The Battle for Manoon Ch I
Nandi sat at what she had turned it to a navigation consol. With the extreme loss of life in the Battle for Midnight she had to navigate herself. PFC Hanson had communication, still not enthusiastic about the whole thing. But at least he understood what sort of problem the ship was in.
The sensors had been left in the AIs care. After all the equipment that was lost on the bridge no one could interpret the signals coming from the consol. And all in all the AI was double to triple as fast as any human assigned to the task.
Systems were in the capable ability of a young weapons technician named Moore. The young man had almost single handed held a portion of missile battery E online. Despite great damage to the hull and missile tubes.
‘’PFC Hanson; start compiling a message. To the Manoon Defense Fleet, this is Fleet Admiral Nandi Olsen of the ESFM Tellus. Do to enemy attack I’m taking command of the fleet as of immediately. All fighting ships are requested to form in a battle line on the Battleship Tellus. Immediate priority is the destruction or capture of target Sierra-Alfa. Be advised the target is extremely dangerous. End of Message. Okay, the moment we emerge from Rift Space I want that message sent on all human frequencies, understood?’’¨said Nandi.
‘’Perfectly, ma’me. It’s logged in to the communication system. I’ll get it away the moment we’re out’’ replied PFC Hanson.
‘’Nelson, what is the reported strength of the Manoon Defense Forces. Ships, personnel, orbital stations that sort of thing?’’ asked Nandi.
‘’The Defense Force’s primary involves the use of Wolfpack class missile boats. Their destruction to cost is the main reason the United Earth government wants these boats deployed as appose to capitol ships like the Tellus and her sister ship the Terra. They have two Hurricane missiles tipped with nuclear warheads. Deadly little bastards, come to think of it. The largest ship in the Manoon system is the aging corvette Hartbane. But I’m not counting out the possibility that the destroyer Lightningstrike and her escort frigates is in the system. As we don’t know we better assume they aren’t. E131’s orbital defense stations are equipped with old TH missiles. Mostly standard high explosive and fuel\air warheads. Madam Admiral the only hope of the colony surviving is most likely on our shoulders’’ reported Nelson. His voice was stretched thin. All his computing power was spent monitoring the sensors.
‘’As I feared’’ said Nandi. She sat and rubbed her right shoulder. The laser had burned its way clean through, as a side effect it had cauterized the wound. The strange thing was she could put her two longest fingers strait through her own shoulder, if she wanted to that is.
‘’We’ll reach the Manoon system in approximately fifteen minutes, ma’me’’ reminded Moore her.
‘’Thank you, Ensign’’ answered the Fleet Admiral.
How to defeat this monster? She plunged herself in to thought. The first option that dropped in to her mind was to pull the same maneuver she had tried against Foxtrot-three. The so called handbrake maneuver, it was a distinct possibility, she thought. But it wouldn’t help to storm in directly at Sierra-Alfa; its countermeasure was to aim the main armament at the Tellus. And fire, the effect being wiping the human Flagship from history. And what a short history it would be if it happened.
The Earth class Battleship had been in construction for almost ten years. It’s sister ship the ESFM Terra, had its keel laid down only three years ago. Although it was being built at a record pace, so the construction time was calculated at being half of what it had take to finalize the Tellus. It will be a shame if the two ships don’t get to fight side by side to win this war, thought Nandi.
‘’Nelson, is it possible to project a signature of the Tellus, like a decoy or something?’’ asked Nandi. She didn’t think it would be, but she had to try everything she could think of.
‘’We can block the enemy capability to use their sensors. Overload the array’s to pull them offline. If they can’t see us they can’t target us. It is a good idea, Madam Admiral’’ said Nelson.
Another little advantage the humans could claw to themselves. Outmaneuver and blind them then blast their hides to kingdom come.
‘’Madam Admiral, I’ve thought of something. Late in the twentieth century human air superiority fighters had stealth capabilities. This was achieved by angling the panels to deflect radar signals. As I’ve stated earlier the stations defense grid depends on the same radar signals to aim the lasers. If they don’t have a target to shoot at they can’t hit it. Please correct me if I’m wrong’’ informed Nelson.
‘’So what you are saying is that if we somehow cloak the missiles we can get the through the laser defense. By what means, constructing some short of deflector to place on the Hurricane missile and fire it strait at Sierra-Alfa’’ repeated Nandi. She wanted to know if she had heard completely right.
‘’Aye, Madam Admiral. The only thing we need is to get the metal shop to make it. I’m already compiling plans from the main computer. Technicians can weld some titanium plate together. Titanium is in abundance on the main bridge. The paint the fighters are covered in is already a little radar resistant. I’m sending the appropriate orders. It will not be ready in the time we have left in Rift Space. Five minutes to the Manoon system’’ said the AI.
‘’Good thinking Nelson. You’re almost human in your memory’’ teased Nandi.
‘’I do not understand that statement, Madam Admiral’’ said the AI.
‘’It was a joke Nelson. Now how much time do you thing till the Stealth missile is ready’’ said Nandi.
‘’Unknown, Madam Admiral. I’ll get back to you the instant the technicians report back to me’’ answered the AI. With that Nelson went silent. And that worried Nandi. She had come to trust that the computer program could do just about anything. It went as far as she trusted him with her life. It had already saved her and PFC Hanson from being killed by the alien warriors.
‘’Coming out of Rift Space in five, four, three, two, one’’ announced Moore.
Static that covered the navigation consol turned to a clear picture the instant the countdown was over. Countless stars and galaxies showed their pretty lightshows, the same show they had made for millions of years.
She went to work scanning the tactical screen to her left then her star chart to her right. They were only fifteen minutes travel from E131.
‘’Sending prerecorded message now, ma’me’’ informed PFC Hanson.
She turned her attention to the tactical display. And right in front of the ship she found what she was looking for. But she wished she hadn’t.