Writer’s Note: Instrument of Surrender (Part Four) was published originally in Jump Point 4.8. You can read Part One here, Part Two here, and Part Three here.
“Concentrate fire; too many shots are missing the stern,” Commander Wallace barked as she looked out to survey the battle. Hypnotic waves of laser fire flew between the two ships. For a brief moment, she forgot about the potential death that each streak represented and got lost in its strange beauty.
This was it. Crescent’s chance to stop the Tevarin capital ship from attacking Crion. The Tevs were trapped between them and a swathe of anti-ship mines. Since its powerful phalanx shield could only defend one side at a time, it was deployed between their bow and the minefield, exposing the ship’s stern for attack.
“Signature spike . . . starboard side, main cannon,” cried Starman Daughtry.
The warning returned Commander Wallace to reality. She checked their angle then made a quick calculation. “Forward another 1,000 meters, adjusting yaw plus ten. Full strength to bow shields.”
The massive ship lurched forward and turned just as the Tevs took their shot. The blast sailed narrowly passed their starboard side. The crackle of shield energy showed just how close the barrage had been.
Coburn bellowed from his terminal, “Tev shields have swung again. We’ve got an angle on their starboard side thruster.”
Commander Wallace looked to the hologlobe. Coburn was right.
“Reduce bow shields to 50% and divert to the railgun. I want that starboard side thruster nonexistent, clear?”
Coburn looked to Commander Wallace. She’d let him have this one.
Coburn grinned. “Fire!”
Wallace watched the railgun shot sail through space and punch through the thruster. Multiple internal explosions detonated inside the gaping hole until the whole thing finally went up.
The bridge exploded into cheers as Wallace sank against the railing, breathing a sigh of relief. The Tevs would have a tough time navigating out of this asteroid belt without that thruster. Let alone executing their intended attack on Crion.
“They’re launching ships, sir!” called Starman Tillman.
Tevarin fighters and boarding vessels poured into space and then scattered. A few disappeared on the far side of the Tevarin ship to disarm the anti-ship mines. Meanwhile, the majority of the ships set their sights on Crescent.
“Coburn, lock us down. We can’t let any —”
But Coburn cut her off. “Got a report from Hernandez in sector six. They already caught a Tev.”
That must have been our saboteur, she thought. Who knows how many have already infiltrated.
“Seal all bulkheads and get Marines to search every inch of this ship, starting with sectors housing major components or connected to the bridge.”
Suddenly, the phalanx shield materialized between Crescent and the Tevarin ship. Doing further damage to them just got a lot more difficult.
Then the realization struck Commander Wallace. While crippling the Tevarin ship might mean Crion was safe, it also ensured the Tevs would bring to bear everything they had against Crescent.
Between what that boarder did to our power and their blown thruster, neither of us are leaving this area anytime soon, she thought. At least not both of us.