Decoy

Alchibah L2 Lagrange Point Day 886

From Various Log Files

Andrew Stuart

As the current position of the moon Carter masked the L2 point we decided to loiter there and were waiting for the show to begin when Ash chimed up.

“You know,” he mused, “if Bart can stick to the plan He’s gonna come through Point Luck at about 150 K/sec and still digging. Angel and Wildcat are going to have about a 9 second shot at that snake. I agree they have enough missiles down there it should work, my question is why are we stooging around up here?”

“Because I promised Bart that I would protect Janie. That Ash is why we are ignoring the 100’s and the damn useless missiles. We go with the Rail Guns, if the missile barrage fails; we show our hand and go get the Bastard!

“I would like however to not show our hand right now. If the missile storm works, it is a conventional attack and won’t raise any short-hairs. If you and I go tearing out of here at 300 G’s and smack that snake with 5 CM Railers, someone is going to have to notice.

“I don’t want that Pro up there in a position to guess my hole cards.”

“OK, Kat got the sequence?” Asked Mariana.

“Keyed in, what do we use as a clock start?”

“Here you go Kat, that’s a point on Bart’s projected route that I am designating Point Wolf. We hit the key at Wolf and you guys launch at Luck. That should give you the full nine second window.

“Andy’s not going to use those missiles for anything else so no reason to save any.”

“Heads up guys,” I said, “here comes Bart with a Snake on his ass. 4 min 50 to show time.”

William Bartlett

The augmented shuttle/lander Dora streaked up and eastward, away from the Rogon skullship that was following closely on its tail. As she got higher, above 100,000 feet. and started leaving the atmosphere and it’s heating effects behind, she sped up further until the Rogons were no longer gaining; they might even be losing some. Once the Rogon ship cleared atmosphere that was likely to change.

“Hold her straight for a bit Bart,” Janie said. “Our shields aren’t being stressed and the Rogon fire is slowing down. They must have determined that at this range they can’t hurt us. We sure can’t get into a dogfight with that thing but if I can get the timing right I just might be able to cut the shields long enough to kick out a couple of anti-ship missiles.”

“What good will that do Babe?” Bart asked while he continued plotting the path that was taking them over the horizon from the Rogon base. “Were going far to fast for those missiles to turn around and lock on to the Rogons.”

Before she had a chance to reply the fire from the Rogon energy weapons cut completely out and Janie immediately killed the shields for an instant then started them back up and repeated the process three more times in rapid succession. Between the second and third shutdown she ejected two of the four small homing devices. All the while she was kicking out chaff and flares and driving the EM scrambler at max variability. “That ought to make it look like we are having problems with shield stability. I set the missiles guidance computers to just let them coast until the Rogons fly by. If they don’t twig to what’s happening we could get a couple of shots in.”

It was not to be. Scant seconds after the missiles separated from the Dora, Rogon plasma weapons locked on and vaporized them. It happened so fast there wasn’t even time for an explosion of the warhead. Phett, phett, and they were gone.

“Good try Babe; we picked up a few more seconds. Do it again when ever you’re ready; we need every bit of lead we can manage. Carter should be coming into sight about now! Yes there it is. Keep them damn snakes guessing.”

“Here we go Janie,” Bart said as the Dora shuddered in reaction to a hit on the shield. The Rogons had made up all of the distance the had lost earlier and the shields were being driven almost to failure.. “We’re almost in an overload condition so this had better work!”

Rocco Williams

“There she is,” Rocco Williams thought to himself as he picked up the Dora on visuals. Ever since the chase started he had been monitoring the com channels, no point in Bart and Janie trying to maintain a black-out. He was a little surprised they had made it this far. Maybe the plan works after all.

Rocco had been on the inner moon for over half a day, more than one full orbit. It had taken that long to get everything set and in place. But here his experience onboard the Mayflowers in it’s previous life as a mining asteroid, and the help of the mining bots to do the heavy lifting, paid off. He made it with time to spare. In fact he had finished up the last of his part working on the side of the rock facing away from the planets surface even before he was passing over the Rogon camp on South Alchibah.

Two of the bots were finishing up the final wiring and signal circuits when he returned to the inflatable tent on the side of the moon that faced the planet. The com gear and other electronics were the easy part. Keeping this kludge of a Radar running was harder. Then in his ear came Mariana Stuart.

Rocco listened to Mariana and watched as Bart took the Dora as close to the moon’s surface he dared. He passed directly over side of the moon facing away from the planet and changed course at once, now driving towards the darkness of the planet below and getting the moon between him and line of sight of the Rogon skullship.

* * *
“Distance must close,” the Rogon commander of the skullship Dragonshead 2 ordered as the Rogon pilot started to drift wide from the moon for more clearance. “Follow in line. They will be back in sight soon, we will give away no distance. For human ship the end is at hand. No chance do we take that they make atmosphere before we complete mission and finish with weakones our dealings. This effrontery is not tolerable and end must.

“Aye, aye, Master Sir,” the pilot replied in a weak mimic of what a human might have said and readjusting the ship’s trajectory so that it would fly over the moon’s rocky surface almost as closely as the ship fleeing in front of him. This chase was about to end.

Strike Force Forward; COl Andrew Stuart, Commanding

“He appears to right on track and that Snake don’t look like he is going to quit any time soon. Watch the screens and get ready.” Andy called out.

At about 30 seconds out everyone heard Mariana in that low evil voice she could get, “Here, Kitty Kitty Kitty.”

The screens flashed Wolf and the sound of keys going home was rapidly replaced by Luck. All six multi-Barrel missile launchers flared in a clear show of overkill. I have no idea how many of that Barrage actually got the frontal collision impact we were looking for. That’s what slow speed playbacks are for. But the cloud of gas and debris moving on the ballistic track where a Skull Ship had been said that it had been enough.

“OK, let’s wait for Bart to get back and it should be just about time for Firebird and River. Let’s go pick up Angel, Wildcat and Rocco while we are waiting.”

Bart’s voice came over the comms, “We will be back in a few. We have Firebird on sensors. We will lock up with her.”

We loitered till Bart and Jai joined up, than went into a 4 ship V. Once we were in unison I slid out into the spacing for a 5 ship V with one empty hole and we started the spiral down at one G. We made one pass over Liberty and settled onto the landing field still in that formation.

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Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
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