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Interstellar Age

It is the year 2500, and humanity has expanded its reach beyond the confines of Earth. In a distant sector of the galaxy, a young man named Erich "Silber" Jaeger is born into a dystopian empire that tightly controls the lives of its citizens. Growing up in a society rife with discrimination, Erich faces an uncertain future as he approaches military conscription. He will spend the next two decades of his life serving in the Armed Forces of the Germanic Star-Empire, fighting against the many enemies of the authoritarian state. As he navigates the treacherous landscape of interstellar warfare, Erich must grapple with his own ambitions and loyalties. Will he rise through the ranks to become the next dictator of the empire, or will he meet a gruesome end on the battlefield? Join Erich on his journey through the Interstellar Age, as he confronts the challenges of war, politics, and personal identity in a universe filled with danger and intrigue.

Zentmeister · Sci-fi
Not enough ratings
468 Chs

Black Sun Squadron

That evening, Erich and his friends had begun to say their goodbyes. Over the last two years, these young men had known and supported each other through their daily lives in the Academy. Thus, they had gathered after their graduation at their favorite café, where they each drank the daily limit of beer they were legally permitted to consume.

With bitter expressions on their faces, the friends exchanged information about where they were headed to now that they had officially begun their mandatory military service. Erich was the first to voluntarily speak about this matter.

"Well, I'm off to the 13th Fleet to serve with the Black Sun. What about you guys? Where are you headed?"

Karl took a large swig from his beer before wiping the foam from his mouth. He was not surprised in the slightest that a pilot as capable as Erich would be serving among the elite ranks of the special forces, and was thus quick to congratulate the man while giving him some particularly juicy information.

"Congratz man, after all the hard work you have put through, you earned it. I am also headed to the Thirteenth fleet. Though I will not be on board one of the carriers like you, instead I will be stationed in the engine room of a destroyer. Who knows, maybe if I prove myself capable in the coming years, I will be transferred to serve on board your carrier."

Unlike Erich, Karl and the others were all in support roles. Karl was an engineering officer, while Dolph was a tactical officer, and as for Fredrick, he was a bridge officer. Dolph was surprised that two of his friends had been sent to the same fleet, to which he was quick to lament his own position.

"I'll be serving on a fucking frigate in the 25th Fleet, which, in case you bastards don't already know, that means that I will primarily be stationed on Vinland."

All three of the other men grimaced when they heard this news. Vinland was a Tundra planet, or one nearly inhospitable to life, with only scarce mosses growing. And while the Germanic people were heavily resistant to the cold, it was still not ideal for any of these men who had spent the last two years in a reasonably warm climate. Erich could only laugh as he heard his friend's position, before reminding him just how badly he had it.

"Yeah, well, it could be worse. You could be sent to the 13th fleet, which isn't stationed on any single planet. We literally roam the borders of the Empire looking for things to fight, and that's when we are not deployed to an actual war zone. I will spend the next twenty years of my life primarily in space... As for Karl, he is lucky that he is an engineering officer, because he only has to serve eight to ten years."

Karl shook his head when he heard this, naturally he was made aware of this information, when he was informed of which unit he would be serving with. To think that the two of them would spend the next decade or more of their lives in the vacuum of space. It was truly lamentable.

While Erich, Karl, and Dolph were all competing for who had it worse, Fredrik was laughing at the miserable bastards. Not only was he a bridge officer, which was the least likely role to result in a casualty, but he was also stationed in the best fleet of them all, which he was quick to brag about in a particularly loathsome way.

"You're all going to hate me for this, but take a guess which fleet I have been assigned to, and what type of ship?"

Erich could already tell by the smug look on the man's face that he had gotten a pretty comfortable position, and thus he gave his best guess, one which he thought was damn near impossible to be correct.

"I'm guessing that you have been assigned to the First Fleet as the bridge officer on a carrier."

Fredrik was quite surprised to see Erich guess correctly, and was quick to ask just how the man had found out.

"How the hell did you know?"

All three of Fredrik's best friends immediately exclaimed in disbelief and had practically pulled the man out of his booth and assaulted him in an act of fury.

"What? No fucking way!"

"You miserable cunt! How? How did you get that position?"

"Fuck you!"

What did this mean? Well, the first fleet found itself stationed on a world smack dab in the middle of the Empire that was known to be a tropical paradise. It was called Teutonia. Not only was the world a comfortable deployment, but the fact that Fredrik was the bridge officer on board a carrier meant that the entire fleet would be protecting his ass, giving him a secure and comfortable position, even when sent into combat.

Fredrik merely laughed at his friend's misfortune, while basking in his own good luck, and continued to do so for the remainder of the time they had together. However, when the hour struck six in the evening, the four men shook hands, saluted, and then said their farewells. With Erich in particular looking back on his life at the university with fondness.

"Well, gentlemen, it has been fun. But all good things must come to an end. I hope to see you all alive and well in twenty years. If I should receive a permanent death fighting against the Empire's enemies, then all I request is that you pour a liter for me in respect for the fallen at my funeral, even if though there likely won't be a body to bury…"

The three men agreed to Erich's request before bidding farewell, where each of them boarded a different transport ship, all bound for the vessels they had been assigned to.

---

After saying his farewells, it did not take Erich long to arrive at the 13th Fleet, where he and the rest of the new recruits reported to their duty stations. During times of peace, the Empire's Naval structure was split into two different categories of fleets. Roaming Fleets, and Stationary Fleets.

A Roaming Fleet was exactly what it sounded like, it was tasked with roaming the borders of the Empire, and eliminating the enemies which mananged to find themselves within their borders. While stationary fleets were dispatched to the thirty-six star systems of the Empire, and remained within the system as a part of its defenses.

Considering the Empire was currently mustering its strength for war. The Thirteenth Fleet had been assigned to an Armada of nine other fleets, all of which were currently located in this one star system on the fringes of the Empire.

Each fleet is composed of well over a hundred warships. In addition, there were several support ships which were attached to the fleet as well. Meaning that at this moment, there were over 1,000 Naval vessels currently within the space of this system.

Despite the overwhelming size of Naval power located within this system, Erich quickly found his way to the carrier which he was assigned to, where he quickly made his way to his living quarters. After finding the bunks where the starfighter pilots slept, Erich tossed his duffel bag into his personal quarters, before being introduced to the rest of his unit.

One man in particular, who appeared a bit too muscular to be a pilot, was quick to greet the newest member of the Black Sun. He was dressed in a solid black flight suit, whose only color was the red, white, and black flag emblazoned on his right biceps. This was strange to Erich, who was certain that the flight suits of GSE Pilots were a dark grey, not a jet black.

"Oi, Silber, are you the new lieutenant?"

When Erich heard his old nickname, which was a reference to his hair and eye color, he knew that the term his old classmates had used to mock him had just become his callsign. Thus, with a heavy sigh, he nodded his head and saluted the large man who wore the insignia of a Lieutenant Commander.

"Yes, sir!"

Despite what Erich had initially thought, the Lieutenant Commander simply chuckled and patted Erich on the back before assuring him that he did not need to refer to him so formally at a time like this.

"Relax kid, you're in the starfighter corps now. We tend to be a lot less formal than the rest of the cunts in the Navy. I'm Totenkopf and I've been ordered to help you get accustomed to your new Starfighter. Get dressed in your flight suit, and meet me in the hangar bay ASAP!"

Erich instinctively responded in the affirmative, just like e had done mere seconds before.

"Yes, sir!"

After saying this, Erich found a jet black flight suit, just like the one that the Totenkopf was wearing in his cot, along with a helmet, and a life support system. He quickly adorned everything he needed to pilot his new Starfighter, aside from the helmet, which he held beneath his arm as he sprinted to the flight deck.

Upon entering the flight deck, Erich noticed a variety of starcraft. Whether they were fighters, bombers, interceptors, or perhaps even gunships. The carrier managed to hold hundreds, if not thousands, of ships inside its interior.

All the ships, except for a select few, were painted in a dark grey. Those that weren't were the ships of the Black Sun Squadron, which were painted in a solid jet black. Thus, it was easy to navigate to the proper area, where he saw the Lieutenant Commander waiting for his arrival.

Erich quickly attached his helmet, whose visor was as black as the flight suit, before climbing into his cockpit. Though he had no way of knowing it, the moment he equipped his helmet, a blood red holographic projection of a skull appeared on his jet black visor. This was a feature that only special forces squadrons had attached to their uniforms.

Erich could hear the voice of the Lieutenant Commander whose callsign was "Totenkopf" call out to him, as he asked the recruit if he was accustomed to piloting this particular starfighter.

"Are you familiar with the controls of an interceptor? These Bolts are extremely fast, Moreso than your standard dagger. They also have stealth capabilities, so it would be best if you started off slowly."

Erich had limited experience training with the Interceptor known as the Bolt. Like Totenkopf had said, it was capable of breakneck speeds, and was designed to intercept and eliminate enemy starfighters and bombers before they could reach the fleet.

But he was a capable pilot and was quick to acclimate to the sudden change in his environment. After receiving permission to take off, the two interceptors took to the space outside of the fleet, as they conducted a few drills.

Despite being a fresh out of the academy, Erich piloted his starfighter in a way that impressed even Totenkopf, who called out to him over their comms with a hint of shock in his tone.

"God damn, you're a natural Silber! I guess there is a reason they stuck you in our squadron, after all. Alright, that's enough showing off. Let's head back to the flight deck now that I know what you are capable of."

Erich did not argue with the Lieutenant Commander, and quickly landed in the hangar bay of the carrier, where he climbed out of his cockpit, and met with the rest of his unit who had gathered to watch the recruit get schooled by Totenkopf only to be surprised at his capabilities as a pilot.

In fact, the Commander in charge of the Squadron quickly approached Erich and shook his hand, before introducing himself with a smile on his face.

"That's some damn fine flying kid. I see now why the brass sent you to our unit. Most new recruits washout pretty quickly, and are sent back down to the minor leagues for not meeting our standards. But if you keep that up, you will be deployed to the battlefield before you know it. I'm Commander Erwin Wulf, by the way, but these idiots just called me "Wolfsangel."

Erich shook the commander's hand and introduced himself, surprised that thus far nobody had bothered to give him shit about being a mutant.

"Lieutenant Erich Jaeger reporting for duty, but I suppose most people just call me Silber."

Shockingly, this comment made the Commander laugh, but there was no malice behind his words.

"I can see why. Alright Silber, welcome to the Black Sun. Get comfortable, because in case you have not been informed already, you have got two weeks to get up to speed before we go to war."

This news shocked Erich, as he was informed that he would still be required to undergo three months of specialized training, which he was quick to ask about.

"With all due respect, sir, I was informed that I would not see a battlefield for at least three months? What changed?"

In response to this, the Commander's eyes narrowed before he sighed heavily. In that moment, he revealed something to Erich with a whisper so that only the members of the black sun could hear him.

"I'll level with you kid, normally you would get two years of flight school before ever being assigned to this unit. However, due to recent developments, that time has been slashed down to three months of on-the-job training. Like I am sure you are already aware. And the best way to learn while on the job is through combat. It is time to sink or swim the Silber.

Now what I'm about to say absolutely needs to stay between our unit. I don't know whether you should be thankful for your new security clearance, or sorry. There is no easy way to say this, but within three to five years, the Naraku Hive Fleet Terminus will be at our borders… The politicians have already begun to abandon us, and are headed to Alfheim in search of refuge from the coming catastrophe.

Meanwhile, the military has determined that we, as a species, will fight to the last man, even if it means the death of our civilization. Thus, in two weeks, we will be declaring war on our neighbors in order to create a buffer zone between us and the fucking bugs.

Thus, your on-the-job training will be conducted on the battlefield. Luckily for you, you already appear to have the hang of things, so your odds of survival are significantly higher than most of these new pilots."

Erich stared at the Commander in disbelief for a very long time. What he had just been told was that the world was essentially coming to an end. That the extinction of his entire species was imminent, and that he would be on the front lines of war against the Naraku. Except this time around, he was not in a simulation…