It had been a long haul but they had just reached the halfway point between Elysia and Abydos when the net cracked into life.
“Starbuck for Warspite Actual.” The call had a sense of urgency about it.
Jackie grabs the handset and activates the push to talk button, “Go ahead Starbuck.”
“We’ve found them. Looks like there are three transport ships escorted by a couple of flights of X Wings and a heavy cruiser”.
“Engage the X Wings,” responds Jackie, “Reinforcements are on the way.”
Jackie continues to calmly dictate his orders, “Warspite Actual to Ajax and Exeter, engage the Hishen heavy cruiser with maximum aggression and then engage the transport fleet. Break formation and tally ho.”
He turns to the officers in his Command Centre, “Tactical Officer, identify the cruiser and give me an indication of its firepower. Helmsman turn to starboard to support the launch of the small craft.”
He activates the push to talk button again, “Warspite Actual to Flight Deck Officer. Launch two flights of Raptors and get the Vipers ready.”
Turning his attention back to his Tactical Officer he says, “Report.”
The tactical officer responds, “It is the heavy cruiser Emden. She has a medium shield array, a top speed of two cycles and has two beam, two plasma and three anti aircraft batteries”.
Jackie knows that the Emden has some serious firepower and could blow away one of his escorts with a single salvo. “Radar operator, “Are there any other contacts?”
The operator looks up from the screen, “There are two unidentified blips beyond the other side of the fleet. They are still too far out to identify sir. They could be possible enemy forces but we won’t know until we get a little closer.”
“Or they decide to turn and engage us,” Jackie responds. He sits down in his command chair and considers the up coming engagement. Cutting his enemy’s supplies is a great opportunity to shorten the war but this is also turning out to be a potentially very expensive operation. The loss of Achilles is really telling now. But still, hopefully the combined firepower of Warspite, Ajax and Exeter will be enough to keep Emden at bay until the Raptors can finish the job.