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Exile: Alternate History

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Exile alternate history part 11

Command Briefing:

Page 1:
Status of TF7:
EFD Hesperia (Flagship) (Galahad)
EFFg Lincoln (Vidar)
EFFg Wolf (Vidar)
ORFg Carrington (Tychicus)
ORFg Fafnir (Agneya)
EFFg Everest (Solomon)
EFFg Princeton (Solomon)
EFFg Luna (Solomon)
EFFg Huron (Solomon)
ORFg Lassel (Vitalius)
EFC Trailblazer (Evangelist)
ORC Griffin (Amalthea)
EFCs London (modified Viscount)
EFCs Borealis (modified Viscount)
ORFs Terbium (Hephaestus)
ORLs Mendel (Hestia)
ORGt Photon (Pluto)

All ships active

Page 2:
To all personnel of TF7, we are now in the Mi Arae system.  We’re going to continue our policy of scouting the system we just entered. 

Page 3:
The Sathanas juggernaut Tyrant was heading toward Terminus last we checked.  We’re not sure if it’s made the jump to that system yet or not.  For now, however, we’re going to stay ‘behind’ it in Mi Arae to make sure we don’t run into it yet.  Fortunately, it seems Tyrant has interests elsewhere.

Page 4:
Some of the traces of Exodus Fleet we detected shows it was headed toward Terminus too.  Hopefully they have enough of a lead on Tyrant.  We’ll be heading to Terminus eventually too so don’t discount the possibility of TF7 having to fight Tyrant at some point.

Page 5:
As a result of the success of the previous mission, we do have some good news for all pilots of TF7.  After pooling research with crews on the Terbium, we have completed development of the Frost cannon.  It has high marks against shields and armor and is fairly decent against subsystems and turrets as well.  The only drawbacks are it only has a range of 1,000 meters and has above average power consumption.  However, if you can be accurate with it, it should prove deadly against Shivan craft.  We should have enough developed for our elite squadrons by the time we get to Terminus.
(Note:  This is basically the equivalent of the Kayser.)

Page 6:
Work continues on our Cliffhanger gun.  We’re working to give our craft something similar to what ORS gunships have:  a long-range anti-hull gun that’s good for taking out turrets.  The Lyre has a sniper cannon but this will be for general use on fighters with larger power plants.
(Note:  The equivalent of the Maxim.)
We are also planning development of a next generation long range heavy missile for use against bombers and turrets.  It is modeled after the old GTA Phoenix V and will be called simply the Phoenix X.
(Note:  This is basically a Trebuchet.)

Page 7:
Get ready for recon in Mi Arae pilots.  I have a feeling something big may be coming up soon or that we may be entering the next chapter of our journey in exile through space.

Mission Briefing:

Page 1:
Hydra Alpha 1, we actually have a special mission for you today.

Page 2:
We’re sending out scouting parties to scout Mi Arae and are readying attack groups to attack some Shivan formations we’ve found.  Your assignment will be to recon an area we suspect a heavy Shivan destroyer might be in.  However, we’ve got a special ship for you to try out for this mission that should make things a little easier at least.

Page 3:
In this mission you’ll be flying a modified Stentor interceptor.  I know it doesn’t have the firepower of the Echelon superfighter, but firepower isn’t what this particular mission is about.

Page 4:
We’ve detected some Shivan forces near the range of our regular sensors and we want you to check them out.  This modified Stentor is a stealth fighter variant.  We just finished it and though normally we’d do more testing, these aren’t really normal circumstances for humanity.  For this mission, the craft’s codename is “Ghost”.

Page 5:
Jump to the area we suspect the Shivans are at and report back to us what you see.  Your stealth Stentor, aka EFF Ghost, has been equipped with a special long-range secure frequency.

Page 6:
Unfortunately, there is a downside to this new technology.  To fit the stealth systems and special comms device on the Ghost, we needed to remove your secondary weapons banks for this mission.  Perhaps in
the future we’ll be able to improve the stealth technology to where we can also fit more weapons on board.  That’s for another day though.  However, the point of this mission isn’t to rack up a killscore.

Page 7:
We did some limited testing of this device.  I won’t bore you with the details, but you should be able to get close enough to Shivan capital ships to scan them…on the other hand, you’ll want to stay 500 meters away from fighters otherwise they’ll fire on you.

Page 8:
Primary objective:
Perform reconnaissance of suspected Shivan rally point [ ]

(Mission begins)

Alpha 1:  Hesperia, I’m on a secure frequency and I’ve reached the designated recon zone but there’s nothing here at the moment.  Now what?

Hesperia:  Hang on Alpha 1.  We believe Shivan capital ships should be there shortly.  How are you liking the Ghost so far?

Alpha 1:  Except for the lack of secondaries, it flies just like a Stentor.  Hopefully when the time comes the stealth system works.  Anyways, out of curiosity, what are the rest of the Hydras doing right now while I’m away here?

Hesperia:  I suppose we can tell you as long as we’re both on a secure frequency.  They’re off assaulting a supply convoy with a cruiser group and a frigate for escort.    Don’t worry, it shouldn’t be anything they can’t handle.

Alpha 1:  Will I be all alone on this mission?  Is there any chance for support coming in or even some kind of diversionary strike?

Hesperia:  Not at this time, sorry Alpha 1.  Don’t worry, we’re not expecting you to engage in major combat here.  This mission is reconnaissance.

Alpha 1:  Roger that, Hesperia.

(A short while passes and then some supply ships come in)

Alpha 1:  Hesperia, some transports have just jumped in with cargo.  Orders?

Hesperia:  Proceed as planned, Alpha 1.  Scan the transports and then scan the cargo.  Remember to not fire or you’ll be detected and we’ll have to scrap the mission.

Alpha 1:  Understood.

(The player scans the Shivan craft).

Alpha 1:  Hesperia, all ships and cargo scanned.  It looks like they may be jumping out soon.

Hesperia:  That’s not our concern at the moment.  Be prepared for any more ships that could come in.  It looks like they might be setting up some sort of staging or rally point.

(A couple cruisers come in but this time they have a wing of fighters as escort.)

Alpha 1:  Two Shivan cruisers with a fighter wing have arrived.  I’m moving in to scan them.

Hesperia:  Remember to stay at least 500 meters from the fighters.

(The player should be able to complete this part fairly easily.)

Alpha 1:  The second set of vessels is completed.  Some of the ships are staying in this area and some are going elsewhere.  Should I pursue any of them?

Hesperia:  Negative, Alpha 1.  Focus on keeping track of what’s in the immediate area.  Scan ships even if they’re leaving, but we’ll have to worry about them some other time.

(Now a Lilith and a wing of Dragons come in.)

Alpha 1:  Hesperia, a Lilith heavy cruiser and a Dragon wing have just come in.

Hesperia:  Get a scan of the Lilith.  Be careful about the Dragons though, they are quicker and more maneuverable than the previous fighter wing. 

(The player then scans the Lilith.  The Dragons stick a little closer to the Lilith than the previous wing to its cruisers.  However, they fly in a pattern and if the player is a little patient it shouldn’t be too difficult to get in and scan the Lilith.)

Alpha 1:  The Lilith has been scanned, Command.

Hesperia:  Good work.  It looks like this might be a rally point or cargo depot.  On the other hand, we don’t really know the Shivans so this could just be a bunch of lost random Shivans coming together at this point in space to have a party and watch Star Trek reruns or something.  Stick around just in case more warships come.

(Two Moloch corvettes, or frigates as they’re called in Exile, now arrive.)

Alpha 1:  Hesperia, two Molochs have come in now.  It looks like the Dragon wing may be moving in to cover them.  I’ll get the Molochs scanned before that happens.

(If the player moves quickly here, he or she can get the Molochs scanned before the Dragon wing moves closer to them.)

Alpha 1:  Molochs have been scanned.  Should I stick around some more?

Hesperia:  Roger that, Alpha 1.  Judging by this number of smaller ships, it’s very likely a destroyer is around somewhere.

(After about a minute passes, a Ravana jumps into the area with a fighter escort.)

Alpha 1:  Here it is, Command!  A Ravana destroyer just jumped in!

Hesperia:  We’ll designate this one SD Girshan.  This will be a little different because we’d like more than a simple general scan like you made of the smaller capships.  Your mission, in addition to avoiding the fighters in the area is to get a scan of all of the Girshan’s major subsystems.  Scan the sensors, navigation, engine, fighterbay, weapons, and communications subsystems. 

Alpha 1:  Wish me luck.

(The Girshan’s fighters circle around it in a pattern.  If the player times scanning certain subsystems correctly, he or she should be able to do this part without too much trouble.  There’s not a time limit on this mission if it ever gets made so the player has time to fly back and watch things to gain an understanding of the situation.)

Alpha 1:  That’s all of the Girshan’s systems, Hesperia.

Hesperia:  Great work, Alpha 1.  It looks like the Shivans have a battlegroup left in this part of Mi Arae.  TF7 strikes on other Shivan elements in this system have been successful so this should be the only major Shivan force left in system.  Although I can’t say for sure if they know of our location yet.

Alpha 1:  Do I have permission to return to the Hesperia?

Hesperia:  If you don’t detect anything else coming in at the time, yes.  Come on home.

Alpha 1:  Roger, Hesperia.  I’m returning to ba…

Hesperia:  What’s wrong Alpha 1?

Alpha 1:  Command, something else is coming in.  It looks big.  Uh oh; Command, a Sammael just came in!  I repeat, a Sammael heavy destroyer has just arrived!  It looks partially damaged though… like it just came from a fight somewhere.

Hesperia:  That’s not good.  Do the same thing you did with the Girshan on the new Sammael, designation SD Gauri.  Data on it would help. 

(If this ever got made into an actual mission, a Shivan wing would be patrolling the Gauri…albeit in a patter slightly different than the Girshan’s escort wing.)

Alpha 1:  Command, the Gauri’s systems have been scanned.  What should I do now?

Hesperia:  Anything else on sensors?

Alpha 1:  That’s a negative.  Everything here has been scanned and I’m not seeing anything else coming in right now.

Hesperia:  Okay, I think we’ve got enough data from this part of space.  Get at least ten kilometers from the nearest Shivan ship and then jump out and return to base.  The Ghost’s stealth elements should keep the Shivans from detecting you if you jump out now, but better safe than sorry.

(The player gets to the required distance and jumps out.)

Mission Debriefing:

Nice work today, Alpha 1.  It looks like this trial of the EFF Ghost was a success.  Maybe when TF7’s situation stabilizes as a whole we can work to produce more of them.  However, for now we’ll have to keep the few we have for limited use.

What you found today was a significant Shivan force.  We had hoped to be able to head for Terminus without a serious fight but it looks like we’ll have to deal with this first.  Most of our strikes on forces elsewhere here in Mi Arae were successful so hopefully this means we won’t get flanked or surprised from behind in our upcoming operation.

I’m sending most of TF7 to a spot closer to the jump node to Terminus while the Hesperia and a couple heavy ships prepare for a strike on this Shivan battle group.

Alpha 1, get something to eat and then get the rest of the Hydras to the briefing room in one hour.  You’ll be part of the strike on the Girshan and Gauri’s battlegroup.

General Oliver Spruance
CO EFD Hesperia
CIC EFN Task Force Seven

Exile alternate history part 12

Mission Briefing:

Page 1: 
We are nearing completion in terms of our preparation for our assault on the Girshan and Gauri’s battlegroup here in Mi Arae.

Page 2:
After we destroy this Shivan force, we will have a clear shot for the Terminus system.

Page 3:
Most of our warships are guarding our supply ships and have moved nearer to the Terminus node.  The Hesperia and a couple frigates will engage this Shivan force.

Page 4:
From what we were able to detect, it looks like the Gauri has seen some action.  It’s our guess that it’s using time at this rally point or base to conduct some repairs.  We don’t know where it saw this action though since we haven’t engaged it yet.  It could be a wire suddenly blew up or maybe some stray asteroids hit it or something.

Page 5:
Our main objectives in this mission are to destroy the Shivan warships.  The cargo and any supply ships in the area would be a nice bonus, so get them if you can, but the warships are our main priority here.

Page 6: 
The Hesperia, Carrington, and Huron will enter the engagement zone in a few minutes.  Your job until then is to soften up the area as much as possible.  Get as many heavy beam cannons taken out as you can before we all get there to prevent heavy damage to our warships.  Don’t worry about finishing off the warships, make disarming heavy weaponry your primary mission upon arrival in the engagement zone.

Page 7:
Hyrdras, to help you out in your task, we are sending you a heavy bomber wing.  Keep them safe and they should be able to help out with some of the warships at least.

Page 8:
One more thing, we have completed work on the new heavy Frost cannon.  Our supply ships have been working overtime to get the first batches out.  You can take them on this mission.  They have a range of 1,000 meters and have great marks against both hull and shields and are also fairly good against subsystems and turrets too.  The only real drawback is they consume a high amount of gun energy.

Mission Objectives:
Primary Objective:
Clear the area of Shivan warships [ ]

Secondary Objective:
Destroy Shivan supply ships and cargo [ ]

(Mission begins)

Alpha 1:  Hesperia, the Hydras and our bombers from the 34th squadron are in the mission area.  Things look like I last saw them.  Permission to proceed with the mission?

Hesperia:  Permission granted, Alpha 1.  Soften up the heavies so our warships can have an easier time of it when they all get there.  Remember, while it would be nice to get the supply ships and cargo, those are only secondary objectives.

(A squadron of Basilisks begin to fly toward the Hydras.)

Alpha 1:  Hydras, let’s take these Shivans out first.  This is as good a time as any to try out the new Frost cannon when they get in range.  Remember, it eats power more than other weapons, so try to aim carefully and make your shots count.

(Note:  As I’ve said before, the Frost will basically be the EFN’s equivalent of FS2’s Kayser.  There are a couple slight differences though.  The Frost has slightly higher range than the Kayser but the Frost also has slightly higher energy consumption.)

(Since the Basilisks aren’t the quickest fighters out there or the most maneuverable, this squadron should go down fairly quickly to the Hydras.)

Alpha 4:  Did you see that, Hydra lead?  We went through those Shivans like a knife through butter.  This Frost weapon is amazing!

Alpha 1:  It’s as good as Command hyped it to be, I’ll give them that.  Like they said though, you have to be more careful with your aim since it uses more energy and needs to be recharged more often.

Alpha 2:  Considering how good it is against fighters, I’ll take that tradeoff. 

Hesperia:  We’re all glad the new Frost cannon is as good in practice as our techs said it would be.  However, please save the admiration for later and keep your focus on the mission right now.  Soften up the nearby Shivan warships if you can and get the area ready for the arrival of our heavies.

Alpha 1:  Alpha wing, come with me and let’s quickly get those supply ships.  They’re heading out of the area and I want to get them before they leave.  Bravo and Delta, escort our bombers in and finish off those two Rakshasha cruisers.

(Note:  If this was an actual mission it should be okay to leave the bombers for a little bit.  It shouldn’t
take too long to finish off the Shivan supply ships and cargo and quickly get the secondary objective for the mission shortly after it starts.)

Alpha 1:  Hesperia, Alpha has taken out the Shivan supply ships and cargo containers. 

Hesperia:  Good work.  Every less supply ship out there hurts the Shivans.  Hurry back to the main mission and help the rest of the Hydras with the cruisers.

(Between the bombers and the twelve fighters of the Hydras, the two Rakshashas should go down fairly quickly…especially if all the Hydras are armed with Frost cannons.)

Delta 2:  Command, we’ve destroyed the Shivan cruisers.  What are your orders now?

Hesperia:  Hydras, our warships will be coming in soon to help finish off this Shivan battlegroup.  Work on the Moloch frigates now.  We’re not expecting you to destroy them before we get here, but if you could take out their main beams that would be most helpful.  After this we’ll all move on together to the destroyers and the Lilith.

(Note:  At this point in the mission the player should take out the heavy beams on the Moloch frigates/corvettes.  After that it would go quicker to have the bomber wing focus on one Moloch at a time rather than have the bomber wing split up.)

(Now the Hesperia, Carrington, and Huron jump in.)

Hesperia:  Hydras, our warships are now in the engagement zone.  Thanks for taking out the beams on those frigates.  It should make our task easier.  Keep our ships and our bomber wing safe from Shivan fighters and bombers and then we’ll move on to the last group of Shivan warships.

(Two subspace tunnels open up.)

Alpha 1:  Command, it looks like they brought in two Cains as reinforcements.

Hesperia:  The mission remains the same Hydras.  Finish off the Cains with your squadron and our warships will finish off the Molochs.

(If the player is quick enough, he or she should be able to use the Hydras and bomber wing to quickly take out the Cains before their beams do too much damage to the TF7 warships.  At the least, the player can quickly take out the Cains’ main beams and then go back to taking out the enemy bombers attacking the TF7 force.)

Alpha 2:  Hesperia, where’d the Cains come from?  I thought this fleet here were the only Shivans in the Mi Arae system.

Hesperia:  With the Shivans, it’s very difficult to tell.  Sometimes it seems like they can almost come out of nowhere.  We don’t know their true numbers or capabilities.  However, let’s just focus on what’s in front of us for now.

(It shouldn’t take too much longer for the TF7 forces to finish off the Cains.)

Alpha 4:  Hesperia, the Cains are down.

Hesperia:  Good work people.  Let’s get to the frigates now and then the Lilith and destroyers.

Bravo 3:  The destroyers haven’t made a move to engage us yet.  Why is that? 

Bravo 1:  They’re probably conducting some last-minute repairs before they fully move to combat.  Who knows though?  It’s almost impossible to understand Shivan psychology. 

Hesperia:  Worry about that later Hydras.  We have some more incoming fighters and bombers; take care of them.  Keep them off our warships while we finish off the frigates.  If you want to Alpha lead, you can have the bomber wing you have with you work on the frigates as well.

(While the TF7 warships deal with the frigates, more Shivan fighters and bombers come in.  If the player wants to use the bomber wing against the frigates, it would be advisable to concentrate on one rather than dividing the bomber wing’s attention.  It shouldn’t take too much longer for the two Molochs to be destroyed.  Then the last main phase of the mission will begin.)

Alpha 1:  Hesperia, both enemy frigates are down now.

Hesperia:  Good work everyone, we’re going for that destroyer group.  Focus on the Ravana Girshan first and then we’ll deal with the Samael Gauri and its Lilith escort Tarak.

(However, the Gauri and Tarak begin to move away from the group and then power up their jump drives and then jump out of the area.)

Alpha 2:  Command, the Gauri and Tarak have left the engagement!

Alpha 1:  Hesperia, do you have any idea where they’re going?  Should we pursue them?

Hesperia:  Negative, Hydras.  They appear to be heading toward the Terminus node and away from us.  Forget about them for now and focus on what’s in front of us.

Bravo 1:  Hesperia, didn’t you say earlier the rest of Task Force Seven was going to the node as well?  Are they going to get hit by these ships?

Hesperia:  I sent a message to our remaining ships to have them on a higher alert status.  However, I wouldn’t worry too much now.  The rest of TF7 was moving toward the Terminus node, but the Shivan ships are closer to the node and taking a direct route.  Our ships will be careful but I don’t think their paths will cross now.

(The Girshan begins to turn towards the TF7 warships.  It also launches some more fighter and bomber wings for the Hydras to take care of.)

Hesperia:  Hydras, forget about the Gauri and Tarak for now…we still have some work to do here!  All capital ships begin bombardment on the Girshan.  Hydras and bombers, if you can, move in and snipe the Girshan’s heavy beams.  After that you can attack the ship if you wish or you can all just sit back and watch the fireworks.

Alpha 1:  You heard General Spruance Hydras…move in and take out the Girshan’s heavy forward beams.  After that work on keeping the Shivan fighters off our bombers and the Shivan bombers off our capital ships.

Alpha 3:…and try to avoid getting hit by our own capital ships’ fire.

Alpha 1:  Yes, Alpha 3, that would be recommended.

(Since the Girshan is a Ravana, it isn’t that heavily armored relatively.  The beams should be able to be taken out not too long after this message.)

Hesperia:  Good work pilots, the Girshan is now basically disarmed.  The Hesperia and our other warships here will finish it off.  However, if you want to take it out quicker by using the bombers to help, that’s your call…I won’t object.

Alpha 1:  Fair enough.  Hydras, let’s help finish the Girshan so we can get going after the Gauri more quickly.  Bombers, target the Girshan and use whatever heavy secondaries you have left.  Hydras, we’ll keep the remaining fighters off of the bombers.

(Since it’s essentially disarmed, the Ravana shouldn’t last too much longer against three warships and a bomber wing.)

Hesperia:  All pilots and warships, stay clear of the Girshan, she’s going up!  We got her, the Girshan is gone now!

(The Girshan explodes and things are quiet for now.)

Alpha 2:  That’s it, we won!  Scratch another Shivan destroyer!

Bravo 1:  After the Gauri jumps to Terminus like Command said, we’ll have cleared Mi Arae from Shivan forces.  Permission to return to base Alpha lead?

Alpha 1:  It looks like the mission’s over, let’s head home.  Hesperia, permission for Hydras and our bombers to return to the Hesperia?

Hesperia:  Permission granted, Hydras.  You can bring your people home.  As soon as you’re on board we’ll rendezvous with the rest of TF7 and make the jump to Terminus.  It may not be an easy ride; we could be seeing combat with the Gauri in the near future even though it’s running away from us at the moment.  In any case, good work today.

Alpha 1:  Sounds good, Hesperia.  Okay Hydras, we’ll let the bombers land first then everyone else can return to the Hesperia.

(As Alpha one moves closer to the Hesperia, all of a sudden, a small subspace vortex opens nearby and a single fighter comes out.)

Alpha 1:  Hey!  Watch where you’re going!  Command, someone almost killed me coming in just now right beside me!

Hesperia:  Any idea who, Alpha 1?

Alpha 1:  Negative, Hesperia.  I can’t even target it at the moment.  It looks like a modified Stentor interceptor, aka Ghost, I flew on the recent recon mission from what I can see.  I managed to see it as it almost killed me just now.

Hesperia:  Identify yourself pilot.

Spirit:  This is Major Marsten, my mission codename was Spirit.  Hesperia, may we switch to a secure frequency?  I have vital information.

Hesperia:  Okay, we’re switching a more secure frequency so the Shivans can’t listen in.  What’s so important that you jumped in without clearance?

Spirit:  I was taking my Ghost on recon of Terminus as I was assigned.

Alpha 1:  Wait, there’s more than one of these Ghost fighters out there?

Hesperia:  Yes, Alpha 1.  Yours wasn’t the only Ghost fighter we had.  We had others doing other reconnaissance work.  Some we sent out to Mi Arae, and Major Marsten here we sent to Terminus.  Anyways Major, what’s so important that you came back in such a rush?

Spirit:  I have some important news that could possibly change the future of Task Force Seven.  Perhaps it will alter the course of humanity as a whole.

Alpha 2:  So, this guy is bringing us info or some sort of recon data, and that means the fate of the human race hangs in the balance?  Alpha lead, is this guy full of himself or what?

Hesperia:  Quiet, Alpha 2.  Let’s see what he has to say first before we say he’s crazy.

Spirit:  We don’t have time for this.  Put me through to General Spruance at once!

Hesperia:  Stand by…here he is.

Hesperia:  Spirit, this is General Spruance.  What do you have for us?

Spirit:  Command…General Spruance…I found them!

Hesperia:  What are you talking about?  Who did you find?

Spirit:  Exodus Fleet!  I found parts of Exodus Fleet!

Hesperia:  Are you serious?  Where?

Spirit:  I’m sending you the coordinates and time of where I found them in Terminus. 

Alpha 1:  Did you tell them about us?  Our goal all along has been to link up with them.  This is great, we can finally reunite the remnants of humanity from Sol!

Spirit:  That’s a negative, Alpha 1.  My orders were to maintain strict radio silence and not engage anyone or anything.

Hesperia:  My apologies, Major.  We probably should have made an exception for Exodus ships since finding Exodus Fleet has been one of our major goals all along.  In any case, do you know where they’re headed?  Is there some jump node out of Terminus?

Spirit:  Yes, but not quite what you’d expect.  They were leaving through some sort of artificial jump node.  It wasn’t a natural area of space, it was a round object that was constructed.  In the data I sent there are long range videos and scans of this object.  There was also some sort of dead ship from a new race nearby.  Neither object was Terran, Vasudan, or Shivan.

Alpha 1:  So they were leaving Terminus through this artificial node?

Spirit:  Yes.  The ships leaving were part of Exodus Fleet.  I didn’t manage to get close in for super in-depth scans, but I was able to get long range scans.  These objects had some sort of connection to Exodus Fleet.  I’m not a scientist, but it looks like Exodus forces had control of these things.

Hesperia:  My guess is that if Exodus got control of this jump node then they could use it to escape the Terminus system.  Wait…if they can turn it on somehow then that means they could turn it off and then TF7 would be stuck with the Shivans.

Spirit:  There’s something else sir.  When I came back through the node to here in Mi Arae, I almost ran into a Sammael and Lilith, SD Gauri and SC Tarka respectively.  They were heading to the jump node to Terminus.  I got a safe distance before I jumped here so I’m sure they didn’t detect me.  However, I’m guessing those Shivans are heading to this Exodus Fleet rendezvous point.

Alpha 1:  Orders, General?

Hesperia:  We’ll need to get going quickly.  If the Shivans can stop this Exodus evacuation point or gain control of it they’ll be able to chase humanity all over the galaxy and we may never be safe.  Hydras, land on the Hesperia and then we’ll jump to the Terminus node, jump in, and then jump to this new node or whatever it is.  Our jump drives will be near the red line but we have zero time to waste.  Since we know where we’re going and hopefully the Gauri and Tarka don’t yet, we may be able to intercept them before they can stop Exodus Fleet. 

Hesperia:  I’m ordering all our heavy warships to take part in this.  They’ll meet us at the Terminus node and jump in with us.  The rest of the warships will stay with the TF7 civilian and supply ships and jump into Terminus after our heavies do.  To save strain on our fighters and bombers, we won’t launch them until we’re in Terminus.  At least that means you’ll only have to make one jump.   

(“Land on Hesperia” now appears in the directives list.)

Mission Debriefing:

Pilots, we don’t have a lot of time to waste so I’ll try to keep the direct assessment of this mission to a minimum so we can move on.
Under ordinary circumstances, today would be a good victory.  We destroyed a destroyer, frigates, cruisers, and a lot of supplies.  This basically clears Mi Arae of Shivan forces.  Normally, I would give TF7 some time to fully resupply before heading on to Terminus.  However, like I said before, other circumstances are forcing us to rush to our next objective.

All along, one of the main goals TF7 had was to link up with the remnants of humanity, aka Exodus Fleet.  We’ve been following the path we thought they had taken, but it looks like we may have finally found them and what’s left of humanity can work together.

On the other hand, it looks like the Shivans may know about them too.  The Gauri and Tarka are moving toward this created jump node, and it’s possible that the Tyrant is too since it was ahead of us.  I don’t know what this constructed jump node is but it looks like Exodus Fleet is somehow keeping it open.  If they can turn it on, they can turn it off too probably and that means we have to meet up with them before they do.  Otherwise, we’ll be stranded in this part of the galaxy with the Shivans with no hope of long-term survival.

Get to your fighters and bombers everyone.  We’ll have to move quickly now and I feel we still have some intense combat ahead of us.  The good news is, this may be the end run and we can reunite with the rest of humanity.

General Oliver Spruance
EFD Hesperia
EFN Task Force Seven

(Note:  The following is a short conversation that takes place chronologically shortly after the debriefing.)

EFD Hesperia

Asir:  General Spruance, you sent for me so I came as soon as I was called.  I enjoy our friendly…chats…as you Terrans call them; however, I sense this is a more serious occasion.

Spruance:  You are right, my friend.  Right now, this is not a social call. 

Asir:  How may I be of service?

Spruance:  Right now we’re going as fast as we can to the Terminus system.  We may have found an Exodus Fleet rallying point.  However, we also found something there that I’m not sure what it is.  Take a look at these pictures and data readings one of our stealth recon ships took.  Do you recognize anything about them?

Asir:  I am, unfortunately, not 100% sure, but I may have some vague recollections of them. 

Spruance:  What are these?

Asir:  Their specific function, I am sorry to say, I am unable to tell you.  However, after the Sol-Delta
Serpentis node closed, I did some work with Vasudan intelligence operations at our embassy on Earth.  During my time there I was able to look at various data we had received over the war.  I saw some of the data we got from the Altair system.  These new objects you found don’t look exactly the same as that Altair data, but they share somewhat similar visual properties and the scan readings are fairly compatible as well.

Spruance:  Are you saying that these Terminus objects belong to the same race that gave us the data to defeat the Lucifer over 30 years ago?

Asir:  That would be my professional opinion, yes.  They belong to the race we call the “Ancients.”

Spruance:  Interesting.  Further scientific studies will have to wait though.  We have a battle coming up that may determine the survival of humanity. 

Asir:  Of course, General.  Permission to return to my quarters?

Spruance:  Of course, my friend.  See you later.

(Note:  This mission takes place shortly after M25 of official Exile but shortly before “Sol Invictus”.  Since we decided to keep the Gauri instead of making up a new Sammael, it could be said the Gauri got a little more damaged from the two frigates in M25 and decided to retreat to Mi Arae for some temporary repairs.  However, it then decided to head back to Terminus to try again when TF7 arrived to attack it in Mi Arae.)

Exile alternate history part 13

Command Briefing:

Page 1:
Major ships of EFN Task Force Seven:

EFD Hesperia (Flagship) (Galahad)
EFFg Lincoln (Vidar)
EFFg Wolf (Vidar)
ORFg Carrington (Tychicus)
ORFg Fafnir (Agneya)
EFFg Everest (Solomon)
EFFg Princeton (Solomon)
EFFg Luna (Solomon)
EFFg Huron (Solomon)
ORFg Lassel (Vitalius)
EFC Trailblazer (Evangelist)
ORC Griffin (Amalthea)
EFCs London (modified Viscount)
EFCs Borealis (modified Viscount)
ORFs Terbium (Hephaestus)
ORLs Mendel (Hestia)
ORGt Photon (Pluto)

Page 2:
As you can see, all of our warships and major supply ships are currently active.  We’ll need them if we are to finish what could be the final leg of our journey.  We’ve also been fortunate to pick up some civilian ships along the way prior to leaving Sol.  Hopefully when we join up with Exodus Fleet, this will help humanity’s future.

(Note:  I decided to add in that there are a few civilian ships with TF7.  I’ll say they just didn’t feature prominently in previous parts.  I figure if they were able to save various warships before leaving Sol, they’d be able to save some additional civilians as well).

Page 3:
Everyone, we are in the end run here.  This next mission will either end up with us reuniting with humanity’s remnants in Exodus Fleet or we will be stranded in this part of the galaxy with the Shivans.  We have all done so much to get this far and I believe in all of you that we can win the day.

Mission Briefing:

Page 1:
As you know pilots, we are currently in Mi Arae and preparing to enter combat operations in Terminus.  We know the Gauri will try to attack Exodus Fleet soon so we’re preparing our heavy warships to go after in and save what Terrans we can.

Page 2:
The Hesperia, Lincoln, Wolf, Carrington, and Fafnir (along with their complements of fighters and bombers) will jump into Terminus.  Then those ships will recharge their drives and jump to the coordinates of Exodus Fleet and the Ancient devices.

Page 3:
The lighter warships of TF7 will stay behind and guard our supply ships.  After our strike force has engaged the Shivans near the Terminus device, the other TF7 ships will enter Terminus and wait for our all clear before we bring them to the Terminus Ancient device.

Page 4:
When we get to the engagement zone, we’ll probably find the Gauri and Tarka there.  It’s quite possible we’ll find other Shivan forces there too.  Defend the Ancient devices and all Terran forces there too…Exodus Fleet and TF7.  After TF7 gets to the battle zone, we’ll deploy the heavy bombers we’re prepping right now.  Hydras, you’ll be in fighters for this mission.  I recommend taking the heavy Echelon or Vindicator fighter.

Page 5:
Once we rid the area of Shivans, we’ll call in our remaining warships and supply ships…along with the civilian ships we’ve picked up along the way.  We’ll then officially join up with Exodus Fleet.

Page 6:
To be honest, I don’t really know the politics of the situation after that.  I don’t know who will get to go through this gate first or who will be in charge of the military after TF7 gets there.  Right now though, that’s not important.  Let’s defeat the Shivans and reunite with our brothers and sisters and we’ll worry about the legal and political ramifications later.

Page 7:
A victory today may not bring us eternal security from the Shivans, but we must be victorious.  They wouldn’t have brought Exodus Fleet here if there wasn’t some logic behind it.  I’m hopeful we will find some measure of rest after passing through this portal.

Page 8:
We have been through a lot lately…as TF7 and as species.  I want to thank all of you, and our Vasudan friend Asir, for helping us to get through this.  If we are all that’s left of humankind and Vasudankind, let’s conduct ourselves with honor and courage.  Godspeed to us all. 

Page 9:
Primary objectives:

Eliminate Shivan presence in area [ ]
Protect Ancient device and ship [ ]
Protect Terran destroyers (EFN and ORS) [ ]

Secondary objective:

All TF7 heavy strike force capships survive [ ]

(Mission begins)

Terminus system
Near Terminus-Mi Arae jump node

Hesperia:  Alright everyone, we’ve made it into Terminus.  Our warships and the fighters we currently have launched will recharge our jump drives and then head into battle near the Ancient portal. 

Hesperia:  We’re leaving a stealth drone at this spot.  I know you’ve heard this before, but a refresher never hurt.  After we jump to the engagement zone the remainder of TF7, our medium and light warships along with the supply and civilian ships, will then jump into Terminus and hold position at our current location.  The stealth drone will alert the remainder of TF7 if Shivans are headed to this point though.  We doubt it, but better safe than sorry.

Bravo 3:  General Spruance?

Hesperia:  Yes pilot?

Bravo 3:  Is there a chance we could run into the Tyrant?  After it went ahead of us a while back, we haven’t heard from it since.

Hesperia:  I won’t lie to you…I don’t know.  The Gauria and Tarak will likely be there at the battle, but I’m not sure where the Tyrant is.  It could be there or it could not.  If it’s there, so be it.  We have to hurry into this battle to save the Ancient technology and Exodus Fleet.  We don’t have time to worry.  Hydras get ready to jump to the engagement zone.

Alpha 1:  Hydras, our first mission objective when we get there will be to destroy the Gauri and its escort Tarak unless you hear otherwise.  It’s likely we’ll be coming in behind them so the bombers we launch will target their engines.  That will keep them away from the Ancient vessels.  Then we’ll go for general destruction of the ships.  Alpha, Bravo, and Delta will keep Shivan fighters off the bombers.

Delta 2:  After that, can we talk to Exodus Fleet?  I think I have friends on the EFD Redemption.

Hesperia:  I don’t see why not.  Though it will have to wait until we’ve made communication with Fleetmaster Caliphtys or whoever’s in charge of the forces at the node.  After all the diplomatic stuff is out of the way, I’m sure we can all arrange some reunions.

Hesperia:  Okay, enough chatter for now, we’re armed and ready for this operation.  This is for Sol and humanity.  Jump in two minutes.

(Note:  the scene now transfers to the battle area of “Sol Invictus” shortly after Fleetmaster Raji comes back through the Malia.  To fit the new situation, I’ve changed some of the dialogue.)

Ironclad:  Asira, you’re crazy, you know that?

Anjaneya:  You’re probably right Horatio, but I’m not leaving any people behind if I can help it.

Ironclad:  You’re willing to risk letting Tyrant and these other Shivan destroyers through?  We’re not exactly at full strength.

Anjaneya:  It’s my business to know my people and what we’re capable of; I know we can do this.

Ironclad:  I don’t know whether your stubbornness irritates me or makes me admire you more.

Anjaneya:  Why not both?

Ironclad:  In any case, I’ve stopped the countdown for Malia.  We’ll finish off these destroyers then finish off Tyrant.

(Note:  If I put part of a communication line in parentheses, it means in this case that people on board the ship are having a conversation in mission.  If it’s just the ship name, assume it’s either the ship CO or XO talking.  In this particular case, it’s one of the Ironclad’s chief communications officers.)

Ironclad:  (Comms)  Fleetmaster Tyrone…we have a problem…

Ironclad:  We have several right now.  Be more specific.

Ironclad:  (Comms)  Sir, I’m detecting two incoming subspace signatures.  One appears to be heavy destroyer class and one cruiser class.

Anjaneya:  With the Shivans, one never fully knows when or where they’ll show up. 

(The Sammael Gauri and the Lilith Tarka now jump in on the edge of the engagement zone.)

Sparks:  This…is not good.

Ironclad:  You can say that again pilot.

Fives:  Squadmaster Harper, what do we do?

Harper:  Our squad doesn’t have the strength right now to take down heavy capships.  Maybe with enough massed firepower we could take down the Lilith eventually, but not a heavy destroyer…even a damaged one.  Fleetmaster Tyrone, any chance for bomber support?

Ironclad:  Maybe in a few minutes, but not right now.  It’s going to take a few minutes to prep them anyways.

Harper:  What does that mean?

Ironclad:  We’re between a rock and a hard place figuratively speaking.  I wish I could give you better news.  Focus on doing what you can.  Keep the Shivan bombers off us and maybe disarm Shivan beams if you can.

Ironclad:  (Comms)  Oh no, oh no…

Ironclad:  What now?

Ironclad:  (Comms)  Fleetmaster, I’m detecting another battlegroup coming through subspace right to our position here.

Ironclad:  No!  Not now!

Ironclad:  (Comms)  I wish I could say I was joking sir, but it looks like that’s the case.  Subspace readings look like one heavy destroyer and four heavy frigates…along with at least one squadron of craft.  They’ll all be here shortly.

Harper:  You can’t be serious, there’s no way we can hold that in addition to what we’re already up against.

Anjaneya:  This is all my fault.  I’m sorry, I’m sorry.

Demetrius:  Curse the both of you!  We were so close to getting most of Exodus Fleet out then the two of you had to put your pride about the greater good!  Our blockade is barely holding, and I’ve had to reinforce it with Escort Fleet frigates.  Now, because the two of you couldn’t follow orders, we’re going to have at least two more Sammaels coming through?  If they get past the blockade we’ll probably lose hundreds of thousands of civilians!

Ironclad:  Fleetmaster Caliphtys…

Anjaneya:  Horatio, don’t.  He’s right.  What we did may have felt good emotionally at the time today,
but militarily it was stupid.  Now all we can do is deal with the consequences.  Orders, Horatio?

Ironclad:  There’s not much we can do really.  Okay…all pilots…I doubt we can stop all the ships from getting through, but we’ll do what we can.  Destroy all the fighters and bombers that you can.  As for the capships, we’ll try to throw out some bombers but it’s mainly going to be up to you to do what damage you can to them.  Try to take down enemy capital beams; that will at least give our blockade and other forces in Andromedae a chance. 

Ironclad:  Engineering, can’t we try to shut down the portal now?

Ironclad:  (Engineering)  Fleetmaster, it’s not like a kitchen light switch that you can switch on and off rapidly.  It needs time for a proper set up.  We would need at least 10 minutes before we could reactivate the process again.

(Note:  I tried to create a reason why they couldn’t try shut down the portal right away.  In official Exile, I figured they needed time to restart the shutdown sequence as well, but they would have felt less panicked in that situation than here.)

Sparks:  What about you Fleetmaster?

Ironclad:  Don’t worry about us pilots.  We’ll stay here and distract them.  Hopefully we can survive long enough to restart the Malia shutdown sequence.

Harper:  Sir, you’re going to stay behind?

Ironclad:  That’s a possibility.  If it gets to that point, we’ll crash launch all our fighters and bombers and send them through the portal so they can survive.  At the last minute, we’ll send our frigates through.

Fives:  The Ironclad’s our home, sir.  Can’t we stay and help you out?

Ironclad:  No!  That’s an order!  At that point, there’ll be no point in you sacrificing yourselves.  Don’t be fools like myself and Fleetmaster Raji.  Go land on the Demetrius or Vermillion.  Heck, the Redemption might even be willing to take you too.  Try to take care of Shipmaster Le Brunon as well. 

Harper:  Is this goodbye then, Fleetmaster Tyrone?

Ironclad:  Quite possibly, Squadmaster.

Harper:  We’ll take down as many of the bugs as we can then.  Godspeed.  Pilots, let’s head towards…

Ironclad:  (Comms)  Fleetmaster!  Fleetmaster!

Ironclad:  What?  What is it?  You left your station and ran over to me so fast you look like you’re trying for the 50 yard dash in the Olympics or something.  Also, what’s with that smile?  What do any of us have to be happy about right now?

Ironclad:  (Comms)  Sir, you’ve got to see this!

Ironclad:  I don’t have time for games, tell me what’s going on.

Ironclad:  (Comms)  Sir, my station has a new reading on those five incoming capships.

Ironclad:  So what?  We can now identify the type of Shivan ships incoming?  With all due respect, that doesn’t really matter right now.

Ironclad:  (Comms)  No!  That’s just it sir.  They’re not Shivan!  They’re Terrans!  Terrans!  We have Terran warships coming in behind the Gauri and Tarka!

Ironclad:  Say that again…

Ironclad:  (Comms)  The reading is…a Galahad destroyer escorted by four heavy frigates:  two Vidars, an Agneya, and a Tychicus.  Look!  They’re coming in now; I’ll zoom in a viewscreen for you.

(The first part of TF7 exits subspace and begins bombardment on the Gauri.  The Hydras come in shortly after that and they, along with a squad of heavy bombers launched from the Hesperia, begin to attack the Tarka.)

(Fleetmaster Tyrone is stunned and stares at this scene speechlessly for a few seconds.  Some people around him think he looked like he was almost about to cry tears of joy.)

Ironclad:  (Comms)  Orders, Fleetmaster Tyrone?

Ironclad:  We might…we might actually survive this day.

Ironclad:  Relay this information to Fleetmasters Raji and Caliphtys.  Hopefully this new turn of events will calm Caliphtys down a bit.  As for our battlegroup, continue to focus on the destroyers in front of us.  Finish them off and then we’ll see about assisting our new friends with the Gauri and Tarka.

Anjaneya:  Is this…this feels like the first time we’ve had hope in a long time.

Ironclad:  It’s not over yet, Asira.  But you’re right.  There may be some light at the end of this tunnel now.

Harper:  Should we hail these new ships, Ironclad?

Ironclad:  We don’t really have time for a friendly chat right now.  Let’s at least wait until we’ve cleared our immediate danger zone.  For now though, see if you can get a reading on them so we can at least find out the name of those ships.

Ironclad:  (Comms)  Sir, the Galahad is the Hesperia.  The Vidars look like the Lincoln and Wolf.  The Agneya is the Fafnir and the Tychichus the Carrington.

Anjaneya:  Hesperia?  Wasn’t she literally lost somewhere back during the fighting in Sol?  At best she would have been a lifeless derelict.  How could anyone have possibly got her back in fighting order without a major shipyard stay?

Ironclad:  Who knows?  I don’t know about the Vidars, but according to our records the Fafnir and Carrington were lost back in Sol as well so I can’t account for them either.  It looks like we’ll all have a lot of stories to tell when this is over.  They just took down the Tarka and it looks like the Gauri is almost disabled.  They’re doing their part, let’s focus on finishing off the destroyers in front of us and then we can all turn our attention to the Tyrant.

Fives:  Wait a second.

Sparks:  What’s wrong?

Fives:  When I was looking over these new ships, the reading on the Hesperia said EFD Hesperia.  Shouldn’t it be ORD Hesperia since Galahads are our ships?

Harper:  You’re kidding me, Fives.  The remnants of humanity just got a last second reprieve from death and you’re worried about a small targeting display glitch?  That’s something we can worry about later.  Shut up and fight!

Fives:  Er, yes sir.

(By about this time the two destroyers that Anjaneya destroyed in official Exile should be destroyed.)

Anjaneya:  We’ve taken out the two Shivan destroyers guarding the Malia.

Ironclad:  Let’s have all our ships move in on the Tyrant.  Perhaps we can force it to withdraw from the area and that would allow all of us to leave in peace.

(By now the TF7 bombers that destroyed the Tarka have rearmed and have joined the TF7 heavy capships in assaulting the Gauri.)

Anjaneya:  Hull going critical…that’s it!  I’m reading massive hull failures on the Gauri.  They did it!  The Gauri’s going up!

(After the Gauri explodes, the TF7 ships begin to move in against the Tyrant.)

Ironclad:  (Comms)  Fleetmaster, we’re being hailed by the Hesperia!

Ironclad:  Take it then! 

Ironclad:  (Comms)  We’re open.

Ironclad:  To the new Terran arrivals, thank you…thank you.  I don’t know who you are but you certainly came at the right time.  Forgive my ignorance, but who do I have the honor of speaking to?

Hesperia:  This is General Oliver Spruance, CO of the EFD Hesperia and CIC of EFN Task Force Seven.  Ironclad…may I presume I am speaking to Fleetmaster Tyrone then?

Ironclad:  That is correct, General.  EFD Hesperia you say…so Fives was right?  I’m sure that’s an interesting story of how an ORS class of ship became an Earther vessel, but that’s a story for later.  Right now, what’s your status?  Are these all the ships in your group?

Hesperia:  All of our warships are in combat order, though we have more than what you see here.  Our recon showed this spot you were in.  We also were tracking the Gauri, which we had previously engaged, here so we took our heavy warships and rushed them here for combat.  The lighter warships in our force are guarding the supply and civilian ships in another location here in Terminus until this area is clear.

Anjaneya:  Are there any other Shivans following you?  I hope we haven’t become relieved in one moment to worry about more despair later.

Hesperia:  It’s Fleetmaster Raji, correct?

Anjaneya:  Yes, General.

Hesperia:  We’ve put stealth drones along the route we took to warn us if Shivans are coming behind us.  We also have our AWACS ships scanning.  While we can’t say for 100% certainty, our estimate is that the Shivans are at least a week behind us…give or take a day.  We didn’t have to worry about Shivans behind us when we made our journey at least.

Hesperia:  Anyways, I’m sure this is something all of our intelligence people can discuss together later.  Let’s focus on the Shivans here.  I don’t know which of you two is in tactical command here, but permission to bring in my warships here alongside yours and join the attack on Tyrant?

Anjaneya:  That would be very much appreciated, General.  Let’s bring the monster down.

Ironclad:  Hesperia, if I may make a request…do you have any fighters you could spare?  While we have the capital ship situation in hand now, the Shivans still are sending swarms of fighters and bombers against us.

Hesperia:  Affirmative, Fleetmaster.  Alpha and Bravo wings of the Hydras, head over near that portal and give the Exodus Fleet ships help against the Shivan fighter and bomber swarms.  Delta Hydras, finish escorting our heavy bombers back to our fighterbay and then go and join Alpha and Bravo.  We’ll launch another squadron for CAP on our strike force.

(For a while, the allied ships continue their attack on Tyrant.)

Anjaneya:  Tyrant has dropped below 20% hull integrity.  It looks like it’s trying to turn around and leave the area!

Hesperia:  Ironclad, should we pursue?

Ironclad:  Is it headed to your group’s rally point, Hesperia?

Hesperia:  According to Tyrant’s vector, it doesn’t look like that’s the case thankfully.

Ironclad:  Good.  As for Tyrant, I’m saying no on the pursuit request.  I want to get our people out of here and beyond the Malia into Andromedae as quickly as possible.  I don’t think we’ll see Tyrant ever again.  We’ll have to let it go.

Sparks:  Fleetmaster, I’m getting a message from the Mastermind!

Hesperia:  What’s the Mastermind?

Ironclad:  It’s a long story, for now all I can say is it’s on our side.

Hesperia:  You call Mastermind an “it” and not “him” or “her”?

Ironclad:  Like I said, it’s a long story you can hear later; I don’t have time to talk about it now.  Sparks, what’s it saying to you?

(Note:  The dialogue here will be fairly similar to how it happened in official Exile.  I don’t remember the exact words, but I think I got the sentiment mostly right.)

Mastermind:  Tyrant is not to escape.  We can help you on this.  The one you call Sparks, scan the Tyrant’s navigation subsystem.

Sparks:  I don’t know what good that will do; but I’ll give it a try.

Mastermind:  Hurry, Tyrant will jump out in about two minutes.

(Sparks does his duty.)

Sparks:  Okay.  Tyrant’s navigation has been scanned.  I hope you can make good use of this.

Mastermind:  Indeed we will.  The hour of Tyrant’s demise is at hand.  All Terran craft, I would recommend staying away from Tyrant’s engines.

(Like what happened in official Exile, soon after this happens explosions happen in all of Tyrant’s engines and the juggernaut is now disabled.)

Harper:  Sparks, what did you do?

Sparks:  I…I don’t know.  I didn’t do anything myself.  I just scanned Tyrant’s navigation subsystem and Mastermind took care of the rest.

Ironclad:  This…this is incredible.  Okay everyone, there’s a change of plans.  We can’t squander this new opportunity before us.  All allied ships in the area, move back into attack formation against Tyrant.  Use all available weapons and let’s finish this monster off once and for all!

(Exodus Fleet ships and TF7 ships turn back to Tyrant and begin focusing all the firepower that they can on it.  The already weakened juggernaut doesn’t stand up to this amount of firepower for much longer.  This part would be a cutscene of Tyrant exploding like in “Sol Invictus”.)

Ironclad:  Tyrant has reached zero!  Primary and secondary explosions are being recorded all over.  Tyrant is going down!  All ships, back away from the explosion!

Anjaneya:  Tyrant is down…it’s finally done.

Ironclad:  Congratulations to everyone.  That’s the first Shivan juggernaut that we have ever destroyed.  I’ll make sure history remembers this day.

Hesperia:  For the first time in a long time, the moment feels…almost peaceful.  What happens now, my friends?  Forgive my forwardness, I hope it’s okay I called you that.

Anjaneya:  You helped save us all, we’re definitely friends.

Ironclad:  I concur.

Hesperia:  Thank you.  We owe you a lot too for giving my group a home.  So anyways, what happens now?

(The Anjaneya and her escort frigates begin to turn around.)

Anjaneya:  Here’s the overall plan:  I’m going to take my ships back through the Malia where we’ll relieve the ships there and send them back to the main Exodus Fleet rallying point.  I’ll oversee the ships coming through Malia.  You’ll call in the rest of your TF7 and bring them through. 

Hesperia:  When they get here I’ll probably have to send them through in waves…two or three maybe.  I don’t think they can all fit through this thing at once.

Anjaneya:  That’s fine.  Can you send me a complete list of TF7 ships so I can keep track of things?

Hesperia:  Sending now.

Anjaneya:  This is an interesting detail.  On the overall personnel section it says the number of Terrans you have and…”1 Vasudan”?  Am I reading that right?

Hesperia:  Correct.  Commander Asir was part of the Earth embassy.  He’s a friend of mine and did some intelligence work with the EFN.  Do you have any Vasudans in the ORS or Exodus Fleet?

Ironclad:  No, sadly.  All Vasudans attached to the ORS died as far as I know.  So it looks like he will be the only Vasudan to survive Sol.  How’s he taking that?

Hesperia:  He’s handling it remarkably well actually.  He’s developed a taste for human food…fried chicken in particular.  I’m not sure of the politics of Exodus Fleet, but it’s okay we brought a Vasudan along with us isn’t it?

Anjaneya:  That won’t be a problem.  He’s as welcome with us as you are.  Anyways, after your TF7 ships come through, I’ll direct them to the main Exodus Fleet assembly point in Andromedae.  After that, Fleetmaster Tyrone will bring the Ironclad and the rest of his battlegroup through. 

Anjaneya:  Once they’re through, there will be no more Terrans as far as we know in that part of the galaxy.  We will then activate the shutdown sequence for the Malia.  After that, we will remotely activate the self-destruct sequence for the Ancient controller destroyer.  With it gone and the Malia shut down, the Shivans won’t be able to follow us through.

(Fleetmaster Raji brings the Anjaneya and her ships through the Malia.)

Anjaneya:  We made it through successfully.  General, you’re clear to begin bringing your people in.

Hesperia:  Thank you.  Borealis, are things clear there?

Borealis:  Clear, General.  We’re not detecting any Shivans in our area and long-range scans are clear too.

Hesperia:  This is General Spruance to the remainder of TF7:  You’re all clear to come in.  Civilian ships, Photon and cruisers will go in first.  After that, the second wave will be the Mendel, Terbium, and remaining frigates.  The four heavy frigates here will then go in, and finally I’ll bring the Hesperia in afterwards.  When you get through, follow Fleetmaster Raji’s directions on where to go next.  All fighters and bombers, return to your ships.

(The rest of TF7 begins to jump into the Malia zone and begins entering the Malia in the order they were assigned after their jump drives recharge.)

Hesperia:  This may take a few minutes.  Can I ask you something, Fleetmaster Tyrone?

Ironclad:  Go ahead.

Hesperia:  What’s the political structure of Exodus Fleet like?  Who’s in charge?

Ironclad:  That’s kind of complicated actually, but I’ll try to give you a brief version.  The actual overall leader is High Magistrate Al-Zardari of Colony Fleet; he’s the civilian leader.  Fleetmaster Caliphtys is in charge of Escort Fleet and is the de facto military commander of Exodus Fleet.  Off the record, some consider him to be the one really in charge.

Hesperia:  What’s Caliphtys like?

Ironclad:  That’s…another complicated question.  Sometimes he can be frustrating and can seem cold, but I suppose men like him are needed who can always focus on the bigger picture.  Ask 10 people about him and you may get 10 different opinions.  You’ll probably get to form your own soon enough.

Hesperia:  Will I get a chance to talk with him?

Ironclad:  I’m sure he’ll want to talk with you and hear how you acquired the Hesperia.  Considering the power TF7 is bringing I’m sure a face to face meeting can be arranged.

Hesperia:  I noticed something else:  you don’t just call yourselves Exodus Fleet…there seems to be a lot of different named fleets in this group.  Could you explain that?

Ironclad:  Sure.  The overall body of forces that left Sol is called Exodus Fleet.  Within that there are
Fleets that do different functions.  Colony Fleet under Al-Zardari has our colony and civilian ships along with our supply ships.  Escort Fleet under Caliphtys are forces that are meant to stay close to Colony Fleet and protect them and not leave unless it’s an absolute emergency.  I head up Roaming Fleet; it is allowed to leave direct escort of Colony Fleet and clear the road ahead.  We generally were a system or two ahead of Colony Fleet to clear the way of Shivans though sometimes we’d have to jump to the rear temporarily if the Shivans surprised us.

Ironclad:  Fleetmaster Raji leads Heavy Fleet.  It’s not as tied to Colony Fleet as Escort Fleet is but it’s not as ‘free’ as my forces are either.  She has most of our heavy firepower and Heavy Fleet acts as kind of a mobile reserve you could say. 

Ironclad:  Leibniz’ forces are currently attached to Roaming Fleet and Tessandras’ forces are kind of Exodus Fleet’s black ops forces you could say.

Hesperia:  Very interesting.  What will happen to TF7 once we get through?  Where, or to who, will we be assigned?

Ironclad:  I don’t know right now.  Once TF7 gets through and sent to the main Exodus Fleet assembly point in Andromedae, I think Caliphtys is going to let us all have a day or two of rest.  After that, our strategic arbiters will decide where to put your forces.  Your supply and civilian ships will probably be put in Colony Fleet, but I can’t say for sure which Fleet will get which TF7 warships.

Anjaneya:  General Spruance, the Lincoln and Wolf have just completed their transit.  You’re the only TF7 ship left.

Hesperia:  Permission to bring the Hesperia in, Fleetmaster?

Anjaneya:  Granted.  We’re ready for you.  I’d also like to add Fleetmaster Caliphtys is pleased to be getting another Hestia and Hephaestus.  So that got you some goodwill with him.  He says he’s looking forward to meeting you.

Hesperia:  Thank you.  Fleetmaster Tyrone says we might actually get a day or two of rest.

Anjaneya:  Thankfully that looks to be the case.  I think it’s something we all need.  Caliphtys said he would like to have a friendly chat with you soon after you get in, but after that we’d all get some time off before we figure out where to assign TF7 ships.  Anyways, the path is clear Hesperia.

Hesperia:  Roger that.  Helm, engage subspace drive into Andromedae.  See you on the other side, Fleetmaster Tyrone. 

(The Hesperia jumps into the Malia and now all of TF7 has left Terminus and is now on the other side of the Malia in Andromedae.)

Anjaneya:  Horatio, the Hesperia has made it through and now all of TF7 is on its way to the Exodus Fleet assembly point.  You and your ships are all that’s left.  Are the preparations in order?

Ironclad:  We’re ready.  We’ve landed all of our fighters and bombers and remote shutdown of Malia
and self-destruct of Ancient control ship will commence after we made our jump.  Helm, power up subspace drive and take us in.

(The Ironclad and its escort frigates now make the jump into Andromedae.)

Ironclad:  We made it, we made it.  Asira, good to see you here.  Any sign of Shivans?

Anjaneya:  Nothing here in Andromedae.  Some of our fighters have made limited recon into a couple of the surrounding systems and no sign of the Shivans there either.  So it looks like for the first time in a long time that we may not have to worry about them.

Ironclad:  I doubt that will last forever.  The Shivans are still out there somewhere so we can never 100% let our guard down.

Anjaneya:  True enough, unfortunately.  Anyways, we have one final piece of business to complete here.  Ironclad, you’re clear to begin shutdown.

Ironclad:  Roger that, Anjaneya.  Begin transmission of shutdown sequence of the Malia.  Our relay to the control destroyer seems operational as well so it should automatically destruct when the Malia device is turned off.

(About one minute passes.)

Ironclad:  I’m reading a powering down of the Malia.  I report no readings either from the Ancient destroyer…its destruction is confirmed.

Anjaneya:  Did it all work?

Ironclad:  Malia is dead and there’s no way to turn it back on.  The operation was a success.  I repeat:  the operation was a success.

Anjaneya:  Confirmed.  Jump node is dead and unusable.  We did it.  Humanity will survive to fight another day.  I wonder though, how do you think the Shivans feel about this?

Ironclad:  With the Shivans, it’s impossible to tell how they’re feeling.  They seemed to have almost no emotion when they glassed most of Sol…just like it was just something to do.  Nobody knows whether they’re a hive-mind or sentient or some strange combo of the two.  They probably don’t feel victories and losses in the same way we do.  In any case, let’s be happy we survived this round.  Like I said before, they’re probably still out there; they’re almost like a force of nature.  It’s a matter of when, not if, we’ll see them again.

Anjaneya:  Surely the new TF7 ships will help our chances.

Ironclad:  Of course they will.  Another Galahad and several frigates will be a big help militarily.  Having those new supply ships will help our forces stay modernized and well equipped.  Except for the Sathanas and Sammael, I’d even say we tactically outclass the Shivans one to one.  With it being impossible to know their full numbers though, all I can say is that we may never conquer the Shivans and have to take day to day survival as a form of victory. 

Anjaneya:  Surely today we can be happy with our escape and new forces though?

Ironclad:  Yes, it’s important to keep up morale.  I’m not saying go into a depressive funk, just that we should mourn our losses and remember what we’re up against.  I’m going to tell my pilots they can be happy about what they’ve accomplished…just don’t get cocky. 

Anjaneya:  Do you think it’s possible we could have a face to face meeting as well?

Ironclad:  I, uh, think that could be arranged.

Anjaneya:  In a few minutes we’ll begin our jump to the main rendezvous point.  What’s the status of your forces?  Also, what do you think happens now?  I value your insight.

Ironclad:  The Ironclad and my escort frigates here have taken a fair bit of damage.  Our people need the days of rest Caliphtys has apparently said we’ll get; but our ships will need repair work as well.  Big Buddha and our factory ships will be very busy in the near future.

Ironclad:  After that, who knows?  Like I said to General Spruance, I don’t know what will happen with TF7 ships, aside from their civilian and supply ships.  You’ll probably be getting some for Heavy Fleet, and I’ll probably get some for Roaming Fleet.  Naturally, Caliphtys will want to keep some for himself as well to support Escort Fleet.

Anjaneya:  He won’t want Earth forces too concentrated.  However, the TF7 ships represent a tangible increase in EFN firepower, especially since they have a new destroyer. 

Ironclad:  I wouldn’t worry too much about that.  Leibniz is willing to work together with us, and even though I haven’t known him for long, Spruance doesn’t seem like the kind to want to start a civil war in Exodus Fleet.

Anjaneya:  Fair enough, and I concur.  I think we’ve found friends that although we may wear different labels, we are working together for a common goal. 

Ironclad:  Agreed.  Let’s stay positive.  I’m taking my group to Big Buddha now.  We’ll talk later, Asira.

(A few hours have passed and TF7 is now at the assembly point they were directed to.  None of the TF7 ships are heavily damaged enough that they got in line for Big Buddha.  However, they are taking care of minor repairs to ships with repair drones and the Terbium is working on repairing some of the more heavily damaged fighters and bombers along with sending over replacement parts and munitions.)

Hesperia:  How are you doing, London?

London:  Very well, sir.  Thank you.  It’s been nice to give most of the crew a rest and stand down to the lowest alert status for the first time in a long time.  Sir, permission to ask something?

Hesperia:  Granted.

London:  I’ve only heard rumors about this, but have I heard correctly that TF7 is going to get split up in the near future?

Hesperia:  I’m sorry to say that’s very likely.  I know we’ve been through a lot, but they run things here technically.  They’ll put our warships where they feel they’re most needed.  I suppose it was inevitable.  We have to think of ourselves primarily just as Terrans now and not necessarily EFN or ORS.  Whatever the case, it’s been an honor.  It’s not like we’ll never see each other again…just that we’re not technically in the same battlegroup.

Wolf:  Hesperia, something big’s coming in near us. 

Hesperia:  Shivans?

Wolf:  I don’t think so.  It’s within the Exodus Fleet perimeter. 

(The Demetrius enters nearby.)

Hesperia:  Demetrius, to what do we owe this honor?  There’s nothing wrong is there?

Demetrius:  Greetings, General Spruance.  Now that Exodus Fleet is safe and recuperating, I’m taking the Demetrius around to inspect various points and fleets to gain a good picture of things.  I know we have long-range communications but sometimes it’s better to see things for yourself.

Hesperia:  I hope things are going well across the fleet.

Demetrius:  As a matter of fact, yes.  The more heavily damaged ships are getting repaired at our mobile shipyard.  The rest are conducting their own repairs and rearming and resupplying.  How is TF7 doing?

Hesperia:  Overall, we’ve been lucky.  None of our ships have heavy damage right now so we’ve been able to conduct our own repairs.  Other than that, I’m focusing on resupplying our forces and repairing our fighters and bombers.  Plus, I’m trying to give my people some rest.  They need that.

Demetrius:  Understood.

Hesperia:  Fleetmaster Caliphtys, I believe this is our first official meeting.  Fleetmaster Raji said you’d like to have a face-to-face meeting.  Would you care to arrange that now?

Demetrius:  That would be fine, General.  It would be good to meet you and I’d be very interested to hear the story of how you came to acquire the Hesperia.  Would you care to come over in say, 20 minutes?  I have a very good chef staff and they’re familiar with most major Earth cuisines so you can pick out our dinner.

Hesperia:  I’ll get on a shuttle and see you then.  As for dinner, how do you feel about Mexican food?

Demetrius:  That sounds excellent.  I’m partial to chicken enchiladas myself.  Dinner will be ready shortly after you arrive.  I’m looking forward to meeting the leader of the group who provided us with a lot of help at the Malia.  Oh, and one more thing…

Hesperia:  Yes?

Demetrius:  I’ve arranged for a shuttle from the Anjaneya to come to the Hesperia.  It will be arriving
within an hour or so and carrying Fleetmasters Raji and Tyrone.  They will be having a goodwill meeting similar to the one you’re having with me.  They just concluded a personal meeting on the Anjaneya from what I understand.  They’ll meet with your XO and they’d like to meet this Asir, the only surviving Vasudan in the galaxy. 

Hesperia:  I’ll tell my people to be ready and have dinner ready as well. 

Demetrius:  Excellent.  Some of my people recommended these two meetings so that you didn’t feel like you’re a hostage on the Demetrius. 

Hesperia:  Sir, I didn’t feel like that.  I took your meeting offer in the spirit of goodwill that it was intended.

Demetrius:  Very good.  I also assure you that I’m not going to try and retake Hesperia.  I recognize the reality of the situation.  So, no need to feel any fear on that part.

Hesperia:  For the sake of humanity, I look forward to working with you Fleetmaster.

Demetrius:  As do I, General.  A preliminary toast…to Sol…

Hesperia:  To Sol…

(Note:  This is the end of the main Exile AH storyline.  There will be one more part after this.  It will be an epilogue covering part of the meeting of Caliphtys and Spruance.  There will also be discussion at the end among Caliphtys and his people on where to assign TF7 ships).

Exile alternate history epilogue pt.1
(Fleetmaster Caliphtys and General Spruance have just finished their dinner together on the Demetrius)

Spruance:  Thank you for dinner and for your hospitality Fleetmaster.

Caliphtys:  Think nothing of it General.  I do owe you a great debt of thanks for helping to save part of my fleet.  You certainly picked an opportune time to come in.

Spruance:  We came in as soon as we could.

Caliphtys:  I know, I know.  I didn’t mean to infer otherwise.  We’re all glad you’re here.  It’s just that you gave Tyrone and Raji hope when it looked like there was none left.  In any case, this wasn’t intended to be entirely just a social call; perhaps we should get down to business.  What led you to this point?  You didn’t join with the main Exodus Fleet and our ORS and EFN records showed most of these ships destroyed or unaccounted for.  How did you manage to get out of Sol?

Spruance:  Our desire was simply survival.  Some of us wavered back and forth after not answering Leibniz’s original call to join Exodus Fleet.  In the end though we looked at the military situation and decided that it would be suicide to stay behind and try to fight the forces the Shivans had there.  We managed to evade the main Shivan juggernaut force and followed some of the steal drones Exodus Fleet left behind.  There honestly wasn’t a major plan; we were just essentially stragglers trying to catch up with the remnants of humanity.

Caliphtys:  The Terbium and Mendel were certainly nice finds, I must say.  Some would say you finding those was even better than you picking up a warship.

Spruance:  It was helpful finding them, I’ll admit.  If not for them we would have had to be much more strict at rationing food and other medical supplies.  However, with them we were able to keep everyone in Task Force Seven fed at pretty much normal levels.  The Terbium allowed us to keep our fighters supplied fairly well too.

Caliphtys:  I’m glad to hear it.  We’ll need the Mendel to help maintain our food and medical levels in Exodus Fleet as a whole.

Spruance:  What will become of the Terbium?

Caliphtys:  Until relatively recently, we used our factory ships to make fighters that were easier to mass produce.  Like the Encantona for example.

Spruance:  Some of the ORS people in Task Force Seven had a less than stellar opinion of the Encantona.  They didn’t enjoy it let’s just say.

Caliphtys:  I don’t particularly like it either.  However, it is cheap and easy to produce which means we could cover more ground against the Shivans and have more defenses up.  It was only recently we were able to retool some of our factory ships to make more advanced craft like the Heretic interceptor.  We’re hopeful that in the future more advanced fighters and maybe even bombers can be made on our factory ships.

Spruance:  How will the Terbium fit into this?

Caliphtys:  We’ll be able to manufacture more craft and weaponry.  I’ll have to let my tactical and strategic arbiters determine the finer details…but with more manufacturing capability, we’ll be able to dedicate more ability to making more advanced craft.  In other words, we won’t have to rush out Encantonas just to make sure all of our pilots have something to fly.

Spruance:  Will TF7 and Leibniz’s group be able to use these ships as well?

Caliphtys:  That’s our plan for the time being.  In terms of military production, most of our factory ships are geared toward ORS fighter and bomber production but they also make weapons and repair supplies for EFN ships.  Am I correct in understanding that the situation is slightly the reverse on the Terbium?

Spruance:  To a certain extent.  When we first rescued it from a Shivan attack and examined the situation, it was mostly geared toward making ORS supplies.  As time went on though, we were eventually able to begin to shift some of its manufacturing to the production of parts and weapons for EFN fighters and bombers.  Since the majority of Task Force Seven is EFN, as time went on we would have begun to outright make EFN craft…like your factory ships can make Heretic interceptors.  What happens now is up to you I suppose.

Caliphtys:  For now I think we’ll continue on that route.  Continue shifting Terbium research and development primarily for EFN military purposes.  Though ORS military forces are the majority, EFN military forces with your addition are not a small part of Exodus Fleet anymore.  Maybe someday it would be easier if we came up with one group of craft for everyone, EFN and ORS, to use since we’re now all one people de facto…but that day isn’t here quite yet.

Spruance:  May I ask something, Fleetmaster?

Caliphtys:  Of course, General.

Spruance:  I’m trying to learn about the situation, what is the purpose of Big Buddha?  I’ve never seen something like that before.

Caliphtys:  It’s essentially a mobile shipyard.  You know how the Hephaestus factory ships can repair or outright manufacture fighters and bombers?  Big Buddha does the same, but for capital ships.  It can repair frigates and even destroyers.

Spruance:  Did you say it could manufacture capital ships?

Caliphtys:  Yes.  Obviously through the recent military campaigns to escape Sol and cross into this galaxy, we were too busy to do that.  We concentrated on repairing ships and making supplies for what we had.  We haven’t had the time to sit down and make new designs.  Now though, since we have time to rest for a while at least, we may look into that.  We already are planning on manufacturing an improved version of the Vitalius frigate…simply named Vitalius mk. 2.  There are plans for other designs but that one is actually close to production status.

Spruance:  As a token of appreciation for letting us into Exodus Fleet…and to show we are committed to the common defense of humanity’s remnants, I’d like to share a design we came up with just in case the
Shivans ever return.  I trust you share my feeling we’ll see them again at some point.

Caliphtys:  Absolutely.  It is a matter of when, not if.

Spruance:  Anyways, we have come up with something called the Frost cannon.  It is a primary weapon that has decent range…about 1200m.  It has fairly high armor, shield, and subsystem damage.  The only drawbacks are that it doesn’t have as good a rate of fire as other primary weapons and compared to other primaries it also has fairly high power usage.  But the pilots who have used it speak favorably about it.

[Note:  Just a reminder about the Frost:  it is essentially the Kayser cannon with slightly increased range and slightly increased power usage.]

Caliphtys:  That is excellent news and very much appreciated.  Some in ORS were reluctant to let EFN forces join but moves like this will help calm fears and show we are all a team now.

Spruance:  If I’m not out of line in asking, were there problems when Leibniz tried to bring his group of EFN forces into Exodus Fleet?

Caliphtys:  Uh, there were a few hiccups one might say.  I won’t go into all the details, but there were a couple times things got heated.  That’s all in the past now one might say.  At first Leibniz wasn’t crazy about being put under the authority of Fleetmaster Tyrone and his Roaming Fleet, but things are a lot smoother now and I’d say everyone has a good working relationship.

Spruance:  I see.  My people are wondering about what will happen to us.  Have you decided about how Task Force Seven will be integrated into Exodus Fleet as a whole?

Caliphtys:  That may take a day or two to decide.  I will take the list of ships that Fleetmaster Raji has and meet with my tactical and strategic arbiters.  We’ll decide where each ship could best fit.  I’ll tell you right now your supply ships and civilian ships will be put in Colony Fleet.  That’s where we put our civilian and resource ships…they then serve all other ships and fleets in Exodus Fleet including Escort Fleet, Roaming Fleet, and Heavy Fleet.

Spruance:  Does the High Magistrate get a say in all this too?

Caliphtys:  I’ll present our findings and recommendations to him as a formality, but he usually defers to me on military matters.

Spruance:  I see.  What will happen to the warships of Task Force Seven?

Caliphtys:  That has not been fully decided at this moment.  I will have to have a meeting with the arbiters of Exodus Fleet and based on our current mission decide where to put the new forces.  Before when we were running from Shivans it made sense to give some priority to Escort Fleet to protect our colony ships.  Now that we’re in a slightly more relaxed mode we’ll probably want to focus on finding resources and exploring the Andromedae system and nearby systems.  That could mean more ships will go to Roaming and Heavy Fleet.

Spruance:  I’m not meaning to be pushy, but will this be decided soon?

Caliphtys:  It will likely be decided within a week.  We all have been operating under incredible amounts of stress so I want to give everyone some rest…we’ll be operating at minimum alert levels for a day or two.  In a few days or so I’ll begin these meetings to decide where to place Task Force Seven ships.  Rest assured I’ll let you know the instant we have a plan.

Spruance:  Do you want the supply ships to begin to move to Colony Fleet positions now?

Caliphtys: No, that can wait.  Give them a break as well before they have to adjust to the new reality we all find ourselves in. 

Spruance:  Thank you.  From one military leader to another, and as one who also believes that we all need to work together…may I ask another military question?

Caliphtys:  Please feel free to do so.  You may speak freely here.

Spruance:  In the interest of working together to improve our military technology…I must ask, have you heard of GTI Project Hades?

Caliphtys:  How do you know of it?  That was a weapons project at the highest level of secrecy and only a select few knew the plan existed.

Spruance:  I was involved with some of the planning at the beginning, though obviously the wars between our two former factions put that on pause and made us both look at railgun and torpedo technology instead.  I knew some people who went to the ORS when the GTA dissolved so I figured you might have something to do with it too.

Caliphtys:  To be honest, I don’t know if it matters all that much now.  We lost a lot of the intelligence on the project when humanity had to leave Sol.  I don’t know if we could get it started up again right now without all the data and specs we had on it.

Spruance:  I might be able to help there.  Before I decided to leave Sol and take command of Task Force Seven, I did work with EFN intelligence operations and stuff like that.  It was thought that this project should survive so I gathered a lot of the data and plans for Project Hades to take with me in the hopes that someday humanity could use it against the Shivans.

Caliphtys:  Are you serious?  Are you telling me you have enough information to begin development on Project Hades?

Spruance:  In my opinion, yes.  I’m willing to share what information we have for the common good of humanity.  However, I would like to be kept in the loop on things.  I know you as effective CIC of Exodus Fleet can’t tell me everything, but I would like to be treated with the same respect as some of your other commanders.

Caliphtys:  Of course, of course.  I will treat you the same as Tyrone, Raji, Tessandras, and Leibniz.  The firepower and technology TF7 has brought will be vital.  Some may not like it but I don’t care; I will treat EFN personnel with honor and respect.

Spruance:  Thank you.  As a practical matter, do you think Hades will work?  Beam weapon technology
hasn’t been fully developed yet.  Some might say keeping with railgun technology would be better even though it’s a little more resource intensive in terms of ammo and whatnot.

Caliphtys:  It’s something that should be looked into at least.  While our railgun technology is more consistent in terms of damage output, and railgun turrets are harder to destroy than it’s estimated beam emplacements would be…potential estimates show beam weaponry could have a much higher damage output than railguns.

Spruance:  Instead of it being completely a black or white issue…is it possible we could look into some ships having a mix of beam weaponry and railguns?

Caliphtys:  That’s not a bad idea in theory.  Maybe a ship could have a spinal beam turret and then have the rest of its offensive weaponry be railguns for sustained engagements.  Of course we’ll also have to look into whether it would be better to put beam weaponry onto existing ships or design a new class of warship from the ground up.

Spruance:  After I give the data, how long will it be before you think we, I mean we as a species, can begin work on this endeavor?

Caliphtys:  That is hard to say.  We’ll need to have all our technicians and engineers look into this.  Then I’ll also need to discuss this with the other Exodus Fleet commanders, including yourself, since this will affect military doctrine as well.  While I do believe we should be able to begin production of this new Frost cannon fairly soon and get it distributed, making beam technology will take longer.  We will definitely look into it but capital beam weaponry probably won’t be ready for a couple months at least.

Spruance:  That sounds fair.

Caliphtys:  Anyways, I wouldn’t worry about this for a while.  Like I’m telling my other military commanders, take a while off and get your people some rest.  While our struggle isn’t over, let’s enjoy this relative victory.  I’m authorizing Exodus Fleet armed forces to operate at alert level green…let’s relax for a little.  I’ll let you know when I’ve made my decisions about where to put Task Force Seven ships across Exodus Fleet.  In any case, I’ve enjoyed our meeting and I received word Fleetmasters Tyrone and Raji found their time on Hesperia productive as well.  I’ll walk you back to the launch bay so you can return to your ship.

Spruance:  Thank you sir.  I look forward to working with you for a productive future for us all.

(This is the conclusion of my alternate history of Exile.  Thank you to Nyctaeus for letting me post this here.)

Exile:  Alternate History
Epilogue pt.2

“Data file:
List of primary ships of EFN Task Force Seven still to be assigned in Exodus Fleet (other civilian ships have already been assigned to Colony Fleet.

EFD Hesperia (Flagship) (Galahad)
EFFg Lincoln (Vidar)
EFFg Wolf (Vidar)
ORFg Carrington (Tychicus)
ORFg Fafnir (Agneya)
EFFg Everest (Solomon)
EFFg Princeton (Solomon)
EFFg Luna (Solomon)
EFFg Huron (Solomon)
ORFg Lassel (Vitalius)
EFC Trailblazer (Evangelist)
ORC Griffin (Amalthea)
EFCs London (modified Viscount)
EFCs Borealis (modified Viscount)
ORFs Terbium (Hephaestus)
ORLs Mendel (Hestia)
ORGt Photon (Pluto) “

(Fleetmaster Caliphtys is meeting with one of his primary strategic arbiters to decide where to send the non-civilian TF7 ships withing Exodus Fleet)

Caliphtys:  The easy part was sending the few civilian ships they had to Colony Fleet.  Now we have to decide what to do with the rest of them.  Do you have any initial recommendations on where to send the remaining TF7 ships, Arbiter Jenkins?

Jenkins:  We’ll start with the simplest part first, Fleetmaster.  The Photon and Mendel, along with the Terbium, will go with their respective ship classes in Colony Fleet.  Like the other ships of their class do, they’ll work to supply and enhance Exodus Fleet as a whole…which will now include Task Force Seven.

Caliphtys:  That sounds simple and reasonable enough, I approve.  I want to look now at those two modified Viscounts they have and where to put them.  That’s an interesting design.  It has next to no weaponry onboard, and while it can’t do as well as a dedicated AWACS ship or dedicated science vessel it can do a little of each.

Jenkins:  That could be of use to any of our fleets so where would you like them?

Caliphtys:  Militarily it makes sense to send them to groups that would be doing more exploring.  We’ll send one of them to Roaming Fleet while they still are looking at the surrounding systems.  The other one we’ll send to Heavy Fleet.  Heavy Fleet has much of Exodus Fleet’s heavy firepower so them having some idea of what they’ll be up against would be helpful to them I imagine.

Jenkins:  I’ll send the orders immediately, sir.

Caliphtys:  Now comes the tough part.  We have to decide what to do with the warships in Task Force Seven.

Jenkins:  The problem is similar to the one we just had with the Viscounts.  Any of our military fleets could make use of them and could make arguments for them.  So we have to decide to keep them with us in Escort Fleet, send them to Heavy Fleet, or send them to Roaming Fleet.

Caliphtys:  There’s one other option:  we could let Fleetmaster Tessandras have some of the warships for his black ops forces.  We don’t want to leave him totally out of the loop so that he gets upset.  He may be a relatively new addition to Exodus Fleet, but he is an important one and we have to take that into consideration. Politics are something to consider whether we like it or not.

Jenkins:  Which ships in particular do you have in mind for him?

Caliphtys:  He actually seems to work relatively well with EFN ships so we’ll send him the Trailblazer.  That leaves the Griffin as the only cruiser left in TF7 to assign.  With the new ships in Colony Fleet we have more stuff to defend so I think I’ll put the Griffin in Escort Fleet to help protect ships like the Terbium and Mendel.

Jenkins:  Now we’re onto the frigates, Fleetmaster.

Caliphtys:  Indeed, we are.  According to the data list we have five ‘light’ frigates to assign…four Solomons and one Vitalius.  Let’s look at those next.  They’re good for all around combat and defense so, again, any one of our fleet groups could use them. 

Jenkins:  Agreed, Fleetmaster.  Should we just give one to each and flip a coin or something for the last one?

Caliphtys:  It might actually end up being something along those lines.  No, not really.  A problem though with this large influx of Earth ships from TF7 is that grouping them all together might make them think they have the power to try something.

Jenkins:  Sir, I thought you felt the danger of civil war has passed from Exodus Fleet and that Leibniz and Spruance were people we could work with for the common good of humanity…are you changing your mind on that?

Caliphtys:  No, I generally feel we can work with them and that they can be trusted.  It’s just that that trust can never be 100% in my mind.  Earth forces may not like being defacto subordinate to us and we have to be watchful for that.  When they were a small part of Exodus Fleet it may have been a smaller concern, but with TF7’s arrival and EFN forces now having a larger percentage of the military forces of Exodus Fleet, albeit not a majority, it’s something to be concerned about that one of them may want to try and take power over humanity’s remnants someday.

Jenkins:  Understood sir.  As for the light frigates, have you made a decision as to where we should put them?

Caliphtys:  We’ll spread them out.  Exodus Fleet needs lots of coverage so we’ll send two of them here.  Let’s have them be the Lassel and the Huron.  Heavy Fleet will get the Everest, Roaming Fleet will get the Princeton, and send the Luna to Tessandras’ black ops group.

Jenkins:  Is there any particular reason why you sent each of those various frigates to the particular groups you sent them too, Fleetmaster?

Caliphtys:  No, Jenkins.  One would be just as good as another in this case.  It didn’t really matter which one Roaming Fleet got for instance.  Anyways, let’s move on to the next item of business.  Now we discuss where to send the various heavier frigates TF7 brought us.

Jenkins:  This could be a little more difficult, Fleetmaster.

Caliphtys:  How so?

Jenkins:  Lighter frigates like the Vitalius and Solomon classes are good all-around ships that are relatively mobile…in other words they could be good at exploration which is our primary operation now.  The Vidar and Tychicus classes, and the one Agneya class we have, are more built for attacking the enemy and not for scouting. 

Caliphtys:  Well, surely we’ll have need for them again at some point, won’t we? 

Jenkins:  Undoubtedly sir.  Like you, I believe we’ll see the Shivans again at some point…it’s just a matter of time.  I’m just saying it’s hard to tell what to do with them in the moment.

Caliphtys:  Let’s start with the Fafnir.  As an artillery frigate, it’s even less mobile than our Tychicus classes or the EFN Vidar.  I don’t see it doing much good in Escort Fleet.  If something gets that close to Colony Fleet that such heavy firepower is needed…something went wrong.  It would be better for it to be further out to attack heavier threats.  Roaming Fleet could use a little more firepower so send the Fafnir to Fleetmaster Tyrone.

Jenkins:  Very well, sir.

Caliphtys:  Fleetmaster Tessandras works well with Tychicus ships so send him the Carrington.  That leaves the Lincoln and Wolf left in terms of heavy frigates needing a role.  Both of them are EFN ships…Vidar class.  I’ll send the Lincoln to Heavy Fleet and the Wolf to Roaming Fleet.  That does it for the frigates.

Jenkins:  Now all we have left is the flagship of Task Force Seven, the Galahad class ship ORD…excuse me, EFD Hesperia.  It feels weird saying that though, I must admit.

Caliphtys:  It feels somewhat weird to me too, Arbiter.  However, it wouldn’t be worth the effort to try and take the ship back.  Besides, I gave Spruance my word he could keep it.

Jenkins:  So where would you like to send the Hesperia sir?

Caliphtys:  Send the Hesperia to Heavy Fleet.  He’ll be under the command of Fleetmaster Raji, just like Admiral Leibniz is under the command of Fleetmaster Tyrone.  That will give both of our primary striking
fleets two destroyers.  It also keeps the Earth forces somewhat more spread out. 

Jenkins:  That about does it, Fleetmaster.  All Task Force Seven ships have now been assigned to various points in Exodus Fleet.  Do you think there will be any complaints from any of the various TF7 ships about where we’ve put them?

Caliphtys:  I doubt it.  From what I know about TF7, Spruance put them randomly together in the first place.  He grabbed various ships and put them together in his group and called it TF7.  I don’t think they’ve been together long enough to get too attached to this label.  There shouldn’t be any problems from the ORS ships at least.  Spruance also seems fairly level-headed so I think he’s been able to convince his forces we all need to work together and we’re all one group…not so much ORS or EFN any longer for what it’s worth.  Besides, it’s not like they can’t communicate at all with each other.  There’s still email and video communication after all.

Jenkins:  Agreed, Fleetmaster.  Before I issue the official order to send TF7 ships to report to their new fleetmasters, would you like to see the official directive list I just drew up?

Caliphtys:  Yes, please.

TF7 ships will now report to the fleetmaster of the fleet they have been assigned to.
All supply ships-Colony Fleet
All civilian ships-Colony Fleet
EFCs Borealis (modified Viscount)-Roaming Fleet
EFCs London (modified Viscount)-Heavy Fleet
ORC Griffin-Escort Fleet
EFC Trailblazer-Exodus Fleet Black Ops Department
ORFg Lassel-Escort Fleet
EFFg Huron-Escort Fleet
EFFg Everest-Roaming Fleet
EFFg Princeton-Heavy Fleet
EFFg Luna-Exodus Fleet Black Ops Department
ORFg Fafnir-Roaming Fleet
ORFg Carrington-Exodus Fleet Black Ops Department
EFFg Wolf-Roaming Fleet
EFFg Lincoln-Heavy Fleet
EFD Hesperia (TF7 Flagship)-Heavy Fleet”

Jenkins:  Does this meet your approval, Fleetmaster?

Caliphtys:  Yes, Arbiter Jenkins.  Send a copy of this directive to each of the fleetmasters in Exodus Fleet.  They will have a day to decide where to put their new ships.  Then tomorrow send the directive to all the ship leaders in TF7 and tell them to proceed to their new fleets.  The time difference will give the fleetmasters time to decide how to arrange their new charges.

Jenkins:  Permission to begin sending out the directive?

Caliphtys:  Yes, go ahead.

Jenkins:  It is done, Fleetmaster Caliphtys.  Will that be all for today, sir?

Caliphtys:  That is all for today, dismissed.


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