's forward LIDAR
batteries, being designed specifically to detect and blast away interstellar debris, quickly ascertained the presence of the High Shale
's chaff clouds. Some of the clouds were thus blasted away, while engineering injected water into the ship's fusion drive stream to give the Revelation
just enough of a thrust boost so that it would arrive in the threatened volume of space before the cloud could. Thus, despite a few near-misses, the Revelation
was unharmed by this phase of the attack. On Lain's orders, Salt and his department launched drones, which in turn launched masses of fusion torpedoes tipped with nuclear-excited laser emitters. The High Shale
responded in kind, and the battle was on.
One of the gunnery techs aboard Revelation
fired point defense lasers early despite Lain's orders to hold fire until they were closer, inadvertently showing the enemy how far away Revelation
could hit incoming projectiles with these weapons. This resulted in the enemy torpedoes detonating early, causing little in the way of explosive damage but raking Revelation
's hull with high-energy laser blasts. Damage control drones were deployed to the hot spots on the hull while the rest of the combat drones quickly overwhelmed the more missile-centric Aniki cruiser complement.
by BCGR_Wurth (background by Beat Schuler via Unsplash)
Before the drones could turn their attention to the carrier itself, the High Shale
managed to find a weakness in the Revelation
's firewalls and exploit it, forcing Knight-Specialist Astenos Fox
to reset the control computer systems to prevent a full takeover. While Salt and his fellow pilots were blinded, the drones fought on, expending their torpedo complements and suffering heavy attrition without guidance from their home vessel. By the time Revelation
's systems were back online - a matter of only a minute or so - most of the drones were either thrown far off-course, destroyed, or empty of any useful ordinance.
In a last-ditch effort to kill the Aniki attackers, Salt directed his own complement of drones to move into a direct intercept course with the star carrier. While this would be a hard maneuver to pull off in the time remaining before the carrier whizzed past - and would leave Revelation
down some drones it couldn't yet replace - it also ensured the carrier would be mission-killed before reaching Evermorn. Only one drone got into the path of the carrier in time, but it was enough to do the job. The car-sized drone crashed into the carrier at relativistic speed, turning the asteroid-turned-spacecraft into a smear of hot dust. The High Shale
shot past the Revelation
as a noticeably red-shifted streak in the colony vessel's caudal multispectral scopes