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This Day in Science Fiction History: 3 September

Fictional Entry—Wednesday, September 3, 4003 (1901 PD)

HMS Fearless fires an energy torpedo broadside against Havenite Q ship Sirius
HMS Fearless fires an energy torpedo broadside against Havenite Q ship Sirius (© SaganamiFan 2013)

The First Battle of Basilisk started with an uprising on Medusa. As the attacks began, the Havenite registered merchant ship Sirius broke orbit and began heading for Basilisk’s hyper limit. Captain Harrington, based on intelligence suggesting the uprising was the first move in an invasion plan, believed Sirius was leaving to summon the Havenite naval force. She immediately dispatched her Marine contingent to assist on the ground and ordered the dispatch boat LME-970 through the Terminus with a Case: Zulu. Using the larger power of HMS Fearless’ alpha nodes, Harrington maneuvered her ship in a close pass to the Havenite courier ship. The intersecting fields blew the courier boat’s beta nodes, rendering the ship unable to break orbit. This rendered the number of ships she needed to pursue to one.

Captain Harrington ordered Sirius to heave to and stand by for inspection. When she received no response, Harrington fired a warning shot across the merchant’s bow. There was still no response, though the ship maintained its course of the hyper limit. Captain Johan Coglin ordered the weapons covers jettisoned at this point.

Detecting the debris, Harrington realized the hull plates had covered weapons ports and that Sirius was a Q ship. Sirius fired over 90 missiles with her chase armament, not successfully hitting HMS Fearless once. As the range closed to 24 light seconds, Harrington was finally able to launch a pair of missiles. One of the missiles hit Sirius, though did little damage.

In response to the closing range, Sirius increased their missile salvo from two to six. Fearless was unable to destroy or misdirect the additional salvo density and the forward impeller nodes were damaged, reducing her acceleration. The damage also destabilized Fusion One.

Damage control crews were able to restore the forward impeller ring, allowing Fearless to once again close with Sirius. More missile hits continued to damage both ships. The additional missile hits forced the jettisoning of Fusion One before the bottle’s containment failed. Harrington maneuvered Fearless to allow Sirius to cross her bow. As Sirius crossed, Harrington fired her grav lance. The hit overloaded Sirius’s sidewall. Fearless then used the four remaining energy torpedo launchers of her port broadside in continuous fire. Sirius was destroyed with all hands.

The casualties on Fearless were 107 dead and 58 wounded. The ship itself was damaged to the point the Royal Manticoran Navy decommissioned her after she returned to HMSS Hephaestus. Due to the extraordinary service of HMS Fearless, Captain Harrington, and her crew, the ship’s name was added to the RMN’s List of Honor. This ensured Fearless’ name and battle honors would remain on active duty in the fleet.

On Basilisk Station


David Weber


This Day in Science Fiction History examines notable events, real and fictional, concerning fantasy and science fiction in various media.

1 Comment

Sep 03, 2023

Also ensuring that the grav lance would be added to the navy weapons list. (yay)

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