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The Skylands Pt.4

The battle in the skies

By Andy ortegaPublished 3 months ago 7 min read
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I had always enjoyed flying through the clouds. You truly felt one with the sky, especially in a plane. We had been flying under the blanket for about ten minutes now. Another five minutes and we would reach our ascension point, and most likely any enemy ships the pirates sent to intercept us.

There were decent-sized “rocks” along our path. I often wondered where they came from, pieces of land not quite large enough to be considered an island. I’ve heard that islands would sometimes ram into each other, breaking pieces of each other off and forming rocks that float as aimlessly as the clouds. Charger, under the capable helmsman’s control, maneuvered effortlessly around the rocks. As we passed by a particular large rock I could see hundreds of Morios crawling over it. Some of the four-winged creatures could be seen sleeping, some flying around it, others looking at us with mild curiosity. Must be a nest.

Rays of sun pierced through the clouds as we neared our ascension point. Pillars of light marked our surroundings as if putting on a show. As I tapped my finger impatiently on my armrest a harried officer ran up to me and stood at attention.

“Ma’am, external observers have reported cloud disturbance above us.”

I sat up straighter, “Angle us up,”

“Aye captain, angling up.” the helmsman replied.

As Charger lifted its front, upward. I could see some of the clouds parting as another ship descended from the blanket. I called it. A smile grew on my face as the lone pirate cruiser straightened itself out from its dive. The pirate cruiser was practically identical to the ones in our fleet. A double-barreled main battery on top, with six cannons lining both sides. Luckily for us, it didn’t know exactly where we would be. We ended up being directly in front of it and slightly below it.

Its side cannons weren’t at an angle for them to shoot us but its main battery was. Its main gun roared as it shot at us. Charger rocked from the impact, I looked over the damage and only found a decent-sized dent on the hull.

“Full speed! We’re going to spear that bastard in two!”

“Aye Captain, full speed, preparing to spear enemy Cruiser.” As The Charger's turbines roared, I felt the familiar pressure and exhilaration of a warship going full speed.

“Captain! Ship wreckage off our port side!” I snapped my head left and saw a cruiser falling nose first, engulfed in flames.

“Identify!” I ordered.

“It's not ours ma’am, I repeat, external observers have confirmed that it is not one of ours.

“Good”

It Looks like the fleet is putting in work up there.

The pirate cruiser we were charging at began to rotate while its main gun let out another shot. It impacted the left side of our hull this time, again only a dent could be found. Looks like the cruiser was trying to set itself up for a broadside. But they were too late, if they had done so immediately they might’ve made it. They had too much faith in their main gun to get the job done, and they seriously underestimated the toughness of The Charger.

“Fifteen seconds till impact Captain!”

I grabbed the radio receiver, “All Hands brace for impact!”

The cruiser, probably knowing it wouldn’t make it in time for a full broadside, shot early. Only two of its six cannons scored hits on Charger. But the smaller cannon’s shots deflected off of Charger's thick armor. We got them!

We call it Spearing instead of ramming for a reason. Charger’s spear-like nose was built with one purpose in mind. To penetrate and cut through enemy ships. A battleship is the only ship with the armor to prevent itself from getting torn apart by my ship’s spear. Even then, I’m confident of at least penetrating its armor and getting my boarding party on it. That being said, a cruiser is not a battleship.

I Jerked forward as Charger’s spear slammed into the cruiser, tearing through its hull. Their armor didn’t even hold out for a second as metal tore through metal. A loud screeching sound echoed in the skies as the two ships clashed. The outcome was inevitable, As The Charger kept pressing forward I looked back at the two pieces of what used to be the pirate cruiser plummeting to the Sky's Embrace.

“Continue upward, It’s time we joined the rest of the fleet. Priority target will be their battleship, have the external observers verify if that long gun is on it.”

“Aye Captain.” Just as we were about to enter the clouds a huge battleship engulfed in flames came tumbling down towards us.

“Hard to port!” I yelled.

The ship jerked to the left, the flaming battleship fell so close that I could feel the two ships scraping against each other. As I watched the battleship fall, my eyes widened with shock. I made out a long red line painted on its hull. No, was that…..

As Charger rose into the clouds Lt. Vacha, my communications officer relayed what I had feared.

“Captain,” he said in a solemn voice, “external observers confirmed that…the downed battleship was The Judge.”

I slammed my fist into the armrest. Damn them!

“Tell the Garrison and Sky Marines to get ready, we’re going to kill every sky pirate we can get our hands on,” I said through gritted teeth.

There was a tense silence in the air as we flew through the clouds. Any minute now we would find ourselves right in the middle of a battle between our fleet and the pirates. Distant cannon fire could now be heard from above. Along with the rapid pops from machine guns.

“Sounds like the dogfighting has started.” someone on the bridge said.

Four planes appeared from the clouds to our left and flew by the front of the ship, two from the pirates with their double-layered wings, and one of ours, with its three turbines, one on each wing and one on its tail. The fourth also belonged to the pirates but one of its wings was shot off by our fighter and was now spiraling out of control and falling into the Sky’s Embrace. The other two pirate planes were chasing our lone fighter, but our’s was more maneuverable and faster. I wasn’t concerned about the fate of our fighter as it disappeared into the clouds next to us along with its pursuers.

As we broke through the clouds the battle was laid before us in all of its brutal glory. Many ships were on fire from both sides as they exchanged shots. Fighter planes flew around and between ships fighting for dominance over the skies. I could see missiles leaping out of several of our fighters as they swarmed an already wounded enemy Destroyer. The Destroyer’s machine guns managed to shoot down a few missiles but at least a dozen of them still impacted the ship. Missiles were still a relatively new weapon, they couldn’t penetrate armor very well, nor did they have very long range. This is why we never bothered equipping our ships with them, but even so, the Destroyer was small enough and weak enough that the missiles were the last push it needed for it to die. Black smoke billowed out of the smaller warship as it slowly fell. It wasn’t long before the entire ship lit up in a large explosion.

In another area of the skies, I could see two pirate Destroyers and a Cruiser trading shots with our last remaining Battleship, The Sentinel. Sentinel had visible damage but it was hurting the pirate ships even more. The cruiser tried to go under her and shoot at her vulnerable belly. At least that's what they probably thought, however, we built our battleships differently. Our battleships had main batteries both on top and bottom of the ship. The enemy Cruiser found that out the painful way as it took the full brunt of Sentinel's bottom canons. She must’ve hit their main fuel storage with that barrage because the Cruiser blew up shortly after. After destroying the Cruiser the Battleship focused all of its fire on the two Destroyers. Even with a two-on-one advantage, the destroyers wouldn't stand a chance against Sentinel.

As the remaining pieces of the unfortunate pirate Cruiser fell to Skies Embrace, it looked like the remaining pirate fleet was wavering. These weren’t soldiers, they were criminals and murderers who preyed on those weaker than themselves. They didn’t have the discipline or the spine to keep fighting a fight they weren’t sure they could win.

“Captain, it looks like the pirates are fleeing.” The pirate ships kept shooting but were now obviously pulling back.

The two Destroyers that were fighting Sentinel also tried getting away. The battleship would’ve finished them off but a large explosion appeared on her bow, destroying her top main batteries.

“Captain! The long gun has been spotted on their battleship! It looks like they’re trying to run after that last shot.”

“Like hell we’d let them run! Full speed!” I grabbed the radio and switched to the fleet-wide channel.

“All ships this is Charger, We’re going after their long gun. I request as much cover fire as you can provide so that we may reach our prey.”

Our remaining Destroyers stayed back to finish off the pirate Destroyers Sentinel was fighting. Our remaining three Cruisers flew at our side, shooting as much cover fire as their cannons could provide.

The pirate battleship was still in the process of turning, its long gun no doubt added significant weight to the already lumbering massive warship.

“We will not let it escape!” I roared.

“One minute till impact! Request permission to proceed with spearing Captain!”

“Permission granted”

“Aye, all hands brace for impact!”

I clutched the armrests of my chair tightly just before my body jolted forward, the restraining straps dug into my skin as I winced from the pressure.

“Charger has successfully speared the enemy battleship captain!”

“Send them in” I replied.

Magical RealismScience FictionCliffhangerAdventure
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About the Creator

Andy ortega

I love writing fantasy and sci-fi but I also write the occasional heartfelt drama. I hope to connect with many writers on this platform and write amazing stories for everyone.

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