Author Topic: Wings of Dawn Lore  (Read 8267 times)

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Fffffffffair confusion, haha! Yeah, I meant a forum game. I guess a better question would be "How might one go about getting a subforum for one's forum game, if one thinks it warranted?" (which I'm not sure it is), or maybe "Why the **** is Xeno derailing this WoD thread with dumb nerd ****?".

 

Offline Lorric

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Spoon has the power to create subforums in here, so you could ask him about it.

 

Online Spoon

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Fffffffffair confusion, haha! Yeah, I meant a forum game. I guess a better question would be "How might one go about getting a subforum for one's forum game, if one thinks it warranted?" (which I'm not sure it is), or maybe "Why the **** is Xeno derailing this WoD thread with dumb nerd ****?".
You should contact an admin for that
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline Enioch

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Chapter 5, Part 6: Tipping the Scales



In orbit near the Sodesuka Shipyards - 18:35 Central System Time.


The Delest cruisers thundered toward their targets, crossing Dyatlov's battle-line so close to the foundering Volyas that Ermolai managed to send the message "FORM UP ON MY TAIL" by flashing the Pamyat's running lights, in addition to broadcasting it on every Delest frequency. They were six, with the Yonsakuren trio on the point of the formation, and they covered the distance quickly. The Grazhdanins were multi-purpose ships, jacks-of-all-trades but masters of none. Ton-for-ton, they had shields to rival a Volya and more armor, but no fighterbay. They were heavy, rugged ships, but they had powerful drives. And, while they were no match for a Lord hull-on-hull (a single Lord was more than twice their tonnage), they were probably the only asset that the Delest still had capable of going toe-to-toe with the remains of Aretha's fleet.

Behind them -considerably behind them- the Volyas drew together, under the whip of Arurior Sebrenova's and Dyatlov's rage. The captains of the Anano and Evstafi were summarily relieved of command, the former having been shot on the spot for incompetence by the ship's First Officer, under direct orders from Dyatlov. Now in command of the Anano, Ter-Iio Tetsutaro proceeded to crack down on the mutineers like a Fury out of Hell, deploying her most trusted people in critical stations and threatening decimation protocols against any crew party that did not fall in line.

Slowly but surely, the Volyas swung around to follow Ermolai's example, slotting into pursuit formation. Their launch tubes running dry, they lobbed a final salvo of anti-capital torpedoes against their fleeing enemies - and then they redlined their engines and surged forward, to battle.

But they were too slow to keep up with the charging cruisers, who had, by now, left them far behind - for Ermolai could see his quarry crawling towards safety and was determined to deny them that option. Like a hound without a leash and with singular, focused determination, he went for the throat.


HMS Bellerophon, in orbit near the Sodesuka Shipyards - 18:35 Central System Time.


Exarch Aretha Pegasus crawled forward, blood dripping down her forehead and pooling on the cold floor below her. She heaved, and, with the help of two damcon crewmembers, managed to drag her waist and mangled left leg from under the steel beam that had collapsed across the Bellerophon's bridge. She glanced to the side, as a medic worried at her wounds, and saw Simmons still faintly smiling, his dead eyes blankly staring at the crumpled cealing. His upper torso had been crushed completely by the falling beam - he had died almost instantly.

"Down-" she croaked, her voice just above a cough, "Ms. Downey!"

"Here, Ma'am," came the shaky response; her sensor officer was still alive. Aretha shoo'd away the medic, who had just finished anesthetising and putting her leg in a field cast and turned.

Downey was not looking at her - she was looking at the bodies of two of her people, buried under the debris of the collapsed consoles. The falling beam had come to rest less than a yard from the position of Downey herself - the young officer was pale as death. In al, honesty, Aretha knew exactly how she was feeling; but there was no time for this, no time at all.

"Ms. Downey, I need a sitrep, now," she said, trying (and failing, in her own ears), to imbue her voice with what little authority she could still bring to bear.

"Y-yes, Ma'am," Downey said, almost jerking awake and turning back to what was left of her console. "We're- we're still mobile, but crippled. Engines at one third power. Enemy strike group outbound, in full retreat. And- Ma'am, I'm getting several closing signatures. Mid- to capital-grade, their cruisers most likely."

Cruisers?

For a few heartbeats, she considered ordering her ships around. No cruiser could hope to brawl with a Lord and live, whether the Lord was crippled or not. For a few heartbeats, Aretha considered turning her ships around and facing her pursuers, those same ships that had killed Fletcher and were now coming for her. Her frustration, her fear, her rage at the death of her officers and crews, those brave men and women who had died covering her retreat, rose from within her like a dark, evil ball of mind-numbing anger and she almost, almost surrendered to it. It would be so easy to turn around, take the Delest cruisers under fire, smash them out of the sky, avenge her dead.

But no - her duty was to the living. Those ships that could still move and fight - those crewmen who had survived everything that crazy, crazy Delest bastard had thrown at them: she had to get them out. French would be here, shortly, to face the mauled Delest and avenge her people. Her job was to safeguard what she had left; and if she turned around now, then she would have to fight again, risking that one unlucky shot that could cripple or kill one or more of her ships.

"Comms," she ordered, clawing herself back into the ruin of her command chair, "Signal the fleet to tighten up formation. Helm, slow us to the best speed Indefatigable can make. Point us away from that damned inhibitor ship and commence cycling on the jump drive; as soon as we are out of the inhibition field, jump us to the starlance base.

"Aye, Ma'am," came the responses, and Aretha leaned back on her chair, closing her eyes and gritting her teeth against the throbbing pain of her leg.


YCS Pamyat Slavy, in orbit near the Sodesuka Shipyards - 18:36 Central System Time.


Ermolai loomed over the seat of his navigation officer like a vulture, his lips pulled back in a snarling grin. "Contact time?"

"Three minutes long range, one minute mid range, less than fourty-five seconds point-blank," she responded, her voice clipped and professional. Her earlier adrenaline high had somewhat eased back down and she was focused again, something that Ermolai appreciated profoundly. "Then they'll be out of the inhibition field."

Ermolai nodded thoughtfully, knowing that his face would be just on the limits of her peripheral vision.

It would not be enough.

Against enemy cruisers, his Grazhdanins would have fared quite well in the four-to-five minutes of contact time he would have before the enemy jumped away. He would have had more than enough time to cripple or outright destroy his targets. But against Lords, his chances were slim; and his losses would be very high.

He backed off the consoles, absent-mindedly marking the slowest CRF Dreadnoughts (those crippled by his strike wings) as targets for the long-range graviton batteries of his ships. Whatever his final plan, it would help him to break up the enemy formation by further hurting their slowest ships. He paced the bridge behind his officers, for a dozen slow Yonsakuren heartbeats, weighing options and discarding them one by one as he went.

And then he came to the only conclusion he could - the only way he could guarantee the death of the Dynasty's and the Clan's (and Dyatlov's, a small part of him acknowledged, with a mental nod of respect to his Praetor) enemies. He took a deep breath and let it go, seeing the path clearly and accepting it for what it had to be, with a mix of pride and regret.

"Attention, crew," he said, calmly, his headset linking to the ship's intercom. "This is Ermolai. The Clan and I thank you for your service. Now hear this. I declare, here and before witnesses that, today, I am a perfect Yonsakuren warrior. There is nothing I can do that can add more glory to my name, or that of this ship. Will anyone contest that statement?"

Some of his bridge officers turned around in their seats, staring back in shock; others bent over their consoles, but their stiffening shoulders told Ermolai that he had their full attention. Yet no-one spoke and no-one challenged his declaration for the five-ten-fifteen seconds tradition demanded. In fact, some of them nodded, thoughtfully, seeing through his plan and accepting it.

"Thank you, all," he finally said. "If that is the case, then those of you who believe they may still improve themselves and bring glory to the Clan elsewhere may leave. You have two minutes from this moment to reach the escape pods."

Four of his bridge officers stood at that, all of them quite young. Ermolai clasped hands with them, one by one, smiling as they left the bridge. He knew that, all over the ship, station officers would be doing the same with other crewmembers.

"Helm," he finally said, as the blast doors of the bridge closed behind the last retreating officer, "We have an appointment with the enemy flagship. Burn our drives out if you have to, but do not let us be late. Comms, record a message to the Michiko. This has been a glorious fight, Praetor. We all thank you for giving us this opportunity."
 

HMS Bellerophon, in orbit near the Sodesuka Shipyards - 18:38 Central System Time.


The first shots were exchanged at extreme range - railgun slugs against miniature singularities. Shields flared and held, as the CRF ships retreated and Aretha smiled grimly as Tactical reported confirmed hits on the rapidly closing cruisers. Less than five minutes to the edge of that infernal inhibitor field...

"Ma'am," Downey called, "I've got multiple signatures pulling out of the cruisers."

Aretha blanched. "Torpedo strike?" At that range and against the crippled PD net of the Lords, that could prove disaastrous.

"Negative, Ma'am," Downey responded. "No active weapon signatures on them. They're spilling out of the first three cruisers. Frankly, Ma'am, they look like escape pods."

Aretha frowned. "Are they abandoning ship? We can't have hurt them that badly already?"

"No, Ma'am," Downey replied, looking as puzzled as Aretha felt. "The cruisers seem in relatively good condition and we certainly haven't scored enough hits to warrant this. Admittedly, we don't know how much Commodore Fletcher hurt them before. I think that this is a desperation move and a morale breakdown - their captain wants to try and duel us at short range, and his crew is abandoning ship on him."

"The Delest?" Aretha asked incredulously. "Abandon their precious chain of command? Disobey orders? Hardly. There's something else going on here and it certainly won't be good for us. Tactical, focus our fire on those three ships."


In orbit near the Sodesuka Shipyards - 18:40 Central System Time.


If Aretha had turned her ships to engage the Grazhdanins, she may have had a chance to kill them before they closed the range. As it happened, the Lords could only bring their rear batteries to bear; and the shields of the cruisers held out long enough -just long enough- for them to catch up with the trailing Menelaus. The CRF Dreadnought had a total of twenty seconds to bring her broadsides to bear at the Delest ships screaming past, and she did so with the typical CRF precision, carving a huge chunk off Volga's port engine cluster.

The Yonsakuren ship staggered, for an instant -

-and then Ter-Iio Artyom Yonsakuren, having taken over the helm of his ship himself, after his young helm officer had chosen to abandon ship, drove his crippled darling straight into the side of the CRF giant. The shields of the two ships clashed for an instant - and then the Delest cruiser was through, her thrusters still boosting hard-

The force of the impact drove the bow of the Volga deep into the Menelaus' side armor and cracked her spine. Plasma from her reactor flooded her central compartments. And then the Delest cruiser's core blew, in an apocalyptic fireball that killed both ships in a bright, silent instant.


HMS Bellerophon, in orbit near the Sodesuka Shipyards - 18:40 Central System Time.


"Great merciful God," Aretha gasped at the destruction of her rear guard, at the other two cruisers still closing in, almost on top of her now, and at her own ships, who were also drawing away from the inferno of the Menelaus' death. "Good God! What are they-"

And then the other two charging cruisers were among them, (Good God, they were among them!) one of them boosting straight for the Bellerophon, and Aretha whirled to the Comms station.

"Bring the fleet together!" she screamed. "Concentrate fire on the closing cruisers! That's the last card they have left to play, do you understand? Survive this and we live. Fire! Fight them! For Pegasus, by God! Focus fi-"


YCS Pamyat Slavy, in orbit near the Sodesuka Shipyards - 18:40 Central System Time.


Almost gently, tenderly the Pamyat Slavy's helmsman brought Ermolai's flagship down on the Bellerophon. The Delest cruiser was trailing flame and plasma, from where accurate shots had punctured her shields and armor; she waded into a near-solid wall of railgun and coherent light as she descended.

Deep in the Pamyat's engineering section, her Chief Engineer disengaged the core safeties, and then stood back, laughing in delight. The men and women under his command joined him. In gunnery stations all across the cruiser's hull, Yonsakuren crewmen and -women howled and whooped, as the looming hulk of the Bellerophon drew closer, tears of joy and battle-lust streaming down their faces.

The Pamyat's shields touched the Bellerophon's, and arcs of electricity and agitated ether crackled away into space. Her straining thrusters pushed her through and into-

On her darkened bridge, Ermolai grinned, his teeth almost glowing white in the gloom.

"It is my hand that tips the scale," he murmured, as if to himself, his voice holding the triumphant note of deepest satisfaction.

The fireball of the Pamyat's core going up only reached him as a distant sigh; and a heartbeat later, there was nothing.

« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 09:42:36 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Enioch

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I did promise an update before the end of the week. Shut up, Sunday counts.

In fact, I think "Dawn no Tsubasa Densetsu" will, from now on, occupy a Sunday slot. We've managed to renegotiate our contract, or something.

My God, the weebness.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 01:32:33 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 
 
Re: Dawn no Tsubasa Densetsu
not the yaoi cat!




Dude, holy ****, this is some of the most badass writing I've seen in a long time. How much of the worldbuilding is yours and how much is Spoon's?

 
Re: Dawn no Tsubasa Densetsu
My eyes have now quadrupled in size and I have an irresistible urge to punch guys and call them perverts for no real reason.

Thanks, Enioch.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline Lorric

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Exemplary work as always.

I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel about what Ermolai and his people just did. Self sacrifice is often admirable, but here the strongest emotion I think I feel is that it was creepy. It feels less like a noble sacrifice and more like machines running through their programming and executing what they've been programmed to do. Machines with emotions. Emotions that are an integral part of the programming.

I'll miss the characters that are gone. It's surprising how much you managed to put into them from so few words.

"Dawn no Tsubasa Densetsu"
What does it mean?

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Dawn no Tsubasa Densetsu
Dude, holy ****, this is some of the most badass writing I've seen in a long time. How much of the worldbuilding is yours and how much is Spoon's?

That's  a really difficult question to answer, because Spoon has been very closely involved throughout the process and I've been bouncing ideas off him all the time. And of course the main plotline is 100% Spoon. I've added some important characters and pretty much the entire background of the Yonsakuren is me, based off a two-sentence blurb that Spoon once wrote and on the feedback he gave me while I was writing.

If Spoon is OK with it, once this tale is finished, we can make public the plotline as he sent it to me?

My eyes have now quadrupled in size and I have an irresistible urge to punch guys and call them perverts for no real reason.

Thanks, Enioch.

You're quite welcome, it's been a pleasure turning you into a tsundere lead for our space opera anime. Tell Lafiel I said hi. :D

Exemplary work as always.

I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel about what Ermolai and his people just did. Self sacrifice is often admirable, but here the strongest emotion I think I feel is that it was creepy. It feels less like a noble sacrifice and more like machines running through their programming and executing what they've been programmed to do. Machines with emotions. Emotions that are an integral part of the programming.

Hah! *happy dance* I knew I would manage to creep you out! :p

Seriously, this is a very good point, and I'd like to raise it for discussion among the readers. How much did you like the Yonsakuren and would you care to comment on how successful you think I was in capturing the major ideological differences between the 2 (3?) parties in this war?

Quote
"Dawn no Tsubasa Densetsu"
What does it mean?

"Legend/Tale of the Wings of Dawn". ;)

Thanks all, for the kind words, BTW.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Lorric

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Re: Dawn no Tsubasa Densetsu
I think a big part of the creepiness factor is that normally the story is that it is emotions that separate us from the machines and it is emotions that AIs struggle to wrap their mechanical intelligences around. Here, and it's something I've never seen before, it is emotions that are making people into machines. Emotions that are doing the programming. Of course, emotions can sometimes do this to you anyway (freeze you with fear for instance) but this is different, because someone else did the programming.

I also am reminded of strategy video games. Where your little minions will do whatever you want, will do things real troops wouldn't do. Perfect soldiers. Just as Ermolai said.

You've done a good job with the ideological differences, but we're still pretty much in the dark about the cause of the war. Sure, we already know the basics of why the ideologies of the DD and CRF will clash, but we don't know why that has been enough to get them fighting such a destructive conflict. We don't know what's in the CRF's mind beyond seeing an opportunity to grab a system. We don't know for instance if this was someone else's system, would they have still gone in, or not? Are they already in a state of war with the DD? I don't think so because it was implied demands to avert war were sent (and we don't know what the content of those demands were), and if not met would create a state of war. I got the impression the two factions were not at war at that point. And we don't know what the DD mindset is. Obviously they will fight the invader, but if they kick out the CRF, what then?

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Dawn no Tsubasa Densetsu
I think a big part of the creepiness factor is that normally the story is that it is emotions that separate us from the machines and it is emotions that AIs struggle to wrap their mechanical intelligences around. Here, and it's something I've never seen before, it is emotions that are making people into machines. Emotions that are doing the programming. Of course, emotions can sometimes do this to you anyway (freeze you with fear for instance) but this is different, because someone else did the programming.

I also am reminded of strategy video games. Where your little minions will do whatever you want, will do things real troops wouldn't do. Perfect soldiers. Just as Ermolai said.

Glad to see someone got hit by the anvil I tried to drop.  ;)  :p

Quote
You've done a good job with the ideological differences, but we're still pretty much in the dark about the cause of the war. Sure, we already know the basics of why the ideologies of the DD and CRF will clash, but we don't know why that has been enough to get them fighting such a destructive conflict. We don't know what's in the CRF's mind beyond seeing an opportunity to grab a system. We don't know for instance if this was someone else's system, would they have still gone in, or not? Are they already in a state of war with the DD? I don't think so because it was implied demands to avert war were sent (and we don't know what the content of those demands were), and if not met would create a state of war. I got the impression the two factions were not at war at that point. And we don't know what the DD mindset is. Obviously they will fight the invader, but if they kick out the CRF, what then?

If that's your main concern - don't worry: the epilogue is planned to address and clarify these issues, to some extent.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Online Spoon

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Re: Dawn no Tsubasa Densetsu
Dude, holy ****, this is some of the most badass writing I've seen in a long time. How much of the worldbuilding is yours and how much is Spoon's?

That's  a really difficult question to answer, because Spoon has been very closely involved throughout the process and I've been bouncing ideas off him all the time. And of course the main plotline is 100% Spoon. I've added some important characters and pretty much the entire background of the Yonsakuren is me, based off a two-sentence blurb that Spoon once wrote and on the feedback he gave me while I was writing.
Enioch is amazing to work with, I give him some very global plot ideas and guidelines on what I have in mind, and he just comes up with wonderful words that make sense. Sometimes even pointing out that I'm about to contradict what I previously established (in a small blurb on the forums, some time ago, that I had already forgotten about because I didn't make note of it in my design document). He's also helped me solidify some of the WoD 'universe mechanics', as it were, such as ether and subspace etc.

If Spoon is OK with it, once this tale is finished, we can make public the plotline as he sent it to me?
I'll take it under consideration.

If that's your main concern - don't worry: the epilogue is planned to address and clarify these issues, to some extent.
I'll try and answer to the best of my abilities, any left over questions there might be after the epilogue.
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Dawn no Tsubasa Densetsu
Enioch is amazing to work with, I give him some very global plot ideas and guidelines on what I have in mind, and he just comes up with wonderful words that make sense. Sometimes even pointing out that I'm about to contradict what I previously established (in a small blurb on the forums, some time ago, that I had already forgotten about because I didn't make note of it in my design document). He's also helped me solidify some of the WoD 'universe mechanics', as it were, such as ether and subspace etc.

'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Lorric

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Something that seems strange, maybe we've just not reached the point where they do, but Dyatlov needed Ermolai to lead his forces into battle and yet it doesn't seem like his forces can even reach the CRF before they jump out?

I'm curious what Dyatlov will do now. He has enough time to jump out before French arrives. If he does that though, he leaves French free to lay waste to the targets Aretha originally came to destroy. Though knowing French he'll go for the capture rather than destruction, which would be even worse because then French will have a new shipyard.

 
With lots of big capships going up in flames it's very likely that it could completely screw up the engines of the surrounding ships and slow them down, or all the interference from reactors going critical could **** up their subspace plotting.

I don't think Dylatov or Aretha are getting out of this one alive. And this might just be a spark that gets the DD to send proper reinforcements and force the CRF to leave the system as it would no longer be worth it.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline Enioch

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Aretha's very dead. The Bellerophon went up in smoke along with the Pamyat's core. I thought that was clear.

As for the CRF forces currently in system, let me give you a current list of the Pegasus capital ships and their COs: (from my own notes, see? I am organised. I don't pull names out of my arse)

Bellerophon - Simmons (Champion, Male) - OH SO VERY DEAD
Menelaus - Cookson (Commodore, Male) - OH SO VERY DEAD
Royal Oak - Ramsworth (Commodore, Male) - DEAD
Cyclops - Dawson (Commodore, Male) - DEAD
Atreus - Walpole (Commodore, Female) - DEAD
Indefatigable - Davenport (Commodore, Female) - CRIPPLED, IN RANGE OF THE VOLYAS
Invincible - Sorensen (Knight, Female) - ISOLATED, BEHIND THE FORCE, IN RANGE OF THE VOLYAS
Avalon - Carmichael (Knight, Male) - DISABLED AND SURRENDERED
Perseus - Allerton (Knight, Male) - LIGHT DAMAGE - CURRENTLY UNDER GRAVITON FIRE FROM FOUR CRUISERS, ONE OF WHICH IS YONSAKUREN (i.e. RIP)
Temeraire - Eastoft (Knight, Female) - CRIPPLED


At this point, Pegasus has nothing left. And French's best-case ETA puts him at least ten minutes away.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 
So by the time French arrives the battle will already have been lost.

There's a good joke about the Franco-Prussian war here.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline Enioch

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This battle has been lost. Conclusively.

Of course, the Delest fleet is currently mauled, and their combat-worthy capitals are at the mid single-digits (need to update my list with the most recent casualties, but at first glance, I'm counting seven or eight capitals, including old monitors and battleships)

French has thirteen fresh Lords and his light forces. If he wants the system, he gets the system, it's that simple.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 
Militarily, yes. But Aretha's death might be enough to stop him from getting it politically.
After all, if he conclusively succeeds where she failed, even using the damage her ships dealt to secure the system that might cause some internal trouble in the CRF.
And a big victory might get the DD to finally get up and send some actual support, despite the politicking.


When I said that Dylatov probably isn't getting out of this alive I meant the war, not just this battle.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded