Orion and Hecate destroyers each carry a crew of ten thousand. In order to capture a ship this large, you'd need two things: 1) a way to utilize surprise and 2) sufficient firepower to subdue (but not necessarilty kill) the crew.
(Slightly off-topic: This isn't FS canon, but it might be reasonable to assume that terran and Vasudan destroyers might have internal security systems (like anesthetic gas maybe?) to subdue intruders that somehow make it onto the ship.)
A Marine unit alone would probably be enough to be sufficient security system for a Terran destroyer. That being said, a 5 minute operation doesn't really sound like a reasonable time to capture a destroyer even if Moss' comandos have everything go their way. Obviously, the quicker the commandos secure the ship, the better it is for them, but five minutes is just too small a time to secure a 2-kilometer-long capital ship (please see below).
In order to capture a Terran destroyer, several objectives would have to be accomplished ASAP.
Objective 1: Secure the Bridge. The commandos need to secure the CO of the ship so he cannot give orders to any of his crew. The Bridge is the command center/brain of the ship; the ship's course, weapons, communications (did someone mention sending an SOS?) and other vital systems are controlled here. If the Bridge is not secured, then no capture operation can succeed.
Objective 2: Secure the Engineering Section. Engineering is where the ship's speed can be controlled if access to the bridge is cut off. While the ship's course/steering can only be controlled from the Bridge, that is worthless if the Chief Engineer can simply turn off the engines so the commandos can't slip away with their prize. If the destroyer is stranded in space and can't be taken to Moss' base, the commandos will have to abort the capture operation as GTVA reinforcements will soon arrive to take the ship back.
Objective 3: Neutralize the Marines. Obviously, the Marines have to be negated as a fighting force if the commandos are to take the ship with a minimum of casualties. The ship's Marines don't necessarily have to be killed in room-to-room combat (in fact, that would be a last resort), but they need to be disarmed and made unable to fight. Locking the marines in their quarters before they know what is going on would be one ideal option. Pumping the afore-mentioned anesthetic gas into the ship's air ventilation system to put the Marines (and maybe the crew as well?) to sleep would be another option. However it is done, the Marines need to be neutralized and quickly so that they and the ship's crew cannot take the ship back.
Objective 4: Secure the ship's Crew. This is similar/related to Objective 3. If the crew is not subdued, they will pose a threat to the commandos as they will fight just as hard as the ship's Marines to take the ship back. Furthermore, if the commandos aren't trained sufficiently to control the ship themselves (having commandos with this training would increase the operation's odds of success, however), they'll need the crew alive to move the ship.
All four of these objectives need to be accomplished in as short a time as possible. I suppose it needs to be said that I think getting a commando force onto a destroyer has to be done with stealth rather than firepower. According to this story (if I am correct), Moss doesn't have the resources to take a destroyer by flat-out force, so he'll have to rely on a much more subtle way to get his commandos on board. A "bait-and-switch" manuver would help here. My idea is this: Arrange the target destoryer to be inspected by a flag officer and his entourage. This would be the commandos in disguise. Once they are aboard the ship, the commando leader (disguised as the inspecting flag officer) would have an excuse to get onto the bridge with the ship's Captain. Once the bridge and the Captain are secured (and prevent any of the bridge crew from calling for help from the crew and Marines or sending a distress signal to the rest of the GTVA fleet), the commandos could then shut off the ship's weapons, allowing a second, larger commando force to dock with the destroyer, which would then secure the Engineering section, then the Marines and the crew.
5 minutes seems like far too short a time to complete the capture of a destroyer; in all likelyhood, it would maybe take longer, maybe 30 to 60 minutes for an operation like this. At least this much time is needed for Team 1 to get on board and secure the bridge and allow Team 2 to arrive in its transport and dock then complete its objectives. If things go wrong (as is very possible since no operation ever goes off without a hitch), it could take as long as 2 hours to secure the entire ship. Obviously, the quicker all 4 objectives are accomplished the better.
The overriding principle here is that stealth and surgical precision is of more use here than flat-out firepower.
Hope this helps, Adwight.
------------------FRED Zone's Grammar editor/ FS history moderator
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"I created your civilization...now I will destroy it!"
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[This message has been edited by Su-tehp (edited 01-07-2002).]