The A.O.S Red Jupiter
I had only ever seen a Phobos Class Dreadnought five times in my life and the Red Jupiter accounted for three of those sightings. Today, I was standing on the bridge of one of the most powerful ships to have ever been made by humanity, second only to the C.S.C Terra, the A.O.S (Ares Orthodoxy Ship) Red Jupiter. This ship was no ordinary Phobos, it was faster, deadlier and much more powerful than the standard Ares Phobos' ships; after all, it belonged to Gorbachev family.
Calvin Taylor stood proudly next to his mentor, Admiral Vasily Gorbachev- one of the most feared men in the Commonwealth.
His family had been the tip of the spear against the Commonwealth Fleet with his son Alexi Gorbachev becoming the major force behind the development of the deadly Chasm heavy gunship and the deadly Tundra class nuke platform. Unfortunately he didn't live to see the Chasm in action as he was killed in a reactor explosion during a routine flight test. Gorbachev's second child, Akira Gorbachev continued in the legacy of her brother and further developed the Chasm into the fiendish Frostbite Class Advanced gunship. Only one was ever made and Taylor flew it.
Akira Gorbachev not only developed weapons, she also developed something that could end the war between the Commonwealth Arcology and Ares Orthodoxy, something that both sides lacked... Love.
She pioneered the creation of the Ares splinter group that began to make contact with Commonwealth civilians and began to offer a hand of friendship to C.W habitats in the outer systems.
In the due course of her diligent efforts to make peace with the CW she chanced upon a spatial anomaly in a large Nebula; an anomaly that would hold the key to many mysteries of human space, mysteries surrounding the Iocrym, the elusive Xenophobes, and even ancient aliens Domina and Oracus.
It was while investigating this anomaly, that she would meet one of the most intelligent, cunning and battle-hardened men to have ever joined the Commonwealth- Lieutenant-Commander Calvin Edward Taylor the brother of Lord Wulfric Taylor- a key shareholder in Adventure Weapons. The son a wealthy aristocratic father (Lord Edward Taylor, Governor of Starlton Eridani), Taylor was a master of all martial arts and a deadly battlefield tactician, having proven his worth in many operations. He was also a seasoned Commonwealth Marine and due to his unique mental and physical abilities in the Corps, he was made Commander Ranger of the Studies and Observations Group (S.O.G), more commonly known as "The Reapers".
The Reapers, an ancient order of Knights, were commissioned by the Earth King Neptune many centuries ago when humans first set foot on other planets. They were sworn to protect humanity at all cost and from all enemies. They became the Unseen Brotherhood, fiercely loyal to each other and to the King. Unfortunately, when humanity itself split up into factions such as the Ares, Ranx and Commonwealth, it resulted the splitting of the Reapers too. Those loyal to the Commonwealth formed the S.O.G, those to the Ranx formed The Dark Order of Ranx and the Ares formed the Order of Mars.
Calvin Taylor, a loyalist of the C.S.C Antarctica's commander Admiral Helios- a Reaper himself, tracked down the anomaly and began making regular clandestine contacts with Akira. They both began to meet regularly and studied the anomaly, making great progress until an unfortunate incident changed everything. Admiral Conrad Decker, a pet of Commonwealth Emperor Roland Anderson, launched an unexpected attack on their Commune within the Nebula with a fleet of the of the newly developed Aquila Cruisers. Decker was able to uncover the Achilles heel of the Ares- Akira Gorbachev. She was Admiral Vasily Gorbachev's daughter and capturing her would have brought the entire Ares fleet to it's knees. Akira, having foreseen this, ordered her newfound love, Calvin Taylor, to reluctantly shoot her before this could happen.
Later, Decker launched a black operation, 'The Lone Wolf Walking'. The idea was to secretly capture top Ares scientists whom Decker would employ to work with C.W Chief Scientist Dvalin in the development of the deadliest weapon to have ever been made by humanity- the planet destroying anti-matter arc-cannon- The Lamplighter.
Admiral Decker was already growing highly suspicious of the C.S.C Antarctica's commander Helios and especially of Calvin Taylor after discovering their many 'off the record' missions. Seeing this as an opportunity to put an end to Helios' ambitions, he drafted the obviously reluctant Taylor and his Reapers into the operation. The team of Reapers and Lynx flew down to the C.S.C Terra, the CW fleet's command ship, and here Taylor would reunite with his former comrades Tychus Edward Findley and me... Michael Valerian Wales Anderson- crown prince and son of Emperor Roland Anderson. Tychus was a brutally efficient ground soldier and commander of the notorious 'War-hammer' team, a deadly group of spec-ops units who were trained especially for missions such as these. I was commander of the Commonwealth Marine Corps' Tactical Spatial Assault Squadron, more popularly known as 'The War-Wolves'.
During Lone Wolf Walking, Taylor and his Reapers were given the impossible task of covering Tychus' War-hammers against innumerable Ares ground attack waves while Tychus extracted the scientists. Everything was going as planned until Admiral Gorbachev, having learned of his daughter's death and of L.W.W, arrived with the Red Jupiter and caught the Terra, and our attack force horrifyingly off guard. The Red Jupiter pounded the Terra and her support ships with vicious lightening turrets and the Ares Arch-cannon but with the scientists safely in the Terra, Decker decided to put an end to the Calvin Taylor menace and did the unthinkable. He ordered the purposeful abandonment of Taylor and his Reapers despite my vehement protests. Decker threatened to declare both me and Taylor as deserters, something I could not risk happening as the Emperor's son. I reluctantly left my brothers to die and fled with the Terra- a burden I live with even until today.
Akira Gorbachev was dead, but only in body. Her spirit lived on in Taylor, the only surviving Reaper. Taylor was found alive by Admiral Gorbachev and was immediately picked up and nurtured back to health. Taylor explained everything to the Admiral who willingly blessed Taylor in his ambition to over-throw Emperor Roland Anderson and Admiral Conrad Decker. It was here that Taylor was introduced to the deadly Frostbite Class Advanced Gunship, an upgraded and heavily modified Chasm, which Akira gifted to her father. Gorbachev gifted The Frostbite to Taylor has his daughter's parting wish.
Taylor used the Frostbite with vicious effectiveness, laying waste to C.W Britannias as if they were Corsairs. His fear spread across the outer systems with many Rogue fleet outposts unwillingly pledging allegiance to him out of fear. During his vengeful onslaught, Taylor learned of a young orphaned pirate named Wade Jayridge, a Freyr pilot whose adopted father James was killed by a Korolov shipping Journey-woman, Major November Caesar in her Wolfen. Seeing himself in Jayridge, an orphaned young man with vengeance on his mind, Taylor secretly began to support the young man. He began to send secret shipments of weapons and armor to Jayridge and this secret 'elder brotherly' treatment continued until Wade's unfortunate death at the hands of the very woman he set out to kill. Jayridge died courageously in the Pirate Frigate Kortious while battling November Caesar to the last Stiletto missile in his ship.
Taylor became distressed at this but continued steadfast in his vengeful streak against the Commonwealth.
He later learned that Decker had almost assembled the Lamplighter but was missing one crucial part- an Iocrym fusion trigger to initiate the anti-matter projection to fire the damn thing. Decker sent his fleet far and wide in search of this trigger but in vain. Ironically however, this fusion trigger was floating around in the underworld as a 'unidentifiable piece of alien technology' with a value of no more than a hundred Rins and that too as a 'decoration' piece or as a collectible for technology junkies. Decker's spies eventually traced this trigger to a Charon pirate frigate 'The Kronosaur' that had acquired it from a tinker in Eta Ceti. This was Anderson's and Decker's chance to finally win the war and control human space with unimaginable fear but they couldn't risk highlighting the trigger's value lest it disappear forever. So, instead of directly attacking the pirates for it, they decided to hire mercenaries to attack the pirates as a 'regular anti-piracy mission'.
This clandestine meeting of Mercs was to be held in the Charon System Base of the Korolov Shipping Corporation and overseen by Kate Morgental- a well known weapons scientist. The Charon system was home to the pirate fortress - the most obvious place to keep such an artifact as an alien fusion trigger.
The planned meeting never took place however, and it was never meant to take place either. The well broadcasted gathering of mercenaries to attack the Charon Pirates was a mere decoy plan to attract all pirates to the Korolov station- leaving their fortress partially undefended. This plan was executed by Black Market Commander Tychus Edward Findley and Lieutenant Michael Anderson- me. We were tasked by my father- the emperor himself, to engage the pirate fortress and recover the fusion triggers.
Unfortunately, the pirate fortress was shrouded with cloaking towers that made it's position almost impossible to track. At that time, I made an ambitious plan to have the Korolov station evacuated and attacked in order to track down a pirate squadron known as the 'Black Knights'. The Black Knights were an elite squadron of Vikings and Corsairs supported by Frigates that were commissioned to protect the pirate fortress and tracking them down would mean easy access to the fort.
Everything went as planned and the pirates attacked the thankfully empty Korolov station. We had prepared a small defense team comprising of Ronin C gunships to make it look convincing to the pirates and manged to put up a strong resistance. Tychus' Molotok Bounty Hunter and my Manticore were armed with Mark V howitzers which proved more than a challenge to the pirate frigates. As the attack commenced, I noticed a Black Knight Viking attacking a Ronin gunship defending the station and seeing it as an opportunity, I rammed my Manticore into the Viking and captured the pilots. Little did I know that the pilots of both the Viking and that Ronin; siblings Charles and Selena and Ronin pilot Jenna, would become a part of my future adopted family. However at that time, they were just a means to an end.
As the battle progressed the tide turned in the pirates' favor and many Ronin pilots and Tychus himself, had to evacuate to the star-gate, leaving me to fight alone. I was left outnumbered and was about to be killed when Tychus returned fully charged, back into the fight. Accompanying him was Major November Caesar- the same one that had killed Wade Jay-ridge and his father. The Wolfen and the Bounty hunter plowed into the frigates and the battle was eventually won but at a great cost, the cost of time. I was forced to torture Selena to get the location of the fortress but by the time I got it, it already was too late.
Having discovered that the Ares were tracking the Kronosaur and the fusion triggers it was carrying, Admiral Decker hastily sent the C.S.C Europa to track and follow the pirate ship to the fortress and recover the triggers. The Europa got to the Fortress before we did and decimated it with ease as most of the fortress' defense ships were busy attacking the Korolov station.
When we reached the ruins of what was left, we discovered to our utter horror, that Admiral Gorbachev's Phobos Dreadnought, Red Jupiter was tracking the triggers and the Europa. We also learned that not only was the Europa carrying the prototype of the weapon along with the Ares scientists that were captured in Lone Wolf Walking, she was tasked to test fire the Lamplighter on a neutral Ares Commune in Point Juno.
The Red Jupiter was a much more powerful Star-carrier hunter than other Phobos Dreadnoughts which meant the Europa, her Commander and her crew were as good as dead.
I scrambled my rag-tag team of 65 ships to pursue and warn the Europa but it was too late, the Carrier was already in Point Juno and on course towards her target.
When we reached Point Juno, we received a distress signal from our eponymous supply base that an Ares fleet being lead by none other than Calvin Taylor was about to attack them with Comet-Fall station destroyers. This made life really bad for me because the Point Juno supply base was being commanded by none other than my own cousin-sister Commander Susan Brown. I made a hasty decision to send my entire squadron to assist Point Juno while Tychus, November and I scrambled to the Europa- something my squadron agreed to very reluctantly.
Our luck exacerbated as we failed to make time for a second time. The Red Jupiter was already pounding the beleaguered carrier with waves of Sandstorms, Tundras and Chasms. I knew there was no chance of survival for the ship or her crew leading me to take the decision that would haunt me forever. I ordered Admiral Watson to have the Europa evacuated and hurriedly negotiated a truce with Admiral Gorbachev.... The Europa and her cargo in exchange for safe evacuation of her five thousand crewmen and women. I knew the Europa's Vault- which had Americium detonators attached to her locks- was impossible to open without mutually assured destruction of the opener and the vault itself, meaning the Ares would never try to open it without the codes. Gorbachev was visibly impressed by my apathy but Admiral Watson and his second-in-command Lieutenant Matthew Phillips decided to go down with their ship. The Red Jupiter, along with her complement of Deimos destroyers incapacitated the carrier and took her into custody while Tychus, November and I rushed to defend Point Juno- leaving brave Admiral Watson and Commander Phillips to die with their beloved Europa.
Point Juno was already under attack when we arrived and after successfully fighting off the first wave of Sandstorms and Tundras, my squadron was made official and given the name 'Marauders'. November Caesar, in order to fulfill her penance for killing an innocent father-son duo, adopted the pirate twins Selena and Charles along with Jenna, the Ronin orphan Ronin pilot I had saved in Charon, as her adopted adult children. The twins and Jenna willingly accepted the guardianship and adopted her last name Caesar.
The party was short lived however; a wave of Comet-Falls was headed for the station and we scrambled out to meet it. It was during this attack that Calvin Taylor, flying his deceptively 'normal looking' Chasm which was in-fact the deadly Frostbite, managed to capture Charles. Admiral Gorbachev must have learned of my little trick and informed Taylor of the Europa's Vault leading him to demand the Vault codes in exchange for Charles' life. I let my emotions get the better of me and decided to surrender the codes but Charles sacrificed himself and commit suicide before I could do so- taking away any leverage Taylor had. Taylor angrily warped away but we knew this fight was far from over.
That same night November and I realized and expressed our mutual love for one another however destiny would not be so kind to us. The very next morning my sister Susan Brown, on orders of my father and Admiral Decker, arrested November, Tychus and myself for dereliction of duty for losing the Europa. I understood full well what was going on- my father and Decker had lost their chance to control human space with the Lamplighter and worse, it was now with the Ares. Susan disbanded our squadron and faked their deaths while secretly sending them to Rigel Aurelius under the care of scientist Kate Morgental.
November, Tychus and I were hurriedly transported to a planet where my father- Emperor Roland 'The Boss' Anderson was waiting for us.
The Boss scorned us for our failures and as punishment ordered the brutal torture and death of November- but I was not willing to accept it. I was taken into a chamber where November was tied down naked and tortured as I watched in horror but I had a trick ready up my sleeve. Susan had secretly sent my Manticore and Tychus' Molotok behind us to the planet. As I watched my wife being tortured, Tychus was able to eliminate the Bosses elite guard and bulldozed into the torture chamber in his heavy Commonwealth Marine armor. He killed the torture-masters and carried the Boss outside to our gunships while I carried Nova in my arms and followed.
Then, I made a decision that would change the course of human history forever. I planted a spike grenade firm into my father's mouth and flew off towards Point Juno not knowing that my father had already alerted Admiral Decker about his whereabouts.
Admiral Decker was actually pleased with the turn of the events. With me being declared a murderer and an outlaw, he immediately became the new 'Boss'- Emperor of the Commonwealth. His first decree was the immediate issue of death warrants against his immediate threats- Calvin Taylor and myself.
When I reached Point Juno, Decker's officers had arrested Susan and tortured her for my location but seeing me alive, she dispatched November's Wolfen from the station and commit suicide to kill off any blackmail attempts by her captors. Decker's frustrated goons dispatched squadrons of Britannias against us and we had no other option but to flee to Rigel and meet up with The Europa's crew.
In Rigel, we had to go undercover and discuss the Europa's crew's fate and despite being offered official pardons by Admiral Decker, they decided to join me in my new campaign against Decker. With the assistance of Mafia boss Lord Mihko and Kate Morgental, the crew was sent to a Mafia planet in Eta Ceti to prepare our attack base.
During this time, Calvin Taylor was also busy gathering his allies to fight Decker. He raided Rogue Fleet outposts and strongholds and single handedly subdued them and forced them under his command. He also united the combined Ares Orthodoxy in a united front against Decker under the mentor-ship of Ares Admiral Vasily Gorbachev. Many other factions like the Ventauri and Kobol Warlords also joined him but he stayed away from the elusive and highly aggressive Ranx Empire. He eventually gained both popularity and notoriety in the outer systems and was termed as a 'Space Marshal' by both enemies and friends.
Among all of his allies, one young man had managed to gain Calvin's favor in particular- Raul D' Silva, a former comrade of dead pirate Wade Jay-ridge. D' Silva was out hunting for November to get revenge for his brother's death and was working odd jobs in Jay-ridge's Freyr Gunship. Calvin, who was amusingly monitoring this young man noticed great skill and potential and secretly began to send new upgrades for his Freyr to make it more relevant in the outer systems. This continued until D' Silva made a very fatal mistake. During the course of his thirst for vengeance, he took up an assignment from Admiral Decker to find and eliminate the entity that was destroying his Task Forces; not knowing that it was Calvin himself who was doing it.
On that unfortunate day, the Marauders and I had a chance encounter with Calvin Taylor in a nebula he was using to hunt Decker's forces. Neither I nor Taylor attacked each other but D' Silva warped in and unknowingly fired a few slugs from his Akan Maelstrom turret and warped out. The slugs didn't hit Taylor however; they hit a Heavy I.A.V piloted by Jenna Caesar- my adopted daughter- leading me and my squadron to believe Taylor did it. Taylor was obviously annoyed at this but didn't bother punishing D' Silva.
I went into depression and after several days of self-inflicted torture, I came out with a vicious thirst for Calvin's blood. Ignoring November's counsel to withhold, I led the Marauders and wreaked havoc among Taylor's allies and burned many Rogue Fleet outposts to cinders. I also came down heavily on the Kobol Warlords and their Ventauri allies in my insatiable search for Taylor, so much so that most of the Ventauri had become my informants in the outer systems. Finally, after laying waste to tens of small stations, I chanced upon a Rogue Fleet Outpost where I was able to get a ROM containing information on Taylor's whereabouts - an Ares Commune within Eta Ceti.
This Commune was heavily defended by Deimos destroyers, Tundra missile-ships, Chasms and countless Sandstorms but I had a surprise up my sleeve. The Mafia had chanced upon the wreck of the C.S.C Europa and managed to repair her back to fighting condition with the help of the Europa's crew. Unfortunately, Decker had been able to open the Vault and recover the Lamplighter prototype from it but that didn't matter... I had a Star-ship Carrier at my command. I named her the J.S.C (Jenna's Star-ship Carrier) Hyperion in honor of my daughter and rallied up against the Commune.
November tried desperately to stop my attack on the Commune citing the thousands of innocents that would pay the price. I was in no mood to relent but before the Hyperion could open fire on the Commune, Calvin appeared in his Frostbite and offered a duel to the death in order to save both the Commune and my Marauders.
I agreed and charged at the Frostbite with my Manticore. The battle lasted for a good twenty minutes and by the end of it both of our ships were at critical damage and ready to explode.
As our respective factions watched on in horror, we prepared to fire our final shots for mutually assured destruction. Little did we know that in all this we were being played like mere pawns in Admiral Decker's well crafted plan.
Valentino, one of my advisors was clandestinely spying for Admiral Decker in return for pardon and a good rank in the C.W.
Admiral Decker arrived with the C.S.C Terra and a fleet of Aquila Cruisers. With our common enemy ready to decimate us, Taylor and I reluctantly shook hands and decided to settle our issues another day and turned to the incoming Commonwealth Fleet. Val then tried to kill me on the instructions of Admiral Decker but was swiftly blown to space dust by the Frostbite.
We charged at the C.W Fleet with the combined force of the Marauders, the Hyperion and Calvin's Ares ships which included two Deimos destroyers, Chasm and Tundras.
The battle was fierce and we lost many ships but were able to defeat Decker's forces. The Terra was taking heavy damage and then, as a last ditch effort Decker unveiled the fully functional Lamplighter.
The Terra glowed yellow as the planet destroying anti-matter cannon charged up to her full firing capacity. The Lamplighter was an anti-matter weapon and a single shot had the capability of taking out entire squadrons of ships. Neither Calvin nor I, were willing to risk the lives of our respective teams by fighting it and so Calvin made the decision that everyone was dreading except me. Everyone was to jump the Star-gate and escape while Calvin and I stayed back to distract the Terra- after all, Decker was after Calvin and I. Despite vehement protests by both teams- especially that of Nova, we were able to hold off the Terra long enough for everyone to escape. Then, for the first time in human history- the Lamplighter Arc Cannon was fired into empty space from her barrel. The bright and shining antimatter projectile headed straight for my Manticore and Calvin's Frostbite. We confessed our mutual respect for each other and bid farewell and looked into the light for one last time.
I felt my body evaporating and noticed the blue Tachyons in my skin- I was being warped!
The events that followed are recorded in the final battle storyline.
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"Umm, I'm sorry I just killed your officer Akira, but he was getting on my nerves''
"Can I take his ship now?"
Calvin E. Taylor to Akira Gorbachev, the daughter of Ares Chief Admiral Vasily Gorbachev, after brutally killing one of her Tundra pilots.
"Can I take his ship now?"
Calvin E. Taylor to Akira Gorbachev, the daughter of Ares Chief Admiral Vasily Gorbachev, after brutally killing one of her Tundra pilots.