“Translating out to n-space in 3…2…1…” Navigator said
Ship shook as it rapidly lost speed to sublight, then navigator added
“We’re in n-space, colapsing Warshawski sail, powering impeller”
“Good job, bring us over to Basilisk Station, Coms send message to Station and ask if 8th fleet is still here or if they left to Trevors Star”
“Aye Aye skipper”
Ship accelerated towards space station that overlooked area, going through defence platforms
“Captain, message from Station, we are 12th in Queue to Trevors Star, taking our spot in line as we speak”
“Good, jump us as soon as ready”
Ship after ship crossed threshold of a invisible wormhole charted years ago, it took few hours to finally get to first space. then wait time for clearence, and then - at last heavy cruiser moved into the threashold, the time of travel? Split second. Yet it cut down travel time by weeks. The Juntcion was one of most important location in Manticoran space, and criminally understaffed becasue of curent Admirality and house of Lords.
After the sucessful jump ship impeller drive came back up and ship started flying away from wormhole. System was erily calm. too calm, the fleet should had querried them after they powered impeller, it strength clearly indicated militiary vessel.
“Well thats oddly silent. Radar?”
“Nothing on the scopes sir. System is empty”
“Well, now thats just not right, whole fleet should be here. Sound General Quarters”
Klaxon sounded everywhere on ship as everyone was getting ready. Every station sounded off without a issue. As ship went forward still no contacts appeared on the sensors. There was no trace of the fleet anywhere in system, nor any message buoy or courier ship
“Coms, contact Basilisk, we are sending courier pinaccle priority one. Crewman Isabella and two marines are to be dispatched on it with following message: HMS Elisabeth report, Friendly fleet not present in Trevor’s Star. No sign of battle or wreckage, ship holding position to provide early warning to Basilisk. Requesting assistance of any avaible units. Message ends”
“Message recorded, and on chip. Pinaccle will leave in about 10 minutes. Basilisk reports standing by for pinaccle, traffic is halted untill it goes through”
“Pinnacle away captain”
As officer reported that a small ship left Heavy Cruiser hangar and flew towards invisible hole in space then dissapeared. It would take few days for them to relay message, the new FTL coms werent good enough to put them on ships yet, especially as small as pinnacle, so all navies still relied on old Light Speed comunication. Downside was obviously the time it takes for message to reach recipient, but at same time technology for it was almost perfected and required little ammount of power. Which was perfect for a warships.
After few hours of calmness crew stood down battlestations but remained on alert holding position near wormhole to protect this vital point for as long as they can. Commerce was slowly moving through delivering supplies and goods to various planets back and forth.
Few days later a convoy reported being under attack, after reciving that message crew warned basilisk they are moving to investigate and sped towards ships going to battlestations. As they arrived two ships were already wrecked beyond recognition by fire, and third one had barelly any sidewall strenght. Not bothering to call pirates and order to stand down ship engaged them to protect the civilians of Haven, their nations might be at war but those were civilians after all, they didnt need to die for war they might not even wanted to happen.
Battle didnt take long, modified freighter used by pirates againt heavy cruiser was not a good odds but bastards did score a couple good hits down the ships T. somewhere during the fight Haven freighter escaped the harms way and slipped into the wormhole.
As marine manned pinnacle docked back to the ship and prisoners were walked onto flight deck everyone knew what is about to happen. A short trial, verdict then summary execution, as ussual when it comes to pirates
“Welcome aboard HMS Elisabeth ladies and gentelman. I have good and bad news for you. Good news? You will recive fair trial in accordance to Manticoran law. Bad news? Manticoran law states that piracy falls under Capital Punishment and that court can be assembled aboard starship by group of senior officers, My name is Captain Jennifer Lawrence and i am CO of this ship, This is my XO Co-” She was interrupted by alarm going off and waved off marine to lead prisoners to brig as she hastily walked towards bridge. She didnt have time to put on her skinsuit again so she took seat at captains char still in dress uniform with sword on her side
“Captain, unknown vessels approaching from port side, Configuration doesnt match anything in our records, Their impellers appear much stronger than their estimate tonnage”
“Captain all stations report ready for combat” tactical officer chimed in from CIC
Jennifer sighed before speaking up
“Coms, message to unknown ship” She paused untill officer nodded that shes recording “Unknown Vessel this is Lady Dame Captain Jennifer Lawrence of Royal Manticoran Starship HMS Elisabeth. You have violated defended manticoran space. Identify yourself or we will be forced to open fire”
But there was no response. Captain was about to repeat her message when first lasers hit her ship broadside. But that shouldnt be possible, they were out of laser envelope… at least of known species.
“Helm get us out of here now, coms contact basilisk, order them to halt travel to trevors star immidielty. Damage report”
“Captain, we lost coms main wiring, switching to secondary, laser mount two and four and destroyed, mount three heavily damaged. Greaser one is gone. Missile tubes one through four lost connection to missile storage.”
“Incoming!” tactical screamed then everything dissapeared in white flash.
When people on bridge regained ability to see from the flash they instantly could tell something is wrong. The ship wasnt out there, some starts looked weird, and quick look at astrogation would reveal it cannot match their location to any starmap. Then another thing, ussual wormhole readings from juntion? they were gone as well. there was no impeller drives detected in sensor range, there was nothing except stars, and few weird looking ships they could see vissually but not on sensors. Where the hell are they? Quickly they aimed their impeller wedge, the almost impenetrable gravitic distortion towards the fleet they seen on scopes so if they decide to shoot at least they can survive next few hits
They waited inpatiently but initially nothing happened. And so captain left bridge and went to ready room and started reading damage report to know where they are standing. she also ordered a recon drone prepeared and sent toward unknown ships using inertia