Edit: I've updated and will continue to update my post at the starting topic to include Strikecraft wings/squadrons.https://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=95086.msg1875778#msg187577819th Battlegroup, Delta Serpentis
With the rest of the Green Knights burning hard to reach the skirmish at the node, the eight fighters with the GTCv Alamut finally engaged. With disbelief Fighting Griffon lead watched one Basilisk getting blown to smithereens by his Trebs, while the last managed to hit his burners in the last second, narrowly evading the Trebs which detonate on the Alamut’s hull.
The comm was alive with chatter of the pilots.
In her cockpit Green Knight 2 watches a Nahema getting shredded by Anti Fighter beams, but realising too late, that a Mara had lined up behind her. Evading one missile, her Atalanta is being hit repeatedly by the Mara. With shields failing, hull integrity dropping and another missile alarm screaming, Green Knight 2 remembers the words of the Admiral upon welcoming his air wing:
“Each of you is a skilled fighter but make no mistake: While you fly very expensive crafts, you’re worth more than your ships. A Fighter can be replaced, a pilot not!”
With the alarm growing more urgent, Green Knight 2 punches the ejection mechanism.
“Green Knight 2, ejecting!”
Time seemed to be slowing down, as first the canopy gets blown away and afterwards, Green Knight 2 is being propelled into the cold void. Engaging her emergency thruster, she begins putting distance between herself and the combat, heading for the Battlegroup.
Fighting Griffon 3 and 4 however are fighting for their dear life, as Green Knight 4 is breaking off to retreat, heavily damaged. As Fighting Griffon 3s Nyx is taking a severe beating by a Mara and Astaroth, being disabled in the process, Fighting Griffon 4 manages to destroy the Mara with primaries and the Astaroth with secondaries.
While Fighting Griffon 1, 2 and 4 gang up on the two remaining Maras, chasing them down with Balor and Harpoon fire, Green Knight 1 and 3 take on the Astaroth with the same weapons.
All the while White Scar squadron is racing at 210ms to join combat, ready to take a clear shot at the remaining Nahema with their Trebs. Likewise, the eight remaining Atalantas of the Green Knights are closing in at 170ms, ready to engage anything with Harpoons and Balors.
On the bridge of the Phoenicia Admiral Schulz had watched the combat in grim silence. Ramses and his life warden had joined him, with Ramses being busy with long range communications, most likely with the Emperor himself.
As Green Knight 2 explodes, Christopher winced, dispatching a SAR ship to pick the pilot up.
Lt. Wilson, having come to terms with the situations, informs him of another message from Rear Admiral Mitchell. Nodding towards Wilson, the message is relayed to his own comm piece in his ear:
“"Neptune HQ is secure for now, Admiral, but the Shivans have a strong presence near the node, and they'll be waiting for you when you arrive.
We'll spare as many ships as we can to try to clear you a path, but you should expect to take a few losses.
One more thing - these Shivans seem to be disorganized. They don't seem to have a clear plan - it's sort of like the behavior they showed towards the end of the Great War after the Lucifer was taken out.
If I had to guess, I'd say they're just as surprised to be here as we were to encounter them. Their ships and weapons are also nearly identical to what we faced in Capella - no noticeable improvements.
Now that they've lost the element of surprise, we should be able to win this with the aid of your battlegroup. Please make haste, though."
Nodding to himself he thought for a moment.
“Rear Admiral, I need to know what I will face. I need either a GTVA or UEF stealth wing to scout the node, failing that, I’ll send my own Pegasi. Besides, do you have anything able to vector in subspace strikes? The Phoenicia can soften up enemy targets.”
Closing the channel, he opens another one.
“99th Warring Amazons, prepare to deploy. I want two wings of Pegasus out of the hangar bay ASAP. Two Pegasi will swap their second missile bank with a targeting pod. You will recon the node and are to not engage any enemies. Once confirmed, I need you to vector in Eos torpedos at shivan beam cannons.”
Closing this channel as well, he nodded to himself. The 99th Warring Amazons had been handpicked by their Captain, for skill and ability to follow orders to the letter. Having demanded the squadron name, their captain had created an all-women squadron.
The targeting pod was a recent addition to the rooster of strikecraft systems. Being installed into a secondary weapons bay, once activated the fighter just needed to point a tight beam at a target. The Eos Torpedo had been upgraded to home in on the endpoint of the beam, thus being guided to mission critical targets. Besides, the targeting pods transmitted targeting data directly to the Eos via subspace communications.
Christopher just hoped that the rumoured Sathanas was not blockading the node.
Nine destroyers with attendant capital assets would prove a challenge, but he trusted on his own battlegroup to pull this off.