General Mike "Viper" Moore sat at his desk filling out requisition forms for replacement parts for the unit's T-65s. As the unit's Tactical Director it was his job to fill out the official requisition forms, and he HATED it.
Just as he reached for another form, klaxons began blaring, red lights glowed, and the duty sergeant's voice came over the base intercom.
"Unauthorized incoming traveller. All senior officers to the control room."
* * * * *
As General Moore slid into the control room, he noticed that General George Hammond, the base commander, General Nick "Rogue" Taylor, the units commanding officer, and Colonel Jack O'Neill, commanding officer of SG-1 were already there.
"Sorry I'm late, little accident in corridor 4C held me up," he said.
"What kind of accident Mike? And did you cause it?" General Taylor asked.
Moore responded, "Traffic jam, and actually this time it wasn't my fault."
Colonel O'Neill began to crack up, and Hammond intervened.
"Gentlemen, I hate to break up your little comedy show, but we do have a situation here," he reminded them.
"Sorry, sir," Colonel O'Neill said. Clangs began to sound from the gate room.
"Getting impacts on the iris, sirs," the duty sergeant called out.
"Organic?" General Moore asked.
"Hard to tell, sir."
Suddenly a beeping noise came from General Taylor pocket. He reached in and pulled out his comlink, "Forgot I had this. Rogue here."
"This is Acid, sir," came the voice of Captain Mike "Acid" Smith, commander of the cruiser Ashleigh. "We have a problem. Long-range patrol ships have spotted four Goa'uld ships on course for Earth. Approximate ETA is 10 hours."
"Copy that captain, what's the status of the Ashleigh?"
"We're ready sir, but we won't be able to take on all of them."
"All right, we'll see if we can get you some help. Rogue out," General Taylor turned back to the officers standing behind him. "We have four bogies inbound, sir," he addressed Hammond, "Mike, what's the status on our X-Wings?"
"The Rogues have seven operational fighters, and we can have another two repaired in four hours. The Novas only have five operational, and we can have a sixth ready in three hours," General Moore told him.
Taylor turned toward General Hammond, "Sir, request permission to save the world."
"By all means, general, please do."
* * * * *
Seven hours later Generals Moore and Taylor stood abroad the bridge of the Ashleigh. They watched out the viewport as the fifteen T-65 X-Wings of Rogue Squadron flashed by, each wing pair waggling their wings in a show of respect as they passed the bridge of the huge cruiser.
"All fighters are away, sirs," Captain Smith said as he approached the two generals. "All systems are hot and ready."
Moore gave Taylor a doubtful look, "You're sure this is going to work?"
"No, Mike, I'm not."
"That's comforting," Acid muttered under his breath.
"Nick, a thought just hit me," Moore said.
"Didn't hit you too hard did it?"
"Oh, is that why I feel dizzy? Anyways, what happened to Neith?" he asked.
"General Craig and Alpha team were off-world when the assault on the gate began," Rogue told him. "They were on an intelligence gathering mission and were cut off."
Captain Smith turned to look out the viewport. The space outside the Mon Cal cruiser flashed blue and a Goa'uld pyramid ship popped out of hyperspace. Alarms began to sound as three more ships appeared behind the lead ship.
"Begin the 'A-Wing slash' captain," Taylor ordered.
"Aye, sir," Captain Smith responded, "Bring the fighters about. Novas have Tango 1, Rogues have target Tango 2. Gunnery, prepare all torpedo tubes."
A cacophony of aye, sir's and status reports flooded the once quiet bridge. Outside, the six T-65s of Nova squadron formed into a Phalanx and headed off toward target Tango 1, while the nine X-Wings of Rogue squadron did the same, heading to target Tango 2.
Viper fished a minidisk out of his uniform pocket and headed over to the comm station. "Ready to begin Psycho warfare, sir," he shouted.
"You may begin, general."
"Thank you, sir. By the time that I'm done, the poor bastards wont know up from down," he popped the disk into the reader with a grin. Kilometres away, loud music began to echo through the Goa'uld ships. Some of the selections included Limp Bizkit's "Rollin", Eminem's "Kill You", Green Day's "Minority", and Motorhead's "It's All About the Game". All this music served its purpose, for the commanders of the ill-fated ships designated Tango 1 and Tango 2 never saw the torpedoes streaking in behind the slower X-Wings. Forty-two torpedoes struck Tango 1, splitting it down the centreline. Thirty-seven hit Tango 2, severally crippling it.
Tango 2 altered course, intent on ramming the Ashleigh.
"Helm, manoeuvring thrusters full to port. Put us on our side," Shouted Captain Smith.
The bridge crew watched as the universe rotated ninety degrees to port. A console exploded as the shields encountered the hull of the Goa'uld warship.
"Drop all underside shields!" General Moore screamed.
"Aye, sir," the shield officer responded.
The lower half of the cruiser's protective energy shield dissolved and the cruiser passed cleanly over the crippled mothership, trading pot shots with her heavy turbolaser batteries, and sustaining hull damage from the sporadic return fire. A collective sigh of relief passed over the bridge when the cruiser reached the point where she could safely put her shields back up.
"Two down, two to go," the helmsman muttered.
The Ashleigh vectored toward target Tango 3. Her heavy turbolasers and ion cannons opened up at maximum range. Most shots went wide, but many scored damaging hits on the Goa'uld mothership. The pyramid ship responded with its own guns, hitting the big cruiser with lethal accuracy.
Shield indicators began to flicker and go out.
"Damage report?" Captain Smith called out.
"Primary shields failing, we have burn through in the starboard shields. Hull breaches on decks eight through ten in sections seven through fourteen." came a report from somewhere in the crew pit.
"What's the status of our fighters Lieutenant?" General Moore asked.
"The Rogues have lost two ships with one pilot EVA, the Novas have lost one ship with the pilot EVA," came the reply.
"Fifteen minutes, Mike. That's all we need," General Taylor said.
The ship rocked as a Goa'uld naquadah torpedo impacted the shields.
"Captain! More torpedoes incoming from astern!"
"Helm, full reverse thrust!" Acid ordered.
"What's he doing?!?!?!" General Taylor demanded.
The officer of the watch began the countdown, "Impact in twelve seconds, ten, nine..."
The Ashleigh rocketed backwards toward the incoming torpedoes.
"Five... three, two, one, impact!"
The crew braced for an impact, but one never came.
"By closing the gap between the ship and the torpedoes, he never gave them a chance to arm themselves," Moore told him.
Outside, the two motherships continued to press their assault. Suddenly the space behind them rippled and the bone white spearhead-shape of an Imperial class Star Destroyer Mark II came out of hyperspace. It began a slow turn to starboard, bringing the full power of its broadside-mounted turbolaser cannons to bear on the two Goa'uld ships.
"Four minutes early, must be an advance ship," Captain Smith commented.
The two general officers watched out the viewport as the dagger-shaped battlewagon opened up with her massive heavy turbolaser batteries. The space behind the destroyer rippled again, and the New Republic sector fleet dropped out of hyperspace. Ships of all classes passed over the Ashleigh: destroyers, cruisers, frigates, carriers, and many others. Two assault frigates took up flanking position to either side of the wounded cruiser, guiding her out of the battle. The Ashleigh dropped her underside shields and opened up her fighter bays to receive the twelve remaining X-Wings and the retrieval shuttle.
* * * * *
Captain Mike Smith alone on the darkened bridge, lit only by the emergency running lights around the room and along either side of the walkways. The Ashleigh sat in a berth at the shipyard facilities in orbit around Mon Calamari. She was in for an extended stay. Her sublight engines had failed after she came out of hyperspace, and she had had to be towed into the berth. No dry-docks would be available for a while, and that meant she would be temporarily out of commission.
He heard the turbolift doors hiss open behind him and turned to see General Moore step out.
"Last shuttle leaves in ten minutes Acid, you coming?"
Acid took one last look out the front view port.
"Yea. Yeah I'm coming," and with that he turned and walked into the turbolift.
* * * * *
Ten minutes later, a shuttle took off from the Ashleigh's hanger bay. Manoeuvring through the mass of girders and support struts that made up the orbital shipyard facilities, she cleared Mon Calamari's gravity well and jumped to hyperspace. Inside Captain Mike Smith watched out his view port as the stars elongated and snapped into a swirling mass of blue-white.
Continued in Rogue Squadron: Part Two