The Galactic Council was in turmoil. Well that and they were all scared.
We had been in meetings and council for over 7 months now and nothing had been settled or decided. We were all trying to deal with a massive shock that had run through every member species just over 1 month ago after we dealt with the latest incursion of the Swarm.
A bit of history would help to give everyone background and understanding of what this document is explaining.
For just over 3 rotations of our Galaxy the Galactic Council has overseen security and peace in our galaxy. They have not been perfect in their stewardship and wars have broken out at times, but overall, peace has been kept by the hard work and patience of the member species, even when they have been in disagreement with others.
But the greatest threat has always been from outside the galaxy and besides minor problems of small fleets or even single intruders, the major problem has always been a species we call the Swarm. We have no definite information over who the Swarm are or whether they are a collective of species or a single species. All we know is that they arrive roughly every 437 million years in a cloud of ships, mobile stations and even planetoids, all aimed at stripping complete systems of every resource they can grab. Organics, in-organics and metals are all consumed to perpetuate their ravening horde and when they have made a curving pass through our galaxy, they leave to wherever they go until their next return. Leaving devastated systems and species in their wake.
It takes some species millions of years to recover from these attacks and unfortunately some species never recover at all and have passed into the great dark.
The latest swarm was detected 538 years ago by deep space detection systems sent out into intergalactic space and we have spent all that time trying to ascertain how large this incursion would be and where it would impact and move through our galaxy.
As well as trying to determine which species would be affected, we started evacuation procedures of those species who had no hope of fighting off a swarm attack or simply chose to move their civilisation to a safer sector. And we tried to save those species who were not members due to being at a low level of civilisation and hadn’t joined the council yet. It was a massive undertaking but we had done it before in previous incursions and with greater and lesser effectiveness. We still grieve over those species we could not save.
The other side of our readiness was those species who were combative by nature and were quite willing to fight to try and stop or blunt the swarm. We had tens of thousands of warrior species all willing to send ships, flotillas and fleets to defend our galaxy and we had a lot of species who were not able to fight all contributing to supporting them in many ways.
It was always encouraging to see how an external threat made our squabbling members all come together and cooperate for the benefit of all.
For hundreds of years we sent probes and brave crews in scout ships out to try and determine the speed, make up and volume of the Swarm. With losses of those brave crews, we felt we could determine that this Swarm incursion was going to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest in the recorded history of the council.
The Swarm was advancing with a core of just over 2 light weeks radius of their planetoids and largest ships with a following cloud of ships, flotillas and fleets that spread back for about a light month. The number of ships and vessels in the Swarm could not be calculated with any certainty but guessing put them in the range of over 3.5 Quadrillion vessels and planetoids that could be detected.
We could never hope to even meet that in equal numbers but we had to try and blunt or event turn that wave front of ships to try and save as many as possible. In previous incursions we had tried to do just that with greater and lesser successes and suffered horrendous losses in ships and systems when the Swarm overran the defensive line, but we still had to fight. Giving up before we had even fired a shot was anathema.
As we got closer to the projected battle time, we were still getting species adding their efforts to the defensive lineup and helping out where they could. A small species from a mid-arm system didn’t catch anyone’s attention when they proposed sending help to the war zone and their help was lost in the multitude of species and warships being sorted and organised to present a coherent defence. We knew what happened when every species tried to fight by themselves and the carnage that happened 2 rotations ago was horrendous.
The time felt like it was slipping away faster the closer we got to the battle and from decades we got down to years to months and then a week. The Swarm had detected us as well and were sending their fighting fleets forward to meet our defensive walls. We knew we could not annihilate them or stop them in their tracks but were hoping to turn them away from the heavily populated section of the galaxy they would pass through.
We were forming up into interlocking fleets where our shields and protective fields were reinforcing each ship so we could last longer in the oncoming waves of Swarm fighting vessels while those defensive platforms and planetoids we could build behind our lines would focus their heavy fire into the highest concentrations of Swarm fleets, to give us a fighting chance. A very slight one but any hope is good.
The Battle. Yes, the caps are necessary because what we all saw that day will live in our memories for years and in the records of the Galactic Council for the rest of its existence.
The Swarm had fast moving scouts and fighters and they were the first into combat but our fleets were able to shrug them off with almost no losses. As their heavier vessels started to come into range, the fighting started to get more intense and losses started to add up.
But then there was a strange flash of a weapon firing from a single small vessel on one of the flanks and every Swarm vessel within 3 light minutes of our ships simply fell apart. There were explosions of course as the ships were destroyed but those were after they fell to pieces.
This attack shocked everyone and combat halted as there was nothing to fire at in range of our weapons.
The commanders were in shock and were trying to figure out what had happened and who was responsible. After a while, the ship that fired and the species were identified. They were a species that called itself Humans from a G3 system in the Orion spur of the Sagittarius arm. There were not a remarkable species with just a single main system and a handful of daughter colonies spread around them.
The remarkable thing is that they only sent a single vessel of Frigate size and its design and weapon systems didn’t appear to be strange at all. But something came from that vessel and destroyed a couple trillion vessels in a single shot without damaging any defensive vessels.