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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
469 Chs

No Surrender!

Immediately after emerging victorious in the first round of the Starfighter Tournament, Erich was sent into the next one. Like before, the surrounding space was procedurally generated and, because of this, there was no way to truly know just what environment he would be fighting in ahead of time.

Unlike the first round, which eliminated over 90% of the contestants, those who survived their battle royale and entered the second round were among the most elite starfighter cadets in the Empire, or were extremely lucky.

Either way, Erich could guess that every single one of his opponents would have at least one special ability that was ideal for being a pilot. Because of this, he could not relax, and instead kept his head on a swivel, as he piloted his starfighter through a dense nebula.

While Erich skillfully maneuvered his way through the nebula, his actions were being watched by trillions of people across the Empire. Each of which wanting to see what this mutant, who had already caused several controversies, was capable of.

However, this time he was not the hunter, instead an opponent had caught his scent, and had begun to stalk Erich through the nebula. It was only after a shot from the enemy's laser repeaters hit his rear shield, did Erich notice that he was under attack.

Via the use of his cyberkineses, Erich rapidly turned his starfighter around in the middle of the dense nebula and began to dart straight towards his opponent, while unleashing both his laser repeaters, along with his plasma cannon in a head on dogfight.

And while 100% of Erich's shots landed on his target, particularly because of his special abilities, the opponent missed more than a few of his own. Thus, as Erich's dagger swept past his rival's, he survived, while the enemy was blown up.

Not only had the viewers across the Empire witnessed this daring dogfight, but several of his other opponents did as well, and perhaps in the first time since the tournament had begun, three starfighters jointly attacked a single target from separate directions.

The shots of both plasma cannons and laser repeaters riddled Erich's shields, quickly reducing their integrity. If Erich did not think of a way to quickly turn the tables, he would not survive this encounter. Thus, it took him all of three seconds to calculate the percentage of his three opponents' accuracy, based upon the data his shields were reporting.

In an act of desperation, he used his cyberkinesis to lower the shields on his left side which was the area of his ship that was the least likely to sustain serious damage, based upon the enemy's pilots rate of accuracy, and instead transferred the energy to his rear and right shields which were bolstered momentarily.

While he did this, Erich used his foresight ability to determine the most likely outcome of victory, and after spending no more than a microsecond in the prophetic state, he found there was only one path to survival.

Thus, he killed his engine, pretending to have been damaged from the relentless onslaught of his opponents, and allowed them to dart towards him in an attempt to seize victory. Just when the three starfighters were about to pass by Erich's starfighter, he dumped some core fuel into his surroundings while maintaining control over it via the extension of his reactor's magnetic fields. From there, he fired a single shot of his plasma cannon into the expelled fuel and shunted all his remaining shield reserves to the front of his ship, anticipating a truly spectacular firework display.

The Empire watched in awe at Erich's performance. If not for his ability to control machines with his mind, the maneuver he had just made would have easily cost him his life or, since this was a simulation, his place in the tournament. And yet, the special ability he had continued to stun the audience.

While some people, like Grand Admiral Alaric au Emrys, and the rising pop sensation Erika Krieger, gazed upon the performance as if it were the most brilliant thing they had ever witnessed. Others were quick to condemn Erich for his actions. Obviously, they were extremely envious of his abilities, and jealousy brought out the worst in people.

Erich had no time to worry about what the livestream of the tournament thought of him, because almost immediately after eliminating the three pursuing starfighters, he was set upon by another opponent. After taking several heavy hits from the enemy's plasma cannon, which his shields managed to take, though not without reducing their strength in some areas for a short time, Erich skillfully manipulated his starfighter so that he could get behind the pursuing spacecraft, where he then proceeded to fire an anti-matter missile at the bastard.

Despite the enemy deploying his countermeasures, the missile was not deterred, specifically because Erich had used his cyberkinesis on it, allowing it to maintain its focus on the enemy starfighter rather than the diversion that was supposed to disrupt its path. The anti-matter missile collided with the hull of the hostile starship, and blasted it to smithereens.

For the rest of the round Erich would continue to outperform his peers, until yet again, he managed to pull off an exemplary victory, to which the comments of the Tournament's livestream were flooded with a mixture of praise and condemnation. Luckily for Erich, the contestants were given a one hour lunch break, to eat, drink, and take care of whatever bodily needs were necessary before the semi-finals began.

---

While Erich was fighting for his chance to prove himself the best Starfighter Cadet in the Empire. The Grand Admiral of the Imperial Navy was filling out a form that would have a direct impact on Erich's life. Judging by the skills he displayed in the tournament, Erich was already capable enough to join a Special Forces Squadron of his choosing.

Despite this, Erich's knowledge was all based on simulations. He had no practical experience in the field, thus he would still need to attend flight school, but Grand Admiral Alaric au Emrys believed that the young cadet was more than capable of passing with flying colors, and in a fraction of the time it would normally take to do so.

Even if Erich did not win this tournament, he had displayed a level of capability with a Starfighter that few pilots possessed. It was no wonder the AI had selected the youth for service in the Starfighter Corps, despite the fact that his talents could be proven useful in any number of fields.

Thus, Grand Admiral Alaric au Emrys was in the act of signing a form, which would seal Erich's fate. Once his signature was signed at the bottom he looked upon the form, before dialing a number on the interstellar network, which contacted the Supreme Leader of the Germanic Star-Empire. All the while, the footage of Erich's feats in the tournament was being broadcasted in the background.

The line connected to reveal the weary face of Hans Epp. The man looked like he had aged thirty years since Erich first entered the academy, and he was clearly in a foul mood, as he snapped at his subordinate for calling him out of the blue.

"What is it? I am incredibly busy right now! So make it quick!"

Alaric was quite surprised at the vitriolic reaction he had just received from a man who he considered to be a close friend, and thus, he knew immediately that something serious had occurred in the greater galaxy. As if he had forgotten his reason for calling, a grave expression formed on Alaric's face as he asked the immediate question on his mind.

"What's wrong?"

Supreme Leader Hans Epp, who was about halfway through a two liter bottle of 200 proof whiskey, wiped the amber liquid from the corners of his mouth with the sleeve of his jacket before responding with a grim look in his haggard blue eyes. Nothing could have prepared Alaric for the words he would speak.

"The Alfheim Dominion's fifth fleet was destroyed in combat against the Hive Fleet Terminus and, as it stands, the Naraku are on an exact trajectory for our borders. I reckon it will take them three years, at the most, to get through all the civilizations that stand between us and them, and then… well, you know what will happen then…."

Alaric could immediately understand how the Supreme Leader felt in this moment, and thus he was no longer in the mood to boast about the talents of a promising young cadet, who had a bright future ahead of him. Instead, he felt as if he was a man who had just been told he had three years to live. Thus, after swallowing the cold air which surrounded him, the Grand Admiral was quick to ask the first question that came to mind.

"What about the Light Elves? How are they responding to this? Surely they will be sending another fleet to deal with this problem. If they stand by and do nothing, half of their quadrant will be devoured before long!"

For perhaps the first time since Alaric had met the Supreme Leader, he saw the man openly badmouth the Alfheim Empress, as he spat on the ground and cursed her out with a hint of fury in his ocean blue eyes.

"The old bitch says that she has more pressing concerns. As a result of the fifth fleet's destruction, the Dark Elves have begun amassing their military on the border. She believes it will be an all out war soon enough, and as a result, she can not spare the men to deal with the Hive Fleet, even if it is rampaging in her Quadrant."

This was not the most welcome news in the world. In fact, Alaric felt in this moment that he had been dealt a mortal wound as he slid back into his chair, and stared in silence for several moments. After significant effort on his part, he managed to ask a question, one which he already knew the answer to.

"Then we are on our own?"

No matter how much he hoped that the Supreme Leader would have some good news for him, it was not destined to come to pass. Instead, Hans took a swig from his bottle and continued to drink until the entire thing was empty, where he immediately nodded his head while responding to the Grand Admiral's question.

"It would appear that we are…"

Considering that the Supreme Leader was already drinking his sorrows away, as if the Empire was already defeated, Alaric decided to do the same, as he broke out a bottle of whiskey, and begun to chug it as if his life depended on it.

Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, Supreme Leader Hans Epp began to speak up once more, however his expression was utterly lifeless, as if he had lost all reason to live.

"I suppose we should begin evacuating our society's most elite citizens. Perhaps we can seek asylum on Alfheim… Trillions will die, but at least the foundation of our civilization will live on to rebuild…"

However, Alaric was not of the same opinion, instead, he looked utterly offended by the Supreme Leader's cowardice. He immediately stood up and threw the bottle he held across the room, which flew through the holographic projection of his boss, and shattered against the wall. He was quick to reprimand the most powerful man in the empire before defying what was clearly not a suggestion, even if it may have sounded like one.

"Absolutely not! If you wish to evacuate the members of the party, then you are free to do so, but you will not be using any of my Naval Vessels. We are the Germanic people! Whether it was on Earth or here in the greater galaxy, we have never once backed down in the face of defeat, and we will not do so now!

You spineless politicians have forgotten the blood which runs through your veins. We are warriors! There is no enemy in this universe that we fear! So, go ahead! Flee for all I care! But the men of Germania will stand their ground, and if we are to go extinct, then we will have such an end that history will remember our struggle until the end of time itself!

I will muster the fleet, where I will spend these next three years preparing for the arrival of Naraku, and when the enemy enters our borders, we will teach those mindless bugs what it means to be afraid! We will bathe in the blood of our enemies and teach the galaxy a lesson of what it means to have our great race as an enemy. Or we will die trying! There is no other option!"

After saying this, Alaric hung up on the Supreme Leader, and immediately contacted the High General of the Imperial Army, and informed the man about the grave news which he had just received, as well as the Supreme Leader's opinion on the matter. Much like Alaric, the High General was furious that the Supreme Leader would turn his back on the Empire, and had chosen to die in Germanic space, rather than flee like a coward.

Thus, while the entire Empire was watchin Erich's performance in the tournaments, the Admiralty began sending out tens of billions of recall orders, reassignments, construction orders, and summons, all just the beginning of what would soon be the largest military campaign of all time, but a seemingly unwinnable challenge is exactly what the German people craved, and they would face it head on.