Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10
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The battle was more like a massacre as our fleet outgunned the Guristas' defenders. Cruisers and destroyers melted under the focused fire our Ferox battlecruisers' weapons while the battleships targeted transports, sentry towers, and the occasion enemy battleship attempting to flee the interdiction bubbles.
I coordinated my battlegroup's targeting sequence, broadcasting the target while the previous one neared destruction. All the while our fleet broadcast on an open channel a demand for the renegades to surrender, deactivate their drives and weapons, and wait to be boarded. We didn't expect anyone to actually do so; Guristas never surrender.
As I was searching for the next cruiser target (all the destroyers were dead) I noticed one of the cruisers was moving faster and was more agile than the rest, with heading changes that inertial dampeners could not possibly compensate for causing a crew on board to be tossed around like loose baggage. That meant only one thing. "We got a podder," I reported on the fleet's capsuleer channel.
"Which one?" asked Lieutenant Commander Parcess, aka Pickles. Ah Pickles, I miss you. He was flying one of the support Moa cruisers and was in another battlegroup.
"A cruiser, Gila, can't tell the class from here. Looks like he's making a fun for the edge of the bubble. Targetting..."
My HUD reticule flashed on him as my sensor arrays homed in on his ship's vector. The frequencies resolved and the reticule turned red. I switched comms, "Target designated Echo. Switch primary to Echo." Acknowledgments came in from the other support ships and the telementry showed the flares of the near-lightspeed hybrid charges streaking out towards the enemy ship. His shields began flash but held firm. "He's moving too fast. Calling in tackle..." I sent a flash request to the close range engagement battlegroup to put electronic warfare on the target. Fast moving Crow interceptors changed course and streaked towards the Gila as it neared the edge of the warp disruption bubble. Strange emanations from the interceptors reached from them to the Guristas' ship and its velocity began to drop. "Pointed and webbed," came the reply.
"Now we have him," I said as the ship's shields dropped in seconds and the armour and hull soon after. As the cruiser began venting gases and explosion rippled over its hull my sensors detected an escape pod of the pilot. "Grab the pod!" I commanded the interceptors, but they were regular navy crews and too slow to react. The pirate was just outside of the warp disruption field and warped away using the pod's internal emergency warp core. I cursed but decided it was a small loss.
I turned my attention back to the battle at large but it was already over. The remaining Guristas were dead or dying. The fleet admiral sent out the message for the rescue and recovery teams and our battlegroup aligned for the designated rally point.
"Good work, commander," Captain Vadix said on the bridge.
"Thank you sir."
"When the ship is in warp, I'd like to talk to you in my ready room." He got up and began to leave the bridge.
"Yes sir," I replied.