Deep Space - Aboard the X-4 - March 3, 1982 08:09
20 minutes later Morris scowled and hunched over Thompson’s shoulder and stared into the DRADAR console. Dimensional RADAR, or DRADAR, extended terrestrial RADAR to allow it to work in deep space. Now the invisible DRADAR beams searched out into the black for signs of the missing meteors.
Thompson checked the power levels and switched the console to higher gain. “Still nothing”.
Morris took a long draw from his cigarette. He hit the ship communicator, “Anything from the other ships?”
“Nothing yet.” Came Collins from comms.
Lewis clicked on, “Nothing on my scope”.
“All clear here” replied Ward from station 2.
“Bingo from 3” reported Jackson.
Morris and Thompson turned to the charts and re-checked their position against predictions. They were square within the circle that indicated the interception.
Morris smashed his hand against the console, exclaiming “Where the hell are those rocks?!”
“Easy, Captain” Lt Taylor said, trying to calm the situation. “You know those long range RADARs at the base sometimes get positions wrong. I’m sure we are in the right area, they just missed the timing on the interception.”
“Yea, I know. I just hate waiting.”
The minutes ticked on until finally the comm lit up, “Bridge, this is forward guns, I’ve got a hit!”
Before anyone else on the bridge had time to react, Collins called up from the radio station “X-1 calls a sighting, patching through now.”
The ship’s radio crackled to life. Captain Hughes of the X-1 called over the system. “We’ve got confirmed DRADAR hits. We are counting at least three dozen small rocks, but they are being trailed by 3 really big ones.”
Morris looked at the DRADAR scans “This swarm looks much bigger than the size we were briefed on. Looks like our day just got interesting.”
Hughes continued “I’m going to send a message back to base to warn them to launch some backup so they can catch any that get past us. Let’s make sure the backup guys are very bored.”
Captain Hughes rattled off some deployments and intercept coordinates and signed off. Thompson entered the new coordinates into the navigation system and Lt Taylor swung the ship around and pointed it at the new intercept.
Morris stubbed out his cigarette and hit the general comm “Alright men, break time’s over! Guns, fire at will at the little ones. We will be making a pass on our big target in just a few minutes, so save some juice.”
“Aye Aye” replied the gunnery stations.
“Thompson, keep a lock on our target and make sure we don’t get in the path of those other ships.”
“Engine room, make sure our capacitors are topped up and all the atomic piles are ready.”
“Copy” came the chief’s reply.
“Lets do this”.