A note from Erios909

Do you like the art in ShipCore? Are you interested in fantasy LitRPG/GameLit with a clever female protagonist? Do you like exploring new worlds and learning as you go with the main character? Do you enjoy seeing that character learning about the world around them, then applying their own experiences to it, with novel results? When I'm not writing ShipCore, I like to read. The story I'm recommending today is The Armorer and the Infinite Dungeon by Vitaly S Alexius.

I just finished chapter 17, and I'm really enjoying it so far.

USD: One day after arriving to Nu Crateris

Location: Midpoint to Dedia IV orbit, Tears of Fire, Cargo Area


Alex reached up to wipe the sweat off her forehead, but that only ended up being the signal Elis needed to strike. A power armored fist rocketed forward at a blinding speed and Alex barely had time to raise her other fist to intercept it.

The polarized metal of Elis’s fist screeched loudly as Alex’s nanite-armored knuckles slammed into the wrist of the power armor. Sparks flew and Alex had no time to appreciate them as a kick came around to clip the back of her knee.

Nanites or not, she fell, but made a safe recovery just in time to slap her palm on the floor, the metal underneath Elis whisking into a thick liquid consistency.

Elis reacted instantly, jumping away from the trap, but Alex immediately reversed the nanites’ consistency back to a solid to trap an armored boot. It almost worked, but the nanite quicksand trap wasn’t as strong as the power armor’s haptically controlled hydraulics and steel groaned and then gave way.

Worse, the force of the escape allowed Elis to kick the semi-solidified nanites straight toward Alex. It forced her to dissolve them into dust as small, sharp chunks of metal slammed into her, sending her active defenses into a frenzy in order to prevent her from being shredded by the semi-shrapnel nanite clumps.

The concentration required for that was enough to give Elis enough time to close the distance again, and Alex barely stepped back out of an elbow blow, only to get caught on the chin by a mighty uppercut from a steel fist that lifted her up off the ground and through the air.

Alex blinked up at the ceiling, her vision spinning.

[Notice: Avatar unconsciousness event with a duration of 5.53 seconds has been detected. A cranial concussion is currently under nanite repair. Recommend ending sparring session until repairs are complete to prevent permanent damage.]

Elis looked down at her, a hand extended in an offer to help her up, “Are you alright?”

Alex reached up and took it, “You gave me a concussion.”

“You have a hard head. We’ll follow Nameless’s advice and call it here.”

“I’m really glad pain dampening is a thing.” Alex frowned as she got back on her feet, “I am getting better, aren’t I?”

“You really need to work on shifting your attributes around as needed in the middle of the fight instead of relying on the protective ones constantly. There were several times you could have benefited from more speed or capitalizing on an opening.”

Alex nodded, “That mixed with the active stuff is just a lot to think about when you’re about to hit me.”

Elis smiled, “That’s what training is for.”

Looking over to the messed-up cargo bay floor, Alex waved her hand and gathered up the metal nanites that she’d stolen into a pile. Fixing things that she broke with them was still beyond her capabilities.

“Nameless, can you send some repair bots? There is damage to fix again.”

[Informative: While Avatar training is important, damage to ship is a waste of resources.]

“Just melt down the deactivated nanites back into floor plates and be thankful I have it under control enough now not to melt the wiring under the floor again.”

[Notice: This unit is aware of the repair process.]

“Yeah, did you know how inefficient it is to complain about it being inefficient?”

[Informative: This unit is learning. A list of improvements to be made to Avatar efficiency has been forwarded to your inbox.]

Alex’s datapad pinged and she took it out of her pocket.

|Avatar Efficiency Improvement List|

|1045 items|

The colors tried to emphasize the text, but she couldn't help but roll her eyes, “This is longer than Elis’s brevity code list!”

Elis laughed, “I hope you studied that this time, I’m going to quiz you on it. But first I’m going to go get out of this armor and take a shower.”

Alex nodded, “I will—”

[Notice: Incoming real-time transmission from Dedia IV, Caller ID: John Tyler, Planetary Governor of Dedia IV.]

“Ah. I guess I will be taking this call. Shit. I don’t have any blood on my face, do I?”

Elis threw her a towel for an answer.

She wiped off with it, but it was a far cry from a shower, and she didn’t want to keep the Governor waiting. Thankfully, she had a stronger enough grasp on her personal nanites now, and she could clean up her hair and face using Kinetic Projection combined with Biological Modification. Nanite Correlation was already paying dividends.

She surprised herself by how quick she had got a handle on those types of things. But it seemed to work with little effort as long as she had an idea to focus on in her head to direct them.

Cleaning up as best she could, Alex hurried toward the CIC, pulling on her captain’s jacket as she went.


USD: One day after arriving to Nu Crateris, a few minutes later

Location: Midpoint to Dedia IV orbit, Tears of Fire, CIC


Alex sat down at her seat, the colored lights she had added casting the area in a blue hue behind her. Without delay, she reached out to press a key on the command console to accept the video call.

A bald, black-skinned man appeared, and Alex immediately noticed the dark circles underneath his eyes. He had been resting with his head leaned against a hand, and she could glean from his appearance that he was exhausted.

“Hello Governor, sorry to keep you waiting. I was occupied in a sparring session with my chief of security when you called.”

The Governor quickly straightened up to address her, “I hope I didn’t disturb you Captain. As soon as I heard you were within real-time range, I called. I’ve been over the message you forwarded from Hammok and your new mercenary company’s documents of incorporation from Ackman Station. I am very grateful for your speed and assistance.”

Alex almost corrected him. Starlight Revolution was not just a mercenary company, but the distinction didn’t seem that important to make right then, “We are being well compensated for hurrying, Governor. Hammok briefed us that time is critical. Wyles informed me you might request our help in more than just transshipment of the supplies.”

Tyler nodded slowly, and let out a pained breath, “Truthfully, the situation here is dire, Captain. Our careless ‘benefactors’ from Xi Bootis selected a landing site wholly inappropriate and outside of our protective zones, and two-thirds of the people that were dropped off have been massacred.”

A dark look crossed the Governor’s face. “Worse, those bastards that dropped them off refused to provide any assistance when the Rexxor attacked the landings. Once they set down the people, they simply left. They did not even bother dropping the supplies that had been intended for the new settlers, citing ‘dangerous landing zones’ or other issues.”

Alex frowned, “I can’t imagine that freighters, even super freighters, would have the ability to fight on the ground, realistically.”

“Normally, you would be right. However, these bastards are flying in a newer Solarian Troop Transport Super Freighter hybrid. Those ships have entire orbit to ground targeting suites and bombardment capabilities. They refused to assist in any way, even though they were capable. Now they are headed out system.”

“We spotted them. Once we reach the orbital, we have two atmospheric drop shuttles prepared for unloading supplies, but Hammok indicated that you had more. I am also not sure how much will need to be sent down the space elevator, so I have had my crew rig all the makeshift hangars to be removed from the ship en masse to be floated out for pickup.”

“Captain is that necessary? I can provide men to assist your crew with sorting what needs to be moved from your ship directly. And yes, we have several atmospheric shuttles that will assist with deliveries, unfortunately as you surmised, not everything can simply be dropped down the elevator. Most of our forces are engaged on the frontline and need resupply.”

“I’m sorry, but I cannot allow any outside personnel on board the Tears. It’s not a point I’m willing to compromise on.”

“I understand Captain, and it is your ship, and we are very grateful for you help. We can move everything to the space elevator’s orbital and sort things by destination there. It shouldn’t delay things much more in reality.”

Alex nodded, “Now, what kind of support are you looking for from us from a military standpoint? While the Tears is atmospheric capable, I am not keen on using her in a close air support role. It’s possible we can rig our railguns for kinetic bombardment, but they won’t be as effective as a dedicated weapon. They would be limited to sub kiloton range. The other option is deploying AMCNs, but using those planetside would be quite drastic.”

“Captain, I am going to uplink our latest telemetry snapshot for the ongoing action. The landing site has been completely overrun, and while the army has formed a frontline with the new colonists falling back toward Dedia Prime, they have been pushed back further and further and mounting casualties are threatening to break our formation’s cohesion.”

Alex frowned and furrowed her brow, “Governor, it sounds like you’re talking about a military campaign against an intelligent foe, not some type of protective action from angry fauna.”

“No one has ever provided proof of Rexxor intelligence, but it’s undeniable that their hives act in concert and they are quite lethal and resistant in combat. The newest colonists’ drop point was on top of the hive nearest to the city, and the reaction has been something we have never seen before. I’m afraid that deploying WMDs could very well be an option we must consider.”

Alex shook her head, “I don’t have a very large crew or military force. It’s possible we could provide some limited automated combat units, but nothing that would affect something like you’ve described. Other than our missiles and possible orbit-to-ground rail weaponry.”

Governor Tyler nodded, “Understood, Captain. Still, the capability to drop from orbit might be useful to us even on a smaller scale. There are multiple smaller communities across the continent that have been cut off and evacuating them is looking necessary if, as I worry, the increase in activity of the Rexxor hive is semi-permanent or… worse.”

[Notice: Receiving High Band hail from lead Solarian Super Freighter. Content appears antagonistic. Recommend Avatar attention.]

Alex opened her mouth, to reply to Nameless before catching herself. She looked to the Governor, “Governor, I’m sorry, but the Solarian Super Freighter is hailing us. They seem to have some sort of issue.”

The Governor nodded, “I will send you all the relevant data we have regarding the situation on the ground and see about organizing the unloading of the relief supplies.”

Alex nodded and the video comm cut off. She took a deep breath and straightened her uniform and searched for her captain’s hat that she had so infrequently bothered to wear. Somehow, she felt like she needed to look the part for this next call.

Resettled and prepared, she indicated she was ready, “Nameless, put them through.”

The screen lit up with a scene from the other ship’s bridge. A helpful annotation on the bottom displayed the ship and captain’s name.

|SMS Grazhdanin |Captain Rolks Walker|

The man she assumed was the captain was standing in front of his console in an at ease position with a sneer that immediately put Alex at unease. He was dressed in a formal white uniform with black and gold trim, and more medals and aiguillettes than she ever had to worry about with her Federation uniform.

“IND Tears of Fire, Captain… Alex, I presume?”

“Yes. Would you be Captain Rolks Walker?”

“Indeed. I am calling because of your crew’s no doubt lax attentiveness to your course. You are currently on a trajectory that will bring your ship within two million kilometers of my flight group. I have had my navigator prepare an alternative course for you that gives us a proper separation.”

“Captain Walker, my ship is carrying urgently needed military and relief supplies from Ackman station to Dedia IV. I was talking to the Governor when you called. I’m sure you are aware of the dire situation on the ground and that delaying our path would likely mean more people will die.”

Captain Walker’s sneer forced Alex to maintain her composure as she found her dislike of the man deepening intensely.

“You think much too highly of yourself, ‘Captain,’ according to spacetime laws the larger vessel has the right-of-way. If you cannot follow our recommendations, we will have no choice but to consider your ship a pirate and open fire upon you. No doubt you understand that your tramp of a ship has no chance of surviving such an encounter.”

Alex had reached her limit, an absolute scathing anger burning inside of her she barely reigned in. She wanted so badly to tell this man to go fuck himself and get out of her way or she was going to slag his oversized pig of a ship.

“Thank you, Captain Walker. I will take it under advisement.”

He started to reply, but she quickly pressed a button to kill the call.

Taking a deep breath and centering herself, she looked up at the ceiling for grounding. Foremost in her mind was her encounter with Captain-Major Thraker and how so easily that conflict could have killed many people who didn’t deserve to die because of her bullheadedness.

Even more importantly, if the Tears engaged in a fight with the super freighters, it would likely take some damage, or worse, be delayed. That would be critically bad for the Dedia IV Colonists.

“Nameless, how long will Walker’s course change delay our arrival?”

[Informative: Proposed course change would delay arrival by approximately 36 hours.]

“What? Why!”

Alex punched several keys to bring up the navigational entry and cursed. The plotted course they had sent her put them traveling a good percentage of their travel in a completely wrong direction, all to give the Super Freighters a uselessly wide path.

“Do we have detailed information on these Super Freighters? Armaments? Top Speed? Can we detail a maximum engagement range the Freighters could achieve?”

[Correlative: Using Governor Tyler’s telemetry and data logs, a 98.5% confidence level of class equipment and armaments can be achieved.]

[Notice: A direct confrontation with the ships is not advised. Evasive maneuvers could cause catastrophic damage to the Tears of Fire due to damaged spinal structure. An inadequate number of missiles is available for saturation of PDC defenses. Hostile close quarters weaponry outnumbers Tear's current PDC armaments by 30-to-1. The amount of railgun ammunition required to render three Grazhdanin class ships disabled is calculated to be more than in stowage. Estimate two to three direct hits with smart munitions to disable one vessel. Current Smart munition ammo: 5 rounds.]

"Yes. I know. Fighting a capital ship sized vessel isn't a good idea right now."

Alex looked to the navigation plot.

“Can we plot a course that takes us by them outside their engagement range with as little deviation from our fastest time course to Dedia IV?”

[Affirmative: Plotting course now.]

Alex sighed, “If they change course to attempt an intercept, don’t wait for me, adjust our course as necessary to avoid them. I want to get to Dedia IV as fast as possible.”

A note from Erios909

Thanks for reading!

If you are enjoying the story, please leave a comment, rating, or review! They help the story out! And I love you for them!

I can't promise to respond to every comment, but I do read them all, and feedback is appreciated. Always remember that the this is essentially my first rough draft of the story with no real editing and only a loose plot outline. (Sorry! It's not a novel, its a webnovel and I am writing it as we go! And I'm hardly perfect!) 

Enjoy some fanart




Next: Chapter 36 – Antagonistic Capital Ships

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About the author


  • West Virginia, USA
  • Author

Bio: Still alive, yes.

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