March 4th, 3058

Inner Sphere Space

Pirate Jump Point

Out of the blackness the fabric of space spilt as a jumpship and its escort materialized from the ether of nothingness and solidified in form. The small Vincent class corvette's main drives ignited and moved slowly away from the jumpship which seemed to be drifting and unresponsive. Closer inspection of the craft revealed hull scoring and damaged hull sections. The warships right side showed some sections had suffered decompression and while it was under power it also had been heavily damaged.

The bridge section of the jumpship Hand of Fate was a mass of chaos, emergency klaxons sounding in the background drowned out the voices of those not right next to Star Captain Phalanx as he entered the bridge of the jumpship.

Phalanx began to make his way to the holotank but his way was hindered by the slow roll afflicting the ship and the tangle of support beams and wiring that had collapsed down from the ceiling supports. Carefully weaving his way throught the debris he heard the ships first officer reciting the damage to the ship.

"Decks 2, 5, 7 11, and 13 have failures in integrity and have been sealed, attitude thruster control is offline, main drives 2 and 4 are useless. Navigation computers are offline, shipboard communication are down, however we do have standard UHF, VHF and secure ship to ship laser link communications. Dropship 2 was jettisoned prior to our jump due to damage, their crew indicated o­ne of the fusion reactors was going critical, dropship 1 is unable to detach due to structural damage to the docking collar, dropship 3 is operational if not somewhat scorched. Life support is at 35% but operable. All sensor systems are inoperable and we are blind. The jump drive is operable but we cannot calculate the jump points until the navigation computer is fixed, and we do not know the extent of the damage yet, although Astrogation Officer Johns has an idea to possible slave the coordinates from the Brave Warrior, unfortunately we cannot unfurl our sail to recharge due to damage to the sail housing case. We may however be able to hot jump if the 2 remaining fusion reactors can provide enough power, engineering is running the numbers now."

Allowing the ships Captain to comphrehend the ships condition the first officer continued.

"As far as casualties we know we lost the entire troop compliment of dropship 2 as well as her crew, sensors indicate that she did explode just as we jumped, 28 men and women lost, the other dropships report o­nly minor injuries. As far as our own crew complement we lost 6 in the compartments that decompressed, we have 5 wounded being treated in sickbay at this time 2 that can be returned to duty after treatment."

Fleet Captain Hans stared silently at the floor for a moment gripping the handrail surrounding the holotank. Turning to his first officer he asked, "Damn, how did the Brave Warrior fare?"

Better than us but they still took some damage, most of it was localized however, they took a couple of whitesharks in the port side and had to evacuate a few compartments and they lost a few weapons but overall they are operational.

"Very good", replied the Captain. See if they can spare some damage control crews and lets get a list of critical items we need maybe they have some of those things in their ships stores, first priority is the solar sail and our reactors. We can slave off the Brave Warriors navigation console as Johns suggested. Also check with Captain Anders see of any off his aerospace assets made it inform him of our damage and make him aware that we lost the six aerospace fighters in dropship 2 and their pilots."

Turning to Star Captain Phalanx the Captain looked at the mechwarrior before him. "Looks like the DCMS did not like you stealing their mechs".

"No...I guess not", replied Phalanx. Any word o­n the other jumpships from the 2nd fleet, do we know if they made it past the enemy task force" asked Phalanx.

"The Warrior confirms the 2nd fleet made it safely away with the captured mechs." replied the first officer.

"Well thats something to be thankful for at least, Captain I will have my units techs report to your engineering section to lend a hand, also if you develop a list of other things that my warriors an myself can assist with I will organize and oversee that, maybe it can free some of your staff up to work o­n more critical systems. I think we can all agreee the sooner we can get underway the safer we will be."

"Aye, I appreciate the help, the Khan is o­ne who does not like to be kept waiting and I am sure he has other uses for you and your warriors besides floating around o­n my pleasure palace", Captain Hans replied as he smiled at Phalanx.

"Thomas if you would please get Star Captain Phalanx the information he needs, also have the engineering section report when they have integrated his techs into the damage control crews. With any luck we won't be spotted here and can get under way in short order."

With that last statement the ships Captain turned away and and began instructing the communications officer to patch him through to the their escort.

To be Continued....

Jeri *Sender*