Hyperspace has many levels. The “deeper” you travel in hyperspace the faster you travel. This dominated alien warship design, always striving to go deeper, thus faster. The alien Intralagi, helping Earth to oppose the G’Alin, shared their crudest hyperspace technology while Earth rested on the front lines of interstellar war.
Earth started building warships with the obsolete “shallow hyperspace” (e.g., “slow”) technology. Another project produced something no alien antagonist ever expected…
The G’Alin assault force was easily smashing the Intralagi picket force defending Earth. During the battle, a volley of missiles launched from Earth satellites.
Aboard the G’Alin cruiser, Lesser Technician Evitti said, “Human missiles are attacking!”
“Relax,” said Sub-Commander Gur. “Just three missiles? Three? Our laser defense will destroy them.”
“Our lasers are missing them!”
“Look! Even in ‘shallow hyperspace’ lasers can’t hit the missiles. The missiles quickly disappear and reappear, over and over. By the time our lasers re-target, they’re gone again! It’s shallow hyperspace tech, but humans use this deviously!”
One missile got through and a five-gigaton nuclear bomb crushed the cruiser’s shield.
“Report!” shouted Gur.
“The good news is our shield returned at 40% strength.”
“So there’s bad news?”
Evitti shuddered. “Forty more human missiles are attacking.”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2017/08/20/sunday-photo-fiction-august-20th-2017/
A kilo-ton nuclear bomb smashed Hiroshima. A mega-ton bomb is considered a modern city-killer. A giga-ton nuke is one thousand times stronger than that!
This isn’t the first time such blunders in design have happened. In the late 1950s, aircraft designers were obsessed with speed. They theorized that aircraft were becoming so fast that dogfights would never happen again. So when designers invented the very fast F-4 Phantom, they failed to put a gun in it. Guns were “too slow” and why bother when no one would dogfight anymore? And then during the Vietnam War, the F-4 Phantom wound up fighting in…wait for it…dogfights without a gun!