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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-03-11, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Icon The Scorpion Chronicles

Hey guys have not posted in the writing forum before so as im having a bit of a play around with a story based on my Red Scorpions 4th company I thought i would share the first part with you. Any throughts/crits honestly welcomed.

The Scorpion Chronicles Chapter 1

With a practised eye, Sergeant Valdermann gauged the tactical situation through the cockpit window of the Thunderhawk Gunship. Through the re-enforced glass, laser and tracer fire criss-crossed through space in front of them in a deadly display of destructive firepower. The massive bulk of the space station loomed ever closer, pumping mind boggling amounts of weaponry out into space. The trap had been set, and the fleet had blundered straight into it with a catastrophic precision. The defenders had been well prepared, and had been waiting for them. The Imperial fleet had been under heavy fire from the moment they had burst into the system, caught between the enemy fleet and the formidable planetary defences. From that moment, a mission to fly the flag and quieten a disgruntled population, had been thrown out the air lock: they were now fighting for their lives. Before they even know they were at war, the ancient Cruiser Lunar Dream took a series of hits catastrophic hits to its mid section that broke its back and secondary explosions had torn the ship in two. Torpedo impacts had crippled the Emperor class Battleship Viscount to the point where the Admiral had been forced to abandon his flagship, leaving behind his damage control teams in an attempt to salvage the mighty vessel. In the chaos of the battle that followed, the escape pod that the Admiral had entered was never found; his name joined the list of the dead. With the loss of the Viscount, command had passed to the Mars Class Battle cruiser Formidable.

Six hours earlier...

An almost animal growl filled the bridge of the Space Marine Strike Cruiser Scorpions Kiss as the huge figure of the Space Marine Captain slammed his fist into his command chair. Sparks flew and a deep dent was left in the solid metal of the chair. With blazing red eyes fixed on the viewing window in front of him he jumped to his feet.
“Fire all weapons on that target; I want him dead in space!” Captain Edesar barked as the Scorpions Kiss drove on into the heart of the enemy fleet. The vibrations of heavy cannon fire rattled loose panels on the bridge and hyper velocity shells streaked out towards the frigate blocking his path. The first shells missed high, but as the gunners found their range impacts flared over the length of the heavily damaged ship and the bombardment hit home. The shells shredded the light armour of the frigate stabbing deep into the inner workings of the ship and on, into the plasma core. Hardly stable at the best of times, the core exploded in a massive explosion and blew the ship into scrap. Debris flamed off his forward shield. Edesar didn’t even smile, there was far more work to be done this day.

Edesar had spent most of his adult life in space, in fact it had been over a decade since he had stepped foot off the Scorpions Kiss. As a man would talk about a woman, so did Edesar speak of his ship. He knew her more intimately then a man could ever know a machine and could detect minor malfunctions or misalignments through his links to the ship that would have taken teams of tech servitor’s weeks to pin point. There was a tendency among Space Marine chapters to think of the Strike Cruisers and Battle Barges that served the Astartes as glorified transport vessels. In some cases this may have been true. Not so with Captain Edesar and the Scorpions Kiss. The Kiss had served with distinction in the Badab war and had earned more citations then any other Space Marine vessel in that conflict. After the final defeat of the Astral Claws, the Red Scorpions had been granted salvage rights in many of the key areas and as a result the Scorpions Kiss had undergone a sizable refit, nearly doubling its firepower and re-enforcing many key areas with additional armour. The main drive engines had also been rebuilt and gave the Kiss nearly thirty percent more power than another ship of its class. It was a top of the range warship with an experienced captain and crew in the peak of its existence.

“Reload all batteries and bring us up to the Formidable’s side and get me the Vice Admiral!” The bridge was a hive of activity, but there were no panic strained voices, only the voices of seasoned professionals, and the pride of the fleet, doing what they did best.
“Sir Communications are still being jammed; we can not get through to anyone at this time. The Formidable and the Relentless appear to be undamaged at the moment and are firing on enemy cruiser designated EN-3, at bearing 180. They are really hammering it sir, it won’t last much longer.”

Edesar stopped for a moment and his war weary eyes surveyed his sensor suit. From there he gazed out of the viewing port. In his mind he dissected the battle unfolding around him. The ships, their courses and heading, speed, damage sustained and the effectiveness of the crews. He took into account their weapons, shields, what he knew about their captains and any faults with their ships systems. All this took less than five seconds. He used the next five to fortify himself from the struggle ahead. Then, he was ready. God help these traitorous fools, for I shall not.
“The Vice admiral is as single minded as ever. He looks ahead for a way out this mess without a thought to what approaches from behind.” Edesar gestured at the form of an enemy Cruiser analogue and a pair of destroyers heading towards the Admirals flag ship.
“The Relentless is about to take a beating, but lets see if we can’t save the good Admiral despite himself! Helm put us in the shadow of the Relentless. As she burns we will dispatch these Rebels while their guns are empty. Our window of opportunity will be tight but these traitors will rue the day they ever though to fire on servants of the Emperor!”

On the Bridge of the Formidable, chaos reigned. Fires raged on decks far below, and the dead and dying littered the bridge where they had fallen. Vice Admiral Taranoma picked himself up off the deck and his heart sank when he saw that his pristine white uniform was spotted with blood, oil and smoke. An admiral should always look pristine and regal on the bridge of his ship: an example to follow. His mind flashed back to the lowly ensign he had had shot a year previously for daring to enter the bridge with an oil stain on his sleeve. A dirty uniform on his bridge? That worm had deserved it. But this was different. They were at war. His left arm burned in agony and his vision was blurred from the hit his head had taken as that last damned torpedo had struck and sent him skidding unceremoniously across the deck. “Report Lieutenant! Where in Terra did those Torpedoes come from?”
“Behind us Sir!” The Lieutenant was wounded. Blood oozed from the back of his head and a deep gash on his upper arm. Taranoma didn’t know the name of him despite having served with him for nearly a decade. He didn’t get to know the names of the men around him. He didn’t care.
“Sir the Relentless is… gone sir. She’s on fire from bow to stern, escape pods are launching. They took six Torpedo hits and I think we took two.” Taranoma was speechless. The Relentless had been his command nearly a centaury ago. A fine ship it had seen him through some rough times, but ultimately it had not been tough enough. Taranoma decided not to attempt to recover the escape pods, better to draw a line under the ship that had failed him on this day. Barely had the loss of the Relentless registered with Taranoma when another voice screamed at him
“Sir three enemy ships off our stern, they appeared from behind the Relentless… they are in prime firing position, we are totally under their guns sir!” Taranoma was frozen to the spot. He was a Vice Admiral of the Imperial navy, he was meant to be above these front line duties. He had served his time and worked his way to this point of supposed safety and privilege. This was meant to be a peaceful mission to visit one of the Emperors planets to raise recruitment and to show the flag, what had gone so terrible wrong? Was it his fault? Would future generations look back on him and his ship and say he was the fool that had led his fleet to annihilation, or was there still time for another chapter to be played out? His body was broken and bleeding, crew dying around him, his ship about to be destroyed by ships flying the same flag as him. He could see it now, the eagle’s prow of the enemy Lunar class cruiser broke through the cloud of debris surrounding the Relentless, he was staring down the torpedo tubes that would see his end. Two destroyers came into view. As he watched they turned to aim straight at his Formidable. This was not how it was meant to go. There was nothing he could do.

“Hold… hold… hold for the moment brother’s…” Edesar called nerves tight but calm. The prow of the rebel ship cut through the space barely a kilometre in font of him. “Now! Emperor guide your guns!”

Taranoma winced as the enemy fired. The flash he saw turned into a dozen more as impacts detonated on the hull of the ship bearing down upon him. Time seemed to slow down as the enemies torpedo’s passed through the fusillade of fire aimed directly at the launch tubes, and as one, three of the multi story missiles detonated in a fireball that for a moment out shone the sun. The front of the enemy Cruiser vanished in an instant, as the blast tore down the vulnerable launch tubes and cooked off the next salvo of torpedoes that sat waiting to be loaded. By the time the explosions had died out there was almost nothing left of the cruiser apart from a tumbling ball of flaming metal. In such close proximity the one of the destroyers had been caught up in the explosion and was adrift in flames. The remaining destroyer had veered off just in time, but was now under the guns of the Scorpions Kiss, who had appeared from behind the ashes of the Relentless as if by miracle. He watched as determined fire from the small strike cruiser hammered the destroyer into submission, finally finishing it off with a furious broadside that tore the mid section out of the doomed vessel. The Kiss was a vision of death as the sleek black combat cruiser came close to the Formidable, the flash of fire and explosions from the battle gleaming off the black and yellow hull. As Taranoma watched he realised there was barely a scratch on the warship that had saved him, his crew, and if he could snap himself out of this stupor, maybe even what remained of his fleet.

Edesar allowed himself a slight smile. That had worked even better that he had even thought possible; he had not counted on the enemy formation flying so close together. Never mind, they will not do that again. His communications officer was at his side.
“Captain that cruiser was obviously the source of the localised interference. We have communications back and I have already hailed the Formidable. Admiral Taranoma sends his compliments and gratitude and would like to know how you would like to proceed.” With his rear and flanks secure there was only one course of action open to them.
“Straight into them Brother. We are in to deep to turn back now.” With press of a button on his command chair he opened the Vox line to Vice-Admiral Taranoma.

“Captain your timing was flawless, by crew is forever in your debt.” The vice admiral crawled. Without even acknowledging the compliment Edesar turned to the matter at hand.
“We must press the attack now Admiral. By my count we have three fully operational capital ships and a dozen or so escorts still able to fight, not including you. How is the Formidable Admiral?”
“She took one hell of a beating, and if it wasn’t for yourselves and the Relentless we would have been destroyed. We show fire on four decks and hull breaches on several of the forward sections. Half our shields are down and we have lost our Nova Cannon. That coupled with our personnel losses mean we are barely capable of holding our own. We might as well be out of the fight. I am withdrawing from battle.”
Even through the distortion Edesar could hear the fear in the Admirals voice. This man was a coward. His ship was one of the least damaged of the capital ships that remained yet he was still unwilling to throw his lot in with them. Still he was the highest ranking fleet officer present and even Edesar had to be respectful, even though if he had been and other man in the fleet he would have killed him where he stood.
“Very well Admiral, maintain a safe distance and conduct repairs as you see fit. You are the rearguard Admiral. If we are hit from the rear I expect you to hold them, warn us and conduct yourself in the manor all servants of the Imperium should. I am sending a small detachment of my marines to your ship to assist you. Prepare for their arrival. Edesar out.” Edesar did nothing to hide the bile and sting in his words and hoped through static in the transmission the coward would know Edesar saw him for what he really was. With that last bombshell he cut communications to the outraged Admiral and turned to his aid.
“Lieutenant, send word to Captain Antille’s to come to the bridge, and alert all Astartes to prepare for immediate boarding operations. Full combat load, they are going in hot.”

TBC...

Real Men/Women/Aliens/Heretics/Warp Spawned Filth/Big Scary Space Monsters play Battlefleet Gothic... why dont you???


Last edited by Phrazer; 01-10-11 at 11:24 AM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-09-11, 08:14 PM
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Heya bud!

First off, great beginning. I hope to see more of this when you get a chance to post. I found it an enjoyable read.

From what I read, there were only minor bits that need changed and mostly in punctuation. You have a tendency to use commas a bit much when you don't need to. This messes up the flow of the sentence in places.

Ex: From that moment, a mission to fly the flag and quieten a disgruntled population, had been thrown out the air lock, they were now fighting for their lives.

From that moment, a mission to fly the flag and quiet a disgruntled population had been thrown out the airlock. They were now fighting for their lives. Either like this or a semi-colon in lieu of a period, making it: ...had been thrown out the airlock; they were now fighting for their lives.

Either of these keep the emphasis on the relevant bits of the story while not dragging it down with pauses from commas.

Also, you don't have to capitalize things like Space Marine Captain or Battleship. There's nothing wrong with doing this but it seems out of place to me and breaks up the sentence. However, it's one thing if you're saying "Captain Edesar" and capitalizing his title. In the same vein, italicizing the names of ships helps to seperate the name from the sentence and makes it easier to recognize them as ships.

Dialogue should be seperated from story to add emphasis to what's being said:

Ex: An almost animal growl filled the bridge of the Space Marine Strike Cruiser Scorpions Kiss as the huge figure of the Space Marine Captain slammed his fist into his command chair. Sparks flew and a deep dent was left in the solid metal of the chair. With blazing red eyes fixed on the viewing window in front of him he jumped to his feet. “Fire all weapons on that target; I want him dead in space!” Captain Edesar barked as the Scorpions Kiss drove on into the heart of the enemy fleet.

Now: An almost animal growl filled the bridge of the space marine strike cruiser, Scorpion's Kiss, as the huge figure of the space marine captain slammed his fist into his command chair. Sparks flew and a deep dent was left in the solid metal of the chair. With blazing red eyes fixed on the viewing window in front of him, he jumped to his feet.

"Fire all weapons on that target. I want him dead in space!" Captain Edesar barked as the Scorpion's Kiss drove on into the heart of the enemy fleet.

See how taking the dialogue out of the paragraph and putting it on its own gives it more emphasis and makes it easier for the reader to grasp?

These are just a couple of examples. Like I said, the story is quite good. It really only need mild editing to make it perfect. You tell the story well so keep at it. I'd like to read more!

Good luck and good gaming,

Nate

Oh... P.S.-I absolutely love this line: The trap had been set, and the fleet had blundered straight into it with a catastrophic precision. This is a fine example of good descriptive writing

"If you can't stun them with your tactical brilliance, baffle them with your superior grasp of BS."

"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man."

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Originally Posted by TheAllFather View Post
Well, seeing as how you capitalize your characters, use proper grammar and punctuation, I'd say you qualify.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-11, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Nate, thankyou very much for your kind comments and for taking the time to read and give me some constructive criticism, it really is much appreciated. Instead of just posting the next section up now i will look at it along side your comments and see if i can make the alteration before hand.

Again, thanks alot and I hope you will enjoy the next part

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-11, 03:20 PM
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Always remember that no matter how long you look at it, you're going to miss something LOL! When you go to edit it, read it through twice. After you do that, set it aside (or walk away from the computer lol) and go do something else. Read, watch tv, eat. When you come back, you'll have a fresh set of eyes. Also, never just depend on a spell/grammar checker. They're good at catching easy mistakes but a good set of eyes and a brain work a lot better when it comes to properly fleshing out sentences. I look forward to seeing more bud. Keep up the good works!

Good luck and good gaming,

Nate

"If you can't stun them with your tactical brilliance, baffle them with your superior grasp of BS."

"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man."

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Originally Posted by TheAllFather View Post
Well, seeing as how you capitalize your characters, use proper grammar and punctuation, I'd say you qualify.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-11, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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My problem is my word count in MS Word is over 25k words lol. I love writing its the editing thats the tricky bit lol

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-11, 05:21 PM
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Try breaking it down into 1-2000 word chapters, and take a night or two to read them purely.



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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-11, 05:36 PM
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If you edit one paragraph at a time, then the editing process becomes less overwhelming.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-17-11, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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The Captain of the 4th was close at hand, and in a moment he was at Edesar’s side. Antille cut an impressive form, even amongst his kin. Handsome for a Marine, his face was mostly devoid of scars save the top of his right ear that he had lost to a near miss from an auto cannon round nearly a hundred years previously. Short cropped dark hair lay flat on his head where the nearly constant pressure of his helmet kept it. Piercing blue grey eyes surveyed the bridge at a glance. He walked quickly up to Edesar’s command chair, his blood red and gold cape flowing in his wake. The two Captains clasped for arms and greeted each other warmly. Decades of fighting along side each other, and a mutual position of command had fostered within them a close friendship; one that had endured the test of time and the loss of so many friends.
“Captain, I would be obliged if you could send a squad of men to the Formidable. The Admiral has lost the stomach for the job at hand. Persuade him that death in service to the Emperor is preferable to being shot on his own bridge and maybe we will be able to use the Formidable’s guns again before the day is out.” Antille knew just the men for the job and nodded, speaking into his helmeted vox. The order was passes to Sergeant Collinz to launch immediately. He turned to his friend.
“Captain, while I would never question your ability to command, even with the Formidable’s guns we are still heavily out numbered. The defence platforms must surely outgun us on their own, let alone their remaining fleet. Am I correct in my assessment or is there a factor I have overlooked?” Edesar smiled, taking the insult as the private joke his friend had meant it as. He turned to him.
“Yes there is brother. You, and your heroes of the 4th.”

After the short hop in the Thunderhawk Sergeant Collinz stepped onto the deck of the Formidable’s main landing area, followed closely by his squad. Their heavy metallic foot falls echoed through the eerily silent hanger. On hearing that a contingent of Space Marines was on their way over, most of the crew of the hanger had found a reason to be elsewhere. They fought their natural instinct to deploy into a tactical formation, instead filing out in quick order and standing in double ranks behind him. Heavy weapons had been left behind so with the exception of the Sergeant they were armed with bolters. Collinz himself carried his power fist and a holstered bolt pistol, neither of which was activated. Unlike the other sergeants of the 4th company Collinz did not wear the traditional red and gold cape and his black armour had few decorations of his past achievements. Only his golden Terminator honours medal hung at his waist and the three studs in his scarred forehead told of a warrior who was all business. For a hundred and fifty years he had served with the 4th company, only the Captain himself had served for longer. Collinz knew his squad was not the strongest of the 4th. He had lost five men holding a factory complex against a rebellious guard regiment a year previously, and even though he and his squad had been highly decorated for their heroic efforts he would have given all his citations to have his lost men back. Pride was not one of the virtues that a Space Marine was meant to possess, but by the Emperor he would train them and lead them harder than any in the 4th to get their reputation as the best in the company back.

The wine of the Thunderhawks engines was still dying away when a group of armed men approached them, let by a wounded and very agitated looking junior officer.
“Stay where you are sergeant. You had no clearance to board the Formidable let alone assume to have the authority to give any orders. You will leave immediately or we will be forced to disarm and contain you.” The mans voice was shaky and the sweat poured off him, adding to the blood that was soaked into his unbuttoned tunic.
The Marines of the Red Scorpions 4th company were some of the best trained warriors in the galaxy, but despite this, through his headset, Collinz heard one of his men snought of laughter. He would find out whom later on, attitudes like that had no place in his squad, whoever it was would be dealt with. The situation had to be diffused one way or another. All Collinz knew was that this was wasting time they didn’t have.

Captain Antille had gathered his most senior Sergeants around him to brief them in on what was about to happen. His men listened closely, asking only the most important of questions.
“The situation has developed into a stand off. Our fleet has the out gunned in open space, but we dare not venture into range of their planetary defence battle stations. Our task is to break this stand off with a direct boarding of the main enemy defence station and to disable it. With the change in balance during the battle, our fleet will engage and destroy the remaining enemy platforms and drive off the remaining fleet.” He then went on to detail their assault. No one interrupted him, his men just listened intently. They would need all of their concentration in the hours to come. This would not be easy; the plan that was being described to them bordered on the suicidal. They knew many of them may not be coming back at all.

Finally after much ship to ship consultation the Imperial fleet began to form up and manoeuvre. Damage control teams still crawled over most of the vast war ships and none, save the Kiss, had escaped the opening engagement intact, most having taken significant damage. The Nemesis could only make half speed after taking a torpedo to its main Ion engine section. It had actually taken two, but on impact one of the massive missiles had failed to detonate and now the ship limped forward with a two hundred meter section of missile sticking out of its hull. Along side the Ameista Star slid forward, its cavernous launch bays silent and empty as a massive internal explosion had gutted the interior of the vessel and as there was nothing the fire teams could do against a fire of that magnitude the fire had eventually burnt itself out in the vacuum of space. Finally out of the three remaining capital ships the Steel Fist from on side showed nearly no battle damage at all. Until you looked at the ships starboard side. A lance hit had struck just off centre of the armoured prow of the warship and had carved through the hull for nearly a quarter of the ships length as compartment after compartment had been blown out. The Fist had lost its torpedo launchers and half its heavy batteries and had its captain had not chosen to seal off hundreds of compartments almost immediately after impact, they could have lost the entire ship. Hundreds of crew still survived behind the sealed bulkheads, but as the atmosphere slowly leaked out few of them would survive much longer. With these mighty cruisers came over a dozen escort class vessels including eight Cobra class destroyers, four Sword class frigates and a sole surviving Firestorm class frigate. The escorts formed a screen for the three cruisers who flew in an arrowhead formation with the Scorpions Kiss in the centre.

Sergeant Valdermann felt the familiar moment of weightlessness as the Thunderhawk lifted off at combat speed. The moment they cleared the blast doors they slammed shut behind them. He knew the next time he set foot outside of his transport it would either be on the enemy stations, or oblivion. Through the cockpit glass he could see the two fleets begin to exchange their first long range shots. Lance impact on shields glowed blue-white and blossomed into silent ice cold fireballs at this range, what those close to those massive impacts felt, he did no want to know. The Scorpions Kiss was not at the forefront of this attack as it had been before. The ship was too small to make much of an impact at this range and in the presence of ships three times the size of it, as always, the Marine vessel would form the surgical scalpel that would hopefully cut the heart out of the enemy. He gripped hard as, in a series of dizzying manoeuvres the pilots sitting just in front of him brought the Thunderhawk around, not towards the battle, but back towards the hull of the Scorpions Kiss. A moment later the dull clamping noise of the two hulls meeting told him that they had landed on the Kiss. Thirty meters in front of him he saw another Thunderhawk settling down and switch off its external running lights. Around him he knew four more, loaded with the entire available fighting strength of the company, including Captain Antille himself. The trap was set. All that they needed now was a miracle.

Edesar paced the bridge. If there was anything worse than waiting, he had never encountered it in all his years. They were pushing too hard, he thought. Another system has rebelling from the light of the Emperor was nothing new, but after than initial engagement they should have held back. Waited for re-enforcements to arrive. There was no dishonour in that, they had encountered a well prepared enemy, and despite heavy losses they had driven them off back to their own world. Now they were forced into a do or die mission that bordered on the suicidal, even for the 4th. Well, duty shall be done. If this was his day, so be it, but by the Emperor he would sell their lives dear.
“Sir, battle is joined. The defence stations are online, it is as we feared: they are engaging our fleet.” Edesar broke from his thoughts, the moment had come. “Very well brother, prepare engines for flank speed, I want everything you have, and I want it the instant I say, no delay!”
“Yes Sir, engines are fully operational, you have flank speed when you want it. Engine room standing by” he added.
“Good. Signal Captain Antille that we are about to get underway. All hands stand bye. By the Emperor, see our will be done and guide our actions. For the Emperor!”

Like a black bullet, the Scorpions Kiss shot through the lines of the Imperial fleet and into the maelstrom of battle. Its massive engines accelerating it to speeds that the larger lumbering cruisers could only stare in awe at, for a moment it moved untouched by missile of shell alike, to fast for any weapon to track, or turret to target.

That was no to last however. Lance blasts crossed behind him, getting closer and closer as stunned gunners redoubled their efforts and their aim improved, and it wasn’t long before the first shell impacted brightly on the Kiss’ shields. They entered the swirling battle between the opposing fleets nimble frigate and destroyed groups. Edesar could see that the Imperial fleet was giving everything it had to hold the Rebel fleet at bay. A crippled Cobra class destroyer, in its final death throws, hurled itself into the engine block of an opposing frigate, sending both ships into oblivion in a huge explosion. Another Cobra broke an enemy frigate in half with a stunning double torpedo hit to its mid section, only to be wiped out an instant later by a huge blast from the central defence station. The blast left no debris from the destroyer; it was simply no longer there. The Scorpions Kiss was not escaping undamaged however. A lance shot from an enemy battle cruiser clipped his dorsal shielding and the energy released blew out power conduits on three decks and killed a gunnery servitor on the bridge as his station exploded around him. A stray shell that somehow passed through his shields impacted on his forward superstructure and blew a hole in his armoured hull. An enemy bomber formation was wiped out barely a kilometre from his hull by allied fighter cover, but not until three missiles had slammed into his portside armour. His heart sank as he saw Thunderhawk debris and even power armour clad bodies tumbling off through space as a result of the explosions. His men were dying; it was time to fight back.

...

Real Men/Women/Aliens/Heretics/Warp Spawned Filth/Big Scary Space Monsters play Battlefleet Gothic... why dont you???

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