Fleet Admiral Randa Yount stood gazing out upon the vast expanse of space before her and tried to quell her nerves. Around her the crew of the “Hitchens” went about their jobs with a slight air of excitement, for many this was their first voyage aboard a warship as the crew of the warship and the same went for all of the other ships in the fleet, and for Yount herself. The fleet, called the Voice of Dramos, was a newly founded patrol fleet on its maiden voyage before it headed into the Storm Zone to assist the Dindrenzi war effort. Yount herself had recently graduated from the naval academy and through a bizarre series of events had found herself as the fleet admiral for the Voice of Dramos, she still periodically pinched herself to ensure wasn’t dreaming.
“This sector is clear Admiral” called out one of the command bridge crew, “Shall I signal the fleet to move the next sector?” Yount answered with a simple nod, and watched as her fleet prepared to enter Fold Space. As the Hitchen’s own Fold Space drive powered up Yount found herself absentmindedly wondering if they would find anything in the next sector, so far all they had found as empty space, which was what they were expecting.
|The Voice of Dramos patrol fleet|
Captain Lance Mills inwardly sighed with relief as ship safely entered Fold Space and the cursed that he ever thought there would be an issue. He had been encountering a number of these irrational fears ever since he had become the captain of the Murmillo heavy cruiser “Objection Sustained”. As his ship, and those of his squadron, travelled through Fold Space to their next destination he glanced back at the tactical readout all squadron leader ships in the patrol fleet had installed into the captain’s station. He could see that all the other squadron as well as the Hitchens had safely entered Fold Space and were now en-route to their next patrol sector. Besides the Hitchens, a Praetorian class Battleship, and his own heavy cruiser Squadron there was a Spatha gunship squadron, under the leadership of Captain Blake Bates, and two Hammer frigate squadrons who were led by the Strickland Twins Kate and Olive, referred to as S1 and S2 by the rest of the fleet which was a choice made by Admiral Yount at the first ship’s captain meeting and which had gone down well with the twins and the rest of the captains.
Mill’s thoughts had just turned to Yount as he was suddenly thrown from his command chair, across the deck and into one of the many crew consoles that dotted the room. As he staggered to his feet he could hear sirens in the background and, although his vison was hazy from what he was sure was a concussion he could see the yellow emergency lights as they bathed the room in yellow light “Report” he managed to cough out. “Sir our fold space drive has shut down we pulled from fold space without the proper time to prepare” came the panicked response. “The rest of the fleet seems to have suffered a similar problem and the Hitchens isn’t responding to attempts to hail it”. Mills let loose a string of profanity that caused some of the bridge crew to stop what they were doing and give their captain a shocked glance. Thankfully Yount had established a clear chain of command prior to going on patrol and now he had command of the fleet, given the Hitchens was having problems talking. “Give me fleet wide communication now” he ordered. “Fleet wide communication established captain” came the response from the comms officer. As he was about to address the fleet one of the crew blurted out “Sir we have unknown contacts inbound on our position, scratch that sir they are not unknown any more they are Terran warships”. A deathly silence fell over the bridge until only the wailing of sirens could be heard, Mills stood motionless as a thousand and one thoughts raced through his mind at once and he felt the powerful urge to order a retreat, but he also felt the overwhelming desire to fight. He was sure it was these Terran ships that had caused the fold space drives to fail and he would be dammed if he was to let them get away with it. With a claim voice he addressed the fleet “All ships to battle stations, we have hostile ships inbound, for Dramos!”
|The fleets prepare|
The two fleets slowly drew into formation with the Terrans forming a solid core of ships against the Dindrenzi who were more spread out after their sudden exit from fold space. The Strickland’s frigate squadrons took the flanks while Bate’s gunships and Mill’s own heavy cruisers took to the centre. The Hitchens, while apparently mute, wasn’t deaf and took to the centre as well. As the lines closed a silent command went out amongst the Dindrenzi ships and as one they fired with Rail Guns roaring into life to hurl forth their deadly kinetic rounds, these were followed moments later by a puff of smoke and ignition fires as the Torpedo racks followed suit and joined the deadly storm of kinetic rounds as they speed forward towards the Terran ships. As can only happen in the dance of space combat the Dindrenzi rounds passed the Terran shots halfway with turret, broadside and nuclear warheads passing alongside kinetic and torpedoes rounds. For a moment the two fleets faced each other silent and undamaged, their fire power crossing the gulf between the two fleets, and then the image was shattered as the firepower hit home. Frigates were torn apart by brutal forces, cruisers hull’s buckled and warped as enemy rounds hit home and all over both fleets people died.
Mills observed all this grimly from his command chair. With the Hitchens still unable to lead the battle the command feed was coming directly through his console and from where he sat things looked grim for the Dindrenzi and his only consolation was that things were equally grim for the Terrans. Both frigate squadrons had obliterated by Terran firepower and Mills felt the loose of the Strickland twins keenly. Aside from that Bate’s gunships had taken damage and one of his cruisers had been ripped apart by incoming fire from a Hawker Industries battleship but things weren’t all bad. His own squadron, before losing a ship, had ripped apart a Terran frigate squadron, Bate’s gunships had hammered the Terran Battleship and cruisers inflicting serious damage on both, and the Hitchens had targeted the Hawker Battleship and cruisers with all the weaponry it could bring to bear. Both the battleship and cruisers were showing signs of heavy damage and Hitchens showed no sign of relenting.
On the bridge of the Hitchens Yount gripped the arms of heir chair in barely surpassed rage. She had always wondered what emotions she would feel when she entered combat for the first time and was grimly pleased that rage and anger were the first up. It was bad enough that the Terrans had somehow yanked her fleet from Fold Space, but they had also disabled commutations on board her ship and on top of that she had to watch the Strickland twins die as their ships exploded in silent balls of flame and debris. Suddenly there was a whoopee of excitement from one pf the bridge crew “Admiral we have communications back online”. The bridge erupted in applause and congratulations which slowly died down as Yount lifted her hand, a smile of relief on her face. “Bring me fleet wide communications, its time direct the battle”. As the comms officer rushed to obey the order and the bridge crew got back to work Yount allowed herself a brief glimmer of hope, now it was time to turn the tables.
“Captain Mills, respond” The voice caused Mills to jump, he was sure that Yount’s voice.
“Admiral, is that you?”
“Indeed its Captain, the Hitchen’s comms have been restored. I wanted to congratulate you on the handling of the battle so far. My ships sensors indicate that the Hawker Battleship is badly damaged, if we destroy it we can open the right flank and take control of battle”
“Order’s received ma’am, I am ordering my squadron to fire on your target. And ma’am it’s good to have you back”
“Its good to be back Mills, Yount out”
The Hawker Battlehsip’s main drive had been damaged in the last barge and as such could do little to avoid the combined firepower of the Hitchens, Objection Sustained and Mills other cruiser “Contemptuous Rebuttal”. On the bridge of the Hitchens Yount could feel the deck shaking as the mighty type IX Rail Gun hammered out its deadly ammunition. She watched with grim satisfaction as the firepower from her ship and Mill’s squadron ripped huge jagged holes in the side and front of the ship. Vast section of armoured plating was torn away and the entire solar array on the left side was vaporised as the shields failed to stop the incoming rounds. She also noted with pried the work of the bomber wings assigned to the Hitchens as they dodged incoming point defence fire to unleash their deadly cargo on the ship’s hull. Her moment of triumph was dampened slightly as the Hitchens rocked with the force of the incoming fire. As the Hawker Battleship passed underneath her ship damage reports came flooding in, her Torpedo racks and Rail gun were out of action for now. She would just have to hope the Mills could finish the job.
Mills watched as the Hitchens and the Hawker ship passed each other, both now trailing debris from the wounds inflicted on them, his own ships sensors had picked up on the damage inflicted on the Hitchens and he knew that the job of killing the ship now feel to him. He also noted that Bate’s gunships were now down to just two badly damaged ships, one of which was thankfully Bate’s own ship. As the Hawker cruisers that were trailing the Battleship turned to face his own squadron he gritted his teeth, this fight was far from over.
Squadron leader Rital was well and truly overwhelmed. He, like all the other bomber pilots assigned to the Hitchens were getting to see what space combat was like for the first time and it was terrifying. The bombing runs on the Hawker Battleship had been successful thus far with only the loss of two bombers but now things looked grim. The Hitchens had passed the Hawker ship by and it looked like Capitan Mills would be unable to kill the thing now that the Hawker cruisers had taken notice of him. It was then, as he was circling the Hitchens deciding what to do next that he noticed on the Hawker Battleship’s engines an opening that looked like it lead to something vital, an opening just the right size for a bomb. With a few decisive orders to the rest of his ships Rital lead his squadron screaming towards the hull, a blizzard of point defence fire rushing up to meet them. Not knowing how many of his bombers had made it Rital hit the bomb release toggle and speed up along the battleships hull. A violent wave of force hit the rear of his craft and he just managed to pull out from his run and speed off into space. Looking back down on the ship has gasped in amazement as the battleship broke apart, internal explosions creating fiery fissures that arced and raced along the ship’s hull, and then the full weight of his deed hit him, he just killed a battleship.
With their right flank in tatters and their fleet heavy damaged the Terrans withdrew. On board Bate’s gunship Bates had just finished giving his final speech to his crew when one of the crew excitedly informed him that the Terrans had retreated into Fold Space. Applause and exclamations of genuine pure relief echoed around the bride as Bate’s slumped into his command chair, the impossibility of the situation and his survival making his legs go weak. He opened a channel to the Hitchens and Objection Sustained. “Captain, Admiral. I am utterly relived to report that the enemy has retreated”
Yount smiled as a similar scene of relief unfolded before her. The Hawker cruisers had fled as well with the destruction of the battleship, leaving her patrol fleet battered and bloody but most of all alive. “This is Yount to all surviving ships, set of a course for the sector HQ, we have a report to fill out and friends to mourn”. As the Hitchens Fold Space drive powered up Yount quashed any notion that she had won, he fleet was heavily damaged and if the Terrans had been less caring about their own ships they would have killed them all. No they hadn’t won, they had survived and for her fist ever space battle that was good enough.
So there you go, my first Firestom battle report. Hopefully you liked it and if you have any ideas on how i could improve let me know in the comments section. The narrative battle report will be the main type of battle report on this blog from now on as i really enjoy doing them, way more than standard reports. Until next time.