Two ships, broken and scarred, like swords passed through fire, limped towards the battlegroup.
Francisca watched the lonely pair, the Defiant and the maimed Achilles, her conning-tower-like command deck sheared off. Smaller ships trailed her, not more than a half dozen. Around them, the Valkyries flew. They should have been resting up and repairing their mecha, but instead the lonely two hundred flew guard around their crippled motherships, an aura of honour which just served to terribly underline the thousands of Valkyries which were gone.
Francisca felt a shiver growing in the base of his spine. The great Ark Royal was destroyed, a half dozen Gloria Class warships with her, and thousands of Valkyries. The dead numbered into the hundreds of thousands. Hundreds of thousands, the Ark Royal, and all within nine minutes. Nine minutes, the Intruders needed to wreak such havoc.
The observation bay fell under shadow; he looked up at the incredible bulk of the Illustrious, sister to the Ark Royal. It dwarfed even a Macross Cannon; it was the largest moving object mankind had ever created.
Nine minutes, and the Ark Royal, most of her Gloria Class escort, and so many Valkyries were gone.
The worst part of it all was that he knew that they were still coming, and that the Illustrious and her battleguard and Second Lieutenant Jose Francisca would stand against them.
No one knows where the Intruders are from. When the military government of Earth appealed to the Marduk for information, all that was returned was pleas of ignorance. If the Marduk are to be believed, this species is new and utterly unknown.
Long range sensors record the motion of the fleet of roughly a million and a half small craft, waiting not far from the drifting, twisted wreckage of the Ark Royal and her fleet. Why they have not advanced is unknown; apparently, they are content to allow the armed forces of Earth to reorganize and ready themselves.
What is known of them comes from the survivors of the Ark Royal Massacre,
and it is slight indeed.
What the Intruders may look like is utterly unknown. Only their warships and their mecha have been encountered, and that was only at the Ark Royal's death, which ended with the Aliens in control of the field.
Psychologically speaking, even less is known. The only things which can be said are to be inferred from their behaviour. That they are Alien is without question; with the Zeltran, and the Marduk, both in form and in psychology mankind faced a humanoid enemy, one which looked like us and thought like us. The Marduk, for all their exotic strangeness, could have been a distant relative of mankind. The Intruders are Alien on an altogether deeper and more intricate level. We have no name for them but Intruder; we do not know what they look like, and their thought processes make no sense whatsoever to us. They might as well be insane.
That they could wreak havoc in human space has been demonstrated; they met one quarter of the combined strength of the T.E.F. in combat, and vanquished it with terrifying ease. Yet they do not attack; they violate every rule of warfare as we know it by sitting in the depths of space and letting us prepare.
Terran Intelligence is at a loss. Are they monitoring us, for something we do not understand? Do they wait for us to come to them? It is possible that they are following what they see to be accepted practices of warfare, even carrying out an obscure ritual, or perhaps this behaviour fits logic as they understand it. It is clear that their thought processes, that their very selves, come from a dramatically different place than mankind.
For anything more, we must wait and see what time brings.
The Intruder Warships seem to be all roughly the same. It is worth
noting that, in the image recieved from the dying Ark Royal, roughly
two thousand different Alien vessels could be made out and none of them
were exactly the same. Each follows a general rule of design; four hundred
and thirty two feet long, shaped in roughly the same way, but every single
one has some difference from its fellows, be it in subtleties of surface
patterning (though all are purple, the exact shades, patterns and gradients
vary), or surface texture, or alignment of the fins. The ships are small
by our standards but are extremely powerful. The Intruders do not seem to
have any larger command level vessels, nor do they have smaller scouts or
gunships. What statistics are known are presented below.
Length: 432 feet
Width: 86 feet plus 86 feet wingspan
Damage: 7,931 M.D.C. The vessel will regenerate 172 M.D.C. exactly at the end of each Combat Round.
Firepower: 17 cannon dispersed about their surface. Although the placement seems haphazard and capricious, mathematical models have demonstrated that exactly 9 cannon can be brought to bear at any point about the ship, no matter where you look. These cannon deal 4d6x10+73 M.D.C. These ships are also able to increase their damage by a power of four, in essence raising to the fourth power whatever their damage would have been, but surviving Valkyrie pilots reported that they never saw an Intruder stage its damage in this way unless its target was the Ark Royal or a Gloria class vessel. Against Valkyries and Anderson class gunships, the Intruders kept their damages at the lower level.
Note: there are approximately 1.4 million of these vessels waiting in deep space for no apparent reason.
Intruder Combat Mecha
Each Intruder warship apparently carries exactly 7 mecha. These mecha are roughly humanoid in shape and size and fight using staff-like weapons. These devices are used in close quarters or can be used to fire pulses of energy bolts.
The Mecha are highly maneuverable and attack in waves, coordinating with
one another to an impressive degree.
Maximum Speed: Unknown; to quote one Valkyrie pilot, "damn fast".
Combat Bonuses: +4 Strike, +9 Parry, +1 Dodge, +7 to Initiative
Damage: Their Staves deal 1d6x10+26 M.D.C. in close combat. The staff can also release energy pulses which have a range of 900 feet, seven times that in a vacuum, and deal 1d6x20+52 M.D.C.
Curiously, several Valkyrie pilots reported an incident in which one Valkyrie ran out of ammunition, and fought using his railgun as a blunt implement. Not one Intruder used energy bursts on him, but dozens swarmed him fighting in hand to hand. In the end he killed many of them but his Valkyrie was disabled when his cockpit was penetrated and he himself was slain.
Like their warships, the mecha seem to be all of equal size and uniform
design, several shades of purple in colour, and each subtly different from
Anything more than this, we will have to learn by coming to grips with