Klaxons rang throughout the Patrol Fleet upon the detection of the massive Algolian Fleet closing in on them. Admiral Campbell immediately comprehended the nature of the threat and reorganized the Fleet into a spindle formation, sensing the enemy's weak spot and pushing for it. Long-range bombardment put a wedge at that flaw, and then short range bombardment took that wedge and forced open a whole. The Algolians reacted by letting the Patrol Fleet break through and regrouped at its rear, then advancing upon it from there to re-engage. This threatened to degenerated into a ring-shaped battle of attrition, but Admiral Campbell saw this coming.
Campbell organized the Fleet to mask itself, appearing smaller and smaller as it withdrew by having smaller ships run alongside the bigger ones so that electronic detection would produce erroneous results and visual ones would give false confirmation by being out of line of sight. The Algolians, thinking that they did serious damage, fell prey to their base instincts and charge headlong at the Patrol Fleet. The Fleet reformed its long line into a curved shape, and drew the Algolian fleet into a trap by masking a deliberate movement to withdraw in the middle for a weak point in their line. The Fleet then executed a double-envelopment with the wings, which spread in all dimensions to englobe the Algolians. The smaller ships emerged from their hiding spots and rushed into the voids in the fire between the fleets. Marines aboard those ships boarded enemy ships and threw the Algolians into disarray, as those enemies did not expect a wave of boarding attacks.
The Algolians responded by firing upon their own vessels, killing everyone and destroying all targets. When Campbell took note of this response, he had the boarding ships pull back, covering their withdrawl with massed volleys of missiles. Some of those missiles got through the massive wall of counter-battery fire, striking at the damaged Algolian vessels already in contact with the Patrol and disabling them. Campbell saw the void in in Algolian fire and ordered the boarders to re-engage along that line of attack, this time sticking close to enemy vessels as their new targets were the command vessels in the Algolian fleet. While few of the marines deployed met those stated aims, the disarray caused by the boarding actions so disrupted Algolian efforts to maintain cohesion that the Patrol Fleet had an easy time in further blunting the Algolian fleet's fighting capacity; Campbell ordered a shift towards crippling and disabling over destroying, the results being that a buffer of nigh-helpless enemy vessels soon manifested between the belligerents.
Once more, the Patrol Fleet sought to withdraw from battle. Their superior command and control, along with superior discipline, could only go so far. If this went on, the fatigue would begin to favor the Algolians and their superior numbers. Already, the Algolian fleet reorganized to take advantage of the fact; Campbell's staff told him how long they had before they could expect a new Algolian attack, the first of a series of tag-team maneuvers meant to wear down the Patrol Fleet. Admiral Campbell would not have it.
He played a hunch, and leaked that the Kinneson was behind the Algolian fleet cutting off supplies and tearing up their rear area with impunity. A faked distress call, and then another, and then another- all calling for aid. Campbell hoped not that they would cut and run to respond, but rather that it would throw their command into sufficient disarray to make them unable to respond effectively to the Patrol's withdraw.
This is what happened. The subordinates in the Algolian fleet got to questioning their orders, which lead to the usual internal discipline issues--summary execution for insubordination, and ambitious underlings using those opportunities to take promotions from their superiors' corpses--and that chaos disrupted operations for some time. In that chaos, the Patrol Fleet disengaged and withdrew from battle entirely. Once away, they went free and threw open the throttles on their jets, getting very far from them very fast.
At this moment, Campbell attempted to contact Homsar telepathically, but got no reply.
Meanwhile, The Master saw the results of the engagement, and made no indication of approval or dismay. All he did was order the fleet to pursue, and not too close.
"The Patrol cannot comprehend what I have waiting for them." he said, "Once unleashed, total victory is inevitable."