The huge manufacturing ships floated silently through space, completely oblivious to their doom hurtling towards them. Lucas waited impatiently for the ten minutes it would take for the railgun slugs to arrive.
Fifteen seconds before the first bombardment would arrive, something happened. Lucas’ ships that were covering the outside of the manufacturing ship disappeared. He had previously ordered them to go into hyperspace right before their bombardment time so as to avoid friendly fire.
The enemy still didn’t know that he could use hyperspace modules inside a solar system. He could have ordered his ships to jump away from the manufacturing ships, escaping the stalemate they had previously been in. If he did that though, he had no idea what the enemy would do. Better to keep it the way he had.
Once his ships were gone, the manufacturing ships started to rotate their guns towards Lucas’ incoming fleets. Unfortunately, they had only just started to move when one of the six-hundred plus manufacturing ships exploded! Lucas watched as one by one, the huge manufacturing ships were destroyed.
Within one minute, a total of 100 ships had been destroyed. Another 50 had been crippled in one way or another. Even more ships came under fire as they went down the list of targets. Lucas had given his fleet orders.
Assigning each manufacturing ship a number, they would go from least to greatest, all ships focusing fire on that one ship for two seconds before switching to another ship. In this manner, an enemy ship would be severely damaged by hundreds of thousands of railgun slugs for two seconds before another would suddenly come under fire.
One of the manufacturing ships was finally able to point its gun barrel at Lucas’ incoming fleets. A surge of brilliant white energy shot out towards his fleets. Lucas was concerned but didn’t panic. Those fleets’ shields were all at 80%. Previously, one of his fleets had taken a strike point blank and it had taken their shields down by 40%. They had more than enough energy to block that one shot. That was, of course, assuming that the energy beam actually reached them.
Lucas observed the energy beam as it shot out at half the speed of light. With such speed, it reached his fleet in a matter of seconds. The white beam had reduced to only a quarter of its original size by the time it reached his fleets.
This was caused by attenuation, when the energy would bleed off and separate into the void of space. It was the same concept as shooting a stream of water. The water would stay together for a short distance but would eventually separate into many droplets of water.
For this reason, energy weapons were often much stronger the closer one was. It was the same reason that the destroyers’ plasma turrets were used only for close defense. They just weren’t powerful enough to go very far.
The energy weapon hit the shield surrounding one of his fleets. It shuddered but held. Lucas looked at the energy drain. 5%. Clearly, the beam was severely weakened by the distance. Lucas let out a sigh of relief.
Then he jolted as he realized that there were still almost 400 other manufacturing ships that could fire at his fleets. If each one could fire a single beam like that… It didn’t take a math genius to discover that his fleets would be destroyed if he didn’t think of something.
Giving panicked orders, all seven and a half-fleets suddenly started shifting and changing shape. All of the shield fighters formed a huge square in front of the fleets instead of the seven large spherical shaped shields and the one slightly smaller one. Lucas read the shield as 730% percent compared to the original shields. It would most likely be sufficient to block the enemy’s attacks.
All of his ships formed a line behind this square shield. Now they were completely covered by all of the shield fighters. In the front of the shield were all of the destroyers, fighters, and carriers. At the very back was all the battleships. They battleships stuck to the edge of the round column shaped formation, allowing them a clear shot at the enemy.
The railgun slugs continuously surged forth, desperately seeking to eliminate some of the horrifying weapon platforms before they could destroy them. The enemy ships kept disappearing as his battleships continued to fight. The manufacturing ships continued maneuvering though, lining up their guns to fire on them.
Surges of white energy shot forth towards his fleet. They impacted his shield. At first it was only a shot or two every once in a while. However, as more and more ships were able to bring their guns to bear, it became a continuous stream of energy. Now the energy beams were destroying most of the railgun shells before they reached the manufacturing ships.
At the same time though, the enemy had slowly been destroyed. Now only three hundred ships remained. Unfortunately, none of the ships were being destroyed now that their weapon had been neutralized. Lucas realized that the shield was now only at 50%.
It was time to take drastic measures. Lucas gave orders to the ships behind the shield. They all disappeared, leaving the shield fighters behind. Instead, they appeared directly behind the manufacturing ships. Once again, the huge ships started to desperately rotate in order to bring their guns to bear.
The seven and a half fleets opened fire. Now that they were closer, the destroyers could finally be put to use. They dived for the closest manufacturing ships, passing through their shields and unleashing a storm of plasma bolts.
At the same time, several other things occurred as well. All of the carriers, which still carried their loads of sniper drones, did not jump with the other fleets. Instead they jumped even farther away. A swarm of sniper drones formed a huge formation in deep space.
Firing their tachyon cannons, they finally revealed their awesome firepower. In a single volley, one manufacturing ship had its shields broken and its hull penetrated. Hundreds of miniature holes appeared in its hull. It suddenly exploded as one of its reactors lost containment.
The two fleets that Lucas had jump away before the initial bombardment had also not been idle. They had started firing their own railguns and their first volley was finally arriving. Ship after ship exploded. Their four hundred ships started to slowly dwindle.
Soon, there was nothing left except the empty husks of ships, floating through the void of space. Lucas smiled darkly as he observed the metallic corpses of his foes. Recalling what Chu Shen had once said, Lucas realized just how true it was.
If one has strength, but cannot even touch their foes, what is use of that power? If one has strong defense, but cannot flee from the fights, what was the point? Only if one has speed can one be called king. For with speed, one can strike when wanted, and flee when one wanted as well.
This fight perfectly demonstrated that fact. Those huge ships had such powerful weapons, but they weren’t able to bring them to bear. With that, they were just paper tigers. They looked threatening but weren’t able to do anything in the end.
Lucas smiled grimly. At least, he was able to put that alien to rest with the corpses of his creations.