This is the second section of the tenth chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here.
To: Fleet Admiral Powell
Jason, hope this message greets you well.
I’m sure you’re aware of the current situation in this emergency run and are following reports with interest. What should have been a straightforwards trial run has turned into a full scale conflict and I doubt your assigned captain has grasped the full scale of what he involved in.
The Freedom was designed for the future of combat in space and our erstwhile captain seems to have ignored every piece of advice we crafted while we were designing this boat. The idiot is treating this as if it were a cross between an aircraft carrier and a fortress when in fact he seems to have forgotten all that you and I planned for this as a jet fighter of space. He currently has us anchored and I use anchored in all the derogatory sense I can muster as he has us as a sitting duck with the idea that we can repel borders when we are clearly facing missiles travelling a good fraction of the speed of light. I’ve tried to explain to him that an incoming weapon you can’t see is deadly beyond anything he has experienced. I’ve insisted that the Freedom’s only defense is its’ own huge speed, but he insists on securing land as if he were some imperial army general.
We are going up against all we feared it appears the Bats - as the grunts here have dubbed the asteroid dwelling rebel group - have managed to build some fighters based around the K engines they stole from the very transport I made my way out here on. This has given them some truly impressive fighters almost matching those carried by the Freedom in performance and beating us in numbers.
At the moment the enemy fighters are content with buzzing out position, flying past at high speed dropping off ordinance that so far has either missed or our batteries have been able to intercept, but it is only a matter of time before this fails. At the end of the strafing run they are then relying on their engines to slow them down, turning around and then accelerating up to high speed again. Whilst this provides a fascinating example and test of the tactics you and I discussed right at the inception of the Freedom project, the whole idea was that the Freedom would be the one buzzing the outdated target, not the cobbled together fighters having a state of the art battleship at their mercy.
Given our vulnerable position and our inability to extend our AM drive, I proposed a plan to erect a defensive shield. Jettisoning all surplus cargo and allowing the excess water to freeze into an ice cloud would have made us unapproachable by the fighters since they would have to slow down to pass through said field without damage and at such low speed would be vulnerable to our superior fighters. However the bumbling captain seems to be obsessed with his land grab and so refused to accept my suggestion.
Given the infinitely valuable status of the Freedom and the impossibility of building a replacement in time to save us from this newly discovered asteroid threat I suggested the course of most prudent action and was ordered off the bridge. When the XO attempted to force the matter I tried to use my security clearance as CTO of the company that built this ship to do the only sensible thing and do what was needed to save the ship from the Captain’s incompetency.
Unfortunately it seems that the ships records haven’t been the updated after my recent modifications and so the identity check was refused.
I therefore write both to ensure that you are given all the information possible to give you and to make sure that you know how to remedy the situation should you decide I was right. After drafting this to you I’ll have words with the development division and make sure those new fighters you asked for are prepared immediately for the defense of Earth and that the construction of a full ship yard capable of building multiple Freedom class ships is started immediately. Given this impending threat you can be assured of Fillwick Enterprises full compliance and expediency in expanding the fleet.
This is of course provided I survive this next few hours and the incompetency of your Captain.
Stephen Fillwick cto Fillwick Enterprises