An hour before the start of the invasion, Lucas started lining up ships. Placing his stealth ship in orbit around the seventh planet, he ordered its stealth systems to be activated ten minutes before the enemy usually invaded.
Communicating with the AI, he coordinated their attacks. Aslo, Chu Shen, and Chrissa were not allowed to participate in this fight. He was worried they might do something dumb like activate their teleporters.
Currently the only technology they wanted to reveal was the railgun turrets. Just that should be enough to make the drones want to run and inform their ‘masters’ of the advanced technology they had. There was no need to inform the enemy of their other capabilities, such as the tachyon cannon.
Right now they had matched the enemy's numbers with the AI’s ships. It apparently had never stopped manufacturing ships, even though its industrial capabilities were badly outmatched. The battleships were the only ships that were not made by the AI and had been replaced by Lucas’ battleships.
This fleet had positioned themselves in orbit around the sixth planet, placing the planet between them and the emergence point of the invaders so as to avoid detection. At the expected time, the enemy jumped in.
Finally, it was time to enact their plan.
First, the AI moved all of its ships towards the enemy. Fighters launched and engaged in dogfights with the enemy’s fighters. Lasers and plasma bolts streaked across the void of space, causing shields to flare to life all over the arena. Ships exploded as their shields failed, exposing their weak armor to the rigours of superheated plasma.
After thirty minutes, the entire AI fleet had been wiped out. The enemy only had a third of their fleet left with most of it being the heavy battleships and some destroyers. Without the support of their own battleships, since Lucas was withholding them at the moment, they didn’t have enough firepower to take down the heavily shielded behemoths.
As a result, they were limited to harrying actions on the battleships and mainly focused on the less-protected destroyers and fighters. At the same time though, the enemy battleships only had large-bore plasma cannons and laser arrays.
The huge weapons, while powerful, couldn’t turn as fast as their smaller counterparts. As a result, they couldn’t keep up with the smaller ships’ agility, though they were able to come to bear on some of the destroyers. It had come down to each sides smaller ships clashing with the occasional lucky hit landed by the enemy battleships.
Now that the AI’s fleet was destroyed, it was Lucas’ time to shine. The enemy ships turned towards him and lit up their engines. The handful of fighters shot towards the front of his formation. Before they came into laser range though, the suddenly split apart, going completely vertical.
Lucas realized they were just trying to distract his ships and draw fire. Ignoring the pitiful attempts at distraction, he ordered his battleships forwards in an arrow formation. His ships were layered so that each one had a clear view of the space in front of it.
Firing their railguns, Lucas’ battleships focused on the enemy battleships, completely ignoring the more agile destroyers. The railguns’ range was, theoretically, unlimited. The projectiles would continue through the void of space, unhindered by the confines of gravity. Lasers and plasma, on the other hand, would lose focus and dissipate.
As a result, Lucas’ battleships was able to fire as soon as he ordered. They were currently outside of laser range, meaning there was no return fire yet. Soon, the enemy started to realize something was wrong.
The first indication that they had that they were under attack was when one of the battleships lost half of its engines. Shortly after, multiple holes appeared in the ship until it promptly exploded.
It seemed as though the ship exploding was a signal of some sort. Over fifteen battleships exploded within seconds of each other. Realizing they were under fire, the enemy started to conduct evasive measures. Another thirty battleships exploded before they could get out of the way of the incoming projectiles.
Soon though, the enemy had reached the farthest range of their lasers. The plasma cannons still needed some time in order to get into range. Several of Lucas’ battleships started to get low on shields as groups of twenty enemy battleships focused in on specific ships.
Upon reaching 30% shield integrity, Lucas’ ships slowed down, dropping out of formation. Other battleships took their place as the ones they replaced tried to replenish their shields’ energy. Like this, Lucas avoided too many casualties until they started to form groups of 30 to hunt his ships down.
Since they were no longer in the extreme range of his railgun turrets, Lucas decided it was time to stop with the kiddy gloves. Ordering his battleships to go to fully automatic, he started to return fire. Over a thousand projectiles per second from 1 turret. 10 turrets firing at once. From 150 battleships. It was a slaughter.
The enemy battleships started turning into swiss cheese within seconds of the order. This might seem exaggerated, but it was completely normal. A single railgun projectile can punch a three foot wide hole upon entry through the armor of a battleship and make a twelve foot hole upon exiting the ship. Imagine over a hundred of those hitting all over the ship.
A laser could burn a five-foot hole through a battleship. However, it took over ten lasers to take a shield down 30% in two minutes. A railgun projectile ignored shields, however. With no protective measures at all, the enemy battleships were, essentially, sitting ducks with a slightly annoying beak.
All of the destroyers suddenly lit up their engines and fled the system. The battleships, along with the pitifully few fighters and their carriers, charged right down the battleships throats. Within fifteen minutes, all of the enemy forces were annihilated. The destroyers, though, had managed to gain a significant lead on him.
Realizing that the enemy was now free from distractions, the destroyers started to conduct evasive maneuvers. Lucas ordered his battleships to start firing on the enemy. Identifying 8 destroyers that were the least damaged, he ordered those destroyers to be the ‘miss’ targets. Now his battleships would deliberately miss shots on those destroyers.
After about ten minutes, the 49 enemy dreadnoughts that had fled was reduced to sixteen. Now they were out of the railguns conceivable range. It was so far that it would take the railguns one minute to cover the distance. With that much time, the enemy could certainly avoid the incoming projectiles. Assuming they could see them that is.
Lucas kept his battleships chasing after them, even though it was obviously futile. While they were busy following his orders, Lucas activated his stealth ship. The ship closed in on the enemy destroyers.
Firing its missiles, they closed in on the enemy. The missiles flew rapidly until they were even with the enemy ships. Matching velocities, they activated their programming. The missiles had small hatches the size of the tip of a pen open all along its sides.
Thousands of nanites flew out of the hatches and attached themselves onto the enemy ships. The nanites matched the same color as the outside of the enemy ships. Activating their Tachyon comms, they sent a small pulse to Lucas, confirming their activity.
The eight ships he had tagged as ‘miss’ targets had received the nanite payload. Upon reaching their entrance point, the enemy destroyers disappeared into hyperspace. Lucas grinned.
It looked like it was finally time to enact part two.