We watched the 8 tracks coming in, with ever precise tracking information. As expected they were fighters. Not as expected they seemed to bog standard Imperial Light Fighters, Mk CCCLV class. While the Three five five isn’t terminally cutting edge for fighters, it’s still in common use by imperial forces, and very very few are being sold to out side of solid allies. The fact their transponders are IDing them as ‘Republic Space Force Interceptor Flight 1077″ is equally odd. The only republic in the the sector is Republic of Edan, and they I know don’t have CCCLV class fighters, the Imperium having lost that arms deal the to the Zhodani.
“Guns, once they enter effect missile envelope, let them have it. Use l-s-l-s please.”
“Could you say last in something other than scout please Superior pack leader?”
“Look, Shoot, Look, Shoot, Don’t volley your next set of birds until you have seen what the first did. We don’t have enough on board to just play at being a missile boat.”
“Understood. Only bite again after you see where the prey is bleeding. A wise battle tactic. Estimated time is 35 minute to enter effective envelope. Will show them our teeth ot them then Superior pack leader.”
Got to tell him to not call me that, but I suspect that’s a waste of time. If he gets in his head that I’m not the pack leader, things could get if not ugly, weird. This is not my first cruise with a Vargr crew mate, it is however, the first with a whole, if small, Vargr pack. Might be the first for the IISS as a whole. At least he agreed to my tactics, even, as I suspect, he would have just fired off volley after volley if given a chance.
At about 15 minutes to engagement range Mr. Urdar reports
"Vector change, 2 separating from main group, appear to be on vector towards the drones."
Great. Just what I wanted to hear. Time to make a tactical call and earn those big credits – “Guns keep missile track on main group, we will deal with the leakers as we can. We can lose drones, that’s their job being a decoy“. Wonder what the tactics teacher at Scout Pilot Academy would have said about that. “You find your self out numbered by units that can, under optimal happenstances blow you out of space and you didn’t jump? Are you crazed or what?” He was of the “Scouts don’t fight, we scout” school of thought, vs the much more offensive “Scouts only fight a little bit, normally just we bug out” Well the Merry isn’t your normal Imperial Scout ship either.
“I understand Pack Leader, ignore the hunters on the false trail until we have shown the pack at large our fangs”
Is he going to translate every tactic I pass to him into a Vargr fighting adage? Could be worse, at least he’s doing it in Anglic, not just barking at me. At least I know he knows what I’m thinking when he does that. Might not be a bad idea. Got to think about that.
Watching the count down clock, at 0:30 before the magic effective range count down mark “Guns, get some at zero”. A single bark, which might have been an exited “Aye” can back. At T minus 0:15 Mr. Urdar made a tiny vector adjustment, then grunted and smiled as the birds left the tubes. I’ve never been on a ship that fired a full 6 round volley at one time. I would have thought I would have felt something, but if grav plates can make our 4G wobbles not affect us, they can deal with a little light recoil. Heard them launch, but only until they cleared the tubes, nothing after, of course. More like hearing a cannon fire on a planet than rockets being fired. Makes sense, once their exhaust gas was not hitting the tube the vacuum of space wouldn’t let us hear them any more.
“Birds away and flying true. 9 minutes til vector closing. Tell the Lt. that his roll allowed for perfect straight vectors for both turrets.“.
“Thank you guns”
We wait. We wait some more. At 4 til closing the boogies do a star burst separation. Pack leader Elig must have thought of that, or we got lucky and each bird had picked it’s own target because our cluster followed the vector changes like they knew it was going to happen. The howl from the turrets tells me they planned that. Good to know that the “blast it until it stops moving” reputation of Vargr gunners didn’t seem to be the case here. The computer tracking board went from a 3 way screen to an 8 way screen as Urdar made some adjustments. On vector close, 2 boogies just stop showing on the screens, and 2 took off on random vectors, like there was no one alive at the controls. The other two just kept coming. “Guns, One turret on each of the leakers, they are getting with in range, and I’d rather not take any hits.” I get an “Aye/bark” in return.
While the turrets slewed to the their new attack vectors the hostile fighters returned fire with their pulse lasers, just with in their range. One of the drones dropped off the scope, one shot went high and wide on us, and one hit, but the armor took the damage.
While a light fighter might, if lucky, survive having a solitary missile attack it, having a full triple turret, either missile or beam laser aimed at it in effective range, with highly trained crews, is not really something that they can be expected to survive. They didn’t.
"Out jump signature, from location of the mother-ships"
Humph. What the hell was that? To far away from Zhodani, Vargr or Aslan space to be any of them, didn’t seem like Sword World Confederation tactics and I would bet money that wasn’t Droyn. Hiver and K’Kree were out of the question, based on ship size in the case of K’Kree and sheer range to their space in both cases.
“All hands, report and stand down, Mr. Higgs, take the surveyor out for SAR please.“