The engines roar as they power up to full ahead. The thrust pushes him back into his command chair as Warsprite accelerates to top speed. Looking around the command centre, Jackie sees that his staff are calmly going about their business.
Scouting the area around Elysia was likely to result in contact with the enemy. It was necessary though. More intelligence is needed before jumping in the transports.
The fleet is set in a standard arrow head formation with Achilles in the fore, Warspite at the base, Ajax on the port flank and Exeter on the starboard flank. Apollo and Da Gobbo are on CAP with the rest of the fighters and the bombers in reserve.
Should they encounter the enemy they’ll attempt to stand off with the capital ships and engage with the fleets long range beam weapons. They’ll launch the ready response fighters whilst the CAP keeps the enemy fighters at bay.
The radar operator slowly turns, looks at the admiral and awaits his. “Go ahead,” Jackie responds.
“Three contacts bearing 345, 010 and 030 degrees, range between 20 and 30 cycles.”
Jackie commands, “Keep formation and bearing. Close the distance and use long range scanners to identify the contacts. Warn the other captains and tell Apollo to scout ahead and keep his eyes peeled.”
Jackie checks the mission briefing.
As the fleet advanced 1 cycle Apollo and Da Gobbo accelerate to 3 cycles.
Boomer calls over the radio, “This is Apollo for Warspite Actual”
“Go on Apollo” the Admiral responds.
“It appears there is are more contacts than we originally expected. We’re getting a better scan on two of them now.”
A few seconds later Apollo calls out excitedly over the ham, “Four bogies dead ahead, two X Wings and two Y Wings. We’re accelerating the attack speed.”
The enemy small craft accelerate and head straight for the fleet.
Apollo notices the danger first. “All four of those bogies are carrying torpedoes” he calls over the net.
Admiral Fisher turns to his command crew, “Turn to port. Tell the fleet to maintain formation. Launch the ready fighters.”
“Aye, aye sir,” they respond.
Grabbing the mic he adds “Apollo engage the enemy, don’t let them get to within torpedo range. We’re launching the ready fighters. Help is on the way. May the gods protect you.”
“Roger,” Apollo acknowledges the order.
Apollo calls to his wingman, “Accelerate to full attack speed. Slide slip to the starboard and use the afterburners. We’ll try to draw them away from the fleet” Apollo and Da Gobbo are violently pushed back into their seats as their craft rocket towards the enemy at maximum speed.
Old Sarge closes his eyes and prays to the gods as he, The Addict, Hinton and Colgar6 are launched from the belly of Warspite.
Intent on delivering their payload, the X Wings and Y Wings maintain their course towards the fleet and ignore the two intercepting Vipers. The Corvette starts to accelerate and turns to starboard to close to within engagement range of the fleet as soon as possible.
As two remaining unidentified contacts come into long range scanner reach and they are identified as a Hishen Destroyer and two more X Wings.