"Enemy ship above the Number 3 combat line!" called out Chief Petty Officer Mark Kran from the operator's boom chair suspended on the Pegasus's bridge.
"But we're in the Texas Zone!" Lieutenant Brite yelled. "Are you positive?"
"The computer data base readout identifies it as the Chibe, a Zeon heavy cruiser, sir! It's too close a match in weight and size to be an asteroid."
From the ship's helm it was Ensign Mirai's turn to comment. "We've got a message from the Hal requesting us to assume Number 2 combat formation!" she yelled.
Brite reached for the captain's phone and switched it ship-wide. "All crew! Assume Number 2 combat formation!" He repeated the announcement twice. Ensign Gilal, Petty Officer Saila, and the other communications crew would make sure that everyone moved to the proper sectors and took up the right stations.
Saila announced: "Decks One and Two, open launch hatches! Mobile Suits stand by for takeoff!"
Before she could get all the words out, a response came from Ensign Amuro. "All systems go on Gundam!" he yelled. "Beam rifle ready! Catapult set!" He was ready thirty seconds faster than Ryu and Kai in their Gun Cannons.
Mark, the operator, shouted from his perch. "The enemy will reach the Number 2 combat line in one minute! One heavy cruiser, two regular! Estimated number of Zaks... eleven!"
After Saila relayed the information to each pilot, what sounded like a wail came from Kai in his Mobile Suit. "Jeez! We're outnumbered more than two to one!"
"Saila!" Brite called angrily. "Tell Kai to cut the personal chitchat!"
"Yessir," she replied.
Mark started counting aloud as if to confirm the number of enemy Mobile Suits. "Four... Five... Six... Ten! Eleven!" Brite looked up at the display on the ceiling of the Pegasus's bridge, where computer graphics showed a simulated model of enemy ship locations. "Launch Mobile Suits!" he ordered.
Just before the radio link to each Mobile Suit was severed, Saila's final communication reached the pilots. "Mark's estimate was correct," she said. "There are eleven Zaks."