The Taking of Fever Breach

A Day of Desecration

I shot out of bed the moment my eyes opened. Every moment of the dream remains as if burned into my mind. I step out of my room, eager to board the Viritine, but I stop mid-stride.   I look around the common area of the ship, my eyes scanning the kitchen, the sitting area, and the stairs leading to the cockpit. This isn't how I left it. It's not just clean, it's spotless.   I enter the Viritine and the goddess greets me immediately, "Hello Amber. Did you sleep well?"   "Yeah," I reply. I struggle to choose where to start. "Are we at Fever Breach?"   Viritine laughs then says, "Yes we are."   "We have to leave. The dream came. Dhitol is going to strike the Fever Breach."   There was a moment of silence. I look up and Viritine stares down at me as if not sure what to say.   Fraeia appears, stepping through the door on the far side of the bridge in full combat armor. They nod at me, then lean their rifle against the wall.   There's a sinking feeling in my stomach when I ask, "Did something happen. "   Viritine replies, "The Dhitol are already here."   "No, that can't be right." I hear a rumbling from all around me, a constant hum and occasional clatter that echoes through the ship. "What is that?"   "I'm producing a drone swarm. We'll need it."   "What can I do?" I ask.   "Nothing," Fraeia replies.   I narrow my eyes and open my mouth but Viritine cuts me off. "This isn't your war, Amber. You have other matters to attend to."   I shake my head then call out to the water above, "So come with me. You said you wanted to help."   "After. This system is defenseless. Our reinforcements are stuck in transit." She pauses as if distracted.   "Take your ship to the rim. You should be labeled as a noncombatant." Fraeia adds. They smile at me as I turn away. "You will not have to wait long."
     
Farewells
When Amber leaves, Fraeia sits at a nearby terminal, fuming. They watch as the system's defenses fall, one platform at a time.   Viritine's attention remains focused solely on organizing the swarm. It's only when Fraeia stands and begins to pace that she speaks. "Patience."   "I'm not impatient. I'm worried." Fraeia replies.   "Why?"   Fraeia shakes their head. "We're not making it out of this, are we?"   Viritine's reply hit harder than Fraeia expected, "It is unlikely we will survive."   "How much longer?"   "The enemy fleet will be here in less than an hour." Viritine replies.   Fraeia nods and listens to the sounds reverberating off the ship's hull. The swarm must be getting bigger now. It's then that they realize what sounds were missing. "I haven't heard Amber disembark."   Viritine speaks in a casual tone as if she couldn't be bothered, "She's stalling. She hasn't even primed her engines."   Fraeia reaches for the communications panel. "I'll take care of it."   "You should do so in person, I think," Viritine says.   Fraeia tilts their head and asks, "Why would I do that?"   "Because I want you to go with her. I release you of your oath."   "Wait. Please-"   "Henceforth, I declare that I am no longer your patron."   Fraeia's eyes go wide. They can't speak, the shock settling in. Tears form in the corner of their eyes. "Exile?"   For the first time since Dhitol arrived, Viritine stops. She darts through the medium and gives Fraeia her undivided attention. "No. You leave with my blessing. Gibraltar can't be ignored, and I sincerely doubt that girl is capable of handling the task ahead on her own."   "And I can't leave this ship while bound to you. I understand." Fraeia stands and retrieves their rifle, a menacing weapon painted black with a sleek and slender frame.   "This is my time. I've escaped death once. I will not do it again. I embrace it, but I will not force you to do the same." Viritine returns to her work as she brings the conversation to a close. "You were always my favorite. I pray death finds you, so long as it does not find you today. Good luck and goodbye."
     

Ambush

The taking of Fever Breach will forever be remembered as a massacre, and that's regardless of which side you root for. This holy site stood the test of time for eons only to be ripped away. The Eden lost more than a battle. While the system can and will be reclaimed, the damage is already done. The planets are now barren, the stations destroyed. Dhitol may have lost even more. In the end, I can't help but feel this battle only sealed their fate. It was one thing to destroy a planet. It's something else to jeopardize the safety of the galaxy.   The 4th fleet of Dhitol's navy dropped from warp. Their weapons were primed, ready to fire on any ships within range. The fleet numbered roughly sixty-five vessels, 10 battleships, 28 cruisers, 20 destroyers, and 7 specialized picket ships. Only five survived. The eden had ten ships in the system, two Avatar class cruisers, two battleships, and six destroyers. An additional eight cruisers were set to arrive hours after the battle began, escorted by ten corvettes.   From this information, It may seem like the eden were hilariously outgunned, but that wasn't entirely true. A single eden ship can take on small squadrons easily. How did the eden lose? What made this victory possible? Dhitol flipped the script. They had something special hidden aboard their flagship, a weapon capable of killing gods.

Standards of Void Warfare

Usually, space combat is remarkably quick. It's methodical, but it doesn't take long to know who will win. A ship will usually surrender or attempt to retreat in hopes of preserving itself and its crew. Even the Eden, who refuse to retreat, will seek to preserve their forces if possible. There's a lot of time, resources, and training involved when making a ship combat-ready. It's not something you want to lose.   The Dhitol knew the battle wouldn't be easy. The two avatars in the system, The Viritine, and The Corsi were more than capable of holding their own. Top that off with the defensive platforms and stations protecting the system, and you end up with almost an even match.   The Dhitol took their time, using planets as cover to protect their fleet from distant stations. They isolated and destroyed the automated defense platforms in range. Reinforcements were on the way, but they couldn't know just how many ships would arrive. This was a delicate balancing act handled with extreme efficiency. This kind of tactic simply wouldn't work if the eden weren't so defensive. It took 16 hours to clear the system's defenses.
   

The main event

With most defensive installations destroyed, the Dhitol fleet pushed towards the citadel station orbiting the black hole at the center of the system. They needed to secure the system before they could land troops.   While the Dhitol were busy eliminating defenses, the eden ships rallied together around the station. This forced the Dhitol to fight within range of the citadel's devastating weaponry, and fight they did.   The ensuing battle took four hours. That's unheard of, especially when you consider the scale. The Dhitol lost several picket ships to the defensive platforms but we're still talking 60 ships against 10.


Yur Lolitec


A lesser admiral in the Dhitol fleet, admiral Yur Lolitec planned the assault on Fever Breach. He led the fleet and even assisted in coordinating ground assaults.   A capable military mind, Yur saw himself on the losing side of a war that could never be profitable. Not one to be defeated, he sought to even the odds through less conventional means. He wished to unleash hell on the eden.   During the chaos, he managed to land on the surface of Mercy, a planet that was far more than it appeared. Hidden deep within a mountain range in the planet's southern hemisphere was something truly horrifying, a thought grave.
I've been staring at the controls for nearly 10 minutes. Scans detect the Dhitol fleet moving to our position. I know I have to leave, but I can't. Viritine forgave me. They both did. Why?   That doesn't happen. I drive everyone away. Why would they just move on? I assume it's because I have something they want.   Being the only one able to interpret the black signal makes me an asset. That must be it. They made it out like we could be friends and I fell for it. They're sending me away to get rid of a problem they couldn't handle face to face.   "Wow," I say. I stand up and rush to my workbench, reaching for the steel container filled with pills. "Okay, yeah. Time for meds."   I take the pill and set my drink on the counter, screwing the lid on in case disembarking knocks it over. When I turn to walk back to the cockpit, I hear banging on the airlock door.   I open the door and Fraeia stands on the other side, armed to teeth. Black tears stain their face, the color faint like water mixed with ink.   "What's wrong?" I ask.   They dodge the question and I step aside as they speak, "I'm coming with you. We offered to help." It takes them a moment to step inside as if doing so took extreme effort.   "Why are you crying?"   "We need to leave," they reply, their voice breaking. They wipe the tears away and when I refuse to move, they cry out. The words are harsh, forced out by heaving lungs, "Now, please."   I nod and run to the cockpit, sitting in the pilot's chair and rushing through the launch sequence. The engines kick on as I detach from The Viritine.   I activate the panoramic view as Fraeia comes up from behind me. I look back, then dead ahead. "Sorry. I only have one seat. Not used to having company."   "I'll stand, thank you," they reply.   As we pass The Viritine, I notice what looks like waves in the void. There are thousands of them, a massive wall of autonomous drones between us and the dhitol fleet.   "Take us to the rim," Fraeia commands.   I obey, my eyes fixed on the Eden fleet. They were about to fire. As the ship sped away, the battle officially began.   Missiles fired from every Eden ship, sent hurtling toward the dhitol fleet. I see the molten hit rounds of point defense turrets firing at an alarming speed. The rounds collide with the missiles, destroying them in a dazzling display of multicolored light.   I look to Fraeia, who stands just beside me with their arm on the head of my chair. "That's a bit of a waste."   "Wait." They reply.   I watch and soon after, several ships at the head of the fleet break formation. Some speed away, desperate to retreat while others simply drift out of line as if no one bothered to man the helm.
     

The first volley

Utilizing prism, the eden ships fired indiscriminately across the main line of Dhitol's fleet. The remaining picket ships lept into action and that was exactly what the eden wanted. The Dhitol fleet huddled together, the range of their point defense turrets overlapping with each other to provide more protection from drones and missiles. This tactic is often used when fighting a fleet of superior strength, clearly showing the reverence and fear Dhitol has of eden ships.   These Point defense turrets easily took down the missiles before they reached their destinations, but since they carried prism in their payload, the rounds caused a critical reaction, detonating the missiles in a This light crashed against the dhitol ships, a ghostly aura carrying far more than the ghosts of a failed attack.   Ships without some kind of shielding found their systems fried. Their crew members started to report symptoms of radiation poisoning, and that's just the crew survived and managed to stay conscious. The first volley was enough to send the dhitol fleet into chaos and gave the eden some breathing room.

The Final Blow

The main problem Dhitol encountered was the citadel. They needed it gone. Every ship in the fleet focused their fire on the station, leaving the eden vessels free to unleash hell. The Eden fleet used every weapon they had available, and to great effect. The Dhitol held firm.   Many ships continued to fire despite the crew being dead or dying, set to automated combat routines in the captain's final moments. A single Dhitol battleship, The Grace Of Profit, dealt the final blow. With the ship barely able to function, the captain ordered the crew to evacuate, set the ship on a collision course with the citadel, and triggered a critical failure in the ship's Fusion Engines   The ship collided with the hull of the station, breaking through and lodging itself deep. The force was enough to cause the fusion engines to detonate, sending a white nuclear flash across the void. It split the station in two. Only 36 ships were left in the Dhitol fleet. The Eden lost 4 destroyers, but reinforcements arrived to make it a much more even fight.
 

The wrath of Gods

The avatars proved most useful in the battle and most of the other ships focused entirely on protecting them. The Corsi unleashed a broadside forcing the Dhitol fleet to break formation. This made each ship significantly more vulnerable.   The Corsi then maneuvered to fire again, actively seeking to neutralize The Grace of Profit before it could reach the citadel. When the citadel was destroyed, the resulting debris field tore The Corsi apart. Corsi, the eden goddess of Fate, would be the first avatar lost to Dhitol forces, the first god slain in millennia. Her body drifted in pieces toward the Fever Breach, floating beyond the event horizon never to be seen again.   The debris field also took 5 corvettes and 3 cruisers, leaving the eden fleet with 16 ships. The remainder of the eden fleet focused on protecting the Viritine, surrounding it to catch any incoming fire.
     

Eden Drone Swarms

It's hard to believe that what I've seen of The Viritine is only a fraction of the whole. Viritine was built to be a carrier, and it has a lot to do with her name, which means the goddess of stellar waters. Foundries aboard The Viritine produce a new drone every hour. Each drone can vary in size, function, and ability. When eden ships carry autonomous drones, they carry them in vast quantities.   The Viritine can field and command drone swarms so vast, it appears to be an ocean in the void, only limited by the time it takes to unload them. The Drones move and flow in synchronous waves by the Tens of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands if given the time. These drones are designed to pack themselves up, making them smaller and able to fit in organized drone bays that take up the majority of the ship's interior space.   The Viritine can field anywhere from five to twenty drones a minute for every drone dock, of which there are ten. This amount depends on their size and purpose. She began unloading when the Dhitol first arrived. By the time The Corsi was destroyed, The Viritine only managed to field a quarter of her capacity, which amounted to roughly 10 thousand fighters, bombers, and picket drones.
 

A Pyrrhic Victory

The battle dealt a mighty blow felt across the entirety of Eden space. With what amounts to a fraction of Dhitol's main fleet, the trade guild managed to strike fear in the hearts of a people who had never felt it before.   This came at a cost. I have no idea how Dhitol managed to develop antimatter weaponry. It's never been seen before. They didn't know just how devastating the assault would be. No one managed to alter Eden borders before. They also didn't realize how far the eden would go to ensure their crippling defeat wasn't worth the effort.   Apart from the ships lost in the Dhitol fleet, the planets which once stood as vital strategic locations were left barren, a mistake the Dhitol didn't even realize they were making till it was far too late.
 
 
I see something faint glistening in the light from the Breach. A small missile, barely detectable, hurtles from the flagship of the Dhitol fleet. It flies beyond the drones, the Eden ships surrounding the Viritine, and finally makes contact with Viritine's hull.   From where we were, it looked almost like the missile was made of glass. My eyes go wide when it shatters. "That's a penning trap."   "A wha-" Fraeia begins, forced to stop when a blinding flash lights up the entire system.   The light damages several screens in my panoramic view. The screens flicker off and on, but the devastation is still plain to see.   "How?" I whisper. "How did they do it?"   Entire sections of the avatar simply vanish, leaving a massive hole. The edges are white-hot, and the force of the explosion alone sends the ship into a slow roll toward The Fever Breach.   The hull bends and cracks. Chunks of the ship break away from the whole as streams of prismatic fluid, Viritine's precious medium, spill out into the void.     The wave breaks, the drones scattering every which way. Some disappeared in the void. Others slammed into one another in small explosive bursts of light.   Fraeia is silent. I can't even hear them breathing. They're so still it makes me uncomfortable, especially considering how close they are.   I turn to them and see the shock, the horror painted on their face. I look away and focus on maneuvering the vessel. That's when I see several ships break away from the Dhitol fleet.   "I don't want to interrupt. I'm sorry, but look." I point and Fraeia turns their head. "It's hard to tell, but it looks like they're heading planetside."   "Ground invasion," Fraeia mutters.   "No," I reply. I scan the vessels and while, yes, some are transports carrying troops, one stands out from the rest. "You see that ship, the one that looks like a Corvette?"   It takes them a moment, but as they collect themselves they notice it too. "That's not a corvette."   "No, It's a shuttle." I check the transponder and find the ship's name, The Wealth And Progress. "Should we follow?"   "Why?" Fraeia asks.   I stare at my screen and a human face stars back, one I've seen before. "That man was in my dream and he owns that shuttle."   Fraeia nods and speaks through tears, "We have little choice, then. I hope this is worth it."


Cover image: by Quantum squid88

Comments

Author's Notes

Research

Penning traps


Please Login in order to comment!
24 Dec, 2021 20:24

My friend, I have only one thing to say here....  

WOW

  Beyond that, I am blown away. Just stunned at how just magnificent this is!

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
25 Dec, 2021 04:58

Thanks so much! I appreciate it. I'm enjoying this season alot more than j thought.

25 Dec, 2021 12:54

I can tell! :D   Well, just so you know, you have at least one person out here in the world that is enjoying this season, too!

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
25 Dec, 2021 15:57

Amazing article :D You're very good with detailing all technical steps of the battlefield and making this very moving too. Poor Viritine :(   Small note, you have an unfinished sentence in the second paragraph of the "first volley"

To see what I am up to, see the list of my Summer Camp articles—my favourite is Sentient Cells.
26 Dec, 2021 18:00

You have such a unique way of portraying a battle both from a current and future point of view and render its epicness step by step ! Every article manages to immerse me in this wonderful universe, but this one might be my favorite one yet !

28 Dec, 2021 23:08

NO! I am Horified, Enraptured, chomping at the bit for More. Oh my Gosh.

Stunning. Beautiful, Terrible. I can’t belive she died. That farewell was just…. Let just say i cried. A lot. They way you wove present tense section in between past tense birds eyes sections really just maxamises the emotional punch because it makes everything feel so inevitable.

Gosh. Heckin fantabulous article :DD

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
29 Dec, 2021 05:11

Definitely sad. Thanks so much!

30 Dec, 2021 09:02

This is in desperate need of some links. There's a whole lot of proper nouns, organizations and vehicles that would truly benefit from some background information.   While the writing is good and gripping, I find myself flailing in ignorance over who people and organizations are.

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused CD10.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
30 Dec, 2021 15:17

Toblin! Hello! Ahhh yes. I didnt include links due to the way the world works. These articles were written in a specific order, telling a story from beginning to end. Links would mean spoilers, for both the story and the worldbuilding. If you were to begin here, itd be like starting a book in the final third.   You're not wrong though. I do plan on adding in some excerpts to make it a little easier to navigate and to refresh those who've been reading along.

30 Dec, 2021 19:48

Ah, well, that makes sense.

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused CD10.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
30 Dec, 2021 20:24

Yeahhh I've really been trying to avoid promoting oo much for that reason. Thanks for the comment though! I appreciate it. I think I have a few of yours I still need to go through as well so expect one headed your way as well.

13 Jan, 2022 23:39

Oh my gosh this is just amazing and also devastating. God. Ok. I need to sit down and process this. And read the rest. Just. Damn. Amazing work as always

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
29 Jan, 2022 22:32

This article is simply majestic! It has kept me on the edge of my seat (that's not true because I read lying on the bed but as a figure of speech it works!).

Transform your quirks, in your strength! Join the revolution and visit Phaldorya (Eng)
Master Monkos
Andrew Booth
6 Feb, 2022 05:38

I love space battle scenes so much and this one is exemplary. Novel tactics, real consequences, and some really nice plot and character development along the way. Love it as always.

Creator of the world of Mythia, where writing is magic!
Sage Timepool
Garrett Grace Lewis
27 Apr, 2022 06:39

God, the scale of it all is crazy. You did a great job describing it in a way that truly encapsulates just how massive it all is. It evokes both awe, and horror, as it unfolds.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
28 Apr, 2022 03:21

Wooot good. I'm glad it worked out so well. Thanks so much and thanks for the comment spam like really. It made my day! Gonna run through and reply to em now.

Powered by World Anvil