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

Chapter 32 - The Administrator[]

KCGS Ia Drang
Landmark class Destroyer
Tharkad System, Zenith Point
Lyran Commonwealth
3143

"Damage report!" Sharon asked.

"B turret is locked along the port-forward azimuth, we've lost three guns there."

"Transfer their ammunition feeds to Alpha and Charlie. what else?"

"Hull penetrations along port forward, we've lost eleven percent structural integrity along that facing, and we're pumping fuel from the port side tanks to starboard lower. Casualty reports indicate we've lost twenty seven personnel." Falcone reported. "On the whole, we're in better shape than we ought to be."

"What is the enemy doing?"

"They're still reacting to the free-fire missile strike, but four of their assault dropships are coming about to pursue." sensor operator reports.

"..and the Jerome Winson?" asks Sharon

"Thermal indicates she's on fire, mum. Course appears to be drifting but, the core structure appears to be mostly intact."

Indicators on the tactical plot winked out as the pursuing pocket-warships of the Wolf force were jumped by cutters riding in on the wave of free-flight missiles.

"Roll to braking thrust, and start laying down covering fire for our escorts." Sharon ordered, "Give our boys and girls a chance to make it back into formation."

"Aye Mum, brace for braking thrust!"

G-forces pulled Sharon deep into the command seat, as the warship pulled an end-over-roll and the engines began firing, pulling her toward the deck of the CCIC at nearly three gravities.

"Subcap launch from the pursuing enemy units!"

"Point defenses up."

Antimissile systems kicked on, Sharon imagined tracers falling in patterns outward, submunitions spreading out to intercept antishipping warheads.

"Engage those pocket warships." Sharon said easily.

"Aye mum..."

The ship's hull vibrated with the barking of the main guns in A and C turrets, this was accelerated with the D, E, and F turrets-mounted aft and facing forward, joined in, creating a pattern of hypervelocity shells. Two more of the Wolf assault ships erupted, creating patterns of high-speed debris as their hulls gave way to detonations.

"How is our fighter escort doing?" Sharon asked.

"Holding."

Somewhere far, far away, nearly a full five light-minutes out, the rest of wave three was bringing assault landing forces to Tharkad's aid on the ground.

The math of the Tharkad invasion, had decidedly changed.



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