End of Days

Written By: Jeff Lincoln

Day 2 Ambush at Mars

0030 Space Time

Space Battleship Yamato Bridge

"We have left Earth’s atmosphere, trim all flight controls and surfaces for space flight." Venture said as the Yamato brought her wings in.

Wildstar nodded, "Sandor, have you collected everything we have on our 'visitors?"

"What little data we do have on them has already been loaded into the main computer. Any other data will be forwarded to us by our base on Mars." Sandor said turning in his seat, nodding to Wildstar.

"Good, we can use as much information as possible." Wildstar said looking out the windows in front of him, "Venture, begin warp prep, I want to be at Mars within three hours. Make sure we warp as close to the planet as possible. The dark side specifically, our base is located there."

"Roger that, Wildstar." Venture flipped the radio on, "Nav room, begin warp prep, our destination is the dark side of Mars. You have three hours, get to it."

"Roger that bridge, beginning warp prep to Mars."

0030 Space Time

Mauritanian Imperium Battleship Hammer of Light - In orbit around Saturn

Aboard the strange spacecraft above Saturn, Admiral Kilran, the leader of the Mauritanian Imperium watches and waits for the Yamato to enter and exit warp at Mars. He had done the research on the Yamato and the StarForce. He knew how predictable they would be. He knew exactly where they would enter and exit warp. Humans were so predictable compared to the all powerful Mauritanian Imperium.

"Admiral Kilran, sensors confirm that Earth has repaired and relaunched the Yamato. Just as you predicted, their course suggests they will also follow your predicted path. They should be entering warp within two hours." Lieutenant Diran said turning from the main screen.

From atop his command chair Admiral Kilran watched as the Yamato's red wings folded back into the sides of her hull. "Are our ships in position on the dark side of Mars Lieutenant?" He asked coldly taking a drink from his wine glass.

"Yes Admiral, task group nine is in position and waiting the orders to start the ambush."

"Who is incharge of task group nine?" Kilran asked as he stood from his chair letting his red cape fall below his knees.

"Colonel Nikran is commanding the task group. He's well capable of taking down the Yamato's defenses. After he has done that, he will be sending boarding parties to capture the Yamato. A brilliant plan Admiral, turning the Earths most precious ship against them, ironic justice if I say so myself." Diran said chuckling.

"Don't let the idea of commanding her yourself get to your head Lieutenant. I will decide after we have control." The Admiral said coldly as he walked down the ramp, "What is our current status?"

Diran snapped his fingers and a lowly ensign brought up a report of the ship. Diran placed a hand on the back of the Ensign’s chair and leaned forward, reading the report.

"Our production planst are working at 105% attempting to create more components for our ships and fighters. Fighter bays 1-10 are full and ready to go, launch pad 3 reports control jamming..."

0200 Space Time

Mars Base - Sonar Room

"Commander several unknown signals approaching our location." Ensign Calloway said, "They're moving at a speed of 35 space knots. The computer isn't able to get an transponder signal on them."

"Can you guess at what they are?" Commander Martin asked lifting his coffee mug to his mouth, taking a sip.

As Calloway began to speak alarms began blaring and lights changed from their standard white to red. "Missile alert, computers confirm trajectory. They are headed straight for this base."

"Commander alert fighters have been launched but they are being shot down almost as soon as they leave the deck!"

"Defense systems?" Martin asked placing a hand on Calloway's chair.

"Online but not doing any damage. Sir we have thirty seconds until impact."

Martin sighed, he knew they were going to die. He was going to make his death worth something. "Ensign, send this to the StarForce. They would want to know what to face when they get here."

Calloway nodded and picked up his headset, "StarForce, this is Mars Base 17. Please respond." For the remaining time the base had Calloway tried as hard as he could to contact the StarForce. But to his great shame the missiles struck first, destroying the base in a giant ball of fire and light. The message never got through and the StarForce had no clue they would be warping into a trap.

0230 Space Time

Space Battleship Yamato - Bridge

"Warp prep has been completed, we are now ready to warp to Mars." Venture said watching the timer move up and down, "Waiting for your order Wildstar."

Wildstar nodded, "Start countdown."

"All hands buckle yourselves down. We are warping in fifteen seconds." Venture said connecting main power to the warp circuits. "10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, WARP!" As Venture pushed the warp lever forward the ship disappeared, slipping from the normal fabric of space and time.

The crew remain motionless for a while. Stunned from the awkwardness and dizzying experiance. When the ship entered warp space it began experiancing strange things. First colors shifted and change, then deck plates began to ripple. Space itself changed from the normal black with stars to a rainbow of colors and shapes. They too rippled and shifted, they never retained a single shape or form. Some even became three dimensional and moved through the ship.

To the crew time passed slowly as if an entire lifetime had passed. When infact it had been a mere three seconds. As Yamato emerged from warp space the crew were rendered unconsious. A dangerous result from the disorientating and dangerous space warp.

"Is everyone alright?" Wildstar said rubbing his eyes as they adjusted to the normal lighting of the Yamato's main bridge.

"All systems show green, the crew report no injuries." Sandor said reading the report off of his screen.

Nova leaned over looking at her radar dome, "Sensors show all clear. But we can't get a reading on the opposite side of Mars."

Homer raised an eyebrow as he attempted to adjust the communication system. By now the Mars Base should have begun transmitting their standard friend or foe greeting. But all Homer was getting was total static.

He frowned as he changed channels, adjusted frequencies, and adjusted his headset just in case. But no matter what he tried he just couldn't pick up a signal from the Mars Base.

"Skipper, I'm not picking up any transmissions of any kind. The base on Mars should have already transmitted their FOF by now. I'm literally picking up silence." Homer said turning in his seat to face Wildstar.

"What?" Wildstar asked standing up and approaching Homer's console.

Sandor too got up from his console and walked over. He began looking over the station. Scanning over it making sure it didn't have anything wrong with it.

"Well I guess it all comes down to Homer going deaf then." Eager said winking and smirking.

Wildstar frowned, "Eager that's enough. Homer try to see if there is any signals at all. Maybe we will get lucky and-"

Nova gasped, on her Radar dome fifty or so signals instantly appeared. "Radar contact! Unidentified signals are approaching Yamato, range 12 megameters, speed 35 space knots."

"What? Put it on the video panel!" Wildstar said returning to his station and looking up. Nova flipped a switch and the video panel lit up to show a giant screen of missiles followed closely by fighters.

Wildstar turned on the PA, "General Quarters! All hands to your battlestations! Repeat General Quarters, this is not a drill! Black Tigers take off immediately, Marine teams stand by to be deployed. Main guns target enemy missiles, fire when ready." Wildstar flipped the PA back off and turned to Venture, "Mark turn us towards the missiles, make us a thinner target!"

"Roger that 90 degrees to starboard!" Venture said pulling the right handle down and the left all the way forward.

"Main guns have their targets." Dash said watching the fire control board turn green.

"All guns FIRE!" From the bow of the Yamato the two main guns fired their bright blue beams at the screen. The beams destroyed many of them, but seven remained.

The seven quickly accelerated burning off whatever fuel they had left and plunged straight into the Yamato's hull. Two hit the lower section of the bow, one went straight into the Wave Gun firing gate, three missed, but two struck the upper deck. Disabling the first main gun and completely destroying the secondary gun.

As the seconday gun exploded it blew a giant hole in the bottom of the conning tower. Equipment, fire, smoke and several crewmembers were sucked out into the void of space. The final missile however struck the port pulse laser battery. Sending cascading explosions in throughout the entire ship.

Back on the bridge everyone tried to hold on desperately as Yamato shook and bucked as the explosions continued. Sparks flew from consoles, shards of metal flew from walls, and smoke began filling the bridge.

"New radar contacts, several larger objects have come around the other side of Mars. They've already begun firing!" Nova exclaimed as she held onto her console as more explosions rocked the ship.

"Damage report!" Wildstar exclaimed as another wave of missiles struck the ship.

Sandor was the first to respond, "We have massive damage on decks three through four. Repair teams are on the way. The secondary turret has been completely destroyed, the explosion has caused a giant hole to be formed in the bottom of the bridge tower. The port pulse laser battery has been- arg!" Sandor exclaimed in pain as an explosion ripped apart his console sending him flying. Both of his biotic arms were blown completely off and exposed wiring could be seen.

"Sandor!" Eager exclaimed and began to stand but was thrown sideways as an energy blast tore into the side of the Yamato. As he fell he bashed his head into the arm of his chair knocking him out cold.

"Dash…target the enemy fleet, fire at will!" He exclaimed as he jumped from his seat to Sandor’s side, checking his vitals. Behind him Wildstar’s station exploded creating a fire and sparks. "Somebody put that fire out!"

As Wildstar began to stand another set of explosions rocked the ship. The old Captain’s station in the back of the bridge exploded into a giant fireball, throwing flames, smoke and debris across the bridge. Wildstar had several peices hit his arm and lodge themselves nicely. He cried out in pain and tore several of them back out.

Above him the video panel cracked and several peices fell out, falling on the crew. Nova raised her arms covering her head, her uniform sleeves torn in several places.

Venture fought with the helm controls, sweat covered his brow as he pushed and pulled on the controls. The ship began to lag behind on the reaction times he was giving.

"I'm losing helm control! We're beginning to spin!" Venture cried out.

"Derek, the enemy ships are pulling along side us. I think they intend to board us!" Nova exclaimed as she lowered her arms to look at the radar.

As Wildstar turned to look around at what was left of the bridge more pieces of the video panel cracked. All around him consoles were sparking and fires were still burning. In his mind the single thought was, "There are families aboard Yamato..." He could only imagine in horror as to what their fate was. In his mind he knew that several families were probably seperated from each other. Others were crying over the children, relatives, or couple’s deaths.

Knowing completely what he needed to do Wildstar flipped the PA back on, "All hands this is Wildstar, to all the families aboard the Yamato. Please head to your evacuation points. The Black Tigers will escourt you and your ships away from the combat zone."

Venture turned looking at him and gave him silent thank you. Venture continued to yank and push the controls attempting to stop the ship from spinning.

"Also the Space Marine detachment must stand by at all of the ships docking points. Yamato security personelle will be waiting there as well. The enemy ships may be attempting to board us. We must not let them take this ship!" Wildstar said slamming his fist down on what was left of his burning console.

Just when he thought the fighting outside the ship was done another wave of missiles struck the ship. Sending Dash from his chair, he landed a few feet away from Wildstar's chair. Behind Wildstar the giant astro-cumpas exploded sending glass across the bridge. Several pieces lodged themselves into the windows in front of Wildstar.

"Venture! Turn the ship around we've got to get away from here. If you can warp is out." Wildstar said picking Dash up and walking him back to his seat.

Down in Engineering Orion Jr. struggled to keep up with the now badly damaged Wave Engine. All around him medics and engineering crewmembers rushed about doing what they could to keep the ship from being destroyed. Over the radio he called to Yamazaki, "Chief we're losing Wave Energy quickly, we're already down to forty-five percent and steadily droping, the Wave Engine is damaged itself; we can't warp!"

"You're joking right? We've been under attack for only ten minutes, how can we be down to forty-five?" Yamazaki exclaimed standing and slamming his hands down on his console. "Get everyone you can working on the Wave Engine! That is your priority!"

As Yamato turned around two of the battleships approached on either side of Yamato. Both firing their main guns and missils continuing to pound against the hull. On the main bridge of Yamato, Wildstar and the others attended to the other wounded bridge crew. Sandor was already brought down to Sickbay, both of his biotic arms being replaced. Eager had regained consiousness and went with Sandor down to sickbay.

Wildstar paced the length of the bridge, wondering, "Who are these people? Why are they attacking us? Will we survive?"

Is this the end of Yamato? Can the StarForce find a way to save the ship and continue on with their mission?

There are only 3 days left.

This Chapter is dedicated to Thomas J. Lincoln and the Lincoln family, which whom I would never would've begun this project.