2267, September 13th: "M2D1, clear for takeoff! M2D2, clear for takeoff!" One by one the 15th Frontier Mechanoid Squadron was cleared to take off from the AR's 5th Fleet, I.S.C "Athena", the AR's premier Interstellar Super Carrier and flagship of the 1st Naval Battlegroup; With Fleet Admiral Darius Rex at the helm. F As dozens of Mechanoid squadrons launched from the Athena, they began to take combat positions around the 1st Naval Battlegroup, accompanied by the 5th, 6th, 10th, and 32nd Skyhawk Fighter Squadrons, as well as the 55th, 64th, and 13th Bomb Squadron. The AR's fleet, consisting of cruisers, destroyers, bombers, fighters, and mechanoids, braces for the incoming Archonic swarm, but they are not alone. The Scion Empire stealth frigates, S.E.S Johnson and S.E.S Octavian join the AR's defensive cluster in orbit around Faust IX. The Octavian releases the 133rd Iron Angels from its cargo bay, and close behind, Duntana approaches in her Archnoid, the Morning Star. On schedule, faint glimmers of what appear to be ghostly lights close in on the 1st Naval Battlegroup, the first of the Archon scouts are visually targeted, moving at breakneck speeds, operating under a different set of physics. The human fleet unleashes a barrage of missiles, DEW weapons, and point defense munitions. Hundreds of Archon scout drones are destroyed in minutes, but their swarm is vast, fast, and numbering in the thousands. Then, the Archon Conduits emerge out of hyperspace, unleashing cataclysmic anti-matter death rays, annihilating several AR ships in the blink of an eye. The shockwave from these anti-matter denotations rattles nearby ships, even sending several smaller craft off course. In a rare moment of unity, the AR's 15th Frontier Mechanoid Squadron and the SE's 133rd Iron Angels fight as one Mechanoid element, holding off the front line against thousands of swarming Archon Scout Drones. The Mechanoid pilots fight bravely, utilizing their machines to even catch and crush the drones with their hands, while using their weaponry simultaneously to dispatch even more. But although the Drones were weak alone, their weaponry as a group was far more capable. The Scout Drones engulfed the ARN's ICS "Michelangelo" and sliced into to pieces with precision energy weapons, before triggering a nuclear explosion of its cold fusion reactors. As the battle reached its peak, the Archon Conduits drew nearer, picking off the forward ships of the 1st Naval Battle Group, mostly frigates. At this time however, the Lance of Apollo was charged and ready; the infamous deadly weapon which destroyed Gliese. Duntana, surrounded in a protective bubble of Mechanoids defending her from the Drones, fired the weapon in one of its different firing modes, discharging branching exotic matter near the speed of light. Several Archon Conduit ships are hit with unbelievable kinetic power, triggering monumental bursts of energy, and nearly erasing the Conduits from existence. The blinding light from these bursts were so strong, that for a moment it appeared as a second star in the system. In the fallout of the blasts, what was left of the Archon fleet routed in disarray, like a beehive being exterminated. Fleet Admiral Darius Rex and the entirety of the AR's 1st Naval Battlegroup was in awe at the power of Duntana's weapon. One shot sent the Archons running with their tails tucked between their legs. The damage was assessed, and it could not be denied, without her, they were doomed. Over a dozen AR ships were destroyed, cut down by the enemy. Distress signals coming in from around the formation were flooding the command center. As a result, hosts of repairing nano-bot drones are unleashed from the Athena, to immediately deal with shipboard fires, hull damage, and other mechanical failures which are widespread throughout the 1st Naval Battlegroup. Rex looked at the timer, only 8 minutes and 42 seconds had gone by since it began, and thousands were dead.