The battle rages on as Admiral Johnson contacts fleet command to find out what’s going on. Meanwhile, Neil Larson, a young, aggressive captain desperate to prove himself engages the hidden enemy.
All the while, Admiral Stone admonishes her head of research for creating the electromagnetic field that has so badly damaged their targeting systems, while struggling to find a strategy that will keep them alive.
If you’re new to this story, you can find Episode 1 here.
- Miss (USA, L-2)
- Miss (USA, E-11)
- Attack (USA,B-2)
- Attack (USA,E-10)
Admiral Johnson watched the distant blue before him. There was still only the single plume of smoke. He picked up his binoculars but just a quickly put them down, knowing what he would see from here. Absolutely nothing.
There was a storm brewing on the horizon.
“Any sign of contact, Lt. Lifson?”
“No sir, no change.”
He had to assume a miss, then.
“A hail from the Nunavut, sir.”
“Patch it through, Lt. Lee.”
“Admiral,” came the voice of Captain Peart, fighting to be heard above the static, “our boys in the air are reporting unreliable targeting of the AGM-JSOWs. Their boat’s still swimming.”
“How’s she look?”
“Small, cruiser-class. She’s flying no colours, sir.”
“This gets stranger by the minute.”
“Incoming!” The yell came from Lifson and was accompanied by klaxons. “Their trajectory is well wide of us, sir. One is on course for the Nunavut.”
“Peart? You have incoming?”
“Aye, sir. No danger, it splashed two-hundred meters off starboard bow.”
“If I may sir, the field is acting as one giant countermeasure.”
“Thank you for that rather obvious assessment, Lt. Lifson,” Johnson said before turning to stare toward his unseen opponent. “Hmmm, so they are as blind as us. The only real questions that remained were whether it was intentional and what could cause such a field?”
“Captain Peart, keep your boys on the cruiser for as long a possible.”
“Lee, patch me through to Command in St. John’s.”
“Sir, the Atikokan swears she had a temporary radar lock.”
“Tell her to fire on the position, it’s the best chance we’ve had so far. In fact, order the destroyers to begin pounding the zone. Let the vanguard test the waters, we’ll sit back and see what they stir up.”
“And get me Command. Fleet Admiral Jakobson.”
* * *
“We are cleared to fire, sir.”
Finally, it was time. Why they had been sitting here watching the seagulls and smelling the salt water was beyond his capacity to understand, thought Captain Neil Larson. Clearly, Admiral Johnson was getting scared in his old age. It happened to the best of them. There just came a point when you weren’t willing to take the necessary risks. But that’s what the new officers were for, he thought. Give us the positions and let the old out to pasture.
“Then target last sighting and fire!” At last, he had a chance to prove himself! Captain Larson smiled as the thunder of the forward batteries sounded in the still air.
- Miss (Canada, B-2)
- Miss (Canada, E-10)
- Attack (Canada, F-2)
- Attack (Canada, A-7)
“We missed again!” Admiral Rosaline Stone slammed her fist into the railing. “I can’t believe this!”
The two enemy fighter jets could be seen by all, circling as a vulture does its dead prey. “They’ve got eyes on us, but they won’t be able to lock on until the EM field dissipates.”
“Captain Jackson, get me Dr Greer.”
The seconds seemed to pass like hours, and Admiral Stone knew that for each one that passed, her men had less and less time before the enemy returned fire. She thought of making contact with the enemy fleet, but that was risky. Communications were, but the enemy had no way of knowing that. Any attempt would be seen as hostile and they’d be fired upon.
“What are my options…” she said out loud.
Dr. Greer stood behind her with the Captain. Greer fidgeted with a notebook as he waited to be acknowledged.
“Do you have any good news for me?”
He shook his head ‘no’.
“Then give me the bad.”
“The damage to our navigation systems and radar systems is permanent. I cant fix it here, we’ll need to dock and do a complete overhaul. I’ve tried everything I know, but nothing seems to be working. I’m sorry, Admiral.”
“Don’t be. I have a question though. How long will it take for the EM field to dissipate?”
“Twenty minutes or so, but like I said, it won’t do us any good. Our instrumentation is fried. I can’t fix it.”
“That’s alright. You won’t have to. Dr Greer, I want you to prep the generator for another pulse. Highest settings. You have five minutes.”
“What?” Captain Jackson moved in a bit closer, unsure of what he had just heard.
“See those birds? They are gonna come down on us first chance they get. If we keep the EM field up, we keep the warships blind, and the birds circling. It’s our best chance of survival.”
Stone held her breath as two more missiles moved in. The enemy was using their same technique. One exploded out in the open, apparently searching for a new target. Only one missile headed toward the Aura Mainyu. The familiar mushroom of seawater climbed into the air as the weapon missed its target. The ship had been lucky, for the second time. Admiral Stone knew that they weren’t going to be lucky again.
“If it weren’t for this disruption field, the Aura Mainyu would be at the bottom of the ocean. Let’s make the best of our little hindrance. Now, pick new targets and fire as soon as your able.”