Seikai no Senki:Volume4 Chapter8

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Chapter 8: Inbound Piercing Arrow[edit]


"Attention, this is the Captain (Salerl)" Lafiel broadcasted inside the warship.
"As announced earlier, the ship will be entering into a super high-acceleration of eight hours.
Four hours later we will have normal acceleration for 15 minutes as a break, but until then it is vital to stay in your seats.[will be life threathening to leave your seats]
The acceleration alarm claxon (Duniit) had been sounded a minute ago. There is a delay of 10 minutes until then. It is better to finish up your business before it's too late."

Two auxiliary engines have been installed to the port and starport side of the attack ship (Sopaïc) "Flicaubh". They are simple machines which can only provide thrust.
They increase the basic thrust of the "Flicaubh", which will drive the attack ship to its final acceleration design limit.
The gravity control system (Wameria) cannot neutralize all of the high-acceleration.
Just like astronauts in ancient times without the gravity control system, the crew-members did not like to be held down by the acceleration.
Of course the "Flicaubh" was not the only ship being forced to this penance.
All ships from the 1st Devastation Squadron (Sov Direr Kasna) have been schedule to go into highspeed.

"One minute before high acceleration commences." reported Gurinshia.

Lafiel sounded the alarm claxon (Duniit).

"All hands, take a seat." Ekuryua was extremely businesslike in her function as executive officer.
"Check your safety belts."

"Chief engineer(Bynkerl), start countdown 30 seconds before." Lafiel ordered.

"Aye." Gurinshia answered.

The seats transformed from a chair to a bed configuration. The beds opposed the pseudo-gravity, allowing them to endure the force.

"30 seconds to go. Starting countdown. 25, 24, 23......" Gurinshia's voice spread through the entire warship.

"All hands, confirm your seats." Jinto said.

Even if there was a fool who was running around, he wouldn't be doing it for long.

"Adjust gravity control system (Wameria) to high acceleration procedure." Lafiel ordered.

"Aye." Jinto answered. "Switching to high acceleration adjustment successful."

The artificial gravity disappeared.

"...... Five, four, three, two, one, commencing acceleration!"

The "Flicaubh" was enveloped by a powerful and strange vibration.

On initiation of the acceleration procedure, the gravity control system (Wameria) turned its full power towards the bow, against the pseudo-gravity.
However, acceleration went beyond it. The remaining force of acceleration, 10 standard gravity (Demon), pressed the crew-members tightly down into their seats.
Unlike the Abh who are accustomed to gravity changes, it will be tough for people from a land world (Nahen).
As nothing can be done during full acceleration, the crew had been permitted to go to bed, but perhaps it would be a painful sleep. Many people will have nightmares.
Orbital arsenals and satellites were orbiting the planet Akaddo. The largest ones were warship shipyards, which are the objectives of the 1st Devastation Squadron (Sov Direr Kasna).

The attack ships were to accelerate to a velocity of 0.02 of the speed of light, and destroy the target with the electromagnetic projectile cannons (Irgyuf).
This was a very simple operation.
Of course, the Fleet will be detected from far away. Naturally, the enemy will try to intercept and in order to thwart the attack.
Therefore, the assault ship (Gairh) from the advance force will act as the main force, and will close in on the orbital shipyards to engage enemy ships.
The 1st Devastation Squadron will be the arrow which is shot into the battle. The sharpness of the arrow would decide whether this strategy was a success or not.

"Auxiliary engines are working normally." reported Gurinshia.

However, this was obvious without such a report. Landers will probably notice this acceleration and the vibration (even) without the spatial-sensor organ (Frosh).
In order to lighten the burden on Arbof during the high acceleration, the flight staff officer (Lodairl Garerl) will take turns at the helm.
And, Lafiel got the first turn.
It was a boring flight where it only goes straight, but it was not so for Lafiel who hasn't flown a ship in a long time.
In spite of the danger of the mission, which was close at hand, Lafiel was excited.
But soon, she became sorrowful.
This acceleration was very mild for the Abh. To enjoy the acceleration it would have to be more intense.
If you have to put up with the pain of breathing with broken ribs, and feeling as if you are wearing a lump of neutrons, that would deserve to be called high acceleration.

She felt uneasy, and wondered if her sense of flying had probably become dull.
It was the result of her spending her valuable long vacation with Jinto on land world (Nahen).
She was regretting it, but she decided to think forward.
Because it was such a significant experience, she did not have to regret it. In addition, there will be many opportunities from now on to steer a ship.

Jinto soon could not bear the load.
Compared to a land world (Nahen), one's own weight had become five times as much.
What was more troublesome was that his bones and muscles had been adapted to Abh standard gravity (Demon), and appeared to have made him weaker.

The control console (Kuro) display surface rose and placed itself before his eyes.
While remembering that the facial skin was stretching, he inspected the condition of all displayed crew-members.
There was no particular problem.
It seemed everyone properly settled down in their seats. Assuming, if there was even a person who didn't manage to be seated, Jinto wouldn't be able to do anything about it.
He looked back over his shoulder. There was a door far below. I will fall down the moment I roll just a bit to the side.

If it were under standard gravity (Demon) it would not hurt from this height, but now it would be a blessing to come off without a bone fracture.

There should have been some crew members(Sash) who slept in higher places.
Though, they should have been accustomed to it. As a Kalique (Karik) does not have a gravity control system (Wameria), moving under such acceleration is essential.
When sitting down in the front row, it will become a predicament which equals a height of a 10 stores building.
Normal acceleration of a Kalique was 4 standard gravity (Demon), therefore, this high acceleration will indeed be a new experience.

He was not able to go to sleep - so Jinto had decided to be ready.
The crew's health was the responsibility of the ship's clerk (Wiig).
In other words, it was Jinto's work on the "Flicaubh".
Right now, there was no report of abnormalities from anyone.
The life signs of the crew-members on the display of the control console appeared normal.

Suddenly, Jinto felt nostalgic.
This reminds me of the time I spent a short trip with Lafiel on the "Goslauth".
To be exact, it was the second time, but it was subjectively the first time that day Jinto came into the world of the Abh.
I was carefree then, Jinto thought. There was uncertainty in the new world, but he didn't think of death.

It was possible to escape the fear of sudden death temporarily if he threw away his court rank (Sune), and abandon his military duty.
However, Jinto had no intention of doing that.
In comparison there was one good thing that came out from boarding the "Goslauth". Currently, Jinto was not worried about the future.
Already, he cannot live any other way than as Abh nobility (Bar Sif).
There was no other place to be.

Ekuryua felt nostalgic for the old days again while dozing off.
Her turn did not come yet, but her connection chain (Kiseg) was already connected to the control console. The scenery from outside the warship streamed into her spatial-sensor organ.
It was not unusual for an Abh as Ekuryua wasn't born in Lakfakalle. She was born on a trade ship.
According to records, she was born during a flight which was underway in plane-space (Fath) in the Barke Kingdom (Fek Barkal), but of course she didn't have any recollection, and she could not care less.
As an Abh her father was probably an eccentric person. Espescially because only a few humans would bring an artificial womb (Janyu) aboard a trade ship.

Her father was whimsical, and doted upon her young self. But when five years had passed, he seemed to have grown tired of parenting, and sent her to the orbital residence (Garish) in Lakfakalle where the whole family lived in with one cat.
So, she lived aboard a trade ship until she was five years old.
Until then, the number of humans she met was limited. Her father and several cats were all there was in her world.

"Navigator (Rilbiga)." she heard the Captain (Salerl) voice. "It's your turn. Take over the helm."

For a moment, Ekuryua's consciousness was at the boundary between dream and reality.

"Do you hear me, Ekuryua?" asked Lafiel. She was worried.

"Aye." Ekuryua answered.

"If you feel sick, I could do a little longer, would that be alright?" this time rather than being worried, her tone was like not expecting anything.

"That is not necessary."
She inserted her hand into the control glove (Gooheik). The arm was a little heavy, but it was not a problem.
"Captain (Salerl). I'm ready to take over."

"Alright." a subtle voice mixed with disappointment. "It's all yours."

Thank you, Your Highness. She said only in her mind.

Whatever the warship sensed was streamed through her spatial-sense into her brain.

She felt the sister-ships around.
Occasionally, the trade ship Ekuryua was on flew alongside other ships.
At such times, her father would always let her sit in the co-pilot's seat and let her feel the outside through her spatial-sense.
"It's a competition." It seemed as if she could hear her father saying. "Daddy will win."
The competition was far from exciting. The ship appeared to be flying almost in parallel before gradually falling behind.
The reason was probably because the acceleration performance was not so much different.
Even now it was no different. No, it was perhabs more trivial.
The acceleration performance of the sister-ships were the same. They were the same type of warship, of course.
Therefore, the relative position to each other did not change as if they were connected by an invisible stick.
Suddenly one ship fell behind. It was the "Krolcaubh".

""Krolcaubh", what's going on?" the Commander (Leshiek) voice could be heard.

"Output of the second auxiliary engine is unstable." answered the flight officer (Lodair) of the "Krolcaubh".

""Krolcaubh", Captain (Salerl)." Atosuryua called.

"Yes, here is Vice Hecto-Commander (Roibomowas) Bomdel."

"Can you maintain the current output?"

"I don't know."
A moment of silence fell.

"Understood, "Krolcaubh". You may withdraw."

"But, Commander." the Captain (Salerl) of the "Krolcaubh" refuted. "There are no abnormalities with the warship itself. And the other auxiliary engine is all right."

"That is not enough. You realize that, don't you?"

"......Roger. May you have fortunes of war."

"Thank you, "Krolcaubh". And, we will meet again afterwards."

In Ekuryua's spatial-sense the "Krolcaubh" was falling behind. No, perhaps one had fallen was more correct.
It seemed to have stopped accelerating, and suddenly fell quickly behind. It was already far behind.
When he won the competition, my father would always sing a song. It was mostly improvised.
She liked many kinds of songs, but without any exceptions she liked her father's songs.
Ekuryua wanted to sing a song to herself, but stopped although she had already composed the lyrics in her mind.
A very good song was made. But she recognized herself that perhaps other people won't be able to understand just a little.
Her father's song had a bad reputation even among the whole Ekuryua family relatives.
It appeared only she inherited the sensitivity to recognize the beauty of her father's songs.
Therefore, Ekuryua Üémh Tlyzr Naurh's songs could no longer be properly evaluated by no one other than herself.


Gnombosh was tense.
Although temporary, he was steering a warship instead of a Kalique. He did it in the military officer academy (Kenru Lodairl), and even after becoming an officer trainee (Bene Lodairl) he had done it many times.
But this was real combat.

"Messenger (Kleria), are you awake?" Yatesh had been waiting for an answer.

It was time to hand over the steering to the next person.

"Yes." Gnombosh reacted immediately.

"Will you be all right?" Yatesh was insecure.

"Yes. I will be all right."

"Pull yourself together, Line Wing Officer (Fektodai). Your job is to keep it straight.
Don't try anything funny now, even if it's the original destination."

"I understand."

"Good. Hang in there."

"I will do my best." the connection chain (Kiseg) and the control glove (Gooheik) had long since been prepared. "I'm good to go anytime.
Please, let me steer the ship."

"I already turned it over."


"Oh……, Yes."
Gnombosh felt the temptation to move the fingers on his left-hand. Of course, if he were to do so it would bring the large ship off course.
He could sense a group of warships ahead.
That was an advance unit of patrol warships (Résic).
As the 1st Devastation Squadron (Sov Direr Kasna) fire power was insufficient, the patrol warships have also been assigned for this operation.
The unnecessary mines (Hoksath) for this operation have been unloaded, but the patrol warship's mass was still larger than the attack ship which gave it an inferior acceleration performance.
Compared to the attack ship its current structure was weaker, and won't tolerate the acceleration as the 1st Devastation Squadron would. Therefore, they departed first.
They had to catch up by the time the operation begins to strike. If the attack is not carried out simultaneously then the effect will be reduced to half.

Gnombosh took a big breath.
We must keep climbing up there.
For that, I mustn't rush.
I didn't do efforts for nothing, he thought, Gnombosh almost burst into laughter.
He noticed that he may have been lost his mind.
The Line Wing Officer (Fektodai) felt himself stiffening.


"The auxiliary engines have stopped. Commencing separation." Gurinshia said.

"Acknowledged." Lafiel answered.

The auxiliary engines which had exhausted fuel and propellant had separated. But their role had not ended yet.
According to the law of inertia, they kept going towards their low-priority objective.
Perhaps, they will be intercepted on the way, but that is their additional purpose.
If they hit, even if inflicting/causing slight damage, it's a gain.
Perhaps, someone devising the strategy in the General Staff, who loves harassment, doesn't know how to sit back and enjoy life.

And the separated attack ship continues the acceleration under its own power.
The artificial gravity was back towards the floor.
With that the seats also returned to their original shape.

Jinto's sigh was audible. As someone from a land world (Nahen) he relaxed.

"There are no abnormalities." Also from a land world (Nahen), Gurinshia was relaxing.

"We will be arriving in position for the bombardment in 30 minutes as planned." Added Ekuryua.

Everything was favorable.

Lafiel had left her body [to the breach of trust] and concentrated on the information which flew into the spatial-sensor organ.

When being at high-velocity, she knew the hydrogen floating in outer space would cling onto the warship body like in the atmosphere.


She became uneasy. It was different from the acceleration and the deceleration of their ancestors; the current Abh avoid these instantly with plane-space (Fath).
It was rare for the already soft/degenerate Abh to accelerate to such velocities. It was at least a new experience for her.

"Attention, this is the Captain (Salerl)." She shook off the uneasiness and turned to the crewmen.
"The ship will shortly commence the attack to destroy the enemy warship shipyard. The return won't be in such a hurry, that should put your mind at ease."

"25 minutes till we enter firing range." said Ekuryua

"Arbof, watch out for enemy warships." Lafiel ordered.

"Understood."

From a distance any movements should have been sensed.
Actually, the enemy was about to commence interception action.
However, allies have kept the enemy ships far from the course of the 1st Devastation Squadron.
Ahead, the patrol warship forces immediately went in. It seemed like wiping the dew.
Beyond the other side was the goal, the enemy warship shipyard.
Of course, it was not defenseless. The shipyard had also defensive firepower.
The 〈People's Sovereign Stellar Union star system〉 favorite use of the laser cannon (Voklanyu) in particular, is a threat.
It is more powerful than the main battery of an assault ship, which will easily fall when taking a direct hit.
Fortunately, allies have deployed a reflective cloud (Sebyl Kela). The reflective cloud will disperse the laser beam fire(Klanraj).
As some density is required, it is useless for a Fleet where allies and enemies change position excessively, but in this battle where the target and the course are fixed it is effective.


The reflective cloud was shining mysteriously.
However, the reflective cloud does not protect from all of the laser beam.
After all, the reduced power of the laser beam coming through the mist was still dangerous.
"Preparations for evasion granted." Atosuryua gave the order extra down.

"Arbof!" Lafiel ordered in response. "Prepare evasive maneuver, radius 500."

"Understood."

Arbof fired the attitude control engine a little at a time in order not to change the course.

"Captain (Salerl), incoming heavy enemy missile fire, coming toward us!" Yatesh said.

"Gnombosh" Lafiel called out to the messenger (Kleria). "Today, I will leave the gun turrets in your care.
Pay only attention to those at the front is fine. You cannot catch up with the ones passing by anyway".

"I understand." Gnombosh grabbed the control console.

"Bombardment starts in 10 minutes." Reported Ekuryua.

In front, one of the patrol warships turned into a fireball. The growing lump of plasma mass was passed by immediately to the rear.
The gun turrets discharged light (lances).
An enemy missile exploded, and filled the persistant darkness with color.


"Bombardment starts in 5 minutes."

"So far, no damage." said Gurinshia.

The patrol warship units were gradually approached. When they are lined up with them the attack starts.
Until then they had to hold out.

"Coming in contact with the reflective cloud (Sebyl Kela)." Ekuryua informed.

The rushing body of the warship was scorched by the frictional heat of the reflective cloud.
If the fog is passed through, which had been protecting the body from the laser beam, only evasion is left for protection. Closing the distance becomes more difficult.
An enemy missile passed by the 〈Flicaubh〉. However, as the relative velocity was extremely high, if it missed, there was no worry they would be pursuited.

"Messenger (Kleria)" Arbof went on.
"You have to priortize and shoot down enemy missiles that are likely to hit. Because the space is limited it is hard to maneuver here."

"Yes. I'll try." Gnombosh replied with no confidence.

"Say it with more confidence." Yatesh advised. "Because when you fail, we all die (anyway)."

"Yes." Gnombosh's eyes also looked tense.

Lafiel found an opportunity to say something, but gave it up. It was not important, and it was a good experience for Gnombosh.
When she herself was Line Wing Officer (Fektodai), she was submitted to harder and heavier pressure on the mind.


The attitude control engine of the warship puffed frequently.

Lafiel's palms were sweating damply.

The shadow of the enemy installation grew bigger in her spatial-sense, and the stern of the patrol warships came within hand's reach.

"Bombardment starts in 1 minute." said Ekuryua.

"Everyone, do you read?" Atosuryua's form appeared on the screen.
"One vessel dropped out, but there is no change in the order. The attack starts in about 1 minute.
The countdown starts 30 seconds before, adjust so that we will attack together."

"Thou were heard clearly." Lafiel stood up to warn everyone inside the warship.
"All hands, prepare the electromagnetic projectile cannon (Irgyuf) for salvo fire!"

The alarm claxon (Duniit) sounded off.

"Arbof, it is better you concentrate on steering." Lafiel ordered. "Gnombosh, thou shall prepare the bombardment."

"Aye!" the Line Wing Officer (Fektodai) answered in a high-pitched voice. "Loading completed. Safety off. Ready for bombardment."


"Internal warship systems all normal." said Gurinshia.

"No abnormality in the internal environment inside the ship. All is a combat-ready." Jinto reported.

"Bombardment starts in 30 seconds. 29, 28, 27, ... ..." the voice of the flight officer (Lodair) from the squadron headquarters (Glagaf Sov) echoed.

"Arbof, the bearing?" Lafiel confirmed.

"To miss such a big mark is difficult. There is no problem. "

The warship shipyard was huge. Hundreds of secondary production tubes were connected to the main production line of the bulbous plant.
〈Flicaubh〉's specified target was a globe which was regarded as an antimatter fuel tank factory.
Even the globe had a diameter of 2700 WesDagh.
At last, they lined up with the fleet of patrol warships.

Simultaneously, Atosuryua took command. "Commence bombardment!"

"Fire!" Lafiel ordered.

The bows of 〈Flicaubh〉's electromagnetic projectile cannon (Irgyuf) barked in unision.
The electromagnetic projectile cannon (Irgyuf) kept shooting cylindric fusion warhead (Spyut) which are loaded at the end.
The 1st Devastation Squadron (Sov Direr Kasna) and the patrol warship forces jointly launched their fusion warheads towards the enemy arsenal at relative velocities.
Sprees of fire shot from the naval laser cannon (Voklanyu) of the warship shipyard, but defense was impossible.
Almost all fusion warhead (Spyut) were absorbed up by the arsenal.


A huge structure like this becomes an easy target.
The antimatter fuel tank factory's structure could not contain the internal explosion, burst ugly, and fell off the main production tube.
The form was like an overripe pomegranate. It can no longer function as the plant it should be. And perhaps all the humans died.
The other sections of the yard were similar too. It was twisted, torn off, teared to pieces, and was exposing its paled and miserable form.

"Bombardment completed." Declared Atosuryua. "All warships, change to shelter action!"

Suddenly, a fragment in space, too huge to call it a piece, floated by the 〈Flicaubh〉.
One patrol warship made a steering mistake and crashed into the fragment

I hate to die at the last moment, Lafiel thought to herself.
Of course, everyone was probably thinking the same.

Arbof was wiping a sweat.
It was hard to say anything in this understandably tense atmosphere.

In less than a minute, they passed through the space of death, but there was still no relief yet.
The warship shipyard attack forces were planning to use the planet Akaddo's gravitational force for braking.
And, other than various arsenals, there were several small and large mobile fortresses in orbit around Akaddo.
Their welcomes must be received from now on.



Lafiel examined intel of the battle situation.

The formation of the warship shipyard attack forces have been broken. They would like to reform a proper formation, but the situation would not permit it.
There are sister ships around, but they had to act independently until gravity braking was over before gathering.

Lafiel's mind was in an uproar, the spatial-sensor organ (Frosh) clarified her thoughts.
She applied various variables into the four-dimensional space-time which she envisioned in her mind and explored the best course.
If too far from the planet, the gravitional effect would be insufficient. If too close, they would burn out in the thick atmosphere. She had to ascertain a last-minute course. It will have to be done in a hurry, too.
Lafiel finished calculating a course.

"Arbof, fire two volleys at the 101st enemy fortress."

"Aye, commencing fire."

The 101st was an ID number that the Star Force (Laburéc) had assigned. The enemy calls it by another name, but Lafiel didn't know its name, and didn't think she will ever either.


Anyway, firing the two volleys at the 101st fortress was done.
It was just suppression fire.
Without checking for target hits, Lafiel gave the next order.
When the course she decided on was sent to Arbof, "Begin deceleration with maximum power."

"Aye!"

〈Flicaubh〉 made a quick half-turn and turned around then began to decelerate at full power. That way it kept rushing toward the planet Akaddo.
It will dive under the mobile fortress group. But for some reason or another like leper's disease there is no helping it.
The 101st enemy fortress was safe. But, it seemed not to be able to afford to pay attention to the hostile craft which passed below its eyes.
Lafiel thought the same thing like the other Captain (Salerl), because it was pouring tens of fusion warhead (Spyut) elsewhere.

"Data concatenation(Lonjhoth Rirrag) has stopped." reported Yatesh.

It was a phenomenon which sometimes happened when being wrapped in the atmosphere which ionizes.

"No reason for concern." Lafiel said aloud.
That was because Gnombosh seemed to have become uneasy.
"It is only a temporary thing, or rather in the end I have the command." Once again, Lafiel reassured him.



〈Flicaubh〉 slowed down, while coming through the gravity sphere of the planet Akaddo.
There was no longer a danger of being attacked by the enemy.

"Communication, recovered," said Yatesh.

Lafiel looked for the flagship (Glaga) with her spatial-sense. But, it could not be found. The warship had to be outside the range of the spatial-sense.

"Time difference?" she asked.

"10.1 seconds."

We are separated from the flagship, she thought.

"All warships, gather at the flagship (Glaga) position." Atosuryua's voice was heard.

"Direct all hands to stand down. The crew may take rest in turns." Lafiel ordered.
"Arbof, well done."

"Thank you." The gunnery officer's (Trakia) form seemed like the statue of the title of 'fatique difficulty', but there was tension in his voice.

"You can take a rest for 8 hours. I will take over the steering."

"Yes. Well then, I will availing myself of your kind offer." Arbof saluted.

"Everyone else should take a rest, too. But, Yatesh, thou and me will take the first shift."

"It's an honor." Yatesh saluted smiling, but the expression was somehow vacant.



Then, eight hours later, Lafiel left the captain's seat (Sareribash) to Ekuryua and retreated to the Captain's room.
The warships of the 1st Devastation Squadron (Sov Direr Kasna) had formed a column and decelerated while tracing the route of return.
It was a long route and far more calmer than their coming.
Upon entering her room, Lafiel shed off her military uniform (Serlin) impatiently, and immediately fell down on the bed.
And she slept soundly.
But, the sleep was immediately broken. The wrist computer (Kryuno) which was placed beside the bed had sounded off.

Lafiel grabbed the wrist computer (Kryuno). "What is it?"

"Captain (Salerl)" it was Ekuryua. "It's Commander Atosuryua."

"For me?"

"All crewmen. In 10 minutes."

Lafiel interpreted that Commander Atosuryua would make some speech for all army officer (Bosnal) of the squadron in 10 minutes.

"Understood. I will go to the bridge (Gahorl) immediately. Wake up all non-duty crewmen."

"Me?, call a gathering?"

"Not really. Just think of something effectively."

"Understood."



Lafiel donned her military uniform and hurried to the bridge.
While on the way, the alarm claxon (Duniit) sounded off.
Of course, it was Ekuryua's doing.
It was effective, but went too far.
She arrived on the bridge afterward.
Momentarily, she slipped into the captain's seat, and first of all, stopped the alarm claxon (Duniit).

"Attention, this is the Captain (Salerl)" Lafiel said to calm the crewmen. " In a short while, the squadron commander (Lesh Sov) will probably hold a speech for you.
You should be listening. Personnel on duty may take a break.
Personnel who are not on duty, your priority is to have a good rest. Non-duty personnel will wait in that manner. Captain out."

There was only Ekuryua and Arbof on the bridge, but other flight officer (Lodair) came quickly.

Soon, Atosuryua's form appeared on the main screen.

"To all squadron officers and crewmen. This is the Commander of the 1st Devastation Squadron (Sov Direr Kasna)" Atosuryua's voice flowed.
"I thank everyone for your hard work again. It was a burdensome task, wasn't it? The squadron completed the mission without a single ship being damaged.
This is as much a miracle as well as a gift for everyone's effort here.
Now, as you all know, at present, the squadron is heading toward planet Menderes. Then, after some recreation, it will receive a new operation mission."



Atosuryua cut off the words here.

"However, there is one news here. A return order was given. A change in plans, the squadron will be heading toward the Kemal Sord.
On the way, 〈Krolcaubh〉 will join up, after receiving replenishment, we will return to the capital (Arosh) Lakfakalle.
Start preparations promptly. It's a good thing, as far as I'm concerned, somehow, I've indeed been away from Lakfakalle for a long time; young people shouldn't be tardy in coming or be secluded or be left behind.
Commander out."

The bridge personnel was required to salute toward the screen.
Atosuryua returned a salute and disappeared.

When the salute was over, Arbof asked. "Are we the only squadron (Sov)?"

"No way." said Yatesh. "The whole half-fleet (Yadobyr) will be relieved. Because it did well."

"Even the half-fleet main force is so far behind!" Arbof turned around.

This was extremely confusing to him.

Although, applying gravitational braking the velocity of the warship shipyard attack forces was still large. It was a velocity which was not possible for allies to catch up.

The four assault squadron (Sov Ashar), which are the main force of the Assault Half-Fleet (Yadobyrl Ashal)〈Bosuru〉, have withdrawn from the battlefield, but remained near the front.



Furthermore, there was also the matter of repairs. The 1st Devastation Squadron (Sov Direr Kasna) had not received any damage, but there should be some damaged assault ships.
If the plan was to return the whole Assault Half-Fleet then it will take some time.
It was reasonable for Yatesh to say that at the time. There was just no reason for the devastation squadron to be separated from the half-fleet.
If it were earlier, it would have been thought that a return order was given in order to obtain operation information from the attack ship, but it should already have been accumulated enough.

Lafiel's wrist computer (Kryuno) sounded off.
"It seems what the gunnery officer (Trakia) said was right." she said.
A more detailed navigation schedule had been sent.
According to that, it seemed that the 1st Devastation Squadron(Sov Direr Kasna) will separate from the Assault Half-Fleet 〈Bosuru〉 and return to the capital (Arosh) alone.
There was no reason to be worried, because the homeward route was secured by the 25th Twin Thorns Fleet(Byr Matolojuta Bolpel). Rather the crewmen of the other squadrons will envy it.
However, the question remains why would there be a return at this time?
The enemy was not yet driven from this star system.
The Kemal Sord, the planetary group of the Kemal star system, the planet Akaddo, the war production center of the 〈People's Sovereign Stellar Union star system〉,
it was unthinkable they would abandon it. The main force had fled to the outer planets and beyond, apparently it was preparing for a decisive battle.



Actually, at this stage the enemy fighting potential could be ignored since it had decreased with the defeat of the Akaddo arsenal group.
Because of the Abh's preference to be persistent, it had the feeling attached, fleet headquarters seemed to have thought this out thoroughly.
The evidence was that the next mop-up operation was already in planning.
When the operation was over, the 1st Devastation Squadron was to begin preparations for it.
This was rather an urgent return order.
Incidentally, it could have been an escort mission for a returning supply convoy to the capital, but it was not that.
It seemed they had to return in single-ship space-time bubbles (Flasath), which meant they will be able to return to the capital (Arosh) at maximum speed.

"Gurinshia, can you make preparations for immediate entering into plane-space (Fath)?" asked Lafiel.

"Of course. No damage, no problem." a little hardness was felt in the chief engineer's (Bynkerl) voice as if her pride was hurt.

I should apologize, she thought, because I seemed to have hurt her feelings.

"Is that so?" she answered only.

"So it is, but shouldn't there be some kind of refueling procedure?" asked Gurinshia.

"In 37 hours we are going to refuel at a planet as scheduled. In another 42 hours later we will receive other supplies from a R&R transport ship (Issazec)."


"Understood." Gurinshia was already making supply preparation on the control console.

"Captain (Salerl)" Jinto began. "What will happen to the injured and sick people?"

Aside from the injured and sick people, the 'disabled' were also included in his speech. There was rather an overwhelming number of the same.
It is a fact that in interstellar ship warfare the mind often tends to be hurt.
Even if not, either way the battlefield twists people's mind. For a person from the ground the vacuum is a completely harsh environment.
This is probably abnormal for a person from the ground.
If it were in peacetime, after a rigorous psychological examination, you could afford the option to confine a particularly aggressive person into a room.
Gurinshia talked like a veteran. But, in times of war, there is less room in screening applicants.
Naturally, in the end, the crew member (Sash) will suffer more neurosis.
The condition was light, and did not interfere with normal navigation.
Humans are likely to repeat failures that have not been thought about, and Star Force (Laburéc) had learned from long experience, because the knowledge is reflected in the design philosophy of the warship.
However, under extreme battle conditions a warship cannot endure the behavior of someone who fell ill from a mental disease.
It was expected in particular that this maneuver was hard to be tolerable by inexperienced crew member.
So, 3 years before serving in a Fleet, a crew member has to undergo psychological testing, and is given discharge if human problems are likely.
Of course, even so, the only place for recreation is the hygienic warship.



If crew member (Sash) are decreased, the survivability of the warship falls, but nonetheless even when the degree of risk was not low, squadron headquarters was to make that determination.

The warship is half-broken if it does half-heartedly when the crew member (Sash) is necessary for the operation, or being almost unscathed to finish the mission.
There was only either one to be blasted to bits. It was one of the reasons that it was determined
There were the real sick and wounded. But, the seriously sick patients who cannot get up from their beds, and the severely wounded person who must be soaked in tissue regeneration liquid have already been moved back to the hygienic warship at the rear.
Aboard the hygienic warship, which flew in an orbit around Kemal, the sick and wounded people are expected to be healed so far as to be able to participate in future operations.
Leaving the hospital should be nothing else but good news for them.
A recreation planet near the capital (Arosh) is considerably a better place to rest than on a hygienic warship.

"We will receive them back from onboard the hygienic warship 55 hours later." answered Lafiel while looking at the graphs.

"So, Captain (Salerl)," Jinto went on. "would you please, allow me to make preparations to accomodate the sick people right now?"

"Of course." while thinking about a lot and being short-tempered, Lafiel gave her permission.
"Now then." Jinto left the bridge saluting.
She told the crewmen to rest up -- Lafiel herself entrusted Ekuryua again with the duty.



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