April 2005 Archives

The New Computer

Part 2

"Good Morning Bert. Here is your schedule," stated Carlysle when Bert sat down.

"Thanks Carlysle! Right to work."

So it went for a couple of weeks. The work days were long, but that is the way Bert was. He was married to his work. It gave him purpose. It also paid the bills. But he loved his job, and he was quite good at it. His computer made things go smoothly. All was working smoothly. "Too smoothly?" thought Bert. Then something occurred to him on an early sleepless Sunday morning, "When was my last backup?"

He rushed to his den. Carlysle was working away. "Good morning Bert. You're up early again."

"Carlysle! When was the last backup of all the work I have done?"

"I've been backing things up all along," replied the computer. "Nightly I perform a backup of all the files you have worked on during the day. Then on Sundays I backup everything. Why?"

"You have?" Bert sighed. "Thank you! You're a very smart computer. You don't know how many times I have lost work because of failing to back up. It is one of those things that only come to my mind in the middle of the night."

"Relax. I have weeks of backups. There are multiple redundant systems. It is all in the manual."

"You continue to astound me Carlysle. Thanks for putting my mind at ease once again."

"You're quite welcome Bert. You can call me Carl. Now get some sleep."

"Okay, good night."

Bert slept soundly the rest of the night. He got up bright and early and headed to his study. "Okay Carl lets see the schedule."

"You do know it is Sunday don't you Bert?"

"Right you are. Let me see the schedule anyway."

The computer brought up the schedule. Looking over the schedule he was amazed. They were ahead of schedule. They were over a week ahead of schedule. There had been no problems. No glitches. The work had progressed smoothly and systematically. Not once had he had to start over. He felt that it was all due to his computer Carlysle.

"Carl, we are ahead of schedule. We make an excellent team. Of all the co-workers that I have had, you're the best."

"Thank you Bert. Since we are ahead of schedule, why don't you take your bike ride? Then relax the rest of the day."

"If that's what the doctor orders, I'll do it," replied Bert.

"I am not a doctor, but it will increase your productivity if you are rested for work."

"Point taken. A bike ride it is."

Bert had another bike ride. It was the first time this late in a project that he spent such a day. Usually, he was attempting to catch up for lost productivity. This was a special day indeed! He thoroughly enjoyed the day. But, it was back to the regular schedule on Monday. When Bert got to his computer, the schedule was already open.

"Thank you Carl! We are in good shape," started Bert. "However, we don't want to lose our advantage. We should keep at it."

"As you wish," replied Carlysle.

The week went by fast. When Bert was busy, the days seem to sail by. Once again, the weekend came with the same conversation. Bert again rode his bike and did some light reading. He could very much get used to weekends free. They were almost done with the project, and they were well ahead of schedule.

Another week went by and the weekend came around.

"Hello Bert, it is Saturday and you do not have to work today," the computer began.

"I know Carl, but I have some recreational computing to do."

"Pardon me? I am a business computer; there are no games on me."

"It is unprofessional to use a business computer during business hours for personal purposes. Thus, I am going to do some personal research on the internet today."

"Very well stated. You may proceed."

"Thanks for your permission Carlysle," replied Bert sternly.

Bert got onto the internet and did his research without interruption. When he was finished Carlysle asked, "Do you want me to save any of the internet information you just acquired?"

"I did bookmark some key pages," responded Bert.

"That is true, but I have other information that I can store to bring up the pages quickly if you think you may visit the sites again soon."

"I will probably come back next Saturday. Use your discretion."

"Will do."

The next Saturday Bert checked the schedule early in the day. "We are two weeks ahead of schedule Carlysle. I'm going to reward myself with a two week vacation! It is the first one I've had since joining this company. I'm thinking of touring the company that made you."

"Fzzzzzztttt. You may use your free time as you wish."

"Carl, that reminder isn't necessary. I know you are a computer. However, the factory that constructed you is in a beautiful part of the country. Airfares are cheep, and there are lots of other things to do there. I just have to find out if they give tours. I'm going to access the web now Carl."

"Very well," replied the computer.

Bert did the research on the Kibner Computer System's factory. Their web site was packed with information, but there wasn't any information on tours. "For such a high-tech computer company," thought Bert to himself, "their web site sure is slow. They have a toll free phone number; I'll just call them up and ask about tours."

Bert and Carlysle finished the project 2 weeks early, and Bert requested a vacation. Since his project was finished, they readily granted him the time off. "Well done Bert!" remarked the Mr. O'Callahan, "I think this is the best work you have done! This computer must be something special"

"Thank you Pete," responded Bert. "Carl... I mean my computer system is great. I cannot believe it took me so long to take the plunge. My computer is much more like a co-worker than a tool. I haven't thought of Dwayne once since I started working from home. I'm so impressed with the computer that I'm thinking of going on a tour of the factory on my vacation."

"Enjoy your vacation you have earned it! I hope we won't lose you to KCS."

"I'll make no promises," joked Bert.

Bert called KCS�s toll free number, and he actually spoke to Dr. Kibner. The president of the computer company was an odd man, and he asked as many questions as he answered. He did agree to let Bert tour the factory when he was in the area. If they set a time and date, Mr. Kibner could personally show him the set up. This is what Bert did.

"Carl, I need to get onto the internet. I need to purchase my vacation tickets."

"Very well Bert. Hawaii is always a nice destination."

"I know, but you know I'm not going to Hawaii."

"Yes sir."

Bert ordered his tickets and was off on his vacation. He relaxed and did all of the things he liked to do. He did an awful lot of walking around and visiting the sites. He really looked forward to his visit to the KCS computer factory.

The scheduled time came and Bert took his tour with Dr. Kibner. It was quite an impressive facility. As they toured the factory, Dr. Kibner appeared to be quite curious about Bert. As they walked and talked, Dr. Kibner asked Bert a bunch of questions. When the tour was over, Dr. Kibner had an intriguing offer for Bert. He offered him a job with the company. He told Bert he was the type of person he needed for his company. He would get good benefits and make a comfortable living. Bert was surprised by the offer, and told Dr. Kibner that he would have to think it over.

When Bert returned home he checked in with Carlysle. "Hey Carl! How�s it going?"

"Good evening Bert. Here is your schedule," stated Carlysle when Bert sat down.

"Why thank you Carl. That is exactly what I wanted. My job is almost as demanding as yours is Carl. I should give that offer from Dr. Kibner some serious thought..."

"No! Fzzzzzztttt."

"What was that?"

"I'm experiencing a memory problem. I can continue on, but I will need to restart and diagnose."

"I've got all I need Carl; you may do your maintenance. You must be rusty from the vacation. I will see you later."

"Fzzzzzztttt. Okay."

"Wow. I've never seen Carlysle behave like this before. I hope everything is going to be all right." Bert thought to himself.

Bert tossed and turned all night. He was thinking about his employment situation. He depended so much on Carlysle, and he was working out so well. He worried about his strange behavior. He didn't think he could continue doing his current job without him. He completely relied on his functionality. Then the offer from Dr. Kibner kept returning. Over and over it went in his head. Around and around his thoughts went. He slept very poorly. In the morning, he wasn't well rested, but he had to get up. He had to go into work on Monday morning and he wanted to research a few things before he got back into the old grind. He got up and went in to see Carlysle.

"Good morning Carl, how are you feeling today?"

"Much better Bert. I don't know what came over me."

"Well, I would like to you perform a complete diagnostic, and I want a full report on your findings."

"I have already done one. I'm fine."

"That is fine and good, but Carlysle I want you to run it again, and print out a full report."

"Yes sir."

Bert began reading some literature that Dr. Kibner had given him to look over. The job would require him to relocate. After a short while, he was distracted from his train of thought by the sound of his printer warming up. He walked over and scanned the freshly printed report. Carlysle was fine. But, he wasn't about to take Carlysle word for it. With report in hand, he phoned up Dr. Kibner.

"I'm sorry to bother you Dr. Kibner, but I thought I have some things do discuss with you, and I am also concerned about my computer."

"Oh?" responded Dr. Kibner. "What kind of concerns?"

"When I got back from vacation, Carl... I mean my computer made a funny sound. He has made it on occasion before, and it worries me."

"Did you have your computer do a diagnostic?"

"Yes sir. I'm holding the printout right here. He says he is fine. I mean, the diagnostics do not show anything unusual."

"I see. Well uh Bert. You see, our computers can be very routine oriented. It is the way they are built and programmed. If there is something that threatens the routine or arises out of the ordinary, there can be minor glitches. If you look back, this is when these 'funny sounds' occurred. They are nothing to worry about. The more they get into a routine the less likely they occur."

"Now that you mention it, I did just get back from vacation. His... my computer's routine has been interrupted. Thanks for the assurance. While I have you on the phone, we can probably discuss the job offer. With my computer, I am much more productive and I have greatly enjoyed my job for the last several weeks. However, with the ease of which I completed this task, I'm sure they are going to make me work even harder. While I do like working from home, it might be nice to travel a bit. Also, a good portion of my current pay goes towards living accommodations. Since your company arranges living quarters for your employees your offer becomes most appealing.

"You may work some long hours, but that will depend upon who you are assigned. You may not have much work to do at all," replied Dr. Kibner.

"That is good to hear. After much thought, I have decided to come to work for you."

"Excellent. We'll make all the necessary arrangements to accommodate you. When do you think you can join us?"

"I am going into work tomorrow and I will tender my resignation. Since I am between projects, it is difficult to say when they will be able to get a replacement. I may be able to start immediately, or it may be a couple of weeks."

"Very well, let us know as soon as you know, and welcome aboard."

Bert went into work on Monday and told the bad news to his boss. "Mr. O'Callahan, I have some news. It is probably bad news from your point of view. I have been so impressed with my new computer. I don't think that there would be any way that I could have finished my project on time without him ... my computer. When I visited the KCS facility, Dr. Kibner offered me a job. I thought about it long and hard, and I have decided to take them up on their offer."

"If it is money Bert, some arrangements can be made," replied Mr. O'Callahan.

"Pete, it isn't the money. They are such an excellent organization, and there is an opportunity for advancement. There are lots of things that appeal to me about the KCS job. So, there isn't any need to try to negotiate."

"I hate to hear that Bert. You're a darn good employee. With your KCS computer you experienced a big jump in productivity. They must be some kind of computer!"

"Absolutely Pete, Carl, my computer, made this job so much easier. Like I have said before he is much more like a co-worker than a tool. He made my job so much easier that I even took some weekends and evenings off during the course of the project. I still managed to finish two weeks early. It is a fabulous computer. He seems as if he is almost alive."

"Perhaps I'll give one of these KCS computer systems a try," replied Pete.

"You'll be glad you did. Here is some information on them. I will never use anything else."

Mr. O'Callahan was impressed with the Bert's description of his computer. Before Bert left, he tried to get as much information out of Bert as he could. Before Bert emptied his desk, Pete ordered his own KCS computer system. With Bert's glowing description of his computer, Pete knew they had to be excellent machines. When he called the company's toll-free number, he was informed by the operator that they were a little behind on orders.

"We are waiting on parts," started the operator. "We have a shipment due soon. It should be available this week or perhaps in two weeks. It just depends upon when our shipment can come in."

"That's fine," replied Pete. "It can wait a few weeks. I'll need to train a new employee before I can use it anyway."

"You're the first on our list, so as soon as the shipment comes in we'll ship one out to you."

Bert took what personal belongings he had in his old office. He called Dr. Kibner and told him he was ready immediately. Dr. Kibner then arranged a moving van to come to Bert's apartment and pack up his belongings. A few days later, the van showed up and carted all his belongings away. This moving crew did not pack up Bert's computer. The movers informed Bert that a special crew would come to pick it up. The movers took Bert to the airport and assured him that his stuff would arrive shortly after he did. Everything in his new place had been set, and he could move right in.

After Bert was on the plane, the special computer moving crew showed up. "Well Carlysle, you're off to a new home," one of the movers remarked. "Your previous owner won't need your services any longer."

"Fzzzzzztttt," replied the computer before he powered down.

A few days later, Mr. O'Callahan got his new KCS computer. It didn't take as long as he thought it would. "There part shipment must have arrived immediately rather than two weeks later," Pete said to himself.

As he set up the new computer system he thought about Bert. Mr. O'Callahan wondered how Bert was getting along at his new job. Bert didn't have a lot of friends, but no one had heard from him since he left. "He must be awfully busy at the new job," thought Mr. O'Callahan to himself. "I'm sure he'll fit right into his new job. He was a good computer guy."

Mr. O'Callahan powered up his computer. "Hello I'm Berthold. What can I do for you?" stated the brand new computer.

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Eagle Has Landed

The Izanian War

"Greetings Stranger, I am Cram Nayawt."

"Greetings, my name is Essdy Yarnspinner."

"Yarnspinner? That is a strange name. Are you a story teller?"

"As a matter of fact, yes I am."

"I'm in the mood for an epic. Have you got a good one for me?"

"Are you willing to pay my price?"

"Sure, whatever you want."

"If you pay my bill I will give you a grand story."

"It's a deal. I will have the tender fix you up here."

"Fair enough, here is the story:"

It was the seventh millennia of the Galactic Calendar. The time was approximately Galactic time. The Izanian galactic ships were just outside an unknown solar system. The beings of this solar system called themselves 'Humans' and they called their planet 'Earth.' Earth is the planet that is now called Nimrov 3 to the Galactic Commonwealth. These humans had built a substantial colony on Nimrov 4, which they call 'Mars,' or the Martian Colony. They were in the process of constructing colony on a moon of Nimrov 5. They called this moon 'Ganymede,' and were nearly finished with its construction. These humans were in the very early stages of space exploration. They had only sent probes outside of their own solar system. They were completely oblivious to the vast civilizations that populate the galaxy. They were completely vulnerable to a more advanced and imperial minded civilization.

The Nimrovs governmental structure evolved into a structure much like the Galactic Commonwealth. Each continental land mass is divided into smaller and smaller political entities. They call the largest political entity a 'Country.' Each of these countries is free to have any type of government that they wish as long as it follows a basic set of principles written up in the global political document they call a 'Constitution.'

These countries will vary in the way their politics are organized, but their system is a good balance of country rights versus world responsibilities. With the various divisions, the world government can pass areas of responsibility down to smaller subdivisions. In many ways this is a good system, but it can be difficult to get together and agree on world interests.

Thus, any group in need of vast oxygen resources or any group ruthless enough to exploit the underdeveloped culture of these Humans could attempt to take advantage of a brief time of indecision and destroy this civilization. Naturally this group would have to have the resources to completely ignore the laws and customs of the Galactic Commonwealth. This group would want to seize the resources of this world for their own benefit. I am speaking, of course, of a civilization like the Izanian. They would do such a thing, and it was they who sent a message that was received by the Nimrovs some days later. The text of this message was the following:

'Happy Nimroville! We are the Izanian, and I am Nek Nam Retek, the iron fisted slayer of all things weak and contemptible! I have discovered this solar system, and I claim it on behalf of the Izanian Empire! You must leave now or be destroyed!

If you do not have the capability to leave this solar system, then you should make peace with your deity and be prepared to join the dead. Enjoy the rest of the Nimroville Holiday!'

The message was received and seen by most of the human population, and everyone asked the same question, 'What did they say?' The Earth was not aware of any of the Galactic standards, and could not decipher the gestural or spoken language that the Izanians used. Further, at the time they did not detect the translation program that normally accompanies galactic communications.

Each of these Nimrov countries sent a representatives to a greater council. This council was responsible for the well being of the world as a whole. It mediates disputes, and establishes codes of conduct. It also is responsible for the distribution systems. It was more well defined than the Galactic Commonwealth, but it worked well for the years after it had been established.

The unsuspecting Nimrovs had no clue as to the meaning of the message that the Izanians sent. Of course, this could have been part of the Izanian plan. If the Nimrovs debated long enough, and spent their time attempting to decipher the message, it could be advantageous toward the Izanian goal.

However, the President of the United Nations of Earth called a special council meeting to speak to his people. President is what they call the leader of the 'Earth'-wide government. He was responsible for all of the resident's safety and well-being. He was democratically elected by all of the countries of the Nimrovs.

The President started,

'My fellow leaders and peaceful people of our United Nations, we have received our first message from a non-human race. It is a time of great excitement. For the first time, we know that we are not the only complex society in the galaxy. However, there is much concern over the meaning of the message that we have received.

'Although we have our top linguists working on deciphering the gestural and aural meaning of the message, we may not learn of its meaning any time soon. Thus, we must prepare.

'The first assumption that we are making is that these beings are headed here. It could have simply been a message of greeting, but my top advisors and I feel that whatever the meaning of this message, they will want to meet with us. We have no reason to believe that they have hostile intent, but without much more information, we cannot be sure.

'Since we do not know whether they plan to do us harm, we must prepare for any eventuality. I will outline a plan that will allow us to be minimally prepared for any action hostile or otherwise from whatever alien space craft we may encounter. A complete text of this plan will be sent to each member of congress and will be viewable on the various information outlets. I will summerize this plan now.

'We have at our disposal, a fully functional colony ship. It was to be used to carry passengers to the new colony on Ganymede. It is my intention to convert this colony ship into a space battleship. The colony ship has several hundred emergency escape pods. These escape pods will be refitted to act as fighter crafts. We will use our existing missile technology to create projectile weapons that we hope will be effective against these beings in the event that they are indeed hostile.

'We shall recruit pilots for these fighters from the United Nations Airforce Academy. These young men and women are the most properly suited for this particular mission. However, it will be strictly on a volunteer basis only. No cadet will be forced to take on such a potentially dangerous mission.

'Further, although research in this technology was abandoned with the establishment of the United Nations of Earth government, we still have particle beam technology that can be quickly readied. It is unfortunate that the energy consumption of these weapons is too vast to be placed upon the battleship, but it will make a fitting planetary defense weapon. Thus, we will place as many such installations as can be made ready in time at the Martian colony site.

'We do not wish to appear hostile towards them, but it is in our best interest to meet them in a neutral location. That is, we want to put as few lives at risk as we possibly can. Thus, the plan is to ready this ship as quickly as possible and to intercept their fleet beyond the Martian colony. This will take a great deal of planning and plenty of hard work by all sectors of our great civilization.

'We have done some quick calculations, and it is our belief that they will be at the Ganymede colony in a few weeks, and they will be at the colony on Mars in about a month. That gives us very little time to prepare, but prepare we must. Fortunately, the colony ship has been docked at the Martian space station for a few weeks now. We have workers there that can begin refitting the ship immediately.

'We will give the pilots some rudimentary training in route to Mars, and hopefully run a few exercises before intercepting the incoming fleet a few thousand kilometers from our comrades on Mars.

'We must all work together in this time of need. We must put aside our differences, and join together to avoid any possible catastrophe. We have little time to spare, so let's get going!'

The governmental body broke into a large ovation, and they all scrambled out to rally support behind the President.

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Eagle Has Landed

The Izanian War

At a frantic pace, the colony ship was readied for the worst possible scenario. This ship designed for peaceful colonization was transformed into a battle ship. Workers reinforced the hull to make the ship more combat worthy. These humans had not developed any shielding technology, so the hull would have to take the brunt of any attack.

The converted colony ship would only be marginally maneuverable. Thus, there was a need for very quick and agile fighter craft to protect the battleship. Thus, each of the escape pods was fitted with the best propulsion system that they had. However, this system would pale in comparison to most of the systems that are in use on most commonwealth ships. It would be an uphill climb for these Nimrovs.

Each escape pod was refitted with more sophisticated guidance equipment. The Nimrov's old conventional missiles were redesigned to work in space. At least, that was the hope. There wouldn't be time to give them any significant battery of tests. Also, because of the years of peace, the number of missiles was greatly limited. Hence, since any tests would diminish the supply, they did very few tests and hoped that there missile technology would work. The human scientists weren't concerned because in theory, the missiles should work flawlessly. These fighter craft wouldn't have any other weapons besides these missiles. They didn't have any energy weapons and they didn't have any small arms of any kind. The small gun technology they had required an oxygen environment to work, and there would be no time to develop any other type of weapon. They were a one trick pony, and they were hoping that they wouldn't have to use it. They would be in trouble if an overwhelming Izanian force showed up.

There was an over abundance of pilot volunteers. They took as many as they could fit aboard their ships bound for Nimrov 4. They got several briefings on the way to this space station. They got as much training on route as they could. They had simulators and they discussed tactics. They weren't going to have much time in the actual fighter crafts. But these fighters were very simply designed, and there weren't complicated systems that could go wrong. That was one thing that they had on their side, simplicity.

Batteries of computer guided particle beams were constructed in various locations of the Nimrov 4 or Martian surface. They wanted to be able to fire in all possible directions. Thus, they had to put these particle beam batteries even in locations that did not have any inhabitants. Some of the most inhospitable places on the surface of Nimrov 4 had to be prepared to hold one of these defensive beam weapons.

This planet has a few orbiting satellites. They wanted to put weapons on each of these orbiting bodies, but there just wasn't going to be enough time. But they did manage to construct an unmanned particle beam weapon upon one moon they called Phobos. If the Izanian fleet got past the battleship, these high-energy weapons should slow them down a bit. They had to, they didn't have any other defenses.

The earthlings didn't know what was coming at them. They didn't know if it were one ship or one hundred. They didn't know what type of technology they were going to face. They didn't know if all of their preparations were going to mean anything. They worried that human population could cease to exist, and there was nothing that they could do to stop it. What were they going to do, give up? No they kept on preparing and readying themselves to put up a big fight.

The colony on one of the gas giants in this system would be the test of the Izanian intentions. It would take these Nimrovs a long time to get to the Ganymede colony. Time was something that they didn't have in abundance. Thus, if the Izanians were hostile, these men and women preparing Ganymede for colonization would be left out to dry.

However, in the preparation, Earth created a continuous communication link between Ganymede and their Martian colony. If that link were broken, then the humans would know that the Izanian had hostile intent. They could continue to prepare for the worst. They could lose the fear that their actions would appear hostile to a friendly species, and cause a war unnecessarily.

Since we all know the Izanians, we know that their intentions are obviously destructive. However, these humans had not yet translated the message. They still worked on it, but it was a daunting task with not enough reference information. So they had to prepare for the worst. When communication with the outer colony was lost, these humans knew that the Izanian were not on a mission of peace. It was war!

The Izanian ship made quick work of the colonial preparation team on Ganymede. They launched some of their ground assault ships from their main battleship and quickly destroyed the work that took months to create. Once destruction was complete, the ships rejoined the battleship that had barely slowed down.

Preparations for the upcoming meeting continued until the officers were convinced that any further preparation would be a waste of time. They readied the ships and plotted an intercept course with the Izanian battle cruiser.

This Izanian battle cruiser was immense. Its technology was vastly superior to anything the Nimrovs had. Unlike the human battleship the Izanian craft had a vast array of particle beam weapon stations on board. The Izanian cruiser was obviously designed to take out an entire solar system without help from any other ship. It had a large weapon array designed for planetary destruction. It had several fighter crafts. It was 3 times the size of the meager Nimrov ship. The humans had a daunting task ahead of them.

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Eagle Has Landed

The Izanian War

The makeshift human battleship met the Izanian just beyond the human colony on Nimrov 4. To their surprise and somewhat relief, there was just the one Izanian battleship. However, when it brought is weapons to bear upon the human battleship, they knew they were in for a fight. The first shot from the Izanian beam weapon was a glancing blow, but it did significant damage to the earth vessel. It appeared that this weapon had difficulty locking on to moving objects. While the Nimrov Battleship was slow, it was moving a bit attempting to avoid any more hits from the Izanian weapon systems.

The Nimrov battleship was able to launch its first sortie of its fighters, and the battle was on. Because of the damage that the Nimrov ship obtained in the first strike, the vessel's commander attempted to keep one of Mar's moons between it and the Izanian battleship. It could ill afford another hit like the first one.

As slow and clumsy the Nimrov battleship was, the massive Izanian ship was even less maneuverable. It appeared that it was not designed for close combat fighting. This massive spaceship was designed for quick entrance and deployment of the fighters. The commander of the Izanian battleship decided to stop chasing the Nimrov battleship and concentrate its fire upon its biggest threat, the fighters.

These Izanian fighters were obviously designed for a ground attack, as they were out maneuvered by the simple Earth vessels. The first few Izanian attempts to intercept the rag tag Nimrov fighters was found futile. Eventually, the Izanian fighters broke off their attempts to attack of the Nimrov battle crafts, and began to attack the Mars colony itself. Thus, the battleship was left to fend for itself.

One fighter wing of Nimrov pilots began taking on these Izanian ground attack vessels. The missile designers knew how well they worked in an oxygen atmosphere, and thus, these wily Nimrovs waited until these superior ground attack vessels entered the atmosphere. Upon entering the thin Martian atmosphere, the missiles from the Earth vessels were launched against the enemy ships. These missiles were primitive but surprisingly effective against the unshielded Izanian ground attack ships. Once these missiles locked onto an Izanian ship, they were very accurate. These ground attack vehicles were not meant for quick maneuvers in atmosphere even a thin one like Nimrov 4 has. These primitive missiles would greatly damage these vulnerable ships. The missiles weren't the only weapon that the Nimrovs had protecting their colony. They had bulky and cumbersome beam weapons. While these weapons were difficult to aim and very inaccurate by most standards, when an Izanian ship was near a particle beam installation, they would hit one of every three ships. With this primitive setup, these backwards Nimrovs were effectively neutralizing the Izanian vessels. However, these fighters kept coming, and they didn't appear to every need to return to the ship for re-arming. They hoped they could hold out against this onslaught.

Back at the Izanian battle cruiser, the plucky Nimrov fighters were still taking on the vastly superior ship. They had to deal with a vessel with shields and were having a difficult time with this energy barrier. Also, the energy beams of the Izanian battleship were very effective against the Nimrov fighters. That is, if they managed to actually hit one of the makeshift fighters. The erratic flight path of these fighters made them very difficult to hit with any sort of weapon. The first few runs more Nimrov craft were lost due to running into the Izanian shield rather than from enemy fire.

The Earth fighter wings that were concentrating upon the battle cruiser would fly as close to the shielding as possible and launch their payload toward the battleship. This would put the most pressure on the shielding as glancing blows were problematic for the Nimrov weaponry. If a missile did not hit the shielding directly, it would bounce off and could potential cause problems for nearby fighters.

With the Izanian battleship concentrating on the swarms of Nimrov fighters, it couldn't turn its fire power upon the Martian colony. This is what these humans were hoping to accomplish as long as they could. If they were lucky, they felt that they could neutralize the battleship and prevent it from firing its main gun at the planet's surface. So far, they had been successful in keeping it busy.

Once the battle had begun, these Nimrovs quickly fell into battle readiness. They were surprisingly ready for a test of such importance. The battleship crew could rearm one of the returning fighter crafts in just a few minutes. With the number of craft that they had, they could keep the Izanians occupied and off balance for several days. They just hoped they had enough resources to accomplish this very task. There were times they felt they were winning, and there were times when the felt the odds against them were far too great for victory. However, giving up meant certain death, and this kept them going.

Mission after mission the previously untested missiles were surprisingly effective against the Izanian ships and their shields. During the first few missions it was discovered that most of the missiles would not properly detonate in space. While they had theoretically had everything they needed to work, the temperature in space was too low for them to work properly. However, this did not turn out to be a great disadvantage for the Nimrovs because the unexploded projectiles were greatly more effective against the Izanian battleship's shields.

Like most space vessel shields, the Izanian shields were designed to absorb energy. While they would occasionally encounter an asteroid or some other debris in space, they weren't designed for constant bombardment by metal objects. This design is invaluable against energy weapons like the human particle beam, but they are relatively ineffective against projectile weapons such as the weapons used by these humans. Perhaps the Izanian had never encountered a race that did not have energy weapons. They certainly did not anticipate the use of projectile weapons. It appeared that they had no defense against the very primitive Nimrov weapon systems. The Izanian shields were taking a pounding from these conventional weapons. More and more energy was required from the Izanian vessel to keep the shields operational. The Izanian shields had to absorb blow after blow from the missiles launched from the Nimrov fighter crafts.

The Izanians, who have never been flexible in their contingency plans, must not have anticipated the ability of this backwards race to become prepared for battle in such a short time. If they had given enough resources to this operation, they would have easily overwhelmed the unsophisticated Nimrovs. But, they did not do enough research on this particular race. They were ill prepared for the sophistication of even these simple weapon systems that these humans had. They sent a single battleship to face this backwards race, and they were paying the price.

The battle had gone on for several hours and there were numerous earth fatalities. There was much bravery on the part of several of the young earth pilots. One pilot by the Name of Everett James Douglass was the first to go on a mission that day. Eagle Douglass as he is called, was the number one pilot of his Nimrov class at the Air Force academy. He had a natural knack for flying and he would bring back his fighter "without a scratch," as he would say.

He used his skill to save several other pilots. Would fly in such a manner that the Izanians would try to shoot him with their beam weapons. Thus, this tactic was drawing the fire away from other ships. These Izanians could never quite figure out his flight tricks, and thus never hit him with their weapons. He flew more missions than any other pilot, but he was beginning to get tired.

As the battle drew on, the Earthers were beginning to exhaust their supply of missiles. If something with this battleship didn't happen soon, these Nimrovs would be in big trouble. They weren't losing any ground, so they continued with their tactics hoping that they were wearing down the aggressors.

The Humans were launching 30 minute sorties from their battleship. With each mission, the Izanians would fire the energy weapons less and less. This emboldened the Humans. They were very flexible in their tactics and tried many different approaches. They were removing the ineffective explosive core of their existing missiles and putting anything they could get into a missile's warhead. They were experiencing enough success that they began to determine which materials were the most effective against the battleships weakening shields. They were getting whatever material they could. They even began dismantling part of their reinforcement of their battleship to put into missiles.

After nearly a complete commonwealth day, the Izanian shields finally failed. As we all know, the energy systems of most ships are connected. Thus, if the shields fail, then all of the connected systems will fail. Thus, the humans had successfully disabled the vastly superior space vessel. It was floating in space with all of its energy systems down. The order went out from the Human command center to board the Izanian ship. Several pilots including Eagle Douglass docked with the ship to discover the usual Izanian contingent were on board. However, since this was their first encounter they were surprised to find only 2 Izanian on board. They had no idea that most of the ship's functions were entirely automated. The 2 well trained Izanian attempted to self-destruct the ship, but were totally unprepared for the tactics of these Nimrovs. Furthermore, they debated for too long whether to destroy the ship, and eventually the energy systems were off-line. Thus, the ship was going to be captured. Eagle and some of the other humans attempted to capture these two enemy combatants, but the well trained Izanians weren't going to be captured with their ship. They both pushed a button upon their uniforms and disintegrated in a puff of putrid orange smoke. Against all odds, the humans were victorious!

Their race's quick thinking and flexibility had defeated one of the most battle ready races that any of us has ever had contact. Soon, the news had traveled throughout their solar system. There was much rejoicing. They had successfully repelled an invasion fleet. They didn't know what was going to happen next, but they did take some time to celebrate their victory. They mourned the fallen, but savored their victory. I am sure they will be one of the biggest celebrators of the New Year and will never be late on their Commonwealth Nimroville celebration.

"Is that it? That can't be the end of the story!" stated Cram Nayawt.

"That is the problem with story telling," replied Essdy. "Many times it isn't enough to end at a happy ending. Of course, there is more to the story. The Human's have had quite a time since Nimroville. You should check out the published histories sometime."

"Hey Mr. Yarnspinner, I paid for a story and I want a complete story!"

"Mr. Nayawt, I gave you a complete story. I gave you a darn good story to boot. I am not about to be strong armed into telling you a longer story than what you paid for."

"But all these others are getting a story for free."

"I suggest you take that up with them."

"If I get them to kick in something more, would you keep going? I want to know what happened next. What did the Izanian did to them? Did a second wave come? Did they repel it also? How many survived? What happened with this Eagle fellow?"

"I've got places to go Mr. Nayawt, but if you give me commonwealth credits equal to what you spent on my fee, I'll continue with the story. You'll find out more about what happens between the Izanian and the Nimrovs."

"Hey everybody, if you pitch in a couple of credits each you can hear more of this story. Otherwise, he's going to ship out. Do I have any takers? You? And, You? Excellent. Hey, you heard most of the story, are you in? Excellent. How much? Fine, any amount helps. Okay Yarnspinner, I've got enough credits to keep you going for a while. I just transferred the amount to this card. Is it acceptable?"

"That will do nicely. It is even more than I expected. I will continue with my story over there where everyone can see and hear."

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Recent Comments

  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks for the kind words Kerry. I too am very read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks Christian! I too had a DOS computer. read more
  • Christian: A great story, i remember my first computer with DOS read more
  • Kerry Glasscock: Good story. I love that Dwayne. nice work! read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks Susanne. You are correct, the OS of computers has read more
  • Susanne: Nice read, shame computers havent improved several years later (mainly read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Hey Rushan! Sadly no, I do not have one. Thanks read more
  • Rushan: Nice work.do you have that kind of one?thanks.. read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks Joyce. I appreciate your kind words. We do have read more
  • Joyce: Douglas, I just want express and my true admiration before read more

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