1997/98 The Armageddon Factor PBeM: Battle Cry


1st Lieutenant
Forward: Was digging through some really old CDRs I had kicking around in a box and found my old PBM from the early days of the CIC... 1997/98 PBeM... if any of you guys who collaborated on this are still kicking around, I'd love to finish the story with you... it'd be interesting to see how our writing styles have changed and/or matured.

This story branch starts during Chapter 4 of the main TAF story

TAF:Battle Cry
by Adam 'Hellfire' Keylor

TCS Agamemnon, under temporary command of Captain Cromwell.


Captain Jim Cromwell stood on the bridge of the TCS Agamemnon,
wondering how this disaster had happened. This was the only carrier
that hadn't been hit (so far) by the damned Kilrathi. He had lost two
destroyers in the last hour, the Stardagger and the Merrimack, and his
own ship, the carrier TCS St. Nazaire. He and most of the crew had been
able to abandon ship, against his better judgement. He watched as the
six Cat ships, all of them Sivar-class Dreadnaughts, as well as their
fighters, ruthlessly attack his task force. His boys had taken one of
them out, and the boys from the rest of Ruchard's fleet had taken out two
more, but the Cats were still winning. He looked at the battle display,
seeing at least three times as many enemy dots as friendly. A spread of
torps leapt from the nearest Sivar and shoot towards his ship. "Deploy
the rest of the anti-torp missiles! Try to get a lock on their lead

"Lock acquired!"

"Fire! Full spread! Throw everything we've got at them!" The
torpedoes flew from the bays of the Agamemnon, many of them being shot
down before they ever got near the Dreadnaught. One did hit the big
ship's shields, but did little to it. "Prepare to fall back," he said.


Third Fang Kar'lah pulled his Grikath bomber in behind a human
Ferret, firing his neutron guns at point blank range. The puny human's
screams filled his ears, and he smiled. Today was a good day, he thought.
Thousands of hairless apes killed. He had aided in the destruction of
the human destroyer Merrimack, and killed several of their pilots in
these last hours. He growled as he saw a Terran torpedo strike the
Pakh, his own ship, and targeted their last undamaged carrier. He came
in on the ship's blind spot, just below the hangar, and slowed to lock
his torps. "Die, humans!" he said in what little English he knew, and


There was a massive impact on the ship's hull that almost knocked
Cromwell off his feet, and he saw part of the bow peel away from the
Agamemnon. "Status report!" he yelled over the sirens ringing through
the ship.

"Shields at 16%! All weapons systems out! Casualty reports
coming in from all over the ship! We've lost 91% of our pilots, and-"
a lieutenant from tactical cut the damage control officer off.

"Incoming!" he screamed. "Impact in 45 seconds!"

"ETA to jump point?" Cromwell hollered.

"36 seconds." announced the nav officer grimly.

"Flank speed! Advise the Defiant to follow us! Recall what's
left of our fighters, were getting the hell out of here!"

"Jump!" he heard the nav officer say. He felt the twinge in his
stomach as his ship leapt through the point, and heaved a sigh of relief.

"Sir, engine room reports that the Jump Engine is out of phase and
is in need of realignment."

"Contact Admiral Richards, and advise him of our situation. Send
him the visual records of the battle. Tell him we need pilots, supplies,
and reinforcements, and we need them NOW. I'll be in the wardroom.
Send me a complete status report when you have it ready." he stepped
into the turbolift.

196 dead, 456 wounded, and 41 out of the ships 45 pilots lost.
He threw the report down on the wardroom table. At that moment, the
intercom whistled. "Admiral Richards wishes to speak to you, sir,"
the comm officer's voice echoed through the empty room. Cromwell stood
up, and turned on the vid-comm monitor.

"Ah. Captain." Richards said. "I've reviewed the reports, and
am sending you reinforcements immediately. The cruisers Winterwood and
Cobalt are on their way, they'll be your new escorts. And I'm
transferring some pilots from both ships, plus ISS. They should all
arrive within the hour."

"Thank-you, admiral." Cromwell replied. "Out."
Cromwell shut off the monitor, and collapsed onto a couch, cursing


Major Carlos Alomar piloted his Sabre class heavy into the bay of
the damaged light carrier. He saw a Rapier follow him into the bay as he
was pulled away into the fighter storage area. He popped his cockpit, and
jumped to the deck, his boots hitting hard, and walked over to meet the
other pilot. Alomar saw colonel's pips on the pilots uniform, and
saluted. The colonel returned the salute, and reached out to shake hands.
"Major Carlos 'Jaguar' Alomar, sir." he said. "I have command of the
squadron of Sabres."

"Colonel Adam 'Hellfire' Keylor." he replied. "Late of the St.
Nazaire, I'm tagging along for the trip and acting as the ship's new wing
commander until Colonel Fremantle recovers. I'll also be commanding the
Rapiers." Jaguar saw the colonel's ship behind him, and noticed the
torpedo hardpoint under the wing.

"Excuse me, sir, but is that a torpedo hardpoint on that ship?"
he asked.

"Yes, it is. I've always found the 'Rap underarmed, so I added
those last week. I also changed all the missiles to Imrecs." Jaguar
nodded, and a klaxon went off. The Kilrathi had sent a pursuit force
into the system. No peace for the wicked today.


Hellfire manuvered his Rapier into formation with the scramble
wings. He switched to Jaguar's comm channel, and asked for confirmation
whether or not those really were two goddamn Sivar-class Dreadnaughts on
his targeting computer, and one really had just launched 5 flights of
Drakhri and Jalkhei fighters. It was. "All fighters, prepare to meet
incoming hostiles. Jaguar, you and your wingman cover me. I'm gonna
see how good a Rapier is against a Dreadnaught. Switch to torps, and
come on!" He hit his afterburners, shooting past the wing of incoming
hostiles. He listened for tone as his torpedos began to lock, and the
space around him filled with flak and mass driver shots. His torpedos
locked and he ordered his wingmen not to fire theirs until he gave the
word. "Comon damnit..." he whispered as he saw his shield indicators
drop. "Comon..." "NOW!!!!!" he yelled into his comm. The three Confed
fighters all released their torps at once, and began to burn away.
Jaguar's wingman was caught in the massive explosion that followed,
but the other two fighters sped away. The Sivar drifted away, disabled
and holed in a dozen places. The other reversed engines and jumped
out. This is too easy... he thought as he helped the mop-up effort.
They'll send more after us... I know it. And God help us all if
I'm right.


Jim Cromwell sat on the bridge of the Agamemnon , and
contemplated his next decision. The cats obviously wanted to take
their now battered fleet out, espically if they would send two more
ships to attack them. "Sir, signal from the Admiral. He's ordering
us to fall back again, we can't stand more losses."

"Fine. Set course for the jump point, and engage."

"But our Jump Drive is out of phase, we can't assure 100% jump
accuracy, sir!"

"We'll be dead if we don't sailor, do it!"

"Aye, sir, Jump is full auto in 3, 2, 1, JUMP." There was the
usual distortion effect, and the space around them changed. But the
stars were not familiar.

"Where are we?" Cromwell asked.

"Sir, if this is correct, were halfway to Kilrah."

"The rest of our task force?"

"Gone, sir. It's just us, and if this equipment is working,
a heavy cruiser is on an intercept course.

Adam "Hellfire" Keylor
"I gotta get a life!"
Here's the newest installment of Battle Cry. Enjoy!

P.S. does anyone mind if I use the gif of the cloaking Dragon from
http://acm.vt.edu/~bryantpe/wcaces/wingcmdr.htm for my page?

TAF: Battle Cry
Chapter 2, Hide-and-Seek
Hellfire needed a drink. A really stiff drink. They were stuck halfway to
Kilrah, with an enemy cruiser in their system. Tactical said that the only
reason they hadn't been spotted yet was because their proximity to a pulsar
in that system, and if they strayed more than a 1000 klicks away, they'd be
seen. Worst of all, their hull was beggining to buckle near the cargo bays.
The crackle of the intercom startled him. "Colonel Keylor, report to the
bridge immedatley." Hellfire cursed, and headed for the lift.

Khantahr Shak'toak nar Kilrah stood on the bridge of his cruiser, the IKS
Paktak, and waited. He knew that something had jumped insystem, and he knew
it had to be Terran, but their sensors couldn't get a lock on it. The only
thing that was on his mind was why the Terrans would jump this far into
Kilrathi terrtory. He looked out the viewport and saw the two corvette
escorts, the IKS Shrikke and the IKS Virr'tag continuing their sensor sweeps
of the system. "Launch all fighters in a tight escort formation, and tell
them to await further orders from me," he said to one of the young officers
at the communaction station.
"Yes, m'lord," came the reply. Shak'toak didn't know when the Terrans
would be found, but he would be ready for them.


Hellfire arrived at the bridge to see Captain Cromell and Major Alomar
already hunched around the tactial display. "Ah, colonel," Cromwell said.
"We need your opinion on something. The cruiser and her two corvette
escorts are continuing to scan for us, but, as you've heard, they can't see
us as long as we stay within 1000 klicks away from the pulsar. That's the
good news. The bad news is that engineering said that it will take a full
engine overhaul to get the bloody jump drive back into phase. Now, we can
come out of our hiding place here, and try to fight them, or we can close
the fuel scoops, go to flank speed, and risk another jump. What do you say?"
"I think we should do both. Send out a small attack force to attack the
cats while the ship runs for the jump point."
"The problem with that is if the fighters can't get back before we jump,
they get left here," Jaguar said.
"Still," Cromwell said "If we can waste the cruiser, those corvettes aren't
a problem. And a standard cruiser only carries about twenty fighters, most
of them Saratha or Drakhari, with only the occaisonal Jehekhi, so a good
size force could pretty easily take them out."
"Agreed," Cromwell said. "Call all pilots to the briefing room."


"...so those are your assignments. Any questions?" Hellfire asked. No
hands were raised. "Okay then, let's MOVE!" he yedded. The briefing room
cleared quickly.


"M'lord! Terran fighters entering sensor range!"
"Fire an anti-matter spred. Take out as many as possible before they can
get within weapons range."


Hellfire saw several large blue-white balls leap from the cruiser.
"Evasive!" he yelled. He outmanuvered one shot just to see another just in
front of his cockpit. He pulled away hard, but to no avail. The shot
ripped through his port wing, and sent him spinning out of control.
"Death to all humans!" he heard as the Drakhari lined up for the killing

Adam "Hellfire" Keylor |________________________________