The two old coastal supply ships had never merited names in their previous lives. Now, for their short change of career, they had been christened Rexal and Fedra after the twin mountain gods of legend.
Neither ship was capable of running under its own power. The engine rooms had been stripped of all turbines save those that powered the weapons system that filled the cargo bay. They had been tugged across the ocean by old battleships stripped of their main weapons but bristling with anti airs. After the twins were immolated these old timers were to serve as forward air defence for the invasion fleet.
Rexal and Fedra were ahead of Heavensent and its escorts, steaming towards a predetermined area. Charts were being checked and bearings taken, the last of the twins’ skeleton crews disembarked to motor launches and the rockets were ready on their racks. Everyone waited and counted down.
The two old ships and their tugs tacked into the fire zones. From here the pre-calculated trajectories and limited guidance systems of the rockets would land warheads on and around Stran island. Bank by bank, the motors lit and projectiles lifted from the ships.
With the last of the missiles gone, the twins were lost in their own noxious fog banks. As they emerged it was obvious their lives were over. Rexal was already listing where leaked fuel had ignited and punched a hole below the waterline and, like Fedra, was on fire for most of its length. The launch areas were well clear of the oncoming invasion fleet, so the old ships were cut loose and left to their fates.