Starshatter The Death of Garrison Station Page 5

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Blue-white streaks from Devastator...

Blue-white streaks from Devastator and Dauntless now, Athena and Nike missiles impacting over the station’s structure.

Half of its defensive batteries disengaged from Steadfast, focused red death on Devastator, now presenting her vulnerable flank to the station’s gunners for their revenge. The old cruiser quaked under Elena; she grabbed at the handrail over her head again for support. “TAO, contact Orion, advise our location! Request assault fighter scramble!”

Dark blue gamma-ray laser beams again impacted the station, causing its failing graviton shield to coruscate as Devastator steadied back on course, and a telltale in an overhead console began winking at Elena, followed by an alarm. “Number two point-defense cannon, Commodore! Its beam generator is overheating!” The ship lurched. “Damage to auxiliary reactor! Athena No. 1 down to 93 percent power!”

“Get the forward damage control party on it! Advise the Engineer to cut power to Athena batteries on my mark!” They were down to half their complement of missiles now. She scanned the overhead display, saw red traces in space all around the station, the tactical computer warning of enemy ships. “Incoming fighters, people-point defense stand ready! Damage control, I want the repair to the number two PDB to have priority, acknowledge.”

Engineering ReportThe bosun’s whistle sounded, the Engineer’s worried voice cutting in. “Conn, Engineer, the impulse drive is down to 83 percent power from that last series, and I’ve had to take half the injectors and the impeller off line. We’ll lose the main heat exchanger with another hit, can you keep the forward shields to the enemy?”

Elena toggled into the circuit. “We’re going to do just that, Kaplan, can you give me an estimate on time to repair? We’ve got fighters inbound and we need full power restored as soon as possible!”

“Two minutes, Conn, if you can keep the fire off the aft shields!”

“Conn, Sensor, advise Garrison Station now heavily damaged, losing reactor integrity.” The sensor station monitored the target, and the Group’s concentrated fire was having the desired effect.

Elena put her optics to her eyes, focusing on Dauntless. The cruiser had assumed position ahead of Devastator, to bring her point-defense battery into play on the station. She is too close, Elena thought suddenly. If the station goes now, Dauntless will go with it! She sprang into action. “TAO, contact Dauntless. Advise them to move patrol thirty kilometers off, near our position.”

The cruiser had assumed position ahead of Devastator... bring her point-defense battery into play on the station.

The enemy fighters were close now, and Devastator and Dauntless both poured fire on them from their midship point-defense turrets. Suddenly, the tactical display filled with blue streaks, approaching fast. “We’ve got air cover! Antares’s launched!” Commander Grimes was jubilant.

Fighters launch. Fighters launch.

“Bravo flight, this is Bravo 1. Engaging Narom 1. Vector 200 for 21 kilometers.” And the rest of the Fleet was getting into the act as well.Suffolk, a Berents class fighter-defense frigate, engaged enemy fighters, and Mahan, a nearby Asher class destroyer, took the station under fire with her X-ray lasers, positioning ninety degrees off from Devastator and Dauntless.

The Mahan, a nearby Asher class destroyer, took the station under fire with her X-ray lasers...

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