After the laughter everyone’s mood seemed uplifted. I promised in my heart that I should get Captain Berbouz for this someday. Nah, just kidding. I’m glad that I could give a little laughter to the crew, enough for them to forget that they may die soon when we engage the alien.
“So, Berbouz. Let’s talk about the plan again”, I asked Berbouz. Well, now that we had shared a good laugh (which I had been humiliated), I felt like at least I could call Berbouz without “captain” once in a while.
“Well, our task force consists of few plasma cruisers, some various frigates (AF, Snipers), and few squadron of fighters. I think we should use the standard formation”.
“Comm, any news from Atrima?”, I asked.
“No Sir. I’ve been trying to contact them. No reply yet. Probably too much interference or…”
“Or, the local garrison fell so quickly”, I continued. Which was not surprising since we only put few frigates and squadrons. No cruisers. We didn’t thought that the Empire alien would attack after all those peaceful ages.
“So, Berbouz, yeah I think standard formation would be good. It’s the most balanced one in terms of attack and defense. We don’t have any information on the alien ships anyway”.
I gave the crew one hour break for them to do anything they want as long as they kept their professionalism. And most of them spent it doing various things that people who were going to die likely do: sending (last) video message to loved ones, hot shots trying to score with pretty ensigns by convincing them that it may be the last moment they have together, etc.
For myself, I recorded two videos. One was for my son, and the 2nd for who else? Zoey. I sent the video for my son right away. And now I’m recording the one for Zoey.
“Well, Zoey”, I spoke to the camera in my private quarter.
“Looks like this may be my last mission. Captain Berbouz said that we may have a chance to win and he’s optimistic about it. But I don’t know. Sigh. You know me for long. I’ve always been optimistic too, no matter how desperate the situation is. But somehow this time I have a little doubt about this mission. Maybe it’s because of my age?”
I paused for several minutes, it’s just the emotion in my heart was too much. I felt regret…
But with all my strength I managed to smile.
“Zoey. No matter how much I say sorry, it won’t make it up for what I have done to you. But, still, I want you to know that I’m so truly sorry, and I beg for your forgiveness”.
“I love you”
With that, I pressed the Option button and set it up so that the message would only be sent few hours later, just in time when we engage the alien and if somehow I survive, I would cancel the video. It would be nice if Zoey watch the video after I die, but how embarrassing it would be if I’m alive.
Funny. Somehow I felt all my burden was lifted off my shoulders. I felt fresh and focus.
(Several hours later)
“We’re preparing to jump out of the hyperspace, Captain!”
“All crew battle stations”, I ordered. My mind was calm. I was ready… ready for everything… ready for even death.
We jumped out of the hyperspace and suddenly there was chaos all around us. Ship wrecks, frozen bodies. And a few clicks in front of us we saw an explosion of the last defender from the garrison.
“All ships in position, Berbouz!”
“Very well. Remember the plan. Concentrate fire on one ship at a time”
“We’re in range, Sir”, my weapon officer yelled.
“Follow the target from Captain Berbouz and fire at will”
“Aye aye, Sir. Plasma away!”
And so we battled the Empire alien. Captain Berbouz was correct. Our weapons did work against them. Especially after our cruisers managed to knock their shields off, our snipers frigates with their long range laser cannons had no difficulties making holes in the enemy’s hulls. They did sent fighters to get our frigates but the Anti fighter frigates were doing excellent job.
This battle is a very valuable documentation for our propaganda department and most importantly for our ICI folks to study this alien tactics and capability.
“Yeahhhh!”, we all cheered when we destroyed the last alien ship.
“Good job, all!”, Berbouz broadcasted his message to all ships.
I was congratulating the crew in the bridge when suddenly I remember… Damn! I forgot to cancel the video to Zoey!