The following in a brief excerpt from my upcoming science fiction novel, Star Eagle Six which has a tentative launch in January 2016 ... God willing and the river don't rise.
“What’s the report commander?” Joseph turned at the sound of the conference room door opening. The pull of the star field as it swept past the Parras was intoxicating. It was his way of losing himself, brushing off the burdens of command even if was just for a few minutes.
“We’ve not been able to detect any of the ships sir. I was concerned about the Revenge with her structural damage, but even she is undetectable.”
“How long before we cross the first detection point.”
“Less than thirty minutes captain,” Jason replied.
“We should get back on the bridge. We can’t afford for a Lorilon ship to stumble across us.”
Joseph led the way as mentor and student took their posts at the command station. Joseph could feel the tension level of the Alpha bridge crew rise as they neared the threshold. It was one of the most heavily militarized sections of Lorilon space. Tor Dunlaw was a fortress. It would be protected from a distance. Joseph looked up instinctively as the first of the proximity warnings sounded.
“Lorilon ships dead ahead at space normal speed captain.”
“We should breeze by them without so much as them sensing we’re even here captain.”
“That’s the idea commander,” he replied. “How close will we come to them?”
“One-hundred thousand meters captain,” Conn replied.
“Comm, were all ships instructed to maintain communications silence?”
“Yes sir. We’re certain that would give away our positions.”
“Monitor any communications. Let me know if anyone slips up.”
The minutes ticked off one by one and the tension within the ships of the fleet mounted. They were close; the first big test of the cloaking devices was upon them. Fifteen minutes; the time cut in half. Stuart Joseph was getting antsy, swaying from side to side.
“Sir, a Lorilon Studda has turned and is heading towards us.”
“Time to intercept?”
“Eleven minutes.” The bridge went quiet for several moments. “Eight ships have turned and are accompanying the Studda.”
“Conn, has their course changed?”
“No sir. Nine minutes to intercept.”
“Can we tell if their weapons are energized?”
“Not at this distance sir,” Conn answered. “They have assumed standard attack formation.”
“Commander, signal all forward batteries.”
“All batteries report ready sir.”
“Should we signal the other ships sir?”
“You think that wise sir?”
“Jason, I have to rely on the captains of the fleet to know their business.” He turned, scanning his bridge before he settled back on his second. “If they don’t, they’re dead.”
“Second Studda group off to starboard captain. Six ships altogether. Standard Lorilon formation.”
Star Eagle Six ... coming in January 2016