Malcolm winced as the destroyer lurched, and three of her escort fighters simply disappeared, but the survivors stayed in formation and continued to fire at the incoming stream of missiles. She was an Austin-class destroyer, the best American destroyer ever built, and she would not go down easily. But she would go down if someone didn’t do something about it. Which made it a very good thing for her that someone was about to do something.

“All fighters, attack pattern Alpha,” Smith transmitted.

Malcolm glanced at Dawn and she nodded back. She was ready. He smiled as the grav generator powered up again, the main fusion drives fired at maximum power, and they effectively slammed on the brakes. Blue fusion torches filled space with kilometers-long blue beacons of light, broadcasting to everyone with eyes that they were coming.

But the Shang didn’t have time to do anything as the fighters closed into firing range. It was a perfectly executed high-speed attack coming out of complete darkness. Malcolm continued to chuckle as he imagined the Shang crewmen trying to come to terms with the idea that suddenly they were the ones in danger.

“All fighters, fire for effect,” Smith ordered in an iron tone.

“Hello, boys,” Malcolm said with a nasty chuckle as the fighters opened fire. “We’re ba-ack.”


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