Admiral Georgiy Konev commanding
“Missile Launch confirmed.” Barked Acadia’s first officer
The enemy starbase loomed in the distance. Everyone on the bridge watched as the large nuclear-tipped projectile sped towards its target. A nuclear explosion was always something quite phenomenal to behold, almost beautiful.
Admiral Konev’s lips pressed so tightly against one another that they turned white.
“T-minus thirty seconds to explosion”
The corner of his mouth turned faintly upwards as he tried to conceal his excitement. Soon the enemy presence here would be obliterated to a million pieces and Operation Swift Justice could finally savour its first objective met.
The successful defense of the Carinoids Homeworld had gone heavily in the enemy’s favour. The entire destruction of a large Terran squadron had shaken Konev’s faith in his abilities but the Prime Magistrate had reiterated his confidence in his command abilities by putting him incharge of ground operations. Of course grounds operations could not begin without the Carinoids being cleared of the orbit around their Homeworld.
“T-minus ten seconds”
The transports carrying the ground contingent of Swift Justice had already left nearby Outpost 007 in the Bond system. They were on-route for the enemy planet.
Konev inhaled a deep breath.
Word from the SF-112 Thunderhawk squadron in the system was that they had located the enemy squadron. It was speeding towards the planet to help bolster its space based defenses.
Konev had already thought of a different plan to make up for the loss of Camelot squadron. Following the destruction of this starbase he would speed towards Carinoids II and assist the Thunderhawk squadron in clearing out enemy fighters making the orbit safe for the transports already on route
Konev stood rigid as a post. His eyes stared intensely at the screen in front of him. He waited.
The admiral’s eyes darted to the right to where his first officer was standing.
The first officer was stunned. His mouth formed an O as if he was asking himself just what the heck was happening.
“Sir our computer no longer detects the missile. For all intents and purposes the missile detonated…sir”
“Or it was disabled.”
“Magnify image on supposed impact point.”
The image on the screen changed and perceptible in the middle was a small pile of wreckage floating in every which direction.
“Clearly our starbase has an anti-missile system of some sort. Bring us to minimum safe distance for a nuke explosion and fir off every single remaining nuke we have. Furthermore fire a salvo of conventional harpoon missiles. They won’t know which ones are armed with a nuclear warhead and by the ti…”
Konev’s face froze as his thoughts were wrenched away by the scream of his first officer.
“Multiple longe range projectiles coming our way. Fifty-two in all. Arming all triple A batteries.”
The enemy was responding
“Increase speed to flank.”
Konev sat down as his ship accelerated. “I want you to keep closing the distance”
“Sir, if we do that we head straight into their barrage. We won’t have much maneuvering room.”
Konev refused to be kept at bay. Depending on how ammunition the starbase had it could keep the Acadia far enough that its attacks would be much less effective. Without being able to properly maneuver into good firing positions, and evade shots at the same time the starbase could potentially hold out long enough for enemy reinforcements to arrive.
Konev wanted this done. According to his intel this starbase was in no way capable of repelling a nuclear armed frigate. Intel fed to him by FISA and the central council. Intel that was beginning to be continuously wrong.
“I want full power to our bow magnetic armour. Create a wall of Triple AAA ahead of us.” He looked at his helmsman, “I hope you feel lucky. Starboard twenty degrees down sixty. Let’s outrun his shots from his rotational turrets. The layout of this place shows that most of their turrets are heavy caliber rotation turrets, the rest ore small anti-fighter rapid fire flak and triple A. Our armour can take that…for a while.”
“Here it comes!”
Above the Acadia’s stern Howitzer shells exploded violently. The shockwaves sent reverberations throughout the ship that made it shake somewhat. One shell, issued from a particularly large cannon, exploded and sent everyone rocking. Those who weren’t already hanging on were thrown to the floor.
“None sir. Believe it or not that one was actually far away.”
Konev drew a short breath, “Let’s make sure we don’t get hit by one of those, shall we.”
A short moment later the explosions stopped. That was the first salvo. The Carinoids starbase had already had time to fire three more.
The Acadia was now in a position of going straight at the starbase, and also in a direct line towards incoming fire.
“Open fire with all triple A batteries.”
Immediately the Acadia began to spit an enormous amount of fire. The next salvo hit this barrage. Twenty clicks ahead of the ship explosions began appear as the shells were destroyed in flight. Very few actually made it through to directly affect the ship. Acadia reached her flank speed and was still heading straight for the starbase.
A round thudded against the hull but ricocheted off thanks to its angle and the ship’s magnetic armour. Acadia had survived the second wave, but much more was coming and it was getting increasingly hard for all the batteries to successfully intercept incoming direct fire at high speed.
As Acadia closed her distance with the target some rounds got through. Most were deflected by the armour, but some made the ship pitch and sway.
“Approaching minimum distance for safe detonation.”
“Keep going.” Said Konev “Remove all nuclear missile safeties for impact, and fire off two salvos of conventional harpoons.”
Acadia continued to speed towards the starbase.
“Prepare to fire on my mark. Helm, spool the hyperdrive”
At that moment a shell made it past the overheating magnetic armour and tore a small piece of the starboard wing off the Harvard class frigate. The ship began to shake even more as small explosions were going off all around her. The Triple As were having a hard time stopping the vast amount of firepower directed at the frigate.
“Holy shit they’ve got enough to take down a whole fleet.”
Another explosion hit the port wing and took out about half of it. Some of the ships missile bays were located in the wings. Konev had no choice but to fire off his salvos now or he would be torn to pieces and would never have as good a chance as he had now with his weapons being destroyed. Another large explosion went off next to the communications array and damaged it severely
Instantly 32 missiles were launched with an extra sixty four immediately after. Eleven of these were tipped with a nuclear warhead.
“Up six degrees. Prepare for hyperspeed.”
“Engines ready sir.
A cloud of smoke and explosions had followed the Acadia in as a testament to the immense barrage of fire it had sustained. In the large cluster of explosions approaching as the ship approached, there was suddenly a small plume of blue ion cloud shooting out faster than the eye could see.
As the missiles closed in on the target many were destroyed. Some reached the outer rings and made large explosions. As the mass of missiles approached zigzagging to evade flak and triple A one made it over a close flak explosion. IT then dipped shaprly as a couple of rounds of triple A skidded its fin tail. The missile made it past the last turrets blindspot just as a harpoon impacted on it and blew it to pieces. The nuke made contact with the starbase’s hull. As a blinding light enveloped and reduced it to shreds, the brave Acadia was gone and safely out of harm’s way.
Konev had successfully launched an attack. He could say that he had fought with all of his capabilities and assets and overcome a situation of unfavorable odds with courage and audacity.
“Sensors indicate a confirmed nuclear explosion. You did it sir.”
His ship had been mauled, but his crew was safe. Konev was seething with anger. First it had been the assurance that a Helix squadron, a large one still, was enough to neutralize that orbital defense ships. Now it was this starbase having an incredible amount of firepower when the opposite was expected. This was not planned correctly and his orders were putting many lives at risk for no gain. Konev didn’t need to finish first in his class to know that.
“Sir we’ve lost all long range communications. Sector frequencies still available but its operational distance keeps oscillating. We’re being hailed sir.”
“Good. I’ll tell him exactly how I feel about this whole operation.”
As the image appeared Konev spoke before even looking at the man’s face “Sir, this is grade a bullshit.”
“I agree Admiral.”
Konev’s head shot up, it wasn’t the Prime Magistrate’s voice he had heard.
The admiral’s right hand shot up in a salute.
“Now look here son. I don’t know how it is exactly that you’ve been promoted to Admiral so early and given command of this entire operation. By the skills you’ve just demonstrated however, I’d say you almost deserve it.”
Konev stayed in his crisp salute.
“Our mutual friend has clearly been deceiving us both. I suggest you and I work together to bring this war to a successful end and save lives from the egomaniacal Prime Magistrate. His is not a military mind but one of political deceit and backstabbing. For now we must concentrate on bringing this to a quick end. As of now I am taking command of your taskforce, and that includes the army group contingent. I will be replacing the generals of each division and allowing them to appoint them their own command staff. You stay on board with me, I can use someone with your skill.”
Konev smiled. “Aye aye sir. In will gladly disobey the orders upon which you have been relieved of your command. The Navy protects its own.”