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Thursday, July 4, 2013

What's With The Creative Writing?

Some of you may have noticed that there's a lot more creative writing on the blog than usual, and the video game bits have fallen to the wayside.  Well, first, you should be glad I had the time to update at all with my busy schedule (Joking aside, I'd be grateful if there are readers who are actually mad I'm not posting more video game stuff, that means I have some impact, even if it is a small one).  This blog will return to regular video game bits, but in reality, I haven't had time to play very many video games or spend time thinking about them much (but I am working on a few things, so they will return).

Anyway, Imperial Destiny is here to stay as a regular portion of the blog, as will other creative writing projects as they come along.  Why?  Because I have always been a creative writer at heart, and I might as well put it somewhere, and since story is, from my perspective, one of the most important parts of video games, it seems appropriate.  So you should take a look, and leave comments so I can improve my writing.  Also, tell your friends, as the more popular this blog becomes, the more time I can devote to it.

Have fun,
-VG

Imperial Destiny Page 5

                The Jinar screamed towards the drifting destroyer.  Over half of the enemy running lights were out, and plasma fires burnt in several places.  Prallan hoped that their weapon relays were damaged.  The plucky frigate couldn’t take much more and hope to keep fighting.
                “Time” Braton said, leaning over the helmsmen’s station, watching the navigational readout.
                “Fifteen minutes, ma’am.”
                The plan they had formed seemed as suicidal as a direct charge, but while planning they had lost half of the fighters that were swarming over the enemy cruisers.  That had forced them into this desperate move.  While the Jinar, like most Imperial ships, was sleek and much longer than she was wide, the enemy vessels were more boxlike, almost as wide as they were long, with long spikes poking out of every side where weapons and sensors were located.  The enemy destroyer’s shields were down, so the plan was for the Jinar to approach from the side opposite of the cruisers, using the destroyer as a shield, blocking the view of their approach and preventing any direct fire from the cruisers.  The smaller guns would open up on those spikes, blowing out any weapons remaining on the approaching side.  The larger guns would hit the reactor as hard as possible as the Jinar passed, and hopefully outrun the explosion it caused.  That maneuver would only get them two-thirds of the way to the cruisers, and the last sprint would be within the enemy’s optimum range.
                The Jinar’s guns fired, shredding many of the destroyer’s spikes, causing another fire to burst out.  One of the surviving spikes pulsed with energy, arcing purple lightning along the front shield.
                “Burn it, Prallan, kill that gun, we can’t waste shield power.”
                “Yes, ma’am.” Prallan aimed one of the main guns at the base of the spike, and fired.  The shot shredded the armor, and sent the spike spinning off into space.  The energy pulse died, but the force of the explosion caused the destroyer to drift.  An indicator lit up on the console.  “Ma’am, the shot caused the destroyer to drift, and one of the cruisers is trying to lock on to us.”
                “Helm, increase our transversal velocity.  Ensign, how long until we are in range?”
                “On our new course, two minutes,” Prallan reported.  “Blowing the destroyer.”  He unloaded the rest of the ready guns into the destroyer, as the Jinar flew away from it.  Secondary explosions triggered throughout the hull, spelling the end of the ship. 
                “Time.”
                “Thirteen minutes, ma’am.”
                The ship shuddered as long-range shots began coming in from the forward cruiser.  Only one hit, sending blue lightning along the starboard shield.  They couldn’t afford to get hit more than a few times.
                “Helm, we need to get into gunnery range as quickly as possible.  I don’t like getting shot at and not being able to fire back.”
                Prallan watched the distance counter tick down towards the main guns maximum effective range.  Another volley of enemy shots landed in the meantime, but none hit the frigate.  The effect of their new course had confused the enemy gunners enough to avoid damage but that luck would not hold out.  The gun indicators went green, indicating their reloading was complete, almost the same instant that the range indicator ticked down into range.  “Guns ready, ma’am.”
                “FIRE!”
                The two heavy guns thundered, shaking the frigate.  The shots streamed towards the heavier ship, and exploded dead-center.  At maximum range, their sensors didn’t have the resolution to see the damage, but there were no fires, and the enemy shields still held.  The cruiser returned fire, and two blue energy bolts struck home.  The starboard shields collapsed, and lightning arced along the hull of the Jinar.  A heavy explosion rocked the ship.
                “Report.” Braton commanded, eyes not leaving the sensor display.
                “Damage reports coming in from E deck.  There’s a fire in the secondary fuel storage bunker, and two corridors are depressurized.  Emergency bulkheads are closed around those sections, and we are venting the fuel out of that bunker.  Medical bay reporting main power failure, they are operating on backups.” Potole was working the command console on his chair vigorously, issuing orders to deal with the damage.
                “Are the corridors to the medical bay pressurized?”
                “The main corridor is not, but the secondary corridor is.”
                “Get engineering teams to seal those breaches.  We can’t lose access to the medical bay.”
                The Jinar shuddered again as Prallan fired the main battery again.  The shots landed dead center again, and when the flame from the explosion dissipated, a smaller flame remained.  At least part of the explosion had breached the enemy shield.
                “Helm, roll the ship, give them our port shields to play with.  That will give us a chance to seal the breaches and reestablish the starboard shields.”  Before the helmsman could comply with the order, the cruiser fired again, and blue lightning headed for their unshielded starboard side.

                “Brace for impact!” Potole yelled.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Imperial Destiny Page 4

                The Jinar approached the hulk of the partially constructed defense station.  The destroyer was keeping pace with her, but the smaller ship danced just out of range of its energy-draining beams. A volley of missiles from the smaller cruiser exploded nearby, shaking the Jinar violently.  She fired back, hitting the destroyer with pair of heavy shells, that exploded across her stern.  The destroyer’s engines flickered out and she drifted in space.
                “Captain, the destroyer is dead in space.  That missile salvo did a number on G deck.  Multiple fires and heavy casualties, ma’am.  Sealing off those sections now.”
                “Time.” Captain Braton said, still pacing along the forward viewscreen.
                “Twenty minutes until the fleet arrives, ma’am.”
                “Comms, tell those fighters to swarm as soon as we reach the station.”
                “Captain,” Commander Potole said, looking up from the console on his chair.  “I have something interesting.  A destroyer matching that design was spotted two months ago in the Jirus sector.  Very little information was recorded before it jumped out at the Arcton Jump Point, but the hull design is identical, and power signature is very close.  If it isn’t the same ship, it is definitely of the same class and origin.”
                Braton walked over to the Commander’s chair and looked down at the screen.  “Do we know anyone that uses energy draining weapons and missiles?  It is an odd combination, but effective.”
                “No, ma’am, at least not that I’m aware of.  Most alien species we have encountered outfit ships similar to ours: conventional firepower with perhaps a few tricks.  Like us, they don’t waste an entire ship on one trick.”
                “That one trick may very well win this battle.  A small ship should be able to avoid anything these larger vessels can throw at us.  With this engine damage….it makes things uncertain.  Comms, tell the fighters their priority target is the enemy engines, followed by their bridge and sensors.  We will slow them down, then blind them.”
                The Jinar reached the defense station, sliding past the mass of girders and partially-finished armor plates.  A look out the viewport showed that it was nowhere near finished, but the enemy cruisers were still giving it a wide berth, perhaps looking for a trick.  Their patience was rewarded with a swarm of fighters.  A mass of QT-2 fast attack fighters flew through the empty space between the station and the two cruisers, their afterburners lighting up the dark emptiness.  As they closed the gap, the void was filled with bright energy from dozens of guns on the cruisers that had yet to be fired.  Pinpricks of explosive force dotted the void, but once the fighters got in close, the explosions became a rarity. 
                The QT-2 fast attack fighter was a cheap alternative to mainstream military fightercraft.  Cheap to produce, and ideal for stopping pirate raiders, it was a standard garrison force on new colonies, like Lo-Lorrane.  What it lacked in firepower and durability it made up for in raw speed.  It had closed the gap between the station and the enemy vessels in mere moments, a speed a standard fighter couldn’t hope to match, and when a fighter meets the energy beam of a cruiser, no amount of extra armor would save it.  Speed had kept those pilots alive, and their work had just begun.  The dozens of fighters that survived now poured shots into the enemy’s shields, hoping to get a shot through them to hit the engines or other critical systems. 
                “Engineering, status on the engine repairs.” Braton called over the comm system.
                “We’ve restored partial power, ma’am” A void called over the comm.  There was a lot of static, and no image appeared on the screen, implying damage to the relays across the ship.  “There aren’t a lot of other repairs we can make to the engines without going EV.  If you can get me twenty minutes of enemies not firing at us, and the ship not moving, I can get you full power.”
                “If I had twenty minutes I wouldn’t need the repairs.  Repair what you can with the engines, then get me as much shield power as possible.”  Braton turned to the Commander.  “Got any ideas?  Those fighters aren’t going to last long without our help, and they are the only thing stopping the cruisers from firing on the planet.”
                “We are in no condition to charge two cruisers, Captain,” Potole said dryly. “There doesn’t seem to be many other options, though.”

                “Find me one.”

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Imperial Destiny Page 3

                Two large shells flew through space, accelerated to high speed by the explosive force of the IDF Jinar’s main guns.  The vessel’s smaller guns were still out of range, but these two shells slammed against the enemy destroyer’s shield, exploding in a brilliant fireball of flame and shrapnel.  The destoyer’s shields shimmered, but held through the initial blast.  It did not return fire, and continued to close on the smaller vessel.  The two cruisers loomed behind it, lumbering along at a slow pace.  The Jinar’s main guns fired again, along with several of her smaller guns.  The second salvo hit the destroyer head-on, and their front shield shattered into an arc of lightning.  Several of the smaller shells arrived late, passing through the collapsed shield and exploding along the hull.  Armor plates blew off into space, and a fire started along the ventral hull.
                “All guns, fire at will.  Focus fire on their bridge.  Helm, keep the destroyer between us and those cruisers.  Make them risk hitting their own ship if they want to strike at us.”  The Captain stood in front of the main viewscreen.  She paced back and forth, like a caged animal.  Suddenly space lit up around the Jinar, several heavy shockwaves rocking her.  Power flickered on the bridge, and Prallan felt his weight shift as the artificial gravity shifted.   “Damage report.”
                “Shields holding, ma’am.  Receiving reports of minor injuries throughout the ship.  All systems operational.”
                “What hit us?  The destroyer?”
                “No, ma’am, she still hasn’t fired a shot.  The Light Cruiser behind her fired a salvo of missiles, but they had some trouble tracking around the destroyer.  They shook her up more than us.”
                “Keep close to that destroyer and keep lighting her up.  We need them to waste as much time playing with us as possible.”
                The Jinar poured salvo after salvo into the destroyer, ripping its hull open with each shot.  The battle was looking more hopeful.  Then the destroyer opened fire.  Purple beams of energy converged on the forward shields of the Jinar.  Prallan heard the engines scream as power was pulled from them.  The console in front of him seared his hands, the surface of it hot from the electrical flow being pulled into it.  The beams stopped as suddenly as they had started.
                “Report.”  The Captain said, picking herself off the floor.
                “It was some sort of energy drain, ma’am.  Main power is at thirty percent, forward shields are down, but coming back up now.  Tying in auxiliary power systems into the mains to get the shields back up.”
                “How are the engines?”
                “Badly damaged.  Top speed has been cut down by twenty percent, maneuvering by thirty.  I don’t think we can keep the destroyer between us and the cruisers anymore, ma’am.”
                “I don’t think we want to.  Whatever the cruisers have, it can’t be worse than that.”  She paused for a moment, in thought.  “Put that auxiliary power into the engines, and reinforce rear shields.  We’re going to make a run for it.”  The helmsmen stared at her in disbelief.  “Weapons, keep firing at that destroyer, I don’t want to give it an opportunity to use those guns again.  Helm, set a course for the defense station.”
                “Captain,” the Commander interjected, “The defense station is just a hulk in space.  The outer shell isn’t finished yet.”
                “Yes, but they don’t know that, and I have something better in mind as well.  Comms, tell those fighters to scramble and take up a position near the defense station.  Tell them they better be ready for a fight.”

                Prallan looked down at the chronometer.  Four minutes had passed since the message had been received from fleet command.  Now, engines damaged and horribly outgunned, they had to hold off three larger ships for another twenty-six minutes.

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