Admiral’s Fall – Sneak Peek Chapter 3
Chapter: The Calm Before the Storm
“Point transfer successful,” Navigation reported promptly as soon as Baselard arrived in the star system.
“Initiating breakout protocol,” reported the Helm.
“Activate the long range array and prepare for upload,” ordered Front Admiral Willard Featherby.
“Depending on the size of the sump that could be problematic, Sir,” advised the Com-Officer.
Front Admiral Featherby shot the communications officer a hard look.
He looked back at the Admiral helplessly.
“This is a destroyer, Sir. Our array isn’t as sturdy as something build into the hull of a larger vessel like a cruiser or battleship,” he explained, “if we try at activate the array, then depending on the number of gravities are in the sump we’re experiencing.”
“It’s been too long since I’ve served on lighter ships,” he muttered.
The Junior Lieutenant at Baselard’s communication’s desk wisely kept silent.
“Alright then prepare to deploy the array and upload the files I’m sending you now as soon as Baselard’s cleared the sump,” he said finally.
“Right away, Sir,” promised the Com-Officer.
The Front Admiral stymied at his initial attempt turned to the sensor department.
“Any sign of other confederation starships?” he started to ask the sensor officer directly before switching over to the captain after remembering that while he was an admiral he was in the command center of Baselard and an admiral was only ever a guest on any captain’s deck. Which only made the fact that a destroyer was too small to hold a flag deck all the more irritating to the Admiral.
The captain checked with his crew first. A pointed reminder that while the admiral had asked this time, just moments before he’d been ordering around the captain’s crew while the captain was on deck like this were the admiral’s own ship and not his, the captains.
“No, Sir. Nothing yet,” reported the Captain.
“That’s good,” Featherby said in relief.
Several minutes later CSS Baselard broke free of the sump and the communications department hurried to deploy the array and upload the message.
“File packets uploaded as instructed along with your priority codes, Front Admiral,” reported the Junior Lieutenant at Coms.
“Confirm the com-stat buoy has accepted orders,” said Featherby.
The Com-Officer turned back to his console and then nodded.
“Orders confirmed accepted by the buoy, Sir,” reported the Com-Officer.
“Excellent. Anything in the buoys log that shows we weren’t the first to send a message home reporting the results of the battle?” asked Featherby.
“No, Sir. The log is clean,” said the Com-Officer.
“Captain prepare the ship for jump and proceed to the rendezvous point as soon as feasible,” ordered Featherby.
Nodding with a serious face the Captain turned back to his officers and bridge crew and began snapping out orders.
For their part no one on the bridge bothered to ask why they’d arrived in this system, dropped a message, and then immediately prepared to depart. They didn’t ask because even if they had their suspicions, such actions were well above their pay grade.
“Preparing ship for jump,” said the Captain.
Half an hour later when a large battleship jumped into the star system and immediately tried to contact the buoy nothing happened.
Nothing happened because the com-stat buoy was already in the process of recharging after contacting the next FTL buoy in the chain leading straight back home to the capital of the Confederation. The battleship would have to wait until after the recharge.
Of course none of this mattered to the officers and crew of Baselard who had already jumped out of the star system.