Hello, Readers!

I've been dealing with final exams at school, but I'm still typing to calm my nerves and I managed to crank out this behemoth of a story! It's a space battle I once again based on the video game Stellaris.

My galaxy was invaded by a group of monsters called the Unbidden, and within a few months of their devastating invasion, my allies and my enemies all worked together to form a federation to defeat them. Despite several battles with the invaders, our forces were unable to close the portal and eventually we were all consumed and destroyed.

However, I decided to write out a happier ending to the battle, and this monster was born! I tried to balance both technical/human sides of the battle, so I hope you enjoy!

...

The Zeconis star system was relatively unnoticed in galactic history. Its red sun was unable to support life, its planets were barren and unable to support life, and whatever minerals or resources that once existed on the worlds were either frozen in massive ice caps or had been stripped away long ago. No one colonized or established outposts in the area, so it remained neutral in the shuffling of territories between warring and scheming empires.

But on stardate 08-25-3350, the system was crowded with starships… and would be crowned as the starting point for a campaign that would either save the galaxy or doom it. The Galactic Federation had arrived.

The battlecruiser Council was the largest ship in the fleet, armed with lasers, point defenses, and enough starfighters to bombard a planet twice over. Its engines hummed with green light as they shone like two massive suns as the ship hissed and creaked like a living being, propelling itself to the head of the fleet.

Behind the battlecruiser, rested fleets from every civilized species in the galaxy.

The Rethellian Autocracy, the United Palariyin Planets, the Regime of Thorak, the battle clans of Danuke, the Yakta Autocracy, the League of the Irrellyans, the Zanmmni Commonwealth, the Havarigga Union and the Votharan Interplanetary Alliance. Allies and enemies stood united as starfighters and smaller ships were organized into squadrons, and Capital ships moved themselves to mingle with the ships of others.

Following each fleet trailed the vassals of the various empires, smaller nations that couldn't send a massive force of ships, but still sent whatever they could in support of their rulers.

In total, almost three thousand ships floated amid the sea of space. Communications were run through translators and beamed to other ships as the final details of the battle ahead were planned.

The Council's war room was filled with representatives from every ship in the fleet as the commanders spoke to one another and processed requests from various parts of the fleet. Admiral Sassomun dol'Home raised his silver head and stared at the screen that showcased a scout ship's earlier recording of the target they had to destroy. The target that had brought him out of retirement.

The portal of the Unbidden.

The Unbidden were massive monsters that were made entirely out of energy, fueled by the life force that they sucked from living organisms, leaving planets and spaceships lifeless husks when they finally moved on.

Their portal had opened three years ago, and the creatures had just kept coming.

Massive fleets of organisms, cased in blue energy and propelled by rudimentary engines. They were living batteries and required living energy to stay alive, at regular intervals.

So as more creatures came from beyond, they expanded their feeding ground into the territories of the galactic community. The United Palariyin planets were the first territory to feel the effects of their endless hunger when two planets in a single star system were completely destroyed, and when Survey teams went to those planets, they found every living being a shriveled and frailed husk.

Only an assault by a massive Palariyin fleet saved the next star system from the same fate, where a further discovery was made.

The Unbidden could hurl bolts of energy that penetrated shields and deflector screens, and further bolts of energy would completely overload the atoms of the ship and cause it to shatter into pieces.

The weapons were called 'matter disintegrators', and they could reduce an attacking fleet to scrap metal in seconds. Shields and armored hulls were useless against these new weapons… providing a catalyst for scientists and researchers across the galaxy to discover some new way to stand against this extradimensional threat.

Although the matter designators were powerful, they lacked effective long range capabilities, and they were shown to be slow to aim and fire, so if a ship survived the first hit and was able to repair itself… they could weather another attack.

Almost instantly after the images of the Unbidden advance and their potential weaknesses, wars were called off and treaties were hastily drawn up between allies and enemies to work to defeat their common foe as one large Federation was created. All ships were equipped with long-range weapons and nanobot hulls, and all minds turned towards war as a massive fleet was drawn up to launch a strike at the seat of Unbidden power.

"Admirals! The Fallen empires have engaged the Unbidden fleets!"

Representatives from each race nodded at the news, each one thankful that the mysterious Fallen empires had kept their word.

The Fallen Empires had existed long before any of the assembled races had begun interstellar travel, and although they were not as strong as they once were… their fleets and technology were still light years ahead of anything the other races had created. They were powerful entities, and only the most foolhardy species refused their demands and risked their godlike wrath.

Contact with the isolationist Fallen Empires was almost unheard of until they declared war on the Unbidden.

Only one transmission was sent from each of the two Fallen Empires, offering their support for the Galactic Federation and promising to do the bulk of the fighting with the Unbidden fleets during the attack on the portal.

They had drawn away the portal's guardians, and now the Federation had a slim chance to close the portal spawning the creatures once and for all.

"All ships prepare for immediate jump to Unbidden space! All ships prepare for jump!"

As the announcement went out to the ships in the fleet, captains checked view screens and read reports on their ship, crews and technicians checked their stations anxiously knowing that the slightest error could inhibit their performance in battle, and every alien prayed and hoped that their attack would succeed, and they would be allowed to witness the victory.

"Starfighter squadrons report in!"

"All fighters accounted for Admirals, and all squadrons standing by for orders!"

As the Council's viewscreens lit up with affirmations of readiness from the fleets, the representatives turned towards one another, each one locking gazes with every other.

Each Empire in the Federation had sent its best Admirals to serve on the command ship, and each admiral was well known, and if not liked… at least respected by all the others.

So admirals whose species that were once sworn enemies gazed at one another with solemn reverence, putting their past differences aside as they prepared to stand united against the Unbidden threat. Admirals whose species were allies simply smiled at one another, happy to fight and die among friends, as they had before.

Then the final voice rang out.

"Jump to hyperspace."

Buttons were pressed, levers were pulled, and knobs were twisted as every ship leapt from the Zeconis star system, into hyperspace, and towards a hopeless battle.

With a flash of energy, the Federation fleet moved into the system, the scanners already mapping the space around them and updating the star maps.

"We have detected no Unbidden ships, the only energy is coming from that portal."

The Palariyin admiral smiled and raised the comlink to his lips "All ships move into battle formation! Open fire on the portal the second it is in range. Repeat do not wait for orders, fire at will!"

Starfighters moved towards the portal, the fingers of the pilots' resting on the various controls for their weapons as they marveled at its size.

The blue portal hummed with energy and only black space rested inside of it. Bolts of blue flickered and lapped like tongues as the portal shimmered in the vacuum of space. As if it was a living thing and yet was unaware of the danger that threatened it.

"Fire!"

Laser bolts were fired from countless starfighters as the first Federation attack crashed into the portal's edges, followed by a wave of bombs which exploded on the portal's maw.

The gateway to Unbidden space shuddered under the attack, its power flashing as it struggled to stabilize itself. The starfighters moved away, veering to the left and the right as they circled back towards the fleet, allowing the big guns to be brought to bear.

Battleships formed a wall, moving side by side as their massive spinal cannons aimed at the portal, their barrels glowing with red and purple energy as the cannons fired as one.

The commanders of the battleships felt the entire ship shudder under their feet as the massive weapons fired, causing the lights to flicker and control panels to flash as the ships cooled themselves down.

The colored beams flew across the empty space, smashing into the portal's walls as more energy was expended, and the portal writhed and convulsed like a living thing.

The smaller ships then drifted into position, as countless frigates, destroyers, and corvettes opened fire. Missiles and lasers, torpedoes and cannons attacked their own attacks to those of the fighters, which were charging in with the second wave of bombs and lasers.

…..

The crew of thet Council cheered and clapped as their fleet bombarded the portal, as anxious crew members scanned their monitors.

"Portal integrity is at 75% sir, and it's giving off more energy than normal."

"Good!" The Rethellian leader snapped "The science directorate has agreed that if the portal is overloaded with enough energy, it'll collapse in on itself! Keep all ships firing on that thing!"

The leaders watched as the portal screamed, energy leaking from its wounds as the bombardment continued.

"Integrity is at 65%"

"Admiral, we have enemy ships approaching from sector 43!"

The council races turned in horror as space opened up near them, and with a bright flash, they were no longer alone.

The Unbidden had arrived.

….

The Zanmmni Commonwealth's frigate, For the People, rested on the fringes of the Federation fleet. The captain's long neck angled upwards to watch a viewscreen of the battle, his mind already figuring out how to take advantage of the situation back home… and how to turn those advantages into hard credits.

"Captain! Unbidden ships have arrived! They're on top of us!"

The Captain's head whipped around to see the blue silhouettes racing towards their frigate.

The Unbidden ships were encased in blue energy, protecting the engines that made them able to travel across space. No two ships were alike as the energy writhed, seeing food…. seeking their ships.

"All ships fall back to defend the fleet! All ships defend the battleships!"

The orders were barely heard over the Captain's own commands. "Take evasive action and all weapons fire on the closest Unbidden ship! Do not let them get in range of us!"

The massive frigate's cannons opened fire as the fleet began to reverse course, forming a wall of starships to defend the battleships, who were still blasting away at the portal.

"All gunners target the Unbidden engines! We blow those up and the energy has no place to go!" The Zanmmni captain commanded, watching the cannons track the one vulnerable part of the Unbidden. The engines were the Unbidden's propellant systems, one good hit to those and the energy would be scattered across space, completely useless without a ship to latch onto.

The cannons thundered, spitting red bolts into the nearest ship, carving gaping wounds into the enemy.

The scream of the wounded Unbidden filled space with a sound that most were lucky to not be able to hear as a stray blast smashed into the engine. The extradimensional craft jerked away from the remaining laser blasts, already hurling bolts of itself towards the attacking frigate.

"Shields up!"

The cry came too late as the energy blasts pierced the shields, shattering against the hull and already beginning to eat it away. Air began to leak out of the ship, hauling debris and unfortunate crewmembers out into the cold vacuum of space, as Unbidden tendrils reached out to wrap around the crew, sucking them dry and adding the living energy to their ships.

The captain cursed as he sealed with breach with deflector shields, groaning as the rest of the fleet moved away from him.

"Come on you blind fools! Shoot the engine of that thing or we're all dead!"

"Too late!"

The ship shuddered, hurling crew and captain alike to the ground as the blue tendrils hooked onto the hull, expanding as they encased the entire ship in a bubble of energy. Alarms blared and control panels beeped as the captain stood, his long neck already analyzing the information.

Life support was being drained, the oxygen supply had been damaged by the attack, and most systems were out of power.

He'd heard horror stories of how Unbidden paralyzed ships before cracking them open to seize the life forms inside, leaving them little more than husks. His ship was now going to be subject to that same treatment.

Another alarm blared as the hull began to crack and crumble under the energy bombardments, and The Zanmmni captain clawed at his desk, climbing hand over hand to shatter the glass over a very specific switch.

He looked at his crewmembers, some trapped under debris, others standing at their stations awaiting orders from him, and still others dying from the impacts of the weapons against their hull… yet they all saw the decision he had to make, and they made It for him.

It was better to die as a warrior than as a food source.

His clawed hand closed over the switch and flicked it.

….

The Unbidden sent its energy through the paralyzed ship, already disintegrating the hull as it began to hunt for the life forms it needed to survive.

Then the ship began to get warmer as if all the energy was gathering up for one last futile gesture before the inevitable feeding. The extradimensional creature didn't think much of the gathering, as it got ever closer to gaining its food.

Only to discover the intense heat that the ship produced strained its hold considerably, and before it could release its prize the ship exploded.

The scream the creature released as its own engine exploded and its essence was scattered across space was powerful, although none could hear it.

The engine that allowed it to move in space was gone, and no other ships were nearby for it to latch onto… it was dead in space and useless, simply drifting along.

….

The Council shuddered as all its weapons fired on the Unbidden craft, struggling to keep the parasitic craft away as the explosion of For the People rocked the ship further.

Frantic chatter on the comlinks from the other ships filled the ears of the crew as they struggled to keep the creatures away from the battleships, who were still blasting away at the portal.

"Portal integrity is at 50%"

"The Unbidden are closing in!"

"We've lost our deflector shields!"

"Council, we are getting ripped apart up here! We need to retreat!"

Slamming his paws down on the table, Admiral Sassomun dol'Home growled loudly. "No! We cannot give up now! Too much planning has gone into this attack and we won't get other chance to stop these invasions once and for all!"

The other races nodded with understanding. This Unbidden crisis had to stop… or billions of lifeforms would die as they gorged on the rest of the galaxy unopposed. There would be no retreat today, only glory in closing the portal once and for all, or the glory in death.

"If I may offer a suggestion?" A lupine member of the League of the Irrellyans asked "The Unbidden mindlessly feed on energy, and are propelled to those energy sources by their engines. Might we use their hunger to bait them into a trap of some sort?"

The Yakta admiral patted his fellow ally on the shoulder "That's why you Irrellyans are the smartest beings in our galaxy. I have a plan… if you are willing to take a risk."

The control panels for the cruisers and frigates of the Galactic Federation fleet all received the same orders, while starfighters, corvettes, and destroyers received different ones. The entire fleet began to follow those orders, breaking away from their individual battles to break into separate clumps.

The Council's weapons thundered as their lasers and missiles fired in an arc, keeping any and all Unbidden away from the Federation forces as they followed their orders.

The frigates and cruisers practically rested on top of one another, close enough to scrape paint and bump deflector shields, as the ships that could fired their weapons at the advancing Unbidden.

The entire extradimensional fleet moved forward toward the gathering of the bigger ships, all of them seeing the massive gathering of energy… the gathering of food.

They ignored the smaller corvettes and destroyers, drifting right past them as the occupants of those ships held their breaths and struggled to remain still. Weapons were trained on the Unbidden craft but were not fired as the Unbidden fell right into their trap.

Slowly and cautiously, the clump of corvettes and destroyers began to circle behind the enemy ships, moving forward as they trained their weapons on the engines. Starfighters followed the smaller craft, their weapons ready and primed to open fire.

…..

Whether they saw the smaller craft behind them or not, the Unbidden craft were only focused on one thing… their all-consuming hunger. The larger ships burned with life energy and it was all close together, crying out to be spent fueling the Unbidden conquest of the stars. They quailed at the intense laser fire and missile blasts but pressed onward, hurling bolts of energy to eat away at hulls and weapon emplacements.

Their hunger was the most important thing in the world to them and nothing else mattered, not even the danger they may suffer while they pursued their food. They charged forward, ready to engulf the backbone of the fleet and shatter it… before moving onto the rest of the galaxy.

Their weapons were eating away at the hulls, the laser fire was becoming less intense, and the feeding time was creeping ever closer.

The captains of the ships stood firm, calmly ordering more accurate barrages of weapon fire as the Unbidden tendrils reached out to them. They watched the wreckage of the other ships float by them, ships with holes rotting away and husks of crew members adorning the ruins, and as they took in the sight… they prayed that that would not be their fate this day.

The Unbidden moved faster towards them as they got closer to their goal, disregarding the defenses entirely as their hunger pressed them to surround and absorb the ships.

Only too late did the invaders realize their hunger had betrayed them, as the seemingly insignificant corvettes and destroyers, led by waves of starfighters, attacked them from behind. Their lasers smashing into the engines and stopping the Unbidden attack as the larger ships increased power to their engines and began to move away from the reaching tendrils.

Dozens of starfighters zoomed towards the enemy craft, their missiles and lasers already boring holes into the Unbidden engines as they wheeled away from return fire.

Bolts of energy pursued them as the fighters retreated, some turning into flaming balls of debris as a bolt caught up to them, as the captain of the lead corvette, a Rethellian ship named the Titan's Claw displayed his fangs in a smile.

"All ships, support the starfighters, let's show those energy guzzling monsters they picked the wrong galaxy to invade!"

The ships opened fire, with the Rethellian ships attacking the most eagerly, as the reptilian race was excellent at striking targets in the back.

The Titan's Claw's autocannons whirled as they peppered the enemy with blasts, raking the engine from front to back as the Unbidden target screamed. Then the engine exploded, sending the paralyzed creature sprawling throughout space.

As Destroyers hurled bolts of plasma and corvettes shot off torpedoes, the starfighters wheeled back for a second strike, and then a third.

The Unbidden engines exploded under the assaults, paralyzing more of the creatures as they weakly reached out for the retreating larger ships, or even a smaller one… needing to attach to something to survive.

Despite their frantic bolt hurling and evasion as they tried to escape the trap, the Unbidden fleet was caught as the larger ships turned towards them and began to open fire again, hemming them in and keeping them in one place for the precise attacks of the smaller ships.

The creatures that prided themselves on hunting out life and preying on others, were now being hunted and slaughtered themselves by the very organisms they saw as prey.

Applause broke out as Admiral Sassomun plan worked, and the Unbidden fleet finally fell prey to their hunger, and it brought them to their doom.

The Yakta admiral smiled and turned back to the battleships. "What is the portal integrity?"

"25% sir!"

"Once the Unbidden fleet is destroyed, move all ships into range and attack with everything we have… close that portal before any more reinforcements get through!"

The Council moved forwards, rallying the remains of the fleet around it as its weapons opened fire on the portal, then the rest of the fleet followed.

The portal screamed and began to shrink under the concentrated fire, as every single ship turned its weapons upon it. Energy swirled and crashed as the portal crumbled, already preventing any reinforcements from getting through as the bombardment continued.

"Move the fleet away from the portal, now! Keep up long range fire!"

The order was transmitted quickly as the portal fluxed, throwing out bolts of energy in all directions as the smaller ships began to move away, firing off one last parting shot as they moved away.

Only the battleships and Council remained, firing the last shots as the portal finally let out a death scream.

And exploded.

A massive, final wave of power erupted from where the portal once was, zooming towards the fleet and causing the battered ships to shudder before it dissipated.

Then the Galactic Federation fleet, made up of all of the galaxy's citizens, finally began to smile.

This battle was unlike any other fight… they had proven their right to live and survive against an extradimensional threat, and they had united as one galaxy.

They had governmental differences, religious differences, and old grudges that flared up with the pain of new wounds to divide them, but this crisis had united them.

It wouldn't last forever. There would be disputes over who fired the last shot that closed the portal for good, accusations of cowardice and glory-hogging, and other arguments over the battle's details.

But the ships and crews that had fallen against the Unbidden were going to be remembered as heroes, while the living would be treated as champions... and everyone would remember the final battle to save their galaxy, and look back on it fondly.

Maybe this alliance was a glimmer of hope, hope that one day, the galaxy could co-exist in a climate of discovery and brotherhood.

Maybe someday, they could achieve utopia.

...

I hope you guys enjoyed! I'm doing a new playthrough with a new alien race, and I might introduce them into my sci-fi universe! :D

As always leave a review, feel free to check out my other works, and have a great day! :D