Written by Chuckg
At long last, night had come to Phase World.
On the planet where the skies were never dark, the firmament held only blackness. The fleet that Grand Vizier Locke had assembled blocked the sun and stars, as Sphere-Ships almost beyond counting filled the heavens. The massive Phase Gates orbiting Phase World, which at one time were set to allow instantaneous travel to the lesser nexus planet by any ship that carried the proper dimensional transponder, had been re-engineered by a billion slave laborers and the genius of Baron Kagato using basic designs provided by the Overlord himself.
Instead of the key to travel, the Phase Gates were now locks. Locks that would vibrate with and through the entire dimensional nexus point of Phase World, to affect via trans-dimensional resonance the space-time fabric of another, a more powerful and more central, dimensional nexus.
The Free City of Khazan.
Khazan's own greatest defense, the inability to enter without invitation, would by the genius of the Overlord be turned against it. Now, none would be able to *leave*. The same nexus and phase shield effect that once prevented teleportation on the surface of Phase World would now be fed back through the altered Phase Gate array and hold the entire local volume of space around Khazan fast. Only the uniquely stressed space-time of a greater dimensional nexus could sustain such an effect.. but Khazan was the greatest nexus of them all. And so long as the Overlord's plan remained in effect, no one could teleport, dimensionally travel, or slipstream away from the doomed planet. Fluxing and vibrating upon an irregularly encrypted pattern of almost infinite complexity and infinitely fine timing, only the Overlord's own teleportation and dimensional travel mechanisms could operate safely within this new jamming environment. All others could do so only at the extreme risk, nay the certainty, of being torn apart by the flux.
Before it had even begun to move, the Last Alliance of Heroes had been placed in a killing jar. And now with them confined in it, the hammer blow would strike home.
"Grand Vizier, the fleet is at your command. Commence the attack."
"Your Inner Circle will bring you victory, Overlord."
"It always has, my loyal Vizier."
Turning away from the communicator, Grand Vizier Locke stood on the flag bridge of the command ship and gazed at his fellows. Lieutenants MunchKING and Yeoman, and Royal Assassin Z-Woman, gazed back at him, all smiling with anticipation.
"You have your orders. Lieutenant MunchKING, take command of the ground element. Yeoman, you and Z-Woman will be leading Boarding Party Alpha."
The skies of Phase World suddenly blazed with light, as the fleet jumped into the inter-dimensional void.
The flagship shuddered and leapt as it transited through the stressed bands of non-space and non-time, as it bled through the cracks of reality to go from Phase World to Khazan. Behind it, the fleet similarly suffered.
"Navigator, report!" the Sphere-Ship's captain called out, as the Vizier watched coolly.
"The navigational directions we obtained from the traitor were not sufficiently exact, sir! We're experiencing 4th-dimensional displacement!"
"So we'll arrive where?"
"We'll still be at Khazan, sir. But we'll be too early! Not all of them will have arrived yet!"
"It matters not, Captain" the Grand Vizier said. "The dimensional lock was building up for some time before we jumped. So long as we are merely minutes instead of hours early, it will only be an inconvenience... we'll still fill their skies with flame, and they will still be unable to leave. And as for those yet to arrive? They will fly into the middle of hell, and be unable to fly out of it."
The entire bridge crew relaxed with relief as it was made apparent that the error, if there was any error, would not be held to their accounts.
"Coming up on breakout! Three... two... one..."
... and with a scream fit for a dying god, the Dominion fleet tore loose from the void to fill the skies of Khazan.
"Twelve minutes before we left, sir! Dimensional lock fully up and holding! And I have the _Andromeda_ on screen!"
"Drop the ground forces. And Boarding Party Alpha... go for the Andromeda!"
On a building on the top of Khazan, Jaffa cursed and wondered at the sudden malfunctioning of his teleporter. Some shift-space flux had left him only on the surface of Khazan, when he'd intended to beam himself through a nexus exit and get very far away....
On top of a heap of rubble in Khazan, Tanith looked up and gulped. The deserter Jaffa lay only a few short steps in front of her... but the full force of the Dominion lay above her. Rune, please be safe! she silently prayed.
And in the engine room of the Andromeda, a warpgate opened, with the full force of an entire battleship engine driving it. And Lieutenants Yeoman and Z-Woman stepped out, a horde of Legion troopers behind them armed with every type of exotic and overkill weapon imaginable. Boarding Party Alpha had arrived.
And outside, over the main square of Khazan, so had Lieutenant MunchKING and the numberless hordes of the Dominion.
Written by Jaffa
Jaffa focused his mental powers, trying to create a gateway out of the doomed city, this time under his own power. His attempts were no more succesful than the teleporter had been. As an energy charge from the incoming shock troopers hit his psychokinetic shield, he was convinced that there were more important matters to take care of right now. With that, he used his powers to manipulate energies and disappeared from sight.
Maybe he would have to fight after all, but he would do so on his own terms.
Written by Locke
*The Vulcan....Honor...where is the Vulcan...*
Patience my lord...patience...he'll be here momentarily...your previos orders did allow a degree of flexilbility.
*The midst of battle is not the time to dawdle...situation report.*
Very well my lord...your attention to the screen...
Communication report from Lord Caine...Priority "Yama*the Mobile Strike Force holds steady in reserve at Position 'Blenheim'he believes he has eluded detection.He aplogizes for the lag...no followup for six hours due to warp-point distortion
*Lord Caine does not fail..*
Sir Francis reports the Screening Force is also in position at Objective Magellan....the traitors will never know from whence the final blow comes..
*Spare me editorial Honor...continue*
There he goes again...
*yes young lady?*
Admiral Nelson strikes again-his signal*The Overlord expects every man shall do his duty*
*His mission status his mission status Honor*
The Gunfire Support Group has begun precision bombardment Lord...he is always on time...
*Then we can forgive a few histrionic gestures..he never knew defeat in life you know...continue*
Yes if you'll turn your attention to the sat-recon...
And so the Grand Vizier did..
In truth even now he spared little time for the technical details of the relentless bombardment of Khazan's ground-based defenses...it only mattered that the barrage would minimize any chance of resistance...
The Vulcan entered...
forgive me my lord...we have been experiencing communications difficulties...the interdimensional flux.
*Spare me your techno-babble half-breed...what have you to report...*
The Blokhin Project master...i have the data cubes now..
The Vizier sighed...the *conversion process he favored was not without limit...*
*Lay that aside...the Intelligence report you promised...*
Of course my Lord...the *trinket* can be interfaced with the stand-alone Processor...we will be able to intercept our foes innermost thoughts...even Benedict shall not escape the net...no magic can withstand...
*Staus of the Field test...Honor what the hell is going on...
The Bull is moving his formation into position for the ground assault sir...his deployments have been flawless..he's launched exactly as ordered..
*Assuming the plan went as hoped...the Andromeda situation report..
We...don't have an immediate grasp of that situation...energy signatures indicate a major conflict...the data will take time to collate...
*that idiot's gone and jumped the gun...he's followed his orders to the letter leaving Lord Caine to cover Andromeda...he's left only a feeble screen of pickets...Vulcan!!
*Yes my lord...
*I have just authorized the first Test subject for your Blokhin project..Guards..escort Lady Honor to the Lab..
*My lord...I did not fail you...I told you the Bull's judgement would not stand up..my Lord please...
*Communications...do whatever it takes...forget radio silence...we need Lord Caine now!
no this was not going well at all...communications ajumble...Lord Caine was out of touch...could it be the Andromeda would escape...
Admiral Halsey 's punishment would be a torment out of legend..
The Vizier turned...in all the chaos he had nearly forgotten...
Of course...Lady Honor had not failed him...
ISS Laventia Beria...
In all the worlds and all the times no such dreadnaught would ever again exist...
Forget Caine...Beria alone would ensure the doom of Andromeda...
*Transfer the Flag to Beria...tell Bull he can unlease Tamberlane and Subotai...*
*let the sack of Khazan commence*
And perhaps perhaps ...no never mind...never again would the name of Honor be mentioned upon this bridge or any other..
One more mistake to be buried and forgotten utterly as surely as if she had never existed...