Emotions run high as threat levels increase. Shots are all around the ships as the Canadian spec-ops team begins their insertion into the radar opaque zone generated by the American ships.

If you’re new to this story, you can find Episode 1 here.

Turn: Canada

Incoming Fire:

  1. Miss (USA, G-4)
  2. Miss (USA, D-8)

Return Fire:

  1. Attack (USA, B-3)
  2. Attack (USA, J-2)
  3. Attack (USA, F-5) *bonus attack for hit*

A geyser erupted several hundred meters off the starboard side of the battleship.

“I want that cruiser taken to Davy Jones’ locker!” Admiral Johnson was upset over the loss of the CF-18s. It was his call and, ultimately, his responsibility. As was everything else in this battle. “Maybe if we take out enough of their boats, they’ll abandon this madness.”

As he stood, glaring at the horizon, a second plume of dark smoke rose to the gathering storm clouds. It was further away than the first, but unmistakable, nonetheless.

“Comm? You have something for me?”

“The Atikokan reports a hit, sir.”

“Great! It’s about time. Tell them to pursue the new target, we’ll take out the first one.” There could be no missing this time – if their attacks had been accurate, then they must have surrounded the bloody ship. “Target our mark and fire forward batteries!”

The big guns thundered, launching their deadly charges into the air.

*   *   *

“We got one sir!”

“Excellent!” Captain Neil Larson didn’t need telemetry to tell him of the hit, the dark smoke on the horizon was all the confirmation he needed.

“Load cannons and target that bonfir…”

“Message from the Shaboogamoo, sir.”

What could they possibly be wanting now? “What does our esteemed Admiral have to say?”

“We’re to take out the new target, they’ll finish the old. The Nipissing will continue sweeping the zone, sir.”

“Well, what the hell did they think we were going to do?” Blasted Admirals always interfering with the obvious.

“If the trajectory is locked, fire!”

Moments later, the booming echo of their cannons rocked the bridge.

*   *   *

This wasn’t good. “Contact Admiral Johnson,” Captain Peart ordered.

“Aye, sir.”

The last attack splashed down not fifty meters off the port side. That made three very near-misses in almost as many salvos.

“The Admiral, sir.”

“Admiral Johnson. Sir, I believe they’re going to find the range on the Nunavut very shortly. We’ve been lucky until now, but I believe they’re sweeping our location. The splashdowns are too clustered to be random pot-shots.”

“Agreed, Captain,” came the reply, “but you are to hold your position. We’re on two of their boats, we’ll take them out…but we can’t do it without the Nunavut.”

“Roger, sir.” Not an unexpected answer, but still, he had hoped for some manoeuvring room. The EM field essentially crippled them and Captain Peart didn’t like feeling helpless.

*   *  *

Admiral Johnson could understand Peart’s frustration, but continuing the battle with only one capital ship would be crazy.

“Admiral, you’ve got a private hail.”

“I’ll take it in my cabin,” Johnson said, leaving the bridge.

Moments later, headset firmly in place, he responded, “Go ahead.”

“Admiral, we are holding position alongside the Shabogamoo, ready for insertion.”

“Very good. Do you need anything from us?”

“Only covering fire, sir. Give us ten minutes from my mark and then lay down a random firing pattern, avoiding the insertion vector. Once we leave your side we’ll be running silent until extraction.”

“Understood. We’re ready when you are.”

“Alright then…3…2…1…Mark.” Admiral Johnson checked his Navy-issue watch and whispered, “Godspeed, boys, Canada, and maybe the world, is counting on you.”

Turn: U.S.A.

Damage:

  1. Hit (Canada, B-3)

Incoming Fire:

  1. Miss (Canada, J-2)
  2. Miss (Canada, F-5)

Return Fire:

  1. Attack (Canada, G-3)
  2. Attack (Canada, D-7)

The storm was intensifying. Dark clouds loomed overhead and lightning strikes flashed brightly in the darkening sky. Admiral Rosaline Stone wondered what could have caused the storm to form so quickly. Dr Greer had warned that such a phenomenon could happen due to the massive amount of energy that the prototype was capable of creating, but none were sure of the extent of the disturbance.

Admiral Stone thought it best not to worry about such a storm. They had bigger things to take care of. She watched the horizon intently, agonizing over the events that she knew were about to unfold. Two of her ships had been struck in this battle, and all she had to show for it were two birds that they had accidentally brought down. Not even Greer had expected the Generator to be so powerful, but then again it was that very underestimation that had gotten them in this situation.

“Admiral. Reports from the Ahura Mazda.” Captain Jackson approached.

“Go on, Captain.”

“Half a dozen injuries, mostly minor. Zero casualties. The damage isn’t extensive. All systems are operational.”

“That’s good to hear. And what about our missiles? Do we have confirmation?”

“Both missiles appear to have missed, Admiral. Perhaps we should find new targets?”

“No. I know there’s something out there.”

“But Admiral, even for such a small area, the ocean isn’t exactly small. Perhaps we should concentrate our efforts in the north-eastern regions. We haven’t tried firing there.”

“Captain, I’ve got a feeling. And no, I don’t blame it on a woman’s intuition. Lest see this one out. Shooting so close, we’re bound to hit something.”

“But Admiral, the Aura Mainyu is out of options, and the Ahura Mazda will soon follow suit. If we could just-“

Admiral Stone grit her teeth, “Don’t you think I know that Captain? This is exactly why we can’t afford to play around anymore. Random shots aren’t getting us anywhere. At least this way it looks like we know what we’re doing. Maybe that alone will cause their confidence to slacken just enough to give us a chance.”

*   *   *

The Aura Mainyu rocked with the shock of the impact. Fires erupted both above and below deck. Captain Ronald Durant prepared for death as the second missile fired from the enemy ship. It shot wide and cruised toward their sister ship, the Ahura Mazda, striking nothing but water. A third missile killed water far off.

“Damn you!” Durant found himself yelling. “What is this to you, a game?! You know where I am, and still you choose to fire on the other ships? JUST FINISH THIS!”

“Captain!” Lieutenant Rodriguez raced to the Captain’s side, pale-faced. “Captain, are you alright? Have you been injured?”

“Just peachy.”

Peachy? Rodriguez thought to himself, has the Captain lost it? “Captain, we have orders to abandon ship. The Zarathustra has volunteered to take us onboard. Captain, you are to gather your effects and evacuate now.”

“Don’t worry about me, Lieutenant. You go on ahead, I’ll be there shortly.”

Lieutenant Rodriguez watched as Captain Durant stared blindly into the horizon. His gaze was on the enemy ships, though they could barely be seen with the naked eye. He didn’t want to leave the Captain, but there wasn’t much time before the Canadians fired off their finishing blow. He had to get the rest of the crew organized, and he didn’t think that he could rely on Captain Durant to do much of anything now. In the distance, Rodriguez could see that the Sophia was firing once again, the Tomahawk missiles cutting sleekly through the air followed by the white tails of smoke.

“They’d better hit this time, or I’m gonna give the Admiral a piece of my mind…”

Lieutenant Rodriguez wasn’t sure if the Captain had addressed the statement toward him, or if he was talking to himself. I’d better inform the Admiral of the ‘Cap’s odd behaviour. he thought as he returned to his duties.

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