The pilothouse was ablaze. The Coalition Gunship "Xenophon" had taken multiple hits across her port side from enemy railgun batteries. Shields already low from charging in through enemy fire before hand... the 30 Meter long Gunship shuddered violently with each impact; Sparks and smoke billowed from consoles as the Jakeili Sensorman (Third Class) took a fire extinguisher to his own. Reports came howling up from the Primary - and only - engineroom; "Destabilization in Generator #2. MDR #1 has a broken Plasma Relay and it's shielding is fluctuating. Securing MDR #1 and Gen 2!"
That left them at half speed with barely any shields... but they were still fighting with thier single remaining Spinal-Mounted CPL. Blue-Green plasma Pulses flew from the ship as Point Defense swatted an enemy light missile as it came in. Another Railgun Hit Slammed into the ship forward, shearing off a massive chunk of the bow, and taking forward Berthing with it.
Passageways began sealing as the CNV Xenophon lined up on the Shadowblade Frigate they were about to rake and with a light-dimming shriek The Charged Particle Lance let off a Brilliant, dull Orange-red solid state beam of Charged Particles, the Pilot dragging the Cruiser-grade Beam weapon from one end of the Frigate to the other before the weapon sputtered and went out, aft there was a deep rumble seconds before the Starboard Engine array simply exploded and light went dark.
The Corosis Class Gunship went into a heaving spin as gravity went out and began tumbling off into space. She was accompanied in death by three of the 12 Corosis Class Gunships, her entire flight.
Coalition Naval Vessel "Caer'Ullen" Ship's Deck Log (excerpt)
0555 Enemy Engaged, Contact lost with CNV Xenophon, CNV Impellor. Visual of Destruction of CNV Grapnel confirmed. CNV Impellor spotted launching Lifeboats prior to detonation.
Task Group 134.2, Coalition Navy, was accelerating upwards of the mean galactic Plane and to Spinward of the Galactic Core. As the Cruisers began opening up on the Task Group, the powerful Command Coordination Systems aboard the Vlaew Class ship; "Vaughn C'Ratt" came into play, instantly linking with the screening Warspites and morphing the formation differently, transferring ships to new screening locations and changing the entire shape of the formation.
The Formation looked incredibly lopsided, a sideways chevron with a triangle of Warspites screening the side of the Vlaew from incoming fire. Shields flashed brightly as incoming fire lit them up, like skin-tight leotards of television static the Warspites and in a lesser part -- the Vlaew lit up on Lidar like Christmas trees as energy was converted to light and reflected in a brilliant corona from the impact zone, as Railgun rounds were vaporized on impact.
Missiles were coming in, the Vlaew took in the sensor reports from it's charges, both the Gunships and the Warspites and the crew and the AI began charting Point Defense fields of fire... each ship was a single part of a greater cell... all of it working in wonderful harmony to keep the Vlaew Nucleus safe. As the missiles approached, the immensity of point defense fire became clear as the Warspites' point defense, Primary and secondary "Dual Purpose" CPLs came to bear on the incoming with vicious effectiveness.
CPLs changed their particle chargers and barrel-lined condensing arrays to turn the beam array into a shotgun-like cone of particles to swat enemy missiles from the sky, point defense sprayed light rail gun and a horde of green-cyan plasma, and white-blue Lazers into space in an unholy conflagration that created a carefully orchestrated wall of death for any incoming missiles.
That is to say, even with the point defense, the tachyon Arrow and all of the incoming fire wasn't completely ineffective. The CNV "Aventine Fulcrum" began to lag behind the rest of the formation, falling out. Fire and debris trailed her Starboard side, massive gashes and impacts had dug through her relatively thin armor once her shields went down. The railguns, lasers, and ultimately the Tachyon Arrow - which is what finally overloaded the shields to the point they went down... her shield nodes burnt out from the bleed through of the Tachyon Arrow - had did a terrible number on the vessel.
Lifepods, Humpbacks, and Lifeboats were seen showering from her Flanks as she slewed drunkenly to one side... then, in one last gesture of defiance... a Brilliant Blue-White Hologram of the vessel's Ensign trailed behind it as the remaining crew, Captain, and AI urged the last ounces of power from her remaining two Cores and the Warspite began advancing directly into the vicious teeth of the enemy. Charged Particle Beams lanced from her remaining turrets that could be brought to bear as she aimed for the nearest enemy cruiser at what could be her best flank speed, wreckage streaming behind her in a wake of death.
"Preserve for our children, the last, best hope for the Coalition. We have a Rendezvous with Destiny." was the last message as the comms went silent from the CNV Aventine Fulcrum as she charged into the enemy's teeth to punch a few out, and draw fire away from her fellows.
Coalition Naval Vessel "Caer'Ullen" Ship's Deck Log (excerpt)
0610 Engineering Reports damage to Turret #3, Damage Control teams responding
0611 Turret #7 Destroyed, 05 Casualties. Damage Control Teams Responding. Overload Burnout in Shield Generation Nodes 3, 7, 9, 14. Engineering sending repair crews.
0615 CNV Aventine Fulcrum Reports heavy Damage, abandoning Ship.
0617 CNV Aventine Fulcrum Dropping from formation, Vessel moving to engage enemy contacts.
0620 Contact with CNV Aventine Fulcrum lost.
The Coalition took damage, but across the CNV Vaughn C'Ratt's board, things were lighting up green and firing solutions were made. Kilometer long ships were nigh impossible to miss. And sitting in the bays of the Coalition Ships were well over a hundred or more HVSDLs. The Enemy had taken the lives of their fellows, and accrued a debt. They were about to pay in blood.
In one massive wave, all of the Coalition Ships spoke as one... gouts of white particles exploded from their missile decks as the VLS Tubes broke open and expelled their charges with the magnetic acceleration units built into the tubes... and then... with the rippling of space like the pavement on a hot summer day, all of the missiles disappeared.
Less than thirty seconds later, they reappeared... no doubt a few would miss, but the others appeared less than a meter off of the enemy hull... the large, sluggishly moving enemy cruisers never had a chance. They were too big, and they were too unmanueverable. 20 HVSDLs per ship, each one weighing in at nearly 20 Tons, each of them moving at just under the speed of light, exited Slipspace and impacted the enemy ship they had been tasked with destroying like a massive semi-truck sized armor-piercing penetrator.
The Devastating weapons worked purely on the idea of fluid dynamics, shockwave theory. The missiles would hit, and drill into a target... the force of these impacts would cause shockwaves to flow through the enemy ship, ionizing air and metal near the impact sight... then just simply tearing metal away from structural frames... lessening the farther they got from the impact zone... possibly to the point of simple spalling spraying foot long needles of metal into the faces of crew-members.
The Coalition had a bite as well, dozens of times bigger than their ship's bark, and they weren't going down without taking a chunk from the enemy's throat.