It had taken a month to get to the rendezvous point, and they were ready to depart. They loaded their supplies into the ship, closed the rear cargo hatch, and entered the ships primary cockpit. It was separated from the living quarters by a space door, and then behind that compartment, was their cargo hold. The ship was about twenty meters long, and ten meters high, once it left the Amadeus, it would move far enough away to safely engage the hyper-drive, and then would meet back at the rendezvous point in six months. This was going to take some work, but they had prepared as best as they could for the trip.
Once they were safely off, the Amadeus and the Centauri headed for the main force that was engaging the Archon two parsecs away. That would give the ship more time to get to the planet and hopefully, nothing would go wrong. The Amadeus engaged the Archon and the battle that followed was fierce. They had taken heavy damage, they only had one launch bay operational, they had lost half their shields, and were in a running battle trying to keep their shielded side facing the Archon while they tried to repair the second launch bay and get the other half of their shields operational. The shield generators for the one side of the ship had to be replaced, and the Centauri came in close and extended her shields to give them protection while repairs were underway.
It took them two weeks of running and fighting to get the shield operational and they were only at half strength. The other launch bay was operational but the crews had to wear flight suits while in the bay because the force field generators that kept the oxygen from escaping the bay were damaged. She had taken heavy damage, but her weapons were fully functional and she had massive torpedo bays. The Amadeus could launch one-thousand torpedoes at a time. Not even the Centauri could launch that many torpedoes. The Centauri was fitted with twice the normal amount of phase cannons, and the two ships were formidable even with the Amadeus damaged. They continued to do repairs as they kept up the barrage of firing. The Amadeus finally got back up to full functionality, they went into full battle beside the Centauri, and they opened up on the Archon with every weapon they could bring to bear. The Archon ships were crippled beyond repair, and then the Starfighters started taking them out in masse. When the battle was over, they had wiped out every Archon ship in the area, and were heading to the rendezvous point to pick up Regis and Shaughnessy.
They had learned a hard lesson, it was better not to come out of hyperspace close to an Archon armada that was suicide. If the two Earth Captains had not known each other so well, they would have lost both ships. The Amadeus would need to be refitted once they reached Bellatrix, but until then, she was fully functional and deadly. She had five-hundred phase cannons, and she could bring all of them to bear no matter what direction they needed to be fired. They were preparing to drop out of hyperspace when they saw a brilliant flash of light not far from their location. They thought the worst, they were afraid that was Regis and Shaughnessy’s ship exploding, but it was in the wrong sector. It was in the opposite direction of where the Archon homeworld was located.
They felt the shockwave hit and knew what it was that had happened. Someone had exploded a nova bomb. Earth Forces did not use them, this was another space force, and they were engaged with the Archon Armada behind them. They turned their force around and headed towards the point of the explosion. When they arrived, they were astonished, in the midst of the wreckage of the Archon, fleet was a single ship, a dreadnaught class Vasarion ship, and she was drifting in space. She was intact, the problem with nova bombs, and the reason Earth ships did not use them, was they emitted an EMP shockwave that would knock out the electronics of any ship within the blast radius. That included her engines, and weapons array. The Vasarion ship was helpless unless they could get a towline on her. Tractor beams were useless because the whole area of space was dead. Nothing would work inside the blast radius until the shockwave wore off. Problem with that weapon was that the Archon ships were not destroyed; they were dead in space just like the Vasarion ship. It did give Mendelsohn an idea though; all of their weapons could still be brought to bear on the Archon fleet. They were far enough outside the blast area that their plasma torpedoes could still detonate on impact if they had an accurate trajectory from which to launch.
They used flash code to signal the Vasarion ship that they were going to attach a towline to her hull, and would pull her clear of the dead spot. They returned signal for the go-ahead. The two ships carried six harpoon guns each with hull penetrating points that did not need electronics to deploy. They each fired their harpoons and locked on to the ship, and backing free from the dead zone, towed the Vasarion’s clear of the EMP field. Once they got outside the field, their electronics all came back on and along with the Earth ships, brought their weapons to bear on the Archon has and opened fire. When they were done, there were no Archon ships left.
They headed back for the rendezvous point just as the ship cleared Archon space. They picked them up, and watching from their vantage point, could see the atmosphere of the planet ignite. It was a huge fireball in space. Once the fire started to die down and the planet seemed to be a smoldering husk, they cautiously approached the planet. There were still Archon ships in orbit, but they were not moving. When the Earth fleet approached, the Archon fleet signaled to them that they wished to talk. When their leader appeared on the view screen, he seemed to be in an agitated state, wanted to know why they had chosen to condemn their race to extinction, they had killed all their queens, and without queens, their race would die. Seanon told him that they had attempted to make peace with them five years earlier and all they wanted was the crew of the ship that had inadvertently caused the death of one Queen, and one hive. They had chosen the attack and had killed so many humans and destroyed so many ships, that they had forced the humans to take this drastic measure. He assured them, this was not what they wanted, but they refused to allow the crew of the exploration force to face human justice, they wanted revenge and it had cost them their entire planet and the future of their race. Seanon had no remorse it seemed for what they had been forced to do. He laid the blame squarely on the Archon, and when they finished speaking, the Archon destroyed their own ships. The race died that day.
With the end of the Archon war, the Earth Forces and their allies settled into normalized relations. Epsilon Nine became the center of a new alliance of allies, The Interplanetary Defense Force, was based there and it included representatives of every allied race in the galaxy. There were Captains from every sentient race who chose to join the new alliance. Earth, Vasarion, Delta, Vega, Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, just to name a few of the over three hundred races that had joined. They never wanted to have another war with the consequences of the Archon war again.
The Vasarion and Delta races resembled humans the most, the Vasarion has had no hair at all and their fingers had four joints instead of three, but other than that, could not be distinguished from humans. The Deltan’s were the most similar to humans. They resembled humans in every way, except they all had ice blue eyes. The new alliance also expanded the area of safe space. They could now become explorers, instead of soldiers even though they still had to keep a defense force at the ready.
They had continued exploring as many areas as they could defend within reason and one of the duties was to find inhabitable planets without endangering any indigenous life as had happened with the Archon. They did not want to repeat that mistake again. They had gone to many worlds in the time since the war. It was now time for them to start colonizing planets, and to make a positive mark on the galaxy.
They were always ready for the eventuality of meeting a hostile race and for battles to ensue, but that was not their goal. They wanted to share the galaxy in peace and to join as many of the races as they met to be included in the alliance. It was during one of these exploratory missions that they found themselves in the position of either fighting or fleeing. This race was humanoid, they were warlike, and they wanted conquest. They had entered the Omega sector and were exploring, as was their wont to do, when they faced a fleet of ships that were triangular in the fore and square in the aft sections where the propulsion was. This race called themselves the Planuvius, and they were ripe for conquest. They had never met them before, they were purple skinned, had bright orange hair, and had the most unusual shaped ears they had ever seen. They were as if human ears except the outer edge was petal shaped and had eight segments. They had yellow eyes with green pupils, and from their bottom, jaw had two large tusks that framed their noses.