58_The Battle for Shahrazad

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58_The Battle for Shahrazad

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The Battle for Shahrazad




“Independence operational log Seelnay, acting captain reporting: The required data has been encoded and the transmission will start shortly. It is my understanding that the captain of this ship is approximately three hours away from here. Three hours, a piece of cake, I can do this. Donald and Dawn have reported in although Dawn was quite surprised to find out I was sitting ‘center’ seat.”

*********
“Illusion engineers log Arisa recording: Robert and Jinto are back on duty. I’ve done everything I can here. I’m requesting permission to transport back to Discovery. Should hostilities break out, I’ll be of use there, not here, the three ‘wiz’ machines seem to have ‘everything’ under control.”

“Ariel you’ve got a lock on me correct?”

“I do and I’ll assume you’ve donned a space suit.”

“Correct ready for transport.”

Transport went off smoothly I reported back to Dai when.

“Captain, Emergency tactical just went active we’re receiving data, Defiance reports the same is happening over there but I’ve not heard from Illusion.”

“And you won’t it’s nothing we’ve constructed, they’re not capable of receiving that transmission, now who is sending this data?”

“Captain I’ve decoded the first part of the stream origin says Independence-”

“Impossible, verify that data Independence is a wreck.”

Arisa moved to the communications officers’ station and said.

“Move over young one, I know that ship like the back of my hand, I can tell in seconds if it’s a fake.”

Arisa opened up the data link and examined the header her eyes lit up as she said.

“I’ll quote this: To Discovery and Defiance from Seelnay Commanding Independence this is not a drill. Believe what you read and more importantly what you’re about to see. The signature is authentic some how Independence lives.”

“Dai look at the image Seelnay sent and while you’re doing that I’m going to try to raise Illusion.”

Dai placed the image on the main viewer once there it was Arisa that said.

“No, No, Oh hell No, where is that thing? I thought they were all destroyed ages ago. No way, not possible.”

The image faded and Plakia’s face reappeared the audio link opened and.

“Just so you know KO’s reaction mirrored Arisa with a bit more colorful language. Now that we’ve received this data we need to tell them we have. Any suggestions?”

“Yeah I can let them know without anyone else knowing. Give me a few minutes and hope they’ve not changed the master passwords aboard Independence.

*********
“Independence log supplemental: transmission has been on for almost two hours hopefully we made contact with them.”

“Captain, have a look at this, someone just shut down the deep space transmitter.”

I opened the log and the only entry said.

“Transmission terminated via Discovery at nineteen hundred hours.”

Dang Arisa you are good. I open a link and inform Sobbash that the message has been received and nothing more.

*********
“Hold on where was that image recorded again?”

“Outside the Sord at Lobnas Prime.”

“Outside, not exiting the Sord, but sitting, station keeping, just out of the event horizon, correct?”

“That’s what the report says KO, nothing more, except there are ten of them, plus ten first line Zon warships.”

“TEN! Please tell me there is an error in transmission. Ten of those monsters, you got to be kidding me Dai.”

“Sorry KO no joke the report was specific on number and type of ships.”

“I wonder, if they are sitting outside of the Sord, do they still have the same fault as the ones that were encountered.”

“You’re referring the inability of plane space travel, that’s possible which means the four hundred that are heading to Shahrazad are-”

“Merely Zon front line battleships not that big of a deal, maybe?”

“Orion.”

“Listening, we’ve scanned the data received we should arrive about the same time that the enemy fleet arrives. How soon should we contact base?”

“We’ll maintain communications blackout for now, I’d like us to be a ‘surprise’. You’ve loaded all the data concerning ‘friendly’ vessels, correct?”

“Displaying system outline with alliance vessels tagged.”

Tactical came up everything looked as it should, the image changed and Leo interrupted.

“Is there a clearer image of this ship? I believe we’ve run across it once before but the distortion is such as to leave me uncertain of-”

“Dai do you have a clearer image or is that it?”

“You got the only one sent and by the report they probably risked their necks getting that image.”

Leo, suppose that is the ship in question, your recommendations?”

“Destroy it without hesitation if that is indeed what we encountered it is evil incarnate.”

‘Evil incarnate’ why would an alien AI use such strong language to describe a warship? I had one more question for Leo and this one needed to be answered.

“Given our present strength can we defeat that ship?”

“If there are ten like you said and they can’t be separated into groups of two or less the answer is certain defeat. While this ship would probably survive the other two ships in our group would not.”

*********
“Admiral we are approaching Lobnas Prime.”

“Very good, start intense scanning of the area and the minute you see our scout retrieve it, then reverse course and make best speed to Shahrazad.”

“Admiral?”

“You heard me, we save our own then we’re going to save some more, any questions Decca Commander?”

“No Admiral, none what so ever.”

“Admiral we’ve got twenty ships leaving the area at high speed unable to tell type but their original location was about the Sord.”

“Admiral we’ve retrieved our scout. The ships seem to have slowed and might be returning.”

“All ships reverse course, make for Shahrazad, battle speed, division three watch our rear.”

“Understood admiral we are putting quite a bit of distance between us and those ships.”

“When able I want to talk to the scout commander, I need to know everything he’s observed.”

*********
“Noel I’ve got a project for you and I need an answer as soon as possible.”

“Care to enlighten me I’m curious since I don’t see any data links displayed.”

“Here’s the problem, Independence transmitted for two hours and two minutes before Discovery silenced the transmission. Take your best guess as how long it would take them to decipher the information we sent and for Arisa to switch off the transmitter. Plot the maximum distance that they would have to be from Shahrazad-”

“Gotcha I’ll plot a ring and somewhere in it they should be. However we’ll have a guess on how far, but, from which direction, that’ll be the surprise. What all did we send them?”

“I sent them ‘everything’ held absolutely nothing back. They know what we know period.”

“I’d given a years pay to be on Dai’s bridge when that image was shown I bet Arisa was colorful to say the least.”

“Actually I’m thinking KO was more descriptive, none the less, I need that information as soon as possible.”

“Sending it to you now, figure their about. Let’s see, minus the time all this took, about eight to ten hours out depending on their top speed. Since Defiance is the slower of the two I plotted it at their best speed. Of course knowing that Plakia knows what’s waiting her. I’ll bet she’s personally yanked the limiters out of her reactor that’s the eight hour figure.”

Sobbash thanked Noel and closed the link, once closed Noel had thoughts of her own.

‘Lafiel, lets say she found all the pieces to that ship she left with. According to what I’ve seen it can travel at unheard of speed and if with that power, if they could encompass Discovery and Defiance, they might be here already.’

“Eliana keep sharp, the cavalry might get here in the next eight to ten hours, from what direction I know not, so make sure your people identify before they fire understood?”

“Eight to ten hours, really, the message we received said they were tens of light years off so what gives?”

“You have to remember that was thirty six hours old when we received it and well I think Lafiel might have a few extra aces up her sleeve.”

“Noel after hearing that I won’t take no for an answer just so we are on the same page.”

“Understood and when this is done come planet side dinner’s on me.”

*********
“Captain we’re in transport range should I send you planet side?”

“Negative, transport me directly to the bridge of the Independence.”

“Captain?”

“Chief, send me directly to the bridge.”

“Yes Captain transporting now.”

*********
I was just getting comfortable when Captain Pratt arrived unexpectedly. I do believe she was more surprised than I though.

“Comfortable are you?”

“You’re early. You’re lucky our shields weren’t up or you would have had one hell of a ride. That’s why you normally call before you transport over.”

“I tapped the tactical transmission from this ship I’d like a complete update Captain.”

“Check in with Atosuryua, have her formally assign you here and I’ll tell you everything Captain.”

Plakia’s are a stubborn lot, this one much more than the other, she got it from her mother. After a momentary discussion, read, chewing out, Plakia Pratt was assigned as Captain of this ship. It was then I gave her the entire picture, as ugly as it seemed, she took it in stride. I transported back to my ship and contacted Greta, part of me was relieved and part of me was… I so wanted to stay but there were other things I needed to do.

*********
“Debeusec, it’s unusual to see you there I guess you’re the one in charge?”

“In charge, more like commandeered, the Emperor, my son, decided someone trustworthy needed to occupy this position. I’ve received your report and the supplemental from the Fifteenth Fleet. Are you aware that the Fifteenth is heading to Shahrazad at battle speed?”

“It does not surprise me those girls of mine have always followed orders as well-”

“As you and your beloved brother did? Yeah I know, that genetic quirk your family has manifests itself in many interesting actions this one might have some unintentional results, all depends.”

“How so Debeusec? If you didn’t have my attention before you certainly have it now.”

A secondary secure link opens and an image appears on the display it is then the conversation continues.

“You’re well aware of who that is so no explanation is needed. You should know that person’s whereabouts have been unconfirmed for the past six months. Before you say anything they gave our best agents the slip but the last know location was Lobnas Prime. With what you’ve told me, what my people here are thinking, in the back of your mind figure that this individual is probably involved in either the movement towards Shahrazad or those ships sighted at Lobnas or maybe both incidents. I suggest strongly you inform at least the Fifteenth if not Shahrazad of what we’ve discussed. If I’m wrong it won’t be the first time but if somehow our intelligence is correct you’re going to have your hands full my friend.”

Admiral Bebaus thanked Debeusec and closed that link. Opening a second link to the Fifteenth Fleet and Shahrazad he shared what he had learned, it was not received well at either command location.

*********
A hurried conference was convened, images on several displays faced Sobbash it was then she shared the information she had received with one interesting caveat.

“I need to know who among you doesn’t know this person.”

The image was displayed; it was Eliana, who was uncertain. Everyone else, including Zachary, knew who it was then Sobbash started questioning Zachary at length.

“You know this person Zachary? From where might I ask?”

“They’ve been to Doras on several occasions over the past two years or so. Most of the time Targa was the one they saw but I have had discussions with them. Why do you ask in such a tone Sobbash?”

“Did they every mention their name or where they came from?”

“No I have to say I never asked but there was no mistaking where they were originally from. Like us Dorian’s their features gave their race away. I’m confused Sobbash what has this person, to do with the present situation? Are they friend or foe or-”

“Zachary they are a person without conscious country or allegiance. They are hell bent on taking over this section of the Galaxy by what ever means they can find. Promises flow from this person like the suns rays and vanish a suddenly as a passing cloud. If your government is involved with this person you’ve got more problems than you can imagine. Sobbash how did you get this information in the first place?”

“Noel it was from the ‘usual’ source but at the moment we have another problem facing us, IF and I must stress if this person is heading our way our entire battle plan will need to change on the fly. Captain Pratt there is a narrative on your personal panel. Forward that to the fleet as Seelnay did before, encode at the end of it that transmitter shut down indicates reception and acceptance. Zachary, for now, you’ll excuse us we need to have a more detailed discussion and unfortunately the ‘need to know’ doesn’t involve you.”

Zachary vanished from the conference it was then Sobbash said.

“Noel bring Eliana up to speed, Captain Pratt the second you know our message is received inform me. Erin, Li as soon as we know anything you’ll be informed. Paveryua answer me this question, if absolutely necessary, can Independence-

“Go to war? Probably but there are many things about that ship the crew doesn’t know it’ll take days to properly train them-”

“Do what you can, I figure you’ve got about eight hours to do so more or less. Take anyone you need and get that ship completely battle ready.”

“Always with the ‘miracles’ Sobbash, you realize one day my black hat is going to be empty then what will you do?”

“As long as its not today we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it for now you’ve got your orders.”

The conference ended it was then Seelnay appeared before Sobbash in a flash of light.

“I’m beginning to side with Greta we were born under an unlucky star what if anything can I do to help you?”

“If you can assist Paveryua go there if not stay here and keep Greta from going insane because I’m sure soon enough we’re going to have our hands full. Too much information points to someone wanting to take us by force and I have to admit they picked the perfect time to do it.”

“There you go thinking like an Abh again Sobbash. No ones perfect everyone makes mistakes just some are better at recovering than others are. For the moment our history here indicates we recover very well from our mistakes. Let’s not spoil the record eh? I’m heading to Independence but I’ll be back before the fireworks start. Right now if anyone needs to relax it’s you, you’re right on the edge I can see it in your face I don’t need to sense it. Relax Sobbash we need you with a calm cool head.”

Pressing a button on her creunoc Seelnay vanished from the room. Sobbash stared out the window it was another beautiful day on Shahrazad.

*********

The second transmission from Independence had just arrived. Lafiel sat staring at the information and opened a link to the bridge. Within a matter of moments Scholar and Lily were in her cabin.

“We’ve got two problems, this information, if correct, poses a change in our approach to the upcoming battle. But more importantly and even more pressing issue is I. It’s the reason I called you here it would seem I’m suffering from-”

At that second Lafiel doubled over and managed to get to the waste container in time. Once the wave of intense nausea had passed she returned to her bunk and said.

“I was sick with Charles but not this early, none of you have faced this foe before. If I’m unable to be on the bridge you guys might have to wing it without me. That is IF we encounter this person. Scholar, Kenesh has been following this person but has no interactive experience. KO, while a promising commander has never dealt with the likes of this person before. I want you to experience my encounters and use them to balance the upcoming battle. Right now, the thought of rising from this position let alone heading to the bridge is quite unsettling.”

An uneducated Lily is observing Lafiel and states.

“This is ‘morning sickness’? How long does it last, isn’t there a medicine you can take for it?”

Lafiel was mustering the strength to respond when Scholar intervened.

“Lily this is a topic for a later time, if your curiosity gets the better of you ask your mother when we return. For the moment understand that outside of waiting for it to pass there is nothing we can do for her and if she’s this ‘sick’ we do not need her on the bridge during combat. Lafiel if you’re ready so am I.”

Lafiel lies on the bunk and Scholar reads her thoughts, once finished Lafiel drifted off to sleep. Leaving the cabin Scholar said.

“Part of her problem is she is worrying too much and the baby is sensing it. Removing this load from her mind will let her rest peacefully. Lily I want you to go to Jinto and discuss what we’ve just witnessed he needs to know her present condition so he’ll not stress her any further.”

Lily left Scholar and headed to engineering. Scholar made her way to the bridge. Once there she linked with KO. The response after the link was.

“Why shouldn’t I be surprised? I guess the underlying question becomes, who Lafiel hasn’t had an encounter with. Although I could also sense her present physical condition she’s really convinced that person will try this if given a chance?”

“KO, Lafiel battled them once before and is convinced given what they’ve learned they are as formable as any foe we’ve encountered. Just be on your guard you’ve got everything on this individual we have, although you might discuss this with Kenesh it would seem she was following their progress as well. She might have something Lafiel wasn’t aware of either way we’ll be at Point Hope soon so…”

“Pray we do it right? Isn’t that what you’re thinking? Not to worry. We’ll be fine.”

KO may have convinced Scholar but her own thoughts were less positive. Moving to Kenesh’s position they had a brief discussion concerning the matter at hand. While Kenesh had no new information she did relate her experiences and something that Lafiel was unaware of, she had close contact with this person at one time. Another thing Kenesh confirmed was that she is Ariel’s biological parent although discussion of her father was immediately cut short. KO knew Kenesh wanted to say something but ceased mid sentence. She’d let it ride for now but knew inside, one day Kenesh would finish the discussion.

*********
“Katra would you mind explaining your actions, you should be aware that fleet command is aware of your present position and destination. I can say they were not very happy about it.”

“Father thank you for confirming what I was suspecting, after our last encounter I made myself a promise. If confronted with the same situation again I WOULD be there to help. Personally, fleet command; be damned, given the number of fleets and our current state the movement of one fleet shouldn’t be of any concern…”

“Katra stop right there, just because you’re my daughter does not give you the right to take matters into your own hands. One fleet disobeys orders, others see this then decide that their orders are not to their liking and, you’re an intelligent person you figure out what the end result will be. I’ve talked with fleet command, while upset, in this case only, they’re allowing you to join my fleet in a purely defensive move. But daughter I warn you now you keep this up and Decca Commander is what you’ll answer to, have I made myself clear?”

“Crystal clear father now if there is nothing else I’ll take your leave.”

The link closed and as her fathers image vanished Katra’s chief of staff spoke.

“Decca Commander, that’s a rank you skipped over. Maybe it would be good experience for you to suffer through being one before being promoted again, if ever, that is.”

“Kara shut up, I know I screwed up, I know I could lose my command over it, but there is this curiosity that draws me to those people and that planet.”

“I know I’ve felt it too, but sis, we’ve got a lot of good years ahead of us so…”

“I’ll be patient from now on I promise.”

“I do have the report from the scout commander if you’d like to have a look at it.”

The tablet passed from one hand to the other. Katra read it carefully and once finished she asked.

“Have you seen this sister?”

“No I haven’t, the debriefing officer gave it to me and I brought it to you directly. Is there something there I should know about?”

The tablet passed back, Kara read it, and the next to the final paragraph caught her eye. If this was true then those ships were the danger that her father had spoken of earlier. Placing the tablet on the table she said.

“Ten ships, if those readings are correct, sister we barely have enough firepower to down…”

“Super-dreadnoughts, an ancient term describing a class of ship that out performed all ships of that era. If those are indeed what the readings indicate, then numbers will not win the day, tactics will. Every ship design has a weak point, what we need to do is find that flaw and exploit it. Have our staff look carefully at that data and see if there is a weakness we can exploit because if they’re perfect, which I seriously doubt, we are in big trouble.”

*********
“KO we’ve arrived. Dai and Plakia are on the link awaiting the final briefing.”

“Very well, Orion ships status.”

“Operational, scans indicate no contact however I can see an increase in energy readings from the home system.”

“Kenesh open the link, Scholar bring us to battle ready, Dai, Plakia, a slight change of plans. Originally we were going to stay within striking distance of the Sord and attack upon activation. This ship will continue on that plan what I want you two to do is, there is a gap in the defenses granted it’s the path through the asteroid belt as you know it is a navigable path. Those ships from Lobnas if they are coming this way then…”

“Makes sense KO with their firepower a few boulders mean nothing to them, should we cover and report or if engaged…”

“If engaged you high tail it back here. You two might stand a chance against those ten frontline Zon battleships; but not what they’re escorting. You keep an eye on the side door and make sure no one unexpectedly tries to crash the party.

“KO I beg to differ, in an unfair fight, Dai and can turn those ten Zon ships around, the others, yes that’s another matter.”

“Secondly and more importantly, I’ve fought with this decision for a bit and, I’m taking complete command of all forces. Kenesh is linking this ship to all the alliance vessels, we’ll be control center. I don’t need any confusion especially if this becomes a multi-front battle. Arisa establish a tight band laser transmission to Independence I have no idea who her Captain is but I need to talk to them. Plakia get a hold of Sobbash and inform her of our plans. Tell her Lafiel’s out of commission and I’m running the show. I know she’s going to be a bit uncertain but convince her I know what I’m doing. You have your orders let Scholar know when you’re in position and Arisa is the link ready?”

“Thirty seconds and you’re on KO.”

*********
Independence’s bridge was a beehive of activity when the signal from Discovery arrived. Dawn notified the Captain and once on the bridge…

“Activate the link. This is Plakia Pratt commanding go ahead Discovery.”

Expecting to see Dai Lexshu, Captain Pratt was surprised when KO’s face and the alien background from Illusion filled the viewer. Before she could say another word the conversation started.

“Captain, without a whole lot of explanation, I’ve assumed command of all space based forces. I need your ships status and operational capability as soon as possible. I expect hostilities to commence without warning.”

As the conversation began Seelnay and Paveryua had entered the bridge. Hearing KO’s declaration they moved into view scan range and took over the conversation.

“KO, this ship is operational a complete narrative is already being transmitted to Discovery. If you’re in command where is Her Highness?

“Hello boss, some how I figured you’d be aboard. Lafiel is bed ridden and let it go at that. Right now, I’ll read the narrative later, but the burning question is…”

“Can this ship fight? Hell yes it can fight and a damn good fight it’ll put up as well.”

Paveryua’s voice echoed across the bridge Seelnay placed a hand on his shoulder to calm him down. Returning to the scanner she asked KO one question.

“Is your ship whole and completely operational?”

Before KO could comment, Orion gave a complete ship summery; the information was impressive to say the least. Seelnay was convinced that, that ship leading them was the right decision; although she still had doubts about the one she was aboard but would not express them.

“Independence how soon can you leave space dock?”

“We’d need another hour, but in a hurry, we could be out in less than five minutes. Only thing holding us are the mooring beams, everything else is clear.”

“Captain Pratt make ready for departure, expect the initial attack to come from the Sord that is all.”

The link closed and Seelnay said.

“Paveryua its time we leave, these kids have everything under control.”

“I’m not going they’ll need me here let her know I’m staying aboard.”

Seelnay placed her arms about Paveryua pressed her creunoc and they were transported aboard the fuel vessel. An angry Paveryua lashed out at her. Her response was.

“I made someone a promise long ago on a fuel depot far, far away. I’m carrying out my end of the deal, she’s in the galley convince her you need to be there and I’ll transport you back.”

Paveryua stormed out of the room Seelnay opened a link to Sobbash and said

“Pav and I are aboard my ship I’ll guess KO’s contacted you?”

“She has and I gave her the command, she’s getting with everyone now. Did you see the specs on that ship she’s on?”

“I did, quite impressive and quite a surprise to whomever is coming to conquer us. Right now I’m returning planet side and by the conversation I’m hearing below I’ll not be alone. He never could win an argument with her when she knew she was right. Poor Pav, it’s for the best though we can’t afford to lose him not yet he’s still has so much more to discover.”

“Just so you know the Fifteenth is en route Nefee’s taking charge of them, KO and he are speaking right now. I need to join the conversation when you arrive find me I’ll bring you up to speed.”

“See you soon.”

The link closed, Paveryua and companion came topside, then the three of them transported to the planet.

*********
“Leo.”

“Online Mistress.”

“I’d prefer you address me as Captain. I’m a bit uncomfortable with your present greeting.”

“As you wish captain what can I do for you?”

“Show me our optimum firing position compared to our present position.”

Two points appear on the display they are about three quarters of a light year apart. KO studies the display and inquires.

“On Sord activation how fast can you get us to that position and be ready to fire?”

“Captain you’re assuming they’ll leave the Sord in attack mode. Since we can fire while we move with about ninety six percent accuracy, I’d say it should take about a minute to move from here to there. Once there we can separate the units and have the ability to saturate the area. We should be able to handle most of the exiting fleet on our own.”

Targeting data begins to appear on KO’s monitor Leo is capable of one thousand plus targets and controlling all of the weapons arrays simultaneously. Watching the data stream by she comments.

“With the speed of what I’m seeing here how much damage will be done to each vessel?”

“Captain the choice is yours anywhere from minor damage to obliteration. I have to admit though you should at least choose to disable those ships. Minor damage and the numbers involved are not a logical prospect yet the energy required to destroy them completely will leave us at a deficit should the other ships arrive suddenly.”

The lingering question KO’s had just surfaced once more ‘why do they need us aboard’? It would seem they are quite capable of defending them selves without our input yet.”

“Captain after we’ve halted the force exiting the Sord what is our next objective?”

Interesting I hadn’t given it much thought all I wanted was this aggression over, next. Hm, next? Go after the other ships? Stay here and wait for their arrival? Take a well deserved nap? Random decisions, something our computerized friends were incapable of making, the reason we were here was to give them their next objective.

“Let’s get past this first and see what command wants to do next.”

“Captain should the other ships arrive I’m assuming you want them destroyed and not disabled?”

KO went to answer at the same time Orion cut in.

“Captain long range sensors are picking up three distinctive groups of ships heading in this direction, approximately fifteen hundred in number.”

“That would be the Fifteenth Fleet their course should be towards the other Abh vessels at point three forty six.”

“Confirmed arrival in eighteen minutes.”

“Captain.”

“Yes Lyra.”

“There is communications between what I believe are the two command vessels. I can descramble it and put it on if you like.”

“Monitor the conversation and I’ll review it later unless you hear any of the key words I gave you earlier.”

“Understood monitoring and recording.”

“Captain.”

“Kenesh?”

“I’ve been monitoring the Sord event horizon and if I didn’t know better I’d say there was a small ship just at the edge of the line I believe it’s a scout of some type.”

“I see keep monitoring. Orion, tap into Kenesh’s tactical channel and see if you can passive scan that ship I’d like to know exactly what it is.”

“Scanning, the ship is not in our recorded data files.”

“Yeah and I know why, Discovery, Dai you on?

“Let me guess you want my ship ID charts transferred over, Ariel’s already on it they should be on Kenesh’s terminal about now.”

“KO I’ve got the data feeding it in the system now.”

“Interesting what is observing us is a Dorian type six escort vessel. Lightly armored and almost weaponless, the secondary scan shows four aboard and communications being directed back into the Sord.”

“Lyra.”

“I’m on it captain it’s a very complex code give me a bit to decipher it.”

“Scholar, are the language databases loaded in the system?”

“They are, all known languages and those this ship has acquired in its travels are available.”

“Good, I suspect the data is either in old Dorian or Zon. Minchi, if that’s who is behind this, is sneaky that way.”

*********
“Admiral we’ve just been scanned pulse width style from a direction; this is not possible, it seems to have originated from everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I’m unable to pinpoint the location but the scan was of a type I’ve never seen before.”

“Bring us to battle stations defensive three and open a link to the Ninth Fleet flagship scramble the link as well.”

*********
“Send this back to the fleet; one orbital platform, fifty assorted vessels widely dispersed about the system, targeting information included. Looks like we’ve caught them off guard suggest we attack at once.”

*********
On the bridge of Illusion KO has assembled the entire command staff. Display at the ready she starts her session.

“Final briefing, Noel you’ll hold off returning fire until most of their fleet is clear of the Sord, Captain’s Lexshu will guard the asteroid belt and provide covering fire if necessary, Captain Pratt your job is to prevent any of the force getting in-between the platform and the planet and to inhibit their progress. Princess your job is to draw fire from them if they get too close to the planet. And finally the Ninth and Fifteenth Fleets are in reserve, if we can’t hold them or if the other ships suddenly arrive you’ll be tasked with holding them at bay until we can join the battle. It is estimated that it will take at least fifteen minutes for their ships to clear the Sord. But you can expect they’ll be firing at us the moment they clear the event horizon. It will be at that time we’ll move to this position and open fire. Unfortunately for them, they have no idea we’re here and waiting for them.”

KO faces the assembled commanders and continues.

“Princess on Sord activation, move your ships as we discussed. The scout has probably targeted you and when their fleet arrives I want them shooting into the depths of space. Noel expect the platform to take damage use the moon based devices to protect it as best as you can. Plakia, Dai it is imperative you keep a sharp lookout I know you’ll want to get involved in this fight but if those other ships slip in while we’re occupied the outcome will not be favorable. That’s the plan but be ready to abandon it, or get changes on the fly, last item if for some reason this ship is unable to continue, Discovery takes operational command, the chain of command goes on from there, Defiance, Independence, Ninth Fleet and finally planetary command. I hope we never have to go that far. Any Questions…”

“Energy readings rising in the area of the Sord, activation confirmed.”

“Kenesh bring the fleet to battle station.”

*********
“One orbital platform, fifty assorted vessels widely dispersed about the system, targeting information included. Looks like we’ve caught them off guard suggest we attack at once.”

“Tactical time to Sord boundary.”

“Eight minutes.”

“Battle stations.”

“Commander all divisions report ready”

“Commence operation open up on them the moment you’re clear of the interference.”

*********
Aboard Illusion.

“We’re cloaked, ready to fire.”

“Wait for their first volleys to fall short then open up on them.”


Aboard Independence

“Captain the dock is now in the planetary shadow.”

“Break moorings, raise shields and cloak, back us out and assume high orbit over the planet.”


Aboard Discovery

“Front row seats Plakia, hopefully this event will be short lived.”


Aboard Defiance

“Keep sharp Dai with the energy about to be expelled our visitors may be upon us before we know it.”


Aboard Eliana’s Flagship

“It’s imperative you move on first indication of activation. Those being slow will not survive; bring us to battle stations and good luck.”

*********
A tight beam of laser communications leaves the space port. The report from friendly agents to their home world will figure in the coming battle, a battle which has a very uncertain outcome.





To Be Continued In: The Battle for Shahrazad: Engagement

"Ah! You don't know my name?
Its very simple, Lafiel you shall say.
In return I'd like to call you Jinto."


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