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The Administator (Chapter Cover Art) Chapter Page - Book 1

Chapter 23 - The Administrator[]

KCGS Nha Tranh
Sampan III-Class Cutter
Winter system
Outer Belt Lyran Commonwealth
3142


"General quarters, general quarters contact starboard Four-five degrees by positive Three zero, range 5000 kilometers, multiple contacts Torpedoes sleeping in the water!" Commodore Nicole "Nikki" Minh recited. Her tone was dead-even. at the flanks, the rest of Cutter squadron 12 slid into newtonian space in a flying W search pattern.

They'd been waiting for this, the debris from the deaths of two cutters, one station, and a mining pinnace suggested that while the unseen enemy had invested heavily into stealth tech for their ship, their missiles, projectiles, and weapons were pretty much standard construction without so much as the use of sensor-dampening coatings.

Off-angle pings picked up by the cutters escorting Cosworth 19 showed the basic flaw in the enemy's ECM camouflage; the missiles they laid out for a textbook stealth attack on a fleet deflected the counter-signals and blocked/reflected them. On passive sensors, it was like putting up a road sign that someone was placing munition masses where there shouldn't be any.

"Set all vessels to Battle Condition Bravo, Squadrons one and Three, deploy fighters on missile-interception and link-sync with the detection on the refinery, I don't want one missile to get through." she closed her faceplate as she spoke, while pumps drew hard vacuum on the decks of her own cutter, a move that reduced the risk of fires and explosive concussion transfer from being hit.

"Neutrino sign ahead, Mum!" Commander Jyestha Godwin announced from the XO's seat.

"Triangulate on the scatter, , engage the scatter contacts, patrol two, set fish to home in on thermal and fusion byproduct bloom and ready deck guns. All vessels, launch fighters, rig for interception and anti-shipping!!"

"Commodore, all ships in the squadron report ready for combat!"

"She's lighting up, mum!"

At that announcement from Chief Warrant Officer Li, she smiled, and leaned back, to feel the G-force resistance drugs flood her body.

"Let's get this ******, all ships engage."

Sampan IV Class Cutter - LCS Delphin in Battle (Ngoverse)

KCGS Nha Tranh, Sampan III Class Cutter in combat

Kowloon's Coast Guard had pioneered the sort of stealth tactics their enemy was using, by employing small, short-range jumpships armed primarily with missiles and high-yeild warheads against Blakist Warships, jumpships, and pocket-warships. The black sails of the Coast Guard were black because they were radiation absorbing rather than reflecting sails, designed to provide the minimum sensor reflection.

Anyone who's made a business of mastering stealth, knows how to hunt the hunters who might use it against them, and Nicole Minh spent a lifetime in the business of sneaking around in deep space.

Pinpricks lit as the enemy's missiles began their acceleration, and a torch of bluewhite fire kilometers long announced their warship was indeed aware of the approach of the Coast Guard squadron.

"Arm physics packages for close proximity detonation on the first wave." she rasped as the cutter pushed beyond the standard rated G-forces. The new drugs and new system of secured acceleration couches, meant the Cutters could match vector and speed with many swift moving assault dropships-while retaining the ability to make interstellar jumps.

"Initiate fire." she grunted. "All ships, initiate fire!"

"Torpedoes in the water inbound, Commodore!"

"Point defenses active, mutual screening interlock!"

The sounds of the CIC were strained as they passed three G's. The hull vibrated silently as point-defense turrets swept, found the incoming, and opened up on carefully preplanned vectors as helmsmen flew variable patterns, alternating hard accelerations with lateral drifts planned to frustrate target locks and draw the incoming missile fire into the pattern of density-enhanced slag and bomblets being churned out by the point defense guns.

"Thermal lock, Torps away!!"

The missiles homed in on the enemy's exhaust trail, and rode the fringe of fusing helium, until emission-seeker heads picked up his jamming and took over.

The first bloom of silver light, a growing bell-ball of nuclear fusion, drew the shape of the enemy ship into stark relief briefly...and the engine exhaust was gone.

But so was the jamming. Radar contact still showed a small vessel, far smaller than the one revealed by the first successful hit...but LIDAR showed the outline of a ship large enough to be classed as a destroyer in the old SLDF databases. Secondary hits by the missiles fired from the rest of the squadron slowly grew the outline, while smashing the enemy warship again, and again.

On the status, cutters were also vanishing, as the enemy's return fire-naval autocannons of the 600mm range, were lancing out very nearly at random.

"Firing solution!"

"Engage with Deck Guns and salvo-fire another set of Torpedoes." she grunted under the strain of hard maneuvering.

As suddenly as it began, it was over. the enemy ship's spine gave way, and she broke into radioactive, pock-marked halves.

"Drop to cruise, all engines reverse. BDA and SAR crews to your boats." she ordered, "Let's see if any of these Clanner mother ****** survived. if possible, I want the data recorders from that wreck!"

Then she turned to Radioman 1st Class Neves. "Send KCGS Ia Drang, object Phantom has been exorcised."

"Aye, mum!"


  • Author's Note
    Nicole Minh was born a Belter, in the Sol Belts, Metis Coalition. She's served in the Kowloon Coast Guard Marine since her early 20s-right around 3065 or so. yes, she's over 100 years old, but the difference is, she's a BELTER, they didn't lose the long lifespans like nearly everyone else in the Succession Wars.


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