Part 55: We Happy Few
Aww. Whos this?
Oh, Fleet Admiral? He was my pet way back in Academy. Hah, maybe I can get another dog just like him once all of this is over.
A-ah, and this is ...
Maray, my sister.
She could be annoying as hell, and honestly, she talked way too much, but ...
I'm so sorry.
It's all right.
I can't ruminate on the past forever. Eventually, it breaks you down. Makes you a hollow shell. Makes you blind to the treasures around you.
Getting comfortable on the eve of the final battle, captain?
A-Ava!? W-when'd you get here!
Ha. You thought you could get away with this sort of thing just because your militarys entire personnel department was blown up?
I was merely double checking that you were giving the battle plans due diligence. But clearly, you are distracted.
Hah-hahahaha ... I-I have no idea what you could be alluding to
Chief, you have work to do as well, do you not?
Y-yes commander ... Eh-heh
What!? Can't you give it a break, Ava? We're going into battle. THE battle. Give the poor girl her night.
Make sure you straighten out your uniform before heading out again.
(I know that was unnecessary. He's undoubtedly got the battle plans memorized and has devised multiple improvements by now.)
(Then why did I interrupt that? The prototypes know our hearts and minds. We're paranoid, selfish creatures. Controlled by nothing more than fear. Jealousy. Hatred. They seek to turn us against each other. Question the bonds which make us strong. I know Chigara has no evil plan to sabotage our efforts. No hidden agenda. No poisoned dagger hidden behind her back. No. The Prototypes put her here to divide us. To breed fear of betrayal. I only realized it when I saw them together Heh. Sentimentality will prove our undoing.)
Battle stations! Battle stations! All hands, set condition one throughout the ship. This is not a drill, repeat: this is not a drill. Captain and XO to the bridge immediately!
What's the situation.
The PACT line of battle has gone to full thrust towards the Combined Fleet.
They're attacking first before we can make our move, trying to take the initiative. Bold of them. Show me the tactical situation.
The PACT loyalist fleet, designated Force Red, is composed of older battleships and carriers. Despite that, they are over two hundred vessels strong.
Meanwhile a PACT reserve fleet composed of assault carriers holds position behind the moon. This fleet is designated Force Yellow.
Alliance Intelligence believes Arcadius will bring in Force Yellow to reinforce them after the initial assault. However, the commanding officers of Force Yellow have secretly pledged their allegiance to Veniczar Fontana and will hold position behind the moon until Arcadius' forces have either surrendered or been destroyed.
Hmm The Alliance has always been gungho about cannons, eh ...
Those PACT battleships and carriers are going to get shredded by the Alliance battleships rail guns up close. Their best chance would be to engage the Alliance fleet with lasers at long range while under the cover of their own shields. How's the Alliance fleet handling their own shield barrier?
The Testudo-class shield cruiser. As you know, shields have generally been lacking on Alliance ships. To compensate, these specially designed cruisers disperse enormous amounts of shielding over a large area to protect the entire fleet from laser attacks.
But if all our shields are generated by cruisers, a fleet of smaller craft Relay a message to Admiral Grey. Tell him he needs to prepare for anti-ryder combat.
Aye, captain. Relaying message.
Brave pilots of the crimson fleet. Hear my voice. You are the last vanguard against the imperialists' advance. We are surrounded. Outnumbered. Outgunned. Many will lose their lives today, but take heart. You are not alone. Though our blood may coat our ships, know that it will protect our families! Our freedoms! Let the rich men in their ivory towers hear our roar! We are the People's Alliance! All ryders, FORWARD!
(Foolish humans. Let the carnage begin.)
Looks like your assessment was correct, captain. PACT ryders incoming. Sensors are having difficulty getting exact figures, but there appear to be hundreds of them.
Form a defensive line in front of the shield cruisers! The prototypes intend to sacrifice all their ryders to take them out. Without their protection the fleet will be vulnerable to laser fire well before the battleships can can get close enough to use their rail guns.
Theyre insane... Their casualties will be brutal!
I know. Im beginning to wonder if Arcadius intends to take PACT down with her.