092 – Just by a Hair’s Breadth

 


Translator: SFBaka

Editor: Thor’s Stone


092 – Just by a Hair’s Breadth

With the arrival of the independent fleet helmed by Major Serena, the chaotic battle came to a halt… Or at least, that was what we hoped would happen.

“Aren’t they fighting more fiercely than before?”

Yep. The enemies didn’t stop. The battleship Krishna was sticking to still kept trying to lose us, and the remaining small combat craft were still trying to tear us off said battleship.

『I repeat! Immediately halt combat and depower your generators! Your acts are severe enough to be court martialed by the military disciplinary council! If you do not comply, we will be forced to bring down your ships in accordance with article six, paragraph three of the imperial military codex! Halt combat and depower your generators now!』

Major Serena bellowed her orders through the comms once more. She was obviously getting irritated, as evidenced by her voice. However, the enemy ships just wouldn’t stop. Or rather, they’re completely ignoring the Pelican IV and concentrating their fire on us. Their objective is as plain as day.

“Will they stop?”

“I don’t think so?”

“Is it really impossible?”

“Their objective is obviously me. I do not know just how my uncle was able to enlist their services, it’s evident that there’s no more path of retreat for them.”

Chris calmly analyzed the situation. I couldn’t let my concentration break for even a moment, so I wasn’t able to see her expression, but she sounded rather down. I’m sure she was making a cute frustrated expression. That uncle of hers was definitely a bona fide villain for trying to kill such a cute and loveable girl. There’s no doubt.

『Make sure to avoid damaging the Vuestor as much as possible. All ships, weapons free!』

『……Roger. All ships, weapons free!』

A shrill alert rang out within Krishna’s cockpit. At the same time, several heat signatures were simultaneously released by all the remaining combat craft and the two heavy cruisers.

What weapons free meant was to unleash every available weapon at one’s disposal in order to eliminate one’s enemies. And that meant they didn’t care about involving the battleship in their attack and fired all their weapons in order to bring Krishna down! Hahaha! You damn bastards!

“Are these guys insane!?”

“Multiple missiles incoming!”

『All ships, weapons free! Bring down the rogue ships! Begin firing!』

Major Serena finally ran out of patience and ordered the independent fleet to attack. Now that it’s come to this, there’s no point in using the battleship as a shield anymore. They really were serious about not caring if the battleship gets damaged. If we take on all of those shots, we’d be toast. And Krishna would definitely get destroyed before the battleship does.

“Nuuuuuoooooh! Dammit!”

“Kuh!”

“Hiuu!”

“Guuu!”

I disengaged from the battleship’s rear and jumped straight through the hail of lasers and missiles. I fired consecutive shots of the shot cannons in order to clear out the seeker missiles heading our way. I then plunged the ship inside the resulting explosion.

“Yeah! That went well!”

I used the resulting explosion as cover in order to disappear from the enemy’s sights and took that opportunity to break away. Elma also did great by discharging all the remaining flares just as Krishna plunged into the explosions of flames, causing even more seeker missiles to go off. As expected of Elma. I’m really impressed.

But this doesn’t mean we’ve escaped danger. We ended up right in the sights of an enemy heavy cruiser instead. The enemy heavy cruiser’s main laser cannon charged up and prepared to fire at us.

“Chaaaff!”

“Roger!”

Krishna dispersed chaff in order to obstruct the lock of the enemy ship as I made evasive maneuvers. However, since we were right in front of the ship, we weren’t able to avoid the entire brunt of the attack. Another shrill alert rang out inside the cockpit, and Krishna’s energy shield began flickering weakly. Even Krishna’s shields wouldn’t be able to bear a direct hit from a military heavy cruiser’s main cannon.

“T-The shield!?”

“It’s fine. It’s nothing to panic about just yet.”

“Y-You sure are calm, Hiro-sama.”

As I calmed down the flustered Mimi, I managed to get around the enemy heavy cruiser. But extremely powerful-looking crimson laser rays were still persistently blasting away at Krishna from behind. The enemy heavy cruiser must have changed bearings and turned around in order to target us once more.

“Man. I’d had my fill of thrills today. Please don’t add any more.”

“Now I’m sure you’re already a hopeless case, idiot.”

“If we got hit by that just now……”

“It’s okay. It’s okay, I tell you. It’s all according to plan.”

I was lying through my teeth though.

If we took a hit from that earlier blast, Krishna would have been damaged severely. It would probably manage to survive though. Krishna’s hull was military grade after all. And it’s of the highest quality to boot. It’s insanely expensive though.

I actually experienced taking a direct hit from a heavy cruiser during my time playing Stella Online. I wasn’t able to evade in time, and it was ugly.

“That was dangerous.”

Before long, Krishna was able to escape the range of the heavy cruiser. Of course, the other cruiser and combat craft were still hot on our tail, and we were again chased by enemy fire.

But they exposed their flanks to Major Serena’s fleet in order to target us, so they took heavy damage from the independent fleet’s support fire.

“That was really close.”

“We were right in the middle of the battle, so it couldn’t be helped.”

“If we ever took a direct hit, we would have been shot down.”

Even if they were both using military models, the independent fleet had more advanced ships, so they were able to successfully neutralize the enemies one after another. One ship got its main engine blown right off, one got its thrusters melted, and one had its upper deck, which housed a majority of its weapons, damaged beyond repair.

The combat crafts and corvettes were all shot down, so the only remaining ship that was combat capable was the battleship.

“Oh boy. It’s finally over.”

I was currently hiding at the blind spot of an enemy heavy cruiser that had its propulsion systems destroyed. But there was still a danger of the enemy detecting Krishna and firing its main cannon at us, so I was being real careful about it.

“Um, do we still need to hide?”

“It’s best not to take any unnecessary risks.”

“That’s right.”

“Yes. Exactly.”

I answered Mimi’s question. Elma and Chris agreed with me as well. At this point, me revealing Krishna’s position would be a real stupid thing to do. I’m sure they’d immediately shoot us down with their powerful main cannon.

In any case, the ones who attacked us are probably members of the imperial military, so I can’t just carelessly attack them without justification. The battle earlier was okay because it was an act of self defense. And there were other members of the imperial military present on the scene after all. One wrong move and we’d be in more trouble than we bargained for. That’s why I held off on using anti-ship reactive torpedoes and avoided firing on the enemy cruisers. I only shot down the small combat craft that came after us.

If Major Serena didn’t make it, then I would have had no qualms with exchanging fire with them, but I’m sure Krishna would have taken considerable damage as a result. And the possibility of us getting shot down wasn’t zero as well. In fact, Krishna’s shield nearly got saturated and brought down during this battle.

『I repeat. Depower your generators. Further sacrifices are meaningless.』

After a short silence, the remaining enemy ships finally depowered their generators.

『This is the battleship Vuestor’s first mate, Major Romando Kestrel. Our ship has obeyed your command and depowered our generator.』

『Very well. What about the captain?』

『Our ship’s captain, Colonel Eugen Herrassmith, has chosen to voluntarily take his life, and I have taken over command.』

『……I see. Proceed with rescuing the survivors. Prepare to be boarded as well.』

『Ma’am!』

Just what drove these proud imperial soldiers to desperately attack us like that? Anyway, it looks like the situation has been resolved for the time being. Major Serena’s flagship, Restalias, has approached the rogue flagship, Vuestor, and her men were now preparing to board it. Cruisers assigned to the independent fleet also proceeded to approach the other moored rogue cruisers. They will now proceed to assume control of the rogue ships.

But voluntary suicide huh? What an unpleasant affair.

“So it’s finally over……?”

“Probably. We still can’t let our guard down though.”

“That’s right. There’s still a risk of the enemy ships powering up again and attacking us the moment we show ourselves. Let’s watch the situation for now and head back to the Pelican IV later.”

After saying so, I leaned back on the pilot seat and reached out for the gravity sphere floating beside me. I brought out the straw and took a sip out of the non-carbonated cola inside the sphere. Man, having a sweet drink right after an intense battle sure hits the spot.

Eh? Whatever happened to the carbonated drinks, you ask? They’re all stored inside the cargo hold. When I opened a bottle inside Krishna, the contents burst out even if I didn’t shake the bottle, resulting in everyone (myself included) getting drenched. So the girls expressly forbade me from opening any carbonated drink while onboard the ship. Just why did it suddenly go off like that though? Is it due to the lack of natural atmospheric pressure? Was there a problem with the artificial gravity inside the ship? I have no idea.

“Are you alright, May?”

『Yes. There seems to be no problems with my functions. I did not receive any damage.』

“Great. The battle’s mostly over, but be prepared for the possibility of unexpected tactical maneuvers until we get back to the Pelican IV.”

『Understood.』

Now then, guess we’ll just have to wait it out. At least, we’ll wait until Major Serena and her men finish taking control of the enemy ships.


 


14 Comments

  1. Thanks for the chapter!!!

  2. Thanks for the treat.

  3. Ok, any physics experts on possibilities why a carbonated drink would explode? Or maybe it’s just the atmosphere scrubbers pulling out theCO2 from the drink?

    • In zero g carbonated beverages currently have problems due to the bubbles not rising to the top but expanding uniformly. However what the author is describing is a low pressure environment that would be hazardous to live in. On their space ship there is no reason for soda to not work if they experience 1g and 1 atmosphere of pressure.

    • Unless there was some drastic change in pressure or temperature on the outside of the container that the drink was in, it shouldn’t have behaved like that. The environment on the ship seems, based on what the author has told us, the basically be Earth standard: one atmosphere of pressure and one gravity of, well, gravity. Temperature should be fairly standard as well certainly nothing that would provoke this kind of result. There are issues with carbonated drinks in microgravity environments, but even those wouldn’t cause it to explode, those issues are something very different.

    • While i like reading this, it’s not hard to realize that author mostly don’t even research stuff he writes, not mentioning some deeper knowledge.

      I mean, i feel like he didn’t realize how BIG thing like planets, asteroids etc are. For example i don’t now how big Sierra III is, but he claims that since 80% is covered by ocean there is little land, only small island etc. Dude, you realize that you living on planet that is over 70% covered by water?

      And he writes stuff like “Some asteroids were as large as your average battleship after all.”. How big are this battleships? There are tens of thousands known asteroids larger them 100km of diameter in our solar system.

      And what bother me the most:
      First you set that there is no space on liveable planets and only rich can afford them, then you make 3 of this extremely precious planets as vacation world. I won’t even mention that for a price it supposedly cost to have home with garden on planet you would be able to live for rest of his live on private island with full staff.

  4. There is no reason to keep the pressure at 1ATM on board the ship. Right now we have two standards: 0.25ATM of near-pure oxygen and 0.3ATM of oxygen-nitrogen mixture. In both cases, the result will be exactly the same as if you drop mentos in cola.

    • It won’t be. Why do you claim thing you don’t even want to check?

      Right now pressure in ISS (which is closest to long-term staying in space) is standard air pressure as at sea level on Earth. True, it not necessary for humans, but equipment used on ship. There is no reason to assume that air in Krishna is low-pressure, when it’s not that huge problem with current tech.

      Second. Actually both coca-cola and pepsi was tested in space. And as early as 1985. Then it was 5psi or 0.34 Bar pressure. Yes there will be more foam, but nothing as drastic as mentos in cola. Well if you shake it before, effects would be more impressive then under higher pressure.

      And it’s nothing when you can just make some cover or something to free pressured gas (similar how you open shaken bottle of soft drink without it spilling everywhere).

      The problem is intake of gas by somebody drinking it. Humans body is make under assumption that gases go up, which is not true in space.

      But then it’s solved when there is artificial gravity (even if it’s for example only 0.5 of earths).

  5. Thanks for the chapter.

  6. 🙂Thanks for the Chapter!!! Lookin forward to the next Update!🙂

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