"We are the only ships in this sector for the time being." Those words still rung within the ears of Captain Sean Whitehal as he sat upon the commander's chair, looking down and over his COC both on his floor, and the pit below, his helmsman most forward of the armoured room, staring at his own screens while he stared at the holomap projected into the centre of the room, just ahead of his eyes. For the most part, the room around him was a stark white, the walls and cieling all tinged with the red alarm lighting signaling their hightened alert status, while the centre walls and floor were a bright blue glow far too similar to the engine glow the N6-a3 units emitted under power.
Two orange blips were far off to the right on the map, the holomap dragging information lines to these two blips, tagging them as Unknown 1, Unknown 2. Red lines were drawn to their current position, two black dots which represented the lone IUN ships on patrol above this colony planet. For the two ships designed for Escort and not Patrol, Those you shed, IUN 092 Tears and We who Guide you IUN 093 Senses, it was a boring job. They were only here because the planet's usual protector, a Pacific class light cruiser had been called away to assist in quelling an uprising on a nearby ocean planet, and the colony required protection from the pirates that had recently moved into this sector.
Gaia Class destroyers were not normally Sister ships, but a delay in the construction of Tears had allowed Sense, the younger of the two vessels to catch up, a fact that had never been allowed to be lived down. Now, they stood on the edge of combat, an unknown they were both designed for, crews of one hundred on both ships fully trained and prepared for. Above those five monitors, a scrolling information board read. "--ALERT STAGE THREE. ALL PERSONNEL TO COMBAT STATIONS. BATTLESTATIONS. BATTLESTATIONS--"
BACS broke the silence. "Unknown vessels are now within communications range." The central monitor changed view, the front camera's view of empty space was shifted onto a secondary monitor, the large screen in the centre changing to view the two unknown vessels. Whitehal couldn't make out the class, nor any armaments. At least, not yet.
"Unknown vessels!" he started, voice booming out across the bridge as BACS transmitted the message, "This is Captain Whitehal of the Imperial Ural Navy vessel Tears. Identify yourselves!" A single beep across the command centre signalled a successful transmission, but they were met with only static, and BACS was quick to act. The stark white lighting faded to a llight blue hue, the walls, cieling and floor going black, the red alert lights began to spin, casting red beams through the blue glow that provided the illumination of every room on the ship. A siren, not unlike the DEFCON alert warnings of old sounded, ringing throughout the ship. The crew, already standing ready at Stage 3, were suddenly introduced to Stage 4, the last warning before actual combat.
"Hostile Contact probable. Hostile Contact probable. Seal outer hatches! Damage control report to stations, Damage control report to stations! Alert Stage Four! Alert Stage Four!" The voice of Tears echoed in her battle sirens, those rolling screens all over the ship updating with her voice "--ALERT STAGE FOUR. DAMAGE CONTROL TO STATION. HOSTILE CONTACT PROBABLE. COMBAT READINESS.--"
From the pit, more information started to flood in as Whitehal adjusted in his seat, his flak vest uncomfortable against the leather of the command chair. A junior sensor operator spoke up, a secondary screen, top left changed to show scrolling information in text form, while the holomap zoomed into those two orange blips quickly apporaching their position, scrolling code displaying intelligence on those two ships.
"Two destroyer class vessels on intercept course, One-Eight-Zero metres long, four-zero wide, no visible armaments, shields are activ- Weapons fully powered!" Whitehal swore violently as the Helmsman and BACS both confirmed at the same time. The battle siren in the backround of all the hallways and empty rooms suddenly changed, a rapid-fire beeping sounding in the Command centre for four seconds before it went silent.
The Lieutenant was quick to act, jumping to his feet as yellow spinning lights were added to the fray above, the scrolling boards updating a final time. --ALERT STAGE FIVE. WE ARE UNDER ATTACK.-- "Z axis tilt, sixty degrees, maximum flank speed! Evade, Evade!" The holomap zoomed out to show both ships, those orange blips now displayed as Hostile One and Two sprouting red curved lines, 40 of those strands tracking to each ship, each red line tracking the lock on of a single missile. Behind it, the main screen showed the left ship, Hostile Two, the ship that was locked onto them blow out. It's hull fragmenting, forty silo tubes all over it's hull popping out into space, two seconds later as the light glinted off them gave way to the fire spat out of the hull as all of those two metre long guided talons of explosive destruction launched against flew from their mother ship, and tracked inwards towards the ship known as Tears.
Orange beams of light flashed from her nose as her RCS thrusters fired to steer her downwards, her aft lit up with a bright, burning blue colour as she accelerated with all her might. Six dorsal Close-In-Weapons turned and locked onto the incoming projectiles, spitting hot fiery death towards them, flak blasts of old surrounding the front upper bow of the sleak destroyer as she drove hard to avoid those impacts. Two long white streams spat from her bow, counter missiles powering towards the incoming barrage.
Then, they impacted along the shields, the previously invisible barrier leaping to life, a hot orange glow leaping all around the impacts. Tweleve missiles had been shot down by the CIWS, exploding uselessly in empty space, another two had been cleanly intercepted by the Counter Projectile Batteries. That left 26 missiles to hit the life giving shield, and as explosions rained down all upon it, that orange glow that shone around the entire bubble flickered violently and then died.
"Warning," Tears sounded with exactly that, her cool metalic voice sounding over the shaking of the hull plating., "Shields, offline. Recharge cycle, one minute."
Whitehal was next. "Full extension! X axis roll, port One-Eight-Zero! Torpedoes and Two-Thousand-Mils, fire!" The Destroyer's helmsman yanked back on his twin sticks, and the ship lurched upwards, orange beams firing from her underside to level her out, matched by four more firing from her right side underside diagonal, barrel rolling her until she was belly up, her forward twin barreled 200cm cannons letting out a soft electronic purr as they swiveled and angeled to engage the hostile ship. Four shots, seperated by a second each ripped into space. At the same time, the silver marked enemy returned fire with her own cannons, two shots in return flying on a fifteen second trip.
"Cannon rounds incoming!" someone in the operations pit had yelled, too late for it to make any difference. One shot went wide as Tears launched two 400cm MIRV torpedoes express to the enemy vessel, the other round exploding against a raised armour plate upon her belly. Nearly sixteen kilometres away, all four cannon rounds impacted along the bow of the enemy destroyer, blasting armour fragments deep into space, glinting in the light as they span, nearly six tonnes of armour blown off the ship in a single strike, but in the grand scale of things, not even scratching her, four blackened scorch marks across her bow like angry bite marks.