Chapter 6: Blacklisted: Part 2
“I instructed the helmsman to drop out of hyperspace early so we could survey the scene.” Mira began.
“Why didn’t you just engage the battle?”
“We were coming in late to the game. That would’ve been tactically stupid.”
“We already knew we were up against a superior enemy. A forward attack had little success of victory– even with superior numbers.”
Mira was more focused now. It sounded like Blake was attempting to hold her accountable for the destruction of Garrison Gunships, through her hesitation to fight. She was not impressed.
“Even though we were lightyears away, we still had eyes on the battlefield. I instructed Engineering and Communication to record and analyze battle tactics while we were still en route.”
She sighed. “To be honest, Sir? I didn’t know. We were at least 50 minutes out. I thought at the very least, we could track the battles progress and understand where the Garrison needed us once we arrived.”
“Okay.” Blake leaned back in this chair.
“2 minutes out, I ordered both Engineering and Communication to send their data to me. I needed to bring myself up to speed on where we needed to go. But while I merged and parsed the data, something occurred to me.” Mira got lost in her thoughts. “There were certain.. patterns between the commands the Garrison Gunships were given, and the activity of the NýX Marauders.”
“Elaborate.” Blake listened intently.
“It was subtle, but a fraction of a second before a Gunship targeted a Marauder, it would veer slightly to the right– just enough to avoid a weapons impact. I don’t know if they were tapping into communications or if there was some sorta ‘tell’ in a Gunship’s firing cycle.. but it was there. In the 48 minutes we recorded while en route, this occurrence happened 93.7% of the time.”
“Interesting.” Blake smiled.
“Battle resources went to the gun salvo’s and the shields. The rest was useless at the moment. So i ordered Engineering to pick 3 enemy ships and target two of our salvo guns to each of their firing patterns. But then slightly misalign each gun 2% off-axis to the right.”
Blake laughed. “I read that in the report, but I couldn’t believe it was something that simple.”
“I agree, Sir.” she replied. “We plotted a course through the battlefield, focusing on staying clear of the gunfire. If the NýX had had a bigger fleet, they might have been able to recover. Lucky for us, they didn’t. I instructed Communication to transmit the misalignment script to all other ships with instructions.”
Blake gave her the grin of a proud father. “You must’ve been elated by the success.”
“I didn’t see it that way, Sir.” Her mood came down. “As soon as the NýX fleet focus their firepower on us, I gave the order to abandon ship. Only 14 out of our 43 escape pods made it out of range before we lost the Titan.”
Blake powered down the holo-screen while Mira continued.
“I lost 83 crew mates. A lot of them I considered good friends. I knew their families. I trained them. Some I hand-picked for the Titan.”
“They were soldiers.” Blake said. “This is what they were trained for. They gave their lives for the Alliance. Just like you and I would’ve done.”
“None the less. It was a tragedy. I never wanted to come back to this place.” She lowered her head. “Too many memories.”
There was an uncomfortable silence for almost a minute. Blake stared at the General as she simply stared at her clasped hands on-top of the table. He studied her; trying to understand her. She presented tactical expertise that could only be found in someone detached from the hinderance of emotion. Yet, he could see she grieved for her lost crew mates.
“General..” Blake started. “Tell me what you know about Blacklist?”