The Battle for Midnight Ch III
As fast as Fleet Admiral Olsen could move her fingers the navigation coordinates were tapped in. Away, as fast as the reactors and the propulsion system could, she thought.
‘’Systems, give me hundred and ten per cent on the reactor! All ahead!’’ ordered the Fleet Admiral and got to her feet.
‘’Admiral, the reactor is not made to reach that level! It will not accept the command’’ objected the systems officer.
‘’Just do it, yank the security protocol if you have to. I’m not letting this ship get destroyed without a fight!’’ shouted Nandi. For the first time on this mission she felt desperately afraid. The new weapon system the enemy had deployed against her fleet was awe-inspiring. Like the first time the Super CL cannon was used against a recue fleet in a secure system. That time the cannon had destroyed ESFM Bombarda with the first salvo. The second had cut the bow of the frigate War Devil, she was onboard that frigate. Not as a part of the fleet, but a scared six year old girl. Nandi’s parents died on a moon called Polaris when the aliens invaded. She was saved by Caroline Olsen that time.
Now she was on her own, the decision was only hers to make. But thankfully the crew was there to back her up.
‘’Nelson, drop everything your doing. I want you on the sensors. Everything you can get of that weapon system. Range, rate of fire, accuracy. Anything you can find’’ ordered Nandi.
‘’Aye, Madam Admiral. Alert close defense weapons that they have to do it manually’’ came thru the speakers. Nandi nodded and sat down in her chair.
‘’Ma’me, reactor at hundred and six per cent. I can’t push her more without pulling the control rods’’ informed the systems officer.
‘’Status on the secondary reactor cooling system?’’ asked the Fleet Admiral.
‘’In space along with the rest of the port wing assembly. It got hit by the CL blast, but the damage limitation system worked flawlessly, so we’ve got the primary coolant system only’’ answered the systems officer.
‘’How many were in that compartment?’’ was the first thing that dumped out of the Fleet Admirals mouth.
‘’Fourteen engineers, thirty sailors. Could have gone worse’’ answered a junior communications officer. Yeah, it could have been much worse. But that didn’t make the feeling of failing any better.
Once again she stood up, and started pacing. Round and round the holograph displayer. Trying to see where the weapon would fire. The conclusion was that Tellus is the primary target, the biggest threat.
‘’We’re not taking evasive maneuvers, why?’’ asked Nandi.
‘’I don’t know, ma’me….’’
‘’This is the Lightningstrike; we’re sending an image of the new weapons system. Be advised we’re retreating to E131. Good luck Admiral’’ the message played on the speakers.
‘’What was that about? Communication, get a message to the Lightningstrike. Use alternate retreat system. Don’t go near any human controlled systems’’ said Nandi.
‘’They’re already in Rift Space, ma’me’’ informed a systems officer.
Damn it, now the battle fleet hade to follow those tree ships to the human colony of E131. She ordered the Rift space generators activated.
‘’Ma’me, our protocol states that no ship under human control should let hostiles see our systems. We still have several hostiles running free on the ship creating havoc as they go’’ said a junior officer.
‘’Systems, hold the generator powered up and on standby. Have the marines redeploy to handle the boarders’’ ordered Nandi.
The holograph changed from the tactical to an almost three dimensional image. The image was what the Lightningstrike sent before retreating. It looked like a massive space station, with docking facility for their CVs. The four targets of Delta, Echo, Foxtrot and Golf was clamped to the station. The superstructure itself had to be ten kilometers across without the CVs. With them Nandi guessed that the station was over thirteen clicks wide and broad.
‘’The central structure is a focusing array. Unknown how it operates, but the effect is that their CVs get a boost in power to fire their Super CL Cannons. First estimates indicate that it increases the Cannons range by two hundred per cent. But a thing that is in our advantage is that the CVs are controlling the station with its engines and thrusters. It will not be as nimble as the Tellus. But before we start celebrating. Notice the smaller limbs, they hold eight Cruisers. Not the standard ones either. They seem to have an anti missile capability, through what I think it is a type of radar as guide’’ said the AI. He seems tired, but to Nandi’s knowledge an AI didn’t get tired.
‘’Recommendation on how to engage the target?’’ asked Nandi
‘’Unknown, Madam Admiral. Missile attacks will be totally useless. Inventory of the battle fleet indicates that EMP warheads are used up. I have no idée how to get a kill shot on the station’’ answered Nelson.
‘’What about Neutron warheads, they have a blast radius of roughly ten clicks?’’ asked the Fleet Admiral. But how to get the missile in range to get a kill.
‘’Maybe, if the entire arsenal gets fired at the same time. But I say again, maybe’’ answered the AI.
Firepower is on the enemy’s side. And what can we do to use our maneuverability advantage.
‘’Navigation, what is our current course?’’ asked Nandi.
‘’Directly at the RV that we set up before we left the moon naval station’’ answered the navigation officer.
‘’Good, hold course. Reapply the control rods in the reactor. Eighty five per cent power, if you please, systems’’ said Nandi.
‘’Aye, ma’me’’ got said from two directions.
‘’We’re jumping to the RV in one minute’’ said Nandi.
‘’What about the hostiles onboard? We can’t go on before they are gone’’ asked someone
‘’Form hunter teams of sailors and marines. We will hunt them down, one by one if we have to’’ said Nandi.
‘’Ma’me, the station is powering up its Rift generator. Heading for…E131. We’re in trouble’’ said the systems officer.
After a few seconds this information settled in her brain. And the effect was devastating; a complete loss of control had started. The enemy was on its way to one of the human colonized systems. A system that had half the human off-world population.
‘’Sett course to intercept. If we get a straight shot at their ass we’re taking it. Activate Rift generator’’ said Nandi.
The generator punched a hole in space itself. The “portal” between E131 and the Midnight system established and the Tellus moved in to it.