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Saganami, commanding the battlecruiser HMS Nike, engaged the enemy defending a Manticoran convoy.
Order of battle Edit
HMS Nike - CO Commodore Edward Saganami
- a battlecruiser division
- a heavy cruiser
- a destroyer division
Course of battle Edit
Commodore Saganami ordered the convoy to disperse immediately and proceed across the hyper limit on least-time courses. Captain Hargood of Prince Harold begged him to join them, but Saganami refused and stayed behind in order to destroy or cripple as many enemy ships as possible. Nike drove ahead, accelerating hard towards the hostile units. Finally, missiles were launched and the battle ensued. It lasted over forty minutes.
Nike headed straight into more than four times its own firepower, concentrating its fire on the escorting destroyers, hammering them with thermonuclear contact warheads and, as the range closed, broadside lasers.
Nike bored in, corkscrewing around her base vector and rolling ship to interpose her impeller wedge against incoming fire, snapping back upright to send an entire broadside of lasers blasting through destroyer's sidewall. Her target reeled aside, its wedge fluctuated, then failed, and Nike destroyed it with a single missile even as she turned to face the next enemy.
Another destroyer was vapourized by the Manticoran ship's weapons, and the third one's forward impeller ring wrecked. Nike turned upon the heavy cruiser, her missiles damaging its impellers, but had taken heavy damage herself: atmosphere escaped and the acceleration dropped steadily as alpha and beta nodes were blown out of the impeller rings, lasers and missile tubes were destroyed one by one.
Nike rolled up at point-blank range, barely 8,000 kilometers from her target, and fired every surviving weapon in her port broadside into one of the enemy battlecruisers. The pirate ship took several critical hits and was vaporised in a huge explosion.
By then, the second, undamaged pirate battlecruiser found a firing bearing and fired its energy weapons, shooting Nike's armor and hull into pieces. Commodore Saganami screened Prince Harold one last time:
- "We're done, James. Tell the Queen. Tell her what my people did. And tell her I'm sor—"
Before he could complete the transmission, his ship was destroyed with all hands. (SI1)
Aftermath and legacy Edit
The heroic sacrifice at Carson became a rallying point for all of Manticoran society to support the Silesia mission. The RMN dispatched a complete squadron of battleships to systematically locate and destroy pirate bases throughout the eastern Confederacy, then proceeded to the capital system in 1674 PD to deliver the new Manticoran ambassador, who forced Silesia to sign a new trade agreement as well as the Cherwell Anti-Slavery Convention. (Companion)
An uncut recording of Saganami's final message to Queen Adrienne, the Battle of Carson, and the final incomplete message sent from Nike were shown at the end of each Last View ceremony at the Royal Manticoran Naval Academy, reminding the graduates what sacrifice they might have to make for their star nation one day. (SI1)
The captain's ready room of every future HMS Nike featured a painting of the battle. (HH3)
- ↑ Two were destroyed at Trautman's Star, another four had to leave for Manticore to be repaired.