Chucks’s prompt this week is a perfect excuse to tease you with more from War of the Worlds: Retaliation. I’m a little heavy at 1500 words:
“Finally, we’re prepared for you.” A grin slowly formed on Admiral Beatty’s face. He leaned back in his chair, staring at the large ebb screen in King Edward VII’s battle management center, heart pumping quicker as the four hundred sixty dots representing the Martian fleet closed with the ASEF ships. This would not be like slaughter of his gunboat fleet in the Sudan. This time, they’d fight the bloody squids on equal footing.
Fight and win. Beatty closed his eyes. The faces of the young lads from his gunboats floated through his mind. A slight shudder went through him as he recalled the heat of the explosions, the screams of the wounded, the sight of men vaporized.
A lump formed in Beatty’s throat. I’ll make them pay. I swear it to all of you.
“They’re splitting up.” Captain Gibbons pointed at the screen. “Looks as though they’re sending most of their bigger ships to hit our flanks.”
Beatty nodded, watching large groups of dots break off and make for different parts of the ASEF fleet.
“Leftenant Porter,” he said to the combat coordination officer. “Have US Task Force Forty-Four and the German Eighth Fleet reinforce our left flank. he British Third Fleet and French Sixth Fleet will reinforce the right flank. US Task Force Thirty-Four, the Brazilian First Fleet and the Norwegian Third Flotilla will reinforce our rear.”
“Aye, sir.” Porter repeated the order to the appropriate fleet commanders.
“Also,” Beatty held up a finger, “move up the Canadian Second Flotilla, the Spanish First Fleet, and the Italian Second Fleet to protect the transports and support ships.”
“Aye, sir.” Porter relayed that order as well.
Anticipation grew within Beatty. He yearned to give the order to fire. He looked around the BMC, thought of the thousands of human ships at his command, all built from the technology the Martian invaders left behind when they died.
Technology about to be turned against you monsters. Oh, the delicious irony. Perhaps he’d pen a poem about it one day.
“Lower projection screens. I want complete three hundred sixty degree coverage of the battle area.”
“Aye, sir,” replied Porter. “Lowering projection screens.”