Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Next Big Thing Blog Hop

 Two weeks ago my friend and colleague Adam Gaffen offered the idea about spreading an idea from blog to blog between us and several other writers, about a way to at the same time promote our own novels that are about o come out and supporting our colleagues backwards and forwards by posting their blogs.
 The theme, the previous two blogs were Adam Gaffen's and Martin Shiller's about their novels the Kildarian and Sisterhood of suns two great books that i highly recommend to my readers...
Two wednesdays, two blog's now it's time for the third. time for mine.
  I will speak about two novels... The Icarian Legacy: Brave Souls and A New Day,A New Destination, New City, New Dream two novels that i just finished and that i love...
that just about answers the first question about the title of my books or in this case books...
2. Where did the idea about the books came? 
 Where did it come from. That might be a tough one, but a great question never the less. About the 
Icarian Legacy:Brave Souls...i can say that it came just as a thought few years back when i actually wrote the prologue and just left it as a draft. I remember watching a TV show about ancient astronauts and just hours before that the last episode of BSG and just got this strange idea about writing something similar. I got the idea about a powerful civilization in the past before mankind was even born that searches for other civilizations and experiments in genetics trying in a way to see how life would develop on other worlds looking for that special spark of life that gives birth to civilizations. And they find that spark on our planet. No i don't say in my novel that they actually created us. I never believed those theories...the idea i got(that is why it relates to BSG) is that they take thousands of primates a million years ago and on another world genetically create what in a million years would be a modern human. In time as their civilization fades away those humans protect the infant and younger civilizations from the enemies that try to destroy them taking the mantle from their mentors as they disappear. In time they are betrayed and the survivors of that betrayal retreat to the world that they know is their real birthplace. To Earth 12000 years ago. And modern humans discover their legacy today...or in the not too distant future.
 The rest i will let you discover for your self all i can say that everyone who so far read it liked it so try it.
About the novel A New Day, A New Destination, New City, New Dream ... that in a way is my memoirs, a story about the last 16 months of my life and my travels complete with pictures and a description,just few words about my experiences about the places i had a chance to see. 
3. What genre do they fall under?
   The Icarian Legacy:Brave souls is the first novel of what i hope will be at least a trilogy and it will fall in The Military Science Fiction genre. The A New Day, A New Destination, New City, New Dream is like i said a story about me and  my experiences about my travels. 
4. Will they be self-published or represented by an agency?
 They will be self published as i plan to publish them first as pdf, eBook and epub for various reading devices and for Kindle trough Amazon, and later on paper.
5. How long did it take to write the first draft from the book?
  Hmm the first draft...for it not very long, although it took long for me to continue after it as i actually forgot about it after writing the draft. I  actually started really writing when after accidentally reading through notes on Facebook i came upon it. The first thought that came was(still brings a smile on my face) this is a great beginning for a novel and a great story. After that well writing is easy but i never really paid much attention to how long it takes to write something down. I write all the time, but i just let my inner feelings guide me. There are days when i write for hours sometimes even two chapters in a day and days when...well every writer knows about that. Sometimes the words just flow from you, other days you can't write more then a few. 
6. Give one sentence synopsis of your work.
"- Dear colleagues, dear friends… I speak to you today not as a General Secretary of the UN, not as a delegate, not as a representative of my country, but as a citizen of this world, I speak to you … as a human being."
 The Icarian Legacy:Brave souls
 "How do you place something you dreamed and saw that dream come true on a piece of paper, how do you make others see it and feel it with just words alone. How do you tell them that what you saw even if it was not for the first time and it probably won't be for the last, took your breath away."
A New Day, A New Destination, New City, New Dream
7. What other works would you compare it with? And the story as well?
  Hmm...other works read so many that i really don't know where to start. There are similarities and inspirations from many places...starting from writers like David Weber, Arthur Clark, John Ringo, Jack Campbell.  The Safehold series...The Legacy of Aldenata, the Lost fleet, Childhood End. 
About the story i believe that Fillip might be compared to many characters, any soldier that finds himself in that situation. The same goes for almost every other character, no matter if he is a soldier or a civilian. I try to write about their emotions, feelings,love and loss, and i believe in making each character more real, giving the reader a feeling that he is in the story interacting with them, seeing what they see. SO any writer that manages that.
 As for the A New Day, A New Destination, New City, New Dream that compares with any one who ever wrote about the city or the place he loves, about what his heart felt at that moment when he made the first steppes or saw it for the first time.  
8.Who or what inspired you to write the books?
 Inspiration...that came easy, mainly my own fantasy, many books and movies i saw, but also the outrage at some really good stories that were as a reader i must say destroyed by simply writing so that it will be written. Read some novels from great writers that had great ideas at the beginning but as the story progressed they lost that... So i started writing, giving what i believe is at the same time fantasy and reality...how good it really is well that is for you to say.
And for the  A New Day, A New Destination, New City, New Dream... for that my inspiration came as i watched one short moment in Lithuania when a small nation impressed the world,a moment that united a nation. The feeling  got that day...well that feeling was something i have to share...
9.What else might pique the readers interest?
Ha ha beside my works i would say any book that is why i joined this blog hop and that is why i support my fellow writers. There are links here for their blogs and i mentioned some famous writers whose novels i enjoyed and i believe so will you and so has anyone who read them.
For the end here are two excerpts from both novels...
The Icarian Legacy:Brave souls
" Jennings looked at the radar in disbelief. The object that was several clicks in front of them was huge easily dwarfing the super carrier on the surface. He looked at the other technicians that were monitoring the incoming signals. They were staring him back with the same confused expression on their faces. No one could explain the object that they were sure was ahead of them. The signals emanating from it were like nothing they've seen before.
   He took the readings and looked at them again. The size of the object was impressive, 220 meters wide and 1700 meters long. Not even the biggest ships on Earth were that large. He twisted his head and then took the results and called the commander.
Captain Adams looked at the results that Jennings was showing him. Then he looked at the young seamen and with a confident but low voice spoke:
-         Are the results confirmed? Did you confirm the results with the Aurora and the Red October?
The young seamen looked at his captain.
-         Sir the results were checked triple checked and confirmed by both the Aurora and the Red October. There is something up there. Something that is not ours and it definitely it’s not Russian.
The captain looked at his XO and after a moment took the results from Jennings. He looked at them with a face that showed no emotion. After couple of seconds he raised his head and looked at the young officer in front of him.
-         Were there any communications from the object? Did you try to raise them?
-         There are no communications from the object. We tried hailing them on all known frequencies both ours and Russian. There is no answer yet. There was a slight increase in the power readings couple of minutes ago but that was all.   
-         Keep trying to raise them and slow our approach.Relay all information to the fleet on the surface and inform both the Aurora and the Red October that they should take flanking maneuvers. And tell the Yuri Dolgorukiy to stay behind.
Jennings knew what this orders meant. The captain was preparing for the possibility of a confrontation.
-         Yes sir.
The captain dismissed the young officer and turned to his XO.       
  -    What do you think Bill? The report said that the Boeing had a collision with something. Can this be the thing they collided with?
The XO looked and just shook his head. The situation looked absurd but with every passing moment his gut instinct was telling him that there was danger ahead. And he learned a long time ago that he should trust that feeling. He knew that his captain felt the same.
-         We both know what this will look like. But you are making the right call. Something smells wrong.
-         Yes.
 The captain turned and gave a simple order that was expected by the crew.
-         Load all tubes and get ready for emergency dive.
 It was just a precaution he hoped he won’t have to use but it was better to be safe than sorry. The same order went out on all the other submarines. They all knew that there was danger ahead and they were all preparing to meet it head on.                                                                                                                                                      

         *                                             *                                                 *

           The young officer looked with surprise on the screen that showed the human submarine that appeared on the screen. The surprise on his face stayed for just a second as he checked the results again. He then turned to his commanding officer and informed him.   
-         Sir a human vessel came from the deep water and is scanning us with their equipment.
-         What?
                 Mran’s expression was filled with anger. The human ship came too soon and it surprised him. He pressed a button on his command chair and the scans from his ship appeared on the main screen. The human underwater ship was to close.
-         Do they see us? Do they know we are here?
The communications officer was the one to answer him.
-         They are trying to communicate on several languages. They know we are here.
Mran thought for a second and cursed the gods in his mind. If only the human ship didn't appear for seven more arns. He knew that that ship will relay the results to the fleet on the surface. And from the movements of the other two human ships it was obvious that they are surrounding his ship. Those ships were small compared with the cruiser but they could do a lot of damage. There was only one thing to do.
-         Destroy them. Target all three ships.
The weapons officer looked at him.
-         Sir the damage we took damaged our sensors and most of our weapons. We have active point defense weapons, and without sensors the water is going to make the targeting with the lasers difficult. They are to close for use of the plasma guns and lasers so we have to use the rail guns.
-         Use whatever you can but destroy them before they contact the surface.
The officer turned on his console and gave the order to fire.
 At that moment multiple gun ports on the ship’s hull opened up. They couldn't target the human ship precisely without their targeting scanners. But there were enough of them so they knew that they can’t miss with a barrage.
  The order went and the guns opened fire.
Jennings dropped the headphones the moment he noticed the sounds of the gun ports opening and yelled to his captain.
 Adams reacted quickly.
-         Dive to 2600 feet.
The submarine lurched and everyone felt the shock of the sudden turning. The captain then gave the next order.
-         Fire all tubes and countermeasures. And turn to heading 235-220.
The order was carried out immediately.
8 mark 48 class 6 torpedoes were launched and accelerated towards the enemy object. At the same time the other two submarines opened fire as well. In matter of seconds 24 torpedoes were launched and started heading towards the enemy object.
In the next seconds hundreds of rail gun rounds were launched from the cruiser’s point defense batteries. The rounds were small and they were never planned for this type of battle. They moved with speeds up to 0.3c and were planned for taking enemy fighters and projectiles in space.
  The submarines dived, altered course immediately, but none of the movements were planned for battle with enemy rounds that were moving with those speeds.
-         Enemy firing. 
The yell came from the radar station.
Adams turned towards the man who reported. It was the young Jennings. The captain felt deep regret looking at the young seamen’s face. He could see in his eyes that he also knew that this is a battle they can’t win. They all knew it.
-         Relay all information to the Yuri Dolgorukiy and the fleet. It was an honor serving with all of you.
As he saluted the first rounds hit the submarine.
       The Jimmy Carter was a Seawolf class submarine. It was the last one built from this class that was built as an answer to the Russian Acula class. The submarine was better armed and had stronger defenses than its predecessors the Los Angeles class. Its hull was made from HY-100 steel that was stronger than the HY-80 steel that was used for the construction of the previous classes. Its hull was stronger and it could stand to hits from modern human weapons of war, but it was never made for taking the fire power that was directed at the submarine at the moment.
                    The rounds of the Dacarian cruiser impacted almost immediately after they were fired. Most of them missed because they were fired almost blindly. But enough of them were fired that all three submarines took direct hits. The Jimmy Carter took three hits that splashed through its thick hull and released enough kinetic energy to completely vaporize the submarine.
The last thing that everyone of its crew saw was the blinding light of the energy being released. Their deaths were quick and they were the first of the many that would come. Just moments later both the Aurora and the Red October were destroyed. In just a second almost four hundred seamen lost their lives. And one third of them were Russian.  Several of the rounds managed to hit the torpedoes that were launched.
  But the explosion of the submarines and the blinding flashes and pressures that were released blinded almost all remaining sensors of the powerful ship. Of the 24 torpedoes that were launched by the submarines 11 remained and they all carried out their last orders. Compared to the rail gun rounds that the Dacarians fired they were moving slowly with speeds of 50 knots. But different from them, all torpedoes knew their target, and they were fired from a knife taking distance. Even at their slower speeds it took them just seconds to reach their target and deliver their deadly payload.
 Eleven powerful explosions rocked the big cruiser. Its hull was a lot stronger than the one utilized by the submarines or even the human battleships, but it was never made for taking the pressures of the deep water. And by pure luck three of the torpedoes hit the same damaged area from the collision. The damage they did was far larger.
Mran fell from his chair as the explosions rocked his ship. And then the shock wave of the destruction of the three ships hit the cruiser as well. He ignored the pain from the fall and turned towards his officers.
-         Damage reports. Immediately!!!
The anger in him was great. He never expected that the humans will manage to launch something at his ship before they were destroyed. These creatures were dangerous, and when the reports came in the anger turned to fury. He could feel the fire burning in his veins.
 The damage on the hull was minor but the three torpedoes that hit the previously damaged sector from the collision now destroyed every chance that he had of repairing it. He looked at the time.
“Just ten more arns, all we need is just ten more.”
-         Is there any chance that we might move at least a little from this place. To change our position.
-         No sir. The engines are of line. And with the damage to our hull I wouldn't recommend going any deeper because the pressure will increase.
He considered for a moment and then he turned to the officer.
-         Keep a careful watch on the screens. We can’t take any more hits.
-         Yes sir.
-         And watch the movements of the surface fleet. Let’s hope that they didn't manage to contact them.
                  Captain Kamarov looked at the sonar operator that was holding tightly to his headphones and listening with high concentration. The crew of the submarine was young and they didn't have much experience. This was their final test before becoming officially operational. But he already knew that this was a good crew like all the others he had a chance to command. The submarine was the newest model that the Russian navy designed and it was the best submarine he ever had a chance to command. The Borei class was a strategic nuclear submarine and Yuri Dolgorukiy was the third submarine of the eight that were planned to be produced. There were some quirks with the new equipment but that was expected considering that this was a new and still unproven submarine.
 Just moments ago he took the order from the Americans to stay behind and to dive deeper. He also knew of the mysterious object that lay ahead. It was huge and it was obviously artificial. It was suspended not supported by anything on depth of eleven hundred feet. And it was standing in place. It was marvelous. But something in his gut told him that it wasn't friendly.
     The young officers of his crew looked at him with concerned faces. He was about to give his next command when the young Asimov who was manning the sonar station threw down his headphones and yelled.
-         The enemy object is firing. The submarines are returning fire...
Just seconds later the shock wave from the three destroyed submarines reached them. The submarine lurched from the powerful hit but it wasn't damaged. It was built to take those kinds of hits and stresses.
-         What the hell was that?
 The communication officer handed him the last report without saying another word. When he looked at him his eyes filled with tears. He turned to Asimov.
-         Report.
The young technician looked at him and without hesitation answered.
-         All three submarines took direct hits and were destroyed. The enemy object was hit by eleven torpedoes and is showing intensive damage but is still operational.
Kamarov looked at the young officer and then turned to his XO. His face showed seriousness and anger.
-         Flood all tubes and take us to fifteen hundred feet. And send the Intel to the fleet on the surface. Tell them that we have a hostile object in deep water and inform them of the destruction of the Jimmy Carter, the Aurora and the Red October. Inform them of the enemy ships position and tell them that we are going deep and we will commence the attack and are awaiting further orders.
The submarine dived and turned toward its prey. Eight Bulava torpedoes were placed in the tubes as the submarine went to its maximum allowed depth.
As the seconds passed the tension increased, and the same thing was happening on the surface.
  Kirkpatrick looked with disbelieving eyes at the report in his hands. He looked at the sonar images that the Jimmy Carter sent them of the mysterious object that was placed at twelve hundred feet depth. It was immediately obvious that it was artificial and the signals that it was emanating were strange to say the least.
The coordinates showed that the target lay seven nautical miles in front of them.
He picked up the telephone and immediately called Admiral Johnson on the bridge.
When the admiral arrived he looked at the concerned face of his XO.
-         This better be good. What was so urgent that you couldn't handle it without me?
Kirkpatrick looked at him and with a concerned face handed him the report from the submarine.
  -    Sir I think that this warrants your attention.
Johnson studied the results and then looked at him.
  -    Are the results confirmed? Did you ask for a second scan from the other submarines?
-      They all gave the same results sir.
The admiral looked at the sea. It looked peaceful and calm. It was late afternoon and the sun moved slowly to the west. He loved the sunsets at sea. But he knew that today will be different. 
And something in his heart was telling him that a storm was approaching. Not a sea storm but a storm of another kind.
He turned to his XO.
-         Tell the fleet to move with maximum speed towards those coordinates… and inform the Jimmy Carter that they should flank the object and wait for us.
-         Yes sir.
    Moments later the entire fleet headed towards the coordinates that the three submarines gave them.
-         We’ll be there in five minutes sir.   
    Johnson just nodded with his head and kept on watching towards the distant sunset.
The fleet moved quickly and with a clear purpose. High above them in the clouds the six Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and six F/A-18 Hornets flew in formation. Thirty eight more plains waited on the carrier.
-         Sir the Jimmy Carter reports that they are making the flanking maneuver and trying to make contact. The Yuri Dogorukiy is staying in the back as a precaution. Commander Adams reports that so far the object hasn't made any contact and is stationary.
“Just one more, one minute.”-those were the thoughts that went through his head as he heard the report from communications.
The Admiral turned to Kirkpatrick. The young officer was calm. His dark blue eyes showed confidence.
-         Contact the Jimmy Carter and tell them… 
He never got the chance to finish the sentence because three large underwater explosions happened at that exact moment. And just seconds’ later eleven more were heard as the torpedoes impacted on the alien ship.
Three large gazers of water and parts exploded upwards on the places where the submarines meet their end. The shock wave hit the ships just seconds later.
Johnson looked at the gazers.
-         What the hell…- the words came from Kirkpatrick.
Johnson looked at him and then turned to his communications and sonar operatives.
-         Report.
Deep inside him he already knew the answer. A sheet of paper came out of the printer on the bridge. He never even bothered to look at it.
The sonar operative looked at the admiral with a white face.
-         Sir the Yuri Dolgorukiy reports that the enemy ship fired and destroyed the rest of the submarine squadron. He further reports that the object was hit by at least eleven torpedoes and suffered minimal damage. The weapons that were fired are of unknown origin.
-         Jesus Christ. What have we found?
Johnson turned to his shaken XO.
-         It’s not important what, what is important is how we deal with it. Launch all fighters and inform the fleet to go to red alert and battle formation. Send an immediate call to the HMS Vanguard and USS Missouri and their escorts to head this way.
The two most powerful ships and their escorts were searching a little further in the east. He now regretted for not calling them sooner but he knew that there was no way to predict that this was going to happen. Four more submarines were in that area as well.
As the orders were given the ships started altering their course and all the guns were loaded with real ammunition. Everyone knew what was coming.
-         Inform the High Command of the latest developments and send a report to the navies of the surrounding countries. We might need their help.
In less than a minute the information went to all the navies of the region and also across the planet to the High Commands of Russia and USA.
As the fleet on the surface was preparing for confrontation they had no idea that they are being monitored from three other ships in the sky above them. Two corvettes and one frigate were keeping a close eye on the human fleet and monitored its deployment and communications.
                 And deep below as the ships were deploying the last submarine was quietly approaching from the depths.
            Kamarov and everyone on his submarine were sweating. They knew of the danger that lay ahead of them but they didn't care. They wanted revenge and they knew that they are close to getting it. From the sonar images Kamarov gambled that the ship won’t have any defense on its downside. And from the looks of the situation it seemed that he was right.
-         We are on position Captain.
The word came from his XO. Kamarov looked at him and took the phone from his hands.
-         Inform the Abraham Lincoln that we are commencing the attack.
Then he spoke on the phone.
-         Fire all tubes continuously. Fire everything on that bastard.
In the next second eight torpedoes were launched from the tubes. And after them eight more followed just 30 seconds later.
           Mran was silently waiting and watching the countdown. He had said all his prayers and was prepared to die. Only two more arns were separating him from the afterlife.
Everyone who knew him could notice his nervousness. The radar showed that the fleet on the surface was deploying in battle formation. It was obvious that they knew where his ship was. He smiled inwardly at their deployment. He knew that when the auto destruct triggers the explosion of his ship will cripple half the ships of that fleet.
He was having this happy thought when the shout came from the legionary manning the radar console.
-         Enemy missiles in the water.
-         Where!!!
Fire everything on them.
-         We can’t sir. They are coming from below and our weapons there are not operative. We…
The legionary never managed to finish the sentence. As he tried to speak the last words the first eight torpedoes struck the ship. Just forty seconds later eight more struck again. The explosions broke through the damaged and stressed hull and two of torpedoes exploded inside the ship. The explosion damaged the gravity stabilizers that were holding the ship in place and took out the computer core that was controlling the auto destruct.  The cruiser started to rise towards the surface and the fleet that was awaiting him there. 
-         Stop the rising of the ship!!!
Mran’s voice was filed with anger. Every chance that he had to save the secrecy of the mission was now lost.
-         We can’t sir. The gravity stabilizers are damaged and also the computer core. There is no chance of self destruct or stopping the rise of the ship.
-         Do we have communications?
-         Yes sir.
-         Inform Ristarion that we have a battle ahead of us. Tell him that we can’t activate the self destruct and that we must destroy this fleet quickly. Prepare all the Seraphines for launch and acquire targets and start destroying them as soon as we are above water. Tell him to open fire after we draw them in.
     And locate that underwater ship that damaged us. I want it          destroyed. It seems that the gods want us to see how this humans fight. Let’s strike fear in to their hearts.
      Ristarion looked at the screen that was showing him the unfolding situation on the sea. He could clearly see that the humans had the tactical advantage and even with its tick hull the Caronia was in a difficult situation considering the damage it had taken. He rubbed his head with his hand and looked at his first officer.
-         Tell the corvettes to spread out. And prepare the Seraphines for launch.
His ship had six of the small space fighters, and the corvettes held eight more. The cruiser held another thirty and he already knew that they would launch as soon as it hits the surface. He knew that no matter what happens the surprise that his clan was counting on was lost. When the fleet arrives it will have a battle on its hands.
Damn you Mran. May the gods curse you. 
  Johnson looked at the sea when the large alien ship reached the surface. The report that came from the last remaining submarine told them that the ship was rising.
-         Tell everyone to open fire as soon as the bastards hit the surface. Don’t give them breathing space.
-         Sir I think you should take a look at these readings.
Kirkpatrick looked at radar and noticed what the technician was showing him.
Three shadows were showing for just a second and disappearing.
-         Send one air wing to investigate.
 As the huge ship hit the surface all the ships from the battle group opened up. Hundreds shells and missiles hit the alien ship. Explosions rocked its surface but the damage was minimal. Even without its shields its armor was created for taking and deflecting fire from large kinetic rounds and plasma and laser weapons. But the stressed hull was heavily damaged from the torpedoes and the shock wave from the explosions under water. On its way to the surface it was hit by the other torpedoes that the Yuri Dolgorukiy launched and from torpedoes and mines that were launched from the ships on the surface. But even with all the damage it took it was still capable of taking on its enemies. As the ship hit the surface hundreds of lasers and rail guns mounted on its hull opened up. In the same time thirty small space fighters launched from its launch bay. They immediately started firing on the human ships and soon fourteen other fighters that were launched from the rest of the fleet joined them.
             The first brutal hits from the enemy and the first casualties were the frigate Georgia and the destroyer Potemkin. Both ships took the brunt of the first salvo of the enemy and they were literally shattered from the kinetic release.
-         God help us. That ship can’t be from this world.
-         Contact all navies countries in the region tell them that we need immediate navy and air support. Tell them… tell them that we are being attacked by an unidentified ship from alien origin with advanced technology. 
As soon as the admiral’s words were spoken they were relayed to every navy and air force base in the region. In under a minute hundreds of plains and dozens of ships turned towards them.
-         Sir we have air wings coming from Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Israel. There are several ships from Greece, Turkey and Israel that will be here in less than 15 minutes. The battleships will arrive in seven minutes.
-         What kind of ships?
-         Ten destroyers and eight frigates.
-         We will need their firepower. Especially the battleships. Tell the Prince Royal and Queen Elisabeth that they have permeation to engage the enemy and inform the Kinkaid, the Kid and their escorts that they should prepare the rail guns. They may be our only chance of destroying that ship.
The two British heavy destroyers slowly stepped in front of the other ships and opened up with their heavy armament. Huge explosions rocked the surface of the alien cruiser. At the same time several huge explosions rocked its underside as the last launched torpedoes from the submarine found its target. 
-         Tell the ships to concentrate the fire on one the launch bays on the enemy ship, and contact the incoming fighters and ships and apprise them of the situation.
As the next volley of the ships opened up a huge explosion rocked the alien ship and a huge hole opened up on the place where the launch bays were located. And as the fire increased the damage was more severe.
Ristarion looked at the battle that was slowly turning against the cruiser. Four of the human ships were nothing more than burning hulks and several more were damaged, but the rest were pouring continuous fire in to the wounded cruiser. At the same time the human fighters were fighting an air battle with the seraphines. And here the human anti air defense proved impressive. In the first pass over the ships half of the fighters were destroyed by the ships defense systems. And the rest were having a hard time fighting the human flying machines.
-         It’s time we get involved. Target the two ships that are at the front and open fire.
And clear the sky for the seraphines.
On that order the three ships uncloaked and opened fire with their main batteries. The frigate had two plasma batteries and four Kinetic batteries, and the corvettes had only kinetic batteries. All the ships were older models and in this situation Ristarion wished he had under his command some of the newer ships. With them he was sure that he could win easily.
The fire of the three ships hit both heavy cruisers amidships and broke through their armor. Huge explosions rocked both vessels and pieces of metal flew to all sides. Both ships were totally destroyed and lost with all hands. In the same time twenty F-18 were destroyed by the lasers that all three ships fired at them as they tried to destroy them.
As the new threat materialized several ships opened up on the three smaller ships. But their shields protected them from the incoming fire.
-  Sir the Kinkaid reports that they can’t penetrate the enemy’s defenses with conventional weapons. The same report comes from the air wings. The ships have some kind of shield technology that prevents the shells and rockets from hitting the hull. They request permeation to fire the rail guns.
Johnson looked at the blazing fires that were burning outside. The Carrier also took several hits as well as all other ships.
-         Tell them that they have my permeation. And tell the other ships to group around them and protect them.
-         Yes sir.
-         Sir the USS Missouri and the HMS Vanguard and their escorts are within range. They are commencing the attack.
Admiral Johnson smiled for the first time since the battle started.
-         Good. Let’s see what the enemy is really made of.
Both the USS Missouri and the HMS Vanguard were on their shakedown cruises after their reactivation several months earlier.
The USS Missouri after its upgrade from twenty two years before had nine sixteen inch guns and twelve five inch guns. With that kind of firepower long thought not needed it was the most powerful ship on the face of the planet.
The HMS Vanguard was reactivated as an answer to the reactivation of the USS Missouri and it had impressive power as well as the US battleship. Four point two fifteen inch guns and 12 point two five inch guns littered its decks.
And all this massive firepower was directed towards the enemy cruiser that lay in front of them.
 The most powerful ships in the world opened up with all their might.
Mran looked at the battle display. The human ships were destroying his ship. The damages in the launch bay were enormous and the hits on the hull disabled nearly all the rail guns. He looked around him and despaired. The ship rocked as it took several more hits.
-         Damage reports.
As one legionary turned to answer him the shells from the Missouri and Vanguard hit the fractured hull of the Caronia. The shells from both battleships were very different from the other shells fired from the rest of the ships. The main guns of the Missouri fired 400 mm armor piercing shells that moved with a speed of 800m/s. The main guns of the Vanguard fired armor piercing shells that moved with a speed of 780m/s. And all this shells hit the hull of the dacarian heavy cruiser Caronia just above the bridge.
The mighty shells penetrated four decks deep using their high speed at over 800 m/s and exploded just above the bridge. The damage they inflicted was tremendous. The explosions threw Mran of his seat and he hit the firing console that lay three meters in front of him. He didn't even have time to utter a scream as dozens of shrapnel’s tore through his body. All dacarian legionaries on the bridge and four other decks died instantly and even more died as the next shells arrived. In just under a minute the mighty ship fell dead and ceased firing at the human fleet. In just under a minute massive holes opened up on its hull as more and more of the fire directed at it found its mark.
Sensing that the large ship on the surface is finished the battleships concentrated their fire on the three flying ships above the fleet. The first ship to experience their wrath was the Zargonia, the smaller corvette. Its weaker shields held for several shots but after less than a minute they broke and in the next volley the corvette shattered under the massive barrage as dozens of missiles and shells hit it at the same time.
-         We have to move higher or they will blast us. Open fire on those two ships, they are the most dangerous. Those guns are impressive.
-         Yes my lord.
The two remaining ships rose in higher orbit and immediately opened fire on the two battleships.
But the armor on both ships that they were targeting was far stronger and made to resist even the weapons that were directed at them. Huge fires erupted on both ships as the shots found their mark but in reality the damage was minimal. The armor melted but held and the ships returned fire. At the same time both the Kinkaid and the Kid opened up with the two rail guns that were still in the testing phase.
In one minute total of twenty rounds were fired at both ships. The rail guns fired forty pound projectiles at a speed of 2503m/s. It took them just seconds to reach both surprised ships. The smaller corvette literally shattered under the barrage. The frigate managed to hold but it lost its shields and had no defense against the next incoming projectiles that both battleships fired at it.  In total, sixteen shells managed to hit the frigate. And right after them the next rounds fired from both cruisers arrived. Massive explosions rocked the ship as the shots impacted on the hull. In just seconds the engines took the brunt of the attack and the frigate lurched and started losing altitude.
-         Get us out of here. They have rail guns.
The crew managed to steer the ship raising it high in to the atmosphere but not before one of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornets opened up with its guns and launched its last AMRAAM missiles at it. The resulting explosion took out the last remaining power of the ship and destroyed the engines.
The result of that was the uncontrollable tumble of the ship. The explosions that rocked the frigate and the resulting stress from the tumble killed most of the crew.
   The ships pilots managed to steer it away from the navy battle and direct it towards the mainland.
              Admiral Johnson looked at last enemy ship as it started falling towards the mainland after the AMMRAMs hit it. He then lowered his gaze and looked at the rest of the battle fleet that surrounded the carrier. His eyes face showed no emotion but deep he was broken as he saw the broken hulls of over twenty ships around him. Thousands of lives were lost.
He turned towards Kirkpatrick. The young officer looked shaken but he was holding bravely.
-         Tell the First strike squadron to follow the wreck and inform the US marines based in Bondsteel base in Kosovo to prepare for an immediate mission. And call colonel Stevens on the bridge. This battle is not over yet.
Kirkpatrick just nodded and started issuing the orders.
The admiral turned his gaze at large alien ship that was surrounded by a dozen ships. The two battleships and their escorts were trailing the large ship with its powerful guns prepared to open fire at the first sign of any danger.
Both ships were scared. They took several powerful hits from the enemy ships as the enemy noticed that they are the mightiest ships. Two of the main guns on the Missouri were nothing but molten iron now and the battleship had a huge hole on its front side. Fire teams were putting down the fires on the deck. The Vanguard didn't lose any of its guns but it had several holes along its length were the enemy fire hit. But both ships were operational. He couldn't say that for eleven other ships. Seven ships were already sunken and hundreds of bodies were drifting in the sea. Rescue boats were searching for survivors among the bodies. Four ships were nothing more than broken and burning hulls and they were lost with all hands. The Georgia, Potemkin, Prince Royal, Athena, Napoleon, Dauntless and Victorious were now on the bottom of the sea, casualties of the conflict. The Queen Elizabeth, Sevastopol, Ataturk, J.F.K and Retender were burning wrecks, and ten more ships showed extensive damage. Even the Lincoln took several hits and suffered minor damage. The Kid and the Kinkaid showed signs of ruptured hulls and from fifty plains only seventeen were still flying. Four of them were now headed inland after the last burning wreck that was falling somewhere on the Balkans.
   He wiped the sweat that was running on his forehead and looked at the watch. Eleven minutes passed from the moment when the first shots in this battle were fired. Eleven minutes of hell. He knew that this will bring massive changes in the politic of the world. He looked again at the four ships that turned the tide of the battle. The Kid, the Kinkaid with their rail guns and the two battleships.
Those ships were the future.
-         Sir Colonel Stevens reporting as ordered.
The admiral turned and looked at the man that stepped on the bridge and saluted him.
      Stevens was a mountain of a man. Two meters tall, broad shoulders; he was two hundred and fifty pounds of pure muscle and bone. A huge scar was clearly visible on his left cheek.
And the admiral knew that under the uniform several more scars were hidden.
Short black hear was hidden and the hat he was wearing. The gray eyes looked at the admiral with a cold look that was thirsty for revenge.
 He was the commanding officer of the navy seals contingent that was stationed on the carrier and his face now showed anger. The admiral knew the reason. It was not the loss of the ships that made the man standing before him angry. It was the loss of the Jimmy Carter and the two seal teams it carried on board. He knew that the seals were a tightly bonded unit. And he was sure that the colonel knew every one of the dead Seals personally as well as almost the entire crew of the lost submarine.
-         I’m sorry for the death of your men sir.
-         I’m sorry for the loss of your men as well colonel. But the day is not over yet. You will get a chance to revenge them.
The colonel looked at him.
-         Sir?
-         The hull of that ship may hold some of the enemy alive colonel. Whoever they are they attacked us without any provocation and from what we have seen they don’t have good intentions. I want you to go in there and capture that ship. If you can capture some of the bastards do so. We must learn who they are and where they came from. We must learn why they are here.
Stevens looked at him and saluted.
-         Yes sir. I was expecting that order sir. My men are ready.
-         Go then. God be with you James.
-         Thanks Bob.
 A small smile appeared on the admiral’s face. Stevens was one of his oldest friends. They were friends for more than twenty years. He still remembered the first time they meet. It wasn't the happiest day of his life and he still remembered the beating he received in the bar. That was until Stevens stepped in. In just thirty seconds he disabled all three marines without even breaking a sweat. He never learned his name that night. But the next day the colonel stepped in his office to report for his new assignment. He was just a lieutenant then. From that day they remained friends.
-         Give them hell James. Thousands died today by their hands. Give them hell.
The colonel turned before he exited from the bridge.
-         They will wish they were never born Bob. You have my word on that. You have my word.
After that he exited.
 Five minutes later the entire squad of seals was heading towards the alien ship.
 Forty Seals stood in the boats.
And additional three SAS teams left the British ships as well. They were joined by more than three hundred marines from the rest of the ships.
        Stevens looked at the huge ship that lay ahead of them. Huge gaps were showing all over the hull of the alien ship where the missiles and the shells from the ships impacted. Smoke was coming out from several places. It was clear that fires were raging inside. He turned and looked at his men. They were the best of the best. Five seal teams, five teams of the most lethal unit in the world. And they were not alone. Three SAS teams and three hundred marines were also coming with them. He didn't know what to expect inside but he was sure that nothing will stop them from achieving the objective.
The seals were heading towards the huge hole that the battle ships made on the east side of the massive ship. The three SAS teams were coming on the same spot as well, while the marines were headed towards the launch bay.
   He strengthened the grip of the HK417 that he was carrying. He chose the NATO variant because of the larger 7.62×51mm cartridges it was using. Some of the Seals chose to keep their favorite M4A1 carbines with the smaller 5.56 mm cartridges. Not that those were the only weapons they were carrying. Every type of weapon and everything that they could take with them was here. Rocket launchers, shotguns and a whole bunch of other weapons were visible on the soldiers. They all carried weapons that used armor piercing ammunition.
      The boats finally reached the ship. Without saying a word all soldiers jumped on the hull and immediately spread out. At the same time the marines started entering the launch bay.
-         We don’t know what to expect inside so proceed slowly. Enough men died today. Let’s make sure that everyone else that dies is alien, shall we. Let’s clear this tub.
After this all sixty four man entered inside the ship.
-         Atkins you and your team and proceed through this corridor. Kelly your team will proceed on the opposite side. I want two teams on each level. Proceed with caution.
Without saying a word the teams separated.
Atkins looked at the massive damage that the shells of the battleships inflicted. The explosion literally tore the section of the ship apart. He could see black blood spread out all over the deck were there were no holes. And body parts. It was not long till they found the first body and finally saw the face of their enemy.
-         Jesus they are big motherfuckers aren't they sir.
Atkins turned towards Danielson.
-         Big and ugly to.
They stopped to inspect the body. Atkins turned the dead alien to look at his face. The alien was clearly reptilian. He was two meters tall, and fairly bigger than a normal human. The round head had distinctive sharp teeth. A small nose and big black eyes that stared empty at his face. The alien had small black fur that covered its skin and small retracted ears that were literally inside the head. A helmet was standing nearby obviously fallen from the head when the shrapnel’s tore through the body of the alien. He was wearing some strange type of black colored armor. A pistol was tied on the belt on his right hand and a strange looking knife stood on the other side. Three huge holes were noticeable on his body. Two shrapnel’s penetrated in the chest and one in the stomach.       
The team studied the body for another thirty seconds and then continued heading deeper in the ship.
      Gun Ar looked around him. The rest of the legionaries lay dead all over. Just twenty arns ago the ship had a crew of more than four thousand legionaries. He looked at the sensors. That showed the life signs. Less than a thousand remained alive and most of them were wounded. And from the sensors he noticed that the humans boarded the ship. He noticed that a group of humans were moving along the hallway towards him. He noticed that a little further on this deck there were ten more alive legionaries. He took the rifle and went to find them. He knew that he will need their help to stop the approaching humans. If someone asked him yesterday whether he can kill a human soldier his answer would have been that that would be too easy. But after today, after the battle, he wasn’t so sure.
As he was moving he came upon the rest of the legionaries in the hallways.
-         There are human soldiers on board  We need to stop them and then we have to find a way to destroy the ship. We can’t allow it to fall in their hands.
One of the legionaries looked at him and after saluting he answered him.
-         The self destruct is disabled and the computer core is destroyed. The ships weapons are not responding and most of them are destroyed as well. If we want to trigger a manual destruction we have to arm several torpedoes manually.
-         Does anyone of you know how to do that?
The legionary that answered him previously came forward and just nodded with his head.
Gun Ar looked at him and tuned around toward the rear from where he knew that the humans were coming.
-         We have human soldiers coming this way from behind me. We’ll have to pass through them in order to reach the torpedo room.
The legionaries stepped forward and raised their weapons.
He looked at them. Their eyes showed determination. There was no fear. They all knew that there is no escape and that death was the only thing that awaited them. But that only made them more determined to succeed. Every legionary was taught from the day he stepped in service not to fear death, and to never give up. And they never did.
Slowly the group moved forward with raised weapons ready to meet the human soldiers approaching them.
         Atkins looked ahead. Since they left the first dead alien they found dozens more. They were all dead, which didn’t come as a surprise considering the massive damage that the bombardment made on this level of the huge ship. The team advanced slowly through the damaged hallways. They maintained constant communication with the rest of the teams. So far no one reported contact with the enemy. All of the teams reported finding lots of bodies. The marines reported that the decks below the launch bay are flooded.
         As they neared the next set of rooms Atkins heard the steps of the coming legionaries. Without uttering a word he raised his hand and the team stopped. He motioned with his fingers and Henderson stepped up. He slowly and carefully looked in the next corridor.
With his hand he gesticulated to the rest of the team.
“Eleven soldiers, moving slow.”
The rest of the team watched as he showed with hand signals and then quickly and quietly took good covering positions.
 Henderson with his fingers showed the location of the coming alien soldiers and then picked up two grenades.
         The dacarians were moving slowly divided in three teams. Gun Ar was at the rear of the formation together with the legionary that mentioned that he knows how to trigger the torpedoes to manually explode.  
Four legionaries were ahead and the others were couple of meters behind them. The front legionary stopped and turned towards them. As he was trying to show that he heard something ahead Henderson stepped from behind the corner and threw the grenades.
 Gun Ar noticed the human throwing the small objects towards them and instantly opened fire.
-         Take cover.
The legionaries started moving to covering positions but they never got the chance to reach them.
Henderson threw the M67 grenades separately. One landed in the middle of the first group and the other fell almost on top of Gun Ar.
The M67 fragmentation grenade had a casualty radius of fifteen meters and a killing radius of five. And both grenades fell in a distance between them of less than six meters and exploded almost at the same time.
The dacarians were literally torn to pieces as hundreds of shrapnel’s tore through their armor and their bodies. And the human’s immediately after the explosions started firing.
Gun Ar didn't even feel the pain as the grenade that exploded on top of him tore him to pieces and killed the other four legionaries that were close to him. In total nine of the legionaries died instantly and the other two were wounded and eliminated in the next second with several head shots from the human soldiers.
   Atkins looked at the carnage in front of his eyes as he moved forward. Henderson was at the point and Michaels and Fly were right behind him on the sides.
-         Let’s hope that they all die that easy.
He mumbled to himself.
          Major Jackson looked at the group of marines that was moving together with him. They were moving quickly through the decks towards what looked like the armory. So far all they found were dead bodies of the aliens. He knew that in the lower decks there were more dead aliens. But with them being aliens he wasn't sure. Maybe they could breathe under water.
All the lower decks were flooded. The fire from the torpedoes of the submarines according to the report he got tore a huge hole on the down side of the ship. It was a wonder how the ship didn't sink.
 As the first marine closed in on the door that was leading to the other room he stopped. Three other marines joined him on both sides.
The lead marine indicated with his hand that there are aliens inside. He motioned for the rest of the platoon to stop. With his fingers he indicated that there is a large group of aliens inside. Jackson moved behind him.
He took a quick look through the door.
The room was full of the aliens. There were dozens of bodies all over and several fires burned. He noticed that several of the aliens were working on couple of objects that looked like missiles. The others were dispersed all over. On the sides he noticed the loading tubes and he knew that his feeling was right. This was the armory of the ship. And it seemed that the aliens were trying to manually trigger an explosion.
-         I think they are trying to manually trigger some of those missiles to explode. I think that they don’t want us capturing this ship Lt.
The young lieutenant looked at him. He couldn't have had more than twenty years but his face showed no fear. The blue eyes showed confidence. And they showed the wish for revenge. He felt that inner rage too.  They all felt it. They all lost al lot of friends today and deep down he knew that more will die before the day ends. But now they had a chance to pay the enemy back for the deaths of their friends.
As he was thinking more marines came. He looked at the group. He couldn't see exactly how many enemy troops were inside the large chamber ahead of them but he knew that they were outnumbered at a ratio of almost two to one.
-         What’s the situation major?
-         We have a large hostile force in the next room. From the looks of it there are at least eighty maybe even ninety enemy soldiers in the room. And they are trying to arm a missile and blow the ship.
-         Then we must stop them sir.
-         Yes. Notify the rest of the detachment for our position and call for reinforcements. And prepare the men for action.
-         Yes sir.
The officer relayed the Intel over the radio and prepared the rest of the men for the coming firefight. The marines took positions around the walls. The first two threw smoke grenades and after that a dozen fragmentation grenades fly in the chamber. Huge explosions tore through the enemy ranks. The marines didn’t wait. As soon as the smoke spread and the grenades started exploding among the enemy ranks they rushed in firing.
Kal el Miur looked at the door from which the enemy soldiers opened fire and started coming inside the chamber. Or more accurate would be to say that he looked at where he thought that the door was located. He couldn’t see anything through the white smoke that clouded the room. And as the smoke blocked his view dozen grenades exploded among the front ranks of legionaries and tore them apart. More than twenty legionaries died in the explosions. The rest of his unit opened up with their plasma and laser guns. And the first humans started dying as well.
      Jackson noticed as one of the marines was hit by the enemies’ fire. The plasma weapon burned right through his Kevlar vest and through his chest. The marine didn't even utter a scream. His smoking body just fell down. There was no blood flowing from the wound as the heat from the plasma cauterized it instantly.
He lowered his head and ran in the room. Several marines were down.  But he could also see that a lot of the aliens lay dead as well. He took aim and opened fire. A large alien screamed as his rounds tore through his body.
 Kal el Miur looked at the rest of his men. More than half lay dead or dying on the floor. More than a dozen humans were dead or wounded as well. But his loses were much more severe. As he looked a new group of human soldiers entered the room and from the opposite side a squad of legionaries entered the chamber as well.
 As they moved in several humans opened up and threw grenades at them. The human weapons tore through the legionary’s armor like through paper. The armor was made to deflect plasma and laser weapons. But it was expected to be able to deflect even the projectile weapons that the humans were using. At least that was what they were told. But it was obvious that the humans were more advanced than they thought. They were clearly using some kind of armor piercing ammunition that had no trouble of penetrating the Legiona armor that he and all the soldiers of the empire were wearing.
May the gods protect our brothers when they fight the!
He turned toward the soldiers that were trying to trigger the missiles to explode. He knew that they have to give them time. He looked at the rest of his man.
-         Maul, call the rest of the soldiers and tell them to move towards this room. We must hold the humans here and give time to the ship’s crew to trigger the missiles to explode.
-         As you order my lord.
The younger centurion spoke in to his com link.
From the rest of the deck more than four hundred legionaries started moving towards the most important room on the ship.
The rest of the human soldiers moved towards it as well.                 Stevens looked at Zip. The seal was talking in the radio.
-         Sir the marines located the enemy and engaged them. The SAS teams and Lt. Atkins and Lt. Ellis teams also confronted the aliens. The marines report that they have casualties and are requesting reinforcements. They are saying that the aliens are manually trying to trigger an explosion and destroy the ship. The SF teams are reporting no casualties so far. In total thirty five aliens eliminated.
Stevens thought for just a second.
-         Tell Atkins and Ellis to keep searching this part of the ship. Call the others and tell them to head directly in that chamber. Tell the marines that we will try to hit them in the back.
-         Yes sir.
Without a thought all SF teams except the two on the top decks headed towards the arms chamber.
    Jackson looked at the remaining marines. Of the sixty men he had only twenty were combat effective. The rest were either dead or wounded. And it seemed that there was no end to the alien reinforcements that kept on streaming in to the room from the doors on the other side. As he was planning to withdraw the rest of the marines started flowing in the room from behind him.
Kal el Miur looked at the dead centurion that fell right next to him. He tried to rush and swarm the human’s positions but as his legionaries rushed they were cut down by the humans. He had to give them credit they were fighting like beasts. He remembered the human slaves from the arena, and from the rebellions. He knew that these soldiers’s possessed the same inner strength but they were also much more lethal than the ones that were part of the empire. It was obvious that they are excellently trained soldiers.
He knew that he was going to die. Several soldiers replaced the dead technicians and were now working at the missiles. They were almost there. As he turned to see the rest of the incoming legionaries he heard explosions behind them and then a huge wall of fire erupted behind his lines. It was obvious that the humans surrounded his forces.
 Stevens looked at the room below him from the glass. The marine’s obviously had the same idea as him and he could see that they had the aliens surrounded. The SAS teams were with them down there. He looked at the twenty men he had remaining. He lost four men while coming here as they were met by several alien groups.
-         Okay let’s finish this. Take positions on the balcony and open fire on the bastards. Zip, Halo, Ax, Rabbit take out the workers first then engage the rest.
Four of the seals stepped forward. They were the snipers of the units. As they moved to the sides the rest of the SF forces spread out on the balcony. On his mark they opened up.
Kal el looked with surprise as the seven soldiers working on the bombs fell dead on the floor. Before he could notice from where the shots came they started coming from all sides. Human soldiers came from all doors. He knew that the battle was lost. And so did the rest of his men.
The floor was black from the blood of the legionaries. Several hundred lay dead all over the room. The balconies were filled with dead legionaries and now humans were standing on the top balcony and firing down.
The rest of the legionaries, about hundred and fifty of them looked at their leader. And he looked at them.
-         In the emperor’s glory we die.
He yelled from the top of his lungs.
On those words all the legionaries stood up from cover and rushed the human positions. They were met with a storm of fire.  More than half didn't even manage to make few steps before they were cut down.  As their ranks thinned the marines stood up and started advancing to meet them head on.
  Kal el never saw the human that killed him. A sniper shot from a fifty caliber round nearly took his head away.
Not even a whole minute passed from his yell and the firing stopped.
           The marines and the SF teams looked at the carnage before their eyes. Hundreds of alien bodies laying literally on top one another filled the room. Their black blood covered the floor.
Stevens looked at the carnage and nodded to the marine major.
The major saluted.
-         There might still be some of them throughout the ship. We will check the upper floors, while your men check the lower levels. The rest can guard this room.
The major didn't say anything he just gestured to his men and three platoons continued toward the back of the ship. The SF teams left as well.
       Jackson looked at his own men. In total thirty five marines were dead and additional forty three were wounded. Considering the death toll that the aliens paid it didn't look like much but it was a hard toil. He knew that some of the wounded won’t make it. But the ship was theirs. And that was the important thing.
He looked at the dead aliens. It was clearly that they were reptilians. He noticed the black armor.
-         I wonder…-he mumbled.
He knelt down and picked up one of the rifles that the aliens were using. It took him a minute to find the trigger. Then he aimed and fired at one of the bodies. He wasn't surprised when the shot didn't penetrate.
-         So that is why they looked so surprised when they started dying.
The comment came from the young lieutenant that he spoke previously.
-         Yes Cole. Their armor is made to deflect advanced weaponry. If we used lasers and plasma weapons like them the casualties would have been much higher. They didn't expect to meet us with our armor piercing ammunition.
-         Well beg my pardon sir but it seems that we primitives kicked their alien but.
The major smiled at those words and so did the rest of the marines.
-         It seems so doesn't it? It seems so.
-         Semper fi major. Semper fi.
The marine’s motto brought another smile on the faces of the marines.
    Half an hour later the last dacarians on the ship were dead. Not one of them surrendered.
-         Sir colonel Stevens reports that the alien vessel is secured. All resistance is eliminated. The aliens fought till the end. They don’t have prisoners. He further reports that they are of reptilian origin and that light weight ammunition can’t penetrate their armor. Armor piercing ammunition should be used against them.
-         Colonel Ivory reports that the marine detachment suffered fifty two casualties and forty nine wounded. The SF teams lost six. Four among the Seals and two the SAS.
The admiral just nodded with his head and turned his gaze toward the alien ship. It was clearly damaged but he knew that the technology that that ship held would advance mankind beyond its wildest dreams. But he also knew that this is only the beginning and he feared from what was coming next.
-         Do we have any contact from our birds about the last ship?
-         Yes sir. The ship crushed in southwest Macedonia. Teams from our base in Kosovo are headed there as well as units from the Macedonian and the Greek army. They should be on site in about fifteen minutes.
The plains are staying in the area to provide cover in case it is needed.
The admiral looked at the young officer.
-         Inform the teams going after the crushed ship about the enemy. Relay everything colonel Stevens told you.
-         Yes sir.
As the officer went to his station to relay the information, the Admiral turned his gaze toward the deployed fleet. Dozens of rescue ships traversed the waters between the ships picking up survivors… and the dead. He still didn't have the exact number of casualties but he was sure that it was going to be in the thousands. He knew that other US and NATO battleships were headed this way and he was sure that soon ships from the Russian Black Sea fleet will join them. He knew that the world started to change before his eyes.
A New Day, A New Destination, New City, New Dream
"How do you place something you dreamed and saw that dream come true on a piece of paper, how do you make others see it and feel it with just words alone. How do you tell them that what you saw even if it was not for the first time and it probably won't be for the last, took your breath away. Someone else will try it with just pictures alone but i will try and add these words to it, to the story that the photos and videos will tell, i will try to give them that something extra that they miss.
   The journey, the adventure, the seeing of a city that i feel and see as an old friend, the lovely memories it brought from another time, from the past, from days when i saw it with different younger inexperienced eyes, the making and creating of new friendships some of which i hope will last a lifetime.
   Even before the trip started, on that parking lot in Skopje, in those moments before the adventure started, in those seconds of anticipation, even then you could see and feel the beauty of it all, the silent but powerful call that awaited us at its end. It started with the coffee with Sashka in check the small kiss that makes us a little more than friends but still leaves us that, the meeting with Tanja before everyone else arrived, and then the meeting with the old friends i already met in Greece this summer, Marija, Tanja, Dijana, Ana Marija and with the unforgettable smile of Elena, with the tea and rum, the traces of liker and the photos, seeing Ljupka and Jernej, and seeing Gojce and Jovica.
   And even then from the experience that i already have, from the trips i had before, i knew and waited for the tiny mysteries, those tiny secret moments that always happen, always come on every trip, and give it a special beauty, a different color, make it in some way different from any before or after.
  I never dreamed that that will start with the seeing of an old board game on a lap top of two lovely sisters that now i proudly call my friends, a small comment, a honest smile that came from the memories of being a child, at just the right time. The small comment became a talk, and that tiny moment made a friendship bond that will last. It was lovely to see their lovely smiles, the small talks and jokes and pokes whose real meaning only they knew, the smile on their mothers face as she saw them play and the feeling that you could see and feel their love for each other in everything they did. That was the moment that made everything positive and made everyone smile. It was lovely to see Anastasija and Katarina smile, lovely to see something so rare as a honest and joyful smile that makes everyone’s heart a little wormer and gives you a hope, a dream that there will always be something bright in the future. Those smiles and  the smiles of the group of musicians Ilija, Dragan and Blagojce, and of Ana and her two friends, the meeting of so many colleagues of mine, the laughs the jokes and talks for whole 16 hours made the journey easy for the spirit if not the body. The memory of the jokes with Leonardo are still fresh, the watching of a movie together with Anastasia while everyone else slept... all tiny moments, tiny pieces of time passed and all a sign of magic that no one can see but we all can feel...
  And the moment when we first saw, when we first entered the city, made the first steps on the Square of Heroes, the first moment when you see the history, feel the weight of time, hear the story, when you see the architecture, the glory, the beauty, the magnificence of the city that we all know and call Budapest. The first time when you hear its lovely voice calling you, urging you to go deeper, to let it tell you its story, tell you its history, tell you of the time that passed, of how it was born, how it became what it is today. I know that voice that felling from times before, know the magic, the power it wields, know its song, and i gladly accepted its call, submerged myself in its thoughts, saw the city through its own eyes. And it is so beautiful...
  Imagine the beauty of Danube, the mighty bridges that go above it taming the mighty rivers power, showing the glory of the past when they were build, leading you to the royal palaces, castles, lovely cathedrals, the parliament, the city center where the old meets the new, the past meets the future, and the balance between both. See the gothic and baroque building styles mixed with the soviet style buildings all in perfect balance, walk on the Andrassy Avenue and see the worlds embassies, feel the pride when you see the Macedonian flag raised among them, see the coffee shops, the shopping malls and the museums, the Franz Lizst museum, the Opera house, the Vaci street... the parliament.
 And then go in the small corners, the small shops walk the streets, feel the city, its life. Hear the voices the souls of everyone that walked those stones, everyone that passed those buildings in the past, of the millions that came before you, hear them tell you their story, hear them  and then go in the park sit on a small bench and when the moment comes, before the sun goes down close your eyes. Close them and imagine what you just saw, and feel the magic, hear the heartbeat of the city you see before your eyes... feel it, see it as it reveals before you, as it shines in the darkness... and you will see and feel that song i mentioned before, you will feel the power of life that floes in its veins.
   As the night comes the noise of the day life moves away and is replaced with the silence of the night. But as we go out there are no ghosts to pick up the unlucky strangers that drift in the streets  at night. Instead there are lights, the noise of the modern city waking up, of the old making way for the new. And the real magic now comes to life as you see the lights all over shining away in the distance, showing you, telling you that the city knows you are there. As those of us that wanted to feel, to see the city in a different light, to feel the freedom we never can at home entered the night club after the evening meal...you could see the small disappointment from the  similarity with what we know at home. But as the night progressed, the magic rises...and as i already know, as I've seen it before we all felt the call of the music. I just the same as all of them wanted the freedom to follow the call of my heart, to follow, to feel the power of the music, to submit to it when it pulls me and let it take control. The shame was gone and the night exploded in a party that we will never forget as some of the images and the videos will show. We could dance and feel free, with no shame from someone watching, with space to do what we want. That gave life to the day that came once again in the morning, the meeting with Ivana, the smiles with both roommates Slobodan and Dragan, Ivana and Maja, and all the others. I walked the Vaci that day, saw the avenue once again, and when the night fell saw the city in a new life as we raced the Danube on a cruise, seeing the city in a new light once again. The freedom that night came again as we walked the streets and visited the pubs, drank Hungarian beer, ate national food, and then went to another night of partying. And once again i saw the lovely dance of Ana Marija, the freedom she feels as she embraces the sound of music, and all the others saw once again the smile and the joy on the face of Elena, and Dijana, the smiles of Gia and Jernej, the friendship with Dragan and Blagoj and all the others, and then i saw and meet Simone... felt a kiss i will never forget, and embraced the night and all its joy. I saw a boy from Tetovo have the night of his life, and saw the smiles on everyone’s faces, seeing them forget what ever troubled them before and forgetting that anything else exists at that moment.
  The night is now over and so is the trip to home but the magic will always remain, and the memories will always be there to tell us, to remind us a of a weekend we all spent in a city we call Budapest.  We all had different reasons for going, some like me because they liked the journey and the inspiration it gives,  the work we have, and wanted to see the city one more time, others to see it for the first time, some to do some shopping, others to just rest and escape the troubles at home for a little while, and some for the trill and adventure it offers but in the end we all became one and we had , we saw a dream come true and i honestly believe even with the bad moments that some of us had in the end it was a journey no one will ever forget because of its beauty and the city we once again saw and it greeted us and welcomed us with open arms.
It was nice to see you again Budapest hope to have a chance to do it again soon till then is my legacy for you, this is my thank you.
This chapter is over my friends the other one awaits you in seven days when i see another old friend, when i see Prague by bye..."
For the end here are the tags for my friends that will post as well:
Adam Gaffen - http://thekildaran.blogspot.com/2012/11/next-big-thing-blog-hop.html
Martin Shiller http://martinschiller.webs.com/apps/blog/show/20548977-martin-s-blog-hop-contribution
Alivia Anders http://www.aliviaanders.blogspot.com/
Allison Bruning http://www.allisonbruning.blogspot.com/
Hedonist6 (her pen name, obviously as i am sworn to secrecy) http://www.hedonist6.blogspot.com/?zx=a785b168df7700db