fizzed for a second before the automated system compensated with the remaining panels.
A clear, cultured voice echoed through the bridge. Admiral Lito recognized the voice. It had been the source of many searing taunts over the past seven years that she had gotten to know and hate it.
"Admiral Lito." The man's voice offered in greeting. "I wanted to compliment the valor of your men of the five destroyers I destroyed. I'm sure their bravery makes up for the lives and cost in ULN credits of the ships destroyed."
"It's Du Couteau!" Admiral Lito turned to Kayle. "Kayle! Open up a spectrum-wide broadcast in response!"
"Admiral? Are you sure? They could attain valuable information from--"
Irelia slammed the holodeck once more.
"Du Couteau!" Irelia screamed into her comms unit. Her clear, furious voice resonated through the speakers fleets of both countries. "You *******. Killing your own men?"
"Oh," Du Couteau replied in an almost playful fashion, "I think that you would have killed them in a much more dignified fashion, Admiral. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing but respect for the absolute terror of death you inflict in my men."
Admiral Lito leaned forwards, hissing into the mic on her ear.
"You can't win by blowing up your own ships on me!"
At this, the Lord of Admirals seemed to fall silent. That was how Irelia knew she was right. But Du Couteau never did anything without a purpose. He must have known.
"...You're right," The Noxian admiral replied, "I couldn't win just by detonating the Havok nukes that I planted on all of my ships."
Captain's Bridge, HLS The Ravenous Hydra
The Lord of Admirals was leaning on his hands, his rough, large palms planted on the holodeck showing him the battle ahead. He smiled as he keyed the comm unit on his ear.
"Fortunately, I still have an ace up my sleeve." The Lord of Admirals motioned for Thresh to signal it in.
Thresh silently bowed, and on the holodeck, from behind the fortress-planet Entropy, a single, massive orange dot started to move from behind its shadow. It started to move in from behind to sandwich the remnant of the ULN forces between it and the Noxian fleet.
"Well, Lito," The Lord of Admirals muttered to himself. "Let's see how you deal with ...this!"
Command Bridge, ULSS Infinity Edge
"Admiral!" Kayle shouted, responding to an alert that popped up on her screen. "I'm tracking an unknown signal from behind us! It seems to be coming in from behind the planet!"
"What? What is it?"
"I-I don't know? Mass analysis suggests a small planetoid of some sorts-- but Entropy doesn't have any satellites with that amount of mass! Unless... no, wait. It couldn't be--!" Kayle started muttering, and drew up over a dozen diagrams analyzing the unknown signal at once.
"Kayle! What's going on?!"
AI Kayle stopped. Her holographic hand froze over a flashing diagram of what the unknown signal was. Kayle was at a loss for words. Admiral Lito had come to know that anytime that the motormouth Kayle was at struck speechless- it meant trouble. Deep trouble.
"Kayle... what is it?"
Kayle spun the image she was looking at around so Admiral Lito could see. The sight made her draw a short breath.
"It's not a planetoid, admiral." Kayle looked up at her almost sadly. Her angel wings drooped down in despair. "It's a ship. A colossal ship ten times the size of the Infinity Edge."
Team Dark Temporary Quarters, ULSS Infinity Edge
The explosions of what was the nukes that the Lord of Admirals detonated were of such magnitude that they managed to even cause the Infinity Edge, thousands of kilometers away, to tremor with the impact. The quake caused the Headhunters waiting anxiously in their quarters to stumble and curse, as the Infinity Edge rocked with the impacts.
After a particularly large tremor shook their quarters, Talon cursed loudly and called out to the room at large:
"Hey! We going to be alright? Or is the great Admiral Lito not as good at playing war as she thinks she is?"
Of course, any jab by Talon had to illicit a response from Vayne.
"Shut it, Crow." The headhunter was trying her best to act like she wasn't nervous. "This is the finest ship in the entire ULN and one of her best commanders is piloting it. There's no way the ULN would lose. But I guess a Noxian like you would be used to getting whipped, wouldn't you?"
"You want to die, you rich little brat?"
Vayne flicked her crossbow on.
"Try, and I'll splatter your tasteless personality out the back of your head."
"Shut up," Yi cut in, annoyed for once. He was running a whetstone over his sword, despite the ship's instability. "Both of you. If you've got enough energy to fight, then save it for the mission we'll have to take."
Talon growled at the rebuke.
"Won't have a mission if we're fukken dead."
"Won't get paid, either, if you die on the mission after this battle because you spent all your energy complaining now." Yi ran his whetstone over his blade again. "Unless you can get out and help push the damn ship, I want you resting, Corporal. That's an order."
Talon glowered at his superior, then turned over to lie back on his bunk. The sound of a flask being unscrewed could be heard in the quarters, which had fallen deathly silent. Vayne had turned back to lie on her bunk. Talon was getting shatfaced. Nidalee was somewhere about the ship, still avoiding their Captain, who was locked in his personal quarters, doing whatever he does in there.
And Riven... Yi turned, almost not surprised to find her sleeping amidst the explosions and tremors. He noticed her blanket was scrunched up, so he tucked it over her exposed feet.
Incredible, he thought, watching the girl sleep, despite the very real possibility of the ship she slumbered on would blow up into a million pieces without warning. She may be tougher than even our veteran Headhunters, Yi mused. He turned to look at Vayne and Talon, both of whom were quite clearly scared shatless.
He sighed. He hoped he was right about the Rookie being tougher than she looked.
Yi sheathed his razor sharp sword, then leaned back, and slept.
Another explosion rocked their ship, but neither he nor Riven budged.
~Jayce doesn't appear at all huh?
Please tell me that team royale includes Vi and Cait. And Ezreal.
Tbh, I feel like team royale would've fit Garen/Lux/Jarvan better :/
What I really like about you, is how you choose to name the ships. I mean, naming them after the items? Pure genius! I REALLY like how the capital cruiser is called the Infinity Edge. I think you should include a space battle squadron called "The Trinity Force" instead of a cruiser :/
Some other ideas I was thinking about.
Infantry tanks: Warmogs. You can say how old tanks used to be Leviathans but were outdated with the introduction of Warmogs.
Light ground armour: Brutalizer. Phage
Scout/speed based vehicles: Stingers. Banshee
I'm trying to think of an acronym for ADC.
Just thought I'd bring up. Neutral ships (space pirates): The Baron. The Wraith. The Wolf. The Dragon/ Ebony Maw. The Vile Maw.
When I saw those MAC Cannons, I knew this was related to Halo
Probably my favourite line in the franchise: How does 90 millimetres of tungsten suit ya? XD
This is seriously epic. Sci fi, AvP, Halo, LoL with a Hinting of a dark dead spacey feel to it. It's honestly one of the coolest premises for a story I have seen. The characters are interestingly displayed with each of them having eccentricities, different backgrounds and personalities that set them apart while having great action that leaves you wanting more. I cannot wait for the next update
Haha, yeah, Halo and AvP are my biggest inspirations for the setting. I've also got references and themes from Alien and Aliens. I'm glad you noticed the eccentricities, too. I especially like Irelia's hat tipping based on her mood, Riven's near-terminal deep sleeping, and Talon and Vayne's constant (you'll see) fights.
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