Brigadier Captain Jessica Ramirez leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes, listening to the quiet, tense murmur of her bridge crew. She'd been on call for the better part of three standard earth days, and while black coffee and stims could keep you going for a while, she was beginning to feel the strain. She scrubbed at her eyes with both hands, trying to force the weariness out. She knew that she really needed sleep, but she was damned if she was going to spend the last three hours of her life sleeping.
Her ship, the HMS Hammerblow, had been stationed in the Soltaire system for three months now. Soltaire had no habitable planets, no construction yards, no mining operations and no space docks besides the tiny refueling station built specifically for Aurora Squad, the meager defense force Hammerblow was part of. It was, for all intents and purposes, a solar system devoid of any strategic value whatsoever.
So when a Dagonite assault force showed up on long distance radar, heading on a direct intercept course for Aurora Squad's flagship, the HMS Bastion, Jessica could hardly believe it. The Dagonite force was still three days out of missile range when they first spotted it, but Bastion's radar array had gotten a solid read on their numbers.
A spearhead of five dreadnoughts with a screen of seven smaller destroyers, and trailing behind them like a floating mountain was the massive shape of a breaching-class behemoth, designed for smashing through a solid wall of lasers and ship-to-ship missiles and torpedoes.
Aurora Squad consisted of a total of four ships. Hammerblow and her two sister ships, HMS Asis and HMS Marion, were all destroyers. Bastion was a much larger dreadnought, but with most of her weaponry stripped away in exchange for radar arrays and other utility tools, she was worse than useless in a battle.
Long story short, Jessica reflected, the Dagonites were going to blow Aurora Squad into so much debris and molten slag, and there was very little she could do about it. Their orders were clear: Hold Soltaire at all costs.